Waycross woman in court, accused of kicking death of toddler        
WAYCROSS, Ga. — A 42-year-old woman accused of killing a 3-year-old boy appeared in court Thursday morning. Karena Fay Warden is charged with murder and first degree child cruelty. According to the warrant, she kicked and punched Maliachi Smith in the body and head. The toddler was taken to the Mayo Health Clinic Saturday where […]
          Ah si este bueyes si los estan amenasando de mue...        
Ah si este bueyes si los estan amenasando de muerte claro que si y todo por andar publicando esta nota claro que esta bien que se descubran estas anomalias esto es ser gandallas son emplaedos publicos y no se mandan solos que quede claro que eso no hace y menos amenasar de muerte con encajuelados estos bueyes se cree narcos y son unos pendejos creo que si se van ala penal minimo por amenasas como estas directo ala penal y sin sacate que nadie los amenace este es su trabajo y adelante y para morir nacimos pero estos bueyes minimo si pisan la carcel por gandallas y creo que la moto bomba es nuestra propiedad y no es para sus mamadas y si quiere fotos pues que se las tomen en la carcel y despues su tehuacanaso y asta el elefantito ah y nadien los amenace pues si no que seria mas delo mismo ay que tener honor y es un trabajo y ay que seguir adelante siempre para adelante y recuerden que si ay jente que le gusta la verda y no la corrucion por esa rason ay jente que si miran esto y estas amenasas de gusto le vajamos los huevitos a estos ideotas somos una comunidad y no un imperio saquen este nota en guadalajara y veran que estos que amenasan a los periodistas no duran una semana en cuanto los grupos pro informacion y pro libertad o minimo los dela nueva genaracion creo que por estas amenasas si meten la mano ya no estamos en 1900 como antes en donde unos pendejo queria tapar el sol con un dedo adelante con su su trabajo excelente y nadie esta bajo el dominio de nadie asi es esto verasidad y profesionalismo y adelante y ah si perro que ladra si muerde pero primero se van ala carcel por osicones quienes son bueyes quien se creen que son de que tribu son ahhhh
          La cultura delle destre        
Il libro che sto recensendo è: Gabriele Turi, La cultura delle destre. Alla ricerca dell'egemonia culturale in Italia, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2013, pp. 175, Euro 14,00, ISBN 978-88-339-2429-8.

L'autore insegna storia contemporanea a Firenze e dirige la rivista "Passato e presente". Il libro, nonostante il titolo, non ha molto a che vedere col celebre saggio di Furio Jesi; ha un approccio decisamente meno teoretico, in compenso Ã¨ ricchissimo di dati.

Il presupposto da cui parte è molto semplice: la cosiddetta "egemonia culturale della sinistra" nell'Italia del dopoguerra è una leggenda metropolitana. In realtà l'ideologia dominante Ã¨ sempre stata di destra; Turi si spinge fino ad affermare una "centralità del fascismo nella storia culturale e civile del paese". Il berlusconismo Ã¨ l'erede e il continuatore di questa cultura.

La trattazione inizia con un ampio estratto del famigerato intervento di Luciano Violante alla Camera del 10 maggio 1996 (quello che invitava a "riflettere" sui "ragazzi" di Salò in nome dei "valori nazionali comunemente condivisi"). Turi dimostra come l'exploit di Violante sia stato preparato da decenni di "edulcoramento storiografico della dittatura di Mussolini"; tappe importanti di questa operazione di normalizzazione del fascismo, a livello massmediatico, furono due mostre sugli anni '30, una allestita a Milano nel 1982 e l'altra a Roma nel 1984 (quest'ultima con la consulenza di Renzo De Felice): "entrambe promosse da amministrazioni socialiste", ha cura di specificare Turi.

Turi menziona poi un altro "caso esemplare": la proposta, da parte dell'allora sindaco di Roma Francesco Rutelli, nel 1995, di dedicare una via a Giuseppe Bottai. L'iniziativa riscosse il plauso (fra gli altri) di Massimo Cacciari, e fu bloccata solo dalle proteste della comunità ebraica; ci si era dimenticati, fra l'altro, che Bottai era stato uno dei sostenitori più ferventi delle leggi razziali; l'immagine corrente di Bottai era infatti quella giustificazionista del "fascista critico" delineata da Giordano Bruno Guerri nella sua fortunata biografia del 1976.

Il patriottismo, la ricerca di valori nazionali, di una "memoria condivisa" e di una "pacificazione" sono il Leitmotiv che, nella ricostruzione di Turi, caratterizza la polemica anti-antifascista condotta negli anni '90 da intellettuali come Renzo De Felice, Roberto Vivarelli, Ernesto Galli Della Loggia, spesso con l'assenso e il plauso della sinistra istituzionale. Troviamo ancora il buon Francesco Rutelli in prima linea nell'operazione di riabilitazione di Giovanni Gentile, filosofo a cui il comune di Roma dedicò un convegno nel 1994 presentandolo come un patriota al di sopra delle parti e dimenticandone l'organicità al nazifascismo.

Interessante notare che, in questo frame revisionistico, chi ostacola la "pacificazione", chi alimenta la "divisività", è un potenziale terrorista. Turi cita Vivarelli, secondo il quale per colpa degli antifascisti nell'Italia del dopoguerra "si perpetuò un clima di strisciante guerra civile, che [...] produsse la tragica stagione del terrorismo".

Turi sottolinea il ruolo degli intellettuali craxiani nel diffondere in Italia durante gli anni '80 le idee del neoliberismo reaganiano e thatcheriano e nel promuovere l'anticomunismo. Questi intellettuali poi, assieme ad altri di estrazione neofascista o cattolico-reazionaria, divennero nel decennio '90 gli artefici principali dell'ideologia populista berlusconiana, la quale nell'ultimo quindicennio si è dotata di "una rete di think thank, laboratori di idee ispirati al modello statunitense, capaci di costruire e diffondere un comune sentire"; tutta una serie di riviste, fondazioni, case editrici, "poco conosciute presso l'opinione pubblica" ma efficaci come centri di "aggregazione di intellettuali e di elaborazione culturale" (e, di solito, ben finanziate dagli industriali).

Turi ricostruisce minuziosamente alcuni fra i principali momenti dell'offensiva culturale di destra: la battaglia a favore del mantenimento del crocifisso nelle aule scolastiche (una battaglia vinta dalla destra anche a causa dell'atteggiamento imbelle assunto al riguardo dal centrosinistra); la vicenda, davvero tragicomica, della censura proposta dal centrodestra sui manuali scolastici di storia, anche qui in nome della "memoria condivisa", della pacificazione, dell'imparzialità e contro la presunta "egemonia culturale" della sinistra.

Interessante il confronto, proposto da Turi, fra il modo in cui il novantesimo anniversario della fine della prima guerra mondiale è stato ricordato in Italia e in altri paesi europei. Turi mostra come nel 2008 in Gran Bretagna, in Francia, in Germania, le celebrazioni ufficiali siano state improntate alla pietà per le vittime, all'orrore per l'enormità del massacro e siano state accompagnate, a volte, da gesti ufficiali di riabilitazione dei soldati che furono condannati come disertori. Tutto il contrario in Italia, dove "la sostanza della commemorazione è rimasta affidata al tema dell'identità nazionale" e dove il ministero dell'Istruzione ha promosso una serie di conferenze nelle scuole affidate non agli storici ma agli ufficiali dell'esercito, in quella che è stata definita la "più imponente manifestazione di propaganda militare che l'Italia repubblicana abbia mai messo in piedi".

Nell'ultimo capitolo del suo libro Turi prova a tracciare una mappa del revisionismo storico su Internet, individuando "un network molto ampio di riviste e di istituzioni [...] una rete circolare in cui appaiono ripetutamente gli stessi nomi, specchio di una visione della storia che in breve tempo da antagonista è diventata governativa". Il capitolo Ã¨ un ricco dossier di nomi e di indicazioni bibliografiche, una minuziosa schedatura di cui in questa sede non posso dare un'idea.

La conclusione cui giunge Gabriele Turi è che la cultura di destra è saldamente egemone ed è destinata a sopravvivere alla fine politica di Silvio Berlusconi. Aggiungerei che l'attuale esperienza dei governi di “larghe intese” (Monti, Letta, Renzi) getta una luce retrospettiva su molte delle prese di posizione filorevisioniste, da parte di esponenti del centrosinistra, ricordate nel libro di Turi. Bisognerebbe scrivere un libro analogo a quell di Turi, dedicato alla "cultura di sinistra", nel quale si mostrerebbe come a partire da Togliatti il nazionalismo abbia infettato nei decenni la cultura politica del PCI - PDS - DS - PD fino a stravolgerla completamente. Ma questa è un'altra storia.
          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.
          Sull'"Elogio dei riformisti" di Roberto Saviano        
1. Affinità e divergenze fra Saviano e noi. Considero Gomorra uno fra i libri letterariamente più importanti di questi anni nonché fra i capolavori del giornalismo d'inchiesta italiano. Ammiro e rispetto Roberto Saviano, anche se a volte non sono stato d'accordo con lui su alcune delle sue prese di posizione (ad es. sulla politica dei governi israeliani, oppure sugli scontri di piazza che hanno contrassegnato l'ultima fase del governo Berlusconi).

Ho trovato molto superficiale e semplicistico l'articolo di Saviano uscito su "La Repubblica" del 28 febbraio, dedicato all'elogio del riformismo.

Prendendo spunto da un recente libro di Alessandro Orsini sulla storia della sinistra italiana, libro che contrappone Turati a Gramsci, Saviano traccia una riga sulla lavagna, mettendo da una parte i riformisti e dall'altra i comunisti. I primi sarebbero pacati, realisti, tolleranti e liberali, i secondi sarebbero fanatici, violenti, malati di dogmatismo e d'ideologia.

Scrive Saviano: "i comunisti hanno educato generazioni di militanti a definire gli avversari politici dei pericolosi nemici, ad insultarli ed irriderli. Fa un certo effetto rileggere le parole con cui un intellettuale raffinato come Gramsci definiva un avversario, non importa quale: 'La sua personalità ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato'. Invitava i suoi lettori a ricorrere alle parolacce e all'insulto personale contro gli avversari che si lamentavano delle offese ricevute [...]. Arrivò persino a tessere l'elogio del 'cazzotto in faccia' contro i deputati liberali. I pugni, diceva, dovevano essere un 'programma politico' e non un episodio isolato".

Viceversa, sempre secondo Saviano:

"in quegli stessi anni Filippo Turati, dimenticato pensatore e leader del partito socialista, conduceva una tenacissima battaglia per educare al rispetto degli avversari politici nel tentativo di coniugare socialismo e liberalismo".


Questa contrapposizione fra estremisti e riformisti, dice Saviano, si protrae fino ad oggi:

"Naturalmente, oggi, nel Pd erede del Pci, non c'è più traccia di quel massimalismo verboso e violento, e anche il linguaggio della Sel di Vendola è molto meno acceso. Ma c'è invece, fuori dal Parlamento, una certa sinistra che vive di dogmi. Sono i sopravvissuti di un estremismo massimalista che sostiene di avere la verità unica tra le mani", sono quei "pacifisti talmente violenti da usare la pace come strumento di aggressione per chiunque la pensi diversamente". Eccetera.

Quindi tutto lineare, nello schema di Saviano. Tutto semplice. Riformisti, buoni, in parlamento; comunisti, fuori dal parlamento, cattivi. Chiaro, no?

E però, se si va a verificare nel dettaglio gli esempi storici addotti da Saviano, ecco che le cose si complicano.

2. Cosa c'era prima degli assorbenti. Vediamo ad esempio la prima frase "incriminata". Di un suo avversario politico ("non importa quale", dice Saviano), Gramsci scrisse: "La sua personalità ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato".

La similitudine usata da Gramsci, al nostro orecchio di contemporanei, suona senza dubbio molto sgradevole. Intollerabilmente sessista, fra l'altro. Proviamo però a collocarla nel suo contesto. La frase è tratta da un articolo di Gramsci, allora venticinquenne, pubblicato sull'edizione torinese dell'"Avanti!" il 19 aprile 1916. In quel periodo la redazione di Torino dell'"Avanti!", di cui Gramsci era giornalista, stava conducendo una campagna di stampa sugli sprechi e sulle ruberie di cui si erano resi responsabili i promotori dell'Esposizione Universale di Torino del 1911. Come spesso succede in Italia quando si tratta di "grandi opere", anche questa era stata accompagnata da malversazioni, che Gramsci e i giornalisti dell'"Avanti!" avevano puntualmente denunciato.

Fra i bersagli di questa campagna di stampa c'era il conte Delfino Orsi, che all'epoca faceva parte della direzione della "Gazzetta del Popolo", un giornale monarchico, filogovernativo e interventista. L'articolo di Gramsci del 19 aprile 1916 è appunto una risposta ad un altro giornalista che aveva accusato l'"Avanti!" di aver attaccato Delfino Orsi non per il ruolo di quest'ultimo nello scandalo dell'Esposizione Universale, bensì invece perché Orsi era "una delle più influenti figure dell'interventismo subalpino".

Teniamo sempre presente il contesto storico. In Italia, nel 1916, lo scontro politico fra governo e opposizione era polarizzato sul problema della guerra. Era soprattutto lo scontro fra interventisti e pacifisti. Era in corso la Prima guerra mondiale, un conflitto che oggi praticamente tutti gli storici valutano come un'orrenda ecatombe, una catastrofe che segnò l'inizio del declino della civiltà europea, e che, in Italia, aprì la via al fascismo. In Italia il bilancio della guerra fu di circa 680.000 morti e quasi 500.000 invalidi permanenti. Il Partito Socialista Italiano, nel quale all'epoca militavano sia Gramsci sia Turati, era su posizioni pacifiste, e si opponeva compattamente alla guerra. A favore della guerra erano invece i nazionalisti, i liberali e il Partito Socialista Riformista Italiano, composto perlopiù da riformisti, come Bonomi e Bissolati, che erano stati espulsi dal P.S.I. già nel 1912 per il loro appoggio alla guerra di Libia.

Tale era il contesto della polemica fra l'"Avanti!" di Gramsci da una parte, e la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi dall'altra.

Quando, nell'agosto 1917, a Torino la popolazione diede vita ad una rivolta spontanea contro la guerra e contro la mancanza di pane (rivolta che fu ovviamente repressa nel sangue, con circa 50 morti e 200 feriti fra gli operai e le loro famiglie), la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi fu tra gli organi di stampa che giustificarono la repressione.

Più tardi, coerentemente, Delfino Orsi fu deputato nel Parlamento fascista, ed era ancora tale quando morì nel 1929 (mentre Gramsci era in carcere). Il gerarca Federzoni, nel suo elogio funebre pronunciato alla Camera dei Deputati l'11 dicembre 1929, disse di Orsi fra l'altro: "egli poté rinverdire i fasti patriottici della Gazzetta del Popolo, levando ancora la gloriosa bandiera del Risorgimento per le nuove battaglie dell'intervento nella grande guerra, della difesa delle aspirazioni nazionali, della rivoluzione fascista".


Delfino Orsi era appunto l'uomo che Gramsci paragonò ad uno "straccio mestruato". Un epiteto certamente poco gentile. Ma possiamo veramente dire, con Saviano, che "non importa quale" individuo egli fosse, né in quale periodo storico fosse situata la polemica fra lui e Gramsci?

Che diremmo di un giornalista il quale scrivesse, di alcuni suoi concittadini (non importa quali, direbbe Saviano), che essi sono "vigliacchi, in realtà", un "manipolo di killer", "abbrutiti e strafatti", un "branco di assassini" che "vivono come bestie"? Sono insulti pesanti e hanno ben poco di mite e di liberale. Ma se collochiamo questi epiteti nel contesto dell'articolo da cui sono tratti, scopriamo che si riferiscono ad una banda di camorristi responsabili di svariati omicidi, e che l'autore del pezzo è Roberto Saviano ("la Repubblica", 22 settembre 2008). Dobbiamo condannare il giornalista per la sua eccessiva violenza verbale? O non dobbiamo piuttosto ritenere che l'indignazione di Saviano, seppure si esprima in termini poco urbani, sia alquanto giustificata dalle circostanze?

3. La nobile arte. Vediamo, ancora, un altro passo gramsciano cui si riferisce Roberto Saviano. Si tratta dell'articolo intitolato "Elogio del cazzotto", uscito sempre sull'"Avanti!" il 12 giugno 1916. L'episodio cui si riferiva Gramsci in questo articolo era il seguente. Dei deputati socialisti, come gesto dimostrativo, avevano lanciato nell'aula di Montecitorio alcune cartoline con l'effige di parlamentari russi che erano stati deportati in Siberia a causa della loro opposizione alla guerra (c'era ancora il regime assolutista dello zar, e la Russia era alleata in guerra con le potenze della Triplice Intesa, con l'Italia, e contro la Germania e l'Impero asburgico). Un deputato interventista, Giuseppe Bevione, in quell'occasione accusò i socialisti di essere al soldo del nemico. Ne nacque un tafferuglio, durante il quale il socialista Nino Mazzoni colpì Bevione con un pugno. Questo, nello specifico, fu il "cazzotto" cui si riferisce Gramscì nel suo articolo, scrivendo fra l'altro:

"Non siamo entusiastici ammiratori del diritto del pugno; eppure quei pugni vibrati robustamente sul ceffo di Bevione ci riempiono di giubilo e di ammirazione".

Anche qui: possiamo dire che sia davvero ininfluente collocare la citazione di Gramsci nel suo contesto?

4. Vota Antonio. Veniamo ora ad un'altra delle dicotomie che Roberto Saviano delinea nel suo pezzo: quella fra opposizione parlamentare Vs. opposizione extraparlamentare. La prima riformista e "buona", la seconda estremista e "cattiva". E confrontiamo questa dicotomia con un esempio storico.

Nel giugno 1924, dopo il rapimento di Giacomo Matteotti, i parlamentari dell'opposizione antifascista decisero di disertare le aule del Parlamento, dando così luogo a quella forma di protesta extraparlamentare che passò alla storia come "secessione dell'Aventino". Fra loro c'era Filippo Turati, assieme a tutti i socialisti riformisti. C'era anche la piccola pattuglia dei deputati comunisti, che però, nel novembre 1924, verificata l'inefficacia della protesta aventiniana, decisero di rientrare in Parlamento, dove rimasero a contrastare la maggioranza fascista, praticamente da soli, per altri due anni, fino a quando il partito comunista non fu messo fuori legge. (A che tipo di pacifica dialettica parlamentare fossero avvezzi i deputati fascisti lo si può vedere consultando la voce di Wikipedia dedicata a Francesco Misiano).

Quindi, ricapitolando. Nel 1925 abbiamo il socialista riformista Turati fuori dal parlamento. In parlamento c'è una maggioranza parlamentare "estremista" fascista e una minoranza comunista (parimenti "estremista" secondo Saviano) di cui Gramsci fa parte. Comunque si voglia giudicare la situazione, si tratta di un caso in cui la realtà storica si rivela più complessa dei rigidi schematismi delineati da Saviano.

5. Conclusione. Con tutto questo discorso non voglio dire, naturalmente, che la violenza verbale nella lotta politica va sempre bene, che è sempre giustificata. Sono d'accordo con Saviano nel condannare certe forme di settarismo inutile e controproducente (di cui è un esempio il giudizio su Turati espresso da un Togliatti al peggio del suo stalinismo, citato da Saviano nel suo articolo). Né intendo affrontare discorsi astratti sul punto se sia meglio la lotta extraparlamentare o quella parlamentare.

Dico che ogni situazione fa storia a sé, che occorre giudicare caso per caso, e che generalizzazioni astratte e astoriche, come quella proposta da Saviano nell'articolo in questione, non hanno alcun significato.
          Baricco e il postmodernismo da quattro soldi        
Sul "Primo Amore" Antonio Moresco ha pubblicato una bella lettera aperta ad Alessandro Baricco, in risposta a un'intervista concessa da quest'ultimo al "Venerdì di Repubblica".

Baricco, parlando del suo ultimo romanzo, non si limita ad esporre la sua personale poetica di scrittore, ma pretende di far assurgere quest'ultima al livello di teoria generale della letteratura valida per tutti. Moresco rimprovera giustamente a Baricco l'arroganza di tale pretesa.

Baricco non è nuovo a questo genere di smargiassate, così le chiamava il mio professore di filosofia del liceo (si riferiva alle teorie pseudo-storiciste di Francis Fukuyama, ma la definizione è adatta anche a quelle di Baricco). Nel 1992 lo stesso Baricco pubblicò per l'editore Garzanti un testo teorico sulla musica moderna (oggi reperibile in edizione Feltrinelli) dove, con piglio zdanoviano, condannava tutta la musica "atonale" in quanto non adeguata ai gusti della "gente". Nel 2003, qui, pubblicai una recensione di questo libro. La ripropongo ora qui in calce, con minime variazioni. Non mi piace molto com'è scritta, però contiene un'idea che, dopo aver letto il fondamentale libro del collettivo Wu Ming sul New Italian Epic, mi è diventata più chiara: l'idea, cioè, che il "postmodernismo da quattro soldi" sia una delle forme più pervasive e insidiose in cui si presenta oggi l'ideologia dominante. Ecco la recensione.

Alessandro Baricco, L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin. Una riflessione su musica colta e modernità, Garzanti, Milano 1992, pp. 101.

Avvertenza per gli estimatori di Alessandro Baricco: la presente è una stroncatura.

1. Riassunto dei contenuti del libro

Nel primo capitolo, intitolato L'idea di musica colta, Baricco individua l'origine del concetto di musica colta nell'idealismo romantico dell'Ottocento, la cui figura principale, Beethoven, stabilisce il paradigma a cui tutti i successivi compositori, nonché gli interpreti e il pubblico, si attengono: "una musica impegnata, spirituale e difficile" (p. 19). Tale concetto è oggi, secondo Baricco, sopravvissuto a se stesso, dato che ne sono venuti meno i presupposti storici, ideologici e sociali ("qualcuno sa cosa significa spirito?", p. 20). Ma gli esecutori e i fruitori della musica colta si ostinano a riproporre questa concezione ormai superata, e a riproporre i capolavori del passato in forma mummificata e inerte, secondo un malinteso concetto di fedeltà al testo, fondamentalmente perché - sempre secondo Baricco - hanno "paura" della modernità.

Nel secondo capitolo, come alternativa alla prassi corrente, Baricco propone la "sua" idea di interpretazione. La musica "colta" del periodo classico si proponeva di organizzare il caos entro un preciso ordine formale; compito dell'interprete di oggi è, secondo Baricco, di far esplodere tale ordine per far sì che le "schegge" del materiale musicale si possano ricomporre secondo nuove geometrie provvisorie, momentanee, ogni volta diverse, secondo costellazioni di senso sempre rinnovate, piacevoli e sorprendenti.

Il terzo capitolo è dedicato alla musica atonale del Novecento. Baricco parte da un'audace constatazione: ma questa musica, dopo più di settant'anni, ancora non ha un suo pubblico! Gli ascoltatori, per quanto si sforzino, non la apprezzano e non la capiscono! Hanno torto loro? No, naturalmente: hanno invece avuto torto Schoenberg e i suoi successori (tutti quelli che hanno composto musica atonale, vale a dire i tre quarti dei compositori del Novecento da Berg a Webern fino alla scuola di Darmstadt e oltre).

Baricco spiega il perché: esistono "invalicabili limiti fisiologici" (p. 55) che impediscono all'orecchio umano di apprezzare la musica atonale. Infatti ogni brano musicale, continua Baricco, altro non è che un "meccanismo di piacere" (ibid.) basato su un gioco di previsione da parte dell'ascoltatore/risposta da parte della musica: se si cancella la logica tonale, sparisce l'orizzonte della previsione e si elimina il "piacere dell'ascolto" (p. 56).

La musica seriale è ormai superata, e anche qui Baricco non manca di dare la sua spiegazione sociologico-storica: l'atonalità di Schoenberg e seguaci nasce come espressionistico grido di orrore di fronte alla tragica realtà dei massacri e dei totalitarismi del Novecento. Ma nel secondo dopoguerra, "una volta sfumata quella follia" (p. 63) e venuti meno i conflitti ideologici e sociali che caratterizzarono la prima metà del secolo, anche tale giustificazione per l'atonalismo viene a mancare. Perciò non ci sono più motivi validi per i quali i compositori debbano ostinarsi a frustrare "le legittime aspettative del pubblico" (p. 65) continuando a proporre musica così inascoltabile, e perpetuando "lo strappo profondo e grottesco tra quella musica e la gente" (p. 66).

Occorre dunque richiamare i compositori "ai doveri della modernità" (p. 67), "ricreare una sintonia col sentire collettivo. Con una certezza: la modernità è innanzitutto uno spettacolo" (p. 73) e la gente vuole innanzitutto divertirsi, anche nelle sale da concerto: i musicisti devono dunque accettare "l'allegra realtà di un'umanità inconsapevolmente e sanamente drogata" (p. 70), di una modernità dove "la spettacolarità del reale e quella delle forme di rappresentazione si inseguono in un'escalation per la quale anche l'orribile diventa meraviglia" (ibid.).

Nell'ultimo capitolo del suo libro, Baricco propone ai compositori contemporanei due modelli da seguire: Puccini e Mahler. Secondo Baricco, questi due autori avrebbero accettato la concezione moderna di spettacolarità, senza temere di adottare un linguaggio musicale primitivo, né d'infarcire le loro opere di elementi volgari o di cattivo gusto, pur d'intercettare il bisogno di spettacolo dell'ascoltatore odierno, precorrendo così l'estetica del cinema.

2. Critica

Sui primi due capitoli non c'è molto da dire: si tratta di luoghi comuni che Baricco espone come se si trattasse di trovate sue; interpreti come Pierre Boulez (nella sua attività di direttore d'orchestra) e Maurizio Pollini adottano da sempre prassi esecutive antiformalistiche senza bisogno di attendere lezioncine da parte di Alessandro Baricco: di propriamente suo c'è solo un certo superficiale edonismo.

Circa i restanti capitoli del libro, premesso che reputo agghiacciante ognuna delle frasi o espressioni di Baricco che sopra ho citato tra virgolette (reazione molto soggettiva, lo ammetto), la prima osservazione critica da fare su questo testo è che Baricco propone un'estetica normativa, vale a dire un'estetica che pretende di prescrivere agli artisti come devono lavorare (non dovete più scrivere musica atonale, dovete farvi capire dalla "gente", ecc).

Ora, ogni estetica normativa è un'aberrazione, indipendentemente dal suo contenuto. Se poi si vuole valutare quest'ultimo, bisognerà osservare che Baricco si accosta ad Andrej Zdanov, il "teorico" sovietico del realismo socialista: anche lui pretendeva dai compositori una musica dal linguaggio semplice, tradizionale, accessibile alle grandi masse popolari. Zdanov avanzava tale pretesa in nome del superiore interesse del socialismo, Baricco in nome della "modernità" e della fine delle ideologie, ma il risultato non cambia. Baricco, nella sua irritante e dilettantesca superficialità, non sembra neanche rendersi conto del totalitarismo implicito nella pretesa che gli artisti debbano conformare la loro produzione ai gusti della "gente".

D'altra parte neppure si capisce bene quale pubblico Baricco abbia in mente: il pubblico che frequenta le sale da concerto è così esiguo che non vale neanche la pena che i musicisti si affannino per compiacerlo: e peggio per tale pubblico se non riesce ad apprezzare Anton Webern. Viceversa, il pubblico che non ha mai messo piede in un auditorium e non ascolta Schoenberg e Stockhausen, nella sua stragrande maggioranza non ascolta neppure Mahler e Puccini, ed evidentemente non per motivi ascrivibili al solo linguaggio musicale.

In ogni caso, dal fatto che la lettura di questo libro non mi ha impedito neppure per un minuto di continuare ad ascoltare il mio CD con i pezzi per pianoforte di Schoenberg, deduco che quella degli "invalicabili limiti fisiologici" è una colossale sciocchezza, con cui Baricco cerca malamente di giustificare la propria opposizione ideologica alla musica d'avanguardia.

La sua valenza ideologica è in realtà l'unico aspetto un poco interessante di questo libro. Esso, con la sua esaltazione del disimpegno, delle gioie del consumismo e della "gente" che vuole divertirsi, appare come un esempio tipico di quella versione euforico-ebetudinaria del postmoderno che ha furoreggiato nel nostro paese durante tutti gli anni '80: un'epoca nella quale a molti intellettuali non è parso vero di poter finalmente riproporre (nell'aggiornatissimo linguaggio filosofico post-strutturalista) l'antico, tradizionale qualunquismo italiano. Appare tristemente ironico che alcuni di quegli intellettuali si scaglino oggi dalle pagine dell' "Unità" o di "Repubblica" contro le impreviste (ma prevedibili) conseguenze politiche della loro stessa filosofia.

P.S. Ad un certo punto del suo testo, Baricco inserisce alcune oscure insinuazioni a proposito di presunte "coperture politiche" di cui gli artisti dell'avanguardia musicale avrebbero goduto nel nostro paese. Sorge allora la tentazione di leggere questo libro, il cui valore teorico-critico è nullo, in chiave direttamente pratica: forse Baricco si è proposto di approntare un "manifesto" per i musicisti della cosiddetta scuola neo-romantica?

Mi sono allora comprato un disco antologico di un esponente di questa corrente musicale, che ebbe anch'essa un effimero momento di notorietà nel corso degli anni '80: Marco Tutino, Operas, CD Aura Music AUR421-2, 2000, Euro 4,25. Si tratta di composizioni carine, indubbiamente orecchiabili, il cui linguaggio musicale si colloca fra le colonne sonore di Bernard Herrmann e i balletti di Aaron Copland, il tutto realizzato senza troppa fantasia e con circa trent'anni di ritardo.

Bene, ho fatto un piccolo esperimento. Un brano di questo CD di Marco Tutino l'ho fatto ascoltare ad un mio coinquilino che ascolta solo reggae ed hip-hop (e che, così facendo, qualche volta supera gli invalicabili limiti fisiologici delle mie capacità d'ascolto), e poi gli ho fatto sentire qualche minuto di Contrappunto dialettico alla mente di Luigi Nono (1968). Nessuno dei due brani gli è piaciuto, ma ha trovato di gran lunga più interessante quello di Nono.
          Il terremoto di Messina del 1908        
Ripubblico qui di seguito una mia recensione (risalente a sei anni fa) al libro di Giorgio Boatti, La terra trema. Messina 28 dicembre 1908. I trenta secondi che cambiarono l'Italia, non gli italiani, Mondadori, Milano 2004, pp. 414, € 18,50.

"Ore 5.20 terremoto distrusse buona parte Messina - Giudico morti molte centinaia - case crollate sgombro macerie insufficienti mezzi locali - urgono soccorsi per sgombro vettovagliamento assistenza feriti - ogni aiuto sarà insufficiente".

E' il testo del telegramma con cui il governo italiano apprese del terremoto di Messina: inviato dal comandante di una nave militare da una stazione telegrafica calabrese alle 14.50 del 28 dicembre 1908, giunse al Ministero degli Interni alle 17.35 dello stesso giorno, cioè dodici ore dopo il disastro.
In questo telegramma la valutazione dei danni è naturalmente molto sottostimata: il terremoto, dell'undicesimo grado della scala Mercalli, distrusse quasi completamente le città di Messina e Reggio Calabria e causò, secondo le statistiche ufficiali, 77.283 morti (in altre valutazioni la cifra oscilla fra le 80.000 e le 140.000 vittime).

A volte, quando ci si sofferma a considerarla, la storia del nostro paese sembra un'ininterrotta sequela di disastri. Ogni generazione ha la sua catastrofe civile da ricordare e anzi spesso più d'una, a volte d'origine naturale e a volte umana. Il copione sembra sempre lo stesso: evento tragico; prime ricostruzioni giornalistiche, concitate e a forti tinte; interviste ai superstiti; il cordoglio della nazione; le autorità dello stato si precipitano sul luogo dell'evento; polemiche sulla tempestività dei soccorsi e sulla loro efficienza; i parenti delle vittime accusano; funerali solenni; ancora polemiche finché i riflettori dei mass-media si spengono.

Questo libro di Giorgio Boatti sul terremoto di Messina si basa in gran parte su uno studio accurato dei giornali dell'epoca. Una prima constatazione è che in essi lo schema che ci è tristemente familiare appare già operante. Il governo di Giovanni Giolitti dovette ben presto difendersi dalle accuse di non aver compiuto in modo adeguato e tempestivo l'opera di soccorso delle popolazioni colpite. In particolare, l'opinione pubblica dell'epoca fu colpita dal fatto che i primi soccorsi organizzati non vennero apprestati da parte italiana, bensì, a partire dalla mattina del 29 dicembre, dagli equipaggi di squadre navali russe e inglesi che casualmente si trovavano nei pressi al momento del terremoto (equipaggi che, secondo tutte le testimonianze, svolsero la loro opera eroicamente). I primi soccorritori italiani, dell'ottavo reggimento dei Bersaglieri, provenienti da Palermo, sbarcarono solo nel pomeriggio inoltrato dello stesso giorno.

Ma la cosa che più colpisce nella reazione all'evento da parte del governo italiano non consiste tanto nella lentezza o inefficienza dei soccorsi, per la quale si possono addurre delle circostanze attenuanti: l'Italia era allora un paese povero, sottosviluppato rispetto alle altre nazioni europee; la stessa tecnologia dell'epoca non consentiva una grande rapidità di reazione; il terremoto danneggiò molto seriamente le infrastrutture e le vie di comunicazione nelle zone colpite; infine non esisteva ancora il moderno concetto di protezione civile e lo Stato italiano non era preparato ad affrontare simili emergenze.

Ciò che realmente sorprende è che fin dall'inizio, il governo e una parte della pubblica opinione sembrarono considerare il terremoto principalmente come un problema di ordine pubblico. Fra le prime preoccupazioni si registrano, infati, il timore delle epidemie e la paura dei saccheggi.

Scrive il quotidiano "La Tribuna" del 2 gennaio 1909: per impedire un'epidemia occorre "compiere l'opera distruggitrice perpetrata dal terremoto: buttare giù quel poco che resta di queste case, buttarlo giù nel modo più energico, più rapido: a colpi di cannone. Far sgomberare i pochissimi superstiti e dalle navi bombardare queste scarnificate vestigia della città (...) non v'è altra via per impedire che il luogo dov'era Messina diventi un centro d'infezione a cui nessuno osi più avvicinarsi". (p. 118). "Il Mattino" del 6-7 gennaio rilancia la stessa idea attribuendone la paternità al Re, mentre "Il Messaggero" del 6 gennaio suggerisce di ricorrere al fuoco: "Si dia in preda alle fiamme [Messina] per purificarla, o si ricostruisca con piccole case come una cittadina giapponese" (p. 119).

E' sconcertante che fra le prime misure suggerite dopo un terremoto, vi sia quella di deportare la popolazione colpita e poi bombardare la città: sembra che nel caso di Messina non si sia arrivato a tanto solo perché, a distanza di molti giorni dalla catastrofe, si continuavano a trovare dei sopravvissuti sotto le rovine. Ma si rimane ancora più stupiti quando si apprende che uno dei motivi che suggerirono queste misure estreme, fu la necessità di preservare dai furti i valori rimasti sotto le macerie e soprattutto i caveaux delle banche.

Il regio decreto del 4 gennaio 1909 stabiliva lo stato d'assedio nei territori colpiti dal terremoto e conferiva i pieni poteri per l'emergenza al generale di corpo d'armata Francesco Mazza (annota Boatti che una diceria popolare fa discendere dal suo cognome l'etimologia della locuzione siculo-calabra "non capire una mazza"). Installatosi con il suo stato maggiore a bordo di una lussuosa nave militare al largo, e senza scendere quasi mai a terra, il generale Mazza provvide a circondare Messina di un cordone sanitario di truppe, cui diede l'ordine di sparare su chiunque dall'esterno si avvicinasse alla città senza lasciapassare. Questo per impedire che bande di saccheggiatori si riversassero sul luogo del disastro.

Ecco alcuni passi tratti dal bando emanato dal generale Mazza il 10 gennaio, riportato integralmente a p. 374 del libro di Boatti: "1 - Sono sospesi fino a nuovo ordine gli scavi delle macerie da parte di privati cittadini, sia per rintracciare cadaveri, sia per recuperare valori. (...) Le persone trovate a scavare saranno considerate come ladri e deferite al tribunale di guerra. [Questo mentre ancora i parenti delle vittime cercavano i loro cari sotto le macerie, n.d.r.] Anche le truppe, nei lavori stradali che compiono, si limiteranno esclusivamente ai lavori di assestamento evitando di eseguire scavi. (...) 3 - E' proibito l'ingresso in città a tutte le persone non munite di regolare permesso rilasciato dall'autorità politica della provincia da cui provengono..."

Il 6 gennaio l'autorità militare ordina di sospendere la distribuzione di viveri ai superstiti. Saranno distribuiti viveri a bordo delle navi, solamente ai profughi che accetteranno d'imbarcarsi per lasciare la città. L'idea, commenta Boatti, è perciò quella di "utilizzare l'arma della fame e della sete per imporre (..) la desertificazione di Messina" (p. 135). Questa cinica soluzione non viene attuata perché, come accennavo sopra, alcuni dei sepolti sotto le macerie si ostinano a farsi ritrovare vivi anche dopo giorni e giorni dal terremoto; ma altresì per le perplessità espresse da una parte della pubblica opinione e anche per le proteste degli stessi messinesi: un'assemblea autoconvocata di cittadini chiede il 19 gennaio la revoca dello stato d'assedio. Stato d'assedio che - osserva con sarcasmo il corrispondente de "Il Mattino" del 6 gennaio 1909 - sembra avere lo scopo precipuo di garantire "il sonno ai morti e la biancheria, gli oggetti e i titoli di banca ai vivi" (p. 137).

In seguito Giolitti giustificò la scelta di dare priorità al recupero dei valori, adducendo il timore di speculazioni al ribasso sulla lira (p. 146). Boatti propone un'altra spiegazione: "La difesa delle proprietà, la guardia ai caveaux delle banche, il salvataggio dei lingotti che mette in secondo piano altri interventi è una linea d'azione adottata, anzi, sbandierata, perché dal disordine - anche sociale - del terremoto emerga alfine una visione dove a prevalere è l'ordine, lo status quo, l'autorità e il prestigio dell'apparato dello Stato. (...) Salvare milioni, o lingotti, dopo tutto è meno complicato che cercare di strappare alla morte, in una gara contro il tempo, migliaia di sepolti vivi" (p.155).

A questo atteggiamento grettamente calcolatore da parte degli apparati dello Stato si contrappone lo slancio di solidarietà manifestato da più parti della società. In poche settimane si raccolgono più di ventun milioni di lire (dell'epoca) in sottoscrizioni, buona parte delle quali provenienti dall'estero. La cosa non manca anzi di creare preoccupazioni nelle alte sfere: non si rischierà di creare l'abitudine all'assistenza, al farsi mantenere dallo Stato, a quello che oggi si chiama assistenzialismo? Sua Altezza Reale il Duca d'Aosta esprime autorevolmente questo cruccio quando afferma che "è immorale mantenere un'orda di vagabondi e creare oziosi" (p. 234).

Non si trattò soltanto di solidarietà finanziaria. Volontari affluirono da tutta Italia per prestare opera di soccorso. Boatti dedica particolare attenzione alla vicenda di uno di essi, il parlamentare parmense Giuseppe Micheli, un deputato cattolico che, arrivato a Messina pochi giorni dopo il terremoto, subito mise in piedi, con la collaborazione dell'Arcivescovo, un "comitato messinese di soccorso", a carattere volontario, che si rivelò un'organizzazione semiufficiale sotto molti aspetti più efficiente di quella statale (pp. 263-68). Un'altra figura che emerge è quella dell'ex sindaco socialista di Catania Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida, che era stato protagonista pochi anni prima di una delle esperienze politico-amministrative più avanzate della Sicilia dell'epoca: da sindaco della sua città aveva promosso forme di socializzazione dei servizi pubblici (forni municipalizzati, cucine popolari), la cui esperienza risultò ora preziosa per organizzare la distribuzione dei viveri ai superstiti del terremoto (pp. 203-4).

La miseria delle regioni colpite dal terremoto impressionò molti degli osservatori e degli inviati giunti sul luogo della catastrofe. Qualcuno propose dei rimedi; ad esempio il letterato Giovanni Cena suggerì, naturalmente quale misura temporanea, quella di emigrare. "Parecchi anni di duro tirocinio all'estero (...): poi gli emigranti calabresi torneranno altri uomini e non domanderanno più nulla, fuorché il loro buon diritto di cittadini" (p. 381). (Oggi si può dire che noi calabresi abbiamo seguito il consiglio, e che gli "anni di tirocinio" sono stati effettivamente molti, anzi durano tuttora. Sarà che siamo un po' lenti ad imparare?).

Il libro di Boatti non manca di sottolineare l'imprevidenza e anche l'incoscienza generalizzata che indussero i cittadini di Messina e Reggio Calabria (le città che oggi qualcuno vorrebbe unire con un ponte lungo tre chilometri, inutile, dannoso e pericoloso) a costruire tutto, anche gli edifici pubblici, al di fuori delle più elementari regole di sicurezza. Le fotografie che corredano il volume illustrano un panorama di distruzione impressionante, ove emerge, unica costruzione intatta perché edificata con criteri antisismici, il villino di un medico messinese.

Nella sua ricognizione della pubblicistica dell'epoca, Boatti dedica due capitoli ad alcune singolari polemiche: quella (cap. XVII) fra autorità laiche e cattoliche riguardo alla sistemazione degli orfani del terremoto (il Vaticano pretendeva ovviamente che fossero tutti educati "in Cristo" nei suoi istituti), e quella concernente il destino dell'Università di Messina, di cui alcuni illustri cattedratici proposero senz'altro la chiusura, in base alla considerazione che di università ce n'erano fin troppe e che in particolare quelle meridionali erano diplomifici per giovani sfaccendati (pp. 276-7).

Boatti chiude la sua esposizione con un'osservazione suggestiva: la "meglio gioventù" dei volontari del terremoto, poco dopo, buttò via inutilmente la propria carica di idealismo e di amor patrio, la propria volontà di fare e di cambiare le cose, nelle trincee della Prima guerra mondiale. Agli ordini (aggiungo io) di quella medesima classe dirigente ignorante, ottusa, autoritaria, incapace e meschinamente arroccata nella difesa dei propri privilegi, che aveva già dato prova di sé nella gestione ufficiale dell'emergenza-terremoto e che di lì a poco "inventerà" il fascismo.

Questo testo di Giorgio Boatti fa luce su un episodio importante e poco conosciuto della nostra storia nazionale, e lo fa (a differenza della pseudo-storiografia sensazionalistica e superficiale oggi di moda) con grande scrupolosità e metodo: il volume si chiude con ben cento pagine di appendice documentaria e di note al testo. Anche solo per questo sarebbe da raccomandare. Per chi come me proviene da una delle zone disastrate, la lettura di questo libro è irrinunciabile e consente di ritrovare la radice di mali antichi.

Originariamente pubblicato il 22 febbraio 2005, qui.
          (2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..' (no replies)        
'..But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

..

