EARLY CHILDHOOD ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR        
Ottumwa, Early Childhood Adjunct Instructor Indian Hills Community College has an opening for a part-time early childhood adjunct instructor to provide classroom and online instruction in morning or afternoon hours. Bachelorâ.s degree in Early Childhood, FCS or related area, minimum 18 credits in early childhood and 3+ years teaching experience or supervision required. Masterâ.s degree or enrollment in Ear
          CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR        
Ottumwa, CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR Indian Hills Community College has an immediate opening for a part time flight instructor in Ottumwa, IA who will provide flight instruction,pre-flight briefings, expanded briefings, and post-flight briefings in aircraft and Redbird Flight Simulator. This person must meet CFII qualifications in all categories through instrument instructor and be able to successfully com
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          ASAHI INDIA GLASS LTD ANNOUNCES UNAUDITED FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED 30TH JUNE, 2017        
by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi – AIS (Asahi India Glass Ltd.), India’s leading integrated glass Company announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended    30th June, 2017 at its Board Meeting.

The consolidated financial performance highlights for the quarter ended 30th June, 2017 are as follows -

Sales (inclusive of Excise Duty) at Rs. 670.98 crores, reflected an increase of 8.60% over the previous period (Rs. 617.84 crores).

Operating EBIDTA i.e. Operating Earnings before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes and Amortisation was recorded at Rs. 109.85 crores registering an increase of 7.89% over the corresponding figure of Rs. 101.82 crores for the previous period.

Cash profit increased by 19.94% from Rs. 66.65 crores in Q4 FY 2016 to Rs. 79.94 crores in Q4 FY 2017.

PBT increased by 25.67% from Rs. 46.08 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 57.91 crores in Q1 FY2018.

PAT increased by 38.33% from Rs. 28.33 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 39.19 crores in Q1 FY2018.

The table below gives the details of the financial performance both on standalone and consolidated basis –  

AIS – Financial Results for the first quarter ended 30th June, 2017
(Rs. Lakhs)
Particulars
Standalone
Consolidated
2017
2016
Change (%)
2017
2016
Change (%)
Sales
65,891
61,022
7.98
67,098
61,784
8.60
Operating EBIDTA
11,314
10,427
8.51
10,985
10,182
7.89
Cash Profit
8,329
6,923
20.31
7,994
6,665
19.94
Profit Before Tax
6,202
4,963
24.96
5,791
4,608
25.67
Profit after Tax
4,145
3,058
35.55
3,919
2,833
38.33


We have also implemented some operational upgrades in our float glass plant at Roorkee leading to productivity increases from the next quarter. We also welcome the new regulations & standards from the government for architectural glass which shall be beneficial to everyone in the long term. As required by law, we have migrated to the new IndAS method of accounting and therefore, our results have been restated this quarter with minor upside on PAT coming from positives in depreciation.  Overall, we continue to look forward to consistent growth in auto and architectural segments as well as a stable macro environment.”

About AIS:
Asahi India Glass Ltd. (AIS) is a joint venture between the Labroo family, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. of Japan, and Maruti Suzuki India Limited. AIS began operations in 1987.
AIS, today, is a leading integrated glass company in India, manufacturing a wide range of international quality automotive safety glass, float glass and architectural processed and value added glass. AIS operates under three strategic business units (SBUs), namely, Auto Glass, Architectural Glass and Consumer Glass.
Auto Glass is India's largest manufacturer of world class automotive safety glass and is, in fact, one of the largest in the field in Asia. It is the sole supplier to almost all the OEMs and has a market share of approx. 77 per cent in the Indian passenger car industry.
Architectural Glass is formed as a result of management merger of Float & Glass Solutions (Processed Glass) SBUs. This SBU manufactures quality float glass and deploys an extensive network of 4 zonal offices and over 1000 distributors. It also markets a wide range of AGC products in India as its distribution partner.
Consumer Glass SBU is Company’s interface with end users for its range of automotive and architectural glass offerings. Impeccable, customized and consumer centric solutions is the key differentiator of Consumer Glass SBU. It includes GlasXperts – a retail initiative in the Architectural Glass segment and Windshield Experts which is India’s only automotive glass repair & replacement specialist.

          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) 

Business
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. 

Network

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

          Shri Saibaba’s Holy Paduka’s Darshan Programme in India and Abroad News         

by Shrutee K/DNS

On 18th October, 2018, Sadguru Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi Embrace will attain 100 years at Shirdi. This auspicious occasion is of extra ordinary significance and life-time memories, for Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust as well as Sai devotees all over world. Hence, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has decided to celebrate this holy event as a grand festival, starting from 1st October, 2017 to 18th October, 2018.

On this auspicious occasion, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has planned to arrange various religious and cultural programmes. In line with this spirit, on behalf of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi a festival of ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’ will be organized in every district of Maharashtra and each state of our country, as well as 25 nations around the world.

Lakhs of devotees have come together and erected hundreds of Sai temples, all over India.  Their devotion to Shri Saibaba is of spiritual importance, arranging ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’, through Sai temples, will serve as a life time opportunity for Sai devotees to celebrate Centenary Year of Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi, in their town.

Dr Shri Suresh Haware, President, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi appeals to trusts & organizing bodies of Sai temples, desirous of arranging ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’ festival in their town, to contact with complete details – Deputy Collector, Email – dycoll.2@sai.org.in, Mob – 07720077205 or Shatabdi Cell, Email – shatabdi@sai.org.in, ph – 02423-258907-Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.

          6 Mumbai team to play in IWL pre-qualifiers         
 by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10: Six teams from Mumbai will be participating in the pre-qualifying round (Maharashtra leg), of the IWL (Indian Women’s League), which is scheduled to commence at the Cooperage ground, from Monday, August 14, 2017.

The participating teams are MDFA Women’s League champions, Football Leaders Academy, Bodyline SC, Kenkre FC, PIFA Sports Club, Football School of India and Rush Soccer.

The Pre-Qualifiers League, to be organised by WIFA, will be played on a double leg basis and the winners’ will get a direct entry to the qualifying round, which is scheduled to be held later next month.

          BPCL awards its prestigious microsites design & implementation contract to Octaware Technologies        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10, 2017: Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), a leading software and business solutions development company, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious contract from BPCL for the design and implementation of their loyalty and brand microsites. Octaware was one of the bidders and was awarded the contract, post evaluation and presentation of efficient solutions and capabilities to the evaluation committee.

The scope of work under the contract includes design and implementation of microsites for BPCL’s loyalty programs – SmartFleet & PetroBonus and other brands - Speed and In & Out. The engagement includes a period of 3 months for implementation of microsites and an additional three years of support and maintenance. Octaware Technology Limited’s expertise in the areas of online portals & enterprise systems helped them win the contract.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Aslam Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Octaware Technologies Limited, said, “We are extremely delighted to have won the prestigious contract from BPCL, our first major win in the Indian PSU sector, post our IPO in April 2017. The fact that it falls under one of Octaware’s key focus verticals of governance, demonstrates our consistent and steady inroads in the Indian market, surpassing some of the strong players in the region. We look forward to a long-term business association with BPCL”.

About Octaware Technologies Limited:
Incorporated in 2005, Octaware Technologies Ltd is a software development company providing a range of information technology solutions. The company designs, develops, and maintains software systems and solutions. Company's services include custom software development, ECM/portal solution, ERP and CRM implementation, mobile platform solution, RFID solution, cloud and IT infrastructure services, consulting services and geospatial services.
Octaware provides specialized software application and product development services and solutions in the areas of healthcare, finance, and e-government industry. The company has proprietary products for domestic, as well as international markets, such as PowerERM – Human Capital Relationship Management, Hospice – Healthcare and Citizen Services solution, and iOnAsset – Inventory management and tracking System etc. These products are available as packaged products as well as software-as-a-service model integrated with legacy system.
Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), got listed on the BSE –SME platform on April 3, 2017 and was oversubscribed by 148%, providing testimony to the faith, the investors have reposed in the company.

          Badshah Masala launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan        


by Shrutee K/DNS
National: Badshah Masala, this Independence Day, has launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan, aiming to decrease this divide and pushes notice to how similar these two sister countries are. Badshah Masala believes that despite all the differences we may have, food transcends all boundaries and brings people from different places together. 
In this video, Manno is a traditional Indian mom whose daughter, Dimple, has just returned from US after finishing her studies. Dimple, whilst showing Manno pictures from her time in US, also shows her a picture with her Pakistani friend, Saad. Manno immediately points to Saad being a Pakistani, but is shunned by her young and liberal daughter.  
Dimple then mentions that she wants to meet Saad, an idea which Manno isn't too fond of. After much deliberation, Manno asks Dimple to invite Saad over for dinner so that she can keep an eye on him. Once Saad comes over for dinner, he amazes Manno with what he does.
This video is a testimony to how much the younger generation can influence their parents in breaking stereotypes that have prevailed in modern India. The campaign also communicates a broader message that gets us thinking as to how Indians perceive foreign nationals. It stresses on the importance of respect for an individual regardless of his or her racial background and nationality, and the importance of not judging a person based on our own preconceived notions and existing stereotypes.
Kailash Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, said,”As we are inching closer to a 70th Independence Day, there is no better time to contemplate the ties between these two countries. We are trying our best to close this divide by starting a conversation over something that no one would decline - Swaad.” 
Hemant Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, adds, “Badshah Masala has always been involved in forming connections through food. From the very beginning of this company, we have looked at food as something that can bring people from everywhere together. We are glad that we are taking this opportunity to provide another outlook to the current scenario that our country is facing.” 
Anushree Pacheriwal, Creative Head of Gemius, said, “It has been an incredible experience working for this campaign. From the very start, we were certain that this message needed to be out there, and that shaped the direction that this campaign took.”
The campaign is by Badshah Masala conceptualised by agency Gemius and creative head Anushree Pacheriwal, Story, Saurabh Pacheriwal. The production house is 50mm Media Productions and Director & DOP is Saurabh Desai and Ankit Mavchi. Gemius is co founded by Saurabh Pacheriwal, a marketing professional and Anushree Pacheriwal, a creative professional. Its clientele includes Badshah Masala, World Economic Forum, Just In Time, Baggit, TEDx events amongst others.
·       Campaign Link:  https://youtu.be/2LFIuXf1Gqo
Credits:
Client: Badshah Masala
Managing Partners: Kailash Jhaveri, Hemant Jhaveri
Agency: Gemius
Managing Director: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Creative Head: Anushree Pacheriwal
Account Management Team: Tanvi Khandelwal, Abhishek Doshi, Varsha Tanna
Story: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Production House: 50mm Media Productions
Director & DOP: Saurabh Desai & Ankit Mavchi
Production Team: Fenil Patel, Siddhant Shah, Nehal Trivedi, Jigar M, Setu U


          Hospitals and local physicians are noticing a spike in the no of respiratory cases in the city        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10th, 2017: The rains have arrived and so is the number of diseases along with it. People are aware of the most common ailments such as viral fever, the common cold, malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea, etc. But very few are aware of the respiratory ailments that stems from indoor air pollution in monsoon caused by the dampness in the walls, fungus from air conditioners, floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, sofa covers, wooden furniture harboring fungus, etc. The Hospitals and local physicians in the city have noticed a spike in the no. of cases with respiratory problems. Suspended Particulate Matter is the main trigger of damage in air Pollution. Other contents like SO2, ammonia, carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons add to the toxicity. Air pollutants which are less than 10 microns in size enter the smaller airways and causes damage. This may trigger cough, breathing difficulty, choking, chest tightness and Asthma.

Taking adequate precautions are one of the best ways to avoid monsoon-related ailments. All age groups are affected because of air pollution; however, there is a definite rise in asthma and lung infections among children. Also, elderly and diabetics are at a risk of lung infection because of air pollution. Avoiding floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, stuffed toys, burning incense sticks at home and regular cleaning of air conditioner filters are some of the precautions that can be taken to avoid indoor air pollution during the monsoon.

Mr. Girish Bapat, Blueair air purifier, Director West and South Asia Region further added, “Our mission at Blueair is to help Indian women, children and men confront the health challenges posed by rising air pollution. It is very essential to identify the Invisible dangers. Breathing in tiny, unseen pollutants put every individual at risk. These pollutants further pass through the lung tissue and puts you at risk of stroke, heart disease and developing Asthma, Allergy, Bronchitis, Infection and other respiratory problems. Getting acquainted of personal health records, heart rate and blood sugar level, is the best way to safeguard long-term health issues by classifying troublesome concerns at the earliest.”

Blueair’s air purifiers are innovated in Sweden to put people in control of their own air quality with superior filtration efficiency. Sold in over 60 countries around the world, Blueair delivers home and office users cleaner indoor air for enhanced user health and wellbeing faster than any competing air purifier thanks to its commitment to quality, energy efficiency and environmental care. A Blueair air purifier works efficiently and silently to remove airborne allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other pollutants.

          Feast after fasting this Janmashtami at Taj Wellington Mews Mumbai         

by Shrutee K/DNS 
Mumbai: This Janmashtami welcome the birth of Lord Krishna with a burst of flavour and fervour! Get together with family and friends and feel the festive cheer with a range of delicious treats perfect for breaking your fast. The light and crispy Sabudana Vada, the soft Rajgiri Puri, traditional Vari Rice, refreshing Thandai, Vrat Waale Aloo will satisfy after a day’s fast, before a sweet and creamy Badam Kheer and fresh fruit. Come and taste the ‘food of the Gods’/ ‘divine offerings’ at Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews!

Offer valid:
Date: 14thAugust 2017
Day: Monday
Timing: 12 PM to 10: 45 PM
Venue: Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews, Mumbai 
Contact Number: 022 66574331
About Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 98 hotels in 61 locations across the globe, including presence in India, North America, United Kingdom, Africa, Middle East, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury.  For over a century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, the iconic flagship has set a benchmark for fine living with exquisite refinement, inventiveness and warmth. Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris is part of the Tata Group, India’s premier business house. For more information, please visit www.tajhotels.com.



          Ziox Mobiles announces Sushant Singh Rajput as its Brand Ambassador along with Rs. 300cr investment for FY17 - 18        
Launches its newest Mobile phone ‘Ziox Duopix’
        Forays into LED TV and Consumer Durables Segment
        Plans to open 2 new manufacturing units and R&D facilities with investment of Rs. 200cr.
        Plans a 360-degree marketing campaign with a budget of
Rs. 100 Cr.
by Shrutee K/DNS
In the light of its vigorous expansion, Ziox Mobiles under the aegis of Sun Air voice Pvt Ltd, one of the fastest growing Mobile handsets brand, ropes in the very versatile, Sushant Singh Rajput, as its Brand endorser who truly lives up to the brand name.  While Ziox mobiles is a preferred brand across the country through its outstanding innovation and quality, the other has won the hearts of a million Indians as he slips into any role with nonchalance. Both the brand and its ambassador ride on the precepts of resilience, hard work and steady growth. A rare blend of energy, perseverance, and popularity coupled with his ability to connect to people, Sushant Singh Rajput is a fine addition to the Ziox Mobiles family. This association will further boost the legacy of Ziox Mobiles as the actor resonates to the brand promise: Quality that Speaks.
Answering strong demand and an overwhelming response from the Indian market, Ziox Mobiles also chalked out a detailed expansion plan and the roadmap for FY 2017-2018.The Brand aims to establish a stronger foothold in the Indian Market, with the total investment of over Rs. 200crore which shall span for a year, the Brand announced its plan to set up 2 new manufacturing units (in Sikkim and Noida) and R&D facilities apart from the existing New Delhi unit, with a holding capacity of around 1 Million units per Month. With the induction of Sushant Singh Rajput as its brand endorser along with the total investment of Rs. 100 Cr. this FY 2017-2018, Ziox aims to achieve an estimated revenue of Rs. 1,000 Cr and a sale of 10 million product units.
Commenting on this association and a promising future, Mr. Deepak Kabu, CEO Ziox Mobiles said “The future looks bright, Ziox Mobiles has a range of phones in the pipeline with exciting new launches. We are enthralled to present Sushant Singh Rajput as the new face of Ziox Mobiles. With Sushant Singh Rajput on board, it will help augment sales and further its reach in the market. The partnership with him is timed with Ziox Mobiles’ next phase of expansion on a pan-India level” Mr. Kabu further adds, “Sushant embodies talent, youthfulness and style. More importantly, he blends well with the core values of hard work, reliability, and is the epitome of our brand philosophy. Today our target audience is the young, driven, forward-moving generation, who have ever changing needs. Sushant understands the pulse of this audience well and has a great rapport with them. That is why, with immense preparation, he goes on to entertain his fans with one performance after another just as Ziox Mobiles constantly strives to understand the changing needs of its customers.”
Speaking on the association, Sushant Singh Rajput said, "I have always known Ziox Mobiles to be an inspirational brand in terms of their persuasion to becomes India’s biggest mobile brand. I am happy to be associated with a brand which is very young, and has a journey that is very similar to mine. I love how this brand designs its products to suit every need of its customers and are constantly innovating themselves as I see myself doing that while working on a role. I look forward to being part of the Ziox Mobiles family and to contribute to its fascinating growth journey in India." The ever-evolving brand has slated a major strategic transformation that entails the signing of a new brand endorser, an aggressive expansion and launches of it new products. The Brand at the event also announced the launch of its newest smartphone Series ‘Duopix”, Phone Series with Dual Cameras. Designed to fulfil the brand promise of providing users with superior camera performance and quality, ‘Duopix’ comes equipped with wide angle Dual front camera (8.0MP + 2.0) front +8.0MP Rear. The latest Dual 4G model runs on Android 7.0, with 5inch HD IPS Display along with 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM all packed in 2500mAh battery. Some of the key features includes strong battery life & also the fast charging capability. The budget friendly Smartphone comes equipped with various other features like 21 language support with multilingual phonebook, MP3 player, FM Radio, Bluetooth connectivity to help you stay connected. The phone will be available across all retail stores in few week’s time. Along with the smartphones, the brand also announces its foray into LED TVS and Consumer Durables category.

About Ziox Mobile: Ziox Mobiles, part of Sun Airvoice Pvt. Ltd., incepted in the Year 2015, with a singular motto to break the boundaries while offering technologically superior products without compromising on quality. Headquartered in New Delhi, Ziox Mobiles has built up an impressive product portfolio of more than 40 distinguished products and constantly innovating to make superior products.
Empowering consumers with affordable technology through quality products- the brand has truly demonstrated quick and robust expansion since inception, showing profitability and growing sales since the first year of operations. Being considered as one of the most innovative and fastest growing brands in the Mobile category, the brand has established its presence across India through its wide network comprising of its various branch offices and system integrators across several states in India.

          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 youtube.com 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.

          The Bombay Canteen 3rd Independence Dawaat In Support of Miracle Foundation India         


by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai August 2017: This Independence Day, let’s celebrate the joy of being Indian. And what better way than The Bombay Canteen3rdAnnual Independence Day Dawaatto raise a toast to our amazing culinary heritage with an unforgettable meal for a cause. A feast of regional Indian specialties at our annual Independence Dawaat on August 15, 2017, only for lunch from 12 noon to 3:30 pm and this year’s fundraiser is in support of Miracle Foundation India.  The Miracle Foundation India is a non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to orphaned children and helps them thrive in real time with a measurable, repeatable and systematic method to ensure that orphans are educated, fed, loved and safe. So block your calendar and make a plan with friends to celebrate all things Indian with a feast from around the country for a very noble cause. And since this lunch is also about celebrating freedom, we encourage you to pay what you like at the end of your meal. Remember, everything you donate, goes to the Miracle Foundation India for the incredible work they do to take care of orphaned children.

On the menu this year – a sumptuous meal of regional delicacies all served on a banana leaf in a community style dining experience. Its India on a platter with Chef Thomas Zacharias and his team putting together this feast inspired by dishes from across twelve states, including Mangalorean Chicken Curry, Punjabi Smoked Red Pumpkin Bharta, Lucknavi style Soy Kheema Mutter, Kashmiri Simla Mirch & Petha Korma, Kerela Mandeli Fry, seasonal vegetable pulao and much more. All this with a selection of unusual chutneys and accompaniments, served up with chilled Aam Panna from UP and delicious Maharashtrian TilGud Cake and Tiranga Barfi to round off the meal.


Sameer Seth, Founder & CEO, The Bombay Canteen said, "We are really excited to be supporting the Miracle Foundation through our 3rd Independence Day Daawat. The work they do to support orphaned children is inspiring. It has been amazing to learn about how they go about shaping the lives of these kids in a systematic and sustainable manner, and hope that through the Daawat more people learn about their fantastic work."

Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of Miracle Foundation said, “We are thrilled to be a part of the Independence Day Dawaat at the Bombay Canteen. The support we receive at this event will give children without parents all they need to thrive: Delicious and nutritious food, education, clean water, healthcare, safety and love. In partnership with the Bombay Canteen, we are empowering children to reach their full potential and become independent adults—as the country celebrates its independence.”

Get your flags out, paint the city in tricolour, and swing by to celebrate all things Indian this Independence Day, with good food for a good cause! 

Date: On August 15th, Tuesday 2017.
Independence Dawaat at Lunch only from 11.30am to 3:30pm.
First come, First Serve
You can also donate on: https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/tbc


About Our Cause: Miracle Foundation India is a non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to the world of children without parental care in India. Our mission is simple. Miracle Foundation India stands for children without parental care and helps them thrive in real time. We've created a measurable, repeatable and systematic method to ensure that children without parental care are educated, fed, loved and safe. At the same time, we explore every avenue to reunite them with their parents or relatives, when possible. Our method: 

Ensures organizations meet the 12 Rights of the Child and rise to international standards

Guides leaders to resettle children with a caring, responsible relative or family—and help them stay together

Transitions orphanages into Centers for Excellence where children thrive instead of reside

Started in 2011, the organization is dedicated to empowering children without parental care to reach their full potential. Today, we support thousands of children without parents, from the hinterlands of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh to the far-flung areas of Tripura.

Our goal is for every child to live in a loving family; to become a healthy, happy, income-producing person—and experience a true sense of belonging.


          Celebrate the platinum year of Indian Independence with HISTORY TV18        

This August watch inspiring stories of incredible Indians with ‘India: 70 wonders’ and a History TV18 original documentary on the great Subhash Chandra Bose with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 2017: This Independence month HISTORY TV18 is presenting a marathon of inspiring stories that is sure to keep the viewers glued to their screen. The channel brings two most amazing shows India 70 Wonders starting 8th August, 2017 every Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 PM and a documentary on Subhash Chandra Bose - ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ on 18thAugust at 9 PM. The viewers are in for a surprise as the August marathon will feature Bollywood “womaniya” Huma Qureshi.
India 70 wonders will feature inspiring and out-of-the-box OMG stories of India and Indians. Some amazing stories from across the country include the cemetery-hotel in Ahmedabad, a barber who drives a Rolls Royce, a 75 year old woman who has mastered Kalaripayattu, a man who transforms iron nails into art and the likes. A series of 7 extraordinary episodes, each episode will showcase 10 inspiring stories that will depict 70 years of a young nation that is at the crossroads of change. Each story has been handpicked based on the level of amazement and intrigue generated.
The next offering is a television first, based on Subhash Chandra Bose, one of the most dynamic leaders of India's struggle of independence. The undying questions surrounding the mystery of the fabled INA Treasure and it’s disappearance along with Bose will come alive with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ a History TV18 original documentary.  The secrets, locked away in the vaults of South Block and protected by the Official Secrets Act, will be showcased for the first time on television.
The thrilling one-hour special, is filmed in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar & Japan and uses rare archives as it pieces together the mysteries. With an interesting combination of present day shots, archival footage, graphics and interviews, the film takes one through an unexplored treasure hunt of World War II and its key players.









          Indian girl’s finish 4th in Asian Rugby 7s        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 7: The Indian Girls’ Under-20 rugby team performed creditably well to clinch the fourth position at the Asia Rugby U-20 Girls Sevens Series which was held at the Kings Park Stadium, Hong Kong, China on August 4 & 5, 2017. The team participated under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body for the sport of Rugby in India and was supported by Societe Generale, the financial partner of Rugby India. The tournament was played on a round-robin league basis.
Playing against heavyweights, the Indian girl’s put up some impressive performances winning three of the six matches and finished among the top 4 from out of the 7 participating countries, namely China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, India and hosts Hong Kong. The formidable and more experienced Chinese girls were crowned champions.
The Rugby India Girls played well but came up short against some stiff competition on the first day. They lost the opening match against Thailand (0-36) but won the second defeating Malaysia (10-0). The Indian girls suffered two more defeats, losing to China (0-32) and Hong Kong 0-39).
After a tough start to the tournament, the girls turned things around on the second day, registering two successive victories. Both matches went down to the wire but the girls handled the pressure well. First the Indian girls overcame Singapore 10-5 and later beat Uzbekistan 22-15.
We are extremely proud of the team’s performance at this tournament. It just goes to show that the future of women’s rugby in India is in safe hands.
The India team: RuchiShetty – Captain (Maharashtra), GargeeWalekar (Maharashtra), NeelamPatil (Maharashtra), RiaBisht (Delhi), Rajani Sabar (Odisha), BasantiPangi (Odisha), Manjulata Pradhan (Odisha), KabitaKasturi (Odisha), Chanda Oraon (West Bengal), Swapna Oraon (West Bengal), Suman Oraon (West Bengal), Punam Oraon (West Bengal).
The final Rankings: 1. China, 2. Thailand, 3. Hong Kong, 4. India, 5. Singapore, 6. Malaysia, 7. Uzbekistan
Performance of the Indian U20 Girls Rugby Team
Day One –4th August, 2017
Day Two- 5th August, 2017
Team
Score
vs
Score
Team

Score
vs
Score

Rugby India
0
vs
36
Thailand
Rugby India
10
vs
5
Singapore
Rugby India
10
vs
0
Malaysia
Rugby India
22
vs
15
Uzbekistan
Rugby India
0
vs
32
China

Rugby India
0
vs
39
Hong Kong

About Rugby India : Rugby India, founded in 1998, is the sole governing body for the sport of Rugby in India. Recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport, Govt. of India, Rugby India is a full member of World Rugby, Asia Rugby and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The body is responsible for the growth & development of the sport of Rugby across the country from the grassroots to the high performance level.
IRFU is the sole governing body of all formats of the sport of Rugby in India for all genders and ages. The formats included are as follows: Rugby Union, Fifteen-a-Side Rugby, Seven-a-Side Rugby, 10-a-Side Rugby, 12-a-Side Rugby, Touch Rugby, Non-Contact Rugby - Tag Rugby, Flag Rugby, Beach Rugby, Snow Rugby, Wheelchair Rugby, Underwater Rugby.
Rugby has been included in the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) for all age-groups (U14, U17 & U19 boys & girls) and the National University Games for both Men & Women, under the aegis of the Associationof Indian Universities (AIU), The sport is also a part of the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and played by the Paramilitary & Police Forces.
Rugby in India has a rich history and heritage and dates back to 1872. However, only over the last decade has the sport seen a major rise in following and Rugby India has been instrumental in garnering this interest across the country. There has been a significant growth and increase in participation numbers and currently, within India, over 120 Rugby Clubs are affiliated to our State and Districts Associations with competitive Rugby, for both Men & Women, being actively played across 24 States in India.


          Lufthansa Cargo Emphasizes Long-Standing Connections with Indian Airfreight Market        
Freighter services to Mumbai increased
Lufthansa Cargo emphasizes long-standing connections with Indian airfreight market
by Shrutee K/DNS
The Frankfurt-based air freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo has increased its freighter services to Mumbai. Since July, the airline operates four instead of three freighter flights to the Indian megacity. “This change sees us strengthening our position in the regional airfreight market”, says Frank Naeve, Lufthansa Cargo Vice President Asia-Pacific.
Lufthansa’s cargo arm also serves the Indian metropoles Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, each with two freighter services a week. Additionally, the cargo capacity of 42 weekly passenger flights between various Indian cities and the hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna is offered by the German logistic company.

“We are proud to have had long-standing connections with customers in the Indian air cargo industry since 1959. Our aim is to build on this in the future”, says Peter Gerber, Lufthansa Cargo CEO and chairman of the board. Two years ago, the Lufthansa Cargo emphasized this by renaming its McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 freighter with registration D-ALCJ “Namaste India”.
About Lufthansa Cargo AG : Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world’s leading air freight carriers. In the 2016 business year, the airline transported around 1.6 million tonnes of freight and mail and sold 8.4 billion revenue tonne-kilometres. The company currently employs about 4,500 people worldwide. Lufthansa Cargo focuses on the airport-to-airport business. The cargo carrier serves around 300 destinations in more than 100 countries with its own fleet of freighters, the belly capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings, and an extensive road feeder service network. The bulk of the cargo business is routed through Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Cargo is a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.


          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.

          SSB Retail India launches two more Specialty Malls        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Hyderabad, 4th August 2017: SSB Group is a leading structural galvanizing company which is in a retail sector mall in Hyderabad.

The SSB World Shopping Mall has come up with a two brand ‘Alpine’- the supermarket and ‘Casabene’- the furniture mall. Casabene has its branches in Kolkata, Hyderabad and is now launching 2 more new branches in Hyderabad.

The company has diversified into retailing. The 3rd retailing space at Chakripuram  is 7000 sq. ft which has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures. The 4th retailing space at North Kamalanager ECIL is 2000 sq. ft which also has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures.
The retail industry is very competitive; in order to give extra mileage SSB is having its own manufacturing facilities. They believe in delivering excellent quality products with customer satisfaction. The Chief Guest for the event will be honourable Smt. Pajjuri Pavani Manipal Reddy (Corporator) for A S Rao Nagar Division, SSB Directors - Y Sharath Babu & Ajay Kumar Singh and Chairman - Ramakanth Singh. Mr Ajay Kumar Singh & Mr Sarath Babu - Directors, of SSB believes in giving good lifestyle supplies at competitive prices.
 
The retailing product will be: Supermarket/Furniture/Home Décor/Home Accessories/Home related products

USP: Exclusively designed/Concept selling/Manufacturing Quality Products/Craftsman and Finishing/Free interior advice/Large collection under one roof

The business plan is to diversify and open 10 Branches of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furniture in the twin cities.

About SSB: SSB is a Turkey service provider, established in August 2013, SSB Structural and Galvanizing Pvt Ltd is an enterprise by two pragmatic visionaries. As an emerging sector, it is present in telecom, power, heavy and general fabrication and infrastructure. It was able to export structural material in the second year of inception. The company has a turnover of 50 crores and it will have 100 crores of turn over year.

          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 wrangler-ap.com/in.

          Ambi Pur’s New TVC Focuses on Refreshing Monsoons        
Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 4, 2017:-Ambi Pur’s Smelly to Smiley campaigns have always challenged and conquered the toughest and most pungent odours in a real time set up with live experiments. The third edition of the Smelly to Smiley campaign focuses on yet another very relevant odour issue that most have us have encountered – the problem of the lingering monsoon odour that plagues all Indian households during the season. While monsoons have always stood for happy, fun times, growing up brings us face-to-face with monsoon-related issues. Akin to the advertisement format that has become synonymous to Ambi Pur, the new TVC is a real-life experiment at a real consumer’s home, where a unique sensorial challenge is conducted. After all, how often would you come across people with blind folds and pegs on their noses?

This interesting play on the senses reveals that a home, which may look immaculately clean, may, in reality, be perceived as unclean because it is doused with the damp monsoon odour. This TVC, conceptualized by Grey Group, features Brand Ambassador Boman Irani who presents a reality check in context to the damp, lingering odours that specially torment during monsoons. Launching nationally on August 03, the TVC positions the New and Improved Ambi Pur, with odour-clear technology, as the perfect solution to restore freshness to your favorite season. 

The recently released findings from a survey conducted by AC Nielsen, commissioned by Ambi Pur, unearthed the extent of suffering that these damp, musty odours impose on all of us. In fact, 9 out of every 10* women felt that monsoons bring issues within the household such as drying clothes inside, that lead to a musty damp odour.
 
Nidhish Garg, Brand Manager, P&G Home Care India, comments: “To drive awareness regarding the New & Improved Ambi Pur with patented odour-clear technology, we have launched the 3rdleg of the very popular Smelly to Smiley campaign. The brand stays with its ideology of putting the product to torture tests against relevant odour issues, and this time we take on the musty odour that all Indians face during monsoons. The TVC captures live reaction of a consumer who experiences the monsoon odour when visiting a friend’s home that looks perfectly clean. The same consumer sees Ambi Pur in action and how it completely eliminates the monsoon odour as opposed to temporarily concealing it with a fragrance. This format of communicating with our consumers through live experiments helps in building brand salience and credibility.”
 

Ambi Pur’s Brand Ambassador, Boman Irani further adds, “Monsoon is my favourite season but we all know the challenges that come with it, right from drying clothes inside to the rigorous cleaning regime. The new TVC shows that the house that looks clean may not actually smell clean due to the overwhelming moisture-heavy air giving out a feeling of lack of hygiene. It is always fun shooting for Ambi Pur ads, as well as extremely reassuring to witness the brand live up to toughest home odours in live experiments, year on year! This time too, Ambi Pur in its new avatar, truly eliminated the musty monsoon odour. So, it’s time to stop being enslaved by this moldy smell and refresh your monsoons with Ambi Pur.”

The New & Improved Ambi Pur uses a distinct formulation that focuses on odour removal, not just on emitting the fragrance. P&G has created a trademarked ‘Odour-clear technology’, which has been brought to India in July. The new technology fights odour at a molecular level, neutralizing it completely, and leaving behind a subtle fragrance, thus truly eliminating all tough odours.

All Ambi Pur fragrances, including the newly launched Sandalwood fragrance, are available across stores at a price of Rs. 299.

Agency Credits:
Lead Creative Agency: GREY Düsseldorf
Local Support: GREY Mumbai
Production House: Casta Diva Pictures, Mumbai

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers in India with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Vicks ®, Ariel®, Tide®, Whisper®, Olay®, Gillette®, AmbiPur®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Oral-B®, Head & Shoulders® and Old Spice®. P&G operates through 3 entities in India of which 2 are listed on NSE & BSE. The listed P&G entities are: ‘Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited’ and ‘Gillette India Limited’, whereas the unlisted entity (which is a 100% subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S) operates by the name ‘Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Ltd.’ In the last 12 years, P&G’s signature CSR program P&G Shiksha has built and supported 1000 schools that will impact the lives of 10,00,000 underprivileged children across the country by providing them with access to education. Please visit http://www.pg-India.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G India and its brands.

          Director, Sandeep Mohan & Tiranga Productions to release “Shreelancer” on 18th August         

Based on the story of a freelancer, the feature film is an adaptation of the people who are self-employed

by Shrutee K/DNS 

Director Sandeep Mohan’s next release, “Shreelancer” is a feature film starring Arjun Radhakrishnan (an actor known for his film “A White Feather”) in the lead along with a veteran theater artist Salmin Sheriff and Monica Mahendru. The film is produced by Giju John – Tiranga Productions Pvt. Ltd. and Sandeep Mohan and slated to hit the screens on 18th August 2017.

Official Trailer Link - https://youtu.be/VkM2WWU5kyY

The film has background score by Vivek Philip and features songs by Ankur Tewari, Prateek Kuhad, Andrew Sloman and Natalie Matos. The film features one of the popular Indie song, "Dil Beparvah" by Ankur Tewari and Prateek Kuhad. The film is looking to be one of the best adaptation of the people who are self-employed.

Shreelancer, a 98-minute feature film is the contemporary take on the life of a freelancer in today’s India. Shreelancer follows Arjun Radhakrishnan (Shree), a Bangalore based mid 20's freelance copywriter who is battling with nagging self-doubts about his artistic abilities. Shree belongs to a Maharashtrian family from Belgaum. He does ads for small time ad agencies, but is quite frustrated that the world doesn't seem to understand or respect freelancers. Unable to concentrate at home, he visits various cafes to find his peace and works from there. Addicted to his cellphone and the social media, Shree's worldview is shaped by what he reads online, not having traveled much in the "real" world. As fate would have it, Shree gets an invitation to attend an all-expenses paid trip to a college friend's wedding. And life as he knows it will never be the same again for Shree. The film highlights the journey of a freelancer, despite having a flexible schedule, they work on deadlines, love to take up all jobs and seldom say “No” to any assignment.

Shreelancer had its World Film Festival Premiere at the prestigious New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) in May 2017 where it was nominated in the best screenplay category. The film will next screen at the Blue Whiskey International Film Festival on the 8th August 2017 where it has been selected in the competition category. Apart from this, Sandeep Mohan has conducted 30 screenings at spaces like Cafes, Pubs, Office Spaces, Coworker Spaces, Colleges, Homes, Art Galleries, etc. and convert them into

mini-theatres for the duration of the film. Sandeep conducts this screening under what he calls the "The Great Indian Travelling Cinema" experiment.


          Swipe launches KONNECT at Rs. 4,999 Exclusively on Snapdeal        

by Shrutee K/DNS 

India, 4th August 2017: Swipe Technologies, India’s leading mobile internet technology company, is all set to unveil brand new member in its popular KONNECT Series - Swipe KONNECT Power.  The slim and sturdy smartphone sports 5” HD IPS display and boasts enormous 3000 mAh battery.  The compelling feature rich Swipe KONNECT Power is competitively priced at Rs. 4,999 only. It will be available exclusively on Snapdeal from 7th August 2017.

Swipe KONNECT Power is driven by a powerful 1.5GHz quad core processor that runs on Android 6.0 OS for lag-free multi-tasking smartphone experience. It comes with 2 GB RAM plus 16 GB internal memory, expandable up to 32 GB and OTG support enhances the storage options. The new 4G VoLTE-ready KONNECT Power features 5” HD IPS display that allows users to enjoy cleaner & sharper visuals at the highest resolution. Besides, this device has a very sleek body that makes the phone very stylish in its looks. That’s not all. For the photography enthusiast, KONNECT Power comes with 8MP Rear Camera and 5MP Front Camera. The camera app also comes with lots of features to enhance the photography. The new phone gives an extended company to the user with its 3000 mAh battery, which is installed keeping in mind the daily lifestyle and usage patterns of young smartphone users.  Commenting on the launch of KONNECT Power, Mr. Shripal Gandhi, Founder and CEO of Swipe Technologies said: “Fulfilling aspirations of demanding Indians at affordable price is what differentiates Swipe from other smartphone players.  Our latest creation is yet another affordable device under the KONNECT series – KONNECT Power. It is designed for the aspiring youth of the country who requires long lasting battery that too with 2GB RAM yet the phone is light on pocket.”
Vishal Chadha, Sr.Vice President – Business said: “As part of our commitment to the vision of Digital India, we are keen to bring our consumers access to compelling technology products at great value. With Swipe Konnect Power, we are confident that this newest exclusive addition to our smartphone assortment will be well received by our customers”
Swipe KONNECT Power comes with a gorgeous design, and it has a smoother touch experience as well as comfortable grip. Customers will be able to enjoy a greater multimedia experience, as they can capture stunning photos and videos in virtually any lighting condition.
About Swipe Technologies:
Swipe Technologies is an innovation-centric mobility solutions company, having started its operations in July 2012. Within a short span of time, Swipe has become the leading tablet and Smartphone maker in India.   Swipe was started with an aim to bring exciting devices in the growing Indian market and today, it is the leading consumer brand with key innovations across products, pricing and customer support. Founded by technocrat Mr. Shripal Gandhi, Swipe raised $5 million in May 2014 from the Venture Capital firm Kalaari Capital. In the last three years, Swipe has won a number of accolades including the “Top 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurs of India” by The Economic Times, the “Most Innovation-driven Company in India” by World Brand Congress, and the “Most Innovative Start-up” by Franchise India, the “Best Integrated Campaign” by the World Brand and Congress& the “Best Youth Brand Tablet” by CNBC. Also, Swipe’s young founder Mr. Shripal Gandhi has been recognized as the “CNBC Young Turks” for his breakthrough strategies and innovation in the field of mobile communication technologies. For details, logon to www.justswipe.com

          ASIA’S LARGEST FILM MAKING CHALLENGE INDIA FILM PROJECT CALLS FOR ENTRIES        

 
by Shrutee K/DNS 
Mumbai: Asia’s largest content creation festival, India Film Project that encourages people to create video content will enter into its seventh edition this year. India Film Project invites entries from all the film enthusiasts who love making films from across the globe for all their competitive sections with 31st August’2017 as a closing date.

