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

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

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

by Shrutee K/DNS

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

          Promozione Internorm “BELLI PROTETTI”        

Promozione Internorm  maggio e giugno 2017: bisogna solo scegliere il vantaggio da cogliere Finestre in promozione Internorm ne ha già offerte, ma oggi il leader europeo supera se stesso con un’offerta che ha dell’incredibile. Chi desidera ringiovanire la propria casa in uno degli aspetti nevralgici...

L'articolo Promozione Internorm “BELLI PROTETTI” proviene da Ruaro Sas.


          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.
          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.
          Stella rossa sull'Europa        
"Buongiorno, Anne. Buon anno".
"Buongiorno, Valentin. Buon anno anche a te. Novità?"
"Sì. Un nuovo arrivo. Sabato notte. Hai il colloquio già fissato per le undici. Trovi tutti i dettagli in agenda".
Anne Dupont, psicologa del Centro di Prima Accoglienza di Calais, entrò nel suo ufficio, accese il terminale e consultò la sua agenda elettronica.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pubblicato su Evulon in due puntate: la prima il 7 gennaio 2011 qui, e la seconda il 12 gennaio 2011, qui.
          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

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

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

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

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


Context

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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


Context

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

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

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'


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

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

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

          '..Angela Merkel .. calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.' (no replies)        
'Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

'European leaders have told Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid inflammatory language while Ankara threatened sanctions against the Netherlands as diplomatic relations between Turkey and several EU members soured dramatically.

..

On Monday, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, responded by pledging her “full support and solidarity” to the Netherlands, calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.

..

The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland have cited security and other concerns for their reluctance to allow Turkish officials to campaign in their countries.

..

Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

- Jon Henley, EU tells Erdogan not to escalate diplomatic row over political rallies, March 13, 2017


Context

European Commission calls on Turkey to moderate its tone in row with Dutch, March 13, 2017

'.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..'

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          '.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..' (no replies)        
'French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron "strongly condemns" what he calls provocations from the Turkish government.

Macron has called on France to support its European partners and "reject the Turkish government's abuses." He says that "the European Union must have a united response."

He criticizes "unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities that target "European values," and Germany and the Netherlands.'

- French Candidate Macron Condemns Turkey, March 12, 2017


'Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke on Sunday called on his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to delay a planned March visit because of "tensions" between Ankara and the Netherlands.

"Such a visit could not take place in light of the current attacks by Turkey against the Netherlands. Therefore I proposed to my Turkish colleague to postpone our meeting," Lokke said in a statement.'

- Denmark calls on Turkish PM to delay planned visit, March 12, 2017


Context

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          European Banking System on Verge of Collapse (no replies)        
'..doubt that European banks still had a viable business model.'

- 'Europe’s banks .. a “very fragile situation”..'


'..Monte dei Paschi, Italy’s third largest bank and oldest bank in the world is insolvent in any realistic scenario.

..

The Financial Times discusses the Vanishing Market Value of European Banks.

“The key to us is understanding this is a profitability issue versus an insolvency issue,” says Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments, regarding the sector’s performance.”

I suggest (as does the market) the entire European banking system is on the verge of collapse.'

- Mike "Mish" Shedlock, European Banking System on Verge of Collapse; Market Votes “No Confidence” in Italian Bank Rescue, August 2, 2016


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

'..the mismanagement and corruption of bankers and politicians in the 21st century.'

'Monte Paschi .. should be put into resolution, not bailed out.'

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

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..

..

..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..

..

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '



'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

..

..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

..

..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

..

The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.

..

The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.

..

Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.

..

..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

..

Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.

..

It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.

..

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.

..

In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.

..

As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.

..

Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016


Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'


'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          Full Circle        
I’m happy to report that Gabe and I are both parasite-free after our mid-service medical exams. After a few weeks vacationing in the decadent land of available cheese and hot showers (Europe) with our amazing friends and family who met us halfway around the world to bring me Junior Mints (among other things), we are [...]
          LATAR BELAKANG DAN SEJARAH JARINGAN KOMPUTER        
LATAR BELAKANG DAN SEJARAH
Sejarah jaringan komputer global ( dunia ), dimulaipada tahun 1969, ketika Departemen Pertahan Amerika, membentuk Defense Advance Research Projects Agency ( DARPA ) yang bertujuan mengadakan riset mengenai ‘cara menghubungkan sejumlah komputer sehingga membentuk jaringan organik’.

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

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

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

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


          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


          Superb movie secret window region 2 dvd - prix incroyable - johny depp +        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en bon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette peut présenter des dommages mineurs comme des éraflures des rayures ou des fissures. Pour les CD le livret et le texte arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions sont incluses. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnZone: nZone : EuropenOrigine: nCinéma américainPackaging: nEmballén n nCHECK OUT ALL MY OTHER ITEMS BEFORE THEY SELL. n PLEASE BID PROMPTLY SO AS NOT TO LOSE OUT!!!!n NOUVELLE SOLUTION TRÈINTERESSANTE:nAchetez des autres articles ensemble pour économiser sur les frais postaux !!!n SECRET WINDOW   nBOXED DVD !n nAUDIO LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: ENGLISH OR GERMANnMOVIE SUBTITL
          Whos that girl 1987 avec madona et griffin dune .        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en trèbon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette ne présente aucun dommage aucune éraflure aucune rayure aucune fissure ni aucun trou. Pour les CD le livret et le texte à arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions et la boîte sont inclus. Les dents du support de disque sont intactes. extérieur de objet présente des marques usure mineures. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas et ne présente aucunes rayures sur la face de lecture. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnOrigine: nCinéma américainImage: n16:Zone: nZone : EuropenGenre: nComédienEdition: nSimplenSous-genre: nRomantiquenAnéde sortie: nAnées 1980n n nDans un état presque neuf le boitier est pas abimé l
          Prison break saison 2 2006 dvd non musical *        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en bon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette peut présenter des dommages mineurs comme des éraflures des rayures ou des fissures. Pour les CD le livret et le texte arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions sont incluses. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnOrigine: nCinéma américainGenre: nAction AventurenFormat: nDVDnImage: n:Zone: nZone : EuropenEdition: nCoffretn n nétails de anoncenétailsnAnéde sortie en sallen2006nDuré59400000 minutesnPaysnETATS-UNISnPublicnTOUT PUBLICn Midiavideo - Tite Live édiavideo - Tite LivenCOFFRET PRISON BREAK saison BON ETAT
          Nous irons tous au paradis bedos rochefort lanoux dvd excellent etat ?        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en trèbon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette ne présente aucun dommage aucune éraflure aucune rayure aucune fissure ni aucun trou. Pour les CD le livret et le texte à arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions et la boîte sont inclus. Les dents du support de disque sont intactes. extérieur de objet présente des marques usure mineures. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas et ne présente aucunes rayures sur la face de lecture. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnGenre: nComédienZone: nZone : Europen n n    n                                               n     NOUS IRONS TOUS AU PARADIS               n JEAN ROCHEFORTn VICTOR LANOUXn GUY BEDOSn CLAUDE BRASSEUR n DVD EXCELLE
          Dvd neuf sous blister le monde perdu ?        
Objet ayant jamais éé ouvert ou dont emballage comporte toujours le sceau de fermeture intact du fabricant si applicable. objet comporte toujours le film plastique origine si applicable. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnZone: nZone : EuropenImage: n16:Edition: nSimplenGenre: nDessin animénAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprèOrigine: nCinéma françaisnPackaging: nEmballén n nDVD LE MONDE PERDUnNEUF SOUS BLISTERnéalisateur : Francois BrissonEditeur : Citel VideonNombre de DVD/VHS : 01nClassification : AnimationSaga : Autre
          Walt disney contes et legendes vol. 4 le lievre et la tortue et autres contes +        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en trèbon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette ne présente aucun dommage aucune éraflure aucune rayure aucune fissure ni aucun trou. Pour les CD le livret et le texte à arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions et la boîte sont inclus. Les dents du support de disque sont intactes. extérieur de objet présente des marques usure mineures. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas et ne présente aucunes rayures sur la face de lecture. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnOrigine: nCinéma américainImage: n:Zone: nZone : EuropenGenre: nDessin animénEdition: nSimplenSous-genre: nDisneynétails de anoncenétailsnDuréminutesnPaysnETATS-UNISnPublicnTOUT PUBLICn édiavideo -
          Arthur / dvd sous blister ?        
Objet ayant jamais éé ouvert ou dont emballage comporte toujours le sceau de fermeture intact du fabricant si applicable. objet comporte toujours le film plastique origine si applicable. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnZone: nZone : EuropenImage: n16:Packaging: nEmballén n n n// DVD NEUF SOUS BLISTER //n// FRAIS DE PORT: 15 € FRANCE 45 € COMMUNAUTÉ EUROPÉENNE //n// ÈGLEMENT: CHÈQUE PERSONNEL FRANCE UNIQUEMENT OU PAYPAL //n// PROFITEZ UNE ÉDUCTION SUR LES FRAIS DE PORT LORS UN ACHAT GROUPÉ //n* BONNES ENCHÈRES TOUS *n====================LE FILM====================n n n néalisé par Steve GordonAvec Dudley Moore Liza Minelli John GielgudplusnLong-étrageaméricain. Genre :ComédieDuré: 01h57min Anéde production :1981nSynopsis : Millionaire esseulé ivrogne et fantasque Arthur doit pour toucher un éritage épouser à contre-coeur une femme de bone famill
          !dead heads 2011 comme neuf!!! !        
Objet semblant avoir éé retiré de son film plastique écemment. Aucune marque usure apparente. Toutes les faces de objet sont impeccables et intactes. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnEdition: nSimplenOrigine: nCinéma américainAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprèZone: nZone : Europenétails de anoncenétailsnAnéde sortie en sallen2011nDuré5880000 minutesnPaysnETATS-UNISnPublicnInconun Midiavideo - Tite Live édiavideo - Tite Livenéalisateur : Brett PiercenParution : 17/01/2012nMike et Brent se éveillent pas tout à fait en vie pas tout à fait morts au beau milieu une épidémie de zombies. Aprèavoir écouvert une bague de fiançailles dans sa poche de manteau Mike enrôle soouveau pote Brent pour embarquer dans une quête à la recherche de son amour perdu. Ils sont donc morts-vivants ce qui ne veut pas dire que les deux
          Coffret dvd super série tv action politique a la maison blanche lot saison 1 + 2 !        
Objet semblant avoir éé retiré de son film plastique écemment. Aucune marque usure apparente. Toutes les faces de objet sont impeccables et intactes. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnOrigine: nCinéma américainImage: n:Zone: nZone : EuropenGenre: nérie TVnEdition: nCoffretnSous-genre: nDramenAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprè n nétails de anoncenétailsnDuré55440000 minutesnPaysnETATS-UNISnPublicnTOUT PUBLICn Midiavideo - Tite Live édiavideo - Tite LivenCoffret DVD des deux premières saisons de la érie américaine LA MAISON BLANCHE n nCette excellente érie acclamépar la critique et écompensépar de nombreuses écompenses conu un immense succèoutre-atlantique. Elle se caractérise par une éalisation de grande qualité casting écors et qualité ’image particulèrement soigné et une reconstitution éaliste de ’univers de ’ai
          Dvd titanic dicaprio winslet tbe *        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en trèbon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette ne présente aucun dommage aucune éraflure aucune rayure aucune fissure ni aucun trou. Pour les CD le livret et le texte à arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions et la boîte sont inclus. Les dents du support de disque sont intactes. extérieur de objet présente des marques usure mineures. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas et ne présente aucunes rayures sur la face de lecture. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnZone: nZone : EuropenImage: n:Edition: nSimplenGenre: nDramenAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprèSous-genre: nRomantiquenégion: nAUVERGNEnOrigine: nCinéma américainépartement: n63n n nétails de anonc
          Ratatouille / disney-pixar n°90 / dvd comme neuf !! ?        
Objet semblant avoir éé retiré de son film plastique écemment. Aucune marque usure apparente. Toutes les faces de objet sont impeccables et intactes. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnZone: nZone : EuropenImage: n16:Edition: nSimplenGenre: nDessin animénAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprèSous-genre: nDisneynPackaging: ncomme neufnOrigine: nCinéma américainDVD DISNEY COMME NEUF !! FRANCAIS .DOLBY DIGITAL !! ENVOI : dvd achetes euros en ecopli / dvds 10 euros en lettre verte / partir de dvd colissimo me consulter !! PAIEMENT : cheque prefere ou paypal.
          Dvd jimmy de maria giese +        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en trèbon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette ne présente aucun dommage aucune éraflure aucune rayure aucune fissure ni aucun trou. Pour les CD le livret et le texte à arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions et la boîte sont inclus. Les dents du support de disque sont intactes. extérieur de objet présente des marques usure mineures. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas et ne présente aucunes rayures sur la face de lecture. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnOrigine: nCinéma américainImage: n:Zone: nZone : EuropenGenre: nComédien                    Jimmy de Maria GiesenVous avez aimé The Full Monty vous adorerez Jimmy.nUne histoire pleine humour et émoti
          Hung ~ lintégrale de la saison 1 ~ coffret 2 dvd *        
Objet semblant avoir éé retiré de son film plastique écemment. Aucune marque usure apparente. Toutes les faces de objet sont impeccables et intactes. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnOrigine: nCinéma américainImage: n16:Zone: nZone : EuropenGenre: nérie TVnEdition: nCoffretnSous-genre: nComédienHUNG nINTEGRALE DE LA SAISON COFFRET DVDn309 MIN / PAL / COULEUR / DOLBY DIGITALnINTERDIT AUX MOINS DE 12 ANSnDVD ZONE LANGUES : ANGLAIS - FRANCAIS - ESPAGNOL - HONGROIS - POLONAISnSOUS-TITRES : FRANCAIS - ESPAGNOL - HONGROIS - POLONAIS - NEERLANDAIS - DANOIS - FINNOIS - GRECE - HEBREU - NORVEGIEN - PORTUGAIS - ROUMAIN - SUEDOIS - TURCnETAT DE OBJET : VU UNE FOISn 
          Les experts saison 5 - episodes 1 à 4 - dvd neuf *        
Objet ayant jamais éé ouvert ou dont emballage comporte toujours le sceau de fermeture intact du fabricant si applicable. objet comporte toujours le film plastique origine si applicable. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnEdition: nSimplenGenre: nérie TVnAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprèOrigine: nCinéma américainPackaging: nEmballénZone: nZone : EuropenBonjour le dvd est neuf sous cellon n nLes experts - saison - Episodes à  n nEpisode : Une nuit à Las VegasEpisode : En eaux troublesEpisode : un pour autreEpisode : La fontaine de jouvencen n n n nDuré: 4x42min audio en françaisn nEnvoi protéé n 
          Numbers saison 3 6 dvd +        
Objet ayant éà servi mais qui est toujours en trèbon état. Le boîtier ou la pochette ne présente aucun dommage aucune éraflure aucune rayure aucune fissure ni aucun trou. Pour les CD le livret et le texte à arrière du boîtier sont inclus. Pour les VHS et DVD le boîtier est inclus. Pour les jeux vidé les instructions et la boîte sont inclus. Les dents du support de disque sont intactes. extérieur de objet présente des marques usure mineures. Pour les CD et DVD le disque ne saute pas et ne présente aucunes rayures sur la face de lecture. Pour les bandes VHS image est ni floue ni neigeuse. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnEdition: nCoffretnZone: nZone : EuropenCoffret en parfait état : Langues : Français Anglais Espagnol Allemandn 
          Tarzan à istanbul tamer balci dvd .        
Objet ayant jamais éé ouvert ou dont emballage comporte toujours le sceau de fermeture intact du fabricant si applicable. objet comporte toujours le film plastique origine si applicable. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnAnéde sortie: nAnées 1950nZone: nZone : EuropenTARZAN à ISTANBULnFilm de 1952 avec Tamer BALCI et Necla AYGÜUn film de Orhan ATADENIZnNoir et blanc – Duré1h31nVersion Turc sous-titréen FrançaisnQualité assez bone pour ce film trèrarenDVD vendu neuf sous emballage scellénPour les vrais Cinéphilesn nCe DVD est de bone qualité les autres acheteurs ont éé trèsatisfaits et ont doné la note maximale…
          American girls 2 dvd bethany joy lenz ss blister +        
Objet ayant jamais éé ouvert ou dont emballage comporte toujours le sceau de fermeture intact du fabricant si applicable. objet comporte toujours le film plastique origine si applicable. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnEdition: nSimplenGenre: nComédienAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprèOrigine: nCinéma américainPackaging: nEmballénZone: nZone : EuropenDVD Neuf sous blisterAmerican girls 2Avec Bethany Joy Galeotti Les frères scottAprèénorme succèdu premier volet les pom-pom girls sont de retour ! Lorsquune nouvelle équipe de meneuses veut imposer à université les hostilitéreprenent... Jolies filles sexe jalousie et compétition sont au rendez-vous dans cette comédie pimentéet élirante. Il pas que sur les stades quil va avoir du sport.
          L world saison 1 complet comme neuf .        
Objet semblant avoir éé retiré de son film plastique écemment. Aucune marque usure apparente. Toutes les faces de objet sont impeccables et intactes. Consulter anonce du vendeur pour avoir plus de étails et voir la description des éfauts. Afficher la éfinition de tous les états- la page ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre ou uouvel onglet... En savoir plussur étatnFormat: nDVDnOrigine: nCinéma américainImage: n16:compatible /Zone: nZone : EuropenGenre: nérie TVnEdition: nCoffretnSous-genre: nGay lesbienAnéde sortie: nAnées 2000 et aprè n nVend saison de world quasi neuf.nLe coffret est complet il comporte dvds et le livret.nDifférentes langues et sous titres sont disponibles dont le français.nésitez pas à me contacter pour toutes informations complémentaires.nLivraison uniquement en france étropolitaine et paiement uniquement par cheque frais paypal trop élevé.
          Business in Buffalo        

Allot was accomplished while back in Buffalo over break. Some of it was already mentioned on facebook but this is where I can do some less official ranting.

So what I want to talk about is doing business in Buffalo. I’m sure allot of people have heard horror stories about working with in the city limits. I know for years people don’t me, don’t even bother if you’re not in the old boys club you can’t get anywhere in the city.  My experience was completely the opposite.

We had narrowed our search into the Black Rock area. I think it’s really an area on the up and up. The people there are really passionate about the neighborhood and eager for business to come back. The success of the black rock bar and kitchen and delish are sort of the test beds. As Chippewa seems to be  kicking out the college crowd there is going to need to be somewhere for all those older college students to go. I’m not saying Black Rock should open clubs and go crazy, just that older crowd is going to be looking for somewhere new to go and that could be black rock without a problem. Elmwood can be a bit ‘high end’ and Buff State is right across the river. Honestly Amherst is going to be where it’s at.

I’ve had the pleasure to bounce around the country for the last couple of years. My position in the Air Force requires allot of traveling form base to base, and I’ve found the same formula in all the ‘up and coming’ urban places is the same.

Provide a service or good that’s 100% better at 50% more cost. It’s what Craft Beer is all about, but it’s also what the whole urban movement seems to be able.  When I visit other cities and find something I think  could be a knock-out in Buffalo I write it down or grab a menu. Sadly for all the great ideas there is only so much money, but the formal is the same.

Chef’s in Manhattan KS is one of the business restaurants I’ve ever been in. It costs about 50% more then Denny’s but when you get Salmon Eggs Benedict, the $5 extra over a grand slam seems like nothing. I’m not saying I’ve stumbled upon the Holy  Grail or anything. I’m just finding that it seems to be true across the whole of the United States. It might the ‘Europeanization’ of America.  That’s a different topic so I’ll get back to Buffalo.

Where I wanted to get was armed with this formal and some really impressive growth numbers from Craft Beer the Councilmen Joe Golombek was willing to sit down for almost 2 hours with us, from that we got an audience with the City Office of Strategic Planning, Department of Labor, Tonawanda BOA, NYSBDC, SBA, ECIDC, NYSIDC. I’m missing once person from that list so I apologize. Point being they we’re great to sit down with, tell them what we want to do, and offer some suggestions on how to go about it. I didn’t run into some brick wall or have to cow tow to anyone to get this. I grew up 25 miles outside of the city, I went to School in Rochester. While Buffalo is my city, its not like I have a network. No Doubt I’m developing one, and the other companies we work with have been paramount to that.

Allot of reasons and things like the $1,000,000,000 that state is talking about I honestly don’t think is going to have nearly the effect it could have if it was $1 thousand million dollar grants or 10,000 $100,000 grants. The things about doing business in NYS being hard then other states.  That’s absolutely true, the taxes are terrible, the bureaucracy is enormous, and the law suits plentiful. Despite all that Government workers are really trying to work around it and with it to get Buffalo back on top.

Point being is Buffalo wants to grow, and the real growth is going to be by small business making an investment in the city, living here working here making that lifelong commitment to the area. There isn’t going to be a hand out from the government to get you started. It’s going to be with the help of people in Buffalo and on your own labors. I encourage anyone who’s thinking about starting to do
          Le mete turistiche in Europa più gluten-free        
Chiedere agli amici, in rete o consultare gli elenchi delle associazioni locali gluten-free è un ottimo sistema per capire quali opzioni senza glutine sono disponibili nelle varie capitali europee, ma automatizzare questo tipo di ricerca permette di; guadagnare molto tempo di scoprire delle vere e proprie “opportunità culinarie” nascoste di scoprire posti senza glutine non […]
          ÐŸÐ¾ÑÐ»ÐµÐ´Ð½ÑÑ семья / The Last Family (2016) BDRip 720p        

Категория: Фильмы/HDTV/HD/Blu-Ray/MKV
Размер: 4.20 GB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 4,489, Скачивают (качают): 9,369
Добавлен: 2017-08-10 08:49:48
Описание: Информация о фильме
Название: Последняя семья
Оригинальное название: The Last Family
Год выхода: 2016
Жанр: Драма, биография
Режиссер: Ян П. Матушинский
В ролях: Анджей Северин, Давид Огродник, Александра Конечна, Анджей Хыра, Зофия Перчиньская, Данута Нагорна, Магдалена Бочарска, Агнешка Михальска, Ярослав Гаевский

О фильме: Действие фильма начинается в 1977 году, когда Томек Бексиньский поселяется в собственной квартире. Его родители, Зофия и Здзислав, живут рядом, поэтому часто встречаются с сыном. Очень чувствительный и беспокойный характер сына тревожит Зофию. В это же время Здзислав пробует полностью посвятить себя искусству. После первой попытки самоубийства Томека родители вынуждены бороться не только за сына, но и за контроль над собственной жизнью. Когда Здзислав подписывает договор с живущим во Франции арт-дилером, а Томек начинает работать на Польском радио, кажется, что самое худшее уже позади. Однако семью ждёт ещё целая серия роковых событий.

http://rating.kinopoisk.ru/994879.gif

Выпущено: Польша / Aurum Film, HBO Europe
Продолжительность: 02:01:05
Озвучивание: Профессиональный многоголосый [Синема УС]

Файл
Формат: MKV
Качество: BDRip 720p
Видео: MPEG-4 AVC, 1280x536, 4856 Кбит/с
Аудио: Русский (AC3, 2 ch, 192 Кбит/с)

ПРИМЕЧАНИЕ: ПРИСУТСТВУЕТ РЕКЛАМА!
          ÐŸÐ¾ÑÐ»ÐµÐ´Ð½ÑÑ семья / The Last Family (2016) BDRip 1080p        

Категория: Фильмы/HDTV/HD/Blu-Ray/MKV
Размер: 8.41 GB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 6,280, Скачивают (качают): 8,374
Добавлен: 2017-08-10 08:46:14
Описание: Информация о фильме
Название: Последняя семья
Оригинальное название: The Last Family
Год выхода: 2016
Жанр: Драма, биография
Режиссер: Ян П. Матушинский
В ролях: Анджей Северин, Давид Огродник, Александра Конечна, Анджей Хыра, Зофия Перчиньская, Данута Нагорна, Магдалена Бочарска, Агнешка Михальска, Ярослав Гаевский

О фильме: Действие фильма начинается в 1977 году, когда Томек Бексиньский поселяется в собственной квартире. Его родители, Зофия и Здзислав, живут рядом, поэтому часто встречаются с сыном. Очень чувствительный и беспокойный характер сына тревожит Зофию. В это же время Здзислав пробует полностью посвятить себя искусству. После первой попытки самоубийства Томека родители вынуждены бороться не только за сына, но и за контроль над собственной жизнью. Когда Здзислав подписывает договор с живущим во Франции арт-дилером, а Томек начинает работать на Польском радио, кажется, что самое худшее уже позади. Однако семью ждёт ещё целая серия роковых событий.

http://rating.kinopoisk.ru/994879.gif

Выпущено: Польша / Aurum Film, HBO Europe
Продолжительность: 02:01:05
Озвучивание: Профессиональный многоголосый [Синема УС]

Файл
Формат: MKV
Качество: BDRip 1080p
Видео: MPEG-4 AVC, 1920x804, 10000 Кбит/с
Аудио: Русский (AC3, 2 ch, 192 Кбит/с)

ПРИМЕЧАНИЕ: ПРИСУТСТВУЕТ РЕКЛАМА!
          The Punt: Thursday 10 August        
The Premier League is back! The Punt podcast is action-packed this week with Derek McGovern and In-Play Football Trading Manager, Andy Excell, previewing the TV games and the Times' Chief Sports Writer, Matt Dickinson, joining us to talk about the burning issues in the sport. We'll also catch up with Pete Farries, Gav Puszczalowskyi and Al Ross who give their best bets in the Championship and Leagues One and Two respectively, and Sam Norris picks a bet out in the European games this weekend. Enjoy. #ThePunt #football #betting #PL
          The Punt: Fri 4 August        
It's a brand new dawn for The Punt! All your football betting needs are covered on the inaugural edition of the podcast. Dave Kelner is your host, Derek McGovern gives his Premier League prediction and previews the Community Shield with William Hill's In-Play Football Trading Manager, Andy Excell. The Sun's Martin Lipton is the FWA guest for the week. There's talk about Neymar's world record transfer fee and Martin gives a bet ahead of the new season. In addition to this, Pete Farries, Gav Puszczalowskyi and Al Ross give their best bets in the Championship and League's One and Two respectively, and Sam Norris picks a bet out in the European games this weekend. Enjoy. #ThePunt #football #betting #PL
          The Punt/European Football Podcast/Champions League Final Extravaganza        
Lee Phelps and Alex Dunn unite to offer the best bets in the 2017 Champions League Final.
          European Football Podcast: Episode 114 - 25th May        
Join Sam and Alex on the final podcast of the season.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 113: 18th May        
Sam Norris is joined by Alex Dunn on this edition of the European Football Podcast. The pair preview games from Germany, Portugal and Russia this week. #betting #EuropeanPodcast #football
          European Football Podcast - Episode 117: 12th May        
Sam Norris is joined by Alex Dunn on this edition of the European Football Podcast. The pair preview three games this weekend across Spain, Italy and France and Alex provides you with his nap of the weekend. #betting #EuropeanPodcast #football
          The Punt: Monday 8 May        
The Punt is William Hill's top flight football podcast. On this edition, Mark Walton and Dave Kelner preview this week's action. They look ahead to the week's European and domestic action for a busy few days of action.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 116: 5th May        
Dave Kelner is joined by Alex Dunn on this edition of the European Football Podcast. The pair preview two games this weekend and Alex provides you with an accumulator. #betting #EuropeanPodcast #football
          European Football Podcast - Episode 115: 28th April        
Sam Norris offers his thoughts ahead of three of the biggest games in Europe this week. He analyses one match in Germany, one in Italy and one in Spain. #EuropeanFootball #podcast #betting
          European Football Podcast - Episode 114: 20th April (including El Clasico!)        
Sam and Alex are back to offer their best bets on El Clasico.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 113: 13th April        
Sam Norris joins Mark Walton to preview three games across the continent this weekend with games from Italy, Germany and France up for discussion. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 112: 7th April        
Alex Dunn joins Dave Kelner to preview three of the biggest European games this weekend. Bayern Munich's clash with Dortmund and Real Madrid's encounter with Atleti are particularly mouth-watering.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 111: 31st March        
Listen to Sam Norris and Alex Dunn on the best of the weekend's action across Europe.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 110: 17th March        
Listen to Sam Norris and Alex Dunn on the best of the weekend's action across Europe.
          The FWA Podcast: Friday 17th March        
Chief football writer for the Sunday People, Steve Bates joins Sam Norris on this edition to discuss the fortunes of English sides in Europe this week as well as a look at the enigma that is Paul Pogba. The pair also preview this weeks televised Premier League fixtures. Enjoy.
          The Punt: Monday 13 March        
Dave Kelner is joined by Sam Norris to preview the European football this midweek. The chaps go through four Champions League matches and the Europa League clash between Manchester United and Rostov. Listen now for the best bets. #betting #UEL #UCL #football #thepunt
          European Football Podcast - Episode 109: 10th March        
Dave Kelner, Sam Norris and Alex Dunn look at the best matches from around Europe this weekend. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 108: 2nd March        
Alex Dunn and Sam Norris go through the best of the action across Europe. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 107: 24th February        
Listen to Mark Walton & Alex Dunn (with a little help from Sam Norris) on three games across Europe this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 106: 17th February        
Listen to Mark Walton, Alex Dunn and Sam Norris as they go through the biggest matches on the continent this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 105: 9th February        
Listen to Dave Kelner and Sam Norris go through the biggest matches on the continent this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 104: 26th January        
Listen to Alex and Dave on the Belgian Super Sunday and more...
          European Football Podcast - Episode 103: 19th January        
Alex and Sam offer their best bets across Europe this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 102: 12th January        
Join Alex Dunn and Sam Norris as they offer their best bets across Europe this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 101: 5th January        
Alex and Sam are back to offer their best bets in Spain and Italy this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 100: 14th December        
Alex Dunn and Sam Norris offer their best bets across Europe in the final podcast before a hard earned (!) winter break. It's episode 100! But no-one noticed until after everything was recorded. Here's to the next ton anyway...
          European Football Podcast - Episode 99: 7th December        
Alex Dunn and Sam Norris are on this week's European Podcast to talk through three big games on Sunday. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 98: 29th November        
Dave Kelner and Sam Norris are with you to offer the best bets across Europe this weekend, including Saturday's El Clasico.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 97: 24th November        
Alex Dunn, Dave Kelner and Sam Norris are with you to offer the best bets across Europe this weekend. Listen out for Alex teeing Sam up and Sam ignoring him completely.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 96 - 17th November        
Steve Harrison and Sam Norris are with you to offer their thoughts on the best of the action across Europe this weekend. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 95: 3rd November        
Listen to Alex, Steve and Sam on some crackers coming up this weekend from around Europe.
          The Punt: Monday 31 October        
Dave Kelner speaks to the host of the 'European Football Podcast', Alex Dunn, ahead of the Champions League and the Europa League. Alex gives his bets in seven matches and the pair talk about Manchester City gaining revenge against Barcelona. #UCL #UEL #betting #ThePunt #football
          European Football Podcast - Episode 94: 27th October        
Alex, Steve and Sam are back to put forward their best bets across Europe this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 93: 20th October        
Hear Alex, Sam and Steve on the best of the weekend's action across Europe.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 92: 14th October        
Alex, Steve and Sam are here to offer their best bets across Europe this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 91: 29th September        
Listen to Alex, Steve and Sam offer their thoughts on the weekend's action across Europe.
          The Punt: Monday 26 September        
Mark Walton speaks to Dave Kelner about the midweek European matches in the Champions League and the Europa League. The chaps go through all six matches, giving their best bets. #UCL #UEL #football #betting #WilliamHill
          European Football Podcast - Episode 90: 22nd September        
Alex Dunn, Steve Harrison and Sam Norris team up to put forward their best bets across Europe this weekend.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 89: 16th September        
Alex Dunn, William Hill football trader Steve Harrison and In-Play Radio's Sam Norris look at the best of the European football this weekend.
          The Punt: Monday 12 September        
Mark Walton is joined by Dave Kelner to preview the European matches involving the UK teams this midweek. Listen now to seven match previews. #ThePunt #betting #UEL #UCL #betting
          European Football Podcast - Episode 88: 8th September        
Listen to Alex Dunn, Steve Harrison and Sam Norris on the best of the weekend's action across Europe.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 87: 25th August        
Alex Dunn, Steve Harrison & Sam Norris team up to put forward their best bets across the continent.
          The Punt: Monday 22 August        
Dave Kelner is joined by Thom Kirwin to look at the European games involving the British clubs and the EFL matches this midweek. Thom also gives you a treble for Tuesday and Wednesday night. #EFL #UCL #UEL #betting #podcast
          European Football Podcast - Episode 86: Thu 18th August        
The European Football podcast is back for another season and joining Sam Norris on week one is William Hill senior football trader Steve Harrison to discuss the opening round of fixtures in Serie A and La Liga. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 85: Thu 19 May        
Dave Kelner and Sam Norris are with you to preview a host of Cup Finals on the continent this weekend. The chaps look at the action in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal and France and come up with their best bets, #DFBCup #CoppaItalia #CopaDelRey #CoupdeFrance
          European Football Podcast - Episode 84. Fri May 13th        
Dave Kelner and Lee Phelps look at the title race in La Liga and the battles for the automatic Champions League spot and staying in Serie A.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 83: 6th May        
Hear Sam Norris and Alex Dunn as they look ahead to a key round of fixtures in La Liga.
          The FWA Podcast: Friday 6 May        
The Independent's Chief Football Correspondent, Mark Ogden, speaks to Dave Kelner ahead of this weekend's televised Premier League matches. Mark gives his picks and the guys speak about another wonderful European night for Liverpool at Anfield. #BPL #betting #sport #podcast
          The Punt: Friday 6 May        
Sam Norris is joined by Derek McGovern and Dave Kelner to preview the 10 Premier League games this weekend. Derek basks in the glow of another winning nap and reflects on another fantastic European evening at Anfield. #ThePunt #football #podcast #betting #sport #BPL
          The Punt podcast. Monday May 2nd        
Sam Norris and Lee Phelps look at the Monday night Premier League game and all four European semi final second leg matches.
          The European Football Podcast: Episode 82: 29 Apr        
Dave Kelner is joined by Sam Norris to preview three big games in Europe this weekend. The pair look at a game in the Bundesliga, a game in Serie A and one in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. #betting #WilliamHill #podcast
          European Football Podcast - Episode 81: 21st April        
Dave Kelner is joined by Sam Norris on the latest edition of the podcast. The chaps preview three games this weekend and talk about the timeless, Francesco Totti. #Europeanfootball #podcast #football
          European Football Podcast - Episode 80: 14th April        
Sam Norris and Alex Dunn are with you to preview a pivotal weekend in Spain.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 79: 7th April        
Dave Kelner and Alex Dunn team up to offer their best bets in three televised fixtures across Europe this weekend.
          A Chip in the Glass Ceiling? Europe Proposes 40% Target for Female Non-Execs        
The European Commission’s latest discussions about legislation to increase the amount of women on the boards of listed companies has resulted in a new Directive that gives the companies listed on the stock exchange until 2020 to achieve a target … Continue reading
          Original Blog Entry: Did You Know?        

Why most Zippers have the letters YKK on them.

Whitcomb L. Judson invented the zipper and YKK is the Japanese company that makes them.

Whitcomb L. Judson was a lover of gadgets and machines and the idea for his "clasp locker" came from when a friend had a stiff back from trying to fasten his shoes. Judson's clasp locker was used mostly on mailbags, tobacco pouches and shoes. However, his design, like most first inventions needed to be fine-tuned.

A more practical version came on the scene in 1913 when a Swedish-born engineer, Gideon Sundback revised Judson's idea and made his with metal teeth instead of a hook and eye design. In 1917, Sundback patented his "separable fastener."

The name changed again when the B. F. Goodrich Co. used it in rubber boots, galoshes, and called it the "zipper" because the boots could be fastened with one hand.

The 1940s brought about research in Europe of the coil zipper design. The first design was of interlocking brass coils. However, since they could be permanently bent out of shape, making the zipper stop functioning, it was rather bad for business and wasn't too practical. The new design was improved after the discovery of stronger, more flexible synthetics. Coil zippers eventually hit the market in the early 1960s.

In 1934, Yoshida Kogyo Kabushililaisha was founded. Sixty years later they changed their name to YKK Co. The privately owned firm, headquartered in Japan, now is made up of 80 companies at 206 facilities in 52 countries. Wow! you say? but of course, the demand for zippers is great. YKK makes everything from the dyed fabric around the zipper to the brass used to make the actual device.


          Portugal: un "milagro" imposible sin la Unión Europea - Agenda Pública        

Tags:


          Burn After Reading        

Who’s Who
What’s What

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




NEW BOOK:

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


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

EXCERPTS:

From the Introduction


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

*

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

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

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

*

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

*

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

SELECTED ENTRIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

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

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

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



  •           EU lawmaker condemns Amarnath terror attack        

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

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

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

    Seven pilgrims were killed and 19 injured in the attack.

    Section: 
    Yes
    News Source: 
    Facebook Instant Article: 
    No

              Za'atar         
    Summer Za'atar on the border with Lebanon
    There is a little confusion around the name "Za'atar" and what exactly does it refer to: A condiment? A spice mix? An herb? And if so - which herb exactly - Hyssop? Thyme? Oregano? Marjoram?

    The truth is that za'atar is an Arabic word used interchangeably for a number of wild herbs that grow wild in the Mediterranean region, and all contain thymol and carvacrol. Hence their similar sharp and warm aroma, bitter taste and spicy, almost hot "bite". They also share similar medicinal properties, most of them used in folk medicine for most digestive ailments and respiratory complaints. The mixture known to us as "Za'atar" is in fact a misnomer. Za'atar is originally the name of the plant now classified as Origanum syriacum, but in Arabic it is loosely applied to several other related wild and not so wild herbs.

    Zaatar

    The name for the condiment is in fact "doukka" (pronounced often as "Do-ak" with a very throaty "K" that almost sounds like an "A" so in reality the word sounds more like "Do-ah"). In Arabic this means "to grind". Each region in the Arab world has its own "Doukka", which is either sprinkled on food, or more commonly covered in olive oil to which the traditional regional bread is dipped. For example - Egypt has a complex nut-based doukka with toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, to which toasted or untoasted spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, green peppercorns and sweet fennel have been added.

    In the Levant "doukka" happens to be made primarily of a mixture of thymol-containing herbs, with "The" Za'atar (Origanum syriacum) being the star of the show. Lesser amounts of other herbs, will be added - the most important of which are "Za'atar Farsi" (winter savory), Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatus), Zuta זוטה לבנה ( Micromeria fruiticosa barbata), a delicate wild white mint known in English as White-Leaved Savory (which does not even belong to the savory genus, but to micromeria because of its tiny leaves). Common oregano (Origanum vulgare) makes a good addition, albeit cannot substitute for the real Za'atar or Syrian oregano if you actually know the real deal. Likewise, marjoram and thyme can also make a good addition but not be at the centre. Even though their profiles are similar - there are some nuances that will be lost if using only the garden variety oreganos and thymes and none of the wild stuff.

    Many other things can be added to the mix, the most important being sumac berries (Rhus coriaria) for their wonderful salty-sour flavour, and toasted sesame seeds for their pop-in-the-mouth nuttiness. But you'll also find spices sometimes, including more obscure ones such as butum (بطم) - toasted terebinth fruits (Pistachia palestina), which are really like tiny pistachios with the outer red peel intact. I've got a few of those drying right now, because I've never seen them in any market before and I'm very curious how they taste as a spice.