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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          SENTRA DURIAN NGEMBAL        
Durian Unggulan





DURIAN MONTHONG
Family Bombacaceae
Deskripsi
Durian ini berasal dari Thailand. Tanaman Durian monthong merupakan tanaman genjah. Mampu berproduksi pada umur 4-5 tahun sejak ditanam dengan bibit asal sambung pucuk. Produksi buahnya cukup banyak. Mampu beradaptasi pada berbagai tempat. Sayangnya, tanaman ini tidak mempunyai ketahanan terhadap penyakit Phytophthora .sp. Bentuk buah bervariasi, dari bulat panjang sampai hampir persegi. Durinya besar dan tersusun jarang. Bobot buahnya mampu mencapai 6 kg. Kulitnya tebal dengan warna hij au. juringnya ada 5. Warna daging buah ada yang kuning emas, ada pula yang krem. Dagingnya sangat tebal dengan rasa manis legit dan aroma harum sedang.
Manfaat
Buah durian matang, atau tepatnya arilusnya, yang merupakan bagian yang dapat dimakan, umumnya dikonsumsi dalam keadaan segar. Di pasar, buah durian ini mengiklankan diri melalui baunya yang keras dan khas. Buah durian sangat disukai orang, sehingga panen padi di Indonesia akan terbengkalai jika bertepatan dengan panen buah durian, dan sampai puncak masa panen durian orang-orang masih bernafsu besar untuk memakannya. Buah durian diawetkan dengan cara mengeringkan daging buahnya menjadi kue durian, atau diolah menjadi dodol; dapat pula difermentasi atau dijadikan asinan. Kini arilus durian juga diciutkan dan dibungkus, lalu dibekukan untuk memperpanjang penyediaan durian; dengan cara ini buah durian dapat diterima di pasaran ekspor. Rasa durian lebih disenangi di dalam es krim dan kue-kue. Biji durian yang direbus atau dibakar dimakan sebagai makanan kecil. Pucuk muda dan buahnya yang masih muda dapat dimasak untuk lalap. Kulit buah yang dikeringkan digunakan sebagai bahan bakar, terutama untuk mengasapi ikan. Beberapa bagian pohon durian dimanfaatkan sebagai obat; buah durian dianggap dapat menyembuhkan kesehatan orang atau hewan yang sakit. Menurut kepercayaan yang umum dianut, orang yang memakan durian dibarengi dengan minuman beralkohol dapat menyebabkan sakit atau bahkan mematikan. Kayunya yang kasar dan ringan tidak tahan lama, tetapi dapat digunakan untuk konstruksi dalam rumah clan perkakas rumah yang murahan.
Syarat Tumbuh
Tanaman durian dapat tumbuh di dataran rendah sampai ketinggian 1.000 m di atas permukaan laut. Namun, produksi terbaiknya dicapai jika penanaman dilakukan pada ketinggian 400-600 m di atas permukaan laut. Tanaman ini menyukai daerah yang beriklim basah atau tempat-tempat yang banyak turun hujan. Jenis tanah yang baik untuk pertumbuhannya yaitu tanah yang lembap, subur, gembur, tak bercadas, dan kedalaman air tanahnya tidak lebih dari 1 m.
Pedoman Budidaya
Di Indonesia, sebagian besar durian masih ditumbuhkan dari benih, walaupun beberapa cara perbanyakan klon telah dipraktekkan pula. Di Filipina, perbanyakan dengan benih telah diganti dengan penyambungan sanding (inarching) dan penyambungan celah (cleft grafting). Di Thailand, pembibitan-pembibitan menghasilkan sejumlah besar 1′pohon durian melalui dua cara. Penyusuan secara tradisional mungkin merupakan penyambungan sanding yang cukup sederhana dan sangat tinggi persentase keberhasilannya; caranya ‘ialah batang bawah yang dipelihara dalam kantung dibuntungi dan disisipkan ke cabang kecil pada tanaman induknya. Cara lainnya ialah penyambungan hipokotil, menggunakan semai dalam pot, berumur 5-6 minggu, yang disambung-celah dengan batang atas-mini yang dipotong dari pucuk lateral yang tipis saja. Perlakuan fungisida, terowongan plastik, dan naungan berat sangat diperlukan untuk melindungi jaringan yang masih rapuh. Lima orang pekerja yang berpengalaman dapat mengerjakan 300 sambungan, dikerjakan dari pukul 8 malam sampai tengah malam ; menghindari panasnya siang hari konon merupakan faktor penting alam mencapai tingkat keberhasilan di atas 90176. Benih durian kv. ‘Chanee’ biasa digunakan di Thailand untuk meningkatkan penyediaan batang bawah. Anakan durian dapat ditanam di lapangan seteiah berumur 1 tahun, dengan jarak tanam 8-16 m. Pada tahun pertama diperlukan naungan. Pada jarak tanam yang lebih rapat, mungkin kebun durian itu perlu penjarangan setelah 8-1
Pemeliharaan


Gulma dibabat dan dibiarkan sebagai mulsa, tetapi lahan di bawah kanopi pohon diusahakan bebas dari gulma. Penyedotan hara sampai saat panen berjumlah 2,4 kg N, 0,4 kg P, 4,2 kg K, 0,3 kg Ca, dan 0,5 kg Mg per ton buah, tetapi penyedotan hara total belum pernah diteliti. Praktek di Thailand ialah memberikan pupuk majemuk dekat dengan garis-tetes segera setelah muncul kuncup bunga, ditunjang dengan pemberian pupuk di atas tanah jika telah ada pembentukan buah yang lebat; pemberian pupuk lainnya dilakukan setelah panen. Jika tersedia pupuk kandang, dapat menggantikan pemberian pupuk yang terakhir.
Hama dan Penyakit
Penyakit busuk akar, penyakit busuk pangkal batang, atau kanker-bintik (patch canker), yang disebabkan oleh Phytophthora palmivora, merupakan pembunuh yang ditakuti. Jamur ini hidup di dalam tanah dan memperlemah pohon dengan cara menginfeksi akar. Infeksi bagian di atas permukaan tanah juga terjadi, barangkali terutama disebabkan oleh cipratan partikel-partikel tanah. Pohon durian akan mati jika infeksi pada pangkal batang lama-lama melukai keliling batang pohon itu. Untuk memberantas penyakit ini, pangkal batang diusahakan bebas dari tunas-tunas lateral setinggi 1 m atau lebih, lahan sekitar pohon agar bebas dari gulma, dan pengairan hendaknya tidak membasahi pangkal batang atau tanah yang dekat situ, juga air penyiraman dari satu pohon tidak membasahi pohon lain. Semacam pasta fungisida (sistemik) dicatkan pada pangkal batang durian, dan pohonnya hendaknya seringkali diperiksa, bagian yang terinfeksi agar dipotong dan bekas lukanya dibersihkan. Penyakit-penyakit lain, seperti bintik daun yang disebabkan oleh Colletotrichum spp., Homortegia durionir dan Phyllorticta durionir, dan busuk buah (Rhizopus sp.), tidak begitu berarti. Berbagai hama telah diamati menyerang durian, tetapi kerusakannya tampaknya hanya kadang-kadang. Suatu ulat pengebor buah, Hypoperigea (Plagideicta) lepro.rtricta, memakan biji durian, dan tampaknya lebih sering terjadi. Mamalia, seperti tikus, babi hutan, dan beruang, senang sekali memakan buah durian, dan buahbuah yang berjatuhan harus dikumpulkan setiap pagi agar mengurangi kerugian.
Panen dan Pasca Panen
Panen Pohon durian tumbuh sangat tinggi, dan karena sulit menerka matangnya buah, praktek yang umum dilakukan ialah menunggu sampai buah itu berjatuhan. Pemanenan secara selektif itu perlu, dan pemetik yang berpengalaman menggunakan berbagai kriteria untuk menaksir kematangan buah durian. Diawali dari jumlah hari yang telah dilewati sejak bunga mekar, mereka juga mungkin memperhatikan warna, elastisitas dan letaknya duri, intensitas bau yang keluar dari buah, suara yang terdengar jika jari-jari dijentikkan pada alur-alur di antara duri, perubahan pada tangkai buah, dan uji-apung di air. Penanganan pasca panen Berkat kulitnya yang kuat, pengangkutan buah durian dipermudah, tetapi adanya duri-duri itu menyulitkan penanganannya; buah ini perlu dipegang tangkainya. Buah yang telah pecah sewaktu jatuh ke tanah, cepat sekali rusak, arilusnya menjadi tengik dalam waktu 36 jam saja. Buah yang masih bertangkai, yang dipungut dari bawah pohonnya masih dapat dimakan setelah 2-3 hari, tetapi jika daya tahan buah yang telah dipungut itu dapat diperpanjang sekitar 1 minggu lagi, hal ini akan merupakan keuntungan yang besar. Buah durian harus segera diangkut ke pasar, diwadahi karung, keranjang bambu atau ditumpuk saja dalam bak truk. Ruang pendingin bersuhu 15° C dapat memperpanjang daya tahan, buah durian selama 3 minggu, dan daging buah yang dibekukan secara cepat akan dapat mempertahankan rasanya selama 3 bulan atau lebih
          Tools: php-malware-finder - Detect potentially malicious PHP files         

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

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

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

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


THE BAD GUYS: MALICIOUS ACTIONS/TERMS

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

How to avoid social engineering attacks

THE GOOD GUYS: ONLINE SAFETY TERMS


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

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

//

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


          Besplatna haljina        
     

Το Android στην έκδοση 7.1, απέκτησε ένα νέο χαρακτηριστικό με το παρατσούκλι "panic button". Η νέα δυνατότητα εντοπίστηκε από χρήστες του XDA-Developers και έχει σαν στόχο να δώσει στον χρήστη μια επιπλέον δυνατότητα αντιμετώπισης εφαρμογών που έχουν κολλήσει ή είναι κακόβουλες.

Πολλές κακόβουλες εφαρμογές, απενεργοποιούν το back button στο κινητό, αποτρέποντας τον χρήστη από το να βγει από αυτήν και να επιστρέψει στην αρχική οθόνη της συσκευής του. Το Panic mode, "παρακολουθεί" το πόσες φορές και με ποιά συχνότητα πατάει το back button. "Εκτιμώντας" την δύσκολη κατάσταση που βρίσκεται ο χρήστης, το λειτουργικό αναλαμβάνει δράση και παίρνει τον έλεγχο από την "κρεμασμένη" ή κακόβουλη εφαρμογή, κλείνοντας την, επιστρέφοντας την αρχική οθόνη.
A few malicious applications may turn off the 'back' key as well as other buttons. This then wouldn't let the user return to his main screen else any other application. The time is then when the user starts panicking. Unable to guess what is happening with his smart phone as well as what makes it not to answer the user's commands, the phone owner will keep on anxiously hitting the back button in anticipation of it behaving its usual way.

It is here when Google's system would find out the unusual behavior of the phone owner's back button i.e. why so frequently the button is being pressed. Subsequently, the system will prevail over the application and once again enable back action on the phone as well as restore its main screen. The system works for applications which simply freeze, however, for rogue software too which attempts at tapping any or all moves, such as adware or malicious software. 
 
[via]
          Malware: How we are Infected [InfoGraphic]        
So you have a computer, but if it was infected with a virus, what would you do? Would you even know it was there? It is a well-known fact that over 32% of all computers in the world have malware of some sort. Today we will be talking about the infamous computer virus and what it is.

So let's start with something you all have probably heard of, Malware. Malware is a program made to infiltrate your computer, disable parts of it, and thus gain access to your hard drive, search history and such to aid with stealing information. However, there are other types of malware out there. Let's get to know them and how much of the 32% they infect.

At 57%, first we have the virus. This is a software that has the capability to copy itself and send itself into other folders. Then there is the "Trojan" at 21%. The Trojan is malicious software that hides on the internet disguised as some sort of program or free item, and ce you download it, you will soon discover it is malicious. But the Trojan has a brother at 7%, called the "Trojan Downloader". This type of virus does the same thing as the simple Trojan, but once on your computer it downloads more viruses and software, then begins to use those programs.

Then at 3% there is the "Exploit", which finds a glitch, bug or system error and uses that to hack into your computer. Next we have the "Worm" at 2%, this malicious bug works the same as a Trojan, but then copies and pastes itself across your computer network.

But not all viruses seem so bad when you get them, for instance the "Adware" at 3%. This type of virus infects your computer so nothing happens at first, but once you log into your web browser, then immediately your screen will be flooded with ads. There is also the "Monitoring Tool" with 2% of the 32% infected. This malware infects your computer and hides, not doing anything but monitoring your activity, (Search history, keyboard history etc.) and then sends those back to a remote server.

There is also one of the worst at 1%, the "Back Door". This virus infects your computer remotely, not allowing your anti-virus security to even detect it, but sure enough it does. And lastly we have one of the worst but luckily at a low percentage of 0.01%, "Spyware". This diabolically designed software infects your computer and takes the most important pieces of information it can find and sends it back to wherever it came from. This information is generally passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
All of these viruses have devastating effects. Last year there were 27 million strains of malware made, which means 74,000 new viruses are created every day. The number of homes in the United States that experience spam is 24 million. The number of homes with serious viruses in the last 2 years is 16 million, and the number of houses that had spyware in the last 6 months is 6 million. But most devastating of all, over 1 million of all homes have lost money to spyware in the last year. Another devastating fact is that Viruses cost the world 4.55 billion USD every year.

So be safe, don't download anything you are unsure of, and be sure to have an anti-virus software. But most importantly learn how to detect these programs when you get them.























          What is xPath Injection? How to exploit with xPath? [Part 1]        
xPath Injection occurs when inputs supplied by the users are not properly sanitized and a malicious attacker is able to send and construct a malformed xPath query for XML data with the intention to extract sensitive information to which normal users don't have access to. It is similar to SQL Injection where attackers does the same, in SQL Injection, SQL queries are made and in xPath Injection, xPath queries are made for XML data/. Queries XML is done through xPath which is type of a simple descriptive statements that allows XML query to locate certain information.

To understand more clearly how a XML document looks like, have a look below. It is a simple XML document codes to authenticate a user based upon the combination of username and password they entered.


<users>
<user>
<name>Administrator</name>
<username>hackingsec</username>
<password>password123!</password>
<admin>1</admin>
</user>
<user>
<name>Admin</name>
<username>admin</username>
<password>reddit12</password>
<admin>0</admin>
</user>
</users>
















When the username 'admin' and password 'reddit12' are entered, the following xPath query is executed

/*[0]/user[username=”admin” and
password=”reddit12”]

Which would return the following

<user>
<name>Admin</name>
<username>admin</username>
<password>reddit12</password>
<admin>0</admin>

</user>


Exploiting xPath Injection : Authentication Bypass

An malicious user can bypass the authentication by sending specially crafted input query.

/*[0]/user[username=”admin” and password=”reddit12”]

If an attacker submits the following malicious input:

username: admin" or "1" ="1
password: anything

the XPATH query which will be executed will be the following:

/*[0]/user[username=”admin" or "1"="1” and
password=”anything”]

The XPath query will result in authentication bypass and an attacker will be able to login to the
application as user "admin". This is because the OR clause in the XPath query is a condition which is always true. Under XPath (similar to SQL) the AND clause has precedence over the OR clause, so the XPath query will be evaluated as shown by the following pseudo-code:

username ="admin" or [TRUE AND False]
which will result in:
username ="admin" or FALSE

As the username admin is valid, the attacker will be able to login as this user.


That was a basic introduction to tell you, what xPath actually is and to exploit it. I will be dividing this post into 3 separate parts. This was the 1st part, in 2nd part I will be explaining how to extract database information through xPath Injection. In 3rd part we will be talking about some automated tools for exploiting xPath Injection.

          Technology and it's threat         

Technology and its threat

It's true that technology makes everyone dance on its tone. Now we have computers with the help of which we can get information about everything. It has also changed the way of communication. Earlier we use to talk via letters and phones. But, now we have a webcam through which we can do video calling or conferencing. It's true that machines have been created by men, but they make fewer mistakes as compared to men. You just need to program the computer properly and it will work accurately. With the help of computer everything is done perfectly in less time. Now days it’s not surprising if students carry their laptop and mobile to school. Technology has truly made our lives easier.



But a computer also faces health issues, which can be treated by an Antivirus Software program.
Following are  top 8 threats and no one should ever ignore them

Viruses: - The name itself describes it. It can disrupt a computer and can damage the available data. Viruses can be received via numerous options that also include e-mail attachments. So, always beware when you get an e-mail from an unidentified server or person.

Spyware: - A Spyware is used to spy on computers. It can steal your personal information and send it to others who can misuse it. Today everyone is concerned about being the victim of identity theft. Spyware are generally attached to a freeware downloaded from the web. So be cautious when downloading and installing a software tool.

Spam: - Spam mails are promotional in nature and usually promote products of sexual or dubious nature. Some websites are harvested by spammers, from where they steal your e-mail ids.
Adware: - Adware are responsible for producing advertisements on a system without user’s consent, which you often see on your computer screen. It can be in the form of pop-ups, pop-under, and other sources. People generally do get irritated by these adware but at many times are not aware of its causes.

Dialers: - Dialers are the programs, which are designed to redirect phone calls to expensive numbers without even informing you. You’ll get to know about it, when you will receive the bill.
Hackers: - A computer always consists of so much personal data, including your bank and credit card details. Hackers always try to steal this data and recover your passwords in order to do malicious activities and even may burgle you.

Hijackers: - The hijackers take remote control of your computer screen and can reset your homepage and search pages. They do it in order to do thievery on your behalf so that they can be away from the agencies and you’ll be in danger.

Phishing: - Phishing has become the most threat full of all malicious activities over the internet. It is because Phishing websites look similar to the real websites, and are designed to make fools out of the customer and are generally scams to harvest usernames and passwords of prominent websites.

In order to be away from these 8 threats, download Security Software Optimo Defender, which also scans for threats and performs virus removal programs on a computer by offering various features like Antivirus,

Anti-Trojan, Anti-Spyware, and System Security Suite. There are a lot of Antivirus programs available on the internet, but like everything else they also vary in quality. You tend to get what you pay for.
Anna Asthesia is chief technical head in optimodefender.com & working from last 5 years. She likes to write article on antivirus software program, security software & how to find genuine online tech support for Laptops, Computers & Smartphones.

About the Author
Anna Asthesia is chief technial head in optimopro.com & working from last 5 years. She likes to write article on windows registry , computer problems & how to find genuine online tech support for Laptops, Computers & Smartphones.You can read her latest blogs onblog.optimopro.com



          Arbitrary or Unrestricted File Upload        
Arbitrary or Unrestricted File Upload is a type of web application vulnerability which occurs due to improper validation of the file which is being uploaded on the server.
Suppose there is a website which allows users to upload image files with the extension like .jpg, .png, .gif and so on, but if the website is unable to properly verify the image file being uploaded, an attacker can take control over the whole website/server. This is especially true for files with the extension .php & .asp because they are automatically executed by the server.


So in this post I will be explaining you how this vulnerability is caused by studying the source code. This post has been written keeping in mind that you are new to this type of vulnerability, so examples which will be explained will be basic ones. Advanced example will be posted in PART 2 of this post.

Example
The following is an HTML upload forum which allows pictures to be uploaded on the server.

<form action="upload.php" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
Choose a file to upload:
<input type="file" name="filename"/>
<br/>
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit"/>
</form>
 
When the file is submitted, it is send to upload.php on the server. The file is been stored in a temporary location until it is retrieved by the server side code. So after the file is uploaded, it is sent to a permanent directory or location through upload.php
 
// Define the target location where the picture being
// uploaded is going to be saved.
$target = "pictures/" . basename($_FILES['uploadedfile']['name']);

// Move the uploaded file to the new location.
if(move_uploaded_file($_FILES['uploadedfile']['tmp_name'], $target))
{
echo "The picture has been successfully uploaded.";
}
else
{
echo "There was an error uploading the picture, please try again.";
}
 
The problem with the above code is that, the file type is not verified which is being uploaded, as a result an attacker can upload a malicious file on the server.

Once the malicious file is uploaded on the server, arbitrary command execution is possible.

Well, a simple solution to patch this type of problem is to check for MIME type in the uploaded request.
 
if($_FILES['userfile']['type'] != "image/gif") {
      echo "Sorry, we only allow uploading GIF images";
      exit;
}
 
Well this method too can be bypassed by the manipulation of Request Header allowing
What can be done instead is that use PHP functions to check that the file type is indeed of desired type, for example: ‘getimagesize()’ function of PHP takes a file name as an argument and returns the size and type of the image

Some File Upload Vulnerabilities : 



http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/03/testing-imageshell-and-deface-upload.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/03/file-manager-remote-shell-and-deface.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/02/fckeditor-remote-file-upload-exploit.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/01/file-thingi-deface-and-shell-upload.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/01/another-deface-and-shell-upload.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/01/defaceshell-and-image-upload.html



          â€œLa primera infancia ha dejado de ser una prioridad del gobierno”        
Primer ministro durante los primeros cinco meses del gobierno de Ollanta Humala y actual miembro del Grupo Impulsor Inversión en la Infancia, Salomón Lerner Ghitis hace un balance de la política social del gobierno. Cuestiona lo hecho por el régimen humalista en las políticas de atención y desarrollo de la infancia y señala que los resultados sociales del gobierno no han sido lo que se esperaba. Advierte sobre el impacto negativo de la desaceleración económica en la pobreza y la desnutrición infantil.
          Comment on Ivica by Goran        
hm, moram da se složim sa Angelinom, Bednim piskaralom, nemam više strpljenja, iako sam imao i ima dobre poslove, dobro plaćene u korporsativnom svetu, ali to nije to. Nema iskre, nema uživanja u poslu, samo kad došđem kuči pa me troje dece dočeka. Što je napisao neko pre neki dan na fb ili tw, ne sećam se, moja deca su meni preskupa da bi njima trgovao i prodao ih za bolju njihovu srbiju, malim slovom, užasno. I ja razmišljam d azbog njih odem, ali nisma pametan..
          Comment on Startap scena u Beču – intro by Faribo        
Kako to sve normalno, logično i inspirativno izgleda, samo što nije Srbija već neka tamo zapadna zemlja. Eh, kad bi imali kineskog duha pa da prepišemo i primenimo nešto što valja.
          $10,000 REWARD: Missing Person / Cold Case via Integrated Security Services @GoIntegrated         



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  • FLASHBACK: Video - Widow Pressed for Answers 42 years ago


  • Brief highlights of Caporino case:

    Excerpts from

  • more COOL JUSTICE

  • Chapter 4

    *

    Did Gabe Caporino just disappear or were hidden forces at play? AT

    *

    Gabe Caporino, a 40-year-old corporate executive from Westchester, NY, never returned to his wife and two teenage daughters after a business trip in 1974. The night he disappeared, Gabe Caporino spoke with his wife and daughters, asking about a school parents' night and confirming a dinner date with friends for the weekend.

    *

    There isn’t much of a trail for Gabe Caporino, but we know a good bit of what police did and did not do in the crucial days following his disappearance on Thursday, March 7, 1974. We also know some of what his employer, the General Foods corporation, did and did not do.

    *

    Under pressure from Gabe Caporino’s wife, Grace, now a retired teacher and recognized Holocaust scholar, General Foods sent a team to New Orleans over the weekend. One of them, Bill Bevans of the personnel department, snatched Gabe Caporino’s briefcase from his hotel room. The other GF team members were security director Jack Edward Ison, who had been an FBI agent for nine years; and White Plains, NY police detective James Lynch.

    “Our chief of security Jack Ison will ... take over this investigation,” GF personnel director Frank Dorito told Grace Caporino.

    Indeed, he did.

    On Sunday, March 10, 1974, Ison and his colleagues met privately with New Orleans police, barring members of the Caporino family. This crucial meeting presaged, if it did not predestine, the shocking and abysmal refusal of the New Orleans Police Department to follow up on basic and compelling leads, including the forgery of Gabe Caporino's credit card four days after he was reported missing. This forgery was ultimately documented by the FBI crime lab. Significantly, a Sears employee who witnessed three individuals using Gabe’s credit card recanted after a visit by New Orleans police ...

    ... Officer Roma Kent, who went on to work as a federal public defender, got the clerk to change his story ...

    *

    CBS producer Barbara Gordon, on assignment in 1974, put it this way: “The New Orleans Police Department is holding hands with General Foods and there is a cover-up down here.”

    The Gabe Caporino case was the subject of a CBS documentary produced by Gordon and reported by Chris Borgen, a retired New York City narcotics detective. The program aired beginning in May 1974 on the show Eye On New York. It was rebroadcast in New York and several times throughout the country on local affiliates – but not in New Orleans.

    As the air date neared, Borgen told Grace Caporino the reporting team received threats that GF might pull advertising from CBS. Borgen recounted the phone call from a GF public relations staffer: “This documentary is not in our best interests. We have a significant advertising budget with CBS.”

    *



    New Orleans police ... reported the discovery of Gabe Caporino’s rental car in a way that could not have occurred.

    His rented car was found abandoned about 10 days later in front of a school by Spain and [N.]Ramparts streets with the keys stuck outside the vehicle in the door lock. Police officers told me a car in this location with the keys outside the vehicle might have lasted there up to an hour. Additionally, any fingerprints left in or on the car were wiped off.

    “It is certainly not the kind of place where a new car would sit for a week with the keys in the door,” said Gabe Caporino’s nephew Anthony Emma, who made two trips to New Orleans in 1974. “Certainly not the kind of place a new car would sit even locked up without being disturbed for a week ... I always found that hard to believe.”



    *

    As time went on and the Caporino family struggled to survive, General Foods appealed the awarding of benefits to the widow and children multiple times. At one of the hearings, Jack Edward Ison admitted he was the source of the smears about Gabe Caporino in law enforcement files.

    A hearing officer asked Ison: “How do you know this about Mr. Caporino?”

    “Just things you hear people say,” Ison responded. He was not pressed to elaborate.

    In a particularly disturbing incident on March 16, 1974 – the day that would have been Gabe Caporino’s 41st birthday – family, friends and neighbors gathered at the home in Yorktown Heights. Ison called Grace Caporino. She told Ison family and friends did not want her to be alone on that day. Ison paused and said: “Well, if Gabe has any heart, surely he'll call you on his birthday. Bye, I’ve got to go.”

    *

    October, 2011. NEW ORLEANS, LA – Thirty seven years ago – with several police officers crowding her – Grace Caporino briefly touched and read a number of pages in a 3-inch-high stack of reports about her missing husband. After a few minutes, they forced her to leave. Today, the New Orleans Police Department still doesn’t want to know or hear anything about the Gabe Caporino case – or the reports ... *

    The current New Orleans police superintendent, Ronal Serpas, ignored two certified letters she sent him last year ...

    The New Orleans Police Department – notorious as perhaps the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history – has routinely engaged in public executions of civilians. The coroner tends to call these homicides slips and falls or accidents, even when someone’s face and teeth are kicked in and various body parts have hemorrhaged. Officers have worked as cocaine dealers on the job, hired hitmen to kill civilians, stolen from car dealers and held up liquor stores in uniform. Officers have been heard on police scanners saying: “Is he dead yet? No. Kill him now. String him up by the balls.”

    A short list of recent convictions includes two officers who beat and kicked a local man to death, then covered it up. In the infamous Danzgier bridge trial, also this year, five current and former officers were found guilty of shooting six civilians – killing two of them – and covering it up. Those local citizens were walking to a grocery store.

    Civilians filming police assaulting civilians are routinely charged with inciting a riot. After police shot and killed unarmed trombone player Joe Williams, returning from a jazz funeral in 2004, officers broke up a memorial service for the popular member of the Hot 8 Brass Band. Local attorney Mary Howell told the PBS show Frontline police advised her that “merely having a video camera or camera in a situation like this where the police are interacting with the community was considered to be inciting a riot.”

    After Hurricane Kartina, the National Rifle Associaton sued New Orleans Police for stripping law-abiding citizens of their ability to defend themselves. “They just stole people’s guns and weapons,” Howell said.

    The unofficial body count from Hurriance Katrina is upwards of 1,500. “We do not have a clear understanding of how many people were shot and killed by the New Orleans Police Department,” Howell told Frontline.

    Of course, there are also many officers who keep their oath to protect and serve no matter what the risk from criminals and buffoons in the streets or among their ranks and supervisors ...

    *

    August, 2012

    ... the New Orleans Police Department actually admitted it had failed to comply with the Louisiana public records law. This happened through a series of depositions of detectives and other personnel [in a Freedom of Information lawsuit in Parish Court] ... “Nobody has gone digging through those files specifically looking for a file relative to the disappearance of Gabe Caporino, have they?” The question was posed by ... attorney, Brett Prendergast.

    “No, sir,” Detective Gwen Guggenheim responded.

    ... A supervised search of the NOPD “storage area” [revealed the following from] ... a dimly-lit and musty room on the second floor by the NOPD parking garage.

    Most of the boxes of files were covered with layers of grime and old insulation. He had to move evidence including sections of a chain-link fence to get at the boxes.

    The files dated from 1890 to the present. Besides homicide cases, there were also files for juvenile offenses and sex crimes.

    There was not a single missing persons file in storage ...

    ... As recently as 1995, then-Police Superintendent Richard Pennington had a detective review the Caporino case and all the reports and documents. Now, the official word is, the file does not exist – just as missing persons don't officially exist ...

    *

    Retired General Foods investigator Emil Monda, reached ... on the West Coast, said about the Caporino case: “We always thought there was foul play, but never came up with anything.”

    Monda said he did not know why the New Orleans Police failed to follow leads including the forgery of Caporino’s credit card ...


              8 more Australian-designed Mother's Day gift ideas        
    I couldn't resist putting together another Mother's Day gift guide full of Australian-designed goodies. If edgy is more your style, check out my Gift Guide for Minimalist Mamas. But if you've also got a softer side, like me, here are eight more ideas to pass on to your other half:
    Read more »
              Burning through the Desert         
    Dan Rielger & Ayala Moriel

    A few months ago (the last day of April, to be exact, which was also the first day of my Orientals week-long course), I had the pleasure and honour to host a special guest throughout the day: Dan Riegler of Apothecary's Garden - a purveyor of fair trade resins from around the world - especially frankincense and myrrh that are wild crafted in the traditional methods in countries such as Somalia, Yemen and Kenya. He also sources Cretan labdanum, and other rare raw materials, and sells resin-centrered products that he concocts himself, which you can find on his online shop. One of them being a highly fragrant moustache wax which basically surrounded him with a cloud of frankincense - so obviously he made an instant good impression on me!

    We started the day at the Baha'i Gardens in Akko (which deserve a full post dedicated to them) and then went to my studio to make incense - and burn a bunch too. Little did I know what I was signing up for. On top of the usual things I burn for this class (palo santo chips, sandalwood incense sticks, one type of myrrh and frankincense resins and my own rendition of Egyptian Kyphi) - Dan had a trunk-load of resins that he just imported from Africa, and was immensely kind and generous to share with us the most incredible incense resins with me and my class. We spent the afternoon burning rare myrrh, olibanum, and also some gums I never knew existed, namely Sandarac and Ammoniacum, the latter of which totally blew my mind.

    I learned so much from Dan, about the resins (and the other raw materials he curates and sells), how they are harvested and collected, the chemical makeup of the resins and how it affects the stages of burning (it turns out that incense resins also have top, heart and base notes) - and this post is just a little taste of all the beautiful resins we burnt when he was here. I'm looking forward to meeting him again on his next visits in Israel on the way to the African continent.

    Boswellia carterii
    Frankincense usually comes in "tears" shape as this Boswellia carterii - but not always. Below is a specimen of the less known B. neglecta that look more like a chunk of resinous granules. B. carterii has the characteristic, most unmistakable scent of frankincense - beginning with sweet citrus notes of lemon drops and orange candy and continuing into more resinous, woody and even balsamic, caramel-like nuances as the incense burns on the charcoal.

    While looking pretty much the same, other frankincense species provide further nuances and a whole frankincense burning comparative study (or incense games a-la Japenese Koh-Doh) can easily occupy half a day. Compare this to Maydi (Boswellia frereana) which albeit its slightly herbaceous (sage-like) opening, is more subtle, woody and perfumey. In fact, it smells almost powdery like violet and iris. Ethiopian frakincince (Boswellia papyrifea) is even finer with its suave, light perfume notes, slightly sweet and with notes of burnt sugar at the end of the charcoal burning process.

    Boswellia negoecta - black and white

    Boswellia neglecta is endemic to north Kenya and comes in white and black forms (as you can see in the photo) and is not widely known. The white and the black smell significantly different. The white begins resinous-green, piney and mysterious, surprisingly juice like crushed leaves with hints of parsley, galbanum and ammonia (smells a lot like amoniacum).  It has a hint of sweaty note, a little like coriander seed. The final burning moments bring to mind the smoke coming out of autumnal piles of fall leaves.

    The black neglecta smells completely different - you wouldn't think it came from the same plant: it smells dark and looming, like moss, mushrooms, decaying fall leaves, peat, forest floor and hints of campfire. It's surprising and magical that a resin can possess so many different facets.

    Sandarac
    Sandarac (tetraclllyris) comes from Malta and just like its pure milky appearance, burns clean with a woody-balsamic-resinous scent that is fine and very pleasant. It's a little bit like elemi, a little like mastic but not quite. There is a tiny hint of seashore to it that I only detected after many times of burning. It is quite lovely, even if underwhelming at first impression.

    Ammoniacum
    Ammoniacum is intense and pungent, like a mixture of galbanum, asafoetida, sulphur, greens. It it a very interesting odour but I suspect it would have better effect in magic and exorcism ceremonies rather than contemplative incense rituals.

    Commiphora confusa

    Commiphora confusa, as the name suggests, is a type of myrrh that is hard to identify, and for several reasons: the flowers look different on each plant, the resin looks different as well - and the most surprising of all: it smells more like frankincense than myrrh.

    Commiphora myrrha

    Commiphora myrrha (from Ethiopea) has the characteristic bitter, rubbery scent when burnt, and is what I'd imagine the Queen of Sheba to wear on her neck when seducing King Solomon.

    Commiphora karat

    Commiphora kataf (from Kenya) has pieces of wood in it (which would change the smell of the smoke depending on which chunk you burn). It has a strange, sulphuric-sweaty odour. I guess you could call it spicy, as it has a hint of cumin in it too. Overall it reminds me more of the smell of food than incense - barbecuing kebabs comes to mind.

    Commiphira holziana
    Commiphora holtziana does not smell like myrrh at all to me. It's more woody than C. myrrha, and a tad fresh to start with. Dan describes it as briny and sea-like but I'm not getting it.

    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh
    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh is by far the most incredibly beautiful myrrh resin I've ever burnt. Although it came in a strange looking chunk, containing pieces of the plastic bags used by the collectors, and even a piece of wool yarn, it has the most fantastic scent, like a perfume on its own accord. It reminds me of the unique "version" of frankincense that B. papyrifea offers. I would love to have this as an essential oil and create a perfume with it.


              8 Australian Mother's Day gift ideas for a minimialist Mama        
    Mother's Day is really all about cuddles and kisses from little ones and precious time spent with our own mothers. If there's a gift you need to get or a wishlist you're compiling, be inspired by these eight Australian-designed gift ideas that a minimalist Mama would love:
    Read more »
              Coco Noir        
    Coco Noir

    Sometimes we get attached to perfumes because they speak to us. Other times, it is pure coincidence that creates an imprint on our minds and adds meaning to the scent that we would have otherwise not found in it.

    These past few months I've been wearing copious amounts of Coco Noir. I've received the parfum extrait from a friend as a goodbye gift, and somehow it did not seem right to stuff it on the shipping container. Probably because I was too curious about it. At the same time I was too scared to open it, because starting a new perfume at a time of great change can create too strong of an impression - and I knew that there are many challenges ahead of me. I definitely did not want to open it at the time of our departure - I was an emotional mess, after three months of intensive packing and very little sleep... So I waited for a while for the dust of traveling to settle, and opened it about a week or two after arriving in Israel. It was a time of terrible weather (weeks and weeks on end of dry desert wind and over-the-top temperatures) not to mention - great emotional turmoil and immigrant adventures - and we are still in the midst of it, but I have enough levelheadedness now to reflect a bit, as things are finally starting to fall into place: my daughter will start school on Sunday, our home renovations are about halfway through, and my mental state allows me to pass entire days without crying (but still happens about once a week, because I end up hitting a brick wall of some sort at least in that frequency).

    Coco Noir is a modern "dark" concoction, which means that instead of oily aldehydes and animalic base, it has clean florally laced with white musks and underlying notes of vetiver and patchouli. It isn't exactly a fruitchouli, but it borders on that territory, with a clean ambreine accord (not unlike Prada Ambre Intense Pour Homme) - which means it has vanillin, patchouli and bergamot galore in it. However, there is also a spicy cacao accord (or perhaps it's just an illusion of that - created by the spicy cloves notes alongside the benzoin, vanillin and coumarin) which is quite prominent, which reminds me of Notorious - only that it continues much better in my opinion (it does not have as much musk, which in Notorious gives me a piercing feeling through my nostrils). It gradually softens and develops around the heart of jasmine and rose, and leads smoothly to the end: Dryout is a mellow, powdery confection, with hints of heliotrope (not unlike La Petite Robe Noire - but with non of the saccharine qualities of the latter).

    Coco Noir is more accessible, in my opinion, than Coco is. I love the original, even though I do not own it. It has a big persona and feels over-the-top for daily wear. I would only imagine wearing it when I'm all dressed up for a very sepcial event in the middle of winter. Instead, it provides with a very modern comfort in my overtly rustic living arrangement (which is only temporary, sort of...). It's a scent that inevitably will conjure up scent memories from this time of re-settling in my home village: having this sleek, elegant, opaque black glass square bottle around reminds me of my urban side and that I'm not going to be forever wading in mud to and from the yurt, and struggling with every little aspect of life. There is still place for elegance and luxury in my life even in this off the grid spot in between two major life periods.

    Another great reminder of this truth: whenever I stick my nose inside my shipping container, which smells still like my very fragrant home studio in Vancouver. My friend chose this fragrance because it reminded him of how my perfume smelled. I think I now get what he's talking about: it's very much like this "smell of everything, all at once" that you get from my workspace: dried coumarinic herbs (liatrix, tonka), vetiver roots, patchouli, countless flowers, herb oils and spices... All mingled with woodsy oils and the scent of antique furniture.

    I'm grateful for having this point of view portrayed to me via a bottle of fragrance chosen for me.

    Top notes: Cedarwood, Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit
    Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine, Narcissus, Geranium, Peach, Carnation, Cloves
    Base notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Frankincense, Musk, Vanilla, Heliotropin, Tonka
              Smoky Narcissus         
    Narkiss

    Wild narcissus (N. tazetta) and paperweights (N. 'Chinese Sacred Lily') are growing in my soon-to-be garden and in the mountainous wilderness that is its backyard. The wild one smells a thousand times better, in my humble opinion.... Especially, I've been haunted by its fragrance at night time, mingled with smoke from all the wood stoves used for heating in the village... Smells like a very fancy, smoky-floral beeswax candle burning. Not that this description does it any justice. I wish I could capture it in a perfume. Narkiss has some of the qualities (herbaceous, waxy-animalic) but as always, nature beats us all perfumers to a pulp. Other perfumes along these lines that I recall are Tom Ford's Velvet Gardenia and Shanghai Lily (I must remember to scout a sample size of that soon). Caron's famous Narcisse Noir also belongs to this territory, albeit it's much more aldehyde-heavy and it also has gasoline-like top-notes. Another scent it reminds me is of some of the Feu de Bois candle by Dyptique.

    Those surprising moments when you discover a new yet familiar scent in the natural surroundings, truly are the best.
              ECO-IMPERIALISMO, HIDROELÉCTRICAS, MENTIRAS Y VERDADES        
    Esta mañana me encontré este artículo en el muro de un amigo http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2705631/el_quimbo_colombia_enelendesas_low_carbon_hydroelectric_racket.html. El artículo por un imperialismo ecológico critica el imperialismo económico, pero su crítica, aunque razonable en algunos puntos, no deja de tener el trasfondo errado de muchos ecologistas: ¡imponer condiciones a los países subdesarrollados para que los ecologistas de los desarrollados sigan contaminando en paz! Pero lo irónico es que The ecologist critica una de las fuentes de generación de energía renovable más bonitas, eficientes y que puede darle a la gente que vive en ese territorio que llaman Colombia fuentes de riqueza. Además, la crítica se hace de manera ligera pasando por alto las consideraciones del International Panel on Climate Change acerca de sus ventajas.  En el punto que acierta es precisamente en los abusos del estado sobre las comunidades, donde vale la pena resaltar que el aprovechamiento del potencial hidroeléctrico no da derecho a expropiar, en favor del que sea. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    IMPERIALISMO ECOLÓGICO

    Sin embargo, las razones ecológicas que plantean para oponerse a las hidroeléctricas son más bien pobres. En primer lugar, las consideran también causa del calentamiento global. ¿Cómo? No quiero citar el artículo porque me da pereza pero la idea se resume en 1. cortan bosques tropicales que recogen el CO2, 2. son fuentes de Metano. Hombre ¿cómo un artículo que cita el Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático para defender a los campesinos y el agro sale a decir que son más contaminantes? En primer lugar, si uno revisa lo que dice el IPCC en materia de energía hidoeléctrica (sacaron un documento sobre energías alternativas) su resumen -de la IPCC- arranca así: "Hydropower offers significant potential for carbon emissions reductions" http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/srren/Chapter%205%20Hydropower.pdf. Creo que en ese punto "The ecologist" se equivoca. 

    Por otro lado argumenta que las represas (reservoirs) son fuentes de Metano. La verdad, lo que dicen los científicos climáticos es que si bien el metano CH4 es un gas efecto invernadero, su absorción es más rápida que el CO2, una diferencia que va desde unas décadas en el metano, hasta miles de años para el dióxido de carbono. Además, de acuerdo con la siguiente imagen que proviene del último reporte del IPCC parte del CO2 proviene del uso de la tierra http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/IPCCGeneva/fifth-assessment-report-synthesis-report/11:
    Francamente, si queremos disminuir TODAS las emisiones humanas de CO2 hay que empezar por dejar de respirar. ¿Y todas las artificiales? Dudo que la energía que utiliza "The ecologist" sea propiamente energía que no emita CO2 -bueno, puede ser nuclear que no les gusta tampoco- pero no es de las "terribles" hidroeléctricas. 

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

    DEFENDIENDO LAS HIDROELÉCTRICAS

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

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

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

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

    "Una variable importante sobre la determinación del precio en el mercado no regulado que debiera incluirse en estudios futuros son las expectativas climatológicas; en la medida en que se espere una disminución del recurso hídrico, generará expectativas de aumentos en el precio.". http://revistas.upb.edu.co/index.php/cienciasestrategicas/article/view/1093/1313

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

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

    " La coherencia del resultado se corrobora en el mes de enero de 2014, donde se aprecia una caída grande en el precio producto de la entrada en operación de El Quimbo y Sogamoso, las cuales en conjunto aumentan la oferta de electricidad en 1220 MW" http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1552/155226077004.pdf
    Mauricio nos insistía mucho que verificáramos que el resultado econométrico coincidiera con la "intuición" económica.  El problema es que las predicciones se equivocan y fuertemente. En el artículo citado, se muestra que los precios caerían en enero de 2014, la razón sería lógica la entrada de hidrosogamoso y quimbo (que es la que menciona The ecologist). Los precios en 2014 en bolsa fueron altísimos, y apenas hoy 16/01/2015 leí que estaban inaugurando la planta de hidrosogamoso. Lo que es cierto es que esas plantas deberían influir en la disminución del precio por el aumento de la oferta, además, de un insumo mucho más barato como "combustible" que el carbón. En eso acertó el trabajo de Mauricio y otros. Pero el cómo o cuánto bajarán los precios no podemos calcularlo con exactitud. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




              COLCIENCIAS ¿PROMOTORA O TRABA?: CIENCIA A LA COLOMBIANA...        
    ¿Ciencia a la Colombiana? Este es un artículo que va en contra de la corriente actual, de alguna manera podrán decir que estoy en contra de la "ciencia" lo que me parece en cierto sentido excelente. Hace pocos días se desató el escándalo de que le iban a quitar plata a Colciencias. Para mí fue motivo de decepción: ¡Deberían cerrarla! Si yo fuera presidente lo primero que cerraría sería Colciencias y eso que es complicado dado como se comporta la academia actual, deseo que eso pase, que cierren a Colciencias... no ser presidente.