India Film Project which is one of the rare platforms focused at content creation rather than content consumption will be held in Mumbai. Currently a daylong event, India Film Project will be conducted for two days hosting conversations with 50+ celebs, workshops and masterclasses, curated video screenings amongst others. The festival, this year, will be held on 30th September’17 and 1stOctober’17 at NSCI, Worli, and tentatively attended by over 60,000 film enthusiasts from across India.

Participants can enter into the following categories:

The Best of Digital category where participants can enter their already created work under the sections like short films, music videos, ads and brand films, corporate videos, food and travel videos, wedding and celebration videos, animation and motion graphics, web sketches and web series. Best of Digital awards bestows a chance to the content creators to compete with the best ones on the web. This is the first time the best in digital category has been introduced at India Film Project. Currently, there are no other awards and recognitions for digital videos in India.

Poster Redesign Compete in association with The Souled Store that encourages participants to design a movie poster and compete with some of India’s leading designers. The top posters will be exhibited at the festival and even bought by the audience offline and online.

Scriptwriting competition in association with Terribly Tiny Tales

For the first time ever, the festival bring to you a competition between the scripts from across the globe where one can stand a chance to present their story to some of the best scriptwriters of country and get talent recognized. Narrate your story in your own words around the theme “over the edge”.

50 Hour Filmmaking: India Film Project’s flagship competition which will battle it out with more than 30,000 filmmakers from 300+ cities to show your filmmaking skills in a duration of just 50 hours – Sep 15 to Sep 17. Teams can choose any one category to participate – Professional, Amateur or Mobile. The theme will be revealed at the beginning of 50 hours. The Last date to register 14th September’17.


          U Mumba announces sale of tickets for Home Leg of Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League         
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai: Hosting their home leg at the Dome @ National Sports Club of India (NSCI), SVP stadium in Mumbai between the 25th and 31st of August 2017, U Mumba announced the start of their sale for tickets and offers on ticketing partner websites paytm.com and insider.in. The home leg will be the fifth of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, that will extend into the last week of October.  

The VVIP tickets are priced at INR 7,000, while the VIP tickets are priced at INR 5,500. Both the VVIP and VIP tickets include refreshments and the seating surrounds the playing area.

In the General Stand, tickets for Section 2 are available at INR 1,000 and Section 3 and INR 800. U Mumba fans have a lot to cheer about with the team reducing prices of tickets in the General Stands by 25%.

With tickets now available for sale online, fans can avail attractive discounts on Season Passes, Weekend Passes and Weekday Passes.

Season Passes (for all 6 match days) and Weekday Passes (for games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) are available at a 25% discount.

The Weekend Pass (for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are available at 10% discount.
In an offer exclusive to the student community, students aged under 21 years, are entitled to a 35% discount on Section 3 tickets. These can be purchased online and collected at the Box-Office on displaying their Student ID.
NSCI members can avail a special discount of 10% at the Box Office by displaying their membership cards.
“With 6 games, we’ll have an entire week of Kabaddi in Mumbai city and this is a real treat for our fans, especially given the exciting line-up of matches scheduled. Further, with the Ganesh Festival coinciding with our home leg, we look forward to celebrating the festival together with all our fans,” commented U Sports CEO Supratik Sen.

The Dome @ NSCI, SVP stadium will play host to the extended league for 6 days this season with U Mumba taking on the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the first encounter followed by the Maharashtra Derby on the second night with their weekend ending with a match against Dabang Delhi. Post their Rest Day on Monday, U Mumba will face debutants Gujarat Fortunegiants and Haryana Steelers on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively and close their home leg with a match against the Jaipur Pink Panthers again.

All matches start at 8:00 PM and Gates Open at 6:00 PM on match days.


          Tifiamo Scaramouche!        
Tifiamo Scaramouche è una raccolta di racconti in quattro volumi che possono essere scaricati liberamente in formato PDF dal sito dei Wu Ming. Si tratta di una fan fiction derivante da L'armata dei sonnambuli, l'ultimo romanzo storico del collettivo uscito nel 2014.

A curare la raccolta è stato Simone Scaffidi L. Da un'idea di: Pietro Pace, Mauro Vanetti e Alessandro Villari (Avvocato Laser). Il progetto grafico e l'impaginazione si devono a Franco Berteni (Mr Mill) e Simone Scaffidi L. La copertina e le illustrazioni sono di Alessandro Caligaris e Francesca Sibona.

Qui di seguito, ecco il mio contributo, pubblicato nel terzo volume della raccolta. Buona lettura.


Il flauto tradito
Parigi, 1801

1.

A suo modo, Ludwig Wenzel Lachnith era un uomo generoso. La sera del 20 agosto 1801, dopo la trionfale prima della sua opera I misteri d'Iside al Teatro della Repubblica, il compositore offrì la cena all'intera troupe, comparse e suggeritore compresi.
Benché relegate al tavolo meno prestigioso dell'ampia sala del ristorante, le due comparse Léo Modonnet e Emanuele Gizzio potevano udire facilmente i discorsi del tavolo principale, quello dove sedeva Lachnith assieme al manager del teatro, al librettista Étienne Morel de Chédeville e ai cantanti protagonisti. Per meglio dire, potevano udire il monologo del torrenziale musicista boemo, la cui voce sopravanzava quelle di tutti gli altri.
«Eh sì, caro Chédeville! Il buon Mozart aveva del talento, questo nessuno lo vorrà negare; ma aveva anche un'esecrabile tendenza al lambiccato, all'insolito... In una parola: troppa complicazione! Oggigiorno il pubblico non ne vuole sapere di una musica che sia troppo difficile. La gente vuole ariette semplici, presentate con garbo, che tocchino il cuore senza affaticare il cervello. Prendete il Don Giovanni: quante graziose melodie! Parola mia, credo che abbiamo fatto bene a prenderne una in prestito, per il nostro terzetto. Tuttavia, andiamo... La scena con la statua nel finale secondo... Chi può sopportare una tale rombante cacofonia? Pensate solo questo: in quattro battute, quel povero basso deve cantare tutte e dodici le note della scala cromatica. Sapete? Un mio amico italiano, galantuomo e compositore eminente, mi parlava tempo fa con orrore di un certo quartetto per archi, dove Mozart ha accumulato tante di quelle dissonanze da creare un ripugnante caos, direi quasi un giacobinismo sonoro, dove va completamente perso ogni giusto criterio di gerarchia tra le sette note... Di proposito dico sette, non dodici; giacché nessuno, a meno che il suo orecchio non sia guastato dalla musica per tastiera, crederà mai che un re diesis possa essere uguale a un mi bemolle... Anzi: un re è sempre un re, come dicono in Italia, non è vero?».
«Ma va' curcati, buffuni!» commentò Gizzio a mezza voce.
«Perciò, quando mi fu proposto di allestire per le nostre scene Il Flauto magico, la prima cosa che pensai fu: sta bene; ma, per carità, sfrondiamo! Semplifichiamo!
Smussiamo le asperità del testo! Rendiamo il tutto più comprensibile, più adatto alle orecchie del nostro pubblico. Più elegante, anche. E l'esito così radioso di questa serata ha dimostrato che avevamo avuto pienamente ragione. Prima di tutto: i nomi. Tutti quei Tamino, Papageno e Papagena del testo originale, così goffi e plebei, noi li abbiamo cambiati nei molto più raffinati Isménor, Bochoris e Mona...».
Modonnet rise.
«Non voglio parlare della parte musicale. Ho dovuto lavorare parecchio di forbici e d'ingegno per dare una veste accettabile alla barbarica partitura. Ma, per quanto riguarda il vostro lavoro, Chédeville, potete andare orgoglioso di avere addolcito il carattere di quella terribile regina della notte. Certo, l'aria del secondo atto l'abbiamo dovuta proprio espungere: a parte che è impossibile da cantare, ma quel testo “der hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen...”, “vendetta infernale sento nel mio petto”... Ahimè! Una gentile e amabile donzella come voi, signorina Maillard, avrebbe dovuto intonare tali parole? Per carità! Abbiamo già sofferto abbastanza, qualche anno fa, con quella spaventosa Medea di Cherubini. Basta, basta! I personaggi femminili, a teatro, devono rassicurare, non inquietare! Belle fanciulle, mogli e madri esemplari: questo vuole il nostro distinto pubblico. Perché la gente, la sera, vuole distrarsi dai traffici quotidiani del commercio e della Borsa, e trovare sollievo dalle cure dello Stato. Dirò di più: nell'epoca moderna la gente vuole vivere il proprio tempo come un affascinante, mutevole, infinito spettacolo. In una parola, vuole divertirsi. Il nostro compito è di farli divertire. E questa sera ci siamo riusciti; possiamo affermarlo con fierezza. Brindiamo!».

2.

Erano passate le quattro del mattino quando Modonnet e Gizzio ritornavano al foborgo Sant'Antonio. Davanti alle botteghe dei fornai c'erano già le prime code. I volti e i discorsi delle persone in fila per il pane manifestavano stanchezza, frustrazione, rabbia.
«Quattordici soldi per quattro libbre di pane! Così non si può andare avanti».
«Uno schifo, altro che!».
«Bonaparte non sta facendo un cazzo».
«Sbagli, cittadina. Bonaparte sta facendo parecchio. Solo, non per noialtri».
«Per i grandi proprietari. Per i nobili, gli speculatori, i fornitori dell'esercito e i finanzieri. Per quei merdosi, ecco per chi sta lavorando il Primo console...».
Gizzio sembrava ancora più taciturno del solito. Per tutto il cammino dal centro al foborgo, dove lui e Modonnet abitavano, disse a malapena due parole, eccettuate le strane bestemmie che ogni tanto sputava tra i denti.
«Toglimi una curiosità» gli chiese alla fine Modonnet mentre stavano per arrivare a casa. «Al tuo paese è normale invocare con tanta frequenza la ghigliottina su Gesù Cristo, sulla Madonna e su tutti i santi, come fai tu?».
Gizzio rise amaramente: «Lo facciamo di continuo. Tutti, anche i bambini e i preti. Vieni a vivere un mese dalle mie parti, e capirai».
«Non mi ricordo mai come si chiama la tua città».
«Io stesso vorrei non ricordarmene. Comunque, non è una città: è un villaggio di poche anime sperduto nell'Aspromonte. Ammesso che esista ancora. Non ho sue notizie da due anni, cioè da quando sono venuto qui a Parigi».
Era il discorso più lungo che Modonnet gli avesse mai udito fare.
«Ma no» proseguì Gizzio, come parlando fra sé. «Giudico troppo severamente i miei compaesani. In fondo, nessuno di loro si è arruolato nell'Armata cristiana e reale». Gizzio pronunciò queste ultime parole con una smorfia di disgusto.
«Ne ho sentito parlare» commentò Modonnet. «Le bande del cardinale Ruffo, non è vero? Una specie di Vandea...».
«Molto peggio. I vandeani, almeno, sapevano per cosa combattevano; i sanfedisti invece si sono solo fatti affascinare dai feudatari e dai preti. Hanno avuto quello che si meritavano. Li aspettano altri due o tre secoli di dispotismo e di miseria. E ti dico la verità: penso che anche qui, in Francia, andrà a finire allo stesso modo. Te lo concedo: finora il popolo di Parigi si è comportato bene, specialmente i tuoi compagni del foborgo Sant'Antonio. Ma quanto ancora potranno resistere? I contadini francesi non sono affatto
più intelligenti di quelli del Regno di Napoli; nelle campagne già da tempo monta la reazione. Gente che cerca solo un padrone cui obbedire; e in buona parte l'ha già trovato. E allora non chiedermi perché bestemmio, Léo: mi è rimasto solo questo, mannaia lu signuri!».
«Ho sempre apprezzato il tuo ottimismo, cittadino Gizzio!» concluse Modonnet.

3.

Uno dei vantaggi del mestiere teatrale è che permette di dormire sino a tardi; quando si ha un tetto sotto cui ripararsi, naturalmente. Léo Modonnet, per ora, l'aveva; ma quella mattina dormì lo stesso un sonno assai inquieto. Verso mezzogiorno, poco prima di svegliarsi, fece uno dei sogni più enigmatici della sua vita.
Era un sogno musicale. Modonnet udiva con una chiarezza allucinatoria una breve melodia, gentile e saltellante, in uno stile antiquato, suonata da una piccola orchestra. Poi, lo stesso tema, ma eseguito da un'orchestra molto più grande, con accenti molto più imperiosi e con una chiusa cromatica vagamente minacciosa. A questo punto appariva uno strano ometto, che si esprimeva con un forte accento tedesco. «Ogni vero artista, mein Freund, è anche uno Zauberer – un mago –, sì. Può capitargli di prevedere un futuro imprevedibile. Cosa, o chi, aveva in mente Rousseau quando, riferendosi alla Corsica, scriveva: “ho il vago presentimento che un giorno questa piccola isola stupirà l'Europa”? E quel ragazzino di dodici anni, che un giorno nel mio giardino mise in scena il suo Bastien und Bastienne – come poté presentire che un giorno la volontà generale sarebbe stata manipolata e circuita da un tiranno? Eppure, mein Freund, la storia non è mai un copione già scritto, così come una partitura non è mai immodificabile. E quando ci si accorge che la pagina è guasta, rimane sempre una soluzione: strapparla».
Modonnet si svegliò frastornato e con un forte mal di testa. Senza sapere bene perché, la prima cosa che fece fu aprire il suo baule per cercarvi un involto. Dentro c'erano una maschera nera, un mantello e un bastone dal manico lucente.
Quella notte, Ludwig Wenzel Lachnith, davanti al portone di casa sua, mentre frugava un po' alticcio nelle tasche del suo soprabito per cercare la chiave, notò una scritta di colore rosso fosforescente sul muro proprio accanto alla porta:

RACHE

Prima che avesse il tempo di chiedersi cosa stava succedendo, avvertì il brivido freddo di una lama proprio sotto il mento, e udì alle sue spalle una voce altrettanto metallica e tagliente: «Cittadino musicista, vogliate cortesemente condurmi nel vostro studio».
«Come volete, amico mio» diceva Lachnith mentre saliva le scale, tallonato da Scaramouche. «Non c'è bisogno di tutta questa commedia... vi ho riconosciuto, sapete?».
«Merda» pensò Modonnet.
«Eravate con me a cena ieri sera. Ammetto che il ruolo che vi è stato assegnato nell'ultima produzione è al di sotto delle vostre capacità attoriali; ma tenete conto che si tratta di un'opera, e che Voi non sapete cantare. Ho delle conoscenze, e posso farvi ottenere una buona scrittura per la prossima stagione di prosa... però, immagino che vogliate un risarcimento più immediato, e in contanti».
Erano intanto entrati nello studio del compositore.
«Immaginate male» disse Scaramouche. «Voglio solo porre rimedio a uno dei più insensati e odiosi crimini contro il buon gusto e il buon senso che si possano citare nella storia dell'arte musicale. Voglio cancellare la macchia con cui voi avete insudiciato la memoria di un grande musicista. Voglio che mi diate la partitura originale di quello scempio chiamato I misteri d'Iside».
«Eccola». Lachnith sollevò un manoscritto dal ripiano della sua scrivania e lo consegnò a Scaramouche: «Cosa ve ne farete, adesso?».
«Non lo so ancora. La strapperò in mille pezzi e la getterò nella Senna. Oppure ne attaccherò i fogli ai muri di Parigi per denunciare la vostra cialtroneria».
Lachnith rise: «Vedo che siete un idealista. Forse non vi siete accorto che i tempi sono cambiati e che la rivoluzione è finita. Permettetemi di darvi un consiglio: perché non ve ne tornate in Italia? Laggiù c'è ancora da fare per le teste calde come voi. Già che ci siete, portate con voi quel musone del vostro amico, e ditegli che non è colpa nostra se i giacobini napoletani erano degli imbecilli... se avessero dato subito la terra ai contadini, anziché perdere tempo in chiacchiere, le cose sarebbero andate molto diversamente».
«Ce ne ricorderemo per la prossima rivoluzione» disse Scaramouche.

Nota bibliografica

Questo racconto deve molto al primo capitolo del libro di Augusto Illuminati Gli inganni di Sarastro, Einaudi, Torino 1980, che indaga – sia pure con qualche eccessivo schematismo – le relazioni fra la teoria politica di Rousseau, le scoperte di Franz Anton Mesmer, il Bastien und Bastienne – la cui prima rappresentazione si dice abbia avuto luogo nel giardino della casa di Mesmer a Vienna – e Il flauto magico di Mozart.
Hector Berlioz nelle sue Memorie critica con estrema durezza l'adattamento molto libero de Il Flauto Magico realizzato da Lachnith sotto il titolo de Les mystères d'Isis. Il testo originale delle Mémoires di Berlioz (Parigi 1865) è facilmente reperibile in Internet.
Sulle critiche rivolte a Mozart dal musicista suo contemporaneo Giuseppe Sarti si veda il saggio Sarti contro Mozart di Massimo Mila, ora in M. Mila, Mozart. Saggi 1941-1987, Einaudi, Torino 2006, pp. 332-58.
La sorprendente identità fra il tema iniziale dell'ouverture del Bastien und Bastienne e l'inizio della Terza Sinfonia di Beethoven è, secondo Hermann Abert – citato da Wolfgang Hildesheimer nella sua nota biografia mozartiana –, una pura coincidenza. Com'è noto, Beethoven intendeva intitolare la sinfonia a Napoleone Bonaparte; secondo la tradizione, il musicista strappò la dedica quando seppe che Napoleone si era fatto incoronare imperatore.
Il parallelo fra Napoleone Bonaparte e il Sarastro di Mozart/Lachnith si trova in Jean Tulard, Napoleone. Il mito del salvatore, Rusconi, Milano 1980, p. 9. Alle pp. 183-85 dello stesso libro si parla della crisi alimentare in Francia fra la primavera del 1801 e il 1802.
Le idee esposte qui da Lachnith sulla modernità come spettacolo e sulla “gente” che si vuole divertire derivano in realtà dal libro di Alessandro Baricco L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin, Feltrinelli, Milano 2009.


          Su "My Favorite Things" di John Coltrane        
Il 16 novembre 1959 debuttava a Broadway The Sound of Music, di Richard Rodgers e Oscar Hammerstein, uno dei musical più popolari di tutti i tempi anche grazie alla versione cinematografica che ne fu tratta nel 1965 (regia di Robert Wise, protagonista Julie Andrews, la versione italiana porta il titolo Tutti insieme appassionatamente).

Una particolare canzone tratta da questo musical ha avuto fortuna immensa. Di My Favorite Things, infatti, si contano centinaia di cover; l'elenco preparato dai redattori di Radio Rai è lungo sedici pagine.

Qui mi occuperò della versione forse più celebre, quella incisa in studio da John Coltrane il 21 ottobre 1960. Per capire quest'ultima, però, è opportuno partire dalla versione originale di Richard Rodgers. In questo articolo mi avvarrò dell'analisi condotta dal massimo studioso di Coltrane, il musicologo Lewis Porter, nella sua fondamentale monografia (Blue Train. La vita e la musica di John Coltrane, traduzione di Adelaide Cioni, Minimum Fax, Roma 2006, pp. 277-80).

La canzone è musicalmente molto semplice. Si tratta di un valzer in mi minore di quattro strofe, A-A-A'-B. Le prime tre strofe hanno la stessa musica, salvo che nella terza strofa, A', dove ci sono otto battute in maggiore. La quarta strofa, B, usa una diversa melodia e finisce in sol maggiore.

Qui di seguito copio il testo della canzone, di Oscar Hammerstein, cui faccio seguire una traduzione, volutamente molto pedestre, che ho preparato grazie all'ausilio del traduttore automatico di Google:



(A) "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

(A) Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

(A') Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

(B) When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad!"

"Gocce di pioggia su rose e baffi di gattini
Bollitori di rame luminosi e caldi guanti di lana
Pacchetti di carta marrone legati con corde
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Pony color crema e croccanti struedel di mele
Campanelli e campanelli da slitta e schnitzel con tagliatelle
Le oche selvatiche che volano con la luna sulle ali
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Ragazze in abiti bianchi con sciarpe di raso blu
Fiocchi di neve che rimangono sul mio naso e sulle ciglia
Inverni bianchi d'argento che si sciolgono in primavere
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Quando il cane morde
Quando l'ape punge
Quando mi sento triste
Non ho che da ricordarmi delle mie cose preferite
E allora non mi sento così male!"

The Sound of Music è ambientato a Salisburgo, fra le due guerre. Richard Rodgers ha naturalmente cercato di tener conto della tradizione musicale austriaca: My Favorite Things, come detto, è un valzer; negli altri brani si sentono riferimenti allo jodler, al laendler, al canto gregoriano, ecc. In un numero c'è anche un singolare omaggio ad Haydn: la canzone So long, farewell è eseguita da un coro di bambini che, uno alla volta, abbandonano il proscenio, finché a cantare rimane una sola bambina, così come, nel finale della Sinfonia degli addii, tutti gli esecutori smettono uno alla volta di suonare facendo concludere la sinfonia da un solo violinista.

Come ci si potrebbe aspettare, il testo di My Favorite Things fa uso di un immaginario prettamente alpino, o comunque nordeuropeo: bollitori per il té, guanti di lana, slitte che corrono sulla neve... Se di questa canzone volessimo realizzare un video-clip animato, seguendo pedissequamente il testo, dovremmo adoperare in prevalenza le tinte chiare, e in particolare il colore bianco, la cui presenza, in corrispondenza della terza strofa (quella con le otto battute in maggiore), diventa quasi ossessiva: abiti bianchi, fiocchi di neve, inverni bianchi... (Nella versione cinematografica quest'aspetto "eurocentrico" della canzone è ancora più sottolineato dal forte accento british di Julie Andrews).

Molti si sono chiesti cosa potesse avere indotto un artista come John Coltrane, che da lì a poco sarebbe diventato un'icona della cultura afro-americana, a musicare una sua versione di questo brano, il quale inizialmente c'entrava così poco con il jazz.

Secondo Lewis Porter, è un errore "dare per scontato che Coltrane trovasse la canzone sciocca e che per questo volesse abbellirla". Al contrario, Coltrane ammirava sinceramente questa canzone e, nella sua versione, la trattò "con rispetto". Il "messaggio" della canzone, "che le cose buone ci aiutano a superare le cattive", è secondo Porter "del tutto sensato e prezioso - per nulla sciocco - è solo che utilizza esempi alla portata di un bambino, perché nel copione la canzone si rivolge a dei bambini".

Qui però l'ottimo Porter ha preso una cantonata. Nel film, è vero, Julie Andrews canta la canzone a dei bambini. Il film, però, è del 1965, quindi è posteriore all'incisione di John Coltrane, che a quell'epoca poteva conoscere solo la versione teatrale di questo musical; e, nella versione teatrale, la protagonista canta My Favorite Things in una delle scene iniziali, che si svolgono in un convento di suore, e non la canta ai bambini, bensì alla Madre Badessa del convento.

Sembra, in realtà, che Coltrane non fosse attratto tanto dal "messaggio" della canzone, quanto invece dalla sua manipolabilità sul piano strettamente musicale. Ecco come si espresse Coltrane in un'intervista: "Questo valzer è fantastico: se lo suoni lento, senti un elemento di gospel che non è per niente sgradevole; se lo suoni veloce, possiede altre innegabili qualità. E' molto interessante scoprire un terreno che si rinnova a seconda dell'impulso che gli dai".

Quindi, si direbbe che il valzer di Rodgers fosse per Coltrane quello che il valzer di Diabelli era stato per il Beethoven dell'op. 120: poco più che un pretesto, un canovaccio utile per imbastire una serie potenzialmente infinita di variazioni che poco o nulla hanno a che fare con il tema originale. E, in verità, Coltrane eseguì in concerto My Favorite Things moltissime volte (secondo Wikipedia, sono state documentate su nastro non meno di 45 esecuzioni), creandone versioni sempre più lontane dalla canzone originale, fino a renderla irriconoscibile.

La versione sull'album si compone di un'introduzione di quattro battute, suonata due volte; viene poi esposto un vamp (breve inciso ritmico, costantemente ripetuto, che è per il jazz quello che nel rock si chiama riff e nella musica barocca si chiama ostinato), cui fanno seguito un primo assolo di Coltrane, un altro assolo di McCoy Tyner al pianoforte, e un assolo finale ancora di Coltrane, per complessivi 14 minuti circa. Nel primo assolo Coltrane esegue le prime due strofe (A) in minore, poi c'è un interludio in maggiore, poi altre due strofe (A) in minore. Gli altri due assoli seguono lo stesso schema, salvo che per la parte finale dell'assolo conclusivo di Coltrane, di cui dirò fra poco.



La prima cosa che si nota all'ascolto è che Coltrane ha spostato molto lontano dall'Europa il baricentro etnico del brano. La ripetizione ossessiva, ipnotica, di un inciso ritmico in tempo dispari; la voce acuta dello strumento a fiato (un sax soprano, fino ad allora poco usato nel jazz); il clima di fissità tonale e il senso del tempo molto dilatato, sono tutti elementi che richiamano la musica orientale. (A me il brano fa venire in mente una danza sufi). Porter nota che Coltrane era appassionato di musica indiana, era un ammiratore di Ravi Shankar, ed era profondamente interessato alla musica folk e modale di tutto il mondo, nonché alle scale pentatoniche (pare che certe volte, nelle sue esercitazioni, eseguisse col sassofono determinate sequenze del Concerto per orchestra di Béla Bartók). Sempre secondo Porter, in My Favorite Things si possono anche scorgere influenze musicali provenienti dall'Africa occidentale.

La cosa per me più sorprendente è che, nella musica originale di questa canzone, Coltrane abbia sentito un "elemento gospel". Per quanto ascolto e riascolto la canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein, devo confessare che questo elemento gospel non riesco assolutamente a percepirlo. Ma è significativo che, per Coltrane, la canzone avesse qualcosa a che fare con le radici stesse della musica nera americana. Questo forse ci aiuta a far luce su un'altra singolarità della versione di Coltrane.

Abbiamo detto che la versione coltraniana di My Favorite Things è basata sulla strofa A della musica originale. Che fine ha fatto la strofa B, quella il cui testo contiene, secondo Porter, il "messaggio" della canzone e che si conclude in modo maggiore?

Alla fine del suo assolo conclusivo, Coltrane esegue anche la strofa B, senza apportare particolari variazioni alla musica. Però la esegue in mi minore, dandole, secondo Porter, "un effetto più pensoso, riflessivo".

Il testo originale della strofa B fa riferimento ad api che pungono e a cani che mordono, per delineare scherzosamente una situazione da "giornata storta", in cui le cose, chissà perché, non vanno per il verso giusto. Ma questa situazione si supera (dice la canzone) richiamando alla mente le piccole cose belle della vita. Se si fa in questo modo, l'atteggiamento cambia e ci si accorge che non si sta poi così male. La canzone si chiude così, trionfalmente, in sol maggiore.

Qui, però, è meglio fare ricorso alla bella traduzione ritmica di Antonio Amurri (quella utilizzata nella versione italiana del film), che ha colto al meglio il senso di questa strofa:



"Se son triste, infelice, e non so il perché,
io penso alle cose che amo di più
e torna il seren per me!"

Immaginiamo ora di sentire queste parole sovrapposte al mi minore del sax di John Coltrane, nelle battute finali del suo secondo assolo (a partire dal minuto 12'33''). L'effetto è di un'ironia indefinibile, profonda, pungente, tristemente consapevole. Uno speciale tipo di sarcasmo, composto e controllatissimo, ma inequivocabile.

Per me (e sottolineo: per me) in questo minuto e dodici secondi di musica c'è l'essenza stessa del jazz. Ogni volta che l'ascolto, mi commuovo.

Provo a spiegarmi meglio.

Il cantante e chitarrista Huddie W. Leadbetter (1885-1949), uno fra i musicisti più influenti della musica nera americana del secolo ventesimo, tentò una volta di definire a parole quel particolare complesso psicologico che porta il nome di blues. Possiamo leggere le sue parole come una specie di negativo fotografico della canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein:

"Quando la notte sei sdraiato nel letto, e ti giri da una parte e dall'altra senza riuscire a prendere sonno, non c'è niente da fare. I blues si sono impadroniti di te... Quando ti svegli al mattino, ti siedi sulla sponda del letto, e puoi avere vicino a te padre e madre, sorella e fratello, il tuo ragazzo o la tua ragazza, ma non hai voglia di parlargli... Non ti hanno fatto niente, e tu non hai fatto niente a loro, ma che cosa importa? I blues si sono impadroniti di te".

Così commenta Arrigo Polillo nel suo classico Jazz. La vicenda e i protagonisti della musica afro-americana (Mondadori, Milano 2009, p. 43): "Avere i blues è qualcosa di diverso dall'essere triste dell'uomo bianco. E' essere afflitti da un tedio esistenziale, da una malinconia greve che non lascia spazio alle fantasticherie, vuol dire autocommiserazione, rassegnazione, vuol dire disperazione sorda, grigiore, miseria. E' una poesia fondata sulle cose di tutti i giorni, su personaggi familiari, visti in una luce realistica, con occhio disincantato. Non c'è, né ci vuol essere, nel blues, trasfigurazione lirica, che è un lusso da bianchi; non c'è dramma, perché il dramma è fatto di ombre ma anche di luci. C'è invece la consapevolezza di una tragedia in atto, che non finirà mai. Il blues singer non canta la vita, ma il non morire, parla sempre di ciò che non ha e che non avrà mai".

Ecco il senso del mi minore con cui si conclude My Favorite Things di John Coltrane. Non c'è consolazione, e non c'è neanche protesta. E' la constatazione oggettiva di una situazione fondamentalmente tragica. Il "messaggio" della canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein è sovvertito. Vista in questa luce, non solo la canzone, ma la stessa cultura (musicale e non solo) cui essa fa riferimento, viene radicalmente messa in questione.
          Stella rossa sull'Europa        
"Buongiorno, Anne. Buon anno".
"Buongiorno, Valentin. Buon anno anche a te. Novità?"
"Sì. Un nuovo arrivo. Sabato notte. Hai il colloquio già fissato per le undici. Trovi tutti i dettagli in agenda".
Anne Dupont, psicologa del Centro di Prima Accoglienza di Calais, entrò nel suo ufficio, accese il terminale e consultò la sua agenda elettronica.

Lunedì 5 gennaio 2011, ore 11,00. Colloquio con Monsieur Philip Brasser. Cittadino britannico. Età 38. Celibe. Operazione di salvataggio in mare, Canale della Manica, acque internazionali, 3 gennaio u.s. Condizioni fisiche buone. Non parla francese. Attribuzione provvisoria: codice blu.

Bene, pensò Anne. Un rifugiato politico. Iniziare l'anno nuovo con un codice blu era di buon auspicio. Il colloquio era di lì a due ore. Non c'erano altri impegni per la giornata. Completò con calma alcuni referti clinici iniziati la settimana precedente, fece una partita a Tetris, chattò con alcuni amici in Internet. Quando fu il momento, si aggiustò il make-up e si recò in sala colloqui.

Era una stanza non troppo ampia, arredata come un normale studio specialistico ma con qualche accorgimento per mettere gli ospiti a proprio agio: colori pastello, luci soffuse, lettino basso, comoda poltrona. Su quest'ultima, di fronte alla scrivania della dottoressa, era già seduto il signor Brasser.

"Good morning, Mr. Brasser. Prima di tutto, come sta?"
La domanda non era solo formale. L'uomo appariva molto provato. I tanti capelli bianchi, la pelle del viso magro solcata da numerose rughe, le profonde occhiaie dietro le lenti spesse, lo facevano sembrare più vecchio di dieci anni rispetto alla sua età anagrafica. Al posto degli abiti che indossava al momento del suo salvataggio, fradici e inservibili, gli avevano fornito un nuovo completo, che era tuttavia di due numeri più largo e accentuava la gracilità del suo fisico. Gli tremavano le mani.
Quegli scafisti maledetti, pensò Anne.
"Adesso sto meglio, grazie. Certo, suppongo che la notte passata all'addiaccio su quel canotto non abbia migliorato granché la mia cera. Ma ho fatto una buona dormita, qui da voi, e la vostra cucina è ottima". La sua voce era ferma, con una sfumatura d'ironia. "Solamente, non sono riuscito a procurarmi neppure una sigaretta, dottoressa..."
"Dupont. Ma può chiamarmi Anne. Temo che non ne troverà neppure in futuro. Nell'Unione non se ne producono più. Fino a qualche tempo fa, le importavamo dal suo paese".
"Oh, già, ora ricordo. Le esportazioni cessarono sei anni fa. Troppo pochi fumatori, qui da voi. Non c'era abbastanza profitto. Lo so perché all'epoca lavoravo in un'agenzia di rating".
"Lei è analista finanziario?"
Il signor Brasser rise. "No. Laureato in agraria. Da Troody's ero operatore al call center. Ogni grande compagnia ha il suo. E' la mansione che ho sempre svolto, durante tutta la mia carriera. Ho lavorato per almeno trenta società diverse, ogni volta per non più di sei mesi. Si imparano tante cose, sa?"
"Non ho dubbi. Ma veniamo al punto. Lei ha chiesto lo status di rifugiato politico. Data la sua provenienza, certamente la sua richiesta sarà accettata. Lei diventerà fra breve, a tutti gli effetti, cittadino dell'Unione delle Repubbliche Socialiste d'Europa. Già adesso, comunque, lei è libero di circolare in tutto il territorio dell'Unione, ed eventualmente anche di tornare da dove è venuto..."
"No grazie! Non ci tengo affatto".
"Dicevo per dire. In genere, qui da noi i rifugiati si integrano abbastanza in fretta. Tuttavia, non si può escludere che, all'inizio, lei si trovi un po' spaesato. Il nostro sistema sociale è molto diverso da quello da cui lei proviene. A sua richiesta, lei può fruire di adeguata assistenza psicologica e culturale, per superare eventuali difficoltà di adattamento. In questa fase iniziale, se vuole, mi consideri pure come suo referente".
"Oh. E quanto dura questa... fase iniziale?"
"Può finire anche subito, se crede. L'unico suo obbligo, se intende rimanere nell'Unione, è di iscriversi nelle liste di collocamento e nelle graduatorie per gli alloggi. Non credo che le sarà difficile trovare un lavoro e una casa. Se lei non ha esigenze particolari, penso che troverà una sistemazione accettabile nel giro di un paio di settimane. Fino ad allora, comunque, può rimanere qui, o spostarsi in una delle altre strutture di prima accoglienza nel territorio dell'Unione".
"Sembra magnifico. Dov'è la fregatura?"
"Ecco. Era proprio ciò che intendevo. Non c'è nessuna fregatura, per quanto lei sia abituato a pensare che debba per forza esserci. Non pretendo che lei mi creda. Presto se ne accorgerà da sé".

Non c'erano straordinari da fare, quel giorno. Alle tredici, Anne spense il computer, salutò i colleghi che arrivavano per il turno pomeridiano e, senza passare dalla mensa, prese l'elio-tram che, serpeggiando silenziosamente lungo la costa, la portò a casa sua in dieci minuti. Era una magnifica giornata di sole. Il mare era inusualmente calmo, in quei giorni. Una fortuna, per Brasser. Aveva evitato il triste destino di tanti boat-people che partivano clandestinamente dalla riva inglese ma non riuscivano a raggiungere i nostri mezzi di soccorso nelle acque internazionali.

Anne abitava da sola. Si preparò un leggero pranzo macrobiotico, poi un caffé d'orzo. Accese la radio; la spense. Si guardò nello specchio del soggiorno. Sorrise. Tutto sommato, si piaceva. Si chiese come sarebbe stato il suo sembiante, alla sua età, se anziché in Europa continentale fosse vissuta in quell'inferno che doveva essere Londra. I profughi le avevano raccontato storie orribili. Inquinamento, degrado. Se andava bene, orari lavorativi di dieci o dodici ore. Altrimenti, la disoccupazione, l'emarginazione e la pazzia. Oppure, per una ristretta minoranza, la ricchezza e il potere, ma a costo di rinunciare a qualsiasi barlume d'umanità. Un'altra forma di follia, in fondo.

Mercoledì 7 gennaio, ore 10,00. Secondo colloquio con Monsieur Brasser.