    The following are several authentic Za'atar recipes I've collected - and of course you are welcome to browse google's universe of shared recipes, but be cautious of a few things if you want to make an authentic za'atar:
    1) Use actual Origanum syriacum even if a generic "oregano" is called for
    2) Do not by any stretch of the imagination use "fresh" leaves. They must be dried first. And only then will you grind them up with the rest of the ingredients. This is a dried herb and spice mix. Not a fresh herb concoction.
    3) Usage of salt, although found in many recipes, seems very superfluous to me, unless you are not using sumac berries. These have a unique taste - equally salty and tangy. The whole point of using them is so you do not need to use salt. Likewise, using citric acid is a way to fake the sumac effect. Which I'm not quit sure why would anyone do that aside from laziness. Sumac berries are difficult to grind manually (or even in a coffee grinder) - but you can find ground sumac easily in many spice shops and markets.

    When shopping for pre-made spice mixes, or any ground spices for that matter, the main culprit is adulteration and using old raw material that are "dressed up" as authentic. It's hard to teach someone who've never tasted or smelled za'atar what to look for, but some things are a telling sign. For example: if you don't see the dark maroon red and still taste salt or tanginess, it is probably from salt and citrus acid, and not from the (missing) red sumac berries. Secondly, another visual sign - za'atar leaves are rather grey in colour when dried, so any other colour you see (olive green) is either food colouring or a combination of other types of "za'atar" herbs (i.e.: thyme, za'atar farsi, etc.). Best sign is by taste - if it taste like dust (and looks like dust) it's either too old or just a fake.

    I suggest you start with the most basic three ingredients, and then play with the proportions and adding other herbs and/or spices. You can even start with equal amount of za'atar leaves, sumac and sesame and adjust to taste.

    Safta Ada's Za'atar Recipe 
    This is my mom's handmade recipe that she would make from wild harvested za'atar (before it was illegal to pick any) and would even send it to Vancouver so I can enjoy a taste of home.
    1 cup dried za'atar leaves, coarsely crushed between your palms, or pounded with mortar and pestle to a finer powder
    4 Tbs ground sumac berries (I suggest you purchase them pre-ground, otherwise their seeds can break your teeth!)
    2 Tbs toasted brown sesame seeds, whole

    May Bsisu wrote an excellent book, The Arab Table, which I highly recommend, and it includes a unique Palestinian style of za'atar that includes caraway:
    10oz oregano (I assume she means za'atar)
    5oz thyme
    3 Tbs sumac, ground
    1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
    2-1/2 Tbs coarse salt
    1/2 tsp allspice, ground
    1/4 tsp caraway seeds, ground 

    Easy Lebanese Recipes provides a "Traditional Rich Recipe" for za'atar that I'm compelled to try, with dried za'atar, roasted sesame, sumac, marjoram, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, aniseed and salt.

    Mamma's Lebanese Kitchen recipe contains thyme, marjoram, sumac, sesame, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and salt.

    How to consume za'atar?
    Use your za'atar mixed with olive oil as a dip for bread, on top of labneh (strained yoghurt cheese) or as a substitute for butter under any other soft or hard cheese, avocado, etc.
    It's also a nice addition to salads, and for baking fish or poultry. I also like to add it to chickpeas that I fry whole in olive oil, after they've been cooked and drained.

    Fresh za'atar leaves come in late winter and can be enjoyed all through spring, and can be fried in olive oil much like tender sage leaves and become this wonderful crispy topping for fresh bread, pasta, roasted vegetables, etc. Also, they can be used as they are in salads (May Bsisu has a recipe for fresh oregano salad in that book as well), with lots of onion and tomatoe. The Druze use it to season the dough or the fillings for various savoury pastries, such as sambusak (a flatbread that is folded in half to conceal a thin layer of highly seasoned stuffing, and baked in the tabun) and fatayer (little dough pockets filled with cheese), and the dried whole leaves can be used much like oregano in meat and pasta sauces, in soups, stews, breads, etc.

    Now, let's explore the Za'atar "group" of plants:

    Hyssop (Wild Oregano)

    Ezov (the Hebrew word for the Biblical Hyssop - not the European Hyssopus officials which is also a medicinal plant, and produces a rather toxic essential oil), which is now classified as an oregano, Origanum syriacum (formerly Majorana syriaca). Like many of the other aromatic plants from the Lamiaceae family, za'atar has a winter and spring foliage and a summer foliage, which is smaller in order to preserve water and survive the long arid season. I suspect the essential oils also aid with the survival of these plants in such harsh conditions - because whenever they are grown in regions where the water is more abundant (British Columbia, for example) - their flavour is largely lacking. What you see above is the luscious winter "look", which features soft and larger leaves, and their colour is much greener, and therefore more similar to the common oregano (Origanum vulgare).

    Satureja

    Za'atar Farsi (meaning Persian Za'atar), or as it is called in Hebrew צתרה ורודה - Tzatra Vruda (Pink Tzatra) which really is winter or mountain savory (Satureja montana). Its long needle-like leaves have a sharp, spicy taste. When we were growing up my mom would spice the egg for French Toast with them and make them literally savoury.

    Thymbra spicata צתרנית משובלת
    Mediterranean Thyme (Thymbra spicata), in Hebrew צתרנית משובלת Tzatranit Meshubelet is also called in Arabic "Za'atar farsi", and has a very similar leaf shape (only a bit longer, narrower and softer) and almost identical odour and aroma profile. It has flowers that look a bit more like chaffs of wheat (not unlike those of Lavandula dentata, and is even more rare to find than Satureja montana.

    Coridothymus capitatus
    Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatis / Thymus capitatus / Thymbra capitata) or in Hebrew Koranit Mekurkefet קורנית מקורקפת is also known by many other names - Israeli oreganum (oil), Cretan thyme, Corido thyme, Headed savory, Thyme of the Ancient, Conehead thyme and most commonly - Spanish Oregano (even though it is not classified as "origanum"). This oil is what is often sold as "oregano oil", by the way. This is now a rare plant that in our area grows only along the rocky seashores of the North Coast leading to Lebanon. The leaves are tiny and sharp, like a miniature version of the Pink Tzatra, but they grow more dense and close together to form clusters around the tip of the branches. The branches are woody-looking almost like bonsai trees that crawl all over the rocks - and the flowers tiny and purplish-pink. The aroma is clean and maybe a little more simple than that of za'atar, but also the taste is much more sharp and phenolic.




              La burbuja del estado de bienestar: Una breve opinión sobre la crisis europea        

    De un momento a otro los índices de acciones, como acciones concretas cayeron fuertemente. Me pareció muy rara esa caída y leí que es probable que Europa entre en recesión afectando los bancos gringos en su capacidad de pago. Si nos vamos al complejo mundo del fatum no sabemos qué llevará a qué, eso es un misterio. Pero lo que sí creo es que la culpa de la recesión en Europa tiene 2 causas concretas: 1. control de la natalidad, 2. estado de bienestar. Frente a la política del estado de bienestar (malestar) creo que es claro porque se gastaba más de lo que se tenía, creo que el estado de bienestar podía sostenerse con déficit cargando con más impuestos a los contribuyentes pero ¿sin contribuyentes? 

    El estado de bienestar propuso un costoso sistema de seguridad social con jubilaciones tempranas pero se le olvidó quién pagaría las jubilaciones. Poco a poco empezó a aumentar el número de pensionados (en Alemania cierran Escuelas y las convierten en Ancianatos) y como no es suficiente con la cotización actual aumentan el monto, adicionalmente llenan de impuestos a los empresarios que son la clase productiva, con estos costos tan elevados costos operativos para sostener las promesas de los políticos recortan personal. Eso genera desempleo generando un grupo de "indignados" por el recorte y el incumplimiento de las promesas estatales, la incertidumbre aumenta el número de abortos que disminuye lentamente el número de consumidores, bajando el ingreso de las empresas que disminuyen las ventas y despiden personal.

    Ante la situación anterior los estados intentan promover políticas intervencionistas. Bajan las tasas de interés para "inducir" al consumo, venden bonos de deuda, intentan aumentar el presupuesto que genera un déficit superior. Ante el déficit que va creciendo gracias al elevado gasto del estado y la venta de deuda, aumentan los impuestos y se emite dinero de "circulación forzosa" para cubrir el déficit. La política anterior genera inflación en parte por los costos de los impuestos que inducen al empresario a aumentar los precios y la inflación causada por la propuesta desesperada del estado.

    La economía sobrevive si se cumplen dos supuestos, trabajo y consumo. Cuando digo consumo no digo "consumismo" que implica vivir para consumir, sino simplemente consumir lo necesario para vivir. Es así como si el trabajo produce, este se tiene que equiparar al consumo en principio o a la inversión que implicaría no consumir hoy para producir más mañana. Si no hay nadie que trabaje no podremos consumir y si no hay nadie que consuma ¿para qué trabajamos? Resulta que en este mundo consumimos más de lo que producimos, es lo que genera el déficit y también lo que la izquierda llama "desiguladad", "inequidad". En la medida en que hay más personas se puede producir más fácil por la división del trabajo y de la misma manera habrá más gente que demande necesidades concretas.

    Como el estado de bienestar demanda más consumo del que puede producir o dar se quiebra y como hay cada vez menos contribuyentes que paguen impuestos la problemática es mayor. La crisis actual no es culpa de ningún "capitalismo salvaje", es culpa de un "intervencionismo salvaje" un intervencionismo salvaje que quiso modelar la sociedad a su modo contra la libertad y la vida de muchos. 

    La verdadera burbuja es el estado de bienestar. Los políticos prometen y ante el calor electoral la gente confía en un estado que luego le cobra sus promesas a un precio más alto del que está dispuesto a pagar por ellas. El estado se infla pero finalmente estalla, como una burbuja. Ahora con un enorme e insostenible pasivo pensional, de una sociedad envejecida en Europa donde ya no hay jóvenes para trabajar, ni tampoco jóvenes que tengan hijos... bueno, jóvenes que tienen hijos pero los abortan. 

    ¿Cuál es la solución ante la burbuja? Todo lo contrario, que haya gente que trabaje y libertad para trabajar, de lo contrario, el estado seguirá echándole la culpa a los niños y empresarios de lo que él les dijo que no hicieran ¡vivir y prosperar!


              EREnews 2017-2        
    European Religious Education EREnews© 2017/2     Rassegna trimestrale di informazioni sulla gestione del religioso nello spazio pubblico educativo   per la consultazione: EREnews 2017_2
              KAWASAN KOMERSIL CITRAGARDEN LAMPUNG        

    KAWASAN KOMERSIL CITRAGARDEN LAMPUNG




    Sebagai hunian yang mengambil konsep First Class Living, CitraGarden Lampung tidak hanya membangun rumah untuk tempat tinggal, namun juga mengembangkan 2 lokasi Kawasan Komersil : Kawasan Bisnis dan Kawasan Kuliner bagi penghuni 'perumahan'.

    KAWASAN BISNIS CITYWALK

                                   CityWalk Komplek Ruko CitraGarden Lampung

    Kawasan Komersil Bisnis CityWalk
    merupakan kompleks Ruko yang mengusung konsep double deckers.  Dengan konsep ini, CitraGarden Lampung memberikan kesempatan menarik bagi pemilik ruko untuk melakukan hingga  2 (dua) jenis usaha berbeda pada 1 ruko.

    KAWASAN KULINER LITTLE EUROPE


                                   LittleEurope Kawasan Kuliner CirtraGarden Lampung

    LittleEurope
    merupakan sebuah kawasan kuliner dengan konsep makan, ngobrol, dan hiburan (eat, chat, & entertainment). LittleEurope berkembang menjadi suatu kawasan bisnis yang memberikan kenyamanan bagi pengusaha dan pengunjungnya, antara lain: parkir yang luas, bebas biaya parkir dan pungutan liar.

    LittleEurope dilengkapi dengan wahana permainan, lapangan basket, lapangan futsal, live music, serta area outdoor untuk berbincang-bincang sambil menikmati kuliner.

    LittleEurope cocok untuk usaha: Cafe resto, book store, fashion boutique, beauty clinic, healthcare store, music store, baby shop, mini market, florist, bakery store, hobby shop, bridal house, dan fitness centre.



    Kawasan Komplek CitraGarden secara umum, dan Kawasan Komersil CitraGarden Lampung bahkan menjadi semacam Tempat Hunting Foto dan Wisata bagi anak-muda Bandar Lampung.  Suatu potensi bisnis lain yang muncul seiring waktu.


    Segera memiliki Tempat Bisnis di CityWalk & Little Europe,
    langsung hubungi (klik) Citra Property Land


              Condenan a Reino Unido por discriminar a lesbiana        
    Una lesbiana británica que acusó al Reino Unido de discriminación por orientación sexual ganó el juicio celebrado el martes en el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos de Estrasburgo.
              El activista gay ruso Nikolai Alekseev puesto en libertad        
    La comunidad LGBT en todo el mundo está esperando una explicación sobre lo ocurrido al activista gay ruso Nikolai Alekseev, quien fue arrestado el miércoles en el aeropuerto de Moscú. Hoy, Radio Free Europe y Radio Liberty informa de que Alekseev fue liberado después de una detención de dos días en la pequeña ciudad de Kashira, a unos 90 kilómetros al sur de Moscú. El activista dice que fue secuestrado y drogado posiblemente en un intento de conseguir que se retire su denuncia ante el Tribunal Europeo. También dice que no cree que sus captores estaban con los servicios secretos rusos, dirigiendo la culpa al alcalde.
              Detienen a activista gay ruso en Moscú        
    El activista por los derechos de lesbianas, gays, transexuales y bisexuales (LGTB) ruso, Nilkolai Aléxéyev, ha sido detenido por la policía de Moscú, según informó uno de sus colegas Alexei Davydov, que denunció "métodos propios de la Gestapo". Davydov denunció ayer su deportación a Minsk y las presiones para que retire el recurso presentado contra las autoridades rusas en el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos (TDEH) por prohibir las marchas gay. Según Davydov, su compañero fue arrestado de camino al aeropuerto de Domodedovo, dónde pensaba tomar un vuelo hacia Ginebra.
              The "Green" Jobs Canard        

    For too long, politicians, environmentalists and subsidized proponents of “green” jobs have been peddling the notions that “investing” in green technologies is the illuminating endeavor and beneficent job creator of our time.  With scant evidence, these green jobs postulates are bulwarked by so much hot air it rivals the amount of subsidized dollars used to sustain them.

    The main dilemma of green jobs and investing is that they defy the reality of basic economics.  Jobs are created by entrepreneurs willing to invest in capital, coupled with demand for their goods and services.  The economic environment fostered by government (taxes, regulations, etc.) plays an immensely important role as well.

    The experience in Europe with investment in greed jobs sheds a glaring light on the fallacious nature of the purported success of these initiatives.   In Spain, which has a 20.4 percent unemployment rate, every green job created destroyed an additional 2.2 regular jobs. In addition, every “green” megawatt created destroys 5.28 jobs in the rest of the economy.  Aggregately, these green jobs programs killed 110,500 elsewhere in the economy.

    The amount of money invested in these programs is exorbitantly costly when compared with private sector job creation.  In Italy, the amount of capital invested in the creation of 1 green job was equivalent to the amount of capital invested to create 5 jobs in the rest of the economy.

    The reason these programs are such colossal failures, is that government subsidies to inefficient and unsustainable green initiatives divert resources from other productive sectors of the economy and result in the loss of jobs.  Price-controls and central planning have long been considered an abject failure, why do we believe that these policies are any more palatable in the energy sector of our economy?

    The reason these economically suicidal green job schemes continue to seem viable is that somehow they represent drastically new technology and innovation.  It’s like a burgeoning plant, just give it a little water and it will rapidly expand, right?

    Wrong.  These propositions elucidate an inherent myopia within the green jobs cheerleaders.  The truth is that the wind-powered electricity was commercialized in 1881 and solar power received its first patent in 1892.  Mean ugly coal-fired electricity was commercialized in 1882.  

    The house that contains the green jobs myth has been set ablaze.  Do we want the dubious distinction of running in?


              NatGeo magazine issue warns Trump on climate change, then describes artificial human evolution         

    The April 2017 issue of National Geographic has two very important items.

    One if “7 Climate Facts You Need to Know Now”, especially in view of President Trump’s pulling out of the Paris accords.

    NatGeo says that extreme weather events even now are related to climate change, and some animals are already going extinct.

    But the feature article is “The Next Human” by D. T. Max, with illustrations by Owen Freeman. The article traces how life in the desert, high altitudes, and later colder climates all affected human evolution. Human behavior may have favored development of starch metabolism.  Environments seemed to encourage a “thrifty gene” which leads to obesity in some native populations when exposed to processed foods, but less so in European populations because of centuries of food preparation technology. Sometimes European men became taller and kept more body hair partly because women regarded them as more sexually attractive, but this did not happen in warmer climates.


     
    There is a section called “Distant Future” regarding human manipulation of genetics, and particularly “Can Humans Adapt to the Red Planet?” On Mars, bodies would become tall and thin in lower gravity and hairless in an indoor controlled environment without dust.


              "Jesus and the Apostles: The Rise of Christianity" from NatGeo        

    National Geographic has an Easter season special issue (in supermarkets) for coffee tables, “Jesus and the Apostles: Christianity’s Early Rise”, 128 pages. This booklet succeeds "The Story of Jesus" from NatGeo, March 29, 2016 here.

    The editor, Chris Johns, the Chief Content Officer of the National Geographic Society, opens with “A Matter of Faith”, starts out by saying “Faith … is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof”.

    There follows a keynote essay (p. 28) by Don Belt, “Life in the Time of Jesus”.  One of the remarkable points made by the essay is the rampant lawlessness of ordinary life in the country.  That would continue past Roman times into Europe and contribute to a medieval system of feudalism.  There was a lot of vigilantism and populism in the desire to resist external Roman rule by various Jewish sects.

     All of this is carried much further in the recent film on PBS, (“Last Days of Jesus” ) which brings up the role of Roman deputy Sejanus, kept out of the Gospels out of political repression, not covered in this booklet.

    Another essay, “Taking the Stage” (p. 40) makes the point (as did the film) that it is not completely clear if Jesus saw himself as a Messiah (despite the Temptation), at least until his baptism by John the Baptist and his ministry, which frankly advocated communalism and distributed consciousness.  There are the Miracles (rather like a young Clark Kent’s powers), and a Jesus imploring others to stand by their feelings for him and “believe”, indeed a moral paradox of upward affiliation.  But this was an era when people thought the end of time could come soon.  Did it make sense to have children?



    When Jesus took on the money changers, it’s interesting, as the film points out, that the authorities didn’t resist much.

    “The Gospels” looks at the three synoptics and questions whether there is a common hidden source “Q”.

    The booklet looks at both the Gospel of Judas and later the Gospel According to Thomas, “The Secret Sayings” (of Doubting Thomas).   Could Judas’s have been a forgery?  The booklet does take up a little bit the controversy of “Judas Kiss”, and the 2011 gay sci-fi film of that name may have more to do with that then critics recognize.
     
    The booklet goes on to enlarge the disciples into the Apostles, and account for the formal creation of Christianity by Emperor Constantine by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325.



              EU’s GDPR Data Privacy Law Affects US Business        

    The General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly known as the GDPR, replaced an inconsistent country by country approach to how companies were required to handle the personal data of European Union (EU) residents.  The EU Parliament approved the GDPR  last month and all companies, including US companies, must be compliant by May 25, 2018 or […]

    The post EU’s GDPR Data Privacy Law Affects US Business appeared first on Blog: News & Legal Articles from Our Team.


              Women's British Open 2017: In-Kyung Kim Builds on Huge Lead on Saturday        

    In-Kyung Kim retained control during the third round of the 2017 Women's British Open, posting a score of six-under 66 on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old was smooth on the greens and leads the competition by six shots at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife, Scotland, residing on 17 under for the tournament.

    For the latest leaderboard, visit the Ladies European Tour website.

    Kim sprinted out of the blocks on the front nine, seemingly playing without pressure as she sank four birdies in the opening seven holes.

    The 29-year-old was unflappable, and her consistency was world class as she drove off the tee with confidence.

    Birdies on No. 11 and 12 pushed Kim's lead, and she putted at her best throughout the round.

    The tournament's official Twitter account highlighted her finishing:

    Kim played with a smile on her face over the final holes as she headed to the clubhouse, and she will be a big favorite to capture the major title on Sunday.

    Georgia Hall braved the conditions to lead the charge for the British contingent, finishing the day joint-second on the leaderboard with Moriya Jutanugarn on 11 under.

    The English starlet, who turned professional in 2014, suffered a bogey on No. 3 but countered with a magnificent eagle on No. 5 to fight back.

    Three successive birdies on the back nine put Hall within striking distance of Kim, but she dropped three strokes in the final three holes.

    The Women's British Open shared her last birdie of the day:

    After a magnificent couple of days, Kim is in the driver's seat and deservedly so. 

    She last dropped a shot on the opening hole of the second round, and she has navigated the wet conditions with consummate ease.

    Read more Women's Golf news on BleacherReport.com


              Ewa Grenda w nowej funkcji        
    Od 2005 roku dyrektor generalna Roche Polska, obejmie funkcję regionalną i będzie kierowała biurami Roche w 11 krajach regionu europejskiego.
              Bless – Korean media confirms English server has been cancelled        
    According to various Korean gaming media, Neowiz and Aeria Games have officially cancelled the contract for Bless in North America and Europe. Neowiz will now concentrate on preparing the Japan server, which is set to launch later this year. Neowiz previously signed contracts as well with China, Russia, and Taiwan, but only the Russian server [&hellip
              Grants Are Now Available for Preserving WWI Memorials!        

    WWI Memorial in Jackson, Miss. (Library of Congress)

    Here's a project for your history- and preservation-minded genealogical society, civic group or scouting troop: The 100 Cities/100 Memorials matching grant program is accepting applications through July 10 (an extended deadline) for projects to adopt and preserve WWI memorials.

    Up to 100 WWI memorial restoration projects around the country will receive matching funds of up to $2,000 apiece from the US WWI Centennial Commission in Washington, DC, and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago.

    Any municipal government, organization or individual can apply. You'll find details and the application on the 100 Cities/100 Memorials website.

    World War I, also known as the Great War, began in Europe just over 100 years ago, July 28, 1914. The United States entered the war April 6, 1917, and an armistice ended fighting Nov. 11, 1918. The July 2014 Family Tree Magazine includes a research guide to records of World War I service, as well as a guide to tracing women who served as nurses and volunteers overseas and on the home front.

    Also find our downloadable guide to the top 10 WWI genealogy websites in ShopFamilyTree.com.


    WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
    SaveSaveSave
              Re: Whats Your Favorite "Treat"?        

    Stuffgamer1 wrote:

    @Sean Aaron: Neither of those links worked. I got "page not found" errors from Hershey's website. :P
    A quick search of "Reese's Nutrageous" shows that you're right, though. I wonder how I'd missed that before? I guess I just don't usually go for that one, so I didn't pay any attention to it. :P

    I think I'd heard Hershey's was unpopular in the UK, but I have no idea why, 'cause their stuff ROCKS! Isn't Cadbury one of (if not THE) main chocolate companies over there? They barely represent themselves over here, mostly with the creme eggs at Easter.

    Try this link and then click products: http://www.hersheys.com/products/chocolate.asp

    I think some Hershey's stuff is good, but their chocolate bars are pretty waxy and probably wouldn't qualify as "chocolate" in Europe given they have little in the way of actual cocoa mass in them (probably more cocoa butter and flavouring). The Reeses stuff gets imported (what a fate for them to be owned by Hershey's!) because of the novelty peanut butter factor, though I do find it amusing that Nestle sells a peanut butter Chunky Kit Kat here, but not in the States.

    Cadbury's is massive, but they seem to sell mainly to Commonwealth nations like Canada and Australia and not to the States as you've noted. Cadbury-Schweppes does own a number of American soft drinks companies as well like Dr. Pepper/7-Up, Stewart's (lovely classic sodas) and IBC (also lovely, though it seems odd they own these guys and Stewarts due to the product overlap).


              Nowe unijne rozporządzenie o etykietach nakłada dodatkowe obowiązki na e-sklepy        
    - Jakkolwiek jeśli chodzi o sklepy tradycyjne za dostosowanie się do Rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady UE nr 1169/2011 i dostarczenie do sprzedaży produktów z etykietami zawierającymi pełne wymagane informacje są odpowiedzialni producenci, tak w e-commerce ta odpowiedzialność została przeniesiona na właścicieli sklepów internetowych - o ile etykieta na sprzedawanym produkcie jest zgodna z wymogami - mówi serwisowi portalspozywczy.pl, Kamila Wrońska, Country Manager Brandbank Poland Sp. z o. o.
              Nowe zasady etykietowania żywności wyzwaniem dla e-commerce        
    Rozporządzenie Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady (UE) z 25 października 2011 r. w sprawie przekazywania konsumentom informacji na temat żywności wprowadza wiele zmian w zakresie etykietowania żywności. Producenci produktów spożywczych będą mieli 3 lata na dostosowanie się do nowych zasad. Sprawa obejmuje jednak nie tylko producentów, ale również handlowców, a w szczególności coraz chętniej odwiedzane sklepy internetowe.
              Mars chce mocniej inwestować w sprzedaż internetową        
    Mars, producent znanych na całym świecie marek takich jak Snickers, Bounty, czy Chappi, nawiązał współpracę z firmą Brandbank, europejskim gigantem w tworzeniu, zarządzaniu i dystrybucji cyfrowych danych produktowych.
              Coup de cœur Événement: Pop in the city - Nantes        
    A Nantes le 27 juin Et à Bruxelles le 26 Septembre Pop In the City est le premier raid urbain féminin en Europe. Durant une journée, 500 popeuses se rassemblent pour réaliser un maximum des 25 [...]
              Viking hordes dined on frozen Norwegian cod shipped to Germany        
    DNA from ancient cod bones shows Vikings freeze-dried Arctic cod for serving up on European menus 300 years earlier than we thought
              Westinghouse Welcomes Poland’s Plan to Build First Nuclear Power Plant in 2024        

    Westinghouse Electric Company welcomes the decision by the Polish government to adopt its new program for nuclear power, which will pave the way for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant. This new program corresponds with the aims of the European Commission’s proposed energy and climate objectives to be met by 2030.

    (PRWeb January 29, 2014)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11533444.htm


              Westinghouse Welcomes European Commission’s 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies        

    Westinghouse Electric Company, a leading voice for the nuclear industry in Europe and worldwide, welcomes the European Commission’s 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies, which aims to establish a more competitive, sustainable and energy-secure European economy

    (PRWeb January 22, 2014)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11511382.htm


              Westinghouse Expands Capacity of European Maintenance Center to Meet Growing Customer Demand        

    Westinghouse Electric Company today inaugurated the extension of its European Maintenance Center in Nivelles, Belgium to provide scalable growth to support an increasing customer base, including Electricité de France, as well as Spanish energy giants Endesa and Iberdrola.

    (PRWeb December 19, 2013)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11436554.htm


                      



    Vipassana Meditation

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

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

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

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

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


              Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS
    Section: 
    Yes
    News Source: 
    Facebook Instant Article: 
    No

              2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India
    Section: 
    Yes
    News Source: 
    Facebook Instant Article: 
    No

              Blackout        
    Title: Blackout Author: Marc Elsberg Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, June 2017 Summary/Review:  One night the lights go out across Europe as the electrical grid collapses. An Italian hacker quickly realizes this is no accident, thus beginning a race to solve the attack before more lives are lost due to lack of fuel, food and heat. This […]
              A Sweeter Hops        

    Federal scientists have bred a new, antimicrobial-rich hops variety for tea

    Food for Thought

    Brewers prize hops for the characteristic bitter flavors they impart to ales, lagers, and other beers. But aficionados of another class of brews—certain herbal teas—would prefer their hops bitterfree. And federal scientists may have come up with just what the doctor ordered.

    "People have used hops medicinally for a long time. It's a fairly ancient remedy," notes plant physiologist Barbara M. Reed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Corvallis, Ore.

    The bitter tonic made from hops has putative sedative, hypnotic, and antianxiety properties. Hops tea has been offered as a folk remedy for conditions ranging from fever and insomnia to bruises and cancer, according to a report by botanist James A. Duke, who has authored several books on medicinal plants. A quick browse on the Internet will turn up numerous sources of hop tea.

    The new cultivar, named Teamaker, may produce an especially palatable brew owing to a unique ratio of certain acid components. Moreover, the components that predominate in Teamaker have long-established antimicrobial properties. Indeed, their germ-fighting function appears to have won the appreciation of brewers more than a millennium ago, notes John A. Henning, who leads hop genetics and breeding at a USDA research center, also in Corvallis. Beer producers realized that when their recipe included hops, brews not only proved tasty, but had a longer shelf life.

    Hops breeder Alfred Haunold and his colleagues at the Corvallis center will formally register their debittered cultivar this month.

    What brewers of all stripes refer to as hops are actually the cone-shaped dried female flowers of the Humulus lupulus L. plant. Inside are glands that contain flavorful oils and some fairly bitter water-soluble components.

    To extract the flavorings for use in beer, or merely to make a cup of tea, brewers boil the cones to release their characteristic flavorings. However, the altered chemistry of USDA's new hop has dramatically boosted the production of flavorings possessing natural, antibiotic properties.

    In fact, the elevated antibiotic attributes of the new hop might open new markets for this crop, observes Henning. For instance, sugar producers might turn to it as a preservative to prevent microbial degradation of their product during processing. Alternatively, he notes, manufacturers and others may substitute it for the formaldehyde used to control pests and fungal growth in everything from animal feed and plywood to tissues that are being stored for use in research.

    Alpha vs. beta

    The key flavor compounds in hops trace to two families of chemicals: water-soluble alpha acids, and beta acids that develop in the plants' essential oils. Breweries prize the alpha acids for their hearty, if bitter, taste: These serve as a natural foil to the sweet compounds that develop in many beers. Indeed, some brewers just buy isolated hop-derived alpha acids and dispense with the beta acids entirely.

    The new Teamaker hop derives from experiments several decades ago when Haunold wanted to see the extent to which he could preferentially maximize a plant's production of alpha or beta acids. One successful beta-rich cultivar proved virtually devoid of alpha acids. A technician who tasted it jokingly said the bitterfree product would be great for tea—eventually giving rise to its name.

    In the January Journal of Plant Registrations, Henning, Haunold, and their coauthors describe Teamaker's pedigree—at least as much as is known. Most of its initial ancestors appear to have come from old English lines, such as cultivars known as Fuggle and Late Grape. However, Henning points out, because these lines are rich in alpha acids, there must have also been beta-rich ancestors. He now suspects that these were probably wild U.S. hops that pollinated their English cousins growing openly in Oregon fields, early in the last century.

    Currently, U.S. farmers produce some 55 million pounds of hops annually. Since the big market for hops has always been beer, the alpha acids-shy Teamaker languished in a few test plots for decades. A beer company or two checked the variety out, but ultimately exhibited no commercial interest.

    Recently, however, interest in beta acids—and their antimicrobial prowess—has been growing, independent of hops' use in beer. For instance, European sugar refiners have begun buying beta-acid extracts—essentially leftovers from alpha-acid production for breweries—as a bitterfree, all-natural preservative for use during manufacturing. At the same time, some feed suppliers have begun substituting beta acids for low-dose antibiotics as a livestock growth-promoting dietary additive. Feed producers couldn't use conventional hops directly, Henning notes, because the alpha acids' bitter taste would have soured the animals' interest in their chow.

    However, with Teamaker, the hop is essentially alpha acids-free: It certainly has the lowest quantity of alpha acids of any commercially available hop.

    Teamaker is available to breeders through the National Clonal Germplasm Repository—essentially a federal library with holdings that include more than 510 different hops. Some are wild natives collected throughout the United States. Others are cultivated varieties collected from throughout the world.

    But if the idea of bitterfree hops appeals, Henning says, stay tuned. In a year or two his group expects to announce a new and improved variety. Think of it, he says, as bitter-Terminator 2.


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

    Citations

    John A. Henning

    Forage Seed and Cereal Research

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    3450 SW Campus Way

    Corvallis, OR 97331

    Barbara M. Reed

    National Clonal Germplasm Repository

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    33447 Peoria Road

    Corvallis, OR 97333-2521
    Further Reading

    Carter, P.R., et al. 1990. Hop cultivation and use information. In Alternative Field Crops Manual. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service. Available at [Go to].

    DeNoma, J.S. 2000. Background information on Hops. USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Available at [Go to].

    Duke, J.A. 1983. Humulus lupulus L. In Handbook of Energy Crops . Available at [Go to].

              It's Spud Time        

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

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Room C-776

    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

    00153 Rome

    Italy

    International Potato Center

    Apartado Postal 1558

    Lima 12,

    Peru
    Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Szybki rozwój tego sektora związany jest z nowymi technologiami. Najbardziej znanym przykładem jest UberPOP, czyli aplikacja kojarząca ludzi chcących odpłatnie wyświadczyć usługę przewozu oraz jej odbiorców. Inne przykłady to BlaBlaCar, czyli serwis łączący kierowców dysponujących wolnymi miejscami w aucie z osobami szukającymi transportu, albo Airbnb, umożliwiający wynajęcie pokoju, mieszkania czy domu.

    Skala tych usług jest już na tyle duża, że na potencjalne korzyści podatkowe łakomym okiem patrzą ministrowie finansów. W czwartek rzeczniczka KE Venessa Mock poinformowała, że dyskusja w tej sprawie z udziałem KE i szefów resortów finansów państw członkowskich odbędzie się we wrześniu w Tallinie.

    - Podatki są skomplikowane. To temat, który wymaga jednomyślności w UE, dlatego nie możemy wchodzić w nowy obszar taki jak ten bez odpowiedniej refleksji. I teraz zajmujemy się tą refleksją w sprawie najlepszego podejścia do opodatkowania cyfrowej gospodarki - zaznaczyła Mock.

    Zniecierpliwienie obecnym stanem rzeczy wyraził w środę francuski minister finansów Bruno Le Maire, który mówił, że sytuacja podatkowa platform cyfrowych jak Airbnb jest we Francji"nie do zaakceptowania". - Platformy te osiągają dziesiątki milionów euro obrotu, a do budżetu Francji wpływa z tego zaledwie kilkadziesiąt tysięcy euro - powiedział cytowany przez AFP minister.

    Zapowiedział, że we wrześniu Paryż wraz z Berlinem przedstawią inicjatywę w tej sprawie, by problem został rozwiązany na poziomie europejskim. Jak mówił, chciałby, aby francusko-niemiecki projekt stał się propozycją KE, którą mieliby omówić na grudniowym szczycie przywódcy państw UE.

    Platformy, o których mowa, bardzo często mają swoją siedzibę w Irlandii, gdzie mogą liczyć na bardzo niskie podatki.

    Unijny komisarz ds. gospodarczych Pierre Moscovici ocenił w środę, że poziom podatków, jaki we Francji płaci Airbnb, jest "szokujący". Według tamtejszego ministerstwa finansów platforma zapłaciła mniej niż 100 tys. euro podatków w 2016 roku nad Sekwaną, podczas gdy w tym czasie z jej usług skorzystało ponad 10 mln Francuzów.

    Moscovici opowiedział się za tym, by kraje UE raczej uzgodniły wspólną bazę podatkową niż harmonizowały stawkę podatkową, jaką płacą firmy. We Francji jest ona szczególnie wysoka, bo wynosi 33 proc., tymczasem w Irlandii jest to 12,5 proc., choć są przykłady dużych, globalnych firm, które płaciły w tym kraju efektywnie dużo niższą stawkę.

    W ubiegłorocznych wytycznych dla unijnych stolic KE stwierdziła, że zarówno platformy internetowe, jak i osoby świadczące usługi ekonomii dzielenia się powinny płacić podatki na równi z innymi uczestnikami rynku, w tym podatki dochodowe, podatki od działalności gospodarczej oraz VAT. KE zachęcała państwa unijne do upraszczania i wprowadzania jaśniejszych regulacji podatkowych dla tego sektora.

    Według ubiegłorocznych szacunków KE dotyczących 2015 roku, platformy internetowe i usługodawcy w sektorze ekonomii dzielenia się łącznie osiągnęli dochód brutto w wysokości 28 mld euro, dwa razy większy niż rok wcześniej. Co szósty mieszkaniec UE przynajmniej raz korzystał z usług tego sektora, a ponad 5 proc. taką usługę oferowało.

    PAP


              Kommentar zu Docs & Demo von Dave        
    Hi, I've been using GPX Viewer for some time now to track our cycle route through Europe. All good until about a month ago. Now, when I click the GPX Viewer icon the dialogue box comes up completely blank (empty) and therefore I cannot interface with the plug-in. I don't know what has changed. I've deactivated and re-installed to try to fix but no luck. Don't know what to do. We are using WordPress and the my PC is iOS 10.11.6. The GPX plug-in is also up to date. Will be most pleased if you have any ideas? Dave
              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Why Did Nobody Tell Us? Reporting the Global Crash of 2008 [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Alex Brummer, Vince Cable MP; Evan Davis; Gillian Tett; Professor Willem Buiter | This event will discuss the reporting leading up to the global credit crash of 2008. Alex Brummer has been City Editor for the Daily Mail since 2000. He has over thirty years' experience in the media. Vincent Cable is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and speaks for his party on issues of Finance, European Economic and Monetary Union and the City. Evan Davis is a presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He was the BBC's Economics Editor from 2001-2008.
              Global Financial Regulation: The Essential Guide [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies, David Green, John McFall, Sir Steve Robson, Gillian Tett | As international financial markets have become more complex, so has the regulatory system which oversees them. The Basel Committee is just one of a plethora of international bodies and groupings which now set standards for financial activity around the world, in the interests of investor protection and financial stability. These groupings, and their decisions, have a major impact on markets in developed and developing countries, and on competition between financial firms. Yet their workings are shrouded in mystery, and their legitimacy is uncertain. Howard Davies was the first chairman of the UK's Financial Services Authority, the single regulator for the whole of Britain's financial sector. He was a member of the main international regulatory committees for several years, and is now director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). David Green was head of International Policy at the FSA, after 30 years in the Bank of England, and has been particularly closely associated with the development of the European regulatory system. He now advises the Financial Reporting Council. John McFall MP is Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons since 2001. He was re-elected to this post in October, 2005. In 1997 John served as a Government Whip and in July 1998 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office. His portfolio included responsibility for the Department of Education, Community Relations, the Training and Employment Agency and the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Economic Affairs. Sir Steve Robson is a former senior UK civil servant, who had responsibility for a wide variety of Treasury matters. His early career included the post of private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and secondment to ICFC (now 3i). He was also a second permanent secretary of HM Treasury, where he was managing director of the Finance and Regulation Directorate. He is a non-executive director of JP Morgan Cazenove Holdings, RBS, Xstrata Plc, The Financial Reporting Council Limited and Partnerships UK plc, and a member of the Chairman's Advisory Committee of KPMG.
              Nintendo pone al día a Norte América: Super Mario Galaxy 2, Dragon Quest IX, Cave Story, Metroid M        

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


    Fuente (2)
              Cambios en Marvelous        

    Los malos resultados del último año a nivel mundial ( incluso en Japón a pesar de hacer japonesadas ) han hecho que Marvelous, una de las pocas thirds parties que a pesar de sus limitados recursos ha apoyado a Wii a muerte, tenga que hacer cambios drásticos en su seno para que esta vez sí, tengan al menos algo de parné para pagar un stand en el Tokyo Game Show. A nivel europeo se deshacen de su distribuidor oficial, Rising Star Games, y se lo venden a una compañía nipona llamada Intergrow. Nadie sabía que existía excepto los interesados. Bergsala, el distribuidor habiual de Nintendo en Suecia, ya tiene el sello británico GameBride ( ha editado Moon ) a medias con Intergrow, o sea que ahora ambas son copropietarias tanto de GameBridge como de Rising Star. ¿ En qué van a cambiar las cosas ? Según el jefazo de Rising en nada. Ellos continuan con los derechos exclusivos de edición del software 'marvelousiano' en Europa, o sea que más brillo con NMH2 y menos cambios de manos.