    ¿Qué ha pasado? La verdad hay un exceso de noticias que impiden afirmar científicamente qué fue lo que pasó. Hay dos hechos que creo claros: 

    1. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dijo que iban a quitarles presupuesto"
    2. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dejó su cargo a los pocos días"

    COL CIENCIA... RAZONAMIENTO INDUCTIVO A LA COLOMBIANA...
    ¿Qué pasó realmente? ¿Cómo se supo la "noticia" difundida como escándalo nacional? Lo primero que genera inquietud es ¿cómo sabía la directora que les iban a quitar presupuesto? ¿Le escribieron el ministro o el presidente? De acuerdo con un artículo de "El Tiempo" (al que hay que leer a favor de Colciencias por el sesgo a favor del presidente) http://www.eltiempo.com/estilo-de-vida/ciencia/colciencias-recibira-menos-presupuesto-en-el-2015/14203881 manifestó que recibió un correo de su director de planeación, es decir, un funcionario de ella. ¿Y ese funcionario de dónde la recibió? El confuso artículo del periódico El Tiempo menciona al Departamento Nacional de Planeación. Esa mención parece una "Colcienciada..." es decir una imprecisión de tipo periodístico como se da en Colombia. Pero ¿y si viniera del DNP? Si uno mira las funciones del DNP frente al presupuesto sus funciones son más de carácter burocrático y asesor que realmente quien elabora el presupuesto https://www.dnp.gov.co/Qui%C3%A9nesSomos/Funciones.aspx . Por su parte, quien realmente elabora y sigue el presupuesto, por tener la misión de la política fiscal y la definición del gasto público es el Ministerio de Hacienda http://www.minhacienda.gov.co/HomeMinhacienda/presupuestogeneraldelanacion. 

    ¿Entonces era información veraz con la que se basaba la directora de Colciencias? Es factible que la información fuera veraz. ¿Y cómo lo comprueba? Pero no es una información que uno pueda tomar como concluyente.  Lo sería si hubiera conocido el proyecto de ley del presupuesto presentado al congreso, ni siquiera un borrador permitiría una inferencia que "les quitaron el presupuesto". Solamente podría hablarse de una intención. Pero releamos las palabras: "Voy a dar la mala noticia que me acaba de llegar en un correo. Me dice mi jefe de Planeación: 'Directora, le mando la confirmación del presupuesto del año entrante, que es 289.000 millones de pesos. Estamos ya a 125.000 millones del presupuesto del año pasado". Pero bueno esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, una declaración no confirmada de una funcionaria -con autoridad de dirigir la "ciencia colombiana"- da para que toda una academia proteste porque "le van a bajar el presupuesto a Colciencias". 

    Pero bueno ese es el ridículo argumento de autoridad -no verdaderamente científico- por el que la "academia" reconoce un hecho probado: le van a disminuir el presupuesto a "Colciencias". Ni el más formalista, ni el menos riguroso de los académicos validaría una información de ese calibre. Es más ni siquiera hace bien el único trabajo que ese el estado: ¡producir formularios y saber llenarlos! Es como si un científico dijera que en su laboratorio la presión atmosférica es de 900 HPa porque se lo dijo su "asistente". Uno como mínimo mira el barómetro. Pero es ciencia a la colombiana... una mentalidad que se cree pensadora porque sabe muchos chismes... Recuerdo que hablaba una vez con una niña que estudiaba periodismo y ella leía "las fuentes son... el ministro". Y yo le dije que eso no era real, que la fuente es el acto -que es como se comunica el ministro como ministro- no la opinión -política además-del ministro. Bueno, tal vez la directora de "ciencias a la colombiana" quería rebelarse contra la ¡producción de formularios! y ver que puede haber verdad confirmada más allá del formulario... en especial lo referente al futuro...

    UNA INSTITUCIÓN PARA "FOMENTAR" LA "INVESTIGACIÓN"
    "Deseo tener el país más educado: ¡todos tendrán un diploma!"
    ¿Qué es Colciencias? Uno podría quedarse por lo que dicen los decretos que la crean, que es el mismo copy paste de esos sueños que quedan en las leyes. Acá creemos que el tiempo y el reloj se mueven por decreto, sino pregúntele a Juan Manuel Santos su ridícula e improvisada propuesta que pasó a la historia como "la hora Gaviria" y que cancelaron casualmente en el momento en que astronómicamente era inconveniente... manifestando que "ya era económicamente viable". Así como creemos que por decreto va a salir la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación, creemos que necesitamos gente "trabajando" para hacer magia el decreto. Y eso hace "Colciencias":

    Colciencias es el Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación.
    Promueve las políticas públicas para fomentar la CT+I en Colombia. Las actividades alrededor del cumplimiento de su misión implican concertar políticas de fomento a la producción de conocimientos, construir capacidades para CT+I, y propiciar la circulación y usos de los mismos para el desarrollo integral del país y el bienestar de los colombianos.  http://www.colciencias.gov.co/sobre_colciencias?vdt=info_portal%7Cpage_1

    ¿Las cosas se conocen por el qué o por el cómo? Seguramente por el cómo. ¿Cómo promueve, fomenta, (y mil sinónimos de la burocracia para enfatizar sus objetivos) la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación? Contaré mi experiencia. ¿Qué hace Colciencias?

    Siendo uno de los pocos privilegiados que pudo pasar por la universidad recuerdo varias cosas. Una de mis grandes amigas (que seguro estará en desacuerdo y podrá precisar este artículo) era la Directora del Centro de Investigaciones. También intentaba entrar al mundo de la investigación universitaria con un Semillero de Investigación. Y bueno he encontrado más cosas en las universidades. 

    En aquellas épocas mi amiga trabajaba con otra amiga que se encargaba de arreglar todos los asuntos de la investigación. Bueno "investigación". Recuerdo que una de sus tareas era ayudar a los profesores a actualizar el CVLac ¿Qué es el CVLac? En Colciencias http://www.colciencias.gov.co/tutorialcvlac puede verse un tutorial especial para hacer el CVLac. Esto es básicamente la hoja de vida del investigador. ¿Por qué para investigar en las universidades se requiere una hoja de vida? El tutorial para hacer el CVLac tiene unas 66 páginas http://es.calameo.com/read/000051811450cdee35ceb cuya lectura muy posiblemente serán horas de investigación... perdidas... Y eso que luego de leerlo hay que llenarlo... Una labor que podrá ayudar a la paciencia, la templanza, la fortaleza pero no la investigación, mucho menos la innovación... Bueno, puede servir a crear el llenado automático de formularios, ¿se le ocurrirá eso a la brillantez colombiana? Espero que como un chiste bastante picante el programador del llenado automático de formularios sea colombiano...

    Alguna vez renegaba del colegio del que salí diciendo "en este colegio no quieren científicos sino secretarias". Pero el colegio no era más que un mini-Colciencias. Creo que Colombia solamente necesita una profesión "elaboración y llenado de formularios", así que el colegio pensaba en mi bien cuando me hablaba de la importancia de no salirme de los márgenes. De paso no debía enseñar nada más, porque los que "estudiamos" comemos cuando llenamos formularios, y comemos mejor cuando llenamos formularios más elaborados. Pero entre llenar un CVLac para decir que investigo o una declaración de renta por plata prefiero llenar una declaración de renta.

    Ahora bien, no bastaba con llenar la hoja de vida. También las universidades hacen grupos de investigación. Aunque la curiositas es amplia la investigación suele centrarse, no en el macrocosmos sino en el primer pelo de la segunda pata de la hormiga culona santandereana.Y allí tenemos los grupos de investigación. Esos grupos se mueven por proyectos. Por ejemplo "El crecimiento del primer pelo de la segunda pata de la hormiga culona santandereana en la disminución  del consumo de la misma en la dieta de los habitantes de San Gil, Santander". Esos grupos también tienen hoja de vida... efectivamente, más formularios. Pero bueno, eso no es lo que hace Colciencias, lo que hace es tomar esas hojas de vida y "pesarlas" y es básicamente comparar la investigación con la producción de bienes y servicios. La calidad de la investigación es "cantidad" http://www.colciencias.gov.co/sites/default/files/ckeditor_files/files/DOCUMENTO%20Modelo%20de%20Medici%C3%B3n%20Grupos%202013-VERSI%C3%93N%20II%20Definitiva%20DIC%2010%202013%20_protected.pdf.

    Es así como los investigadores ya tienen un buen tiempo llenando formularios -e investigando cómo se llenan esos formularios-. Pero uno tal vez piensa "bueno, ese no es el día a día de la 'apasionante' investigación". Pero no es extraño encontrar a los profesores llenando esos formularios que tienen plazo para enviarlos. Eso sin contar con los miles de informes que deben mandar. Creo que Colciencias también financia proyectos o autoriza sumas pero eso por lo menos no lo vi. Bueno, vi los jóvenes investigadores de Colciencias ¿Un incentivo para destruir la investigación verdadera con dudosas vinculaciones a universidades?

    EL PELIGROSO MIX DE CIENCIA Y ESTADO
    ¿Formularios o celdas? Difícil volar alto dentro de una jaula...
    Supongamos que Colciencias sí financia los proyectos de investigación y supongamos que es una financiación eficiente: la burocracia es simple papeleo en comparación al apoyo a la investigación. Esto es un peligro porque queda centralizada a los intereses y compromisos del gobierno de turno. Supóngase que un grupo de investigación investiga las vías para la paz en Colombia y encuentra "peligroso negociar en la Habana por la inviabilidad y efectividad del acuerdo para generar un desarme efectivo". O supóngase que un grupo de investigación en "Energías renovables" investiga "la generación eléctrica mediante el uso de las olas" que afecta a los monopolios del carbón y de las energías en petróleo, carbón o gas que de paso son empresas "industriales y comerciales del estado" que le generan regalías o pueden subastar para mejorar su cash flow... O algo un poco más de frente "La necesaria liberalización de la investigación para asumir los retos del mundo moderno" o algo con un tono más marxista "el factor alienante del estado en sus 'oficinas de fomento' de ciencia y tecnología". 

    La primera es una investigación que puede estar en el rigor legítimo y que está en todo su derecho a disentir de las políticas del gobierno. Pero como "la investigación debe realizarse dentro de los marcos, planes y programas" del estado posiblemente no se le acuse de frente, pero sí le exigirán hasta por un milímetro demás en los márgenes. Mejor dicho le dirán "claro que puedes abrir las alas... dentro de la jaula que hemos construido para ti". La segunda tampoco saldrá de plano, pero le exigirán todo y de paso se fomentarán investigaciones para demostrar "la inviabilidad del uso de las olas en la generación eléctrica". La tercera tampoco se aprobará. El estado  no es el garante, ni el promotor, ni la ciencia nace por decreto, ni llenando formularios. Bueno, sí salen libros sobre cómo llenar formularios, 66 páginas sobre cómo llenar la hoja de vida del investigador, algo que nos "facilita" la vida...   

    El nacimiento de la innovación, la tecnología y la ciencia se da de una forma totalmente contraria al planteamiento burocrático y centralizado de Colciencias. Al respecto puede leerse "El Tomismo Desdeñado" donde explican con claridad cómo el descubrimiento, el aprendizaje y demás son cuestiones que se dan en el marco de cada persona en concreto. Esa novedad, eso que estaba 'under my very nose' para parafrasear a un autor judío-norteamericano citado en "El Tomismo Desdeñado", no es algo sujeto a la forma, la cantidad o la temporalidad. De esa misma forma investigo yo, abierto a la naturaleza, al mundo y a los hechos... En esa forma de investigar no tengo que llenar formularios, a veces ni dejar registro -aunque sea mejor hacerlo- sino una permanente observación. 

    No niego que en el sistema de ciencia a la colombiana pueda haber buenos, incluso genios en la investigación y verdaderos aportes a la ciencia. Pero me parece que el sistema de "ciencia a la colombiana" o "investigación de llenado de formularios" anula, restringe o excluye a aquellos que son a mi juicio los mejores investigadores y restringe el alcance de los que lo logran. Los mejores investigadores son los niños sin lugar a dudas, su permanente contacto con la magia de la naturaleza y su capacidad de asombro los lleva a proponer las mejores soluciones y conclusiones sobre el mundo. La investigación necesita también del error, cosa que no se puede si está centrada en el llenado de formularios que considera el error como incorrecto... y de paso delito...

    Y seamos sinceros ¿cómo se dio el aporte a la ciencia en la historia? ¿Por órganos centralizados que fomentaran la "innovación, la ciencia y la tecnología"? Entre algunos ejemplos Fermat era un matemático aficionado cuyo oficio era el de abogado, y tener un diploma en derecho hace 'necesariamente' que uno no sepa de matemáticas. Conclusión a la que los "col-científicos" han decretado como dogma. Fermat jugaba con los números y hacía continuos descubrimientos que sorprendieron a muchos matemáticos posteriores como Euler. Pitágoras necesitaba seguramente un proyecto de investigación -y financiación de "Crotociencias"- para probar que "en un triángulo rectángulo la suma de los cuadrados de los catetos es igual al cuadrado de la hipotenusa". Se dice que Pitágoras huyó de su ciudad natal a Crotonas entre otras porque no quería participar en cuestiones de política http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit%C3%A1goras. Eso sin contar con notables condenas y asesinatos a genios del calibre de Sócrates, asesinado entre otras porque pidió como condena que "Colciencias" lo financiara de por vida por sus aportes a la sociedad...

    Acabo de citar a Wikipedia que en ciencias colombianas "no es una fuente de fiar porque lo modifica cualquiera", el problema creo no es que cualquiera pueda modificarlo sino que lo hace gente que no tiene "CVLac". Probablemente los que modifican Wikipedia sean unos mediocres que pasan todo el día de fuente en fuente y no se gradúen con honores como Newton http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton que pasaba todo el día en la biblioteca y no iba a clase. Un artículo académico trae mil fuentes -CITADAS CON NORMAS APA- wikipedia trae ¡las fuentes! con link directo. O sino vea lo que trae la Wikipedia cuando uno busca a Newton: http://gravitee.tripod.com/booki1.htm ¡Su obra maestra!

    IN CONCLUSIÓN...CIERRE, CIERRE!!
    Espero que todos sean científicos e innovadores como yo.
    Atte: Colciencias.
    El conocimiento, la verdad y demás, es dialéctico y por eso no debería concluir un debate. Pero yo concluiría, cerraría, a Colciencias. Una tímida disminución de presupuesto es poco por la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación... pero, si eso es cierto ¡hay que reconocerle la buena obra al gobierno! Los críticos -simplemente porque no es el gobierno que quieren- critican cualquier cosa que haga o digan que haga el gobierno, es un deporte, hasta bueno, el caso es que ver algo bueno en un gobierno es TAN difícil que hay que felicitarlo si estuviera haciendo las cosas bien... 

    Sin embargo, así es la realidad de este alienante y desmoralizador país cuya única profesión es el llenado de formularios... Si alguien pregunta por Colombia y lo que hacen... ¿Qué hacen? las empresas "llenar formularios" y si les queda tiempo producir bienes y servicios, las universidades "llenar formularios" y si les queda tiempo dan clases pero ¿investigan? Y los abogados "llenan formularios" y ¿en su tiempo libre? Piensan cómo hacerlos más enredados ¿Y qué hace el gobierno? ¡Produce formularios!  

    Y ¿qué son entonces El Tiempo, El Espacio, El Asombro o Espectador, El Colombiano, La República, Portafolio, El Nuevo Siglo, El País, El Universal? ¿Realidades? ¡Qué va! ¿Formularios? No, eso tiene su ciencia... ¡Periódicos! Pero los dueños de los periódicos son los mismos que hacen los formularios... Esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, basta leer un periódico, e improvisar su resumen como lo hacía un mediocre profesor del colegio que estaba allí porque sabía cómo ser un buen policía... ah y sabía verificar que el "desprendible" -formulario para niños- se llenara bien so pena de llamar "negligentes" a sus alumnos... Ese era mi "modelo" de "diligencia"... Clases improvisadas, formularios bien llenados... 

    Esa es la ciencia a la colombiana: producción de formularios. Y su proceso o método:

    - Justificación o discusión del formulario: periódicos
    - Producción del formulario: gobierno/estado
    - Control y auditoria para garantizar su incomprensión: abogados, lobbies, grupos de poder. Su objetivo es que entre más incomprensible, mejor...¡calidad!

    ¿Y Colciencias? Una tuerca sin aceite en medio del engranaje decadente... al que muchos encuentran por donde elogiar sus "grandezas"...

    NOTA: Si quiere comentar este artículo escriba 1. para queja, 2. para ironía, 3. para felicitación y agradecimiento, 4. Para reclamo... ¡Qué! Si le da la gana de escribir hágalo como quiera... si quiere insúlteme, internamente me ofenderé y reiré de usted al mismo tiempo, pero bienvenido...

    NOTA 2: O uno escribe o se dedica a recopilar fuentes, ahí están los links y un libro "El Tomismo Desdeñado" de paso le dejo el "CVLac" del autor http://190.216.132.131:8081/cvlac/visualizador/generarCurriculoCv.do?cod_rh=0000534471. Algunos me entenderán que ese CVLac es ridículo...De investigador junior no tiene ni un pelo...




              2014-10-28 18:30:00 / City Talk – McDonald’s meets „Mampe“        
    Wir möchten Sie und Ihre Begleitung sehr herzlich im McDonald’s Store am Kurfürstendamm anlässlich unseres nächsten City Talks willkommen heißen. Viele Berliner kennen das denkmalgeschützte Gebäude am Kurfürstendamm 15 noch als ehemaliges Mövenpick Marche. Wenige wissen, dass an diesem Ort eine legendäre ...

              Fünf Bücher rund um Zeitmanagement, die du (vielleicht) noch nicht kennst, aber unbedingt lesen solltest        

    Der Sommer hat 2017 doch noch beschlossen, uns die Ehre zu geben.

    Sommerzeit ist Urlaubszeit und viele lesen dann gerne das eine oder andere Buch.

    Ich selbst lese gerne, viel und gerne viel. Inzwischen kenne ich hunderte Bücher rund um Zeitmanagement.

    Hier sind fünf meiner aktuellen Lieblinge, die du vielleicht noch gar nicht kennst.

    Leider sind nicht alle auf deutsch erhältlich, aber wenn du bloß ein wenig Englisch lesen kannst, dann lies sie unbedingt.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/5-zeitmanagement-buecher/


              Fünf Veränderungen, die deine Produktivität verdoppeln werden        

    Letzthin in einem Kickoff-Workshop saß ein Teilnehmer, der offensichtlich intensiv Kraftsport betreibt.

    Ich schaue häufig auf Profisportler, um von ihnen zu lernen. Die sind nämlich echte Experten, wenn es um Gewohnheiten, Routinen und Veränderungen geht.

    Der Teilnehmer war zwar kein Profisportler, doch ich fragte ihn trotzdem: "Was ist der größte Fehler im Training, den ein Sportler machen kann?"

    Er antworte ohne Zögern: "Übertraining."

    Die meisten Hobby-Sportler trainieren nämlich viel zu viel und gönnen dem Körper zu wenig Erholungsphasen.

    Das fand ich spannend. Der Hauptfehler laut ihm war also nicht "kein Aufwärmtraining", "falsche Körperhaltung", "falsche Ernährung", "zu viel/zu wenig Gewicht" oder sonst etwas. Sondern "Übertraining/fehlende Erholung".

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/produktivitaet-verdoppeln/


              Meine Top-5-Zeitmanagement-Apps, die mich produktiv machen        

    Mein Kollege Holger Grethe, der über den Umgang mit dem lieben Geld schreibt, hat vor einiger Zeit seine Top-5-Finanz-Apps vorgestellt.

    Ich will ihm gleich ziehen und dir heute einen Einblick in meine Top-5-Zeitmanagement-Apps geben, die ich so noch nie vorgestellt habe. Lass dich überraschen!

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/zeitmanagement-apps/


              Zeit sparen durch Delegation: So delegierst du richtig        

    Ein gutes Zeitmanagement heißt auch, Dinge und Aufgaben delegieren zu können.

    Wir sind nämlich da am besten, wo unsere Stärken liegen. Alles andere können andere Menschen besser (und tun es vielleicht auch lieber). Deshalb lohnt es sich in jedem Fall, soviel zu delegieren wie möglich.

    Damit die Delegation auch wirklich klappt, müssen wir auch in unserem Kopf bereit dazu sein.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/delegation/


              Zeitmanagement ist kundenfreundlich        

    Das große Paradoxon des Zeitmanagements ist, dass wir zuerst Zeit investieren müssen, um Zeit zu sparen. Doch genau diese Zeit haben wir nicht - oder besser: wir nehmen sie uns nicht.

    Ich höre häufig:

    Ich habe keine Zeit dafür!"

    Diese Aussage ist Unsinn.

    Das ist so, wie wenn jemand sagt:

    Ich habe keine Zeit, mein Auto aufzutanken!

    Irgendwann steht er dann halt am Strassenrand.

    In diesem Artikel gebe ich dir fünf gute Gründe, dich um dein Zeitmanagement zu kümmern und zeige an einem Beispiel, wie eine gute Arbeitsorganisation sogar sehr kundenfreundlich sein kann. Wenn das kein Anreiz ist!

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/zeitmanagement-kundenfreundlich/


              So nutzt du Wartezeiten produktiver        

    Früher habe ich Wartezeiten und Schlangen gehasst. Ich versuche, meine Zeit gut zu nutzen - denn sie kommt ja nie wieder :-) -, und Wartezeiten waren für mich einfach unnötiger Zeitverlust.

    Inzwischen liebe ich solche Wartezeiten zwar nicht gerade, aber ich weiß jetzt, wie ich sie gut nutzen kann.

    Jeden Tag entstehen kleine Lücken im Ablauf, die wir häufig ungenutzt verstreichen lassen. Natürlich geht es weder darum, aus jeder Sekunde auch noch das letzte Quäntchen Produktivität zu pressen oder zu funktionieren wie Maschinen.

    Anstatt sich aber über die Lücke zu ärgern, kann man das Beste daraus machen.

    In diesem Artikel gebe ich dir ein paar Ideen, was du mit kurzen Wartezeiten anfangen kannst und weshalb wir es nicht übertreiben sollten mit der Optimierung der Zeit.

    Es geht hier nicht darum, jede Minute effizient und produktiv wie Maschinen zu sein. Doch wie oft jammern wir, wir hätten keine Zeit und lassen gleichzeitig diese Lücken ungenutzt verstreichen?

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/wartezeiten-produktiver-nutzen/


              Pünktlich kann jeder: Weshalb es sich lohnt, frühzeitig da zu sein        

    Möchtest du ohne Aufwand Zeit sparen und mehr erledigen?

    Natürlich möchtest du das, wer will das nicht. Ein gutes Zeitmanagement hilft dir definitiv dabei, allerdings braucht es einen gewissen Aufwand. Schließlich bist du eingeladen, neue Gewohnheiten zu lernen und umzusetzen.

    Ohne Aufwand geht aber auch: denn häufig ist es eine Frage von Einstellungen und nicht von Methoden, Apps und Tipps.

    Ein kleines Beispiel: seit der flächendeckenden Verbreitung von Handys hat sich eine neue Unart breit gemacht. Viele Leute sind nicht mehr pünktlich. Sie bemühen sich nicht einmal mehr. Man kann ja schnell die Verspätung mitteilen.

    Meistens wird gar nicht mehr nach einer Ausrede gesucht, sondern es heisst nur:

    "Ich hatte grad so viel zu tun."

    Kleine Nebenbemerkung: Weißt du, wie du heutzutage Menschen verblüffen kannst? Ganz einfach: über Pünktlichkeit. Als Trainer für neues Zeitmanagement kann ich es mir ohnehin nicht leisten, unpünktlich zu sein. Dann würde ich meine Glaubwürdigkeit verlieren.

    Das ist für mich auch kein Problem, ich bin gerne pünktlich, denn ich habe großen Respekt vor der Zeit anderer Menschen. Haben wir also einen Telefontermin um 15:00 Uhr, dann klingelt bei dir auch um Punkt 15:00 Uhr das Telefon. Ganz einfach.

    Häufig werde ich dann mit einem Lächeln begrüßt und viele Menschen staunen darüber, dass ich tatsächlich um Punkt 15:00 Uhr anrufe. Wieso eigentlich? Das hatten wir ja so ausgemacht.

    Mit Pünktlichkeit kannst du also ganz einfach deine Kunden verblüffen und dich (leider) von vielen Konkurrenten abheben. So einfach ist manchmal die Welt.

    Pünktlichkeit ist das eine - für mich eine Selbstverständlichkeit aus Respekt vor der Zeit des anderen. Es gibt aber darüber hinaus ein paar gute Gründe, sogar zu früh zu sein.

    Meine These: Bist du zu früh, sparst du Zeit und kannst mehr erledigen.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/fruehzeitig-sein/


              Zehn Tipps, wie du dich besser fokussieren kannst        

    Die Königsdisziplin, um produktiver zu arbeiten, ist die Fähigkeit, sich zu fokussieren.

    Es gibt wohl kaum eine wichtigere Kompetenz für dein Zeitmanagement als ein laserscharfer Fokus.

    Fokus ist nicht einfach Fokus. Sondern du kannst dich auf viele Arten fokussieren: von klaren Zielen, über "Nein sagen" bis hin zum Ausschalten von Unterbrechungen.

    Fokus bzw. fokussiertes Arbeiten ist damit definitiv mehr als sich zu konzentrieren oder Unterbrechungen zu minimieren.

    Kollege Michael Hyatt hat vor vielen Jahren einen Artikel mit zehn guten Tipps, wie du dich fokussieren kannst, geschrieben. In dem Artikel spricht er nicht nur die üblichen Tipps an, sondern hat auch ein paar sehr gute Hilfen, denen man nicht überall begegnet.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/fokussieren/


              CLUSTER THE OLIVINE CITRAGARDEN LAMPUNG        

    CLUSTER THE OLIVINE CITRAGARDEN LAMPUNG

    Cluster the Olivine CitraGarden Lampung


    Cluster the Olivine CitraGarden Lampung adalah sebuah kawasan yang kawasan yang diwarnai dengan berbagai rumah dengan model minimalis. Lingkungan hunian yang asri dengan pepohonan & pemadangan perbukitan.

    Saat ini hanya tersisa 1 rumah di Cluster the Olivine, type Ellorio.  Maka bagi Anda yang memimpikan hunian dengan kelebihan yang dimiliki Cluster the Olivine CitraGarden Lampung, supaya tidak keduluan orang lain, segera hubungi team Citra Property Land.


    TYPE ELLORIO CLUSTER THE OLIVINE



    Status                   : Available 1 unit

    Ruang Tidur       :  3 +1

    Kamar Mandi      :  4

    Luas Tanah         :  8 x 20 m

    Luas Bangunan  :  140 m2


    Langsung Contact  (klik): Citra Property Land



              IDE KREATIF MENATA RUMAH TYPE 36 ala Kanya        

    IDE KREATIF MENATA RUMAH TYPE 36 ala Kanya



     ilustrasi Rumah Type 36. sumber di sini


    Rumah mungil tetap bisa terlihat luas dan cantik jika ditata dengan seapik mungkin.   Untuk mengubah rumah mungil nampak ‘homey and loveable’ ternyata bisa kita lakukan dengan kreatifitas tangan sendiri, asalkan kita mau belajar.  Itulah yang dilakukan oleh Kanyaka Wara Apsari, ibu muda satu anak yang akrab dipanggil Kanya dan kini menekuni bidang home decor.
     

    KREASI KANYA MENATA RUMAH MINIMALIS TYPE 36


     
     Denah Rumah Type 36 milik Kanya.  sumber: di sini

     â€œMemang tidak bisa dipungkiri rumah tipe 36 membuat penghuni agak susah bergerak. Maka dari itu, jangan memperparah kondisi yang ada dengan menempatkan banyak barang/furnitur maupun pernak-pernik yang sifatnya tidak fungsional,” ujar Kanya.

    Menurutnya, kebanyakan orang justru menganggap rumah kecil menjadi masalah utama sehingga mereka malas untuk mendekorasinya.  Padahal, selama tahu kiatnya, rumah sempit tetap bisa secantik layaknya rumah berukuran luas.

    Sebagai permulaan, Kanya belajar untuk mengasah kemampuan dengan mendekorasi rumah minimalis miliknya.  Rumah Kanya memiliki luas bangunan 36 meter persegi dengan luas tanah 90 meter persegi. Di dalamnya terdapat dua kamar tidur, satu kamar mandi, ruang keluarga, dapur, ruang makan, dan taman, seperti lazimnya rumah tipe 36.  Namun berkat kepiawaiannya yang idenya didapat dari foto-foto di pinterest, rumah mungilnya itu bisa terlihat lebih lega.




     Dekorasi cantik  Taman Mungil Rumah Kanya.  sumber disini


     â€œBiar terlihat luas, Saya rekomendasikan warna abu-abu muda sebagai warna utama dinding. Warna ini mampu bekerjasama dengan baik bila dikombinasikan dengan ornamen yang lebih colorful, contohnya stiker atau lampu dinding,” imbuhnya.


    MENATA RUMAH MINIMALIS DENGAN GAYA SKANDINAVIA



    Ditanya soal orientasi tema pada interior rumah, Kanya mengaku lebih mengedepankan gaya skandinavia. Itu sebabnya pemilihan furnitur cenderung bernuansa serba putih.
     
    Ruang Keluarga yang ditata apik oleh Kanya. sumber di sini

    Meski begitu, kenyataannya Kanya tidak sepenuhnya mengusung gaya skandinavia di keseluruhan ruang rumah. Beberapa area justru nampak bergaya modern-minimalis seperti yang terpotret pada dapur.

     Dapur Minimalis Modern ditata apik oleh Kanya. sumber di sini


    Untuk area belakang rumah, Kanya menyebutnya sebagai ‘most favourite spot’ bagi dirinya dan keluarga. Area ini praktis mencakup dapur, ruang makan, taman belakang, dan ruang cuci-jemur pakaian.

    Berbeda dengan kebanyakan orang yang mengubah ruang belakang menjadi area yang tertutup permanen, Kanya hanya menggunakan gypsum dan fiber glass. Alhasil, ruangan belakang tetap terasa lapang.

     Dekorasi Taman Belakang Rumah Kanya.  sumber di sini

    Masuknya cahaya alami juga memungkinkan ia memelihara tanaman. Pemandangan indah ini menjadi point of interest yang bisa dinikmati sembari menyantap hidangan di meja makan.

    “Sengaja Saya sisakan 1/4 bidang atap untuk plastik fiber, yang jikalau tampias tidak akan membanjiri lantai keramik karena air hujan langsung terserap tanah dan rumput. Oleh karena itu posisinya harus tepat di atas taman,” Kanya memberi saran.

    Secara tidak langsung, stone garden yang dianggapnya sebagai pemanis taman, malah terlihat layaknya pembatas antara area dapur dengan taman. Terlebih ia memang tidak menyekat antar area guna memaksimalkan lahan yang ada.

    “Stone garden ini bisa dikerjakan sendiri. Caranya, lapisi tanah kosong dengan semen terlebih dahulu, lalu gunakan semen kembali sebagai pembatas berpola kotak berukuran keramik 40x40cm. Setelah kering, isi dengan batu koral warna hitam atau putih,” paparnya.

     Penataan Ruang Makan rumah Kanya.  sumber di sini

    Terakhir, mengenai bujet untuk mendekorasi keseluruhan ruang di rumah, Kanya mengaku menghabiskan biaya hingga Rp40 juta.

    “Sekitar Rp30 juta untuk furnitur seperti lemari, ranjang tidur, sofa, dan lain-lain. Sementara total uang yang saya habiskan untuk membeli pernak-pernik pemanis interior Rp10 juta,” tandasnya.


    Demikian artikel Citra Property Land / Ciprolan, berjudul  IDE KREATIF MENATA RUMAH TYPE 36, semoga bermanfaat.





              Smarter planen mit dem Todoist        

    Manchmal will ich Feierabend machen und doch hat es noch unerledigte Aufgaben in meinem Todoist. Es kommt sogar vor, dass ich überfällige Aufgaben im Todoist habe.

    OK, kein Drama, doch mich stört es gewaltig. Wenn ich dann morgens mit der Arbeit beginne, sehe ich Aufgaben, die ich schon längst hätte tun sollen.

    Was machen dann die Fälligkeitsdaten überhaupt für einen Sinn? Offenbar waren die Aufgaben doch nicht für heute fällig, sonst hätte ich sie ja tun müssen oder direkt löschen können?

    Überhaupt: was macht dann die Aufgabenliste noch für einen Sinn? Die Aufgabenliste muss mir doch helfen, die Übersicht zu wahren und mich dabei unterstützten, Aufgaben in der Planung zu priorisieren.

    Die Macher von Todoist haben das erkannt. Sie haben es sogar nicht nur erkannt, sondern können nachweisen, dass über 70% aller Todoist-Nutzer überfällige Aufgaben haben!

    Deshalb gibt es neuerdings in Todoist die Smartplanung. Damit kann Todoist vorhersagen, auf welchen Termin es Sinn macht, eine Aufgabe zu verschieben. Todoist kennt nämlich deine persönlichen Gewohnheiten und das Verhalten aller Todoist-Nutzer. Daraus kann er das bestmögliche Fälligkeitsdatum „erraten“.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/smartplanung-todoist/


              Helfen Ziele wirklich? Ja, aber...        

    Einmal mehr neigt sich das Jahr mit großen Schritten dem Ende zu. Auch dieses Jahr wirst du bestimmt wieder mit vielen Artikeln überschwemmt, die dir helfen, Ziele für das neue Jahr zu setzen.

    Entscheidend ist die Frage: helfen Ziele wirklich?

    Helfen Ziele wirklich?

    Kurze Antwort: ja, schon, aber nicht so, wie man überall liest.

    In vielen Klassikern (z.B. bei Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar oder bei Tony Robbins) wird eine bestimmte Untersuchung zitiert, nämlich die Untersuchung an der Universität in Yale aus dem Jahr 1953 zum Thema Zielerreichung.

    Was steckt wirklich dahinter?

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/helfen-ziele/


              #131: So generierst du neue Ideen und behältst sie im Blick        

    Neue Ideen zu entwicklen und dann auch tatsächlich einige davon umzusetzen, ist wohl das Lebenselixier jedes Solopreneurs.

    Doch wie generiert man am besten neue Ideen? Soll man einfach auf den Musenkuss warten? Wie behält man den Überblick über seine Ideen und verfolgt dann auch tatsächlich einige davon?

    Über diese und viele weitere Fragen unterhalte ich mich mit Bernd Geropp.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/doppelkick-ideen/


              DESTINASI WISATA TERBAIK 34 PROVINSI SE INDONESIA        

    DESTINASI WISATA TERBAIK 34 PROVINSI SE INDONESIA

    Ini adalah "Raja Ampat nya Sulawesi", namanya Pulau Labengki, Sulawesi Tenggara. Sumber: gocelebes


    Citra Property Land  dengan artikel DESTINASI TERBAIK 34 PROVINSI SE INDONESIA ini bermaksud menghadirkan PESONA INDONESIA dari seluruh provinsi yang ada di negara kita.

    DESTINASI WISATA ALAM TERBAIK DARI 34 PROVINSI DI INDONESIA

     
    Kita Mulai dari ujung timur, searah terbit matahari menyinari tanah air kita tercinta INDONESIA.

    TAMAN NASIONAL LORENTZ, PROVINSI PAPUA

     
         Taman Nasional Lorentz, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Papua.  sumber: zonalibur

    Taman Nasional Lorentz adalah Taman Nasional seluas 22,4 juta ha, menjadikannya sebagai  taman nasional terbesar di Asia Tenggara.  Taman Nasional yang terletak di Provinsi Papua, Indonesia, ini dikukuhkan sebagai taman nasional pada tahun 1997, dan dan diakui sebagai salah satu Situs Warisan Dunia UNESCO sejak tahun 1999.  Taman Nasional Lorentz juga merupakan salah satu dari tiga kawasan di dunia yang mempunyai gletser di daerah tropis, yang membentang di puncak gunung setinggi 5.030 mdpl.  

    Nama Taman Nasional Lorentz diambil dari seorang Penjelajah asal Belanda, Hendrikus Albertus Lorentz,yang melewati daerah tersebut pada tahun 1909.  Merupakan tempat tinggal bagi Suku Asmat, Suku Dani Barat, Suku Sempan, Suku Amungme, dan Suku Nduga.

    Taman Nasional Lorentz memiliki setidaknya 34 tipe vegetasi, diantaranya: vegetasi hutan rawa, hutan tepi sungai, hutan sagu, hutan gambut, pantai pasir karang, hutan hujan lahan datar, hutan kerangas, padang rumput hingga lumut kerak.  Taman Nasional Lorentz memiliki 630 jenis burung, diantaranya : kasuari, kakaktua, cendrawasih, dan puyuh salju, dan 123 jenis mamalia, diantaranya: kanguru, kuskus, walabi, kucing hutan, dan babi duri moncong pendek serta moncong panjang.


    KEPULAUAN RAJA AMPAT, PROVINSI PAPUA BARAT



        Kepulauan Raja Ampat, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Papua Barat.  Sumber: eloratour

    Kepulauan Raja Ampat merupakan rangkaian empat gugusan pulau yang berdekatan dan berlokasi di barat bagian Kepala Burung (Vogelkoop) Pulau Papua.  Secara administrasi, gugusan ini berada di bawah Kabupaten Raja Ampat, Provinsi Papua Barat. Empat gugusan pulau yang menjadi anggotanya dinamakan menurut empat pulau terbesarnya, yaitu Pulau Waigeo, Pulau Misool, Pulau Salawati, dan Pulau Batanta.  Dari sekitar 610 pulau kecil yang berada di areanya, hanya sekitar 35 pulau saja yang dihuni oleh penduduk.

    Kepulauan Raja Ampat sekarang menjadi tujuan para penyelam dari seluruh penjuru dunia, yang tertarik akan keindahan pemandangan bawah lautnya.  Keindahan alam wilayah Kabupaten Raja Ampat mampu memukau wisatawan asing maupun lokal yang datang. Terumbu karang di perairan Raja Ampat dinilai sebagai yang terlengkap di dunia, karena dari 537 jenis karang yang ada di dunia ini, 75 persennya berada di perairan ini. Selain itu, setidaknya ada 1.104 jenis ikan, 669 jenis moluska dan 537 jenis hewan karang yang terdapat di seluruh wilayah perairannya.
     

    PANTAI SULAMADAHA, PROVINSI MALUKU UTARA


        Pantai Sulamadaha, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Maluku Utara.  Sumber: gambarwisata

    Pantai Sulamadaha terletak di Desa Sulamadaha, berjarak sekitar 14 km dari pusat Kota Ternate, berhadapan langsung dengan Pulau Hiri.  Kota Ternate berada di bawah kaki gunung Gamalama,  di Provinsi Maluku Utara.

    Pantai Sulamadaha adalah pantai eksotis yang masih alami.  Pantai Sulamadaha di juluki sebagai Pantai Kaca, sebab memiliki air laut yang sangat jernih, bening hampir seperti kaca. Karena jernih airnya, para wisatawan dapat melihat terumbu karang bawah lautnya dengan mata telanjang dari atas permukaan laut.
     

    PANTAI LIANG, PROVINSI MALUKU


         Pantai Liang, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Maluku.  Sumber: amabeltravel

    Pantai Liang yang juga disebut Pantai Hunimua, terletak di Desa Liang, Kecamatan Salahutu,  sekitar 40 km dari pusat kota Ambon.  Pantai Liang pernah dinobatkan sebagai pantai terindah di Indonesia oleh PBB pada tahun 1991.  Tentu hal ini bukan tanpa alasan, Pantai Liang di Ambon,  ini memang sangatlah indah.  Tempat wisata Provinsi Maluku memiliki hamparan pasir putih, dipadu dengan air laut jernih berwarna biru tosca, dan jajaran pepohonan hijau di belakangnya, yang membuat kita tak bosan menikmati keindahannya.

    Pantai Liang karakter ombaknya tidak terlalu besar, sehingga cocok untuk wisata keluarga, dan permainan air.  Deretan pohon rindang yang berjajar di tepi pantai menambah indah pemandangan, dan sekaligus berfungsi sebagai peneduh di kala cuaca terik menerpa.  Di Pantai Liang terdapat tebing karang yang di bagian bawahnya berlobang menyerupai pintu, dengan posisi menjorok ke arah laut.  Ketika batu karang itu diterpa ombak lautan, akan menampilkan keindahan yang membuatnya semakin istimewa.  



    TAMAN LAUT OLELE, PROVINSI GORONTALO

        Taman Laut Olele, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Gorontalo.  Sumber: tribunnews

    Taman Laut Olele terletak di Desa Olele, Kecamatan Kabila Bone, Kabupaten Bone Bolango, sekitar 20 Km dari pusat kota Gorontalo.  Taman Laut Olele saat ini merupakan ikon wisata di Provinsi Gorontalo, khususnya yang berada di pesisir selatan. Untuk mencapainya dibutuhkan waktu sekitar 20 menit dari kota Gorontalo, bisa dijangkau dengan kendaraan darat maupun kendaraan laut.

    Taman Laut Olele menyimpan beragam keindahan, diantaranya terdapat Goa Jin yang dihuni oleh berbagai jenis ikan hias, biota Laut, terumbu karang yang masih alami, bunga karang raksasa, serta beberapa jenis ikan langka yang hanya terdapat di perairan teluk Tomini.


    TAMAN NASIONAL TAKA BONERATE, PROVINSI SULAWESI SELATAN

        Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan.  Sumber: tntakabonerate

    Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate adalah taman laut yang mempunyai kawasan atol seluas 220.000 hektare, dengan sebaran terumbu karang mencapai 500 km², merupakan terbesar ketiga di dunia setelah Kwajifein di Kepulauan Marshall dan Suvadiva di Kepulauan Maladewa.

    Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate sejak tahun 2005 telah di calonkan ke UNESCO untuk menjadi Situs Warisan Dunia. Dalam rangkaian Hari jadi Kepulauan Selayar di lokasi ini setiap tahunnya diadakan festival yang bertajuk Sail Taka Bonerate atau sebelumnya disebut Takabonerate Island Expedition.

    Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate memiliki topografi kawasan sangat unik dan menarik, di mana atol yang terdiri dari gugusan pulau-pulau gosong karang dan rataan terumbu yang luas dan tenggelam, membentuk pulau-pulau dengan jumlah yang cukup banyak. Sedangkan pada bagian permukaan rataan terumbu, banyak terdapat kolam kecil yang dalam dan dikelilingi oleh terumbu karang. Di antara pulau-pulau gosong karang, terdapat selat-selat sempit yang dalam dan terjal. Pada saat air surut terendah, terlihat dengan jelas daratan kering dan diselingi genangan air yang membentuk kolam-kolam kecil.  Itu semua membuat Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate sangat cocok untuk kegiatan menyelam, snorkeling, dan wisata bahari lainnya.