Quella mattina l'aspetto di Mr. Brasser era molto migliorato. Anne glielo disse.
"Grazie, Dottoressa. Lei è gentile quanto bella".
Anne Dupont ignorò il complimento.
"Se ho chiesto un nuovo colloquio" continuò Brasser, "non è per ottenere assistenza psicologica".
"Davvero? E perché, allora?"
"Ho due domande da porle".
"Le risponderò, se posso. Ma prima, permetta che le faccia io una domanda. Cosa sa, lei, dell'Unione?"
"Poco, in realtà. So che dapprima ci fu la Rivoluzione d'Ottobre, in Russia, nel 1917. Poi, tra il '18 e il '20, il capitalismo fu abbattuto in Germania, in Ungheria e in Italia. In rapida successione, tutte le colonie europee in Asia e in Africa conquistarono l'indipendenza. L'India nel 1925, la Cina nel '27, e così via. Poco dopo fu la volta dell'Algeria e del Marocco, e a quel punto la rivoluzione scoppiò anche in Francia e in Spagna. Alla fine degli anni '30, tutta l'Europa continentale era socialista.
Frattanto, il crollo di Wall Street nel 1929 aveva gettato l'America nella crisi più nera. Le elezioni presidenziali del 1940 furono vinte da Charles Lindbergh, un fanatico antisemita che instaurò negli U.S.A. una dittatura razzista, appoggiata dal grande capitale. Presto quel regime si circondò di una serie di stati-satellite che coprivano tutta l'America del Sud e del Nord.
Negli anni '80, quelle dittature iniziarono ad implodere, dapprima in America Latina e poi in Canada. Quando nel 1989 cadde il Muro di Tijuana, finalmente il capitalismo crollò negli stessi Stati Uniti. Da allora, secondo la nostra propaganda, il Regno Unito di Gran Bretagna è rimasto l'ultimo baluardo del libero mercato e della civiltà, contro la barbarie socialista che ha travolto tutto il resto del globo. Questo è quanto".
"Bene - disse la dottoressa - a parte la faccenda del baluardo, il quadro storico è corretto. Non le sarà stato facile ricostruirlo..."
"No, infatti. Da noi, formalmente, la cultura è libera, e ognuno può leggere ciò che vuole. Si possono prendere in prestito, nelle poche biblioteche rimaste, anche testi di Marx o di Lenin, e persino di Fabio Volo. Non è vietato. Di fatto, però, ci sono materie che non conviene approfondire troppo. Se si viene a sapere che lei fa certe letture e che ha determinate idee (e si viene a sapere sempre), non speri di trovare lavoro tanto facilmente. Io me la sono cavata con i call center, solo perché le mie origini non sono troppo umili. Quando avevo vent'anni, i miei riuscirono persino a mandarmi all'università. Certo, oggi non potrei più frequentarla. Da allora le rette sono decuplicate."
"Ah, lei ha letto Fabio Volo? Complimenti. Da noi, molti lo considerano un autore troppo difficile".
"Sì, è molto rigoroso e denso, ma se si ha tempo da dedicargli, è un pensatore affascinante. Le consiglio la Critica del tempo unidimensionale, se non l'ha ancora letta. A me ha aperto la mente. In realtà, uno dei motivi per cui mi sono deciso ad espatriare è che anche studiare per conto proprio da noi è diventato impossibile. Troppo costoso, da quando il dizionario è stato privatizzato".
"Il dizionario?"
"Sì. Tutti i sostantivi che iniziano per vocale appartengono alla Mircosoft. Quelli che iniziano per consonante sono del gruppo Murdogh. Gli avverbi sono di Merdaset, e così via. Per leggere o per usare comunque le parole bisogna pagare il noleggio ai legittimi proprietari. Quando lei scrive una e-mail, oppure quando chatta o quando telefona, un sistema di contatori automatici calcola la cifra e l'addebita sul suo conto. Ottimo sistema, fra l'altro, per controllare i contenuti della comunicazione. Io, per esempio, ho fatto quindici giorni di carcere per uso illecito di marchio registrato, la volta che in una mia mail ho scritto che la Cocca Colla mi faceva schifo".
"Senta, Mr. Brasser. Quali sono i suoi progetti? Cosa intende fare, ora che è venuto qui da noi?"
"Primo, togliermi una curiosità che mi ha tormentato a lungo. Ed è la prima delle due domande che volevo farle, si ricorda?"
La dottoressa Dupont sbuffò. "Va bene. Spari".
"La domanda è: perché non ci avete invaso? Come avete potuto lasciarci a mollo in quella fogna?"
Anne si appoggiò sullo schienale della sedia. "Beh, alcuni partiti in seno all'Internazionale erano per dichiarare guerra. Ma infine prevalse l'idea che il socialismo non può essere imposto con i carri armati. Se ci avessero attaccato, ci saremmo difesi. Per fortuna non accadde. Oggi, poi, molti sostengono che una pluralità di sistemi sociali diversi non è necessariamente un male. In India, in Giappone e in Sud America, dove la transizione al comunismo è molto avanzata, stanno già smantellando le strutture dello Stato, per sostituirle con vari tipi di organizzazione non statuale. In Europa e in Africa ci troviamo ancora nella fase socialista, in vari stadi di sviluppo a seconda dei territori. Forse è bene che ci siano delle zone dove ancora vige il capitalismo."
"Sarà un bene per voi, che ci osservate dall'esterno come se fossimo allo zoo! Ma per noi che siamo in gabbia è un altro discorso".
"Lei ora non è più in gabbia. Comunque, mi sembra che il suo atteggiamento nei confronti del suo paese d'origine sia un po' troppo negativo, non crede?"
"Mi dica lei cosa ci vede di bello, in quel letamaio", ribatté Brasser.
"Beh, che so... Avete una scena musicale molto vivace. Un sacco di gruppi pop, rock, punk, post-punk... Wim Wenders ci ha fatto anche un film. Poi, comunque, il vostro sistema ha ancora una base di consenso popolare".
"Si riferisce a West End London Social Club, vero? Quel film mi dà la nausea! Le televisioni del regime lo replicano senza tregua. L'unico film d'autore trasmesso in prima serata, e senza interruzioni pubblicitarie."
"Ecco, ad esempio - lo interruppe la dottoressa - Perché lei parla di televisioni di regime? Da voi ci sono sei o sette canali, se non sbaglio, tutti privati e in concorrenza fra loro..."
"... e trasmettono tutti le stesse schifezze. Non si distinguono l'uno dall'altro. Anne, lei non ha capito: da noi l'economia è allo sfascio, la società è in piena decadenza, la cultura è morta e sepolta. L'unica attività che va a gonfie vele è la manipolazione del consenso per mezzo dei mass-media. Quella è l'unica industria che non conosce crisi!"
"Non volevo farla arrabbiare. Si calmi. Lei ora è al sicuro. Andrà tutto bene. Respiri profondamente, e mi faccia la seconda domanda che voleva pormi".
"Mi scusi. La domanda è questa. Lei è libera stasera? Ho letto sul giornale che in un cinema d'essai a Dunkerque proiettano L'Atalante di Jean Vigo. E' una vita che desidero vedere quel film, e mi chiedevo se... lei volesse venire con me a vederlo, ecco."


Pubblicato su Evulon in due puntate: la prima il 7 gennaio 2011 qui, e la seconda il 12 gennaio 2011, qui.
          '..to 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


Context

'..to 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..'

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


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

          USAHA JAHE        
Usaha Jahe
Cuaca yang dingin menusuk tulang menjadi alasan utama seseorang untuk mencari penghangat (penghangat yang sebenarnya : red). Selain kopi hal yang paling di cari dalam kondisi dingin adalah JAHE. Produk pertanian ini telah banyak beredar baik dalam bentuk olahan pabrik atau pun racikan dari resep-resep tradisional, seperti bandrek, sekoteng, ronde, JAHE susu ataupun wedang JAHE. Menjamurnya warung-warung tenda pinggir jalan terutama yang menjual minuman penghangat, mendorong permintaan yang besar atas JAHE. Selain sebagai minuman JAHE juga di kenal luas sebagai bahan utama obat-obatan, seperti obat masuk angin dan aneka jenis obat gosok. Bukankah sebuah peluang yang cukup besar bagi para petani untuk mendapat porsi dalam memenuhi kebutuhan akan produk pertanian yaitu JAHE. JAHE merupakan tanaman obat berupa tumbuhan rumpun berbatang semu. JAHE berasal dari Asia Pasifik yang tersebar dari India sampai Cina. Oleh karena itu kedua bangsa ini disebut-sebut sebagai bangsa yang pertama kali memanfaatkan JAHE terutama sebagai bahan minuman, bumbu masak dan obat-obatan tradisional. JAHE termasuk dalam suku temu-temuan (Zingiberaceae), se-famili dengan temu-temuan lainnya seperti temu lawak (Cucuma xanthorrizha), temu hitam (Curcuma aeruginosa), kunyit (Curcuma domestica), kencur (Kaempferia galanga), leng kuas (Languas galanga) dan lain-lain. Nama daerah JAHE antara lain halia (Aceh), beeuing (Gayo), bahing (Batak Karo), sipodeh (Minangkabau), jahi (Lampung), JAHE (Sunda), jae (Jawa dan Bali), jhai (Madura), melito (Gorontalo), geraka (Ternate), dsb. URAIAN TANAMAN TANAMAN JAHE Divisi : Spermatophyta Sub-divisi : Angiospermae Kelas : Monocotyledoneae Ordo : Zingiberales Famili : Zingiberaceae Genus : Zingiber Species : Zingiber officinale CIRI-CIRI MORFOLOGIS JAHE Terna berbatang semu, tinggi 30 cm sampai 1 m, rimpang bila dipotong berwarna kuning atau jingga. Daun sempit, panjang 15 – 23 mm, lebar 8 – 15 mm ; tangkai daun berbulu, panjang 2 – 4 mm ; bentuk lidah daun memanjang, panjang 7,5 – 10 mm, dan tidak berbulu; seludang agak berbulu. Perbungaan berupa malai tersembul dipermukaan tanah, berbentuk tongkat atau bundar telur yang sempit, 2,75 – 3 kali lebarnya, sangat tajam ; panjang malai 3,5 – 5 cm, lebar 1,5 – 1,75 cm ; gagang bunga hampir tidak berbulu, panjang 25 cm, rahis berbulu jarang ; sisik pada gagang terdapat 5 – 7 buah, berbentuk lanset, letaknya berdekatan atau rapat, hampir tidak berbulu, panjang sisik 3 – 5 cm; daun pelindung berbentuk bundar telur terbalik, bundar pada ujungnya, tidak berbulu, berwarna hijau cerah, panjang 2,5 cm, lebar 1 – 1,75 cm ; mahkota bunga berbentuk tabung 2 – 2,5 cm, helainya agak sempit, berbentuk tajam, berwarna kuning kehijauan, panjang 1,5 – 2,5 mm, lebar 3 – 3,5 mm, bibir berwarna ungu, gela p, berbintik- bintik berwarna putih kekuningan, panjang 12 – 15 mm ; kepala sari berwarna ungu, panjang 9 mm ; tangkai putik 2mm. JENIS TANAMAN JAHE dibedakan menjadi 3 jenis berdasarkan ukuran, bentuk dan warna rimpangnya. Umumnya dikenal 3 varietas JAHE, yaitu : 1. JAHE putih/kuning besar atau disebut juga JAHE gajah atau JAHE badak Rimpangnya lebih besar dan gemuk, ruas rimpangnya lebih menggembung dari kedua varietas lainnya. Jenis JAHE ini bias dikonsumsi baik saat berumur muda maupun berumur tua, baik sebagai JAHE segar maupun JAHE olahan. 2. JAHE putih/kuning kecil atau disebut juga JAHE sunti atau JAHE emprit Ruasnya kecil, agak rata sampai agak sedikit menggembung. JAHE ini selalu dipanen setelah berumur tua. Kandungan minyak atsirinya lebih besar dari pada JAHE gajah, sehingga rasanya lebih pedas, disamping seratnya tinggi. JAHE ini cocok untuk ramuan obat-obatan, atau untuk diekstrak oleoresin dan minyak atsirinya. 3. JAHE merah Rimpangnya berwarna merah dan lebih kecil dari pada JAHE putih kecil. sama seperti JAHE kecil, JAHE merah selalu dipanen setelah tua, dan juga memiliki kandungan minyak atsiri yang sama dengan JAHE kecil, sehingga cocok untuk ramuan obat-obatan. Rimpang JAHE dapat digunakan sebagai bumbu masak, pemberi aroma dan rasa pada makanan seperti roti, kue, biskuit, kembang gula dan berbagai MANFAAT TANAMAN 1) JAHE tumbuh baik di daerah tropis dan subtropis dengan ketinggian 0- 2.000 m dpl. JAHE juga dapat digunakan pada industri obat, minyak wangi, industri jamu tradisional, diolah menjadi asinan JAHE, dibuat acar, lalap, bandrek, sekoteng dan sirup. Dewasa ini para petani cabe menggunakan JAHE sebagai pestisida alami. Dalam perdagangan JAHE dijual dalam bentuk segar, kering, JAHE bubuk dan awetan JAHE. Disamping itu terdapat hasil olahan JAHE seperti: minyak astiri dan koresin yang diperoleh dengan cara penyulingan yang berguna sebagai bahan pencampur dalam minuman beralkohol, es krim, campuran sosis dan lain-lain. Adapun manfaat secara pharmakologi antara lain adalah sebagai karminatif (peluruh kentut), anti muntah, pereda kejang, anti pengerasan pembuluh darah, peluruh keringat, anti inflamasi, anti mikroba dan parasit, anti piretik, anti rematik, serta merangsang pengeluaran getah lambung dan getah empedu.
          RENUNGKANLAH SAUDARAKU...!        
Abdul Karim Germanus, Legenda Muslim Hungaria
"Islam satu saat nanti akan memperlihatkan keajaibannya pada saat dunia mulai diliputi oleh kegelapan." (Abdul Karim Germanus) Dr. Abdul Karim Germanus (1884-1979) adalah seorang orientalis terkemuka asal Hungaria dan juga seorang akademisi yang telah mendunia. Perjalanan spiritual Abdul Karim Germanus (dulu bernama Julius Germanus) mencari Islam menyita hampir separuh perjalanan hidupnya. Dia menghabiskan sepanjang hidupnya untuk mempertahankan Islam dan bahasa Arab. Selepas melewati masa-masa sulit semasa remaja dan lepas dari belenggu tradisi, dia kemudian tertarik untuk mempelajari Islam. Germanus menggambarkan kisah keislamannya itu sebagai “bangunnya sebuah kehidupan baru.” Disebutkan, awal perkenalannya dengan Islam adalah di Turki pada saat menjadi mahasiswa di sana. Kemudian, dia pergi ke India untuk mengajar di sana, pada masa Perang Dunia I. Dan di negeri Bollywood itulah dia mengucapkan dua kalimah syahadah. Selepas bertugas di India Germanus kembali ke Hungaria dan diangkat sebagai profesor di sana. Dia sering beradu argumentasi dengan para profesor dan orientalis Hungaria, terutama tentang kebenaran Islam. Berikut kisah perjalanan hidup salah satu legenda Muslim di Hungaria ini yang diambil dari beberapa sumber. *** Awal perjalanan Germanus lahir di Budapes, ibukota Hungaria pada tahun 1884 dan dibesarkan dalam nuansa Kristen taat. Segera setelah lulus dari Universitas Budapes, dia memutuskan untuk mengambil spesialisasi bahasa Turki. Selanjutnya pada tahun 1903 dia pergi ke Istanbul. Dia diterima di Universitas Istanbul dan mengambil program studi bahasa Turki. Selama bertahun-tahun tinggal di sana akhirnya dia menjadi fasih baik dalam hal percakapan, membaca maupun menulis. Selama di Istanbul, Germanus juga belajar Al-Quran berikut terjemahan dalam bahasa Turki. Itulah perkenalan awalnya dengan Islam. Dengan kemampuannya yang tinggi dalam membaca terjemahan Al-Quran berbahasa Turki, membuatnya mudah memahami Islam langsung dari sumber aslinya. Tak hanya itu, dia juga membandingkan terjemahan dalam beberapa bahasa lainnya. Sebuah upaya yang lazim dilakukan oleh misionaris Kristen untuk mengkaji kelemahan Islam. Namun Germanus justru tertarik dengan Islam. Termotivasi dengan kebenaran agama Islam, dia memutuskan untuk melakukan penelitian yakni menelusuri apa saja yang telah ditulis oleh orang-orang Kristen tentang Islam dan membandingkannya dengan sumber aslinya yaitu Al-Quran dan Sunnah Nabi. Dia melakukan berbagai upaya. Misalnya dengan membaca terjemahan kitab-kitab hadis dalam rangka mempelajari perkataan-perkataan Nabi Muhammad SAW. “Bertengkar” dengan profesor Germanus kembali ke Hungaria dan berjumpa dengan beberapa eks profesornya di Universitas Budapes. Mereka punya reputasi hebat sebagai orientalis. Namun sering menyampaikan pemikiran-pemikiran yang menyimpang tentang Islam. Germanus berdebat dengan para profesor itu. Dia menceritakan karakter sesungguhnya dari sosok Nabi Muhammad SAW. Uraiannya didasarkan pada berbagai hadis yang dia ketahui. Setelah puas “bertengkar” dengan para profesornya, Germanus memutuskan belajar bahasa Arab lebih mendalam lagi. Germanus memang punya bakat besar di bidang bahasa. Buktinya, dalam jangka waktu singkat dia sudah mahir berbahasa Arab. Belum puas, dia juga belajar bahasa Persia. Tahun 1912, Germanus diangkat sebagai profesor bahasa Arab, Persia dan Turki di Hungarian Royal Academy di Budapes. Dia juga mengasuh mata kuliah Sejarah Islam. Selanjutnya dia memimpin Department of Oriental studies pada Budapest University of Economics. Bersyahadah di India Pada tahun 1928, setelah bekerja beberapa lama di University of Budapest, sastrawan dan penerima Nobel terkemuka asal Bangladesh (dulu masih bernama India -red) Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) mengundang Germanus untuk mengajar sekaligus memimpin program Islamic Studies di Visva-Bharati University. Germanus bermukim di India selama beberapa tahun dan disana pula dia menemukan cahaya Islam. Prosesi syahadahnya berlangsung di Mesjid Agung Delhi dan dia berganti nama menjadi Abdul Karim. Universitas tempat dia bekerja tak mendiskriminasikannya gara-gara masuk Islam. Bahkan dia mendapat kelonggaran, misalnya untuk menunaikan shalat Jumat ke mesjid. Keinginan Germanus yang kuat untuk mendalami Islam dan menyelami sifat-sifat khas Muslim telah mempertemukannya dengan salah satu pujangga Islam tersohor asal Pakistan yakni Muhammad Iqbal. Rasa ingin tahu Germanus yang begitu tinggi hingga dia sering terlibat pembicaraan hingga berjam-jam lamanya. Tak hanya itu, mereka juga sering berdiskusi tentang aktifitas para orientalis dan misionaris Kristen. Germanus dan Iqbal punya pandangan berbeda tentang aktifitas misionaris Kristen. Menurut Germanus, propaganda yang disebarkan oleh para misionaris Kristen di Eropa sebagai sebuah masalah pelik yang mengkhawatirkan. Sementara Iqbal justru melihat masalah sesungguhnya ada pada orang Islam sendiri. Iqbal menyebut kesatuan Muslim yang lemah yang membuat Islam mudah diombang-ambing. Belajar bahasa Arab klasik Kecintaan Germanus pada bahasa Arab telah membawanya ke Kairo, tempat dimana dia kemudian belajar bahasa Arab klasik. Satu ketika, pada saat pertama kali menjejakkan kakinya di pelabuhan Alexandria, dia mengaku sangat terkejut dengan respon yang diberikan oleh penduduk setempat. Mereka pada tertawa mendengar bahasa Arab Germanus. Bukan apa-apa, karena dia berbicara dengan menggunakan bahasa Arab klasik atau kuno! Mereka, warga Alexandria, berbincang dengan memakai dialek setempat hingga Germanus tak mampu mencerna apa yang mereka ucapkan. Kontan dia merasa marah dan berteriak lantang, “Saya kemari untuk belajar bahasa Al-Quran dari Anda! Kenapa kalian justru menertawakan dan mengejek saya?” Selama di Mesir, Germanus menjalin hubungan erat dengan penulis terkenal negeri kuda nil itu yakni Mahmoud Timour. Mahmoud bahkan menulis tentang perjalanan Germanus mencari Islam dalam bukunya Behind the Veil (Dibalik Hijab) yang berisi kumpulan kisah-kisah pendek. Dia menyebut Germanus seorang teman yang baik, yang memiliki kecakapan bahasa Arab demikian mengagumkan. Menurut Mahmoud, Germanus memainkan peranan yang penting dalam menjaga dan melestarikan bahasa Arab klasik. Begitulah, akhirnya Germanus benar-benar mencapai tingkat kemahiran yang tinggi dalam tata bahasa Arab (baca: Al-Quran). Dia selanjutnya kembali ke kampung halaman dan menjadi profesor di Universitas Budapes bidang sejarah dan kebudayaan selama hampir 40 tahun lamanya. Dia banyak mempublikasikan hasil-hasil pemikirannya, terutama tentang kebangkitan bahasa Arab klasik di dunia Arab. Obsesinya adalah membangkitkan kembali kejayaan bahasa Arab klasik yang mati suri selama sekian lama. Impiannya, satu saat nanti semua negara-negara Arab bisa bercakap dengan format bahasa Arab yang seragam hingga akan mengikat kesatuan di antara mereka serta tumbuh kecintaan akan warisan budaya dan sejarah Arab yang begitu tinggi. Menentang sikap orientalis Sepanjang perjalanan karir akademisnya, Germanus berperang melawan orientalis di Eropa. Dalam berbagai penjelasan, dia selalu menyampaikan argumentasinya berdasarkan data dan fakta serta rasional. Begitupun dia selalu mendapat tentangan, bahkan menjurus permusuhan. Akibatnya sering berselisih pendapat dengan para orientalis lain. Bahkan dia dipecat oleh pihak universitas dengan alasan kelakuan yang tidak pantas. Sebaliknya dengan para mahasiswa bimbingannya, meskipun Germanus dicap berseberangan pemikiran dengan para orientalis, mereka tetap mendukung ide-ide yang dibawanya. Mereka menghargai pekerjaannya dan melihat buah karyanya punya pengaruh yang besar secara akademis, di Barat dan dunia Islam. Karena dukungan para mahasiswa itu pula dia masih masih bisa tetap menjadi staf pengajar di universitas. Naik Haji Di Hungaria, Germanus berusaha keras memberikan pencerahan kepada Muslim di negerinya, yang kala itu berjumlah antara 1000 hingga 2000 jiwa. Dia mendirikan sebuah organisasi guna menjembatani hubungan antara Islam dengan pemerintah. Misinya kala itu adalah membawa Islam agar diterima sebagai salah satu agama resmi di Hungaria. Tahun 1935 Germanus menunaikan rukum Islam kelima dan menjadi satu dari sedikit Muslim Eropa yang berangkat ke Mekkah pada masa itu. Tahun 1939 dia menunaikan ibadah haji untuk kali kedua. Bahkan kisah perjalanan rohaninya ke Mekkah dirangkumnya dalam sebuah buku berbahasa Hungaria yang cukup terkenal berjudul Allahu Akbar! Buku tersebut telah diterjemahkan ke dalam beberapa bahasa. Germanus menikah dengan seorang perempuan Eropa yang dulunya beragama Kristen. Setelah beberapa lama, sang istri akhirnya memeluk Islam dengan disaksikan oleh Syekh Ahmed Abdul Ghafur Attar, seorang penulis dan akademisi Islam terkenal. Publikasi Islam di Eropa Germanus aktif berdakwah melalui tulisan. Dia menulis tentang Islam di pelbagai media di Eropa. Dalam sebuah artikelnya dia pernah menulis bahwa Islam satu saat nanti akan memperlihatkan keajaibannya pada saat dunia mulai diliputi oleh kegelapan. Germanus bisa disebut sebagai jenius bahasa. Buktinya dia menulis banyak buku, diantaranya The Greek, Arabic Literature in Hungarian, Lights of the East, Uncovering the Arabian Peninsula, Between Intellectuals, The History of Arabic Literature, The History of the Arabs, Modern Movements in Islam, Studies in the Grammatical Structure of the Arabic Language, Journeys of Arabs, Pre-Islamic Poetry, Great Arabic Literature, Guidance From the Light of the Crescent (a personal memoir), An Adventure in the Desert, Arab Nationalism, Allahu Akbar, Mahmoud Timour and Modern Arabic Literature, The Great Arab Poets, dan The Rise of Arab Culture. Germanus yang meninggal pada 7 Nopember 1979 mengabdikan dirinya untuk Islam sepanjang lebih kurang 50 tahun. Begitulah, kisah sang legenda yang tak lekang oleh zaman. Dia dikenang hingga kini sebagai salah satu legenda Muslim di Hungaria. [www.hidayatullah.com]
          BUDI DAYA SRIKAYA        



Srikaya Persiapan Lahan Unggulan



Syarat Tumbuh
Srikaya tumbuh di daerah tropik pada ketinggian sampai 1.000 m dpl, dan memiliki reputasi, terutama di India, berkat sifatnya sebagai tanaman yang bandel dan tahan kekeringan. Alasan ini hanya sebagian benar. Walaupun periode istirahat dan luruhnya daun masih memungkinkan pohon sarikaya bertahan terhadap musim kering yang hebat, pohon ini memerlukan kelembapan yang memadai selama pertumbuhannya, dan sangat responsif terhadap penambahan pengairan. Pentingnya kelembapan tampak dari kenyataan bahwa baik di India maupun di Asia Tenggara terbentuknya buah dihambat oleh permulaan adanya hujan, jadi pembungaan juga akan terhambat. Walaupun tanaman ini tumbuh pada tipe-tipe tanah yang kisarannya luas, dari mulai tanah berpasir sampai tanah liat berlempung (clay loam), hasil yang lebih tinggi dan lebih konsisten tampaknya hanya dapat dicapai jika pohon ditanam pada tanah berpasir atau tanah liat berpasir. Selanjutnya pertumbuhan vegetatifnya dapat pula diatur lebih mudah lagi melalui pengairan dan pemupukan. Pada tipe tanah yang lebih berat dan lebih sulit dikeringkan, genangan air merupakan penyebab utama rontoknya bunga dan berkurangnya pembentukan buah. Pada tanah yang dangkal, penimbunan akan memperbaiki kedalaman tanah dan drainase, serta pemberian mulsa dapat memacu perkembangan perakaran yang dapat memperoleh hara dari permukaan tanah.
Pedoman Budidaya
Perbanyakan dan penanaman Buah nona (Annona) biasa disambungkan ke batang bawah sarikaya yang ditanam dari benih Batang bawah sarikaya cenderung menurunkan ukuran pohon. Cara yang paling umum digunakan adalah sambungan pecut (whip grafting), sambungan, pecut dan lidah (whip and tongue grafting), dan sambungan celah (cleft grafting). Persentase keberhasilannya biasanya tinggi, jika penyambungan dilakukan pada awal keluarnya getah setelah peristirahat. Di Filipina dianjurkan ‘patch budding sebelum rontoknya daun, yaitu pada musim sejuk dan kering (bulan November-Februari). Penampilan batang atas di atas batang bawah yang berasal dari semai sangat bervariasi, bergantung kepada kecepatan tumbuh, kerentanan terhadap genangan, gangguan air, dan serangan layu bakteri. Perbanyakan kultivar-kultivar sarikaya tanpa penyambungan atau dengan batang bawah asal-klon akan mengurangi variabilitas tersebut di atas. Walaupun begitu, kini perbanyakan melalui stek, cangkokan, dan kultur jaringan belum berhasil dengan memuaskan. Jarak tanam yang kini digunakan berkisar antara 5 m x 3 m dan 4 m x 3 m untuk sarikaya. Tata laksana Dimulainya belajar berbuah untuk sebatang pohon diperlukan untuk melatih pembuahan yang lebat tanpa rantingnya patah. Untuk pertumbuhan pohon yang subur (terutama kultivarkultivar ‘cherimoya’), bentuk pohon yang paling cocok adalah bentuk piala terbuka (open goblet). Jika pertumbuhan lebih lemah, dikehendaki pohon yang cabang-cabang utamanya berada di tengah. Pemangkasan formatif (formative pruning) hendakjiya dilaksanakan pada masa istirahat. Di Thailand, sarikaya dipermuda setiap tahun agar kualitas buahnya terjamin. Cabang-cabang lateral yang menjadi lemah setelah berbuah hendaknya dipotong dan tunas-tunas pengganti yang lebih subur akan muncul. Pohon dipangkas ketika daundaunnya persis akan luruh, yang akan meningkat ke pertumbuhan awal lagi. Pertumbuhan baru harus ditunjang oleh pengairan sampai tiba awal musim hujan. Dengan cara ini masa panen dapat diajukan. Untuk memperbaiki pembentukan buah mungkin dapat dilakukan pelepasan sejumlah besar kumbang penyerbuk ke pohon pada hari yang kondusif untuk pembentukan buah. Penyerbukan dengan bantuan tangan juga sangat efektif dalam meningkatkan terbentuknya buah dan hasil buah. DI Kalifornia, praktek ini merupakan alat utama dalam mencapai hasil tinggi secara konsisten. Teknik-teknik untuk penyerbukan dengan bantuan tangan pada bunga ‘atemoya’ meliputi pemindahan serbuk sari yang sebelumnya telah dikumpulkan, ke kepala putik dengan menggunakan kuas kecil, atau menggunakan pengepul (piffer.r), atau pistol penyerbuk (pollination guns) untuk meniupkan sezbuk sari ke atas kepala putik. Pistol penyerbuk ‘persimon’ buatan Jepang terbukti sangat efektif di Kalifornia. Dengan kultivar yang tinggi produksinya, seperti ‘African Pride’, mungkin diperlukan sedikit pengurangan jumlah buah untuk mengatur muatan pohon dan agar besarnya buah dapat dipertahankan.
          PROSPEK GAHARU 2012        
GAHARU, AROMATIK TERMAHAL DI DUNIA


Gaharu adalah bahan aromatik termahal di dunia. Harga gaharu kualitas baik di tingkat konsumen di pasar internasional, sekitar US $ 5 sd. 15 per gram, (Rp 45.000,- sd. 135.000,-). Sedemikian tingginya nilai produk gaharu, hingga penjualannya menggunakan bobot gram. Bukan ons atau kg. Gaharu adalah bahan parfum, kosmetik dan obat-obatan (farmasi). Parfum diperoleh dari hasil ekstraksi resin dan kayunya. Gaharu sudah dikenal sebagai komoditas penting, semenjak jaman Mesir Kuno. Mumi mesir, selain diberi rempah-rempah (kayumanis, cengkeh), juga diberi cendana dan gaharu. Dalam injil, disebutkan bahwa kain kafan Yesus (Isa Al Masih), diberi Aloe. Istilah ini bukan mengacu ke Aloe vera (lidah buaya), melainkan kayu gaharu.

Itulah sebabnya kayu gaharu juga disebut sebagai aloeswood (kayu aloe). Nama dagang lainnya adalah agarwood, heartwood, dan eaglewood. Di pasar internasional, gaharu murni diperdagangkan dalam bentuk kayu, serbuk dan minyak (parfum). Kayu gaharu bisa dijadikan bahan kerajinan bernilai sangat tinggi, atau untuk peralatan upacara keagamaan. Serbuk gaharu digunakan untuk dupa/ratus, dan minyaknya merupakan parfum kelas atas. Serbuk gaharu sebagai dupa akan dibakar langsung dalam ritual keagamaan. Baik Hindu, Budha, Konghucu, Thao, Shinto, Islam dan Katolik. Kayu gaharu disebut sebagai kayu para dewa. Aroma gaharu karenanya dipercaya mampu menyucikan altar dan peralatan peribadatan lainnya.

Selain itu dupa gaharu juga dimanfaatkan untuk mengharumkan ruangan, rambut dan pakaian para bangsawan. Aroma gaharu akan digunakan sebagai aromaterapi di spa-spa kelas atas. Selain untuk ritual keagamaan, parfum dan kosmetik, produk gaharu juga sering dikaitkan dengan hal-hal yang berbau mistik. Baik pemanfaatannya, terlebih lagi proses pencariannya dari alam. Pengambilan gaharu dari hutan, memang selalu dilakukan secara tradisional, dengan berbagai ritual dan kebiasaan setempat. Pencarian gaharu di lokasi sulit, harus menggunakan pesawat terbang atau helikopter. Beberapa kali pesawat terbang dan heli pencari gaharu, hilang di hutan belantara di Kalimantan, hingga memperkuat kesan mistis produk gaharu.

# # #

Gaharu adalah getah (resin, gubal) dari pohon genus Aquilaria, yang tumbuh di hutan belantara India, Asia Tenggara (termasuk Indonesia) dan Cina Selatan. Sampai saat ini, Indonesia masih merupakan pemasok produk gaharu terbesar di dunia. Meskipun populasi tumbuhan Aquilaria cukup besar, namun tidak semua pohon menghasilkan gaharu. Sebab resin itu baru akan keluar, kalau tanaman terinfeksi oleh kapang (fungus) Phialophora parasitica. Akibat infeksi, tanaman mengeluarkan getah yang aromanya sangat harum. Getah ini akan menggumpal di dalam batang kayu. Para pencari gaharu menyebut kayu dengan resin ini sebagai gubal. Tanaman Aquilaria yang tidak terinfeksi Phialophora parasitica, tidak akan beraroma harum.

Genus Aquilaria terdiri dari 22 spesies: A. (Aquilaria) agallocha; A. apiculata; A. baillonii; A. banaensis; A. beccariana; A. brachyantha; A. citrinicarpa; A. crassna; A. cumingiana; A. filaria; A.grandiflora; A. hirta; A. malaccensis; A. microcarpa; A. ophispermum; A. parvifolia; A. pentandra; A. rostrata; A. sinensis; A. subintegra; A. urdanetensis; A. yunnanensis. Dari 22 spesies itu, yang bisa terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica hanya ada delapan spesies yakni: A. agallocha; A. crassna; A. grandiflora; A. malaccensis; A. ophispermum; A. pentandra; A. sinensis; dan Aquilaria yunnanensis. Dari delapan spesies itu, yang paling potensial menghasilkan gaharu adalah A. malaccensis dan A. agallocha.

Gaharu yang sekarang beredar di pasaran, semuanya berasal dari perburuan dari hutan. Para pencari gaharu, kadang-kadang tidak membedakan, mana kayu yang ada gubalnya, dan mana yang tidak. Hingga semua pohon Aquilaria yang dijumpai akan ditebang. Akibatnya, populasi kayu Aquilaria terus terkikis dan makin langka. Dalam pertemuan ke 13 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP 13) di Bangkok, Thailand, 2 -14 Oktober 2004, genus Aquilaria telah dimasukkan dalam apendik II. Hingga pengambilan gaharu dari alam, sebenarnya dilarang. Tetapi karena tingginya nilai gaharu, maka pencarian gaharu dari hutan terus berlangsung tanpa bisa dicegah.

Genus Aquilaria adalah pohon dengan tinggi mencapai 20 m dan diameter batang 60 cm, yang tumbuh di hutan hujan tropika basah, mulai dari ketinggian 0 sampai dengan 1.000 m. dpl. Aquilaria bisa hidup pada berbagai jenis tanah. Mulai dari tanah humus, berpasir, lempung, berkapur, sampai berbatu-batu. Gaharu termasuk tanaman yang tahan kekeringan, dan juga tahan hidup di bawah naungan. Tanaman yang masih muda, memang memerlukan banyak air, dan naungan. Biasanya Aquilaria tumbuh di bawah tajuk palem atau pakis-pakisan. Aquilaria berkembangbiak dari biji. Buah Aquilaria berupa polong yang keras, dengan panjang antara 2,5 sd. 3 cm. Biji mudah dikecambahkan di tempat yang lembap dan hangat, tetapi terlindung dari panas matahari.

# # #

Dalam kondisi optimum, pohon Aquilaria akan mampu tumbuh dengan sangat pesat. Yang dimaksud dengan kondisi optimum adalah, suhu udara, kelembapan, sinar matahari, air dan unsur haranya cukup. Meskipun Aquilaria tahan hidup di berbagai macam tanah, tetapi dia akan tumbuh optimal di tanah humus yang subur, dengan topsoil cukup tebal. Tidak semua Aquilaria yang tumbuh di hutan merupakah penghasil gaharu. Produk gaharu, baru akan terjadi, apabila kayu Aquilaria terinfeksi oleh kapang Phialophora parasitica. Tumbuhan Aquilaria yang tidak terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica, hanya akan menjadi kayu biasa yang sama sekali tidak harum. Beda dengan cendana (Sandal Wood, Santalum album), yang kayunya memang sudah harum.

Untuk mempertahankan diri, tumbuhan Aquilaria yang sudah terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica akan menghasilkan getah resin (jawa: blendok). Resin ini akan menggumpal dan membentuk gubal. Proses pembentukan gubal berlangsung sangat lambat. Bisa puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun. Resin dan bagian kayu yang terinfeksi inilah yang akan menghasilkan aroma harum yang tidak ada duanya di dunia. Aroma gaharu ini sedemikian khasnya hingga hampir tidak mungkin disintetis. Pembuatan gaharu sintetis, hasilnya akan lebih mahal dibanding dengan gaharu alam. Proses pembentukan gubal berlangsung sangat lama, juga merupakan salah satu penyebab tingginya produk gaharu.

Kapang genus Phialophora terdiri dari delapan spesies aktif: Phialophora americana, Phialophora bubakii, Phialophora europaea, Phialophora parasitica, Phialophora reptans, Phialophora repens, Phialophora richardsiae, dan Phialophora verrucosa. Dari delapan spesies itu, yang berfungsi menginfeksi kayu Aquilaria hanyalah kapang Phialophora parasitica. Spesies lainnya merupakan kapang patogen, yang bisa menginfeksi manusia dan menimbulkan gangguan penyakit. Malaysia dan Indonesia, sudah bisa mengisolasi kapang Phialophora parasitica, untuk diinokulasikan ke pohon Aquilaria.

Di Indonesia, penelitian gaharu antara lain dilakukan oleh Balitbang Botani/LIPI, Badan Litbang Departemen Kehutanan dan Universitas Mataram di Mataram, Lombok. Universitas Mataram, malahan sudah melakukan ujicoba penanaman gaharu, dan menginfeksinya dengan kapang Phialophora parasitica. Sayangnya, tanaman yang belum membentuk gubal itu sudah dicuri orang. Para pencuri ini beranggapan, bahwa kayu gaharu sama dengan cendana. Padahal cendana pun memerlukan waktu paling sedikit 30 tahun agar meghasilkan kayu dengan tingkat keharuman prima. Gaharu yang sudah terinfeksi ini, masih memerlukan waktu puluhan tahun agar gubalnya bisa dipanen.

# # #

Mengingat tingginya nilai gaharu, dan juga kelangkaannya, maka budidaya gaharu sudah semakin mendesak. Membuat hutan Aquilaria, bisa dilakukan dengan mudah. Sebab tumbuhan genus ini relatif mudah dikembangbiakkan dan toleran dengan lokasi tumbuh yang sangat ekstrim sekalipun. Mengisolasi kapang Phialophora parasitica juga sudah bisa dilakukan di laboratorium Universitas Mataram. Menginfeksi tumbuhan Aquilaria dengan kapang Phialophora parasitica juga sudah berhasil diketemukan metodenya. Yang menjadi masalah, untuk mengembangkannya dalam skala komersial, diperlukan jangka waktu lama. Gaharu kualitas baik, baru akan terbentuk setelah proses selama puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun.

Para pemilik modal, akan berpikir ulang kalau investasinya baru akan kembali pada puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun yang akan datang. Para pejabat di lingkup pemerintah daerah pun, juga akan menolak untuk merancang proyek yang tingkat keberhasilannya baru akan bisa diukur puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun kemudian. Belum lagi gangguan masyarakat yang tidak terlalu tahu tentang gaharu. Mereka menganggap bahwa tanaman Aquilaria yang sudah diinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica, akan segera bisa ditebang untuk diambil gaharunya. Ketidaktahuan masyarakat ini, juga disebabkan oleh sedikitnya publikasi tentang gaharu. Para wartawan yang mengenal gaharu, jumlahnya juga masih sangat sedikit.