    La venta de Rising no es la única medida drástica para seguir al pie del cañón. En un acto de mea culpa honorable ( y de esto los japos entienden un rato y dos también ), se recortarán sueldos. Pero no de los currantes, sino de la cúpula de señores encorbatados. Entre un 15 y un 17% los ejecutivos, directores entre un 25-43% menos y Yasuhiro Wada, cabeza visible de Marvelous y padre de Haverst Moon, la fríolera de un 77%. El pobre hombre tendrá que cultivarse sus propias verduras como en sus juegos para llevar algo de comer a sus hijos. Muy coherente la actitud de rebajar sueldazos a gerifaltes. A fin de cuentas, la calidad de sus juegos ha sido casi intachable, quizás sean otros los motivos de los malos tiempos.



    Fuente (2)


              FUTEBOL NA GUERRA        

    Em tempo de Guerra o futebol teve vez até no front




    Pegando o gancho do post anterior sobre centenário, em 2014 também marca um século do início da I Guerra Mundial, conflito sangrento ocorrido principalmente na Europa e que deixou um saldo de milhões e milhões de mortos entre soldados, civis e até animais. 

    De um lado os "Aliados", compostos por França, Grã-Bretanha, Rússia, Bélgica, Sérvia, Itália (começou o embate como adversária, mas se aliou em 1915) e Estados Unidos; do outro, Alemanha, Áustria-Hungria, Império Otomano e Bulgária formavam as "Potências Centrais". O confronto bélico se iniciou em 1914 e só veio ter fim em 1918 com a derrota das Potências, a queda dos otomanos e a consequente assinatura do Tratado de Versailles por parte dos alemães em 1919.

    Contudo, mesmo em tempos de guerra o futebol continuava a ser praticado - não só nos países com seus campeonatos locais, mas também no campo de batalha. Foram vários relatos, documentos, registros fotográficos e livros tratando do assunto, quando soldados aproveitavam os breves momentos de descanso e/ou cessar fogo não-oficiais para se divertirem com a bola nos pés.

    O cartaz acima foi uma motivação para os jovens ingleses ingressarem no front, visto a declaração do jornal germânico "Frankfurter Zeitung" de que os britânicos "não eram de nada". Já a foto é de 25 de dezembro de 1915, num campo próximo à Salonika na Grécia, numa das chamadas "Tréguas de Natal", em que soldados de ambos os lados faziam um cessar fogo para celebrarem os festejos de fim de ano.

    O 17º Regimento de Middlesex ficou conhecido como o "Batalhão do Futebol" ou "The Extremers" ("Os Extemados") devido à maioria de seus componentes serem à época jogadores de futebol. Tal ideia partiu de William Joynson-Hicks, membro do Parlamento britânico. O objetivo principal era despertar o nacionalismo através do futebol. Dirigentes dos clubes e árbitros também se alistaram.

    O grupo teve como um de seus líderes o escocês Richard McFadden, atacante do Clapton Orient (hoje Leyton Orient) que entre 1911 e 1915 era o ídolo maior do clube e seu maior artilheiro. O jogador morreu durante os confrontos e hoje é reverenciado pelos torcedores do modesto time inglês ao lado de dois colegas de equipe também mortos na guerra, William Jonas e George Scott.

    Os jogos nos terrenos castigados pela guerra muitas vezes eram à base do improviso: bolas feitas de lata, entulhos diversos e arames; as traves muitas vezes eram apenas as botas dos soldados alinhadas e os combatentes corriam atrás da vitória mesmo com seus pesados uniformes. 


    Ingleses e alemães rivalizavam também nas peladas durante a guerra



    O ex-combatente Ernie Williams, em uma entrevista à rede BBC inglesa há alguns anos, recordou uma das partidas mais famosas da época. "Uma bola foi lançada do lado dos alemães e, em poucos instantes, vários soldados começaram a jogar. Havia umas 200 pessoas e todas pareciam estar se divertindo. Ninguém com más intenções entre nós e não havia juiz, nem placar". 

    Vários jogadores britânicos, que inclusive atuavam por suas seleções, estiveram no "Batalhão do Futebol" durante as batalhas de Deville Wood e Guillemont  - essas duas na Batalha do Somme - e na Batalha de Arras em 1917. Nomes como o do já citado escocês McFadden, do zagueiro Frank Buckley (Bardford City e Inglaterra), do meiocampista Lyndon Sandoe (Cardiff City e País de Gales) e todo o time do Hearts of Midlothian da Escócia engrossaram as fileiras nas trincheiras da I Guerra Mundial.


    Exeter City de 1914: sete dos jogadores que enfrentaram o Brasil foram à guerra



    Na postagem anterior  relembramos os 100 anos de história da Seleção Brasileira de futebol. E em sua primeira partida o adversário foi o inglês Exeter City, com vitória brasileira por 2 a 0 no campo da Rua Guanabara, atual Laranjeiras, no Rio de Janeiro. A I Guerra estava em seu começo no dia 21 de julho daquele ano, mas devido às dificuldades de comunicação da época os britânicos ainda não tinham conhecimento do conflito - só ficaram sabendo quando estavam retornando à Europa a bordo do navio Alcântara.

    Relatos de alguns dos jogadores deram conta de que com o navio portando uma bandeira inglesa em seu mastro houve o temor da embarcação ser atacada pelas forças inimigas. Porém, felizmente a viagem foi realizada sem transtornos e os únicos tiros ouvidos foram de navios franceses como advertência para o confronto durante a passagem pelo Canal da Mancha.

    Aidan Hamilton, autor do livro "Have you ever played Brazil? - The story of Exeter City's 1914 tour to South America" ("Você já jogou contra o Brasil? - A história da turnê de 1914 do Exeter City pela América do Sul", inédito no Brasil), relata que 7 dos 11 jogadores que entraram em campo no histórico jogo contra os brasileiros foram convocados para a guerra: o goleiro Reg Loram, o médio e capitão do time Jimmy Rigby, os zagueiros Jack Fort e Sammy Strettle, e os atacantes Charlie Pratt, Billy Lovett, Fred Goodwin e Fred Whittaker - estes dois últimos integrando o "Batalhão do Futebol". Ainda segundo Hamilton, Goodwin sofreu sérios ferimentos nos confrontos e jamais voltou a atuar. 

    Afora estes citados, quatro atletas dos quadros do clube inglês que não estiveram presentes na excursão ao continente americano, também se alistaram: William Kirby, Arthur Evans, Fred Hunt e Kadie White - todos mortos no conflito.


    Todo o time do Hearts, da Escócia, participou da I Guerra




    O alistamento militar na Grã-Bretanha não era obrigatório até 1916, por isso o governo teve que apelar para o nacionalismo aliado ao futebol, já que era a principal prática esportiva da ilha europeia naquele tempo. Atraídos por esse chamamento patriótico, todos os jogadores do escocês Hearts alistou-se em 1914 no "Batalhão do Futebol" para os combates contra os alemães e seus aliados.

    O galês Bertie Felstead, outro ex-combatente da I Guerra, registrou em um relato encontrado após sua sua morte em 2001 que "não era um jogo propriamente dito, eram todos contra todos em que chutávamos a bola sem objetivo. Poderia haver uns 50 de cada lado, eu acho. Eu joguei porque realmente gostava de futebol. Não sei quanto tempo durou. Provavelmente uma meia hora, e ninguém estava contando o placar". 

    Ou seja, o futebol serviu como instrumento de integração e paz entre as forças rivais, tal qual como aconteceu em fevereiro de 1969, quando o Santos de Pelé fez uma excursão pela África. Na ocasião o time paulista conseguiu que o Zaire (atual República Democrática do Congo), que vivia um grande conflito interno entre blocos étnicos e políticos, vivesse um dia de cessar fogo para que a população pudesse acompanhar o maior jogador do planeta e seus companheiros em campo.

    O "Batalhão do Futebol" foi desmobilizado em 1918, ano do fim da guerra, e contabilizou várias perdas para o esporte britânico. Em 2010 foi erguido o memorial para o 17º Regimento de Middlesex na cidade francesa de Longueval, no norte do país. Placas de granito com nomes dos atletas/combatentes mortos encontram-se no local para que os fãs de diversos clubes possam prestar homenagens aos seus heróis das batalhas nos campos de futebol e de guerra.




    Cartaz: Johnson, Riddle & Co., Ltd., de Londres/ING
    Foto 1: Getty Images
    Foto 2: Chester Chronicle
    Fotos 3 e 4: Autor desconhecido


              IRMÃOS SEPARADOS POR UMA COPA        


    Kevin e Jerôme Boateng: irmãos separados pela Copa




    É normal dois irmãos se enfrentarem em nível de clubes, como já ocorreu com os holandeses Ronald e Frank de Boer, os dinamarqueses Michael e Brian Laudrup, aquio no Brasil entre o volante Fernando (ex-Flamengo) e o meia Carlos Alberto (ex-Vasco), entre muitos outros. Mas seria inimaginável dois irmãos nascidos no mesmo país, criados juntos, atuarem por duas seleções diferentes e se enfrentarem, concordam? Pois os irmãos Kevin-Prince e Jérôme Boateng se tornaram pioneiros nesta prática numa Copa do Mundo.. 

    Ambos são nascidos em Wilmersdorf, vilarejo nos arredores da capital alemã Berlin, filhos de mãe alemã e pai ganês. Kevin-Prince nasceu em 6 de março de 1987, enquanto Jérôme, em 3 de setembro de 1988. O primeiro, meia, começou a dar seus primeiros passos no futebol nas categorias de base do amador Reinickendorfer Füchse e logo após ingressou nos juvenis do Hertha Berlin. Já o segundo, que é zagueiro, deu seus primeiros chutes no Tennis Borussia Berlin e logo depois juntou-se a Kevin nas escolinhas do Hertha.

    A separação dos irmãos começou quando o mais velho foi contratado pelo inglês Tottenham Hotspur em 2007 após duas temporadas entre os profissionais do clube alemão. Jérôme permaneceu em Berlin por mais alguns meses até ser negociado com o Hamburgo. Pelo bom futebol apresentador pelos dois naturalmente foram convocados para a seleções de base da Alemanha. Kevin defendeu as cores sub-21 germânicas até 2007, enquanto seu irmão atuou até 2009 e conseguiu o título europeu na categoria.

    Jérôme foi convocado para a seleção alemã principal pela primeira vez em outubro de 2009 para uma partida diante da Rússia - neste jogo foi expulso após receber dois cartões amarelos. Já Kevin havia sido preterido devido à forte concorrência no setor de meio-campo alemão, que já contava com nomes de bastante qualidade como Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Trochowski, Khedira e etc.

    Em 2009, mesmo após conselhos de seu ex-treinador do Hertha Berlin Dieter Hoeneß de optar por defender seu país natal, Kevin-Prince comunicou ao atual técnico do selecionado Joachim Löw que vestiria a camisa de Gana para disputar a Copa do Mundo de 2010 na África do Sul. Já seu irmão caçula, que à época acertou sua ida para o Manchester City, continuava a disputar as partidas eliminatórias para o torneio pela Alemanha e foi convocado para a disputa da competição, assim como Kevin. Curiosamente, este último, então atleta do Portsmouth, foi responsável pelo corte do capitão alemão Michael Ballack do Mundial, quando atingiu de forma violenta o "conterrâneo" do Chelsea, que teve os ligamentos de seu tornozelo lesionados, na decisão da FA Cup inglesa.

    Quis o destino que alemães e ganeses caíssem no mesmo Grupo D da Copa e em 23 de junho de 2010, na cidade de Joannesburgo, pela primeira vez na história do futebol dois irmãos se enfrentassem por duas seleções distintas. Jérôme Boateng se deu melhor que Kevin-Prince Boateng e os alemães venceram os ganeses por 1 a 0.

    Jerôme defende as cores do Bayern de Munique desde 2011 e está novamente entre os 23 convocados por Löw para a disputa do Mundial aqui do Brasil. Já Kevin-Prince deixou o Portsmouth logo após a Copa de 2010 rumo ao italiano Genoa. Depois passou por Milan e hoje veste a camisa do alemão Schalke 04. Neste dia 21 de junho de 2014 em Fortaleza, apenas 2 dias antes de se completarem 4 anos exatos do primeiro embate histórico, irmãos separados por uma Copa voltarão aos gramados defendendo suas nações, seja de nascimento ou de adoção.

    Abaixo, dados e estatísticas dos irmãos em lados opostos na Copa do Mundo.


    * Nome: Jérôme Boateng

    * Nascimento: 3 de setembro de 1988 em Wilmersdorf/ALE

    * Posição: zagueiro

    * Clubes (4): Hertha Berlin (2006/07), Hamburgo (2007 a 2010), Manchester City/ING (2010 a 2011) e Bayern de Munique (desde 2011)

    * Títulos (10): Campeonato Europeu de Seleções sub-21 (2009), FA Cup (2011), Supercopa Alemã (2012), Liga dos Campeões da Europa (2012/13), Supercopa da UEFA (2013), Mundial de Clubes (2013), Copa da Alemanha (2012/13 e 2013/14) e Campeonato Alemão (2012/13 e 2013/14)

    * Seleção alemã: 40 partidas e nenhum gol desde 2009


    --------------------------------------------------


    * Nome: Kevin-Prince Boateng

    * Nascimento: 6 de março de 1987 em Wilmersdorf/ALE

    * Posição: meio-campo

    * Clubes (7): Hertha Berlin (2005 a 2007), Tottenham Hotspur/ING (2007 a 2009), Borussia Dortmund (2009), Portsmouth/ING (desde 2009), Genoa/ITA (2010), Milan/ITA (2010 a 2013) e Schalke 04 (desde 2013)

    * Títulos (3): Copa da Liga inglesa (2007/08), Campeonato Italiano (2010/11) e Supercopa da Itália (2011)

    * Seleção ganesa: 6 partidas e 2 gols desde 2010



    Obs.: Dados atualizados até 20/06/2014 


    Foto 1: Alessandra Tarantino/AP
    Foto 2: TheFA.com

              INTERNACIONAL EM QUATRO DÉCADAS        
     Jari Litmanen: a serviço de seu país em quatro décadas




    Nos dias de hoje é cada vez mais improvável um jogador manter o alto nível ao ponto de ser convocado para a sua seleção nacional por 5, 10 ou 15 anos. E quando chegam a mais de 15 e até 20 ou mais anos? Aí sim vira um fato digno de nota. Poucos foram os que ultrapassaram tais números, mas nenhum outro conseguiu o feito do finlandês da foto acima.

    Este jogador é Jari Litmanen, ex-meiocampista do Ajax, Liverpool e Barcelona e que ganhou quase tudo o que o um jogador profissional sonha disputar. O ex-atleta, afora os incríveis 21 anos de serviços prestados à sua seleção, é o único da história do futebol até hoje que detém a marca de atuar internacionalmente em quatro décadas distintas.

    Nascido em Lahti, capital da região de Päijänne Tavastia na Finlândia, em 20 de fevereiro de 1971, a bola já estava no DNA do então garoto, pois seus pais eram jogadores profissionais de futebol no país. Seu pai, Olavi Litmanen, foi um meia de sucesso no Reipas Lahti e da seleção da Finlândia nos anos 60 e 70. Sua mãe, Liisa, também era futebolista do Reipas Lahti - atuava de líbero no time feminino nos anos 70 e também foi bem sucedida. Ou seja, "filho de peixe, peixinho é" como diz o conhecido ditado popular.

    Tanto que aos 6 anos Litmanen já dava seus primeiros chutes no clube que revelou seus pais, o Reipas. Foram vários anos nas categorias de base sempre enchendo os olhos dos treinadores e olheiros com sua habilidade rara para um país com pouca expressão no futebol. Sua estreia como profissional se deu em 1987 na Liga Finlandesa. Mesmo com todo seu talento, o novato por pouco não começou sua carreira de forma melancólica, já que seu time terminou a competição em 10º lugar - uma acima dos rebaixados KePS Kemi e Koparit Kuopio.

    Depois de 13 anos entre base e profissional no Reipas Lahti sua condição de grande jogador já merecia vôos mais altos, apesar de não ter conquistado nenhum título com o clube. Tanto que em 1991 assinou contrato com o HJK, maior time da Finlândia. Porém, sua relação com os azuis da capital durou apenas uma temporada em sua primeira passagem, mas de muito sucesso com seus gols e assistências, apesar do modesto 5º lugar da equipe na liga nacional. O MyPa foi o próximo destino de Litmanen, onde conseguiu seu primeiro título como jogador profissional em 1992 com a Copa da Finlândia.

    Nesta decisão da Copa contra o FF Jaro, inclusive, havia um olheiro do poderoso Ajax de Amsterdã observando o então jovem e talentoso camisa 10 da equipe da cidade de Kouvola. Resultado final: 2 a 0 para Litmanen e companhia e um gol do astro finlandês que convenceu o holandês a contratar o jogador.

    Apesar das ótimas recomendações, Jari Litmanen chegou ao Godenzonen para atuar entre os reservas - o treinador era o polêmico Louis Van Gaal. Entretanto, o meiocampista começou a ganhar seu espaço substituindo o ídolo local Dennis Bergkamp que sofreu uma contusão. O jogador não perdeu a oportunidade e agradou o técnico, que passou a utilizá-lo muitas vezes no time titular.

    Com a saída de Bergkamp para a Internazionale de Milão em 1993, Litmanen ganhou definitivamente o posto de titular e não demorou para se tornar o principal jogador da equipe de Van Gaal nas próximas temporadas.



    "Litti" na sua fase áurea com o Ajax




    Jari Litmanen não só herdou a idolatria da torcida de Bergkamp como também sua camisa 10 e fez jus à mítica do número às costas. Retribuiu a confiança e expectativas de Van Gaal sendo artilheiro da Liga Holandesa na temporada 1993/94 com 26 gols. Não só ajudou o clube da capital a faturar o título nacional como foi eleito o jogador do ano no país.

    Litti, como ficou conhecido, foi peça chave no tricampeonato holandês entre 1993 e 1996 e na conquista da Liga dos Campeões e do Mundial de Clubes em 1995. O meia cravou seu nome na história nesta ocasião tornando-se o primeiro jogador da Finlândia a ser campeão continental e mundial de futebol. Ainda ficou em 3º lugar na eleição do melhor jogador do mundo naquele mesmo ano.

    Os anos passavam-se e a contribuição de Litmanen para o Ajax só crescia com seus números. Entretanto, um vilão viria começar a atrapalhar a trajetória do jogador: as constantes contusões. Não à toa também ficou conhecido como Homem de vidro tamanha sua facilidade de contrair lesões. Sua primeira passagem pelo Ajax terminou em 1999 com a ida de Louis Van Gaal para o Barcelona, que aproveitou a viagem e levou na bagagem o talentoso finlandês junto com outros holandeses como Bogarde, Kluivert, Ronald e Frank de Boer, Cocu e Reiseger. Foram 136 gols em 7 anos em Amsterdã, sendo 26 deles em competições europeias.

    No Barcelona Jari Litmanen passou muito longe de reeditar as atuações genais dos tempos de Ajax, muito por conta das recorrentes contusões. Foram pouco mais de 20 jogos, apenas 3 gols em dois anos na Catalunha e nenhuma conquista. Com a saída de Van Gaal e a chegada de Llorenç Serra Ferrer no comando técnico dos Blaugranas em 2001 acabou definitivamente a estada do meiocampista no Campo Nou.

    O caminho de Litmanen depois da Espanha foi a Inglaterra para atuar pelo Liverpool. Em Anfield Road chegou a ter boas atuações e aumentar sua galeria de troféus como a Liga Europa, a Supercopa da Europa e a FA Cup. Contudo, novamente o fantasma das contusões fazia uma marcação implacável no jogador, que ficou de fora em diversas ocasiões de partidas dos Reds. Desta forma clube e jogador acharam por bem acabar a relação em 2002 após uma temporada e incríveis cinco títulos pelo clube inglês.

    Já diz o ditado que "o bom filho à casa torna", e eis que Jari Litmanen voltou a vestir a camisa alvirrubra do Ajax em 2002. A Holanda sempre foi o refúgio das grandes atuações do meia finlandês, tanto que foi fundamental para a excelente campanha do time na Liga dos Campeões na temporada 2002/03, quando chegou às quartas de finais, até voltar a sofrer com as insistentes lesões que o impediam de atuar no seu costumeiro alto nível. Por conta de sua passagem mais constante no departamento médico do que no campo de jogo, não teve seu contrato renovado em 2004. Assim Litmanen resolveu voltar para sua terra natal.

    Voltando para a Finlândia, Litmanen foi recebido como um verdadeiro rei pela torcida do FC Lahti, clube oriundo do Reipas, que fundiu-se com o FC Kuusysi em 1996 para criar o novo clube. Tamanha a reverência que o jogador recebeu a alcunha de Kuningas Jari Litmanen, ou rei na língua finlandesa.

    Após um ano no FC Lahti sua carreira começou a declinar em clubes de menor expressão na Europa como Hansa Rostock da Alemanha, Malmö FF da Suécia, Fulham da Inglaterra, retornando ao Lahti e, finalmente, encerrando a sua brilhante carreira aos 40 anos no HJK de Helsinque em 2011. Neste último conquistou o seu único título da liga finlandesa.



    Camisa de Litmanen exposta no Museu do Esporte da Finlândia




    Mas foi na carreira internacional que Litmanen chegou ao seu grande marco. Por jogar numa seleção com pouquíssima tradição no futebol ficou alijado de grandes competições como Eurocopa e Copa do Mundo. Tal dificuldade também pode ser observada em grandes jogadores como o galês Ryan Giggs, o liberiano George Weah, o norte-irlandês George Best, entre outros. Ainda assim conseguiu entrar para a história com a camisa da seleção da Finlândia.

    Sua trajetória com os Huuhkajat (corujas, como é conhecida a seleção finlandesa) durou 21 anos como já citado. Porém, a diferença é que o período compreendeu-se entre 1989 a 2010 que o torna o único jogador da história a atuar por sua equipe nacional em quatro décadas diferentes. 

    Sua estreia se deu com apenas 18 anos em outubro de 1989 contra Trinidad Tobago num jogo amistoso. Apesar de seu grande talento o primeiro gol só saiu quase dois anos depois numa partida diante de Malta. Em 1996 assumiu a braçadeira de capitão da equipe e só veio largá-la quando a deixou em 2010. Sua marca histórica de quatro décadas diferentes defendendo a Finlândia foi alcançada em 19 de janeiro de 2010 na derrota por 2 a 0 para a Coréia do Sul em jogo amistoso. Sua última atuação, e último gol, pela seleção aconteceu na goleada por 8 a 0 contra San Marino em 17 de novembro do mesmo ano pelas eliminatórias da Eurocopa 2012. Nesta mesma partida chegou a outra marca: o de jogador mais velho da Finlândia e da história da fase qualificatória para o torneio continental a balançar as redes.

    Ao todo pela Finlândia foram 32 gols em 137 jogos que o colocam como o maior artilheiro e jogador que mais vestiu a camisa finlandesa em todos os tempos.

    Abaixo, dados e estatísticas do craque finlandês que reinou absoluto nos gramados durante quatro diferentes décadas.


    * Nome: Jari Olavi Litmanen

    * Apelidos: Litti, Kuningas

    * Nascimento: 20 de fevereiro de 1971 em Lahti/FIN

    * Posição: Meia-atacante

    * Clubes (10): Reipas Lahti (1987 a 1990), HJK Helsinki (1991 e 2011), MyPa (1992), Ajax/HOL (1992 a 1999 e 2002 a 2004), Barcelona/ESP (1999 a 2001), Liverpool/ING (2001 a 2002), FC Lahti (2004 e 2008 a 2010), Hansa Rostock/ALE (2005), Malmö/SUE (2005 a 2007) e Fulham/ING (2008)

    * Títulos (18): Copa da Finlândia (1992 e 2011), Campeonato Holandês (1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96 e 1997/98), KNVB Cup (1992/93, 1997/98 e 1998/99), Liga dos Campeões da Europa (1994/95), Supercopa da Europa (1995 e 2001), Mundial Interclubes (1995), Copa da UEFA (2000/01), FA Cup (2000/01), Copa da Liga Inglesa (2000/01), FA Community Shield (2001), Campeonato Finlandês (2011)

    * Seleção Finlandesa: 32 gols em 137 partidas entre 1989 e 2010

    * Principais honras pessoais: Jogador finlandês do ano (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 e 2000), Jogador do ano na Holanda (1993), Artilheiro do Campeonato Holandês (1993/94) e Artilheiro da Liga dos Campeões da Europa (1995/96)



    Fotos 1 e 3: Autor desconhecido
    Foto 2: Fred Ernst/AP

              O ADEUS AO PANTERA NEGRA        



    Eusébio, o Pantera Negra: maior nome do futebol português




    O futebol mundial perdeu neste domingo, dia 05, mais um de seus geniais artistas. Morreu em Lisboa, vítima de uma parada cardiorrespiratória aos 71 anos, o ex-atacante português Eusébio, mais conhecido como Pantera Negra, ídolo máximo do Benfica e da seleção lusa. Fez história ao liderar o alvirrubro lisboeta ao título europeu em 1961/62 e Portugal ao honroso 3º lugar na Copa do Mundo 1966, quando foi seu artilheiro com 9 gols.

    Eusébio da Silva Ferreira é natural de Moçambique, nascido a 25 de janeiro de 1942 em Lourenço Marques, hoje Maputo, então capital da colônia portuguesa na África. Como a maioria dos garotos africanos, Eusébio gostava de jogar bola com seus amigos pelos campos de sua cidade. Tanto que em meados dos anos 50 o grupo de colegas formou o clube Brasileiros, em homenagem à seleção vice-campeã mundial de 1950.

    O talento do atacante era latente e chamou a atenção de algumas pessoas ligadas ao futebol profissional de Moçambique. Tanto que foi levado para testes no Desportivo de Lourenço Marques, clube que era uma espécie de filial do Benfica de Portugal e que tinha em seu histórico a revelação para o mundo do meia Mário Coluna, ídolo português nos anos 50 e 60 e que, futuramente faria uma grande parceria nos gramados com Eusébio.

    Contudo, a comissão técnica do Desportivo não se interessou pelo futebol do jovem jogador e o dispensou após a temporada de treinos. Eusébio então foi levado ao rival Sporting para mais testes e logo encantou os olheiros do time, trazendo o então promissor garoto para suas categorias de base em 1957.

    Sua performance dentro de campo já demonstrava todo seu potencial para ser um gênio da bola. Tanto que um observador da poderosa Juventus de Turim já queria levá-lo para a Itália ainda em 1957. Entretanto, sua mãe Elisa Anissabeni não permitiu a sua ida para a Europa naquela ocasião.

    Eusébio atuava tanto no time de baixo quanto no principal e assim ajudou o Sporting a conquistar o campeonato de Moçambique no ano de 1960, seu primeiro título dos vários que viria a conquistar como jogador de futebol. No clube foram impressionantes 77 gols e 43 jogos.

    Outra vez o futebol brasileiro entraria na vida do atacante moçambicano: depois de observar as suas atuações durante uma excursão ao país, o então treinador da Ferroviária de Araraquara Bauer (ex-craque do São Paulo e da seleção brasileira convidou Eusébio para jogar no São Paulo, ideia refutada pelo atleta.

    Quem teve a imensa sorte de contar com o futebol do futuro craque foi o Benfica de Portugal, clube de infância de Eusébio e onde jogava seu ídolo Coluna. Porém, sua contratação pelos Águias foi bastante conturbada, tendo em vista o Sporting de Lourenço Marques ser uma espécie de filial do homônimo português e maior rival dos Encarnados do Estádio da Luz. Daí o alviverde de Lisboa pretendia levar o jogador como júnior e os benfiquistas apelaram para a sua mãe com dinheiro a fim de que o jogador vestisse a camisa vermelha - e assim aconteceu. Tal episódio criou um mal estar entre os dois adversários da capital.

    Com a camisa do Benfica Eusébio atuou por 15 anos e consagrou-se de vez. O fã ultrapassou o ídolo (Mário Coluna) e tornou-se o maior jogador da história do clube e do país em todos os tempos. O mínimo para quem durante todo esse período marcou 638 gols em 614 jogos - média impressionante de mais de um por partida - e faturou quase 20 títulos entre Liga e Copa Portuguesa e torneios europeus. Além de inúmeros prêmios individuais de artilharia (entre elas 3 de Copa dos Campeões da Europa) e melhor jogador de torneios.

    Em 1975 deixou o clube que o elevou aos maiores patamares que um atleta do futebol pode levar e, aos 33 anos, o Pantera Negra foi se aventurar em solo norte-americano para atuar por Boston Minutemen e Toronto Metros, com uma rápida passagem pelo mexicano Monterrey entre os dois. No clube canadense teve sua última grande atuação na carreira marcando 18 gols na Liga dos Estados Unidos e faturando o título. Em 1976 voltou para Portugal e assinou com o modesto Beira-Mar. Mas aos 34 anos o físico já não ajudava o craque de chute certeiro e habilidade descomunal. Muitas lesões começavam a acompanhá-lo e prejudicavam suas exibições. 

    Em 1977 retornou para a América do Norte e até 1980 ainda vestiu a camisa do Las Vegas Quicksilvers, do New Jersey Americans e do Buffalo Stallions, com uma rápida volta ao futebol de seu país na segunda divisão com o União de Tomar. Aos 38 anos o Pantera Negra encerrava sua brilhante passagem pelos gramados e deixava um enorme legado para o esporte.

    Pela seleção de Portugal, Eusébio (que por ter nascido em colônia lusitana tinha direito à cidadania portuguesa) marcou época em sua passagem de 12 anos entre 1961 e 1973. Estreou na seleção das Quinas diante de Luxemburgo na surpreendente derrota por 4 a 2 no dia 8 de outubro em partida válida pelas Eliminatórias para a Copa de 1962. E já no seu jogo inicial deixou sua marca.

    Mas foi no Mundial de 1966 que Eusébio entraria de vez para a galeria dos grande gênios do futebol. Na Inglaterra o Pantera só não fez chover e liderou Portugal rumo ao 3º lugar logo na estreia do país na competição. De quebra foi o artilheiro do torneio com 9 gols e fez parte da seleção dos melhores jogadores da Copa.

    Depois de pendurar as chuteiras, Eusébio sempre esteve ligado ao Benfica e à seleção portuguesa, equipes que foram marcantes em sua rica trajetória como jogador. Uma estátua em tamanho natural foi erguida no Estádio da Luz, mostrando a idolatria do povo lusitano ao seu craque maior. Porém, sua saúde começou a sofrer com problemas vasculares a partir de 2007, quando deu entrada em um hospital em Lisboa. Desde então a hipertensão e o colesterol alto passaram a ser os grandes adversários do craque lusitano.

    Em 2012, durante a Eurocopa na Ucrânia e na Polônia sofreu um Acidente Vascular Cerebral (AVC) e foi socorrido para um hospital em Poznań, na Polônia. Recuperado, passou a ter cuidados intensivos desde então. 

    Mas na madrugada do dia 04 para 05 de janeiro de 2014 uma parada cardíaca enquanto dormia em sua residência em Lisboa finalmente parou o atacante que tanto ultrapassava as barreiras que seus adversários defendiam nos gramados com tanta facilidade.

    Eusébio receberá todas as homenagens possíveis durante seu funeral, que começará no Estádio da Luz ainda neste domingo, e que foi o palco principal de suas grandes façanhas com a bola nos pés. O Pantera Negra foi e é inspiração não só para os portugueses, mas para todos os torcedores ao redor do mundo. Um exemplo de caráter e grande dedicação ao esporte mais popular do planeta. Foi-se o homem, mas seu legado é imortal.

    Abaixo, dados e estatísticas do maior jogador do futebol português - e um dos maiores da história.


    * Nome: Eusébio da Silva Ferreira

    * Apelido: Pantera Negra

    * Nascimento: 25/01/1942 em Lourenço Marques/Moçambique (atual Maputo)

    * Posição: atacante

    * Clubes (10): Sporting de Lourenço Marques/MOC (1957 a 1960), Benfica (1960 a 1975), Boston Minutemen/EUA (1975), Monterrey/MEX (1975), Toronto-Metros/CAN (1975 a 1976), Beira-Mar (1976), Las Vegas Quicksilvers/EUA (1976 a 1977), União de Tomar (1977 a 1978), New Jersy Americans/EUA (1978 a 1979) e Buffalo Stallions/EUA (1980)

    * Títulos (19): Campeonato Moçambicano (1960), Campeonato Português (1960/61, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73 e 1974/75), Taça de Portugal (1961/62, 1963/64, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1971/72), Copa dos Campeões da Europa (1961/62) e Liga norte-americana (1976)

    * Seleção portuguesa: 41 gols em 64 jogos entre 1961 e 1973

    * Principais honras individuais: Jogador do ano na Europa (1965), Chuteira de Ouro da Europa (1968 e 1973), Bola de ouro da Copa do Mundo (1966) e "FIFA 100" (lista dos 125 maiores jogadores de todos os tempos promovida pela FIFA e escolhida por Pelé, o maior jogador da história)




    Fotos 1 e 2: Autores desconhecidos
    Foto 3: P. Fernandes

              A LIGA FAROESA        



    HB Tórshavn: maior vencedor da Liga Faroesa




    Depois de um longo e tenebroso inverno, eis que apareço novamente nesse espaço tão bacana com informação sobre a história de curiosidades do futebol. Recebi comentários, tweets e até e-mail questionando o porquê da não atualização periódica do blog. Então retorno hoje para contar um pouco mais sobre o esporte mais popular do planeta.

    O futebol existe está presente nos quatro cantos do mundo, desde nas superpotências econômicas mundiais como EUA, Japão e Alemanha, até nos mais exóticas e remotas nações como Vanuatu, Taiti, Guam, entre outros. Cada lugar tem sua liga local com suas regras específicas – algumas simples e outras bem complexas e pouco inteligíveis. Nelas podemos ver times que certamente a esmagadora maioria dos amantes do esporte jamais ouviu falar, como FC Tobol Kostanay, FK Jedinstvo, Erakor Golden Star, Quality Distributors, Inter Moengotapoe, Mtibwa Sugar, entre outros. Como informação os clubes citados são respectivamente do Cazaquistão, de Montenegro, Vanuatu, Guam, do Suriname e da Tanzânia.

    No post de hoje vamos falar sobre outro campeonato de nível técnico obscuro e praticamente desconhecido do restante do planeta, mas cujo país é um dos mais fascinantes no quesito paisagens naturais: o das Ilhas Faroe. Em 2009 este blog já teve publicada uma postagem sobre a seleção da região autônoma da Dinamarca, e você pode conferi-la clicando aqui.

    Como dito, as Ilhas Faroe é um país pertencente à coroa dinamarquesa, entretanto é autônomo politica e economicamente falando. É um arquipélago situado entre a Noruega e a Islândia que tem aproximadamente 1400 km² de extensão e uma população de pouco mais de 50 mil pessoas segundo dados oficiais de 2012. É uma região com paisagens exuberantes com seu mar de águas azuis e montanhas verdejantes recobrindo boa parte do território. Sua capital é Tórshavn e sua moeda é a Coroa Dinamarquesa.

    O desporto é bastante praticado nas Ilhas Faroe, entretanto os atletas têm que disputar modalidades olímpicas e paraolímpicas com a bandeira da Dinamarca. E como normalmente acontece na maioria dos paises pelo mundo a fora, o futebol é o esporte mais popular entre os faroeses. Sua seleção ocupa o 161º lugar no ranking da FIFA atualmente; já a liga nacional tem o 51º coeficiente pela UEFA. 

    O campeonato nacional existe desde 1942, entretanto os clubes participantes só passaram a disputar competições europeias somente 50 anos depois. Entre o ano de estreia e 1975 a primeira divisão do torneio era chamada de "Divisão dos Campeões", ou Meistaradeildin em faroês. Na primeira edição apenas quatro times disputaram a taça: TB Tvøroyri, B36 Tórshavn, HB Tórshavn e KÍ Klaksvík - sendo este último seu primeiro campeão nacional. Muitas das equipes que participam da liga faroesa surgiram antes da criação da disputa, por isso disputavam o campeonato dinamarquês até seu início. A segunda divisão passou a ser disputada em 1943, contudo não havia acesso nem descenso. Até 1971 o certame envolvia apenas quatro clubes, quando a ISF, a Associação de Esportes das Ilhas Faroe, aumentou o número de participantes para 6. Cinco anos depois mais uma vaga foi aberta para a disputa e o nome da liga de elite mudou para 1.deildin (Primeira Divisão) e o sistema de rebaixamento e acesso foi introduzido - a segundona local passou a se chamar 2.deildin. O NSÍ Runavík teve o desgosto de ser o primeiro time rebaixado da história do futebol faroês, enquanto a honra da primeira promoção coube ao Fram Tórshavn.

    Em 1979 foi criada a FSF, a Associação de Futebol das Ilhas Faroe, que passou a reger o campeonato faroês e, por conseguinte, já aumentou o número de equipes da primeira divisão para oito até 1988, quando finalmente o torneio passou a contar com 10 participantes, além de fazer com que dois times caíssem e subissem de divisão. Até 1992 os vencedores da 1.deildin não entravam nos torneios continentais, contudo, neste ano, a UEFA abriu vagas para os clubes faroeses disputarem tanto a Liga dos Campeões (o campeão nacional) e a Copa da UEFA (o campeão da Copa), atual Liga Europa, na primeira fase preliminar de ambos. KÍ Klaksvík e B36 Tórshavn foram os primeiros clubes da história das Ilhas Faroe a jogarem uma fase, respectivamente, da Liga e da Copa, porém sem passarem da primeira etapa.

    A partir de 2006 o nome da competição sofreu algumas mudanças por motivos de patrocínios, passando a se chamar Formuladeildin entre 2006 e 2008, Vodafonedeildin entre 2009 e 2011, e Effodeildin desde então. A segunda divisão passou, então, a receber o nome de 1.deildin. A fórmula de disputa é simples e padrão na maioria das ligas europeias: jogos em turno e returno com os dez participantes em pontos corridos. O vencedor se habilita a participar da primeira fase eliminatória da Liga dos Campeões, enquanto o segundo e o terceiro lugares vão encarar a fase inicial de qualificação da Liga Europa. Os dois últimos colocados, como já visto, são relegados para a segundona nacional.

    O maior vencedor da Liga Faroesa desde 1942 é o HB Tórshvan com 21 títulos, seguido do KÍ Klaksvík com 17. O atual detentor da taça é o EB Streymur. Já os maiores artilheiros de uma única edição são os ex-atacantes faroeses Uni Arge, pelo HB Tórshavn em 1997, e Fríði Johannesen, pelo B68 Toftir em 1995, ambos com 24 gols. Como não poderia ser diferente, a liga conta com alguns brasileiros, notadamente o atacante carioca Clayton Nascimento, de 34 anos, saído da base do Tigres do Brasil/RJ e desde 2002 no ÍF Fuglafjørður, artilheiro da última edição com 22 gols; e o zagueiro baiano Alex dos Santos, de 32, que começou a carreira na Portuguesa de Desportos em 2002 e hoje veste a camisa do HB Tórshavn.

    Abaixo, dados e estatísticas da Liga Faroesa de futebol.