    PULAU LABENGKI, PROVINSI SULAWESI TENGGARA

        Pulau Labengki, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Sulawesi Tenggara.  Sumber: zonasultra

    Pulau Labengki ini terletak di Propinsi Sulawesi Tenggara dan keindahanya tidak kalah dari Wakatobi dan Raja Ampat di Papua.  Panorama alam Pulau labengki mirip sekali dengan dengan Raja Ampat, sama-sama terdiri dari karang-karang besar yang menjulang diatas samudera.  Tak heran banyak yang menyebut Pulau Labengki adalah Raja Ampat nya Provinsi Sulawesi.  Gugusan pulau karang besar dan kecil ini dipetakan menjadi Pulau Labengki Besar dan Pulau Labengki Kecil.

    Pulau Labengki secara administratif masuk ke dalam wilayah Kabupaten Konawe Utara, Provinsi Sulawesi Tenggara.  Untuk menjangkau Pulau Labengki, dari Kota Kendari, bisa melalui jalan darat sekitar 1 jam menuju daerah Toli-Toli Kabupaten Konawe, dan dilanjutkan dengan kapal selama kurang lebih 3 jam perjalanan.

    Tidak hanya keindahan diatas air saja yang dimiliki oleh pulau Labengki, keindahan bawah airnya juga sangat menawan.  Berbagai biota laut yang hidup disini dan masih terjaga kealamianya. Di pulau Labengki terdapat banyak spot penyelaman.  Keistimewaan Pulau Labengki salah satunya adalah di perairan ini merupakan habitat speciaes Kerang Kima atau kerang raksasa yang bisa mencapai besar sekitar 50cm. Pulau Labengki menjadi  tempat penelitian dan konservasi penangkaran Kima.  Dan Kima disini tercatat sebagai Kerang Kima terbesar kedua didunia.



    CAGAR ALAM MOROWALI, PROVINSI SULAWESI TENGAH



         Cagar Alam Morowali, Destinasi Wisata di Provinsi Sulawesi Tengah.  Sumber: amabeltravel

    Cagar Alam Morowali memiliki berbagai potensi seperti tipe ekosistem yang lengkap dari tipe hutan pantai sampai tipe hutan pegunungan. Keindahan alam kawasan ini dapat dimanfaatkan untuk tujuan pendidikan, penelitian dan pariwisata.  Wilayah cagar alam Morowali meliputi pulau-pulau yang terdapat di kawasan teluk, kawasan dataran rendah dan daerah pegunungan dengan ketinggian mencapai 2.421 meter.

    Cagar Alam Morowali merupakan tempat tinggal masyarakat tradisional suku Wana yang belum mengenal kehidupan modern.  Mereka hidup dengan berburu dan melakukan perladangan berpindah.

    Ekosistem yang terdapat di Cagar Alam Morowali berupa ekosistem hutan mangrove, ekosistem hutan alluvial dataran rendah, hutan pegunungan, hutan lumut.  Kawasan cagar alam Morowali merupakan habitat sejumlah hewan seperti anoa, babi rusa, kera, kuskus beruang, babi rusa, musang abu-abu, dan tarsius, serta jenis kelelawar terkecil di dunia.  terdapat berbagai jenis burung di cagar alam Morowali, diantaranya: burung maleo, elang laut paruh putih, kum-kum hijau dan kum-kum putih, burung gosong, dan burung pelatuk. 

    Obyek wisata lain yang dapat dinikmati adalah obyek wisata teluk Tomori yang diusulkan sebagai taman wisata laut.   READ MORE




              #126: So trägst du den E-Mail-Berg nach dem Urlaub ab        

    Wer kennt das nicht? Frisch erholt aus den Ferien warten Hunderte E-Mails im Posteingang.
    Der einzige Weg, das zu verhindern, ist, auch im Urlaub E-Mails zu lesen und zu bearbeiten. Das halte ich persönlich für eine schlechte Strategie, schließlich ist produktives Arbeiten ein Wechsel von Spannung und Entspannung. Deshalb sollte der Urlaub wirklich Urlaub sein.

    In dieser Folge zeige ich dir, wie du den E-Mail-Berg nach dem Urlaub rasch abtragen kannst.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/e-mail-berg/


              #125: Wie wir verhindern, in der eigenen Suppe zu kochen        

    In der Folge 121 unterhielten Bernd Geropp und ich uns darüber, wie wir uns weiterbilden.

    Das ist aber nur eine Seite der Medaille: es geht nämlich auch darum, regelmäßig Feedback von Kunden und Kollegen einzuholen, da man selber ja betriebsblind ist oder wird.

    In dieser Folge erzählen wir dir, wie wir für guten und genügend Austausch sorgen.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/austausch/


              #124: Die Apple Watch - Produktivitätskiller oder hilfreiches Tool?        

    Der Lukas schreibt mir:

    Mit großem Interesse habe ich deinen Blogeintrag “Weshalb ich mir keine Apple Watch kaufen werde” gelesen. In diesem Beitrag hast du ja bereits geschrieben, dass du vielleicht doch schwach werden würdest. In einem Podcast von dir habe ich dann gehört, dass du mittlerweile eine Apple Watch besitzt und damit auch sehr zufrieden bist. Das wäre doch ein spannendes Thema für einen Podcast?! Die Apple Watch - Produktivitätskiller oder hilfreiches Tool? Es kann natürlich auch eine andere Smartwatch sein, das Thema interessiert mich aber generell sehr wie sich eine smarte Uhr und produktives/ablenkungsfreies Arbeiten vereinbaren lassen.

    Danke, Lukas, für diese Idee, die ich hier gerne aufnehme!

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/apple-watch-produktivitaet/


              #121: Wie bildet man sich als Solopreneur am besten weiter?        

    Weiterbildung ist wichtig. Das ist klar.

    Für Solopreneure und Unternehmer ist es sogar spielentscheidend. Verpasst man die Entwicklungen in seiner Branche, ist man weg.

    Das betrifft nicht nur die Fachthemen, sondern auch allgemeine Business-Themen.

    Wie Bernd Geropp und ich dafür sorgen, dass wir den Anschluss nicht verlieren, erzählen wir dir hier.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/weiterbildung/


              #117: Produktiv Arbeiten im Home-Office - ein Doppelkick        

    Viele Solopreneure arbeiten im Home-Office. Manchmal, weil sie müssen, häufig aber auch, weil sie wollen.

    Welche Fallen im Home-Office auf dich warten und wie Bernd Geropp und ich damit umgehen, erzählen wir dir hier.

    Die Shownotes (inkl. Transkript) findest du hier: https://ivanblatter.com/home-office-produktiv/

     


              #115: Produktiv im Home-Office – ein Interview mit Claudia Kauscheder         

    Eine wichtige Frage in meinen Interviews ist immer: Wie bekommst du alles unter einen Hut?

    Das gilt besonders für meinen heutigen Gast. Sie hat nämlich gleich drei Standbeine oder – ihren Worten – eine Schere mit drei Klingen.

    Was das ist, weshalb sie Selbstgespräche führt und natürlich um ganz viel Trello geht es im Gespräch mit meiner Kollegin Claudia Kauscheder.

    Die Shownotes zu dieser Folge gibt's unter https://ivanblatter.com/home-office.


              #109: Ein Doppelkick über den Umgang mit den E-Mails        

    Wer leidet nicht unter der Maulflut? Hand hoch! Niemand? :-)

    E-Mails sind Segen und Fluch zugleich:

    • Noch nie war es so einfach, mit so vielen Menschen so gute Informationen zu tauschen wie heutzutage.
    • Die Kehrseite: die Mailflut.

    In diesem Spannungsfeld stehen wir alle. Wie Bernd Geropp und ich damit umgehen, erfährst du hier.

    Die Shownotes (inkl. Transkript) findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/doppelkick-emails/.


              Dow Dogs May Be Barking Up The Right Tree        
    An investment strategy that has been derided by some money managers and academics as overly simplistic, once again, proved to be best in show last year. The Dogs of the Dow strategy produced a capital gain of 26.59% in 2006 plus a dividend kick of 4.77%, handsomely beating the Dow Jones Industrials gain of 16.3% and yield of around 2.2%. The strategy, popularized by Michael O’Higgins in his 1991 book “Beating the Dow,” consists of simply buying the 10 highest-yielding dividend payers in the Dow Jones Industrials, holding them for a year, and then buying the new crop of dogs. Proponents call it an easy way to handsomely outperform the average fund manager most years with an easy, do-it-yourself strategy. Critics call it an overly simplistic approach with hidden costs and risks that has outperformed only because of “data mining” - searching for statistical anomalies and then assuming they will work in the future. “The starched shirt and suspender crowd in New York are pretty savvy, and it’ll take a bit more to beat them than this,” said finance Professor Grant McQueen of Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. “It’s a competitive world, and to think you’ll get rewards without doing homework is naive.” Source: Scottrade News, Jan 3, 2007
              The Vilification of Yuck – In Defense of a Critically Battered Indie Rock Band        

    After soaking up critical love following their self-titled debut, Yuck has encountered increasing amounts of malice from critics, here's why BGM disagrees.

    The post The Vilification of Yuck – In Defense of a Critically Battered Indie Rock Band appeared first on Bearded Gentlemen Music.


              [Bonus Round] Legends of Callasia, Shadow Bug, Qurius, The Quest: Isles of Ice & Fire, Conduct THIS, Cubway, and Catch the Bus        

    bonusroundWelcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we have a fantasy take on Risk, a stylish action-platformer, a minimalist god game, an RPG expansion, a train puzzle game, and an 8-bit endless runner.

    Read More

    [Bonus Round] Legends of Callasia, Shadow Bug, Qurius, The Quest: Isles of Ice & Fire, Conduct THIS, Cubway, and Catch the Bus was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


              Neem Scalp Relieve Conditioner 30ml | Travel Size        
    Less is More. Travel size scalp relieve conditioner for irritated scalps. Specially for very greasy and itching scalps. Clarifying and soothing, helps normalize the scalp function and makes the hair smooth and soft.  Less is More is natural and organic sertificated line from Vienna, Austria.
              +++ Universum +++ - SpaceX schickt benutzte "Dragon"-Kapsel zur ISS        
    Fliegender Wechsel an der Internationalen Raumstation ISS: Nach dem erstmaligen Start einer bereits benutzten Raumkapsel vom Typ "Dragon" ins All hat an der ISS ein "Cygnus"-Raumfrachter den Platz zum Andocken frei gemacht.
              +VIEL PLATZ für wenig GELD!+ Ideal für PFERDEHALTER! Kleines Wohnhäuschen mit 4000m² Grund + Stallungen + Koppeln inkl. div. Nebengebäuden! +        
    7361 Frankenau, € 84.900,-
    7361 Frankenau
    www.immobilienscout24.at

    + Gelegen im Herzen des Mittelburgenlandes, in einer Randlage in Frankenau, befindet sich diese einmalige Gelegenheit. Der Traum aller Pferdebesitzer! + Zum Verkauf gelangt ein Grundstück mit ca. 4200m² Fläche, auf der


              Wohnung in Neckenmarkt        
    7311 Neckenmarkt / 59,51m² / 2 Zimmer, € 413,91
    7311 Neckenmarkt
    www.immowelt.at

    Sonderfinanzierung möglich: Eigenmittel: ab EUR 4.343,96 und monatliche Miete ab EUR 501,05 Der einmalige Finanzierungsbeitrag beträgt: 28.959,70€ Lage: In der Nähe des Zentrums befindet sich das Grundstück Kirchholz,


              IHR ANWESEN MIT GESCHICHTE        
    7361 Lutzmannsburg / 1599m² / 6 Zimmer, € 95.000,-
    7361 Lutzmannsburg
    www.at.immolive24.com

    Dieses unter Denkmalschutz stehenden Haus, war das ehemalige Heimatmuseum in Lutzmannsburg. Weinkeller mit Schenke bietet die Möglichkeit eine Vinothek zu Eröffnen. Das am Hof stehende Ferienappartement mit Bewilligung,


              Sickle-Cell Anaemia        

    The sickle-cell disease also known as sickle-cell anemia is a hereditary blood disorder caused by an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin found in red blood cells. Sickle-Cell disease leads to a propensity for the cells to assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Sickle-cell disease is associated with some acute and chronic health […]

    The post Sickle-Cell Anaemia appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.


              Thinking the unthinkable: What we cannot think in programming        

    This blog post is an edited and more accessible version of an article Thinking the unthinkable that I recently presented at the PPIG 2016 conference. The original article (PDF) has proper references and more details; the minimalistic talk slides give a quick summary of the article.

    If you find this interesting, you might also be interested in a workshop we are planning. To keep in touch leave a comment on GitHub, ping me at @tomaspetricek or email tomas@tomasp.net!

    Our thinking is shaped by basic assumptions that we rarely question. These assumptions exist at different scales. Foucault's episteme describes basic assumptions of an epoch (such as Renaissance); Kuhn's research paradigms determine how scientists of a given discipline approach problems and Lakatos' research programmes provide undisputable assumptions followed by a group of scientists.

    In this article, I try to discover some of the hidden assumptions in the area of programming language research. What are assumptions that we never question and that determine how programming languages are designed? And what might the world look like if we based our design method on different basic principles?


              Infobox – Suchtprävention + Wagenplatz Treibstoff + Frist Lady        
    Am 24. März 2010 war Margit Fischer, die Frau unseres Bundespräsidenten Dr. Heinz Fischer, im Rahmen der offiziellen Eröffnung von Otelo im Gebäude der ehemaligen Landesmusikschule in Vöcklabruck zu Besuch. Christian Aichmayr von der Infobox-Redaktion nahm dabei die Gelegenheit wahr, Frau Fischer für das Freie Radio Salzkammergut kurz einige Fragen zu stellen, zu deren Beantwortung […]
              Libratone Live – AirPlay möter Hifi i smakfull design!        

    Denna minimalistiska topptestade skönhet är kanske en av de enda i sitt slag med att kombinera en portabel högtalare med nordisk design, AirPlay och förstklassigt ljud.  SÃ¥ vad har denna skapelse att erbjuda? Ja, denna modell hamnar nÃ¥gonstans mittemellan Libratones Lounge och Zipp AirPlay högtalare. Iklädd finaste kashmir-ull, döljer denna otroligt välbyggda skapelse ett 13cm […]

    The post Libratone Live РAirPlay m̦ter Hifi i smakfull design! appeared first on SmartHifi.se.


              Corazones & Hearts        
    Feliz domingo queridas!!
    Espero que este esté siendo un gran día para todas! Para mí desde luego sí! Comenzando por eso, porque es domingo, nada puede salir hoy mal!
    Tenía ganas de sentarme un ratito a escribir y compartir cosas bonitas con vosotras!
    Con todo el jaleo del sorteo no he actualizado como Dios manda... y aunque no puedo esplayarme todo lo que quisiera no puedo faltar hoy a mi cita blogspotera.
    Durante estos días han pasado un montón de cosas bonitas, cosas que me han hecho sonreír, cosas con corazón o, que me han demostrado el brillante corazón que tienen algunas personas!! Y quería hacer uan entradita para enseñaroslas!!

    PRIMER CORAZÓN

    Me gustan los corazones, sé que mucha spersonas los encuentran cursis, es curioso la poca vergüenza que suele tener la gente para insultar o decir barbaridades y ën cambio decir "te quiero" cuesta tanto...
    Los corazones son gorditos y blanditos y a mi parecer dicen pipipipipi como un pokemon Clefeiry...
    Quería subir Este pingüinito acolchado que hice unos días atrás, me gustó hacerlo a ojo, sin patrón para que quedara muy handmade que creo que le da un encanto especial, el luce el corazón  en la barriguita sin ninguna vergüenza ^:^



    SEGUNDO CORAZÓN

    El corazón de Luna, ganadora del sorteo que celebré en mi tiendecita, que ha cedido el dragón colgante a otra persona que participase en el sorteo, porque ella ya había ganado uno en el anterior sorteo que realicé. Para no complicar las cosas pedí en mi facebook que alguien me dijese un número. El primero en responder fue mi primo Adrian, que me dijo el 37, así que el comentario de la sparticipantes en el sorteo se lleva el Dragoncito, y la ganadora es Doreca ^:^

    TERCER CORAZÓN
    El precioso corazón que me llegó totalmente per sorpresa de mi querida y preciosa Mirikong... me encanta, lo llevo colgado de mi bolso y al pobre  se le nota ya lo que se ha movido porque se me ha deshilachado un poco, pero llevar conmigo algo de Miriam me hace sentir muy bien, no sé si será la buena energía y el amor que ella desprende.... muy pronto va a inaugurar sus nuevos blogs, yo lo estoy esperando impaciente, me encanta hundirme en sus creaciones acolchadas, rosas y violetas envueltas en confetti y sonrisas.


    CUARTO CORAZÓN

    No puedo hablar de manera objetiva de Marta y sus Duendes del Reloj.
    Supongo que os pasa igual con alguna spersonas que os vais cruzando por los blog, hay algunas que llegan a tocar literalmente el corazón... y para mí una de las más importantes es sin duda Marta... que escribe con palabras llenas de luz, que no solo narran, sino que dibujan mundos brillantes y hermosos llenos de hadas, de duendes, de secretos llenos de sabiduría.



    Es la primera vez que recibo algo de ella, y para mí, que siempre la he leido por el ordenador llegar a tener unos folios de ella escritos a mano fue muy muy emotivo, de hecho se me saltaron las lágrimas al recibir una caja llena de tesoros que habían estado en sus manos ¿quereis ver?
    la maravillosa bola de nieve donde solo ocurren cosas buenas?


    o la preciosa cajita de música en miniatura que mece mis duermevelas?





    es todo de ensueño... no puedo decir lo agradecida que estoy por estos regalos tan tan preciosos

    QUINTO CORAZÓN
    La llegada a mi casa de mis dos nuevos compañeros de aventuras, las que habeis pasado por la tienda ya los debeis conocer pero para las que no los hayais visto aquí están estos dos gatitos que   aparecieron en mi casa la semana pasada...
    Moon que está malito del ojo, aunque ahora ya lo tiene mejor que como le veis en la foto!!


    Y Maga, que me parece que está embarazada....


    Los dos son superamorosos y sin duda les doy un corazón ASIIIIIIII de grande!!!! Aparecieron primero moon pidiendo comida, y a los dos días apareció Maga... dentro de poquito podré cobrar entrada para visitar mi casa, como en el zoo!!! yupi!! 

    SEXTO CORAZÓN
    A vuestros mails, de verdad todas todas con las que mantengo una relación via mail, no sabeis la alegría que me dais, estos días he tenido muchísimo jaleo y sé que he estado algo desconectada pero quiero que sepais la alegria que me da estar en contacto con vosotras....


    Millones  de besos haditas!!

              Dunjakkestemning i London...        

    Helt siden Blomsterstjernen var en diffus liten Blomster-gass-sky har London hatt en uimotstÃ¥elig tiltrekningskraft pÃ¥ den kommende smÃ¥stjernen. Først og fremst for sin pop-musikk-magi, men ogsÃ¥ for dens grandiose storhet i bÃ¥de omfang og historie. Og fascinasjonen bare eskalerer og eskalerer for hvert Ã¥r som gÃ¥r. I hurtig takt, underbygget av jetfly-buldring fra Heathrow, tube-map-hypnose pÃ¥ London Underground og florale overdoseringer i Hyde Park og Kew Gardens. Det er ogsÃ¥ helt ok at London dessuten draperes av billige drosjer, ekstreme shoppingmuligheter, fantastiske restauranter og rÃ¥tne puber.

    Har jeg glemt noe? Helt sikkert...
    At det er 17 London-lag i Premier League?
    Kanskje...
    (Men nå må vi ikke glemme at dette er en manneblogg sett gjennom et kajalblikk...)

    Regent Street - "Den norske gaten"?
    Blomsterstjernen er uansett sÃ¥ heldig at han nok kan tillate seg Ã¥ kalle London for sin andre hjemby (noen knepp før København... red anm). For i løpet av det siste drøye decenniet har han besøkt London minst en gang pr Ã¥r. Fem-seks ganger pÃ¥ turné med band, et halvt snes elskovsturer og en kvart milliard jobbreiser...  De aller fleste turene har likevel vært en kombinasjon av minst 2 av de forestÃ¥ende element.

    De siste 6 årene har det også blitt en tradisjon å delta på Natural Organics messen som arrangeres første helgen i april. Klok av skade sørger man alltid for å plusse på et passende antall bonusdager i begge ender av messen. I april er jo London helt optimalistisk for vårkåte nordmenn. Hjemme er det grått, brunt og gult og dobbeltsidig heldekkende regntøy så langt øyet rekker. I vårgrønne London blomstrer et hav av påskeliljer, fioler og kinesisk kirsebær om kapp med korte miniskjørt.

    Som dere sikkert forstår har Blomsterstjernen nettopp hjemvendt fra den forjettede by. Business & Pleasure. Jobb & Kone. Men for en gangs skyld, og kanskje for første (og siste?) gang i historien, slet London med å frembringe den savnede vårfølelsen. Det var kuldegrader, det snødde, det blåste, det var grått! Men likevel helt fantastisk!

    Men når man booker hotell litt for fort via hotels.com sjekker man ikke alltid hva for et rom man egentlig har bestilt..? Men denne gang ble vi positivt overrasket! Et latterlig godt tilbud på splitter nye Novotel Blackfriars resulterte i plass på øverste hylle. Excecutive Room i ellevte etasje med gjennomsiktig baderomsvegg!!! Perfekt for romantiske weekender! Helt til en av de involverte (eventuelt) må gjøre Big Business i toalettskålen under fullt innsyn (og oppsyn) av sin kjære...

    "The Flower-Star MUST have an Executive Room!!!"


    Nydelig utsikt fra toalettskålen - Heller bedrøvelig innsikt!

    Men til tross for ett og annet litt for detaljert toalettopphold var storby-oppholdet perfekt! Spesielt da vi siste dag oppdaget at det fantes en knapp inne på badet som på et eller annet mirakuløst vis kunne blende den gjennomsiktige veggen... Litt av en oppfinnelse?!?

    Blomsterstjernen fryktet lenge han ikke skulle komme hjem med et eneste fint bilde fra turen. Bortsett fra dem han tok fra toalettskÃ¥len (og det var MANGE!!!). Men siste dag med medbragt kone tittet endelig solen frem. Mann og kone spratt ut av shopping-moduset og nøt parklivet til fulle.








    Men nok fikk være nok. Nok kos og romantikk! Mission completed. Konemor ble sendt hjem med første fly søndagsmorgen slik at Stjernegutten kunne indulgere seg i det ypperste innen manneinteresser siste dagen før messen braket løs. Heisekraner, undergrunnsbaner, skinnesystem og Heathrow Runway 09L & 27R.

    Tradisjonen tro var det bare til Ã¥ ombooke siste natt. Blomsterstjernen har jo  nærmest fast suite pÃ¥ Heathrow Renaissance Hotel - with guaranteed runway view...

    Heisekran i solnedgang...

    Jetplane skies...

    Room with a view...

    A plane that crashes with a light pole....

    Bye bye Airbus 380...

    Etter noen kjærkomne dager i kjærestehimmelen, en vellykket dag i mannehimmelen og en lærerik dag i arbeidshimmelen returnerte Blomsterstjernen til sitt kjære nord med en nyinnkjøpt bag stappet til randen med mannekonfeksjon fra Zara...

    Litt av en tur - tross alt,
    (London skuffer aldri)








    P.S. Dersom noen skulle trenge romantiske gastronomiske restaurant-tips i London anbefaler Blomsterstjernen  Gaucho Tower Bridge og Bar Boulud pÃ¥ det aller varmeste! Fantastisk mat og superb service til en uavskrekkende pris...

    P.P.S. Noen som kan si meg hvilken flytype det var som krasjet med lyktestolpen? Og hvilket flyselskap?




              Basar, bingo och loddtrekning...        

    Ja sÃ¥ var ventetiden endelig over! Etter 3 pinefulle, endeløse, langdrøye uker i smigerens tegn kan Blomsterstjerne-kikkerne nÃ¥ velfortjent lene seg tilbake i godstolen uten Ã¥ mÃ¥tte veie hvert bidige ord og hver eneste handling opp mot Blomsterstjernens noe innfløkte loddsankingsregler... Dere er FRI!!! Dere er i MÅL! Gratulerer!

    Noen vil gjerne si at det kanskje gikk litt pÃ¥ galleien med denne loddbasaren etterhvert? Det kunne kanskje virke som om loddsankingkriteriene ble mer og mer utflytende..? Ja det virket nesten som om nye regler poppet opp i takt med lesernes økende freidighet?!? Joda... Men sÃ¥nn skal det ogsÃ¥ være i Blomsterstjerneland! Alt er lov, ingenting er forbudt!

    Her ser vi Miss-Mette og Elisabeth Innerst i veien (til høyre) sette inn nådestøtet!
    Noen freske smiskepoeng smyges inn under bordet...
    Det skulle lønne seg.

    Etterhvert dukket det opp bÃ¥de hemmelige omregnede svenskepoeng, imponerende mimrepoeng, frekke blunkepoeng, sleipe dobbelvenn-poeng, selvpinende planespotterbonus og ikke minst todoble klumpepoeng... Folk gikk amok! Folk overgikk hverandre! Folk gjorde alt de kunne for Ã¥ hanke inn flest mulig lodd! Postkassen rant over av nakenbilder, skitne truser og skitne triks! Loddskalaen ble sprengt i fillebiter! Hele 57 loddbøker ble fylt til randen av loddtakere! Stakkars materialforvalteren...

    Blomsterstjernen hadde et svare strev med å telle alle loddpoengene!
    Langt bedre gikk det da Fjordlykke, Millie Moi og Mathildes Eden stakk innom for å "hjelpe" (dvs smiske...)
    Loddpoengene rant inn hos den høykorrupte materialforvalteren....

    En ting er Ã¥ annonsere loddtrekning, en helt annen ting er Ã¥ gjennomføre den, pÃ¥ rettferdig vis!!! For hvordan skulle man egentlig kunne vekte loddkjøperne riktig? Hvordan skulle man klare Ã¥ gjøre forskjell pÃ¥ dem som kjøpte 3 usle lodd og dem som forbrøt seg til hele 17 lodd?!? Hvordan skulle man fÃ¥ trekningen til Ã¥ gÃ¥ matematisk riktig for seg?!?


    Her ser vi de proppfulle loddbøkene til Maria fra Idekroken og Shy B (fra høyre til venstre)

    For som alle sikkert vet er jo en hver bloggkonkurranse juks fra ende til annen? Bloggeieren gir i 999 millioner av 1 milliard tilfeller enkelt og greit give-awayen til den deltakeren som bor nærmest sitt eget hus, slik at man elegant slipper unna de fæle 9,50 i porto. Det eksisterer ALDRI noen reell trekning... Dessverre...

    Stemningsrapport fra loddsanking, Avdeling Sør.
    Hver fredag kl 9:00 samles de 100 mest ihuga Blomsterstjerneleserne hjemme hos November Symra (mormor)
    Her ser vi husholdersken og Hverdagsglede i fint driv nedover siste langside mens de teller opp lodd.


    Men heldigvis finnes det en og annen hederlig person der ute i verden... Og Blomsterstjernen er en av dem, av og til... En  notorisk sporadisk gentleman..? Han slÃ¥r til nÃ¥r man minst aner det! Og i dag er en slik dag! Han ønsker Ã¥ la rettferdigheten seire! Han bryr seg ikke om vinneren sitter i Tsjernobyl eller Sudan! De er like mye verdt og fortjener like sjanser...



    Det var bare en ørliten utfordring... Hvilket instrument skulle han benytte seg av til trekkingen? Hva ville gi mest rettferdig resultat? Trekkbasun? Trekkspill? Trekkfugler? Dynetrekk? Gjennomtrekk? HjortetrÃ¥kk? Versaillestraktaten? Kaffetrakter? Kaffetraktor? Kiropraktor? Kiruna? Malm? Narvik? Tyskere? Tysk hÃ¥rgele med kokos & ananas smak???


    Blomsterstjernen gikk i harnisk da det gikk opp for ham at hele 289 basardeltagere ikke hadde kjøpt lodd!!!
    En skandale!!! Minuspoengene florerte til de 289 skamfulle leserne!

    Blomsterstjernen var sagtens rådvill! Han snekret derfor like godt opp et excel-program som kunne gjøre trekkingen for ham! Nå var det bare til å trykke på en knapp, og vips ville programmet plukke ut de hederlige vinnerne helt på egenhånd, naturlig vektet opp mot sine prosentuelle vinnersjanser! Blomsterstjernen selv kunne lene seg godt tilbake i det bobleskumfylte badekaret mens han nøt det hele på god avstand.

    Et ulykkeshjul?

    Det interessante med rettferdig trekning er at det ofte er svært urettferdig... For er man uheldig og konkurrerer mot såkalte heldiggriser eller lykketroll med sterke vinneregenskaper sliter man. I teorien kan vi jo ende opp med at en og samme person vinner samtlige premier!?!

    Hagealven Lunalu med 2 av sine magiske lodd...

    Vinnersjansene reduseres jo ikke om man allerede har vunnet 1 gang. Det er jo ikke tilfeldig at det er de samme tussaladdene som vinner i lotto hver bidige uke... Jaja, de om det! Trøsten er at man ikke blir lykkelig av premier..?

    Nei, la oss få det hele overstått!

    La oss trekke VINNERNE!!!
    "Excel Excel åpn deg opp!!!"
    All makt er i dine hender...



    Aller siste utgave av Excel ble brukt til loddtrekningen

    VINNERNE ER...
    • BOLIGDRØM ABONNEMENT 1: Ranten
    • BOLIGDRØM ABONNEMENT 2: Anne Berit
    • ARMBÅND 1: Elisabeth - Innerst i veien
    • ARMBÅND 2: Hagealven
    • ARMBÅND 3: Miss-Mette
    • HAPPYLIGHTS: Millie Moi
    • SOMMERFUGLSTIKLING 1: Hagealven
    • SOMMERFUGLSTIKLING 2: Hagealven
    • HJEMMELAGDE RIDDERSPOREFRØ: Drømmeriet

    Honen mann!!! Hva i all verden!?! Det er det verste jeg har sett... Her har det tydeligvis sneket seg med en skikkelig "Heldigper" i gavedrysset... Hagealven Lunalu ble trukket ut hele tre (3) ganger!!! For en heldiggris! For en vinnerevne! For en vinnerlykke! For en urettferdighet...

    Ikke alle var like heldige med loddtrekningen...
    Her ser vi Tigertina og KlumpeSissel dobbelsjekke kupongen
    Om og om igjen, til liten nytte...

    Hadde kanskje Hagealven innledet et hemmelig forhold med Mr. Excel?!?! Hadde hun blunket seg elegant forbi alle de andre konkurrentene? Men hadde hun strengt tatt bruk for 2 sommerfuglbusker? Neppe...

    Blomsterstjernen er derfor sÃ¥ freidig at han tillater seg Ã¥ kjøre en liten omtrekking av den ene sommerfuglbusken (om enn ikke bokstavelig talt). Det var nemlig 3 gavedryssdeltagere som i sin kommentar virkelig ønsket seg et eksemplar av disse bevingete stiklingene; Anita, Tigertina og Villrose. SÃ¥ la det stÃ¥ mellom dem!

    Igjen gir vi ordet til Mr. Excel. Sim sala bim & Load Error:

    Den omtrukne sommerfuglbusken går til VILLROSE!

    En overlykkelig Villrose etter den noe uventede seieren i ekstratrekningen

    Ja så sjofel kan verden være! Ihvertfall når en Commodore 64 styrer verden...

    De heldige vinnerne bes opplyse sin adresse på mail til: blomsterstjernen★yahoo.no
    (Helt riktig... stjernen skal byttes ut med en alfakrussedull)




    Nei nå må jeg stikke! Jeg har gaver som må pakkes inn...
    Gratulerer alle mine vinnere og tapere!

    Kräm frän,




    P.S. Da det var et sÃ¥nt voldsomt ramaskrik blant bloggleserne da det ble klart at det IKKE var fruktkurv i førstepremie har jeg bestemt at vi skal gjøre alt som stÃ¥r i vÃ¥r makt for Ã¥ ordne opp i dette til neste bursdag...

    P.P.S Det er selvsagt ALT for moderne for dere andre Ã¥ benytte excel ved loddtrekning nÃ¥r dere selv en vakker dag skal kjøre gavedryss.... PÃ¥ vedlagte link finner dere et knippe hendige maskiner jeg vil anbefale pÃ¥ det varmeste... http://www.ringen.no/trekkesystemer.84358.no.html




              The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify        
    Title: The Joy of Less:  A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Author: Francine Jay Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2016 Summary/Review: We are constantly trying to keep up with those around us and don’t realize how much time and stress is spent on acquiring and maintaining things like cars, houses, designer clothes, brand-name appliances, etc.  Having […]
              Strażnicy Rewolucji Islamskiej zatrzymali sześć osób za promowanie popularnego tańca        

    Do zatrzymań doszło w mieście Szahrud, około 400 kilometrów na wschód od Teheranu. Strażnicy Rewolucji Islamskiej wtargnęli na lekcje zumby i zatrzymali sześcioro młodych ludzi, którzy prowadzili zajęcia. 

    Czterem mężczyznom i dwóm kobietom zarzucono promocję nielegalnych w Iranie ćwiczeń taneczno-fitnessowych, inspirowanych latynoskimi rytmami, a także innych rodzajów ćwiczeń, które w czerwcu zostały uznane przez władze za niezgodne z prawem islamskim i oficjalnie zakazane. 

    Zatrzymani mieli także publikować na portalach społecznościowych filmy, w których zachęcali młode Iranki do uprawiania zumby oraz do zdejmowania w miejscach publicznych tradycyjnych islamskich nakryć głowy. Kobiety w Iranie są zobowiązane do noszenia hidżabów w miejscach publicznych.

    "Promocja i nauczanie tańca na zajęciach gimnastycznych dla kobiet, prowadzonych pod pretekstem uprawiania sportu, jest poważnym wykroczeniem" - powiedział Hamid Damghani, przedstawiciel Strażników Rewolucji Islamskiej, potwierdzając zatrzymania. 

    Tymczasem kierownik szkoły, w której nauczano zumby zapowiedział, że będzie kontynuował prowadzenie zajęć, niezależnie od działań władz. "Uczyliśmy zumby przez 13 lat. Jeśli nam tego zakażą, będziemy kontynuować zajęcia pod inną nazwą" - powiedział w rozmowie z irańską gazetą "Aftab-e-Yazd".

    Nie po raz pierwszy władze Iranu mówią stanowcze "nie" publicznym tańcom. W 2014 roku w Teheranie stanęło przed sądem siedmiu młodych Irańczyków, którzy nagrali swoją domową wersję wideoklipu piosenki Pharrella Williamsa "Szczęśliwy", a następnie zamieścili ją w internecie. Sąd skazał ich wtedy na kary od sześciu miesięcy do roku pozbawienia wolności w zawieszeniu na trzy lata. Reżyser teledysku otrzymał dodatkowo karę 91 batów, które zostaną wymierzone, jeśli kiedykolwiek trafi do więzienia.

    PAP 


              Dramat migrantów w Jemenie. Przemytnicy utopili kilkadziesiąt osób        
    Do podobnego zdarzenia doszło w tym samym miejscu w środę, gdy przemytnik zmusił do skoku do wody 120 młodych migrantów z Somalii i Etiopii, którzy byli w jego łodzi. Wielu migrantów tego nie przeżyło: na plaży znaleziono 29 ciał, a co najmniej 22 osoby uważa się za zaginione. Średnia wieku pasażerów łodzi wynosiła 16 lat. Według IOM wśród tych, którzy zginęli albo zaginęli, było wiele kobiet i dzieci.

    Zdaniem IOM, w czwartek mogło zginąć jeszcze więcej osób. - Widzieliśmy pięć ciał, więc mogę potwierdzić pięć ofiar śmiertelnych. 50 osób jest zaginionych, dlatego uważamy, że najpewniej zginęło 55 osób - powiedziała agencji Reutera rzeczniczka IOM Olivia Headon. Łodzią płynęło ok. 180 migrantów z Etiopii i Somalii.

    "To może być początek nowego trendu. Przemytnicy wiedzą, że sytuacja jest niebezpieczna i że mogą być zastrzeleni, więc wyrzucają (migrantów) w pobliżu wybrzeża" do wody - dodała.

    W ostatnich latach wąski przesmyk między Rogiem Afryki a Jemenem jest szlakiem migracji wielu osób, które chcą trafić do bogatych krajów Zatoki Perskiej. Szacuje się, że od początku roku było ich ok. 55 tys., w tym wielu ludzi z Somalii i Etiopii uciekających przed biedą i przemocą; około jednej trzeciej stanowiły kobiety.

    PAP


              Schultz i Merkel tracą poparcie przed wrześniowymi wyborami        
    Z politycznej działalności Merkel zadowolonych jest 59 proc. uczestników ankiety - o 10 pkt. proc. mniej niż w ubiegłym miesiącu. Aprobatę dla polityki Schulza wyraziło 33 proc., co oznacza spadek w ciągu miesiąca o 4 pkt proc. Jest to jego najgorszy wynik od czasu, gdy na początku roku otrzymał nominację na kandydata na kanclerza.

    Spadło także poparcie dla całego rządu. Z jego pracy zadowolonych jest 47 proc. ankietowanych (minus 8 pkt. proc.), podczas gdy odsetek niezadowolonych wzrósł o 7 pkt. proc. do 51 proc. Od 2013 roku Niemcami rządzi koalicja CDU/CSU i SPD.

    Autorzy sondażu wskazują na skandal z manipulowaniem przez koncerny motoryzacyjne wynikami pomiaru spalin jako możliwą przyczynę spadku poparcia dla polityków. 63 proc. uczestników sondażu uważa, że rząd stawia na pierwszym miejscu interesy koncernów motoryzacyjnych, a nie ochronę środowiska i zdrowie obywateli.

    Kierowany przez Merkel blok polityczny CDU/CSU nadal utrzymuje zdecydowaną przewagę (39 proc.) nad SPD (24 proc.). Wśród mniejszych partii Lewica (9 proc.) i Zieloni (8 proc.) utrzymali swój stan posiadania sprzed miesiąca. Będące w tej kadencji poza parlamentem FDP i AfD dostały po 8 proc. - obie partie straciły po jednym punkcie procentowym.

    Gdyby Niemcy mogli wybierać bezpośrednio kanclerza, Merkel otrzymałaby 52 proc. (minus 5 pkt. proc.), a Schulz 30 proc. (wzrost o 2 pkt. proc.).

    Sondaż Deutschlandtrend na zlecenie pierwszego programu telewizji publicznej ARD przeprowadził instytut Infratest dimap.

    Wybory do Bundestagu odbędą się 24 września. Po powrocie z krótkiego urlopu Merkel rozpocznie pod koniec tego tygodnia kampanię wyborczą. W piątek złoży wizytę w byłym więzieniu wschodnioniemieckiej policji politycznej Stasi w Berlinie, a w sobotę weźmie udział w wiecu CDU w Dortmundzie.