Dalam situasi seperti ini, pencarian gaharu di hutan menjadi satu-satunya alternatif. Di Papua, pencarian gaharu bahkan dilakukan oleh para pengusaha dengan cara yang sangat tidak bermoral. Para pengusaha tahu bahwa masyarakat Papua, sudah kecanduan minuman keras. Hanya dengan disodori beberapa kaleng bir, mereka sudah bersedia untuk mencari gaharu. Apabila gaharu sudah diperoleh, para pengusaha pun menawarkan perempuan kepada penemu gaharu. Perempuan-perempuan malang ini didatangkan dari Jawa, kebanyakan dengan cara ditipu untuk dicarikan pekerjaan yang layak di Freeport atau perusahaan HPH. Setibanya di Papua, mereka hanya dijadikan umpan memperoleh gaharu.
          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

Last weekend I've met with some of our old timer KDEPIM developers and some of the newer ones who are interested in KDEPIM or related technologies in the KDAB offices in Berlin.
Being a KDAB employee for a few years already (wow, time is passing quickly), the place was familiar, the people looked familiar. The foosball table was slightly familiar, although some players changed their dresses in order to spread confusion inside the visitor's heads. That is the only reason we've lost against locals with 5-0, 5-0.
Suprisingly enough, the table wasn't used that much. Why? Because people were busy either working and talking. What they talked about I don't know too much, as I focused on some issues I planned to fix, but others can testify that Volker did not sit too much in front of his computers, but was dragged from one place to another for various discussions.
Most of us started on Friday around noon. I won't tell too much about what others did, that is mostly their problem. Especially if they were on the other side of the room and I didn't saw their screens, I can't tell if they worked at all or not. They looked like they did though. ;) I can share some things about what some sitting nearby did. See later.
As recently I became the de-facto maintainer and bugfixer for mail filters, I worked mostly on them. Unfortunately the first attempt to fix a bug failed: a bug that bothers me, although it is not the most reported one. It is about mails not being filtered for a while after a resume from hibernation. It is hard to reproduce, and although I run into it, I couldn't reproduce reliably enough and in a way I can debug it. After fighting with it and realising it won't work, I gave up. See you next time.
Meantime we had some excellent food in an Indian restaurant, then when finally everybody arrived (almost everybody to be honest, plus even some more from KDAB who didn't sign up, but show up there), we were ready to start with presenting the kdepim and Akonadi architecture. Old time pimsters Volker Krause, Kevin Krammer and Tobias Koenig helped me with it, and sometimes saved me, as my knowledge in some area proved to be superficial. We ended up with a pretty impressive drawing on the whiteboard:
Hopefully for those being on site it was understandable.

Time passed, so we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant at the corner. Nice place, third time being there, good food (seems Berlin has only good eating places). We even saw how Germany won over Ireland. Too bad Steveire (Stephen Kelly) was not there... We continued with some more talks and hacking, then everybody went to their sleeping places.
Some left earlier, some later waiting for remote developers to show up and discuss the patches (he didn't show up).

Day 2
Next day started around 9 o'clock for some. Later for others. I continued with the filter debugging and fixing. I looked at the bugreports and tried to come up with some bugs that are both would help the users and myself. I'm selfish, I want to fix the bugs I run into. ;) One problem that bothered me for a long time is that email content from online IMAP is downloaded even if no filter for IMAP requires it (but a filter for e.g POP3 needs the full content). Now this is fixed and those who use online imap could notice a great speedup in mail syncing (depending on their filter setup). Another often reported issue was duplicating the mails, especially after spam filtering. You've ended up with a mail in the spam folder and a mail in the original place. This could be combined with a conflict dialog shown up as well for that mail. This problem actually revealed a not-well handled case down inside the Akonadi stack that was created by a reordering of filter commands in the filtering code. For those who want technical details: if there was a move action (like "move mail to spam folder") followed by a modify action (like "mark as read"), the filter reordered this to "mark as read" followed by a move. Unfortunately this exposed two problems, (mostly, but not only) IMAP specific: on IMAP you can't modify a mail, instead you create a new one and delete the old. What happened here is that a filter changed the mail (run through bogofilter/spamassasin), then the "mark as read" action was executed, which uploaded the changes, including the changed mail to the IMAP server. This caused a new ID for the item on the IMAP server. The mail with the old ID was deleted. Then the filter agent performed a move, but he had only the *old* ID, before the modifications. The move - if performed between two different resources, like IMAP and local maildir - is technically a copy followed by a delete. The copy worked fine, but the delete didn't. It tried to delete the old mail again (which was gone), not the modified version. That's how you ended up with a duplicate.
The current solution is to reorder the filtering pipeline, so the move is performed before the flag modifications. The extra benefit is that the filtered message is not uploaded again just to be deleted the next second. Speedup, less network traffic, better user experience. This doesn't fix the main problem with Akonadi, but it is an acceptable workaround. The reordering is so far only in the master branch (KDE 4.10), but the relevant code will be backported to the 4.9 branch, so it will be in 4.9.3.
And speaking of conflicts, that was the next hot topic, and one of the often reported bugs. It was mostly caused by conflicting flag changes (read/spam/important/etc), either caused by KMail itself plus the filtering or just KMail. After some discussion we agreed, that reporting conflicts on flag changes doesn't make sense, so we should not bother the user. It is not data loss, and in worst case some flag is reset. In normal case nothing wrong happens, as Akonadi is able to merge two changes in the flags (or so claims Volker).
I have to admit that this fix was not completed at the sprint, I finished it today, as I noticed more code in KDEPIM that didn't disable conflict check on flag changes.
While doing the changes, I did quite some refactoring, cleaning up the code as much as I could do for the parts I touched. The code was originally deep inside KMail (as most of other code), got extracted from it for 4.8.0, and now we are at the stage that we can make the extracted code more cleaner, we can remove some things that doesn't make sense anymore now that the filtering is not inside KMail.
While reading the bug reports, I also run into one indicating that mails arriving to an MBOX account (like /var/spool/mail/username) are not filtered automatically. Sounds like an easy bug to fix and so was it. Now they are filtered.
Finally another annoying issue was fixed: there was no indication that filtering is ongoing. Now when this happens, you can see in the KMail's progress bar.
The net result of the above: faster filtering, less annoying and useless error dialogs for the users. And according to bugzilla, 31 bugs less (some were duplicates though).

Nepomuk...one of the things that, well, so far I was always recommending for users to turn off. Slight detour here: what is Nepomuk and its relation to KMail? Nepomuk helps you to find data. It indexes all kind of data and with some queries you can find e.g every file where my name is mentioned, all email addresses from any file, etc. There is a process that goes through the akonadi data (emails, calendars, etc) and "feeds" to it for Nepomuk to be indexed. Then there are queries and code in KMail accessing Nepomuk: getting email addresses for composer's autocompletion, searching inside mail bodies, tagging your emails with custom tags, etc.
Unfortunately there are problems around it. One is that some queries ae processed quite slowly, that in turn slows down KMail, leading to poor user experience. E.g switching between mails, sending mails, etc. is slow. Or startup is slow or even blocked. I tried to fix the last part as I just run into it, but as this was my very first Nepomuk related patch, I'm not sure 100% succeeded. We found a problem with the Nepomuk API itself, and I informed Vishesh, the Nepomuk developer about it (even if I used non-blocking calls against Nepomuk, one call is blocking without question). He suggested something I might try later, although I'd be more happier if somebody with real Nepomuk knowledge could give a review of the pim Nepomuk usage.
Then there is the Akonadi feeder, that gives the data to Nepomuk. Something is not perfect there and the indexing causes a serious slowdown, where either itself or Nepomuk (actually its storage backend, virtuoso) starts to use the CPU *a lot*. This is the main reason I recommend to users to disable Nepomuk so far. We had Christian Mollekopf the author of the feeder in the sprint, and he worked on some optimizations. Hopefully this will improve the situation. Meantime we (and I) tried to convince Vishesh to use KMail, so he can see himself the problems our users face.

As a break we had another presentation, this time about KMail itself, what components make up KMail, how they are distributed. As far as I saw, this was less interesting to the audience, they rather looked at their computers and hacked on something. Luckily our KMail maintainer, Laurent Montel, is super active, but I wouldn't mind more contributors. Too bad he wasn't at the sprint.

We had a lunch at a nearby place, nothing extra, but the food was (again) good.

What did other do? Let's see what I can remember... Sune dreamed about crypto stuff and composite jobs. He worked on making some cryptographic code asynchronous and started to get faimiliar with kdepim code. I'd not say he picked up the easiest job.
Volker run around all the time, discussed various things like "spanish sync" with Alex Fiestas (see here), database backends with Martin, change recorder with David Faure (who remotely joined the meeting and got lost inside the change recorder code ... he has the solution now in his head, so be patient, we will end up with a better implementation for it that again speeds up Akonadi), job pipelines with me, and who knows what with others, as for a long time he just disappeared with a bunch of developers. They actually ended up in the lobby discussing "stuff". Milian Wolf, who is not (or not yet?) a KDEPIM developer, but mainly a KDevelop one, joined us and used massif to track down some ugly memory usage in KMail. And he did a good job in it. Previously KMail used more and more memory as you navigated between large folders (Alex mentioned some 2GB for him), while now it levels up at one point and doesn't increase. He might blog himself about, as he has also some nice graphs.
Then there were two guys from KDAB, who are old time pim developers (quiz: find their names in this blog), but they cooked something else, not related to KDEPIM, not related concretely to KDE, but to a lower level: to Qt. It is an amazingly cool stuff, but I don't want to give more details. Expect it to be presented a the Qt Developer Days, either in a talk or at the KDAB booth. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it will be freely available what they did and KDE can enjoy it in the future.
I'm sorry that I don't remember what the rest did. In general I know that Martin Klapetek worked on the social network resources, Mark Gaiser, who recently started to work on KDEPIM stuff eagerly listened to our presentations and worked on a QML calendar application, Alex kept reporting bugs and discussed improvements with Volker, while John Layt, the "timezone KDE guy" worked on plasma calendar related issues.
As a KDE person Chani also joined us for a while, we quickly nominated her as the QML and Plasma person, so all questions related to them were immediately redirected to Chani. Jos Poortvilet was also supposed to join for some talks, but he could show up only on Sunday for personal reasons.
At the end of the day everybody was so busy, so instead of going out for eating, we just ordered some pizza. And most of us stood in the office well past midnight.

Day 3
Well, the above partially happened on Sunday. It was a shorter day for me, due to the late night standup before, and that I had to go to the airport after lunch. A lunch that wasn't exactly as planned. We went out for a Doner Kebab place that is supposed to be the best one in Berlin. It is just a small kiosk on the sidewalk in a street, but man, there was a big queue for it. On a Sunday! Locals says it is worse on weekdays. Even after almost an hour, we still had 10 persons in front of us, my departure time was approaching, so I gave up and instead bought some (quite good) chinese fast-food from a nearby place, then rushed to the airport.
A long journey awaited me with a 3 hour stopover in Munich, but luckily I had a power supply there and even some network (they offer 30 minutes/day/phone number), so I could continue on the work I started at the sprint. After flying and driving another 2.5 hours, I arrived late (or rather early) morning next day back home, and after sleept until around 10. Then I started to work again for KDAB, a work that is just as enjoyable as working for KDE. After all, the two communities has a serious overlap. ;)
That's from the sprint. If you'll be at the Qt Developer Days Europe, we might meet there. I'm looking forward for a good conference.


          Dvd tom rayder laea croft +        
Objet semblant avoir éé retiré de son film plastique écemment. Aucune marque usure apparente. Toutes les faces de objet sont impeccables et intactes. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatn n nVds DVD de TOME RAYDER Lara CROFT . VIDESCREEN dvd COLLECTION - Edition spéciale collector - Angelina Jolie sauve le monde dans des aventures dignes INDIANA JONES! DVD état proche du neuf boîtier idem et petite brochure intérieure impeccable.nPas de PaypalnPas de reprise
          Indianische Weisheit – zurück in die Vergangenheit        
Indianische Weisheit -Am Anfang war das Schweigen. Das Schweigen der Felsen, des Himmels, der Gräser. Das Schweigen der Nacht und des Schöpfungsmorgens. Lange bevor alles beim Namen genannt wurde, bevor Berg zu Berg, Stein zu Stein, Erde zu Erde wurde, war schöpferisches Schweigen. Ewigkeit aller Ideen und Worte,Respekt des Lebens vor dem
          Indianische Weisheit        
Kein Mensch kann seine Mutter besitzen Eine Mutter bring sein Kind zur Welt, sie nährt es, hält es in den Armen. sie gibt ihm einen Platz auf ihrer Decke, einen Platz an ihrer Brust. Eine Frau kann viele Kinder gebären. Jedem gibt sie einen Teil von sich selbst, jedem gibt sie gleich
          Force India plans major upgrades        
Force India is planning on introducing major upgrades to its car in both Bahrain and Spain following successful trials in Formula 1 pre-season testing
          The Great Asian Showdown : India’s Kolkata Class v/s China’s Type-52D Destroyer        
Source: The Great Asian Showdown : India’s Kolkata Class v/s China’s Type-52D Destroyer
          Cosa Dovresti Sapere Prima di Decidere se Trasferirti in Brasile        
Il flusso di Italiani che decide di cambiare vita all’estero aumenta sempre di più, e secondo me viene volutamente sottostimato. Uno dei paesi più gettonati è proprio il Brasile, appartenente al blocco delle economie emergenti (BRIC). Non ho una conoscenza diretta di India, Cina e Russia ma il Brasile lo conosco sufficientemente per sapere quali insidie […]
          AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets        
AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets

AT&T first launched its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service about seven months ago, but now the carrier is expanding its reach by adding 18 new markets for its VoLTE and HD Voice offerings.

The list of new markets include District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

The good news is that this is just the beginning. AT&T's target is to transition every consumer to VoLTE. That would be easier said than done for sure, considering the tons of networks that need to be set up and the hardware that needs to be deployed. But AT&T is positive about the outcome, and early signs of success are certainly visible.

As stated by John Donovan, AT&T's Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations, the carrier's VoLTE network is performing very well after some internal tests, scoring an average of more than 99 percent in terms of accessibility and retainability (how well the users stay connected).

For those not in the know, VoLTE technology lets users simultaneously make calls and browse the Internet using their smartphones with very fast 4G LTE data speeds. 

As for HD Voice, it is a type of wideband technology that allows for better call quality with minimal background noise, made possible through widening the frequency range of the audio signals.

Voice calls were previously transmitted on a rather limited frequency range (between 300 Hertz to 3.4 Hertz). But with HD Voice, that frequency range is extended from 50 Hertz to 7 KiloHertz, and sometimes even beyond, in order to achieve high definition quality in voice calls.

However, before users can enjoy HD Voice, they need to meet the requirements. Firstly, the service must be available in their geographical area (AT&T is working on it). Secondly, the person calling and the recipient of the call must both use handsets that are HD Voice capable. For AT&T customers, just about the only devices available from their carrier that meet this requirement are the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

AT&T is far from being the only major wireless carrier that offers HD Voice though. Sprint may have been the first off the blocks, offering its customers a 30-day trial run of its HD Voice service in June earlier this year. Even Verizon Wireless is working on its own HD Voice brand, and the talk is that the Big Red will utilizing the AMR-wideband standard (the industry norm) for its service.

Interestingly, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are working together in providing clear call quality in both their customers. If they can pull this off, AT&T customers will be able to call their friends and family who are on Verizon as clearly as possible, and vice versa.

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          Comment on JANK 200! by mrm1138        
I am hopelessly behind on my podcasts, so I only just got around to listening to this today. There were two things that struck me about this episode. You'll have to forgive me, though, because I'm not good at remembering the names of the casters and whose voice is whose. First, I must say that the idea of regimented interaction is precisely why I enjoy gaming. I'd always considered myself an introvert, but my wife, who is truly an introvert, has classified me as an extrovert who is just painfully shy. She can't stand to be around people for more than a couple hours and a time and needs to go home and have a lot of downtime to recharge. (She has never gotten into RPGs—as opposed to board games or card games—because the idea of spending several hours being forced to interact with people sounds like a nightmare to her.) I, on the other hand, really enjoy being around people for long periods of time. The only problem is that I have trouble keeping up a conversation unless there's something very definite to talk about, and that's where games come in. Second, when one of the casters mentioned that tabletop roleplaying gamers tend to be a progressive group of people (and that he himself was an activist for a time), I definitely agreed. I am huge into comic books, but one of the reasons I can't stand to listen to comic book podcasts is because the hosts tend to be your typical bigoted fanboys who will go into a nerd rage if a previously straight character comes out of the closet, or a white superhero is replaced by another character of a different skin color* or sex, or anything they perceive as being political correctness being forced into their comics. While the TTRPG community's record certainly isn't spotless—there were some particularly vile comments from TTRP-gamers after Gen Con delivered the press release regarding Indiana's "religious freedom" bill—I don't feel that the bigotry involved is nearly as rampant as it is in the worlds of comics and video games. *See the recent announcement of Miles Morales replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the main Marvel Universe.
          Cowboys and East Indians        
Cowboys and East Indians
author: Nina McConigley
name: Marisa
average rating: 4.28
book published: 2013
rating: 4
read at: 2015/05/10
date added: 2015/05/10
shelves:
review:


          â€œNo nos damos cuenta qué tan importante es invertir en el ser humano”        
En entrevista con este blog, la alcaldesa del distrito de Indiana, en la provincia de Maynas de la región Loreto, Janet Reátegui, habla sobre la “Movilización de municipios de frontera de Loreto contra la anemia y la desnutrición infantil”, que se realizará el 19 y 20 de noviembre en este distrito. Esta movilización, organizada por el Grupo Impulsor Inversión en la Infancia y el Plan Binacional Perú – Ecuador, convoca a los alcaldes distritales y provinciales para abordar los problemas de la anemia y la desnutrición infantil y cómo enfrentarlos desde las políticas locales.
          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 



 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.


On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 



They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 




At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 


Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred


His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM




An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.


BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 






He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.




Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.


Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information



Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 



Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.






The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 



The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.



An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 



In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 


About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.



They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.




In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.


He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

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Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
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Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
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March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
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Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
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July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
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June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
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           Mandatory Reporting Law on Sexual Abuse Not So Mandatory -- Especially for Prep Schools / Abysmal Failures Noted on So-Called Background Checks        

NEW:
Mandatory Reporting [NOT Really] Column
on Sexual Abuse Cases Generates Range of Comments


Meriden Record-Journal Post 7-18-17 Follows Hearst CT [links below]
& Cool Justice Blog 6-4-17


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  • State Reports Only 14 Arrests & Four Convictions in Past Seven Years
    Statute of Limitations Just One Year for This Misdemeanor








    By Andy Thibault
    The Cool Justice Report
    http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/
    June 4, 2017









    Editor's Note: This column may be reprinted or re-posted courtesy of The Cool Justice Report http://cooljustice.blogspot.com.

    Connecticut has been a very safe place to avoid arrest and prosecution for failing to report sexual abuse -- especially if you're a teacher or administrator at a prep school.

    That's just part of the picture.

    Suppose you lose your teaching job after being accused of rape. Just don't put that job on your resume. You'll be fine for perhaps a decade or more. It also helps to amend your full name on the resume. Supposed background checks will fail to detect resume gaps and irregularities.

    But what about that mandatory reporting law compelling teachers and administrators to report suspected abuse to the state? No problem. It hasn't been enforced with any great enthusiasm at the preps: No report, no warning for future employers or victims.

    The revelations come after a series of articles by The Boston Globe Spotlight Team and an investigation by the powerhouse law firm Covington & Burling for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. The Globe found that abuse victims routinely suffered retaliation at private schools in New England. The schools in turn covered up the abuse. Choate, for example, failed to report abuse incidents prior to 2010.

    A spokeswoman for Connecticut courts told The Cool Justice Report there were just 14 arrests in the state for failing to report sexual abuse from January 2010 through late April 2017. During the same time, there were only four convictions, according to the data provided via the state Judicial Department. One of the convictions was of a day care operator. No additional data was available immediately.

    There is only a one-year statute of limitations for failure to report sexual abuse claims, and that crime is a misdemeanor. Connecticut Deputy Chief State's Attorney Len Boyle said in a statement there are no plans to try to change that, but he noted there is a five-year statute of limitations for a felony charge if prosecutors are able to cite willfulness or other aggravating factors. Willfulness, like intent, carries with it a significant burden of proof.

    "The one-year statute of limitations," Boyle said, "is largely consistent with the limitations periods for all crimes (i.e.: one year for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony). We have not sought to lengthen it. The more egregious cases of failure to report (willfulness, gross negligence, etc.) are felonies and provide a five year limitations period."

    Boyle's office is investigating whether anyone at Choate broke the law by failing to report suspected abuse, The Hartford Courant reported in April.

    Among the 12 teachers accused of abuse in the Choate report, one went on to become a teacher and administrator at several public schools in Connecticut. He was able to avoid detection partly by amending his name and omitting two teaching jobs at private schools -- Choate and The Gunnery, in Washington, CT -- on his resume. The resume, obtained under Connecticut's Freedom of Information law, also shows some overlap for jobs at public schools in Connecticut and New York.

    This teacher / administrator, Jaime E. Rivera, aka Jaime Rivera-Murillo, resigned as principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield in April. Before that, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Newtown High School for about 11 years. The first teaching job listed on his resume was at Henry Abbot Technical High School in Danbury, beginning in 2001. That leaves a seven-year gap following his graduation from St. Michael's College in Vermont, where he reported earning a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language.

    The Covington & Burling report says Rivera-Murillo was fired after being accused of anally raping one student and grabbing the breast of another during a Choate field trip to Costa Rica in 1999. Rivera, a faculty leader for the trip, denied engaging in sexual misconduct but admitting drinking alcohol including beer with students and "local moonshine" with others.

    Choate did not report the alleged assaults at the time as required by law. The alleged rape victim told the Covington & Burling team that a female administrator admonished students not to discuss what happened.

    The process for vetting resumes at Connecticut public schools like Wamogo and Newtown high schools and Abbot Tech seems to be check the boxes and wave the guy through with barely a pretense of scrutiny. This abysmal failure of diligence and critical thinking should be alarming to students, parents and all taxpayers.

    "He didn't list Choate as a former employer when he applied," Christine Chinni, the lawyer for Regional District 6 which includes Wamogo, told The Boston Globe.

    District 6 Superintendent Edward Drapp, asked about the committee of 12 that reviewed Rivera-Murillo's credentials and the review process, declined to discuss his procedures for background checks. Besides the resume, which he produced after a formal FOI request, Drapp was also asked to provide documents related to that review committee. Here is Drapp's response: "Attached is a copy of Mr. Rivera's resume. This is the only document in the district's possession that meets the criteria of your FOI request. For the remainder of the school year I will be focused on the students and therefore I am not doing any additional interviews or making any other statements on this matter."

    Drapp's response sounds like the result of bad coaching from an inept lawyer. The assertion that there are no documents regarding the review committee is not credible. Are we to believe the review committee never had a meeting?

    The Globe reported in April that the sexual misconduct at Choate occurred from 1963 to 2010 and ranged from intimate kissing to groping and sexual intercourse. The Covington & Burling report cites 12 teachers. Other Globe stories cited more than 100 private schools in New England with more than 300 former students saying they faced sexual abuse or harassment.

    Just last month, The Kent School was sued and accused of failing to report a 49-year-old teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old student in the late 1980s.

    The student claims her advisor scolded her for spreading vicious rumors. Another teacher allegedly told the student she was a sinner for committing adultery. The suit claims the abuse was widely known at the school and that the student was shunned, called "obviously crazy" and blamed for the teacher's breakdown. During a church service the student attended at the school, the suit asserts, Kent staff openly prayed for the teacher's well being. The teacher subsequently got a job at a private school in Indiana.

    Kent School, founded in 1906, charges more than $60,000 annually for tuition, board and fees.

    Rev. Richardson Schell, the headmaster, said in a statement: "We do not know why [the student] has elected to pursue a lawsuit at this time."

    Schell opened the statement by saying he had reviewed the complaint: " ... I am deeply sorry for the wrongful actions of the former Kent teacher who engaged in an inappropriate relationship with this former student ... as the Headmaster of the school then, I responded immediately and to the best of my ability."

    The statement does not address the school's duty to report the alleged abuse in a timely manner.

    Notably, Schell undertook a massive letter writing campaign some years later when he was annoyed by what he called a TV sitcom's "obnoxious, objectionable content." His letter writing campaign netted responses from 17 companies and he also reached out to publications including Advertising Age and Media Week to generate publicity regarding his concerns about popular culture, The New York Times reported.

    Finally, on the national front, The Associated Press reported that a former president of Penn State and two other former university administrators were each sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to alert authorities to a 2001 allegation against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a decision that enabled the now-convicted serial predator to continue molesting boys.

    Thibault, a private investigator for the Hartford office of Integrated Security Services http://www.intesecurity.com/, is the author of a second collection of newspaper columns, “more COOL JUSTICE” http://morecooljustice.com/, credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder. His public service includes four years on a local board of education. Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice.









  • The Choate Report










  • Short version of column
    Via Hearst CT dailies


  • Danbury News Times


  • Connecticut Post


  • Norwalk Hour


  • Greenwich Time


  • Stamford Advocate







  • more COOL JUSTICE







  •           Dhaka cafe attack suspect arrested in Bangladesh        

    Dhaka: A key suspect involved in planning Bangladesh's worst terror attack on a popular cafe was today arrested, becoming the sixth militant to be taken into custody, police said.

    Aslam Hossain Rashed alias Rash, was reportedly a coordinator and one of the key planners of Holey Artisan Bakery attack in the upmarket Gulshan area in which 22 people, including an Indian woman, were killed.
    He belongs to the Islamic State-inclined Neo-Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB), the Dhaka Tribune reported.

    Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) and a team from police headquarters conducted search operations in Natore and Bogra in northern Bangladesh to arrest Rashed.

    "We are bringing Rashed from Natore to Dhaka. He will be taken to court and shown arrested in the cafe attack case," Monirul Islam, the head of police's counterterrorism unit, said.

    "Rash was a close associate to Tamim Chowdhury, the Bangladeshi-Canadian who headed the Neo-JMB, before being shot dead in a police raid following the cafe attack," he said.
    Rashed became the six militant to be taken into custody.

    The militants who were previously arrested were ? Sohel Mahfuz, Basharuzzaman, Mizanur Rahman, Hadisur Rahman Sagor, Rashedul Islam.

    Bangladesh witnessed its worst terror attack when five gunmen stormed the upscale Holey Artisan Bakery and O'Kitchen inside Dhaka's diplomatic district on July 1 last year.

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              Resdung again!        

    Assalamualaikum.. at this moment im writing, my breathing is not so good. That tells you why I decided to share about my resdung. Hmm, sbenarnye dh lame kena resdung ni. Dari darjah 5 lgi. Hampir2 kene asma sbb resdung trlalu kuat. Well, i heard that rmai jgk yg ade resdung tapi tk perlu berpantang mkn seafood. But not me! arghh.... Doktor said i cant eat CERTAIN prawns, CERTAIN squids. So to make it easy, i just boicottttt je smue SOTONG dn UDANG. Tapi stiap kali mkn tom yam, or mkn besar ngn family, i'll just sapuuuu je smue makanan2 tu, mkn je..TAPI,for sure ah after mkn tu, terus sesak nafas...sesak sikit je :p hehe.

    Org resdung ni kan, tk leh main habuk taw. Tk de lah bermain ngn habuk...maksudnye menyapu lantai ke, lap brg berhabuk ke, sbenarnye tk boleh. Lagi2 nia.. Slalu lepas mengemas, 24 jam after dat la kot, dlm hidung akn bengkak.. Luaran tk nmpk, tp klau suluh kt dlm, agak2 dh tk de ruang dh utk bernafas. Pintu dlm hidung tertutup. Ahh tidak! hmm....sabar je lah,sbb tu mama suruh pkai mask time berkemas. Tapi lemas la...haih.


    Haa, ini dia ubat kesayangan nia.


    Take this away from me, and i will slowly die in 10 days. haha

    Ni outlook spray yg nia guna utk resdung. Name die NASONEX spray. Sblum ni tk guna spray yg ni, sblum ni gune BUDESONIDE. Tapi doktor Mizwa kate tk bagus, sbb ubt sblum ni murah, lagipun dari India. (eh ade kaitan ke) haha. Klau kt klinik kt seremban, harga die Rm 55. Klau kt kelate harga die RM 70. Believe it or not, i have to purchase ubat yg bertahan selama lebih kurang sebulan lebih je nie.. Ubat ni, kpd sape2 yg bakal guna, hee, kene spray dlm hidung sekali sehari je. But according to Doctor Mizwa again, nia kene spray 2x sehari sbb resdung dh teruk gile. Oh god, help me...smpai bile nk bergantung kt ubat nie... :(


    ADVICE FOR TODAY : Kpd sesape yg ade resdung tu, jgn amik remeh benda ni. Ada people out there yg tercabut hidung taw sbb resdung dh melarat2..


              Key plotter of Dhaka terror attack arrested        

    Dhaka: A militant who planned last year`s deadly terror attack in Dhaka and and carried arms for it was arrested in the country`s Natore district on Friday morning, the police said.

    Abu Jara Rashed, who belongs to the banned Neo-JMB group and carried arms and grenades from Chapainawabganj district to Dhaka, was the key plotter of the Holey Artisan Bakery attack, in the posh Gulshan area, that left 22 persons, mostly foreigners, dead on July 1 last year, Dhaka Tribune reported.

    Dhaka Police`s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit chief Monirul Islam said Rashed alias `Rash` is being brought to the capital for further interrogation.

    "We`re bringing him to Dhaka. He will be taken to court and shown arrested in the Dhaka cafe attack case," he said.

    According to the official, Rashed maintained close connections with many already arrested and killed cafe attack plotters.

    The police have so far hunted down and killed 40 militants linked with the cafe attack, including mastermind Tamim Chowdhury, who was killed in a police raid on August 27 last year, Xinhua news agency reported.

    Neo-JMB, an offshoot of banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has been blamed for the attack.

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              Girl charged with plotting UK terror attack with ISIS fighter        

    London: A 17-year-old girl in the UK has been charged with terrorism offences after allegedly communicating with an Islamic State terror group fighter in Syria to plan a terror attack in the country.

    Scotland Yard said she has been charged with an intent to commit acts of terrorism by "communicating with an ISIS fighter in Syria and arranging to receive weapons in order to conduct an attack in the UK;receiving instructions on how to train and use weapons; and?reaching out to another to receive assistance in completing plan contrary to Section 5(1)(a) and (3) Terrorism Act 2006".

    The teenager, who cannot be named because of her age, is accused of communicating with an ISIS fighter and arranging to receive weapons to be used in the planned attack.

    "This follows an investigation by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command," a Metropolitan Police statement said.

    The girl was previously charged with terror offences in April and is due to appear at the Old Bailey tomorrow in relation to that charge.

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              Pathankot attack: NIA to produce arms seized before court        

    Mohali: The arms and ammunition recovered during the Pathankot terror attack on January 2 last year would be produced by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) before a special court here on the next date of hearing.

    The NIA stated this during a hearing in the designated court here yesterday.

    The arms would be produced as evidence for exhibit and identification by the witnesses, NIA senior public prosecutor told the court.

    The arms and ammunition belonged to terrorists killed during the counter-terror operation.

    The court here fixed August 14 as the next date of hearing in the case, the day on which the statement of Flight Lieutenant Vimal Kumar, the first witness in the case, would also be recorded.

    The officer is expected to identify the arms and ammunition on the next date of hearing.

    Kumar was among the 39 witnesses in the case.

    Security forces had recovered some arms and ammunition, including assault rifles, grenade launchers, mortars, bullets, from the Pathankot Airbase after the terror attack there.

    Last year, terrorists had attacked the Pathankot air base, claiming the lives of seven security personnel while four terrorists were also killed.

    Cases were initially registered by local police stations in Pathankot, but subsequently, these were transferred and handed over to the NIA, a central probe agency that was set up after the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror strike to probe all terror cases in the country.

    The NIA had filed a charge sheet in the Pathankot terror attack case in December last year. 

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              Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

    UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           678 pilgrims leave for Amarnath Yatra        

    Jammu: A fresh batch of 678 pilgrims left here on Tuesday to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, an official said.

    Over 2.50 lakh pilgrims have so far performed the yatra which started on June 29.

    "Another batch of 678 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 20 vehicles at 2.55 a.m.," the official said.

    The pilgrims use the Jammu-Srinagar national highway to reach the Valley and all vehicles carrying pilgrims have to cross the Jawahar Tunnel before 3.30 p.m.

    This has been done as a precautionary measure to ensure that pilgrims reach the two base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal before sunset.

    Over 35,000 security personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order.

    So far, 48 pilgrims have died. 

    Of these, 17 died in a road accident in Ramban district of Jammu region on July 16; eight were killed in a terror attack in Anantnag district on July 10; and 23 pilgrims have died of natural causes.

    The Yatra will conclude after completing 40 days with the arrival of the `Chari Mubarak` at the cave shrine on August 7.

    Situated 3,888 metres above sea-level, the cave houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the size of the visible moon. 

    Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

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              India 3rd largest target to witness most terror activities, says report issued by US foreign ministry        

    According to reports issued by America, India reaches rank 3rd in the list of countries affected by terrorism. In this list, India also leaves behind Pakistan, which has lessor number of deaths and casualties by terrorism.

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              EU lawmaker condemns Amarnath terror attack        

    Brussels: European Parliament`s Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with India Geoffrey Van Orden on Friday condemned the July 10 terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims and called on Pakistan to cooperate with India in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

    "This is a most atrocious crime which follows a series of terrorist attacks and other provocations designed to destabilise the political situation in Jammu & Kashmir," he said in a press release.

    "We stand resolutely with India in her fight against terrorism and hope that those responsible will rapidly be brought to justice. We call upon the government of Pakistan to cooperate in this and to enhance its efforts to suppress terrorists and extremists and develop peaceful relations with India," said Van Orden who is a British Member of the European Parliament.

    Seven pilgrims were killed and 19 injured in the attack.

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              J&K police forms SIT to probe Amarnath bus attack        

    Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by a DIG-rank officer to probe the July 10 terror attack on a bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in south Kashmir.

    "We have constituted the six-member SIT headed by South Kashmir Deputy Inspector General of Police S.P. Pani for speedy investigation in this important case," Inspector General of Police Kashmir Munir Ahmad Khan said.

    Other members include Anantnag Senior Superintendent of Police Altaf Ahmad Khan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, and other officers who will assist in the probe. 

    Seven pilgrims were killed and 19 injured when their bus heading towards Jammu from Srinagar was attacked by militants at 8.30 p.m. at Batengo in Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway on July 10.

    The bus was not registered with the Amaranth Shrine Board and had reportedly violated the travel rules. 

    Soon after the attack, the Kashmir IGP had said that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attack. 

    "Initial investigation reveals it is a group of Lashkar militants headed by Abu Ismail of Pakistan who carried out the attack," the IGP had said.

    J&K police forms SIT to probe Amarnath bus attack
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              Amarnath Yatra Terror Attack: Shah Rukh Khan hails spirit of pilgrims for countering dastardly act with courage        

    New Delhi: The entire nation shook with grief after terrorists attacked the ongoing Amarnath Yatra in Jammu & Kashmir. On Monday night as many as seven pilgrims, including six women were killed in the terror attack leaving 19 others injured.

    The terrorists attacked an unescorted bus from Gujarat at Khanabal in Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway reportedly. The bus was returning from Baltal to Mir Bazar after darshan. The militants also carried out two attacks on security forces in the area. After such a dastardly act, the entire social media is flooded with condolence messages expressing sadness and outrage at the same time.

    Several Bollywood celebrities too have extended their condolences to the families of the affected on Twitter. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan took to the micro-blogging site and hailed the courage shown by pilgrims in continuing the Yatra despite such a terror attack.

    He wrote:

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              Exclusive: Ground zero report from Anantnag terror attack site        

    A fresh batch of 3,289 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley.

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              Location, location, location...         
    Medieval Citadel
    view from one of the trails within the village, overlooking the medieval fort in the nearby kibbutz Yehiam (it's about an hour hike from the studio)
    As of Spring 2017, our courses will take place at Ayala Moriel's new studio in Clil, Israel. This charming little organic village is situated in one of the country's most fascinating regions, the Western Galilee, and is overlooking the Mediterranean sea (gorgeous beaches are only 20min drive), Haifa Bay and Mount Carmel. Clil provides a unique experience for students who choose to stay here* - I'd describe it as a 180 from Vancouver, for better or for worse. Here are a few details so you can get the picture (and photos from different seasons too!).
    This off-the-grid village is solar-powered and has small population of under 1000 people, who live in custom-built homes and semi-temporary dwellings (yurts, teepees, modified train cars and shipping containers, etc.) that are scattered among ancient olive groves and wild bush and Mediterranean garrigue (comprising of carobs, oaks, pistachia and thorny bushes). Despite its size, the village is a community bustling with life and culture: our neighbours are the village's cafe (inside a tent) that is opened Thursday-Saturday and hosts live concerts, and there. A large percentage of the population are alternative healers (we're just across the "street" from an integrated holistic clinic offering massage, acupuncture, ayurvedic treatments, and more) as well as creative artists, who have their ateliers in the village - and some would also be happy to show you around - painters, sculptors, potters, glass artists, silversmiths and goldsmiths, basket weavers, etc. 
    Dusty pastoralia #clil
    Clil in summer: View of the village from the mountain behind my house.
    Amenities:ʉ۬
    There is a bakery that is opened twice a week (Sunday and Thursday) and offers Pizza Nights on Tuesdays. On all other days, fresh sourdough breads by other artisanal bakeries can be pre-ordered by phone, or purchased at the local Organic Garden (which tops off their own produce with other fruit and vegetables and organic goodies produced in the village and by nearby artisans). Also less relevant but sometimes handy are the village's book exchange and clothing exchange, which is open 24/7 and is completely free (take what you want and leave what you no longer use - it can come handy if you forgot to bring a hoodie or a book to read). There are three restaurants in the village - Smadar b'Clil, Cafe Clil and Chef Hagit Lidror's Vegan & Vegetarian kitchen (she will be providing most to the catering to our courses, by the way) - which also makes healthy smoothies and mouthwatering raw chocolate treats (she also teaches raw chocolate making workshops!).
    Made in Clil
    The "shop local" sign, where you can find various things made in the village. It's located right next to Cafe Clil (which is our next-door neighbours to the east)
    Accommodations within the village include one boutique hotel, one guest house (India-style "hostel" on the second level of one of our neighbours) and countless cute cabins for short-term rent - some also offering breakfast as part of the service. Sublets among the village's inhabitants are often listed and could be arranged if booked enough in advance, and also near Cafe Clil there is a small campsite for those who enjoy a fully rustic experience, as well as Meshiv Nefesh - the centre for meditation, which also has plenty of camping space around it for individuals and groups. If you choose to stay outside of the village - we are only 20-30min drive (depending on traffic) from lovely towns that offer also many wonderful attractions to visitors - i.e. Acre and Nahariya. 
    In short - there are plenty of places to explore and people to meet in Clil, so I'm sure you will enjoy your visit and find things to do and discover outside of the classroom. 
    Olives and Donkeys
    Ancient olive grove in winter, at the centre of the village. Near it there is now an organic garden and grocery store
    Attractions:
    You can enjoy the many hiking trails in the village all on your own (including one in Wadi Yehiam leading to the medieval citadel in Kibbutz Yehiam) - or hire the local tour guide who knows the place from the day he was born (happens to also be my brother!). There are also trail rides on horses. Thursday evenings there is a little market in the village's playground, weather permitting. And watch out for the live music at the cafe - where you can listen to up and coming artists and even already famous ones, in a very intimate setting (and the artists is usually kept as a surprise till the last minute, to prevent over crowding of the venue). The beaches nearby (only 20 minutes drive) also offer year-around conditions for swimming, surfing, SUP, and sea kayaking.
    Clil is not only a place where people live differently, but also offers an alternative culture for visitors who seek to take a break from the fast-paced modern lifestyle. It's no ordinary rural place - it is bustling with music, culinary innovations, art, healing and meditations workshops and alternative medicine gatherings, and a place where one can engage and interact with artists and artisans that live here. In short - it seemed like the perfect place to return to and continue my artisan perfumery work - and create a sanctuary for this art.
    * You don't have to stay within the village - there are also plenty of interesting places around to stay in, such as Akre and Nahariya - but keep in mind that in that case vehicle is a must as public transit in and out of the village only comes twice a day, very early and very late. 