    LIGA FAROESA - 1ª DIVISÃO (EFFODEILDIN)


    * Fundação: 1942

    * Organização: FSF - Associação de Futebol das Ilhas Faroe (Fótbólutssamband Føroya em faroês)

    * Fórmula: pontos corridos com 10 clubes jogando entre si em turno e returno

    * Clubes participantes em 2013 (10): 07 Vestur, AB Argir, B36 Tórshavn, EB Streymur, HB Tórshavn, ÍF Fuglafjørður, KÍ Klaksvík, NSÍ Runavík, TB Tvøroyri e Vikingur

    * Campeões: HB Tórshavn (21), KÍ Klaksvík (17), B36 Tórshavn (9), TB Tvøroyri (7), GÍ Gøta (6), B68 Toftir (3), EB Streymur (2), NSÍ Runavík (1), SÍ Sørvágur (1) e VB Vágur (1)

    * Maiores artilheiros de uma edição: Fríði Johannesen (pelo B68 Toftir em 1995) e Uni Arge (pelo HB Tórshavn em 1997) com 24 gols



    Foto 1: UEFA.com


              RE: USD vs. EUR        
    VAT : US prices are VAT less, European ones are not (in france the price is 835,29€ without taxes)
              RE[5]: USD vs. EUR        
    so 1290 is still 190 dollars more expensive. Yes, but how much do you pay every month for health insurance? It costs me $95 a month to put my husband on my HMO. (For you in Europe, a Health Maintainance Organization is the cheapest, most restrictive kind of health insurance there is. [Were I to go to a less restrictive plan, it would be $212 a month to insure him.])Edited 2006-09-06 18:42
              RE[7]: USD vs. EUR        
    No, I don't think you get free health care. (I don't, either. My salary is lower than in the public sector, the price of my "free" health insurance.) My point was actually that there isn't a free lunch. European governments tend to provide certain amenities/services that the US government doesn't -- well maintained dykes and functional disaster relief organizations come to mind* -- but all of that comes at a price. Namely, taxes. --- *I've been re-reading some of my friends' Hurricane Katrina blogs recently ....
              Cost of business        
    What people often overlook is that the costs of doing business in Europe is generally higher than in the US, due to a lot of little things. Localisation for smaller markets, for instance, complying with directives like RoHS, better warranty (in theory at least), better consumer protection for buying on-line, etc.Browser: Links (2.1pre23; Linux 2.4.33-tp600e i686; 127x43)
              Europe Summit Aims to Revive Lost Momentum Toward Unity         

    WITH public opinion soured on the merits of European unity, European Community leaders hope to ``relaunch Europe'' with a special summit tomorrow celebrating ratification of the long-awaited Maastricht Treaty.

    ``It's important to get the public thinking in terms of Europe again,'' says one Belgian Foreign Ministry official.

    But the celebration risks being seen as irrelevant by much of the public it targets, as Europeans worry about record-high unemployment, challenges to their infant-to-elder social-welfare system, and instability on the continent's eastern borders.

    ``In Germany, at least, people are thinking about their job security, while published opinion is wondering about the future course of Russia, and neither one sees how the EC can have a major impact on those concerns,'' says Josef Janning, deputy director of the research group on Europe at the University of Mainz in Germany. ``People are seeing such issues less in European and more in national terms.''

    The Maastricht Treaty, an ambitious blueprint for providing the EC with a monetary union and a common foreign and security policy by the latter part of the decade, was supposed to have been ratified and the process of its implementation begun in January 1992. That the treaty was not fully ratified until this month, when the German constitutional court finally approved it, provides a measure of the public doubt about Maastricht's goals.

    In the two-year delay, Maastricht was battered by an initial outright rejection by Danish voters in a referendum, plus rough ratification battles in Britain and France. The European currency crises of October 1992 and this past summer mocked the monetary union goal, while the EC's weak and disjointed response to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina posed deep questions about the feasibility of a common foreign policy. Operation `restore stature'

    Tomorrow's summit, held in Brussels, is a German-French initiative to try to restore both Maastricht's and Europe's public stature. But even in France, where regard for the Community runs high, doubts are strong about what this summit can accomplish.

    ``No one should expect much of anything concrete out of this summit,'' says Phillipe Moreau-Defarges, an EC specialist at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. ``There's too much division among the EC countries for decisions to be made.''

    One possible area of action that Mr. Moreau-Defarges cites provides a good example of the Community's current lack of a common vision. The summit could give a new boost to earlier economic ``growth initiatives'' that have had trouble getting off the ground, he says.

    Elsewhere in Europe, where public spending is already causing record debts, and where skepticism is strong over the actual impact of large public-works programs, enthusiasm for such proposals is slight.

    ``The German public is definitely not in favor of this kind of centralized program to rebuild Europe's economic strength,'' Dr. Janning says. ``People in Ireland or Portugal may see Brussels [EC headquarters] as a guarantor or creator of jobs,'' he adds, since those countries receive substantial EC development funds, ``but they certainly don't in Germany.''

    Germany and France also had wanted to take up another issue at the summit: Community institutional reforms. The larger countries feel their power is too limited by the generally equal rights of smaller members, and concern is growing that the Community's enlargement to include three or four new small members by 1995 will further tilt the balance and generally render the Community more bureaucratic and plodding. Putting off reform

    German proposals for streamlining the EC administration met with staunch resistance from small members, and reform will likely be put on hold until the next EC treaty review in 1996.

    To demonstrate that Maastricht is now in force, EC leaders are expected to prepare the next stage of economic and monetary union by launching the European Monetary Institute, ``embryo'' of a future European central bank. The institute's location in Germany is likely to be approved, a move that could open the way for decisions on the placement of several other new EC institutions, including a patent office and environmental agency.

    Still, there is a lingering feeling that Maastricht, negotiated in 1990, is a treaty already left behind by European events. ``By spring of next year we may very well have a new imperial Russia to contend with, something never imagined when Maastricht was written,'' Janning says. ``Economies are seen more in national terms. [Community] leaders will have to work hard,'' he adds, ``to demonstrate that Maastricht is relevant in these conditions.''

    Become a part of the Monitor community


              Melissa Byrnes        

    Melissa K Byrnes, assistant professor of history, published an opinion piece in the Austin American-Statesman about the roots of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris in January. Dr. Byrnes is finishing a book on North African migration to France in the middle of the twentieth century.


              Berroth        

    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented research on transnational and multicultural European film at the 71st Annual South Central Modern Languages Association Conference in Austin, Texas, on October 20, 2014. Showcasing her curricular innovations in the German program at the 39th conference of the Coalition of Women in German in Shawnee on Delaware, PA, October 23-26, 2014, she spoke on "Teaching German in the Anthropocene" on the Pedagogy Panel titled Sustainability as Feminist Practice. Her poster presentation "Innovations in a Small German Program" highlighted the impact of an ACS Blended Learning Grant in the development of our new short-term embedded study abroad program for student-athletes: Global Players: Leadership, Football, Intercultural Learning, first implemented this summer. Berroth also organized and chaired the session "Feminist Embodiment and Empowerment," and, as Chair of the 2014 WIG Dissertation Prize Committee, introduced and honored this year's winner.


              Berroth        

    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a research paper titled "Slow Violence and Vibrant Matter in Marica Bodrožić' Novel Kirschholz und alte Gefühle" at the 38th annual conference of the German Studies Association for a panel with the title Berlin Haunts: Specters of the Past and Future in Recent Berlin Fictions. Berroth also contributed to discussions in a session sponsored by the GSA Environmental Studies Network titled "The Metabolism of Cultures: Consumption, Waste, and Desire in Ecological Humanities," and in a session sponsored by the North American DAAD Centers for German and European Studies titled Mensch/Natur/Umwelt: New Research and Pedagogy of the Green Germany."


              Erika Berroth        

    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, is the recipient of the 2014 Coalition of Women in German Faculty Research Award. The award recognizes and supports projects that address a significant topic with demonstrated relevance to German Studies informed by a feminist perspective. Preference is given to projects that engage the intersections of gender with other categories such as sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, religion, and citizenship. The Coalition of Women in German, WIG, also encourages proposals that further the project of rethinking German Studies along transnational lines. Dr. Hester Baer, President of WIG notes the relevance of Berroth's research project to feminist work in the context of transnational aesthetics, representations of economic transformations in East-Central Europe, and environmental implications in the literature of migration. Berroth is working on a book about the contemporary German author Marica Bodrožić, winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2013.


              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    "Enilde And Our Children" Oil on Panel 42" x 60"
    Painting by Luke Van Hook, 2003
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson


    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!


    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!

    *********************************************************************************

    JOSHUA ELIAS
    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website
    *************************************************************************************************************************



    SIMONE GAD
    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008


    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005


    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia





    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad


    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008



    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad


    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008



    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-

    ************************************************************************************


    BETTY GLASS

    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass


    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at www.bhglassart.com

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.





    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.

              Best Time To Invest in Art, NOW! by Ginger Van Hook        
    TV celebrity Jason Alexander supports the arts at the TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, California on August 18, 2007 for the CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION show juried by Peter Frank. Now showing NEW WORKS, painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography and video through September 1st 2007. Jason Alexander, an actor who played the part of "George" in the long running and popular hit TV show "Seinfeld",
    is pictured here beside sculpture artist Ali Alinejad.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Christine Owens, president of the Focus One Community Credit Union and sponsor of the
    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California is presented with the Renaissance Award
    by Monrovia City Councilman, Joe Garcia at the Monrovia Arts Festival Association Gala Black Tie Annual Fund-raising Event May 12, 2007. The Renaissance Award is given to honor and recognize a special member of the community whose contributions to their fellow citizens leads to the cultural enrichment of the community as a whole. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist, Photographer and Actor, David Newsom poses with his dog in front of his latest photographs (Thistle #1) being exhibited at the DCA Fine Arts Gallery, in Santa Monica, California, (June 1, 2007 through July 14th, 2007). Three miles of Idaho is an exhibit focusing on the landscape between his brother and his sister's properties in a unique and poignant family setting. David Newsom released large scale renditions of his work currently published from his best-selling book titled SKIP.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Peter Frank, Jurist, for the TAG Gallery, CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION,
    stands beside emerging Los Angeles based artist, Luke Van Hook, August 18th, 2007.
    The Painting in background, oil on canvas, "May", the study of Giotto's perfect circle.
    by Luke Van Hook
    (Investigating the legend that Giotto drew a perfect circle for the Pope)

    As the economy goes up and down, so do the trends in the arts and art collecting. This is an exciting time for the arts because we have many historical markers and world conditions that exist today that make it a good time to invest in the arts. For instance, instability in the stock market often releases money to make investments in art, that, like real estate, also goes up in value as the years progress. Additionally, there are wars raging around the world so instability in world economic markets are impacting the art market too. The best impact that market instability plays upon the arts is that it gives incentives to support artists in your local communities. These artists are here and now. Their work is presently available, and like property, it too can be insured, placed into a family trust or safety deposit vault and along with the family heirlooms, art can be bequeathed as a legacy or inheritance to members of your family. Both the housing market and the stock market have been riding a roller-coaster in recent years making a good piece of tangible artwork a far more solid investment than betting on governments, point spreads or Las Vegas Mega Slots.

    M
    y husband Luke and I have explored a number of fine art galleries and art communities that will interest the art lover, the art collector and fellow artists in the pursuit of great works being created in the NOW, as well as some works that have survived the test of time. In my Blog I intend to discuss some of the hot spots and hot artists in Sunny Southern California. I'll share photos with you of some of these exciting options available to the every day collector, the seasoned collector, the art aficionados, or the emerging collectors eager with new money to infuse into an already thriving and ripe harvest of works in Oil Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Conceptual works, Collage, Digital Photography, Digital Film and Electronic Visual Art.

    Through this summer we visited communities on the West side such as Santa Monica, West LA, and Culver City. In the inland areas, we visited some of the foothill mountain art communities such as Glendale and a little further inland, we visited Old Town Monrovia. Starting with the inland foothills we find the quaint town of Monrovia where I grew up and went to school at Immaculate Conception Elementary on Shamrock Avenue. In Monrovia, the City of Art and in Duarte, the City of Health, I grew up as a child. I volunteered about 300 hours as a candy striper for the City of Hope in my teenage years, went on to work for the Duarte Library and attended Alverno High School for girls in Sierra Madre. This is the place where I was raised marching in parades with the Brownies and the Girl Scouts and where I learned to tap dance, twirl a baton and where I rode a ferris wheel for the first time at the fiesta, (as well as ate a lot of cotton candy), I came back as an adult to find an incredible amount of support for the arts in local schools. The arts are not limited to crayons and pencils either. There is an extensive array of art mediums in which students, and some very young students at that, learn to hone their creative skills. For instance, at Paint N Play on Myrtle Avenue, they learn how to throw pottery. Also, with after school teacher, Rouzanna Berberian, children learn the art of drawing, photography and gallery showmanship as well. There are art lessons going on, on almost every street corner you encounter in the busy Old Town Center on Myrtle near the Krikorian Movie theatre. You'll find this charming section of town both soothing and exhilarating. You ought to try walking up and down the main street where there are sidewalk activities, new park benches to rest under shade trees, new lampposts and lanterns all reminiscent of a nostalgic time. Artists show their work on wide city blocks and inside cool and dim lit gallery spaces. The mountains loom in the distance and the afternoons yeild a light summer breeze in the early evening.

    We support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association in their endeavors to promote the arts to the children at a very young age. It is not uncommon for lots of families that are raised to appreciate art to blossom into artists later in life. MAFA is a nonprofit organization led by President Bill Beebe with a history of supporting local artists and local after-school art programs. Over the years, the Monrovia community has begun to expand its outreach of art by developing local talent through a number of venues: Focus One Gallery for instance, is located in the lobby of the Focus One Community Credit Union at 404 East Huntington Drive on the corner of California and Huntington Drive. The president of Focus One Community Credit Union, Christine Owens is known for her support of local artists and was recently nominated for and awarded the annual Renaissance Award by Monrovia City Councilman Joe Garcia at the MAFA Black Tie Fundraiser in May 2007. This is a prestigious award that goes to honor and recognize a special member of the community whose contributions to their fellow citizens leads to the cultural enrichment of the community as a whole.

    MAFA Marketing coordinator, (on left)Denise Daniels is pictured here with Christine Owens, President of Focus One Community Credit Union and Bill Beebe, President of MAFA at their annual Black Tie Fundraiser that occurs in May.


    Monrovia, California
    Foothill Mountain Communities
    Some Artists in Action...

    THE MONROVIA ARTS FESTIVAL ASSOCIATION otherwise known as MAFA, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and is dedicated to the cultivation and support of the arts in children's after school programs as well as educational awareness of the arts in the community at large. MAFA P.O. Box 92 Monrovia, CA 91017 (www.artfestivals.org) 626-256-3124

    Several galleries and art venues have developed over the years which participate and support MAFA. The following information is current as of August 2007: If your event or venue is not listed, please contact Ginger Van Hook, press liaison, for MAFA at (enilde@sprintmail.com).

    The AZTEK ART GALLERY, is located beside the Aztek Hotel at 305 West Foothill Blvd. Exhibits local artists work as well as holds art classes during scheduled times. The contact person is Bill Hyatt, (Hyatt2000@yahoo.com)

    California Wine and Cheese, LLC supports local artists. New Artist reception for Frank Zgonc, Photographer is scheduled for the evening of Friday August 24th, 2007. Frank Zgonc shares images from his travels through Europe, scenes from Bodie Flats, Nevada and local scenes in Monrovia along with his signature digital watercolor manipulations. California Wine and Cheese is located at 115 W. Foothill Blvd., Owned by Janet and Tom Dugan, their website can be located at www.cawineandcheese.com (Contact by phone 626-358-6500 for reservations.)

    The MONROVIA COFFEE COMPANY supports local artists and is located at 425 South Myrtle Avenue. Exhibits contemporary and emerging artists work. Next artists showing September 1 through December 30th, Ginger and Luke Van Hook Photography exhibit, Methusula in the Bristlecone Pine Forest. (Landscape photographs of some of the oldest pine trees on the planet. Some trees aged over 4,700 years, older than the Egyptian Pyramids.) (Additional digital photography of flowers and collage by Ginger Van Hook.) For artist schedules, contact person is Carol Curtis, (shutterbug@altrionet.com)

    The PAINT 'N PLAY ART GALLERY is affiliated with Monrovia Arts Festival Association in its' support of the arts by providing a meeting place for MAFA members to discuss and plan their upcoming events for the community on a monthly basis. Contact Lisa or Rachel at paintnPlay2@aol.com. Paint 'N Play is located at 418 South Myrtle Avenue. Paint N Play sponsors the SUMMER ARTWALKS in Old Town Monrovia along with several merchants who participate every year. KidsArt, Segil Fine Art, Oh My Goddard Gallery, Family Festival Productions, Scoops, Joy Print and Design, Box Jewelers and Baldwin's Baked Potatoes as well as the Outback SteakHouse- Arcadia and Trader Joe's also participate in art festivities that promote the education of art in schools through Summer Artwalks. For more information regarding Summer Art Walks and how you may participate, you may also contact Betsy Thurmond (626-358-7800) or kamonrovia@verizon.net. The next SUMMER ARTWALK is scheduled for Saturday evening, August 25, 2007 from 6:30 to 9pm.


    *********************************************************

    GLENDALE COMMUNITY
    ARTISTS EXHIBIT AT THE
    BRAND LIBRARY ART GALLERIES

    August 11 - September 28th, 2007.
    Glendale Public Library Associates of Brand Library
    1601 West Mountain Street Glendale, CA 91201
    818-548-2051 www.brandlibrary.org


    A group show Titled: PATTERN PLAY. Four artists demonstrate the variety of patterns available in color schemes, pattern originality, unique images in oil paints, sculpture, and graphic designs. Artist reception August 18, 2007. Artists featured are Patsy Cox, Yuriko Etue, Melanie Rothschild, and Jerrin Wagstaff. Definitely a great show for the entire family. You'll experience a great variety of brilliant colors and patterns that pop out of the walls, rise from the floor and reveal creative abstract patterns that draw you in, spiral you out and make you feel good.

    Artist, Melanie Rothschild

    Artist, Patsy Cox

    Artist, Yuriko Etue

    Artist, Jerrin Wagstaff


    **********************************************************

    SANTA MONICA AND COASTAL EDGES
    OF CALIFORNIA ART


    16:1 Gallery, Santa Monica, California Summer 2007

    MONGREL

    Kathryn Andrews
    Chris Lipomi
    Donald Morgan
    Stephanie Taylor
    organized by Kathryn Andrews

    Showing August 11 through September 8, 2007

    Sixteen:One
    2116 Pico Blvd., Unit B
    Santa Monica, CA 90405
    310-450-4394
    email: info@16to1.com
    www.16to1.com


    ************************************************************************************************************

    SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

    DCA FINE ART GALLERY
    Delia Cabral, Gallery Director
    www.dcafineart.com
    delia@dcafineart.com
    3107 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405
    310-396-8565

    From Exhibition, THREE MENDACIOUS MINDS, (The Return of Paris' New Pestilence School) David Schoffman, Currado Malaspina, Micah Carpenter July 23- August 31, 2007 310-770-2525
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook



    ******************************************************************************************************************

    SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

    TAG Gallery
    TAGtheartistsgallery.com
    Elizabeth Sadoff
    Gallery Director
    2903 Santa Monica Blvd.
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    310-829-9556

    Elizabeth Sadoff, Gallery Director, TAG Gallery
    handing out awards to the winning artists.

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Jason Cimenski accepts award from Peter Frank and Elizabeth Sadoff
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    First Place Winner, Artist, Jason Cimenski with his daughter "The Flooded Room" TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007 Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist Kim Kimbro, TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Artist, Lorien Suarez,
    TAG Gallery August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist, Carlos Daub,
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Derek McMullen, Luke Van Hook, Dennis Treretola Three artists, oil painters, from the same graduating class at Otis College of Art and Design, 2004
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Artists, and fine art painters, Carlos Daub, Luke Van Hook, Dennis Treretola
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist, Carole Garland, "Midnight Mystery", oil on canvas
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California
    August 18, 2007
    Standing room only at the popular show
    CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Peter Frank thanks the artists and their guests who have participated
    at the TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California Open Exhibition,
    August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook



              Get ahead with booking for 2018 Christmas Markets getaways        
      Whenever I’m pressed to say what my favourite time of year to take a European river cruise is, I invariably come up with the same response: December. It is during the last month of the year that Europe’s famous […]
              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 […]
              Plenty of pacific voyages for your sailing adventure        
    Cruises to Alaska dominate the offerings, but itineraries also include such destinations as California, Hawaii and Japan   As much as I love travelling overseas to Europe, Asia and abroad, I have to admit that it’s really nice to be […]
              European river cruises get a makeover        
    I probably shouldn’t admit this since I’m a purveyor of all things cruise, but I really like river cruising. Europe, Asia, North America – the destination isn’t so important. River cruising is just an incredible, immersive vacation that offers all […]
              Aam Aadmi Party: the political start-up        


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

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

    -- Rang De Basanti (2006)


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


    Election is coming.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

    Atleast we are talking about the right things.

    So... what will you do?



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





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



              Globus Hypermarkets in Russia Introduces Scan & Go with NCR Technology for a Faster and More Convenient Shopping Experience        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/01/16, Duluth, GA United States - The Scan & Go system is based on the NCR FastLane Mobile Shopper powered by Re-Vision solution and is the first customer implementation in Europe - Globus.de / NCR.com
              SMA Annual Conference – Discount and Bursaries Available        
    Our Annual Conference Waiting for the End of the World: Perceptions of Disaster and Risk in Medieval Europe will take place at Rewley House, Oxford, 2nd – 4th December 2016. SMA members received 10% off the registration fee! More details can … Continue reading
              Museums Association Conference & Exhibition 2016 (7-9 Nov., Glasgow)        
    The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in Europe for museums and heritage professionals.  Over 1,500 senior staff discuss the latest issues, discover new practice and meet the world’s leading suppliers and consultants. The … Continue reading
              Re: SSIS Frustration? Enter Pentaho        

    Thanks for Sharing such a Wonderful Information....

    Learn PENTAHO through Online for Details Please go through the Link...

    Online PENTAHO Training in USA | INDIA | UK | NEWYORK | SINGAPORE | AUSTRALIA | EUROPE


              We cannot have a foreign policy without a conscience        
    Embed from Getty Images   President Lukashenko of Belarus has enjoyed twenty-two years in power, achieved through a specific method of counting of votes, and has often been referred to as the last dictator in Europe. Following his annual state-of-the-union address 2015, President Lukashenko has said that Jews in Belarus should be taken “under control”. All this […]
              Liberal Youth make some noise for human rights        
    Last week, on a cold December afternoon Liberal Youth continued their campaign for human rights in Belarus, a country often described as “Europe’s Last Dictatorship”. We were joined by the Free Belarus Now group, lead by Irina Bogdanova (sister of an ex-Presidential candidate) in a demonstration outside the Belarusian embassy in London. The event was […]
              LibLink: Nick Clegg – We must stand up to this tyranny on our doorstep        
    Nick Clegg – currently in Poland representing the UK at the EU Eastern Partnership summit – has an op-ed in today’s Independent arguing that more must be done to topple Europe’s last dictator in Belarus. As well as his column, the deputy prime minister will also speak to the people of Belarus over the airwaves via […]
              Opinion: The struggle for democracy persists in Europe, not just the Middle East        
    In December last year, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was re-elected president of Belarus, with 79.7% of the vote in elections deemed to fall massively short of OSCE standards. Under his leadership, the Belarusian regime systematically violates basic liberties. The past week has seen a worsening of the situation, with the oppressive regime using unjustifiable violence against protesters […]
              Inpatient Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate Detoxification: A Case Report Describing Day-to-day Therapeutic Management        
    imageBackground: Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a synthetic drug increasingly used by consumers of psychoactive substances. The sought after psychoactive effects of GHB have resulted in an increase in recreational use in Europe. GHB is considered to have a high dependence potential, and abrupt discontinuation after long-term use can result in a severe withdrawal syndrome. Despite a large number of publications related to GHB withdrawal and detoxification, to date, no evidence-based protocol or consensual international therapeutic guidelines are available (over and above the administration of benzodiazepines). We hereby present a day-to-day description of inpatient GHB detoxification management, from admission to discharge. Case Summary: This case report pertains to a 47-year-old patient hospitalized for a severe GHB use disorder. The patient had independently made several unsuccessful attempts to stop GHB use. Following to these failures, the patient was oriented to our addiction department for inpatient detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms appeared 4 hours after the last dose of GHB, and consisted of diaphoresis, coenesthetic hallucinations, tremors, motor instability, tachycardia, and a hypertensive peak. Symptoms were successfully managed with diazepam titration and nonpharmacological treatment. The duration of hospitalization was 13 days. At discharge, detoxification was complete and the patient was engaged in relapse prevention therapy. Three months after discharge, the patient had maintained abstinence. Conclusions: GHB withdrawal, which can be severe, is better prevented or attenuated by daily medical monitoring and adjustment of treatment dosage. Failure of outpatient detoxification should be included in the indication criteria in the guidelines for inpatient detoxification.
              American Doctor in Nice Recalls Chaotic Scene Moments After Truck Attack        
    Among those caught in the chaos of the attack in Nice, France was an American physician from Denver on a tour through Europe who told NBC’s Lester Holt he was running for his life.
              Is there a solution to terrorism in Europe?        
    A terrorist attack in Nice, France left scores of civilians dead on Bastille Day. The Daily Beast's Dana Kennedy joins MSNBC's Brian Williams to report.
              PE za ograniczeniem ilości marnowanego jedzenia        
    Posłowie proponują działania, które mają doprowadzić, w 2030 roku, do zmniejszenia o połowę ilości rokrocznie marnowanego jedzenia w krajach Unii Europejskiej. Pomóc w tym mają przepisy ułatwiające przekazywanie darowizn jedzenia, a także rozwiązania weryfikujące wątpliwości oznaczenia "należy spożyć do" oraz "daty minimalnej trwałości".
              Parlament Europejski chce zmniejszyć marnowanie żywności        
    Na sesji plenarnej PE parlamentarzyści zgodzili się przyjąć pakiet legislacyjny, który ograniczy marnotrawstwo żywności.
              Hogan o CETA: Nie znamy wpływu na małe gospodarstwa        
    Europoseł Czesław Siekierski zapytał komisarza Phila Hogana o wpływ umowy CETA na sektor rolny w Unii Europejskiej. Hogan odpowiedział, że... zastosowana metoda oceny nie pozwala na określenie wpływu CETA na małe gospodarstwa rolne.
              Raport: Polska europejskim centrum produkcji żywności        
    – Polska, jak żaden inny kraj, posiada atuty żeby stać się europejskim centrum produkcji i przetwórstwa żywności. Aby dobrze wykorzystać istniejący potencjał, trzeba podjąć działania, które zbudują przewagę konkurencyjną, nie tylko w Europie, ale i na rynkach wschodzących – to zdaniem autorów raportu “Polska atrakcyjnym producentem i dostawcą żywności” kluczowe wyzwanie polskiego rolnictwa na najbliższe lata. Najnowsza publikacja Centrum Kompetencji Puławy została wydana pod honorowym patronatem Przewodniczącego Komisji Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi Parlamentu Europejskiego oraz Fertilizers Europe.
              Sprzeciw wobec zakazom i ograniczaniu importu żywności i pasz GMO        
    Komisja Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich Unii Europejskiej sprzeciwia się krajowym zakazom dotyczącym przywozu genetycznie zmodyfikowanej żywności i pasz.
              2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Pricing Announced        
    Hyundai is pitching the all-new, third-generation Elantra GT as "European influenced" – it's more than hyperbole since, like the first two generations, the brand's latest compact hatchback was developed primarily in Europe.
              The History and Symbolism of the Celtic Cross        

    Celtic Crosses dot hundreds of cemeteries across Ireland and Scotland, as well as Wales, England, Europe, and beyond. Few symbols are as recognizable as the Celtic Cross as the embodiment of Celtic Christianity. It is popularly believed that St. Patrick introduced the Celtic Cross in Ireland, during his conversion of the kings from paganism to […]

    The post The History and Symbolism of the Celtic Cross appeared first on Irish Fireside Travel and Culture.


              Celtic Connections 2015: The Irish Connection        

    Each January as winter settles across Glasgow in the southwest of Scotland, it is time for one of Europe’s best festivals: Celtic Connections. Thousands of artists and thousands of listeners come to Scotland’s largest city for nearly three weeks of music from cutting edge to traditional. As you might suspect from the name Celtic Connections, […]

    The post Celtic Connections 2015: The Irish Connection appeared first on Irish Fireside Travel and Culture.


              Q&A: What is Tax-Free Shopping in Ireland?        

    Could you explain VAT refunds on purchased items for tourists in Ireland? – Angela via email One of the advantages of shopping in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for Americans and other non-European Union residents is that certain purchases can be bought tax-free. It’s a great opportunity to save on your purchases. However, […]

    The post Q&A: What is Tax-Free Shopping in Ireland? appeared first on Irish Fireside Travel and Culture.


              Marchas de la Dignidad 22-O. Pan, trabajo, techo y dignidad        
    El año 2015 está siendo sido testigo nuevamente de las movilizaciones de las Marchas de la Dignidad, que en esta ocasión han tenido también carácter europeo, con las EuroMarchas que partiendo de diversos lugares y ciudades del continente finalizan en Bruselas el … Sigue leyendo
              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.
              The VERY last birds...and an African wolf        


    I couldn't let that cricket warbler get away, so I took one final trip back up to the dry and dusty Sahel region in the north of the country, armed with its call downloaded onto my iPod from the excellent website xeno-canto, to track it down.  The bush yielded some nice birds - fulvous babblers and speckle-fronted weavers - but the cricket warblers were still proving elusive.  So I got out my new toy - the downloaded call - and pressed Play.  Within only two seconds, there was a cricket warbler!!  It popped up onto the top of a bush, having been hiding in the shady interior I assume.  A fleeting view but enough for a positive identification.

    Some other nice sightings of the weekend included some beautiful African pygmy geese, the rare Arabian bustard and a big party of vultures feeding on a freshly dead roadside donkey - see photo above.

    There are not all that many mammals in Senegal, but I saw a number of jackals, and heard the interesting bit of information that recent DNA testing has shown these to be more closely related to the European wolf than to the jackals from southern Africa.  This photo I took there really does show a wolf-like animal.

              Living in the light        
    It rained on Wednesday. Now I realise that this won’t sound particularly momentous to those of you living in rainy London, but this is Dakar. We don’t have winter and summer, we have a rainy season and a dry season and right now we are in the dry season. In the dry season it doesn’t rain. It is usually hot and sunny with blue skies, though sometimes the harmattan blows in from the Sahara desert and a white haze of dust hangs over the city, but it doesn’t rain.

    So when I woke on Wednesday morning I thought I must be dreaming when I heard rain sounds – thought it was some strange trick, perhaps the leaves of the mango tree tapping against the roof in the wind – but then I heard thunder and knew it was for real. & it was the day I was moving house.

    With my northern European background I groaned inwardly at the rain, thinking about all my books, clothes and CDs getting wet as the removal men carried the boxes out to the lorry. But in a semi-desert country like Senegal such unseasonal rain is considered good luck, especially for new ventures, and this portentous rainstorm was even mentioned on the evening news. Locals associated it with the presidency of the newly elected Macky Sall, but I knew better – it was for me, for my move to the new apartment.

    & so far it seems to have worked. My only loss on the move was one small glass. But more importantly I now live in a beautiful apartment. It has two bedrooms and one open plan lounge/diner/kitchen, with both the latter room and the master bedroom having large French windows opening on to the enormous south-west facing balcony with its sea view (OK, the sea is behind the rooftops and a big road, but I can still see it and its cooling breezes still reach my balcony). The contrast with the old house I moved out of could not be greater as this place is flooded with light – and I realise now how I suffered from the dark, gloomy interior of the house, built in the typical African way to face north and so avoid as much as possible of the sun.

    I didn’t set foot outside the apartment block for the whole weekend as I couldn’t bear to leave it. Just a trip downstairs to the shared swimming pool, which I had all to myself.

    The place does have its faults (otherwise it wouldn’t be within the budget of an NGO), but the planes flying overhead in the night have not woken me once. There is no generator, only little machines that keep the lights on during power cuts – but not the fridges, the hairdryers or the cookers. So far we haven’t had any power cuts but I’m sure they’ll come once we move into the hot and steamy rainy season. But I don’t think I’ll care because I am truly in love with this apartment. I don't know at the moment how long I have left in Senegal (as a management restructuring of my department is looming) but in a way that is making me treasure each day there even more.
              Hair of the dog wont cure that hangover        
    In medieval Europe, when astrology and blood-letting were frequently employed in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, one therapy for rabies was to place some pieces of hair from the rabid dog onto the victim’s bite wound.
              Mons. Nunzio Galantino e "Università futura"        
    Mons. Nunzio Galantino, segretario generale della Conferenza Episcopale Italiana, legge un passaggio di "Università futura" (intorno al minuto 43) durante la sua lectio magistralis in occasione dell'inaugurazione dell'anno accademico dell'Università Europea di Roma (2 marzo 2017). Qui il testo della sua lectio.


              Brexit osłabi handel z Brytyjczykami        
    Eksporterzy stracili dużo na wahaniach funta. Co jeszcze czeka ich w związku z rozwodem UE z Wielką Brytanią — i jak mogą wyjść na swoje? Rok temu po ogłoszeniu wyników referendum, w którym Brytyjczycy zdecydowali o opuszczeniu Unii Europejskiej (UE), kurs funta spadł raptownie o 20 proc. Ucierpieli na tym polscy eksporterzy sprzedający towary i usługi do UK - informuje Puls Biznesu .
              Już 9 grudnia poznamy decyzję ws. dyrektywy tytoniowej        
    Ponad 22 tysiące podpisów i pozytywne dla Polski decydujące głosowanie w Parlamencie Europejskim 8 października to nie koniec procesu legislacyjnego nowelizującego dyrektywę w sprawie wyrobów tytoniowych – już 9 grudnia jej los spocznie w rękach ministrów zdrowia państw członkowskich Unii Europejskiej.
              Polski eksport rolno-spożywczy do Wlk. Brytanii zwolni, a import po Brexicie spadnie        
    Eksport polskich produktów rolno-spożywczych do Wielkiej Brytanii po wyjściu Brytyjczyków z Unii Europejskiej zapewne zwolni, a import spadnie. Sama Wielka Brytania może zwiększyć import z innych regionów konkurencyjnych cenowo - mówi serwisowi portalspozywczy.pl Marta Skrzypczyk, Koordynator Analityków Agrobiznesu w Departamencie Agrobiznesu Banku Zachodniego WBK.
              PIMG: Dyrektywa tytoniowa osłabi polski eksport w segmencie rolnym        
    Już 8 października 2013 roku podczas głosowania plenarnego w Parlamencie Europejskim w Brukseli rozstrzygną się losy dyrektywy tytoniowej. Jeżeli akt wejdzie w życie, będzie obowiązywać w całej Unii Europejskiej, ale najmocniej uderzy w polską gospodarkę. Dyrektywa od samego początku wzbudza wiele kontrowersji oraz mocny sprzeciw polskiego rządu i obywateli - ocenia Polski Instytut Myśli Gospodarczej.
              Brexit - zaburzenia w wymianie handlowej, straty polskiego rolnictwa i wzrost cen na Wyspach        
    Na wyjściu Wielkiej Brytanii z Unii Europejskiej może sporo stracić polskie rolnictwo. Poza tym Brexit może oznaczać zaburzenia w wymianie handlowej i rodzić pewne niebezpieczeństwo dla konkurencyjności polskich produktów na rynku brytyjskim - mówi serwisowi portalspozywczy.pl Marta Skrzypczyk, Koordynator Analityków Agrobiznesu w Departamencie Agrobiznesu Banku Zachodniego WBK.
              Polska szybko odrobi ewentualne ograniczenie eksportu przez Brexit, ma czas na zabezpieczenie        
    W przypadku realnego ograniczenia eksportu do Wielkiej Brytanii w związku z wyjściem tego kraju z Unii Europejskiej (Brexit) będziemy mogli to odrobić w ciągu 1,5 roku. Jest jeszcze czas, by ubezpieczyć się na sytuację faktycznego Brexitu – mówi serwisowi portalspozywczy.pl Dariusz Tenderenda, członek zarządu Domu Maklerskiego Navigator.
              Prezes Colian nie spodziewa się większych zmian przez Brexit        
    Jan Kolański, prezes Colian Holding nie spodziewa się większych zmian np. celnych w związku z decyzją Brytyjczyków o opuszczeniu Unii  Europejskiej ani negatywnych skutków dla eksporterów czy importerów. Zagrożeniem byłoby natomiast opuszczenie UE przez kolejne kraje.
              Prezes Colian: Mimo Brexitu nie martwię się o nasz biznes w Wlk. Brytanii        
    Jan Kolański, prezes Colian Holding mówi serwisowi portalspozywczy.pl, że mimo decyzji Brytyjczyków o opuszczeniu Unii Europejskiej nie martwi się o biznes i eksport grupy Colian do Wielkiej Brytanii.
              Euler Hermes ocenia konsekwencje Brexitu dla polskiej branży spożywczej        
    Jeśli Wielka Brytania zdecyduje się opuścić Unię Europejską, stracą m.in. polscy eksporterzy nabiału, słodyczy i innych kategorii produktów. Ratunkiem byłoby ustanowienie nowej umowy o wolnym handlu.
              Eksporter polskiej żywności wynajmuje magazyn w Lublinie        
    Spiżarnia SJ, spółka zajmująca się eksportem polskich produktów spożywczych i ich dystrybucją na rynkach Wielkiej Brytanii i Irlandii, wynajęła od Panattoni Europe blisko 7,5 tys. mkw. w Panattoni Park Lublin.
              DrupalCon attendee map        

    View Larger Map | download KML file

    The map above shows the approximate locations of over 400 of the DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 attendees, based on the city or country they entered when registering for this year's DrupalCon. People travelled from every continent except Antarctica (maybe next year?) to visit the conference though most attendees travelled from Europe or the US.

    If you're reading in an RSS reader, or if you prefer using Google Earth rather than Google Maps, you may want to load up the KML file, otherwise you'll need to move the map around a little to make Google Maps load all the locations for you.

    (Sorry for all the pushpins. I was hoping to move beyond pushpins but the GeoCommons server didn't seem to like my file, probably due to the lack of attribute data in it.)


              VAT tax - Europe        

    Image

    Target Link


              Composi-Tight 3D Fusion Sectional Matrix System - Europe        

    Image

    Target Link


              Rally for Europe and ROW        

    Image

    Target Link


              Composi-Tight 3D Fusion Separator Rings - Europe        

    Image

    Target Link


               Open political science, methodological nationalism and European Union studies         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2008) Open political science, methodological nationalism and European Union studies. Government and Opposition, Vol.43 (No.4). pp. 599-612. ISSN 0017-257X
               European integration and the social science of EU studies: the disciplinary politics of a subfield         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2007) European integration and the social science of EU studies: the disciplinary politics of a subfield. International Affairs , Vol.83 (No.2). pp. 231-252. ISSN 0020-5850
               The uniting of Europe and the foundation of EU studies: revisiting the neofunctionalism of Ernst B. Haas         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2005) The uniting of Europe and the foundation of EU studies: revisiting the neofunctionalism of Ernst B. Haas. Journal of European Public Policy, Vol.12 (No.2). pp. 237-254. ISSN 1350-1763
               Globalization, the ambivalence of European integration and the possibilities for a post-disciplinary EU studies         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2005) Globalization, the ambivalence of European integration and the possibilities for a post-disciplinary EU studies. Innovation , Vol.18 (No.1). pp. 23-43. ISSN 1351-1610
               Conceptualizing the EU model of governance in world politics         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2005) Conceptualizing the EU model of governance in world politics. European Foreign Affairs Review, Vol.10 (No.4). pp. 463-478. ISSN 1384-6299
               Europe: regional laboratory for a global polity?         
    Jørgensen, Knud Erik and Rosamond, Ben (2001) Europe: regional laboratory for a global polity? Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.71/).
               Europeanization and discourses of globalization: narratives of external structural context in the European Commission         
    Rosamond, Ben (2000) Europeanization and discourses of globalization: narratives of external structural context in the European Commission. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.51/).
              Osborne's attempt to discredit Robin Hood Tax is a bit rich        
    George Osborne has complained to his fellow European finance ministers that they're wasting time debating a financial transaction tax because he believes pensioners will pay for it rather than bankers.