    PAP


              Shalat itu Cahaya…        
    Syarh Hadits Abu Malik al-Asy’ary Disusun oleh : Redaksi Al-Hujjah Buletin Al-Hujjah Vol: 14-IX/Rajab-1429H/Juli-08 “Bersuci adalah separuh keimanan. (Kalimat) Alhamdulillah memenuhi mizan (timbangan amal di akhirat). Dan (kalimat) Subhaanallaahi wal hamdulillaah, keduanya memenuhi apa-apa yang berada di antara langit dan bumi. Sholat adalah cahaya, dan sedekah adalah bukti. Sabar adalah sinar yang terik, dan al-Qur-an […]
              Human Suffering and Humanitarian Emergencies [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Humanitarian emergencies are not simply brute facts, appealing directly to our emotions or our moral sensibilities. They are one of the important ways in which perceptions of human life, sympathy for suffering, and responses to social upheaval have come to be organized in recent decades. Like nations and business corporations, they are creatures of social imaginaries, but no less materially influential for that. They are shaped by a history of changing ideas about the human; moral responsibility for strangers; structures of chance and causality; and the imperative and capacity for effective action, even at a distance. They reflect the context of the modern era generally and more specific features of the era since the 1970s. And they are embedded in a complex institutionalization of responses. First, grasping human suffering as humanitarian emergencies is made possible by a long history of changes in how we – Westerners especially – construct the categories of the human, the emergency, and moral obligation. Second, though they are influenced by both state politics and economic activity, humanitarian emergencies appear as anomalies outside the putatively normal stable functioning of political and economic systems. Third, emergencies and humanitarian sympathies are produced importantly through large-scale media systems, including especially visual media. Fourth, they have commanded attention especially since the 1970s as responses to an era of market-driven globalization and declining faith in political action. Fifth, they have occasioned a new institutional field of response in which NGOs and voluntary action are pivotal (even though states remain crucial funders), and they are shaped by the way such response organizes both what we see and what happens materially on the ground. Sixth, they reflect a view from relatively ‘core’ locations in the modern world-system on seeming chaos in its periphery, a view often linked at once to a managerial orientation, an idea of charity, and the reassurance of grasping suffering and chaos precisely as distant. The specific historical circumstances that gave rise to humanitarian response are changing, and with them this specific project of cosmopolitan care for distant strangers may be undergoing a deep transformation. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              Sobremesa deliciosa no rabo de uma amiga        


    Acho que esse relato ficou extenso demais, mas a transa foi boa! Depois de uma noite de farra junto a um casal de amigos, ao chegarmos em nossa casa, eu e minha esposa fomos para a sala. Minha esposa, Leila, sentou-se ao meu lado no sofá e acreditando que minha prima que passava uns dias conosco, estivesse dormindo, começou a acariciar meu pau sorrindo maliciosamente para mim. Ainda me masturbando, lambeu meu rosto. Depois, perto do meu ouvido, disse:
    - Amor estou cheia de tesão ainda. O macarrão de ainda pouco no motel estava delicioso, mas estou ansiosa esperando pela sobremesa, você vai me dar?. Antes que ela pudesse falar mais alguma coisa, puxei-a e dei-lhe um forte beijo e comecei a acariciá-la nos seios, coxas e buceta. O clima esquentava cada vez mais e nem percebemos a presença de outra pessoa na sala, que nos observava. De repente ouvimos um pigarrear. Era Sabrina, com uma lata de chantilly (aquelas spray para confeitar bolo), um pires e uma colher, além, é óbvio, do seu belíssimo corpo, envolto com uma camisolinha transperante que deixava seus lindos seios e uma minúscula calcinha a mostra. Eu já ia tirando a mão da xota da minha esposa, quando ela perguntou porque eu iria parar se nós estávamos tão excitados e antes que eu pudesse responder qualquer coisa, ela disse que adoraria participar e já se aproximou de nós. Então sentou-se no colo de minha esposa e a beijou na boca. Depois sorriu para mim e me beijou na boca também. Eu e minha esposa estávamos sentados lado-a-lado e ficamos boquiabertos com a atitude da menina mulher no auge dos seus dezessete aninhos, que estava passando as férias conosco. Sabrina estava sentada no colo da Leila e com as pernas sobre o meu colo. Ela com grande desenvoltura, dobrou uma perna e espalhou chantilly sobre seus dedinhos, depois passou o pé em meu rosto. Entendendo o que ela queria, eu segurei seu pezinho delicado e comecei a chupar seus dedinhos, que estavam bezuntados pelo creme. Eu chupava cada um de seus dedinhos, passava a língua entre eles, lambia a sola delicada de seus pés, colocava mais chantilly e voltava a lamber. Enquanto eu brincava com seu pezinho, Sabrina chupava os seios da Leila, dizendo que estava com fome e precisava mamar. Minha mulher se divertia com isso e esfregava o peito no rostinho de nossa putinha. Sua mão masturbava a xaninha ninfeta de Sabrina por cima da calcinha que já dava sinais que iria gozar...o que não demorou para acontecer, encharcando a minúscula calcinha. Ficamos nessa brincadeira por um tempinho, até que Sabrina se levantou, livrou-se das roupas, ficando nuazinha em pelo com aquele corpinho maravilhoso a mostra, dizendo para mim e minha esposa fazermos o mesmo. Vendo-nos despidos também, ela me perguntou:
    - Gostou do meu pezinho com chantilly? Então vamos fazer direitinho! Deite-se no chão!
    A vadiazinha ainda se achava no direito de mandar....mas sem pestanejar, obedeci. Minha esposa apenas observava. Ela encheu o pires de chantilly e disse para a Leila se sentar ao seu lado no sofá. As duas pisaram no pires deixando os pés completamente labuzados e começaram a esfregá-los no meu rosto e no meu peito. Ora espalhavam o creme em meu corpo com os pés, ora pisavam no meu rosto me fazendo comer a cobertura, e assim fomos brincando.
    Meu pau pulsava de tão duro e tesão e quando eu levei minha mão para ele, na tentativa de começar uma deliciosa punheta, Sabrina percebeu e me impediu. Então falou para a Leila deitar-se sobre mim, lambendo meu rosto e descendo pelo meu pescoço, peito, barriga, até chegar no meu pau, onde começou a chupá-lo já estava duro e vermelho de tesão! Sabrina continua brincando com o chantilly em seus pés, passando no meu rosto. Nisso, Leila enche sua boca de creme volta a chupar meu pau, ele fica todo lambuzado com a \"sobremesa\" e ela passa a cuspir sobre a cabeça dele, fazendo com que aquela mistura de saliva e chantilly escorra pelo meu pau, pelo meu saco e se espalhe pelo piso da sala.
    Sabrina diz que quer incrementar a brincadeira, então ela, de pé, apoia as mãos no sofá, deixando assim seu rabinho exposto para nós. Ela enfia o bico da lata no seu cuzinho e aperta, depois olha para mim e, com cara de tarada, diz: \"não quer experimentar o docinho? Vem chupar meu cu!\"
    Na hora me levanto e começo a chupar aquele anelzinho rosado e sem pelos, passo a língua em volta, e como todo o chantilly. Ela põe mais, eu abro sua bundinha e enfio minha lígua naquele rabinho gostoso!
    Enquanto isso, minha esposa se masturbava e chupava meu pau. Depois de alguns minutos, não aguentei mais e disse que já iria gozar!
    A Sabrina se levantou e mandou que eu gozasse no pires, que estava cheio de chantilly. Eu nunca a vi tão faminta assim por porra! E assim eu fiz.
    Ela embora novinha, sabia o que estava fazendo, o que pretendia, então lambeu um pouco, como se fosse uma cadelinha e o restante ofereceu para a Leila, que com cara de safada, enfiou o rosto no pires espalhando toda a \"cobertura\" e ficando com a cara toda lambuzada. Eu já estava cansado, quando a Sabrina enfiou toda a ponta do tubo no rabinho e apertou o gatilho e se encheu de creme. Depois, quando já estava visivelmente cheinha, pôs-se de cócoras sobre meu rosto e começou a soltar seu estoque anal.
    Ela olhou para baixo, sorrindo maliciosamente para mim e falou: \"vai gatão, come meu cocozinho doce! é a sua sobremesa!\"
    Comi tudinho e depois limpei seu cu com a língua. Ah! Que tesão...Depois disso, coloquei minha esposa de quatro e passei fode-la na frente de Sabrina, que se masturbava enquanto nos observava. Passado algum tempo, posicionei-me noutra posição e as duas passaram a revesar a chupada no meu cacete que estava prestes a explodir num gozo só. As duas chuparam alternadamente até que não resisti e gozei na boca de ambas. Como estávamos cansados, naquela noite foi só e resolvemos ir dormir. Nem preciso contar que dormimos todos no mesmo quarto e quando despertamos na manha seguinte (um domingo), aconteceu de tudo, foi um tal de mete aqui, mete ali, goza aqui, goza ali, enfim, passamos o dia todo transando de todas as formas possíveis e gozando inúmera vezes, mas isto conto outra hora.
    Sandro – Rio de Janeiro - RJ
              GOZOU ENQUANTO EU FINGIA DORMIR        

    Num certo final de semana, eu e meu marido, junto a alguns cais de amigos, fomos para o nosso sítio tomar um banho de cachoeira, queimar uma carne e saborear algumas cervejinhas bem geladas. Neste dia, para a minha surpresa, além dos casais que convidamos, meu marido convidou um amigo dele de trabalho, chamado Henrique, para ir também. Logo que chegamos no sítio, como estava um dia ensolarado e muito quente, enquanto os homens aprontavam a churrasqueira e colocavam as cervejas na geladeira, eu e minhas amigas nos livramos das roupas, ficando só de biquínis e fomos direto para a cachoeira que cortava o nosso sítio. Já banhávamo-nos algum tempo, quando os homens chegaram trazendo-nos algumas cervejas. Tive uma grata surpresa ao ver o Henrique só de sunga, pois além dele ser um gato, bem mais novo que o meu marido, era portador de um belo volume entre as pernas. Fiquei cheia de tesão na hora e passei a imaginar aquele cacetão que ali se escondia, adentrar meus buraquinhos. Em certos momentos minhas amigas falavam comigo e eu estava fora de órbita, mas não deixei-as perceberem o porque da minha distração. Virava e mexia, olhava para aquele gato e depois de um certo tempo, percebi que ele também não tirava o olho de mim, pois também eu me insinuara o tempo todo para ele, provocando-o. Ficamos ali na água por quase duas horas, até que a fome começou a bater e resolvemos ir para a casa, onde acendemos a churrasqueira para começarmos a fazer o churrasco. Enquanto assava a carne, minhas amigas e eu fomos pra cozinha preparar o restante dos complementos, tipo arroz, farofa, maionese, etc. Henrique de vez enquanto vinha na cozinha buscar mais cerveja para a turma e eu vendo-o ali, meu tesão aumentava ainda mais, então resolvi dar o tiro de misericórdia nele, deixando-o doidinho por mim. Observando que onde ele estava sentado, via o banheiro do meu quarto, deixei minhas amigas na cozinha com a desculpa que estava muito calor e que ia jogar uma água no corpo e fui pro quarto, entrando no banheiro e deixando a porta propositalmente aberta para que ele me visse. Retirei meu biquíni, entrei embaixo do chuveiro e comecei a me ensaboar e tocar minha xana, masturbando-a lentamente. Meu plano havia dado certo, olhei na direção dele e lá estava ele olhando-me fixamente. Como achei que fosse acontecer. Provoquei-o por alguns minutos e depois ainda saí peladinha mostrando-me por completa para ele. Encostei então a porta do quarto, coloquei um minúsculo shortinho e uma blusinha sem meu soutien e voltei para encontrar a turma. Henrique não tirava o olho de mim. Depois que comemos, colocamos uns forrozinhos para rolar e começamos todos a dançar. Era a oportunidade que eu queria para ralar minhas coxas naquele gato e sentir o volume do seu cacete, mas lógico que isso depois de eu dançar com o meu marido e com os maridos das minhas amigas. Finalmente chegou a vez dele que já havia dançado com duas das minhas amigas. Mal começamos a dançar, senti seu cacete pulsar,encostado nas minhas pernas. Maliciosamente, disse-lhe baixinho, desvie o pensamento senão vai acabar a música e você vai ficar em má situação com este cacetão duro. Ele nada falou e continuou a dançar. Aos poucos percebi seu mastro se aquietando. Terminada a música, fui dançar novamente com o meu marido e ele com uma das minhas amigas. Foi um domingo maravilhoso aquele, mas ficamos só naquilo. Já era noite quando voltamos para as nossas casas. Confesso que não me esqueci daquele gato um dia sequer e para minha surpresa, na quarta feira seguinte, Alfredo, meu marido chegou em casa e foi na cozinha onde eu me encontrava preparando o jantar, dizer-me que tínhamos visita para o jantar, pois iriam assistir o jogo do Fluminense que iria passar na tevê. Terminei de colocar o arroz no fogo e quando fui na sala ver quem era a tal visita, era ele, o gato dos meus sonhos, o Henrique, em carne e osso ali na minha frente. Ele educadamente levantou-se, veio até mim e cumprimento-me com dois beijinhos no rosto, confesso que quase gozei na hora, senti minha calcinha encharcar, mas me segurei e disse-lhe para sentir-se a vontade e que o jantar não demoraria sair. Pedi licença a ele e retornei para cozinha, e fiquei imaginando ele me fudendo, pois depois daquele dia em que assistiu eu me masturbando lá no sítio, certamente ficou ainda mais tarado por mim. Pouco antes do jogo começar, servi o jantar. Henrique não tirava o olho de mim quando tinha oportunidade. Terminamos, eu fui lavar as louças e eles se acomodaram na poltrona, não sei se estrategicamente ou coincidentemente, o gato dos meus sonhos sentou-se na poltrona que dava visão para o meu quarto, mas precisamente para a cama. Como eu estava cansada, tinha feito uma faxina geral na casa e não sou muito chegada a futebol, pedir-lhe desculpas e disse ao meu marido que iria dormir. Entrei no quarto me preparando para dormir, propositalmente deixei a porta entre aberta e percebi que quando meu marido foi na cozinha buscar mais umas cervejas para eles, Henrique não tirava os olhos da minha cama. Cheia de tesão, resolvi deixar o Evandro doidinho! Coloquei uma camisolinha fininha, deixei o abajur ligado, apaguei a luz principal e me deitei de um jeito em que a camisolinha levantasse até a altura da cintura deixando a minha bundinha distraidamente à mostra, para a exata visão de onde Henrique estava, já que a porta do quarto ficava de frente para a sala de tv e o sofá de frente para porta do quarto, o que de onde o Evandro estava dava pra me ver deitada na cama. Eu fingia dormir e já estava molhadinha só de pensar que ele estava me tarando com os olhos de ver minha bundinha de fora. Então pra provocar mais ainda dobrei a perna levando o joelho até a minha barriga de forma que a minha bucetinha ficasse aberta para ele. Sentia o meu tesão escorrendo no meio das minhas pernas, encharcando minha calcinha. Estava super excitada com aquele joguinho, o que embora o meu cansaço, impedia-me de dormir. Quando estava para terminar o primeiro tempo, vi meu marido falando pra ele ficar a vontade, pois nom intervalo iria tomar um banho enquanto não iniciava o segundo tempo. Foi o juiz dar o apito final pro intervalo, meu marido foi para o banheiro, tomar banho. Como eu sei que o Alfredo demora muito tempo no banheiro quando entra pra tomar banho pensei: Oba, pelo menos quinze minutos terei para provocar este gatinho e deixá-lo louco de tesão por mim. Como eu o provocava, fingindo dormir, de repente senti uma respiração ofegante bem perto da cama. Fiquei imóvel, me segurando para não gemer, afinal eu fingia dormir. Não demorou muito eu senti algo quente espirrando em minha bunda e em minhas pernas. Não é que o taradinho havia tocado uma punheta e gozado em cima de mim. Percebendo o que acontecera tive um orgasmo duplo, mas não pude me manifestar senão ele perceberia que eu ainda estava acordada. Na mesma hora o barulho do chuveiro ligado parou. O Alfredo já havia terminado o banho. O gatão então saiu rapidamente do quarto e eu na mesma hora gozei gostoso novamente, gemendo baixinho. Passou alguns minutos ouvi o Alfredo de volta na sala comentando sobre o primeiro tempo com ele. Iniciou o segundo tempo e saiu gol do Fluminense, os dois vibraram bastante e eu aproveitei para fingir ter acordado com o barulho, para me limpar. Levantei-me, fui no banheiro e depois coloquei meu roupão de banho por cima e fui até a cozinha beber água. Na volta perguntei quanto estava o jogo e fui deitar-me novamente. Acabei adormecendo e só despertei pela manhã na hora do meu marido sair para o trabalho. Mal ele virou as costas e saiu no carro, sentei-me na poltrona onde o Henrique estava na noite anterior, e lembrando do que acontecera e da gozada dele nas minhas coxas e bunda, comecei a me masturbar gostoso, até que gozei fartamente, pensando no quanto seria bom ter o cacete daquele gato, na minha boca,na minha xota e no meu cuzinho. Dias se passaram e num certo sábado fui ao mercado fazer umas compras e para minha surpresa, encontrei o meu gato de consumo Henrique. Nos cumprimentamos beijando-nos no rosto e propositalmente no cantinho da boca e ele me passou o número do telefone, dizendo que queria muito transar comigo e sabia que eu também queria transar com ele, pois eu disfarçava muito mal estar dormindo, portanto se eu resolvesse marcar era só ligar para ele que não pensaria duas vezes em enfiar seu cacete nas minhas entranhas. Ele sorriu, deu-me um outro beijo, desta vez selinho e foi embora. Querem saber se aconteceu algo entre nós? Acabou acontecendo, mas conto outra hora.
    Putinha baby – Nova Iguaçu - RJ
              Foda que começou num barzinho        


    O barzinho próximo ao colégio onde eu e minha amiga fazíamos o pré-vestibular estava lotado de homens e mulheres de todos os jeitos. Contudo ao chegarmos ainda encontramos a última mesa vaga. Muitas músicas, pessoas rindo e se divertindo, apareceu o garçom e fez o pedido, dissemos que desejávamos nos refrescar e era para ele descer uma cervejinha bem gelada. Nós duas que já vínhamos de outra festa e que já tínhamos derramado todas e viemos para se divertir! De repente! Um carinha bem bonitinho e novinho chegou, pediu uma cerveja no balcão e minutos depois foi ao banheiro. Vendo-o entrar no banheiro e Como o acesso aos sanitários era um só,resolvi ir também, deixando minha amiga sozinha na mesa. Entrei ao banheiro e para a minha surpresa a parte dos homens estava sem a porta, e eu pude ver aquele gostosinho urinar? Quando ele acabou de urinar e balançava aquele pau gostoso, ele viu que eu estava observando e sorriu sem graça. Dizendo:- Estou atrapalhando? - Claro que não, eu disse. Permaneci na porta do sanitário feminino e quando ele ia passando por mim, convidei-o a entrar comigo, dei-lhe a mão e o puxei. Logo que ele entrou, arriei o fecho da calça dele e peguei naquele cacete cheinho de veias pulsantes, que estava semi duro, fazendo-o endurecer por completo. Eu tinha que aproveitar aquela oportunidade, já que estávamos a sóa ali. Sentei no vaso e comecei a lamber toda a extensão daquela pica que inchava em minha humilde boquinha. Enquanto o chupava, ouvíamos os homens que chegavam para urinar, falarem várias sacanagens. São piores que nós mulheres. Um falava da bunda das mulheres, o outro que já havia comido fulana e sicrana e o outro dizia que estava com o pau duro de tanto sarrar nas coxas da que dançava com ele. Eles ali falando sacanagem e nós ali, pegando fogo dentro daquele cômodo. Eles riam e falavam sem perceber que tinha uma mulher ali dentro com a boca ocupada chupando um cacete e com a buça piscando e toda molhada de tesão. Meu garoto gemia e só faltava subir pelas paredes e eu nem ai... Eu estava precisando de uma piroca, e já estava quase implorando para ser fudida por ele ali mesmo naquele momento. Com um tesão danado e sentindo aquele cacete duro e pulsando dentro da minha boca, me levantei, ergui meu vestido, arrastei minha calcinha pro lado, abri bem minhas pernas e pedi que enfiasse a rola na minha buça e comece com vontade. Ele não pensou duas vezes e me penetrou gostoso. Ai que delicia!!! Nunca foi tão bom, acho que é a questão do lugar proibido e aquela sensação de ser flagrada. Ele acelerou os movimentos e após me perguntar e saber que eu era ligada, sem risco de gravidez, inundou minha racha com aquele leite quentinho. Eu dei um gritinho e um gemido alto de prazer. Nesse instante várias gargalhadas no banheiro, era mais pessoas chegando para urinar. Eu e ele ali quietinhos, nos limávamos e nos arrumávamos. Quando percebemos o silêncio, abri a porta para sairmos e para a minha surpresa tinha um cara tocando uma punheta no cantinho olhando-nos maliciosamente, certamente já estava ali na hora que eu gozei e gritei, o que excitou-o. Senti que ele dava um caldo e falei para o carinha que acabara de me fuder, saísse antes que mais pessoas chegassem. Assim ele fez e se mandou, nem percebeu a presença do outro ali com o cacete duro na mão. Como loucura pouca é bobagem, chamei-o para o banheiro onde eu estava e repeti a dose, fui logo me sentando no vaso e abocanhando o pau dele, fazendo-o engrossar na minha boca ávida de prazer. Chupei-o com vontade, fazendo-o gozar rapidamente, jorrando aquela porra quentinha em minha boca, cabelos e todo rosto. Ele ficou estático, sem ação, pois talvez, jamais imaginara que um lance desse pudesse acontecer com ele no banheiro de um bar. Levantei-me, dei um selinho nele, coloquei-o pra fora antes que chegasse mais alguem e fui passar uma água no rosto para me limpar. Em seguida me refiz e voltei para a multidão e para a mesa que estava com minha amiga. Quando falei o que fizera no banheiro nos minutos que lá fiquei, ela quase não acreditou e me chamou de louca. Em seguida rimos muito, brindamos com mais uma cervejinha e ficamos a observar a galera que dançavam, se esfregavam e sarravam na bunda das mulheradas. Chegamos a ver o momento que, um deles de mastro duro e pulsante, esporrava dentro da sua calça. Eu e minha amiga estávamos tão distraídas que nem percebemos quando o macho que me comeu gostoso dentro do banheiro se aproximou sorridente da nossa mesa, perguntando-nos se podia sentar-se com a gente. Dissemos que sim e ele sentou-se, chamando em seguida o garçom e pedindo mais uma cerveja. Assim que chegou, encheu nossos copos e brindou conosco o início de uma bela amizade. Começamos a conversar os três e depois de um certo tempo ele pediu-nos licença para ir ao banheiro. Enquanto o aguardávamos voltar, eu e minha amiga que achou-o um tesão e estava interessada em senti-lo dentro dela também, combinamos de tirá-lo dali e levá-lo até a minha casa que ficava uma quadra adiante. Quando ele retornou, continuamos nossa conversa e quando ele ia pedir uma outra cerveja, minha amiga, conforme tínhamos combinado, sugeriu que saíssemos dali, pois estava muito barulho. Ele aceitou a sugestão e já do lado de fora do barzinho, sugeri que comprássemos umas cervejas em latinha e fossemos para a minha casa que ficava ali perto. Certamente percebendo nossa intenção, ele disse que tudo bem. Chamou então o garçom e pediu dez latinhas de cervejas, pagando-as sem permitir que rachássemos. Fomos para minha casa. Deixei-os acomodados na poltrona da sala e fui levar as cervejas para colocar na geladeira. Quando retornei com duas latinhas e três copos, os dois já estavam se beijando. Perguntei se atrapalhava e ele convidou-me a juntar-se a eles, o que fiz de imediato. Colocamos cerveja em nossos copos e brindamos ao que iria rolar entre nós. Daí pra frente começamos a nos beijar mutuamente e não demorou muito para que nos livrássemos das roupas e eu e minha amiga, começássemos chupar mutuamente aquela rola. Depois nos sentamos lado a lado na poltrona e foi a vez dele de nos chupar alternadamente. Já estávamos bastante excitadas e deixamos a sacanagem rolar, de todas as formas, começando pelo tapete, com ele ora fudendo minha amiga enquanto ela me chupava e ora me fudendo enquanto eu a chupava. Depois de termos nossas xotas preenchidas por aquele belo cacete, nos colocamos de quatro na poltrona para receber mais aquela rola em nossas buças, o que ele fez, metendo ora na buça da minha amiga, ora na minha. Como ali estava meio que desconfortável, sugeri que fossemos para a minha cama, onde fudemos gostoso, ora com ele metendo na minha amiga e ela chupando minha buceta, ora metendo na minha buceta e eu chupando a buça da minha amiga. Era uma sacanagem só e eu cheia de tesão, ofereci meu cuzinho para ser fodido por ele, que não exitou em enfiar aquela rola até o talo, fazendo-me delirar de prazer e gozar feito uma louca na boca da minha amiga. Depois foi a vez dela ser enrabada, enquanto eu chupava-a. Quando ele estava prestes a gozar e nos avisou, agachamos a frente dele e abocanhamos aquele cacete, alternado-nos nas chupadas, até que ele derramou todo o leitinho que tinha acumulado em nossos rostos, bocas e corpo. Daí levantam-nos e trocamos um delicioso beijo triplo. Saciados, fomos para o banheiro, nos lavamos, nos vestimos e retornamos para a sala, onde ficamos conversando e bebendo as demais cervejinhas que tínhamos comprado. Lá pelas tantas da madruga, ele disse que a conversa estava boa, mas tinha de ir embora, pois trabalharia na tarde seguinte e pretendia dar uma descansada em sua casa. Despedimo-nos dele que prometeu voltar no dia seguinte para almoçar conosco e quem sabe saborear-nos como sobremesa. Logo que ele saiu, eu e minha amiga fomos para cama dormir, mas antes de dormirmos, ainda nos chupamos até gozarmos uma na boca da outra. Daí apagamos e só despertamos por volta das dez horas da manhã. Levantamos, tomamos um banho juntinhas e fomos fazer algo para comer. Depois ela foi na casa dela e mais tarde retornou, trazendo algumas peças de roupas, para sairmos a noite pra balada e para o dia seguinte, quando nosso novo amigo fodedor, viria almoçar e passar o resto da tarde e noite com a gente. O que aconteceu conforme combinado, mas o que aconteceu, é outra história, que conto outra hora.
    L.C – Volta Redonda - RJ
              Harto de la Llei del Cinema        
    Odio que con la excusa de la cultura se nos imponga los que debemos ver y como lo debemos ver. Con la patraña de ' lo que es mejor para Cataluña y lo mejor para el català ', la Generalitat ahora nos dice como debemos ver el cine. En catalán. Y para ello no se les ocurre mejor idea que obligar a todos los cines catalanes a que la mitad de la cartelera en exhibición esté en catalán ( doblada o subtitulada ). O lo que es lo mismo, intervencionismo gubernamental en el mercado. ¿ Por qué apenas hay cine en catalán en los cines de Cataluña ahora mismo ? Porque no hay demanda, la gente no lo pide ni lo quiere. O como mínimo, son una minoría y para ellos ya existen alternativas, al igual que aquellos que busquen cine en V.O. o cine de corte independiente. ¿ Que no abundan estas salas ? No, porque repito, es algo minoritario. Pero las hay, existe la alternativa. Incluso en la capital pobre y ninguneada de Cataluña que es Lleida, tenemos los cines Funatic.


    Si el público quisiera cine en catalán, tranquilos que los propios empresarios se darían cuenta de ello y bien se lucrarían de ésa demanda. Muy parece muy lícito y correcto que la Generalitat abogue por la difusión y normalización del catalán en todos los ámbitos de la sociedad, incluso el audiovisual, pero imponer por ley que el 50% de la cartelera sea en catalán es una insensatez. Para acostumbrar a que los catalanes veamos cine en catalán a) tendrán que pasar años, por no decir décadas. Es necesario un tiempo para crear ésa costumbre o hábito, b) el doblaje tiene que ser de calidad. No me sirve que en Cataluña tengamos una buena cantera de actores y actrices cuando finalmente acaban doblando los de siempre y en peor calidad ( obviamente, la distribuidora no invertirá lo mismo en el doblaje nacional que en uno minoritario, mal que pese ). ¿ Se aplica la Llei ? Pues perfecto, pero subvenciona a los cines, compensando las pérdidas que supondrá exhibir en catalán hasta que sea rentable para los empresarios. O crea un circuito alternativo de cine en catalán. Una série de cines públicos que sólo exhiban cine en catalán ( ya sea doblado o subtitulado ) y cine catalán, aún más importante para que al menos tenga algo de visibilidad lo que producimos aquí. ¿ Se puede considerar competencia desleal a los cines privados ? Pues ofrece el cine puramente comercial una-dos semanas más tarde de su estreno, como sucede en cines de pueblo o en los antes mencionados cines alternativos. Sea como sea, imponer un idioma en detrimento de otro para gusto y placer de cuatro individuos y el apuntador poco tiene que envidiar la políticas cuarenta años atrás.

              NA ELITE INGLESA TEM CLÁSSICO... GALÊS!!!        


    Swansea x Cardiff City: clássico GALÊS na elite INGLESA




    Terminou hoje mais uma edição da Championship inglesa, a segunda divisão de lá, com mais um título galês na temporada. Depois do Swansea faturar a Copa da Liga Inglesa no mês passado foi a vez do seu rival Cardiff City levantar uma taça de campeão ao terminar a temporada com 87 pontos ganhos e garantir seu retorno à elite do futebol bretão depois de 50 anos.

    O futebol galês vem progredindo nos últimos anos após um ostracismo que já perdurava desde a Copa de 1958, quando chegaram à 2ª fase da competição e venderam muito caro a derrota para o Brasil de Pelé, o futuro campeão, naquela oportunidade. Há algumas temporadas o esporte no País de Gales tem revelado bons nomes e seus clubes têm subido de patamar de qualidade. Apenas a seleção é que continua ainda destoando desse desenvolvimento. Desde então surgiram jogadores como o do lendário e supercampeão Ryan Giggs, o maior da sua história, o artilheiro Ian Rush, os atacantes Dean Saunders e Craig Bellamy, o meia Gareth Bale, entre outros valores.

    E com os times a evolução tem sido intensa, principalmente entre Swansea e Cardiff City, que até há poucos anos figuravam nas divisões inferiores do futebol inglês e hoje estão na Premier League respaldados por seus respectivos títulos nacionais. Os Swans, aliás, foram mais além: na temporada 2013/14 vão representar a Inglaterra (?) na Liga Europa (o motivo da "?" veremos adiante). 

    Em dezembro de 2008 eu publiquei um post sobre o clássico galês na Inglaterra, que à época era disputado na segunda divisão. Teremos dois novos embates entre os rivais na próxima edição da Premier League e, por isso, resolvi republicar a postagem de 2008 editado e atualizado para que possamos conhecer um pouco mais sobre os clubes galeses que se enfrentam na Inglaterra, além dos motivos para isso acontecer fora de seu país de origem.


    -------

    NA INGLATERRA TEM CLÁSSICO... GALÊS!!!


    Por: Carlos Henrique (03/12/2008)


    O que você acharia caso um clássico entre Peñarol e Nacional, ambos do Uruguai, fizesse parte do Campeonato Brasileiro da Série A? Ou então entre Flamengo X Vasco, Corinthians X Palmeiras e Cruzeiro X Atlético/MG aparecesse em uma rodada do Brasileirão um Boca Juniors X River Plate da Argentina? No mínimo estranho, não? Pois na Inglaterra isso é bastante comum. Vejamos.

    Além do Cardiff e do Swansea, hoje na elite, os galeses ainda possuem o Wrexham, o Newport County, o Merthyr Tydfil e o Colwyn Bay disputando as divisões de Conferência inglesa. Tal anormalidade no Campeonato Inglês se dá pelo fato de que esses clubes, na ânsia por desenvolverem suas equipes, tendo em vista o baixíssimo nível ténico do Campeonato Galês; por terem feito parte da Southern League (um torneio de clubes do sul da Grã-Bretanha); e pelos efeitos pós-I Guerra Mundial se filiaram à FA (a Associação Inglesa de Futebol) no início do século passado. Além disso os dirigentes dos times cambrianos fizeram valer a ideia de unificação do Reino Unido, no qual Gales faz parte ao lado da Inglaterra, Escócia e Irlanda do Norte, por mais que a FIFA reconheça cada nação separadamente. Cardiff X Swansea é o confronto de maior rivalidade no país.

    O Cardiff City foi fundado em 1899 por adeptos do Riverside Cricket Club que apreciavam a prática do futebol. É sediado na capital galesa de mesmo nome e seu estádio é o Ninian Park Cardiff, que tem capacidade para 22 mil pessoas. Foi aceito pela FA em 1915 e fez sua primeira partida pela Football League Second Division em 1920, um empate sem gols contra o Clapton Orient, por ser o melhor time do ranking galês segundo a entidade. As demais agremiações que compunham a Southern League formaram a Third Division. Os Pássaros Azuis, como são conhecidos, durante muitos anos conseguiram o feito de serem os únicos campeões não-ingleses na história de competições oficiais da Inglaterra: a FA Cup, com vitória de 1 a 0 sobre o Arsenal - e a FA Charity Shield, com vitória por 2 a 1 sobre o F.C. Corinthian, ambas em 1927. O Swansea se juntou no hall este ano com a conquista da Copa da Liga depois de golear o Bradford City por 5 a 0. 

    Já o Swansea City FC existe desde 1912 após um grupo de praticantes de rugby (o esporte mais popular de Gales) perceberem que a cidade de Swansea também precisava de um clube de futebol. Nos mesmos moldes do rival Cardiff City participa de competições inglesas desde 1920. Manda seus jogos no Liberty Stadium, que tem capacidade para 20.500 pessoas, onde disputa a Premier League desde a temporada passada. Tem um vasto currículo de conquistas em País de Gales, onde faturou 9 vezes a Copa de Gales e 12 vezes o campeonato nacional, entre outros de menor expressão.

    Assim como a rivalidade, o duelo entre ambos tem tudo para ser duro na elite inglesa. Ou seja, uma grande rivalidade galesa para inglês nenhum botar defeito.

    Abaixo, dados e estatísticas do rivais galeses que jogam na Inglaterra.


    CARDIFF CITY FOOTBALL CLUB

    * Fundação: 1899

    * Local: Cardiff/PGA

    * Estádio: Ninian Park Cardiff (22.008 espectadores)

    * Apelido: Bluebirds (Pássaros Azuis)


    * Presidente: Simon Lim

    * Técnico: Malky McKay

    * Uniformes: Camisas azuis com listra branca no peito na horizontal, calções brancos e meiões azuis (titular); camisas vermelhas com listra preta no peito na horizontal, calções pretos e meiões vermelhos (reserva)

    * Títulos (27): Copa de Gales (1912, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1956, 1959, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1992 e 1993), FA Cup (1926/27), FA Charity Shield (1927), Third Division South (1947), Third Division (1993), Welsh Premier Cup (2002) e Championship inglesa (2012/13)

    * Jogador que mais vestiu a camisa: Phil Dwyer (531 jogos entre 1972 e 1985)

    * Maior artilheiro: Len Davies (148 gols entre 1920 e 1931)


    SWANSEA CITY ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL CLUB

    * Fundação: 1912

    * Local: Swansea/PGA

    * Estádio: Liberty Stadium (20.500 pessoas)

    * Apelido: Swans (Cisnes)

    * Presidente: Huw Jenkins

    * Técnico: Michael Laudrup

    * Uniformes: Camisas, calções e meiões brancos com detalhes dourados (titular); camisas vermelhas com detalhes verdes, calções brancos com detalhes verdes e meiões verdescom detalhes vermelhos (reserva)

    * Títulos (58): Campeonato Galês (1913, 1925, 1926, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 e 1976), Copa de Gales (1913, 1950, 1961, 1966, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989 e 1991), Senior Cup de Gales (1923, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1934, 1949, 1950, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1975, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2002 e 2003), Third Division South (1924/25 e 1948/49), Copa da Liga de Gales (1931 e 1933), Troféu FA (1994 e 2006), Third Division (1999/2000), Premier Cup de Gales (2005 e 2006), League One (2007/08) e Copa da Liga Inglesa (2012/13)

    * Jogador que mais vestiu a camisa: Ivor Allchurch (445 jogos entre 1947/1958 e 1965/1968)

    * Maior artilheiro: Ivor Allchurch (164 gols entre 1947/1958 e 1965/1968)




    Foto: BBC
    Escudos: arquivo pessoal

              Grupo de teatro evangélico se apresenta na escola Tupanir Gaudêncio, mostrando a realidade para nossos alunos, quando temos Deus temos tudo, por mais que força maligna seja grande , mais temos Um Deus todo poderoso pra nos salvar. Tudo muito lindo e emocionante. Parabéns ao grupo.        











              Aiuto, voglio scegliere        

    Due giornate di orientamento organizzate dall’Università di Bologna. È stato questo lo scenario della mia incursione tra gli studenti delle superiori, che tra conferenze e stand cercavano di chiarirsi le idee sui loro futuri studi.

    (immagine:Flickr ID 71453924@N00 - musica: Salsa Malikum, La Goutte au Nez)


              The Art of Lovin' Trees --- Featuring Joel Tauber        




    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,
    2008

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook
    Painting, www.lukevanhook.com
    Photography, www.gingervanhook.com
    Writing, www.enildeingelsvanhook.com


     America is having a love affair with trees and California is second to none in leading its appreciation of trees. Digging deep into the roots of this story, I have followed and researched the tree culture specifically in Los Angeles where our love of trees has spawned a unique pop tree culture relating to art. Our popular tree culture today includes but is not limited to tree sculptures, tree paintings, tree photographs, tree videos, tree poetry, tree songs, tree jewelry, tree movies and even tree love affairs. 


    Tree Earing created by Joel Tauber for his Sick-Amour Tree in Pasadena, California.
    Additional Tree Jewelry created by Joel Tauber to adorn the Sick-Amour Tree includes leaf jewelry, as well as the male earing and the female earing that hang from the tree below.  
    Photos of tree jewelry courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Gallery 5795 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 www.vielmetter.com   infor@vielmetter.com (323-933-2117)


    Sick-Amour Tree in the parkinglot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, protected by barriers installed by Joel Tauber in his quest to save his beloved tree. Tree wearing the earings looks hot!  Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery.
    Leaf sculpture by Joel Tauber
    Female tree earing by Joel Tauber.
    Male tree earing created by Joel Tauber, photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, 2008

    For the record, our love of trees goes way back to the dawn of time when we were swinging in the trees, however, our love has grown and matured since then. The Greek and Roman heritage of literature and art bestows us with intoxicating stories of their Gods having entanglements with humans. Some of their deities were known as protectors of trees and nature such as Dionysus the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and merriment. He was later renamed Bacchus by the Romans and reported to be the Tree God. Back in the day when artists carved trees into stone and marble relief sculptures to worship in the temples of their mythological gods, people celebrated the sacredness of trees, grapevines and sometimes the unions of gods and mortals. There was Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees who married Vertumnus, the god of fruits and gardens. Digging deep enough, one is sure to find stories of deities mating with trees and spawning children of the harvest for instance.

    In modern literary circles there are a number of great imaginative family favorites written about trees, like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Then there’s the infamous story of how Robinson Crusoe lived in a tree-house, and of utmost importance to our American history of trees, we propagate the very memorable legend of ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

    In our contemporary times we have a legend in the making too. I have been fortunate to witness the emergence of a new ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and interestingly enough, the story involves a recent romantic love affair between one special tree and a mortal that is well worth pursuing the story. Sometime in the fall of in 2007, I met Joel Tauber. This is the artist who I believe was struck by a mythological bolt of lighting, so to speak, pertaining to one of the Greek or Roman deities’. Joel Tauber is said to have fallen head over heels in love with one particular Sycamore Tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. My chance meeting with this now famous mortal under the influence of an enchanted mystical spell, has led me to research the mysteries intrinsic in the charms of trees. I too have been struck with the frailty of trees, their vulnerabilities, and their enormous strengths and inspiration. This together with my own personal experiences with trees has prompted me to come out of my shell and discuss the subject in all seriousness.

    My own personal background is not in trees. I am simply a tree-lover from childhood. For a little over ten years, my professional background was in radio as a disc jockey and on-air personality. I listened to music, reviewed songs and kept tabs on the pop music culture. I worked in the Los Angeles market as well as Santa Barbara, California; Eventually I moved to expand my work experience in neighboring radio markets like Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada. It was through traveling that I saw some of the most beautiful trees along the routes through Northern California and Northern Nevada!
    While I drove from one radio market to another over the years, I watched the trees go by at the various speed limits along the highways of my life’s journeys. Thus you will understand when I tell you that often I see art and life, for that matter, through a series of moving images in my head which include a music bed. 
    I was eleven years old when in 1970, Joni Mitchell wrote and released a song called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whose lyrics surpassed the test of time and is currently in airplay by a glut of new groups. The lyrics began with “…They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.” One of the barometers I use to gage the influence of any particular song, music or artwork that I come into contact with is if it will surpass the test of time, among other important criteria. This song became one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics made so much sense to me.
    When I met Joel Tauber, I was introduced to the enormous scope of his Sick-Amour Tree-Baby Project. It was then that I suddenly started hearing Joni Mitchell’s song in my mind again, only this time, as I got in my car, Counting Crows was performing the song. When I started doing more research on the song that I could not get out of my head, I was struck by how many artists had re-recorded the song and barely changed anything about the words. There is Amy Grant, who upgraded the dollar amount from $1.50 to $25 when singing about how much the museums charged people to enter. Additionally there is Green Day, Sarah McLachlan, Charlie Barker, Bob Dylan, Moya Brennan, Ireen Sheer, Donnie Eidt and a host of so many others that have recorded ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ it was simply overwhelming!
    I think the importance of the lyrics to this one particular song is that it reveals the fact that people love trees and hate parking lots. The message is that if it weren’t for our trees, we could be living in a frying pan! The impact of this single song is that it reveals what is really going on in people’s minds. There is a reason why so many artists are flocking to re-record the lyrics in their own way.











    Not only are trees involved in the music arena, trees as subjects, are very involved in politics as well. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin at the time, took a leading role in developing the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a way to commemorate our environmental concerns. Arbor Day is presently celebrated as well with the first ceremonial tree planting in Washington D.C. on April 27th in 2001, all evidence that goes to prove the people of our planet do care about what happens to our trees.


    Trees stand as a testiment and memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King

    Dr. Martin Luther King is memorialized with trees along Expositon Blvd. across from the Los Angeles Coliseum and down the street from the University of Southern California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Online sources on the subject of trees are rich in number. For instance, eighteen years ago, here in Los Angeles, a multi racial group of volunteers planted 400 Canary Island Pine trees along seven miles of road on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. Today, this living homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to thrive and keep the dream alive for his followers. The founder and President of www.treepeople.org is Mr. Andy Lipkis and he keeps tabs on the trees to make sure all 400 trees stay healthy.



    Mayor Antonio Villarigosa is the person to thank for the ‘Million Trees Initiative’ he signed into effect in May of 2006 and Los Angeles residents can learn how they too can receive up to 7 free trees to plant on their property. Visit the website at www.milliontreesla.org to learn the details.   Also in Portland, Oregon there is www.friendsoftrees.org and in Bellingham Washington you will find www.geocities.com. There is also the International Society of Arboriculture called ISA and can be accessed by visiting www.isa-arbor.com. You will also find a great deal of valuable advise on the growth and care of trees at www.treesaregood.com and check out Tree Care Industry Association TCIA as well.



    Mark Dion created an art piece titled "Library for the Birds of Antwerp" which is also a good example of how art is vitally connected with our tree culture and how it connects Mark Dion to his PBS special where he removed a dead tree from the forest and recreated its living components in a city scape in Washington.  From the "20th Century Artbook Phaidon Press 1996", the caption reads: "Using props from the natural and man-made world, Dion has constructed an installation that explores contemporary attitudes to science and the environment. He has created a fictional and hybridized situation in which the trappings associated with knowledge, learning and classification--such as books and photographs--are juxtaposed with natural elements including birds and wood.   The representation of nature is a fundamental subject in Dion's art, and here he takes on the role of sociologist/anthropologist and blurring the boundaries between authentic and fake, representation and parody. By adopting the persona of a scientist and by satirizing man's obsession with categorization, Dion questions the values of the Western world.  His subject matter is heavily influence by popular culture.  In Dion's world we might witness Mickey Mouse as an explorer, or Clark Kent interviewing Dr. Frankenstein." (Photo and contents are used in this story for purposes of artistic review.)

    In the art world, an artist named Mark Dion was featured in a documentary film report that aired in 2007. To view the video one may visit on the Internet by going to www.pbs.org and find Mark Dion as he took the subject of trees and made an art piece that explored what would happen if one were to take a tree after its death, take it out of its familial context of natural forest, and re-create the ecosystem in an environment that would otherwise be a hostile urban setting, needless to say, a cityscape. Just outside of Seattle Washington, he states, a Hemlock fell on February 8th, 1996…and so begins an elaborate experiment that pits optimism against reality." The PBS special is very detailed and you will enjoy the depth of research and work that Mark Dion went to to take a tree out of the forest and recreate the setting in the city.  The difference between the artwork presented by Mark Dion and  the artwork presented by Joel Tauber is in the nature of the life of the tree. Mark Dion works with a dead tree and its living components, and Joel Tauber creates life out of a tree seed and duplicates it all over his community.


    Thus I’ve discovered for myself that when I researched the subject of trees, I discovered Joel Tauber wasn’t alone! However, instead of creating an experiment in ecology, Joel Tauber goes further than Mark Dion does with this concept of eco-systems and their frailties. Joel Tauber begins a journey that could eventually repair the eco-systems that man has destroyed. This is where Joel Tauber takes the lead in the art world and becomes not only the realist but the optimistic hope for trees in desecrated forests all over the country.
    Joel Tauber’s work as a living project of art in 2008 has resonance and his story is well worth telling again and again. He is certainly not the first, nor the last to get involved in the love of trees, but he is the first in contemporary times to have been associated with a mythological and mystical occurrence of reproducing tree babies out of just hugging one lonely tree.


    The last time I saw a man hugging a tree, he was hugging the tree for all the wrong reasons. At the MOCA, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, some years back I was viewing an exhibition that was in town by the Utah born artist now working in Los Angeles, Paul McCarthy. While this work of art depicted a very raw and unsettling sculpture of ‘tree-lovin’ it had nothing whatsoever to do with the love of any tree. The work displayed a timely political statement about our government rather than the love for trees, but bear in mind that the thought involved images from man’s intimate involvement with trees both in the biblical sense and in the sense of man’s raping of the planet. Joel Tauber’s work counteracts the devastation of many years of neglect for our trees with a very basic recipe for the renewal of our commitment to our green-leafed friends. Now, when I see the image of Joel Tauber hugging his Sycamore Tree in Pasadena, I get a whole new perspective for the love for our planet, our trees and our environment as a whole.

    "The Garden" by Paul McCarthy from The 20th Century Art Book, 
    Phaidon Press Limited, page 280. Photo is used for purposes of artistic review.
    The caption in the book reads as follows: " 'The Garden'  is a full-scale tableau of an outdoor, woodland scene, complete with leafy trees, shrubs and rocks.  This tranquil picture of nature is rudely interrupted by the presence of a middle-aged, balding man with his trousers round his ankles, engaged in a wholly unnatural act. From one side of the installation, his actions are not immediately apparent, being partially hidden by the tree trunks and foliage, but the sound of mechanical activity draws the viewer in to discover the shocking sight of a man copulating with a tree.  This robotic figure, with its endlessly repetitive movements, is both comical and crude, and is intended by McCarthy to question notions of acceptable public behavior and sexual morality.  McCarthy is a lecturer at UCLA as well as an artist. His sculptural installations evolved out of his earlier performance work which focused on his own body engaged in extreme and disturbing acts."