              Homily: 1st Sunday of Lent 2015        
    Based on today’s Gospel it would seem that before Christ could begin his ministry, a time of desert wilderness was necessary. This 1st Sunday of Lent reminds us of the need for time in our own desert experience…but one which is deeper than just pledging renewed New Year’s resolutions. What does that looks like? The answer is brought to light by what the Mayan Indians did 1,000 years ago on an island off the Florida Keys. What was it? And how does it help open our eyes to what we need to do to deepen our Lenten experience? Check it out….
              #054 - Meine drei wichtigsten Führungsprinzipen        
    Drei Führungsprinzipien

    © Depositphotos.com / william87

    Auch wenn wir im Organigramm eher weit unten hängen, sind wir doch alle Führungskräfte. Vielleicht haben wir Mitarbeiter zu führen, aber in jedem Fall sollten wir uns selbst führen.

    Im Rahmen einer Blogparade von Bernd Geropp habe ich realisiert, dass man dieselben Prinzipien auf beide Bereiche anwenden kann: Auf die Mitarbeiter- und die Selbstführung.

    Welche drei Führungsprinzipien ich für die wichtigsten halten, hören Sie hier.

     

    Meine drei wichtigsten Führungsprinzipien


    Zu Beginn weise ich auf die Interessentenliste von EffizienzPLUS hin. Tragen Sie sich am besten gleich jetzt in die Liste ein.

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              Toilet Ek Prem Katha: Karan Johar And Alia Bhatt Has A Funny Invite For You All        

    Toilet Ek Prem Katha is being promoted by Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar, and it’s funny to the point.  Toilet Ek Prem Katha is certainly turning out to be one of the most awaited Bollywood films of this year. Based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Clean India Campaign, the film is being promoted with all

    The post Toilet Ek Prem Katha: Karan Johar And Alia Bhatt Has A Funny Invite For You All appeared first on RapidLeaks.


              7 Regionally Flavoured Songs From Bollywood That Have Done Justice To Their Origin        

    These are the best songs from Mainstream Bollywood with some regional flavours. India, the land of more than 1 Billion people, who speak more than a hundred languages. This specific information means that there are more than hundred ways in which you say a thing. Along with this, every single nook and corner of this

    The post 7 Regionally Flavoured Songs From Bollywood That Have Done Justice To Their Origin appeared first on RapidLeaks.


              10 Sonu Nigam Songs That Prove He Will Always Be The Favourite Of Every 90’s Kid!        

    Sonu Nigam Songs That Will Take You To The Universe Of Romance. Sonu Nigam, by far one of the most versatile singers of Bollywood. The Indian singer has a lot more talent than just rendering music notes in his soulful voice, he is also a musician, composer, music producer, recordist, music programmer, live performer, and

    The post 10 Sonu Nigam Songs That Prove He Will Always Be The Favourite Of Every 90’s Kid! appeared first on RapidLeaks.


              Red Santal 50ml        
    Abel. Fantastic and 100% natural perfume! Red Santal is exotic, spicy and woody perfume where Calabrian bergamot meets the warmth of East Indian sandalwood. Suitable for both women and men. top notes: clove bud, pink and black pepper heart notes: bergamot, ginger, thyme base notes: east indian, west indies and australian sandalwood
              Golden Neroli 50ml        
    Abel. Fantastic and 100% natural perfume! Golden Neroli is soft citrus/floral perfume. Rich with jasmin sambac, petitgrain and ylang ylang gives you a harmonious ensemble. Suitable for both women and men. top notes: neroli, matcha tea heart notes: petit grain, ylang ylang, jasmin sambac base notes: east indian sandalwood, vanilla
              Red Santal 15ml        
    Abel. Fantastic and 100% natural perfume! Red Santal is exotic, spicy and woody perfume where Calabrian bergamot meets the warmth of East Indian sandalwood. Suitable for both women and men. top notes: clove bud, pink and black pepper heart notes: bergamot, ginger, thyme base notes: east indian, west indies and australian sandalwood
              Golden Neroli 15ml        
    Abel. Fantastic and 100% natural perfume! Golden Neroli is soft citrus/floral perfume. Rich with jasmin sambac, petitgrain and ylang ylang gives you a harmonious ensemble. Suitable for both women and men. top notes: neroli, matcha tea heart notes: petit grain, ylang ylang, jasmin sambac base notes: east indian sandalwood, vanilla
              Ð¦Ñ–ни знизилися: авіаквитки Qatar Airwais в Індію: Київ — Делі 10600₴. Летимо п’ятизірковою авіакомпанією з України        
    Алоха, пірати. Не встигли висохнути сльози за ірландцями, аж тут з’являється інший важковаговик: найкраща авіакомпанія світу Qatar Airways. До речі, перший п’ятизірковий перевізник, який почав літати до України. Вже доступні непогані ціни на осінь в Індію: Київ — Делі 11300 10600₴ туди-назад. Багаж до 30 кг і харчування безкоштовні. *ОНОВЛЕНО* Квитки трохи подешевшали: 10600₴ туди-назад. ...
              Hair Extensions In Bay Area        
    Buy Indian Virgin Hair extensions online from Midas. We deliver premium quality, 100 Real Human Hair extensions with free shipping. Virgin Indian Hair....
              Merlin confirmed nesting in Illinois for the first time!        
    BirdsMerlin by John Picken

    Merlin. Photo Â© John Picken / www.picken.com

    Last week, the Field Museum Bird Collection received a batch of specimens from Willowbrook Wildlife Center, a wildlife rehabilitation facility in the Chicago suburbs that has been a long-time partner of ours. Not every animal that enters the rehab facility survives, and when they don't, they end up as research specimens at the Field Museum. Among the specimens was a hatchling raptor that was picked up alive, but underweight and in poor health, by Willowbrook volunteer Hans Lim on July 22 in Mt. Prospect, in northwest Cook County. Despite Willowbrook's efforts, the bird didn't survive. The bird was so young that it still had some of its natal down and its primaries were not fully grown, indicating that it couldn't fly, or at least couldn't fly far. The bird, understandably, was originally thought to be a Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), a local and uncommon breeding species in northeast Illinois, but not unheard of. It's a species that we infrequently add to the collection, averaging fewer than one per year from Illinois over the last decade (almost all of which came to us from Willowbrook). Even rarer is getting such a young bird, even though all birds, raptors included, have high rates of mortality in their first year of life.

    merlin_chick_img_1762_hanslim.jpg

    Merlin chick in Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    This Merlin chick seemed to have fallen out of nest. It was in poor health and was taken to Willowbrook Wildlife Center, but it didn't survive. It represents the first nesting record for the state of Illinois. Photo by Hans Lim.

    Because of the specimen's rarity, we prioritized it for preparation. As I walked through the prep lab on Wednesday, I saw it sitting out, waiting for Tom Gnoske to prepare it as a study skin. But it immediately struck me as off for a Broad-winged Hawk. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a Merlin!

    Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a small falcon that typically breeds in the boreal forests well to our north and has never before been confirmed nesting in Illinois. However, they have been seen a few times in summer in the state in recent years and they've been expanding their breeding range south in recent decades. Over that same period of time, much like Cooper's Hawk and Peregrine Falcon, they have been adapting to urban landscapes. Many birders predicted that it wouldn't be long before Merlins were confirmed breeding in Illinois, and it has finally happened. In the 2013 volume of the Illinois state ornithological journal, Meadowlark, Steven D. Bailey discussed this very scenario:

    One species that appears to have Illinois in its crosshairs for expanding its breeding range southward is the boreal-nesting Merlin...This year [2012], two Merlins were well-documented with photos, both in July, and one as far south as central Illinois. As I write this, a female and two juvenile Merlins have been discovered at Pokogan State Park in Indiana near its border with Michigan, likely representing that state’s first nesting record. Merlins showed the largest increase in population in a recent study group of boreal-nesting bird species (Niven et al. 2004), and the species has made a fairly rapid movement into urban and suburban city breeding locales over a large part of their range relatively recently (Warkentin et al. 2005), including agricultural and urban areas of nearby Wisconsin (Cutright et al. 2006). In Ontario, Canada, only one urban nesting Merlin was found during their first breeding bird atlas project in 1986, but by the time their next atlas project was completed in 2006, the Merlin had become the most common breeding raptor in some Ontario cities, including Ottawa (Cadman et al. 2007). Illinois birders should be on the lookout for nesting Merlins in the years to come. They don’t build their own nests but often choose old American Crow (and so also likely old Cooper’s Hawk nests), often near water, especially wetlands.

    Merlins have become more common in winter in Illinois, as well, and no doubt they will be found nesting again in our state. In Massachusetts, for example, Merlin was first found nesting in 2008, and has since become a regular breeding species there. In the case of the Mt. Prospect nest, just one young bird was found on the ground. Given that the average number of chicks per nest is 3.5-4 (Sodhi et al. 2005), we can hope its siblings survived and will come back to breed in the area next year. 

    merlin_crop_img_3678_engel.jpg

    Merlin chick in the prep lab
    The Merlin chick in the Field Museum's prep lab, before being prepared as a research specimen. In the photo you can see the remaining fluffy white natal feathers as well as the partially-grown primaries. Photo by Josh Engel.

    Thanks to Hans Lim for providing photos of the bird and details about the circumstances around picking it up, Ron Skleney for providing additional details, and John Picken for providing the banner image. 

    Literature cited

    Bailey, S.D. 2013. Field Notes: The 2012 Breeding Season. Meadowlark: A Journal of Illinois Birds. 22: 9-44. 

    Cadman, M.D., D.A.Sutherland, G.G. Beck, D. LePage, and A.R. Couturier (eds.). 2007. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005. Toronto: Birds Studies Canada et al. 706 pp. 

    Cutright, N.J., B.R. Harriman, and R.W. Howe (eds.). 2006. Atlas of the breeding birds of Wisconsin. Madison: Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. 602 pp.

    Niven, D.K., J.R. Sauer, G.S. Butcher, and W.A. Link. 2004. Christmas Bird Count provides insights into population chance in land birds that breed in the boreal forest. American Birds. 58: 10-20. 

    Warkentin, I.G., N.S. Sodhi, R.H.M. Espie, A.F. Poole, L.W. Oliphant, and P.C. James. 2005. Merlin (Falco columbarius). The Birds of North America (P.R. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from The Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/merlin/ DOI: 10.2173/bna.44

     

     

     


              India, India Map, India Facts, Information India        
    Maps of India is a map based portal covering various maps about India and offers comprehensive information about whole of India, its facts, history, travel guide, vacation destinations and a lot more
              A Christian Response to Racism        
    One common thread throughout mankind is the endemic ugliness of racism. Human history is rife with examples: early Romans subjugated the Jews; slavery was rampant; India’s caste system ostracizes the untouchables; Japanese immigrants to Canada and the United States were rounded up and forced into internment camps; indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia, the United States … Continue reading A Christian Response to Racism
              At $99, ZTE ZMax Pro Smartphone Promises High-End Features        

    ZTE continues to press its advantage on big, affordable phones. ZTE has just launched the ZMax Pro in the U.S. via MetroPCS. The company has shifted its focus towards the American markets as of recently and we expect the handset to break cover in the Indian markets fairly soon. As far as the hardware is […]

    The post At $99, ZTE ZMax Pro Smartphone Promises High-End Features appeared first on TechOptimals.


              Ayurveda        

    Sprouted in the pristine land of India some 5000 years ago, Ayurveda, the science of life and longevity, is the oldest healthcare system in the world and it combines the profound thoughts of medicine and philosophy. Since then Ayurveda has stood for the wholesome physical, the mental and spiritual growth of humanity around the world. […]

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              USA to India        

    It is now possible to undergo high quality medical care procedures, treatments, and after-care, along with a vacation in one of the most serene and exotic tropical locations in the world – India. From guiding you on the right choice of world class hospitals and doctors, helping you with travel arrangements, world-class accommodations, visa acquirements, […]

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              Iraq to India        

    Help for Iraqis seeking medical treatment/procedure in India. “Can I get quality medical treatment in India?” “How do I get connected with the right Doctors?” “What are the medical visa procedures?” The questions you face can seem as numerous as the sources of advice offering answers. Mirage Healthcare provides good advice, practical travel information, and […]

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              Nigeria to India        

    Help for Nigerians seeking medical treatment/procedure in India “Can I get quality medical treatment in India?” “How do I get connected with the right Doctors?” “What are the medical visa procedures?” The questions you face can seem as numerous as the sources of advice offering answers. Mirage Healthcare provides good advice, practical travel information, and […]

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              Medical Tourism        

    Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a $2 billion industry by 2015. As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon – with the United States leading the way – more and more Westerners are finding the […]

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              India        

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              Comment on Web Exclusive: Indian Hills Golf News by Loretta and Phil White        
    Phil and I miss our friends at Fairfield Bay. Also miss playing golf at Indian Springs. As many of you know, we've had some health issues, but we'll practice our bad golf habits and come back and play. Fairfield Bay is a great community and we miss you. Phil and Loretta White Whitesnar@cox.net
              Comentario en Fotos a lo Indiana Jones en la playa de Mónsul por Lorena        
    Vaya! Nos va al pelo la publicación, es nuestro destino este año. Nuestra base será Vera, lo conocéis? Está bien? Estamos a tiempo de cambiar. Hemos mirado las distancias al Cabo, a Tabernas... y parece que no hay mucho.
              How my brother found us...Part 2        
    The Ballad of Kathy Flynn - (2012) - Julian Littman

    Long ago, young Kathy Flynn took a train to London Town
    She fell in love with an Indian hero - he turned her heart around
    With a Vir Chakra into his jacket - how could she resist?
    He took  her to his hotel room and there they more than kissed
    He said;"Kathy, will you marry me?"
    Of course, she answered yes.
    She dreamed of life in far Madras - an Indian Princess.

    He telephoned long distance to his father in Madras
    And told him of his intention to wed the Irish lass
    The old man flew into a rage and said your future's been arranged
    Marry her and you'll die without a rupee to your name
    Without a word he slipped away leaving not a trace behind
    And left poor Kathy waiting -  out of sight and out of mind.

    Chorus: I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and the dreams she could not keep
    I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and sing that girl to sleep.

    She met a man of magic - the Great Marlo was his name
    They took a mind reading act out on the road and found some kind of fame
    Pretty soon she realised a child was on the way
    Her Indian hero had left her with more than a broken heart that day
    She cast her fate to the Mother Church who duly took her in
    She gave away the boy at birth and never saw him again.

    Chorus: I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and the boy she could not keep
    I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and sing that girl to sleep.

    The boy grew up in a happy home but when his folks had gone
    The boy was curious to know more about his mum
    He traced her to a little town and called her on the phone
    But she hung up when she heard his name - shaken to the bone.
    She wrote him a letter saying never a day goes by
     When I don't think about you, boy, but I must go on living a lie
    You see, I've a family of my own  - our secret's never been told
    The truth would tear this house apart and I'm too frail and too old.

    2nd chorus again
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Julian knew he was adopted from about the age of 8 or 9. He came home from school one day and asked his mum a question that he was constantly being asked at school. "Mum, why is it that I'm a different colour to J (Julian's adoptive parent's natural son) and you and Dad? His mum told him in a very matter of fact way that he was adopted and his biological parents were an Anglo Indian pilot in the Indian Air Force and his mum was an Irish actress.

    Julian's dad, Anthony Ignatius Kenneth Suares, was an Indian hero; he had been awarded the Vir Chakra in 1949 and you can read about it here. He died some time ago and Julian never managed to trace him. He still wants to explore that side of his family.

     My mum came to England from Ireland in 1948, aged 16, as a Nanny for a family in Edgeware. When she was 18 she was 'discovered' in Lyons Corner House in Marble Arch by the man I knew throughout my childhood as 'Uncle Marlo'. Marlo, or the 'Great Marlo' to give him his stage name; was a magician and mum was his assistant;  'Georgette'. They did a mind reading act together and travelled all over the UK. Mum had a tiny speaking part in a film about boxing in the 1950s, but we've never been able to discover the title. She would never have described herself as an actress but she always said she had been 'on the stage'. She and 'The Great Marlo' often did publicity stunts for their act; below is a still from British Pathe news item  - narrated by Eamonn Andrews - and available here on youtube; where mum was buried alive for one such stunt. It was a very cold day; everyone is wearing overcoats but mum appears dressed in a bra and skirt - some things never change when it comes to women...



    As children we loved Uncle Marlo - he used to make sixpences and shillings appear out of his ears or from up our sleeves! He lived just off Church Street market in London; and he and his wife were very good to my mum because she when she applied to St. Pelagia's to have Julian; she gave her address as their address; she must have been living with them throughout her pregnancy.

    What I have found out is Julian's birth was something that probably only one other family member; my Aunty Betty, knew about. Betty's name appears on the St.Pelagia documentation as mum's next of kin. In the latter stages of pregnancy mum could have told her four sisters; all of whom were living in London at the time, she was away touring with the Great Marlo. My dad never knew about Julian; in Julian's adoption paper's this is made clear as they state the adoption forms to be signed by mum must be sent in a plain brown envelope addressed solely to my mum.



    This is my mum's oldest sister, Aunty Peggy's, wedding in 1950 or 1951 in Paddington, London; mum would have been 18 or 19 at the time. Mum is on the far left in the plaid dress; next to Aunty Betty, (her confidante); behind Mum is Aunty Mary and next to her, Aunty Ita.

    Much of what Julian puts in the song above 'The Ballad of Kathy Flynn' is true but not all. We don't know how, when and where mum and Julian's dad met. We don't know if it was a one night stand or a relationship. We think the asking to marry bit is right because it's stated in the documentation Julian gathered together in his search for mum. I think it highly possible that getting married would have entailed mum moving to India and that she probably didn't want to leave England - but we'll never know.

    Julian went to drama school aged 16 and has spent the rest of his life performing, singing, playing and composing. You can see his bio here. It's very strange to think that when I was a student nurse in the early 1970s I used to watch 'Rainbow' - a children's programme on at midday - in the nurses lounge whilst eating my lunch. I must have seen Julian on TV dozens of times but never knew he was my brother!

    By 2005, Julian's adoptive parents had died. Julian knew a lot about his birth mother and her subsequent family, but he couldn't out find where she lived. One evening, after a gig two fans came back stage to see him; he found out they ran a business tracing adopted children's birth parents and or families. Within two weeks they had found mum living in Kettering; and as the song says a phone call was made and mum wrote Julian a letter, but didn't want to meet.

    I've read the letter she sent Julian and it is a beautiful letter. But, I still find it really difficult to understand (although I do, in many ways) why she didn't want to meet him. By 2005, mum knew she had COPD and that it would it kill her soon. As her children, we would have been delighted to meet Julian and would have welcomed him with open arms and would never have judged mum's actions. Mum must have known that about us as well as we were all very, very close. I'm just so sorry that they didn't get to meet because mum would have had almost four years left with Julian in her life.

    You must be curious to know how Julian did eventually find us and I'm now coming to that part...

    Julian discovered mum had died using 'Google' (God bless the internet - it's a marvellous invention but what a horrible way to find out about your mum's death). We had published a small notice of thanks in the local Kettering paper after the funeral in 2009. Julian waited for several years (I can only marvel at his restraint) and one day in 2013 he was on his way to the Derngate theatre in Northampton, with a group he was managing at the time. They knew his story and pointed out that Northampton was only 14 miles away from Kettering and as he knew my brother Mark still lived in the same house he and mum had moved to in 1999; he should, at least, drop a card through the door. So, he did!

    When I rang him that morning in February 2013 we spoke for two hours! We arranged for Julian to come to Bedford the following weekend and we would all go out for a meal and get to know each other. So, we did!

    4th March, 2013


     At my house looking at Julian's paperwork. Seated L to R:  Brother Julian, me, brother Mark and standing, brother Tony. Someone's cracked open the beers!
    Image may contain: 5 people, indoor
    After the meal we went to a local wine bar and had a few more beers and bottles of wine...that's my OH, Wesley on the far left.
    Image may contain: 4 people, indoor 
    Time to go home, lads!
      
    It has been a wonderful experience meeting our 'new' brother. I have to admire his magnanimity and his generosity of spirit; he holds no hard feelings about his circumstances. He is not bitter that my mum wouldn't meet him. (I think I would have been, had it been me given up for adoption). We share a mother and although Julian was raised in the Home Counties in a nice middle class home and we were raised in the inner city, children of poor, working class immigrants, we have nothing but love and affection for each other.

    We meet as often we can - Julian is always busy (thankfully, in his line of work). The one nice thing we were able to do for Julian was ask him to help us scatter mum's ashes (her ashes had been living in the sitting room for four years) later that same year; 2013. We videoed the ceremony - it was just laughter and jokes all the way.

    RIP Mum - I'm sorry you had to live in such unenlightened times but your four children are united in their love for you.


                      



    Vipassana Meditation

    Vipassana Meditation As Taught By S। N। Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
    This is the motivated page created for those who wish to learn and practice Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka and his assistant teachers in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

    Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living. For those who are not familiar with Vipassana Meditation, an Introduction to Vipassana by Mr. Goenka and Questions & Answers about Vipassana are available.

    The technique of Vipassana Meditation is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results।

    There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit.
    Courses are given in numerous Meditation Centers and at non-center course locations at rented sites. Each location has its own schedule of courses. In most cases, an application for admission to each of these courses can be made by clicking on a selected one of the listed course dates that appear in the schedule. There are numerous Centers in India and elsewhere in Asia; ten Centers in North America; three Centers in Latin America; seven Centers in Europe; seven Centers in Australia/New Zealand; one Center in the Middle East and one Center in Africa. Non-center courses frequently hold ten courses at many locations outside of Centers as they are arranged by local students of Vipassana in those areas. An alphabetical list of worldwide course locations is available as well as a graphical interface of course locations worldwide and in India and Nepal.
    Vipassana Meditation courses are also being taught in prisons.
    A special 10-day Vipassana course especially for business executives and goverment officials is being held periodically at several centers around the world

    For additional information visit the Website :http://www.dhamma.org/


              Families of jailed Turkish journalists shaken but determined        

    Istanbul: Their imprisonment has torn families apart while the newspaper they work for is left without some of its brightest stars.

    But the relatives and colleagues of jailed journalists from the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet vow to continue to fight for their freedom and ideals.

    "For nine months we have been living a nightmare, to be honest," said Nazire Gursel, wife of veteran commentator Kadri Gursel who has been in jail since October.

    The hardest part, she said, was replying to questions from their 10-year-old son, Erdem.

    "People tell my child, `Your father is a hero, he has done a lot for Turkey`," Nazire Gursel recounted.

    "So, on the one hand he is proud, but on the other hand, he asks, `But why is my father in prison if he is a hero? Who is his enemy?`"

    Since Monday, 17 journalists, executives and other staff of Cumhuriyet, a daily fiercely critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been on trial accused of supporting "terrorist" organisations.

    Secular Cumhuriyet ("Republic") daily, one of Turkey`s oldest newspapers, has built a strong reputation for publishing scoops embarrassing for those in power.

    The newspaper rejects the "absurd" accusations and claims the trial is aimed at damaging one of the country`s last independent media outlets.

    The experience has united journalists` relatives and their free colleagues who come to court together, and who sometimes go in groups to Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul with a minibus chartered by the newspaper.

    Nazire Gursel goes to Silivri every Friday. "I had never been to Silivri before my husband`s incarceration. When I arrived there for the first time, I told myself `it looks like a Nazi camp`, she told AFP.

    "It is a really scary place."The trial gave family members the chance to see their loved ones outside of prison, where visits are confined to an hour and take place behind bulletproof glass.

    "We at least have the chance to see or hear them without a window between us, to hear their voice directly without using a telephone," said Yonca Sik, the wife of Ahmet Sik, one of Turkey`s most famous investigative journalists who is also jailed.

    According to her, conditions in prison have hardened since her husband`s last incarceration- in 2011, he was imprisoned after writing notably one of the few full-scale investigations into the group of Fethullah Gulen.

    Gulen is a US-based cleric who Ankara accuses of ordering last year`s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "They are in isolation, that is especially the hardest," she told AFP in front of the Istanbul courthouse where the staff is on trial. Among them, 11 are in pre-trial detention.

    "They take them away from the people they love, their work and it`s clearly an injustice, persecution," one of Cumhuriyet`s lawyers Efkan Bolac said.

    "It`s torture for the accused."Beyond the impact on families, the incarcerations have hurt Cumhuriyet: the paper`s chairman, Akin Atalay, and its editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu are currently in prison.

    "For nine months, Cumhuriyet has faced troubles. Nearly all of its senior executives have been imprisoned as well as many writers," the daily`s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul said.

    Gul himself was sentenced last year for five years for "revealing state secrets" after a front page story claiming to show the government sending arms to rebels in Syria in May 2015. He is appealing the sentence.

    "We are paying a heavy price but we continue to publish the newspaper," Gul said, adding: "Cumhuriyet has not changed its editorial line."

    Nazire Gursel says she does not regret the work that her husband did which caused him to be behind bars. "I`m immensely proud of him."

    The judge is likely to decide on Friday whether or not to release the accused for the rest of the trial.

    "Turkey is no longer a state of law, but there are still people who are fighting for democracy, for justice," said Yonca Sik, pointing to the demonstrators gathered in front of the court. 

    "And that, of course, gives me hope."

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              Journalists' passion for their profession makes them the go-getters they are, says study        

    New Delhi: Many people are in the habit of consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes, but a journalist-specific study turned out intriguing results.

    A research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have said that even though all the drinking and smoking can cause journalists' brain to function below par, their love and passion for what they do gives them the power of mental perseverance.

    "Journalist's brains compared to other groups showed a lower level of executive functioning – the ability of the brain to regulate emotions, suppress bias, switch between tasks, solve complex problems and think flexibly and creatively," said Tara Swart, professor at MIT.

    Swart recruited a group of 31 journalists to carry out a series of tests.

    Participants were required to take blood tests, wear a heart rate variability monitor, answer a brain profile questionnaire and record their eating and drinking habits.

    Researchers found that the highest functions of journalists' brain were operating at a lower level than the average population.

    This was driven by a number of factors including high levels of alcohol, sugar and caffeine consumption (41 percent of the journalist drank 18 or more units of alcohol a week).

    Researchers also found that dehydration affected brain function, as less than five per cent of journalists drank enough water.

    The job of a journalist is more often than not, a pressurising one, but that doesn't affect them, say researchers. Their ability to endure and bounce back from adversities in the long term is stronger than ever, because journalists believe that their work has meaning and purpose, giving them an edge over other professions by helping them cope with pressurised work and increasing their mental resilience, they said.

    Similar studies in groups of bankers traders, telecom and sales executives show that they are less able to cope with pressure than journalist are.

    "It's been great to see the role that meaning and purpose plays in achieving mental resilience. There is more that journalists can do to achieve peak performance – implementing a few really simple changes to help their brains perform even better," Swart said.

    (With PTI inputs)

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              Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS        

    Washington: US President Trump has said that the news media was playing down the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) and journalists were reluctant to report on the militant groups attacks in Europe and "have their reasons" for failing to cover them, the media reported.

    Trump initially did not provide examples of a news media conspiracy to underplay terrorist attacks. The White House on Monday released a list of what it said were 78 attacks from September 2014 to December 2016 that were carried out or inspired by the IS. It said that "most have not received the media attention they deserved", the New York Times reported.

    The list included the major attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino (California) and Orlando (Florida) that dominated the news for weeks. 

    Other attacks overseas, lesser known to Americans, received extensive local coverage, like a shooting in Zvornik, Bosnia, in April 2015 in which one police officer was killed and two others were wounded, the White House said.

    "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. 

    "All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said.

    "They have their reasons," Trump added, "and you understand that."

    The President made similar comments about the US media during a January visit to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, that the news media had fabricated his feud with the intelligence community. 

    Those remarks came only days after he likened American intelligence officials to Nazis, after several weeks in which he had denigrated their work, the New York Times said.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President had been referring in Tampa to "several instances" in which the news media had not devoted sufficient attention to terrorism. 

    Trump, Spicer said, believed that journalists pay more attention to public protests than they do to terrorist attacks or plots.

    During his 12-minute speech on Monday, Trump promised to make "a historic financial investment in the armed forces", in an effort to maintain peace in "our troubled, troubled times". 

    He also vowed to give the military the tools necessary to prevail against the Islamic State and thwart its attempts to strike America.

    At a luncheon with enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Trump went around his table asking who would remain in the military, and told them their experience would improve during his presidency.

    On NATO, Trump, who had earlier called it "obsolete," tempered his message, arguing that he was focused on ensuring that it is well funded.

    "We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing -- many of them have not been even close," he said.

    Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS
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              Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings        

    Washington: Describing journalists as the most dishonest human beings on Earth, US President Donald Trump has said he has been "running a war" with the media and warned them of consequences for falsely reporting that less number of people attended his inauguration.

    "We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed.

    I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field," Trump said.

    "I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.

    They (media) said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we're not going to let it rain on your speech," he said.

    "Then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, we have something that's amazing because, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

    And I turn on -- and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people," he said.

    "Now, that's not bad, but it's a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.

    So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. I think they're going to pay a big price," Trump warned.

    Trump was speaking at the CIA headquarters.

    He told his top spy agency that this is the reason for him visiting the CIA headquarters as the media has portrayed that he has differences with the intelligence community.

    "The reason you're my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth," Trump said amidst applause and laughter from the CIA officials attending his maiden address to them.

    "They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite.

    They understand that, too," he said and then said that the crown strength of his inauguration was being accurately being written by the media.

    Then Trump listed out another incident.

    So a reporter wrote that Trump took down the bust, of Martin Luther King.

    "It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So a reporter writes a story about I took down. I would never do that because I have great respect for Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is," Trump alleged.

    "I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time -- when you let in your thousands of other people that have been trying to come in -- because I am coming back -- we're going to have to get you a larger room," Trump said indicating that he would have a bigger room for the White House press corps.

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              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.

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              DNA: Today in History, October 12, 2016        

    Watch history moment to learn the events that occurred on this very date i.e October 12.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

    Zee News is the highly popular Hindi News channel of India’s largest television network ZMCL. The channel, which has a huge following in India and abroad, has won several prestigious national and international awards. Among its popular programs are -

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              DNA: Work-related stress may increase risk of heart attack        

    Analysis of Pakistan's fourth rank in risky nation for journalists. Watch this special segment and get to know more here.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

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              NIA case: Five years imprisonment for 13 on terror charge        

    Bengaluru: An NIA court here on Friday sentenced 13 members of Laskar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-E-Islami to five years imprisonment for plotting to eliminate politicians, police officials and journalists in 2012.

    After the accused pleaded guilty, Special Judge for NIA cases C Muralidhar Pai pronounced the verdict and said since they had already spent three-and-a-half years in jail, they would have to serve the remaining one-and-half years term.

    He also directed them to pay a total of Rs 31,000 as fine.

    The Special National Investigation Agency Court had yesterday completed the final hearing.

    In a crackdown ahead of Republic Day in 2012, the 13 were arrested by NIA for allegedly plotting attacks in different parts of the country.

    The arrests followed simultaneous searches and raids at 12 locations in six cities - Bengaluru, Tumkur, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Lucknow, on January 22, with the support of local police.

    Circuits for detonating explosives were recovered during the searches.

    NIA had recovered alleged "incriminating' articles, including laptops, unaccounted cash, jihadi literature, videos and certain material for preparation of bombs from these places.

    The agency had in 2012 received information that certain individuals from various cities in the country were in the process of organising themselves to commit terrorist acts in? different parts of the country.

    Of the 13 convicts, four are from Karnataka.

    While Syed Mujahid is a resident of Tumkur, Asif Ali alias Arman Saani, Suhail Ahmed alias Sohail alias Hafes Saab and Muhammed Abdul Ahad alias Bade Amir alias Sulaiman are from Bengaluru.

    Others included 20-year-old Mohammad Aleem (from Lucknow), Mohammed Obedullah Khan alias Obaid alias Talha and Abu Anas, both from Hyderabad, and Mohammad Hussain Khan alias Jamil, resident of Mazgaon, Mumbai.

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              DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley? Part III        

    Politicians and journalists are not taking cognizance of patriotic residents of Gurez Valley in Kashmir. Watch this special segment and get to know about the real face of Kashmir.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

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              DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley? Part II        

    Politicians and journalists are not taking cognizance of patriotic residents of Gurez Valley in Kashmir. Watch this special segment and get to know about the real face of Kashmir.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

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              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 (http://www.cipotato.org/Cuzco_conference/). 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.

    Citations

    International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Room C-776

    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

    00153 Rome

    Italy

    International Potato Center

    Apartado Postal 1558

    Lima 12,

    Peru
    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]

              Ritika        

    +971568523155 ,I’m Ritika, a tall Indian girl who is bright, warm, playful and with infectious smile. I love to tease with my dance moves and can do a role play or being tied to the bed. I let you explore your desire and leave you wanting for more.

    The post Ritika appeared first on Sky Escorts.


              Monika Dutta        

    My name is Monika Dutta , am initially watches out for north Indian customary Sikh’s family and living in this wonderful and prosperous city of men of their word Mumbai. As my name is pronouncing Dutta which mean princess I am having “Dark long hair like a holy messenger, pink delicious lips and insidious grin […]

    The post Monika Dutta appeared first on Sky Escorts.


              Breaking Bone-Head News!        
    Recently, your HMNS curator of paleontology, Dr. Bob, along with some friends, announced a new bone-head dinosaur, a family with the technical name “pachycephalosaurid,” meaning “thick-headed reptile,” or “pachy” for short. Our new pachy was based on a complete skull and some neck bones found by talented and dedicated amateurs and donated to the Indianapolis […]
              Nintendo pone al día a Norte América: Super Mario Galaxy 2, Dragon Quest IX, Cave Story, Metroid M        

    Nintendo acaba de terminar su famosete Media Summit en San Francisco, esto es lo que ha dado de sí. Muchas fechas de mucho juegazo, todo válido para Norte América only. Quince juegos para Wii disponibles para prensa ( que en realidad son 11 de Wii/DSiWare + cuatro físicos ) y ocho para DS:

    Metroid: Other M continua siendo un misterio indescifrable. ¿ Como se jugará ? Ni flowers oiga, la demo para prensa es a puerta cerrada, pero el resto de mortales sabemos que sale el 27 de junio.

    Super Mario Galaxy 2, previsto para el 23 de mayo, De lo último de Mario se ha hecho hincapié en las novedades de la secuela: nuevos objetos, como el taladro ( usado para derrotar un jefe similar al del primer Galaxy, y el retorno del fiel corcél-dinosaurio que es Yoshi y su glotona lengua, controlada con el puntero del mando de Wii que nos servirá para tragar todo tipo de frutas y cambiar así nuestras habilidades. Cammie Dunaway, responsable del márketing y adorada por todos los nintenderos que seguimos los E3, ha soltado una perlita al estudio ( EAD ) encargado: 'No hay nadie con una mente más creativa que la suya'. Ella sabe como venderse.



    Dos juegos más han pasado algo de refilón por la conferencia, como es el caso de Sin & Punishment 2: Star Successor, previsto para el 7 de junio ( esperemos que aquí llegue antes ) y un desconocido FlingSmash compatible con Wii Motionplus. ¿ Un juego nuevo o el Span Smasher que conocíamos ? Me decanto por lo segundo, que además coincide con la mécanica de una bola que rebota y se pega contra todo.

    Las third parties han tenido presencia en el evento. primero para sacar pecho de ventas ( 54 juegos third en Wii han superado el millón y 63 en DS, frente a los 22 (Wii) y 45 (DS) de Nintendo que lo han logrado ), segundo para poner sobre la mesa cosillas como la fecha yanqui de Monster Hunter Tri ( 20 de abril, diez días antes que aquí y con regalo de 500 puntos a quien lo reserve en GameStop ) o lucir exclusivas como el Prince of Persia original en el nuevo juego del Príncipe. Como el ultimo de Indiana Jones mira, igual se repite la triste historia...

    El Wiiware puede estar de enhorabuena porque... ¡¡ Cave Story sale el 22 de marzo !! No estaba muerto, estaba de parranda, entre este, Megaman 10 el 21 del mismo mes y dos nuevos Art Style en primavera ( Light Trax y Rotozoa ), nos damos por satisfechos.

    En temas portátiles se han anunciado la fecha de la nueva DS... la XL claro. 28 de marzo a 190 dólares, más tarde y cara que aquí, acompañada de la secuela de Cocina Conmigo y el 100 Libros Clásicos, que en Europa sale de forma fragmentada en un país sí, otro no. El DSiWare se pone un poco al día y el shooter matamarcianos Aa Mujou Setsuna, tal y como se había rumoreado, llega a USA bajo el nombre de Metal Torrent, mientras que Photo Dojo, un beat'em up a base de hacerte foticos ( y grabando el sonido tus propios hadokens, o como quierás llamarlos ), también llega en primavera. Y como no, un megatón también previsible porque Nintendo ya comentó que, junto a MH Tri, iba a dedicarse en cuerpo y alma a este juego third party, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies saldrá bajo sello Nintendo, presumiblemente hacia junio.

    Esto es todo amigos. ¿ Alguna decepción ? ¿ Alguna alegría ? A la espera del embargo de impresiones y de la conferencia de mañana europea. Estos mismos juegos, pero aquí. Señor@s, me declaro en ruina oficialmente; de tiempo y dinero.


    Fuente (2)
              Melissa Krueger ’15        

    Melissa Krueger '15, will attend Opera Viva, a summer intensive opera training program in Verona, Italy. In the fall, she attend Indiana University to pursue a Master of Music in Opera Performance.


              WhatsApp File Sender – WhatsApp’ta Dosya Gönderme        
    Ne kadar çok kullanılırsa kullanılsın Whatsapp uygulamasının bir eksikliği de direk dosya paylaştırmamasıdır. Bu yazımızda bu eksikliği WhatsApp File Sender ile kapatacağız. Uygulama sayesinde arkadaşlarınıza WhatsApp aracılığı ile dosya gönderebileceksiniz.Bilindiği üzere Whatsapp kendi başına sesli mesaj, resim, video gönderiyor. Ancak gerek bu paylaşımlar belgelere gelince Messenger orada tıkanıyor. İşte bu tıkanmayı WhatsApp File Sender ile …
              INGLEWOOD ARTWALK NOVEMBER 8TH 2008        
    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 www.rafkhostudios.com                
    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 www.benjaminanderson.com and www.seananderson.com.  Art by Luke Van Hook may be visited by clicking on www.lukevanhook.com.
    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: http://inglewoodopenstudio.blogspot.com/

    http://www.benjaminanderson.com




    Inglewood Open Studios : 15 locations around Inglewood

    Saturday November 8th, 2-7pm

    Locations throughout Inglewood – see on-line map:

    http://www.communitywalk.com/inglewood_cs/inglewood_open_studios/map/297303

    Contact: Renée A. Fox

    Email: reneeafox@sbcglobal.net



    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:    www.circus-gallery.com 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 www.lukevanhook.com and www.gingervanhook.com as well as www.enildeingelsvanhook.com 
    Photo courtesy of  Peter Bolten, 2008



    Artists practicing and working in Inglewood have opportunities to buy supplies close by at 
    CKS ARTIST PRODUCTS 

    (A business run by artists for artists)
     address:
     1111 and 1115 North La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, California 90302-1212 
    business phone: 310-677-3775  www.cksart.com)

              SeaWorld Aligns With Russia, Asia, and the Middle East as Their Stock Value Tanks        
    SeaWorld stock value dropped 30% overnight, and has dropped 45% in the last year. CNN SeaWorld plans to to “co-develop theme parks in Pan-Asia [note: Pan-Asia refers to the entire Asian region], India and Russia”, and in the Middle East. This is all bad news for SeaWorld’s captive orcas – there is a big loophole in
              U.S.-India Defense Relationship on Positive Trajectory, DoD Official Says        
    U.S.-India Defense Relationship on Positive Trajectory, DoD Official Says By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity ...