    Good to see our Chancellor fighting the cause for pensioners. He's always got their interests at heart. Like when he changed the rate of indexation from RPI to CPI costing pensioners on average between £2,250 and £2,500 per year and wiping off £75 billion off the value of private sector pensions. Not to mention the millions of public sector workers his government are currently seeking to make work longer and pay more for less pension.

    It is somewhat galling therefore that he seeks to reject a progressive tax that would raise £30bn to fight poverty by painting himself as some kind of defender of pensioners.

    He doesn't see the point of discussing it as it will not be unilaterally agreed. He ignores a report by Bill Gates that cites that the tax would work even if it wasn't agreed by all countries. He ignores faith leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and Desmond Tutu, and he ignores a global movement of more than 220 million people who are calling for it to help the world's poor and allow the banks to atone for creating the current financial crisis.

    France, Germany and Brazil among others can hold their heads up high in the knowledge that their government's back this tax. I for one am ashamed that my government doesn't just not support it, but out-rightly seeks to disingenuously undermine it.

    Again, Osborne is out to protect the interests of the wealthy few rather than the millions suffering from poverty.

    The Robin Hood Tax campaign does a good job of refuting Osborne's bias against the tax on their website.



              Bill Gates backs Robin Hood Tax        
    Philanthropists don't always go heavy on calling for taxation but campaigners calling for a financial transaction tax received a huge boost today after Bill Gates backed the idea.

    Gates will present a report to the G20 when they meet in Cannes this November to recommend that a Robin Hood Tax would raise substantial revenue for aid and development.

    A critical part of his findings as far as the UK government are concerned is that he says such a tax would work whether it was implemented unilaterally or by a small number of countries.

    As Larry Elliott points out in today's Guardian this blows a hole in George Osborne's theory that the levy would need to be globally agreed to be workable.

    This has been our government's main excuse against backing other leading European countries calls for the tax. Gates's report should make it harder for Osborne to wriggle out of it now. Let's hope so - hundreds of billions of dollars a year could be raised from it.
              Pump company sets up near Didcot        
    EBARA Pumps Europe, part of leading Japanese pump manufacturer Ebara Corporation, has become the latest tenant at the Park 34 site at the Southmead industrial area.
              Bicester student home and dry thanks to house builder        
    A STUDENT at Heyford Park Free School in Upper Heyford is being sponsored by a housebuilder for the European Cheerleading Championship in Croatia.
              Brexit: Why Britain left the EU, explained        

    Britain voted Thursday to leave the European Union, a decision that surprised many and one whose consequences still aren’t totally clear. We don’t know quite yet what this will mean for the future of Britain’s economy, its policies, and its relations with other European countries. There have been many twists and turns in British politics that...

    The post Brexit: Why Britain left the EU, explained appeared first on Fizzip.


              Hibiscus: os segredos desse chá!        

    CLAUDIO AMORIM MED EMAGRECIMENTO

    Provavelmente alguém já chegou perto de você e comentou sobre o chá de hibiscus; não é mesmo? Então, lhe veio aquela pergunta à mente – “afinal, o que é hibiscus ou hibisco”?

    Bom. Realmente diversas pessoas estão fazendo uso do chá de hibiscus por diversos motivos.

    Aqui neste post, você vai descobrir o que é hibiscus e quais são os segredos desse chá que, inclusive, muitas famosas como Letícia Spiller e Fernanda Souza estão tomando para ostentarem uma barriguinha chapada e manter o corpo “sequinho”.

    Confira!

    O consumo de chás

    Beber chás é um costume europeu que chegou ao Brasil em função das tradições indígenas que utilizavam ervas como forma de cura. Daí em diante, o consumo desta bebida continuou a crescer assim como a variedade de sabores e diversos benefícios.

    Há aquelas pessoas que tomam chá pelo sabor, já outras optam pelos ingredientes menos conhecidos investindo nos benefícios que os chás oferecem à saúde.

    Um dos chás mais consumidos atualmente é o de hibiscus que tem um sabor mais agradável e pode ser ingerido quente ou gelado.

    Hibiscus – o que é e para que serve?

    Hibiscus é uma planta que possui flores e folhas exuberantes. A bebida é preparada com o caule seco da flor chamada Hibiscus Sabdariffa, e é a preferida de quem está buscando emagrecer.

    A principal responsável pela redução do acúmulo de gordura corporal é a ação antioxidante do chá que contribui significativamente para você perder gordura na região dos quadris e do abdômen.

    Isto ocorre porque um dos benefícios do chá de hibiscus se encontra na capacidade que ele tem de diminuir a adipogênese, um processo em que as células pré-adipócitas do seu corpo se transformam em adipócitas maduras (adipócitas=gordura) que fazem você engordar.

    Hibiscus – os segredos desse chá!

    O hibiscus é rico em nutrientes como magnésio, cálcio, fósforo, potássio, vitamina B2 e vitamina B1. Além disso, seu sabor é levemente adocicado dispensando o uso de açúcar ou adoçantes.

    Todos estes nutriente fazem com o que o chá de hibiscus te ofereça diversos benefícios:

    • Ajuda seu corpo captar energia nas células auxiliando no metabolismo da glicose e do oxigênio, principais fontes de combustível celular.

    • Tem ação diurética contribuindo para eliminar os líquidos que causam inchaço e retenção.

    • Por ser rico em antioxidantes, o chá de hibiscus previne o envelhecimento precoce e doenças do coração.

    • Auxilia na redução da pressão sanguínea.

    • Tem ação termogênica, o que te ajuda a perder peso.

    • Reforça o sistema imunológico.

    • Alivia dores musculares.

    • Auxilia na saúde dos cabelos, pele e ossos.

    • Proporciona ação anti-inflamatória.

    O chá de hibiscus também emagrece porque possui um inibidor que impede a produção de amilase, a enzima que transforma o amido em açúcar. Assim, tomar esta bebida após as refeições vai te ajudar a diminuir a absorção de carboidratos, o que gradualmente te levará a emagrecer.

    Segundo pesquisas, os flavonoides presentes no chá de hibiscus possuem efeito vasodilatador e cardioprotetor. Desta forma, as substâncias elevam o colesterol bom (HDL), reduz o colesterol ruim (LDL) e diminuem a pressão arterial e triglicérides.

    Como consumir o chá de hibiscus para emagrecer

    Se você for fazer o chá de hibiscus a partir da flor a granel:

    • Coloque para ferver 200 ml de água (não aqueça muito para não perder as propriedades da flor).

    • Desligue o fogo e acrescente 5 gramas da flor seca.

    • Tampe e deixa descansar entre 3 a 5 minutos.

    • Coe e beba.

    Especialistas recomendam que ao fazer uso deste chá de hibiscus para emagrecer, você consuma 1 ou 2 xícaras de 200 ml por dia. A cada xícara utilize de 4 a 6 gramas da flor seca, o que equivale a uma colher de chá.

    Para potencializar o efeito da perda de peso adicione um alimento termogênico ao chá, como canela, hortelã ou gengibre; pois enquanto o hibiscus evita o acúmulo de gordura o segundo te ajuda a manter o gasto calórico.

    Gostou?

    Portanto, agora que você descobriu os segredos do chá de hibiscus acrescente-o em sua dieta. É uma maneira de perder o excesso de gordurinhas que te incomoda e ficar com um corpo mais bonito. Lembre-se de sempre ter uma alimentação saudável e praticar exercícios físicos.

    E VOCÊ? Já ouviu FALAR SOBRE o MED: PROGRAMA REVOLUCIONÁRIO DE EMAGRECIMENTO DEFINITIVO!

    E então? O que você acha desta ótima estratégia para emagrecer? Comente!

    Um forte abraço.


              Åžeful Bundesbank cere BCE să revină la reglementări mai stricte, pentru a evita o nouă criză        
    Jens Weidmann, preşedintele Bundesbank şi membru în Consiliul Guvernator al Băncii Centrale Europene (BCE), a lansat un nou avertisment privind riscurile tot mai grave generate de măsurile anticriză ale BCE şi cere revenirea la reglementări stricte privind colateralul acceptat de instituÅ£ie. Într-o scrisoare către preşedintele BCE Mario Draghi obÅ£inută de Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Weidmann se […]
              The Regulation of Executive Pay in the Public and Semi-Public Sector across the European Union - by Paola Bruni        
    The regulation of top income, especially, the remuneration of senior civil servants, public officials and top-level executives in the semi-public sector has resurfaced as a topic of political and public debates across the European Union since the economic crisis in 2008. In order to control the remuneration of high-level public officials and make them more transparent, different measures have been introduced. This study – articulated in two different parts - aims at investigating, from a theoretical and practical point of view, the regulation of executive pay across the European Union. The underlying overall objective is to develop comparative insights, define possible best practices and focus on themes and systems’ elements that should become subject to further research in order to account for an effective policy model.

    This study has been conducted upon the request of the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations by the European Institute of Public Administration of Maastricht.

    A follow up (event) will soon be released in order to share and deepen the main findings of the research.

    For further questions and information about this study and/or new research inquiries please contact the project leader.

    Miss. Paola Bruni

    Email: p.bruni@eipa.eu
    Tel.: 0031 43 32 96 266

              Can the Investment Court System (ICS) save TTIP and CETA? - by Wolfgang Koeth        

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently under negotiation between the EU and the US continues to divide public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic. As the public became aware of the multiple dimensions of this proposed agreement, one feature proved to be particularly explosive: the inclusion of a mechanism known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) that would give foreign investors the right to legally challenge actions of sovereign states if these actions were seen as violating the rights of the investors. Sensitive to the public mood, and regardless of the fact that this feature has been a standard item in international trade agreements for several decades, both the European Commission and the European Parliament backed away from supporting the inclusion of ISDS. In late 2015, the Commission proposed a new approach to investment protection based on an international investment court system (ICS), which would address the shortcomings of the existing system and assuage the fears of the public. However, this new proposal has not convinced those who are to profit most from it. Nor has it changed hostile public opinion in a number of EU countries.


              Everyone Wins at Softchoice Cares’ Soccer Championship!        
    Softchoice sports event raises money for local charity through a friendly game of football soccer. The 2012 European Football Championship has just begun and already the excitement is contagious! Early this spring, Softchoice had its own soccer championship in Liberty Village, Toronto. More than 150 employees participated in our week-long tournament.  Twenty-seven games were played and more than one […]
          

              Understanding EU Decision-Making - by Edward Best        
    This book presents in a concise and accessible way why the EU institutional system exists in its present form and who is involved in EU policy processes. It gives a summary of the system’s basic principles and structures, and describes its actors, procedures and instruments.
     
    The main theme is to show that EU decision-making is not just a matter of action at some higher and separate level, of ‘them and us’, but rather that it involves different forms of cooperation between European, national and regional authorities, as well as interaction between public and private actors. Numerous short case studies illustrate how people’s day-to-day activities are affected by EU decisions, and how individuals’ concerns are represented in the decision-making process.
     
    The book is published by Springer in editorial partnership with the Publications Office of the EU and can be purchased here.

              EPSA 2015: The Public Sector as Partner for a Better Society - by Julia Bosse, Michael Burnett, Susanne Møller Nielsen, Claude Rongione, Harrie Scholtens        

    Under the theme “The Public Sector as Partner for a Better Society”, the EPSA 2015 gathered and rewarded those ground-breaking and evidenced solutions of public administrations facing current (European, if not worldwide) challenges related to areas such as migration and integration, health and educational sectors, the labour market, energy, the environment and demographics coupled with pressures on welfare budgets and general budgetary constraints.

    A total of 266 projects from 36 European countries and European institutions were submitted, which shows that working in partnership is a necessity for all levels of public administrations across Europe in order to contribute to and take the lead towards a better society.

    This publication highlights the trends identified from the EPSA 2015 practice-front in order to share best practice elements with the readers – as a source of inspiration for their own change projects. Thus, this publication presents a first analysis and taster of the novel solutions applied by public administrations across Europe.

    It is split into two parts: An EPSA 2015 Trends & Practices Report analysing the best practices and successful elements identified in the EPSA submissions, which are of interest to other public administrations looking for solutions on how to address current challenges. Common elements, enablers and barriers are pin-pointed during this analysis. The general findings and common trends across the two administrative categories are sketched out in the joint conclusions at the end of this report.

    The second part of this publication contains the Best Practices Catalogue, which comprises the EPSA 2015 statistics and the edited executive summaries of the 64 best practices (9 nominees and 55 additional Best Practice Certificate recipients) with the contact details of the EPSA 2015 winners, nominees and best practice certificate recipients to allow the reader to directly contact the public sector innovators behind the rewarded projects and thus encourage joint learning and knowledge transfer.  

    In conclusion, this publication contains inspirational and working solutions which are ready to be adapted to and replicated by the readers’ public sector institutions in their own administrative cultures and systems.


              Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures: A Practical Guide – 2nd edition - by Michael Burnett with Martin Oder        

    Since the first edition of the book the use of Competitive Dialogue has been influenced by both changes on how public contracts are awarded arising from the 2014 Public Procurement Directives and the continuing impact of the global financial crisis on award procedures for PPP projects at a time when private finance is increasingly seen as central to the modernisation of European infrastructure. Yet objective advice for decision makers about how to award complex contracts, however they are financed, remains hard to find.

    Cutting through the jargon and misconceptions, this book is an independent guide for all those in Europe facing the challenge of awarding complex contracts effectively to secure value for money for the public sector.

    The continuing experience of the authors is that good practice in the application of Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures will often be very similar. Thus in this second edition the scope of the book includes consideration of Negotiated Procedures.

    Written from a public sector perspective, the book has two main audiences. i.e.:

    • European decision makers from the legislative and judicial branch of government responsible for creating and implementing an appropriate legal framework at EU level for Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures.
    • Politicians, public officials and their professional advisers in the EU currently facing choices about when and how to use Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures in a way which maximises legal certainty and the likelihood of achieving value for money.

    The book both explains the legal framework for the application of Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures and gives practical guidance for all stages of the award procedure on how best to exercise the choices available within the legal framework.

    It also sets out an agenda for future use of Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures after the 2014 Public Procurement Directives, with actions at EU and national level.

    The stakes in terms of the need to modernise Europe’s transport, energy and digital infrastructure and the effective implementation of key European policies, such as compliance with environmental legislation and the completion of the Internal Market, at an affordable cost remain too high for it to fail.

    This book is exclusively available in the seminar Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures Master Class


              EU Law-making in Principle and Practice - by Edward Best        
    Series: Routledge/EIPA Managing the European Union Series

    EU Law-making in Principle and Practice offers a coherent overview of how particular pieces of EU law are produced and shows how they are adopted, from start to finish, resulting in an account of the process which is of both practical and academic interest. The title presents a holistic view of EU law-making using an adapted ‘policy cycle’, giving a concise account of the principles and practicesinvolved in policy initiation, legislative decision-making, and delegated and implementing acts, as well as considering EU law-making in the perspective of good governance. The title includes many procedural details, as well as illustrative examples, which are not found in other books.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS:
    Part 1
    Preface and acknowledgements. List of illustrations.

    Part 2 
    1. Introduction: EU Law-Making and the Policy Cycle
    2. Policy Initiation: the European Commission
    3. Legislative Decision-Making: the Parliament and the Council 
    4. Delegated and Implementing Acts 
    5  Case Study:the EU Timber Regulation 
    6. Conclusions: EU Law-Makingand EU Governance 

    Part 3 Annexes 
    Annex 1. EU legallybinding acts (2010-2012) 
    Annex 2. Special legislativeprocedures: indicative overview 
    Annex 3. Non-legislativeprocedures for the adoption of legally binding acts directlybased on treaty articles

    For more information visit:
    www.routledge.com/9789292030148
    You can also order the book directly at: http://www.routledge.com/9789292030148 
    and get 20% Discount with this flyer 

              En busca de la excelencia en la gestión pública local - Siete caminos al éxito - by Julia Bosse, Alexander Heichlinger, Emanuele Padovani, Jan Ole Vanebo        
    El buen funcionamiento del sector público local es clave para la prosperidad y el crecimiento económico. Actualmente, las ciudades se enfrentan a numerosos retos como el cambio demográfico, la creciente diversidad cultural,  el progreso tecnológico, la desigualdad y segregación social, la expansión urbana y la creciente presión sobre los ecosistemas urbanos. Además, muchos sistemas locales atraviesan dificultades económicas como consecuencia de la globalización. Esto agrava el ya conocido problema al que se enfrentan los administradores locales de "hacer más con menos".

    Este libro analiza y compara siete ciudades europeas – Bilbao (ES), Birmingham (UK), Mannheim (DE), Milán (IT), Tallin (EE), Tampere (FI), y Trondheim (NO) – que deben su éxito a la adopción de medidas innovadoras y de excelencia. Con este fin, se combina un riguroso método de análisis  con un estudio práctico de los casos (el "Making of..."). Por último, describe los siete pasos para alcanzar la excelencia en la gestión pública local.

    Cada caso analiza los antecedentes, desarrollo de estrategias, el camino al éxito, los sistemas de control de gestión y económico, los resultados obtenidos y el poder de innovación (los principales factores de éxito). Las historias de éxito se centran en diferentes áreas de la gestión pública local – desde procesos integrales de cambio a proyectos a pequeña escala – con el objetivo de demostrar a otras ciudades que existen numerosas soluciones. Lo único que queda por saber es: ¿se atreverán a hacerlo?

    Disponible en inglés y en alemán

              Weathering the Storm: Creative EPSA Solutions in a Time of Crisis - by Julia Bosse, Michael Burnett, Alexander Heichlinger, Claude Rongione, Harrie Scholtens        

    The economic storm faced by European public administrations continues unabated. Budget cuts and austerity measures coupled with unpleasant tax increases have been extensively applied, though they have not always delivered the expected results.

    Difficult choices lie ahead for Europe’s public sector in order to stabilise public finances, while continuing to deliver the services needed more than ever by an increasing number of citizens as a result of the economic pressure. Trends over time which exacerbate such pressures are unlikely to be reversed in the medium term.

    The EPSA 2013 edition has collected a rich harvest of 230 solutions from across all levels of public administration and from 26 European countries and EU institutions, which can all be proud of their achievements and also showcase how they are dealing with these challenging times.

    This publication aims to sketch out the trends, ideas and solutions in the various creative public management and service reforms on the one hand, whilst pinpointing common elements or obstacles in their delivery – The Research Part. Key findings, among many others, include active strategies to promote economic growth, the ability to enhance social inclusion, the use of transparency as a means to promote better governance, or the smart deployment of ICT to boost trust in government and improve service delivery.

    On the other hand, the best and top-ranked 47 practices (15 nominees and 32 additional best practice certificate recipients) are subsequently described, allowing the reader to not only get an idea of the innovation and drivers behind the cases, but also to directly contact the owners behind the applications in order to encourage the learning and transfer potential. These outstanding public achievements span sectors such as economic and urban development, sustainable development, justice and police, education and training, sports and youth, public health, social media, and human resources management. This part – The Catalogue – is supported by data and statistics on the applications (e.g. type, country, size, fully or partly EU co-financed).

    In a nutshell, the EPSA 2013 book demonstrates – again! – how the public sector has tried to resolve the various urgent challenges linked to the current crisis, by combining creativity and sustainability, accompanied by an often needed passion in their solutions.


              In Search of Local Public Management Excellence - Seven Journeys to Success - by Julia Bosse, Alexander Heichlinger, Emanuele Padovani, Jan Ole Vanebo        

    A well-functioning local public sector is the cornerstone for prosperity and growth. Cities are being confronted by significant pressures and challenges, such as demographic change, an increasingly culturally diverse population, the impact of new technologies, social polarisation and segregation, urban sprawl, and environmental threats to the urban ecosystems. More importantly, the difficulties of the economic system are a reality for many local communities due to the dynamics of globalisation of economies. This exacerbates the well-known problem faced by local policymakers and managers of ‘doing more with less’.

    This book seeks to examine, compare and contrast seven European cities – Bilbao (ES), Birmingham (UK), Mannheim (DE), Milan (IT), Tallinn (EE), Tampere (FI), and Trondheim (NO) – which have proven their success in adopting creative and excellent solutions. This is done by combining a solid scientific approach of comparison, with a more practical examination of the cases (‘...the making of…’). It concludes by presenting seven steps leading to excellence.

    Each case is first analysed in terms of background, strategy development, ‘journey’, management control system and financial management, results, and innovation power (key drivers and enablers). These success stories from different areas of local public management – from comprehensive local business-change processes, to smaller and bottom-up projects – aim to show other cities that various routes to smart solutions are possible. The only thing left to find out is: are they ready to take on the challenge?

    Also available in Spanish and German


              The European External Action Service and Public Diplomacy - by         

    The European External Action Service and Public Diplomacy appears in the 'Discussion Papers in Diplomacy' series, published by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael'. The author is Dr Simon Duke, Professor, at the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht. This paper, which is the first of its kind specifically on public diplomacy and the EEAS, considers the internal and external challenges involved in understanding, informing and influencing publics within and beyond the EU. The paper considers the role of both the EEAS headquarters as well as the delegations in forming and shaping impressions of the EU's external actions. The principal challenges identified for public diplomacy in this context are: the need for a keener idea of what is to be communicated; the need for enhanced coordination to avoid multiple and sometimes confusing communication; and, finally, the need for adequate expertise and resources. The paper concludes with ten specific policy recommendations.


              Public Management in the Twenty-first Century - Trends, Ideas and Practices - by Tor Busch, Alexander Heichlinger, Erik Johnsen, Kurt Klaudi Klausen, Alex Murdock, Jan Ole Vanebo (eds.)        

    What kind of ideas are behind the remodelling of the state and public sector, and how have these ideas materialized in practice? In this book the authors illustrate what are the driving forces behind the huge amount of public management reforms over the last three decades. Trends and ideas of public management reforms in practice are validated by data from European Public Sector Award cases (2009 and 2011).

    Book flyer

    Publisher: Universitetsforlaget

    To purchase this book, please
    click here.


              Strategic planning tools for European negotiators to defend their national interests in the Council of the European Union - by Frank Lavadoux & Marion-Valérie Grasset        
    Negotiating in the Council of the European Union poses some challenges that are common to most international negotiations but there are other dimensions that are a lot more specific. In order to understand better the specific nature of negotiations on a European level and to develop some practical guidelines for European negotiators, it is important to situate European negotiations in the more general context of the theory on international relations and to remember that European negotiations are governed by the general principles which characterise the negotiation theory. This working document has three objectives; after having reminded ourselves of the fundamental principles that govern European negotiations, it aims to provide a general foundation, which in turn will be useful for preparing most negotiations within the Council. A series of practical recommendations will then be made in order to contribute to the strategic thinking of the negotiator responsible for defending the interests of his or her Member State within the Council.
              EEAS 2.0 - A legal commentary on Council Decision 2010/427/EU establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service - by         

    The European External Action Service (EEAS) was established by a Council decision in July 2010. As part of this decision there will be a major review of the EEAS in mid 2013. This working paper aims offers a detailed legal commentary on the Council decision. Not only is it the first of its kind but it is intended to be user-friendly and to appeal to a broad audience. The commentary has been produced by an independent, multinational and multidisciplinary team of scholars. It should be noted that future work will concentrate on making more specific recommendations, where relevant.

    Editors: Steven Blockmans & Christophe Hillion
    Contributors : Steven Blockmans | Marise Cremona| Deirdre Curtin Geert De Baere | Simon Duke | Christina Eckes Christophe Hillion | Bart Van Vooren | Ramses Wessel | Jan Wouters


              Microfoundations of Policy Implementation - by Phedon Nicolaides        

    The European Union (EU) has a compliance problem: there are persistent failures in the implementation of EU rules and policies by the member states. This book examines how policy implementation may be improved. It explains the nature of policy mistakes, proceeds to consider how individual public authorities and organizations can avoid making policy mistakes and then, in the light of its findings, derives how the EU may induce its member states and their public authorities to improve their compliance with EU rules and policies.

    Basically, this is a book about how the right incentives at national level can improve institutional performance and contribute towards more effective application of EU rules across member states without having to confer new competences to the EU. Its premise is that strengthening the capacity of organizations to learn should not only lead to better performance, but should also stimulate useful policy experimentation across the EU.

    Although this volume focuses on the obligations of EU membership and how to strengthen compliance, the proposed solutions have broader applicability. Improved organizational capacity for policy implementation will also be beneficial in those areas where the EU has no formal competence. Just as member states can learn from each other, so can policy officials in different policy fields. Good practices can spread.


              The impact of demographic change and its challenges for the workforce in the European public sectors - by Danielle Bossaert in cooperation with Christoph Demmke and Timo Moilanen        

    European public sectors are particularly affected by the demographic challenge and an ageing and shrinking workforce. According to OECD statistics, over 30% of public employees of central government in 13 countries will leave during the next 15 years. Moreover, the public sector has as compared to the private sector to rely on a much older workforce, who will have to work longer in future. Against this background, European governments need to react and re-think major elements of current HR and organisational management in the public sector. Particularly the skills in age management should be improved in order to also maintain in future a highly productive, competent and efficient public sector and to ensure that public employees stay longer ‘employable’, ‘healthy’, ‘fit for the job’ and ‘up to the task’. The survey suggests some solutions by investing more in three priority areas in the field of HRM.


              European Public Sector Award 2011- Project Catalogue - by Marga Pröhl & Alexander Heichlinger        

    The catalogue is structured into three parts. In the first chapter, data and statistics on the applications are provided, i.e. an overview of the projects by countries, administrative level, and size of administration or sectorial area of the submitting institution. Subsequently, the EPSA multi-step selection and assessment methodology and process is decribed in detail. The third chapter illustrates all the good practices following a brief introduction to each of the three EPSA 2011 thematic areas - Smart Public Service Delivery in a Cold Economic Climate (Theme I), Opening Up the Public Sector Through Collaborative Governance (Theme II) and Going Green: Concrete Solutions from the Public Sector (Theme III) - and ordered by country and EPSA registration number. Each case description also provides the reader with contact details of the submitter and how to find more information about the project in order to facilitate the exchange of good practice and lessons learnt.


              EPSA Trends in Practice: Driving Public Sector Excellence to Shape Europe for 2020 - by Alexander Heichlinger        

    This publication is again the result of the many applications received during this edition. Its main purpose is thus to shed light on the many public administrations efforts and to draw the future trends from these practices when analysing the innovative performances. The state of affairs and development of the three EPSA 2011 themes are mirrored against the respective applications received and the emerging, best or nominated practices are highlighted in order to subsequently arrive at common conclusions and recommendations. In addition, this book provides – for the first time – some insight into the grounds and motivation behind why public organisations participate(d) in initiatives such as the EPSA (EPSA Testimony), as well as outlining a possible model for measuring and defining the potential public added-value of such participation and the return on investment one may expect.


              Better Implementation of EU Legislation is not just a question of taking Member States to Court - by Dr Michael Kaeding and Friederike Voskamp        

    The single market is one of the most wide-ranging and significant symbols of European integration. While it brings great opportunities to European citizens in theory, in practice, delayed and incorrect implementation of single market rules leave EU citizens with a highly fragmented ‘regulatory patchwork’, deterring citizens and businesses from exercising their rights. One way to solve such a problem is to turn to formal proceedings such as to the European Commission and its role as ‘Guardian of the Treaties’ and Treaty articles 258-260 TFEU, i.e. the infringement procedure or to a national court. An alternative way to guarantee street-level EU law enforcement is through SOLVIT; an outof- court dispute settlement mechanism providing quicker solutions to problems of crossborder nature. This article provides a timely analysis of the reinforced infringement procedure and SOLVIT centres, how the system works and how we will be able to strengthen its strategic role to address the citizens ‘integration fatigue’.


              Delegated & Implementing Acts - The New Comitology - by Alan Hardacre and Michael Kaeding        

    EIPA Essential Guide

    The guide starts with a short recap on why powers are delegated to the European Commission in the first place, and why it is increasingly important in European affairs – for all stakeholders interested in European policy-making. Then, we take a quick look at the ‘old’ comitology system to situate Articles 290 and 291 TFEU, and to understand the scale of the changes that have taken place. After that the guide directly addresses the two new legal bases and how they have been implemented. It starts with Article 290 on Delegated Acts, explaining what they are and how the new procedure will work in practise. After that it turns to Article 291, and the new Implementing Acts Regulation i.e. the new comitology procedures. To conclude, the guide outlines the major challenges and opportunities that stakeholders need to be aware of for the future. It is hoped that this practical guide will help anyone with an interest in Delegated and Implementing Acts to quickly appraise the changes and evaluate the impact this has for them – in an area which is considered by many as a new key battlefield in EU policy-making.

    This guide is available also in French and German.
              The European Asylum System and Minimum Standards: ‘Suggestions for practice and policy’ - by Dr Katerina - Marina Kyrieri, Aniel Pahladsingh        
    Even though the phenomenon of refugees has changed over the course of recent decades, asylum remains an important issue for states all over the world. Whilst two-thirds of refugees live in developing countries, Western countries arguably have a special obligation due to their own value orientation. Thus, a common asylum policy looms large for the European Union (EU) for at least two reasons. Firstly, it has to ensure the maintenance of human rights within its territory and achieve common standards to avoid secondary refugee movements. Secondly, as the EU’s internal borders are increasingly disappearing, an adequate management of external borders becomes a common priority but requires burden-sharing among the Member States (MS).

    In the first instance, the EU has drawn up various directives which oblige Member States to adopt minimum standards in the area of asylum. National policies and practices should be in line with those standards so as to promote the second phase of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The authors aim to seek suggestions on how Member States’ practices and policies can strengthen the CEAS by complying and rising above the minimum standards and thus improving the protection of human rights for asylum seekers. Whilst seeking better practices and policies the authors use examples from the current situation in the Netherlands and Greece.

    The paper is divided into four sections. The first section provides some background information on the international legislation which can be seen as a framework of the EU policies. The second looks into the need for European refugee protection and focuses on the concept of the CEAS. It introduces the main legislative instruments in the asylum process and discusses future possibilities. The third section examines examples of Dutch policies and practices in relation to the minimum standards instruments. In this framework, ‘good’ and ‘less good’ practices as well as problems with the application of the EU minimum standards will be highlighted. Additionally, the influence of human rights will be examined, thus demonstrating that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is also important for asylum seekers’ policies and practices. The last section of the paper provides some policy recommendations and gives a summary of practices which may apply in asylum cases.

              The Lisbon Treaty stipulations on Development Cooperation and the Council Decision of 25 March 2010 (Draft) establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service - by Dr Simon Duke, Dr Steven Blockmans        
    Contrary to the emerging legal advice on the potential role of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and development cooperation under the Lisbon Treaty, this legal brief argues that the stipulations concerning this area contained in the proposal for a Council decision of 25 March 2010 on the EEAS, are entirely consonant with the Treaty. In particular this brief argues that development cooperation is a shared competence and not, as is often argued, an exclusive competence. It is also noted that the Treaty places the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) on an equal footing with other EU external relations policies and brings an end to the default setting of, for instance, EU policy in development cooperation. The legally binding obligation for the Union to ensure consistency between the different areas of external action and between these and its other policies again provides the overarching rationale. Finally, it is observed that the elevation of the eradication of poverty to an objective of the Union in its external action offers far greater leverage for a development perspective in EU external actions, rather than any alleged illegal politicisation of development cooperation.

              Competitive Dialogue - A practical guide - by Michael Burnett        

    Competitive Dialogue has been hailed by some as the new solution for public authorities wanting to award contracts for complex infrastructure projects, while others see problems in applying it effectively to obtain value for money for the public sector. Objective advice for decision makers on when and how to use Competitive Dialogue is hard to find. This book - written for politicians, public officials and their professional advisers - is an independent guide for those facing these challenges at all levels in Europe.

    After an explanation and analysis of legal framework for Competitive Dialogue, the book sets out how Competitive Dialogue emerged, how it compares to the Negotiated Procedure, the legal challenges in applying Competitive Dialogue, when it is appropriate to use it and where it is being used in the EU. Successive chapters then analyse the key issues arising in the implementation of Competitive Dialogue at each stage of the process and how they should be addressed. Finally, the book draws together the key conclusions for the future use of Competitive Dialogue and the actions needed to implement them at EU and national level. Taken together, they add up to an agenda for the future effective use of Competitive Dialogue.


    Book Review
    What people have said about “Competitive Dialogue – A practical guide”

    “Burnett and Oder...have produced an essential practitioner’s guide into the complex area of concluding public contracts” Professor Christopher Bovis (in European PPP Law Review)
    Read the review here.


    “Has added to our understanding of the Competitive Dialogue process. If it is read and its guidance is followed there could be significant improvements in public sector procurement outcomes” John Tizard (in Government Opportunities)
    Read the review here.

    “This book is a unique addition to the existing literature on Competitive Dialogue...Burnett and Oder set out their findings in a clearly written, illustrative and practically relevant manner” Sylvia de Mars (in Public Procurement Law Review)
    Read the review here.


              European Public Sector Award 2009 - Project Catalogue - by Marga Pröhl & Alexander Heichlinger        

    The catalogue is divided into two parts. In the first chapter, data and statistics on the applications are provided, i.e. an overview of the projects by countries, administrative level, and size of administration or sectorial area of the submitting institution. The subsequent chapter illustrates all the good practices following a brief introduction to each of the four EPSA 2009 thematic areas - Performance Improvement in Public Service Delivery (Theme I), Citizen Involvement (Theme II), New Forms of Partnership Working (Theme III) and Leadership and Management for Change (Theme IV) - and ordered by country and EPSA registration number. Each case description also provides the reader with contact details of the submitter and how to find more information about the project in order to facilitate the exchange of good practice and lessons learnt.


              Taking the Pulse of European Public Administrations - key Findings of the European Public Sector Award 2009 - by Marga Pröhl, Alexander Heichlinger, Peter Ehn, Melanie Pissarius, Michael Burnett, Anita Rode, Tony Bass, Herma Kuperus        

    During the last 15-20 years the public sector has faced a number of challenges connected to changing socio-economic, environmental and political factors, including among others:

    • Demographic changes such as an ageing population, a diminishing working population and increased immigration;
    • Environmental changes, such as climate changes and shortage of space;
    • Urbanisation including pressure on metropolitan areas, commuting and citizens’ demand for housing;
    • Globalisation, internationalisation and Europeanisation;
    • Diminishing “social capital”, including participation in elections and mistrust towards public administration and public services;
    • The emergence of complex social issues, arising from social fragmentation, not susceptible to single agency action and/or one dimensional responses;
    • Less willingness to increase resources to the public sector, despite higher demands and expectations of citizens for better services.

    These issues are strong drivers for change in Europe’s public administrations and generally cut across traditional boundaries of government departments, and in some cases of the responsibilities of different levels of government; this presents challenges to public administrations in the way they deliver their public services. Consequently, a number of profound reforms have taken place and continue to do so at all levels of public administration. The (ultimate) purpose of the different reforms is to make governments more responsive to society’s changing needs and demands.


              SELAMAT HARI GURU 2017        


    Selamat Hari Guru Buat Kesemua Guru kami dan Guru kepada anak - anak kami. Yang masih hidup dan berkhidmat, Moga diberi sebillion kekuatan, kesabaran dan kewarasan serta kebijaksanaan sebagai pendidik buat anak - anak zaman kini dan mendatang. Buat yang tiada, moga limpahi rahmat ke atas roh kalian dan diampun dosa - dosa kalian semasa hidup.
    Yang pertamanya nak terima kasih buat guru pertama yang melahirkan dan membesarkan kita.
    tentulah mak abah kami sendiri
    En. Yahya bin Dikin dan Pn. Hamidah bt Supaat
    Yang mengajar jatuh bangun sebagai manusia, yang mengajar kendiri diri seawal usia.
    terima kasih mak dan abah.
    Buat guru - guruku: Selamat Hari Guru
    Cikgu Uteh (tadika abim 1987- 1988)
    Almarhum Cikgu Ain (Tahfiz ABIM 1990 - 1991)
    Cikgu Kursiah, - SKSB
    Cikgu Zaharah - SKSB
    Cikgu Nong Zaharah SMK Meru (cikgu asal ghanu yang tak pernah makan sukun).
    Cikgu Norhayati - SMK Meru
    Pn Nagamal - SMK Meru (cikgu lukisan kejuruteraan. maaf cikgu, saya failed subject cikgu masa spm tapi end up belajar CNC machine *CATIA & AutoCAD masa amik Diploma Metal Fabrication)
    Cikgu Khalidah Adibah - SMK Meru yang selalu nasihat suh lembut sikit. Ok dah cikgu. dah jadi mak ni lemah lembut dah sikit. Cikgu Rosmawati - Cikgu Add Math (terima kasih cikgu sebab bagi foundation study math buat saya. Kbat sekarang semua macam add math)
    Ustazah Siti Asturas : terima kasih cikgu sebab menjaga kebajikan anak - anak murid. Pada Allah sahaja yang dinilai. Penilaian manusia belum tentu lagi. ada kisah sedih sepanjang karier beliau, tapi aku yakin doa adalah senjata orang - orang mukmin tika itu.
    Guru Kelas aku masa form 4 : Pn Istiqamah rasanya kot?! sapa ingat mintak betulkan. pun sangat baik. sampai berkali - kali terserempak kat mana2 di kampung kami, masih dia yang menyapa mesra anak murid. bukan sebaliknya. beside, dia tak judgemental. anak murid pndai ke tak, kaya ke tak, dia layan sama. xde beza - beza, takde anak emas, anak perak, tembaga segala bagai.
    Cikgu Roslan - annoying tapi dia contoh cikgu yang buat kita rasa berani nak menyuarakan sesuatu. risk taker gak cikgu ni bab motivate student dia termasuk la aku.
    Almarhum Sir Rosman (you make me feel speaking in broken english is so awesome for 'anak pencari besi buruk ni')
    Madam Zilia - moga pedoman hidup dan ilmu yang dicurah memberi manfaat pada semua.
    Almarhum Madam Hayati - moga Allah cucuri roh Mu selalu Madam.
    Almarhum Sr. Ali - akan selalu dikenang sepanjang hayat. takkan ada yang patah tumbuh berganti buatmu, Sir. ( Aircraft Welding : Airframe & Powerplant; MARA NORTHROP RICE, Jasin, Melaka)
    buat semua Sir dan lecturer masa kat Northrop /UniKL Miat dan Unikl MFI:
    Haji Shadid, Haji Megat, Haji Hashim , Almarhum Haji Sofri, Haji Rashid, HajiHaris Podilah Abd Ghani, En.Mohd Nor, En. Zam (barang yang lepas jangan dikenang, apa diharap padi seberang.), En.Bad, En. Mahfuz, En. Nizam , En. Khairuddin, En. Aziz.
    Madam Tuan Salwani - tq Madam. tak tahu nak cakap apa, tapi kalau tak dipecahkan ruyung...takdelah kalut sangat ajo anak2 kami math zaman sekarang.
    Madam Anne - hmm.. transfer credit dapat B. tapi semangat nak belajo english sebab Madam memang precise gile.
    En. Azizul (kot) - Masuk kelas french memang terasa european la sangat. end up dpt ape yek french? b- ke c- ke d? lupa.
    - Je m'appelle Ida Rahayu. J'ai 35 ans.J'aime lire, bloguer et cuisiner.Je viens de malaisie.Je travaille comme assistant ingénieur
    boleh kot nak kata kami pndai 4 bahasa?
    - melayu tentulah - english tentulah level c dan d, french? tentulah dah e sekarang.tu pun byk dibantu dengan google translate. dia macam bahasa arab sebenarnya.. dan jawa. yg ni dah karat lansung. paham boleh. nak balas dah tak cantik. so susah la sikit, kalau terjumpa PDI kat mana2, boleh pasang telinga.
    Terima kasih Semuanya.
    Buat Kesemua Guru Anak - Anak kami:
    Pn. Zaidatul Rakkaya : terima kasih atas ilmu math (nombor kaya, nombor or miskin, pola nombor, tambah berganda , tolak berganda. nampak kecil, tapi besar maknanya buat anak seperti Aqil Al Islam). Moga maju jaya terus di sekolah terkini.
    Pn. Emi Marlina : terima kasih teacher atas perkongsian ilmu setiap waktu dulu. moga terus cemerlang di sekolah terkini.
    Ustazah Syafiqah : terima kasih sebab mengajar Aqil Al Islam dari tahun 1 sampai sekarang. Mengaji dan Bahasa Arab. terima kasih sebab selalu beri dorongan buat anak yang pemalu dan cemerkap tu.
    Ustazah Akak aka KB : terima kasih sebab ajo aqil mengaji dan tajwid. moga dengan alam pekerjaan sekarang peroleh manfaat dan memberi manfaat kepada yang lain.takkan ada yang sama seperti kamu buat aqil.
    Nana aka Student Master Comm English: Terima kasih dik atas petua dan teknik belajar english kepada Aqil. banyak yang akak belajar dari kamu. mudahan di pagoh nanti, kamu berhasil lulus cemerlang. xkan ade yang sama macam kamu.
    Ustazah Sharifah : walau sekejap, tapi tiap kali belajar bm, nama ustazah jua yang disebut aqil.
    Ustazah fatimah azzahra : terima kasih atas perkongsian.
    Buat semua guru - guru Aqil Al - Islam di SraiSC :
    Ustazah Hamidah, CIkgu Herly, Cikgu Basmah, Cikgu Junaidah / Junida / Junaihah , Ustaz Azlan, Ustaz Wan, Ustaz Iszham, Cikgu Nor Haizam, Ustaz Hafiz, Cikgu Murni, Ustazah Rahimah, and few others maaf kalau lupa sebut nama.
    Terima Kasih banyak - banyak dan Selamat Hari Guru.
    Buat Semua Guru - Guru Qurratu'aini Al Zahraa' (Ara) di Sri Al - Huda :
    Teacher Asra , Ustazah Pauziah, Ustazah Rabiatul , Ustazah Wan Sufiah, Ustaz Naim, Ustazah Niza, and few others yang lupa dan belum berapa kenal serta tak lupa Ustazah Nurul Aini (guru iqra) :
    Selamat Hari Guru dan Terima kasih sebab mendidik Ara sepanjang 5 bulan pertama ni.
    Akhir sekali buat semua teacher kat Educare yang pernah didik, jaga dan cebok berak kencing Aqil dan Ara :
    Kak Ima Zakima
    Kak Zai Abdullah
    Teacher Aiza Taz Mohd Zain
    Teacher Ilah
    Teacher Aimi
    Teacher Aini
    Teacher Adam
    Ustaz Ikram dan Ustaz Najmi
    Teacher Syikin
    Teacher Anis Hosni
    Teacher Angah
    Teacher Nurul Izzati Abu Bakar
    dan kesemua teacher di childcare yang pernah jaga Ara dari bayi sampai 3 tahun.
    TERIMA KASIH YANG TAK TERHINGGA DAN SELAMAT HARI GURU.
    tak lupa juga buat kawan - kawan sekolah yang dah terjun dalam bidang perguruan : Selamat Hari Guru buat kalian juga.
    p/s: maaflah kali ni ucapan precise sangat.bukan apa, takut lupa.

              2007 in Retrospect        

    As I did in 2006, here's my review of 2007. For some strange reason, I decided to make some New Year Resolutions in 2006. How did I do? I said I'd do more unit testing - and I did, but there's always room for more unit testing. I said I'd do more open source. Well, I released Fusebox 5.1 and Fusebox 5.5 as well as my Scripting project and a cfcUnit facade for CFEclipse so I think I did alright there. I also said I'd do more Flex and write some Apollo (now AIR) applications. I didn't do so well on those two! I think I'll revert to my usual practice of not making resolutions this year...

    2007 was certainly a year of great change for me, leaving Adobe in April (a hot thread with 62 comments!) to become a freelance consultant, focusing on ColdFusion and application architecture. I also worked part-time on a startup through the Summer but consulting has been my main focus and continues to be my total business as we move into 2008.

    2007 also saw me getting much more involved with the ColdFusion community, rejoining all the mailing lists that I hadn't had time to read with my role at Adobe, becoming an Adobe Community Expert for ColdFusion and then taking over as manager of the Bay Area ColdFusion User Group.

    I also got to speak at a lot of conferences in 2007:

    I also attended the Adobe Community Summit which was excellent!

    ColdFusion frameworks were also very busy in 2007:

    Adobe was extremely busy too:

    • Apollo (AIR) hit labs in March
    • The Scorpio prerelease tour (Ben came to BACFUG in April) with the ColdFusion 8 Public Beta in May and the full release in July
    • Creative Suite 3
    • Flex began its journey to open source
    • The Flex 3 and AIR Beta releases
    • Adobe Share

    I had a number of rants:

    Other good stuff from 2007:


              il mio voto...        
    ovvero: perché il .

    Premessa: mi piace Mussi; non mi piace Bertinotti (men che meno Diliberto); Grillo mi ha rotto le palle; Veltroni mi puzza un poco...

    E allora perché voto ?

    Ci son vari motivi, li elenco in ordine sparso:
    • altrimenti vince ; so bene che votare sotto questo ricatto non è bello, ma visto che non ci posso far nulla, almeno evito che l'Italia diventi come lui vorrebbe:
      • politica estera filostatunitense;
      • sanità, istruzione e sistema previdenziale privati;
      • sistema giudiziario fuori uso;
      • ampio appoggio da parte della mafia e delle varie organizzazioni criminali;
      • antieuropeismo;
      • appoggio di Putin;
      • gestione casalinga della politica;
      • diminuzione delle tasse a scapito del bilancio dello Stato;
      • riduzione della spesa pubblica tramite tagli al welfare e riduzioni del bilancio tout-court in ogni settore statale, senza ridurre le spese reali ma solo i finanziamenti
      serve altro? non ci basta?

    • non è vero che il programma di Veltroni è uguale a quello di Berlusconi; l'ha ampiamente dimostrato Berlusconi in questi giorni con le sue uscite.
      E Berlusconi non è uno di quelli che fa una promessa pensando davvero di mantenerla, quindi il problema non si porrebbe proprio.

    • in quanto ad utopie e irrealismi il programma di Veltroni non è più astratto di quello della ; e la Sinistra Arcobaleno non rappresenta una forza credibile, capace di assumersi responsabilità di governo.
      Mi spiace per , che è una persona che mi piace molto, ma una forza nella quale uno dei leader () è pronto a dire "ritiriamoli tutti subito!" appena giunge la notizia del rapimento di due soldati italiani in Afghanistan non è una forza in grado di assumersi responsabilità. O dite che Diliberto ci sta per sbaglio.

    • l'astensione non rappresenta una alternativa; astenersi significa lasciare che Berlusconi vinca, significa garantirgli un nuovo mandato.
      Significa dire: "scusate, ma a me non piace nessuno, fate pure voi"; ed il "fate pure voi" è un invito a nozze. I politici, anche ammettendo che sian tutti delle merde, non son tutti uguali. C'è differenza tra il governo Prodi ed il governo Berlusconi. Se non l'avete vista mi chiedo dove stavate.


    Ieri sera son andato in piazza Maggiore a guardarmi Prodi che passava il testimone a Veltroni, e Veltroni che cercava di convincermi ad aver fiducia in lui. Ci è riuscito?
    Abbastanza, la diffidenza resta, ma lui è sempre meglio degli altri.
    Giorni fa invece mi ero visto (via internet) il comizio di a Bari (credo Bari...).
    Speravo mi desse una speranza, mi ha dato senso di asfittico.
    Ho voglia di vedere Veltroni ed il PD alla prova del fuoco al governo, voglio vedere come concretizzeranno il messaggio di unità ed innovazione.
    La SA non mi ha dato alcuna voglia di metterli alla prova.
    Gli altri invece mi fan proprio paura, ho l'impressione che questa volta l'Italia si stia giocando le chiappe...
              Non pago di leggere        
    Cosa succedesse se le biblioteche si trovassero, nei loro già magri bilanci, una bella spesa per remunerare gli autori (e soprattutto gli editori) per i loro libri dati in prestito?
    Una nuova spesa imposta all'Italia dall'Europa (vedi)
    Una cosa simile già succede qui e lì; e tra non molto finirà col essere applicata definitivamente.

    Io immagino...
    ...immagino che una biblioteca, per la mancanza di fondi, interrompa le nuove acquisizioni;
    ...immagino che una biblioteca inizi a far pagare un tot a chi si voglia iscrivere (un tot per accedere al prestito per un anno, ad esempio...); o un tot al momento del prestito, per ogni prestito;
    ...immagino una biblioteca che a quel punto, facendoci un minimo di cresta sul "prezzo" del prestito (a quel punto è diventato noleggio), possa esser tentata dall'acquisire preferibilmente libri molto prestabili; best seller, best prestiter...

    ...immagino anche che uno studente, poniamo il caso in cerca di un libro per un esame (Storia dell'Africa), alla ricerca dell'unico volume della mastodontica "Storia generale dell'Africa" dell'UNESCO che sia stato tradotto in italiano, quello sulla metodologia, non potendolo acquistare in una libreria (non si trova, costo a parte) lo debba prendere a prestito in una biblioteca.
    E poniamo il caso che nelle biblioteche di Bologna il volume (presente in numerose biblioteche, per fortuna) non sia disponibile per il prestito o sia già prestato; lo studente si rivolge alla biblioteca di Scienze politiche dell'Università di Padova. Lui è padovano, non avrà problemi essendo residente a farselo prestare.
    Ecco che a quel punto si vede richiedere, per accedere al prestito per sei mesi (6), qualcosa come 25 euro (se non vado errato) di cauzione; perplesso chiedo (sì, ero io) "ma poi me li ridate?", anche se "cauzione" non lascia spazio a dubbi. "no, non vengono restituiti", la risposta, fortuna che è arrivata prima che i soldi glieli dessi.

    Oggi scopro che l'Università di Padova ha già applicato la norma e paga alla SIAE una certa cifra per i libri che presta ai suoi studenti (dove l'Università recupererà i soldi non c'è dubbio) [NOTA: devo approfondire questo punto, apparentemente in contraddizione con il link sottostante].
    Ecco come "cauzione" diventa "prezzo" e "prestito" diventa "noleggio".

    Per la cronaca lo Stato italiano per anni non ha applicato la norma (vecchiotta la norma) e quest'anno in Finanziaria ha pagato alla SIAE 3 milioni di euro (vedi)

    Morale?
    voglio aiutare la raccolta firme (partita anni fa ma che sembra semi naufragata), per chiedere una deroga alla direttiva della Commissione Europea. Almeno che i lettori nelle biblioteche sappiano.
    Dalla settimana prossima passo in rassegna, moduli alla mano, un po' di biblioteche sperando di raccogliere per lo meno attenzione.

    Technorati tag: , ,
              impegnandosi        
    Qui dicevo che stavo riorganizzando le mie idee. Non ho più continuato quello che avevo iniziato, ma oggi tiro qualche somma:

    1) ho preparato un pseudo-programma politico con propositi e idee divise in 17 (azz...) questioni fondamentali. Devo rivederle e i punti cresceranno, ma è stato un bel esercizio. Forse qualche punto lo pubblicherò
    2) ho finalmente ascoltato il discorso della fondazione di Sinistra Democratica per il Socialismo Europeo di Mussi; gran bel discorso, la prima parte la trovate qui, buona visione. Sto seguendo il loro sito, il discorso mi ha convinto, ora resta da capire se non mi stia illudendo.

    Ho il timore di aver trovato in SD l'ultimo appiglio; dico "timore" perché ho visto che subito tutte le energie sono state impegnate nell'avvicinamento verso PRC e PdCI; le alternative sono due:
    o Sinistra Democratica, come disse Mussi, vuol diventare una forza "di governo", oppure scelga ed insegua la fusione con la sinistra "radicale"; le due cose, per me, sono incompatibili.

    E no, nella costituente socialista con Bobo Craxi e soprattutto con De Michelis NON ci vado.

    Technorati tag: , ,
              il rischio della foga anti casta        
    Non si fa che parlare di antipolitica (molto meno di prima in verità), ed in tanti, tra tutti un Veltroni (prestabilito leader del PD), parlano di riduzione del numero dei parlamentari; e pure di abolizione di una Camera...
    Veltroni a parte, è diffusa l'opinione che per risolvere la crisi di credibilità della classe politica servano:
    * drastica riduzione del numero dei parlamentari
    * drastica riduzione dello stipendio del parlamentare
    * drastico ricambio generazionale (più o meno imposto, vedi proposta di Grillo)

    Non sono affatto d'accordo;
    una democrazia forte e sana ha bisogno di alta rappresentanza, e se dimezziamo i parlamentari dimezziamo anche il rapporto tra eletti ed elettori; il problema è invece lavorare sulla rappresentanza che un eletto dovrebbe dare ai suoi elettori, e che manca.

    una buona democrazia parlamentare ha bisogno di parlamentari efficienti; effettivamente un parlamentare oggi ci costa uno sproposito, ma cominciamo a togliere uno per uno tutti i vantaggi extra stipendio:
    hai un portaborse? allora tienti lo stipendio solo per quel portaborse; hai il barbiere gratis? ma manco per sogno, paghi come gli altri, basato sui dati istat. etcetera, non sarebbe difficile, anzi.
    Eliminando tutti i costi inutili già il risparmio sarebbe notevole, dopodiché adeguare lo stipendio alla media europea mi sembra molto ragionevole.

    una buona democrazia rappresentativa deve avere rappresentanti esperti; sul ricambio generazionale son d'accordo, sulla soluzione "Grillo" son molto preoccupato; la soluzione Grillo ci porterebbe in un anno a cambiare praticamente del tutto Camera e Senato, ritrovandoci con un Parlamento di dilettanti allo sbaraglio. Voglio che la vita politica sia accessibile a tutti; ma voglio anche che la vita politica sia possibile! abbiamo bisogno di professionisti seri e rigorosi, con una forte etica. Non di persone totalmente inesperte, che appena fanno esperienza vengono accantonate.
    E non ho detto che mi piace il Parlamento di cariatidi che ci troviamo ora, eh!

    Se pensiamo di risolvere il problema di una politica corrotta, inetta e parassitaria, semplicemente eliminandola e rendendo nel futuro la classe politica italiana una classe debole... beh, allora non ci vogliamo molto bene.
    Non è necessario fare tabula rasa, anzi avrebbe conseguenze imprevedibili. Bisogna solo riportare la casta alla norma (quella norma che in Italia forse non sappiamo nemmeno com'è) e svecchiarla pesantemente; cominciando col votare i giovani e le donne, non inventandosi quote rosa e quote baby.

    Technorati tag: ,
              Aproape jumătate dintre români sărbătoresc Revelionul acasă        
    Aproape jumătate dintre români (48%) îşi vor petrece Revelionul acasă, cu familia, prietenii şi rudele, în vreme ce doar 9% au ales să petreacă intrarea în Noul An în oraş, potrivit unui studiu realizat de E.ON în opt ţări europene la sfârşitul anului 2016. Aceeaşi proporÅ£ie a celor care vor sărbători Revelionul la domiciliu se […]
              MERCADO MOTOCICLÍSTICO 2006-2007        
    Nº273 ANECRA Setembro 2008
    Literalmente na cauda da Europa, Portugal parece dar sinais de por lá querer continuar no que ao sentido figurado da expressão concerne. O mercado motociclístico, ainda que palidamente a recuperar, não é – de todo – excepção.

    O ano de ouro deste sector aconteceu em 1999. Com mais de dezanove mil motos matriculadas, nunca mais a história se repetiu. Hoje, quase uma década depois, os sintomas vaticinam que a façanha não torne a acontecer, pelo menos a breve trecho. Em 2002 e 2003 as quedas ocorreram, inclusivamente, a compassos de dois dígitos percentuais. Em 2006 o ciclo inverteu-se timidamente, com uma recuperação de 2%. Entre outros contributos, essa recuperação também sucedeu por força da entrada de novos concorrentes no mercado, oriundos do eixo China-Coreia, que com os seus produtos finais de baixo custo conseguiram não só penetrar no nosso mercado, mas, inclusive, expandi-lo minimamente. A nível europeu, por comparação no mesmo período, o nosso país manteve-se à margem da tendência verificada. Onde todos os outros aumentaram, nós reduzimos. Portugal, envolto num cinzentismo conjuntural, continua o cenário perfeito para o fracasso dos mais vulneráveis.

    CICLOMOTORES
    Este segmento reflecte, ainda que aparentemente, uma tendência diametralmente oposta à vigente no mercado em que está inserido. Parece ter crescido para o dobro de um ano para o outro. É certo que a entrada de fabricantes como a Keeway e a Kymco funcionou como dinamizador comercial, por via da introdução de novos modelos com preços de venda e manutenção muito competitivos, o que, em consequência, fez com que os fabricantes tradicionais e conceituados se vissem compelidos a reorganizar o seu portfolio em articulação com o modus operandi das suas estruturas no terreno. Porém, não estaria esta análise enviesada se não fosse o facto de, até meados de 2006, não haver a obrigatoriedade de registo de matrículas na antiga DGV (agora IMTT) para motos de cilindrada inferior a 50cc. Como era prática corrente, as matrículas até então eram emitidas pelas câmaras municipais, passando, desde essa data, a ser emitidas a nível central. Portanto, a análise de 2006 para 2007 é prejudicada em cerca de seis meses, que foram aqueles em que se venderam motos (ainda com os registos camarários) mas que agora não entram nas estatísticas. Já a análise de 2005 para 2006 seria absurda, pois representaria a transição do nada para o tudo…

    A Keeway resulta numa aposta ganha. Apresenta taxas de crescimento anuais que só são possíveis porque a marca é nova no mercado. Ou seja, a montante, no seu negócio, tudo estava ainda por fazer. Deste modo, tanto a política de preços como a divulgação e promoção dos seus produtos nos fóruns próprios levaram a que rapidamente atingisse o primeiro lugar das vendas com o popular modelo Uricane 50. Perante os factos, somos levados a concluir que os produtos orientais não só chegaram, como também conquistaram o mercado nacional. Esta é, aliás, uma tendência de fundo noutros sectores da nossa economia global.

    MOTOCICLOS
    O motociclista português está todos os anos um ano mais velho. Não há “sangue novo” a entrar no sistema. O parque mantém-se estável, e com a falta de incentivos (ou com a criação de novos entraves) o “mundo das motos” já não seduz como seduziu em tempos. Uma tímida recuperação será o comentário mais fiel aos números apurados. Já 2006 havia sido um ano de ligeiras melhorias, porém, ambos, encontram-se muito distantes das mais de dezanove mil unidades matriculadas em 1999, o ano de ouro por excelência.

    O modelo campeão de vendas foi a Hornet 600 da Honda, seguido da Yamaha FZ6 e da Suzuki GSXR 1000.

    A preferência dos motociclistas lusos recai, maioritariamente, sobre modelos utilitários ou desportivos. As trail, cruisers e scooters constituem nichos num mercado já de si pequeno. Apesar dos circunstancialismos, o segmento das cruisers parece ter ainda bastante potencial. A atenção do público já se manifesta de forma diferente em relação a estas motos. Os motivos poderão ser de vária ordem, desde a crescente afluência destes modelos aos bike shows (o que suscita alguma curiosidade e admiração), à exibição de programas de tv sobre transformação deste género de motos, passando também pela aposta consistente da Harley-Davidson no marketing institucional e de produto.

    Outro caso que se vai verificando com relativa frequência é o de motociclistas acidentados em motos desportivas que reequacionam o seu percurso, e optam por permanecer nas “duas rodas” aos comandos de “montadas” menos nervosas. É aí que as trail e as cruiser os poderão atrair.

    Por seu turno, para deslocações citadinas, a versatilidade, a economia e a comodidade oferecidas pelas scooters de pequena e média cilindrada, são trunfos de peso para angariar novos adeptos, nesta era em que os custos do quilómetro percorrido e do minuto de estacionamento atingem máximos históricos.

    MOTO4 & ATV
    No segmento dos quadriciclos, a Yamaha, líder por excelência e tradição, foi pela primeira vez destronada. A Suzuki com o seu LTR 450 apoderou-se do primeiro lugar. A razão, segundo o próprio importador, prende-se com o facto de até 2007 a marca não possuir oferta direccionada a este segmento. Uma vez que ela foi disponibilizada, a liderança impôs-se naturalmente. Tanto mais que o segundo modelo no pódio surge sob a mesma insígnia, tratando-se do LTZ 400. A Yamaha aparece em terceiro lugar com o YFM 300.

    DISTRIBUIÇÃO DO PARQUE SEGURADO DE MOTOCICLOS POR DISTRITOS
    Todos os distritos, sem excepção, contribuíram para o aumento de quase dez mil unidades face a 2005. Continuamos a constatar uma predominância de motos no litoral, especialmente mais a norte (excepção feita, claro está, para o distrito de Lisboa, que é o maior concentrador do país). Faro, continua a ser a recordista de motos per capita, com apenas 42 habitantes para cada moto. Em termos absolutos, o Porto supera em dobro as motos de Faro, mas como tem mais do quádruplo da população, a relação final dos habitantes com as motos revela-se, em termos relativos, de menor expressão.

    EVOLUÇÃO DO MERCADO EUROPEU
    O mercado europeu, tal como o português, bateu no fundo em 2002. A diferença é que o primeiro, daí em diante, tem sabido recuperar, ao passo que o segundo não. Países como a França, Itália, Reino Unido e Alemanha, historicamente conhecidos pela sua tradição nas duas rodas, não servirão de ponto de comparação. Já a Grécia, Hungria, Lituânia servem na perfeição para estabelecermos analogias que ilustram bem a nossa falta de estratégia e desapego do sector. Actualmente, com percursos de venda ascendentes, estas economias reclamam para si os benefícios (em sentido lato) que um maior parque motociclístico lhes traz. Neste caso, em termos estritamente económicos, o fomento das vendas traduz-se também – e necessariamente – na defesa do tecido empresarial de serviços de reparação e manutenção, o qual é determinante para a independência e autonomia de muitas famílias que dele retiram o seu sustento, contribuindo para os cofres do Estado, em vez de o sobrecarregarem.

    CONCLUSÃO
    Com as cartas na mesa, as conclusões afiguram-se claras. A China massifica a sua oferta assente, com predominância, no baixo custo em detrimento dos altos padrões de qualidade ou inovação; o mercado português continua mergulhado numa crise e, tanto a nível político como empresarial, não há quem promova medidas de apoio estratégicas. Este problema, a jusante, agravará ainda mais a debilidade do sector e acentuará a distância que nos separa dos restantes modelos sociais e de gestão europeus, que muitas vezes nos orgulhamos de referir, sobretudo quando nos faltam os verdadeiros argumentos para sustentar a riqueza de uma ideia. Ainda assim, com os juros a aumentar, o desemprego em ascensão, a inflação a subir, a carga fiscal a subtrair uma importante fatia do rendimento de singulares e colectivos que pagam impostos, as taxas e emolumentos em serviços do Estado a sofrerem actualizações substanciais, a especulação dos combustíveis, as portagens onerosas em vias de comunicação com investimentos já amortizados (e com custos de exploração comedidos face ao encaixe de proveitos), as obras públicas de interesse questionável, e os salários a reflectirem perda efectiva de poder de compra, ainda assim, dizia eu, o mercado, nestes dois últimos anos, deu mostras de querer espevitar. Citando o reputado economista Dr. João César das Neves a propósito do atraso de Portugal face aos restantes países europeus: «O que este povo não faria se tivesse uma estratégia certa?».
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para REVISTA ANECRA, uma publicação da ANECRA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 392 90 30.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              MERCADO MOTOCICLÍSTICO        
    Nº262 ANECRA Maio 2007
    Nº67 MOTO REPORT Julho 2007 (com autorização)
    O mercado dos motociclos, quando encarado sobre uma perspectiva global, surge como um aliado natural de toda a indústria automóvel e não como um concorrente desse mesmo sector. Veja-se o caso dos fabricantes que constroem, simultaneamente, carros e motos. O exemplo é auto-explicativo. Do ponto de vista do consumidor, estes dois produtos finais (o automóvel e o motociclo) são, na maioria das vezes, bens complementares. Hoje em dia, as necessidades profissionais, familiares e recreativas podem, perfeitamente, apelar à coexistência pacífica destes dois tipos de veículos. O que nos confirma de sobremaneira a conclusão antecipada de início. Perante esta constatação de facto, optámos por efectuar uma análise ao mercado desde 1999 (o ano do “boom” nas vendas) até ao ano transacto. Convidamo-lo, então, a tomar o pulso a este ramo de actividade, que já conheceu melhores dias, mas que, com uma aposta consciente de todos os seus intervenientes (directos e indirectos), poderá recuperar o ritmo outrora alcançado. Assim todos saibam investir, promover, gerir, legislar, fiscalizar e apoiar.

    Situação Económica Nacional
    A Economia Internacional lida, actualmente, com a escalada do preço do petróleo nos mercados internacionais. Uma situação que vem sendo recorrente desde a década passada. Em rigor, questões por resolver, como sejam a do Iraque ou a da ameaça – algo dissimulada, porém omnipresente – do Irão ou, até mesmo, da Coreia, continuam a ter repercussões nefastas na economia global. Os barões da indústria de extracção e transformação do crude encontram nestes pretextos - mais até do que na própria escassez do produto - excelentes formas de exercer especulação, com consequências a nível mundial e que todos nós percepcionamos diariamente. Por outro lado, a concorrência de economias em crescimento, como sejam a chinesa ou a dos países do leste europeu, faz-se sentir veementemente. Estes países são – devido a conjunturas várias – altamente competitivos e, nos últimos anos, têm penetrado com eficácia e também com eficiência nos domínios da cultura, da sociedade e, principalmente, da economia europeia. A União Europeia (UE) apresenta uma subida constante do PIB, com excepção feita a 2005, e esta tendência de crescimento cimentou-se num efectivo aumento do consumo privado, coadjuvado pela redução drástica da despesa pública. A taxa de inflação ficou-se pelos 2,2%, em 2005, e, no mesmo ano, o desemprego atingiu os 8,6%. Por contraponto, os EUA apresentam 3,4% e 5,1%, respectivamente. O PIB americano manifesta tendência análoga à europeia, ocorrendo, inclusivamente, o mesmo fenómeno de redução da despesa pública e reforço do consumo privado. A Economia Nacional tem demonstrado grande dificuldade em resistir à negativa conjuntura internacional. Por ser pequena e aberta, torna-se naturalmente permeável ao contexto externo. Deste modo, o PIB, no período em análise, apresentou um crescimento global de cerca de 20%. Contudo, o investimento exibiu um decréscimo significativo (a rondar os 5%). O consumo, esse sim, aumentou avidamente, sendo que a taxa de crescimento se cifrou nos 25% para o sector privado e nos 30% para o sector público. Perante estes indicadores, é possível inferir que o recurso à banca foi o agente eleito para acelerar o consumo, já que o investimento decresceu e o PIB não acompanhou a evolução da despesa. Portugal continua também com as importações a terem um peso superior ao das exportações, sendo que 2003 foi o ano onde a diferença mais se esbateu. Já o Investimento no Estrangeiro conheceu uma drástica diminuição (para menos de metade). Igual tendência para o desinvestimento tem acontecido em relação às decisões do estrangeiro em investir em Portugal. Todavia, a taxa de decréscimo ficou-se pelos 10% O saldo da Balança Corrente é negativo, com agravamento desde 2003. A Dívida Pública apresenta um crescimento sustentado, a par da Taxa de Desemprego. E o mercado de trabalho é precisamente um reflexo de tudo o que para trás foi enunciado. Para clarificar este ponto, refira-se que o número de desempregados, em 2005, era o dobro do que havia em 2000. Evidentemente que este fenómeno, para além do flagelo social que dissemina, gera também uma sobrecarga ao nível da despesa pública por via do dispêndio de verbas por parte da Segurança Social. O que, em abono da verdade, contribui negativamente para cumprir o Pacto de Estabilidade e Crescimento. Já a Inflação apresenta oscilações entre o crescimento e o seu inverso. Até 2002 a tendência foi para o aumento do indicador, e daí para cá veio paulatinamente a reduzir, estimando-se que para 2006 o valor a apurar comute a orientação. Conclui-se, portanto, que as reformas levadas a cabo pelo Governo com o intuito de conter os custos, e que passam por uma racionalização da despesa pública, levarão o seu tempo a produzir os efeitos esperados. Até lá, Portugal é um país deprimido, envolto num pessimismo generalizado, e profundamente descrente da tão desejada retoma.

    Evolução das Vendas de MOTOCICLOS em Portugal
    O ano de 1999 permanece, até à data, como um marco muito positivo em termos de vendas de motos. Desde então, o número de matrículas novas tem vindo a decrescer. Esta tendência manteve-se até 2003, sendo que, no ano seguinte, ocorreu uma tímida recuperação. Os anos de 2006 e 2005 foram sinónimo de altos e baixos, respectivamente, sendo que, e em suma, os últimos três anos apresentam valores muito próximos. O mês de Janeiro de 2007 destaca-se o do seu homólogo do ano anterior, com vendas totais superiores em 50%. A KEEWAY é o construtor que mais cresceu. Analisando os recordistas de vendas em Portugal, constatamos que, de entre os 10 primeiros, quatro fabricantes são europeus, outros tantos são nipónicos (historicamente as marcas mais comercializadas), um é norte-americano e outro é coreano. Neste ponto, surge um dos sinais mais evidentes: o emergente mercado de exportações do eixo Coreia - China. De um ano para o outro, a KEEWAY passou de nove para 490 motos, e, só em Janeiro de 2007, vendeu quase 25% do volume atingido em 2006. Esta categoria está relacionada com as motos, ainda que tangencialmente. Vejamos o que nos diz o n.º4 do artigo 107º do Código da Estrada: «Quadriciclo é o veículo dotado de quatro rodas, classificando-se em: Ligeiro: veículo com velocidade máxima, em patamar e por construção, não superior a 45 km/h, cuja massa sem carga não exceda 350 Kg, excluída a massa das baterias no veículo eléctrico e com motor de cilindrada não superior a 50 cm3, no caso de motor de ignição comandada, ou cuja potência máxima não seja superior a 4 KW, no caso de outros motores de combustão interna ou de motor eléctrico; Pesado: veículo com motor de potência não superior a 15 KW e cuja massa sem carga, excluída a massa das baterias no caso de veículos eléctricos, não exceda 400 kg ou 550 kg, consoante se destine, respectivamente, ao transporte de passageiros ou de mercadorias.» Nesta classificação cabem os veículos de quatro rodas, que em tudo se assemelham a um automóvel, mas que podem ser conduzidos sem carta de condução – os “microcars” –, mas também os “moto4” que são parte integrante do catálogo de construtores de motos. Com esse fito, ao analisarmos a evolução de matrículas novas constatamos que a evolução é positiva até 2001, voltando-o novamente a ser depois de 2004. Aliás, note-se bem que de 2005 para 2006 o salto é de quase 36%. Indo de encontro ao detalhe dos registos, deparamo-nos com duas realidades que se aproximam. Se por um lado, os sete principais fornecedores de quadricilos são construtores de motos (logo são os “quads” a dominar esta categoria), quem, de facto, tem incrementado a taxa de crescimento das vendas é a indústria de quadriciclos “com capota”. O que desvirtua, em parte, este estudo, já que, em última instância, são viaturas com naturezas completamente distintas. Todavia, é claramente uma pista a ser seguida com toda a atenção.

    Distribuição do parque Segurado de MOTOCICLOS por Distritos
    Segundo os valores reportados pelas Seguradoras ao Instituto de Seguros de Portugal (Ministério das Finanças), esta contabilização manifesta tendência crescente, ainda que ligeira. Esta análise não manifesta, pois, correlação directa com as anteriormente apresentadas uma vez que:
    • Apenas são considerados os veículos com matrícula;
    • Apenas são considerados os veículos com seguro (código da empresa de seguro correcto);
    • Apenas são considerados os registos com data válida (AAAA-MM-DD);
    • Apenas são considerados os registos com data de início de seguro;
    • Nas circunstâncias em que existe mais do que um registo da mesma matrícula, apenas é considerado aquele cuja data de início é a mais recente (desde que inferior à data a que a informação se reporta);
    • Um registo apenas é considerado se a respectiva apólice se encontra em vigor na data a que diz respeito;
    • Todos os registos que se encontrem nas condições descritas, mas que não tenham devidamente preenchido o código de concelho e/ou o código de categoria. O ISP optou por considerá-los nas categorias “Desconhecido” e “Outros” respectivamente.

    Com a tabela seguinte podemos aquilatar a dispersão geográfica dos motociclos em Portugal. Há, logicamente, uma forte concentração junto dos grandes perímetros urbanos, sendo mais reduzida à medida que nos aproximamos de zonas eminentemente rurais. Porém, uma curiosidade: Faro é o distrito com mais motos por cada cem mil habitantes. O que lhe confere autoridade moral/nacional para realizar a maior concentração de motos da Europa. O distrito com menos motos per capita é Castelo Branco, logo seguido do Porto. Lisboa apresenta uma correspondência com a média verificada.

    Evolução do Mercado Europeu
    Na União Europeia (Europa dos 15), em sete anos, venderam-se perto de 8,5 milhões de motos, sendo que 2000 foi o melhor ano comercial. Em 2002, os valores bateram no fundo da tabela (tal como em Portugal), e daí para cá a evolução tem sido positiva. Ainda não estão disponíveis os dados 2006, mas crê-se que a tendência se terá mantido. Para a República Checa, Estónia e Lituânia, as taxas de crescimento são de três dígitos. Para os restantes países, os dados são esparsos e, por isso mesmo, inconclusivos. Refira-se, no entanto, que o primeiro deles aplica aos motociclos as menores cargas fiscais de toda a Europa, tendo inclusive, prémios de seguros com custos extremamente reduzidos (cerca de 10€). Não admira, pois, que se assista ao despontar da democratização deste produto naquele mercado. Em termos absolutos, a UE apresenta um conjunto de seis países que, por razões demográficas, mas também sócio-culturais, lideram o ranking de vendas de motociclos na região: Itália, Alemanha, França, Reino Unido, Espanha e Grécia. Excepção feita à Alemanha e à vizinha Espanha, todos os outros apresentaram evolução positiva entre o início e o fim do período em análise. Comparando a tendência da UE com Portugal, o auge das vendas ocorreu em 2000 (e não em 1999 como cá), tendo o volume global decrescido continuamente até 2002. A inversão de tendências acontece precisamente neste ponto. A partir de 2003, a UE inicia a recuperação e Portugal permanece em queda, abandonando a orientação do conjunto; circunstância que se deverá verificar até 2006 (apesar de, como já mencionado, os dados oficiais ainda não estarem disponíveis). A extinção da nossa indústria de motociclos, a própria mutação dos interesses pessoais dos consumidores, a falta de incentivos fiscais para aquisição e obtenção de licença de condução, e os sucessivos aumentos do IVA serão, genericamente, as razões que conduziram Portugal a este cenário marginal, quando comparado com o que acontece no restante continente europeu. Refira-se igualmente como causas as restrições legislativas, o desacompanhamento e despromoção do conceito e seus benefícios a nível institucional (poder político) e a insensibilidade das seguradoras, a par com as políticas comerciais brandas e pouco efectivas de fabricantes e importadores.

    Conclusão
    Perante a realidade em apreço, dois aspectos se nos afiguram evidentes: o sector está em crise e a China está a conquistar quota de mercado. A aposta chinesa não é na inovação nem na qualidade, mas, antes, na melhor relação qualidade/preço. Os seus produtos destinam-se ao segmento das motos de baixa cilindrada, onde a simplicidade mecânica e a estética parcimoniosa, aliadas a uma economia de escala com mão-de-obra barata, permitem reduzir drasticamente os custos de produção a favor de um preço final muito competitivo. Por outro lado, estes dados mostram-nos que no nosso país há uma vastíssima carteira de clientes interessada em motos com baixo custo de aquisição e manutenção. São as pessoas que necessitam de moto para, diariamente, se deslocarem dentro das cidades (onde o aumento da mobilidade e a poupança financeira são benefícios efectivos e imediatos). Ou que, a ser na província, as pessoas mais não precisam do que um veículo com motor até 250cc, para pequenos trajectos ao longo desse “Portugal Rural”. No fundo, esse é o nosso mercado tradicional.
    Sempre existiu, desde a época das fábricas de motorizadas no norte do país até aos nossos dias a adopção de medidas de incentivo – como aquela preconizada na directiva comunitária 125cc/Carta B, onde condutores de automóveis ligeiros estariam habilitados a conduzir motociclos até 125cc – poderiam deflagrar uma definitiva retoma do sector. Até porque, uma observação mais atenta do quotidiano revela-nos que não está a acontecer uma renovação da classe motociclista. Na prática, este grupo está, todos os anos, um ano mais velho. Não há uma nova geração a entrar no meio. Com a crise que se alastra no ramo, não são só os departamentos comerciais de revendedores e concessionários de motos que acabam por ser afectados. É-o toda uma indústria, desde os fabricantes de acessórios, vestuário e componentes mecânicos até aos serviços técnicos – quase sempre dependentes de um concessionário oficial ou revendedor. Quanto menor o número de unidades comercializadas, menor será o número de intervenções de reparação e manutenção a serem requisitadas. Pelo que, a não inversão da tendência de queda, irá deixar lentamente uma marca incómoda nos tecidos económico e social, pois não é só o plano macro-económico que perde o contributo deste sector, mas a própria micro-economia é posta à prova, seja através de mão-de-obra excedentária, ou de crédito malparado, ou até mesmo de processos de falência e contencioso. Sob um outro prisma, com a escalada do preço do petróleo, e com a necessidade de reduzir as emissões poluentes para a atmosfera, a utilização de motos como meio de transporte, sobretudo em centros urbanos, seria – à semelhança do que acontece pela Europa fora – uma opção natural com benefícios colectivos, longe de serem, de todo, despiciendos.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para REVISTA ANECRA, uma publicação da ANECRA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 392 90 30.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              American Cruise Lines Leads the Way Again With New Class of Modern Riverboats        
    GUILFORD, CT – March 1, 2017 – American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, is pleased to announce details for the first of a new class of 5 modern riverboats destined for the American rivers. These will be the first to combine the modern styling of the European riverboats with the premium comfort for […]
              Carnival Horizon To Sail Series of 4-Night Cruises From NYC To Bermuda        
    February 8, 2017 – Carnival Cruise Line has announced that the new Carnival Horizon will offer a series of four-night Bermuda cruises from New York in spring and summer 2018, part of the ship’s inaugural season that includes previously announced voyages to Europe from Barcelona and the Caribbean from New York and Miami. The four-night […]
              Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast        

    I am so excited to be able to tell everyone about a wonderful kumihimo tour to the South of France next year. The Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast tour is organised by Triple M Tours, who are experts in special interest tours to Europe. These types of tour are a wonderful way to combine sight […]

    The post Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast appeared first on Prumihimo.


              BWW Review: YIDDISH WITH DICK AND JANE at 2017 KC Fringe Festival        

    As part of the 2017 KC Fringe, "Yiddish With Dick And Jane" is worth seeing at the Arts Asylum close to downtown. Although just about anyone can enjoy this one, it says something about age when one realizes his own education falls after the McGuffey Reader period and smack in the middle of "Reading with Dick and Jane" years.

    "Dick and Jane" was my first grade reader at Armstrong School in Chicago along with their dog "Spot" and their cat "Fluffy." "See Dick run. See sister Jane fall. Etc." The same books were used at Armstrong from the Scott Foresman Company for generations.

    This one act play is funny for just that silly memory, but here is the rest of the setup. In the early 20th Century, millions of eastern European Jews immigrated to America's cities. Many of these people spoke Yiddish; kind of a combination of German and Hebrew.

    Beginning in the 1920's and continuing through the 1960's the "Dick and Jane series" taught millions of children to read and many more millions of their parents to speak English. It worked with big typefaces and lots of pictures.

    Imagine now if Dick and Jane are grown up Jewish people. They have retained their learned, broken Yiddish/English speaking patterns (think Spanglish for Jews). Some of the words remain part of their every day vocabulary. Jane is now married to Stanley. They share a very large African American child named Priscilla. Their little sister Sally is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley complete with sandals. Jane and Stanley share typical suburban problems - like gay neighbors and straying wives and aging parents.

    An off to the side of the stage narrator reads from one of the Dick and Jane books and half explains the Yiddish words that creep into the dialogue.

    To this fascinating and amusing ethnic stew, add the genius of casting all apparently non- Jewish actors in the semi-Yiddish speaking roles. The mangling of the Yiddish pronunciations multiplies the joke by a factor of at least three.

    This short 45 minute piece is well directed by Mathew McGaugh. The cast does great stage pictures and has mastered comic quick change. They make the most of their limited props. We always know what they are doing through just a hint of suggestion. It is enough for this purpose. Both Korey Childs and Sara Crow are excellent as the narrators.

    A special shout out goes to Sara Crow as sister Sally. She has pretty great guts to play the hospital patient with the open back hospital gown. More importantly and impressively, the audience saw a reaction to every line and the thought process of what was going through her facial expression throughout the entire show. I will look forward to seeing her again.

    "Yiddish with Dick and Jane" can still be viewed Thursday and Friday evening during 2017 Fringe at The Arts Asylum.


              Apple ignoriert weiterhin SMS-Notfallsystem        

    Die European Emergency Number Association versucht seit mehreren Jahren mit Apple Kontakt aufzunehmen, um das SMS-Notfallsystem AML in iOS zu integrieren. Das System schickt bei einem Notruf den genauen Standort des Anrufers an die Notrufzentrale. Der Rettungsdienst kann so schneller am exakten Einsatzort sein. Bisher reagiert Apple aber nicht auf die Anfragen der Organisation.

    (Weiterlesen)
              Intershop und Adobe gemeinsam auf dem Gipfel        

    Beim Adobe Summit EMEA 2014 am 14. und 15. Mai in London wird der Omni-Channel-Spezialist Intershop zeigen, wie Adobe Experience [...]

    The post Intershop und Adobe gemeinsam auf dem Gipfel appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              E-Commerce: hybris + Adobe = Digital Marketing Intelligence        

    Der E-Commerce-Plattformanbieter hybris ermöglicht ab sofort die nahtlose Integration von Adobe Analytics, einer zentralen Komponente der Adobe Marketing Cloud. Im [...]

    The post E-Commerce: hybris + Adobe = Digital Marketing Intelligence appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              Adobe Summit in London: Jetzt anmelden        

    Der Adobe Digital Summit, letzte Woche mit vielen Highlights mit seiner US-Ausgabe in Salt Lake City zu Ende gegangen, kommt [...]

    The post Adobe Summit in London: Jetzt anmelden appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              eCommerce lohnt sich nicht – oder doch?        

    Passend zu der Diskussion, ob sich die Verbraucher für eine Multichannel-Strategie im Online-Handel interessieren, ist dieser Tage das Buch “eCommerce [...]

    The post eCommerce lohnt sich nicht – oder doch? appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              Web Experience Management aus der Wolke        

    Eine ereignisreiche Woche geht zu Ende. So wurden unter anderem auf dem Adobe Digital Marketing Summit in London drei Erweiterungen [...]

    The post Web Experience Management aus der Wolke appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              Adobe CQ 5.5: Personalisierte Kommunikation über alle Kanäle        

    Es hat sich vermutlich ja schon rumgesprochen: Adobe präsentierte letzte Woche mit CQ 5.5 eine neue Version seiner Lösung für [...]

    The post Adobe CQ 5.5: Personalisierte Kommunikation über alle Kanäle appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              Heute 16.00 Uhr: Livestream vom Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012        

    Heute beginnt das offizielle Programm des Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012. Wer nicht – wie rund 4000 Teilnehmer aus aller Welt [...]

    The post Heute 16.00 Uhr: Livestream vom Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012 appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              La universidad sigue doliente 90 años después...        
    La universidad sigue doliente 90 años después

    Por Sara Plaza y Edgardo Civallero

    En Chile, profesores y estudiantes de enseñanza secundaria y universitaria convocaron hace días una huelga indefinida en protesta por el proyecto de ley de Educación del Gobierno.

    En las universidades españolas han tenido lugar diversos actos de protesta en contra del Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior (EEES, más conocido como Bolonia, la ciudad donde tuvo lugar la declaración). Sus detractores opinan que ayudará a privatizar y mercantilizar la universidad pública, a degradar los títulos, a subordinar el conocimiento a los intereses del mercado, y a hacer de la universidad una escuela de formación profesional donde primen las enseñanzas prácticas sobre la reflexión, el debate, la crítica, la investigación y la discusión.

    El Congreso Regional de Educación Superior celebrado en mayo de 2008 en Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, por el Instituto Internacional para la Educación Superior en América Latina y el Caribe (Iesalc/Unesco) limita la participación de miles de investigadores, no recoge las actuales problemáticas ni plantea nuevas ideas, y excluye una gran parte del pensamiento latinoamericano. A la vez, asume el papel que durante tiempo criticó al Banco Mundial, convirtiéndose así en un mercado donde se silenció a la comunidad educativa con documentos estériles –elaborados por economistas en su mayoría– y se repitieron hasta la saciedad términos neoliberales como eficiencia, eficacia, calidad, acceso y equidad, competitividad, innovación, pertinencia, financiamiento, gestión, gobernabilidad, acreditación de programas, evaluación...

    Éstas son informaciones aparecidas en distintos medios de comunicación durante los últimos días. Curiosamente, leemos estas denuncias –expresadas por distintos actores de la comunidad educativa– cuando se está celebrando el 90º aniversario de la Reforma Universitaria que tuvo lugar a partir de los reclamos de los estudiantes de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Argentina. Éstos, al ver que no eran escuchados, irrumpieron en la Asamblea Universitaria que elegía nuevo rector el 15 de junio de 1918 y se declararon en huelga indefinida, a la que se adhirieron estudiantes y obreros de todo el país. El día 21 de ese mes apareció en "La Gaceta Universitaria" el Manifiesto Liminar de la Reforma escrito por Deodoro Roca y firmado por los dirigentes de la Federación Universitaria de Córdoba. Durante el mes de julio se clausuró la universidad –que ya había sido intervenida en abril, por orden del entonces presidente Hipólito Yrigoyen, al incrementarse las protestas estudiantiles–, el rector elegido por la asociación clerical Corda Frates renunció al cargo y el gobierno intervino la UNC, reformándose sus estatutos, renovándose la plantilla docente y siendo introducidos muchos de los reclamos de los estudiantes.

    Entre las denuncias que vertía el Manifiesto podemos encontrar algunas de las que se lanzan hoy a los actuales modelos universitarios a uno y otro lado del Atlántico:

    "Las universidades han llegado a ser así fiel reflejo de estas sociedades decadentes que se empeñan en ofrecer el triste espectáculo de una inmovilidad senil. (...) Nuestro régimen universitario –aun el más reciente– es anacrónico. Está fundado sobre una especie del derecho divino: el derecho divino del profesorado universitario. Se crea a sí mismo. En él nace y en él muere. Mantiene un alejamiento olímpico. (...) Los gastados resortes de la autoridad que emana de la fuerza no se avienen con lo que reclaman el sentido y el concepto moderno de las universidades. El chasquido del látigo sólo puede rubricar el silencio de los inconscientes o de los cobardes. (...) La juventud universitaria de Córdoba afirma que jamás hizo cuestión de nombres, ni de empleados. Se levantó contra un régimen administrativo, contra un método docente, contra un concepto de autoridad. Las funciones públicas se ejercitaban en beneficio de determinadas camarillas. No se reformaban planes ni reglamentos por temor de que alguien en los cambios pudiera perder su empleo. La consigna de ‘hoy para ti y mañana para mí' corría de boca en boca y asumía la preeminencia de estatuto universitario. Los métodos docentes estaban viciados de un estrecho dogmatismo, contribuyendo a mantener a la universidad apartada de la ciencia y de las disciplinas modernas. Las lecciones, encerradas en la repetición de viejos textos, amparaban el espíritu de rutina y de sumisión."

    La universidad argentina a la que se refería Deodoro Roca hace 90 años estaba atada "a la antigua dominación monárquica y monástica". La universidad española a la que actualmente los estudiantes visten con pancartas que dicen "NO a Bolonia" parece dolerse de los intereses mercantiles transnacionales que quieren sujetarla, a los que tampoco ha sido ajeno el Congreso Internacional de Educación Superior celebrado en Cartagena. En 1918 el sentimiento religioso que inspiraba la Compañía de Jesús – "[c]uriosa religión que enseña a menospreciar el honor y deprimir la personalidad. Religión para vencidos o esclavos", escribía Roca– amordazaba aquella universidad. En el momento actual son las tesis del Banco Mundial derivadas de la teoría del capital humano (manifestando que "el estado no debe invertir en educación superior" porque "la inversión en educación superior es regresiva") y la resolución de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (esa que afirma que la educación superior es un bien negociable) las que coaccionan la libre expresión de la comunidad universitaria.

    No parece que hayamos avanzado mucho si en el lugar que ocupaban los religiosos de entonces se encuentran ubicados los economistas de hoy. Quizás no esté de más recordar los principios reformistas de 1918 para impulsar y discutir las leyes educativas de 2008. Entonces se pedía la autonomía de las universidades respecto de los gobiernos. Hoy habría que añadir también respecto de los mercados, las empresas, la OMC, el BM... Sigue siendo deseable que el gobierno de las universidades quede en manos de sus principales actores, es decir, los claustros de profesores, los estudiantes y los graduados. Habría que seguir defendiendo la gratuidad de la enseñanza pública. Y también la extensión universitaria: el hecho de que la universidad, su comunidad y sus conocimientos no se alejen de los problemas y debates sociales sino que intervengan en ellos. Sin duda es fundamental mantener la libertad de cátedra y renovar periódicamente los cargos docentes. Y sigue siendo necesario que la docencia esté en estrecha relación con la investigación. Si entonces ya se proponía una unidad latinoamericana, ¿por qué no discutir hoy el Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior sin confundir convergencia con una única forma de pensar, hacer y decir las cosas, sin excluir la diversidad, reconociendo las dificultades, las presiones, los errores y los desaciertos para compartir y debatir nuevas propuestas?

    El mercantilismo que afecta a todas las facetas de nuestra vida en esta enorme "aldea global" –que cada vez parece menos "unificada" y más "colonizada"– no deja de lado la producción, uso y disfrute de los conocimientos. Así como presiona deliberadamente en la educación (un factor estratégico en el crecimiento, desarrollo y progreso de los pueblos) también lo hace en la gestión de la información. Nuestras bibliotecas y centros de documentación ofrecen pruebas palpables de la aplicación de "estrategias de gestión", "medidas de calidad y eficacia" y un sinnúmero de técnicas y herramientas que sólo buscan convertir a las unidades de conocimiento en negocios de los cuales obtener pingues beneficios. La cultura mercantilista se filtra en todos los rincones: mientras las leyes de copyright golpean duramente la circulación y uso de documentos y software, se alzan los debates por las políticas de "cobro de tasas" en bibliotecas. Al mismo tiempo la brecha digital se abre, los roles sociales de los profesionales de las bibliotecas se difuminan o esfuman, el analfabetismo informativo crece... La bibliotecología –al igual que la educación– se ve bombardeada por un nuevo modelo, cuyos defensores ni dan tregua, ni ofrecen caminos intermedios ni adaptaciones, ni oyen razones. Parece una batalla sin cuartel en la que los perjudicados son los de siempre.

    En 1918, la Reforma de Córdoba se extendió a través de Latinoamérica, y fueron muchas las subsiguientes protestas estudiantiles que, usando el texto cordobés de Deodoro Roca como base, lograron cambios en varios sistemas universitarios nacionales. Hoy... ¿quiénes darán el nuevo ejemplo, tanto en la educación como en otros ámbitos? ¿Quiénes alzarán la bandera de la libertad de pensamiento y acción? ¿Quiénes se rebelarán contra los nuevos yugos que intentan colocarnos?

    Ilustración.

              La ruta de la tinta en África        
    La ruta de la tinta en África

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Si les pido que piensen en "bibliotecas africanas", probablemente la mayoría de ustedes verá, en su imaginación, las unidades modernas de las distintas naciones del gran continente. Pero si les pido que piensen en "bibliotecas africanas de hace cinco siglos", de esa época en la que aún gran parte de esas tierras era un misterio para los europeos que luego las "descubrieron"... ¿en qué pensarían?

    [Si esto fuera un auditorio, éste sería el odioso momento en el cual todo el mundo se queda callado y revisa concienzudamente sus manos, la nuca de la persona de delante, los desperfectos del suelo...].

    Nos han vendido muchas veces la imagen del "África tribal", del "continente negro", de "la tierra del tamtam y la tradición oral", de las "expresiones artísticas como medio de transmisión de saberes"... Los clásicos de Hollywood, los libros de viajes de los exploradores del s. XIX, y el enorme imaginario popular creado de a poco probablemente hagan que pensemos en un África hecha de danzas exóticas y cantos más exóticos aún, y en pueblos sin escritura, sin libros y, por supuesto, sin bibliotecas.

    Quizás algunos se sorprendan cuando cuente que uno de los grandes centros de saber de ese continente –uno de la talla de otros grandes núcleos contemporáneos– estaba en el borde mismo del desierto del Sahara, en uno de los cruces de rutas comerciales más importantes de aquella región del planeta.

    Se llamaba –y aún se llama– Timbuktu. Y hoy pretendo contarles un poco de su historia y de la de sus libros.

    Timbuktu (o Tombuctu, por su grafía francesa) se encuentra en el actual estado de Malí, en el África occidental. Fue fundada hace diez siglos por los Tuareg o Targui, los famosos "hombres azules de desierto", nómades de origen bereber que deambulaban en sus dromedarios a través de ese enorme país sin dueño que era el desierto del Sahara (por cierto, ¿sabían que "Sahara" significa precisamente "desierto" en árabe?). Estos pueblos –que, curiosamente, ya habían desarrollado un milenario sistema de escritura– fundaron la villa, aunque fueron mercaderes de la vecina ciudad-estado de Djenne los que la poblaron inicialmente, levantando un gran número de mercados y asentamientos mercantiles. Muy pronto Timbuktu se convirtió en un lugar próspero, pues se encontraba en el cruce de las caravanas trans-saharianas. Esas caravanas intercambiaban bienes entre el norte islámico (sal) y la zona del Níger, al sur (oro, esclavos, marfil, frutas), y era lugar de descanso para las interminables tropas de camellos porteadores, y para sus conductores.

    Para el siglo XI había un buen número de comerciantes de las etnias Fulani, Mandé y Tuareg asentados allí. Todos ellos eran musulmanes. La ciudad perteneció a varios imperios: al de Ghana, al de Malí desde 1324, al Songhay desde 1468... Dentro del Imperio Songhay, Timbuktu fue "la joya de la corona", siendo esa su época de máximo esplendor.

    [Resulta increíble la enorme cantidad y variedad de ciudades–estados, imperios y confederaciones que surgieron y desaparecieron en África antes de que la historia europea alcanzara a esos pueblos. Muchas veces estamos dispuestos a creer que allí no hubo historia ni nada digno de mención hasta la llegada de exploradores como Livingstone, Stanley, Burton... Pero, como dije al principio, no son más que partes del imaginario popular].

    En 1591, la ciudad fue capturada por una banda de aventureros marroquíes capitaneados por un renegado español, el llamado "Pachá Joder". Pachá era título honorífico, y la otra palabreja era la interjección que salía más a menudo de la boca de ese malhablado individuo (interjección que nuestros lectores ibéricos sabrán reconocer, sin duda). Ese fue el inicio del fin del esplendor de Timbuktu. En 1893 cae bajo el poder colonial francés –no sin la dura resistencia de los Tuareg– y en 1960 gana su independencia junto con todo el Sudán francés (actual Malí). En los 90, la ciudad sufrió el ataque de los Tuareg, que pretendían crear su propio estado. La llamada "Rebelión Tuareg" no duró mucho, y terminó con una quema de armas en 1996.

    Hoy es una ciudad bastante empobrecida, pero durante siglos constituyó un misterio para los europeos, especialmente porque, al ser un centro musulmán, estaba prohibida la entrada a todo aquel que no profesara la religión de Mahoma. Se contaban leyendas sin fin sobre sus riquezas –muchas de ellas basadas en hechos reales– y fueron numerosos los individuos y organizaciones occidentales que quisieron "descubrir" (ese era el verbo usado) Timbuktu y sus tesoros de fábula. En 1788, un grupo de ingleses formó la African Association para lograr encontrar la ciudad y ponerla sobre el mapa del continente. La Sociedad de Geografía de París ofreció, en 1824, un premio de 10.000 francos al primer no-musulmán que entrara a la ciudad y volviera con información. El escocés Gordon Laing llegó en 1826, pero fue asesinado. El francés René Caillié lo hizo en 1828, disfrazado de musulmán, y pudo regresar para contarlo y adueñarse tanto del premio como del dudoso honor de haber sido el primer europeo en entrar en la legendaria villa. Sólo otros tres europeos pudieron imitar su hazaña antes de 1890.

    Es un UNESCO World Heritage Site desde 1988, debido a sus mezquitas hechas de adobe y barro, una imagen que proporciona a esa ciudad –y a otras de la región– un tremendo halo de misterio. Según se dice, las siluetas de esas construcciones inspiraron al arquitecto catalán Antonio Gaudí. Lamentablemente, la ciudad se está desertificando, y ha sido declarada en peligro desde 1990. Tan misteriosa es que una encuesta de 2006 realizada entre jóvenes británicos arrojó que el 34 % no creía que la ciudad existiese, y que un 66 % la consideraba "un lugar mítico".

    A lo largo del s. XV se levantaron un buen número de instituciones islámicas en Timbuktu. La más famosa es la mezquita de Sankore, también conocida como "Universidad de Sankore" por la madrasa o escuela islámica que alojaba. Esa fue construida en 1581, y se convirtió en el centro de la comunidad académica islámica de esa región, aunque otras mezquitas aún sobrevivientes –la de Djinguereber o la de Sidi Yahya– son mucho más antiguas.

    Una madrasa islámica no tiene nada que ver con una universidad medieval europea (por comparar instituciones de la misma época). La madrasa estaba compuesta por un grupo de escuelas independientes, cada una gestionada por un maestro. Los estudiantes se asociaban a un determinado profesor, y las clases tenían lugar en los espacios abiertos de la mezquita o en residencias privadas. El foco básico de las clases era el estudio del Corán, pero también se enseñaba lógica, astronomía, historia, música, botánica, religión, comercio, derecho y matemáticas. Los académicos escribían sus propios libros como parte de un modelo socio-económico basado en la investigación. Los beneficios obtenidos por la venta de libros era el segundo negocio de la ciudad, después del comercio de oro y sal. Se conservaban más de 100.000 manuscritos en la villa, la mayoría escritos en árabe o en pulaar (la lengua de los Fulani) y con contenidos didácticos sobre los temas tratados en la madrasa.

    El nivel alcanzado por la producción de libros y conocimientos entre el s. XVI y XVIII hicieron que se acuñara un refrán, que sirve como testamento a esa brillante era: "La sal viene del norte; el oro, del sur; pero la palabra de Dios y los tesoros de la sabiduría vienen de Timbuktu".

    Se cree que había más de 120 bibliotecas en la ciudad, que formaban parte de la "ruta de la tinta" africana. Esta arrancaba desde el norte de África y, siguiendo las rutas de las caravanas, llegaban al este del continente, también dominado por comerciantes árabes. En tiempos recientes, las bibliotecas se redujeron a unas 60-80 instituciones privadas, que se dedicaban a conservar los invaluables manuscritos. Entre ellas destacan hoy las bibliotecas Mamma Haidara, Kati, Al-Wangari y Mohammed Tahar. La biblioteca de la familia Kati posee 3.000 documentos de origen andalusí: los más antiguos están datados entre los s. XIV y XV. Hay más de un millón de documentos originales conservados hoy en Malí, y se supone que hay otros 20 millones en otras partes de África, en especial en la vecina región de Sokoto, Nigeria. Muchos de ellos son conservados como tesoros por familias que nunca revelarán su existencia.

    Existen varios proyectos internacionales conjuntos que pretenden rescatar todo ese patrimonio. En agosto de 2002 se mantuvo el Ink Road International Symposium en Bamako (capital de Malí). En 2006, un esfuerzo conjunto de los gobiernos de Malí y Sudáfrica permitió comenzar la investigación al respecto. UNESCO ha iniciado el Timbuktu Manuscript Project, y en la ciudad, una fundación se dedica a la preservación de documentos históricos. No quedan artesanos del libro, aunque existen muchos recuerdos de ese oficio, que constituyó una industria floreciente hace mucho tiempo.

    La historia que nos suelen enseñar –la de los libros, y tantas otras– parece demasiado concentrada en Europa, y muy pocas veces presta debida atención a otros espacios geográficos y culturales. El esbozo aquí realizado sobre África occidental podría también elaborarse sobre América Central prehispánica, sobre su producción de bellos códices y sobre su industria de papel de corteza amatl. ¿Cuánto nos han dicho sobre eso? ¿Cuánto hemos aprendido? ¿Cuánto sabemos?

    Lejos de pretender "dar la voz a los sin voz", quizás en este espacio podamos "refrescar las memorias". Memorias de mundos que tuvieron, ellos también, diestros encuadernadores, magníficos ilustradores y expertos investigadores. Como los de Timbuktu.

    Ilustración.

              Enciclopedias        
    Enciclopedias

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Enciclopedia. Su nombre deriva de una lectura ligeramente errónea del original griego "enkyklios paideia", que significa "educación general". Ese nombre saltó del griego al latín, y de allí a casi todas las lenguas europeas, para convertirse, más tarde, en un sinónimo de "saber general".

    Las enciclopedias constituyeron uno de los cimientos más firmes de las colecciones de referencia de nuestras bibliotecas. Y, aún en un mundo dominado por muchos soportes digitales, continúan siendo el escalón inicial de cualquier investigación o acercamiento a una materia. Buen ejemplo de la importancia que tienen en la actualidad es el asombroso desarrollo y la difusión de la Wikipedia, en la cual, bajo la dirección de un equipo plural de editores, un conjunto aún mayor de contribuyentes aporta conocimientos referidos a tópicos de su especialidad.

    Un proceso similar ocurrió, hace siglos, durante la elaboración de la enciclopedia más famosa en el ámbito europeo: la de Diderot y d'Alembert. Su historia no está desprovista de curiosidades. Permítanme compartirla con ustedes.

    En 1728, Ephraim Chambers publicó en Londres su "Cyclopaedia", subtitulada "Un diccionario universal de artes y ciencias". Eran dos densos volúmenes in folio, con casi 2500 páginas, que pronto se convirtieron en una de las primeras –y más célebres– enciclopedias generales en lengua inglesa. Contaba con un sistema de referencias cruzadas bastante sólido y con una clasificación de los artículos por áreas de conocimiento (de las cuales el autor anotó 47). Basada en trabajos anteriores (como los de John Harris en 1704), la obra de Chambers destacó por haber sido elaborada con seriedad y buen juicio. De hecho, mantuvo su popularidad por años y fue el origen de la famosa "Encyclopédie" francesa.

    La "Encyclopédie", o "Diccionario razonado de ciencias, artes y oficios" se publicó en Francia entre 1751 y 1772, con revisiones y suplementos tardíos (1772, 1777 y 1780) y con numerosas traducciones y derivados posteriores. Originalmente, pretendía ser una sencilla traducción de la obra de Chambers al francés. A tal efecto, el editor André Le Breton encargó, en 1743, la labor de traducción a un inglés residente en París, John Mills, hasta entonces un modesto escritor que había elaborado algunos textos sobre agricultura en su país natal. En mayo de 1745 –dos años después– Le Breton anunció que el trabajo estaba listo para la venta. Grande fue su sorpresa cuando se enteró que Mills no sólo no hablaba ni escribía correctamente el francés (muchos dicen que apenas lo balbuceaba), sino que ni siquiera tenía una copia de la "Cyclopaedia" para comenzar su trabajo. Un trabajo que, como supondrá el atento lector, no estaba ni siquiera iniciado.

    Le Breton había sido descaradamente estafado. Lleno de rabia, buscó a Mills y le propinó tal paliza (unos dicen que con una caña, otros que con un bastón) que el "traductor" presentó cargos contra el editor a las Cortes. Estas, tras estudiar el caso, dieron la razón a Le Breton, pues, de acuerdo a su juicio, la agresión estaba "justificada por la incompetencia del agredido".

    Le Breton reemplazó a Mills por Jean Paul de Gua de Malves en 1745. Entre los contratados por Malves para realizar el enorme trabajo de traducción se encontraban Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, Jean le Rond d'Alembert y Denis Diderot. En agosto de 1747, Malves fue despedido por Le Breton, debido a sus rígidos métodos de trabajo. Otras versiones explican que el propio Malves se marchó, hastiado de la labor. Le Breton contrató entonces a Diderot y a D'Alembert como nuevos editores. Y el inicial trabajo de traducción se convertiría en uno de redacción.

    Diderot permanecería en su puesto 25 años, pudiendo ver su obra finalizada.

    El trabajo contó con 35 volúmenes, 71.818 artículos y más de 3.000 ilustraciones. Muchas de las más grandes figuras de la Ilustración francesa colaboraron en esos artículos: Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu... Louis de Jaucourt fue el contribuyente que batió el récord de artículos escritos: 17.266. Ocho por día, entre 1759 y 1765...

    El mismo Le Breton se dio el lujo de escribir un artículo de la "Encyclopédie": el dedicado a la tinta negra, "Encre noire". También se dio otro lujo: el de censurar un buen número de textos, para hacer la obra menos "radical". Este hecho ocasionaba frecuentes ataques de ira de Diderot. Los recortes de Le Breton se ensañaron con artículos como "Sarracenos o Árabes" y "Filosofía pírrica"... En todos los casos, existían motivos políticos para realizar las censuras.

    Los escritos de la "Encyclopédie" eran revolucionarios, debido a su enfrentamiento abierto con los dogmas católicos. De hecho, la totalidad del trabajo fue prohibido por decreto real en 1759. Afortunadamente, debido al apoyo que tenía de parte de ciertas personas influyentes –como la célebre Madame de Pompadour– el trabajo continuó "en secreto". En realidad, las autoridades civiles no querían deshacer una actividad comercial que daba trabajo a muchas personas. La prohibición fue, en realidad, una tapadera para acallar las furibundas quejas de la Iglesia.

    La "Encyclopédie" se transformó en una obra célebre, tanto por sus ideas como por sus autores. Sin embargo, hubo trabajos mucho más relevantes, realizados con siglos de antelación y por parte de autores unitarios. Lamentablemente, muchas de esas obras han desaparecido, o han caído en el olvido más absoluto. Algunos ejemplos pueden ser los siguientes:

    – La enciclopedia médica de 30 volúmenes escrita por Abu al–Qasim al–Zahrawi, el padre de la cirugía moderna, en el año 1000.
    – La primera enciclopedia científica conocida, "Kitab al-Shifa", de Ibn Sina o Avicena, escrita entre 1000 y 1030. Poseía 9 volúmenes sobre lógica, 8 sobre ciencias naturales, 4 sobre aritmética, astronomía, geometría y música, y otros tantos sobre filosofía, psicología y metafísica.
    – El "Canon de la Medicina", una enciclopedia de 14 volúmenes escrita también por Avicena hacia 1030. La obra fue referencia y modelo en las universidades europeas y musulmanas hasta el siglo XVII. En ella se presentaba la medicina experimental, el descubrimiento de las enfermedades infecto-contagiosas y un largo etcétera.
    – El "Canon Masudicus" de Abu al-Rayhan al-Bisudi (1031), una extensiva enciclopedia sobre astronomía.
    – La enciclopedia de 43 tomos de Ibn al-Nafis (1242-1244) titulada "El Libro Comprehensivo sobre Medicina", una de las mayores enciclopedias médicas de la historia, aunque solo unos pocos volúmenes hayan sobrevivido.

    Lamentablemente, la mayoría de las grandes obras del saber islámico –cuyos conocimientos fueron precursores de los "descubrimientos" realizados en Europa mucho más tarde– desaparecieron bajo el peso de las invasiones mogolas en Bagdad, las Cruzadas o la conquista de Andalucía por los reinos cristianos hispanos. Mucho fue quemado y destruido. Solamente aquellos textos que habían sido traducidos al latín –durante los siglos XII y XIII– en centros de cultura y saber como Toledo, Segovia, Cataluña, Sicilia o el sur de Francia, pudieron conservarse para la posteridad.

    Siglos después, fueron muchos los que se adjudicaron descubrimientos y pasaron a los libros de ciencia como grandes figuras, cuando en realidad esos descubrimientos ya habían sido realizados siglos antes. Cosas de la historia.

    En realidad, cosas de la historia eurocentrista... "Eurotodo", diría Eduardo Galeano al respecto, titulando un texto en la página 103 de su último libro, "Espejos":

    "Copérnico publicó, en agonía, el libro que fundó la astronomía moderna.
    Tres siglos antes, los científicos árabes Muhayad al-Urdi y Nasir al-Tusi habían generado teoremas que fueron importantes en el desarrollo de su obra. Copérnico los usó, pero no los citó.
    Europa veía el mundo mirándose al espejo.
    Más allá, la nada.
    Las tres invenciones que hicieron posible el Renacimiento, la brújula, la pólvora y la imprenta, venían de China. Los babilonios habían anunciado a Pitágoras con mil quinientos años de anticipación. Mucho antes que nadie, los hindúes habían sabido que la Tierra era redonda y le habían calculado la edad. Y mucho mejor que nadie, los mayas habían conocido las estrellas, los ojos de la noche, y los misterios del tiempo.
    Estas menudencias no eran dignas de atención".


    El mismo Galeano afirma en la misma página del mismo libro, en el texto titulado "Sur":

    "Los mapas árabes todavía dibujaban el sur arriba y el norte abajo, pero ya en el siglo trece Europa había establecido el orden natural del universo [el norte arriba y el sur abajo]".

    Galeano nos cuenta que la biblioteca imperial de Pekín tenía, en el siglo XV, 4000 libros en los que reunía el saber del mundo. Seis libros tenía, por entonces, el rey de Portugal.

    Cosas de la historia. Cosas de la memoria. Afortunadamente, las actuales enciclopedias virtuales permiten la existencia de versiones en chino, árabe, ruso, griego, y tantos y tantos otros idiomas. Pero, por desgracia, los que sólo sabemos leer el alfabeto latino y un par de idiomas europeos tenemos que quedarnos con los artículos que nos cuentan todo desde este lado del espejo.

    Vuelvo, para cerrar esta entrada, al principio. La palabra "enciclopedia" deriva del griego, y significa "educación general". Quizás algún día tengamos una "generalidad" que abarque y tenga en cuenta a todos y a todo. Tal vez ese día podamos aprender algo nuevo, diverso y realmente valioso. Mientras tanto, deberemos conformarnos con la "generalidad" de siempre.

    Ilustración.

              Voces del pasado        
    Voces del pasado

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Los libros que conservamos en nuestras bibliotecas son, en muchos casos, voces del pasado que buscaron el refugio de la letra escrita para seguir gritando sus mensajes a través de los siglos y por los siglos. Esas voces que intentaron preservarse, perpetuarse y reproducirse, intuyeron –en su momento– que lo que contaban era valioso, y que podía servir a generaciones venideras. Porque el mundo es una rueda que gira, y si bien la historia no se repite –o, al menos, eso dicen los historiadores modernos– el ser humano suele tener la rara virtud de tropezar dos veces en la misma piedra.

    Preparando un texto sobre la civilización maya del periodo postclásico –es decir, del momento en el que la llama de esa magnífica cultura comenzaba a apagarse lentamente– me encuentro con una historia que vale la pena recordar. La hallé en las páginas de uno de los libros del Chilam Balam. Estos textos merecen, por sí solos, un comentario aparte.

    Tras la conquista española del territorio maya (situado en México y parte de Guatemala), los sacerdotes católicos enseñaron a los mayas las destrezas de la lectoescritura europea, con el único objetivo de facilitar su conversión a la religión cristiana. Sin embargo, los "alumnos" utilizaron tal poder para recoger su saber antiguo –que, conservado en códices, había desaparecido gracias al memoricidio perpetrado por los conquistadores y los propios sacerdotes– y los sucesos que vivían en aquel momento (siglo XVI). Salvaron así del olvido su memoria, condenada de antemano a desaparecer bajo el peso de la historia oficial.

    Se escribieron varios libros en numerosas regiones del antiguo territorio maya, en lengua nativa pero sobre papel español y usando el alfabeto latino. Aquellos manuscritos escritos en el norte del Yucatán (probablemente por los grupos étnicos mayas Itzá y Yucateco) son llamados, genéricamente "Libros de Chilam Balam". En la actualidad se conservan fragmentos importantes de diez o doce de ellos, identificados por el nombre del pueblo en el que se redactaron. Lo que voy a narrarles lo encontré en el libro de Chilam Balam de Chumayel, uno de los más completos.

    Este libro cuenta un acontecimiento sucedido en Chichén Itzá muchos años antes de la llegada de los hispanos, un suceso que, por su importancia, se transmitió oralmente, de boca en boca, salvándose del olvido gracias a que los escritores lo recordaron y anotaron. Chichén Itzá era una de las ciudades-estado más poderosas del postclásico maya. Ubicada en la península del Yucatán, en el antiguo territorio de los Itzá (y actual territorio mexicano), era –y es– famosa por su bellísima arquitectura, y, en especial, por el llamado "pozo de los sacrificios".

    Este pozo era una abertura natural, de las tantas que abundan en la península yucateca, donde la roca caliza es horadada fácilmente por las lluvias y genera hundimientos, cavernas, grutas subterráneas y enormes bocas que se abren en la superficie, colmadas de agua. Llamados "cenotes" por los arqueólogos modernos (del maya "tsonoot"), los pozos eran usados, a veces, como lugar de sacrificios al dios de las lluvias, Chaac, que para un pueblo dependiente de la agricultura, era uno de los principales del panteón. Tal era la función del de Chichén Itzá. Tan importante era ese cenote, que originó el nombre de la ciudad: Chi Cheen Itzá, "el brocal de los Itzá".

    A las aguas verdosas de aquel pozo se arrojaban adornos propiciatorios –resina de copal, objetos de oro, plumas, orejeras de jade– y víctimas humanas escogidas. Se suponía que el pozo conducía directamente a los dominios de Chaac: allí, el dios recibiría a los sacrificados y, si tenía algo que comunicar a los vivos –que esperaban atentamente en la superficie– dejaría volver a alguno de los inmolados con su mensaje.

    Lamentablemente, y como es de suponer, nadie, nunca, regresó como mensajero divino. Drogados antes de ser sacrificados, atenazados por el pánico de la muerte inminente, las víctimas eran tragadas por las aguas cenagosas del cenote antes de que pudieran pensar en intentar salir a flote.

    Sin embargo, cuenta el "Libro de Chilam Balam" que un joven noble –de nombre Hunac Ceel–, tras presenciar unos sacrificios en el cenote, tuvo una idea reveladora. Cansado de los eventos que conmocionaban la vida política de la región en aquel momento, se dirigió a la plataforma desde la cual se lanzaban las ofrendas –votivas y humanas– y, ante la mirada atónita de la población asistente y de los sacerdotes, se lanzó de cabeza al agua. Pasaron algunos minutos sin que la superficie verdosa se moviera siquiera, y luego, entre burbujas y espuma, aquel hombre salió a la superficie, respirando ávidamente. Ante el asombro de todos y la incredulidad de algunos, gritó que el dios Chaac le había hablado, y le había dicho que, desde aquel momento, él, Hunac Ceel, de la casa de los Cocom, sería el regente de aquella ciudad-estado.

    Inmediatamente, el pueblo lo aclamó. Atados de manos por sus propias costumbres y tradiciones, y aún a sabiendas de la ágil y astuta jugada de aquel advenedizo, los nobles y los sacerdotes –sin poder contradecir su religión– debieron aceptar, tragándose la ira a duras penas, aquella decisión "divina".

    Lo que siguió fue una de las dictaduras más implacables que hayan soportado los mayas de aquella época. Hunac Ceel y los de su casa manejaron los hilos de la intriga política y de las guerras a sus adversarios. Con su corte instalada en la ciudad de Mayapán, dirigió sus fuerzas hacia Chichén Itzá, y, según suponen algunos historiadores, fue él el que la arrasó, convirtiéndola en el conjunto de ruinas –magníficas, pero ruinas al fin– que son hoy.

    La historia, por sí sola, amerita escribir una novela. Si bien el "Libro de Chilam Balam" agrega muchos acontecimientos legendarios en este relato, el análisis de los investigadores actuales rescata los hechos históricos. La historia fue verdadera, así como las consecuencias de aquel acto, que, si bien rozó la locura, sirvió a su principal protagonista para alzarse con un poder que no le correspondía.

    Este tipo de relatos deberían hacernos reflexionar sobre nuestro presente. Pues Hunac Ceel no sería el primer "gobernante" que pasase por encima de todo su pueblo amparado en las costumbres de su sociedad. Amparados en ellas son muchos los que rigen la vida de sus naciones de forma abusiva. Usando en su beneficio los códigos civiles y legislativos, las leyes electorales, las costumbres, los hábitos, son muchísimos los que abusan de nosotros, los que se olvidan de nuestros derechos y necesidades, los que nos explotan y utilizan...

    El recordatorio de todo eso, de todo lo que pasó y sigue pasando, está en nuestras bibliotecas. Para algo fueron escritos tantos libros. Y debería estar también entre nuestros recuerdos. Porque sólo conociendo el pasado se entiende el presente y se planea el futuro.

    Pero parece ser que el hombre tiene una memoria muy frágil. Y que no consulta los libros adecuados en los estantes de su biblioteca más cercana.

    Ilustración.

              Un populu diventa poviru e servu quannu ci arrubannu a lingua        
    Un populu diventa poviru e servu quannu ci arrubannu a lingua

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Castigo de Dios. Eso fue.

    Parece ser que, en el principio, todos los hombres hablaban un mismo idioma. Hasta que se les ocurrió construir una ciudad y edificar en ella una torre tan alta que alcanzase los cielos. En castigo de tamaña presunción, Dios confundió todas sus lenguas, de forma que no pudieran entenderse entre ellos y les fuera imposible continuar la edificación de esa construcción: la famosa torre de Babel.

    Así lo cuenta el Génesis (xi, 9), la colección de antiguas tradiciones orales semíticas más leída de todos los tiempos. Miles de lenguas y de hablantes, todas distintas, todas incomprensibles para los demás. Castigo de Dios.

    Esta impresionante variedad de hablas, palabras, gramáticas y sonidos, conforman una parte importante de nuestra diversidad cultural, la cual, de acuerdo a la Declaración Universal sobre Diversidad Cultural de la UNESCO de 2002, es uno de nuestros mayores tesoros como especie. Sin embargo, y para no perder la costumbre, el ser humano está ocupándose de destrozar ese milagro con sus propias manos a cada paso que da. Basta examinar algunos datos provistos por la propia UNESCO en 2005:

    Sólo el 4 % de los idiomas son usados por el 96 % de la población mundial; el 50 % de las lenguas del mundo se encuentran en peligro de extinción; el 90 % de ellas no están representadas en la Internet; cinco países monopolizan el negocio de la industria cultural mundial.

    (Tomado de
    Knowledge versus information societies: UNESCO report takes stock of the difference).

    Ciertamente, el uso de algunos idiomas como vehículos de intercambio (inglés, francés, español, árabe, chino) para superar las barreras lingüísticas y facilitar la comunicación es algo bastante útil. Sin embargo, estos idiomas han dejado de ser sólo un "vehículo" y se han transformado en "lenguas dominantes", presionando a las demás y logrando eliminar muchas de ellas de la faz de la memoria humana.

    ¿Qué ocurre cuando se pierde la lengua? Comparto con ustedes un poema, "Lingua e dialettu", escrito por Ignazio Buttitta en su lengua/dialecto natal: el siciliano.

    Un populu
    mittitulu a catina,
    spuggghiatulu,
    attuppatici a vucca:
    é ancora libiru.

    Livatici u travaggghiu,
    u passaportu,
    a tavula unni mancia,
    u lettu unni dormi:
    é ancora riccu.

    Un populu
    diventa poviru e servu
    quannu ci arrubanu a lingua
    addutata di patri:
    é persu pi sempri.

    [Encadenad un pueblo,
    despojadlo,
    tapadle la boca:
    todavía es libre.

    Quitadle el trabajo,
    el pasaporte,
    la mesa donde come,
    el lecho donde duerme:
    todavía es rico.

    Un pueblo
    se vuelve pobre y esclavo
    cuando le roban la lengua
    heredada de sus padres:
    está perdido para siempre].

    Sin las palabras que decimos, que usamos a diario, nuestra vida no tiene ningún sentido. Desaparecerían muchos conceptos que son únicos a nuestras culturas, muchas ideas que nacieron entre nuestras manos y que luego fueron adoptadas por otros (usando incluso nuestra propia lengua). Muerta la palabra, murió también la idea, por más que otras lenguas intenten describirla igual de bien. ¿Qué sería la música latinoamericana sin palabras locales como joropo, huapango, cueca o huayno? ¿Cómo nombrar animales y plantas si nos quitan términos como ñandú, vicuña, quirquincho o colibrí?

    Nuestra lengua es el vehículo de expresión de nuestra cultura, un vehículo hecho a la medida. Sin ella, no seríamos nada; o quizás sí, seríamos un pueblo que habría perdido el norte.

    Y ya son muchos los pueblos que lo han perdido, que han debido adoptar lenguas extranjeras y que han olvidado los sonidos que sus padres y abuelos utilizaban. América Latina es un gran continente lleno de memorias rotas y voces apagadas. Nosotros deberíamos saber, mejor que nadie, cómo se siente perder el idioma propio, y cuáles son las consecuencias de tamaña pérdida. Algo que también ocurre en África, en Asia, o con las minorías europeas.

    Como bibliotecarios, como agentes de información y promotores de cultura, ¿qué hacemos al respecto? Nuestras colecciones ¿albergan todas las lenguas habladas en nuestra comunidad, en nuestro país, entre nuestros usuarios? Permítanme dudarlo. La economía de recursos y espacios hace que se apueste siempre por lo "dominante". Lo "pequeño" –por valioso que sea– no importa. Eso ocurre también entre los medios de comunicación, las empresas editoriales y tantos otros canales culturales e informativos. El mundo ha sido organizado –en todos los sentidos– para respetar una ley "evolutiva": la supervivencia del más fuerte. Lo "minoritario", lo "débil", lo "mínimo", debe desaparecer.

    Y lo hace. Vaya si lo hace.

    La buena noticia es que existen muchos que no se resignan a callar, y otros que, en forma independiente y arriesgando mucho, se dedican a estudiar, recuperar, publicar y difundir sus lenguas y tradiciones literarias. Y somos muchos, también, los que empezamos a enamorarnos de su trabajo y de los sonidos de otras palabras.

    Para aquellos interesados en conocer un poco más sobre los problemas y las características de la diversidad lingüística de nuestro planeta, les recomiendo la lectura del artículo "Lenguas en peligro" publicado en septiembre del 2006 en El mensajero del patrimonio inmaterial de la UNESCO; el artículo de Luisa Maffi "Lenguas amenazadas, saber amenazado", publicado en 2003 en la Revista internacional de ciencias sociales; la "Recomendación sobre la promoción y el uso del plurilingüismo y el acceso universal al ciberespacio" de la UNESCO (2003); el atlas de lenguas en peligro elaborado por el Sector de Cultura de la UNESCO; y, para aquello que manejen inglés y francés, el sitio Omniglot, el Languages homepage de la BBC, el sitio Euromosaic de la Comisión Europea, el sitio cuatrilingüe Linguapax, el proyecto Terralingua, la iniciativa francesa Babel y el MSST Clearing House Linguistic Rights de la UNESCO.

    Para aquellos que quieran aprender una lengua extranjera, la Internet puede ser (o no) un entorno privilegiado. Me gustaría recomendarles, para los que tienen gustos "exóticos", los Manuales del Cuerpo de Paz de la ONU, para aprender en forma veloz lenguas como el rumano, el guaraní, el estonio, el filipino, el wolof, el uzbeko, el azerí, el ucraniano, el árabe, el swahili, el kazajo, el búlgaro, el ruso o el armenio. Están en inglés (pequeño problema) y pueden ser descargados libremente. Abundan además las páginas de recursos lingüísticos, y este aviso va dirigido para aquellas bibliotecas especializadas en lenguas, que suelen depender de los libros que tienen y de los recursos "dominantes", sin darse cuenta que, bajo acceso abierto, cuentan con miles de sitios que pueden ser de utilidad para sus usuarios.

    Ustedes pensarán que el mío es un discurso utópico, y que dominando la lengua propia y una general (o séase, el inglés) podemos movernos por el mundo sin problemas. Quizás tengan razón. Pero he viajado mucho, y, si bien hablo inglés fluidamente y me defiendo muy bien en otro conjunto de lenguas "conocidas", siempre he tenido la precaución de aprender la mayor cantidad posible de frases, expresiones y palabras en esos idiomas que nadie aprendería porque son "minoritarios". Y siempre me han servido. En Corea, en Malasia, en Suecia, en Noruega, en Ecuador... Porque resultó que no todos hablaban inglés, o español, o francés. Y porque, aunque pensemos que algunas lenguas son "minoritarias", sus hablantes no opinan lo mismo. Y si bien podemos usar alguna lengua "dominante" como puente, sólo será eso: un puente. Comprender al otro, acercarse a él y a su cultura, implicará aprender su idioma. Y viceversa.

    Un mundo donde suenen muchas voces distintas no tiene porqué ser un mundo anárquico e incomunicado. Pensar lo contrario sería apoyar discursos homogeneizadores y totalitarios, que tantas desgracias han traído a la humanidad a lo largo de la historia. Conservemos la pluralidad, conservemos nuestra identidad, y acerquémonos a las de otros. Será la única manera de establecer lazos más humanos, basados en la comprensión real, y de empezar a eliminar barreras que sólo llevan a separarnos cada día más.

    Y si, al fin y al cabo, se trató de un castigo divino, demostremos que no fue así, y que quizás la antigua historia está mal contada. O que el autor del castigo no logró su cometido.

    Ilustración.

              ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 11        

    Hilary Gadsby

    QuickLesson 11: Identity Problems & the FAN Principle    
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 11: Identity Problems & the FAN Principle,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-11-identity-problems-fan-principle : accessed 25 May 2016).

    The FAN Principle referred to in this lesson is looking at friends, associates and neighbours to help find information pertinent to the person we are researching.

    Common names can be a particular problem. I have the surnames SMITH and WARD in my husband's family and ROBERTS in mine.
    However some surnames can be a problem in particular localities as many are what we call locational surnames and were adopted from the place where the family lived when surname usage started.

    I have recently started a One Name study of the surname ROSLING and I shall use an example from this.
    The origins of the family I have been researching appear to be in Lincolnshire, England, as far as the current level of research in the UK has shown. 
    (My research is at an early stage and earlier records may uncover different origins as I am aware of this surname elsewhere in Europe and it could have been introduced to Lincolnshire from an early invasion)

    The name Peregrine Rosling would not be considered to be a difficult name to research as both first and surname are not common. However if you know the family the first name Peregrine is one that has been used by several generations.



    This shows the results of a general search for this name at Find My Past



    Peregrine Rosling born in Swinstead, Lincolnshire, England has been particularly problematic to follow.There are 2 persons who show on the census records with the same year and place of birth. 

    How do I distinguish who belongs to which family?


    I have looked at the other census records 



    This Peregrine has a wife Eliza who was born in Morton Lincolnshire and appears to be living in the same house with Ann and Edward Rosling could they be close relations.


    This Peregrine has a James Mettam widower living with him and his wife Elizabeth he is described as Father of Peregrine and Elizabeth was born in Swinstead. Was his wife Elizabeth Mettam?

    The registers held at Lincolnshire Archives have been scanned and digital images are now available to view on the Find My Past website.



    Looking at the Baptisms for the parish of Swinstead this is what I have found 
    Parish Baptism Register 1813-1871 Swinstead, Lincolnshire
    Page 18 No 143 13 Feb 1825 Peregrine son of Peregrine and Ann Rosling Swinstead Labourer
    Page 17 No 136 27 June 1824 Peregrine son of Robert and Sarah Rosling Swinstead Farmer

    So the first Peregrine could be the son of Peregrine and Ann Rosling?
    What was his wife's maiden name?

    It is likely that both marriages were registered in the Bourne registration district as all these birthplaces and residences are in this district.
    Fortunately Lincolnshire has had many of the marriages transcribed and the indexes can be downloaded. (This link may not be working but I have a copy I downloaded)

    I have extracted those of interest and they can be found here.

    So how do I confirm I have the correct Peregrine in each family as I now have 3 of them marrying in Swinstead within 10 years. Can I find the one who married in 1846 in the 1851 census and where his wife was born.


    So I have discovered the maiden name for each wife and where the wife was born. Each Peregrine had a father with a different first name so I can now have more confidence that I connect each of them and any descendants to the correct family.

    Spouse
    Birthplace of Spouse
    First name of Father
    Christening Date
    Name of Spouse Father
    Eliza
    Morton
    Peregrine
    13 Feb 1825
    Charles Wilson
    Elizabeth
    Swinstead
    Robert
    27 June 1824
    James Mettam
    Elizabeth Jane
    Castle Bytham
    William
    1820?
    Robert Glenn


    When I have done more work on my one name study I will be able to piece together more about how these families are related. The older Peregrine has not been found in the register of baptisms for Swinstead.

    I have started to explore other parish records for this area for information.
    Every piece of the puzzle is important to ensure we are looking at the right person in that record. 

    I have further work to do so that I can discover more about the family of Ann the wife of Peregrine and mother of the younger Peregrine. Having discovered her maiden name and birthplace I find there are at least 2 possibilities for her baptism. Determining who the possible siblings are and what happened to them may help me discover which baptism and family are most likely to be her. I suspect this will involve a lot more analysis of what the records show and I may need to work with unfamiliar records but understanding the importance of who is in the community will help me pull together the clues.


              Subgroup on methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime        
    Status: 
    Ongoing
    In 2016 the European Commission asked the FRA to join its High Level Group to combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, and to coordinate a specific subgroup of the HLG that will work to develop methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime.
    October 2016

              Update of handbook on European data protection law        
    Status: 
    Ongoing
    FRA will update its handbook, in partnership with the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which presents and explains European data protection law in a straightforward way for those working in this area.
    December 2016

              Child poverty and well-being        
    Status: 
    Ongoing
    In 2013, the European Commission released its Recommendation – ‘Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’. FRA is currently analysing existing secondary European level data on child poverty and well-being, following the indicators annexed in the Recommendation, from a fundamental rights perspective.
    January 2016

              Minimum age requirements in the European Union        
    Status: 
    Ongoing
    FRA is mapping national laws across EU governing age requirements linked to the child rights of protection and participation.
    December 2015

              Local Engagement for Roma Inclusion (LERI) - Multi-Annual Roma Programme        
    Status: 
    Ongoing
    LERI is a qualitative action research project under FRA’s multi-annual Roma Programme. It was developed in response to the European Commission’s Communication on an EU Framework for National Roma integration strategies up to 2020. LERI brings together local authorities and residents, in particular Roma, to investigate how they can best be involved in Roma integration actions, and identify which aspects of these actions work, which do not, and why.
    2013

              Co chcą ukryć? Prawo UE zabroniło ujawnienia raportów o UFO!        
    Dlaczego utajniono raporty brytyjskich pilotów? Zarząd Lotnictwa Cywilnego Wielkiej Brytanii – CAA odmówił dziennikarzom ujawnienia raportów pilotów z ostatnich 6-ciu lat, którzy alarmowali o pojawieniu się niezidentyfikowanych obiektów latających – donosi The Sun. Kierownictwo CAA powołało się na specjalne przepisy wprowadzone przez Unię Europejską w 2014 r., zgodnie z którymi udzielanie takich informacji jest zakazane. ...
              #33 La carta de los científicos a Rajoy: «Van a firmar la sentencia de muerte de la ciencia»        

    #28 Mi comentario era relacionado con lo que comentas, pero por otra, no se si conoces la paradoja europea

    martinej.wordpress.com/2007/01/27/la-paradoja-europea/

    En resumen, en Europa se tiene el problema, de que pese a que se tiene un sistema amplio de investigación básica, lo que repercute en empresas es muy escaso. Y esto tiene cierta repercusión cuando la economía se basa en el desarrollo tecnológico, y contra menos desarrollo tecnológico pues menos competitivo a nivel global.

    Esta claro, que mirar la ciencia básica en base a líneas de investigación más rentables es estrangularnos poco a poco, pero por contra, a los científicos se les exige cierta rentabilidad publicadora, que se basa en un sistema donde si tus publicaciones no son relevantes y no tienes cierta cantidad, tienes menos puntos para becas y acceso al dinero para tus proyectos. Y es raro que alguna empresa desarrolle investigación básica por si sola.

    El tema es complejo, está claro que limitar conocimiento nunca lleva a buen término, pero cuando hay "hambre" pasas a valorar cosas más básicas.

    » autor: celyo


              Les Rencontres de Strasbourg des langues régionales ou minoritaires d’Europe 2015        

    Les Rencontres de Strasbourg des langues régionales ou minoritaires d’Europe 2015 Auteur : Pierre Klein Date de parution : 03/04/2017 Editeur : Editions Allewil Verlag ISBN : 979-10-93645-15-5 Collection : Langues Type : Couleur Présentation : Dos carré collé Nb. de pages : 224 pages Poids : 0.366 Kg Dimensions : 24,4 cm × 17,0 cm × 1,20 cm Edition bilingue/Zweisprachige Ausgabe Les Rencontres de Strasbourg des langues […]

    Cet article Les Rencontres de Strasbourg des langues régionales ou minoritaires d’Europe 2015 est apparu en premier sur Initiative Citoyenne Alsacienne.


              The Place of Internet Marketing        

    By Monica Kumar

    Several developments in Technology have completely transformed the world and made life easier for people in the transaction of business and work. Notable among these is what is called "internet marketing". In essence, this activity enables buyers and sellers of goods to get their tasks accomplished without the necessity to travel. It may be defined as the marketing of products and services over the internet. Among the benefits, we can mention the low cost of distributing information to a wide audience and advantage in the form of instant response.

    Features of Internet marketing

    1) It straddles the entire world and people from widely dispersed geographical locations can transact business with each other.

    2) Business organizations can reach a large clientele for a fraction of the traditional advertising budget and thus it is less expensive.

    3) Thanks, to the nature of the medium, consumers can conduct research while browsing, and purchase products and services according to their own convenience.

    There are various fascinating facets associated with internet marketing and one of these form a link between the creative and technical aspects of internet technology. It is natural that design, development, advertising and sales activities come under this category. Again the methods cover a wide spectrum such as search engines, display advertising, email marketing and affiliate marketing.

    Many business models that can work in tandem with internet marketing are now available. Prominent among these is e-commerce in which goods are sold directly to the customer or business houses. Secondly, lead based websites where an organization generates value by getting sales leads from their site. Besides there are several other models which depend on the specific needs of individual or businesses launching a campaign for internet marketing.

    How does Internet marketing differ from "off Line Marketing"

    There are several ways by which internet marketing differs from traditional or what we call off line marketing.

    a) Customer browses the internet on their own with the net result that marketing messages reach them personally. The users, for instance locate advertisements for specific products or services with the help of specific key words. This is one to one versus one to many approach.

    b) In an online marketing campaign, it is possible to trace measure and test almost all aspects of the campaign. It is possible to identify the messages or offerings which are more appealing to the target audience. Here the advertisers pay per banner impression or per click of the mouse or per action or result that is effective. This feature ensures "measurability".

    c) In internet marketing, the users access the products of their choice by activity on their part, whereas traditional off-line marketers target their markets according to age group, sex, geography and general criteria.

    d) All initiatives connected with internet marketing require the users to click on the message, go to a website and perform a specific targeted action. Hence the results of advertising campaigns are at once tracked and measured. By contrast, in traditional marketing, it is extremely difficult to measure the actual readership and even actual impact of an advertisement.

    There can be no doubt that internet marketing has grown considerably in the last 3-4 years even in the developing countries of Asia. In the US, the UK and Europe, it has almost become a routine, thanks to widespread availability of personal computers, laptops and internet facilities on mobile phones. Today, every

    Mobile professional has the need to remain connected with the world, while on the move. He can easily avail the benefits of Internet Marketing from his cell phone. Moreover he can also get in touch with the company through emails. These days there are various options available which allow users to free access to emails form their mobile phones. Like one can easily send an email through free mobile email services by clients like gmail, email@mobile, etc

    Thus the trend of internet marketing is most likely to inject a greater sense of accountability on both the advertising agencies and their clients.

    Monica is a vetran in the field of writing and loves to share her views with her readers. Please feel free to contact her at monika@emailatmobile.com


              Science Night 9/18        

    Earthflight, A Nature Special Presentation: Europe at 7 pm Cranes and geese rise over Venice, Dover, Edinburgh and the monkey-guarded Rock of Gibraltar. In Rome, the Loire Valley, Holland and Hungary, birds gather by the millions to breed and two … more
              Call for Content: VMworld #vBrownBag Tech Talks – A VMware Technology Network Member        

    vBrownBag and VMware Technology Network have partnered to make the 2017 community Tech Talk experience at VMworld US and Europe exceptional. The call for content for Tech Talks is officially open! Submit by JUNE 30TH for a chance to present: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdtpMS5ychaZN__1eY7rJh6eOHKfgIGSCbzDgYVVJojGo9DQ/viewform Wait, what? Good question Captain Jean Luc Picard. Let’s answer that, plus a few […]

    The post Call for Content: VMworld #vBrownBag Tech Talks – A VMware Technology Network Member appeared first on VMTN Blog.


              Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List        
    This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.
     

    GARDENING & NATURE

    -De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


    AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

    -(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
    -(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
    -(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
    -Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
    -Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
    -Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
    -Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
    -McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
    -Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
    -Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
    -Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


    LABOR & SOCIAL JUSTICE

    -Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
    -Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
    -National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


    FICTION & POETRY

    -(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
    -(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
    -Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
    -Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
    -Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
    -Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
    -Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
    -Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
    -Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
    -Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
    -Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
    -Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
    -Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
    -Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
    -O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story(Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
    -Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
    -Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
    -Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
    -Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
    -Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


    HISTORY

    -(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
    -Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
    -Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
    -Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
    -De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
    -Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
    -Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
    -Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
    -Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
    -Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


    LANGUAGE & EDUCATION

    -Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
    -Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


    SCIENCE & MATH

    -Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
    -Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
    -Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)


              Liberal Democrats to demonstrate against Brexit at Tory conference        

    Richard Vaughan reports on iNews today:
    The Liberal Democrats will abandon political party protocol by joining pro-EU campaigners to protest against Brexit outside this year’s Conservative Party Conference. 
    Activists are planning to stage one of the biggest marches in opposition to Britain leaving the EU when the Tories stage their annual conference in Manchester in October.  
    And they will be joined by the Lib Dems who will break the conventional truce that prevents parties from disrupting other political conferences. 
    The party said it did not take the decision "lightly", but said such action was necessary to prevent the Government pressing on with a "harmful" Brexit.
    He goes on to quote Tom Brake:
    "Brexit is the battle of our lives and it is vital we make the Conservatives see the strength of feeling against their disastrous extreme Brexit, which threatens to crash the economy and damage the life chances of millions."
    The question is whether Labour will mount a counter-demonstration in support of Conservative policy.
              Annual Mormon Book Review        

    Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

    Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.


    From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

    Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

    The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

    Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

    Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

    From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

    To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

    The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

    Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

    The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

    As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

    The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

    The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

    Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

    The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

    Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

    The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

    But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              Book: Devil's Gate        
    Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy by David Roberts is one of the most absorbing and thought provoking works of history that I have read recently, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of the American West or Mormonism. Roberts delves into the greatest tragedy of the migration westward in Nineteenth Century America (I'd like to elucidate that I am referring to the greatest tragedy in the migration itself, not the tragedies that occurred as a consequence of the migration)—the loss of more than 200 immigrants due to a decision, sanctioned by Brigham Young, for the last two companies of pioneers to start out late in the year. The book argues that the handcart "experiment" was an ill-thought out expedition that valued monetary efficiency and expediency over human lives, and that, despite Young's protestations of ignorance after the fact, he was knowledgeable of the late starts and therefore culpable for the disaster.
    Scared that the US government was going to march on the State of Deseret (a huge swath of land that encapsulated all of present-day Utah and Nevada as well as parts of Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona), Young decided that he needed an army of Mormons. Recruiting poor Northern Europeans was easy, but transporting them from the East Coast to Deseret was a costly enterprise. In light of these costs, Young decided that the pioneers ought to embark from Iowa City, Iowa (where the railway lines stopped) to Salt Lake City on foot, pulling their belongings and sustenance on handcarts. With a 17 lb limit to each immigrant's load, Young calculated that "fifeen miles a day will bring [the handcart companies] through in 70 days, and after they get accustomed to it they will travel 20, 25, and even 30 with all ease." (pg. 91) His estimation was optimistic to the point of delusion.
    The handcart pioneers were plagued with bad luck, starting as early in the journey as Iowa City. There, the first two companies disembarked from the train in early May to find that there had been no handcarts made for them. Such an oversight on the part of the Mormon who was posted in Iowa City to negotiate the purchase and construction of the handcarts forced the immigrants, many of whom had no knowledge of carpentry, to construct their own carts out of green wood. This same fate awaited all five of the companies in 1856; each company set out with shoddily-made handcarts that were ill-constructed for the 1,300 mile journey across Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah ahead of them. While the first three companies suffered immense hardship, the final two were pushed to the edge, with many of their parties falling into the deathly chasm.
    The final two companies of 1956—the Willie and Martin companies (named after their leaders, James G. Willie and Edward Martin)— did not arrive in Iowa City until August, far too late in the year for set out for Salt Lake without concern for the weather. But the leaders and other high church officials urged that the two parties soldier on westward, and so they did, soon to shoulder the high cost of their decision.

    Roberts uses journals of the pioneers to illustrate much of his tale. Readers are encouraged to empathize with the poor souls who ventured out onto the cold and unforgiving plain to find Zion. His points are furthered by a narrative of High Church Mormon history, as well as a contemporary attempt to understand the mythologizing of the handcart pioneers—a myth he likens to the Mayflower. It is a fascinating experience.

              Renault offers tips to maximize range for electric cars        

    The Renault ZOE is offered only in Europe, but it is a close cousin to the Nissan LEAF available in the US. Renault has put together an informative video that shows drivers how to maximize range for electric cars. For many people, maximizing range is not a major concern during daily driving, such as commuting. ...

    The post Renault offers tips to maximize range for electric cars appeared first on ecomento.com.


              Dec 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge - Sourdough        
    Sorry for posting late but I'm on holidays away from my normal computer setup and this is the first chance I've had to get onto my blog.

    This month's Daring Bakers' challenge was sourdough, yes sourdough and yes we were asked to make a fresh starter for the challenge.

    French Country Sourdough Picnic Loaf
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    I have a decade old starter called Boris (100% hydration i.e. equal weights of water and plain bread flour) so I decided to use that to make the French Country Loaf recipe. I started the process at Day 4 in the instructions. Since I had Boris already made up I saved four days. I have started a new sourdough starter to use in a few days time. In Sydney Australia it is the start of summer so I made a stuffed picnic loaf with the baked bread one of my favourite summer picnic foods.

    I used "OO" finely steel-milled bread flour and "OO" finely cold-steel-milled whole wheat flour with some stabilised wheat germ (since I couldn't find my stone ground flour).

    Boris my (100% hydration) starter, before I fed it to make the Leaven Starter, notice how Boris is burping gas
    Photobucket

    Boris feeding on the extra flour and water, notice the condensation on the top of the plastic lid which indicates that the yeastie beasties and bacteria are very active making lots of gas and tasty flavour for the sourdough
    Photobucket

    Boris full of tiny active bubbles after feeding
    Photobucket

    Comparison of Boris (left) when he is made into the leaven for the sourdough (right) in the French country loaf. Notice how wet and soft the leaven is for this recipe!
    Photobucket

    The loaf proofing for the final raise in a greased pan (I didn't want flour on the outside of the picnic loaf) before it is tipped out and slashed. The unbaked loaf is very soft and needs a mould.
    Photobucket

    The baked loaf (the unbaked loaf is very wet and soft and forms a great shape when baked) the final loaf shape is formed by squeezing (the soft out-turned unbaked loaf) with your hands, then you quickly slash it and place immediately into a very hot oven and turn the temperature to hot for 10 mins and then to the recipe temperature for the rest of the time.
    Photobucket

    Making the picnic loaf
    Hollow out the loaf, notice how moist the interior is and the 'greyish' colour which is a indication of the sourdough starter. The crumb (the texture of the interior) of the loaf is like dense sponge really good I thought, notice the dense spongy crumb in the hollowed out top of the loaf (bottom piece in the photo below).  
    Photobucket

    Line the hollow with several layers of thin ham, and then fill with a combination of ricotta cheese, chopped charred-grilled red capsicums (fire-roasted red bell peppers), spinach, basil, finely chopped spicy smoked French sausage, grated sharp cheese and lots for black pepper. The filling ingredients can be varied to suit your own tastes a great version is the famous Muffuletta sandwich (the filling is an olive paste with various cheeses and sliced meats).
    Photobucket

    Wrap tightly with plastic film and place into the fridge with a light weight on top of the loaf for a few hours (up to two days)
    Photobucket

    The finished picnic loaf
    Photobucket

    Close-up of a slice of the picnic loaf yum yum
    Photobucket

    The verdict - this recipe produces a sourdough unlike anything I have done before the crumb of the loaf is very moist almost sponge-like which I really really liked and it is a perfect foil for the pressed filling ingredients since they almost have the same texture which is what you want in a picnic loaf. Also the picnic loaf slices cleanly and thinly. I bet for an extra special treat slices of this picnic loaf would fry up beautifully. I will be using this recipe from now on to make picnic loaves.

    What to do with the leftover starter
    You can make a lot of recipes with the leftover starter examples pancakes, cakes, scones etc.  In this case I made crumpets with the leftover starter (To make the batter - to one cup of starter, sprinkle over the surface 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (or 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder), stir well, the mixture will double in volume. Dry fry 1/4 cup scoops of the batter in well greased 3" (7-1/2 cm) metal rings on a medium-low heated griddle (or fry pan) for 4-6 minutes on the bottom and optionally 30 seconds on the top if you like colour on both top and bottom of your crumpets.) These crumpets were so good I love how the holes form and the moist texture of the crumb so much better than the store bought version. You can freeze the leftover starter/leaven and the cooked crumpets. 
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

       
    Comments and notes
    1. This recipe is unusual in that you knead the leaven into the dough.
    2. The leaven is very wet and soft more like soft putty so when you form the disk of dough and place the leaven onto it and knead it, the final dough-making is incredibly messy and the final dough is very very soft and spreads out very slowly (takes about 20 mins) if left on the counter. I had to add about 3 tablespoons of extra flour to make it a little stiffer.
    3. The final interior of the loaf is very moist, as compared to my normal sourdough. I really liked the final interior and the loaf. The crumb (the texture) of the interior was like soft dense sponge even slightly doughy which I really liked. The weight of the loaf feels very heavy for its size. 
    4. What to make with the leftover starter make crumpets see links below for the recipe.
    What to do with the discarded starter (use to make crumpets)
    And what to do with a neglected starter
    5. A plain flour starter seems to work very well for this recipe.

    French Country Sour Dough Open-faced sandwiches with home-made pesto, tomatoes and cured Italian ham
    Photobucket

    I made the French country loaf its starter was very easy to make and look after until it was active it only took three days for the starter to become super active since I feed it twice a day and the starter was in a moist warm environment for the entire 'brewing' time. I made up the loaf has per the recipe I used very coarse stone ground whole meal bread flour and "OO" finely milled bread flour. The dough rose in about 2 hours (really quick for a sour dough) and to twice it original volume and when baked stayed exactly the same size. Since I used such coarse flour the final texture of the crumb was very grainy. My dough was so wet and soft it really needed a mould but that was no problem.

    I wanted perfectly shaped sandwiches which means the crust has to be very smooth with crisp edges, so I went for a 'brick-shape' loaf that could be cut thinly and cleanly while having the strength so the bread slice wouldn't break or bend when the sandwich is being eaten.

    The final texture of the loaf was like a Rye European sour dough bread, not dense at all in fact, the loaf could be cut very thinly and cleanly - perfect for open-faced sandwiches.

    I had the most beautiful tomatoes and basil so I had to use them as the topping for my sandwiches.
    Photobucket

    This summer in Sydney Australia has been the coldest in the last fifty-one years, so I took special precautions in keeping the starter warm that is by enclosing the plastic container in several tea-towels on the counter on the spot that is above the hot water system. The temperature was gorgeously warmish at all times, so after three days the starter was full of energy and going for it. If you feed the starter once in the morning and in the evening it shortens the time for the starter to become active.

    The starter covered in many tea towels over a warm spot on the counter, it is toasty in there:)
    Photobucket

    I wanted to make thin open-faced sandwiches so I coated my pan with oil-spray and then with wheat germ flakes which produces a thin smooth crust on the loaf
    Photobucket

    Notice the nice straight edges and smooth faces on the loaf, it looks like a brick! Perfect for open-faced sandwiches.
    Photobucket

    Close up of the crust of the loaf
    Photobucket

    Some more photos of the loaf and the thin slices that can be cut from it
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    I really like how thin you could slice the loaf
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    To make the open-faced sandwiches
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    Finished sandwiches with home made pesto, tomatoes and cured Italian ham and a piece of tangy goat's cheese
    Photobucket

    The verdict - a very tasty open-face sandwich bread wonderful with the tomatoes and pesto. And so filling only a couple of quarter slices where enough. Just like the old fashioned country breads I had in my childhood.

    Some notes
    1. You can speed up the 'brewing' time of the starter by twice feeding it a day and making sure that the starter is in a moist warm place.
    2. My starter was super active it rose the dough in about two hours which is very quick.
    3. The final dough was too soft to be shaped into a free-form loaf it really needs a mould.
    4. The final crumb is very much like the classic black bread style of Northern Europe.

    Cornmeal sourdough loaf
    Photobucket

    I used the French Country starter to make a cornmeal soudough loaf that was more traditionally shaped. I replaced the whole meal flour with corn meal (polenta) I added some pure gluten flour to replace the missing gluten from the corn meal and raised the dough in a bowl lined with linen that was covered in flour and cornmeal.

    This is the largest loaf of bread I have made it was 12 inches (30 cms) in diameter and weighed almost 2-1/2 kgs (5-1/2 lbs)! It took about an hour and a quarter to bake.

    The dough is very wet and soft
    Photobucket

    The dough raising in the lined bowl
    Photobucket

    How to raise the dough during cold weather, place a plastic bag over the bowl and place that over a saucepan 3/4 filled with warm water also you can wrap the saucepan in tea towels this will keep your dough warm for many hours even overnight.
    Photobucket

    The final baked loaf
    Photobucket

    The underside of the baked loaf a wonderful yellow colour
    Photobucket

    I will use the loaf tomorrow after it has cooled down and the flavours have settled.

    I love the look of this loaf so rustic with lots of character in the crust and the yellow colour is stunning. 

    Cornmeal Sourdough Loaf part II
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    I use my cornmeal sourdough loaf today I was extremely pleased with the look, taste and texture of the slices. I had some beautiful beet(root) and mint on hand so I made a spicy beetroot mint dip to serve with the cornmeal bread.

    Lovely beet(root) and mint
    Photobucket

    The yellow cornmeal bread sliced into wedges so colourful and tasty
    Photobucket

    The beet(root) and mint dip served on the cornmeal sourdough slices
    Photobucket

    Another photo of the delicious bread
    Photobucket

    Gorgeous White Sourdough
    Photobucket

    One thing about sourdoughs is that they can look so beautiful as compared to the store bought loaves. I made another loaf using the French Country starter but using all white flour for the loaf. I had to add about 1/4 cup of extra flour to the dough so that the shaped loaf would hold its shape and be slashed. I double egg-washed the loaf which really gave the baked loaf a lovely shiny gloss finish. I will use it tomorrow after the loaf has had time to settle and mellow. I cannot wait.

    I used a five cup "flower-pot" shaped container which gives a nice visual proportion to the loaf 
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    Some gorgeous photos of the final loaf
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    White Sourdough Loaf
    I made tandoori roast chicken to serve with the white sourdough loaf I had made yesterday. The crumb of the sourdough was very smooth and its hue was a light sand colour which was unexpected since I used a very white flour for the dough. The thinly sliced chicken was lovely on the sourdough sandwich. The crumb of the loaf was very similar to white wonder bread a wonderful bread for sandwiches.

    The white sourdough loaf being sliced
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    The tandoori roast chicken I adore the vibrant colour of the chicken
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    The final tandoori chicken sandwich
    Photobucket

    White sourdough loaf
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    I repeated making a white flour sourdough but this time I added some more flour in the final stage so that the loaf would spread out so much and would hold it shape when slashed. I needed about 1 cup of extra flour to achieve the correct consistency. I was very pleased with the final result. The loaf expanded about three times it was incredible to watch it grow and bake in the oven.

    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    More things to make with the leftover starter part II
    Wholesome banana and date sourdough bread
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    I had a cup of very sour active starter left so I thought I would make my favourite banana/date bread with it, I make this recipe about once a fortnight during the summer. The recipe is easy -

    Wholesome banana and date sourdough bread
    1 cup starter (the starter doesn't need to be active)
    2 cups wholemeal flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    3 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
    3 tablespoons dried milk powder (or buttermilk powder)
    3 tablespoons wheat-germ
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    3 large ripe bananas, mashed
    1 cup of dates finely chopped, soaked in orange juice until soft
    (Optional 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts)

    Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, milk powder and salt, form a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour into the well the sourdough starter, oil, wheat-germ, egg, brown sugar, banana and dates (and the nuts if using). Whisk the ingredients together until a normal "cake" batter consistency is formed you can add more water if you need to loosen the batter. Bake in a moderate oven 160C/320F/gas mark 3 for 1-1/2 hours until a skewer comes out clean, check at 1 hour and then every 10 mins until done. Best if left for one day before slicing, but can be sliced when completely cooled. The bread will last for 2 weeks (at least! I have always eaten it before this) in the fridge covered in foil and plastic wrap and it gets better and better with time, fabulous toasted and served with butter. The slices are super moist and not too sweet. The sourdough and bananas really makes for a moist bread. 

    White sourdough loaf
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    I decided to make a treat for this delicious bread that is meatloaf which I really really like a lot in Australia it isn't that common basically nobody I know makes meatloaf but every time I make it the meatloaf gets rave reviews.

    For a super special treat I baked the meatloaf on two slices of the white bread these slices therefore get toasted and are dripping with gorgeous flavour I'm sure that they aren't not that healthy but once in while it is such a flavoursome treat.

    The meatloaf notice the two slices of white sourdough bread that acts as a soak of all the juices
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    The delicious slices of bread that have been baked and basted throughout the cooking of the meatloaf
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    The cut meatloaf. My meatloaf contains grilled red capsicums (the red pieces), shredded seaweed (the black pieces) and lots of herbs and a mixture of pork and veal with some BBQ duck and the glaze is a mixture of tomato pesto, black sugar and balsamic vinegar.  
    Photobucket
        
              Oct 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge - Povitica        
    A tale of two povitica loaves
    PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

    This month's challenge was to make povitica (a type of nut roll.

    Blog-checking lines: The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

    This is my first time ever making this sort of recipe so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the recipe. Well after doing some interesting internet research and ringing a pastry chef mate of mine whose mum is from Croatia and another friend's mum who is from Poland. I have some (little) understanding of the process and what to expect.

    When comparing my notes with the information from my friends and their mums I found that povitica (or nut rolls) seems to be made by two slightly different methods that lead to two very dissimilar results; it seems that the “Northern European“ version (my name) is dense and moist like a firm bread-and-butter pudding, while the “Southern European” version is a well risen roll slightly less dense than the Northern version.

    One major difference between the two versions is an hour of rising time before the final baking. Our challenge recipe only has ¼ hour of rising time before the final baking like a lot of Northern recipes while a typical Southern recipe has an hour of rising time before the final bake.

    During my internet research I found that there are other differences; the Northern version uses a soft dough that is rolled out fairly thickly while the filling has a firmish consistency, while the Southern version uses a firmer dough that is rolled out very thinly while its filling has a consistency of thick honey. Since I was making two loaves (½ batch) anyway I thought I would do one loaf using the challenge instructions (which are very Northern) and do the other loaf using the Southern method. For both versions you make the dough layer as thin as possible.

    A (Northern) povitica is meant to be dense and moist, it is important not to let the shaped roll rise too much before baking (in our challenge recipe you only let it rest for 15 minutes) in the other version you let the unbaked roll rise until doubled in volume then bake it.

    I found that if you refrigerate the loaf until cold, it will slice thinly and cleanly, remember to serve it at room temperature. Also let the povitica rest for a few hours (a day is better) before cutting it this will help it set better so it can be sliced cleanly.

    The biggest tip - If you find the dough is too springy let it rest.

    Uhmmm, I don't know why but every stage of this recipe was an uphill battle.I used “00” soft flour (finely milled white flour 8% protein) for the recipe since I had it to hand and I thought it would make the stretching of the dough easier since “lower gluten” means “easier handling”.

    For the nut filling I used about 300 grams (10½ ounces) walnuts and 250 grams (9 ounces) of mixed nuts, also I added 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder I wanted a chocolate hit from the Povitica. I used ¾ cup of white sugar and ¼ cup of dark brown sugar in the filling. And I used an unsalted “European” styled butter 87% fat since it had to used.

    Dough – Firstly the size of the dough is amazing when you stretch it out, you will need to do it on a large table with a floured tablecloth. I found that the dough was very very hard to stretch it wanted to go back to its original shape that is every time I rolled it or stretched it out it would spring right back. From experience I know what to do in this situation I let the partially stretched out dough rest for about 15 minutes covered in plastic so the gluten strands in the dough would relax so making stretching a lot easier so after resting the dough I then proceeded to make a very thin layer of it … that is … after a lot of time doing guarded stretching and gentle man-handling … finally … I could see magazine print through the dough but this process took about 45 minutes. I think the problem was that I added too much flour while forming the dough, next time I will just have the dough a little tacky which will make it easier to stretch out. Also I will add ½ teaspoon lemon juice (for a ¼ batch) next time since the acidity helps to tenderise the dough so making it easier to stretch out. The second dough was a lot easier to roll out since by this ti