    To further explain this romantic entanglement between a tree and a mortal, I cite some important historical facts. Back in 2005, Joel Tauber was in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, when he spotted a particularly lonely and neglected Sycamore Tree. There are hundreds of thousands of trees in Pasadena, and a great number of them thrive very well on the grounds of the Rose Bowl, should you ever drive through this luscious community of tree and rose-lovers, you will see. But Joel Tauber focused his attention on one specific lonely tree. He started to note more and more how cars would hit the bark of the tree and scrape it, injuring the tree repeatedly. Joel Tauber became a witness to this tree’s life. Taking compassion and friendship upon this particular tree, Tauber began to film the area of the parking lot where the tree was growing. He got the idea to put up solid barriers to protect it from cars and also carried water in large plastic bags to irrigate the tree. Soon, Tauber found himself as a one-man band, orchestrating a symphony of activities leading to editing mass quantities of tree footage, fighting City Hall, and embarking on a quest to save this tree from infertility using tried and true guerilla tactics that would make tree-huggers stand and salute. To personally view the Sick-Amour project, along with the giant scale tree sculpture installation exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery in 2007, you may visit www.vielmetter.com.













                   Recently, I had the privilege and opportunity to discuss Joel Tauber’s work with Susanne Vielmetter and she was delighted to tell me what a wonderful sense of humor that Tauber exhibits in all of his works of art. Susanne Vielmetter reviewed the Underwater project with me as well as the Flying Project which Tauber presented.
    She explained how deep down, she feels Tauber is on a quest for meaning in his work and that he has a keen sense of humor that unifies and makes his ideas successful. She states that he uses the comical and the tragic in the Tree-Baby project to address the issues of urban living in our time and very subtly pokes fun at the problems innate in urban planning. The real irony of a small Sycamore tree dying of thirst in a parking lot of a beautiful park in a paradise-like valley, alongside the 110 Pasadena Freeway where 80% of the territory is plastered with concrete and the water below runs along asphalt channels of the Los Angeles River is not lost on Tauber, she explained. To contrast, Susanne Vielmetter cited that parks in Europe allow for weeds to grow naturally on landscapes that are not covered with concrete. Joel Tauber’s projects were initially presented at the Susanne Vielmetter Gallery located at 5795 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, California. The response Susanne Vielmetter’s Gallery received was incredibly exciting, even though at first, some folks thought Joel Tauber was a nut; he went on to prove just how serious he really is about changing the landscape of our environment, one tree at a time.



    Joel Tauber has a large body of video artwork, photographs and developing tree babies, (the children of a mortal and a Charmed Sycamore Tree) and one may also visit www.joeltauber.com.
    As I learned more and more about Joel Tauber’s project, I realized how blessed we all are that tree-lovin’ is not a singular act of love or even a fleeting love of art. I realized how connected we all are to our environment and how the idea of having a special friend ‘the tree’, any tree in any state, in any country for that matter is a beautiful connection to have. The connection that Joel Tauber has to his Sycamore Tree is in synch with the love that the country is experiencing during our new millennium. We have all become acutely aware of the fragility of life; we realize now more than ever that we must respect our dependence on our environment and value our trees.

    The first thing that struck me about Joel Tauber was that we had the love of trees in common. He seemed a bit shy, unassuming and humble yet I was later to learn the enormous power he wielded for this one frail and neglected tree in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California. I was truly inspired by the level of involvement and commitment he had demonstrated for his own beloved Sycamore Tree which he had turned into a full-blown art-project including video, photography and sculptured jewelry. (He did it all!) He named this work the Sick-Amour Project mainly because he said he felt this tree was ill from the lack of love and the inability to have tree babies to fulfill its legacy. I had never personally met someone with such an extreme love and dedication to one particular tree. In our local newscasts, I had heard stories of people who became very emotional when a land developer was about to cut down a tree they considered a relic of their community; in which case people got very nasty about the issue and would chain themselves to the trees or surround the location with demonstrators that would shut down the jobsite. That’s when the news crews would come in with their cameras and boom mikes and the news helicopters would hover in circles above the trees trying to capture the ‘event’ that was creating all the uproar. A very recent example of this type of community behavior is written about on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times where Eric Bailey, a Times Staff Writer, wrote an extensive story about the tree-issues pertaining to Scotia, California where activists are protesting the logging of the Great California REDWOODS! Read the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, August 24th, 2008 or visit www.latimes.com online to learn how the tree-sitters are doing today.

    But Joel Tauber is a different type of activist. He doesn’t consider himself an activist at all. He merely states, humbly, just for the record, that he loves this one particular Sycamore Tree and it is an outrage to him to see how his new best friend is being suffocated under a six-inch blanket of black tar and asphalt. Better yet, Joel Tauber does something about it. Not with a crew of forty thousand demonstrators, not even with a crew of forty residents. He does this on his own, quietly challenging the laws of the city of Pasadena and humbly takes responsibility for the care and nurturing of his new best friend. I was touched. At once I began to marvel at his potent idea.



    The art of loving our trees has grown roots in the higher levels of the art world as well. For instance, if one were to visit the J. Paul Getty Museum both at the Getty Villa which recently re-opened in Malibu and at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, you will find the love of trees has grown branches on all the hillsides surrounding both properties. There are lucky Sycamores and fortunate Pines; there are Pomegranate trees, Apple trees, Pear trees, Jacaranda trees and trees that just look good in a vista overlooking the ocean. Millions of dollars went into the development of artistic gardens which envelope the California landscape against a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean on one edge and the rolling hills of Malibu on the other.






    Over in the area of the Miracle Mile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating an enormous renovation of its facilities and you guessed it, there are aisles and isles of gigantic palm trees lining the walkways to the entrance of the museum in concert with a unique and flamboyant architecture that has drawn the attention of the art-world with the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new wing at the LACMA and is considered the largest space in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. With a ‘living art display’ dedicated to the iconic palm trees, not native to California, Robert Irwin has developed a plein-air walkway through ‘Palm Gardens’ as one makes their way to the entrances of the museum.





    Lush green trees thrive all over Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Bowl where Joel Tauber fell in love with a Sycamore Tree.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008




     The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California  is also home to some of the most exquisite antiquities in its museum history which includes sculptures amid a forest like atmosphere. Currently at the Norton Simon Museum, among its many exhibitions, one may enjoy the artwork of Ruth Weisberg, Dean of the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Opening on October 17, 2008 the Weisberg exhibition at the Norton Simon runs through March 2, 2009. Additionally a lecture by the artist is planned where Weisberg discusses: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image on Sunday November 16, 2008.  The Norton Simon Museum of Art is located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Ruth Weisberg was instrumental in selecting the work of Joel Tauber to be permanently planted on the Main University Campus of USC on January 24, 2008 where a tree planting ceremony was held and attended by numerous members of USC faculty, staff, students and guests. The location of the new tree-baby, child of the Sick-Amour Project, currently exists on the Exposition side of the campus between Gate one and the Fischer Gallery, across the street from the Museum of Natural History. 


    In Pasadena, where lovers of trees line every street of the city as the landscapes are lush with all types of trees and where these wonderful healthy trees keep cool the throngs of tourists who visit the Rose Bowl every year, is also home to the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Both locations are areas where tree-lovin’ may be experienced alongside some of California’s best-known artworks. Visit the NORTON SIMON MUSEUM at www.nortonsimon.org located at 411 West Colorado, Pasadena, California 91105 or visit the PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART at www.pmcaonline.com at 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, California.



    In San Marino, California, the art of trees, gardens and succulents has found a worthy haven at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens spanning an area of 120 acres dedicated to the fine arts founded by Henry E. Huntington in 1928 as the very first public art gallery in Southern California. Along with English portraits and French eighteenth-century furniture, one will delight in tours of the unique garden paradise established for the pure love of the botanical arts.


    On the hillside along the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, one may also enjoy walking along the elegant landscapes of the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum grounds and witness the serenity of the trees as Weeping Willows slope their leaves to the ground, and gentle breezes sway the branches of Sycamores, Oaks and Birch trees. Visit the Skirball Museum online at www.skirball.org, or enjoy a personal walk along the grounds and explore the tributes to culture at 2701 North Sepulveda, Los Angeles 90049.

    Trees at the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center thrive and enjoy the mild California climate.


    In San Diego, one enjoys walking through a vast museum complex housing 15 unique museums in Balboa Park, not to mention to the collection of rare cactus and enormous Eucalyptus trees (just to name one tree type out of numerous ones) which shade the paths leading from one museum to another.

    Each of the locations I have mentioned or described here is where I personally walked through, witnessed, and or photographed sophisticated artistic tree landscapes of the California terrain.

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

    The impact of my meeting Joel Tauber coincided with an important event that took place for me way before I knew about his Sick-Amour Tree project and was what eventually led me to throw myself into this frenzied study of trees over this summer. Thus I do not necessarily consider myself struck by any of the Greek or Roman gods. I believe my influence came with a special awareness of the frailty of trees with this personal story:

    A little over one year ago, on June 30th, 2007 I was walking our dog Sasha, around the block for one of our frequent walks. I rounded the corner to the next block when I was taken aback as I witnessed a set of ‘city’ crewmembers slaughtering what appeared to be a California Oak tree. I had grown quite fond of that particular Oak on my many walks while I was writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, I had used that model of tree to describe a forest of these trees in a chapter in my first fiction novel. I especially love the sculptured texture of the Mighty gnarly Oaks. This tree had been the one to rekindle my relationship with the trees of my imagination. My stomach got queasy when I saw how it was being destroyed. I would have thrown-up, but I got a hold of my emotions and took Sasha home. Not only did I return to the scene of the slaughter, but I brought my camera to document the death and dismemberment of this great oak; I was so distraught that I returned again to the site, without my camera this time, and begged the men to stop for a moment while I sought out the seeds for this tree. To my surprise, the men stopped and helped me search for the seeds.








    When I got home, I had no idea what to do with the seeds. I called a couple of nurseries until a gentleman at a nursery in Marina del Rey explained to me that I had to wait until the pods dried up and slit to get at the seeds and plant them. So, I waited until the pods were black and wrinkled. I split them according to the directions I had gotten from this kind anonymous arborist. (He suggested a process much like that which squirrels have for cracking the pods.) I photographed the seeds and compared them with the larger seed of an apricot fruit tree and the seed of a maple tree.






    Once properly documented, I planted them in a small brown pot. Two weeks later, the first seed came up. A few days later another seed appeared to take root. On the one-year anniversary of the re-birth day of this Great Knurly Oak tree, July 20th, 2008, I documented how large the great twin oaks had become. The highest little bitty branch was about fourteen inches tall. I estimated this tree had grown a little over an inch every month. A compassionate act of kindness yielded a new life on the impulse of grief. The impulse of grief affected not only me; there is an entire world of tree-lovers mourning the losses of their favorite tree friends in surrounding communities.












    What about the subconscious feelings innate in developing a relationship with a tree? For instance, what draws people to want to save a particular tree? 

    I can really only speak to my own experience in that my relationship with trees started when I was a child.

              Luke Van Hook Paintings Now at Brand Library Galleries "Circle in the Square" Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, Cheryl Walker thru Sept 5th 2008        
    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008


    PHOTO-JOURNAL BY GINGER VAN HOOK


    Photo above: 
    Cathy Billings, Art Librarian and Gallery Manager of the 
    Brand Library Art Galleries and Co-Curator of 
    "Circle in the Square" selected Luke Van Hook 
    as one of the artists to show his circle paintings 
    which explore Giotto's fabled "perfect circle.
    Photo below: 
    Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor, Gallery Director 
    and Co-curator pictured with Luke Van Hook.
    Both ladies made studio visits all over Los Angeles and surrounding communities in search of the "perfect circle" of artists to represent the illusive qualities of the circle.
    It takes over a year to prepare for a large show at the Brand Library Art Galleries and no one will have a better story to tell you about the waiting process than Galleries Manager and Curator, Cathy Billings or Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor and Gallery Director. These ladies traveled to Inglewood, California for a studio visit to see Luke Van Hook's circle paintings some time in the early summer of 2007. They told Luke that they were preparing to curate a show of artists working on the motif of the 'circle'.  They had already reviewed a number of artists and found making the final decision difficult, first because there were a number of artists who worked with this subject and secondly, the talent was very competitive. The subject of the circle and how each artist approaches this topic is worth dedicated study in and of itself.  These lovely ladies, Cathy and Alyssa, with a keen eye for artistic talent, selected a total of five talented artists to show together this summer.   
    Here you will find photos of how each artist expressed their obsession with the circular form.  I'll begin my blog entry with a brief history of what I believe may have led Luke Van Hook to painting the circle and continue with the photos and biographical information of the additional four artists each selected for working with the motif of circles, independently of each other, with their own unique and individual interpretations of the circle: Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, and Cheryl Walker.
    Luke Van Hook began his present study of the circle in 2005. He first discovered the legend of Giotto's "Perfect Circle" in a class about ancient history; but the idea didn't sink in at first. He needed time to reason with his quest. While Luke approached the specific task of painting the circle with thin paintbrushes and applying layer upon layer of color to a raw naked canvas, I set about trying to understand what the hell prompted my husband to go circle crazy in the first place.  I started researching what the circle meant and I found a lot of literature in the realm of magic, rituals, mathematics, secret societies and romance. But my first impression was that the circle was a way to get back to the beginning of things.  Then I delved deeper.  Was Luke trying to say that he was going in circles?  Were we at this artistic point in our lives as a result of a past life?  Was our circular existence referencing our cycle of birth, death and rebirth?  Or was the answer more basic than that, like "the earth is round and it's an orbital thing.' There were other issues on the table I was urged to deal with also.  Were these circle paintings partly influenced by the school we had attended?  Once we leave school we are expected to make works of art that have fresh meaning and to blow out the cobwebs of old thinking.  While at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Luke Van Hook studied all the required areas to excel in his chosen profession as a fine arts painter including the figure, landscapes and abstracts. But the abstract visual image is what finally drew Luke back in.  Could it be the understated obvious fact that the big 'O' (which formed a circle on every memo, syllabus and brochure in the name of Otis College) was influencing him subconsciously?  
    Luke's earlier work involved intricately small hatch marks that evolved into large abstract images full of vibrant colors.  This work was very reminiscent of Jasper Johns.  So where did this circle idea really emanate from?  Did his hatch marks get married or what?  Observers of Luke Van Hook's work have stated that it raises the question, 'Is it a painting or a drawing?  Is it text or writing?'  Luke will often begin a row of circles that reads from left to right just as western literature is expressed.  But sometimes he changes his mind, and the direction of his technique, and he starts to paint his rows from right to left. At other times, he completes a horizontal column of circles which refers more to ancient Asian forms of writing going from the top, down.
    During his graduating year at Otis College in 2004, Luke went on a mission to explore machine technology as it pertained to replacing humans.  He painted large canvases with a number of faces and shapes that represented cyborgs expressing the fear, uncertainty and ambivalence that humans have toward our technological future.  But once out of school, a full year later, in 2005 Luke seem to have turned a corner.  He seemed to have replaced his fear of technology with a competitive defiance that defied all reason.  Luke started working with his father-in-law, in his machine shop, where he started to observe how everything around him involved the circle in one way or another.  He watched the machines (Fadal CNC's- numerical control production machines) in action. The tool would spin in circles, plunging in and out of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic materials. The space left behind was almost always a perfect circle.  Perhaps, this was Luke's starting point. It was the first time he'd really seen a machine make simple circles and Luke probably said something to himself like 'I can do this! Just watch me!' then promptly, decided to take on his destiny. To compete with a machine, may have been the early impulse that drew Luke to paint the circle, but the legend of Giotto's 'perfect circle' was what has kept Luke going full steam ahead into production of abstract works of art.  The initial pieces he created were prototypes. These were the experiments he and his father-in-law Luis Ingels, worked on before moving into the hand made pieces. As his first experiment, Luke inserted a paint brush into the collet of the machine and programmed the coordinates to match the canvas. He overshot his calculations and the brush came crashing down upon the canvas; the collet smashed the brush right through the canvas and even broke the frame. Perhaps, Luke might have thought as he and my father, Luis, looked at each other, 'it was time to go back to the drawing board'. Undaunted by initial failure, Luke did complete an entire series of machine made circles before he went on to the main event, the competition of drawing the circles, one by one, by hand.  
    Each piece of artwork created since his first attempts, is meticulously reinvented into creative visual landscapes layering circles upon circles of color schemes in gradations of complementary hues.  The colors reveal very subtle changes.  The circles pull the eye in.  The images seem to have a life of their own, a vibrant quality of pushing the viewer to look for patterns while pulling the eyes into fishers, crevices, or 'wormholes' as one collector observed. I have witnessed the intimate evolution of Luke's circles only because I have the honor and privilege of being Luke's wife.  The fact that I am discussing my husband's art work is of significance only in the sense that it is somewhat rare, although not unheard of, for the artist's loved one to interject a provocative discussion of the artwork publicly in a blog; however, this is a sign of the times we live in today and I feel blessed as a writer to have this open forum to share with you the joys and struggles inherent in Luke's artistic process.
    The way I see it, Luke has taken on  the impossible task of creating the perfect circle, where no perfect circle has ever existed before, despite Giotto's legend.  All mathematical equations to date reveal that there is no perfect circle. It is a myth. So why Luke has persisted in this impossible feat only reminds me of the story of Don Quixote. Here is where I see Luke chasing his windmills. This is where in my imagination, I view the circles on the canvas as Luke's quest for the impossible dream and his circles are his windmills.  His paintbrush is his sword.  Thus Luke 
    Van Hook's paintings, for me, exhibit all the romantic qualities innate in a love story.  Seeking to please his beloved Lucia, these references emerging from raw canvas could be read practically like text.  Some art collectors saw the circles as Braille text or some secret code or language.  The secret, I think, lies in Luke's love of sports!  Sometimes I interpret this circle code to reflect images of the sports activities I see Luke enjoy daily;  I make visual connections to the circles on the wheels of his bicycles which hang in his studio or his skate boards that decorate the rafters of the painting bays or even the wheels that drive his car which sits resting on almost perfect circles on the driveway.
    For a while, I was convinced that Luke's enthusiasm for cycling was directly influencing the subjects of his paintings because one day, I was staring at one of his earlier images, (which is hung lovingly on the wall of the dining room right over the microwave oven); I saw it hanging next to a photograph of Luke participating in the 'Death Race 1999', a bicycle ride that cycle enthusiasts pursue along the most dangerous mountainous roads known as the California Alps in Northern California at the edge of the Northern Nevada border where Markleeville meets the Carson Valley.   The image Luke had painted in 1998, while recovering, ironically, from a broken ankle suffered in a bicycle race in Minden; was the image of three bicycles in a dead heat on the gray pavement with the yellow dividing line providing a ground for what appears as three large helmets (representative of the riders) in red, green and yellow.  The eventual emergence of Luke's hatch marks from work created in 2000, can be seen on the helmets and if you are really looking for this, (with your microscope) you may even find, the very beginnings of the influences which have eventually led to this mad case of circle paintings!  The circle imagery you might be searching for could have started at the base of the bicycle's anatomy with the wheels spinning along the highway to Kingsbury Grade, somewhere near Genoa, along the bottom of the hill leading to Lake Tahoe.  I comfort myself as painter's wife, that even Picasso had his periods, as did Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin and so long as Luke Van Hook doesn't try to cut off his ear we are doing just fine with these circles.


    But don't take my word for it. Luke Van Hook's circle paintings are something you should see for yourself.  The subtlety of the work is difficult to capture on film, although I tried my best to create a video after struggling with photographing the stills for three years.  But even the video work fails to reveal the whole story.  You've got to stand in front of one of these pieces to involve yourself in the novella of Luke's life.  Although I can decode a small portion of what I see through his work, the rest of the circles on the canvas are still a vague mystery to me as well.  Every relationship has its secrets.  Thus Luke and I, as artists, are no different.  Even when we know each other, there are elements of surprise and adventure that we have yet to tell each other.  The mystery in his canvases is what really thrills me to see Luke's work on display under gallery lighting! (Sales don't hurt my enthusiasm either!)





    When I think of Luke Van Hook's circle paintings, today, in 2008, I often think of Luke riding a skateboard doing 'ollies' and then trying for a loop-de-loop in mid-air.  This is because in January of 2008, Luke begged for a skateboard for his birthday and little did I know what would happen when I wrapped it up for him!  He has returned to the love of his youth.  Luke Van Hook has come full circle to his beginnings to land on his home base. The skateboard has also flown in mid-air, in harmony with gravity, and both land as one in a perfect execution of a move I would never dare try to do myself.  I see each circle on the canvas as Luke's attempt to catapult his work into the mainstream of the art-world with each rotation of the paintbrush on the surface of the canvas.  This is where I see Luke Van Hook in mid catapult, surfing on the air, light in transition, from youth to inspired maturity; from student to master, with paintbrush in hand landing and continuing to roll on four wheels with a great big shit-eating grin on his face. ('four' being the lucky number of his numerology charts). I see the ordered struggle, the innate joy in the success of one loop-de-loop after another. And once in a while, I also see the crash landing and the bloody injuries.  What is more important is that Luke gets up and does it again each and every time.  Luke has to begin again with each new circle, every circle becoming a part of a larger layer of community, thus his canvases vibrate with activity, mystery, romance and adventure.  I find my own meanings in each image  as it develops day by day and I am privileged to stand beside him, admire and witness the struggle of our Don Quixote in the new millennium, first hand.
    There is still time to see these painting up close and personal. The Brand Library Art Galleries is part of the Glendale Public Library, located at 1601 West Mountain Street in the City of Glendale, 91201  Telephone:  818-548-2051/ fax 818-548-2713 ;  visit the Brand Library Art Galleries online at   www.brandlibrary.org    to  check for Library hours.
    Cookie Gallegos, Ana Porras and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Art Library Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008 Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Margo Payne, Lynn Nantana-Green and Angela Williams attend the exhibition "Circle in the Square" in support of Luke Van Hook.
    Lynn Lantana-Green came to support Artist, Luke Van Hook at the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" an art exhibition held at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photos by Ginger Van Hook
    Kevin Powell came to support Luke Van Hook and enjoy the paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist Luke Van Hook brought home-made pies to his reception of the exhibition "Circle in the Square". In addition to painting, Luke Van Hook has a reputation for making awesome pies from scratch. Photographed milling around the Double Fudge Pican Pie and the Sweet Berry Pie were the grandchildren of Hector Sticker. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Claudio Sticker, Hector Sticker, Peter Bolten, Martha Ingels, Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels attend the reception of  "Circle in the Square". Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels worked together to create circles on canvas with the use of robotic CNC machines. After creating a little over a dozen machine-made paintings, Luke went on to compete with the machine and do the circles on his own by hand, one by one. Each circle is represented as being one breath and Luke Van Hook states that these are the marks he is leaving behind which define his existence during this lifetime as he continues to pursue the legend of "Giotto's Perfect Circle". Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Ohannes Berberian, his daughter Melanie, Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian attend the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008.  Ohannes Berberian owns DigiTECH Camera Repair in Monrovia, California (www.digitechcamerarepair.com). Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian are both fine art painters and members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (M.A.F.A.). Rouzanna Berberian is a teacher in the after-school arts programs supported by M.A.F.A.  which promotes the goal of enhancing the lives of those within the community through interaction with the arts and to increase the opportunities of children through art education. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Kathleen Zgonc, photographer Frank Zgonc and artist Luke Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008. Frank Zgonc is a an executive member of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts in Monrovia, California. Frank Zgonc is the vice-president and official curator of Monrovia's yearly October Art Festival. This year the October Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday October 11th and 12th, 2008 at the Monrovia Community Center located at 119 W. Palm Avenue in Monrovia. Free and open to the public, this art event will feature work by photographer Frank Zgonc; (Scheduled from 10 am to 6pm both days).  There will also be an Opening Night Celebration Saturday, October 11th from 7-9:30 pm where the special Renaissance Award will be presented to a worthy individual who has made significant contributions to the arts. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Mr. and Mrs. Luke and Ginger Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Libraries Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.  Luke Van Hook an artist working from Inglewood, California earned a BFA  at Otis College of ARt and Design.  For several years, Van Hook has been exploring in his work, Giotto's fabled "perfect circle".  Over time the single-minded focus on the perfection of the circle has been subsumed by the artist's interest in the aesthetic and expressive qualities of the circle. New works depict ritualistically repeated circular brushstrokes on canvas, hemp, and other materials. Van Hook states that he began " as a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle was possible; these circles have now morphed into a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle is  possible. These circles have now morphed into a study in patience. The sense of time and the marking of time is inherent in the meticulous application of paint. The viewer can appreciate these temporal qualities but is also compelled to bring their own  interpretation to the work. Are these circles pure abstraction? Combined do they conceal deliberate shapes and forms? or are they perhaps a secret code or language? Van Hook has exhibited at TAG Gallery, Focus One Gallery, and the Bolsky Gallery in  Westchester. Luke Van Hook's painting may also be viewed on his website: www.lukevanhook.com
    Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten


    Kevin Powell comes to support Luke Van Hook for his opening reception. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Jason Porras attends the opening reception to support Luke Van Hook in his endeavors to pursue Giotto's legend of the 'Perfect Circle'. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo By Ginger Van Hook.


    Zoe Hengst, Ginger Van Hook and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.
    Zoe and Jopie Hengst walk through the center of the exhibition "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook at the opening night, August 2, 2008. Paintings by Susan Sironi in the background. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cookie Gallegos, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook pose for photographs in front of Luke Van Hook's painting at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.

    Cookie Gallegos and Ana Porras watch the dance performance choreographed by Cheryl Walker, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Yesung Kim poses for a photograph in front of her paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 02, 2008, Glendale, California. Yesung Kim from Upland, California, was born in Seoul, South Korea and holds MFA degrees from Chung-Ang University and Claremont Graduate University. Kim's mixed media pieces are seductively simple. Ordinary brown packing string is deftly applied to a painted canvas creating organic shapes that shimmer and reflect light. At times these shapes appear to be on the brink of an amoeba-like division as they spread and expand, dropping off the edge of one canvas and continuing on to another. Kim  cites the natural world and light and color as the underlying themes that both inspire and permeate her work.  Following solo shows at the Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul Arts Center, Kim's work was most recently exhibited at the San Bernardino County Museum's Multi Media Mini Show. More information about Kim's work can be found on her website: www.yesungkim.com
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Painting by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Glass curtain by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008,Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker designed a curtain of vinyl layers of color called 'Waterfall IV' that became the backdrop for a beautiful dance performance using the 'circle in the square' theme exhibited at the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker holds in her hand some of the vinyl circles that were placed upon the windows at the exhibition hall. Her vinyl circles upon the windows created an illusion of  the stained glass effects. The dance piece entertained a large audience on opening night as artists, collectors, art appreciators and family and friends celebrated the mythologies, geometries, magical and mystical qualities of the circle.   Dance Performers Liz  Curtis, and Martha Carrascosa performed a dance which included participation from members of the audience.  
    Members of the audience interacted with the dancers Martha Carrascosa and Liz Curtis at the Brand Library Art Galleries participated in creating a colorful cascade of window art on August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.
    Audience watches dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa from Glendale Community College as they perform a choreographed piece by Cheryl Walker, artist. "Circle in the Square", Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008.  Photo By Ginger Van Hook
    Dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa performing dance choreographed by artist Cheryl Walker, (within the green curtain), Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker engaged in performance art intersecting with window art using the artistic theme of 'Circle in the Square'. Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CAlifornia August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cheryl Walker smiles happily on opening night, Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker, a Los Angeles artist, earned her BA in art in her home state of Minnesota, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. In this exhibition Walker created two large site-specific installations of vinyl, oil pastel and natural and artificial light.  Walker explains that the driving force behind her work is "human interaction and improvisation in response to a natural phenomenon or situation." Trained as painter, Walker's installations have some of the qualities of painting; when viewed head-on the suspended layers of vinyl can appear to be two-dimensional because of their transparency and the cut shapes and forms applied to the vinyl are reminiscent of brushstrokes--but removed from the wall these works are thrust into what she calls an "interactive field of play." The fluidity of the material she works with and her interest in collaboration between the artist and the viewer have inspired Walker to create works that can be transformed into performance pieces by dance, music and in-situ art-making. In this exhibition, a dance performance captivates the audience on opening night at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Photos By Ginger Van Hook




    Barbara Kolo, Artist from "Circle in the Square" poses for a photograph in front of her painting with her husband Mr. Kolo. Barbara Kolo, a Santa Monica Artist, earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Kolo Participated in a successful two-person show at the Brand Library Art Galleries in 1999. The Brand Library Art Galleries are pleased to present (nearly ten years later) a new body of work by Barbara Kolo that connects to that which was here before. In those works and these, her focus is on representing organic materials. The current large scale acrylic on canvas works are saturated with color; the stippled application of paint creates organic shapes and patterns representative of the natural world.  The subject matter is open to each viewers interpretation, where one may see a birch forest at dusk, others may see the  bold aesthetic of pure color and abstraction. Kolo has had recent solo shows at Topanga Canyon Gallery and the Off Rose Gallery in Venice, California. More information about Kolo's work can be found on her website: www.barbarakolo.com Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook






    Barbara Kolo poses for a photograph during opening night celebrations for the exhibition, "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Augusts 2, 2008. Glendale, California.


    Susan Sironi,  an artist living in Altadena, California posed for her photograph in front of her paintings at  the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Susan Sironi earned her BFA at California Sate University, Long Beach. This exhibition will showcase Sironi's recent paintings as well as her Glass Curtain installation which is comprised of conjoined antique optometric lenses. Her paintings are about texture, color and process. Small dabs of oil paint are painstakingly applied to aluminum, building up an intricate, thorny surface. Highly textured and multihued when viewed up close, this surface belies the color play minimalist color-field appearance of the work at a distance . In the artist's own words "texture and color play equal roles in these works. They ... set up contradictions within each piece. Painitings  that seem to invite touch and intimacy are also reserved and automomous. Time and process are weighed against a static and minimal structure. Sironi's work was most recently seen in the Brea Art Gallery's Made in California exhibition, at the Chouinard School of Art Gallery, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.  More information about Sironi's work can be found on her website: web.mac.com/susansironi/susan/sironi/Welcome.html.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.  

    Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.



    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008

                       Luke Van Hook paintings are now showing at the Brand Library Art Galleries in
              Komentar na Telepatija, komentirao/la kristian        
    Raskinuo sam sa devojkom prije tri mjeseca. Imali smo dosta problema i na poslu i sredinom kojom smo bili okruzeni i naravno ljudima. Ona je donela odluku da ode i da raskinemo jer nemoze da misli na mene jer joj je potrban prostor. U momentu sam pokusavao da je sklonim skroz iz tog mjesta poceo sam da pricam o njoj kao sto su svi imali misljenje o njoj. Mjesecima sam bio izgubljen bez nje, onda sam odlucio da se vidim sa njom. Na sta mi je ona odgovorila nema potrbe i da imam novog decka, i da joj nepravim problem. Na sta sam ja stao i sklonio se. Ali ljudi su poceli da me provociraju nasta sam se ja primio i da bi svoj osecaj povezan sa tom ososobom prekinuo. I onda posle jedne noci sam osetio da je ta osoba izgubljena i da je sa njim da bi mene prebolela. Opet mi se vratio isti osecaj u stomaku (jako cudan i svaki dan je sve jaci). Ona je izbrisala sve kontakte samnom. A cuo sam da se i dalje raspituje za mene preko drugarice koja sve lose prica o meni. I da je ona odigrala veliku ulogu u nasoj vezi. Ja sam zelio da mi taj osecaj prestane ali neprestaje svaki dan je sve jaci i jaci. Sta da radim?
              Global Voices: Innovative solutions to global refugee crisis        
    Prospects seem grim for the world’s 22 million refugees. The United States and Europe are slamming doors. Kenya is forcing Somalis in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, to go home — even if it’s not safe to return. Uganda […]
              Den schönsten Tag im Leben auch bezahlen können        
    Für alle die heiraten möchten, soll wohl die Hochzeit auch gleichzeitig der schönste Tag im Leben werden. Denn jedes Paar wird sich vornehmen, dass dieses Ereignis einmalig und auch besonders sein soll. Um den perfekten Tag zu planen, sollte man sich deswegen auch ausreichend Zeit nehmen. Am besten man setzt sich rechtzeitig zusammen und fängt […]
              interview with guenter schlienz        


    Guenter Schlienz (Stuttgart, Germany) is known for his vast catalogue of tape & cdr releases on different great labels around the world – Sacred Phrases, SicSic, Goldtimers, Constellation Tatsu, etc. He is the man behind wonderful Cosmic Winnetou label, releasing all kinds of experimental/drone/ambient artists — maybe not as frequently as we'd like, but each time pleasing the taste of any tape music geek. Creating his minimalist compositions by means of d.i.y modular synths, tape loops and field recordings, Guenter achieves the serenity of classic ambient works, while keeping the vibe of 70s kosmische musik (think Cluster or Harmonia) and sometimes reaches the territories of academic minimalism, exploring the sound as ding an sich, inspiring the listener to invent its own narrative. Being part of Navel band since mid 90s, Guenter's place in music world has a long, but still almost unknown story which continues nowadays with further explorations of all kinds of ambient music.

    ~~~

    Pied Paper: First of all, I'm curious about how it all started for you — ambient music, synth building, tape releases, etc. I know that you were involved in many other projects before, call you tell a bit about them too?

    GS: phew, where did it all started… definitely many many moons ago. was active mid till end 90s in some heavy stoner psychedelic rock band. was the guy responsible for producing some "far out sounds" with his guitar and some delay pedal. so there already was this drone element in what i did. but far from recognizing it as this for myself. bit later during the same decade i did a session with a guy who did guitar and singing for another noise rock outfit. we just fiddled around with our guitars and with every pedal we could get our hands on. we recorded our very first session with some broken 4track and quite liked the results. after presenting the finished cdr people came back and reported "this is quite cool drone music". so yep, that's how we learned the name of this style. and after having the name we were able to dig deeper and learned names like Stars of the Lid, Flying Saucer Attack, Brian Eno etc pp. this guitar drone project of us is called Navel and we are still recording and doing live shows.

    beginning of the 00's i quit doing this rock band stuff, so there was plenty time to do some other things. after getting introduced to all this amazing kraut and kosmische musik (during a navel live show in france by an english man, but that's another story) there was the idea to do some kind of electronic music solo. so i needed an instrument, and after bit of research i discovered that the schematics for some modular synthesizer would be something i could manage with the training in electronics i already had. so i started soldering, first quite simple filters, later more and more sophisticated modules.

    the tapes, yep, fast forward to the end of last decade. stumbled over this tape scene thing by accident via the internet (god bless it). those days i was pretty frustrated and bored by the music all the labels and magazines i knew presented, so this occurred to me like a big relief. yes. so many people and projects and bands and labels are doing fantastic stuff, exactly the music i love, right at the moment, and sell it for very low money to people all around the world. yes! couldn't belief my eyes. that the favorite medium of all those labels and projects were cassettes don't really bothered me (of course i had this "ugh? on tape? strange…" moment like everybody else i guess), because i never really stopped using this media since my early childhood days.

    I like to dramatize a bit some things some times, but this discovery of the tape label scene kind of saved my artistic live. it gave me so much energy and confirmation and countless hours of joy during listening sessions that i got the feeling that i have to give something back. hence i started my own tape label.


    Pied Paper: Your music sounds almost academic sometimes, especially works as Organ Studies, Loop Studies and Furniture Sounds — which, as I understand is a homage to Eric Satie. But your name is strongly associated with "underground tape scene", as we call it. Did you ever thought about making your music open for the interpretations, to write it down on a paper maybe, letting the others perform it?

    GS: huh, not sure if i my music sounds bit like academic music. for sure i'm quite interested in this genre, mean contemporary composers with "classical" musical education composing pieces for concert halls and operas and stuff. like their approach to their art through quite rigid concepts, their huge knowledge about musical structures and about music of many centuries and cultures. perhaps you see my enthusiasm for their rigidness shining through my stuff? that would be a compliment for sure, at least in my opinion. and of course, if there would be a small ensemble crazy enough to perform it, i would love to write a score for them (though not sure if i would like to conduct it). but i guess your name must be some lou reed or some other in the same league to be honored like this. actually i'm pretty sure that many of those academic contemporary composers would be happily release their stuff on tape if they would only know this special scene around it.


    Pied Paper: It's clear that ambient music is a wide field for interpretation, same sound can be perceived in different ways depending on the artwork, liner notes, track titles, etc. Can you tell something about your own perception of your music? Does it have some stories within, or it's just abstract form which everyone can fill with its own meaning?

    as you see in the answer of the last question i like some kind of concept around the music. and if this concept even gets its visual equal with the artwork i'm more than happy. so of course, there is a story in every piece. but hey, its music, its a form of art, so who am i to dictate what some listener and spectator wants to see in it? isn't it the very meaning of any art, that the consumer of it knits his very personal meaning to it?

    actually i am not able to describe what i hear in my music anyway. for me the answer to this question would lead to some kind of poem, some painting, some huge novel, some dance or any other arty abstraction. in none of the mentioned techniques 'm very good at, so please, listen to the music.


    Pied Paper: Imagine a situation when you someone asks you to create music with specific mood, theme, etc. — like for a movie scene or something — would it be easy for you? What you enjoy more - improvisation or composition?

    already did this, i mean creating some music for a specific use (to earn some money), and hey, that is pretty hard work (and hard earned money)! to create some music without some customers needs to be satisfied, just the personal ones, isn't really easy to do as well, but much more gratifying for the soul. its an privilege to be able to do this, and i have a (pretty time consuming) bread and butter job to create the circumstances to fulfill it.

    can't really separate those strategies during my performances, both live and during my recording sessions. its always a mixture of plan and being ready to include some coincidences respectively enlightenments. actually my believe is, gained through many observations and talks about such things, that nearly every work in which i am interested in is created this way.


    Pied Paper: I know that you enjoy recording outdoor, do you have any specific set-up for this?

    not really specific, the equipment just have to have some possibility to work battery driven. luckily my modulars fall into this category. just to improve the handling of such adventure i have build my modulars as small and compact as possible, and since a couple of months a work on some modules who will be included into some water proofed case.


    Pied Paper: Probably you've noticed that releases of first wave of cassette drone/ambient in 2009-11 was mostly lo-fi and many of same artists still doing tapes nowadays came to much cleared and well-produced sound - is that natural growth or trying to be more "mainstream"?

    yes, i'm aware of this development as well. i think it just was some other group of people with bit different background which had been running those labels you' mention. In those early days of the reemerging of this medium the leading actors had had mostly a background in the noise scene. hence the tape as favorite medium, hence the cheap and ugly aesthetics of the chosen instruments. these different (don't like to ad some other evaluative adjective) sounding tapes of lately are from people without this background, they just take over the torch and work with it out of their musical socialization. so in my opinion it is either "natural growth", this sounds like some kind of improvement who isn't any need for, nor a try to reach broader audiences. the good stuff of recently is produced by people who are just as true to their own style as their ancestors had been, and therefore it is as important and equal beautiful as the old stuff.


    Pied Paper: As a label owner, can you tell how many demos you receive? Which kind of styles you receive most? I'm asking because it seems that ambient/psych/drone music isn't that popular anymore - I see tons of vaporwave/webpunk tapes at new-born labels, while such imprints as Stunned, Tranquility tapes, Goldtimers are long gone (or maybe it's just old man's talk, huh).

    yes, and i'm very happy about it, i receive quite a lot of demos. always love to get some new sounds for my ears. mostly the artists are very good informed about the style of the music i usually release and about the aesthetics i'm interested in. perhaps you are right, there are less people out there which do their own style of ambient/psych/drone as perhaps eight years ago, but i'm not sure about that. and as i stated in the last paragraph i think those vaporwave labels and the like took the torch of the cassette celebration and run with it their own way. and this is a good thing. who needs the 16th or whatever version of the emeralds (insert here the name of your favorite release of those years)? isn't this exactly what have happened with pop and rock music and what makes this stuff sometimes unbearable to listen to?


    Pied Paper: And what are your plans for the Cosmic Winnetou in the foreseeable future?

    prepare my next batch right now which will be released in a couple of weeks. but after this 13th cosmic winnetou bundle of cassettes i will need a hiatus, unfortunately. i love to do the label work, but it is very time consuming. have lots of projects for this year, music and private stuff, so i have to pull the brakes to this project for this year. but really looking forward to restart the tape label with new ideas and energies end of this year.


    Pied Paper: Do you ever think about future of music? Is it possible to invent something new, or we are doomed to retro-mania, returning to same tunes from different angles?

    of course there will some day somebody release some music which haven't been heard before and will blow all of us completely into the void. don't know which day this will happen, but i'm pretty sure someday it will. just look around, not only the music is stuck into retro mode. clothing, hair style, performing arts, pictorial arts, industrial design, i think that in our days nearly every form of artefacts are done with quite old ideas, just a few new kind of tools here and there. the whole mood, you can call it "zeitgeist" if you like, is like "let's try to preserve what we have", not "perhaps this is a better idea for the future, let's work on it". in my opinion everything is linked together somehow, and we have this retro mania since the 90s, starting with this global change of the modus vivendi. but nothing is forever, so i'm sure this will change someday. these thoughts are just my 50cents about a very complex question. but yeah, i think about this, and love to exchange ideas about this kind of topic.


    Pied Paper: Humans already sent some music with space probes - which titles would you choose for such mission? I know you won't choose Wagner, huh :)

    really nice question, this is. indeed already thought about that, and i think the nasa did a quite good job with the "golden record" for the voyager mission. very good selection which shows how wonderfully diverse sounds humans are able to produce, and each and all of them aim at the listeners heart. but always wondered if it would be perhaps a good idea to send some field recordings of this strange planet into the void, and f so, which i would chose.

    some people laughing, some people fighting, a mother singing her baby to sleep, the audience at a soccer game, a sundown at the shore of a calm sea with waves and cicades and everything? what else?


    Pied Paper: Okay, that's it — you can send high fives here or add something if needed! Thank you!

    hey, high five to you and many thanks for those questions! took my a while to type the answers, because you found some topics and ideas i love to share my thoughts on it. and of course many thanks for your support!

    perhaps i would like to ad a big "thank you" to all the readers of those lines, time is precious and i'm happy that you waste it reading them. and a big "thank you" to all the people who listen to my music and perhaps even bought the cassettes and cds and vinyls with my music on it. to know that somebody out there cares about my music means a lot to me. hugs.

    guenterschlienz.de

    selected albums:
    guenter's bandcamp
    sterne uber der stadt
    organ studies
    tape studies
    autumn



              anahita ~ tourmaline (three:four records, 2017)        



    "Out of the crystal clear and warm cosmic perennial waters comes forth another sparkling jewel from Anahita (Tara Burke (Fursaxa) and Helena Espvall (Espers). Two elves dancing amidst gnarled branches of ancient trees and fragrant herbs, concocting a magical potion for the mind of floating medieval cello spheres and melancholic ceremonial madrigals under the blinking eye of a pale moon and far off constellations of shooting stars." 
    Bart De Paepe, founder of the belgian tape label Sloow Tapes

    credits

    released May 12, 2017, Anahita is Tara Burke and Helena Espvall. 