    This is an article summary only. Click on the article's title to enjoy the complete article
              creation VI ~ everywhereness / omnipresence        



    «Listen to the spring!». pantheon

    Quiet album of field recordings and bright impressions collected on different locations in Yaroslavl, Kyiv and Crimea. Small birds and crickets in the steppe, nightingales near Volga shore, soft rain over countryside field, summer bees in the flower garden and warm drones obtained from electric guitar, flutes and voices. Three tracks which would definitely please lovers of slow quiet drones – Celer, Hakobune, Chihei Hatakeyama, etc. Also suits very well for Chinese tea ceremony :) 

     

    «...the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains, everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future» ~ Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

    Two tracks of hindustani raga inspired improvisational drone music performed with Chinese flute hulusi and Indian shruti-box (surpeti) along with some other instruments, effects and voices. Raga for midday sun in the greenwood, music of spring currents of the mighty Volga, song of birches, rushing sweet juice in its branches...


    ps: both releases are available as one bundle with additional booklet, wrapped in handmade envelope and including download code for previous Creation VI release "Reminiscence" 


              one in a million        

    Let's get realistic about love.

    For this exercise, we will make certain broad assumptions, discounting exceptions and outliers. We will try to figure what's happening statistically when two people fall in love. We will also place our exercise in an Indian social and cultural context.

    Let's start with the potential "universe" of people one can possibly fall in love with. We will start with the total population, and reduce for mutually exclusive groups. India has 1.2 billion people. ~50% for the opposite sex -> 600 million. India's median age is 27 years (50% population less than 27 years of age) . For this exercise, assuming that one intends to get married in the age range of 24-32, an 8-year span (our math won't vary much if we increase this window on either side by a few extra years, there is a bulge below this range), we are down to ~80 million.

    It gets a little tricky from here. Remove for some semblance of economic backgrounds and we are down to ~8 million (80 lakh). Now from this, remove for religion & caste preferences (I am looking at you Brahmins), dietary preferences (no onion no garlic anyone?), height & weight preferences (taar bijli se lambe humaare piya), complexion preferences (it's only fair, right? Lovely), educational preferences, language barriers and north Indian and south Indian and Gujju and Mallu and Kashmiri and Jat preferences. And so far we haven't removed for people already married or in love with someone else who is not you. And after you have removed for all of the above, you need to be with a person with whom when you spend time, your emotional response to them lies between "surreal" and "I can stand this person" on a scale of butterflies, and the other person's emotional response also lies somewhere in the same ballpark. And whoever you are left with, you haven't even begun to find him/her yet. Given your life experiences of school, college, workplace, pubs, bars, travels, tinder and what not, and the count of people you potentially meet through these life experiences, what are the fuckin' odds.

    I had always believed that the concept of "the one" does not hold. But given the odds, and given that there exists atleast "a" one, you are probably better off with a the. Two people falling in love with each other is a statistical miracle.


    [from Watchmen] Miracles. Events with astronomical odds of occurring, like oxygen turning into gold. I've longed to witness such an event...; ...and out of that contradiction, against unfathomable odds, it's you - only you - that emerged. To distill so specific a form, from all that chaos. It's like turning air into gold. A miracle.


    I hear "everything is great, but I am not so sure" ever so often that it's fuckin' unbelievable. I don't understand why anyone in their right mind would break up. You met someone and liked, and they liked you back, and you loved each other's company, and then you eventually started driving each other crazy and "it didn't work out"?! Huh?

    For people who are single still, I feel sorry for you. The odds are stacked against you and there is little hope for you (lol). Live, is all, and maybe, just maybe lightning will strike (in this case, twice). And for people who are married or with someone and in love, go hug your Significant Other really hard right now right this moment, take a good look at them, smile, hold their hands, and know that they are your one in a million. You have witnessed a miracle.




              Durbhaagya Haider ka (Kashmir ka rajkumar)        
    ------------
    Note 1: It is after a long time that I want to write about an (Indian) movie!

    Note 2: Considering that Haider is adapted from a well-known (and arguably the most famous) Shakespearean play, The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, I will go easy with spoilers and without warning. And for those unfamiliar with tragedies by Shakespeare, spoiler alert, everybody dies.
    ------------


    I knew Vishal Bhardwaj has a fetish for Shakespeare. Haider is the final installment of his trilogy spanning Maqbool (Macbeth) and Omkara (Othello) before this. Shakespeare's influence on him is also evident in his outings not based on plays, most notably in Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola, and less visibly in 7 khoon maaf, and Ishqiya among others. But this is also a man who truly loves cinema and adores the medium. So much that the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from the original play are depicted as Salman and Salman, a duo which run a VHS rental store, idling their time away to the moves of Salman Khan, the rising superstar from the 1990s. It is a fitting tribute to the time and place in which Vishal Bhardwaj grew up as a filmmaker.

    I mention this because I wager this man is heavily influenced in his style by another man who adores cinema, Quentin Tarantino, a director famous for his revenge epics. With all the bloody gruesomeness that leaves its trail along a saga of revenge, the conflicts, the deliberations, the mess - how cool is it that our home-grown director does homage to Tarantino's trademark trunk shot and ends Haider with a sampling straight from his movies (edit: my bad. The sampling at the end of Haider is from Extreme Ways.)



    Set in the mid-1990s in Kashmir, the story embeds itself flawlessly in the setting, rather than it just being a background setup for the events adapted from the original play.


    Jhelum, jhelum dhoonde kinara
    Jhelum, jhelum dhoonde kinara
    Dooba sooraj, kin aankhon mein
    Sooraj dooba, kin aankhon mein
    Jhelum huya khaara



    This has to be Shahid Kapoor's highlight performance of his career yet. I was skeptical about this casting choice from the trailers, but boy was I wrong. The amount of preparation he put behind this role shows. The monologue scene in front of an audience at the town square is exaggerated just the right amount, and the execution of the play-within-a-play exposition scene from the original is neat. His costumes, makeup, body language, all fit together seamlessly as he owns his character.



    Hai ki hai nahi, bas yehi sawaal hai
    Aur sawaal ka jawab bhi sawaal hai.

    Dil ki agar sunoon to hai, dimaag ki to hai nahin
    Jaan loon ki jaan doon, mai rahoon ki mai nahin.



    And what a find Shraddha Kapoor is! Elegant, charming, poised, controlled, absolutely not afraid to let her eyes to the talking, and leaves you yearning for more. I wish I was there to see her keeping a straight face as she mispronounces 'loved' as 'love-edd' as they were filming it! I, for one, definitely want to see her do meaningful roles in the future. Irrfan Khan delivers a spirited punch during his meager screen time, playing the ghost from the play.


    But the highlight performance in the movie has to be Tabu's, arguably her career's best, atleast in a very long time. A delight she is as she sets the screen on fire bringing her character to life. There is a scene in which she is trying to convince Haider to leave Kashmir for a better future. With her teary, swollen eyes, and a gun pointed to her head, she ultimately gets her way. I cannot imagine another actress from around here who can pull that off with such elegance.


    "Vaishi bhediyaa ban chuka hai wo."
    "Shukr hai aasteen ka saanp nahi banaa."


    Vishal Bhardwaj, with his direction and music (for Gulzar's excellent lyrics), tops himself. Being true to the source material and still making it his own, he comes out triumphant. He is at the top of his game here. Kashmir has been shot so delicately! (I want to go there ASAP! And we we don't need foreign locations!) The gravedigger scene, in particular, is the crowning jewel, a scene which drips with his love and affection for his craft.


    Arre aao na, ki jaan gayi, jahaan gaya, kho jaao
    Arre aao na, ke thak gayi, hai zindagi, so jaao



    I might have profusely appreciated the movie thus far, but the movie is not without its gripes. I'll start with the anachronisms. In one of the best and most important scenes in the movie, the play-within-a-play scene, there is a mobile cellular tower prominently visible throughout in the background. Forgetting for a moment that we did not have cellular networks in the 1990s, its presence is distracting. I would have expected this to come up in post-processing/editing, especially when a viewer is able to catch it in first viewing. This is the kind of attention-to-detail I would expect from a director of his caliber. Then, to depict Bangalore, they used footage of the iconic Domlur flyover here. Again, its construction hadn't started as late as 2003, and the footage of sprawling flyovers plastered suddenly coming from the valleys of Kashmir moments ago is jarring to say the least.

    Also, in my opinion, the Oedipus aspects of the play were overplayed in the movie. It wasn't necessary. Not as much. But my major complaint is how they handled the character of Ophelia. Transforming it into a childhood love, and having scenes of brimming romance between Haider and Arshia feels out-of-place in a Shakespearean revenge epic such as Hamlet.

    But hey, the movie is probably a little too "heavy" already for Indian audiences, and removing the little romance might have aggravated it, so what do I know? I am sure it took enough courage already to deal with the Censor Board's scissors and to release this film pitted against the 24,000-screens-release of multi-starrer blockbuster Bang Bang.


    I can already read some negative Internet chatter around 1) The depiction of Kashmir; 2) It being a heavily political movie; and 3) "maa bete ka rishta". Please, folks, can we let art remain art? Pretty please?


    I cannot recommend this movie enough. Please go watch it, something like this comes rarely in our country. Thank you Vishal Bhardwaj for making Haider.



              Aam Aadmi Party: the political start-up        


    "Aaj hum yahaan aayein hain sabse ye kehne, ki kuch to karna hoga. Hum sabko kuch karna hoga."

    "Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota. Use perfect banaana hota hai. Police mai bharti honge, military join karenge, IAS banenge, politics ka hissa ban ke iss desh ki sarkaar chalaayenge. Ye desh badlega, hum badlenge ise."

    -- Rang De Basanti (2006)


    I quoted from Rang De Basanti, but it does not mean that this is going to be an incensed hysterical rant of a twenty-something someone which goes "Inquilab Zindabad!". Inquilab, sure. But let's put it into perspective and context. Inquilab will happen. One step at a time.


    Election is coming.

    It's easy to talk about politics sitting in our rooms, dissing any and everything that is happening around us. Heck, even this post qualifies. People here in India, and people abroad too - US, Europe, or farther east, you name it. "India has gone beyond a point-of-no-return." Sure, it must have sounded profound sitting in a room in a high-rise with a city skyline view in some sophisticated corner of the world, or here, in India. Sorry, no. But I have no interest in a conversation that begins or ends with that sentence, whether you live in India, or live abroad and intend to come back. It does not sound profound to me because I intend to spend my life in this country, by choice. Hopefully.

    I would not care if haters and dissers shoot holes into this post. By all means, go ahead. I admit I don't know my politics or economics. Let the intellectual masturbation begin. But I will not engage you in a conversation unless you give me a viable choice in the upcoming Delhi elections in November. We'll talk about NaMo vs Rahul Gandhi, sure, after the Delhi elections.


    It is really sad that after 66 years of our country's independence, the issues today, still, in the capital of India are Water, Electricity, Safety of Women, and Corruption. Forget Infrastructure, Public Health, or a healthy eco-system for entrepreneurs, we haven't afforded ourselves that luxury. Not yet.

    We, the youth, are lucky to have been born at a very opportune moment in the history of our country. We have the privilege to be a part of the 'Indian growth story', to be the Indian growth story. Be a part of it. Engage. Of course, it is unreasonable to ask people to quit whatever they wish to do with their lives and set out "to clean the system". No. But help those who are trying, in whatever little way. You can still be a part of it. That's why I am writing this.

    I know about a start-up that is trying to win the Delhi elections. I hope they do. It was unthinkable until a year ago, that a newly formed political party could think of forming a state government, let alone contesting elections with a strong foothold, or even fielding candidates in all the contested constituencies with confidence. Today, not so much. AAP doesn't have a long history, nor do they have the money or the adequate resources even, but they do have the passion and the will to do something. They believe they can, I believe they can. Sure, you or me might not agree with everything that they say or want to do, but do you agree with anyone a hundred percent? And if not them, who is your pick, and why? The question is whether anyone, anyone with the will and the passion can make a difference if they want? This is the test.

    Santosh died. No, I am not using her name to sensationalize this and drive my point across. The fact is, a good person wanted to contest the elections, and she died. It is NOT trivial. Can you do something about it?

    Take a look at their candidates list. Go ahead, look at their profiles. There is a commando who lost his hearing a hundred percent during 26/11, and was fired from the Army after that. Or this construction worker living in the slums, who is looking to contest from Rajouri Garden. And then, there is an ex-IRS IITian who championed the cause of RTI. He is pitting himself against Sheila Dixit. These people are getting their voice heard. We are getting our voice heard.

    At the very least what I'm confident of is this, that these candidates won't be murderers or rapists, and that if they are deemed incapable or corrupt, they will be sacked by their own party. Atleast give these people a chance. One chance. And like all start-ups, they need money to scale. They have been angel funded by several investors, and are looking to mobilize resources through crowdsourcing.


    What are you doing, Delhi? I'm jealous because you got this opportunity before I did. And things are happening and will, with or without you. Here's what the donations to AAP from our country looks like [link] :


    Almost as much from Maharashtra as from Delhi?! And it's not even Maharashtra's elections! There is still time. Get on board with this, man.


    1) You can donate in kind. There is much more than just money that is required to contest elections. You can give whatever you have to spare. [link]

    2) You can adopt a constituency. From anywhere. [link]

    3) You can make a recurring donation every month. [link]

    4) Or, you can just donate once and be done with it. [link]

    5) And the least you can do is get your voter i-card made and exercise your franchise. Vote. [link]


    An incident happened not so long ago. Arvind Kejriwal was asked by a journalist, "What would you do if you don't win the Delhi elections?". He responded by saying, "If we lose, what will you do?"

    Atleast we are talking about the right things.

    So... what will you do?



    Oh, and in this interview, Arvind Kejriwal answers most of the questions commonly posed by the haters and the dissers. Do watch. You might not agree with him or still be unsatisfied, but atleast hear what he has got to say.





    If you know me personally, or have been following this blog, you would know that I am not someone who begs for likes and shares. But this one time, I will. If this post struck a chord, please share it. It's only a click, and is much less to ask than an Inquilab.



              7 things wrong with our country        
    ------------
    Note 1: If you are looking for a government/politician-bashing rant, or a discussion about corruption consuming our nation, or a list which enumerates education, poverty, development et al, this post is not going to touch any of those things.

    Note 2: This list is relative to things often found in other countries on most accounts.
    ------------


    #7 Pull-to-open bags

    This is a bag of delectable chips.


    This is how it should be open-able...



    ...so we can enjoy our chips like this...



    ...NOT ruined by this.



    If other countries in the world can have this, why can't we?! I mean, how difficult is it?!



    #6 Coca-cola

    This:

    Just look at this. How can you not want to have this refreshing drink with lunch and dinner, and to go alongside the chips in #7. (I skipped mentioning breakfast for the risk of it being an overkill.) For most countries, bottomless coke, or for that matter, any drink other than water is offered alongwith meals by default. Water is the last thing you should be drinking, with the evolution of man.



    #5 Airports

    They suck. And before you go all "T3" on me, again, they suck. Travelling, especially air-travel, should be an experience, not a punishment. Travelling by air is the pinnacle of human achievement. Think about it, you are flying at 30,000 ft, half-way across the world in less than 24 hours, at more than 900 kms per hour, while dining and watching movies along the way, even watching cat videos on youtube, and liking others' updates about their amazing lives. Not to mention the spectacular views and the perspective you get on our planet.

    Airports should present it as such. It should be huge, unlike anything you might have seen before. While you wait for your flight, you should have a magnificent view of the craft from the gate, through big glass panels, so you can marvel at its sheer size, filled with a childlike wonder. Not shoved into buses which take you on a tumbling ride towards your craft. There should be enough seating, clear signs and directions. The immigration should be polite, welcoming to its own citizens, a small "Welcome home." with a smile. The security should not feel derogatory. The experience should be welcoming. It's the pinnacle of human achievement, afterall.




    #4 Public Signs/Addresses

    A metro station should say "metro station", an airport or a railway station should be navigable from anywhere in the city, with signs that say "Airport -> 15 kms", and a bus-stop should say "Bus Stop". It made me think when a Chinese guy visiting India asked me at a bus stop, "How do you know that the bus will stop here?", and the only response I could give was, "Ummm, because this is where everyone else is standing.". It shouldn't be this way. 

    And the addresses should make sense, with numbered streets and crossings. Do away with the MG roads! Use more numbers, PLEASE! This should not be how my address looks/sounds:

    Opp. XYZ Hospital,
    Near ABC Hotel,
    Quite close to Forum mall,
    Come straight from PQR Flyover, and take 2nd right, then left.

    NO.

    My address should look like this:
    42, Lush Meadows Residence
    7, Riverview Road, Bangalore.

    That's IT.




    #3 Utility stores / Vending Machines

    Fewer malls, please? And more utility stores. Where I can go, pick things, pay money, and get out with minimal turnaround time. Maybe 7/11's at petrol pumps? And every other 100 meters too? And vending machines! Aaaargh. Quick turnaround time!




    #2 Breakfast

    There are CRORES of people who go to work every day. And they want breakfast. The corn-flakes, and the dosas and the idlys, and the paratha-sabzi are okay. People need to be able to grab a bite in the mornings, and quickly. Croissants, muffins, selection of juices and sandwiches, salads, fruits, as pre-packaged take-away, available close to any means of public transport. Also, coffee. How can so many other countries get this right, except us?! I will not even touch the despicable state of our lunches and dinners, but we can always work around that. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, remember?




    #1 Respect for workers

    Cheap labour, right? Be kind to the people working at your house. Give the auto-waalas 20 extra bucks. Talk to them, chat with them. Listen to their stories, they have several. Make a joke or two, and see them smile. Trust them. Offer them a glass of water, tea, or food after a few hours of hard manual work by default, which shouldn't be seen as an act of generosity, but of responsibility and of respect from a person, to another. Give them gifts on festivals, give them leaves. Give them a raise when you get one. Share your happiness with them, and be a part of theirs.

    So many poor Indians go abroad to work as sweepers, cleaners, carpenters, construction workers, and they do that with their heads held high, with pride. They don't want to come back. Give them that opportunity here. Make them feel that they belong, and that we are fellow-countrymen.




    7 things wrong with our country...

              Kai Po Che!        
    Kai po che! (2013) on IMDb
    ------------
    Note 1: This post is going to be short, like the movie, and sweet, like Amrita Puri.

    Note 2: What a weekend this is going to be for cinema! Kai Po Che! here, 85th Academy Awards there.
    ------------

    1) I hereby resolve to never bash Chetan Bhagat. Curse him all you like, but his work formed the basis of 3 Idiots earlier, and Kai Po Che now. If anything, his work is atleast giving film-makers a skeletal plot to make brilliant, original movies. And delight for people like us when we see "Based on a novel" in the opening credits (of an Indian movie). Also, gives us hope about writing being taken seriously in our country.

    2) Detailing. It is true to the time and place it has been set in, and (almost) none of it looks cheap. Way better than the half-assed attempt in Special 26. Also, they took a source material and made it shine. Unlike Matru ki Bijli ka Mandola or Special 26 where potential was thrown into the toilet and flushed. Twice.

    3) Music and score. Amit Trivedi. Need I say more?

    4) Raj Kumar Yadav. Sheer brilliance as an actor, stands out in a film filled with good performances (brilliant casting choices) all over the place.

    5) Abhishek Kapoor. Also gave us Rock On, knows how to make a movie with a tight running time (125 minutes for this one), brilliantly pacing the story, without introducing unnecessary song-and-dance sequences, as is typical with movie-making in our country.

    6) Avoids the obvious pitfalls for such a movie. Deals with the parallel events spectacularly.

    7) Amrita Puri! Boy is she cute! If I do a '7 girls...' post like I did last year, she is definitely going to be on it.


    Kai Po Che...

              Rajdhani Express (from Rajdhani Express)        
    ------------
    Note 1: I am posting this from Rajdhani Express.

    Note 2: I realised that since I have come to Bangalore, I have not done any train journey at all! Specifically Rajdhani Express, it's been almost 8 years since I boarded one. It is the one thing that the Indian Railways gets right after-all (apart from Palace on Wheels, I suppose). I used to absolutely love the experience as a kid. They used to serve soup-sticks with soup. Soup-sticks! On a train! Must have that experience again. I am on an epic 34-hour journey from Delhi to Bangalore. On Rajdhani Express.
    ------------


    I reached the Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi well in advance. I went to my platform, my train was waiting for me. How sweet! I checked the passenger chart pasted beside the entrance of my coach 'B8', not to confirm my name on the chart, but for a more customary glance to scout for 'F22' to 'F26' "fellow" passengers. This is the reason I had booked a 3rd AC ticket as against a 2nd AC ticket. You have 5 fellow passengers in 2nd AC, but 7 fellow passengers in 3rd AC. I was merely hoping to tilt 'Law of averages' in my favour. If it worked, imagine a cute girl sitting next to you with nowhere to go and no-one to talk to but you for 34 hours. Thirty, four, hours! I could have then let my charm do the rest.

    As luck would have it, most of my co-passengers are > 'M45'. Worse, there is a family travelling with an ever-curious 8-year old kid travelling ALL the way to Bangalore with me. The annoying kid began asking his dad weird questions, which apparently pissed off his dad, even. The kid wanted to know a real-time answer to "Papa, train ki speed kitni hai abhi?", asked every two minutes. The geek in me made me tell the dad that there was an android app which he could install on his phone which tells the exact speed using GPS. Indirectly, my way of telling the kid to STFU. Thank goodness for the invention of GPS. One annoying kid shut up. And as if fate hadn't already had all the fun with me, there were two cute girls, my age, sitting bang in the next compartment. I smiled at them, they ignored me, life moved on. I realised that my coach was a bait rather than a 'B8', and I had fallen into its trap.


    The clock struck 8:50 PM, and the train moved. Woah! ON TIME?! Like I said, the one thing Indian Railways gets right.

    As soon as the train started, the staff jumped to action, and oh boy, first up, soup with soup-sticks! Paisa wasool already! While sipping my soup, I realised that a train journey is so much more comfortable than air travel. You have ample space to sleep, eat, stretch, relax. Plus, for people who smoke, there are two excellent smoking lounges (read: toilets) on both sides of the coach! If only the staff who served food looked like their Indian air-travel counterpart:




    So, after a proper three-course dinner, I took out my laptop, and aptly for the moment, decided to watch a romantic comedy - 'The Princess Bride'. Nothing much about the movie, except that I found parts of the movie mildly annoying. It did though answer something for me which I have been thinking about since I started watching 'Sherlock'. Remember the pilot episode? In which the cabbie has pills in two containers in front of him, one of them poisoned and the other not, and our hero has to deduce which one is poisonous and has to make his pick. Well, the case gets solved, cabbie is killed (apologies for the spoiler), but we never find out which was the correct choice. The exact same game is played in 'The Princess Bride', with a solution that is both plausible and mind-boggling, even in the context of 'Sherlock', which made the movie worthwhile.


    Another equally awesome discovery I made on this trip was Alpenliebe Mangofillz, which they served with the evening snacks. Oh. My. God. I haven't had a candy so full of joy in a LONG time. Smooth, delicious, filled with raw mango awesomeness! I am going to buy me a jar as soon as I reach Bangalore!


    About 12 hours of my journey to go, which includes a movie or two, and another awesome dinner, until Bangalore...



    Rajdhani Express (from Rajdhani Express)...

              7 types of dancers at Indian weddings        
    ------------
    Note 1: With the wedding season on, here's to The Great Indian Wedding.

    Note 2: I am most interested in weddings for the food.
    ------------

    Indian weddings are so much fun! And dancing. Dance is an integral part of the weddings. Baraat. And the relatively recent development - "DJ". The types of dancers, not an exhaustive list, typically found -



    #1 The good dancer
    They have no agenda and just enjoy dancing. They really don’t care what anyone else is doing. Often, this includes the prettiest girl around, and you cannot help but be smitten by such grace. Often the bride's sister, or her best friends.




    #2 The performer
    They need a stage to show the people how great their dance movies are, and treat dancing not as an expression of happiness at weddings but as a full-blown stage-performance, often at the risk of it being not fun anymore.




    #3 The moves copier
    They are not the best dancers around, but have seen enough videos on the TV to know the exact moves. They will eagerly wait for their song, and become unstoppable once it does. Often, these are the same people who will try to pull the by-standers to the floor and try to make them dance alongwith them, resulting in the 1-minute teasers.




    #4 The 1-minute teaser
    This is the person who is usually a by-stander, gets pulled into the mix by someone, gives us a 1 minute display of awkward dance moves, usually coupled with a lot of clapping. Then, obviously embarrassed, but trying very hard to not let it show, sheepishly goes off, until, of course, someone else drags them again soon enough. They, in turn, also drag a few other by-standers with them to share their embarrassment.



    #5 The Bhangra dancer
    One move fits all, irrespective of the song played. Punjabi or not.




    #6 The Shady Casanova
    This man wants to dance with each and every pretty looking girl on the floor, except, the pretty single girl on the dance floor is perfectly happy dancing with other pretty single girls on the dance floor. They often include the groom's best friends still single, who, under peer-pressure coupled with quarter-life crisis, feel they have to take matters in their own hands, right then, right there.



    #7 The Hipster Uncle
    The cool-dude uncle who think he's "still got it". Usually the one who dives in head-first, often after 5 pegs of McDowell's, and does not seem to want to to quit. On an already crowded dance floor, this uncle, by some miracle, clears a 2-meters-radius space around him.






    7 types of dancers at Indian weddings...

              Solomon Durrett (Derrett) b. 1800 m. Martha "Jershua" Smith b. 1815        
    I am looking for information on Solomon Durrett b. 1800 in Virginia. He came to Texas before Texas was a republic or a state. He married Martha "Jershua" Smith b. 1815 in Tennessee

    Children of Solomon Durrett and Martha J Smith:

    All of Solomon’ sons were Texas State Troopers when the war broke out their Regiment was transferred to the Confederate States of America.
    1. Rice W. Durrett b. abt 1835 served as a 2nd Lt. in Darnell's Regiment along with his brothers. Rice never married

    2. Thomas C Durrett b. abt 1837 Tennessee

    3. William H Durrett (may have died at the beginning of the Civil War)

    4. Richard H. Durrett married Susan Callahan Cole daughter of John Pope Cole and Susan Hulda Caroline Leonard;

    5. Sarah Durrett married John W. Kincaid no further information on this family.

    6. Mary [Jerusha] Durrett m. Robert A Hawkins (who died in the Civil War in 1862)

    7. Virginia Victoria Durrett born in Texas married James Milton Thorp.

    I have the obituaries for Victoria Thorp and Mary [Jerusha] Durrett Hawkins who never married after her husband’s death in 1862. Robert Hawkins died during the from Re-mitten fever during the Civil War; he died at the field hospital at Fort Galveston, Texas.

    Solomon owned land in Parker County, Texas from 1837 to 1871. I have his land patent records; Solomon and his sons Rice W., Thomas C, William H and Richard H Durrett (Derrett). They are all listed on the Tax Rolls for Parker County from 1846 to 1874.

    In 1871, Solomon is no longer on tax records in Parker county his daughter Mary Hawkins is his agent.

    Solomon's will was lost in a fire in Parker County; Martha his wife moved to Dallas after the sale of the property. Rice W and Thomas C Derrett ran things. Rice drops off the tax roll about 1874. Did he die? Thomas is his agent. What became of him?

    Martha moved to Dallas, Texas were her daughters lived. She died in Dallas, Texas in 1885 leaving a will. In her will, Martha J Smith Durrett named her children and grandchildren. One is my husband's father-in-law Charles Albert Durrett b. 1871 married Cora Missouri Ellen Sanders.

    Solomon’s son Rice W Durrett lost his arm during the civil war according to Military records. He was discharged for medical reasons in Atlantic GA.

    Thomas C. Durrett collects a pension from 1900 to 1904; he was living in Lisbon, Dallas, Texas. Where did Thomas go? Records show he moved to Alabama but where in Alabama?

    Richard Haines Durrett - In a letter to the Adjunct General dated in 1863, Richard, states there was Indian trouble and he asked for leave and it was not granted; so he left to get his family to safety. After they were safe, he returned to his regiment. He was then court marshaled at Fort Galveston, Texas for desertion. He asks to be returned to an Artillery regiment. In 1865, Richard is returned to the active duty and he does serve with an Artillery Regiment until the end of the war.

    After the war, he returns home and marries about 1866 in Parker, Texas Susan Callahan Cole daughter of John Pope (Jack) Cole and Susan Hulda Leonard. The Coles also owned land in Dallas and in Parker County. Are Richard and Susan's marriage license in Parker County or Dallas?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    I can be emailed at jmdgenealogy AT yahoo.com

    Thank you for your help.
    Joy Durrett
    2nd Great-Granddaughter of Solomon and Martha J Smith Durrett and John Pope (Jack) Cole

              Re: "A Cry Unheard The Story Of Indian Attacks In & Around Parker County Texas " (Book) need information        
    You may have more info since you posted this, but from what I see on a publication found on Google Books, David and wife were probably in Eastland Co. in 1859/60.

    Sandra
              Re: "A Cry Unheard The Story Of Indian Attacks In & Around Parker County Texas " (Book) need information        
    The public library in Weatherford has a copy of this book. Possibly you can request someone there to look and see if your family name is in the book. I am usually in town a couple of times a year, however I do not always get over to the library. Amazon and Ebay have copies of the book for sale, but they are over $200. I would love to buy one, but can't really afford that and I have a direct relative who was killed and mentioned in the stories. It is well written.
              ECU ALUMNUS CHRIS BUCHANAN NOW DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INDIAN HEALTH SERVICES FOR U.S. PUBLIC HEATH SERVICE        
    Chris Buchanan

    Chris Buchanan, East Central University alumnus and a member of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), was recently promoted to the flag-officer rank of Rear Admiral and appointed Deputy Director of Indian Health Services.

    Buchanan also recently served six months as acting director.

    As a senior ranking officer, flag officers exemplify the core values for which commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service are held in high esteem, according to Dr. Patrick Bohan, ECU Environmental Health Sciences professor and Retired Captain of the USPHS.

    “Flag officers provide executive-level leadership within the department and the agencies which they serve,” Bohan said. “Our flag officers also carry the title of Assistant Surgeon General and, as such, we rely on them to support special initiatives and exhibit the highest caliber of public health leadership.”

    Buchanan, a native of Konawa, joins fellow ECU alumnus Rear Admiral Kevin D. Meeks as a high-ranking official within the USPHS. Meeks is acting deputy director of field operations for the Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services and the principal federal health care advocate and provider of health services for American Indians and Alaska natives.

    ECU has provided more environmental health officers to the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service than any other institution in the country, according to Bohan. The Environmental Health Science program at ECU is one of 31 accredited undergraduate programs throughout the United States.

    “The Environmental Health Science program provided an interdisciplinary foundation that prepared me for my career in Indian Health Service,” Buchanan said. “Environmental health graduates of the program are problem solvers. We use this type of approach to develop skill sets

    that help to constructively review environmental and public health issues and come up with solutions. I have and continue to use these skills in my role as the deputy director of IHS.”

    Buchanan credits the late Dr. Mickey Rowe, former chair and professor of the ECU Environmental Health Science Department, with setting the stage for his career.

    “Dr. Rowe was a force of nature. He left a lasting impact on me personally and professionally,” said Buchanan. “His expectations were high for all his students and former students. He made it clear upon graduation that you would be representing the ECU Environmental Health Program and your environmental health decisions will have an impact on public health. His expectation was nothing short of being the best both academically and in your profession.”

     As deputy director Buchanan, an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, leads and oversees IHS operations to ensure delivery of quality comprehensive health services. He ensures that IHS provides for the full participation of tribes in programs and services and helps to establish and track the goals and metrics through which the IHS U.S.-federal-government-operated, or direct service, health care program improves outcomes.

    Buchanan ensures IHS services are integrated across all levels of the agency and engaged with other Operating Divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services and external partners, including states and national organizations.

    He previously served in 2016 as the acting area director for the IHS Great Plains Area, with administrative responsibility for 19 service units serving 130,000 people and 17 tribes through seven hospitals, 10 health centers and two urban Indian health programs, overseeing a complex health care program during a period of change. Previously, Buchanan has served as director of the IHS Office of Direct Services and Contracting Tribes.

    As an environmental health officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with more than 20 years of active duty, Buchanan began his IHS career in 1993, serving in various environmental health positions in the Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City areas, including serving as the administrative officer for Lawton Indian Hospital and the chief executive officer for Haskell Health Center. In 2010, he was administrative officer of clinical services for the Chickasaw Nation’s Division of Health in Ada.

    Along with serving on several national IHS workgroups and being deployed to several natural disaster events, Buchanan has received numerous professional awards, including one for National Council of Chief Executive Officer’s Rookie of the Year. He earned a bachelor of environmental health science degree from ECU and a public health degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

    Buchanan has seen Indian Health Service improve over the years, evolving in a similar manner as the traditional healthcare delivery model to a more value-based healthcare delivery system.

    “The IHS sees these changes through the administration of a nationwide health care delivery program that is responsible for providing preventative, curative and community health care for approximately 2.2 American Indians and Alaska natives in hospitals, clinics and other settings throughout the United States,” Buchanan said. “An example of this evolution includes emerging technologies such as telemedicine. By utilizing these healthcare technologies, IHS will continue to improve the populations we serve.”

    Telemedicine is the diagnosis and treatment of patients in remote areas using medical information such as x-rays or television pictures, transmitted over long distances, particularly satellite.

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

                                  580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)


              Re: SSIS Frustration? Enter Pentaho        

    Thanks for Sharing such a Wonderful Information....

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              CARTA DEL DR. RENÉ FAVALORO ANTES DE SUICIDARSE        

    El Juez liberó la nota que dejó el Dr. René Favaloro antes de suicidarse.

    (Del Dr. René Favaloro/ julio 29-2000 - 14,30 horas)

    Si se lee mi carta de renuncia a la Cleveland Clinic , está claro que mi regreso a la Argentina (después de haber alcanzado un lugar destacado en la cirugía cardiovascular) se debió a mi eterno compromiso con mi patria. Nunca perdí mis raíces.. Volví para trabajar en docencia, investigación y asistencia médica. La primera etapa en el Sanatorio Güemes, demostró que inmediatamente organizamos la residencia en cardiología y cirugía cardiovascular, además de cursos de post grado a todos los niveles.
    Le dimos importancia también a la investigación clínica en donde participaron la mayoría de los miembros de nuestro grupo.

    En lo asistencial exigimos de entrada un número de camas para los indigentes. Así, cientos de pacientes fueron operados sin cargo alguno. La mayoría de nuestros pacientes provenían de las obras sociales. El sanatorio tenía contrato con las más importantes de aquel entonces.
    La relación con el sanatorio fue muy clara: los honorarios, provinieran de donde provinieran, eran de nosotros; la internación, del sanatorio (sin duda la mayor tajada).

    Nosotros con los honorarios pagamos las residencias y las secretarias y nuestras entradas se distribuían entre los médicos proporcionalmente.

    Nunca permití que se tocara un solo peso de los que no nos correspondía.

    A pesar de que los directores aseguraban que no había retornos, yo conocía que sí los había. De vez en cuando, a pedido de su director, saludaba a los sindicalistas de turno, que agradecían nuestro trabajo.

    Este era nuestro único contacto.

    A mediados de la década del 70, comenzamos a organizar la Fundación. Primero con la ayuda de la Sedra, creamos el departamento de investigación básica que tanta satisfacción nos ha dado y luego la construcción del Instituto de Cardiología y cirugía cardiovascular.
    Cuando entró en funciones, redacté los 10 mandamientos que debían sostenerse a rajatabla, basados en el lineamiento ético que siempre me ha acompañado.

    La calidad de nuestro trabajo, basado en la tecnología incorporada más la tarea de los profesionales seleccionados hizo que no nos faltara trabajo, pero debimos luchar continuamente con la corrupción imperante en la medicina (parte de la tremenda corrupción que ha contaminado a nuestro país en todos los niveles sin límites de ninguna naturaleza). Nos hemos negado sistemáticamente a quebrar los lineamientos éticos, como consecuencia, jamás dimos un solo peso de retorno.. Así, obras sociales de envergadura no mandaron ni mandan sus pacientes al Instituto.

    ¡Lo que tendría que narrar de las innumerables entrevistas con los sindicalistas de turno!

    Manga de corruptos que viven a costa de los obreros y coimean fundamentalmente con el dinero de las obras sociales que corresponde a la atención médica.

    Lo mismo ocurre con el PAMI. Esto lo pueden certificar los médicos de mi país que para sobrevivir deben aceptar participar del sistema implementado a lo largo y ancho de todo el país.

    Valga un solo ejemplo: el PAMI tiene una vieja deuda con nosotros, (creo desde el año 94 o 95) de 1.900.000 pesos; la hubiéramos cobrado en 48 horas si hubiéramos aceptado los retornos que se nos pedían (como es lógico no a mí directamente).

    Si hubiéramos aceptado las condiciones imperantes por la corrupción del sistema (que se ha ido incrementando en estos últimos años) deberíamos tener 100 camas más. No daríamos abasto para atender toda la demanda.

    El que quiera negar que todo esto es cierto que acepte que rija en la Argentina, el principio fundamental de la libre elección del médico, que terminaría con los acomodados de turno.

    Los mismo ocurre con los pacientes privados (incluyendo los de la medicina prepaga) el médico que envía a estos pacientes por el famoso ana-ana , sabe, espera, recibir una jugosa participación del cirujano.

    Hace muchísimos años debo escuchar aquello de que Favaloro no opera más! ¿De dónde proviene este infundio?. Muy simple: el pacientes es estudiado.. Conclusión, su cardiólogo le dice que debe ser operado. El paciente acepta y expresa sus deseos de que yo lo opere. 'Pero cómo, usted no sabe que Favaloro no opera hace tiempo?'. 'Yo le voy a recomendar un cirujano de real valor, no se preocupe'. El cirujano 'de real valor' además de su capacidad profesional retornará al cardiólogo mandante un 50% de los honorarios!

    Varios de esos pacientes han venido a mi consulta no obstante las 'indicaciones' de su cardiólogo. '¿Doctor, usted sigue operando?' y una vez más debo explicar que sí, que lo sigo haciendo con el mismo entusiasmo y responsabilidad de siempre.
    Muchos de estos cardiólogos, son de prestigio nacional e internacional.

    Concurren a los Congresos del American College o de la American Heart y entonces sí, allí me brindan toda clase de felicitaciones y abrazos cada vez que debo exponer alguna 'lecture' de significación. Así ocurrió cuando la de Paul D. White lecture en Dallas, decenas de cardiólogos argentinos me abrazaron, algunos con lágrimas en los ojos. Pero aquí, vuelven a insertarse en el 'sistema' y el dinero es lo que más les interesa.

    La corrupción ha alcanzado niveles que nunca pensé presenciar. Instituciones de prestigio como el Instituto Cardiovascular Buenos Aires, con excelentes profesionales médicos, envían empleados bien entrenados que visitan a los médicos cardiólogos en sus consultorios. Allí les explican en detalles los mecanismos del retorno y los porcentajes que recibirán no solamente por la cirugía, los métodos de diagnóstico no invasivo (Holter eco, camara y etc., etc.) los cateterismos, las angioplastias, etc. etc., están incluidos...

    No es la única institución. Médicos de la Fundación me han mostrado las hojas que les dejan con todo muy bien explicado. Llegado el caso, una vez el paciente operado, el mismo personal entrenado, visitará nuevamente al cardiólogo, explicará en detalle 'la operación económica' y entregará el sobre correspondiente!.

    La situación actual de la Fundación es desesperante, millones de pesos a cobrar de tarea realizada, incluyendo pacientes de alto riesgo que no podemos rechazar. Es fácil decir 'no hay camas disponibles'.

    Nuestro juramento médico lo impide.

    Estos pacientes demandan un alto costo raramente reconocido por las obras sociales. A ello se agregan deudas por todos lados, las que corresponden a la construcción y equipamiento del ICYCC, los proveedores, la DGI, los bancos, los médicos con atrasos de varios meses.. Todos nuestros proyectos tambalean y cada vez más todo se complica.

    En Estados Unidos, las grandes instituciones médicas, pueden realizar su tarea asistencial, la docencia y la investigación por las donaciones que reciben.

    Las cinco facultades médicas más trascendentes reciben más de 100 millones de dólares cada una! Aquí, ni soñando.

    Realicé gestiones en el BID que nos ayudó en la etapa inicial y luego publicitó en varias de sus publicaciones a nuestro instituto como uno de sus logros!. Envié cuatro cartas a Enrique Iglesias, solicitando ayuda (¡tiran tanto dinero por la borda en esta Latinoamérica!) todavía estoy esperando alguna respuesta. Maneja miles de millones de dólares, pero para una institución que ha entrenado centenares de médicos desparramados por nuestro país y toda Latinoamérica, no hay respuesta.

    ¿Cómo se mide el valor social de nuestra tarea docente?

    Es indudable que ser honesto, en esta sociedad corrupta tiene su precio. A la corta o a la larga te lo hacen pagar.

    La mayoría del tiempo me siento solo. En aquella carta de renuncia a la C. Clinic , le decía al Dr. Effen que sabía de antemano que iba a tener que luchar y le recordaba que Don Quijote era español!

    Sin duda la lucha ha sido muy desigual.

    El proyecto de la Fundación tambalea y empieza a resquebrajarse.

    Hemos tenido varias reuniones, mis colaboradores más cercanos, algunos de ellos compañeros de lucha desde nuestro recordado Colegio Nacional de La Plata, me aconsejan que para salvar a la Fundación debemos incorporarnos al 'sistema'.

    Sí al retorno, sí al ana-ana..

    'Pondremos gente a organizar todo'. Hay 'especialistas' que saben como hacerlo. 'Debes dar un paso al costado. Aclararemos que vos no sabes nada, que no estás enterado'. 'Debes comprenderlo si querés salvar a la Fundación'

    ¡Quién va a creer que yo no estoy enterado!

    En este momento y a esta edad terminar con los principios éticos que recibí de mis padres, mis maestros y profesores me resulta extremadamente difícil. No puedo cambiar, prefiero desaparecer.

    Joaquín V. González, escribió la lección de optimismo que se nos entregaba al recibirnos: 'a mí no me ha derrotado nadie'. Yo no puedo decir lo mismo. A mí me ha derrotado esta sociedad corrupta que todo lo controla. Estoy cansado de recibir homenajes y elogios al nivel internacional. Hace pocos días fui incluido en el grupo selecto de las leyendas del milenio en cirugía cardiovascular. El año pasado debí participar en varios países desde Suecia a la India escuchando siempre lo mismo.

    '¡La leyenda, la leyenda!'

    Quizá el pecado capital que he cometido, aquí en mi país, fue expresar siempre en voz alta mis sentimientos, mis críticas, insisto, en esta sociedad del privilegio, donde unos pocos gozan hasta el hartazgo, mientras la mayoría vive en la miseria y la desesperación. Todo esto no se perdona, por el contrario se castiga.

    Me consuela el haber atendido a mis pacientes sin distinción de ninguna naturaleza. Mis colaboradores saben de mi inclinación por los pobres, que viene de mis lejanos años en Jacinto Arauz.

    Estoy cansado de luchar y luchar, galopando contra el viento como decía Don Ata.

    No puedo cambiar.

    No ha sido una decisión fácil pero sí meditada.
    No se hable de debilidad o valentía.

    El cirujano vive con la muerte, es su compañera inseparable, hable de debilidad o valentía.

    El cirujano vive con la muerte, es su compañera inseparable, con ella me voy de la mano..

    Sólo espero no se haga de este acto una comedia. Al periodismo le pido que tenga un poco de piedad.

    Estoy tranquilo.. Alguna vez en un acto académico en USA se me presentó como a un hombre bueno que sigue siendo un médico rural. Perdónenme, pero creo, es cierto. Espero que me recuerden así.

    En estos días he mandado cartas desesperadas a entidades nacionales, provinciales, empresarios, sin recibir respuesta.

    En la Fundación ha comenzado a actuar un comité de crisis con asesoramiento externo. Ayer empezaron a producirse las primeras cesantías.. Algunos, pocos, han sido colaboradores fieles y dedicados. El lunes no podría dar la cara..

    A mi familia en particular a mis queridos sobrinos, a mis colaboradores, a mis amigos, recuerden que llegué a los 77 años. No aflojen, tienen la obligación de seguir luchando por lo menos hasta alcanzar la misma edad, que no es poco.

    Una vez más reitero la obligación de cremarme inmediatamente sin perder tiempo y tirar mis cenizas en los montes cercanos a Jacinto Arauz, allá en La Pampa.

    Queda terminantemente prohibido realizar ceremonias religiosas o civiles.

    Un abrazo a todos
    René Favaloro


              India at Rio: 2016 Olympics        
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              Do We Indians Protect Law Breakers?        
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              Comment on Spring Into Action: Griffis Sculpture Park by carpinteyrofqe        
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              Mulheres Que Fizeram Diferente        
    Sei que é super clichê aproveitar o mês da Mulher para falar de Mulheres que fizeram diferente. Observe que eu escrevi "fizeram diferente" e não "a diferença". Porquê?
     
    Meu intuito é falar sobre mulheres que fizeram coisas diferentes da maioria, isso não quer dizer que fizeram certo ou errado. Não é uma lista das mulheres mais generosas (claro que no meio da lista tem mulheres extremamente boas) mas as que tiveram CORAGEM de fazer algo diferente ou até reprovável pela sociedade na época. As  escolhidas foram:
     
    joana d arc marilyn monroe leila diniz
    1. Joana D´Archeroína francesa que aos 13 anos começou a ter visões e receber mensagens ocultas. Orientada por essa paranormalidade Joana cortou o cabelo bem curto, vestiu-se de homem e entrou para o exército francês. Comandou tropas e conquistou o respeito do Rei Carlos VII. Invejada pelas vitórias, sofreu com conspirações e traições, chegou a ser vendida para os ingleses e acusada de praticar feitiçaria. Foi queimada viva em 1431. Precisa falar mais? Santa, bruxa ou louca? Não importa! Ela foi sem sombra de dúvida uma mulher corajosa e determinada.
     
    2. Marilyn Monroe - indiscutivelmente foi uma das mulheres mais sexy dos últimos tempos. Apesar da sua triste história de vida, órfã e abusada inúmeras vezes pelos lares que passou. Marilyn reverteu essas tragédias em força para conseguir se destacar no mundo do entretenimento. Sua performance nos palcos seduziu homens e mulheres, mas o sucesso foi fruto da sua personalidade vulnerável, sua contraditória inocência aliada com a sensualidade natural. 

    3. Leila Diniz - atriz brasileira de personalidade ousada e inimiga do conservadorismo. Ela foi responsável por quebrar tabus e ser um ícone da liberdade feminina. O que para nós hoje é simples e rotineiro, no final da década de 60 não era. Leila foi corajosa a afirmar em entrevistas coisas da sua vida sexual e ser espontânea ao ir à praia grávida de biquíni.

    catarina de siena madre tereza calcuta lady diana
    4. Catarina de Siena - mesmo analfabeta, ditou inúmeras obras e cartas solicitando aos papas, líderes e reis da época uma unificação da Igreja e a pacificação dos Estados Papais. Consagrada como Santa Catarina na Igreja Católica, ela cuidou dos enfermos e abandonados quando a peste se alastrou por toda a Europa. Independente de religião, devemos reconhecer pessoas boas e de inigualável coragem.      
     
    5. Madre Teresa de Calcutá - ainda nessa linha de mulheres guerreiras e generosas. A Missionária dedicou sua vida aos pobres, solicitou autorização à igreja para dedicação exclusiva aos famintos e necessitado da Índia. Ganhou Nobel da Paz em 1979. E foi outro grande exemplo de coragem e caridade em vida. 

    6. Diana, Princesa de Gales - eu não poderia deixar de citar Lady Di. Afinal ela casou-se com um príncipe, foi exemplo de educação e elegância, um ícone da moda e filantropa. Foi extremamente corajosa ao quebrar os protocolos e pedir o divórcio. Admirada por seu trabalho de caridade, virou celebridade mundial. Faleceu em 1997 com seu namorado Dodi Al Fayed em polêmico acidente de carro.


    indira gandhi cora coralina chiquinha gonzaga
     
    7. Indira Gandhi - primeira mulher a ocupar o cargo de chefe do governo indiano. Foi primeira-ministra da Índia por duas vezes (1966 a 1977) e (1980 a 1984). Para isso teve que dividir o partido e assumir a liderança de um dos lados. Aboliu os privilégios dos príncipes indianos e governou uma ditadura. Vamos falar sério, essa mulher não veio para brincar, teve pulso firme e levou bem à sério seus ideais.  
     
    8. Chiquinha Gonzaga - "ô abre alas, que eu quero passar"... pianista, regente e compositora das marchinhas carnavalescas mais famosas do Brasil. Mulher de gênio forte e decidida, dedicou-se a música mesmo contra a vontade de todos. Casou-se três vezes, seu romance mais invejável e duradouro foi com um rapaz 36 anos mais novo que ela. Para viver com ele, Chiquinha chegou a adotá-lo. Juntos ficaram até a morte dela aos 87 anos de idade.  
     
    9. Cora Coralina - nasceu em Goiás, doceira por profissão, produziu uma obra poética rica em elementos do dia a dia. Sua poesia atingiu um nível de qualidade literária altíssimo, não visto facilmente por outros artistas do nosso país. Uma mulher simples que viveu parte da sua vida longe dos grandes centros, tinha dom e sabedoria para escrever sobre o cotidiano.

     “Mesmo quando tudo parece desabar, cabe a mim decidir entre rir ou chorar, ir ou ficar, desistir ou lutar; porque descobri, no caminho incerto da vida, que o mais importante é o decidir.”  Cora Coralina
     
    mulheres especiais
     
    10. Você, minha mãe, sua avó, aquela vizinha... mulheres anônimas que lutam todos os dias para manter a família unida, que ajuda o próximo sem nada em troca, que ama seus filhos e a dos outros também. Mulheres guerreiras, profissionais, do lar, amantes, mães, tias, avós, esposas, amigas... politizadas ou analfabetas. Mulheres ricas ou pobres que acertam e erram, mulheres de verdade, assim como eu e você também merecemos um lugar nesta lista! Tenha coragem de fazer, mesmo que erre. Tenha coragem de viver, mesmo que morra. Seja autêntica e acredite em seus sonhos, só não vale passar por cima de ninguém e nem prejudicar o próximo porque isso não é coragem, é ambição desacerbada!     

              Colonel Sir George Everest        
     I shared this on FB 2 years ago on this day 12/23.


    Colonel Sir George Everest (/ˈiːvrɨst/; July 4, 1790 — December 1, 1866) was a Welsh surveyor and geographer, and the Surveyor General of India from 1830 through 1843.

    George Everest's numerical age (NA) at the time he passed was 27908 which factors into 6977 prime X 4.

    6977 prime days from 17900704 brings us to August 11th in the year 1809.

    He passed away on December 1, 1866 - a mo/day date which is always 23 "I (9) Am (14)" plus 89 "Prime of Leo (356)" days from August 11th. 

    Leo (356) = 89 prime X 4

    Leo is the astrological sign for the Divine Birthmonth of August whose ruling planet is the Sun and which corresponds to the Human Heart.  August 11th in 6 BC is the day our Lord was born - this according to the mathematical proof outlined in the late Dean Fagerstrom's 1400+ page "The Book of Anglion."



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Everest
              2013 Acura TSX to start at $30,510        
    A new year, a new price.

    Going mostly unchanged from its 2012 predecessor, the 2013 Acura TSX can no longer claim to be 'sub-30k'. With a modest $700 price increase, the luxury auto now starts at $30,510, which includes a 2.4L 4-cylinder with a 5-speed automatic.

    If you wish to get an impressive ELS digital audio system, rearview camera and voice-activated navigation, you must acquire the Technology Package, which goes for $3,100. If you want the Technology Package included in the car, then you'll have to move on up to the V6 model, which costs $39,150.

    The Special Edition TSX has an available 6-speed manual, and can be had for $31,510 - exactly $1,000 more than the 5-speed automatic base model. None of the model pricing listed include the $895 destination charge.

    To check out Acura's latest lineup of luxury cars and SUVs, visit your Northwest Indiana Acura dealer at Muller Acura of Merrillville. For quality and professional Northwest Indiana Acura Service, please call to set up an appointment.
              Carpet sellers        
    Istanbul's carpet salesmen are legendary.  But when you know you are likely to be moving to work in a different continent within the next six months (where home could be any style of house or apartment in who-knows-what style and colour scheme) - or, if not, that you may be off back-packing round the world whilst deciding what to do next - then the temptation to buy an expensive carpet is pretty easily resisted.

    So on my initial transit through Istanbul (on the way to Kyrgyzstan) I let myself be led into a carpet shop to have a look at what they had to offer.  "Just looking".  I was shown carpet after carpet - from Turkey, from India, from Afghanistan, in wool, in yak hair and in silk, and in every colour under the sun.  But sadly I gleaned very little information on carpets, as the salesman was more keen to impress on me how big a discount he would give me if I would go somewhere with him in his car so that he could "show me how he loved me"(!).  No thank you.

    However in Uzbekistan, in a carpet-making workshop in the old city of Khiva, I saw a collection of silk carpets and totally fell in love with one.  If only I had somewhere settled to put it, and a spare $2,000...

    Back in transit in Istanbul again, thinking no more about carpets (other than the lingering regrets over not being able to buy the one in Khiva), I was walking through a park when I found myself in conversation with a friendly Australian woman, who told me she was in Istanbul for a few months doing some jewellery design.  We chatted a little, and she pointed out a few interesting historical things that we were walking past (that I would otherwise have missed), and then she asked if I'd like to see her jewellery.  Well it seemed a little rude to say no.  But would you believe it, her jewellery was on display in the front part of a carpet shop ... and when she invited me to sit down for a glass of apple tea it was in the carpet showroom.

    Whilst I had had no idea that undercover carpet sellers were now roaming the parks disguised as friendly Australians, I have to say that the man in the shop (the Australian rapidly disappeared - presumably to hunt down more victims) was very informative, and totally agreed, when I explained my situation, that now was not the time for me to buy a carpet.

    Having listened to his explanations of single -v- double knots, and the significance of the number of knots per inch, I finally asked him about prices.  A very nice wool carpet, about the same size as "my" silk one in Khiva, was worth €1,600, he said.  I told him about the carpet I had fallen in love with and he expressed total disbelief at the price - showed me a much smaller silk one in his collection priced at $11,000...  He wondered if mine might have been made of cheap Chinese silk although even then it couldn't be that cheap (in fact all the silk used in the Khiva workshop is grown in Uzbekistan).  I began to wonder if my guide had mis-translated 20 into 2, or if perhaps I had missed the bargain of a lifetime...


              Enjoying Manitoba's Bounty - but no Raw Milk        
    Sometimes there are perks to being a food blogger, even though I don't have a large audience (yet?). I received a personal invitation to the Manitoba Food Producers' Association's Christmas reception. The MFPA represents many of Manitoba's local food producers, and as an avowed locavore and champion of local groceries, of course I was pleased to attend.

    Aside from the delicious, locally-made food I was bound to find there (and which did not disappoint), I was particularly interested in speaking with a few people. I was glad to find the Buy Manitoba representatives at their station: Megan and Gemma are lovely ladies who were happy to explain things to me. There have been some rumblings among the Manitoba Food Bloggers and others about the generous definition of local that Buy Manitoba uses - apparently it extends to soft drinks bottled in the province by multinational companies, and to Safeway eggs which might come from any of four provinces in a given carton. I am hopeful that somebody from Buy Manitoba will respond and tell us how Coke is a local producer.

    I have to say, though, that pretty much everything I saw at the Caboto Centre that night was definitely locally made. Cakes from Gunn's and Jeanne's, delightful northern pike cooked on the spot, Bothwell cheeses, locally made samosas and sausages. I even found Manitoba birch syrup, which I can't wait to get and try.

    I somehow missed Constance Popp's chocolates, which makes me very sad. All I can think of is that she must have got there after I left, which was pretty early as I had to go see my sons sing and dance (ah, the things we do for love. They were wonderful, though).

    I had some very interesting conversations with the representatives of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Intiatives - in particular, their Food Safety people. I asked them what they thought about the illegality of raw milk in this province, and I got a remarkable range of responses (all off the record, I should add). One person told me she was completely against legalising raw milk, and that in her opinion people shouldn't be able to buy raw meat, either. Another representative referred me to the movie "Forks Over Knives", which espouses a vegan diet. A third was more supportive of the availability of raw milk to adults, but was understandably concerned about the dangers of trying to introduce it into a mass market. We agreed that maybe farm gates sales would be safest, as well as some serious labelling and education. Both of the latter two mentioned (and promptly emailed to me the next day as promised) some reports that have recently surfaced in Indiana - a FAQ sheet from Purdue University, and a report prepared by the Indiana Board of Animal Health for Indiana legislators. While both of them express trepidation about possible health issues, it is clear that the debate is far from over.

    What do you think, should Coke that is bottled in this province be considered locally made? And should we be able to buy raw milk at the farm gate, if it is accompanied by a fact sheet on how to use it safely? Or should we ban raw meat, too?

    Let me know what you think!
              PINOY MAIDS MASS BREAKUP WITH BANGLA BOYFRIENDS AFTER S'PORE TERROR ARRESTS        

    by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

    SINGAPORE - After news broke that twenty-seven Banglas were arrested for terrorism related offences, scores of Pinoy maids gathered at Lucky Plaza for an emergency townhall meeting. It is unclear what exactly transpired during the meeting but ST sources revealed that the maids were debating a total boycott of Bangladeshi boyfriends in Singapore.

    At the scene, most of the maids were inconsolable and some went hysterical for fear that having a bangla boyfriend would get them deported back to the Philippines. One of the maids, Pinoi Bionkbangla kneeled down in the middle of the Orchard road walkway and cried loudly: "I promise I sms breakup with my Bangla boyfriend already. I am not related to that Bangla no more. Please gib me a chance, I no want go back Philippines."

    Another domestic helper Itchi Tuanini was more stoic and looked forward. "I love my bangla boyfriend, he make me happy every weekend, but since my fellow maids say we must breakup or lose our jobs, I follow their idea. So sad I cannot see my hunny anymore. Maybe time to find China or Indian boyfriend."

    At around 7pm, spokesperson for the Pinoy Maid Association Singapore (PMAS) told ST that almost 800 pinoy maids have pledged to break up with their Bangla boyfriends with immediate effect. They believe it is in their best interest to disassociate themselves with Bangladeshi workers to safeguard their employment status in Singapore and the security of Singapore. The remaining 10000 maids with bangla bfs will review their decision at a later date.

    When interviewed, Mdm Kia Zheng Hu, an employer of a Filipino domestic worker shared: "I completely support my maid's decision to break up with her bangla boyfriend. This is in Singapore's national security! I will give her a $20 bonus for this very wise decision."

    Disclaimer: This piece was written by satirist Wan Dan Liao for the Straights Times. You must absolutely believe what you read.

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at editorial@allsingaporestuff.com. If not, why not give us a 'Like'?

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              PRC KIDS TO LOCAL INDIAN BOY: NO PLAYING TOGETHER, OUR PARENTS DON'T LIKE INDIANS        

    Dear ASS,

    These PRC kids playing at our playgrounds but they have audacity to be racist against our Indian Singaporeans. When the friendly local boy went to make friends and asked if he could join them in playing at the playground, the PRC kids rejected him and told him that their parents 'don't like Indians'...

    Why are we bringing in such PRC people into Singapore when do not share our values of racial harmony and to live together as one people one nation. They obviously think they are superior and fail to teach their children the right values. It is not the children fault but if nobody teach them Singapore values, they end up being racist against Singaporean minority races.

    This was the parent's recount of the incident.. super unfortunate and make me angry.

    "Poor *#% bunch of PRCs kids were playing and he being all friendly asked the kids if he can play and was given an answer that no our parents don't like Indians. ..... horrible adults !!! Not teaching the kids the right thing."

    Krish
    A.S.S. Contributor

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at editorial@allsingaporestuff.com. If not, why not give us a 'Like'?

    Filed Under: 

    Tags: 


              Holi The Festival of Colours        

    One of the major festivals of India and easily the most colourful, Holi is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which falls is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar. Holi festival is celebrated under different names and people in different…

    The post Holi The Festival of Colours appeared first on Prakash Astrologer.


              Offer - Mohit Turs & Travels And Building Constructions. - INDIA        
    Mohit Turs & Travels And Building Constructions. We..... are providing all kinds of travels vehicles like toyota, suzuki, tata,tavera,inova a/c,non a/c and mini buses also available. For more information contact us on +91-9767441686 or mail us on mohit.travels1986@rocketmail.com nikj2017info2139
              Offer - Payment gateway for tech support - INDIA        
    KDS Card Pay is an Fastest growing Payment Gateway for the tech support in the market, with specialization in Online Payment Gateway for Tech Support process. KDS Card Pay give comprehensive high risk credit card and e-Check processing services to tech support merchants. KDS Card Pay processes thousand of transaction weekly for tech support companies. We offer a smooth, quick and frictionless purchasing knowledge. This component empowers clients to store their credit and debit card credentials.Get in Touch With Us:Email: support@kdscardpay.comMobile Number: +91-9718164449, +91-8800559281Address D 158 Noida Sector 10 Uttar pradeshhttp://www.kdscardpay.com/payment-gateway-for-tech-support.phphttps://www.facebook.com/KDScardpaypaymentgatewayfortechsupport/https://twitter.com/kdscardpay
              Sejarah awal kerajaan Melayu Melaka        
    Mengikut sejarah Kesultanan Melayu Melaka wujud pada 1400-1403 yang diasaskan oleh seorang anak raja dari Pelembang iaitu Parameswarayang atau Dharmaraja iaitu Raja Singapura terakhir yang berasal dari keturunan Srivijaya.

    Pada tahun 1401, Kerajaan Singapura telah diserang oleh Kerajaan Majapahit dengan bantuan Bendahara yang belot iaitu Sang Rajuna Tapa,Akhirnya kerajaan Singapura telah mengalami kekelahan dan Parameswara bertindak melarikan diri bersama pengikutnya menuju ke pantai Barat Semenanjung Melayu bagi membuka negeri yang baru.

    Menurut sejarah melayu yang dikarang oleh Tun Sri Lanang pada tahun 1565, Sebaik Parameswara tiba di Muar, beliau cuba untuk mendirikan pusat pemerintahannya di Muar tetapi gagal ekoran diganggu oleh biawak yang banyak.


    Kemudiannya Parameswara berpindah dan mendirikan kubu pertahanannya di Batu Burok tetapi sekali lagi gagal apabila kubu pertahanan yang dibina tiba-tiba runtuh. Seterusnya Parameswara berpindah ke Sening Ujong dan beliau bertindak melantik seorang menteri untuk mewakili beliau disana dan kemudiannya beliau berpindah ke Sungai Bertam iaitu satu kawasan persisiran pantai.

    Di Sungai Bertam,orang-orang Seletar iaitu penduduk tempatan telah menyambut baik kedatangan Parameswara dan telah meminta Parameswara menjadi raja dan pada masa yang sama Parameswara merasakan kedudukan tempat itu teramat stategik untuk dijadikan sebuah kerajaan kerana ia berhampiran dengan laut yang menjadi laluan kapal dagang.

    Antara faktor lain yang mendorong Parameswara adalah kerana bentuk muka buminya yang berbukit bukau yang boleh menjadi petunjuk kepada pelayar dan atas faktor itu ia akan memudahkan lagi bagi mengawal selat Melaka. selain dari itu kemudahan seperti bekalan air bersih juga serta kawasan tersebut mempunyai banyak pokok-pokok bakau dan api-api yang boleh dijadikan benteng semulajadi dari tiupan angin monsun di kawasan muara sungai.

    Mengikut sejarah Melayu Melaka nama Melaka telah diambil dari sepohon pokok melaka dimana kisahnya bermula ketika Parameswara sedang berehat dibawah pokok melaka telah terjadi satu kejadian yang dianggap luar biasa apabila seekor pelanduk kecil dapat mengalahkan seekor anjing. Oleh kerana kejadian yang amat luar biasa itu Parameswara telah memilih untuk dijadikan sebuah kerajaan dengan nama Melaka.

    Pada tahun 1409, Parameswara memeluk Islam dan pada masa itu Islam telah berkembang di Negeri Melaka dan Parameswara telah mengelarkan diri baginda sebagai Raja Iskandar Syah dan Baginda telah berkahwin dengan Puteri Pasai.

    Dalam tahun yang sama juga  satu rombongan dari kerajaan China datang melawat ke Melaka yang diketui oleh Laksamana Cheng Ho yang dalam rangka lawatannya untuk menerokai dunia. Kemudiannya pada tahun 1411 Kerajaan Melaka telah membuat pelayaran ke China yang diketui oleh Baginda sendiri serta 540 pengiring untuk bertemu dengan Maharaja Ming Yung Lo. Dalam lawatan itu Maharaja Yong Lo telah mengiktiraf Baginda sebagai Raja Melaka yang sah.

    Dizaman pemerintahan Baginda Kerajaan Melaka telah berkembang dengan pesat dan telah menjadi sebuah pelabuhan yang terpenting di Kepulauan Melayu pada abad ke-15 dan ke 16. Melaka pada masa itu telah menjadi satu tempat perdagangan rempah terbesar dan berfungsi sebagai pintu masuk kepada perdagang untuk memasarkan rempah mereka.
    Ia jelas melalui petikan dari Duarte Barbosa iaitu;

    " Sesiapa yang menguasai Melaka, dapat menguasai perdagangan dunia "

    Antara faktor-foktor yang meyumbang kepada kejayaan Melaka menjadi negeri yang maju adalah kerana pelabuhannya yang terlindung dari ancaman angin monsun Barat Daya dan Monsun Timur Laut yang menjadikan ramai perdagang dari Arab, India China dan lain-lain berlindung di Melaka sehingga keadaan menjadi selamat untuk belayar semula.

    Semasa pemerintahan Baginda, Orang-orang dari China ramai menetap di Melaka terutama di kawasan Bukit Cina yang di anggap kawasan yang menbawa tuah " feng shui kepada mereka di masa itu. 

              The sport of skiing is growing in the massive Himalaya; this writer went there to investigate        

    Often referred to as the “Roof of the World,” the Himalayas are home to eight of the tallest mountains on the planet and over one hundred peaks exceeding 23,600 feet above sea level, including the goliath Mount Everest which tops out at 29,029 feet. The iconic range extends through China, Bhutan, Pakistan, India and Nepal […]

    The post The sport of skiing is growing in the massive Himalaya; this writer went there to investigate appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Fans call the tricks and Bobby Brown answers like a boss        

    The internet is just fascinating, don’t you think? Some little dude in Bumf#ck, Indiana can shoot a message to X Games gold medalist and Olympian, Bobby Brown, tell him to throw a switch double misty 1260, and then the next thing you know there’s Bobby, just making that kid’s day and performing a death-defying stunt […]

    The post Fans call the tricks and Bobby Brown answers like a boss appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Home — Louisville, KY        
    India - January 2015
              Back in the USA — Newark, NJ        
    India - January 2015
              Last Day — New Delhi, India        
    India - January 2015
              Optical Illusion — Agra, India        
    India - January 2015
              Please drive faster — Agra, India        
    India - January 2015
              Last Day of Eye Camps and Pastors Training — Badlapur, India        
    India - January 2015
              Closing Ceremonies — Badlapur, India        
    India - January 2015
              Village Surprise — Badlapur, India        
    India - January 2015
              First eye camp and day 1 of pastors training — Badlapur, India        
    India - January 2015
              Ministry in Badlapur — Badlapur, India        
    India - January 2015
              Birla Mandir – Lakshmi Narayan Temple Delhi        
    Birla Mandir also Known as Laxmi Narayan Temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Laxminarayan in Delhi, India. It is located on Mandir Marg near Connaught Circus in Delhi. Laxmi Narayan Temple was...

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              Jantar Mantar Delhi        
    Jantar Mantar is one of the greatest Historical places of India situated near Connaught Place at the capital Delhi. It was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the year 1724. It is an...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
              Lindsay's Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray        
    A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
    Book One in the Gemma Doyle Series
    Published on December 9th, 2003 by Simon and Schuster
    Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
    403 Pages
    A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

    Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique.

    Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
    As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a sucker for cute, cheesy romance books without a whole lot of substance. I thought it would be hard to read this book because romance was not the main plot, but I was pleasantly surprised.

    A long time ago I remember reading one of the books in the series that my older sister let me borrow. I'm not quite sure which one it was, but even though I don't remember much, I'm left with fond memories of the beautiful place where the girls go. Something about it kept drawing me to this book so I finally picked it up.

    Gemma is a wonderful main character. In the times where she's meant to be a proper lady who never speaks her mind, she struggles with keeping her opinions to herself and acting the way she's supposed to. On top of that she's very cunning, making the exchanges with the other girls very interesting and exciting to read because of how the pages turn with her choices.

    Her friends, who you dislike at the start of the novel, become very real when you get to know them as Gemma's friends later on. They have valid reasons for the things they do, and even though sometimes they say things that are blatantly uncalled for, you get where they're coming from because of the lives they lived.

    Even though the characters were very realistic and relatable, I felt like parts of the world were missing. I couldn't imagine the clothes they wore in that time, what the places in London were like. Maybe it's just me, but I had trouble putting images around the characters because of so.

    One problem I had, and I'll try to be vague to keep from spoiling, was what happened at the end. I felt like the chapter touching on it should have been longer and more in-depth for such a big twist, but instead it kind of rushed by. When something big happens you want to know the details, to read what's happening to other characters, but it was over in a few measly pages and then shortly after the book ended. It might be the writer in me overreacting, but I really wanted more.

    A Great and Terrible Beauty sucked me right in, making it nearly impossible for me to put down. Even though there was a romance only as a minor sub plot, I hardly noticed it. The book kept me flipping pages to find out what happens after each twist and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

              Waxahachie pitcher excels with one hand        

    Cristian Gonzalez, 15, pitches and plays first base for the Waxahachie Indians. And he does it differently than most anyone you’ve ever seen play the game.

     
           

              Temperos naturais que são uma delícia! Aprenda como e onde utilizá-los!        

    CLAUDIO AMORIM MED EMAGRECIMENTO

    Atualmente você encontra vários tipos de temperos industrializados que prometem realçar o sabor dos alimentos. Estes realmente aguçam o paladar, contudo, são extremamente prejudiciais à sua saúde devido a maioria conter o sódio e conservantes em sua composição.

    Temperos naturais é a opção perfeita para reduzir o consumo destes tipos de substâncias, pois além de saudáveis garantem muito sabor aos pratos!

    Conheça a seguir, alguns temperos naturais que são uma delícia! Aprenda também como e onde utilizá-los. Confira!

    1- Alecrim

    O alecrim é uma erva que tem um sabor e aroma bem marcantes. Antigamente, mais precisamente no século XIV, era extraído o óleo do alecrim para produção de um cosmético popular da época chamado “A Água da Rainha da Hungria”.

    Nativo do mediterrâneo, o alecrim hoje é usado como tempero natural no mundo inteiro!

    Propriedades: é rico em vitamina B e C, ferro, cálcio, fósforo, potássio, magnésio, contém antioxidantes que possuem propriedades anti-inflamatórias, prevenindo o envelhecimento precoce, o crescimento de células cancerígenas e evitando danos ao seu corpo.

    Como e onde usar: o leve toque de pequenos ramos de alecrim no preparo de abobrinha e batatas com pele assadas faz com que o prato fique uma delícia. Azeite de alecrim e alho com casca são perfeitos para pizzas. Esta erva também combina com aves, massas, peixes, carnes de cordeiro, de porco e de cabrito.

    2- Curry

     O tempero curry é de origem indiana e é uma mistura de diversas especiarias tais como o coentro, manjericão, canela, cravo, cúrcuma, páprica, cominho, noz-moscada, gengibre e cardamomo.

    Propriedades: tem efeito antioxidante, antibacteriano, estimula o sistema imune e reduz processos inflamatórios, previne seu corpo de doenças crônicas como diabetes e cardiovasculares.

    Como e onde usar: é usado em carnes, molhos, sopas, peixes, aves e pratos com queijos e ovos, cozidos e assados em geral. O curry pode até mesmo ser acrescentado em seu chocolate quente!

    3- Chimichurri

    Conhecido como o melhor amigo de todo churrasqueiro, o chimichurry é mais um dos temperos naturais feito com ervas que tem origem nos pampas uruguaios e argentinos!

    Propriedades: rico em vitamina B2, sais minerais, age como antioxidante, melhora a digestão, combate o inchaço abdominal e reduz significativamente as taxas de colesterol. Devido sua ação termogênica, o chimichurry ajuda a emagrecer!

    Como e onde usar: este é um tempero bem versátil. Você pode usar o tempero chimichurry em marinadas para carne, porco e cordeiro, aves ou como molho para acompanhar qualquer destas preparações ou sanduíches e pães. É ótimo também para dar um toque especial no feijão, requeijão ou manteiga. Uma delícia!

    4- Pimenta calabresa

    A pimenta calabresa é uma das importantes aliadas de pessoas que buscam ajuda para emagrecer.

    Propriedades: fonte de vitamina A, B1, B2, B3 e C. Contém capsaicina (substância responsável ela pungência da pimenta). É anti-inflamatória, vasodilatadora, favorece a redução de coágulos no sangue, alivia dores de cabeça, atua como cicatrizante, alivia doenças cancerígenas e também do coração, é eficiente na queima de calorias, é antioxidante e possui ação termogênica que te ajuda a perder peso.

    Como e onde usar: com leves pitadas nas receitas caseiras como saladas, frangos, arroz, carnes e outros, a pimenta calabresa dá um toque diferenciado ao sabor dos alimentos. Ela vai bem até em doces como mousses.

    5- Gengibre

    O gengibre é um dos melhores temperos naturais que existe! Na medicina asiática ele é considerado como uma especiaria “quente”; sabe por quê?

    Porque o gengibre serve para reforçar as energias masculinas da vitalidade e do “fogo”. Gostou? Então, veja como e onde você pode utilizá-lo:

    • Serve para condimentar peixes, sopas, bolos, leguminosas e biscoitos. Pode ser apreciado como fruta cristalizada e servir de ingrediente para sucos detox.

    Veja outros tipos de temperos naturais que são uma delícia:

    • Coentro.

    • Hortelã.

    • Louro em folhas.

    • Orégano.

    • Sálvia.

    • Manjerona.

    • Estragão.

    • Salsão.

    • Mostarda em grão.

    • Kümmel.

    • Cadamomo.

    • Páprica.

    Portanto, escolha o tempero natural que seja melhor para cada tipo de prato que você for preparar e bom apetite!

    E VOCÊ? Já ouviu FALAR SOBRE o MED: PROGRAMA REVOLUCIONÁRIO DE EMAGRECIMENTO DEFINITIVO!

    Um forte abraço.


              International Project 2016: Beauty Behind the ‘WOW’ Moments        
    There is much the mind thinks about during, and after, the two weeks we spent in rural India on our Softchoice Cares International Project. All your senses are on fire. Experiences no words in a blog post will ever make you fully and truly understand. I don’t think one can ever truly understand it, until […]
              International Project 2016: People Are Amazing        
    Dhanyavaad, bhaarat ke Indiya. (“Thank you, people of India”) In the weeks since I’ve returned home from the Softchoice Cares International Project in Rajasthan, India, I’ve come to realize that people are truly amazing. I’ll start this post by stating plainly that India has its challenges. Real. Serious. Challenges. The Caste system, widespread hunger, political […]
              Softchoice Cares in India: Follow their Journey        
    From Oct. 8-22, 2016, the Softchoice Cares board is volunteering in Rajasthan, India with Jatan Sansthan. The team will be working to update two computer labs that Softchoice Cares built last year, and train locals from the community, particularly kids, on how to use them – among many adventures. Check this blog post for regular […]
              Excitement builds as Softchoice Cares prepares for Rajasthan, India        
    Softchoice Cares has carried out a number of international projects over its 10-year history, including ones in Sri Lanka, Bali, Kenya, Rwanda, and most recently, India. In October 2016, the employee-led Softchoice Cares board is returning to Rajasthan, India to build on and expand the work that was completed during our last international project 18 […]
              Softchoice Cares returning to Rajasthan, India in October        
    For over 10 years, Softchoice Cares has worked to ‘bridge the digital divide’ in communities across North America and places around the world. We believe that access to technology opens up a world of possibilities for disadvantaged families – particularly children – to learn and develop new skills, and break the cycle of poverty. This […]
              India: Finding Harmony Within the Noise        
    The end of the first work week got off to a rough start for me. The spicy and exotic Indian food that was so great the first few days was now losing its charm. The constant honking and swerving to get to the work site did not make for a pleasant morning. Even the worksite […]
          

              India – A Feast for the Eyes        
    Glances out the window reveal life in action. A bare-foot and bare-bottomed boy running down an alleyway using a stick to control a rolling bicycle tire. An old man wrapped in many layers of clothing to ward off the morning cold, lighting his morning cigarette. A young girl, maybe 10, carrying a toddler along the […]
          

              SC Cares International Project 2015: Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural India!        
    The countdown is on as the Softchoice Cares Board anticipates its departure to Rajasthan, India on February 6th for its next International Project! Softchoice’s employees and our partners support and donate time and money to local causes across North America throughout the year. To spread the orange even further, Softchoice Cares also chooses one organization to help bridge […]
          

              FreedomWorks Comments on Right to Try Passing Senate         

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon released the following statement after the Senate passed the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act by unanimous consent:

    "We applaud the Senate's move to support right to try. Right to try will give hope to those facing the worst diagnoses by opening up treatments with good results that haven't passed the entirety of FDA's bureaucratic approval process.