    Recorded in the summer of 2010 and 2011 at the Hestian Den. 
    Engineered by Derek Moench.  Mastered by Julien Grandjean at Jetlag


              azaleas / cloudsound / forest walker        
    azaleas ~ sapphire (blank_tapes, 2016)

    «Long-form new-age collages. First full-length from Azaleas». ~ blank_tapes

    Two years ago I had a pleasure to share a split tape with Azaleas (duo of Kyle Wade & Alice Andres-Wade hailing from Denver) on Rainbow Pyramid label and started waiting patiently for their full-length debut. Hope was not lost, and here it is, spinning in my deck on repeat mode since December! And with the first winds of the spring this music seems to unfold even broader, carrying eternal bliss of best ambient genre developments. Shimmering layers of synth soundscapes, massive drones, new-agey melodies and organic hum of field recordings... Everything in its place, all corners rounded, every transition made with care. This tape has rare ability to became more and more interesting with every spin, telling the same stories differently each time you listen to it. You may get lost in all those layers, fades and vibes, travelling between dark thickets and wide open eyes of lakes, but don't worry – the hiss of blank tape in the end will leave you under charms of these marvelous tunes with joyful smile on your face and pleasant feeling in the heart. Highest recommendations!

    listen ~ support

    cloudsound ~ indigo appalachia (fluere tapes, 2017)

    «Reverie over outer space air space tween canopy slopes of mauve ambrosial gazes to ribbonious unfurls later spooled» ~ fluere tapes

    Less is more! I always admired the ability to create pleasant atmosphere with seemingly minimalist and truly lo-fi sound. What Fluere Tapes boss Lee Boyd did on this tape easily falls into category of lo-fi drone, but the less you care about labeling, the more you receive in impression value. Actually, this tape can be a marvelous post-rock or shoegaze epic, simply recorded hundred of times from one old dusty tape to another. Yet, it has this unexplainable charm that wraps you like a cozy blanket, carrying away as a good old magic flying carpet. Massive layers of sound are hidden behind the surface of pleasant sound - same as the incredible amount of water looks like beautiful cloud from the surface. As the the artwork itself, this music is fused by light, an enormous cosmic nebula sending its glorious radiance light years away... Also I must admit that this particular album brought a lot of nostalgic moments for me, remembering those early psych/drone tapes by Deep Magic or Sundrips, feeling the awe in presence of those energies, such pure and sincere, like they are directly radiating from the artist's heart. Maybe I'm just too sentimental, but there is nothing is this world like Cloudsound. Absolute bliss.

    listen ~ support

    forest walker ~ uv sea (constellation tatsu)

    Sincerely – I have no words to describe this album. It's clear, that with such love for ambient music I possess, album like UV Sea would turn into breathtaking experience. Forest Walker puts everything in one canvas and manages to blend all treasures of ambient genre into a single whole thing. Thing in itself. Pulsation of synth lines, deepest drones, huge waves of reverberated noises... even dusty saturated beats do no harm to this never-ending stream of bliss, supporting its torrent thought your perception channels. Is that infinity of the Universe transcending by the aural medium or endlessness of sound, forging new universe inside ours – who knows? Depends on which interpretation of quantum mechanics you follow. One thing is clear here, this music exist in more than one dimension. It spans like endless wave and each track is just range of frequencies we able to perceive. It's easy to imagine UV Sea as short part of huge intergalactic transmission, captured by limited instruments of humankind and then interpreted by our even more limited sense organs. But the message is so powerful that we can get it if not consciously, but more subtly, just intuitively. And unable to verbally express... Yet, transmission continues, so tune in!

    listen ~ support

              guenter schlienz / alineko / lunar devotion        



    «"Night Music Bundle" is our new batch of gorgeous ambient & drone music received from great artists around the world! New full-length album by modular synth guru Guenter Schlientz, whose music we are proud to release; huge one-track work by Alineko, whose stellar drones we already had in catalogue; and, finally, long-awaited Lunar Devotion compilation album, featuring many different styles of ambient on one disc, all dedicated to the beauty of the Night! 

    Bundle is available in collectors edition - hand-painted wooden box with many inserts, including mandala prints, postcards, moss & custom made star finder» ~ pantheophania

    guenter schlienz ~ sterne über der stadt (πάνθεον, 2017)

    «Dedicated to the barely visible stars above your home town.» ~ guenter schlienz

    In the gleam light of night streets we always see the same. City envelopes us, creating space inside itself, which is almost flat compared to the actual world around. Sometimes it seems that we live inside a dome of glass, like ones from sci-fi books about distant future in post-apocalyptic world. We don't look at the sky, unless it's raining, we are losing the feeling of vastness, of the universal endlessness, which surrounds our little tiny home planet. Cosmos doesn't fit in coordinate system produced by the rows of street lights. But still there are some dreamers, inspired by the blinking stars above the never sleeping towns, bringing the melodies of this elusive beauty, which hides between the city blocks, trembles over the rivers and dissipates in roars of the streets... This exquisite album by our favorite modular synth wizard Guenter Schlienz is a dreamlike journey over the routine of life, perfect companion for late night walks and leisurely stargazing.



    «A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment.» ~ wikipedia

    Second full-length work by Alineko is an aural excursion to the ancient art of lucid dreaming, personal reflection of the interest in Yoga Nidra and modern dreaming techniques. Being minimalist drone piece only at first glance, «A Guide To Lucid Dreaming» reveals a truly mesmerizing deepness and variety during the listening, unfolding hidden, but always present possibilities of our mind. One may hear choir or orchestra, humming of the wind or murmuring water, distant voices, whale songs, etc. – but nothing of it is present here, only play of perception. This music can be anything: meditation session, simple relaxing background or a truly deep listening experience, depending on the one's mood and surrounding. 


    various artists ~ lunar devotion (πάνθεον, 2017)

    Nytt Land, Tmavy Kruh, SiJ, Чайник Болотных Богов, Med Gen, lost-radio, Ugasanie, Sunmoonstar, Gamardah Fungus, Nubiferous, Ongo Oruulaa

    «Lunar Devotion» is a long-awaited successor of our «Solar Devotion» release made back in 2014. For this compilation we asked artists for their vision of the Moon and everything connected with it – seasons & cycles, religions & cults, dreams, fantasies, insomnia, cosmic landscapes... All of this can be found on this release, intertwined, slowly changing moods from light ambiences to deepest dark drones and back to purest silver light of our Mistress of the Night.


              88th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: This is the fourth consecutive year when I am doing this. Hopefully this one will be much more readable compared to my previous attempts. Hopefully. (prev: 87th, 86th, 85th) This year, I also wrote a story with the tag-lines of the Oscar-nominated movies.

    Note 2: I suspect the ratings for this year's Oscars are going to be very low. I mean, outside of #OscarsSoWhite, Studios and producers need to freakin' make the movies available for viewing online (or in theaters)! I will pay money to watch these movies BEFORE the Oscars goddamit! Events are successful when people talk about it. And to talk about it, people need context. What should we talk about instead of the movies themselves, Clooney's tux, JLaw's stumble, host's fumble, and hot cleavages?
    ------------


    This is one of those years when I am not particularly attached to any movie that has been nominated. Atleast not for the big awards. But this year's Animated and Documentary nominations are a bunch of powerhouses compared to any year in recent history for these categories. It beats me why Inside Out didn't get a Best Picture nod. This just might have been a year when a Pixar movie, or any animated movie for that matter, won the top prize. Instead, we get Oscar-bait movies such as Room, Bridge of Spies, or even The Revenant. Mad Max getting in there is quite a surprise, not so much in retrospect. And yet, the top prize this year remains wide open, probable front-runners being Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short, with the race getting more interesting than the movies themselves.

    Emily Blunt's omission from Supporting Actress and Villeneuve's from Director (yep, I loved Sicario!) seems a little strange, but Villeneuve's time will come. His every successive movie gets better than the last! And Quentin, what did you do? He is forgiven though for getting too indulgent, considering that he might be nearing the end of his filmography. I hope though that I get to see him, among others, getting a Directing Oscar some day. Some day.

    Right then.




    Category / PickNomineesVishesh TippaniHit / Miss
    Motion Picture


    Spotlight

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Bridge of Spies

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Room

    Spotlight
    The Big Short: After The Wolf of Wall Street's rollercoaster ride, this seemed like pony carousel. I mean, we get it. Financial meltdown happened, and no-one responsible went to jail. Bravo! Selena Gomez explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations was cute though. Heh.

    Brooklyn: It gets a lot of things right. Saoirse Ronan is an absolute delight to watch on screen, with a well-deserved Actress nomination for her. And the way the movie transports you to the 50s is incredible, effortlessly shattering a lot of things we take for granted today. And we are not talking about an ancient era, just 60-70 years ago. Brooklyn also does not resort to evil-looking people to further the plot in a way Titanic did, and in a way that makes the protagonists' struggles relatable, real, and very palatable - in a way that triggers a "Life is such," response rather than "They deserved this".
    "I'd forgotten what this town is like. What were you planning to do, Miss Kelly?" 

    Bridge of Spies: This is the "America is the best country in the World" movie for this year. Although both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance nailed it with chiselled performances. Coen brothers wrote this, perhaps it would have been a much better movie if they directed it as well.
    "Aren't you worried?"
    "Would it help?"

    Mad Max: Fury Road: This movie was an adrenalin-induced delight without end. Stunning camera work, absurdist humour, and louder than loudest everything, so much that one literally felt exhausted after the movie did not give any breathing space during.
    "WITNESS ME!"

    The Martian: Someone please explain to me why Inside Out is not in this category, and why The Martian isn't in the Best Animated movie category instead? What is the line between special effects and animation? Considering the state of the art for motion capture and 3D rendering techniques, maybe it's time we do away with the distinction. Anyway, The Martian falls flat compared to Gravity, or even Interstellar. Maybe it was just an excuse to rescue Matt Damon... again.

    The Revenant: A lot of people, including the Academy, seem to be particularly fond of Iñárritu. I find his movies boring, the technical brilliance notwithstanding. Birdman was perhaps Iñárritu's most enjoyable movie, and I didn't want Birdman to win (Boyhood... sigh). If The Revenant wins this one, of which there is a more than significant chance, it will be several firsts, perhaps the most interesting one being successive wins by the same Director. Sure looks like Leo's year though.

    Room: This was a hit or miss and all over the place. Some scenes were striking, in particular the one towards the end where Brie Larson goes back to the Room. Jacob Tremblay was spectacular until he was inside the room, and made his escape. After that it seemed like the director just didn't give a shit anymore.
    "There's so much of "place" in the world."

    Spotlight: This is my favourite movie from this category. Tense, crisp, great characters, performances, writing, Spotlight ranks high up there.
    "We got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy, and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we're writing one of them."
    Hit!
    Director
    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Adam McKay, The Big Short

    George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Lenny Abrahamson, Room

    Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
    As much as I loved Spotlight, I am not sure if Tom McCarthy's time has come for a directing Oscar. The race mostly seems between Iñárritu and Miller, both of whom are really fine directors. If Iñárritu pulls this one off, back-to-back Director Oscars would be a tremendous feat.

    Although, if I had my way, Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (directors of Anomalisa),  Andrew Haigh (director of 45 years), would have found a spot here. And when-o-when will Denis Villeneuve's (Sicario) time come?
    Hit!
    Writing (Original)

    Spotlight

    Bridge of Spies

    Ex Machina

    Inside Out

    Spotlight

    Straight Outta Compton
    Bridge of Spies is probably in here because... Coen brothers. Perhaps the movie would have been significantly better had they directed it as well.

    Ex Machina had some really smart writing as well, reminded me of "Her" in a lot of ways.
    Ava: "What will happen to me if I fail your test?"

    I loved the fact that Inside Out got nominated for this, if not for Best Picture. They really got me from the moment the "train of thought" arrives. As cheesy as that is, really made me chuckle.
    "Take her to the moon for me."

    And as much as Tarantino would like to say "I truly believe in the material" for The Hateful Eight, he needs to sit on the bench for this one.

    Spotlight though, crisp, taut, engaging from start to finish truly deserves this one.
    "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them."
    Hit!
    Writing (Adapted)

    The Big Short

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Carol

    The Martian

    Room
    The Big Short is a no-brainer for this. I haven't read the book so I do not know how it reads, but this is one of those examples of an "adaptation", from a non-fiction, that would have truly meant a LOT of work.

    Aaron Sorkin could have been slipped in here (for Steve Jobs), again adapting a non-fiction. Plus, in my opinion, his approach with the source material was remarkable and creative. With all the different sorts of issues Steve Jobs ran into during production, Sorkin was probably the only one who did the cleanest job for this movie.
    Hit!
    Actor

    Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

    FINALLY, LEO! Boy am I waiting for his acceptance speech! SIXTH nomination, and what a journey! A story of survival, revenge, and life is also possibly the most fitting way he could have won this one!

    But this doesn't go without mentioning the other quite remarkable performances in this category. Trumbo felt a lot like Argo, even besides the 'Hollywood making a movie about Hollywood thing' and John Goodman's huge (literally) presence. And I love this "genre" (if you may) too - Sunset Bldv., Chaplin, The Artist, to name a few.

    Michael Fassbender did a fine job and literally saved the movie, but the most striking performance for me from this movie would definitely be that of Winslet's.

    There are some roles where it is unimaginable for anyone else doing them except for Eddie Redmayne (you know, the kind of feeling we get quite often for Benedict Cumberbatch). I doubt anyone else would have been able to do Theory of Everything or The Danish Girl.
    Hit!
    Actress


    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years



    Prediction: Brie Larson
    Cate Blanchett, Carol

    Brie Larson, Room

    Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

    Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
    Brie Larson seems sealed for this category. She isn't on my top 3 out of these 5, so I will be a little bummed about this one.

    I am conflicted between Charlotte Rampling and Saoirse Ronan for my top spot. 45 years is a stunning film, and deserved much more than the solitary nomination it received, but Charlotte is really the heart and soul of the film. After Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) lost to JLaw, I would be too pleased to see Charlotte win this one, for a movie that has too many similarities to Amour.

    I wouldn't mind Saoirse winning this one either. Her nuanced performance in Brooklyn left you yearning for more.
    Hit!
    Supporting Actor

    Christian Bale, The Big Short


    Prediction: Sylvester Stallone
    Christian Bale, The Big Short

    Tom Hardy, The Revenant

    Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

    Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

    Sylvester Stallone, Creed
    The one thing that I loved about The Big Short was Christian Bale's performance. In the very limited time that he occupies the screen, every freakin' scene is fireworks. He would be my pick for this one, but Sylvester Stallone makes for a great Oscar story, so yeah... Mark Rylance.
    Supporting Actress

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs


    Prediction: Alicia Vikander
    Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

    Rooney Mara, Carol

    Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

    Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
    It's a shame that Alicia Vikander got nominated for The Danish Girl instead of Ex Machina. I am nuts about Alicia Vikander, she is what I would call "vanilla" beautiful. I know she is beautiful, I don't know why, and I find it hard to be able to figure it out. It's like she only registers when she's in front of me, but poof as soon as she's not, enigmatic almost. I think it was a stroke of casting brilliance to cast her in Ex Machina, a role which hinged significantly on this quality of hers in my opinion. You know, artificial... but not really, feels real... but can't put a finger on why.

    But between her performance in The Danish Girl, and Kate Winslet's in Steve Jobs, my vote definitely goes to Kate. Them glasses. Sigh. And a performance that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Fassbender's as Jobs, that's really something.
    Hit!
    Animated Movie

    Anomalisa


    Prediction: Inside Out
    Anomalisa

    Boy & The World

    Inside Out

    Shaun The Sheep Movie

    When Marnie Was There
    What a collection of movies in this category! This is a collection which is missing The Peanuts Movie and The Good Dinosaur - movies which in any other year would have made the nomination cut and might even have won!

    I want to especially talk about three movie here, Anomalisa, Inside Out, and Boy & The World, although Shaun The Sheep and When Marnie Was There are brilliant movies in their own right.

    Anomalisa is one of those movies that leave you going "How on Earth did they pull this off on screen?!" The stillness of this movie, the calm, the poise, the detail - both in the little things and the not-so-little things - is astounding. I could write at length about this movie, but anyone who has spent any time travelling to a smaller city in the US (especially to the mid-west) will get all intricate details they have managed to so gloriously capture. The absolutely shocking sex scene, the long takes, the movie playing almost in real time... Anomalisa is an anomaly done right when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what can be done on animation.

    Talking about pushing the boundaries of animated films, Boy & The World is gorgeous! Such raw beauty, it is a spectacle to behold. Lovingly crafted hand-drawn animation, the colors, the playfulness, the airiness, the fireworks-y sparkle, the dazzle, every still of the film could be a framed painting in an art gallery. This is how, I wish, The Peanuts Movie had been made. HAND-DRAWN! I hope we get to see more of Alê Abreu's work.

    Inside Out is almost surely going to win this one. Don't get me wrong, it is a great film, perhaps one of Pixar's top 3, if not the best. But it is going to win it for the wrong reasons. Animation has very little to do with what makes Inside Out a great film, which is why it was much better off getting a Best Film nod, along with the Writing nod that it deservedly received.
    Hit!
    Cinematography

    Sicario


    Prediction: The Revenant 
    Carol

    The Hateful Eight

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    Sicario
    The Hateful Eight is on this list because... 70mm, Ben Hur lenses, yada yada yada. It's not the tooling that maketh a genius. Nope. But okay Quentin, you were indulging yourself, you are allowed to do that, of course.

    It will be a big surprise if The Revenant does not win this one. The cinematography, after all, is one of the biggest reasons why it has been getting oh-so-much love. But, have you seen Sicario! Especially the one scene where they perform the extraction from Mexico, sent a chill down my spine. That is a scene in the same league as the car scene from Children of Men.
    Hit!
    Editing

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Big Short

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    Spotlight

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    If there is one award that Mad Max truly deserves, it's got to be this one. How do you even cut this movie?! Hit!
    Production Design

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    Bridge of Spies

    The Danish Girl

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant
    Hit!
    Score

    Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

    Bridge of Spies

    Carol

    The Hateful Eight

    Sicario

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    The Hateful Eight, again, is here because... Morricone. This is probably Academy's last chance to give a real Oscar to Ennio Morricone rather than the honorary one they had to give him a few years ago.

    Sicario and Star Wars (obviously) truly deserve a special mention though.
    Hit!
    Visual Effects

    The Revenant

    Ex Machina

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    This category is really losing its significance extremely fast. It is too hard to tell what's special effects and what's not, considering almost every movie undergoes huge transformation during post-production. Ex Machina.
    Deserved!
    Documentary

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom


    Prediction: Amy
    Amy

    Cartel Land

    The Look of Silence

    What Happened, Miss Simone?

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For  Freedom
    Just like the Animated Feature Film category, this was another powerhouse collection of films. I wouldn't mind Amy winning this one, Asif Kapadia is an accomplished director, his Senna ranks amongst my favorite movies. And, to be fair, Amy is an amazing movie, except, I didn't care a lot about the subject matter.

    Winter on Fire, on the other hand, is a movie extremely relevant in today's day and age, and has managed to put together some really spine-chilling footage and beautifully. It also managed to give a first-hand glimpse into a country that we (I) know so little about, and around events that are being played out right now on the global political arena.
    Hit!

    Total: 13 / 15




              86th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: Well, I did a post on Oscars last year, so I am going to do one every year now. Talk about being clingy, heh.

    Note 2.0: Post 2.0 is going to be bigger and better, aww yeah!
    ------------

    It hasn't been a stellar year for movies compared to the previous year, neither there nor here. A year of massive snubs too (I weep for you, Coen brothers, Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson). '12 years a slave' emerges as the 'Lincoln' from last year, and TEN nominations for 'American Hustle', are you effing kidding me?! The race is wide open (which makes it mildly interesting), and my prediction is that this year predictions in general are going to go for a toss. My sentiments for this year's Oscars are best summarized by the movie nominated this year for Makeup and Hairstyling, a movie that will be selling DVDs with 'Oscar nominee' plastered on its cover - 'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa'.

    The complete list of nominations is available here. This is going to be a difficult year for predictions, so whenever in doubt, I will stick to a golden rule - snub American Hustle!




    CategoryPredictionPickVishesh TippaniQuotesHit / Miss
    Best Motion Picture of the Year12 Years a SlaveThe Wolf of Wall StreetThe Wolf of Wall Street is by far the best movie of this year, its only fault being that it isn't "Best Picture material". F.U. American Hustle, I wish Jonah Hill peed all over you.From TWOWS: "My name is Jordan Belfort. The year I turned 26, I made 49 million dollars, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week."Hit! But they got it wrong. Time.
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleMatthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers ClubLeonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Streetsee: Best Motion Picture of the Year
    P.S.: F.U. American Hustle.
    From TWOWS: "I am not gonna die sober!"Hit! So disappointed for Leo!
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleCate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
    Kill me for saying it, but I don't think Amy Adams' cleavage deserves an Oscar. F.U."Who do you have to sleep with around here to get a Stoli martini with a twist of lemon?"Hit!
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleJared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
    see: Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling"Relax, I don't bite. I guess you're handsome, in a Texas, hick, white trash, dumb kind of way."Hit! 
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RoleLupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
    If only Scarlett Johansson was nominated. Sigh. And F. U. JLaw, Eff. You. You didn't deserve it last year, you don't deserve it this year.From Her:
    "You know, I can feel the fear that you carry around and I wish there was... something I could do to help you let go of it because if you could, I don't think you'd feel so alone anymore."
    Hit! So much deserve! 
    Best Achievement in DirectingAlfonso Cuarón, GravityMartin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Streetsee: Best Motion Picture of the YearFrom TWOWS:
    'The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket.'
    'But if you can make your clients money at the same time it's advantageous to everyone, correct?'
    'No.'
    Hit!
    Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the ScreenSpike Jonze, Her
    The writing is just devastating. Devastating. Isn't that what great writing is supposed to be?"Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt."Hit!
    Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published12 Years a SlaveRichard Linklater, Before MidnightAnyone who has followed the 'Before...' series will hardly contest that Linklater deserves this, but well...From Before Midnight:
    "Like sunlight, sunset, we appear, we disappear. We are so important to some, but... we are just passing through."
    Hit!
    Best Animated Feature Film of the YearFrozen
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    'Olaf! You're melting!'
    'Some people are worth melting for.'
    Hit! â™¥
    Best Foreign Language Film of the YearThe Great Beauty
    The Great Beauty is what To Rome with Love should have been, or rather what this movie should have been called.'We're all on the brink of despair; all we can do is look each other in the face, keep each other company, joke a little... don't you agree?'Hit!
    Best Achievement in CinematographyGravity
    Technical awards for Gravity is quite a no-brainer this year. From the camera-work to sound, Gravity is, without a doubt, going to sweep the technical awards.'Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission.'
    'Please elaborate.'
    'Well, it reminds of a story.'
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in EditingGravityCaptain PhillipsCaptain Phillips' climax got close to Argo's climax. It's tough to beat Gravity for the technical awards this year.From Captain Phillips:
    "Shut up, Irish. Too much talking."
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Production DesignAmerican HustleHerHer was a surprise (and deserving) nomination for this category, and the minimalism in the look and feel of the movie only goes on to show how much thought was put into it. Oh, and yes, F. U. American Hustle.From Her:
    "Your past is just a story you tell yourself."
    Miss. The Great Gatsby.
    Best Achievement in Costume DesignAmerican Hustle
    Probably the only good thing about American Hustle. Yup, Amy Adams' cleavage wasn't one."But, you know I thought you were mysterious like my mother. Until, it turned out... the mysterious just meant depressed." Miss. Because in-your-face costumes are the way to go. :| The Great Gatsby.
    Best Achievement in Makeup and HairstylingDallas Buyers Club
    see: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original ScoreSteven Price, Gravity
    While I really wish Thomas Newman, after being nominated 11 times before this (including Wall·E), won this one for his great score in a music-heavy Saving Mr. Banks, I feel Steven Price deserves this one. Check it out.
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song'Let it go', Frozen'Ordinary Love', U2, Mandela: Long Walk to FreedomThis is a tough one to pick, between 'Ordinary Love' and 'Let it go'. I do want to see U2 win, after they didn't win the last time they were nominated. And while you are at it, 'The Moon Song' from 'Her' is absolutely heart-breaking.
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Sound MixingGravity
    see: Best Achievement in Cinematography
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Sound EditingGravity
    see: Best Achievement in Cinematography
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Visual EffectsGravity
    see: Best Achievement in Cinematography
    Hit!




    Total:
    18 / 20


    Who are you rooting for?

    86th Academy Awards...

              mako        
    ------------
    Note 1: So you got a Nexus 4. Congratulations. You have an incredibly powerful device in your hands. This post is not N4 specific, so you can try several of these with any top-of-the-line Android device. N4 because all of these have been field-tested on mine. If you've got interesting apps/uses to share, shoot in the comments, I'd love to hear 'em. Otherwise, if 'Angry Birds' is all you've done, read on, you must. ;)

    Note 2: I'm sure someone at Google is huge Guillermo Del Toro fan. Galaxy Nexus was code-named 'toro', Nexus 4 is code-named 'mako' (ref: Pacific Rim).
    ------------


    Part I: use mako

    Part II: root mako

    Part III: sudo mako



    Part I: use mako


    a) Lock screen

    Widgets were always the strength of the Android ecosystem, and 4.2 Jelly Bean added the capability to add widgets on the lock-screen. There are several lock-screen widgets, but none standout like Roman Nurik's DashClock widget, which is beautiful, and isn't heavy on the battery. There are several extensions for this widget available in the store, so suit yourself.




















    b) Home screen

    I use the Android stock launcher. What you see in the background is the Ice Galaxy Live Wallpaper. This fellow, Maxelus, makes beautiful wallpapers. Most of the widgets are created using Zooper Widgets, and the icon pack is Minimalist.

    Nova Launcher is a popular choice for launcher replacement. It gives you a lot of options to customize just about everything. A shoutout to Buzz Launcher, which attempts to create a marketplace for out-of-the-box homescreens, which you can download and apply in a flash! Worth checking out if you are among the lazy ones.


    Head here for some inspiration.
















    c) Computer-phone connectivity apps (Productivity)

    Chrome to Phone - Send links from Chrome browser on desktop to your android phone.

    Phone To Desktop - Send links from your android phone to Chrome browser on desktop.

    Desktop Notifications - Get notifications from your phone on Chrome browser on desktop as desktop notifications.

    AirDroid - Transfer files to/from phone to desktop over wi-fi. Send SMS, use phone camera as a webcam, manage contacts, apps, music et al, from your desktop.

    TeamViewer - Remote control/remote desktop your computer from your phone over a data connection.

    GOM Remote - Control GOM Player on your computer through a remote-like interface on your phone.

    Unified Remote - Use your phone as a keyboard/mouse for your computer.



    d) Travel apps

    FlightTrack - Beautiful interface which shows flight path on a map. Gives schedule and gate information. Excellent, excellent app.

    Currency - Offline currency conversion.

    Google Maps / Google Translate - Their 'offline' mode is sweet! Download maps, and language packs for offline use! Very, very handy if you are planning a foreign holiday soon!

    Triposo - Travel guide.



    e) Special mention

    SMS Backup+ (backs up SMS, call logs, and now WhatsApp messages to Gmail!),
    Clean Master (clear system cache),
    Battery Doctor (battery optimisation),
    CamScanner (excellent app to get scanner level quality for documents through the phone camera),
    TrueCaller (it's creepy how they get the unknown numbers right, but they do),
    Light Manager (customise phone's LED notifications),
    SphereShare (photosphere images sharing community),
    TV Show Favs (track TV show episodes), and
    Default App Manager (manage default apps for any phone action).


    ...and since you will install so many apps, it is easy to get lost. Enter: App Dialer, yep, an app to find apps installed on your phone!




    Part II: root mako


    Rooting gives you the ability to flash custom ROMs on your phone. I haven't flashed any custom ROMs yet, I am pretty happy with the stock ROM. But rooting allows you to make full backups of your phone, and some pretty nifty apps. Most of the methods of rooting Nexus 4 factory resets the phone, and guides are easily available if you google it.


    The method I used doesn't factory reset the phone. (Motochopper method)

    1: Get motochopper and the drivers from here.

    2: Root. Yep, that simple. A full guide here (they even have a video!). The guide is for Galaxy S4, but it works just the same for Nexus 4 (I've done it!).


    All the other methods unlocks bootloader first, and then applies root. Hence the factory reset.

    Motochopper roots without unlocking the bootloader. Once you have achieved root, you can unlock your bootloader using BootUnlocker (yep, there's an app for that!). Android 4.3 update was announced today, so there's a decent chance you'll lose root after the update. You can use Voodoo OTA RootKeeper to preserve root during the OTA update.








    Part III: sudo mako

    Well... you have a rooted phone. What now?

    ShareKM - My favorite root app's gotta be ShareKM. It's brilliant! It connects the phone to your computer over wi-fi/data/bluetooth. Slide the mouse pointer from the edge of the screen, and voila!, the mouse pointer jumps to your phone! You can now use your computer's keyboard to type on your phone, or copy text from one to the other. It's really neat, you should check it out if you have a rooted Android device. Video of this app in action embedded below:





    OBackup - Nandroid Backup - Nandriod backup means a full image backup of your phone. So if you mess up something tinkering, you can always restore the phone exactly to how it was. OBackup does cloud backups and you can schedule your backups, which is pretty neat.



    LMT - LMT enable features on stock Android that are typically available on custom ROMs, and is often the reason why people do install custom ROMs. It isn't avaialble on Google Play, but can be downloaded from here. A full review here, and video of the app in action below:






    Spend time configuring your phone, it'll be worth it. Tinker. Enjoy.

    mako...

              Mekkoja kesäksi        
    Ennen kuin se kesä mut yllättää niin päätin likalle muutaman mekon tehdä. Yleensä teen shortsis ja mekot juuri kesän alettua kun huomaa että mitää ei likalla ole kaapissa. Sitten kierät kirpiksiä ja etsit niitä kesä vaateita hulluna. Onneksi oon nyt ajoissa :D Kaava on Ottobre 1/14, lehdessä malilla on pitkät hihat.







    Neiti on ainakin tyytyväinen mekkoihinsa :D
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    Бывшая вице-премьер Карелии Валентина Улич получила должность заместителя главного врача Детской республиканской больницы. Фото: gov.karelia.ruВчера на утренней врачебной конференции главный врач детской республиканской больницы Инга Леписева представила коллегам своего нового, седьмого по счету, заместителя. Как рассказали «Чернике» присутствовавшие на совещании медики, они были шокированы. В ранге замглавврача предстала бывшая заместитель главы республики по социальным вопросам Валентина Улич, под руководством которой персоналу ДРБ пришлось работать в течение года до того, […]
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    Крыльцо Детско-юношеского центра в Петрозаводске давно нуждается в ремонте. Фото: Татьяна СмирноваНаша власть очень любит детей, но преимущественно на словах, так, чтобы они перед ней пели и плясали и при этом проблем не создавали. По указанию президента России чиновники и приближенные к власти общественники разрабатывали и осуществляли, в том числе и на территории Карелии, Национальную стратегию действий в интересах детей (2012-2017 годы), где наряду с другими […]
              Ð¢Ñ€Ð°Ð³ÐµÐ´Ð¸Ð¸ на улице Правды могло не быть?        
    Заемщики компании "Сана" на первомайской демонстрации в Петрозаводске. Фото: Татьяна СмирноваСубботним утром накануне Первомая у меня зазвонил телефон. Странным это показалось потому, что в такое время – в начале выходных – обычно бывает тихо. – У нас ЧП, – взволнованный женский голос не оставил сомнения в том, что случилось что-то страшное, и, как ни дико это звучит – ожидаемое. – С восьмого этажа дома номер […]
              Â«Ð£ вас был шанс, а теперь ваш палец подождет…»        
    Заслуженный врач Карелии Антонина Тимонина оперирует в Детской республиканской больнице. Коллаж: ЧерникаТакую фразу из уст врача Детской республиканской больницы Никитина услышала мама двенадцатилетнего мальчика (по просьбе женщины мы не публикуем имен ее и сына), у которого в результате обращения к врачам этой клиники на большом пальце ноги развился некроз тканей. «На одном из этапов лечения этот доктор отказался сделать перевязку моему ребенку, когда лечащий врач был […]
              Ð¡Ð¼ÐµÑ€Ñ‚ÑŒ по инструкции        
    Прионежский районный суд. Фото: googleВспомнить произошедшую семь лет назад трагедию, в результате которой погиб житель вепсского села Рыбрека Павел Фотеев – отец троих детей, сын и муж, мы решили потому, что у подобных историй нет срока давности, поскольку главную роль в трагедии этой сыграл человеческий фактор. Сейчас, когда в России принят так называемый закон о «декриминализации семейного насилия», Павел […]
              ÐšÑ€Ð°Ð¶Ð°, грабеж, умышленное уничтожение имущества или халатность?        
    Так выглядит сегодня бывшая территория Петрозаводского комбината благоустройства. Фото: Татьяна СмирноваНеделю назад «Черника» опубликовала фоторепортаж, запечатлевший уродливую картину территории петрозаводского комбината по благоустройству, сотрудники которого на протяжении многих десятилетий ухаживали за лицом столицы Карелии. Примерно год назад никем не охраняемое предприятие, откуда по непонятным причинам съехал коллектив, стало объектом для мародеров. Скорей всего, к такому состоянию предприятие намеренно вели должностные лица, заинтересованные в передаче земли […]
              Â«ÐÐµÐ¿Ñ€Ð¸ÐºÐ°ÑÐ°ÐµÐ¼Ð°ÑÂ» Старшова        
    Детский омбудсмен Карелии Оксана Старшова. Фото: Губернiя DailyРавенство граждан перед законом закреплено в Конституции. Но чиновники живут по своим правилам и, как показывает практика, трактуют их по собственному усмотрению. 20 февраля «Черника» рассказывала об одном вопиющем факте: «Если вы думаете, что все без исключения чиновники подчиняются закону «О порядке рассмотрения обращений граждан РФ», который обязывает их отвечать на обращения граждан в тридцатидневный […]
              Cocora Coffee by Twineich, Armenia – Colombia        

    We look for in the design the abstraction each element identifying the regions, applying in it a lot of cleanliness and minimalism.
              Efeler Ligi 2017-2018 Voleybol Sezonu Fikstürü        
    Efeler Ligi 1. Hafta Karşılaşmaları Fenerbahçe – Beşiktaş Arkas Spor – Galatasaray İstanbul BBSK – Afyon Bld. Yüntaş TKD Kuzey Enj. Torul G. – Maliye Piyango Halkbank – İnegöl Bld.Jeopark Kula Bld. – Ziraat Bankası Efeler Ligi'nde 1....
              Paulie Malignaggi Slams 'Dirtbag' Conor McGregor        
    Paulie Malignaggi went on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to slam 'dirtbag' Conor McGregor as someone who was all about ego and surrounded himself with yes men.
              Rick Ross - She On My Dick (Remix) Feat. Meek Mill, Young Dolph & Bruno Mali Kidd        

    Rick Ross' "She's On My Dick" gets an upgrade.
    http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/rick-ross-she-on-my-dick-remix-feat-meek-mill-young-dolph-and-bruno-mali-kidd-new-song.1975336.html
              Listras        

    listras na moda

     

    Clássicas e repaginadas, elas voltaram!

    Do jeito que a gente gosta, ar minimalista e atemporal.

    Principalmente as versões preto e branco inspiram o casual sem exageros.

     

    sacolas listradas

     

     

    São inúmeras formas de usar as listras. Horizontais ou verticais, em peças grandes ou pequenas, elas se adaptam perfeitamente em diversos looks.  

    bolsa e lenço listra

     

     

    LISTRA-SE >>


              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!     

              What I've learned in Africa        
    I failed miserably in the two learning targets I set myself when I arrived here - mastery of the French language (I get by but am by no means fluent) and competence at drumming (I've managed to fit in two lessons in over six years).  But I have learned a number of things, some about myself and some about Africa.

    I learned that I'm not as emotionally self-sufficient as I'd always thought - that I need people.  My first couple of years were really quite lonely, until I worked out that the best response was not to try to toughen myself up so I could cope better but to go out and find friends.

    I learned that I'm not a very compassionate person.  I care about injustice towards groups of people and want to do my bit to put that right, but I don't cry over the suffering of individuals nor do I give and share what I have in the way that Africans (and some Europeans/Americans) do.  I don't feel sympathy when I see someone begging, I just feel a need to try to change the system.  It's not a trait to be particularly proud of, but then again it is one that makes it easier to cope with a job like mine where you do witness a lot of suffering.

    & I learned (or rather confirmed my suspicion) that I am physically suited to the environment here.  I love the heat - don't miss winters, or indeed seasons, at all - and my only illness during my time here was the bronchitis I picked up on a winter trip to the US and a touch of flu in my first month here.  Not only have I avoided malaria but I haven't even suffered one bout of diarrhoea in more than six years here!

    As regards Africa and its people?  Well, I've learnt that it is a highly materialistic society and with conspicuous consumption preferred over savings or investment, that Africans of different shades of brown and black can be far more racist (towards eachother) than any whites I've ever met, that things will happen when they happen no matter how many times an impatient white person looks at their watch in irritation, and that when things appear to have gone wrong, there is always a solution, especially when Africans spot a white person in need.

    I've learnt a lot about the huge importance of the obligations that come with the extended family system, and the way in which this system is a strong barrier against Africa developing on the same path that the West has.  On the one hand it works against people building up the kind of wealth necessary to build businesses, as the more one earns the greater the number of family members who come calling for help; I don't think I have any African colleagues who don't spend a significant proportion of their income supporting their extended family.  On the other hand this means that what we in the West would call corruption and nepotism (those with power using it to favour/benefit family and friends) are in Africa normal and acceptable forms of behaviour.  I'll never forget the dinner in Mali where I heard a government minister tell some friends that he was going to resign as he couldn't cope with the constant demands for money and jobs from his family and community.  Taken up to the next level - the tribe - this also explains in large part why Western-style democracy does not really work in Africa.

    I learnt that every sub-Saharan African, whether Christian, Muslim, atheist or animist, believes in a spirit world. This world operates in parallel with the material world but with the ability to interfere in the latter for good or evil.  Typical manifestations of this belief include the protective amulets worn by many people and widespread accusations of witchcraft to explain what we would call bad luck.

    Finally, I learned about a very important existential difference between the West and Africa - or, more accurately I suspect, between the West and rest of the world - in the way we look at a human being.  In the West we focus almost entirely on that person as an individual, with rights and choices that attach to him/her as an individual.  Here in Africa, that is not important.  A human being is not seen as an individual but in terms of their relationship to others.  So one is a mother, a sister, a chief, a Christian, a member of a certain tribe...

    I recently spent a few days in an African household, where I was soon referred to as "aunty", the usual term for a respected (older) family friend; there was no way I would have been called by my name.  Birthdays are not celebrated here either.

    Of course those relationships carry obligations and expectations (built up in the culture over many generations) which are considered far more important than anything the individual concerned might prefer were they to be given free choice.  It shows what a clash of cultures it is to try to impose individual human rights (eg the right of a child to go to school rather than to help with the family business, or the right of a man to live and sleep with another man rather than to marry a woman and to produce children) on societies where the happiness of the individual is considered far less important than the well-being of the community.  Particularly in a part of the world where it is believed that failing to maintain the traditons of the ancestors is likely to bring misfortune.

    It's ironic really that one of the things many expats relish, myself included, is the freedom from expectations and obligations that we have through living outside of our own cultures.


    Unless anything momentous happens in the next 48 hours that has to be reported here, this is my last post on louiseinsenegal.  Hopefully it won't be long until my first post on louiseinpanama.
              Ouidah voodoo festival        
    Every year on 10 January, Benin celebrates its national religion with a festival in the coastal town of Ouidah (a place also known for its slave-trading history).  I've never managed to schedule a work-related trip to Benin in January, so I bit the bullet this year and bought my own flights so as to visit this festival.

    I've long wanted to experience a real voodoo ceremony, having read about the way people can supposedly become 'possessed' by spirits, but this is really a matter of luck, being in the right place at the right time.  A colleague has an aunt who carries out similar ceremonies here in Senegal, and I've pushed for an invitation, but the aunt says it would be too dangerous for me - that evil spirits might come up through the ground and enter my body, which would be a terrifying experience for me and could leave me permanently damaged - and so she will not allow me to attend one of her ceremonies.  Needless to say, I don't believe in evil spirits, so have no fear of any such ceremony going wrong in that way, but this isn't really an argument you can use here.

    So the voodoo festival in Ouidah would have to do as second best.  & I feel I should be careful here in any case not to give the wrong impression of voodoo - the Hollywood impression of a set of dark and perhaps evil practices - as the religion is not based around trances and animal sacrifices, those play only a small part related to major problems or events in people's lives.  The day-to-day practice of voodoo is far more mundane.

    I found no information about this festival on the internet other than the date, and even on a trip to Benin in December no-one could give me any information, so I turned up not really knowing what to expect - even whether I would find the festival!  I arrived in Ouidah late the evening before, found myself a hotel room, and asked the hotel manager what was going to happen.  There will be a big procession to the beach, he told me, and after the official ceremony, there would be "voodoo here, voodoo there, voodoo everywhere!", waving his hands about excitedly.  Voodoo is indeed everywhere in Ouidah (and in much of Benin and parts of neighbouring Togo), as it is the national religion.  You see little shrines next to houses, often sticky with the residue of earlier sacrifices (usually of beer or grain porridges, rather than animals), and various buildings with voodoo symbols painted on them (a rainbow, or a snake, for example).  But I didn't fly all this way, for a two-day visit, to see a fetish or a painted building.

    On the day of the festival I followed my hunch - a sound of singing and clapping which I traced to its origin in the local chief's house.  In return for a $10 payment for a 'photo permit' I was allowed in, and watched the chief and his entourage prepare, then we left in a big chaotic procession towards the python temple, with all the chief's family and guests dressed in their ceremonial finery. 
    Ouidah apparently means, in the local language, 'town of pythons' and the python is the most important local deity, so sacrifices had to be made there before the festival could start.  Two goats and two chickens were the victims, presumably fed to the pythons later.

    Then we made our way the 4km to the beach (the chiefs in their 4x4s, me on the back of a motorbike taxi) for the festival.  This was a strange event, formal in some ways (the US Ambassador was there, and Benin TV were broadcasting it live), but as well as the speeches and displays of drumming and dancing from the main stage of the big square, there were more animal sacrifices performed away from the stage, and various private dances with frenetic drumming in corners (including those in the first photo above) - mostly far more interesting, and with a far more authentic feel, than that put on for the Ambassador and the TV.

    Walking back into town after the formalities were over I passed another troupe of dancers heading towards the beach area - looking at the photos afterwards I had to ask myself why I hadn't followed them.  Bare breasts, grass skirts, ointment smeared over their bodies and the prospect of some wild dancing - I have to admit that as much as I want Africa to develop (clean water and education for all, but also further into the 21st century), it is this traditional, even 'primitive' side of the continent that really draws me in.

    Revisiting this post to add a further comment, as my lack of articulacy in the last paragraph was bothering me.  What I was trying to reflect was the conflict I so often face between the sensational and the mundane, in terms of representing Africa in my blog.  Of course I am more attracted by exploring (and writing about) the sensational side, but at the same time I don't want to give the wrong impression of the continent.  Bare-breasted women in grass skirts dancing around blood-smeared fetishes to the beat of frenetic drumming is something I want to see and write about, and is a valid image of a part of Africa, but it no more represents the wider African continent (nor even the voodoo religion) than a burnt-out car on a Belfast street represents the wider UK.  & I thought it was important to come back and make this clear, because so much of what one reads about Africa relies on stereotypical images of the place as primitive, poor, corrupt, disease-ridden, etc - and whilst those images do represent a part of the truth, it is only a small part, and I don't want to contribute to an overall negative view of this continent that I love so much.


              Mud marvels in Mali        

    It was a great feeling - one of exhilaration - as the 5am bus pulled away from the dark little side-street in central Bamako to start the 580km trip north-east to Djenne.

    I first visited Djenne 13 years ago, and I wasn't going to let coups, rebellions or ill-informed foreign office advice stop me from going back.  I'd checked and double-checked and Djenne is safe.  But with much of Mali currently so unsafe there are no tourists coming, and with the embassies advising against all travel to Mali even the business travellers are leaving as quickly as they can - so I knew that I would have Djenne all to myself.

    & so it proved.  Djenne is a UNESCO World Heritage site, an ancient city on the trans-Saharan trade route almost entirely built of mud, and with the largest mud structure in the world (its mosque), so tourism has been an important source of income.  But with the kidnappings in Timbuktu last year it pretty much dried up, and then with the coup this March it stopped completely.  So all those who make their money from tourism - those who run and work in hotels and restaurants, who make or sell masks, statues, jewellery and bogolan cloth, those working as guides (and their extended families) - all have suffered.  This meant, rather embarrassingly, that I was treated as some kind of messiah, with little old ladies coming and taking my hands and praising god that there was a white person in Djenne, finally.

    I hope I didn't raise any false hopes (please, readers, go to Djenne, and spend money there!) but it was nice to feel so welcome and wonderful to wander the streets and visit a couple of nearby villages without seeing another tourist.  The need for tourist $ also meant I was allowed inside the famous mosque, nornally off-limits to tourists (although to be honest the interior turned out to be far less impressive than the exterior).

    Djenne is a truly beautiful place, one of my favourite towns/cities in the world.  Buildings are built with banco (mud mixed with millet straw) in traditional styles maintained by a strict guild of masons, and are regularly replastered to counter rain damage.  Located in the Niger inland delta, the surrounding land is a floodplain, underwater for several months of the year.  During my visit the water had only partly receded, so the town was effectively an island reachable only by crossing a bridge or taking a ride in a pirogue.

    Sunday is one of the quiet days when I was able to wander the little backstreets enjoying the architecture.  Monday, on the other hand, is the day of the weekly market, with thousands of people arriving from the surrounding villages to bring fish, vegetables and bundles of firewood for sale.  It is a typical colourful African market - of which, of course, I have seen dozens - but looking out from the town at all the traders crossing the floodwater in little wooden pirogues was certainly worthwhile.


    In the afternoon I escaped the market crowds by taking a guide to visit two nearby villages, one inhabited by the Bozo (fishermen) and accessible only by boat, the other with a mixture of different tribes in different sections, each with their own small mud mosque.

    Then, unfortunately, the long and tiring bus ride back to Bamako.  It should take about 10 hours, but in a particularly old bus, and with a driver who seemed cdetermined to stop to pick up as many passengers (and their chickens) as possible, it took us 18 hours.  But for Djenne, it was worth it.

              Bees in the baobab        

    The Bedik people came to south-east Senegal from Mali in the thirteenth century. They now number around 8,000 people, living in and around seven villages in the hills of this remote corner of Senegal. I came to spend a few days in the ‘capital’ of the Bedik country, the village of Iwol.

    Bees are an important part of the history of Iwol. When Alpha Yahya attacked them from his base in Guinea to convert them to Islam, they fled into the surrounding hills, hiding in the caves. But realising that they could not defeat Yahya and his army, they offered their 12 fittest young men as a sacrifice to the village’s guardian spirit so that the village could be saved. The spirit accepted this offering and sent a swarm of bees to attack Yahya’s soldiers. The stings were so bad that they all fell down dead on the spot (only Yahya himself survived), and the Bedik got their village back.

    At one side of the village is an old, gnarled baobab tree, some 23m in circumference. This sprouted, many centuries ago, over the burial place of some members of the Camara family – which somehow makes it sacred. As the bees now nest in it I suppose it is doubly sacred.

    A nice by-product of this is the honey, which the Bedik add to palm wine to make a delicious mead drink.

    Whilst many of the Bedik are now Catholic, they are at the same time still animist – having decided, apparently, to maintain this alongside their Catholicism so as not to lose their traditions. An important part of those traditions is the annual initiation ceremony by which the boys of this and nearby villages come of age. Whilst the whole initiation takes some five months, much of it taking place out in the sacred forest, it begins with a public ceremony in the village and it was this I had come to see.

    It starts with the presentation by each boy of a cockerel to the village spirit. The cockerel is slaughtered, cut open, and the colour of the inside of its testicles checked – a healthy white and the boy may be initiated, but if this is black then further consultations with the spirits are required. In the worst case it may be decided that it would be bad luck for the boy to be initiated and he has to come back again the next year. Thankfully this possibly traumatic experience (for the boy) is rare, and this year all 18 boys were able to continue.

    The cockerel is plucked and cooked over the coals, then skewered with a big stick that is placed in the roof of the initiate’s home, to mark his location. Then the masks appear from the hills – men from the village in a mask costume made from raffia and leaves – carrying big sticks and hunting for the boys. They find the huts with the chickens and try to take the boys, but the villagers are prepared and protect the boys whilst fighting back against the masks with their own big sticks. It is all quite chaotic and it seems some people do end up with some big bruises, but everyone involved sported big grins – it is obviously an event that the villagers really enjoy!

    Over the following few days one can hear occasional drumming and shrieking coming from a specially built little hut in the middle of the village, and the boys emerge from time to time to parade around. Their appearance is suggestive of girls at this point, with an elaborate hairdo and earrings, and they stamp their feet rhythmically as they move, so a bunch of iron hooks dangling on their backs jangle loudly. I didn’t get the whole of the story behind these parades, but the boys move as if exhausted, and have one or two villagers who support each of them – although occasionally the boys throw off that support and try to make a run for the church at the top of one hill, from where the girls are watching the ceremony. They are always caught and pulled back before they get there, however.

    This goes on for some four days but everyone told me I should stay as the ceremony ends with a massive celebratory dance which the whole village attends in their best attire. This dance was supposed to start Tuesday afternoon and go on all day Wednesday, but on Tuesday nothing happened (my guide told me it was because the women had work to do, both the regular work such as the long walk to the well to collect water but also the preparation of food to give to those organising the initiation). On Wednesday the atmosphere was a little different, and there was plenty of millet beer being drunk all around. So much millet beer though that the final dance never happened. I was disappointed, but had to remind myself that it was a part of the village life, and that it was this real village life (rather than dances put on for tourists) that I had come to see. Perhaps if they were better at organising things they would not still be living in a picturesque village without a water supply, holding traditional animist ceremonies, and the women would no longer be wearing porcupine quills through their noses.
              AMOS YEE: IN S'PORE YOU ARE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT        

    So I was sharing the story of my charge with my fellow prison mates during the yard, expressing my perplexity that there would even be these things like remand or bail conditions, before you were found guilty by the judge.

    So then my prison mate said to me:

    ‘In America, you’re innocent until proven guilty. But in Singapore, you’re guilty until proven innocent.’

    Damn, I do love me a good little philosophy session in prison.

    Source: 

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              a feeling of wanting to punch people when I heard them eating        
    Researchers have discovered a biological basis for misophonia (previously): "Brain imaging revealed that people with the condition have an abnormality in the emotional control mechanism which causes their brains to go into overdrive on hearing trigger sounds." The full text of the study was published last week in Current Biology (open access): The Brain Basis for Misophonia.
              RESCISÃO NO PERÍODO DE EXPERIÊNCIA        
    O CONTRATO DE EXPERIÊNCIA

    O contrato de experiência é um contrato por prazo determinado, onde cada parte (empregado e empregador) tem um período para avaliar se a outra parte atende as suas expectativas.
    Deve ser registrado em carteira antes do empregado começar a trabalhar.
    O contrato de experiência deverá ter no máximo 90 dias corridos.
    Se o contrato tiver menos que 90 dias, poderá ter uma única prorrogação, respeitando o limite máximo de 90 dias.
    Exemplo: Um empregado é contratado por 30 dias e no final desse período poderá ter seu contrato prorrogado por mais 60 dias.
    A prorrogação do contrato deve ser formal, com a assinatura do empregado.
    Observação: Se no contrato tiver a informação de que após o primeiro período, continuando a prestação de serviços, esse será prorrogado pelo segundo período, então a prorrogação é automática, não necessitando nova assinatura.
    Se o contrato for prorrogado mais que uma vez ou se a prorrogação não for anotada em carteira, ou se ainda o empregado trabalhar mais que o período contratado, esse contrato passa a ser considerado por prazo indeterminado.
    Por isso, ao término de um contrato de experiência, se o empregado e empregador quiserem continuar o contrato não é necessário nenhuma formalidade, bastando o empregado continuar a trabalhar para que o contrato se transforme em contrato por prazo indeterminado.

    RESCISÃO ANTECIPADA E AVISO PRÉVIO EM CONTRATOS DE EXPERIÊNCIA


    Qualquer das partes pode rescindir antecipadamente contratos por prazo determinado.
    Salvo contratos que possuam a cláusula assecuratória do direito de rescisão antecipada (artigo 481 da CLT), que assegura às partes a faculdade de se arrependerem antecipadamente, cabendo nesse caso o aviso prévio, não existe aviso prévio para contratos de experiência.
    Para os contratos de prazos determinados existe a previsão de pagamentos indenizatórios por quem rescinde antecipadamente o contrato, como forma de compensação, conforme os artigos 479 e 480 da CLT.


    SE VOCÊ PEDIR DEMISSÃO (RESCISÃO DO CONTRATO) DURANTE O CONTRATO DE EXPERIÊNCIA

        Direitos

    • Saldo de salários;
    • Salário família;
    • Férias proporcionais aos dias trabalhados (Súmula 261 do TST);
    • 1/3 sobre as férias proporcionais;
    • Décimo terceiro proporcional aos meses trabalhados;
    • FGTS, depositado na conta vinculada do FGTS, sem direito a saque.
    Não são direitos
    • Multa de 40% sobre o FGTS;
    • Seguro desemprego;
    • Indenização adicional. A indenização adicional de um salário será devida no caso da rescisão do contrato de experiência pelo empregador, sem justa causa, nos 30 dias que antecedem a data-base da categoria.

    Você poderá ser obrigado a indenizar o empregador dos prejuízos que resultarem da rescisão antecipada do contrato. Essa indenização não poderá exceder a 50% dos dias restantes até o término do contrato (artigo 480 da CLT).
    O prejuízo causado deve ser comprovado materialmente pela empresa.

    SE FOR DEMITIDO (RESCISÃO DO CONTRATO) SEM JUSTA CAUSA DURANTE O CONTRATO DE EXPERIÊNCIA:

        Direitos: 

    • Saldo de salários;
    • Salário família;
    • Férias proporcionais aos dias trabalhados;
    • 1/3 sobre as férias proporcionais;
    • Décimo terceiro proporcional aos meses trabalhados;
    • FGTS, depositado na conta vinculada do FGTS, com direito a saque;
    • Seguro desemprego; 
    • Multa de 40% sobre o FGTS;
    • Indenização da metade dos dias que faltarem até o término do contrato (artigo 479 da CLT);
    • Indenização adicional. A indenização adicional de um salário será devida no caso da rescisão do contrato de experiência pelo empregador, sem justa causa, nos 30 dias que antecedem a data-base da categoria.

    SE FOR DEMITIDO (RESCISÃO DO CONTRATO) COM JUSTA CAUSA DURANTE O CONTRATO DE EXPERIÊNCIA:

        Direitos

    • Saldo de salários;
    • Salário família;
    • FGTS, depositado na conta vinculada do FGTS, sem direito a saque.

    Não são direitos
    • Férias proporcionais aos dias trabalhados;
    • 1/3 sobre as férias proporcionais;
    • Décimo terceiro proporcional aos meses trabalhados;
    • Seguro desemprego;
    • Multa de 40% sobre o FGTS;
    • Indenização da metade dos dias que faltarem até o término do contrato (artigo 479 da CLT);
    • Indenização adicional. A indenização adicional de um salário será devida no caso da rescisão do contrato de experiência pelo empregador, sem justa causa, nos 30 dias que antecedem a data-base da categoria.

     

    SE AO TÉRMINO DO CONTRATO DE EXPERIÊNCIA UMA DAS PARTES NÃO QUISER CONTINUAR O CONTRATO


    Nesse caso o contrato extingue-se naturalmente.

      

      Direitos


    • Saldo de salários;
    • Salário família;
    • Férias proporcionais aos dias trabalhados;
    • 1/3 sobre as férias proporcionais;
    • Décimo terceiro proporcional aos meses trabalhados;
    • FGTS, depositado na conta vinculada do FGTS, com direito a saque.

        Não são direitos


    • Seguro desemprego;
    • Multa de 40% sobre o FGTS;
    • Indenização.

    Mesmo sendo você a parte que não quis continuar o contrato, não há nenhuma indenização a ser paga ao empregador (artigo 480 da CLT), pois não se trata de uma rescisão antecipada. O contrato acabou naturalmente no seu prazo.

              AVISO PRÉVIO        

     ANTIGA LEI

    A comunicação antecipada é obrigatória do fim do contrato de trabalho, e feita pelo empregado ou pelo empregador.
    O período mínimo a ser cumprido após a comunicação ao empregado e de 30 dias.
    O trabalhador cumpriu o aviso conforme a Consolidação das leis trabalhistas (CLT), se o empregado deixa o emprega voluntariamente, tem que continuar trabalhar por 30 dias. Se não quiser cumprir o aviso devera ressarcir a empresa. Já quando o empregado e dispensado a empresa devera mantê-lo no trabalho por 30 dias ou liberá-lo pagando pelo período não trabalhado.

     NOVA LEI

    A nova lei 12.506/2011 aumenta de 30 para até 90 dias o aviso prévio que o empregador deve conceder ao funcionário no caso de demissão. As regras se aplicam para os desligamentos a partir do dia 13 de outubro de 2011, e não influenciam quem pediu demissão ou foi demitido antes da vigência do novo prazo.
    Para os que permanecerem por mais tempo, será somado ao aviso mais três dias por ano trabalhado, com limite total de até 90 dias. Em caso de demissão voluntária, o empregado deve trabalhar pelo mesmo período ou ressarcir a empresa pelo tempo devido. Mas a empresa pode optar por liberar o empregado, sem ônus.
    A medida vai beneficiar o trabalhador que tem mais estabilidade na empresa, e vai evitar demissões injustificadas por parte das companhias, já que demitir vai custar mais caro. Por outro lado o novo prazo, à primeira vista, beneficia o funcionário, mas se for levado em conta o fato de que o empregador também pode exigir o cumprimento do aviso prévio, mesmo quando demite o empregado, o prazo maior pode prejudicar a recolocação do profissional no mercado.
    A Federação das Indústrias do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Firjan) calcula que, com as novas regras, o pagamento do aviso prévio por parte das empresas será encarecido em 21%, representando um adicional da ordem de 1,9 bilhão de reais por ano. Segundo a Firjan, isso causará um desestímulo adicional à geração de empregos formais no país, contrariando a tendência internacional de flexibilização das legislações trabalhistas.
    A nova situação vai impactar todas as empresas e pesar no bolso do empresário. “Atualmente, paga-se um salário ao empregado quando não cumprido o aviso prévio trabalhado. Com as modificações, esta indenização poderá ser de até três salários, o que vai depender da proporcionalidade dos anos trabalhados pelo empregado, além das demais verbas do contrato de trabalho.”
    Quanto ao custo da mão de obra no Brasil, e o balanço das demissões e admissões, a nova lei, sem dúvida, encarece o custo de se manter um empregado, e a intenção de tentar diminuir a rotatividade nas empresas pode não ser alcançada. E mais, isso pode de alguma forma, aumentar a informalidade no mercado de trabalho.

              HOMOLOGAÇÃO        

    1 - HOMOLOGAÇÃO – RESCISÃO DO CONTRATO DE TRABALHO

    A assistência é devida na rescisão do contrato de trabalho firmado há mais de 1 (um) ano, e consiste em orientar e esclarecer empregado e empregador sobre o cumprimento da lei, assim como zelar pelo efetivo pagamento das parcelas devidas.
    A homologação da rescisão do contrato de trabalho deve ser assistida gratuitamente, sendo vedada a cobrança de qualquer taxa ou encargo pela prestação da assistência na rescisão contratual.

    1.1 - LIMITAÇÕES DA ASSISTÊNCIA

    Não é devida a assistência na rescisão de contrato de trabalho em que figurem a União, os estados, os municípios, suas autarquias e fundações de direito público, bem como empregador doméstico, ainda que optante do FGTS.

    1.2 - APOSENTADORIA OU MORTE DO EMPREGADO

    Na ocorrência do falecimento do empregado, a assistência na rescisão contratual é devida aos beneficiários habilitados perante o órgão previdenciário, reconhecidos judicialmente ou previstos em escritura pública lavrada nos termos do art. 982 do CPC, desde que dela constem os dados necessários à identificação do beneficiário e à comprovação do direito.

    Art. 982 Código de Processo Civil:
    "Art. 982. Havendo testamento ou interessado incapaz, proceder-se-á ao inventário judicial; se todos forem capazes e concordes, poderá fazer-se o inventário e a partilha por escritura pública, a qual constituirá título hábil para o registro imobiliário.
    § 1º O tabelião somente lavrará a escritura pública se todas as partes interessadas estiverem assistidas por advogado comum ou advogados de cada uma delas ou por defensor público, cuja qualificação e assinatura constarão do ato notarial.
    § 2º A escritura e demais atos notariais serão gratuitos àqueles que se declararem pobres sob as penas da lei."

    A assistência é devida, ainda, na hipótese de aposentadoria acompanhada de afastamento do empregado.



    1.3 - COMPETÊNCIA

    São competentes para assistir o empregado na rescisão do contrato de trabalho:

    1- O sindicato profissional da categoria; e
    2 - A autoridade local do Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego.

    Em caso de categoria não organizada em sindicato, a assistência será prestada pela federação respectiva.

    Faltando alguma das entidades ou órgão referidos, são competentes:

    I -  O representante do Ministério Público ou, onde houver, o Defensor Público; e
    II - O Juiz de Paz, na falta ou impedimento das autoridades referidas no item I acima.

    No pedido de demissão de empregado estável, nos termos do art. 500 da CLT, e no pedido de demissão de empregado amparado por garantia provisória de emprego, a assistência será prestada pelo sindicato profissional ou federação respectiva e, apenas na falta de entidade sindical, pela autoridade do Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego ou da Justiça do Trabalho.

    1.4 - ASSISTÊNCIA – ORDEM DE PREFERÊNCIA

    A assistência será prestada, preferencialmente, pela entidade sindical, reservando-se aos órgãos locais do Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego o atendimento aos trabalhadores nos seguintes casos:

    I   - Categoria que não tenha representação sindical na localidade;
    II  - Recusa do sindicato na prestação da assistência; e
    III - Cobrança indevida pelo sindicato para a prestação da assistência.

    1.5 - PRESENÇAS - CARTA DE PREPOSIÇÃO

    O ato da rescisão assistida exigirá a presença do empregado e do empregador.
    O empregador poderá ser representado por preposto, assim designado em carta de preposição na qual haja referência à rescisão a ser homologada.
    O empregado poderá ser representado, excepcionalmente, por procurador legalmente constituído, com poderes expressos para receber e dar quitação. 
    No caso de empregado não alfabetizado, a procuração será pública.

    1.6 - EMPREGADO MENOR

    Tratando-se de empregado adolescente (menor de 18 anos), será obrigatória a presença e a assinatura de seu representante legal, que comprovará esta qualidade, exceto para os adolescentes comprovadamente emancipados nos termos da lei civil.

    1.7 - DOCUMENTAÇÕES NECESSÁRIAS

    Os documentos necessários à assistência à rescisão contratual são:
    Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social (CTPS), com as anotações atualizadas;
    Comprovante do aviso-prévio, quando for o caso ou do pedido de demissão;
    Cópia da convenção ou acordo coletivo de trabalho ou sentença normativa aplicáveis;
    Extrato para fins rescisórios da conta vinculada do empregado no Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Serviço (FGTS), devidamente atualizado, e guias de recolhimento das competências indicadas no extrato como não localizado na conta vinculada;
    Guia de recolhimento rescisório do FGTS e da Contribuição Social, nas hipóteses do art. 18 da Lei nº 8.036/1990, e do art. 1º da Lei Complementar nº 110, de 2001;
    Comunicação da Dispensa (CD) e Requerimento do Seguro Desemprego, para fins de habilitação, quando devido;
    Atestado de saúde ocupacional demissional, ou periódico, durante o prazo de validade, atendidas as formalidades especificadas na Norma Regulamentadora – NR 7;
    Ato constitutivo do empregador com alterações ou documento de representação;
    Demonstrativo de parcelas variáveis consideradas para fins de cálculo dos valores devidos na rescisão contratual; e
    Prova bancária de quitação, quando for o caso.
    Quando a rescisão decorrer de adesão a Plano de Demissão Voluntária ou quando se tratar de empregado aposentado, é dispensada a apresentação de CD ou Requerimento de Seguro-Desemprego.

    Excepcionalmente o assistente poderá solicitar, no decorrer da assistência, outros documentos que julgar necessários para diminuir dúvidas referentes à rescisão ou ao contrato de trabalho.

    1.8 - PRAZOS PARA HOMOLOGAÇÃO

    Ressalvada a disposição mais favorável prevista em acordo, convenção coletiva de trabalho ou sentença normativa, a formalização da rescisão assistida não poderá exceder:

    I -   O primeiro dia útil imediato ao término do contrato, quando o aviso prévio for trabalhado; ou
    II - O décimo dia, subseqüente à data da comunicação da demissão, no caso de ausência de aviso prévio, indenização deste ou dispensa do seu cumprimento.
    Os prazos são computados em dias corridos, excluindo-se o dia do começo e incluindo-se o do vencimento.

    Na hipótese do item II acima, se o dia do vencimento recair em sábado, domingo ou feriado, o termo final será antecipado para o dia útil imediatamente anterior.

    1.9 - MULTA

    A inobservância dos prazos previstos sujeitará o empregador à autuação administrativa e ao pagamento, em favor do empregado, de multa no valor equivalente ao seu salário, corrigido monetariamente, salvo quando, comprovadamente, o trabalhador tiver dado causa à mora, conforme prevê a orientação jurisprudencial do TST:

    "Nº 351 MULTA. ART. 477, § 8º, DA CLT. VERBAS RESCISÓRIAS RECONHECIDAS EM JUÍZO. DJ 25.04.2007 Incabível a multa prevista no art. 477, § 8º, da CLT, quando houver fundada controvérsia quanto à existência da obrigação cujo inadimplemento gerou a multa. Legislação: CLT, art. 477, caput, §§ 6º e 8º."

    pagamento das verbas rescisórias em valores inferiores aos previstos na legislação ou nos instrumentos coletivos constitui mora do empregador, salvo se houver quitação das diferenças no prazo legal.

    O pagamento complementar de valores rescisórios, quando decorrente de reajuste coletivo de salários (data-base) determinado no curso do aviso prévio, ainda que indenizado, não configura mora do empregador, nos termos do art. 487, § 6º, da CLT.

    1.10 - FORMAS DE PAGAMENTO

    O pagamento das verbas salariais e indenizatórias constantes do TRCT será efetuado no ato da assistência, em depósito bancário ou ordem de pagamento.

    É facultada a comprovação do pagamento por meio de ordem bancária de pagamento,ordem bancária de crédito, transferência eletrônica disponível ou depósito bancário em conta corrente do empregado, facultada a utilização da conta não movimentável conta salário, prevista na Resolução 3.402/06, do Banco Central do Brasil.

    Neste caso, o estabelecimento bancário deverá situar-se na mesma cidade do local de trabalho, devendo, nos prazos previstos no Â§ 6º do art. 477 da CLT, o empregador informar ao trabalhador a forma do pagamento e os valores a serem disponibilizados para saque.

    Na assistência à rescisão contratual de empregado adolescente ou não alfabetizada, ou na realizada pelos Grupos Especiais de Fiscalização Móvel, instituídos pela Portaria MTE 265/2002, o pagamento das verbas rescisórias somente será realizado em dinheiro.

    1.11 - FORMALIZAÇÕES DA RESCISÃO

    No ato da assistência, deverá ser examinada:

    I   -  A regularidade da representação das partes;
    II  - A existência de causas impeditivas à rescisão;
    III - A observância dos prazos legais;
    IV - A regularidade dos documentos apresentados; e
    V  - A correção das parcelas e valores lançados no TRCT e o respectivo pagamento.

    Se for constatada, no ato da assistência, insuficiência documental, incorreção ou omissão de parcela devida, o assistente tentará solucionar a falta ou a controvérsia, orientando e esclarecendo as partes.
    Não sanadas as incorreções constatadas quanto aos prazos, valores e recolhimentos devidos, deverão ser adotadas as seguintes providências:

    I  - Comunicação do fato ao setor de Fiscalização do Trabalho do órgão regional para as devidas providências; e

    II - Lavratura do respectivo auto de infração, se o assistente for Auditor-Fiscal do Trabalho.

    A incorreção das parcelas ou valores lançados no TRCT não impede a homologação da rescisão, se o empregado com ela concordar.

    1.12 - DESTINAÇÕES DAS VIAS DO TRCT

    Homologada a rescisão contratual e assinada pelas partes, as vias do TRCT terão a seguinte destinação:

    I - As 3 (três) primeiras vias para o empregado, sendo uma para sua documentação pessoal e as outras 2 (duas) para movimentação do FGTS; e
    II - A quarta via para o empregador, para arquivo; e

    Nota: A rescisão contratual que se fizer necessária a assistência pelo sindicato ou pelo órgão competente, a este será necessário uma via para o devido arquivo.


    1.13 - COBRANÇAS PELA ASSISTÊNCIA

    É vedada a cobrança de qualquer taxa ou encargo pela prestação da assistência na rescisão contratual tanto ao trabalhador quanto ao empregador (artigo 477, § 7º da CLT).

    1.14 - CONCLUSÃO

    Prazo para pagamentos com ou sem aviso prévio (30 dias).
    Se for avisado e cumprido o aviso prévio o dia do pagamento é o superior ao termino do aviso.
    Se o aviso for indenizado, conta-se 10 dias a partir do desligamento para efetuar o pagamento (mediante deposito em conta bancaria de titularidade do trabalhador).
    Alem de pagar a rescisória para o funcionário, caso ele trabalhe a mais de um ano na empresa é preciso que haja a assistência na rescisão, chamamos isso de homologação.
    Homologação é procedimento através do qual alguém da empresa ou do escritório de contabilidade que represente a empresa vai juntamente com o funcionário que está se desligando, ou no sindicato ou no ministério de trabalho e lá são conferidas as verbas que estão sendo pagas para aquele trabalhador.
    Temos um prazo para pagamento independente do prazo da homologação.
    No dia da homologação: (normalmente não é no mesmo prazo)
    Comparecem com os cálculos que foram feitos e o comprovante do deposito bancário e alguém do sindicato ou ministério do trabalho confere as contas e homologa (aprova a rescisão).
    A lei não define o prazo para a homologação. Porem define 120 dias para o trabalhador demitido para solicitar o seguro desemprego a rescisão tem que estar homologada.

              British Ambassador Gave a Public Lecture at UNJA        
    Mendalo—The arrival of British ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN and Timor Leste, Moazzam Malik, at third floor of rectorat building in senate room was welcomed by the students of Jambi University on Monday (13/3). The coming of Moazzam Malik to UNJA was scheduled to give a public lecture to students of Jambi university with theme: “Forest Fire Prevention Efforts by the Government of Jambi Province in Correlation to Global Climate Change”. The event was also attended by Jambi Governor, H. Zumi Zola Zulkifli, S.TP., M.A. In his description, Moazzam said that the forest in Indonesia was one of the biggest forests in the world and it has been the lung of the world. He reiterated that we should safeguard our forest and he also stated that his government would cooperate with the Indonesian government to prevent the side effects of climate changes. He said Indonesia has the best potency to become future country in Asian region even in the world because Indonesia is the fourth biggest population country in the world or its population reaches 250 millions. In his view, there are three contributing factors that make Indonesia a big country, that is, economic regulation system, infrastructure and human resources which made the most important part of advancement of a country.  “We invited students at Jambi University to come to study overseas especially in England. We provided many scholarship schemes, and I saw students in this university were smart and eager to see future,” he commented. On the other hand, the Rector of Jambi University, Prof. H. Johni Najwan, S.H., M.H., Ph.D stated that the coming of British Ambassador to UNJA was expected to give hope to UNJA in this matter was scholarship cooperation. He greatly hoped that there would be a student exchange program with universities in England. Besides that,...

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              Gambie : à 14 ans, elle imagine un carburant à base d’arachide        
    Gambie : à 14 ans, elle imagine un carburant à base d’arachide Des jeunes filles d’Afrique de l’Ouest ont démontré au cours du week-end à Dakar qu’elles pouvaient être à l’avant-garde de la technologie en participant à un concours de robotique qui a aussi suscité des vocations. Venues du Sénégal, de Gambie et du Mali […]
              Wanita dalam pantang dipenjara 'Tawar khidmat Seks'        
    Tindakan seorang wanita berumur 31 tahun yang juga isteri kepada seorang lelaki yang bekerja sebagai pengawal keselamatan menawarkan perkhidmatan seks kepada seorang anggota polis yang berpangkat Sarjan Major mengundang padah.

    Tertuduh Rosmalini Hussin yang masih berpantang melahirkan anak kelima ditahan dihadapan sebuah hotel di Jalan Raja Laut pada jam 8.05 malam dijatuhkan hukuman penjara dua bulan bermula dari tarikh beliau ditangkap pada 24 Februari lepas.


    Beliau disakwa mengikut seksyen 372 (B) kanun keseksaan yang membawa hukuman penjara maksimum setahun atau denda atau kedua-duanya sekali jika sabit kesalahan. 

    Terdahulu, Rosmalini yang tidak diwakili peguam memohon mahkamah menjatuhkan hukuman ringan kerana dia hanya seorang suri rumah dan masih dalam tempoh berpantang selepas melahirkan anak sebulan yang lepas.

              ALIRAN-ALIRAN DAN TOKOH UTAMA STRUKTURALISME HINGGA SEMIOTIK TEKS        

    BAB II
    PEMBAHASAN
    A.    Strukturalisme, Posstrukturalisme, dan Neostrukturalisme
    1.   Strukturalisme dalam linguistik
    Linguistik strukturalime memainkan peran patron general strukturalisme, suatu peran yang telah diprediksikan oleh Saussure bagi linguistik berkenaan dengan semilogi, dalam linguistik dibedakan dua strukturalisme, yaitu strukturalisme Eropa dan Amerika. Dasar-dasar strukturalisme Eropa dikemukakan oleh Saussure dan Hjemslev yaitu mengenai para ahli linguistik Praha.
    Sebagai kelanjutan genealogi ini, strukturalis Perancis A. Martinet harus disebutkan disini tesisnya tentang pengartikulkasian bahasa secara ganda memainkan peran penting dalam perkembangan yang mengarah dari strukturalisme ke semiotik . Teori strukturalis bahasa yang dibawakan Jacobson membawa pengaruh perkembangan paling langsung pada perkembangan strukturalimse Perancis. Berbeda halnya dengan penganut strukturalisme yang murni, yakni Saussure dan Hjemslev, aliran Praha tetap menolak untuk menganggap bahwa sebagai suatu sistem sinkronis bentuk asli yang terpisah. Pendekatan mereka terhadap struktur bahasa didasarkan pada istilah-istilah kunci dan komunikasi.
    Para ahli linguistik aliran praha seperti Vachek, Dudrot dan Todorof telah menetapkan pendekatan mereka sendiri sebagai strukturalisme fungsional. Inti kontribusi aliran praha terhadap linguistik terletak pada bidang fonologi. Penemuan ciri-ciri desain sebagai atom-atom bahasa dan prinsip-prinsip fungsional analisis fonologis memberikan kontribusi secara signifikan terhadap penelitian struktural sistem tanda, tetapi kontribusi aliran praha terhadap semiotik tidak terbatas pada lingusitik saja. Jacobsson, Mukadovsky, dan yang lain-lain merupakan orang-orang yang memberikan kontribusi yang berpengaruh terhadap estetika.
    1.1  Fungsi, Komunikasi, dan Sistem
    Diantara inovasi-inovasi progamatis para ahli linguistic aliran Praha merupakan upaya mereka untuk mengatasi perbedaan tajam antara statika dan dinamika dalam linguistik sinkronis dan diakronis. Bahasa dideskripsikan sebagai suatu sistem fungsional yang berguna untuk tujuan komunikasi. oleh karena itu, sistem bahasa tidak dapat tetap bersifat statis, tetapi harus mempertahanakan keseimbangan yang dinamis. Pendekatan dinamis terhadap bahasa juga diperluas untuk mengkaji sintaks (struktur kalimat) dan teks. Dalam teori perspektif kalimat fungsional, analisis dilakukan terhadap distribusi unsur-unsur informasi yang diberikan dan yang baru dalam kalimat dan teks. Dsitribusi dinamis dan kemajuan unsur-unsur dalam teks ini dideskripsikan sebagai dinamisme komunikasi.
    1. 2Penemuan fonem
    Penelitiannya dalam bidang fonologi, Turbetzkoy menjadi penemu struktur atom bahasa yang memperkenalkan perbedaan antara fonologi dan fonetik. Fonetik adalah kajian bunyi-bunyi materiil dan pengartikulasian dalam tuturan (parole) apapun sifat-sifat sistemiknya. Fonologi (para ahli linguistik Amerika lebih memilih fonemik) mengkaji bunyi-bunyi suatu bahasa sebagai unsur-unsur fungsional dalam sistem bentuk dan isi (langue). teori ini sependapat dengan Sasussure yang membedakan antara langue dan parole.
    Dari sudut pandang fonetis, sejumlah perbedaan fonetis yang hamper tak terbatas dapat ditemukan dalam analisis terhadap bunyi-bunyi yang benar-benar diucapkan (yang kemudian yang disebut phone) fonologi mereduksi perbedan-perbedaan ini menjadi perbedaan-perbedaan yang memainkan peran fungsioanal dalam sistem tersebut, yakni apa yang disebut oposisi fonologis. Kriteria fungsionalitas merupakan efek perbedaan-perebedaan terhadap makna efek ini dites dengan menggunakan penggantian bunyi dalam konteksnya (tes komutasi) kelas-kelas bunyi yang komutasinya (saling bergantian) dalam kata-kata menyebabkan perbedaan makna disebut fonem, misalnya kata KUCING yaitu berasal dari fonem /K//U//C//I//N//G/ apabila fonem-fonem tersebut diubah akan menyebabkan perbedaan makna.
    1. 3Prinsip kejituan analisis etik ke analisis emik
    Kejituan (relevansi) mengacu pada ciri keberbedaan dalam suatu sistem. Prinsip ini menuntut pembedaan tingkat-tingkat analisis yang berbeda. Relevansi pada sistemik pada tataran fonem dapat diputuskan hanya dengan mengacu pada tataran struktur linguistik yang lebih tinggi pada tataran morfem (morfologi, dan semantik), karena hanya perbedaan semantik dalam komutasi membuktikan relevansi sistemik perbedaan fonetis.
    Pike (1967) dalam buku semiotik memperkenalkan istilah etik dan emik, etik dari kata fonetik bersifat nonstruktural dan mengkaji fenomena-fenomena dalam struktur lahirnya, sedangkan emik berasal dari fonemik dan akhirnya dari kata sistemik. Pendekatan emik dalam fenomena semiotik menganggap unsur-unsur sistem tanda dalam kaitannya dengan fungsinya dalam kode.
    1. 4Ciri-ciri yang berbeda dalam oposisi-oposisi biner
    Jakobson mereduksi fonem-fonem menjadi sistem ciri-ciri yang berbeda dalam oposisi-oposisi biner. Di dalam sistem biner ciri-ciri yang berbeda, setiap fonem secara struktural dikarakterisasikan oleh ciri-ciri yang dimilikinya. Jakobson sendiri mengembangkan prinsip-prinsip analisis ciri yang berbeda terhadap morfologi.


    STRUKTURALISME AMERIKA
    Dasar-dasar strukturalisme Amerika telah dikemukakan oleh Bloomfield (1933) dan dengan Haris (1951) pada buku semiotic, metodologi strukturalis dalam linguistik Amerika mencapai puncaknya. Dua karakteristik utama pendekatan-pendekatan terhadap bahasa ini adalah deskriptivisme, antimentalistik dan distribusionalisme .
    DESKRIPTIFISME ANTIMENTALISTIK
    Aliran linguistik Bloomfield bersisat antimentalistik dan lebih memilih pendekatan behavioristik terhadap bahasa tidak ada fakta-fakta mental internal seperti gagasan, konsep, atau niat yang harus dipertimbangkan dalam analisis semiotik.
    DISTRIBUSIONALISME
    Merupakan pendekatan kaum strukturalis Amerika terhadap aspek-aspek system bahasa. Distribusi adalah kejadian unsur-unsur bahasa dalam lingkungan linguistiknya yang pas. Unsur-unsur ini ditentukan menurut tipe-tipe konteksnya.
    Antropologi Struktural Levi Strauss
    Fonologi sebagai paradigm ilmu manusia
    Levi straus menemukan fonologi strucKtural dan menjadi yakin bahwa linguistik struktural harus menjadi patron general ilmu tentang manusia. Ia berpendapat bahwa sesungguhnya linguistik struktural dapat memainkan peran yang sama berkenaan dalam kaitannya dengan ilmu-ilmu sosial. Levi Strauss memperoleh keempat prinsip analisis berikut: (1) perubahan dari kajian terhadap fenomena-fenomena kesadaran ke kajian infrastruktur bawah sadar, (2) perubahan dari istilah-istilah tersebut ke hubungan-hubungan antara istilah-istilah tersebut, (3) kajian terhadap sistem tersebut secara keseluruhan, dan (4) penemuan hukum-hukum yang bersifat umum di dalam sistem. Levi Strauss menekankan karakter inovatif pendekatan struktural dalam berbagai ilmu pengetahuan tentang manusia. Tema yang selalu muncul dalam berbagai kajiannya adalah analogi struktural antara bahasa dan kebudayaan.
    Struktur-struktur kekerabatan
    Sistem-sistem kekerabatan mengungkapkan aturan-aturan perkawinana terlarang. Dalam sistem-sistem ini, Levi staruss memisahkan unit-unit kekerabatan terkecil sebagai struktur-struktur dasar suatu masyarakat. Namun, struktur-struktur ini tidak diberikan secara biologis, tetapi mewakili simbolisme kulturalisme.
    FORMALISME RUSIA, ALIRAN PRAHA DAN SEMIOTIK SOVIET
    -          Formalism Russia
    Tujuan kalangan formalis adalah untuk mengembangkan suatu pendekatan ilmiah terhadap sastra dan seni. Para penentang kalangan Formalis menuduh aliran ini hanya menaruh perhatian terhadap bentuk dan mengabaikan dimensi isi. Seni dan puisi dikaji sebagai sistem-sistem yang otonom yang menarik perhatian terhadap dirinay sendiri dan tidak dapat direduksi pada isinya. Menurut Sklovskij (1916), piranti seni memiliki fungsi sentral untuk “membuat aneh”, menyebabkan pembaruan persepsi terhadap latar belakang proses otomatisasi di mana kita menjadi terbiasa dengan tindakan-tindakan dan persepsi-persepsi sehari-hari. Berbagai pertimbangan pragmatis dan fungsional terhadap seni ini menunjukkan bahwa kalangan Formalisme mengembangkan analisis mereka di luar tataran ekspresi bentuk. Dalam kontribusi mereka terhadap narativitas, kalangan formalism bahkan tertarik pada struktur-struktur isi. Salah satu konsep yang paling berpengaruh dalam bidang ini adalah pembedaan antara cerita dan alur cerita yang diajukan Sklovkijj.
    -          Semiotik teks aliran praha
    Para ilmuwan seperti B. Havranek, R. Jakobson, J. Veltrusky, F. Vodicka, dan sebagai tokoh utama, Jan Mukarovsky, mengembangkan sebuah teori estetika dan sastra dengan unsure-unsur semiotic khusus.  Strukturalis Praha mengembangkan konsep struktur yang dinamis, struktualis praha menekankan pendekatan fungsional terhadap kebudayaan, Strukturalis Praha mengembangkan analisis mereka dari ekspresi linguistic ke struktur-struktur isi
    -          Semiotik Soviet
    Dua pusat penelitian yang dominan di Soviet adalah Moskow dan Tartu, Estonia. Pusat-pusat penelitian ini juga dikenal sebagai Moscow-Tartu Semiotics School. Semiotik Soviet berkembang dari proyek-proyek sebelumnya dalam terjemahan mesin. Proyek ini terus mengembangkan semiotic dengan landasan yang kuat dalam informasi, komunikasi, dan teori system. Karakteristik penelitian semiotic Soviet adalah semantisasi bentuk ekspresi. 
    Semiotik Teks Barthes
    1. Konotasi dan metabahasa
    Barthes (1957; 1964a; 1967b) mendefiniskan tanda sebagai suatu sistem yang terdiri atas hurf E, expression= ekspresi (atau signifier= penanda), in relation (R) to (dalam hubungannya dengan) C, content = isi (atau signified =petanda) : ERC. Sistem tanda primer semacam ini dapat menjadi unsur sistem tanda yang lebih komprehensif jika perluasan tersebut adalah perluasan isi, tanda primer (E1R1C1) menjadi ekspresi tanda sekunder: E2(=E1R1C1) R2C2  (Barthes 1964a: 89). Dalam hal ini, tanda premier tersebut adalah tanda semiotik denotatif sedangkan tanda sekundernya adalah tanda semiotik konotatif. (dalam Noth, 2006: 315)


     







    Ekspresi2
     
    Isi 2
    Ekspresi1                                                                     isi1
     
    metabahasa
     
    Tanda sekunder
     
    Gambar B 2. Model Konotasi Barthes sebagai perluasan semantik tanda denotatif (cf. Barthes 1957: 115; 1964b: 28) (dalam Noth, 2006: 315)






    (R2)
     


     



    Gambar B 3. Model metabahasa Barthes (1964a: 90) (dalam Noth, 2006: 315)
    Dalam tanda-tanda metalinguistik (cf. Gambar B3 ), dimana sistem primernya adalah bahasa objek, dan sistem sekundernya terdiri atas metabahasa. (dalam Noth, 2006: 315)
    1. Mitologi dan ideologi
    Dalam Mythologies-nya  (1957: 131), dia mendefinisikan sistem-sistem makna sekunder semacam ini sebagai mitos (q. V. 3.). kemudian, Barthes mendeskripsikan bidang konotasi ini sebagai bidang ideologi (q. V. 2. 1. 1). Media massa menciptakan mitologi-mitologi atau ideologi-ideologi sebagai sistem-sistem konotatif sekunder dengan berupaya memberikan landasan kepada pesan-pesan mereka dalam alam, yang dianggap sebagai sistem denotatif primer (cf. Ibid.) (dalam Noth, 2006: 316)
    1. Penelitian dalam sistem semiotik
    Dalam The Fashion System (1967b), Barthes melakukan usaha yang terperinci dan pada saat yang sama melakukan upaya yang dapat dicontoh untuk mengkaji sistem tanda di luar lingkup bahasa dan sastra. Objek kajian ini adalah mode (pakaian) di Prancis menurut dua majalah tahub 1958—1959. Ciri-ciri utama pendekatan strukturalis semiotiknya dapat dirangkum sebagai berikut:
    1.      Sesuai dengan prinsip-prinsip strukturalisme linguistik, Barthes memilih bentuk tertutup (yakni, majalah mode satu musim) agar dapat mengaitkannya dengan analisis sinkronis.
    2.      Metode-metode linguistik struktural, seperti analisis distribusional dan tes komutasi, diterapkan pada data-data analisis tersebut agar dapat menentukan ciri-ciri sistem mode yang selalu ada dan atau yang berbeda.
    3.      Analog dengan dikotomi Saussure antara langue dan parole, Barthes membedakan antara kode vestimenter (keagamaan), yakni sistem unsur-unsur dan kaidah-kaidah mode, aktualisasi individunya dalam garmen.