    "Chairman Greg Walden, whose home state of Oregon has passed right to try Oregon, should move Rep. Andy Biggs' Right to Try Act out of his committee first thing in September. The bill has bipartisan support, and dozens of states have recently adopted right to try legislation.

    "Vice President Mike Pence signed right to try as Indiana's governor in 2015, and President Donald Trump has spoken up for right to try. This is an easy legislative win if we can get out of our own way."


              Right to Try: Life and Death        

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon urged the Senate to support Sen. Ron Johnson's (R-Wis.) unanimous consent request for the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act:

    “Right to try is the right to hope. We saw the heartbreaking situation with Charlie Gard in England; his country would not let him try a treatment that might have saved his life. We see Diego Morris, who is a great advocate of right to try; his life was arguably saved because he got treatment for his cancer that was illegal here by traveling to England where it was legal.

    “Right to try has passed in thirty-seven states with great momentum. Five states passed it in 2014, eighteen in 2015, six more in 2016, and seven more in 2017. Vice President Mike Pence signed the bill into law in 2015 for the state of Indiana, and President Donald Trump has expressed support for right to try. They should have a chance to try a treatment that might cure them.

    “We strongly support the right to try in the Senate, and urge senators to support Sen. Johnson should he ask for unanimous consent to bring the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act to the floor.”


              A INDIAN MAIS RÁPIDA DO MUNDO        
    Nº207 MOTOCICLISMO Julho 2008
    Os sonhos, tal como as motos, também se tornam clássicos e míticos. Este, de transpor o recorde de velocidade, apesar de recorrente, não está ao alcance de qualquer um. É só para quem não tenha medo de arriscar.

    Burt Munro é o homem sobre quem escrevemos. Um neo-zelandês sexagenário, com alguns hábitos de eremita, mas um fervoroso entusiasta dos motores e da velocidade. O seu principal hobby consistia em estar constantemente a modificar a Indian Scout dos anos 20 que tinha na garagem, competindo, de quando em vez, com outros racers de montadas mais modernas. Assim era para que pudesse cumprir um sonho maior: o de competir com a sua moto em Bonneville Salt Flats com o fito de superar recordes de velocidade. Apenas por paixão. A vida desta personagem real já serviu de inspiração para, pelo menos, dois livros. George Begg escreveu em 2002 “Burt Munro: Indian Legend Of Speed” e, Tim Hanna, em 2006, fez editar "One Good Run: The Legend of Burt Munro". Contudo, pelo meio, em 2005, surge o filme “The World’s Fastest Indian”, protagonizado por Anthony Hopkins e realizado por Roger Donaldson que, de uma forma livre, nos reconta a senda de Burt Munro para perseguir e realizar o seu sonho. É sobre esse registo que pretendemos dar conta neste texto.

    Burt era um cidadão admirado na sua comunidade. Era afável, educado e respeitado, tendo sido, inclusivamente, distinguido pela publicação “Popular Mechanics”, em 1957, por a sua moto ser a mais veloz da Austrália e Nova Zelândia. Porém, ambicioso como era, distinções como essa só lhe aumentavam ainda mais o desejo de competir em Bonneville. Este projecto audacioso envolveu o dispêndio de todas as suas economias, fruto de uma vida inteira de trabalho.

    Poucos dias antes da partida, é-lhe diagnosticado um grave problema de coração, sendo aconselhado pelo médico a deixar, pura e simplesmente, de competir. Burt não podia ter dado maior desprezo às palavras do médico. Uma vida pacata, de roupão e chinelos, sem a adrenalina das motos e da velocidade não era para si. Com o descrédito de muitos dos seus conhecidos, mas com o voto de confiança dos que lhe estavam mais próximos, Burt Munro e a Indian Scout embarcaram rumo aos Estados Unidos. Estávamos em 1962.

    Depois das muitas peripécias que o filme nos apresenta, Burt Munro chega finalmente a Bonneville, mesmo a tempo de participar na famosa Speed Week. Bonneville fica no estado de Utah, e as Salt Flats são grandes superfícies secas que outrora haviam sido enormes lagos salinos. Esta, concretamente, tem cerca de 412km2, e é uma superfície tão plana que acompanha com precisão a curva do globo terrestre. Como local extenso e inóspito que é, tornou-se perfeito para atingir as grandes velocidades que Burt ambicionava.

    Apesar da sua patologia clínica em nada o ajudar, contra todos os prognósticos, Burt estableceu o recorde de 288km/h na sua Indian com o motor de 850cc. Uma moto que nem travões de disco tinha, e cuja ciclística era um misto de foguetão artesanal com bicicleta a pedais. Mas sobreviveu! De tal maneira que no ano seguinte regressou e atingiu os 305.88km/h (não oficial). Em 1967, Burt estabeleceu o recorde mundial de 295.45km/h com a sua Indian Scout a atingir uma capacidade de 950cc. Este feito ainda hoje perdura.

    De todas as vezes que Burt se deslocava a Bonneville, a sua “dream-team” era um grupo de entusiastas que o apoiava como podia e sabia. Os recursos eram escassos, e as necessidades eram muitas. Havia que gerir tudo com parcimónia. Compensava a boa vontade, que essa era de sobra. Como mais tarde confidenciou: «Na última vez em Los Angeles arranjei um furgão por 90 dólares. Era a sede da equipa Indian».

    Burt faleceu em 1978, com 79 anos. O seu exemplo de coragem e tenacidade ficará para sempre. A Indian Scout, que foi sua durante 57 anos, e com a qual estabeleceu novos limites para a ousadia, está hoje na posse de um entusiasta de longa data em South Island.

    INDIAN SCOUT
    Engenheiro responsável pelo projecto: Charles Franklin
    Produção: 1919-1930
    Cilindrada: 596cc
    Motor: bicilíndrico em V, 42º com válvulas laterais
    Caixa: 3 velocidades
    Transmissão: corrente
    © 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

              DAYTONA BIKE WEEK        
    Nº76 MOTO REPORT Abril 2008
    Talvez tenha sido o apelo de areia dura, nos dias amenos de Inverno, ou talvez a excitação da primeira corrida de moto pela praia, que fez de Daytona Beach o palco da Bike Week mais famosa do mundo inteiro. Provavelmente o retorno, todos os anos, de cada vez mais pessoas ao evento, dever-se-á às carismáticas actividades que lá têm lugar e que, por isso mesmo, têm ajudado a elevar o seu nome cada vez mais alto. Seja como for, esta Bike Week é uma prestigiada tradição que tem lugar desde 24 de Janeiro de 1937, originalmente com o nome de Daytona 200. Este ano, de 29 de Fevereiro a 09 de Março, cumpriu-se novamente a tradição, e o sonho de muitos que lá ambicionam ir.

    A primeira corrida teve lugar ao longo de 3.2 milhas (pouco mais de 5.100 metros), num percurso misto de areia de praia e estrada, ao sul de Daytona Beach. O californiano Ed Kretz, mais concretamente de Monterey Park, foi o vencedor. Ele pilotava uma moto de um conceituado fabricante americano, a Indian, e a velocidade média cifrou-se nos 117km/h. Kretz venceu também a corrida inaugural da cidade de Daytona Beach. Entre 1942 e 1947, devido à II Guerra Mundial, esta prova teve de ser cancelada. A American Motorcycling Association (AMA) considerou que, no interesse da defesa nacional, deveria ser imposto um interregno ao evento. É que a guerra obrigava ao racionamento dos combustíveis, e a produção de pneus, e de componentes mecânicos de base, para veículos domésticos ou particulares deveria ser canalizada, quase que em exclusivo, para a obtenção de mais material bélico. Porém, neste período, uma outra corrida, não oficial, teve lugar. Era descrito pelos locais com “Handlebar Derby” (a prova dos guiadores). A 24 de Fevereiro de 1947, e com o conflito mundial já terminado, um ilustre cidadão local, Bill France, promoveu a reorganização da corrida e contou com 176 concorrentes. Vários jornais da época relatam que terá sido pedido à população que acolhesse os motociclistas visitantes nas suas casas, pois o ramo hoteleiro estava simplesmente lotado. Em 1948, um novo percurso de praia e estrada foi delineado, motivado pela construção na área onde antes as corridas se realizavam. Desta feita, os organizadores moveram-no ainda mais para sul, para junto de Ponce Inlet. Contava agora com 4.1 milhas (mais de seis quilómetros e meio) de extensão. A última Daytona 200, num percurso misto de areia e alcatrão, ocorreu em 1960. Depois disso, a prova foi transferida para o circuito Daytona International Speedway. Esta Bike Week sempre encerrou em si mesma um toque bastante peculiar. Algures, depois da guerra, criou-se uma certa tensão em seu torno. Enquanto que a competição era devidamente organizada, obedecendo a regras bem definidas, tudo o resto à sua volta não. Com o passar dos anos, a população local começou a sentir-se insegura com aquilo que denominava de “A Invasão”. Os agentes da autoridade eram poucos, tendo em conta a dimensão do evento, e os confrontos entre bikers e polícia eram cada vez mais intensos. Esta espiral de violência atingiu o seu pico em 1986. Daí em diante, estabeleceu-se uma equipa operacional, composta por várias entidades, como sejam a própria organização, diversas instituições da cidade e até a câmara de comércio local, com o fito de melhorar as relações entre os participantes e a população, alterando a magnitude dos acontecimentos. Hoje em dia, a Bike Week, é um acontecimento que dura dez dias, e que se estende até ao condado de Volusia. Há centenas de actividades para participarem motociclistas ou simples entusiastas. São centenas de milhar os que lá comparecem, e a população local, agora, recebe-os de braços abertos.
    Fatalidades:
    - Em média, por ano, morrem entre quatro a dez pessoas.
    - Em 2000, morreram entre dez a quinze pessoas.
    - Em 2006, doze motociclistas morreram nos primeiros oito dias. No último dia a lista chegou aos dezoito mortos e catorze destas ocorreram nos condados de Volusia e Flagler.
    - Em 2007 morreram duas pessoas.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTO REPORT, uma publicação da JPJ EDITORA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 253 215 466.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              HotRemit App By Digitsecure Adopts BBM For Mobile Payments And Expense Tracking        
    New Delhi, India – April 22, 2016 – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in secure mobile communications and Digitsecure, a leading mobility, identity and payments platform company today announced that they are bringing the immediacy and reliability of BBM™ to HotRemit digital money transfers in India. HotRemit, a social wallet app developed […]
              Lyric Opera Announces its 2017-18 Resident Artists        

    General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler has announced the selection of the artists for the Resident Artists Program for the 2017-2018 season. They include: soprano Marlen Nahhas, mezzo-soprano Lauren Auge, tenor Martin Luther Clark, baritone Tim Murray and coach/accompanist James Maverick. Led by Vinson Cole, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance faculty member and one of the leading artists of his generation, they will perform in various roles throughout the 2017-2018 season on the mainstage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as well as at community outreach and education events. The artists were selected after a rigorous national audition of more than 350 singers.

    During their Residency, in addition to appearing in mainstage roles, the Resident Artists will work with visiting guest artists, conductors and directors, participate in master classes, receive career coaching, study leading roles, make musical appearances in the community, and appear in their own intimate musical performances as a part of Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Explorations Series, which will focus on intimate gems of the vocal music repertoire. The Resident Artists have completed their post-graduate education and have some professional experience. The Resident Artists will have a full time 8-month contract for one to two years.

    Meet the Resident Artists

    Sun., Sept. 24, 2p

    Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

    Lyric Opera audiences will have an opportunity to meet the Resident Artists on Sunday, September 24 at 2p at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building for an informal afternoon 'salon'. Through conversation and musical selections including arias, art songs and show tunes, audiences are invited to sneak a first peek at the quartet and pianist who will grace the main stage and our Explorations Series presentations throughout the season. The event is FREE. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. For ticket information, visit kcopera.org or contact Lyric Opera Ticketing & Patron Services at (816) 471-7344.

    "We launched the Resident Artists Program last year and it has been an unqualified success," stated Sandler. "We join the international opera community in the training of talented, emerging professional young artists. This professional development program involves performance experience and the ability to work with our field's leading conductors, directors and principal artists. Our audiences have embraced our young artists and have been touched by them in a surprising number of ways. I look forward to another season of productive and engaged experiences."

    The program was made possible by a generous donation from the Estate of Richard Hill, Charter Sponsor of the Resident Artist Program.

    About the Resident Artists

    Lebanese-Mexican soprano Marlen Nahhas has been an apprentice artist at Central City Opera for the last two summers where she was awarded the coveted young artist scholarship. The year prior, she was a festival artist at Utah Festival Opera where she won first place in the Michael Ballam International Opera Competition. Ms. Nahhas has been a two-time regional finalist in the Midwest region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and musical theatre at Oklahoma City University and her Masters and Performance diploma from Indiana University under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. Recent roles include the title role in Tosca, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Mimi in La bohème.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Nahhas will perform the roles of The Page in Rigoletto and Berta in The Barber of Seville.

    Lauren Auge, mezzo-soprano, is described as "offering something transformative to the audience" in her work on the stage. Most recently, Ms. Auge was seen as Jennie in Kurt Weill's Down in the Valley and Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte. Making her mark on the competition scene, Ms. Auge was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Bel Canto Foundation competition, the 2014 winner of Sinfonietta Bel Canto Voice Competition, a finalist in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and a first place winner in the 2013 Pantazelos Performing Artists Foundation Vocal Competition. Recently Ms. Auge was also a Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival. Previous operatic roles have included Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, The Duchess in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Gondoliers, Thelma in Cold Sassy Tree and The Wife in Darius Milhaud's dark opera Le pauvre matelot.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Auge will perform the role of Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

    Tenor Martin Luther Clark is an alumnus at the University of North Texas holding a Graduate Artist Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree, both in Vocal Performance. While at UNT, Mr. Clark studied voice with Dr. Stephen F. Austin and Professor William Joyner. He recently made his Charlottesville Opera debut as a Young Artist singing the role of Borsa (Rigoletto) and covering Curly (Oklahoma!). In May of 2017, he covered the role of Arjuna (Arjuna's Dilemma) with the Dallas Opera. For the 2016 season, Mr. Clark performed roles including Tonio (La fille du regiment) with Opera North, Bastien (Bastien and Bastienne) with the Dallas Opera Outreach, Mozart (Mozart and Salieri) with Opera in Concert, and several others. Also in 2016, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition where he was the youngest competitor by two years. Throughout his college career at UNT, he performed numerous roles including Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (IL Barbiere di Siviglia), Camille (The Merry Widow), and Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance) to name a few. Making his debut at Wolf Trap Opera, he sang the role of Le Fils (Les mamelles de Tirésias) as a Studio Artist.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Clark will perform the roles of The Peasant in Eugene Onegin and Borsa in Rigoletto.

    Lauded for his "...consistent, attractive baritone" (Opera News) and "...?rm, ?exible baritone" (The New York Times), Wisconsin-born baritone Tim Murray makes his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut this season as a member of the 2017-2018 Resident Artist Program. Mr. Murray's 2016-2017 season included a return to the Oratorio Society of New York to cover the baritone soloist in Britten's War Requiem, a short-notice Silvio in I pagliacci with Cedar Rapids Opera, Dandini in La Cenerentola with ARE Opera, NYC, and Moralès in Carmen and Ananias in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace with Central City Opera as a member of the Apprentice Artist program. Previous credits include the baritone soloist in both Berlioz's Lélio with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Oratorio Society of New York. While a student at Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Murray recorded the role of Le Vicomte de Valmont in Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons with Albany Records.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Murray will perform the roles of Zaretsky/Captain in Eugene Onegin, Guy Cotter in Everest, Marullo in Rigoletto and The Officer in The Barber of Seville.

    Coach and accompanist James Maverick is from Bloomington, Indiana. Most recently, he was Apprentice Coach at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program and the Coach Accompanist for Indiana University Opera Theater where he worked on productions of La fillé du régiment and Peter Grimes. Mr. Maverick is a graduate of Indiana University.

    About Vinson Cole

    American tenor Vinson Cole is internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation. His career has taken him to all the major opera houses across the globe including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris Bastille, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels, Berlin State Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Opera Australia, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Seattle Opera and many more. Equally celebrated for his concert appearances, Mr. Cole has been a frequent guest of the most prestigious orchestras throughout the world and has collaborated with the greatest conductors of this era including Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Gerard Schwarz as well as Sir Georg Solti and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Mr. Cole had an especially close working relationship with the late Herbert von Karajan, who brought the artist to the Salzburg Festival to sing the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier - the first of many performances there together. Their collaboration went on to include works such as Verdi's Requiem, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Mozart's Requiem and Bruckner's Te Deum. Many of these were issued on recordings on Deutsche Grammaphon. He was the performer on the soundtrack for the film Immortal Beloved.

    As a teacher, he has taught at the University of Washington School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. He has conducted master classes for San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and the Canadian Opera Company. Currently, Cole is a faculty member at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

    Mr. Cole, born in Kansas City, studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City before attending the Philadelphia Musical Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1977, he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the WGN Competition, and was awarded both the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Opera Institute grants. His career took off from there as he went on to perform principal roles with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opèra National de Paris, Paris Opera-Bastille, Teatro alla Scala, and many more. Mr. Cole became well known for his interpretation of French repertoire after singing in the Manon centennial performances with Paris's Opera Comique in 1984. Since then, he has performed singular interpretations in such roles for Lakmè, Carmen, Don Carlos, and Faust. He has been honored with numerous awards including special invitations to perform with the Harriman-Jewell Series recitals and received an honorary doctorate from William Jewell College. He also received the Alumni Award from the Conservatory at UMKC, plus the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for outstanding individual achievement and commitment to the arts.

    2017-2018 Season at a Glance:

    * Lyric Opera debut

    NEW PRODUCTION

    Eugene Onegin

    Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1897

    Sung in Russian with English subtitles

    Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, October 6, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, October 8, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Tomer Zvulun

    Conductor: Ari Pelto*

    Scenery Designer: Erhard Rom

    Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel

    Onegin: Morgan Smith *

    Tatyana: Joyce El-Khoury

    Olga: Megan Marino

    Lensky: JoNathan Johnson

    Gremin: Paul Whelan *

    Filipievna: Jane Bunnell

    Monsieur Triquet: Steven Cole

    Zaretsky/Captain: Tim Murray*

    KANSAS CITY PREMIERE

    Everest

    Composer: Joby Talbot, 2015

    Librettist: Gene Scheer

    Sung in English with English subtitles

    Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, November 17, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Leonard Foglia *

    Conductor: Nicole Paiement *

    Beck Weathers: Michael Mayes *

    Jan Arnold: Sarah Larsen *

    Rob Hall: Andrew Bidlack *

    Doug Hansen: Craig Verm *

    Mike Groom: Mark McCrory

    Guy Cotter: Tim Murray

    Rigoletto

    Giuseppe Verdi, 1851

    Sung in Italian with English subtitles

    Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, March 9, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Director: David Gately

    Conductor: David Charles Abell

    Rigoletto: Leo An *

    Gilda: Nicole Haslett *

    Count Monterone: Andrew Gangestad

    Duke: Scott Quinn

    Maddalena: Zanda Šv?de

    Sparafucile: Peixin Chen *

    Marullo: Tim Murray

    Giovanna: Alice Chung

    Countess Ceprano: Lauren Auge*

    Page: Marlen Nahhas*

    Usher: Armando Contreras

    REIMAGINED PRODUCTION

    The Barber of Seville

    Gioachino Rossini, 1816

    Sung in Italian with English subtitles

    Saturday, April 28, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, May 6, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Michael Shell *

    Conductor: Leonardo Vordoni

    Lighting Designer: Kendall Smith

    Almaviva: Jack Swanson *

    Rosina: Cassandra Zoe Velasco *

    Figaro: Jarett Ott *

    Don Basilio: Brian Banion

    Don Bartolo: Matthew Burns *

    Berta: Marlen Nahhas

    Fiorello: Armando Contreras

    Officer: Tim Murray

    About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

    Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958; it is one of the nation's premier regional opera companies and brings high quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original language performances of standard repertory as well as contemporary and American operas. The Company mounts productions that enrich the community it serves, as well as reflect the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative and award-winning programs designed to further music and arts education both in schools and in the community, and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year.


              BWW Review: HUCK FINN - GUEST OF THE WINDING WIND at Just Off Broadway Theatre        

    The ghost of a character purporting to be Huckleberry Finn in later life appears dangling from a hot air balloon at the 2017 KC Fringe Festival. This Huck Finn has very little to do with Thomas Blankenship of 1845 Hannibal Missouri who was Samuel Clemens' childhood buddy and Mark Twain's inspiration for the character.

    This Huck is as interpreted and reimagined by Phillip Kinen as part of a six-episode cycle of plays. August Wilson wrote a ten-episode cycle of plays about the African American experience. Sophocles wrote a three-episode cycle of plays about the travels of ancient Greek King Odysseus. Modern audiences will never mistake "Guest of the Winding Wind" for one of those.

    "Guest of the Winding Wind" finds Huck depressed and almost alone. He hooks up with a faithful Indian companion and is convinced to go adventuring. He has descended from I'm not sure where to land at the Just Off Broadway Theatre in the old Kansas City Police horse stable below Children's Hospital.

    The show begins hopefully enough. It is probably one of the most handsomely mounted productions you will see at "Fringe" this year. The props are carefully built and prepared. The costumes are elaborate. The lighting is pretty good. The opening has erudite "Huck" on stage lecturing to a tented crowd or perhaps at the Cooper Union Hall in 1895 New York and gets the audience ready for a caper.

    Unfortunately, these are the high points. Somehow, we migrate to the old west or Peter Pan or Don Quixote or the Lone Ranger or somewhere. This hot mess falls completely apart. The actors literally run around the stage yelling at each other, ducking arrows, being something they are not, donning ridiculous chicken costumes, and waving their arms.

    At the end of the hour, the audience politely applauds- relieved to be at the end of the performance. Instead, the show starts up again briefly. Applause again. Then, we start up again a third time. The actors finally retreat to the lobby to await their congratulations and photo session. They locate themselves between the theater exit and the lobby to the outside.

    Huck Finn was one of Mark Twain's most classic characters. He was the 19th century's version of "street smart." Huck came from a humble and abused background, was an illiterate, but not dumb, and was well meaning -- even if he always got into frequent difficulties. It is suggested Mr. Kinen go back and reread Mark Twain.

    I will not be reviewing the remainder of the cycle. This play has as much to do with a Huck Finn cycle as a bicycle has to do with a wagon or Huckleberry Finn. That sound you hear is Sam Clemens turning over in his Elmira, New York grave.


              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?


              Caminos de pastores        
    Caminos de pastores

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Estamos parando, durante este mes de marzo, en un pequeño pueblo de la llamada "sierra pobre" de Madrid, que en su día perteneció a la provincia de Segovia. El pueblo en cuestión se llama Bustarviejo, y es un lugar en el que todavía –a pesar del avance de "lo moderno"– se conserva bastante de la vida tranquila de las villas del interior castellano.

    Por aquí, por Bustarviejo, desde donde les escribo hoy, pasaba la Cañada Real, una de las rutas de los pastores trashumantes. En tiempos pasados –y aún hoy, aunque sólo sea una débil sombra de lo que fue– los rebaños de ovejas (una de las principales fuentes de riqueza de la antigua Castilla, que a veces contaban con millares de cabezas) debían moverse de sur a norte y viceversa en busca de zonas de invernada y de pastos para comer en verano. Así se formaban caravanas que, desde la Edad Media, fueron conducidas por las "cañadas", caminos especiales que evitaban el destrozo de campos sembrados y permitían a la corona recaudar los "debidos" y consabidos impuestos.

    La vida de los pastores trashumantes estaba asociada a una cultura particular: a instrumentos musicales determinados, que hoy apenas si sobreviven en las manos de algunos ancianos memoriosos y en la de algunos jóvenes que quieren rescatar esos recuerdos tan bellos; a unos tipos determinados de comida, usualmente vinculadas a chacinados, quesos, pan y frutos de estación; a unos cantos y unos cuentos muy particulares; a unas costumbres y hábitos tradicionales (relativos a la vida nómada que llevaban esos individuos); y, en fin, a toda una serie de costumbres, refranes, técnicas y actitudes.

    Esa misma cultura –salvando todas las distancias– se encuentra entre los caravaneros de llamas que cruzan el altiplano boliviano llevando papas desde la puna a los lagos salados, para cambiarlas allí por bloques de sal y transportar ese preciado bien blanco a los valles cálidos para trocarlos por hojas de coca, verduras, frutas, queso... Esa cultura incluye ritos ancestrales de propiciación y protección de viajeros y animales; incluye instrumentos musicales únicos, decires, ceremonias, costumbres...

    Y encontrarán rasgos similares entre los camelleros del África subsahariana; y entre los conductores de las recuas de yaks que cruzan el Himalaya entre India y Nepal o Pakistán; y entre los Saami (lapones) que mueven sus renos a través de Escandinavia; y entre los Masai que pastorean sus preciados rebaños de vacas a través del África oriental...

    Son patrones y características que conforman el inmenso mosaico humano del que formamos parte. Algo de ellos está plasmado en los documentos que habitan los estantes de nuestras bibliotecas. Pero es sólo una parte mínima, el saber que ha sido escrito. La mayor parte de esa cultura sigue mostrando su cara y dejando sus marcas sobre la superficie de nuestro planeta. Viviendo, cambiando, evolucionando, desapareciendo a veces. Es cuestión de no olvidar que todo el conocimiento no está en nuestras manos: muchas cosas siguen latiendo fuera de los muros de las bibliotecas, lejos de catálogos, bases de datos e Internet. Y ese conocimiento es muy importante: son los últimos restos de una época en la que el hombre todavía (re)conocía los ritmos de la naturaleza.

    Como les decía, mucha de esa cultura tradicional sigue viva en algunos rincones de nuestro mundo. Como aquí, en Bustarviejo, donde todavía se recuerdan las nubes de polvo que levantaba el paso de las grandes majadas ovinas, camino a los pastos.


              ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 7         

    Hilary Gadsby


    QuickLesson 7: Family Lore and Indian Princesses    
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 7: Family Lore and Indian Princesses,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-7-family-lore-and-indian-princesses : accessed 4 May 2016).

    This lesson deals with the stories that pass down through the family.
    These can either be backed up by the evidence or totally refuted.
    Whatever we do we must be sure that the person we have found is the one we want and not just someone with a similar name.
    We must also ensure that we look at all credible sources for the time and place we are researching.
    If we miss that there is another person with a similar name, or don't consider them in our analysis, we will reduce the credibility of our research.

    Stories get passed from one generation to another and as each person passes the oral history it can change and even become a totally different tale.
    Oral history should not be dismissed as it can help us to deal with conflicts and changes from one record to another. 
    Within my own research I have been told why a living person uses a different name to that recorded on the birth certificate. 
    Sometimes social attitudes can be such that the truth is not recorded. During wartime many children were conceived whilst the husband was away and at least some of them will have been registered with the husband's surname. Children born to unmarried girls may have been brought up as a younger sibling by the grandparents.

    Many like to believe that they are descendants of nobility or that there is a connection to someone with money. But finding a document does not mean that it is one that relates to your family. Does the information fit with what you already know or are there inconsistencies. Don't wait for someone else to point out your conflicts resolve them, if you can't explain them, highlight them, and think about how you may find out more so that you can resolve them. 


    Only this last week I made contact with a third cousin who told me “ Joseph George Robbins was born on the 28th December 1887 in Warminster, Wiltshire. He left Warminster and went to London, became a window cleaner and then got a job as a waiter at The Strand Hotel in London.  He met Edith Fuller who later became his wife. Joseph travelled to New York and got a job as a waiter at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  At some point he sent for Edith and she obtained work in the hotel as a “hat check girl”.  They married in New Rachel, USA. Edith became pregnant and was sent back to stay with her mother in England. Violet Georgina Robbins was born on 5th June 1916.Grandfather also worked on ships as a chef and a waiter working for the Orient line and went to Australia on the Orantees and my aunts could remember he visited Fremantle, Adelaide and Brisbane. ”
    I am now in the process of confirming the details.

    Transcriptions can be easy to find but I always like to confirm things with originals or digital images.
    The marriage transcription is on Family Search and here is the citation
    New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/2435-KDP : accessed 16 May 2016), Joseph Robbins and Edith Fuller, 21 Feb 1913; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,613,708

    I have also found possible passenger lists for both of them travelling to New York she left on 12 February 1913 and he on the 4 December 1912, however the occupations do not fit with those I have been told about, and the Joseph on another ship leaving Southampton on the 11 March 1914 could be him as he is listed as a waiter. She is possibly following in April 1914 on the Olympic.
    Did he go out in 1912 trying to find work and then end up doing something else?

    Why did they go back to England after their marriage and return on different ships?

    The information that is on the passenger lists is never enough to be certain that you have the correct person(s) particularly with common names.

    I have found a record card CR10 which shows his Merchant Navy service on the Orontes this has a photograph of him on the card. (see link to Wikipedia page for SS Orontes)
    Another researcher added some family photographs to their Ancestry tree in 2009 and the person on the CR10 matches the person in those photographs.

    I have found a website for the Waldorf Astoria and believe there may be records in the New York Archives but I will probably have to wait and see if they become available online. 
    I also need to check out the newspapers for any information.

    Since Joseph and Edith were both born, and also died, in England, I might never have thought to search elsewhere for their marriage. 
    Family stories can be useful but we need to be careful to follow up our hints with good documentation.



              Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder’a Takas Edildi!        
    Dakikalar önce gelen haber ile birlikte haftalardır takas dedikodusu bitmeyen isim olan Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder‘a takas edildi.   Bu süreç adeta yılan hikayesine dönmüştü.   Lakers‘a gitmek istediğini açıklayan bir Paul George.   Seneye serbest oyuncu olacak olan bir Paul George.   Onu en azından bedavaya kaybetmek istemeyen Indiana Pacers.   2018’de nasıl olsa […]
              It's the not so little things that make a big difference.         

    This picture was taken in 1987 at a Rose Festival event that was held every year at a huge nursery that shipped plants nationwide. The occupants are the Rose Queen (middle) and her two runner up Rose Princesses, and that's me driving. What I wouldn't give to be that skinny stick shaped girl again! While many things have not, twenty six  years later that is one thing that has indeed changed.

    The carriage is my own Amish made by Victor Raber from Montgomery Indiana and was the very first commercial carriage that Victor had ever built. His brother Paul had been building them for some years already and Victor wanted to give it a try. He did an awesome job I must say. Both brothers still build carriages today. While admittedly twice the price to buy than the cheaper and more common Canadian imported carriages you just can not compare those to the workmanship of an Amish carriage. The paint, the wheels, the pin stripes done by hand, the construction and their attention to detail is second to none.

    All these years later we still only use the very best top of the line American made carriages. Sure they cost us a lot more, but we think you are worth it! In fact we think you are worth a lot of extra effort as well as the extra expense. The Princess's Carriage service just does not cut corners. Not on our horses care, not on our carriages or on our upkeep of them, not on our attire, or our diligent respect for our industry and it's well known accepted safety protocols.

    For instance, you will never catch us with passengers in our carriages and no driver or attendant with our horse. To be frank about it, this is one of the biggest safety breaches a carriage company can commit. The fact is you will never see us here at The Princess's Carriage with an unattended horse, period, ever. Common sense would tell most people to do something like that is obviously foolhardy and dangerous without explaining it. However,  if you have questions about this unfortunately sometimes observed practice, or anything else you see that you question, I would encourage you to contact CONA (Carriage operators of North America) and ask them about it.    

    We always provide: Custom silk floral's in your desired colors added to our carriages to make your pictures uniquely yours. Appropriately attired driver and footman. A clean and meticulously detailed carriage, always a shampooed clean horse, and a long standing company always mindful of staying safe. Especially for special events the added expense of a footman as well as a driver adds a layer of safety that just can not be achieved without one. Keep in mind our white horse's are a lot harder to bathe, keep clean, and glowing to add that extra "pow" to your pictures than one that is naturally the color of the ground dirt. While we may not be the cheapest service out there, do know...It's the not so little things that make the big difference.    
              Playphone launches Wynk Games- a subscription gaming service in India        
    Playphone is announcing the launch of Wynk Games- a subscription gaming service in India. In partnership with Airtel, the largest mobile operator in India, Wynk Games is a premier gaming destination for gamers. Wynk Games is a premium subscription service that is available to all users in India that provides members access to unlimited premium […]
              Ãndia vai participar do exercício Blue Flag em Israel        

    O exercício Blue Flag deste ano em Israel, na Base Aérea Uvda, receberá um contingente da Força Aérea Indiana participando pela primeira vez. Vão juntar-se aos indianos unidades dos Estados Unidos, Grécia, Polônia, França, Alemanha e Itália. O número de aeronaves participantes também será maior neste exercício bienal. O treinamento acontecerá lugar em novembro.

    O post Índia vai participar do exercício Blue Flag em Israel apareceu primeiro em Poder Aéreo - Forças Aéreas e Indústria Aeronáutica.


              How a poor labourer became a rich farmer        
    Teaser: 
    A video tells the story of a poor farmer who, through effective water conservation methods, became rich and a role model to other villagers.
    Vasantrao Parkale (Source: India Water Portal)

    Vasant Baburao Parkale, a 52-year-old farmer, has become a role model for many farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region. His determination and the will to excel in life have helped him to transform his dreams into reality.

    In 1984, he was just another labourer working for Bhagwan Yashwantrao Shirsagar, a wealthy farmer in Kadwanchi village in Jalna district. In 2006, Shirsagar built three farm ponds in the village with the help of the government subsidy. Vasant aspired to become a farmer like Shirsagar and was interested in building a farm pond. When he informed Shirsagar about this, he was discouraged from doing it. Unperturbed by this, Vasant went ahead with his efforts and started meeting government officials for the farm pond subsidy. The officials supported his initiative and provided him with the subsidy.

    In 2006, he made his first 24x24-metres-farm pond. Through his two farm ponds, he harvests one crore 15 lakh litres of water annually. His grape production is flourishing with efficient water management practices. He owns 8.3 acres of land now and has properties worth Rs 1 crore. 

    The video tells his success story.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Languages: 
    Don't Show In All Article: 

              What ails Indian farmers         
    Teaser: 
    A study finds faulty agricultural policies and practices and not just indebtedness to blame for rising suicides among farmers.
    Loans are not the only reason for farmers' distress. (Source: India Water Portal)

    Over the last few months, we saw protests by distressed farmers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states over farming crisis and farmer suicides. In what seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, many state governments announced farm loan waivers without thinking if it would actually help the farmers. 

    Are loan waivers enough to improve the situation of farmers? Experts think otherwise. They believe that certain core issues of farming have been left unaddressed and need urgent consideration.

    What do farmers have to say about the increasing crisis in agriculture and rising suicides? This article titled Lives in debt: Narratives of agrarian distress and farmer suicides published in the Economic and Political Weekly discusses the findings of a study on farmers’ experiences from two districts with high suicide rates in the country--Yavatmal in Maharashtra and Sangrur in Punjab.

    The article argues that farmer suicides need to be understood in the context of the broader crisis in agriculture. It is not only indebtedness but a number of core issues related to faulty agricultural policies and practices that contribute to the distress among farmers.

    Glaring signs of the crisis in agriculture

    • The contribution of the agricultural sector to India’s GDP has been declining steadily. Nearly half of the workforce in the country, however, is involved in farming.

    • There has been a steady increase in the percentage of farmers having small landholdings. Small landholdings do not support mechanisation and irrigation. Moreover, the absence of land records in many cases prevent these farmers from accessing formal credit, government benefits or crop insurance.

    • A large number of small farm holders are accessing credit mainly from informal sources.

    • Indebtedness among farmers is on the rise with 52 percent of agricultural households in the country being plagued by it.

    What causes distress among farmers in Yavatmal and Sangrur?

    Although Yavatmal and Sangrur are very different in terms of socioeconomic backgrounds, crop patterns, agricultural practices, the underlying reasons for distress are found to be similar.

    • Flawed cropping patterns aggravating water scarcity

    In Sangrur and Yavatmal, where paddy and cotton are grown, the crop choice is not harmonious with the agroclimatic features of the region. BT cotton is very sensitive to the timing and intensity of rainfall. Growing it in Yavatmal that has unpredictable rainfall and no alternative source of irrigation is unsuitable for the region.

    As much as 2,000–4,000 litres of water are required to produce one kilo of rice. The high water demand makes rice unsuitable for a place like Sangrur which is highly water stressed with falling water tables due to severe depletion of groundwater resources.

    • Rising input costs

    Farmers in both regions complain of rising input prices (seed, water, electricity, fertiliser, pesticide and land rent) and the absence of a proportionate increase in minimum support prices (MSP). In Yavatmal, BT cotton producers are barely able to meet the costs of production, while traders and middlemen make profits at the cost of farmers who are not able to store the harvest and wait for the right price. Farmers in the study question the instability of prices and demand an enhancement of the loan amount from formal credit sources so that they can cover input costs and make farming viable.

    In Sangrur, in addition to the high input prices needed for farming, dependence on paddy cultivation increases the demand for water, forcing farmers to spend huge amounts on digging borewells in an area that suffers from severe depletion of groundwater resources.

    • The unending cycle of borrowing, non-repayment and the shame of debt

    Rising input costs force farmers to borrow. Since the bank loans are insufficient to meet these high input costs, farmers are compelled to access informal sources of credit. At times, farmers prioritise repayment of loans taken from informal sources over bank loans due to high rates of interest and to retain their rapport with the moneylender to remain credit-worthy. Also borrowing from different sources to repay bank loans to stay within the banking system further pushes farmers into the spiral of debt. This, coupled with crop failure, worsens their situation.

    At times, farmers are forced to borrow from their close relatives when other avenues of borrowing such as moneylenders have been tried and exhausted. The shame associated with one’s inability to repay is immense in village society and it is worse if money is borrowed from relatives, which forces many farmers to commit suicide.

    • Rising aspirations and absence of alternative sources of income

    Recently, rising aspirations have also led to farmers taking huge loans for non-farming activities such as marriages, ceremonies, cars, gadgets, contributing to their financial burden as many do not have any other source of income.

    What is the way out?

    The article suggests some fundamental changes to alter the situation.

    • Moving towards cropping patterns that are suitable for the agro-climatic zones and encouraging indigenous patterns of farming that are less cost intensive.
    • Modifying the institutional credit disbursal system by introducing the option of repayment in instalments.
    • Introducing a proportionate loan–land ratio which would enable the farmer to retain his rights for the rest of his landholdings, which can then be used as a source of liquidity.
    • Introducing specific farming credit policies for dryland and rainfed areas.
    • The introduction of cashless loan components to avoid diversion of crop loans towards non-farm expenditures.
    • Restructuring of loans against localised crop failures where specific and targeted compensation packages take extreme weather events or natural calamities into account.
    • Introducing land reforms, correcting the terms of trade that work against farmers and providing them with alternative sources of livelihoods.

    A copy of the paper can be downloaded from below: