Alla ricerca del sogno   
♥ Vivere un sogno e abbandonare un sogno costa lo stesso prezzo, generalmente molto alto.. Ma il primo comportamento  ci … Continua a leggere
          Come to the next LPMG meeting on sunday 19th Sept   

We have been meeting fortnightly for almost 3 years now. The aims of our meetings are:
- to support each other in our personal struggles as men, including our efforts to rid ourselves of sexist behaviour
- to raise consciousness with regards to sexism in our lives and in society
- to discuss issues around gender politics generally
- to plan what actions we can take as pro-feminists

Though we are mainly a consciousness raising group, we also sometimes facilitated workshops and give talks, organized creches at feminist events, and participated in demos. This helped all of us tremendously in acknowledging, realising and working on our sexist behaviours! In practice our group has always been a men-only group, although it has always been open to anyone who felt that sharing their life experience would be beneficial for them and/or other members of the group.

From now on. we have decided to meet every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at 3pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate st E1 1ES (whitechapel, Aldgate)

If you've often thought this is an interesting group but never found energy or time to come round, this is the opportunity!!

The next one will be on Sunday 19th of September, 3pm-7pm.

Our meetings are generally composed of different parts. Usually we start with a round about ourselves, our lives, how we are and past experiences of sexism we were involved in. Then we talk about concrete action plans we have for the future. After a break we try to discuss a theme linked to gender and feminism (such as our fathers/mothers, homophobia, pornography, seduction etc.) always trying to start from our own life experience and then go to the global/more theoretical.

Hope to see you all there!

Don't hesitate to contact us: londonprofeministmensgroup at

or join us on errr Facebook but only after reading this!

          "Feminist" or "Profeminist"   
  • Taken from our Facebook page...

    Richard Twine
    Not a Profeminist but a feminist...

    what do you think of the distinction?

    i think the argument that men should identify as pro-feminist rather than feminist stems from the notion of what academics call epistemic privilege i.e. in this case, men ought not identify as feminists as they cannot know how it is to experience oppression 'as a woman'.

    however i think this is problematic because it
    a) ignores the way in which patriarchy is also a system that includes relations of power between men, most obviously in the oppression of 'feminised' men.
    b) overstates the assumption that 'men' cannot empathise and learn about the experiential knowledge of 'women' (even though to homogenise this would be to ignore 30 years of feminist scholarship)
    c) overstates the value of separatism as a means to radical coalition building
    d) risks homogenising 'men'
    March 23 at 2:43pm · Mark as Irrelevant · Report · Delete Post
  • London Profeminist Hi! As you may already know there are many and different opinions on the issue of this distinction. If we wanted to give a reason for our choice, we would say that the LPMG chooses to identify itself as ‘pro-feminist’ instead of ‘feminist’ cause ‘we don’t need and we don’t want to steal the word from the feminist movement’. This is the opinion of many feminists also and we respect that. Of course, the feminist (or anti-sexist, anti-patriarchist) struggle aims to liberate men also from patriarchy and this is very much where our words and actions tend to contribute. However, it is always good to remind people that the structural inequalities and hierarchies still exist and that being a man in a patriarchal society is in no way the same with being a woman (most of all, in terms of experiences). Men can empathize with let’s say the victims of patriarchy, however we should not ever forget that this empathy is a choice (while oppression isn’t) that is made by men who nevertheless still preserve their privileges in this society.

    Truly, you see a methodological problem there (eg. homogenizing men) since 30 years of feminist scholarship (and most importantly feminist struggles) were enough to change the way some men think about their masculinities. However let’s not forget the previous 2,000 years or so of massive gender oppression… To empathize, after all, does not mean to say that we have the same experiences as women have. It does not mean to try to eliminate the difference among us and women. It is not a matter of competition of victimhood; it is a matter of respect and giving space to the ‘other’.

    And a last thing: the risk of homogenizing all (wo)men is visible in all kinds of gender politics, however many times this is a risk someone must take in order to ‘do politics’ and – let’s say – make a specific demand, no matter how much the academics dislike it. Generalization and homogenization are often strategic steps of this kind of politics and as far as I am concerned they are not false since patriarchy itself is a great, big, awful and violent generalization.

    From LPMG
    4 minutes ago · Edit Post · Delete Post
  • London Profeminist FROM DAVE in the LPMG (but not necessarily representing the views of LPMG!!!)...

    "We are certainly not a 'separatist' group: in the context of gender politics, separatism means primarily women's groups who literally try to have nothing whatever to do with men in their lives. That would make no sense whatever for a pro-feminist men's group.

    Although there is nowadays a greater emphasis in gender politics on men and women working together and on try to abolish gender roles, collapsing the distinctions too quickly is not helpful, and any decision to do so must rest with women. In my view the postmodern and queer emphasis on dismantling gender identities runs many risks. One is that if the people concerned have not done the work on themselves (and that work is big) it all becomes a pretence. A second risk, which I have often observed happening is that these politics collapse into well-meaning (radical) liberalism."


    Please feel free to join in the discussion here or on our Facebook page, or both!

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          Interview for York University Women's Society Zine   
Hannah Cann Interviews Jon Waters for York Uni Women's Society Zine

Jon Waters set up the London Profeminist Men’s Group 2 years ago and they’ve been meeting every 2 weeks ever since.

Why Pro-Feminist?

“Well, we discuss it now and again... Not everyone agrees with the name. Some think that we should be called an ‘anti-sexist men’s group’. There’s the idea that we don’t want to colonize a term for a movement set up by women for the liberation of women, and that calling ourselves male feminists or something similar would suggest we don’t understand and aren’t sensitive to the issues. However, plenty of feminists argue that feminism is for all people who want equality, and that men ought to call themselves feminists as they are fighting the same fight as female feminists. I think we’re happy calling ourselves pro-feminists and helping to define what exactly that term means by simply existing under that title!

How do you think Feminism has affected the lives of men?

Feminism definitely has affected the lives of men... in loads of ways. It has forced men in some circumstances to treat women better, or as equals. In certain areas the level of sexism has been reduced a lot...It’s changed attitudes. It was a bit different for my mum and her generation...It was fine for her not to wear dresses and skirts, and ride a motorbike [laughs]. For me growing up, I got to see a much wider range of gender roles. And in some ways, it’s [Feminism] made it more acceptable for men to talk about their emotions more; which has a bit of a backlash because the ‘macho’ thing still weighs heavily on men and boys. But it’s easier than it was for men to be “in touch with their feminine side”, because Feminism’s changed gender roles. Men also benefit from reduced violence to women. Women are their sisters, mums, lovers. Men aren’t purely selfish individuals [laughs]...and obviously they don’t want the women they love to be the victims of violence.

Why do you think it has taken Feminism to promote certain improvements in men’s lives, such as better attitudes towards fatherhood?

I think it’s fantastic that we are starting to see a lot more men pushing buggies down the road, and there’s more talk about equal paternity leave.
I don’t think there’s an a priori reason why it needed to be a women’s movement. It’s conceivable that it could have been groups of men fighting for their rights to care for their own kids more. However, I think that men are not generally socialised to be particularly caring, to be blunt! [laughs]. It’s often not high on a man’s list of priorities to be a loving father, but rather a breadwinner and procreator. Being a good dad is in the list of “what a perfect man ought to do”, but particularly in the world of work, which is often male-dominated, there’s a lot of resistance to men taking time off work to look after kids. The more macho the work place, the harder it is.
Generally I think it’s a great example of an area where feminists have led the way, and men’s groups can take on the challenge of fighting for men to do more childcare in the home and outside it. As a men’s group we have run several crèches at feminist conferences, and I’m a part of another mixed gender group that focuses on the issue of improving access to activism for parents and carers as well as their kids.

What advice would you give to men who want to take more proactive steps in or for Feminism?

In certain circumstances it might be easier for men to get involved in feminism [than women], because it’s unusual. In some groups men might be welcomed almost as a hero! Similarly, in terms of talking about feminism, people have a lot of preconceptions about feminist women. They switch off, because they think “here we go...” as if they already know what she thinks. With a guy, people are often more intrigued. *Pauses* sorry, what was the question again?!! Oh yeah…
I suppose in a university context there are usually gender courses, and there are loads of academic books and “Brief Introductions to Feminism” out there. I would recommend a website called, which has tons of stuff written by pro-feminist men about their lives and their activism. It’s also good to know you’re not the only man in the world who cares! Obviously, if you’re in London, come to the Pro-Feminist Men’s Group [laughs] or check out our blog at
If you’re in York, go to Women’s Committee, or any groups that open doors to men. You also need to be receptive to the issues, and be sensitive about why some groups don’t want men, or at least not all the time. It’s important for men to come to terms with the importance of women only spaces. If you don’t get that, it’s easy to think it’s sexist to exclude men, which is what you’re fighting against! You can end up getting a bit stuck. If you find a group that says it doesn’t allow men at meetings, for example, ask them why and listen carefully guys! It’s really not that hard to understand, honest!
If possible, find other men who are interested in feminism. Best by far is to meet face-to-face with other men, but online communities can be a decent substitute if you can’t find anyone. A common theme in the men’s group is that we’ve all had a friend, lover or ex-lover who’s a strong feminist woman and has influenced us, our lives and behaviour. Ideally there’d be enough pro-feminist men out there that it didn’t always have to fall on women to “convert men” but learning lots from feminist friends is generally a great way to start out if you’re interested in gender issues.

What sort of feedback do you get from men and women? Does it vary from men to women?

Personally, I am not a very good advocate for the group. I don’t tend to put the group out there. It’s quite a cowardly approach I suppose. I tend to only tell people I think will be positive about it!
When I’m brave enough to tell men about the group it often feels like I’ve just said I’m part of a Jewish Pro-Nazi group. They get a “does not compute” face. ‘Consternation’ would be a good word for it! It’s a difficult job explaining what we do. We don’t have a narrow focus you can sum up in a few words, which makes it hard to talk about sometimes. Generally speaking, women are more interested and sometimes almost congratulatory. Some say they want their boyfriends to go along!

Why is it important for men to think about feminist issues today?

I think a lot of men want to live in a more equal and fair society, and don’t want to see women getting paid less on average, having to deal with loads more domestic violence than men, and generally having less power and privilege than men in most situations. Feminism also gives men the tools to radically alter the gender roles that cause them so much damage, even whilst they confer privilege on them. Boys are taught to become “real men” and face all sorts of bullying if they don’t conform. Changing masculinity and the expectations we have of what “being a real man” means would give men more freedom to be themselves and to express their feelings, hopefully leading to less pent up anger, depression, suicide and violence. A radically different masculinity would mean not having to live in fear of other men’s violence and fear of being seen as weak or not having all the answers all the time. Ultimately, men should get involved in feminist politics because FHM – Feminism Helps Men!
Jon Waters recommends and Slow Motion – changing masculinities, changing men by Lynne Segal to learn more about the male role in feminism. Contact him directly at
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          Feminism in London 2009   
The second Feminism in London conference held last Saturday (October 10th) at Conway Hall was a great success. As the London Pro-feminist Men's Group we felt very privileged to be able to take part, contribute and support the second LFN conference this year.

We took part in the conference in two main ways as a group. Firstly we supported the LFN conference, by providing childcare and secondly we contributed to the conference by facilitating a workshop entitled "What are the issues for pro-feminist men?".

We had two aims whilst we created the workshop, which were (1) to give a practical introduction to what we do in the London Pro-feminist Men's Group and (2) to get feedback from both men and women on issues for pro-feminist men and what we should / should not do.

By this we hoped to start answering the question posed in the workshop about the connection between men's life issues and the struggle for feminism. In the next part I will outline our aims for the workshop in more detail.

Ad 1.) In the introduction of the workshop we focused on what we do in our group, the essence of which is the traditional feminist practice of consciousness-raising, based on the idea that the personal is political. With men – since we are part of the oppressor group - this is a tricky process. We have to keep our attention on the ways that we are sexist, but making us feel bad about ourselves will not be helpful. Also, it is fairly easy to deal with the ways in which we are consciously sexist, but there are many unconscious ways in which we are sexist. These are often ways of being into which men are socialised from very early age. To change this conscious and unconscious sexism requires sustained work on oneself.

Obviously being a man comes with lots of advantages. We as men generally get what we want and can get away with pretty much everything, We have the luxury to be selfish, we earn more money, we are not expected to bother about our appearance or bother about childcare. At some point, when one looks at oneself and wider society though, it has to become clear that the way we traditionally act as men is not good for society on the whole and that in the long run it is also not good for us. In the end, one has to come to the conclusion that the ways we are treated as boys and the roles we are taught to play as men are not good and that if we continue to act, think and behave in sexist ways, they will cause us major difficulties in our lives - even as they give us dominant positions in society and power over women.


With that background, we felt it should be fairly clear why it is useful for men to meet separately: (i) in order to understand how we have been socialised as men, we need to share common life experiences; (ii) meeting without women is important in order to create the safety to be able to admit sexist behaviors (iii) men need to learn to create a real relationships with and get support from each other, rather than relying on women for emotional support.

Ad 2.) In the second part of the workshop we split into two groups - one female and one male. During the preparations for the workshop we had decided that we would facilitate the discussion in the men’s group and would not prescribe what the women would discuss. We had decided to do it like that, because we – as men – did not want to prescribe women what they should or should not talk about in a feminist environment. We did however encourage the women to talk about what it is they would / would not want from pro-feminist men.

In the end, two of us from the LPMG (London Pro-feminist Men’s Group) facilitated the men’s discussion, whilst LFN volunteer Jan volunteered on the spot to lead the women’s group discussion.


We started our discussion with a round in which we gave our names and an example of being sexist recently. Issues that came up were issues such as:

- interrupting women when they’re talking
- not challenging sexist jokes and comments in a group setting
- not listening to women when they give us feedback – perceiving it as nagging
- stereotyping women
- seeing women as objects

We then talked about how often one of us had organized childcare in the past year, if we had noticed how often man / women had talked in group settings or how often we’d felt fearful when we’d approached a stranger of the opposite sex in the street.

Not surprisingly none of us had organized childcare or felt fearful when approaching a stranger of the opposite sex in the street. We did feel however that men tend to speak more in mixed groups when compared to women. We used this exercise to underline the fact that women’s and men’s lives are very different and how different our positions in life are. Maybe in a way how harder and less safe it must feel to be a woman and how privileged we men are in our daily lives.

Due to time constraints we unfortunately did not get much chance to discuss how socialisation into boyhood / manhood had felt for us, which was what we’d originally planned to do. We did however shortly touch on the subject of pornography within our culture and the effects it has on men and our relationships to women.


At the end of the workshop the women that took part in the workshop gave us the following feedback.

the women wanted us (the men) to:


the women did not want us (the men) to:


Luckily, we had time to go through these, as we felt it was important that we get direct feedback from the women’s group. It was helpful to see that some of the issues we had discussed as men also had been talked about in the women’s group. Unfortunately there was not enough tome to think together about how we could practically work on these issues and what men can do to become more of a part in the struggle for feminism. In a sense though, I feel that some ideas about this came up in the initial discussion at the start of the workshop. The senses of what we – as men – can do in the struggle for feminism is (1) to get more involved in feminism and expose ourselves to feminism by attending events, conferences, fundraisers, marches and protests, (2) get involved or support in all-gender groups that support equality and struggle for feminism (e.g. OBJECT - or the FAWCETT SOCIETY - talk openly about our feminism with our friends and spread our thoughts and ideas in our circle of friends and acquaintances. Only if we as men do these important things, as well as keep in mind the "dos & donts" the women in our workshop presented us with, will we as men be able to make a practical contribution to the struggle for feminism.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Feminism in London conference and a special thank you to everyone who came to our workshop. It was great working with you and we thought it was very valuable to hear all your thoughts and ideas! We were very pleased with the outcome of the workshop. Thank you also for your feedback on our workshop. If you have any further comments or questions with regards to our workshop, please send us an email.
Here is an earlier comment by Mike Hurford and my response:

I have read your blogger with interest, but I appear to view our society in a way that none of you do. There are some very sexist and offensive men in our society. I agree. You seem to treat these men as an enemy, challenging their behaviour, and if you find yourselves acting in this way, you attempt to change your behaviour. My problem with your comments is this. Don’t think that a lot of women are equally sexist and offensive to men? There are many sexist women around today. Why don’t you challenge their behaviour in the same way? Feminism would be acceptable to me if it wasn’t so sexist, and didn’t keep generalising about the entire male sex.( Something that they claim to be fighting against, only about women). It seems to me that they, like you, are hypocrites. I have met many sexist people, men and women, but it is only the men who are challenged. The women are supported in their behaviour, by groups such as yours, and society in general. This is my view on feminism, and I would like one of you to discuss with me in an adult way where I’m going wrong. I look forward to a chat with you re the above. Regards M Hurford

Dear Mike,

Thanks for your post, and for raising an issue which seems to confuse a lot of people.

In my view, and I would guess most feminists would agree with me, the issue is not about making wrong generalisations. The feminist claim is there exists a system of oppression of women by men, called patriarchy. This system has existed in all societies we know about for the last few thousand years. In patriarchal societies women, women’s work, women’s values etc are systematically undervalued. Women are forced into a very narrow set of roles and possibilities for their lives. Women’s lives are ruled by men. Men abuse women sexually and with violence. There are too many examples to list, because patriarchy and sexism pervade everything in society. Although in Western liberal democracies some of the rough edges of this system have been knocked off in the last 40 years it is still very much in operation.

What this means is that contrary to what you seem to be assuming, there is no parity between men’s negative ideas about women, and women’s negative ideas about men. Men’s negative ideas about women are part of the system of oppression, and have a great deal of power associated with them. By contrast, women are comparatively much less powerful, and much of their hostility towards men is an understandable reaction to oppression. That does not excuse a general hostility to men, but we should be putting much more attention and energy into trying to deal with the oppression of women. Actually, I do not think that it is appropriate to use the term “sexism” to describe women’s hostility to men, because that word denotes not just a set of attitudes, but the fact that they occur within a system of massive inequality of power in favour of men. I don’t know what word we should use, there doesn’t seems to be one in English, but the key point is that sexism is not just about attitudes.

By the way, just in case you’re getting the wrong idea about where the group and I are coming from, the point of our group is not to beat ourselves up as bad guys. In agreeing with the feminist claim that women are oppressed under the system of patriarchy, we are also claiming that although men benefit from that, there are many aspects of the roles that men are forced into in that system that are harmful to men as well as women. Just one example would be the fact that men are supposed to be invulnerable and never seek support if they are feeling hurt or weak. So, in supporting feminism, we are working for the liberation of men as well.

Best Wishes
David King
          Men and Feminism Workshop @ Ladyfest, 10/5/08   
Men and Feminism Workshop @ Ladyfest, 10/5/08
Notes from discussions

This workshop was run by Dan and Jon from the London profeminist men’s group. It was held on Saturday afternoon and lasted 1.5 hours. It took place in a fairly small room with between 18 and 25 people present throughout (as people came and left).

We went round and introduced ourselves saying a little something about why we were at the workshop.

FIRST DISCUSSION – in three small groups

How are boys and men socialized to become dominant?

Points made:
- The fear of the consequences of being different.
- Families, especially parents, treating children differently. Giving them different toys to play with, dressing them differently, etc.
- Stereotypes portrayed in the media of a certain type of dominant masculinity
- The potential threat of violence gives men power/dominance
- Men are expected to “stand up for themselves” which means carrying yourself in a certain way in the street. Putting up a front of bravado.
- Men are taught to be more goal oriented which leads to them being more straightforward in their demands. This in turn leads to them getting more when they do demand stuff, such as higher wages, and this increases their dominance further.
- Social expectations in general and peer pressure at school in specific – also from looking up to and copying older boys’ ways of interacting and ways of acting out a dominant masculinity.
- Control
- The question is kind of about nature vs nurture.
- In school boys tend to be noisy and get more attention because of this. This reinforces their self-importance
- Girls and boys are praised for different things and this reinforces certain dominant behaviours in boys.
- Boys and girls are encouraged to do different subjects at school.
- Competitive sport might be another way in which boys are taught to be dominant.
- Boys and girls bully in different ways

The links between competitive masculinity and capitalism were noted and it was suggested that men become more dominant because they’re taught to be behave in a way that increases their power in a capitalist society – being goal oriented, competitive, aggressive etc.

Are men really dominant? Obviously females can also fit within the dominant role.

SECOND DISCUSSION – in three small groups

It’s possible to see there being two moments profeminist groups are going through,

1) a moment where men identify and give up their privileges.
2) a consciousness raising moment, where men think about how we got to be this way, work on ourselves and talk about our negative life experiences

How should a profeminist group deal with these two issues:

Should they give up on the second one? Men’s negative experiences of gender should not be discussed in profeminist groups because they are very limited when compared to how other groups suffer under patriarchy.
Is the second issue even a "profeminist" issue? How is it supporting the feminist struggle to discuss men's problems?
Should these two issues be treated separately, making it clear that they are two different moments, or should we talk about them together?
Could the second issue be used as a "marketing strategy" to attract men to the group? Wouldn't that be politically dangerous?

Points made:
- Everyone is gendered: all forms and degrees of oppression can be fought
- Have an open group focussing on male experiences of (pro)feminism and patriarchy. Maybe call it a “gender discussion group” rather than a feminist group.
- Would men feel more comfortable in a men only space? Is most of the world already a men only space?
- The second moment is valid as a starting point for men arriving at feminism … but not as a marketing strategy?
- Challenge the understanding of the word “feminism/profeminism” and make people understand what it really is, not the cultural clichés that have grown from it.
- Moment 1) is very individualistic and assumes very altruistic men. But it’s in men’s self-interest to fight patriarchy too.
- While some men do come to feminism through altruism or a sense of injustice this might be unsustainable.
- Men “giving up power” is far too simplistic. Profeminism is not an act of charity or pity.
- Consciousness raising is very important, but we must remember the political dimension.
- Foucault said something about how the oppressions of society are inside us and we all know the personal is political so… maybe sharing feelings/being unmasculine together is political.
- Is this really feminist though? Is there a difference between challenging patriarchy (through developing a new form of (un)masculinity) and feminism? Maybe it’s not feminist but is profeminist?
- Remember, just talking about it might not lead to real changes in our lives.
- Men overthrowing their gender roles is a very important step towards ending patriarchy.

THIRD DISCUSSION – all together

What do we think profeminist groups should look like, do, talk about etc?

· should there be men only profeminist groups / Are men only profeminist groups useful for feminist struggles? Couldn't we compare this to bosses gathering together to think about freeing the workers... or white only groups working on black liberation.
· what do you think are the main dangers a profeminist group should avoid?
· what topics do you think the group should discuss?
· what actions should the group be doing other than meeting and talking with each other?
· what kind of support are feminist groups expecting from a Men's profeminist group? theoretical, practical, financial?
· what should be the goals of a profeminist men’s group?
· should a men's only group be "monitored" by women’s feminist groups?
· should a men's only group always be "attached" to a women’s feminist group?

On the first question, “should there be men only profeminist groups?”
- They are a good was to focus on men becoming feminist
- But men already have their own spaces in society and isn’t this just reproducing that?
- Depends on why the group exists, what role that group takes
- Important for the group not to take over women’s struggles and for men to take a back seat in mixed feminist organisations
- We need mixed spaces so maybe the group could link with a women’s group
- A non-judgmental space where men can express masculinity
- The group should protest outside strip clubs. A men only protest would cause a greater media stir than a mixed or women’s group doing the same. This would (rightly) piss off a lot of women who have been already doing this for years!

On the second question, “what are the main dangers a profeminist group should avoid?”
- Reconstructing (reproducing?) the fixed identity of “man”
- Getting too hung up on “men’s rights” issues
- Mainstream approach
- Condemning men who are violent/macho when they have no choice – e.g. men on a working class estate who believe they might sometimes need to fight to survive. [question: does being violent = being macho?]
- Being inactive for fear of a (real) feminist backlash from women! In other words fearing to undertake certain types of activity for fear of being told we’re doing the wrong thing by certain groups of feminists. But remember there’s plenty we can do which doesn’t involve stepping on any feminist toes.

Apparently at least one small group came to a rough consensus that a men’s only group was ok but that a mixed group would probably be better in lots of ways.

The group intends to take these comments on board, discuss them at the next meeting and decide how to change the group based on those discussions.
          Sarawak Buat Rayuan Kes Pujut - Abang Jo   

KUCHING: Kerajaan Negeri akan membuat rayuan terhadap keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi Kuching yang mengenepikan keputusan Dewan Undangan Negeri berhubung pelucutan Dr Ting Tiong Choon sebagai Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Pujut.

Ketua Menteri Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg berkata, rayuan itu akan dibuat oleh Peguam Besar Negeri mewakili kerajaan negeri di Mahkamah Rayuan nanti.

"Kita menghormati keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi Kuching. Mahkamah mengikut lunas undang-undang, jadi kerajaan negeri akan merayu keputusan tersebut di Mahkamah Rayuan," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika ditemui pemberita selepas program ihsan Ramadan Satok di Dewan Dato Hajah Juma'ani Sekolah Kebangsaan Rakyat di sini petang tadi.

Ditanya apakah tindakan selanjutnya, Abang Johari berkata pihaknya akan mengumumkannya dalam masa terdekat.

Semalam, Hakim Datuk Douglas Christo Primus Sikayun dalam penghakimannya berkata, Speaker DUN, Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nassar membuat keputusan melampaui bidang kuasanya. 

Justeru katanya, Dr Ting selaku plantif adalah layak untuk bertanding dalam Pilihan Raya Negeri (PRN) dan kekal sebagai ADUN Pujut  yang dipilih oleh rakyat. 

Susulan keputusan itu semalam, Mahkamah Tinggi Kuching mengarahkan defendan pertama dan kedua iaitu Speaker DUN Datuk Amar Awang Asfia Awang Nasar dan Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh membayar kos guaman RM100,000 kepada plaintif. -UB


          Kontraktor Tidak Bertanggungjawab Sebabkan 30 Sekolah Luar Bandar Bergelap   

KUCHING 4 Jan. - Tindakan segelintir kontraktor tidak bertanggungjawab menyebabkan kira-kira 30 sekolah luar bandar di negeri ini yang menggunakan set generator diesel bergelap pada hari pembukaan sekolah semalam.

Pengerusi Eksekutif Jepak Holdings Sendirian Berhad, Abang Nawawi Abang Drahman berkata, kejadian tersebut berlaku disebabkan mereka telah gagal mengikuti arahan Kementerian Pendidikan dengan surat bertarikh 16 Disember tahun lalu.

"Jika kontraktor yang dilantik sebelum ini mengikuti arahan diberikan, minyak berkenaan dapat bertahan bagi tempoh 10 ke 15 hari selepas tamat kontrak pada 31 Disember lalu.

"Kegagalan memastikan bekalan minyak untuk menghidupkan elektrik di sekolah berkenaan bukan salah Putrajaya seperti yang dinyatakan seorang pemimpn politik," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika sidang akhbar mengenai isu kekurangan bekalan diesel kepada sekolah-sekolah luar bandar hari ini.

Jepak Holdings Sendirian Berhad yang merupakan syarikat Bumiputera telah dianugerahkan kontrak bagi membekal diesel, menyelenggara dan menaik taraf set generator kepad 369 sekolah luar bandar dari 1 Januari tahun ini.

Mengulas lanjut, beliau berkata, pihaknya telah membekalkan minyak diesel kepada sekolah-sekolah berkenaan dan semua masalah telah diatasi. -UM OnLine 


          Leggi Keplero che ti fa bene   
In questi giorni stiamo seguendo tutti con il fiato sospeso le notizie nucleari provenienti dal Giappone. E' particolarmente difficile trovare fonti di informazione se non corrette almeno ragionevoli. I quotidiani online al solito si distinguono per un'approssimazione quasi criminale (in particolare Repubblica che tiene la linea "AAAAAAH MORIREMO TUTTI!!"). Fortunatamente oggi abbiamo internet e la possibilità di sapere molto di più che ai tempi di Chernobyl.

Purtroppo chi governa le centrali tende a non essere molto trasparente, e ci sono forti dubbi che conosciamo tutto quello che succede. Qualcosa però sappiamo. Amedeo Balbi ha riassunto in maniera ammirabilmente asettica alcune cose nel suo post "Un po' di cose che so sulle centrali nucleari", di cui sottoscrivo anche le virgole.

Se sai l'inglese hai più opzioni. Non è per niente male l'articolo apparso oggi su Ars Technica (che è capace di trattare in maniera imparziale cose persino più controverse, come i prodotti Apple).  Particolarmente sensata mi sembra la conclusione:

This latter set of issues mean that the surest way to build a safe nuclear plant is to ensure that nothing goes wrong in the first place. There are ways to reduce the risk by adding more safety and monitoring features while tailoring the design to some of the most extreme local events. But these will add to the cost of a nuclear plant, and won't ever be able to ensure that nothing goes wrong. So, deciding on if and how to pursue expanded nuclear power will require a careful risk analysis, something the public is generally ill-equipped for. (grassetto mio)

Io continuo ad essere contrario alla costruzione di centrali nucleari in Italia, sostanzialmente per motivi di costo e (naturalmente) di sfiducia. Niente mi toglie dalla testa che chi le vuole sa benissimo che non saranno mai effettivamente costruite e che si tratta di stipulare contratti, distribuire soldi e pagare penali a industrie bustarellanti.

Aggiornamento: su segnalazione dello Zar metto il link al disegno di Randall Munroe con un confronto grafico fra le quantità di radiazioni assorbite in varie situazioni.

          Los medios de información restan importancia a la violencia femenina colocando noticias de violencia de género   
Martes, 20 de Junio, 2017

Cuando abres el enlace fuente para leer el artículo y acceder a la información lo primero que nos encontramos son dos noticias relacionadas con la violencia de género. Es una de las estrategias de los medios de información de género para restar importancia al lector sobre la violencia femenina.

Estos de medios de información y comunicación se lucran también de los 24.000 millones anuales que Europa destina a España para esta materia, con lo cual contribuyen a los intereses de género.

En la noticia una mujer española de 46 años ha sido detenida por la Guardia Civil acusada de apuñalar a un varón de 51 años, su pareja. De haber sido al revés, el hombre el acusado de apuñalar a su pareja, hubiera sido un delito de violencia de género, y seguro que además de no encontrar los enlaces de otras noticias en primer lugar, el medio fuente hubiera colocado una foto como mínimo del lugar de los hechos, sino hubiera encontrado otra que causará mayor impacto al lector.

Nos tenemos que ir a medios por no subvencionados o sometidos al poder de la ideología de género, para leer titulares muy distintos y encontrar una imagen que represente la violencia femenina.

Violencia Feminista: grave un hombre tras ser apuñalado por su mujer en Madrid

Tampoco aparece la calificación de maltratadoar o agresora, ni siquiera como supuesta, pues la intención es clara de convertir los términos en exclusivamente masculinos. Aquí en este aspecto los agentes lingüísticos de género no creen importante su intervención.

Intervino el Summa, y la víctima, un varón apuñalado, fue trasladado al Hospital de Villalba.

varón de 51 años que presentaba una puñalada profunda, de unos ocho centímetros de longitud, en la zona abdominal, al parecer, causada por un cuchillo.

artículo completo
Detenida una mujer por apuñalar presuntamente a su pareja en Collado Villalba
          Mañana martes 20 de Junio se debate en el Congreso la PNL a favor de la custodia compartida   
Lunes, 19 de Junio, 2017

Mañana martes tendrá lugar en el Congreso de los Diputados el debate por la proposición no de ley a favor de la custodia compartida. Tenemos a CIUDADANOS, quien presenta la PNL,y con casi seguridad al PP, a favor de que el Código Civil deje de contemplar la custodia compartida como una excepción.

La proposición no de ley a favor de la custodia compartida será presentada por CIUDADANOS, y creemos que contará con el apoyo del Partido Popular.
El proyecto es fruto de las negociaciones de varias asociaciones que trabajan a favor de la custodia compartida desde hace ya décadas: UEFACC, Confederación con papá y mama, Abuelos Separados de sus nietos, Custodia Paterna y SOS Papá.
Tras las reuniones y negociaciones con este grupo parlamentario desde el mes de Diciembre del pasado año, ahora se consigue que inste al Gobierno para que en un plazo máximo de 3 meses presente un proyecto de ley de custodia compartida como régimen normalizado para los hijos tras la ruptura de pareja de sus progenitores, que rompa con la actual excepción que contempla aún el artículo 92 del Código Civil desde la reforma del año 2005 del PSOE.
Ya sucedió el año pasado en la asamblea de Madrid, y también gracias a las dos formaciones citadas en el párrafo anterior.

Enlaces e información relacionada con la moción aprobada a favor del derecho de los hijos de padres separados a la custodia compartida en la Asamblea de Madrid:
C's Madrid cumple el acuerdo firmado en 2011 con las asociaciones de custodia compartida
Madrid da un paso adelante para acabar con la injusticia de hijos huérfanos de padre vivo
 PSOE y PODEMOS en contra de la moción aprobada por la custodia compartida en la Asamblea de Madrid
Las asociaciones feministas enfadadas porque la Asamblea de Madrid muestra su apoyo a la custodia compartida
La moción aprobada en Madrid por la custodia compartida provoca una reunión en Málaga

El trabajo constante en los años rinde sus frutos:

imagen del año 2011
C's Madrid acuerda con la asociaciones de padres separados su compromiso por la custodia compartida

año 2015, día del padre en Cibeles

Aguado (C's) se manifiesta a favor de la custodia compartida

imagen del pasado 16 de Junio, tras la aprobación en la Asamblea de Madrid
Con Cristina Cifuentes (2ª izquierda) e Isabel González (3ª derecha), del PP
vídeo completo de la Moción

La semana del 19 de Junio se debate una PNL de custodia compartida en el Congreso de los Diputados
          LA CICATRIZ DE LA CESÁREA SERÁ CONSIDERADA «VIOLENCIA MACHISTA» (Muchos hombres encerrados en calabozos creerán que es cierto)   
Lunes, 19 de Junio, 2017

La noticia no es cierta, pero seguro que muchos hombres encerrados en los calabozos bajo el protocolo de la ley de violencia de género, y personas que conocen cuales son las barbaridades y atropellos de esta ley contra los varones, pueden pensar perfectamente que es cierto el mensaje que lanza el titular de la noticia.

Se apoyan como si que es cierto que el feminismo pretende considerar la custodia compartida como una forma más de violencia de género, o como un "pedo" es considerado como violencia de género. Adjuntamos algunas noticias al final de la entrada relacionadas.

Partes de la noticia (que no son ciertas, pero presentadas perfectamente como creíbles):
  • consideradas las cicatrices por cesárea, «violencia contra las mujeres», por ser consecuencia de la conducta machista de quien hubiera sido su pareja, cónyuge, o fruto del vicio o depravación sexual. «toda relación sexual es una violación, el propio acto sexual constituye una invasión machista al cuerpo de la mujer, y por tanto debe ser perseguida», «ya no son sólo las cesáreas, si no el propio hecho de que una mujer pueda quedar embarazada», «Si no aborta es por culpa del sistema que oprime a las mujeres, relegandolas a un segundo plano»
  • «lo importante es animar a las mujeres a denunciar, no importa si hablamos de una cesárea, un herpes vaginal, o que los hombres no paguen todo lo que quieren», «muchas mujeres no se dan cuenta de que sufren violencia hasta la tercera cesárea», «desde nuestra asociación queremos animar a las mujeres a denunciar este tipo de conductas, que suponen una invasión intervencionista machista heteropatriarcal contra el cuerpo de la mujer».

artículo completo

'Themis': "Custodia Compartida, otra forma de violencia de género"

Aumentan la pena de prisión en 6 meses porque la denunciante visitó al hombre en la cárcel
Calabozo y 5 días de arresto para el hombre por mandar a la mierda a su mujer
Condenado a 9 meses de prisión por dar "me gusta" en el perfil de su ex pareja
Condenado a un mes por tirarse un pedo delante de su mujer
Condenado a cuatro meses por tirarle una barra de pan a su pareja
Calabozo y 5 días de arresto para el hombre por mandar a la mierda a su mujer
"Muerta de hambre", es violencia de género
- Enseñar el culo a tu ex es violencia de género
Violencia de Género condena por vejaciones a un hombre que “mandó a chuparla” a su ex mujer en una discusión
Seis meses de cárcel por tomar una cerveza cerca de su ex pareja pese a la orden de alejamiento
-  Absuelto de romper la orden de alejamiento con su exmujer para darle una flor
Denuncia por acoso a su ex pareja, que había fallecido días antes

          Un secretario judicial en contra de la custodia compartida, José Miguel de Frutos, Juzgados de Logroño   
Lunes, 19 de Junio, 2017

Las declaraciones de este señor evidencian su malestar a la hora de acabar con la imposición de la custodia a la madre, con el negocio de género que mantiene a los menores bajo un maltrato judicial tras la sentencia que divorcia a los padres, pues desde ese momento los menores pasan a ser declarados hijos huérfanos de padre vivo. Hijos con un padre, pero con un padre a quien la justicia convierte en un visitante desde el momento que dicta sentencia.

En este caso el protagonista de la entrada es un secretario judicial, cargo que ha pasado a la denominación de "Letrado de la Administración de Justicia". Ejerce su cargo en los juzgados de Logroño.

Tras sus declaraciones se hace visible su postura feminista opuesta a una reforma en el Código Civil, que elimina la excepción que contempla el artículo 92 con respecto a establecer la custodia compartida. Argumentar que la custodia compartida no puede aplicarse en la misma medida que ahora mismo se impone la custodia materna es pretender mantener vigente la práctica machista que aparta a los hijos de sus figuras paternas sólo porque sus padres se separan. Si no fuera por lo delicado que es el tema, y el dolor que acarrea para las familias, menores y adultos, diríamos que es para reír tras las declaraciones de este hombre.

Que una persona a quien se atribuye terminados unos estudios de Derecho, y que además ha accedido a una plaza de la administración del sistema judicial, y sobre quien recae la gran responsabilidad de muchas de las decisiones que los juzgados adoptan y que contribuyen en no pocas ocasiones a la orfandad del menor de un padre que vive  y que lucha y emplea con todas sus fuerzas el ejercer sus responsabilidades parentales con sus hijos, manifiesta en público la duda de que los jueces no van a poder valorar en cada caso que protege el interés del menor, tiene como dirían por tierras andaluzas, "guasa":

«Encuentro bastante difícil el legislar la situación de la guarda y custodia compartida. Hay dos caminos: dejarle al juez amplias facultades para que la establezca o la acuerde o regular con unos requisitos y un casuismo exhaustivo que tampoco creo que sería conveniente»,

A este tipo de personas afincadas en el sistema de género que busca por todos medios apartar a los hijos de su figura paterna, les aterroriza que nuestro actual Código Civil deje el machismo que aún pervive y considera que la custodia compartida en pleno siglo XXI es nociva para los hijos.

Este hombre numera, según su opinión personal, unas razones por las cuales el sistema judicial no debe considerar que para privar a los hijos del derecho a la custodia compartida deba justificarse unas argumentos de peso, y pretende que dicho sistema de custodia compartida bajo el cual son criados y educados los menores antes de la llegada de sus progenitores al juzgado, puede desde la instancia judicial romperse y de inmediato aplicar la práctica más que machista de la custodia a la madre.

  • porque pueda tener problemas el niño (problemas de desarrollo, de salud o de tipo educacional)
  • por problemas de perfil de personalidad entre los padres
  • por alta conflictividad entre los progenitores, o cuando se ve que hay una falta de disponibilidad física o laboral de un progenitor, por ejemplo, modos de vida, horarios laborales...

Una de las excusas que coloca es la del mutuo acuerdo o la del entendimiento entre el padre y la madre, y hay es donde se quita el disfraz, ya que en la actualidad la práctica de la imposición de la custodia a la madre genera que la madre cuando se enfrenta al procesa se sienta con el poder, un poder que lleva al hombre a la aceptación de una serie de puntos que impuestos por la madre, pues sino acudirán al juzgado, y allí todavía un 90% de posibilidades dispone la madre para obtener la custodia monoparental materna.

Un ejemplo el caso del vídeo de la entrada expuesto por debajo del  enlace al artículo fuente.

artículo completo

«Encuentro difícil legislar la situación de la guarda y custodia compartida»
          Estados Unidos encierra en prisión a las profesoras que abusan sexualmente de menores   
Domingo, 18 de Junio, 2017

Detenida una profesora de matemáticas, Erin Elizabeth McAuliffe, por abusar de 3 menores de edad, alumnos del centro escolar, el cual procedió de inmediato a la expulsión de su centro como profesora.

Tiene 25 años, y fue el director del centro,Todd Pipkin,  donde imparta clases como docente en la localidad de Rocky Mount, en Carolina del Norte (EE.UU.), quien advirtió de los hechos delictivos de su profesora, que de haber sido protagonizados por un maestro varón, se hubieran calificado de pederasta.

La mujer fue detenida y encerrada en prisión a la espera de ser juzgada, y la fianza impuesta asciende a 20.000 euros. Sin duda en España las consecuencias hubieran sido más leves por ser mujer.

  • Contra McAuliffe se han presentado tres cargos de actividad sexual con estudiantes y otro cargo de libertades indecentes con un menor. Delitos considerados muy graves.
  • contactaba con algunos por Facebook, donde ella compartía sugerentes fotografías.
artículo completo

- Dos años de cárcel a un profesora casada y con dos hijos por hacer felaciones a un alumno de 15 años
Detenida una profesora de 42 años por violar a 3 chicos en un instituto
Una madre abusa de 5 amigos menores de edad de su hija en la fiesta organizada en su casa
Los medios no tratan como pederastia cuando una mujer adulta abusa de un menor
Expulsan a una maestra que llevó a un menor a un hotel
Una maestra, detenida por tener relaciones sexuales con seis alumnos en Nueva Jersey
-  Dos profesoras, arrestadas por darle alcohol a sus alumnos y tener sexo con ellos
-  Readmiten a una secretaria que mantuvo una relación sexual con un menor del centro escolar
Despiden a una masajista de 40 años de un equipo de fútbol que realizó una felación a un jugador de 20 años
-   Detenida una profesora por tener sexo con un alumno
Arrestadas dos profesoras en EEUU por montarse un trío con un estudiante
 - Mujer de 36 años voló a través de EE.UU. para tener relaciones sexuales con un niño de 13 años
Condenada a 6 años por desnudar a su hija en internet para disfrute de su novio
Maestra detenida tras tener sexo con alumno de 16 años sin preservativo
14 meses de prisión para una profesora que tuvo sexo con un alumno menor de edad
 - Maestras que tuvieron relaciones sexuales con sus alumnos
Una profesora arrestada cuando su marido la descubrió teniendo sexo con un menor
Detenida una mujer de 38 años por tener sexo con el exnovio de su hija adolescente
Absuelven a la madre acusada de propiciar relaciones sexuales de su hija, de 10 años, con un anciano
Dos profesoras, arrestadas por darle alcohol a sus alumnos y tener sexo con ellos
-  Readmiten a una secretaria que mantuvo una relación sexual con un menor del centro escolar
Despiden a una masajista de 40 años de un equipo de fútbol que realizó una felación a un jugador de 20 años
Condenada a 16 años de prisión por prostituir a su hija menor de edad

Profesora de 27 años mantenía relaciones con un alumno de 17
La profesora que se acostó con un niño de 15 años: «Empezó él»
Condenan a una maestra por aventura lésbica con alumna
Una profesora acusada de violación por emborrachar a adolescentes para tener sexo
Acusan a profesora de violar a un alumno de 14 años
Arrestan a profesora por tener sexo con un alumno y proporcionarle marihuana

Detenida una profesora de matemáticas por tener sexo con tres alumnos menores
Prep school math teacher arrested for having sex with students
          Detenido y en el calabozo por violencia de género el presentador de La Cuatro, "El rey chatarrero"   
Domingo, 18 de Junio, 2017

Su nombre es Javier García Roche, fue fichado por La Cuatro (Mediaset), como presentador de un programa contra el maltrato animal, "A cara de perro", y ha sido detenido por los  los Mossos d’Esquadra en Cornellà del Llobregat (Barcelona), bajo la acusación de delito por la ley de violencia de género.

Mediaset ficha al ‘boxeador chatarrero’ para un programa contra el maltrato a los animales

Ha pasado una noche en los calabozos, las acusaciones son amenazas e insultos a su expareja. Según la acusación Javier Roche se presentó en la casa de la chica y destrozó el piso donde reside la chica. Otra de las acusaciones es la difusión de contenido audiovisual pornográfico de su expareja en internet. En concreto son vídeos.

Ya hay manifestaciones para que si son ciertas las acusaciones Cuatro retire el programa que presenta el Rey Chatarrero.
La red social se llenaba rápidamente de comentarios que exigían una aclaración de la noticia y, en caso de confirmarse, que la cadena retirase el programa.

artículo completo
Javier Roche, el ‘Rey Chatarrero’, detenido por violencia de género
          Lo que para un varón supone la cárcel por ser juzgado por violencia de género, para una mujer se queda en 5 días sin salir de casa   
Jueves, 15 de Junio, 2017

La Audiencia Provincial de Alicante ratifica la condena impuesta por el juzgado de Instrucción número 4 de Alicante, contra una mujer y madre de un menor hijo de padres separados, que utilizó la red social de Facebook para injuriar a su exmarido y padre del hijo que mantienen en común.

La condena consiste en que la mujer debe cumplir la pena de  5 días sin salir de su casa, más una indemnización a su marido de 300 euros por los daños y ofensas causadas.

Advierte también a la condenada que de incumplir las medidas acordadas en sentencia, incurrirá en delito de desobediencia, y podría ser penado con pena de cárcel. Una pena que de ser al contrario los hechos, que fuese el hombre quien hubiera vertido los comentarios (enlaces al final de la noticia) en la red contra su exmujer, el hombre ya habría pasado por los calabozos nada más interponer la mujer la denuncia, ya que hubiese entrado en juego el protocolo que establece la ley de violencia de género, y hubiese pasado a ser localizado y detenido para ser encerrado en un calabozo como medida provisional.
  • La mujer escribió de su excónyuge que era un "hipócrita" y que "mientras el niño estaba en el hospital, él se acostaba con otra"
  • es "indudable" el contenido ofensivo en las expresiones que escribió la mujer.
  • la gravedad de la publicación radica "en su exposición a los usuarios de la red social Facebook con la concurrencia de amistades, compañeros de trabajo y, sobre todo, familiares que tanto el denunciante como la denunciada tienen en común, tras haber mantenido una relación conyugal".
artículo completo

Aumentan la pena de prisión en 6 meses porque la denunciante visitó al hombre en la cárcel
Calabozo y 5 días de arresto para el hombre por mandar a la mierda a su mujer
Condenado a 9 meses de prisión por dar "me gusta" en el perfil de su ex pareja
Condenado a un mes por tirarse un pedo delante de su mujer
Condenado a cuatro meses por tirarle una barra de pan a su pareja
Calabozo y 5 días de arresto para el hombre por mandar a la mierda a su mujer
"Muerta de hambre", es violencia de género
- Enseñar el culo a tu ex es violencia de género
Violencia de Género condena por vejaciones a un hombre que “mandó a chuparla” a su ex mujer en una discusión
Seis meses de cárcel por tomar una cerveza cerca de su ex pareja pese a la orden de alejamiento
-  Absuelto de romper la orden de alejamiento con su exmujer para darle una flor
Denuncia por acoso a su ex pareja, que había fallecido días antes

Condenada a no salir de casa durante 5 días por injuriar a su exmarido en Facebook
          Los hijos que viven bajo la guarda y custodia de sus padres también quieren un semáforo igual que los gays   
Jueves, 15 de Junio, 2017

La alcaldesa madrileña, Manuela Carmena, ex magistrada, ha gastado el dinero de sus contribuyentes en instalar semáforos con gays. En ellos estarán representados los diferentes modelos que existen dentro del colectivo LGTB, y para ello ha utilizado 21.747 euros procedentes del dinero de los impuestos recaudados de los contribuyentes para la instalación de semáforos que representen la unión de este colectivo en 72 cruces y con 288 lentes.

La oposición ha dejado solos a los miembros de PODEMOS en esta iniciativa  apoyada por los concejales Rita Maestre, Pablo Soto, Mauricio Valiente, Jorge García Castaño, Marta Higueras o Nacho Murgui -entre otros-, y los representantes de los colectivos LGTB.

Toda la inversión y gasto generado para la instalación de estos semáforos de género, tienen que ver con la celebración del fin de semana del orgullo gay en Madrid, que dará comienzo el próximo viernes 23 de Junio, y durará hasta el domingo, llamado "World Pride".

Si la Comunidad de Madrid cierra las puertas del metro mucho antes, días tan señalados como nochevieja o nochebuena, cuya afluencia sería masiva y necesaria y reduciría el número de accidentes de coches y los heridos y muertos en esos días, en estos días es justo al contrario. El 1 de Julio el metro estará abierto las 24 horas con el motivo del acto central de la manifestación internacional del orgullo gay. El coste que se genera por dicha acción asciende a 400.000 euros.
  • Los pictogramas se dividen en cuatro bloques de 18 cruces y mostrarán diferentes figuras. Como ha explicado la edil de Medio Ambiente y Movilidad, Inés Sabanés, habrá “semáforos igualitarios, 
  • semáforos inclusivos y semáforos paritarios
  • Hay parejas heterosexuales, homosexuales, mujeres o niños. El Ayuntamiento quiere mostrar así, la diversidad real que ya se vive en las calles
  • Las celebraciones del Orgullo Gay Mundial se prolongarán del viernes 23 de junio al domingo 2 de julio de 2017 y congregarán en la villa a más de dos millones de personas.
Otros enlaces vinculados:
- La policía de Leganés circula con banderas y publicidad del orgullo gay
- PP y VOX piden la retirada de la exposición 'Orgullo de Sevilla' por ser "obscena" y "ofender la moral"
Carmena aumenta la subvención a la fiesta del orgullo gay de 60.000 a 250.000 euros, y las compara con las Fallas o los Sanfermines

Otros enlaces relacionados:
Carmen Serrano a Ada Colau: "Qué manera de ridiculizarnos nosotras mismas"
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          A MAIS PURA REALIDADE...   

Espero que todos estejam bem...
Eu estou ótima Graças a Deus!!!
Vi essa frase e quis dividir com vocês pois ela é a mais pura realidade...
Espero que gostem...
Fiquem com Deus!!!
Beijos iluminados

          Felicitación de Navidad para Gabriel   
Felicitación de Navidad para GabrielPUEDE DESCARGAR ESTA IMAGEN EN PDF AQUÍ Valora esta foto o post
          General Manager - Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre - Wyebridge, ON   
This role leads a department and is therefore required to support both day to day operations and strategy/planning for the future.... $37,000 - $40,000 a year
From Indeed - Wed, 07 Jun 2017 17:05:46 GMT - View all Wyebridge, ON jobs
          LordAbnevWorks from Twitter Massive Following and 5 Tips for Healthy Eating While Traveling   
Healthy eating while traveling is an ever growing issue for many people as more and more meals are eaten away from home. Unfortunately eating out and on the road can be very challenging if you are not prepared. Here are 5 tips to help you stay lean and healthy while traveling.

1. Always go low carb Restaurant and packaged foods are always loaded with extra hidden carbs. Always choose the lower carb options when eating out avoid traditional snack foods, breads, pasta dishes, etc. Stick to lean meats and vegetables when eating out.

2. Tell them not to bring it, A bread basket, French fries, or a side of potato chips are standard for many restaurant meals. Do not temp yourself just ask your server not to bring it to the table or with your meal.

3. Know what you are going to eat, When traveling it is best to have some snacks with you and when you go out to eat have a general idea of what you are going to order. You will be less likely to be swayed by tempting calorie filled menu options.

4. Have a back up - Nothing is worse than being stuck in the car or in an airport with nothing to eat. You will get hungry and end up making bad choices. There is nothing else around I guess I will have to eat the steak and cheese. Keep a couple protein bars with you for back up. They travel well and do not spoil. You just need to beware that the protein bars you are eating aren't loaded with sugar. Check the label for sugar content. Make sure it has less than 30gram of total carbohydrates. Your protein bar should also have at least 20 gram of protein otherwise it is not a protein bar - it is most likely a sugar laden bar!

5. Don Eat! Seriously. This one is not for everyone. If you are someone that uses intermittent fasting to lose weight then you can follow fasting expert Brad Pilons lead and plan your fasts while you are traveling. Brad once told me that whenever he has to fly he always arranges it to be during a fast so he is not tempted by awful travel food.

You can use some of these tips or use them all! Whatever you do, do not let traveling be your excuse for not staying lean and healthy.

Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28 day diet and training fast weight loss system crafted to help you lose 10,15, or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 day. To start losing weight fast visit

Mike Roussell is a nutrition doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University. His Warp Speed Fat Loss system is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint. You can learn more at

whole foods grocery: whole foods grocery

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Article Source:

          Yard Coordinator - Williams Machinery - Okanagan, BC   
Excellent general computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel); Support parts counter and other departments....
From Indeed - Fri, 26 May 2017 23:30:50 GMT - View all Okanagan, BC jobs
          MSH Cards - X-Men, Phase 1, plus Danger Room   
Here are cards for the first and second generation X-Men.

Their tokens:

The Danger Room from the Nintendo X-Men game...
It's 14 squares wide by 24 squares long. I would suggest dividing the length into two 14 x 12 segments for purposes of random trap placements.

The two corridors (2x3 each) are not counted. you could also add traps there by using a 1D6 on each.

The best resources for the Danger Room for me has always been the piece in Children of the Atom and the Dragon Magazine feature.
Also, if you have Mutants & Masterminds, there's some nice Danger Room material in it, too.

          Random Superhero Adventure Generation   
These are from a couple old DC Heroes books.
First we have a random generator for adventures from the 1st Edition Gamemaster book.
Worth noting is that it needs some modifying to be perfected.

First, the villain list. Obviously, you'll want to put villains in that are appropriate for your campaign. Whether Marvel, DC or others. And then of course, ones that are the right power level. However, you also may want to ditch that chart altogether and make your own.
Because it's 2D10. Which means the ones in the middle will be more recurring and #s 2 and 20 will hardly ever appear. It's best to use 1D20, a percentile (1D100) chart or a chart with multiple 1D6 or 1D10 sub-charts.

Second, you may want to change the locations.
I recommend using Adamant Entertainment's Modern Dispatch #42: Pulp Adventure Generator for businesses and/or crimes.
Also, Adamant put out several other random generators in the Modern Dispatch, including one for Superheroes. Constructive GMs can utilize it with this to make some exciting adventures.

Something else I prefer to do is on the villain power list, roll 1D10: on a roll of 1-9 randomly select from any powers, on a roll of 10 randomly select two powers. These would be the main powers. Then do it again for secondary powers. This opens up more powers to use.

If your using DC Heroes, just put higher APs in the first set of powers. If you're using Marvel Super-Heroes, you may want to use two separate charts to randomly determine power levels. For instance, for primary powers, use one that ranges up to Amazing or Monstrous. And for Secondary powers, you could use one that stops at Excellent or Remarkable.

Plus, this is a random chart for urban crimes that appeared in Night in Gotham. The book, itself, is quite useful as it has a treasure trove of adventure seeds. The chart is set up with each district of Gotham having its own percentages for certain crimes. This could easily be translated into any large city like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Or a fictional city from the comics or one you create, yourself.

And here's a random crime chart that appeared in an issue of Dragon Magazine. It can be inserted in to replace the DC Heroes crime list.

          Sci-Fi Gaming Resources -Updated   

Note: Sadly, the best resource, Solo Nexus, has been removed from solo players.

The Yahoo Groups appear to still be out there somewhere. I'm still getting e-mails from them. However, it looks like Yahoo's changed their links and I haven't gotten them updated, yet. Here's the updated list of links, with several new ones-

Traveller at Mongoose Publishing
Mongoose Traveller resources at RPGNow
Spica Publishing Resources for Traveller at RPGNow
All Traveller resources at RPGNow
Mongoose's Signs & Portents Magazine at RPGNow
Freelance Traveller
Into the Deep
The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society
Far Future Enterprises -has a nice guide to Understanding Traveller
Spica Publishing
SFRPG Message Board
Random Traveller System Generator
Traveller: Heaven & Earth -great world building software
Travelling Alone -nice optional solo Traveller flowchart
How to make a Traveller Sandbox

Shadowrun resources at RPGNow
Elektra for Shadowrun
Sci-Fi resources at RPGNow
Alternity resources
Star Smuggler resources
Star Frontiersman
Marvel-Phile & Other Marvel Dragon Magazine Articles
Seventh Sanctum -lots of random generators
Paper Friends -printable character standups for every genre

D6 Space
D6 Adventure
D6 Fantasy
Polgarus Games D6 Resources
Star Wars D6 Holcron
Random Star Wars D6 System Generator
Star Wars D6 Community on G+
Into the Shadows

Mythic/Solo Play
Shaun's Solo Traveller

MGT-Aids · Fan Aids for Mongoose Pub's Traveller
Guide to Traveller UPP (Universal Planetary Profile)
DC Heroes - Blood of Heroes - M.E.G.S. Yahoo group
Doctor Who Solitaire Story Game
Mythic Fan Club/Resources
Solo Nexus

          Program Director, Asia/Africa - International Bridges to Justice - Geneva, QC   
Program Director Asia/Africa. Program activities will seek to:. Identify issues and risks related to program implementation in a timely manner, and suggest...
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:26:44 GMT - View all Geneva, QC jobs
          Legal Trainer, Asia/Africa (3-6 Months Short Term Assignment) - International Bridges to Justice - Geneva, QC   
Program activities will seek to:. Identify issues and risks related to program implementation in a timely manner, and suggest appropriate program adjustments....
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:18:17 GMT - View all Geneva, QC jobs
          Program Manager, Asia/Africa - International Bridges to Justice - Geneva, QC   
Program Manager Asia/Africa. Program activities will seek to:. Identify issues and risks related to program implementation in a timely manner and suggest...
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:15:49 GMT - View all Geneva, QC jobs
          Pro Bono Volunteer, Asia/Africa (Short Term Assignment) - International Bridges to Justice - Geneva, QC   
Program activities will seek to:. Identify issues and risks related to program implementation in a timely manner, and suggest appropriate program adjustments....
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:09:58 GMT - View all Geneva, QC jobs
          Post-Brexit Blues? Schwachsinn!   

Also ganz ehrlich, mir geht das ganze Gejeiere rund um den Brexit und was man jetzt tun könnte, um das Vereinigte Königreich für die EU zu retten, ziemlich auf den Geist. Die Berichte über Leute, die angeblich nicht wussten, was sie da ankreuzen. Und dass die Mehrheit der Briten eigentlich eh für die EU wäre, wenn sie sich rechtzeitig informiert hätten.

Oder Robert Misik, der überhaupt meint, die Labour Party sollte das jetzt ausnutzen, um mit dem Slogan, das Referendums-Ergebnis nicht zu befolgen, eine Wahl zu gewinnen.

Gehts noch?


Erstens: Es war ein Volksentscheid, und ein solcher ist in einer Demokratie nun mal einzuhalten und umzusetzen, auch wenn dabei etwas herausgekommen ist, das ich für einen Fehler halte. Eine Abstimmung so oft zu wiederholen, bis herauskommt, was eine bestimmte gesellschaftliche Schicht will, halte ich für gefährlich und undemokratisch. In einer Demokratie hat nun mal das Volk das Recht und die Macht, Dinge zu beschließen, die schlecht für das Land sind (übrigens auch inklusive der Auflassung der Demokratie). Im Nachhinein zu behaupten, die hätten sich nicht ausgekannt oder wären sogar zu blöd zum Wählen, zählt nicht, denn erstens ist das eine unzulässige Pauschaldiskreditierung, zweitens hatten sie Monate Zeit, um sich zu informieren (und ich nehme an, dass sie das in dem Ausmaß getan haben, das sie für nötig befunden haben), und drittens sind die Leute nur so blöd, wie es das Bildungssystem eines Landes zulässt.

Wenn jetzt manche Politiker dumm dreinschauen, weil sie mit der Entscheidung der Bürger, die sie sich mit jahrzehntelangen Einsparungen im Bildungs- und Sozialsektor herangezogen haben, nicht zufrieden sind, dann habe ich mit diesen Politikern wenig Mitleid. Schon gar nicht, wenn es sich dabei um Politiker handelt, die mit Lügengebäuden mit dem Schicksal von Millionen spielten, um ihre eigenen Eitelkeiten zu pflegen.

Ebensowenig Mitleid habe ich übrigens mit den Journalisten, die jetzt Entsetzen heucheln, nachdem sie ebendiese Leute ebenso jahrzehntelang gegen die EU, gegen die Zuwanderer und gegen die Politik insgesamt aufgehetzt haben. Darüber, dass die Gier nach hohen Verkaufszahlen nun mal gesellschaftspolitische Auswirkungen hat, hätten sie vielleicht nachdenken sollen, bevor sie ihre Blödmaschinen angeworfen haben.

Zweitens: Seit der Grexit-Drohung interessiert mich, was wirklich passiert, wenn ein Land die EU verlässt. Das war nämlich bisher immer graue Theorie, eingehüllt in den Nimbus des Grenzkatastrophalen. Zusammenbruch der Wirtschaft, Weltuntergang, irgend so etwas wurde da immer ausgemalt, ohne dass klar war, was nun wirklich passiert. Jetzt bietet sich die Chance, das herauszufinden.

Beim Grexit waren wir ja kurz davor, dass ein Land in diese Situation gezwungen wird. Nun hingegen hat sich die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung des Vereinigten Königreichs in einer Abstimmung freiwillig und mit zum Teil ziemlichem Enthusiasmus dafür entschieden, sich selbst gewissermaßen als Versuchskaninchen für dieses Langzeitexperiment mit unsicherem Ausgang zu Verfügung zu stellen. Das kann zwar schlecht ausgehen, sollte aber auch als Chance gesehen werden.

Denn: geht das Experiment schief, dann wird den diversen Exit-Strategien der europäischen Rechtspopulisten und -extremen der Wind aus den Segeln genommen. Für die Zukunft der EU kann, so hart das klingt, ein Scheitern Großbritanniens außerhalb der EU durchaus von Vorteil sein. Zugegeben, das kann (zumindest vorübergehend) für die Briten bitter werden, aber die rechtliche Möglichkeit eines Wiederbeitritts oder einer EWR-Mitgliedschaft ist ja gegeben.

Geht das Experiment nicht schief, dann hat Großbritannien ja auch keinen Nachteil. Blöd wäre das aber insofern, als dann nicht nur die ganzen rechten Parteien Europas auch diverse Austrittsreferenden abhalten und möglicherweise gewinnen würden, sondern auch, weil das ja auch hieße, dass die EU einen wesentlichen Teil ihrer Daseinsberechtigung ganz einfach nicht hat. Die Frage, wozu man eine EU in der derzeitigen Form braucht, wenn es anders auch problemlos geht, ist ja nicht unwesentlich.

In diesem Fall könnte der Brexit dazu dienen, einen Denkanstoß zu geben, um herauszufinden, wofür wir die EU brauchen. Das Vereinigte Königreich hat die EU immer nur als Freihandelszone verstanden. Wenn es ohne eine solche auch geht oder wenn der EWR alleine ausreichend ist, wie kann die EU dann zum Nutzen Europas beitragen? Vielleicht mit etwas weniger Bürokratie und Regelungswut? Etwas weniger Neoliberalismus? Dafür mehr gemeinsame Sozialpolitik, Bildungspolitik, Umweltpolitik und Friedensinitiativen?

Das ist eigentlich das, worin der eigentliche Mehrwert des Brexit besteht - dass wir eine Antwort auf die Frage bekommen, ob es die EU in der derzeitigen Form braucht, und wenn nein, dann wie wir sie umgestalten müssten, damit wir mehr Nutzen von ihr haben. Zugegeben, dass das au Kosten von 64 Millionen britischer Staatsbürger herausgefunden wird, ist mehr als nur hart, aber deren demokratische Mehrheit wollte eben genau das herausfinden, und die Antwort ist ganz wesentlich für den Fortbestand und die anzustrebende künftige Entwicklung der EU.

          Der Schwedenplatz-Wettbewerb und die 6 Entwürfe   

Im Wettbewerb für die Neugestaltung des Schwedenplatzes wurde jetzt die Shortlist von 6 aus 60 eingereichten Gestaltungsentwürfen vorgestellt. Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, sind die Entwürfe irgendwo zwischen brav und pseudomodern angesiedelt und sagen mehr über die Vorstellungen von Architekten über urbane Plätze aus als darüber, wie sich solche Gestaltungen auf die Bewohner und Nutzer dieser Plätze auswirken.

Das lässt sich ehrlich gesagt auch nicht trennen. Meine Kommentare zu den sechs vorgestellten Entwürfen orientieren sich auch daran, welche Ansprüche und Vorstellungen ich von einem an diesem Ort möglicherweise funktionierenden Platz habe.

Meine Kriterien

Ähnlich wie der Karlsplatz ist der Schwedenplatz weniger ein Platz als eine Gegend; auch hier haben wir keine klassische umbaute Piazza, sondern eine nach einer Seite offene Straßenaufweitung. Auch hier befindet sich auf der offenen Platzseite eine mehrspurige Hauptverkehrsstraße mit entsprechender Lärm- und Abgasbelastung. Dazu kommt, dass der Wettbewerb nicht nur den eigentlichen Schwedenplatz, sondern den gesamten Bereich zwischen Marc-Aurel-Straße und Postgasse betrifft, also ein momentan klar in drei unterschiedliche Bereiche geteiltes Areal: Morzinplatz, Straßenbahn- und U-Bahn-Station Schwedenplatz und den Platz vor dem Hotel Capricorno. Ersterer ist ein weitgehend ungestalteter Grünbereich über einer Tiefgarage, zweiterer eine dem Verkehrslärm ausgesetzte Betonwüste und letzterer ein von dichtem Baumbestand umschlossener Grünbereich. Insgesamt ist das deutlich eher eine Gegend als ein Platz.

Mein eigener Ansatz für eine Planung wäre es, dieser Straßenaufweitung einen über die ganze Länge durchgehenden Platzcharakter zu geben. Dazu wären einige grundsätzliche Interventionen notwendig:

1. Zum einen müsste der Platz klar von der Hauptverkehrsstraße getrennt werden. Eine Umbauung ist natürlich weder möglich noch sinnvoll, aber eine durchgehbare Begrenzung durch Baumreihen (und zwar über die gesamte Länge des Platzes) würde schon die notwendige halbdurchlässige Sichtbarriere schaffen, um einen Piazza-Charakter zu erzeugen und Verkehrslärm und -abgase zu mildern.

2. Der Platz sollte weitgehend als offene Fläche gestaltet werden. Es sollte in einem urbanen Raum dieser Größe keine Randzonen geben, deren Nutzung sich deutlich vom Kernbereich unterscheidet. Während kleine, möglicherweise auch noch unübersichtliche Bereiche leicht von Randgruppen eingenommen und besetzt werden können - es reichen dafür mitunter schon 3 Personen, die möglicherweise als Bedrohung empfunden werden -, ist es bei einem durchgehend gestalteten Platz ohne Nischen nicht so einfach möglich, diesen in Beschlag zu nehmen. Außerdem bergen Nischen immer das Potenzial, bei Nacht zu Angsträumen zu werden; auch dies spricht für eine weitgehend offene Gestaltung.

3. Plätze sind Kommunikations- und Interaktionszonen; es ist also darauf zu achten, dass durch ein Nutzungskonzept und eine subtile Gliederung selbst bei einem großen Platz Bereiche für Kommunikation und andere Nutzungen vorgegeben werden, ohne dass einerseits der Platz zerteilt wird oder andererseits eine große leere Fläche entsteht.

4. Der Bereich der Straßenbahn-/U-Bahnstation präsentiert sich momentan als Betonwüste, die direkt dem gesamten Verkehrslärm samt Abgasen ausgesetzt ist. Laut Stadt Wien steigen täglich 150.000 Fahrgäste pro Tag am Schwedenplatz um, an die 10.000 verlassen hier eine Straßenbahn. Ganz wesentlich über den Erfolg eines umgebauten Schwedenplatzes wird also der Eindruck entscheiden, den die wartenden Straßenbahnfahrgäste vom Platz haben. Es wird also dringend nötig sein, die Straßenbahnstation ansprechender zu gestalten, sie besser vor Verkehrslärm und -abgasen zu schützen und auch den schon sehr in die Jahre gekommenen und stark verhüttelten U-Bahn-Abgang komplett zu erneuern.

5. Gerne vergessen wird bei Architekturentwürfen für den öffentlichen Raum, dass dieser öffentlich ist und nicht alle Nutzer den Platz wohlwollend nutzen. Es sollten also Materialien und Objekte verwendet werden, die keinen schnellen Alterungsprozessen unterworfen sind; es ist darauf zu achten, dass sich keine Bereiche als "offene Mistkübel" oder Urinierplätze anbieten; es ist die Taubenabwehr zu berücksichtigen, und es sollen keine Flächen geschaffen werden, die für Graffiti oder zum wilden Plakatieren genutzt werden können.

Aus diesen Grundsätzen nun meine Gedanken zu den sechs Wettbewerbsbeiträgen:

N.B.: Aus rechtlichen Gründen darf ich die Bilder von der Website nicht hier einbetten; ich werde daher immer die Überschrift zum entsprechenden Bild- und Informationsmaterial verlinken.

Beitrag 1

Dieser Entwurf trennt den Bereich genz bewusst in vier separate Plätze, was die Möglichkeit untergräbt, dem gesamten Bereich eine Identität zu geben. Ob sich verweilende Personen der vorgesehenen Nutzung entsprechend verteilen werden, scheint wenig wahrscheinlich. Dass gerade die abgelegeneren Randzonen als Ruhe- und Rastzonen ausgeführt werden sollen, wird wohl dazu führen, dass diese vermehrt Randgruppen anziehen und somit Attraktivität verlieren werden. Der Platz vor dem Hotel Capricorno bleibt ein separarierter Fremdkörper.

Der Bereich an der Straßenbahnhaltestelle bleibt quasi unverändert; es ändert sich nichts an der Lärm- und Abgasbelastung für die wartenden Fahrgäste, wodurch nicht zu erwarten ist, dass diese den Platz positiver oder aufgewertet wahrnehmen.

Die beleuchteten "Sonnenschirme" sind eine nette Gestaltungsidee, aber es bleibt offen, ob die weißen Membranen auch nach 5-10 Jahren noch attraktiv aussehen werden.

Positiv fällt auf, dass zumindestens im westlichen Teil versucht wird, mit einer Baumreihe entlang der Straße und einem zentralen Platz in Verlängerung des Rabensteigs eine Art Platzgefühl zu schaffen; dass die Vegetationsflächen überhöht ausgeführt werden sollen, grenzt jedoch den Platz ein und schafft teilweise enge Korridore und Nischen, die dem Sicherheitsgefühl nicht förderlich sind.

Grundsätzlich ein gut gemeinter Versuch, eine Art Park an die Straßenbahnstation anzuhängen, aber als urbaner Platz finde ich das nur beschränkt bis gar nicht brauchbar.

Mein Fazit: 4/10

Beitrag 2

Dieser Entwurf beschränkt sich auf zwei Interventionen, ist dabei aber erstaunlich radikal: zwischen Hauptverkehrsstraße und Platz ist hier nämlich eine 2-3-reihige Baumallee vorgesehen, in deren Mitte die Straßenbahn fahren soll. Diese Allee zieht sich über die gesamte Länge und bildet bei der Straßenbahnstation sogar ein kleines Wäldchen, was - sobald die Bäume einmal groß genug sind - eine ganz deutliche Verbesserung der Aufenthaltsqualität bringen wird und auch ein sehr spannendes Platzgefühl erzeugen kann.

Als zentrales Element im Westteil wird eine Art große hügelige Stadtwiese vorgeschlagen; dies, und vor allem die etwas arbiträr wirkende Einbettung in den Stadtraum ist wiederum ein wenig merkwürdig, vor allem, weil das durch die Baumreihen ermöglichte "Piazza-Gefühl" wieder untergraben wird, indem statt der Piazza eine Art riesiges Blumenbeet mit Wiese den Platz füllt. Das kann funktionieren oder auch nicht, es kommt dabei darauf an, wie das genau gestaltet wird und welche Nutzungsvorschläge eingebaut werden. Positive Gestaltungsbeispiele, wie etwa die Promenade du Paillon in Nizza, gäbe es ja. Aber reine Liegewiesen in der Stadt können auch ziemlich schief gehen.

Mein Fazit: 7/10

Beitrag 3

Wer in diesem Architekturbüro hat beschlossen, eine Visualisierung in diesen Farben einzureichen? Dieses Bild löst in erster Linie Assoziationen von realsozialistischer Architektur aus den 1970er Jahren aus, und es ist anzunehmen, dass der Beitrag allein wegen des Bildes wohl wenig wohlwollend aufgenommen wird.

Die Idee des Platzes als "Stadtbühne" ist ja an sich nicht schlecht. Die Anhebung der westlichen Platzfläche ist eine brauchbare Idee, um zu erreichen, dass Fußwege nicht mehr durch ein klaustrophobes Gangsystem von überhöhten Pflanztrögen führen, was auch das Sicherheitsgefühl positiv beeinflussen kann. Es gibt keine Nischen und unübersichtliche Bereiche, die zu Angsträumen werden könnten. Der Platz ist "bespielbar", nur sollte dafür auch außerhalb der Christkindlmarktsaison ein anrainerfreundliches Nutzungsprogramm erstellt werden, denn sonst bleibt dieser Platz ein kahler, leerer Präsentierteller. Ob es ein erfolgreicher urbaner Platz wird, steht und fällt also mit der Bespielung.

Der Beitrag bietet allerdings keine Lösung für den Bereich der Straßenbahnstation, wo die Lärm- und Abgasbelastung für die wartenden Fahrgäste unverändert bleibt, und der Platz vor dem Hotel Capricorno wird zwar nach Westen hin geöffnet, ansonsten wirkt dieser Beitrag aber ein wenig unschlüssig, was er damit tun soll.

Mein Fazit: 6/10

Beitrag 4

Man mag das ein wenig brav und hausbacken finden, aber das ist der Entwurf, der mir am besten gefällt. Er erinnert mich auch an Platzlösungen, die ich in Frankreich gesehen und dort als sehr gut gelungen empfunden habe. Dies ist der einzige der sechs Beiträge, der den gesamten Bereich vom Figl-Hof bis zum Hotel Capricorno wirklich als Einheit begreift und durchgängig gestalten will, ohne ihn in einzelne Sektoren aufzuteilen. Trotz Querungen und Straßenbahn-/U-Bahn-Station wird hier ein schlüssiges gesamtheitliches Konzept geboten, ohne dass einer der Bereiche wie ein Fremdkörper wirken würde. Allein dadurch wird der Platz auch für eine fußläufige Durchquerung über die gesamte Länge attraktiv.

Sehr positiv ist der über die gesamte Länge gezogene Grünstreifen mit Baumreihe zur Straße hin, wo zwar mehr Bäume möglich wären, der aber trotzdem den Autoverkehr optisch und aktustisch etwas vom Platz verdrängt, was eine Grundvoraussetzung dafür ist, dass Personen hier verweilen wollen. Viele kleinere, punktuelle Grünbereiche auf der gesamten Platzfläche schaffen ein deutlich freundlicheres Grünkonzept als andere Vorschläge mit wenigeren, größeren Grünflächen.

Gut finde ich auch den in einen Grünrahmen eingebetteten Platz in Verlägerung des Rabensteigs, da hier eine ausgewogene Kombination aus urbanem Raum und Grünflächen entstehen könnte - es vereint Elemente von Platz und Park, wirkt dabei aber trotzdem urban. Das Schattendach als Mittelpunkt in diesem Platz schafft eine Analogie zur U-Bahn-Station im östlichen Bereich des Platzes; es entsteht im Westteil des Platzes ein gutes Gegengewicht zum Schwerpunkt im Ostteil, wodurch der gesamte Bereich weniger "einseitig" wirkt.

Bedenken habe ich primär beim "Gedenkort" am Morzinplatz. So gut ich es finde, dass dieser eingeplant und etwas separiert ist, so hat dieser Bereich bei Nacht wegen der engen Zugänge doch ein Angstraumpotenzial.

Mein Fazit: 8/10

Beitrag 5

Dieser Entwurf löst bei mir ungläubiges Staunen aus. Der Platz verschließt sich zur Bebauung hin, öffnet sich zur Straße hin, am Morzinplatz wird ein Erdhügel aufgeschüttet und eine Brückenkonstruktion spannt sich über die ganze Länge des Platzes und anschließend auch noch über den Kai.

Die Überführungen mögen einen barrierefreien Zugang zur Ruprechtskirche ermöglichen, sind aber ein architektonisches Stilmittel der autofreundlichen 1960er und 70er Jahre, zerteilen den Platz und schaffen potenzielle Angsträume, Urinierwände und Graffitiflächen (Brücken sind für Graffiti besonders beliebt, da wegen der erhöhten Lage besonders gut und von weitem sichtbar).

Der offensichtliche Versuch, den Straßenraum und den Aufenthaltsraum ineinander zu integrieren, schafft einen leeren, kahlen "Verweilraum", in dem wegen des zu erwartenden Lärms (viel glatte Beton/Asphaltfläche, keine Lärmdämmung hin zum Kai) niemand außer Obdachlosen verweilen wollen wird. Das funktioniert schon am Praterstern ganz ausgezeichnet, aber ich halte es nicht für zielführend, auch den Schwedenplatz auf diese Weise "attraktiv" zu machen.

Dem Beitrag fehlt die menschliche Dimension, er erzeugt keine Räume, die als angenehm empfunden werden oder emotionale Bindungen zum Ort schaffen. Stattdessen definieren die Brücken den städtischen Platz als Transitort. Statt nutzbarem Stadtraum bietet diese Lösung architektonischen Schnickschnack, der kurzfristig Eindruck schinden mag, aber keine Funktionalität für einen Platz im Sinne eines Kommunikations- und Interaktionsraumes hat.

Mein Fazit: 0/10

Beitrag 6

Dieser Entwurf versucht wie auch Entwurf 4 eine Art "Park-Intervention" mit verschiedenen parktypischen Nutzungen, verzichtet dabei aber auf den zentralen Platz in der Mitte, wodurch es eben mehr Park und weniger Platz wird und nicht so ganz als urbaner Raum wirkt; hier ist der Rückzugsfaktor stärker als der Interaktionsfaktor, und es gibt hier wiederum Nischen, aber ohne dass der Platz zerteilt würde; er wird schon in seiner Gesamtheit gesehen.

Positiv also auch hier das gesamtheitliche Konzept, die Nutzungsvorschläge, die Trennung des Platzes von der mehrspurigen Straße durch einen Grünstreifen mit Bäumen, wodurch der Straßenverkehr zumindest optisch, aber hoffentlich auch akustisch etwas vom Platz verdrängt wird. Positiv auch die Multifunktionalität, die an diesem Platz wichtig ist, da sich verschiedene Personengruppen nicht auf einzelne Sektoren aufteilen lassen werden.

Als problematisch erachte ich dafür die vorgesehene Fußgänger-/Radfahrerbrücke, da diese einerseits aufgrund der Rollstuhltauglichkeit eine extrem lange Rampe haben muss, die den Platz zerteilt und Angsträume schaffen kann, und andererseits die Pfeiler und seitlichen Brückenteile prädestiniert dafür sind, als Urinier- und Graffitifläche benutzt zu werden. Wie sich die Rampe zum Donaukanal hinunter mit rollstuhltauglichem Gefälle ausgehen soll, bleibt rätselhaft.

Die genaue Gestaltung der Straßenbahnstation bleibt unklar; hier scheint eine Art großes Dach vorgesehen zu sein, aber anscheinend keine Maßnahme, um die wartenden Straßenbahnfahrgäste besser vor dem Straßenlärm zu schützen; der Grünstreifen ist an dieser Stelle nämlich merkwürdigerweise unterbrochen. Immerhin sind hier Grünflächen in Form von Rasengleisen für die Straßenbahn vorgesehen.

Mein Fazit: 7/10


Meine Präferenz wäre also Beitrag 4 mit seinem ganz gut gelungenen Kompromiss aus Piazza und Park. Beitrag 6 finde ich okay, ist aber halt mehr Park als Piazza, was ich für so eine zentrale Lage in der Innenstadt nicht so gut finde. An Beitrag 2 imponiert mir die kompromisslose Baumallee, aber die Wiese mitten auf dem Platz ist irgendwie hochmerkwürdig und hat für mich keine echte urbane Funktionalität. Beitrag 3 ist zu kahl und steht oder fällt mit der Bespielung, Beitrag 1 und 5 mögen bitte nie ernsthaft in Erwägung gezogen werden.

Und jetzt?

Da die Rückmeldungen im derzeitigen Bürgerbeteiligungsverfahren nur eine "Grundlage für die Empfehlungen des Preisgerichts an die Wettbewerbsteilnehmenden für die Überarbeitung und Präzisierung der 2. Wettbewerbsstufe" bilden, ist davon auszugehen, dass keiner der Entwürfe in der vorliegenden Form umgesetzt werden wird. Und selbst das Gewinnerprojekt der nächsten Wettbewerbsstufe kann noch an der Ausführung scheitern - wir denken mit Grauen an andere Plätze in Wien, deren Entwürfe eigentlich eh irgendwie brauchbar waren, die dann aber so minderwertig gebaut wurden, dass das Ergebnis nur noch als Tragikum bezeichnet werden kann.

Es bleibt also spannend.

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          Der wiener Stadtrand und die FPÖ   

Bildschirmfoto 2015-10-12 um 13.11.30.png

Dieser Artikel ist eine Zusammenfassung meiner Facebook-Postigs zu dem Thema. Einzelne Postings wurden zusammenkopiert. Ich bitte um Entschuldigung, wenn der Text dadurch etwas weniger flüssig ist als gewohnt.

Nach den wiener Gemeinderatswahlen vom Oktober 2015 wage ich zu sagen, dass die FPÖ-Wähler in einem anderen Wien leben als alle anderen. Und das meine ich nicht mental, sondern geografisch. Die Stadtrandsiedlungen als blaue Hochburgen: Stadtrandbewohner ticken wohl anders als Städter, wollen oder können vielleicht gar nicht in einer Stadt leben - und gleichzeitig stellt sich natürlich die Frage, ob das nicht auch ein Zeichen ist, dass die Stadtplanung und Siedlungspolitik in Wien irgendwie versagt haben muss, wenn drei Viertel(!) der FPÖ-Wähler (und somit v.a. Stadtrandbewohner) finden, Wien sei keine lebenswerte Stadt.

Dabei sind diese Stadtrandgebiete gar keine Ghettos, aber es sind abgelegene Gebiete mit relativ homogener Bevölkerung ohne jegliche Urbanität, in der sich sowohl eine anti-städtische Stimmung bilden kann, und in der sich wegen der mangelnden Durchmischung (es kommt dort so gut wie niemand hin, der nicht dort wohnt) Ressentiments grundsätzlich leicht aufschaukeln.

Gerade am Stadtrand wohnen Menschen, die mit der Urbanitätspolitik von Rot-Grün überhaupt nichts am Hut haben, ja, diese Politik ist dort nicht einmal anwendbar. Und nein, da wohnen nicht nur Ungebildete und Geringverdiener, da gibt es massig Einfamilienhäuser mit Garten und Familienidylle. Und gerade diese Idylle will man sich nicht stören lassen.

Ich zweifle inzwischen sehr, ob es zwischen SPÖ und FPÖ wirklich nur um den vielzitierten "Kampf um den Gemendebau" geht. Ich glaube fast, dass es auch sehr um den Kampf um die Kleingarten- und Einfamilienhaussiedlungen geht. Auch Michael Hafner spricht in seinem durchwegs polemischen Beitrag zur wiener Wahl im Grunde genau den selben Punkt an:

Die blauen Hochburgen sind keinesfalls die klassischen Problemzonen, in denen man sich durchaus manchmal unwohl fühlen kann, nicht die Drogen-, Prostitutions oder Migrationsgebiete. [...] [FPÖ-Wähler sind] Menschen mit Familie, Haus, Job und Auto, die nicht bereit sind[,] ihren Mitmenschen und dem Rest der Welt offen gegenüberzustehen. Die neuen blauen Hochburgen sind Gegenden, die soziale Probleme eher vom Hörensagen kennen. (Quelle:

Spannend sind in diesem Zusammenhang die beiden Wahlsprengel in der neu gebauten Seestadt Aspern, in denen die FPÖ 37% bzw. 44% der Stimmen gewonnen hat. In den im selben Zeitraum fertig gestellten und ähnlich strukturierten Neubaugebieten Sonnwendviertel und Nordbahnhofviertel, wo auch die Meiten ein ganz ähnliches Niveau haben, konnte die FPÖ in keinem Wahlsprengel mehr als 18% der Stimmen gewinnen. Ziehen zentrumsferne Stadtrandlagen also auch politisch anders eingestellte Menschen an?

Klar ist: Für Toleranz und weltoffene Politik braucht es eine Umgebung, in der man gefordert ist, tolerant zu sein. Lebt man unter seinesgleichen in einer abgelegenen Umgebung, ist man gegenüber allem, was von außen kommt, deutlich skeptischer eingestellt, sieht diese Umgebung viel leichter bedroht. Daher sind auch die ausländerfeindlichsten Gegenden meistens jene, in denen es kaum Ausländer gibt. Daher kann sich in Stadtrandlagen Intoleranz nicht nur leichter entwickeln, sondern diese Gebiete scheinen auch Menschen anzuziehen, die nicht bereit sind, sich mit den Konflikten, die im städtischen Bereich zahlreicher sind, und den "unschönen" Aspekten des Stadtlebens (Bettler, Obdachlose, etc.) auseinander zu setzen.

Es ist auch nachvollziehbar, dass die Umgestaltung der Mariahilfer Straße und der Bau der Wientalterrassen für Floridsdorfer eine völlig sinnlose Geldverschwendung darstellen. Beides ist für sie in etwa so relevant wie die Grazer Herrengasse oder die Murinsel. Und natürlich entsteht dann der Eindruck, dass den Grün-Bobos im Zentrum immer mehr Geld zugeschoben wird, während Floridsdorf immer mehr herunterkommt. Und so entsteht aus der räumlichen Distanz auch ein handfester sozialer Konflikt zwischen (gefühlt) arm und (gefühlt) reich, der sich in der isolierten Lage am Rand der Stadt umso stärker aufschaukeln kann, und den die FPÖ gezielt für sich nutzen kann.

Wenn Strache sagt, er hätte 30% der Wiener hinter sich, dann stimmt das jedenfalls nicht ganz; richtiger wäre es, zu sagen, er hat über 45% der Stadtrandbewohner hinter sich.

Was es als Antwort darauf braucht, ist eine eigene Politik für die besonders die Stadtrandgebiete. Als Minimum sollte eine Koordinationsstelle speziell für Agenden und Entwicklung der Flächenbezirke eingeführt werden; ein mögliches Gedankenexperiment wäre auch, ob auf die besonderen Bedürfnisse dieser Flächenbezirke besser und finanziell flexibler eingegangen werden könnte, wenn Floridsdorf und Donaustadt sowie Randlagen von Simmering und Favoriten eigene Gemeinden wären. Die Befugnisse der Bezirksvertretungen reichen jedenfalls nicht aus, um hier eine adäquate, dem Ort entsprechende Politik zu ermöglichen, die durch die Weitläufigkeit und geringe Dichte dieser Bezirk ganz besondere Herausforderungen stellt. Dass sich die Wähler in diesen Bezirken von der Stadt absentieren, hat jedenfalls sicher damit zu tun, dass die Stadt geographisch, emotional und auch politisch viel zu weit entfernt ist.

(PS. Klar gewinnt die FPÖ auch in urbanen Bezirken. Die bedrohte Idylle kann ja auch im städtischen Bereich liegen, auch wenn sie dort nicht so offensichtlich ist. Und natürlich steigt auch hier das Bedrohungspotenzial - vor Jobverlust, Mietensteigerungen, Kriminellen, Ausländern und Politikern, die einem Parkplätze wegnehmen.)

(PPS. Und dass der grundsätzliche politische Wandel vor allem darauf fußt, dass die Blödmaschinen-Politiker den Populisten und Extremisten Stimmen zutreiben, steht sowieso außer Frage. Das ist aber nicht das Thema dieses Artikels, dafür brauchen auch Seeßlen & Metz 700 Seiten.)

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          Haben die Grünen in Neubau wegen der Mariahilfer Straße Stimmen verloren?   

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Nein. Viel schwerwiegender dürften das erstmalige Antreten der Neos und die steigenden Mietpreise im Bezirk sein.

Arithmetisch gesehen scheint es so auszusehen, als ob die 4,4% Stimmenverluste der Grünen vor allem zu den Neos gegangen sind, die die deutlichsten Zugewinne aller Parteien hat, nämlich über 8%.

In absoluten Zahlen haben die Grünen allerdings in Neubau keine Stimmen verloren, sondern 419 Stimmen dazu gewonnen; da allerdings über 2600 Stimmen mehr im Bezirk abgegeben wurde als bei der letzten Wahl, kommt in Prozentzahlen ein Minus heraus. Die grünen Stimmen wurden also gehalten, nur der Stimmanteil nicht. Die Neos haben hingegen von null über 1400 Stimmen erreicht.

SPÖ und FPÖ haben ebenso dazugewonnen, nämlich 537 bzw. 776 Stimmen. Wirklich Stimmen verloren hat nur die ÖVP (-281).

Hatte die Mariahilfer Straße eine Auswirkung auf den Verlust der Stimmanteile der Grünen? Wohl kaum, da die Gegner des Umbaus (ÖVP, FPÖ) nur 495 Stimmen dazugewonnen haben, die Befürworter (Grüne, SPÖ, Neos) hingegen 2366. Die Mariahilfer Straße scheidet als wahlentscheidende Ursache somit aus.

Die Ursache, warum die Grünen Stimmanteile verloren haben, lässt sich eher auf zwei Ursachen zurückführen: erstens dürften viele bürgerliche Liberale bisher zähneknirschend grün gewählt haben, weil ihnen die ÖVP einfach zu katholisch oder zu starr war; diese Wähler haben jetzt mit den Neos eine passendere Partei.

Zweitens findet aufgrund der stark steigenden Mieten und Wohnungspreise im 7. Bezirk ein (sehr langsamer) Bevölkerungswandel statt: traditionelle Grünwähler (Studenten und Kreative) können sich das Wohnen im Bezirk nicht mehr so einfach leisten wie früher. Die 1568 seit der letzten Wahl neu in den Bezirk zugezogenen Wahlberechtigten (immerhin 6%) sind mit Durchschnittsmieten zwischen €14 und €19/m² (ohne Betriebskosten und MWSt) konfrontiert; man kann bei diesen also eine gewisse Schichtzugehörigkeit, die möglicherweise nicht traditionelles Grünwählertum ist, konstatieren. Auffällig ist auf jeden Fall, dass gerade die jüngeren Bewohner des Bezirks heute deutlich mehr Geld zu haben scheinen als noch vor 10 Jahren, und auch die Geschäfte und Lokale durchwegs ein kaufkräftigeres Publikum ansprechen, also eher Neos- als Grünwähler.

Die Mariahilfer Straße als Faktor für Stimmenanteilsverluste scheint dagegen mehr als nebensächlich.

Das beweist auch der Blick ins angrenzende Mariahilf, das von der Fußgängerzone und Verkehrsumorganisation ja genauso betroffen war:

Bildschirmfoto 2015-10-13 um 12.59.51.png

Hier haben die Grünen nicht nur über 1200 Stimmen, sondern auch 3,7% an Stimmanteilen dazubekommen, was absolut nicht so wirkt, als wären die Mariahilfer mit der Haltung der Grünen in Bezug auf die Mariahilfer Straße unzufrieden. Auch die mit viel medialem Donner begleitete Umleitung des 13A durch die Windmühlgasse scheint keine bezirksweiten Auswirkungen gehabt zu haben.

Zählt man die Stimmen von Neubau und Mariahilf zusammen, so hatten die Parteien, die für die Umgestaltung der Mariahilfer Straße waren, zusammen 74% der Stimmen, die Gegner 26%. Bei der Wahl 2010 waren diese Stimmen im Verhältnis 71%:29% verteilt. Auch diese Entwicklung lässt darauf schließen, dass der Umbau der Mariahilfer Straße den Befürwortern nicht geschadet hat.

          Eine Frage der Semantik   

In der aktuellen sogenannten "Flüchtlingsfrage" krankt es an einigem, und auch, wenn einige politische Kommentatoren finden, die jüngsten Wahlergebnisse wären auch ohne Massenmigration ähnlich ausgefallen, so ist neben dem Versagen der Politik in anderen Bereichen gerade bei dieser Problematik eine Mischung aus Ohnmacht, Ratlosigkeit und Scheingefechten zu erkennen, die ihresgleichen sucht.

Das beginnt bei so einfachen Dingen wie der Wahl des richtigen Wortes, um die Personen zu beschreiben, die derzeit in großer Zahl nach Europa einwandern. Es wird dabei das Wort "Flüchtlinge" verwendet, und das ist nicht nur das falsche Wort, es führt auch zu einer völlig falschen Politik. Das richtige Wort ist "Migranten".

Flüchtlinge sind Menschen, die ihre Heimat verlassen, weil dort die Sicherheit für Leib und Leben nicht mehr gewährleistet ist. Das Zielland ist für Flüchtlinge eigentlich sekundär, der Drang, das eigene Leben zu retten, bestimmt jede Handlung.

Migranten hingegen wollen nicht einfach nur raus aus ihrer Heimat, sondern sie haben auch schon ein bestimmtes anderes Land als Ziel. Auch wenn der Ausgangspunkt von Migration eine Flucht sein mag, ist Antrieb der Migration in erster Linie nicht die Rettung des eigenen Lebens, sondern die Verbesserung der Lebensumstände und die Suche nach einer in der Heimat nicht mehr vorhandenen Perspektive.

Ich betrachte den Begriff der Migration als wertneutral. Erstens ist Migration nichts grundsätzliche Schlechtes, die (Binnen-)Migration ist ja sogar als eines der Grundrechte der EU verankert, zweitens wird niemand ohne guten Grund seine Heimat verlassen wollen, und drittens wäre es ein merkwürdiger Ansatz, nur dann seine Heimat verlassen zu dürfen, wenn man dort um sein Leben fürchten muss.

Das Erkennen, ob es sich beim derzeitigen Menschenstrom um Flüchtlinge oder um Migranten handelt, ist aber dennoch wichtig, da es der Ausgangspunkt für die politischen Entscheidungen ist, die nun getroffen werden müssen. Und diese Entscheidungen sind grundfalsch, da - aus welchen Gründen auch immer - so getan wird, als handle es sich nicht um Migranten, sondern um Flüchtlinge.

Die endlose Debatte um die "faire Verteilung der Flüchtlinge in Europa" ist zum Beispiel nichts weiter als ein Scheingefecht, bei dem sich manche Politiker vielleicht zu profilieren versuchen, das aber an der Situation völlig vorbeigeht: Flüchtlinge würden sich natürlich problemlos auf ganz Europa aufteilen lassen, aber bei Migranten ist die Situation eine andere: selbst wenn Polen oder Litauen sich wider Erwarten nun doch bereit erklären, ein paar Tausend Migranten aufzunehmen, werden diese die diversen Aufnahmelager wohl spätestens am nächsten Tag wieder verlassen und sich auf den Weg in ihre eigentlichen Zielländer, nämlich Deutschland und Schweden machen. Flüchtlingspolitik ist keine Migrationspolitik. Darüber zu debattieren, welche Länder wie viele Personen aufnehmen sollen, ist sinnlos, so lange keiner der Migranten in diese Länder migrieren will. Dies besonders angesichts der Tatsache, dass der Flüchtlingsstrom so groß ist, dass diese Menschen ohnehin nicht aufgehalten werden können und somit der Großteil den Weg dorthin finden wird, wo er hin will.

Sprich: Die ganze Debatte, ob all diese Migranten aufgenommen werden können, ist hinfällig. Diese Menschen werden ganz einfach kommen, und die einzige Frage, die in diesem Zusammenhang dringend gestellt werden sollte, ist, wie man mit diesen Menschen umgeht, wie man sie integriert und wie man die durch die Zuwanderung entstehenden möglichen Konflikte möglichst früh ausräumt.

Das setzt freilich voraus, dass man anerkennt, dass die Migranten nicht nur eine temporäre Erscheinung sind, sondern dass sie im Land bleiben werden. Auch dies ist ein durch das Wort "Flüchtling" verursachter Fehlglaube: Flüchtlinge sind durchaus bereit, in ihre Heimat zurückzukehren, wenn dort die Sicherheit für Leib und Leben wieder gewährleistet ist und sie eine langfristige Perspektive für ein gesichertes Leben haben. Migranten haben ihre Heimat verlassen, weil sie davon ausgehen, dass diese Perspektive nicht mehr gegeben sein wird; sie haben mit dem Gedanken abgeschlossen, dorthin wieder zurückzukehren.

Die Politik in den EU-Ländern scheint hingegen immer noch von der Kurzfristigkeit des Problems auszugehen; davon zeugen auch abstruse Ideen wie "Asyl auf Zeit". Das mag Wunschdenken, Populismus oder völlig falsche Einschätzung der Sachlage sein, aber es ist zur Problemlösung ungeeignet.

Fakt ist: die Migranten, die jetzt da sind, werden bleiben, und es werden noch zigtausend weitere dazukommen. Statt das Problem kleinzureden und "Flüchtlingspolitik" zu machen, braucht es eine "Migrationspolitik", die sich den Herausforderungen stellt, die sich durch eine große Zahl von Zuwanderern aus einem fremden Kulturkreis zwingend ergeben werden. Das heißt, nicht über Abschiebungen, Flüchtlingskontingente und kurzfristige Unterkünfte zu sprechen, sondern über Deutschkurse, Schulplätze, Arbeits- und Ausbildungsplätze, gesellschaftliche Integration, eine Wohnungspolitik, die Ghettobildung verhindert, sowie eine Gesellschaftspolitik, die kulturelle Konflikte kurzfristig zumindest abfedert und langfristig verhindert.

Geschieht das nicht, und momentan werden so gut wie keine Schritte in diese Richtung gesetzt, dann gewinnen die politischen Populisten und Extremisten. Das ist das größte Versagen der Politik in der Migrationsproblematik: wie durch Nichterkennen oder Nichtwahrhabenwollen der Situation wesentliche Entscheidungen nicht getroffen werden, sodass Konflikte angeheizt statt abgebaut werden. Gibt man den Wählern nicht das Gefühl, dass die Gesellschaft in der Lage ist, mit den Zuwanderern auch in größerer Zahl umzugehen, dann kommt es zu Gewalt und Übergriffen, und es werden zuerst jene Politiker gewählt, die die Zuwanderer einfach nur abschieben oder aussperren wollen, und irgendwann wohl auch jene, in deren Gedankengut Grenzzäune, Minenfelder und vielleicht sogar Konzentrationslager denkbare Möglichkeiten sind. Wir sollten uns besser ersparen, herauszufinden, ob und wie solche Politiker dem demokratischen System insgesamt zugeneigt sind.

          Was jetzt anders ist   

Weil ich immer wieder lese, wie Leute ihre Verwunderung darüber äußern, dass Österreich 1956 und 1992 hunderttausende Flüchtlinge anstandslos aufgenommen hat und das kann doch nicht sein, dass das heute nicht mehr gehen soll, möchte ich dieser Argumentation kontern. Doch, das kann so sein. Die Situation ist eine komplett andere. Und zwar aus einer ganzen Reihe von Gründen, von denen ich mal exemplarisch sieben aufzählen will.

Damit kein Missverständnis entsteht: weder identifiziere ich mich mit diesen Begründungen, noch will ich damit irgendwessen Verhalten entschuldigen. Ich will nur aufzeigen, was seit 1992 geschehen ist, das dazu geführt hat, dass die Stimmung gegenüber Flüchtlingen in Teilen der Bevölkerung gekippt ist. Keiner braucht sich darüber zu wundern, denn die Stimmung sitzt nicht nur in wirren Köpfen, sondern sie ist Ergebnis und Ausdruck einer Ideologie, die unser Leben prägt.

1. Die Flüchtlinge 1956 und 1992 waren Nachbarn

Zu Beginn der banalste und sicher nicht ausschlaggebendste Grund: Die Herkunftsländer der Flüchtlinge 1956 und 1992 waren mehr oder weniger direkt angrenzende Länder und bis 1918 sogar Teil der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie. Man fühlte sich quasi dem selben Kulturkreis zugehörig, ein bisschen Monarchie-Nostalgie mag wohl auch mitgeschwungen sein. Die Flüchtlinge heute kommen aus anderen Ländern, die um einiges weiter weg sind, die man nicht kennt, weil man sie nicht einmal jemals im Urlaub besucht hat. Simpel gesagt: Damals gehörten die irgendwie zu uns und hatten einen Vertrauensvorschuss. Den gibt es heute nicht.

2. Wir leben im Schatten von 9/11 und IS

Naomi Klein hat in ihrem Buch Die Schock-Strategie sehr eindrucksvoll beschrieben, dass sich die Politik sehr gerne den Machterhalt sichert, indem sie feindliche Bedrohung von außen als Faktor benützt, um Konsens im Inneren zu erwirken. Spätestens seit 9/11 erzählen uns Politiker und Medien von der angeblichen stetigen Unterwanderung der westlichen Gesellschaft durch islamische Terroristen und rechtfertigen damit die Beschneidung von Bürgerrechten und die umfassende Überwachung der Bürger.

Bei der Massivität dieses Angst-Diskurses ist es nicht unverständlich, wenn angesichts der Tatsache, dass nun tausende Moslems aus den Kernländern der IS zu uns kommen, Menschen Angst- und Abwehrreaktionen zeigen, und zwar unabhängig davon, dass diese Menschen gerade vor den Terroristen flüchten. Die betroffenen Länder wurden jahrelang fast ausschließlich als Heimat von Terroristen dargestellt, sodass es vielen schon schwer fällt zu glauben, dass die Terroristen dort in der Minderheit sind.

3. Wir leben in keiner egalitären Gesellschaft mehr

1956 und 1992 war die Schere zwischen Arm und Reich in Österreich um einiges geringer als heute. 1956 war eine Mittelschicht gerade im Entstehen, 1992 war sie noch einigermaßen stabil. Momentan ist die Mittelschicht am Erodieren, und die Gesellschaft ist dabei, sich in einen Geldadel (der für seinen Reichtum nicht arbeiten muss, sondern sein Geld arbeiten lässt) und ein Prekariat (das trotz Arbeit an der Armutsgrenze kratzt) aufzuspalten. Es herrscht die Angst vor dem sozialen Abstieg.

In solchen Situationen, das zeigt die Geschichte, suchen sich Gesellschaften gerne Sündenbocke, die in der Hierarchie noch eine Stufe tiefer stehen. In den 1930er Jahren haben die Nationalsozialisten unter der verarmten, arbeitslosen Masse die Klasse der "Untermenschen"(Juden, "Asoziale", Roma, Slawen) eingeführt. Den Begriff würde man heute natürlich nicht verwenden, aber der Grundgedanke ist schon da, und die Ursache ist die selbe: wenn einer Gesellschaft das Gefühl verloren geht, dass alle Mitglieder dieser Gesellschaft gleich sind und gleich behandelt werden, dann geht mit der Zeit auch der Konsens verloren, dass alle Menschen grundsätzlich die gleichen Rechte haben sollen.

4. Wir haben das Prinzip der Kooperation gegen jenes der Konkurrenz getauscht

In der wirtschaftlich einigermaßen abgesicherten Welt des Österreich der Jahre 1956-1992 war Konkurrenz lange Zeit ein eher theoretischer Begriff. Regionale Firmen konnten einen regionalen Markt bedienen, die Transportkosten waren noch nicht lächerlich billig und die Globalisierung selbst 1992 erst am Beginnen. Das angloamerikanische Konkurrenzdenken war bei uns noch nicht wirklich verbreitet, es wollte nicht jeder besser sein als der andere, weil es auch nicht wirklich notwendig war. Das hat zwar die Wirtschaft nicht zu Höchstleistungen getrieben, aber in so einer Atmosphäre konnte man leicht kooperativ sein.

Diese gemächliche Schutzzone gibt es nicht mehr. Heimische Firmen kämpfen gegen Billigimporte, Arbeitssuchende gegen solche, die die selbe Arbeit für weniger Geld machen, Praktikumsplätze werden nicht nur an den Bestqualifizierten und Anspuchslosesten vergeben, sondern müssen zum Teil sogar bezahlt werden. Überall herrscht Konkurrenz und Konkurrenzdenken. In so einer Atmosphäre ist es wenig verwunderlich, wenn die Leute, die darunter am meisten leiden, keine zusätzliche Konkurrenz wollen.

5. Wir sind gefangen zwischen sinkenden Einkommen und steigenden Konsumansprüchen

1956-1992 stiegen die Löhne kontinuierlich an; in den letzten 15 Jahren sind die Reallöhne allerdings gesunken. Das wäre an sich noch nicht so problematisch, denn das Lohnniveau in Österreich ist international gesehen ganz gut. Das Problem ist, dass es die Wirtschaft in einigen Jahrzehnten geschafft hat, Identitätsfindung durch Konsumverhalten zu definieren: wer nicht weiß, wer er ist, schafft sich seine Identität dadurch, dass er bestimmte Produkte kauft. Damit schafft es die Wirtschaft, weiterhin Begehrlichkeiten und Ansprüche zu wecken, auch wenn diese mit den sinkenden Einkommen nicht mehr problemlos zu befriedigen sind.

Das erklärt wohl auch, warum trotz sinkender Einkommen in Österreich die Umsätze im Einzelhandel weiterhin steigen. Gerade die Menschen aus den finanziell prekärsten Schichten sind davon am meisten betroffen, sie haben aber nicht nur das Gefühl, vom erarbeiteten Geld immer weniger zu haben, es schwebt dabei auch die unbewusste Angst vor dem drohenden Identitätsverlust mit.

Natürlich steigt dann der Neid und der Hass auf die, die Geld bekommen sollen, ohne dafür zu arbeiten, egal wie niedrig die Beträge im Vergleich sind. Darum auch das Flüchtlings-Handy als Hassobjekt, denn es gibt dem Flüchtling ein Prestige und eine Identität, die jemand, der sich seine eigene Handy-Rechnung kaum leisten kann, ihm nicht zugestehen will.

6. Wir leben die Austeritäts-Politik

Bis 1983 war der österreichische Wohlfahrtsstaat die viel zitierte "Insel der Seligen". 1983 kam das erste große Sparpaket, es folgten weitere, massiv ab 1995 zur Erfüllung der Maastricht-Kriterien. Spätestens seit 2005 wird uns von der Politik ununterbrochen vorgebetet, wie wichtig es ist, zu sparen. Wohl gemerkt, nicht wir sollen sparen (das würde ja die Wirtschaft bremsen, und deshalb wurden auch die Sparzinsen de facto abgeschafft), nein, der Staat muss sparen, und zwar vor allem bei Bildungs- und Sozialausgaben.

Diverse Länder wurden harten Spardiktaten unterworfen, in Österreich hat man es eher mit der Salamitaktik (in kleinen Scheiben) gelöst, aber es hat keinen Schäuble gebraucht, um uns jahrelang einzutrichtern, dass Sozialausgaben vor allem arbeitsunwilligen "Sozialschmarotzern" nutzen und daher weiter gesenkt werden müssen. Es ist vermessen zu glauben, dass diese jahrelange Indoktrination nicht wirkt, dass die Zahl der Leute, die nicht bereit ist, zuzusehen, wie Fremde Geld aus eben jenen Sozialtöpfen bekommen sollen, rapide steigt. Oder ganz knapp zusammengefasst: Wir haben nichts zu verschenken, und überhaupt, Geiz ist geil.

7. Wir haben bald 30 Jahre Anti-Ausländerparolen der FPÖ

Die FPÖ hatte ihren Durchbruch mit der Machtübernahme von Jörg Haider im Jahr 1986. 1992 haben Haiders Äußerungen noch Aufsehen erregt. Noch 1991 musste er wegen seiner Äußerung über die "ordentliche Beschäftigungspolitik" im Dritten Reich zurücktreten. Heute, 24 Jahre später, ist die politische Sprache der FPÖ längst kein Aufreger mehr, es dürfen Sachen gesagt werden, die damals undenkbar gewesen wären, und natürlich haben sich diese Denkweisen in der Bevölkerung als völlig normal festgesetzt: "Daham statt Islam" ist kein Aufreger. Die FPÖ nimmt sogar direkt darauf Bezug und sagt, sie spreche "unsere Sprache". Damit legitimiert sie ihre politische Diktion sogar als die der (vermeintlichen) Mehrheit.

Waren früher manche politische Äußerungen von FPÖ-Politikern ein Rücktrittsgrund, sind sie also heute "unsere Sprache". Vermutlich gilt das dann eben auch für die Benutzerkommentare auf FPÖ-nahen Facebook-Seiten.


Somit: Nein, unsere Situation ist nicht vergleichbar mit 1956 oder 1992. Wir leben heute in einer Gesellschaft, deren Grundideologie in Bezug auf Konsum, Konkurrenz und Gleichheit in den letzten 20 Jahren einem grundlegenden Wandel unterworfen war. Einige haben ihre Einstellung aus dieser Zeit in die Gegenwart herübergerettet, aber viele sind in der neuen Ideologie aufgewachsen oder haben sie aus anderen Gründen übernommen.

Man hat uns in dieser Zeit Angst vor den Moslems gemacht, wir fühlen uns sozial ungleich behandelt und wissen nicht, wie wir mit weniger Geld unsere ständig steigenden Bedürfnisse befriedigen sollen. Man hat uns 20 Jahre lang eingetrichtert, dass Konkurrenz toll und Geiz geil ist, und wir wurden 30 Jahre lang mit Anti-Ausländerparolen abgestumpft.

Politik und Wirtschaft haben uns zwar dazu gebracht, mit weniger Geld weiter einzukaufen und es zu akzeptieren, dass man uns Bürgerrechte und Sozialleistungen wegnimmt, die Menschlichkeit ist dabei aber irgendwo verloren gegangen. Die Mechanismen beschreiben Georg Seeßlen und Markus Metz sehr eindrücklich in den beiden Schlusskapiteln ihres Buches Blödmaschinen. Die zwei Möglichkeiten, die sie als Konsequenz dieser Entwicklung aufzeigen, sind beide nicht schön.

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          Early Morning Stocker - PETSMART - Murrieta, CA   
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          Comment on Getting Started with note-taking apps by Michael Archer   
From this article, I was fascinated by Google Keep where with its amazing note generation feature and its integration of videos, audio files and images serve to boost the user experience. Can't wait to avail the app!
          Comment on Getting Started with note-taking apps by Pyramidion Solutions   
Google Keep, Apple Notes, Evernote and OneNote, the note-taking app market is crammed with such apps which are there to serve the user base amidst the intense competition that has been generated.
          Matar a un sim (facil) o dejar de usar uno.   
Para matar a un sim, lo seleccionamos y abrimos la consola de trucos (Ctrl+Shift+C) y escribimos el sig. truco: TESTINGCHEATSENABLED TRUE.

Despues hacemos click en alguna de las barras de necesidades y arrastramos(manteniendo el click) arrastramos hacia la izquierda para que la barra quede roja. Partiendo desde ahí, tu sim generará una acción que no podras cancelar llamada EXPIRAR y en el cuadrado aparecerá tu sim fantasma. Viene LA parca te mata y listo.

Para dejar de usar un sim e smuy simple. Solo tiene que ser adolecente o mayor, Vamos al telefono o a la computadora, elegimos la opción "TRANSLADAR" y activamos otra unidad domestica y un solar vacio u casa.
          Cambiar rasgos de personalidad   
Para cambiar rasgos de personalidad despues de ya haber concuído con la creación de nuesto sim ya no se puede. Pero con este truco todo eso es posible. Mientras estas en el juego tenes que apretar y escribir testingcheatsenabled true/false
  cuando lo activas (true), cliquea sobre un Sim con la tecla Mayúscula pulsada. Nos salen dos nuevas opciones: cambiarle la edad al Sim (crece hasta la siguiente etapa) o cambiarle los rasgos de su personalidad (afortunado, distraído, artístico…) Y además, en el panel de las necesidades del Sim seleccionado (higiene, energía, diversión…), ¡podemos mover las barras pinchando y arrastrando! Así, por ejemplo, nunca pasará hambre.
          Trucos para el juego | Sims 3   

Los Sims 3 tiene una serie de códigos que permiten saltarse las reglas del juego y que facilita a mucha gente cumplir sus objetivos con el juego de una forma rápida. Hay trucos para añadir dinero al instante a los fondos de una familia, para poder colocar objetos en el solar sin ninguna limitación, y muchos otros. En esta página los hemos reunido todos y te explicamos cómo usarlos:
Para usar un código y beneficiarnos de su función debemos insertarlo en la consola de trucos de Los Sims 3. Para abrirla debemos de pulsar en este orden y sin soltar las teclas Control + Shift + C (la tecla shift es la que se encuentra arriba de la tecla control). Entonces aparecerá un cuadro de texto azul en la parte superior de la pantalla. Allí escribimos el truco que queremos usar y pulsamos la tecla Intro.
Si el código del truco es correcto el cuadro desaparecerá.. Si nos hemos equivocado al introducirlo nos indicará el error. Para cerrar la consola de trucos sin introducir ninguno debemos pulsar Escape.

Aquí tienes la lista de trucos disponibles para el juego:

help – Muestra una lista con todos los trucos disponibles.
help <nombre del truco> – Muestra información concreta del truco indicado.
quit – Cierra el juego (te preguntará si deseas guardar la partida).
[flecha arriba] – Recupera el último truco introducido en esta ventana para esta instancia de la partida.
resetSim <nombre completo del Sim> – En el extraño caso de que un Sim se quede “bloqueado” en una interacción o en algún lugar de la ciudad, o se le quede pegado algo, usa este truco.  Puede que el Sim tarde un poco en reaparecer porque se está recomponiendo por completo. Ejemplo de uso: resetSim Homero Lápida

fps [on/off]
– Activa y desactiva el visor de la velocidad de imagen en la esquina superior derecha.

moveObjects [on/off]
– Anula la limitación de espacio asignado para colocar cualquier objeto en los modos Comprar y Construir. Anula los límites de la herramienta de Mano para los objetos en uso o que habitualmente nopueden ser movidos. Es causa de problemas con los elementos del juego, las rutas, la generación de objetos ocultos y su manipulación, etc. Ten en cuenta que este truco permite mover y borrar objetos que normalmente no admiten estas acciones, como los Sims. Si borras estos objetos, no hay forma de recuperarlos, ¡así que ten cuidado!

constrainFloorElevation [true/false]
– Permite todos los ajustes de terreno con independencia de los objetos, Sims y edificios que haya sobre ellos.  Las paredes, suelos y objetos se moverán con el terreno, lo que te permitirá crear paredes sobre cuestas y colinas planas.  No obstante, colocar nuevas paredes o suelos seguirá alisando el terreno, y colocar los objetos seguirá requiriendo que el terreno sea plano inicialmente si el objeto así lo exige.
disableSnappingToSlotsOnAlt [on/off] – Si está en “on”, los objetos no se ajustarán a los espacios mientras pulses ALT.  Es útil para poner objetos sin tener que ajustarlos, como las sillas al lado de las mesas o unas encimeras al lado de otras, etc.
hideHeadlineEffects [on/off] – Oculta todos los efectos mostrados sobre las cabezas de los Sims, como los bocadillos de pensamiento o de voz.
fadeObjects [on/off]Activa o desactiva el desvanecimiento de objetos cuando la cámara se acerca a ellos. No se aplica a los Sims.

slowMotionViz <nivel>
– La parte visual del juego se ejecuta a cámara lenta. El valor “nivel” es opcional.  Los valores van desde 0 = velocidad normal hasta 8 = velocidad más lenta.

unlockOutfits [on/off]
– Incluye los atuendos de profesión y de servicio de los Sims como opciones en Crear un Sim.  El truco debe introducirse antes de entrar en dicho modo.
jokePlease – El juego te muestra un pequeño chiste en la consola de trucos.

          Cómo instalar contenido personalizado | Sims 3   

Instalar descargas en Los Sims 3

En Los Sims 3 es un poco más pesado instalar descargas pero no es imposible. Hay varias formas de hacerlo dependiendo del tipo de archivo hayamos descargado o obtenido una vez descomprimido.

Archivos Sims3pack:

Si es un archivo sims3pack, haciendo doble clic en él se abrirá el lanzador de Los Sims 3 y se instalará automáticamente en el juego(PERO PUEDE SER QUE TE PIDA UNA ACTUALIZACION PARA USAR EL ARCHIVO). Desde el lanzador podes ver qué contenido has instalado o cual tienes copiado al ordenador pero sin instalar. También puedes activar y desactivar determinadas descargas, borrarlas, y muchas más cosas.

Archivos Sim:
Si se trata de un archivo .sim, hay que copiarlo en Mis Documentos\Electronic Arts\Los Sims 3\SavedSims. Encontrarás al sim indicado dentro del cajón de Sims prefabricados en la pantalla “Crea un Sim” del juego. Hay algunos archivos como pelos, ojos, ect, que pueden llegar a venir en un archivo .sims3pack .

Archivos Packages:

Si se trata de un archivo .packgage, hay dos métodos de hacerlo: manualmente o con ayuda de un programa llamado TS3 Install Helper Monkey, que hace la misma tarea, pero automáticamente.

Instalación manual 

Primero de todo necesitarás un archivo llamado Resource.cfg. Es un archivo que le indica al juego donde se encuentran las descargas y que es necesario que tengas siempre copiado en: C:\Archivos de Programa\Electronic Arts\Los Sims 3 (o la carpeta donde instalaste el juego, recuerda que no estamos hablando de la carpeta que se encuentra en Mis Documentos, sino donde se instaló el juego), si usas Windows.  Si usas Mac debes de copiarlo a este directorio: Los Sims > Contents > Resources > transgaming > c_drive > Program Files > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3. El archivo lo puedes descargar aca y simplemente copiarlo al lugar que hemos indicado.
Una vez hecho esto debes crear en el mismo directorio donde hemos copiado el archivo, una carpeta llamada Mods y dentro de ella otra llamada Packgages. Allí es donde debes de copiar los archivos package para que el juego los detecte y puedas jugar con ellos. Si quieres, también puedes crear hasta cuatro nieveles de subcarpetas dentro para tener ordenadas las descargas según sea cabellos, objetos, prendas de vestir, etc. Aunque también puedes tenerlas todas en la misma.

Ahora arranca el juego y ya podrás ver y usar el contenido que deseabas. Si algún día quieres eliminar alguna de ellas tan sólo tienes que borrarla de la carpeta Packages. Ten en cuenta que las descargas que instales de esta manera no aparecerán en la lista del lanzador de Los Sims 3, pero sí que podrás verlas y usar en el juego.
Instalación automática mediante TS3 Install Helper Monkey
La forma más rápida y cómoda para instalar las descargas ahorrándonos todo este proceso de arriba es usando un programa llamado TS3 Install Helper Monkey creado por Delphy, que en realidad hace lo mismo que hemos explicado arriba, pero de forma automática. Descárgalo desde aquí e instálalo asegurandote que no tienes el juego en marcha. Él directamente creará el archivo Resource.cfg y las correspondientes carpetas. Una vez instalado en nuestro ordenador, para añadir descargas en formato packgage al juego deberemos hacer clic con el botón derecho del ratón sobre el archivo y nos aparecerá un menú con diversas opciones. Dependiendo de cual escojamos la descarga se instalará en una de las subcarpetas que el programa creó automáticamente para tener un mejor orden, aunque en cualquiera de ellas nos vale, no hace falta seguir la norma (aunque es recomendable).

          The Importance of Men's Fashion   
Have you ever wondered why men have suddenly plunged into fashion and are thus considered very important nowadays? Other than general need to look good, fashion allows men to express themselves better.
          Anxiety - Treatment of It with Passion!   
Our modern lifestyle has a major downside, including extreme anxiety; treatment of which can be just as stressful! Exhausting activities like deadlines, exams, interviews, performance targets, layoffs, salary cuts, unfair competition, peer pressure, time away from family and loved ones – the list goes on forever - and – and – and - it doesn’t get any easier, does it?

Oftentimes the demands may be so overwhelming that it seems almost impossible to slow down and take a deep breath. The result - we worry and lose sleep about pretty much anything and everything. This can spiral down into symptoms of anxiety and panic.

A lot can be done to relax and just slow down. One way is to help our brain produce its own natural feel-good chemicals by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grain foods; getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and exercising regularly.

Practicing relaxation techniques, meditation or taking time for a walk can all help to reduce stress levels and facilitate a feeling of calm – helping us to wind down and relax.

Many artificial remedies can produce side effects that create more problems than they resolve. The reason often is that they treat the symptoms but do not help to alleviate the cause. They can fix the pain, but hurt our stomach, or whatever.

However, natural remedies are made 100% from natural ingredients that can help to refresh our nervous system and keep our nerves settled and soothedto enable us to cope more easily with the everyday stresses of rush.

Natural remedies can help relieve anxiety; depression can be conquered – naturally.

In fact, natural remedies have been used routinely in medicine for thousands of years to support the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. Our grandparents knew a lot more about plants and remedies than we do! If you travel overseas you will see many countries and cultures which use daily all sorts of teas and potions made from natural substances. Are these remedies some hocus pocus? No way!

They work to relieve anxiety, stress, and all their symptoms!

There are many published clinical studies demonstrating the ability of a wide range of herbs to support the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and maintain a healthy balance - which will always assist with staying calm under pressure.

One of them is the curiously named, “Passion Flower" which is used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. In Brazil, the fruit from this beautiful flower is ground and taken as a delicious soothing juice. They don't take is as a remedy - it's a common refreshing drink at any time of day. Ask Brazilians if they are anxious! You guessed right - they are happy people!

This is the natural way to calm down. We don't have to be bound to anxiety. Treatment of anxiety can be much easier than we think. This may involve professional intervention, and of course, if in any doubt, always consult your physician. Treatment may be as simple as a natural boost of naturally occurring elements which a healthy body needs for optimum performance.

          The Other Incumbent Rule   

LA CROSSE, Wis.—The past six years have not been kind to political rules of thumb. During the primary season, a candidate who leads in both the polls and in fund raising on Jan. 1 is supposed to be guaranteed the nomination. Ask Howard Dean about that one. In the general election, the national popular vote is supposed to coincide with the vote in the Electoral College. Ask Al Gore how that went. And during midterm congressional elections, the president's party is supposed to lose seats in the House. About that one, ask Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The next political axiom to be tested will be polling's "incumbent rule," which dictates that undecided voters break overwhelmingly for the challenger on Election Day. (Another way to put it is that an incumbent president's polling number typically equals or exceeds the percentage share of the vote he'll receive.) Because most final state polls show President Bush polling below 50 percent in nearly every swing state, history is on John Kerry's side Tuesday. But recent elections have shown that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

What's more, if the election turns out to be close, there's another way incumbency could be the determining factor in the election, as Randy Broz, a Democratic strategist and fund-raiser for House candidates, pointed out to me last week. This rule, call it the "other incumbent rule," favors President Bush. In the unlikely scenario of "another Florida"—litigation or just a long recount in a decisive state—the president, by virtue of his incumbency, will hold a decisive public-relations advantage. During the 2000 recount, Republicans cried that Al Gore was trying to "steal the election" from Bush based on nothing more than the fact that the TV networks had declared Bush the winner on Election Night. Had Bush been a sitting president, the outcry would have been more persuasive. Trying to oust a wartime incumbent through litigation would be nearly impossible.

Kerry will need to win clearly and convincingly at the ballot box in order to unseat Bush, and for what it's worth, most reporters seem to think that he's going to do it. The Kerry campaign staff is confident, and it appears to be genuine, rather than bluster. "I never told anyone in 2000 that Al Gore was going to win by 6 points," Bob Shrum—taking a shot at Karl Rove's record in election forecasting—told reporters on the campaign plane. For the past week or two, the campaign has spoken confidently of winning "big states"—presumably Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—that would assure Kerry the presidency.

By Monday evening, reporters from news organizations that have colleagues traveling with Bush started saying that the Bush folks have clammed up, or that they seem unusually tight. Kerry's final events had a giddy air. The traveling press credentials for the night's last "major rally" in Cleveland featured a head shot of longtime Kerry spokesman David Wade, who gladly autographed a few. To the New York Daily News reporter, he wrote, "At least you're not the Post." And to the New York Post, he tweaked the paper's veep "scoop" by writing, "Go Kerry-Gephardt!" I heard rumors of, but did not witness, a dancing Mike McCurry. I even read it as a sign of confidence that traveling press secretary Allison Dobson was eager to join a proposed Electoral College betting pool. Teresa Heinz Kerry's slightly unusual political talk in Cleveland—about an America that is "young" and "imperfect" but "growing," and how Kerry knows America's "thorny parts" as well its idealism—came across as charming rather than ludicrous.

In Toledo, at a midnight rally that Kerry dubbed "the first stop of Election Day," Gen. Tony McPeak criticized the Bush administration for wrapping itself in the flag to hide its "incompetence." "You wanna shoot 'em, you gotta put a hole in the flag," McPeak said. "We got a guy in John Kerry who stands in front the flag. He says, you gonna hurt that flag, you're gonna have to run through me."

When Kerry arrived here in La Crosse for a photo op at 1:25 a.m. Central time, a man in the crowd held aloft a scrawled sign reading, "Tomorrow Is Here, President Kerry." Kerry leapt into the crowd of a couple hundred people, clutching and grabbing and high-fiving hands. He seemed to realize that this was it, his last full day as a presidential campaigner. Just a couple weeks ago in Des Moines during a joint appearance with John Edwards, Kerry had walked down a catwalk next to his running mate, who was reaching down into the crowd enthusiastically with both hands. Kerry, by comparison, touched a voter's hand only occasionally, and only at the end of the walk did he extend both arms to clasp hands with anyone. This time, Kerry eagerly embraced the throng for 20 minutes, perhaps not ready for this day to end.

Predictions are dangerous, but I'll make one: Tuesday night, the incumbent rule holds, and on Jan. 20, we'll have a new incumbent.

          The GOP's 'Heidi Game'   

ORLANDO—The South Florida Sun-Sentinel buried this nugget Sunday in a story about the late delivery of 2,500 absentee ballots in Broward County: WPLG-Channel 10, an ABC affiliate in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, aired a half-hour chunk of Stolen Honor, the 43-minute anti-Kerry documentary, on Saturday. The time was purchased by Newton Media, a Virginia-based media placement company that says it was founded "on biblical principles" and that includes a number of "media ministries" among its clients.

Angry callers "flooded the customer service phone lines" at the station for airing the program, the Sun-Sentinel reported. A liberal backlash? No, just sports fans upset that the Michigan-Michigan State football game, "tied, 37-37, and about to go into overtime," was pre-empted. Doesn't anyone at Newton Media know the story of the "Heidi game"? Could this be the Republicans' "Lambert Field moment"?

Will the election really be close? On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, journalists and campaign staffers sat in the bar at the Hotel Fort Des Moines and talked about what an exciting, unpredictable, four-way race for the Democratic nomination was about to unfold. The polls were tied. No one professed to have any idea what was about to happen. The unknown factor was an influx of new caucus participants. Many experts predicted that we would be up all night before we could discern the winner. But John Kerry was pronounced the decisive winner as soon as the caucuses ended. (Likewise, few expected a nail-biter in the 2000 general election.)

Florida3: If Kerry loses in Florida and the rest of the map goes as expected (meaning no upsets in Arkansas, New Jersey, or elsewhere), he'll need to carry Hawaii, Michigan, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Ohio, and two of the "Little Three": Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, to get to 270 electoral votes. With Florida, Kerry coasts to victory. Without Florida, he pretty much needs to run the table to win.

At least he's not traveling with Maurice Chevalier. Bruce Springsteen and John Kerry will appear together again on Monday. But is Springsteen the wrong symbol for a Democratic candidate? The Boss and his fan base, after all, are reminiscent of the caricature of limousine liberals: aging yuppies in BMWs who are either hopelessly trying to recapture their past glory or desperately trying to show that they're in touch with the working man. It's akin to Bush traveling with Hank Williams Jr. But in the unlikely event that the Springsteen does resonate politically, Kerry will owe another debt to his former campaign manager Jim Jordan, who chose "No Surrender" as Kerry's theme song. (Jordan also lobbied for Kerry to use his successful "Bring it on" mantra early in the primaries, but the idea was nixed by Bob Shrum.)

For those scoring at home: Here's where the candidates and their wives will be on the last day of campaigning before Election Day. Both Bush and Kerry have abandoned their typically lightly scheduled campaign days for a last-day whirlwind:

Kerry begins the day here in Orlando, then heads to Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio (twice), then back to Wisconsin. On Tuesday, he'll do a morning event in Wisconsin—"Because Wisconsin is a same-day registration state, we'll be doing a turnout event," Mike McCurry told reporters—then head home to Massachusetts.

Edwards visits Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, and Florida, then spends all day Tuesday in Florida before heading to Massachusetts for Kerry's Election Night rally.

President Bush spends Monday in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa (twice), New Mexico, and Texas, while the Cheneys take the red-eye back from Hawaii and do events in Colorado, Nevada (twice), then head home to Wyoming.

Teresa Heinz Kerry stays in her home state of Pennylvania, while Elizabeth Edwards travels to Wisconsin, Ohio (twice), and Iowa. Laura Bush starts the day with the president in Ohio, then she has separate events in Ohio and Michigan before joining up again with the president in Iowa.

The best news of the weekend: The Packers-Redskins game could have ended in a tie. It didn't.

          Sticks Nix Veep Pick   

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—By most standards, John Edwards has been a solid running mate for John Kerry. He throttled Dick Cheney in the vice presidential debate (less sympathetic observers thought he at least held his own), he draws big and enthusiastic crowds, he gave a decent if not spectacular acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, he's always on message, and he's committed no memorable gaffes or otherwise violated the Hippocratic oath of vice presidential nominees. He wasn't selected to win his home state of North Carolina, so it isn't fair for Democrats to be disappointed when the Tar Heel State stays in the Bush column, as it almost certainly will, a week from tonight. But Edwards partisans did expect him to help the Democratic ticket to appeal more to rural voters, and there's no evidence that he's managed to pull off that admittedly difficult feat. If Kerry loses a close election next week, the first second-guessing question has to be, Was John Edwards the right choice?

According to a poll released on Saturday by the Center for Rural Strategies, Kerry trails President Bush by 12 points, 53 to 41 (with a 4.4 percent margin of error), among rural voters in 17 battleground states. Four years ago, Al Gore lost those voters to Bush by a nearly identical margin, 11 points. No reasonable person expected Edwards to help Kerry actually win among rural voters, but it was hoped that he would help the ticket outperform Gore's number and reduce the margin to single digits. When Edwards was criticized for "disappearing" after the convention, the Kerry campaign explained that he had been dispatched to rural areas that were being ignored by the national media, and they assured everyone that he was wowing local media. Local voters seem to be another matter.

During a Tuesday conference call that was set up to discuss how good the Kerry campaign feels about its chances to win the election, the one disappointment expressed by Joe Lockhart and Stan Greenberg was Kerry's performance in rural areas. "I think we recognize that rural voters have not come to us in the way that we had hoped for in this election," Lockhart said. Greenberg said the fact that rural voters were "stuck" was a big factor in why Iowa and New Mexico, states that were won by Gore, remain tossups.

A less exciting but more traditional vice-presidential pick might have served Kerry better by putting one of those states safely in his column. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson or Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack could have guaranteed their states' electoral votes for the Democrats. Perhaps even Arkansas' Wes Clark or one of Florida's two senators, Bob Graham and Bill Nelson, could have put their states away for Kerry.

None of those candidates would have generated the buzz that selecting Edwards did, and there are reasons to believe that each of them would have been truly bad choices. Maybe they all would have been crucified by Dick Cheney. But Vilsack, in particular, made Kerry's shortlist, along with Edwards and Dick Gephardt. If you're a Democrat looking at the electoral map, which would you rather have right now, a veep debate win or Iowa's seven electoral votes?

How I Voted: I didn't mean to abstain from Slate's "Show Us Your Ballots" exercise, but I missed the deadline. Here's my candidate: Kerry. I was ambivalent about the Iraq war before the invasion, and I ultimately decided that if you're ambivalent about war you should be against it. The president and this administration apparently feel otherwise. They've put the burden of proof on peace rather than war. Their disdain for the global institutions that have projected American power overseas for 60 years has undermined not just our country's hard-earned reputation and moral authority but our hard-earned might. Their disregard for the Geneva Conventions is shameful and a dangerous international precedent. On the domestic side, Kerry seems a little too eager to spend taxpayer dollars, but I take his pledges of—if not his instincts for—restraint as a reason for guarded optimism. More important, on that score, he can't be any worse than Bush. Besides, this is a one-issue election for me. I don't hate President Bush. I think he's well-intentioned and a good man. He's just not a good president.

          I Want My GOTV   

COLUMBUS, Ohio—With only nine days until this election is over (or so everyone hopes), we've reached the stage of the campaign when the political press evaluates each side's ground game. The media's track record on this is not encouraging. Almost exactly nine months ago, reporters were wandering around Iowa judging the merits of everyone's "organization, organization, organization." The verdict: Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt were the men to beat. We were dazzled by Gephardt's union support and by Dean's "Perfect Storm" of door-knocking, orange-hatted, out-of-state volunteers. They both got creamed.

In hindsight, Dean's Perfect Storm has been judged a debacle on two levels: It annoyed Iowans, who don't like outsiders, and it tied up Dean's staff with organizational headaches—where should we house the Stormers? How can we keep them busy?—when the staff's time would have been better spent figuring out how to get Iowans to the caucuses. But at the time, it got great press.

So, perhaps it's a bad omen for Kerry's ground game in Ohio when I discover that Christy Setzer, the woman who handled press for the Perfect Storm, has been assigned to deal with national reporters who parachute into Columbus to watch America Coming Together, the New New Thing of the general election, in action. That's not meant as a slap at Setzer—she's a terrific person who's good at her job (see the aforementioned glowing press)—but the parallels are irresistible. Like the Storm was for the caucuses, the George Soros-funded ACT is the Big Question Mark of the general election: How many of the new voters it registered in the past year are authentic? How many of them will show up to vote? Can this unconventional strategy win Kerry the presidency?

ACT's army of red-coated canvassers are Kerry's Afghan warlords: He's outsourced his base campaign, his voter-registration drives, and a healthy chunk of his get-out-the-vote operation to them. Much of the rest of the operation will be handled by the groups (including ACT) that make up America Votes, another 527 that coordinates the voter-contact and voter-turnout operations of a host of interest groups, from the AFL-CIO to Planned Parenthood, to ensure that everyone's on the same page. In a sense, America Votes does for the liberal ground game what Grover Norquist's weekly meeting does for conservative talking points.

When I ask Setzer to compare ACT to Dean's Storm, she says it differs in important ways. For one, the canvassers are paid workers and not volunteers, and the organization tries to hire locals instead of out-of-towners. More important, perhaps, the canvassers are supposed to identify voters and get them to the polls, not tell voters their personal stories of how far they've traveled and why they're committed to Howard Dean (or John Kerry). But the real key is that they don't work for just one weekend.

The secret to turnout is frequent face-to-face contact with voters. That's a lesson Steve Rosenthal, the national head of America Coming Together, learned during his years as the political director of the AFL-CIO. Many people attribute Al Gore's victory in the popular vote in 2000—and his wins in every close state except Florida—to Rosenthal's turnout operation for the unions in 2000. Donna Brazile has called Rosenthal "the last great hope of the Democratic Party" and has compared him to Michael Whouley and Karl Rove. ACT is a national version of what Rosenthal did for Philadelphia Mayor John Street in 2003. In that race, 38,000, or 44 percent, of the 86,000 new voters Rosenthal registered came to the polls, he told National Journal earlier this year, compared to 28 or 29 percent of what the magazine called "voters from the same neighborhoods and similar socio-economic backgrounds who had registered on their own."

In Ohio, ACT sends out between 200 and 250 paid canvassers each day. They get paid between $8 and $10 an hour. Setzer reels off impressive numbers: We've knocked on 3.7 million doors in Ohio, had more than 1 million conversations. On Election Day, ACT will send out 12,000 volunteers, each paid a stipend of $75 for travel and expenses, to make sure voters get to the polls. ACT and the partner organizations that make up America Votes have registered about 300,000 new voters in Ohio, and they'll consider it a success to turn out just half of them. Those voters alone, though, wouldn't swing the election. Four years ago, Bush's margin of victory was nearly 180,000 votes. In all, Ohio has between 700,000 and 800,000 new voters for this election, though Setzer points out that some of that could just be churn from voters who moved.

My trip to watch two ACT canvassers in action wasn't very impressive, but that's because it was a Potemkin canvass, organized for the benefit of an MSNBC reporter and his camera. Malik Hubbard, 26, and Julian Johannesen, 32, walked up and down a few blocks in a largely African-American neighborhood in Columbus on a Saturday afternoon. As ACT's field directors for Franklin County, which includes Columbus, Hubbard and Johannesen don't usually canvass themselves. Each man carried a Palm Tungsten T2, which contained the addresses of the voters they were supposed to contact. It's Saturday afternoon on the day of the Ohio State homecoming game, so it's not optimal door-knocking time, but they do their best to put on a good show. When a voter answers the door, the canvasser gives him or her a flyer that has the address of the local polling place stamped on it. He explains that the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., advises the voter to bring some form of identification to the polls in case their registration is challenged, and asks if there are any questions. On two separate occasions, a voter worries about a false rumor that the neighborhood's voting machines have been replaced with punch-card ballots. After talking to each voter, Hubbard and Johannesen input the data into their Tungsten T2s.

Over the next nine days, canvassers will follow up with voters, continuing the personal contacts. For what it's worth, the Bush-Cheney campaign in the state is following a similar strategy, though it doesn't partly rely on an outside organization to carry it out. "I'm not saying we're gonna outperform the other side, because they have the potential to be spectacular," says Dave Beckwith, a Bush-Cheney spokesman in Ohio. "I'd just rather be where we are, with a real solid model." The model is the Republican "72 Hour Program," Karl Rove's get-out-the-vote operation from 2002, which helped the Republicans gain House and Senate seats in the midterm elections. Like ACT, the 72 Hour Program relies on frequent face-to-face contact with voters, what Bush's Ohio campaign manager Bob Paduchik calls "the volunteer-to-voter interface."

"By and large, it is an effort to move closer to the Democrat knock-and-drag vote drive," Beckwith says. Republicans have traditionally relied on things like direct mail to get out the vote, but this time, "We are going to the personal contact system." The Bush-Cheney campaign has printed up small pamphlets that contain a list of each committed Bush voter in a neighborhood, along with voters' phone numbers and a map of the area. On Election Day, a volunteer takes the book and checks off each voter after they go to the polls.

Beckwith admits that the Democrats have registered more new voters than the Republicans, but he says that their work was done by "mercenaries"—and they have "people signed up by crack addicts"—while his side employs volunteers, or "liberty-loving free men." Beckwith then drifts into a reverie about the Battle of San Jacinto and explains how Sam Houston knew that "conscripts" and the forces of "despotism" couldn't defeat free men. The enemy was saying, "Me no Alamo," Beckwith says with a laugh. (At another moment in the interview, Beckwith observes of the Kerry-Edwards campaign offices, "I think they're on Gay Street, which is interesting, because we're on Rich Street.")

At the Bush-Cheney headquarters, I mention to Paduchik, Bush's Ohio campaign manager, how the media overestimated the effectiveness of Dean's Perfect Storm. Paduchik says the evidence of Bush's organization in Ohio is the size of his crowds, because the campaign distributes its tickets through its volunteers. When you see 22,000 people in Troy, Ohio, or 50,000 people in Westchester, Ohio, you know you're looking at "a real organization," he says. "It's not because we had tickets you could download from the Internet. It's not because we had put them on car windows, or had people pick them up at a 7-Eleven, like the other side does."

On the way out, I'm reminded that all this work on both sides isn't necessarily a sign of confidence. As we walk to the door, Beckwith points to an empty portion of the Bush-Cheney offices. That's where the staff for Sen. George Voinovich works, he says. "These cocksuckers are up 30 points and they're never in here."

          Second Best   

CLEVELAND—Is John Kerry finally winning? His campaign, which only a week ago was defensive about the candidate's standing in the polls, is now more confidently asserting that he's pulled ahead. Before Friday, the Kerry campaign hadn't been willing to make that claim. Typically, the Bush campaign would argue that the president was leading in the race, and the Kerry campaign would respond by saying, no, it's a tie. But in a Friday afternoon conference call, Kerry's people finally started pointing to the scoreboard.

Here are the numbers outlined by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg on the latest Democracy Corps poll. The numbers are consistent with the latest polls from news organizations, most of which are in keeping with what the Kerry people have been saying all along, that the race is a toss-up. In Greenberg's poll, the horse race is a statistical tie, with Kerry at 49 and Bush at 47. The president's approval rating is 48 percent, "which is just at the edge of electability," Greenberg noted.

So why the confidence? Greenberg cited two internal numbers from the part of the poll that focused on "persuadable" voters. That group includes undecided voters, Bush and Kerry supporters who say their minds remain open, and a third group, Bush voters who say they want the country to go in a significantly different direction. The first number Greenberg cited was this: Fifty-seven percent of the persuadable voters in the Democracy Corps poll said they want to know how a candidate will "make the economy and health care better for people," while only 32 percent want to know "how you'll make us safe." The other number Greenberg highlighted: Given a choice between "I'm comfortable with changing to a new person if he has the right priorities" and "Bush has made us safer and I'm reluctant to change," 54 percent of persuadable voters said they were comfortable with changing, and 45 percent said they were reluctant. The responses to those two questions, Greenberg said, show that Kerry has "an audience" ready to listen to his message. He just has to "seal the deal."

With 11 days to go, that puts Kerry in the exact same place he was with more than three months to go, before the Democratic convention. He had a willing and persuadable audience then, and he proved unable to win them over. People preferred the "generic Democrat" to Bush, but they soured on the specific Democrat. Fortunately for Kerry, in the first debate, Bush reminded voters of what they don't like about him, and now we're back to square one again.

That dynamic is in keeping with the "spotlight" theory of the election being peddled by Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times. The theory goes something like this: Given that a slight majority of the electorate doesn't want Bush, and that a different but similarly slight majority doesn't want Kerry, the winning candidate will be the one who manages to keep the spotlight on his opponent's flaws, rather than his own.

Up to now, I've rejected Brownstein's theory and argued that Kerry has to do more than just watch Bush lose. He has to win the separate "referendum on the challenger" by persuading Americans that he's an acceptable replacement for the president. But if Brownstein is right, neither candidate should get too optimistic by polling data that shows him ahead. Because every time for the past few months that this race has been one man's race to lose, that man hasn't had any trouble finding a way to lose it.

          By: Eddie89   
"Human scum" doesn't even begin to describe this degenerate.
          Comment on 6 Ways to Love Your Body (That Lead to Better Sex!) by Brian Steere   
Anything you believe will make you happy becomes an idol to which you sacrifice happiness to. The nature of relationship is not getting from - but giving to and receiving in like kind. If you withhold and withdraw your presence to a set of conditions that must be met or sought in order to then 'come out to share and play' - then you set the conditions of your own loss of worth and connection by what you then extend to others. Everything has all of the meaning you give it. But in fear we gave meanings that protected or hid the fear so as to 'survive' an intolerable situation. But you are free to look on what fear made and release it to let love in - instead of trying to overcome, mask or impose over an unlovely world, body or relationship FROM a point of separation and control - that is the condition in which love's honesty is denied while making gratification upon fantasy associations. "Behold I make all things new!" is the Nature of a truly shared existence. The recognition of Self in the Other is natural to the release of what you are NOT. Meeting what we are NOT without being triggered into shame or blame is of a genuine desire for true being - and not any self-driven sense of 'better' - though of course there is always an expansion of discovery of the More of Who You Truly Are - but this is not a devaluation of who you believed and experienced yourself to be. Intimacy of a true fulfilment cometh when ye thinketh NOT - so take NO thought for yourself - but behold the lover in whom is your delight. Can you let love in? Not if you are seeking gratifications for a fantasy - but we can only ever accept or love ourself as we are - by no longer rejecting or denying who we fear or hate to be. All communication is aligned true in a real relationship - but of course all blocks to such a relational intimacy arise to be recognized and released. The movement of love is a wholeness of being - that is 'being with'. You are never truly in anything or anywhere else - but the mind of fear is associated with the persistence of a fantasy given power over true - and thus afraid of, and blind to the true of others and of self. Put first things first and everything else aligns. If there was a 'how to love' there would be a condition that love cannot embrace that some process must transform to then become worthy. I hold this is BACKWARDS - and its thinking is a world in which everything is backwards! Feel and know within instead of imposing thought from a sense of 'without'. You are love - but must extend this to remember. The 'best sex' is completely free of any idea of 'sex' - for no thought comes between that which moves you both as one. The body in that sense, falls away and ... words cannot say. Even "I love you!" will generate a separation if the mind identifies in saying it - and yet when nothing is given the power to interrupt - everything is accepted as of the same purpose or movement of being. Share life and know its worth. Let love move as it will - given freedom to be. Connection is never gotten outside - but can be extended and reflected and shared as thought, word and deed. Such is the wonder of any relationship re-cognized.
          Blog>> Knowledge Audits in Practice - Report on Global Survey   
Let me thank the 150 respondents from all over who generously responded to my survey on knowledge audit perceptions and experiences. Some very useful insights from the responses, which I summarise below. The detailed report can be found in the attached pdf. Many of you expressed willingness to be contacted – I will be working on the interview plan over the coming weeks.Thanks again for all your help! Main Insights: 1. There is a wide array of understandings of what a knowledge audit is (both in the research literature and in practice). 2. People experienced in knowledge audits focus less on audits for compliance, quality or benchmarking – more general perceptions of knowledge audits amplify the importance of those types. 3. Knowledge audits are composite activities, combining several audit types, most usually an Inventory of knowledge stocks and flows, combined with an internal or external review of KM practices. 4. People experienced in knowledge audits tend to narrow the range of audit types used in combination, compared with general perceptions. 5. If an Inventory Audit is not conducted, the most common types used are internal or external reviews of KM practices, and audits of the quality of KM. 6. Knowledge audits most commonly focus on knowledge stocks and flows, KM processes, strategic knowledge needs and KM capabilities. 7. Knowledge audits are most commonly used to understand organisational knowledge needs, as input to a KM strategy, and to improve operational-level KM. 8. Knowledge audits use a very wide array of methods, with interviews, workshops and surveys being most favoured. The most effective methods are considered to be interviews for their depth and richness, and workshops for building knowledge maps and building consensus. 9. The biggest challenges in conducting knowledge audits relate to getting reliable, comprehensive and accurate data covering non-obvious knowledge sources as well as the obvious ones. This is partially connected to how the audit is scoped, the engagement methods deployed, and how communications are managed, particularly in getting consistent understandings of the goals. The second major cluster of challenges relates to the time required for an audit, getting management buy-in, and getting participation from the right people. 10. The most cited benefit from a knowledge audit is its ability to build consensus and provide underpinning evidence for KM planning, and for a KM strategy and roadmap. A second major benefit (particularly relating to Inventory Audits) is its value in locating important knowledge and ensuring effective knowledge access and use. Download the detailed report here If you are in Europe in May, don’t forget to check out the Social Now Conference in Lisbon, May 10-12 – it will be packed with KM thinkers and practitioners, with some excellent masterclasses and a very practical, case-based approach. I’ll be leading a Masterclass on Knowledge Audits at that event. For more resources on knowledge audits, click here
          Enabling Client-Side Caching of Generated Content in ASP.NET   
          Blog>> Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge   
General Stanley McChrystal of the US Army on why sometimes it’s more powerful to share knowledge than to keep it secret.
          Blog>> Presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016   
Here are the slides for a bunch of presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016: Dave Clarke and Maish Nichani (keynote): Searching outside the box Dave Clarke and Gene Loh: Linked Data: the world is your database Patrick Lambe (workshop): Taxonomies and facet analysis for beginners Patrick Lambe (workshop): Knowledge mapping: identifying and mitigating knowledge risks
          Worst Fashion Mistakes of Men's Style   
It is an accepted fact worldwide: men are generally less concerned with fashion as women are. On the average, a lady spends more time and money on her looks than a man would on his.
          Daydreaming About Dean   

MIAMI—Can we change horses in midstream? Democrats wanted Republicans and independent voters to be asking themselves that question at this stage in the presidential campaign, but with little more than a month to go before Election Day, some Democrats are asking it of themselves. It's the seven-month itch: The long general-election campaign has led the voters who settled down with Mr. Stability to wonder what would have happened if they had pursued their crushes on riskier but more exciting candidates. What if dreamy John Edwards were the nominee instead of John Kerry? Would he be better able to explain his votes for war and against the $87 billion to fund the war? Would his campaign have been leaner and more effective than Kerry's multitudes? Or what about Democrats' first love, Howard Dean? Remember him? Would his straightforward opposition to the war in Iraq look more prescient now than it did during the Iowa caucuses, which were held shortly after Saddam Hussein was captured?

The most surprising Democrat to engage in this daydreaming is one who never dated Dean in the first place: Peter Beinart, editor of the New Republic. Writing in Time, Beinart says, "[T]here's reason to believe [Democratic primary voters] guessed wrong—that Dean would be doing better against Bush than Kerry is." Deaniacs can be forgiven for being a little bit piqued at the timing of Beinart's conversion. After all, most Dean supporters thought Beinart's magazine did its best to torpedo the Dean candidacy for much of 2003, including an online "Diary of a Dean-o-Phobe." But TNR also ran glowing profiles of Dean and his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, and it never married Kerry, either. Although the magazine ultimately endorsed Joe Lieberman, its endorsement issue contained an article praising every other major Democratic contender—Dean, Edwards, Dick Gephardt—except John Kerry. So, it's understandable why Beinart would be one of the first to fantasize about divorce.

Beinart argues that Dean's clarity on the war, his straight-talking authenticity, and his lack of a Senate voting record would have forced President Bush to focus on the issue of Iraq, rather than the character of John Kerry. Not everyone who worked for Howard Dean during the primaries agrees that the Vermont governor would have been a stronger nominee—in fact, some say just the opposite or even burst into laughter at the notion—but one senior Dean adviser that I talked to Wednesday agrees strongly. "If Howard Dean were the nominee right now, nobody would be wondering where he stands on Iraq, nobody would be accusing us of not fighting back, and we wouldn't be fighting to hold on to our base," said the adviser, who asked that his name not be used. Kerry's "thoughtful and nuanced positions" might be an admirable quality in a president, but they're difficult to defend during a campaign.

A Dean general-election campaign would have contrasted Dean's record with Bush's in three ways: Dean being against the war versus Bush being for it; Dean's record of balancing the Vermont budget while providing health care versus Bush's largest deficits in history with no health care; and a new wrinkle that was only hinted at during the primaries, Dean's mysterious, infrequently mentioned "tax reform" vs. Bush's irresponsible tax cuts. Yes, Dean would have repealed the entire Bush tax cut, the senior adviser said, but he would have proposed replacing it with some Dean tax cuts, including the elimination of payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income. The message: Bush cuts taxes from the top down, but Dean cuts them from the bottom up. Why didn't Dean introduce this during the primaries, when his tax-hiking ways made some Democrats think he would be an electoral disaster, the second coming of Walter Mondale, in the fall? He wanted to wait until after the Feb. 3 primaries because "he didn't want people to think he was pandering," the adviser said.

The Dean adviser did go out of his way to insist that he was not criticizing the Kerry campaign. The Republicans "might have destroyed Howard Dean," too, he said, but "I just think Howard would have matched up differently and better." The Dean adviser praised Kerry's maligned convention, which made voters believe that Kerry was a viable commander in chief who was as good as Bush or better on the issues of terrorism and homeland security. "They were in perfect position after the convention to win this thing," he said, quickly adding that he's not saying they've lost it. But then he added, "They basically are hoping that Bush shits the bed in the debates."

Of course, it's pretty obvious that the Republicans would have run a different campaign against Howard Dean than they did against John Kerry. But that doesn't mean it would have been any less effective. And if Dean couldn't beat Kerry, what exactly would have made him so formidable against President Bush? Would Dean's support for civil unions in Vermont have made gay marriage a much bigger issue in the fall? Was there something in his past that we didn't learn about? Would the aggressive campaign he would have waged in the spring and summer—leaping instantly on every bit of bad news from Iraq, from Abu Ghraib to Fallujah—have backfired? Would Dean have been able to build a campaign that brought together his divided Vermont and D.C. factions? It's impossible to know, though divining that impossibility is exactly what Democratic primary voters charged themselves with this time around.

Falling in love with Dean all over again ignores what made Democrats fall out of love with him in the first place. An incomplete list: his infuriating stubbornness and refusal to admit mistakes; his lousy white-background TV ad in Iowa; and his shift from a straight-talking, budget-balancing, health-care-providing Vermont governor to the shrieking leader of a cult movement. In Iowa, Dean's poor showing was exacerbated by the fact that he was the second choice of no one. He and Kerry found out that in American democracy, it's better to have a large number of people barely tolerate you than to have a smaller number like you a lot. By the weekend, it will be clear whether Kerry managed to rally a nose-holding majority to his side at Thursday's debate. If not, expect to hear a lot more conversations like this over the next 33 days.

          Bush's Aura Returns   

When the Bush campaign released its TV ad last week featuring footage of John Kerry windsurfing, Kerry spokesman Mike McCurry told me it was a good sign for his candidate. The windsurfing footage was a bullet that he knew the Bush campaign would use in an ad eventually, McCurry said, and the fact that they fired it now shows that they're worried, that they think Kerry is narrowing the gap with Bush. I wasn't sure whether McCurry actually believed this or if he just wanted to put the ad in the best possible light for the Democrats. But Sunday's Washington Post made me suspect that the Bush campaign really does think things are going poorly right now. Why? Because Republicans are starting to make preposterously overconfident predictions of a Bush landslide.

National polls show that the presidential race has gotten closer since the Republican Convention. A Bloomberg News report Monday noted that five national polls have Bush up by 4 points or less. The Republican reaction to this tightening was to announce to the Post that Bush is thinking about campaigning in Washington state and New Jersey—states that any winning Democrat should carry handily—to "expand a potential victory well beyond the states he won in 2000."

It's well-known that Karl Rove believes that swing voters like to vote for the winner. Therefore, one of the central political strategies for Bush has been to create an "aura of inevitability" that, theoretically, will bring people to his side. If everyone believes you're a political juggernaut, the theory goes, then you will become a political juggernaut.

The worse things get for Bush, the more likely his aides are to declare that he is invincible. The Bushies are starting to sound like Baghdad Bob, trumpeting a decisive victory for Saddam Hussein as the American military zooms into Iraq's capital city. Whenever Bush is in trouble, someone—usually Rove—declares that things are going just swimmingly. The most memorable example of this was Bush's 2000 campaign trip to California to make it look like his election was going to be a walk even though polls showed that the race was a toss-up. Bush also took a day off from campaigning as a sign of confidence in his impending landslide. On Election Day, of course, Al Gore won more votes than Bush did, and eventually Bush won the presidency with only one more electoral vote than he needed to take office.

But there are other, less notable examples. Bush stuck with the same strategy during the 2000 primaries. In January of that year, as John McCain looked to be mounting a serious challenge to Bush's nomination, Rove told the Austin American-Statesman that "Bush is entering the 2000 election season in a stronger position than any candidate in the history of an open presidential race on the Republican side." A month later, Bush lost by 18 points to McCain in New Hampshire. The concept of "inevitability" was so central to Bush's campaign strategy that Dana Milbank wrote a piece in the Washington Post after New Hampshire that was titled, "If Bush Is No Longer Inevitable, What Is He?"

In September 2000, a little more than four years ago, Rove told Ken Herman of the Austin American-Statesman the same thing that the Bush campaign is telling reporters now: "The neat thing is we are fighting on [Gore's] territory rather than him fighting on ours." Rove told Herman that Bush had a shot in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, too, just as the Bush campaign is declaring now. Granted, Bush did have a shot, and the races were close, but Gore took all three of those states. (Rove did predict to Herman that Bush would take West Virginia and Missouri.)

During a conference call earlier this month, senior Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart told campaign reporters that with regard to states like Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, "what we do will indicate our level of concern." And until now, the Kerry campaign has not done much in those states. But John Edwards is holding a rally Tuesday in Newark, N.J. That doesn't mean Democrats should start panicking, but it's worth remembering that although Bush's victories in the 2000 primaries and general election weren't inevitable, it's still true that he did win them.

          Kevin Durant Responds to Chris Paul Trade to Rockets with Emojis on Twitter   

Kevin Durant apparently doesn't think much about his newest competition in the Western Conference.

As Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey announced on Twitter, the franchise acquired perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul on Wednesday, making last season's No. 3 seed a legitimate contender to beat the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.                 

Based on this response on Twitter, Durant doesn't seem to take the threat seriously:

Considering the Warriors went 16-1 in the 2017 postseason, it will take a lot for any team to beat this group.


This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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          Texte umsonst - ganz legal!   
Klasse Bilder von der Urlaubsreise - ab damit auf die eigene Website! Aber darf man Texte aus der Wikipedia einfach so dazu kopieren? Wikipedia-Autor Alexander Klimke weiß Rat. (c) 2008 Landeszentrale für politische Bildung NRW.
          Long Live McCurry!   

PHILADELPHIA—"Long live McCurry," wrote the Boston Globe's Glen Johnson in a Tuesday pool report, distributed to the members of the traveling press corps who hunt the elusive Senatorus massachusetts. The occasion for this joyous outburst: John Kerry responded to a question, and the press credits Mike McCurry, the former Clinton press secretary and now the "adult on the plane" for the Kerry campaign, with making the Democratic nominee more accessible. "Will transcribe, but nothing earth-shaking," Johnson wrote. "At least he stopped to answer, though. Long live McCurry …"

McCurry denies that he's responsible for the shift and credits communications director Stephanie Cutter for pushing for more accessibility long before he arrived last week. Either way, the reporters don't care. We were just happy Thursday that Kerry was answering questions again. He did it twice this time, very quickly on the tarmac here with unified middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and earlier in a more formal environment in Columbus, Ohio. Of Hopkins, Kerry said, "He was giving me tips. He told me exactly how to do it over the next days." Hopkins said, "Exactly, the left hands, the jabs, the whole nine yards." The Globe's Johnson asked, "So you're coming from the left, sir?" Kerry: "I'm not telling you where I'm coming from. That's the secret, right?" Hopkins: "That's right. You don't tell everyone, especially the opponent." For the record, Hopkins has successfully defended his title 19 times, which beats Bob Shrum's 0-7 mark.

In Columbus, Kerry took only three questions, but again, we're not complaining. ABC's Dan Harris asked: "You criticized, to the AP, the president for 'retreating,' I believe was your word, from Fallujah. Given the situation on the ground in Fallujah when there was an offensive there, when there was a rising civilian death toll, a rising criticism among Arab media for our actions there, what would you have done differently?"

Kerry responded in what was almost a reproachful tone, complaining about how "you people judge me" and how his policies "would have prevented Fallujah." Here's his response in full: "Let me tell you, I've said many times, I wouldn't have just done one thing differently in Iraq, I would have done almost everything differently. And when you people judge me, and the American people judge me on this, I want you to judge me on the full record. I stood in Fulton, Mo., and I gave the president advice about what he needed to do. He didn't take it. I stood at Georgetown University a year and a half ago, and I gave the president advice about what he needed to do. He didn't take it. I stood on the floor of the Senate and gave him advice about what he needed to do. He didn't take it. I've laid out a whole series of things I would have done that would have prevented Fallujah. Let me tell you, if the 4th Infantry Division and the diplomacy had been done with Turkey, you wouldn't have had a Fallujah. This president rushed to war, without a plan to win the peace. And ask the military leaders. Go ask the military leaders. General Shinseki told this country how many troops we'd need. The president retired him early for telling the truth. That's why you have Fallujah. That's why you have a mess in Iraq. And that's not the kind of leadership this nation deserves."

As for McCurry, I had dinner with him Thursday night. Here are some quick takeaways from our conversation:

—He's concerned that the message-masters at the Bush campaign, such as Nicolle Devenish and Mark McKinnon, have a better understanding of the Internet and nontraditional media than the Kerry campaign. The slow response to the Swift boat ads was a sign of that, a lack of awareness that voters can acquire information from places other than newspapers and the nightly news.

—John Glenn told Kerry Thursday not to worry about the polls that show Bush opening a big lead in Ohio, McCurry said. That always happens around this time, Glenn said, and the mistake people make is to write off the state because of it, as Gore did. McCurry said Glenn persuaded Clinton to remain in Ohio after a similar spike in the polls in 1992, and Clinton carried the state.

—Why are the polls showing an increase in undecided voters? One theory: Soft Republican supporters and soft Democratic supporters are highly volatile this campaign, and the conventions made them "more inchoate." The Republicans are mostly pro-choice moderates who are wondering whether Bush is really compassionate, and the Democrats are moderates who are wondering whether Kerry is really a New Democrat.

—The windsurfing ad that the Bush campaign is running against Kerry is an attempt to be this year's "Dukakis in the tank" spot. McCurry thinks the Kerry campaign neutralized it with their quickly assembled response ad, though it's not over yet.

—McCurry would like Kerry to talk more about abortion, about how he struggles with it because of his Catholic faith. He thinks Kerry needs to come up with a "safe, legal, and rare"-type formula that assures anti-abortion swing voters that he understands their moral concerns and isn't dismissive of them.

—McCurry has never been a big believer in the role of advertising or get-out-the-vote drives in presidential campaigns, though he's acquired a new respect for GOTV after 2000 and 2002. He thinks presidential races come down to whether the candidate can make the sale on the stump. You can't, after all, run TV ads that are completely different from what voters are seeing on the news.

Which leaves the obvious question: Can Kerry make the sale? That was where the race stood before the Democratic Convention in July, and that's where it remains two months later. Kerry hasn't shown he can do it yet. He's got 40 days.

As the previous post was quite long, I decided to do a fresh post. On Tuesday, QVC had one of their regular Craft Days. Sometimes these are good value (like the aforementioned BP kit) and sometimes they are just fun to dip into and get ideas. This time though I was committed to watching quite avidly as Tim Holtz was appearing, having travelled over from the USA. Tim is an inspirational crafter and with Ranger, is responsible for a range of goodies including alcohol inks, distress inks and all sorts of other great kit, in fabulous colours. He's particularly well known for his "grunge" look but to be fair, many of his techniques and products can be used/enjoyed by any crafter who enjoys messy play. During the craft day they had a selection of goodies from Ranger that were tempting, and as the prices were good, I succumbed. I ordered a selection of 12 Stickles, a fabulous glitter glue in amazing colours which never clogs, drips or spurts. I also ordered a pack which included 3 different Distress Metallic Crackle Paint and matching Distress Stickles. Plus the TSV, which was Tim's new book, bundled with an assortment of goodies, including several products that I had seen before but never actually tried, so figured that now was the time to take the plunge. Previously, when Ranger stuff has been stocked, they've sold out very quickly, so I waited up until midnight on Monday, then ordered via the web, to be sure of getting what I wanted.
The rest of the craft day went well, as I was relaxed about having my purchases safely bagged, and could enjoy the various demos including lots with Tim and his new book. Fast forward, and on Thursday morning, the first of my parcels arrived. QVC do not bag up separate items - they always deliver them in separate packages - I was very impressed with the speed of delivery and sure enough when I opened it, it was a stack of goodies. The new book is brilliant - loads of tips, techniques and ideas, all very inspiring, both for browsing and for detailed technique following. For instance, I didn't know you could use alcohol inks to colour metal charms, so tried out this on a butterfly charm and it seems to have worked brilliantly.
On Saturday, we went out for lunch with my great aunt, leaving the dogs in the house. The postman pushed through the letterbox, two Jiffy Bags with the remaining items while we were out, and Andy decided to do what he does sometimes, and attack the post. We are actually in the process of sourcing a mailbox to affix to the side of the house, as we quite often have letters with teeth marks, rips and so on. Anyway, his teeth punctured a pot of Antique Silver Distress Crackle Paint, so when we came home, the hall was a picture. Piles of ripped and munched post, with paint everywhere, including all over the criminal, and a selection of doggy footprints in Antique Silver on the wooden floor, paint all over the hall rug, and worse of all, paint all over the sofa in the living room, which has loose covers. Clearly, having had a good munch, he decided to go and have a lie down on the sofa and rest after all the excitement.
My feelings were very mixed, to say the least. A combination of laughter (it really did look ridicolous), annoyance at my paint being wasted, and worry over the dog being poisoned by the paint, plus concern over clearing up the mess. We managed to find the pot, and reassuringly it had NON TOXIC written boldly in big letters - did this apply to greyhounds, we wondered? The criminal was bouncing round quite happily when we got home, so it obviously was not a fast acting poison (if at all) so we decided to focus on cleaning up. The hall rug is a complete write off but as it was a very cheap one from Ikea, we are not too worried about that. We stripped off the loose covers from the sofa, and immediately washed them, and worked on the floor - fortunately that came clean immediately. The guilty dog was covered in dried paint on his legs - we've now started calling him Twinkletoes since there have been no ill effects. Unfortunately, however, the paint has not come out from the sofa fabric, so we now need to check our insurance policy to see if it is worth making a claim.
Today, I've been playing with my new purchases, very happily. Andrew and Twinkletoes went for a run together this afternoon, and enjoyed themselves. I'll probably post more pics as projects get finished. All I can say is that I've started work on a little chipboard book, and am having lots of fun, involving paints, squirts, sprays, rubs, stamps and general fun.


Quite a bit to update on, some of it overlapping with my other blog. Firstly, I've completed a scrapbook of our trip over to Germany just before Christmas. I had wanted to go for a long time and we had a great time, just doing a long weekend. I took pics and wrote about it in my main blog, but had decided it would make a lovely subject for a scrapbook. I ordered prints using my credits from Photobox (they are an excellent company), they arrived in the New Year, and I've been waiting for the right moment to get started.

I may have previously mentioned two bottomless Brenda Pinnick kits I bought from QVC about two or three years ago, one Christmas themed, the other more general. Using the general box, I decided to use the 12 x 12 scrapbook. There were lots and lots of matching papers, in various sizes, plus a panoply of brads, ribbons, chipboard shapes and letters, stickers, alphabets and die cut cardboard shapes. Getting it all out meant making a huge mess in the craft room, so once I started on it, I kept going rather than swapping between different activities as I do more often. Having been lavish with the papers and embellishments, I appear to have made no identifiable difference to the box, and in fact when finished, struggled to get it all back in. I also used some papers that I bought a while back for Sarah's 18th - a DCWV stack called "Once upon a Time". The fairytale castles were actually very much like the ones on the Rhine, along with the medieval buildings and general feel, so in some cases these papers were used instead. Along with the photos, I included other mementoes such as our tickets, luggage labels, itinerary, beer mats and so on. I attach some pics of the scrapbook, and a couple of the pages.

Boola, our recently adopted greyhound, celebrated his 10th birthday a couple of weeks ago. He got sent a fabulous card by our nephews (aged 10,8 and 6) featuring popup rabbits they had drawn. I made a card to send them to say thanks, featuring a photo of Boola, with a thought bubble coming out of the side. I layered it up on some paper scraps, added the photo and bubble with foam tape, then rubbed over the top with Rock Candy Stickles. Next, I punched a hole and added a grommet, then threaded through some blue ribbon, with a chipboard star attached that I'd inked and glittered. Photo attached.

          No, Really, It's About Vietnam   

TORONTO—At its simplest, George Butler's pro-Kerry documentary Going Upriver is a powerful rebuttal of the errors—factual and moral—made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. But the movie also tries, with limited success, to do something more ambitious: to argue implicitly that the current war in Iraq is directly analogous to the war in Vietnam, and that John Kerry's actions of 30-odd years ago really are the most important issue facing Americans in this election. Kerry was right then, the movie implies, which makes him right now.

"You can't understand John unless you understand what Vietnam is to him," a voice—I think it's Max Cleland—declares during Going Upriver's opening moments. The answer to that mystery isn't entirely clear by the end of the film, but it's obvious what Vietnam symbolizes to George Butler: Iraq. Neil Sheehan, an author and historian (and former Vietnam correspondent) who gets a lot of screen time in the movie, is one of the first to make the implicit comparison between the mistakes of Vietnam and the mistakes in Iraq. "Everyone believed in the war at first," he says. Next, we see LBJ making the moral and humanitarian case for war, to "help the little nations" against the tyranny of larger aggressors. Butler doesn't connect the dots for the audience, but it's impossible to miss his drift.

In another scene, we see video of a dead Vietnamese man while listening to Kerry's words about how the orders he is following are supposedly for the benefit of dead men like this one. Sheehan, the historian, makes the obvious parallel: "They were coming as liberators," but the Vietnamese resisted, no matter the cost, no matter how long it took. A veteran debating John O'Neill on the Dick Cavett Show says that opposing your government isn't the same as opposing your country, and that the war in Vietnam has nothing to do with democracy or freedom. "We're destroying ourselves as a nation," he says, instead of being the country that others want to emulate. Sound familiar?

After Sheehan's "liberators" comment, the moment in the film with the most contemporary resonance is at the Winter Soldier hearings, when a soldier displays a photo of himself, grinning ear to ear, over a dead body. Other soldiers tell how they weren't given instructions in the Geneva Conventions or taught how to treat prisoners of war. One soldier says he was told to count POWs only after unloading them from a boat, never when boarding them, in case one or two didn't make it.

There are reminders, at times, of how different the two wars are: The casualties in Vietnam were much higher, 1,500 dead and 8,000 wounded in the Tet Offensive alone. And Max Cleland says he felt betrayed by the occupant in the Oval Office, something I doubt many troops feel today (though active-duty military support for Bush isn't as high as it has been in recent years for Republicans). "Here we are, mid-assault, and the commander-in-chief turns his back on us," Cleland says of LBJ's decision not to run for re-election.

But the film repeatedly emphasizes the youthful Kerry's statements about his lifetime opposition to war. We hear his letter to Julia Thorne after the death of his friend Dick Pershing, in which Kerry writes that if "I do nothing else in life," he will work to convince people that war (this war, or all war?) is a "wasteful expenditure." During the Vietnam Veterans Against the War march on Washington, Kerry declares that his protest is "not the struggle of one day" but of a lifetime, and that admitting a mistaken policy doesn't mean that America is a "craven, hollow place."

What lessons has Kerry learned, though? When will he explain them to us? It's become a cliché to wonder what happened to the youthful Kerry, to the eloquent young man who risked his political viability to oppose a war out of principle. Just because Kerry opposed Vietnam doesn't mean he has to oppose the war in Iraq, of course, but the largely antiwar crowd at the premiere was stoked by Going Upriver into believing that. During the Q&A after the movie, one man stood and asked, if Kerry he opposed the war in Vietnam out of patriotism and love of country, why doesn't he do the same today? Chris Gregory, a former Army medic and VVAW member who appears in the movie and attended the premiere, objected and said, "It's a little too broad a brush" to say that Vietnam and Iraq are one and the same. "John is very focused on winning this job," Gregory said. "He wants to be right. But he wants to win more than he wants to be right."

          Kerry Returns to Form   

DES MOINES—The most interesting thing to happen with the Kerry campaign Wednesday was an exchange between Stephanie Cutter, a Kerry spokeswoman, and CNN's Candy Crowley. Disgruntled reporters gathered around Cutter after Kerry's anticipated but disappointing speech in Cincinnati that criticized President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. The speech had two memorable moments, both of which occurred before it really began: the announcement beforehand that Peter Frampton was on hand, and the shouts of a protester—"You said you committed atrocities. You said you burned villages"—who was silenced when the man standing next to him put him in a headlock. After the speech, Kerry spokesman David Wade said the protester was a man named Mike Russell, who Wade said was the Bush-Cheney chairman in Bracken County, Ky., during the 2000 election. "He is now, coincidentally, with the Swift Boat Veterans," Wade added.

Nothing Kerry said in Cincinnati could compensate for the blunder he made the day before when he stood before cameras on the tarmac of the Cincinnati airport and expressed his sorrow for the 1,000th American casualty in Iraq. "More than 1,000 of America's sons and daughters have now given their lives on behalf of their country, on behalf of freedom, in the war on terror," Kerry said. The war on terror? Oops. The mistake was part of the natural reversion to the mean of the Kerry candidacy. After the successful day and a half of campaigning that followed his conversation with President Clinton, the usual Kerry—the New Old Kerry—was back. Kerry took no questions after making his mystifying "war on terror" comment. Crowley called out, "Senator, you've been saying that it's 'wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.' What does that mean about these deaths?" but Kerry, in a typical maneuver, just walked away. It's been more than five weeks since Kerry last took questions at a press conference, or an "avail," as it's called.

So, Crowley asked Cutter if she could explain what Kerry meant. Short answer: No. Long answer: Cutter said Kerry was referring to something Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday about the increase in terrorists in Iraq after the war. "There were not terrorists in Iraq before we went," Cutter explained (incorrectly), but there are now. Kerry was just "repeating what Rumsfeld said," Cutter continued. So, Crowley asked, Iraq is now part of the war on terror? "No. That's not what I'm saying," Cutter said. "Should he have clarified it, said it differently? Maybe. But the point remains the same. There was no terrorism before we went to war. There is now terrorism there." But Democratic orthodoxy is that the war on terror and the war in Iraq are distinct, Crowley said. Cutter replied, "And he agrees with that." Crowley: "Had he stayed for questions, we could have clarified that."

Kerry should have said, hey, I misspoke, I was trying to express my sympathy for all the Americans who have lost their lives in the broader war on terror, not just the 1,000-plus who have died in the war in Iraq. But instead the campaign has concocted this preposterously complicated explanation, saying yes he meant to say it, but no, he thinks Iraq is not part of the war on terror. What?

The other head-scratcher uttered by Kerry in the past two days came Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C. There, in response to a question from a woman about the health problems caused by mold and indoor air contamination—and her complaint, "There's not one agency in this government that has come forward" to deal with the problem—Kerry endorsed the creation of a new federal department. "What I want to do, what I'm determined to do, and it's in my health-care plan, is refocus America on something that can reduce the cost of health care significantly for all Americans, which is wellness and prevention," Kerry said. So far, so good. But then, "And I intend to have not just a Department of Health and Human Services, but a Department of Wellness." Again, what? Apparently this idea comes from Teresa Heinz Kerry, who told the Boston Herald in January 2003 that she would, in the Herald's words, "be an activist first lady, lobbying for a Department of Wellness that would stress preventive health." Oh, boy. Preventive health is a fine idea, but do we need a new agency—I assume it's not Cabinet-level—to handle it?

Kerry ended his day in Iowa, the state that launched him to the nomination of the Democratic Party. The traveling press headed to the Hotel Fort Des Moines to spend the night. At the hotel, I came across an inauspicious if ultimately meaningless piece of trivia on an information sheet given to hotel guests. Three presidential candidates, according to the hotel, celebrated their victories in the Iowa caucuses at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. Two of them, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bob Dole in 1996, went on to win the nominations of their parties (the third was George Bush in 1980). In their general-election match-ups, Mondale won one state and the District of Columbia, while Dole won 41 percent of the popular vote. John Kerry? He too celebrated caucus night at the Hotel Fort Des Moines this January, but the hotel hasn't added him to its list yet. Maybe it's afraid of being a three-time loser.

          I Love 9/11   

NEW YORK—If it's true that the better speech-giver wins in presidential elections, then it's going to be Bush in a landslide. In his speech accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency—particularly the powerful final third—the president provided the eloquence that the times demand. It's too bad he doesn't have the presidency to match his (or Michael Gerson's) rhetoric.

The inspiration the president provided, however, was overshadowed by the disturbing nostalgia for Sept. 11 that preceded it. The phenomenon of "faster nostalgia" keeps accelerating, and the decades we reminisce about grow closer and closer to the present with each passing year. But the two political conventions this August must be the first recorded instances of nostalgia for the 21st century.

During the Democratic convention, too many speakers looked back to 9/11 with fondness. They didn't recall the months after the worst foreign attack in American history as a sad and tragic time. Instead, they appeared to remember those days as a warm-and-fuzzy time of national unity, now lost because of Republican partisanship. But the GOP's wistful look back at the tragedy as a marvelous occasion that somehow justifies the re-election of President Bush was even more stomach-turning. The convention's final night had the air of a VH-1 special: I Love Sept. 11.

Before President Bush came out to speak, the convention's image-masters aired a hagiographic video, a 9/11 retrospective that was Field of Dreams as told by the narrator of The Big Lebowski, with a dash of the David McCullough sections of Seabiscuit. (Like The Dude's rug in Lebowski, 9/11 really tied Bush's presidency together.) The reason to re-elect Bush, actual narrator Fred Thompson implied, is not the foreign-policy actions he took after being saddled with a historic tragedy. No, Bush merits re-election because of his performance as an Oprah-like healer in chief. He placed a deceased New York cop's badge in his pocket. He jogged with a wounded soldier. And most of all, he went to a baseball game.

"What do a bullhorn and a baseball have in common?" Thompson asked, and soon we were told: The defining moment of the Bush presidency came not only on Sept. 14, as previously thought, when Bush stood at Ground Zero and proclaimed that the terrorists who struck New York and Washington would "hear from us." It also came a month later, when Bush marched to the mound of Yankee Stadium and boldly, decisively, resolutely tossed out the first pitch of the World Series. "What he did that night, that man in the arena, he helped us come back.That's the story of this presidency," Thompson said, as I wondered how many takes it took Thompson to do this without giggling. You keep pitching, no matter what, Thompson said. You go to the game, no matter what. "You throw, and you become who you are." The delegates went nuts. Remember that time Osama chased Bush's slider in the dirt?

The absurd film was actually Bush's second introduction. The first had come five minutes earlier, when New York Gov. George Pataki finished his speech, a repugnant politicization of Sept. 11. At first, like the video, Pataki's use of 9/11 was just laughable, such as when he took a moment to thank the good people of the swing states Oregon, Iowa, and Pennsylvania for their generosity in New York's hour of need. The despicable moment came later, when he blamed the Clinton administration for the terrorist attacks.

After 9/11, "The president took strong action to protect our country," Pataki said. "That sounds like something any president would do. How I wish that were so." Instead, Bill Clinton shamefully ignored the attacks on the World Trade Center, the embassies, and the U.S.S. Cole. "How I wish the administration at that time, in those years, had done something," Pataki said. "How I wish they had moved to protect us. But they didn't do it."

But, wait—didn't President Clinton strike at Osama Bin Laden's training camps in 1998? And didn't Republicans criticize him for doing it? I think it's misguided and pointless to discuss whether 9/11 was preventable, and it's a waste of time to ponder who is more blameworthy, Bush or Clinton. But since Pataki brought it up, isn't the fact that President Bush presided over the most catastrophic attack on the U.S. mainland in American history a strike against him, not a point in his favor? If it was so obvious that the nation needed to attack al-Qaida more forcefully in the 1990s, why did President Bush take nine months to pay attention to the threat? And didn't the Clinton administration disrupt the planned millennium bombing of Los Angeles International Airport? Wasn't that a move to protect us? Nothing Zell Miller said Wednesday was as loathsome as Pataki's speech.

There was an honest case to be made for war with Iraq: Saddam Hussein did not possess nuclear weapons, but he was pursuing them and needed to be toppled before he acquired them. President Bush never made that case, preferring instead to exaggerate the nature and immediacy of the threat and to link al-Qaida with Iraq in the public mind. This convention continued that disgraceful record, muddying the distinction between 9/11 and Iraq, conflating the war of necessity the nation faced after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with the war of choice in Iraq, and repeatedly telling the lie that John Kerry wants to wait until the nation is struck again before crushing al-Qaida.

The president's defenders say he invaded Iraq with good intentions, and I believe them. But if President Bush didn't mislead us into war, he's misleading us during one, and he deserves to be defeated for it.

          Running Scared   

NEW YORK—One of the most striking things about watching the Republican National Convention from inside Madison Square Garden has been the lack of enthusiasm among the delegates on the floor. When they formally, and unanimously, nominated George W. Bush as their party's presidential nominee Wednesday at the conclusion of the roll call of the states, the delegates failed to muster much applause for their action. "We can do better than that," complained Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele from the podium. "Come on now, bring it on for the president." The delegates dutifully applauded some more, but they still weren't very loud, and Steele still seemed disappointed.

But by the end of Wednesday night, the delegates were fired up. What got them going? Speeches by Zell Miller and Dick Cheney arguing that John Kerry can't be trusted on matters of national security, that he's weak, indecisive, and open to influence from foreign leaders. "Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending," Miller scoffed, and the delegates booed. During Cheney's speech, delegates joyously mocked Kerry by chanting "flip flop, flip flop," and they booed the idea that Kerry even aspired to be the country's commander in chief. The knock on Democrats this year is supposed to be that they hate the other guy more than they love their own. Based on this convention, it sure looks like the same is true of Republicans.

Tonight confirmed what I suspected before the Democratic convention began: In violation of the normal rules of politics, this year's election is a referendum on the challenger rather than a referendum on the incumbent. There's a general sense that a change in presidents would be a good thing, but the country is taking that decision more seriously than it would in peacetime, and voters aren't certain, despite their disapproval of President Bush, that a President Kerry would be an improvement.

That's why this was the night the Republicans did their convention right. During the first two days of this convention, the prime-time speakers gave eloquent speeches, but they didn't hammer Kerry enough, with the exception of Rudy Giuliani's effective pummeling of Kerry's reputation for inconsistency. Tonight, Miller and Cheney more than made up for the oversight. My guess is that Republicans won't be able to convince voters that Bush has been a wonderful president, but they just might be able to convince voters that Kerry would be a terrible one.

There is the question, though, of whether anything that happens at this convention will make much of a difference in the race. As a rule, political conventions are aimed at the great mass of undecided voters who typically determine the outcome of elections, and this convention has been no different. But what's interesting about the Republicans' decision to follow those rules and hold a convention that appeals to swing voters is that Karl Rove has already announced that 2004 is a year that the normal rules don't apply.

This is supposed to be a "base" election, not a "swing" one. Rove believes that there are more votes to be found among the conservatives who didn't turn out to vote in 2000 than among the minuscule pool of undecided voters. In search of those stay-at-home voters, President Bush and Vice President Cheney almost exclusively visit heavily Republican areas in swing states.

Democrats fear that the Bush-Cheney campaign may be able to pull off a national version of what Ralph Reed did for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia two years ago, when Reed turned out droves of new evangelical voters who made the difference against Max Cleland. The race in Missouri provides a good example of what Republicans are trying to do. Earlier this year I spoke to Lloyd Smith, who is advising the Bush-Cheney campaign in the Show-Me State this year. Smith said the Bush-Cheney campaign will win the state by going to precincts that had as few as 500 or 600 voters in them four years ago and finding another 100 voters in each one to vote for the president.

In 2000, those stay-at-home voters didn't like George W. Bush enough (or hate Al Gore enough) to be motivated to get out to the polls and vote. Based on Bush's record, my guess is that they don't like him any more now. Love of Bush won't win the Republicans the presidency. Fear of Kerry might.


In 1984, George Orwell referred to a characteristic called Doublethink - where a person could hold two contradictory ideas but not object. I feel rather like this about Christmas. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely adore the festive season. My already tenuous hold on taste is abandoned gleefully and I enjoy going wild with decorations, gifts, crafts, cooking, entertaining and general merrymaking. However, and this is the sticker, I loathe going into shops in August and finding the shelves filling up with Christmas puddings and cards. To me Christmas should be celebrated and anticipated at the end of the year - shopping and posting should be in darkness and cold, not sunshine. Now here's the doublethink - as a crafter, you simply cannot start too early. All that merrymaking means that it is without doubt the busiest time of the year yet it is also the time when you need to create things like cards and gifts. So to sum up, I am happy to start early for my own crafting but throw a major hissy fit if I so much as sniff something festive in a shop before the end of October.
In this Orwellian spirit, I illustrate the point with two little cross-stitched designs, just completed that will be mounted into cards. They are both by Margaret Sherry who designs frequently for magazines. For the little robin, I used a blending filament along with the dark thread for the backstitch - this gives it a nice twinkle. For the hedgehog, I used a rayon thread for the star - this gives a luxurious finish. On both, I used Thread Heaven for the first time. I have often seen it advertised in magazines as an aid to using metallics, rayons and so on. Having bought some, I tried it out on these small projects and I was completely blown away. It makes using these threads a breeze - normally the air would be blue as they got knotted, tangled, wouldn't thread and so on. Instead, I glided smoothly through - if you haven't tried it, I can recommend it.
I am hoping to build up a small stash of these little Christmas designs for mounting into cards throughout the year, thus avoiding too much late panic by the end of November! Well, that's the plan, anyway. I'll keep this updated as more are added.

          The iPhone 7 is expected to be slimmer, have a better camera but no headphone jack   
Apple, with iPhone sales slipping, is under pressure to generate excitement at its iPhone event this week in San Francisco, but users may wait for its next model, which is expected to coincide with the iPhone's 10th anniversary next year.
          Dog Bites President   

COLUMBUS, Ohio—For the past few days, John Edwards has been standing in the middle of a river in the middle of a war, watching as enemy soldiers shoot at his commanding officer. His response? To call the other side's general and ask him to get the soldiers to stop. The general said he condemns all war, it's hell you know, and he sure wishes that all soldiers would lay down their weapons. Perhaps Edwards' CO would join him in that condemnation? Meanwhile, the officer was dying. So on Tuesday, Edwards finally decided to start firing back.

He's still pleading on the phone with President Bush, sure, but at least he's wielding a pistol in his other hand while he's doing it. Maybe it's because Edwards is in Ohio, one of the three states where the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads have actually aired, but his remarks to the state AFL-CIO convention are angrier, more forceful, and more effective than the ones he made Monday in Wisconsin. They're also different in a subtle way. In addition to saying the ads are lies and asking the president to condemn them, Edwards adds two components: He reiterates the most heroic components of Kerry's war record, and he describes the Swift boat veterans as a front group that aims to do more than obscure the person of President Bush. Its attacks are designed to obscure the record of his administration.

It doesn't sound like much—in fact it's pretty obvious—but it makes a huge difference. Again, Edwards broaches the subject by saying that he wants to talk about "what's been happening" in the campaign, and everyone immediately knows what he means. Again, he says that "it's a lie" paid for by "George Bush's friends." If Bush had "backbone and courage and leadership," he would ask his friends to pull the ads from the air, Edwards says. "Yesterday he had a chance" to do that "because he spoke for the first time, instead of having a spokesperson speak on his behalf. Instead of standing behind a front group, he spoke on his own behalf for the first time on this subject. And what did we get? We got a typical politician's answer, a non-answer." Edwards says that "every day that this goes on," he will demand that Bush tell the group to pull its ads.

Then Edwards takes advantage of the controversy to take a moment to restate Kerry's heroics. This is the big plus of the Swift ads for Kerry. Without them, the stories of how the Democratic nominee saved a man's life 30 years ago would have grown tiresome and induce eye-rolling by now. But with Kerry's service being slandered, the tale still has force. Kerry's crewmates "saw him save one of his crewmates, pull him out of a river," Edwards says. "Saw him turn his boat around in the middle of battle and drive it through enemy position in order to save his crew. Strong, decisive, courageous, is that not what we deserve in our commander in chief?"

In response to this tactic, the Bush campaign has been reduced to comparing the president to Bill Clinton. Tuesday morning, the campaign e-mailed a statement from campaign chairman Marc Racicot to reporters that read, in part, that the Kerry campaign is trying "to divide America by who served and how—something that John Kerry said we should never do when he declared during the 1992 campaign, 'We do not need to divide America over who served and how.' " (This despite the fact that four years ago, Bush took affront when John McCain compared him to the 42nd president. "Do not compare me to Bill Clinton," Bush said, pronouncing the name "Clin-TAWN," as if it were a new species of evil Star Trek alien.)

But the new line taken by Edwards is based on more than a comparison of the Vietnam records of Kerry and Bush. The reason the Swift boat veterans want to focus on the past, Edwards suggests, the reason they must resort to "a campaign based on fear and lies," is because the present is so miserable. "During the last three weeks or so that these ads have been running, that they've been focused on this personal, negative attack on John Kerry, what's happened here in the state of Ohio?" Edwards asks. "Forty-five-hundred people have filed for bankruptcy. Four proud military men and women" from Ohio have lost their lives in Iraq. "The price of a barrel of oil has gone up $5."

It's not perfect, and it may not be enough. But when Edwards returns to his favored buzzwords of optimism and hope and positive campaigning, he sounds even phonier than usual. It's about time.

          The Copycat Convention   

BOSTON—John Kerry's victory jog through the Democratic primaries wasn't electrifying political drama, but it was fascinating to watch because Kerry's leisurely lapping of the field couldn't be explained by the conventional axioms of presidential politics. In the general election, Kerry has continued his rule-breaking ways. He's the same John Kerry—boring, craggy, and cringe-inducing—such as when, during his Sunday night, live-from-Fenway-Park interview on ESPN, he ducked the question of whether to induct Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame ("That's up to the writers. I think, probably, that's pretty difficult.") and tried to have it both ways on whether Roger Clemens should be inducted as a member of the Boston Red Sox ("Well, obviously, we think [Red Sox] but there are evenly divided opinions here."). But despite his limitations as a candidate, he's still engaged in a campaign that's suspending the normal laws of politics.

Even a casual viewer of Hardball knows that the first rule of an election that involves a sitting president is that it's a referendum on the incumbent. This election, however, has turned out to be the opposite. It's a referendum on the challenger. Kerry probably isn't responsible for this turn of events, but he's benefiting from it: The referendum on the incumbent is over. President Bush already lost it. This presidential campaign isn't about whether the current president deserves a second term. It's about whether the challenger is a worthy replacement.

So, even though there are supposed to be only five persuadable voters left in America, I'm inclined to think that the next four nights will be worth watching. Can the Democrats re-enact the successful 2000 Republican convention, a parade of moderation and diversity that convinced the nation that George W. Bush was a decent fellow who could be trusted with the levers of power? Four years ago, partisan Republicans were so consumed by Clinton hatred that they would shriek ecstatically every time Bush said he would "uphold the honor and dignity of the office." They channeled their rage into pragmatism: After eight years of Clinton, GOP primary voters wanted to beat Al Gore so badly that they rallied around Bush months before the primaries began, based on nothing more than the fact that he seemed electable. They made a calculated bet that Bush was a guy who would sell well, and they were right.

Now it's the Democrats' turn to see if their similar gamble will have a similar payoff. But I wonder if this convention will be as restrained as the one Republicans held four years ago. There's a big-name loose cannon on the bill on each of the first three nights: On Monday it's Al Gore; on Tuesday it's Howard Dean; and on Wednesday it's Wesley Clark. Each one is smart, beloved by a portion of the party, and capable of rhetorical sobriety. They're also all capable of going off the deep end.

Four years ago in Philadelphia, it took nearly two full days for a Republican speaker to even use the phrase "Clinton-Gore administration." On the eve of this convention, the Democrats were still sating their appetite for vitriol. A labor delegate caucus I attended Sunday was either an indication that the party isn't quite ready to tone down its rhetoric, or it was a Bush-bashing bachelor party, a final sowing of oats before the inevitable settling down. "This is where the first American revolution started, and the humiliating defeat of a king named George began," AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said. "And, brothers and sisters, it's where we're starting a new American revolution." Rep. John Lewis called George Bush the worst president of his lifetime. Dick Cheney was booed as a "calloused backroom operator."

Then John Edwards was introduced to speak via satellite. He gave his standard speech, about leading the world rather than bullying it, about not going to war needlessly, and about John Kerry's heroism and service in Vietnam. He also delivered a line that is consistently his biggest applause-getter at the Kerry-Edwards events I've attended. It's Edwards' answer to "honor and dignity," Bush's subliminal catchphrase from the 2000 campaign.

Every day, Edwards likes to say, every day John Kerry sits in that Oval Office, "he will always tell the American people the truth." The crowd erupted, as they always do. And during the entire speech, Edwards never said the president's name.

          John Kerry's Five-Star Campaign   

NEW YORK—Never mind the arrival of John Edwards; I knew the general election had begun when I got my own butler. During the penny-pinching primary season, when the candidates were constantly on the brink of bankruptcy, I followed campaigns that stayed at discount hotels and even supporters' homes. Not John Kerry—at least, not anymore. In the past three days, we stayed at the Westin in Pittsburgh, the Sheraton Sand Key Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla., and the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, where each room comes equipped with a 24-hour on-call Jeeves and where the rate for my room, picked up by Slate, was $299 a night. (On, it goes for $445.) Somewhere between March and July, the presidential campaign turned into an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! "Say what you will about Kerry, at least he travels better than Gore," one reporter tells me. "Gore was all Super 8s and Econo Lodges." In Gore's defense (or Kerry's, depending on your perspective), the former vice president didn't have $180 million to burn.

Flush with cash—and still raising it, with $2 million flowing into the campaign after Thursday night's Radio City Music Hall gala and another $1.2 million after two Friday morning fund-raisers—the Kerry campaign is engaged in a scheme not unlike the one Richard Pryor is tasked with in Brewster's Millions: seeing how much money it can spend on deadline. Unless Kerry takes the unprecedented step of opting out of the public-financing system for the general election, he has to spend his remaining millions in the next three weeks. Once he formally accepts the Democratic nomination on July 29, he's got only $75 million for the next three months. By mid-August, my reporter friend might start grumbling again.

At least she'll still have the Kerry planes to enjoy. They're a long way from McFun, the Ford E-350 I rode in with Howard Dean nearly a year ago. I have yet to reach the hallowed ground of the real Kerry plane, which is reserved for the press pool, but the secondary press plane—paid for by its passenger-reporters—is a four-across, first-class affair, and the only restriction upon its travelers appears to be the assigned seating chart. Cell phones, Blackberries, and laptops whir throughout the flight. There are flight attendants, but they're there to lavish the press corps with food, not to take away our drinks during takeoff and landing or burden us with demands to wear our seatbelts, put away our tray tables, and place our seats in the upright position. Yet another media myth demolished: The national political press are alleged by some to be engaged in a devious scheme to force socialism upon an unwitting American public, but when we fly, we take Libertarian Airlines.

(A few overhead compartments burst open during our landing Wednesday in Cleveland, prompting some frenzied journalists to leap to their feet to prevent their belongings from spilling onto colleagues' heads. That's the price of freedom, I guess.)

The other big change from the primaries to the general election is the quality of the celebrities who support John Kerry. The Radio City Music Hall fund-raiser draws A-listers such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Wyclef Jean. In the lead-up to Kerry's surprising win in Iowa, by contrast, one press release heralded a "celebrity-studded RV tour" featuring—I am not making this up—Max Weinberg, some guy from Party of Five, and Kelly from The Real World: New Orleans.

Did anything of substance occur this week? Not really. Just your normal, run-of-the-mill campaign stops, with voters wearing T-shirts of the president surrounded by the words "International Terrorist" and the candidate making homoerotic jokes about his running mate. "I said to [Edwards], we've got to stop hugging like this," Kerry told a women's fund-raiser Friday morning. He then described a Jay Leno bit in which photos of Kerry and Edwards hugging and gazing adoringly at each other were aired to the tune of "You Are So Beautiful." Kerry loved it. "I just want you to know," he told the assembled audience, "I thought we made a great couple."

And I thought, you know what, John Kerry can be charming. When he's not irritating, that is, as he was Thursday night when he followed his boast that the Democratic ticket had "better hair" with, unbelievably, a pander to the bald vote. "My wife told me earlier, you just lost the bald vote," Kerry said. "Please don't. We're just having fun. You've gotta have fun."


MEMPHIS—This is the way a campaign ends. It clings to flailing hopes that Rupert Murdoch and the National Enquirer will bring down the front-runner. The candidate's wife complains to a TV reporter about the media's coverage of her husband. The Washington Post beat reporter says his newspaper is pulling him from the campaign, whether the candidate keeps going or not. During a three-hour ride from Nashville to Memphis, the campaign doesn't provide a campaign spokesman on the press bus. Phone calls and pages go unanswered. The press bus joke is whether the new Clark campaign song should be Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" ("down, down down ..."), Frank Sinatra's "That's Life" ("I thought of quittin', baby, but my heart just ain't gonna buy it"), or Beck's "Loser." Asked about comments from the candidate's son that major changes could be happening in the campaign after the Virginia and Tennessee primaries, Ian Alberg, a campaign staffer says, laughing, "Fire me please," so he can collect unemployment. And, with the possible exception of Wes Clark Jr., anytime anyone says anything interesting, it's off the record.

Exactly a week ago, everyone was certain that Wesley Clark was going to drop out of the presidential campaign after the Feb. 3 primaries until he pulled off a last-minute win in Oklahoma. On Tuesday morning, the Magic 8-Ball once again says that signs point to yes, but there's enough conflicting evidence to keep things muddled for much of the day. The campaign's primary-night party was going to be in Nashville, but it gets moved to Memphis—presumably because Memphis is three hours closer to Clark's home in Little Rock, where he would go after quitting the campaign. But Wes Clark Jr. tells reporters that his father will continue to Super Tuesday, no matter what, because his father told him so Monday night. At a polling place in Nashville, Clark sounds like Howard Dean, telling a voter that he's just waiting for voters to tire of John Kerry. "What's gonna happen is buyer's remorse," he says. "You know, the purpose of a campaign is to wring it out." The day before, to another voter, he said, "I've got a real shot in Wisconsin," and a lot of support in Hollywood.

Still, no one really believes that Clark is staying in the race. At 1:55 p.m., Alberg says, "We're going to Wisconsin tomorrow," but within 20 minutes, reporters on the press bus are still calling sources to arrange interviews for post-mortem stories about the campaign. No one knows who to trust for news about the campaign. Does the staff know? Does Wes Jr. know? Does the general know?

At a stop at Noshville, a Nashville deli, candidate Clark doesn't bother with talking to voters, despite his staff's admonitions. Instead, he sits down and eats lunch for an hour. On the bus to Memphis, he takes a nap. "It's been a pretty nice day, all told," he says once we arrive in Memphis. "It's one of the more restful days I've had on the campaign."

At 5:30 p.m., we stop at a polling place in Memphis. "This is a hallelujah day," a voter calls out to the general. "We're gonna win this thing." Clark's staff urges him to talk to voters on their way in to the polls. "I don't want to be running, like I'm assaulting people," he objects. "You've got to be subtle about it." He tells a voter holding a piece of campaign literature, "My name's on that ballot. No, it isn't. That's a different ballot. Where's my sample ballot?" A staff member hands it to him. "That's my name, Wesley Clark. There's a lot of other people's names, but you don't pay attention to them." He's a four-star general and a major-party presidential candidate, handing out sample ballots. It should be an inspiring example of democracy in action. Instead, it's kind of sad.

Clark, however, is having a blast. "This is pretty much fun, isn't it?" he says. When his staff tells him its time to go, he complains. "Do we have to go? Why can't we just stay?" At another point, he just bursts out giggling. "It just kind of tickles me to see it," he tells the assembled reporters. What's so funny? "You're looking at me. The election's not abut me. It's about all these people who are voting." Since that answer doesn't make any sense, I can only speculate that Clark was struck by the the absurdity of the entire day. In the latest sign of the campaign's impending demise, staffers begin taking pictures of each other like it's the last day of summer camp.

Back on the press bus, we hear that CNN has reported that Clark canceled a fund-raiser in Houston. "Nothing's been canceled," Alberg says. Traveling press secretary Jamal Simmons says, "There is no plan to exit anything tonight except Tennessee." Later, Alberg adds, "He's going to make a speech tonight. He's not going to concede tonight."

It sure sounds like a concession speech. Clark hits strange notes, such as "It just doesn't get any better than this." He congratulates Kerry and John Edwards, calling them "patriots." He doesn't talk about his future plans or where he's going next. Instead, he talks broadly and praises the Democratic Party. He may have lost this race, he says, but "we're not going to lose the battle for America's future." And the song they play at the end is the one that Clark lobbied to have as his campaign song, one that's disliked by his staff: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Following his father on the way out of the room, Wes Jr's eyes are moist.

Shortly after the speech, 19 journalists huddle outside Clark's room—the Danny Thomas Suite—at the downtown Marriott to demand information on what the campaign is going to do next. The person staying across the hall walks out, and I think he's going to complain about the noise. Instead, it turns out that he's a fellow reporter. He says he overheard some people—he was watching them through his room's peephole—say that Clark had already notified his staff that he was dropping out. But he didn't recognize the speaker.

Just before 10 p.m., we're told that communications director Matt Bennett will come to the press filing center at 11:15 p.m. with an announcement. We pile in the elevator and go downstairs. At about 10:05, we're told that Bennett is coming now. Before he arrives, CNN flashes on the crawl: "AP: Wesley Clark abandons presidential campaign." Bennett shows up and confirms the report.

Not that we really needed confirmation. The candidate had said as much in the ballroom after his speech. He was shaking hands and thanking his supporters. I wish you had competed in the Iowa caucuses, says a supporter. "I wish I had, too," Clark replies. "Everything might have been different if I had done that." Then he walked out.

          Winning Isn't Everything   

OKLAHOMA CITY—"Oh baby we got jobs tomorrow!" says one jubilant Wesley Clark campaign staffer to another. It's 10 minutes before 8 p.m., and the crowd gathered at the convention center here has erupted over CNN's report that Clark has unexpectedly surged into second place in South Carolina from a distant fourth. The information turns out to be flat wrong, and the room calms down. But the staffer's conclusion was right. She still has a job, and just a few hours ago it looked like she wouldn't.

For much of the day Tuesday, it appeared that Clark was about to withdraw from the presidential campaign. The early exit polls in Oklahoma showed Clark in third place (though taking into account the presumed margin of error, it was a dead heat). His son, Wes Clark Jr., was speaking about the campaign in the past tense. Only 20 minutes or so before the Clark staffer's celebratory exclamation, Clark sounded like he was conceding that the Oklahoma primary, rather than marking his first-ever victory in a political campaign, could mark the end of his presidential run. "This could be over, [or] it could be a long way from over," he said.

But as the returns flowed in and Clark threatened to overtake John Edwards as the first-place candidate on the Oklahoma results displayed on CNN's crawl, the crowd began sending up a huge cheer every time CNN rotated in the Sooner State numbers. (They watched CNN on a huge TV screen in the smallish room for Clark's primary night party.) "80 votes! 80 votes! Yeah!" calls out a man watching the election returns with the attentiveness of a football fan during the Super Bowl. With 74 percent of the precincts reporting, Clark goes up by seven votes.  "We're ahead! We're ahead! We're ahead!" a supporter screams. It's the political version of the Giants winning the pennant.

Minutes later, Clark is down again, this time by 63 votes. Then it's 62 votes. With 80 percent of the precincts reporting, he goes in front of Edwards by 11 votes. Then Edwards takes over by 105 votes, then 62 votes again. But the late precincts break heavily for Clark. With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Clark is up by 959 votes. "He's up by a thousand! Clark's up by a thousand!" With 99 percent of the precincts counted, and up by nearly 1,300 votes, Clark declares victory, even if CNN hasn't. And he heads to Tennessee to campaign before the Feb. 10 primary there (held on the same day as Virginia's), instead of going home to Little Rock, as some thought he might.

A win's a win, and some Clark partisans argue that Clark's Feb. 3 showing trumps Edwards' decisive South Carolina victory because Clark placed second in three states, while Edwards finished in second place in only two. I don't buy that. Neither candidate had a particularly strong day. Edwards finished in fourth place in three states, and Clark finished fourth twice, and in Delaware he finished fifth. (For futility, neither compares to Joe Lieberman's failure to land even 100 votes in North Dakota.) It's hard to see how either man argues that he deserves to go mano a mano with John Kerry.

At some point, either Clark or Edwards will have to prove that he can win the support of Democratic voters in states in which the Democratic nominee will actually have to campaign in the general election. Clark may be the choice of Oklahoma Democrats, but Oklahoma hasn't cast its electoral votes for a Democratic presidential candidate since LBJ's 1964 landslide. South Carolina has been a solid GOP bet for decades—it was one of the six * states to go for Goldwater in '64—though it did side with Jimmy Carter in 1976. Granted, Edwards demonstrated the ability to garner significant support in Iowa, but Iowa hasn't gone Republican since Ronald Reagan's 1984 rout of Walter Mondale.

In the general-election swing states of New Hampshire, Arizona, Missouri, and New Mexico, the combined number of Clark and Edwards voters fell far short of the number of Kerry voters—by double-digit percentages in each state except Arizona, where Kerry still garnered 9 percent more voters than Clark and Edwards put together.

As Howard Dean might tell the two men, we can do better than this. If not, their campaign staffers won't have jobs for much longer.

Correction, Feb. 5, 2004: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Barry Goldwater carried five states in the 1964 presidential election. He carried six. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

          From the Mouths of Babes   

OKLAHOMA CITY—Maybe Wesley Clark Jr. saw the early exit polls. For whatever reason, he's standing in front of a crowd of reporters outside Clark's campaign headquarters in Oklahoma, looking bitter and sounding as if he thinks his father's campaign is over. "It's been a really disillusioning experience," the candidate's 34-year-old son says. "We sacrificed a hell of a lot for this country over 34 years. We lived in a damn trailer when I was a freshman in high school."

I'm late to the party because I was inside the campaign office watching Clark Sr. make phone calls to voters. But apparently Clark Jr. said he was writing a screenplay about the campaign process, and it sounds like it won't be a positive treatment. Of politics, he says, "It's a dirty business, filled with a lot of people who are pretending to be a lot of things they're not." The press never looked at his father's record, he says. They didn't treat the other candidates fairly either. Howard Dean got unfair coverage, he says. So did John Edwards. So did John Kerry. So did everyone.

What about the president? Does he get fair coverage from the press? "If the president had gotten fair coverage, he never would have gotten elected in the first place," Clark says. Has the media done a poor job of getting his father's message out? "It's not the media's job to get his message out. The media's job is to sell advertising."

A reporter asks, do you think your father has been well served by his campaign? For once, Clark declines to offer an opinion. "Uh, I'm not going to comment on the campaign. I'll put it this way. I think he was the best candidate." Then he adds, "I wish they would have competed in Iowa, personally." Because elections don't matter, he says. The media's horse-race coverage is all that matters, and by skipping Iowa, Clark got left out of the horse race. "It's all horse-race questions," he says. "My favorite was Dad wearing a sweater in New Hampshire one day. Maybe he was wearing a sweater because he was cold."

But why has the president gotten positive coverage while the Democrats have gotten negative coverage, in his opinion? "It's about access. You know that you'll be denied access if you actually cover things honestly." He follows this with a recommendation that we go work in Hollywood if we don't understand how the political press works, because they need good storytellers in Hollywood, too. (I hope to have a fuller transcript of Clark's comments later today, after reporters gather to watch the videotape. I'll update if there's anything worth adding.)

At this point, Clark's traveling press secretary, Jamal Simmons, sees the crowd of reporters and breaks things up. Comparing notes with some reporters after the event, I scribble down a few quotes that Clark said before I showed up. Among them are "I'd like him to win today. If he doesn't win, I don't want him to stay out there," and "What did we get on the news for this weekend? A speeding ticket in Oklahoma. You gotta be fucking kidding me."

The press corps gathers at the hotel and gets ready to file. Simmons tells us the general's take on his son's comments: "He loves him. He has his own opinions."

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          Republican Campaign Preview   

ST. LOUIS—Dick Gephardt's congressional district is Busch country, if not Bush country, so if you're going to hold a Republican presidential campaign rally in a Democratic stronghold, this one's as appropriate as any. Mary Matalin, who's on board the Bush-Cheney '04 team as a campaign adviser, is in town with a phalanx of Missouri Republicans. I'd say she's in town to distract media attention from the Democratic primary in the largest of the Feb. 3 states, except there's pretty much no Democratic campaign to speak of in Missouri. As a result, Missourians appear more interested in the Democratic primary for governor, between incumbent Gov. Bob Holden and State Auditor Claire McCaskill, than in presidential politics.

The Bush rally does, however, provide some insight into the general-election campaign message that the Bush-Cheney campaign is trying out. If the Democratic primaries and caucuses over the next four or five weeks are a referendum on John Kerry's electability, it's worth knowing what he's expected to be electable against. Monday's rally is the second Republican event I've attended this campaign—the other was in Nashua, N.H., where John McCain stumped for the president—and the president's re-election argument, as advanced by his surrogates, couldn't be clearer. The Republicans want the threshold question of this election to be: On Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, 2001, would you rather have had George W. Bush as president or his Democratic opponent?

Both Bush rallies that I've attended emphasize the idea that the president merits re-election as a reward for past performance, as much as—or even more than—any promise of future results. "On Sept. 11, when this nation faced in many respects the greatest threat to our security, President Bush stood forward, led this nation with clarity and with strength, which has earned him the admiration and appreciation of the overwhelming majority of Americans, and I believe has earned him another term as president of the United States of America," McCain said in Nashua. The speakers at Monday's event strike similar notes. "This is a man who has restored peace to the American homeland, after we suffered the worst attack we have suffered here since Pearl Harbor," U.S. Sen. Jim Talent says. U.S. Sen. Kit Bond puts it this way: "I'm most concerned about the war on terror. When Sept. 11, 2001, hit us, George Bush knew what to do."

Al Gore tried to run on the Clinton record of peace and prosperity. The Bush campaign looks like it will run on arguable prosperity and war. Kerry's line that the war on terrorism is as much a law-enforcement and intelligence-gathering operation as it is a military one is derided. "There's only one person gonna be running for president in November of this year who believes that the war against terrorism is a war, against a transnational army that attacked and every day threatens the people of the United States, not a law enforcement action against a few stray criminals," Talent says. Matalin concurs. "This is not a law enforcement effort, as has been said. This is a war. This is a global war. This is a war between barbarism and civilization."

Local boy John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act receive a heaping of praise. "John Ashcroft and the Bush administration have been successful," Bond says. "According to the FBI director, at least 100 planned terrorist attacks, underway for the United States, were disrupted because they used the Patriot Act. Thanks heavens we have the Patriot Act and we have somebody like John Ashcroft ..." I think Bond's concluding phrase is "who's going to use it," but I can't hear him over the crowd's applause. This is Bizarro World when compared to the Democratic campaign trail, where Ashcroft is deemed a supervillain second only to Karl Rove.

"The polls show that one of our colleagues in the United States Senate is leading in the Democratic primary here," continues Bond, referring to Kerry. "He wants to get rid of the Patriot Act. He voted for it, now he doesn't like it." The effectiveness of that line is undercut by Bond's demagogic follow-up: "Personally, I like being free of terrorist attacks." The crowd laughs appreciatively. Later, Matalin says that John Ashcroft is more than a mere terrorist-fighting, cell-breaking, plot-disrupting attorney general. "John Ashcroft is a hero."

Argument No. 3 is that the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are irrelevant. Partly, because as McCain said back in New Hampshire, "Saddam Hussein acquired weapons of mass destruction, he used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and his enemies, and there is no expert that I know that doesn't believe that if Saddam Hussein was still in power he would be attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

But the humanitarian benefits of the Iraq war are emphasized more than the threat posed by Saddam. In Nashua, McCain cited a mass grave of 3,000 "men, women, and children," and added, "My friends, when those 8- and 9-year-old boys were let out of prison in Baghdad, our effort and our sacrifice was justified." Matalin compares Bush's hope for a democratic Iraq to the hopes of Islamic radicals. "There are forces that want to go backwards, that are for oppression, repressing women, there is no freedom, versus going forward into the modern world," she says.

After the event is over, I tell Matalin that the Republican pitch sounds backward-looking. OK, people liked President Bush after 9/11. But that's not an agenda. What's the president's plan going forward? "This is a generational commitment to get this job done," she says. "It took 60 years of a policy of hypocrisy, turning the other way when there was oppression and tyranny in that region, to create this kind of terrorism against America. So, getting a whole region to bring in the hallmarks of a modern state, private property, human rights, rights for women, a judicial system, market principles, it takes more than a campaign cycle. So, he reversed a 60-year policy that wasn't working in the region, and he is putting in place, which is going to take more than one term or two terms, collective security arrangements for the 21st century."

That's a mouthful. And it sets up what I think will be the most intriguing question of the general election. Which candidate will succeed in portraying himself as the internationalist in the race? The Democratic contenders push cooperation, alliances, and multilateral institutions, but they also use nationalist rhetoric to tar Bush for spending money abroad rather than spending it at home (say, "opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in the United States," a Kerry line). Taking off on some of that nationalist rhetoric, the Bush surrogates describe Democrats as isolationists who want the United States to abandon its leadership role in the world. The Democrats respond by describing President Bush as a unilateralist who abandoned the nation's role as a global leader. Who will succeed in defining himself as a broad-minded internationalist and his opponent as a narrow-minded nationalist? Our next president.

          Howard Dean's Day Off   

HOOKSETT, N.H.—Howard Dean is going to Arizona! He's going to New Mexico! He's going to Michigan! And Washington! And Burlington?

Every major Democratic presidential candidate except Howard Dean will campaign Wednesday in one of the Feb. 3 states (Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina). Front-running John Kerry heads to St. Louis for a rally, while John Edwards goes to Springfield, Mo., and St. Louis. Wesley Clark travels to Charleston, S.C., Joe Lieberman is doing three events in Delaware (not "Joeklahoma"?), and Dennis Kucinich will stump in Oklahoma. But Dean is going to rest up and regroup at campaign headquarters in Vermont. He's not taking the day off—he's going to do television interviews with local stations in key February states—but the decision indicates that the Dean campaign may be looking past Feb. 3 in its quest for the nomination after a second-place finish in New Hampshire.

The campaign won't out-and-out admit that it's looking past Feb. 3, of course. The current spin: We've raised $1.5 million in the past week. We have a 50-state organization. But what good did their money and their organization do them in Iowa and New Hampshire? From another perspective, it looks as if the campaign isn't sure what to do right now. Every staffer that I talked to Tuesday night didn't know his or her next destination. New Hampshire communications director Dorie Clark told me she was moving out of her Manchester apartment, putting her stuff in storage, and ready to take her duffle bag wherever they told her to go. They just hadn't told her yet.

But there may be a strategic motivation for going into hiding. At the Holiday Inn bar in Manchester Monday night, Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi told reporters that Dean just needed to hang around long enough until voters got tired of John Kerry. Then, he hoped, those voters would start coming back to Dean. He cited the example of Jerry Brown winning Colorado in the 1992 campaign after voters tired of Bill Clinton. (He then insisted that his candidate was not Jerry Brown.) The assumption had been that Dean was going to go fight in Arizona and New Mexico, but Trippi sounded like a man who was managing expectations in preparation for a potential goose egg on Feb. 3. (Many people think Dean has a better shot on Feb. 7 in Washington and Michigan.)

It's not an insane idea. Sit back, husband your resources, and pray that John Kerry can defeat John Kerry in time to give you a chance on March 3, when huge states like California, New York, and Ohio weigh in. Dean's support in Iowa and New Hampshire turned out to be very soft, and Kerry's support is likely to be soft, too. Now that Kerry is the front-runner, he's going to start receiving a lot more scrutiny from the press, which Dean hopes will damage Kerry's perceived electability. Plus there's the theory that Kerry is a candidate who wears poorly on voters.

The last two Democrats to win both Iowa and New Hampshire were Al Gore in 2000 and Jimmy Carter in 1976, but Dean's best hope is that the Kerry campaign is closer to that of the Democrat who won both states four years before Carter: Edmund Muskie. The problem with that hope is that the second-place finishers in New Hampshire who ended up as the "perceived winner"—Eugene McCarthy in 1968, George McGovern in 1972, and Bill Clinton in 1992—all finished within single digits of their opponent. Dean lost by 13 points.

Wesley Clark's third-place finish in New Hampshire also looks likely to hurt Dean's chances. Of the 35 percent of New Hampshire voters who cast ballots for a candidate other than Dean or Kerry, the 13 percent who went for Clark are the largest trove of likely Dean voters. The longer Clark stays in the race as a serious contender, the longer the antiwar vote is divided.

So, it's a long shot, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe has ordered candidates who don't win a state on Feb. 3 to quit the race. (At the Holiday Inn, Trippi virtually promised to ignore McAuliffe.) But it's probably Dean's only shot. Will the voters who dated Dean, then married Kerry get bored enough that they start to fantasize again about sleeping with Dean?

          Is He Still Here?   

MANCHESTER, N.H.—I knew John Kerry was the man of the hour, but what made the feeling more than an abstraction was the Baltimore-Washington airport bookstore. It stocked a display of Kerry's campaign book, A Call to Service, above the latest books by Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. Yes, it's the Washington area, but still—it's an airport bookstore.

Kerry continued his winning streak at tonight's debate, the final one among the seven remaining Democrats before the New Hampshire primary. Debates have been Kerry's best format during this campaign. He's a TV candidate, cool and authoritative, and the time-cramped medium comes to his aid by forcibly restricting his long-winded oratorical perambulations. But until tonight's context, Kerry's debate performances seemed as irrelevant as Al Sharpton's zingers.

The moment when Kerry won the debate, I thought, was when he answered Manchester Union-Leader reporter John DiStaso's question about his decision to throw his medals (or was it his ribbons?) away in protest during the Vietnam War. "I could not be more proud of the fact that when I came back from that war, having learned what I learned, that I led thousands of veterans to Washington, we camped on the Mall underneath the Congress, underneath Richard Nixon's visibility," Kerry said. "He tried to kick us off. And we stood our ground and said to him, 'Mr. President, you sent us 8,000 miles away to fight, die and sleep in the jungles of Vietnam. We've earned the right to sleep on this Mall and talk to our senators and congressmen.'" Kerry used the occasion to cast himself as both pro-veteran and antiwar, surely the sweet spot he hoped to squeeze his candidacy into before he got bogged down over the meaning of his vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution.

I'm beginning to suspect that Kerry's lack of clarity on the Iraq war actually benefits his candidacy. One, because voters from a wide spectrum can find ways to square his position with theirs, and two, because his muddled ambivalence best captures the way I suspect the great majority of Democrats feel. (Kerry may have best explained his stance in October 2002 when he said, "My vote was cast in a way that made it very clear, Mr. President, I'm voting for you to do what you said you're going to do, which is to go through the U.N. and do this through an international process. If you go unilaterally, without having exhausted these remedies, I'm not supporting you. And if you decide that this is just a matter of straight pre-emptive doctrine for regime-change purposes without regard to the imminence of the threat, I'm not going to support you." The quote is taken from Walter Shapiro's One-Car Caravan.)

But wouldn't Kerry know it? Even during his rosy post-caucus glow, he can't escape the man he once exasperatedly referred to as "Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean." Whether the Vermont governor is riding high in the polls or flaming out, he's the candidate the media fixate on. The local ABC affiliate in Manchester trumpeted its Nightline broadcast of the debate by mentioning only one candidate, Dean, by name. And if Dean's last-ditch effort to save his candidacy wasn't already the story of the day, his campaign ensured that it would be by sending their candidate on a televised triple play: the debate, his (and his wife's) interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primetime Live, and his appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman. I watched all three from the comfort of my hotel room.

There are advantages to watching political events on television rather than attending them in person. For one, you get to see them as the viewers do. I was on the scene in Iowa during this campaign's defining moment, the Dean Scream, and I didn't even notice it. The crowd was so noisy during what appeared to be typical Dean behavior during a stump speech, not unlike his listing off of the industrialized countries with universal health care ("the British and the French and the Germans," on and on to "the Danes, the Swedes, the Japanese, even the Costa Ricans have health care!"), that no one in the room seemed to hear the "part growl, part yodel," as the Boston Globe put it. Second, when you attend a political debate, all you really do is watch it on TV anyway, except you watch it in on TV in a room filled with other journalists. Third, I had no idea that Ernie Hudson, aka "the fourth Ghostbuster," had his own show on ABC.

A couple things struck me from the Primetime interview. Dean said he was "speaking to 3,500 kids" on caucus night. I didn't formally survey the demographics of Dean's volunteers in Iowa, obviously, but his reference to the "under-30 generation" during his post-caucus speech elicited mild boos from the crowd. When I followed three Dean volunteers as they canvassed for votes in Des Moines, one was 33, one was 55, and one was 58. They weren't atypical. From my experience, nothing tweaks Dean supporters more than the idea that they are angry children, and they're right that the widespread belief that Dean is the kiddie candidate gives voters a reason not to take him seriously.

The second thing that occurred to me was something from Howard Dean: A Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would Be President, the book by a team of Vermont reporters. In it, one journalist notes that as Vermont governor, Dean never quite grasped that he was something other than an ordinary person, and that his words had unusual power. Sure, he had an uncommon job, but other than that, Dean thought he was just a regular guy. To a great extent, Dean has behaved on the campaign trail as if he still feels the same way.

Dean's regular-guy status is one of the most appealing things about his candidacy, and it's one of the most fun things about covering him. He's willing to let himself be a normal person to a reporter in a way that most politicians won't. But in another way, a presidential candidate, and especially a president, isn't a regular guy. Presidents can't do or say the things that even senators and governors can. Neither can first ladies. That may not be fair, but that's the way it is.

It looks as if Howard and Judy Dean have decided that if they can't remain "just ordinary folks," they don't want to be president and first lady. That's admirable. But I also suspect that that decision, and not some pirate yell, is the biggest obstacle that would keep them from the White House.

          Organization Man   

DES MOINES, IOWA—Tim Connolly should be scared, maybe even terrified, that Howard Dean is going to lose and lose big. Not because of the much-touted polls that show Dean sinking to a four-way tie in Iowa with the caucuses less than 48 hours away, but because Connolly, the Dean campaign's Iowa state field director, has seen the campaign's internal numbers. And using traditional Iowa math, the numbers don't look good.

"We did an analysis of our 'ones' "—the voters the campaign has determined are committed to caucusing for Dean (a "two" is a leaner, and a "three" is undecided), Connolly says. "Sixty-five percent of them have never caucused before, which is an extremely high number and would scare the shit out of most campaigns," because they'd be worried that the voters wouldn't show up Monday night. But Connolly's not scared. "Common sense would say I should be, but I'm not," he says. "We have the organizational strength to meet that challenge."

Organization. It's the mantra of every pundit on television and every campaign on the ground two days before the caucuses. At most of the candidate events I've attended since arriving in Iowa Thursday, I had the feeling I was watching a sideshow from the real campaign that was taking place somewhere else: on the streets and in people's homes. The story of the final days of Dean's Iowa campaign isn't his bus trip or his stump speeches. It's his 3,500 out-of-state volunteers who've come from all over the country—and farther, including three expatriates from Tokyo—to canvass the state. Over the course of the campaign's final three days, they're knocking on more than 200,000 doors. If Dean wins Monday, Connolly and the campaign will have proved that the Internet's effect on politics isn't just about fund-raising or Meetup or blogging. The Internet can win the ground war.

"We did an analysis of every precinct that is walkable, which is not a precise science," Connolly says. Those walkable precincts make up only about a third of the state's 1,993 precincts, but they include probably 85 percent to 90 percent of the delegate total. The Dean campaign mapped each one using computer software, and it determined the address of every registered Democrat and independent voter in the precincts. Suitably armed with the map, the addresses, and the right amount of Dean paraphernalia, the volunteers are swarming the state. Even if they don't convert a single voter, they return with important information—who's supporting Kerry or Edwards or Gephardt, who's undecided but going to the caucuses, who likes Dean but needs a babysitter to be able to caucus—that the campaign can use to fine-tune its strategy up to the final hours.

What does this have to do with the Internet? The vast majority of the volunteers who make up this weekend's "Perfect Storm" for Dean signed up online, transmitting their names, their housing needs, their flight information, and more. "We could not do the Storm without the Internet," Connolly says. Nor could the campaign have been prepared well enough to have specific jobs ready for each volunteer as he or she arrived. "It's still just the Stormers knocking on a door. But the back end—they would not be here and effectively employed and utilized were it not for the Internet."

The Net is the tool that's enabled the Dean campaign to capitalize on the grass-roots energy created by its candidate. In the past, an insurgent candidate like Dean would generate excitement, but he wouldn't be able to turn it into an organization. "This happened with Gary Hart," says Connolly, who worked for Hart's '84 campaign. "You got excited about the guy named Gary Hart, you liked what he was saying, but there was no local office to call, you couldn't go to a Meetup, etc."

The Internet excels at just keeping people involved with the campaign. "A volunteer who has nothing to do will become discouraged and no longer volunteer," Connolly says. "You used to do things. You'd have cases of envelopes, and you'd have people address them. And when they're done, you'd throw them away." Or you'd have volunteers enter unnecessary data into computers. Just to keep people involved and interested in the campaign and the candidate. The Dean blog serves the same function, while also serving as a communications medium and a fund-raising tool. The role of the Internet and the blog in the campaign's ground organization is what Dean's skeptics haven't understood, Connolly says. "They think that the Dean campaign is simply a cybercampaign. They don't realize that each of those people also lives in the analog world."

Just a couple of hours after I finished talking with Connolly, the Dean campaign was hit with its latest piece of bad news: the latest Des Moines Register poll, which shows Kerry in the lead with 26 percent, followed by Edwards at 23 percent, Dean at 20 percent, Gephardt at 18 percent, and a 4 percent margin of error. Connolly told me he doesn't "lose any sleep over the Zogby poll or any other poll," because he knows their strength on the ground.

Of course, every campaign hails its organizational strength. Gephardt spokesman Bill Burton told the Des Moines Register of his candidate's campaign, "This has been an organizational force in the state that has never been seen before by anybody, Democrats or Republicans." I asked Connolly what he'd be banking on if he were Gephardt's field director. Organized labor, the fact that he's won Iowa before, "and just the general denial that goes on in campaigns," he said. Monday night, we'll see who's in denial.

          Mystery Candidate   

MASON CITY, IOWA—Whatever John Kerry is doing right in this campaign, he isn't doing it on the stump. At least, that's my impression after watching him last night. Granted, it was the end of a long day for the senator, who spent much of it flying around Iowa by helicopter, and Kerry is a notoriously erratic speaker. The speech I watched him give had the quality of a rambling answering-machine message—Where is he going? What is he talking about? Will it ever end? But Kerry is the candidate that I've seen the least of in person, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I've just never seen him on a good day. If his momentum in the polls is for real, he must be doing something right.

There's a nugget of a theme in the middle of the speech, where Kerry uses President Bush's aircraft-carrier "Mission Accomplished" banner (derision of which is a surefire applause-getter in Iowa and New Hampshire alike) as a device to critique President Bush's domestic policy. "What mission?" Kerry asks. What about the mission to provide jobs for the unemployed, or to alleviate the high cost of prescription drugs, or to help family farmers, or to decrease the number of uninsured, or to clean up the environment? On those counts, "It's not even mission attempted," Kerry hollers. "It's mission deserted! Mission abandoned! Mission not even tried!" (Kerry returns to this theme at the conclusion, when he says Democrats will hang their own "Mission Accomplished" banner when they send President Bush back to Texas.)

In his first 100 days as president, Kerry says, he would issue an executive order that prohibits government officials from working as lobbyists for five years after they leave public life. He vows that every meeting between an official and a lobbyist in his administration would be public record. He makes an eloquent case for providing health care for the uninsured, saying, "Health care is not a privilege for the powerful and the wealthy. It is a right for all Americans." And he gets the automatic cheers any Democratic candidate gets when he refers to John Ashcroft by promising to "appoint an attorney general who is outside politics" and who will "not pursue a political and a religious agenda."

The audience doesn't seem wowed by Kerry, and he isn't bum-rushed by supporters the way I've seen crowds swarm around Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and to a lesser extent on Thursday afternoon, John Edwards. What am I missing? I wonder. But driving between Dean events today, I hear a radio ad that might provide part of the answer. It supports Ryan Lizza's theory that Kerry is gaining ground by pushing an anti-tax message. Unlike unnamed other candidates, "John Kerry is not going to raise taxes on the middle class," the announcer says.

Kerry didn't directly criticize Howard Dean or Dick Gephardt on Thursday (though the veteran who introduced him did criticize Dean when he compared Kerry's Vietnam experience to "another candidate" who "asked for a deferment" and then went skiing). But he emphasized tax reform, not just the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. "I'm not looking for some great redistribution" or a "confiscatory" tax scheme, he says. "I'm looking for fairness." He also promises to "scour" the tax code for provisions that benefit "Benedict Arnold" companies and CEOs who move their assets offshore to escape taxes. Fifteen years ago, Kerry says, U.S. businesses had $250 billion in offshore assets. Today, it's $5 trillion. "This system is rigged against the average American," he says. "America is losing its democracy to a dollar-ocracy."

If Kerry's lead in the polls is accurate, and if it's attributable to his message on tax cuts (two pretty big ifs, in my opinion), Dean's decision to withhold his tax-reform plan until after the Iowa caucuses will be considered a major miscalculation. Instead of betting everything on Iowa and New Hampshire in an attempt to end the campaign before it began, Dean overconfidently decided to keep part of his platform in his quiver, presumably hoping it would have greater impact during a later stage of the campaign.

But what's bad news for Dean could be good news for the rest of the country. For years, pundits have complained that Iowa and New Hampshire have too much control over the presidential nominating process. This year, most people thought Iowa and New Hampshire would be even more important, because the condensed primary schedule would create unstoppable momentum for the winning candidates. But it looks like Terry McAuliffe's plan is having the opposite effect: By cramming so many primaries and caucuses into a small part of the calendar, McAuliffe created something much closer to a national primary than ever existed before. Joe Lieberman and Wesley Clark are taking advantage of the new game by staking their candidacies on the states after Iowa and New Hampshire. And if John Zogby is right about John Kerry, Howard Dean may be forced to do the same thing.

          Wesley Clark Buys a Sweater   

CONCORD, N.H.—"This is so unfair, really," Gen. Wesley Clark moans from behind the dressing-room door. He's at the L.L. Bean Factory Store, and all he wants to do is try on a sweater, a plain, green, wool crewneck sweater, in private. But such is the plight of the presidential candidate in the surveillance society. Eight reporters and three minicams wait outside.

For better or worse, this is the most exciting event of the day. It's Thursday just after noon, and the press corps is getting antsy. Clark spent the morning doing interviews on television and radio, while the traveling press was shipped to a Panera sandwich shop to loll about. But after the tedium of watching a man deliver the same speech over and over and over again, watching him try on a sweater feels like entertainment.

When Clark arrived at the store, he was the one doing the razzing. "You need a new jacket. That looks like an Arkansas jacket," he said to Paul Barton, a rumpled reporter from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who doesn't look adequately dressed for the below-zero temperatures that are about to hit New Hampshire. (We're at L.L. Bean because several reporters wanted to stock up on winter clothing. "How do you pack for six weeks?" one reporter explains.) Clark gets a kick out of teasing Barton, who hails from Clark's hometown of Little Rock. "He used to be on the TV show Columbo," Clark says. "But now he's traveling with us." Later, Barton strikes back, calling out, "General, do you want this atlas of Vermont?"

The rest of the press begins to join in. After Clark strategist Chris Lehane purchases a hunting cap, an Ignatius Reilly number with earflaps, several reporters urge the general to purchase a "Lehane hat" to go with the sweater he's shopping for. Clark demurs. "I'm not into hats. Nice try, guys."

"What I want is exactly this sweater," he declares, holding up a forest green crewneck. "If I can't find it, I'm buying this one and shrinking it. Paul, do you need a sweater?" Clark heads toward the dressing room to change, and the three women from the networks who record the general's every move teasingly ask if they can tag along. "Do you want to come with me?" he asks. No, not really, they say. "Then don't ask," he says, smiling.

Clark buys the sweater and wears it that night. But believe it or not, the episode isn't the last time the subject of the general's potential near-nakedness comes up. At the end of the day, some reporters plead with Clark to allow them to watch him go swimming the next morning. Clark's swimming prowess is heralded in the campaign film American Son, which is shown before some of the "Conversations with Clark" town halls. He swam two legs in a medley relay race for his state-championship swimming team in high school. (In a related subject, the 59-year-old Clark appears quite dashing to some women. One reporter says some older women told her he was "eye candy." Polls show that Howard Dean has much greater support among women than Clark does, but for sheer physical attractiveness, at least some women seem to think that it's Clark, not John Edwards, who's the matinee idol among the Democratic candidates.)

Clark sounds open to having reporters watch him swim, but he doesn't want any cameras to witness the event. When nearly everything you do gets caught on tape, maybe you need just a little time alone. Or maybe Clark's just tired of modeling for the press. As he put it, "No beefcake."

          General Electric   

PETERBOROUGH, N.H.—The metaphorical moment of my first 24 hours on the Clark trail took place late Tuesday, when a college student handed her résumé to a Clark aide and asked for a job. The objective emblazoned across the top of the page stated that she wanted a position with the Kerry campaign, except the word "Kerry" was scratched out and "Clark" was hand-written below it in ink. If that's not proof of Clark's newfound No. 2 status in New Hampshire, Howard Dean's campaign produced still more evidence when it authorized volunteers to distribute anti-Clark flyers at a Clark town-hall meeting Wednesday here in Peterborough.

On one side, the flyer reads "WESLEY CLARK: PRO-WAR," followed by a list of the general's much-discussed statements in support of the congressional Iraq war resolution. It's the stuff that gave Clark grief when he entered the race in the fall: He advised Katrina Swett, campaigning at the time *, to vote for the resolution, and he told reporters this past September that "on balance, I probably would have voted for it." On the other side, the flyer reads "WESLEY CLARK: REAL DEMOCRAT?" followed by Clark's much-discussed statements in praise of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the Bush Cabinet, plus evidence of his pro-Republican voting record in presidential elections (until 1992).

Clark strategist Chris Lehane paints this as hypocrisy on Dean's part. After calling on Terry McAuliffe to put a stop to intra-party bickering, the former Vermont governor aims his guns at his fellow Democrats when the tactic serves his interests. Fair enough, but who cares? More important is Clark campaign's sense of pride that it has arrived as a serious Dean rival. No campaign has ever been happier to have a target on its back.

Just as a press release at the Oct. 9 Phoenix debate showed that the Dean campaign considered Dick Gephardt its main obstacle of the moment, these flyers, however mild, demonstrate that Clark has become a big enough irritant to merit a swat of his own. "The Howard Dean campaign is starting to get a little nervous," Mo Elleithee, the campaign's New Hampshire communications director, crows at a conference call slapped together to gleefully respond to Dean's "negative attack flyers." "They're hearing our footsteps."

The Clark campaign insists that it was never engaged in any negative campaigning, and it's true that Clark has refrained from explicitly attacking Dean or any of his opponents at the three events I've attended so far. But there's no disputing that a healthy anti-Dean undercurrent runs through Clark's events. "You want to find the candidate you like, and you want to find the candidate who can win," says the man who introduces Clark in Peterborough. President Bush will run for re-election on national security and tax cuts, and Wesley Clark, he says, unlike Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean, can win on both.

Clark himself is even vaguer, but it's clear to whom he is referring when he opens each stump speech with a declaration that the party must rise above its anger in this election. "I'm not running to bash Bush," he says. "I'm running to replace him." The rest of the speech focuses on his patriotism, his faith, and his policies, but I wonder if this is another quiet shot at Dean. During Vietnam, "Every man in America understood that he had a military obligation," so it's no big deal that Clark served his country, Clark insists. (Did Dean understand his obligation?) And then, at a quick press conference after the town hall, a reporter asks Clark to respond directly to the flyers. Sounding more than ever like the man who just attacked him, Clark replies, "I guess that's what professional politicians do."

Correction, Jan. 9, 2004: In the original version of this article Chris Suellentrop referred to Katrina Swett as "Representative," when in fact she was merely campaigning for Congress at the time. Return to the corrected sentence.

          The Second-Place Candidate   

BEDFORD, N.H.—When I last saw Wesley Clark, I called him "Howard Dean with flags." Since then, he's reinvented his candidacy and made himself an even bigger threat to the former Vermont governor. He's now Howard Dean with flags and tax cuts.

Clark seems pretty close to emerging as the consensus pick for the only realistic non-Dean candidate. By sitting on the sidelines during the various Dean-Kerry, Dean-Gephardt, Dean-Lieberman, and Dean-"Insert Democratic candidate here" scraps, it appears that Clark's benefited from the "Dean vs. the Washington Democrats" infighting. He's in a statistical tie with Dean in a national poll. And by camping out in New Hampshire while everyone else makes a two-week sprint toward Iowa, Clark hopes to rise even further in the Granite State polls, too. (To be fair, not everyone is in Iowa. Joe Lieberman is spending a good deal of time in New Hampshire. But Clark strategist Chris Lehane rightly says that Lieberman is like "Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense: He's dead and doesn't know it yet.")

For Dean, Clark poses a slight problem because the general can't be painted with the same brush as Edwards, Gephardt, Kerry, and Lieberman. He's not a "Washington Democrat." He didn't vote for No Child Left Behind. He didn't vote for the Iraq resolution. The question for Clark is whether he will emulate Bill Clinton as the Comeback Kid, turning a potential second-place New Hampshire finish into an expectations victory, or whether he's just the voters' Fallback Guy. After all, the usual sad lot of the first runner-up is to sit around and vainly hope that the reigning Miss America won't be able to fulfill her duties. (Of course, there is always that chance that Howard Dean posed naked somewhere … never mind.)

As a candidate, Clark has improved his skills dramatically since I watched him speak in September. He's smoother, more coherent, and more concise. He's also willing to give voters at least mildly unpopular answers. At a "house party" on Tuesday (the first of several days that I'm going to be following Clark in New Hampshire), Clark tells a man concerned about job losses, "We'll probably never bring back the specific manufacturing jobs that have left." He doesn't rule out means-testing Medicare, though he does say that he's predisposed against it. (My favorite fudge on the subject: "I'm against means-testing as a matter of principle, insofar as it's at all practical.") The house is filled with physicians worried about medical malpractice suits, but Clark states his opposition to "arbitrary caps" on legal damages. "The court system really is important for ordinary Americans," he says. "The truth is if you're a poor person in this country or a person of modest means, the only way you can get legal advice is on a contingent-fee basis."

Despite the widely held belief that Clark is the candidate of Clintonian moderates while Dean is the candidate of the so-called "angry left," I don't see much evidence that voters at Clark events are more centrist or less liberal than voters I've seen elsewhere. (Exhibit A: A reporter walks up to a man in scrubs at the house party. "You're a doctor?" he asks. "An abortion provider!" is the cheery response.) At a town-hall meeting Tuesday night, one of Clark's biggest applause lines is his pledge to raise taxes on people who make more than $200,000 a year: "We're gonna ask them to be patriotic. We're gonna take back the Bush tax cuts."

But what really endears him to the crowd is his indictment of President Bush during the run-up to war. After outlining the Clark plan for Iraq—1) withdraw Paul Bremer; 2) put a non-American in charge; 3) place U.S. forces under NATO; 4) allow a rapid turnover of the country to Iraqis, "long before this July 1 date"; 5) don't let the Kurds keep their weapons, and don't give them an autonomous region—Clark mentions his Monday night appearance on MSNBC's Hardball. Chris Matthews was obsessed with Clinton's impeachment, Clark says. It's all he would ask him about. "We wasted millions of dollars and years in this country trying to find something that Bill and Hillary Clinton did wrong. And it was a waste of money and effort," Clark says. "I'd like to know why the United States Congress and this party is not demanding, every single day, an investigation into why the president of the United States misused the intelligence community, took us to a war we didn't have to fight, and still won't tell the American people the truth! That's what should be investigated! That's the truth!"

The candidate is angry, his voice rises, and the crowd leaps to its feet. It's Clark's best moment of a pretty good day. He's got them, I think, as the crowd presses around him for autographs and picture-taking. But I also can't help but think that Howard Dean would have had them on their feet from the start.

          A Browser's Guide to Campaign 2004, Cont'd   

On Aug. 14, 1991, Vermont Gov. Richard Snelling died and was replaced by his mostly unknown lieutenant governor. The state's press corps could only wonder, "Who is Howard Dean?" writes David Moats, the editorial page editor of the Rutland Herald, in the introduction to Howard Dean: A Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would Be President. The book is written by "a team of reporters for Vermont's Rutland Herald & Times-Argus" who purport to know Dean best. Moats writes, "It took the next decade for those of us in the press, and our readership, to gain an understanding of the energetic, ambitious politician who was sworn into office that summer afternoon in 1991."

Unfortunately for the nation, the Vermont press corps can't give us 10 years to gain an understanding of Howard Dean. Instead, they've given us 245 pages. The book sketches a pretty positive portrait, but fair or not, the juicy parts tend to be Dean's lesser-known lowlights:

Like father, unlike son: After being rejected for World War II service "on medical grounds," Dean's father volunteers for a civilian job helping the Allied cause in North Africa. (When Dean bypassed Vietnam under similar circumstances, he went skiing.)

Strange bedfellows: Brother Jim Dean (who now works for the campaign) describes his brother's 1971 graduation from Yale: "We get to Howard's room, and he isn't there, but there are a bunch of people apparently living there who aren't Yale students but are kind of street people with tattoos and all."

Governor who? On the day he took office, "Dean was considered a relatively minor figure, almost a lightweight," writes Darren Allen, chief of the Vermont Press Bureau. "Democratic Lt. Gov. Howard Dean outstripped other Vermont politicians for anonymity," the Associated Press had reported that morning. "Dean has been elected to statewide office three times, but 39 percent of those questioned had no opinion of him or had not heard of him."

Lights out: In one of Dean's first major decisions as governor, he sided with power companies in favor of a 25-year contract to purchase electricity from Quebec. Environment groups opposed the project because of Hydro-Quebec's damming of state rivers; human-rights groups worried about the fate of the Cree Indians, whose land would be flooded; and consumer groups worried whether the plan would even save Vermont money. The consumer groups, at least, turned out to be right: "In the late 1990s, Vermont's two biggest power companies nearly became insolvent as they struggled to pay what turned out to be high costs for Quebec power." Vermont consumers and businesses received "steep rate increases."

Not-so-green Dean: As governor, Dean turned out to be pro-conservation but anti-regulation, a position that some environmentalists find hard to reconcile. The state bought and preserved more than 470,000 acres of wild land, but Dean's administration also gutted or ignored Vermont's environmental regulations in order to land new business development. Upon retirement, the executive officer of Vermont's Water Resources Board charged Dean's administration with underfunding the state's Agency of Natural Resources and with politicizing environmental science: "ANR has not been given the resources to adequately do its job and too often the scientifically sound recommendations by ANR technical staff are overruled in final permit decisions by political appointees." (Dean's budget chief admits in the book that some agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, were underfunded: "I agree that they didn't have enough money to do what they were authorized to do.")

In general, Dean showed a disdain for Vermont's legal and regulatory processes in favor of ad hoc deal-making and what he called "common sense" and "reason." Dean's critics say he abandoned a 20-year approach of appointing locally respected officials to environmental commissions. Instead, he "seems to have looked to people who wouldn't oppose his philosophy, who wouldn't demand tiresome scientific data and who wouldn't mind working for a governor who might inject himself in cases," writes Hamilton E. Davis, former managing editor of the Burlington Free Press. Some of Dean's defenders argue that he "never really understood the damage he was doing to the regulatory system."

Like governor, like candidate: Dean "never quite grasped the idea that he was something other than a normal guy," Davis writes. "He was smarter than most, of course, and with an unusual job, but otherwise he seems to have considered himself an ordinary guy who could say pretty much whatever crossed his mind without getting too wrought up over it."

More love from fellow Democrats: The book relies in many places on All Politics Is Personal, a memoir by Ralph Wright, the Democratic speaker of the Vermont House during much of Dean's political life in the state. "I guess this was the one thing I never could understand about Howard Dean. He always seemed so ready to abandon his cause at the first sign of defeat," Wright complains. "Maybe it was his medical training that toughened him to the certain failures that awaited us all. Maybe it was an unwillingness to have any cause at all, at least any cause for which he was willing to risk his political skin. … It wasn't just causes he was willing to abandon, he was capable of acting the same with people."

Safety second: Dean, at a press conference explaining why he wanted Vermont's Agency of Transportation to stop removing some steep rock walls along a section of the interstate that the agency had deemed too dangerous: "I got sick and tired of looking at [the construction] on my way back and forth between Montpelier and Burlington. … I'm not a safety expert. … If someone gets killed, then it's one someone who didn't have to die. It's very hard to second-guess this. But I react the way a Vermonter has to, to this. I don't like it."

Davis, the former Burlington Free Press managing editor, cites the incident as a good example of Dean's managerial style, "which was to give the agency secretaries something close to full autonomy, but then to hold them accountable publicly." 

Dean's Kentucky campaign begins poorly: Letters received by Dean after he signed Vermont's civil-unions bill: "I was really sorry to read where you have allowed the passage of a bill recognizing queers to marry," wrote someone from Kentucky, "who vowed never to vacation in Vermont again." "I have been a Democrat all my life, but now that the Democrats are turning into queers, I am switching to the Republican Party. I hope you and all your queer buddies rot in hell."

Another said, "Dean Is a Faggot Lover. All Homosexuals, Go to Vermont, Dean Loves You. All Normal People, Stay Away From Vermont. A State Full Of Perverts—Run By Perverts. Boycott Fag Run Vermont." On one fund-raising walk after the bill-signing, an elderly woman walked up to Dean and said, "You fucking, queer-loving son of a bitch."

          A Browser's Guide to Campaign 2004   

Here's a quick guide to the good parts of Winning Back America, Howard Dean's campaign book to be published Dec. 3 (complete with a cover picture of the candidate trying his damnedest to look sunny):

Chapter 1: "I'm a Regular Guy." Dean touches on his family's roots and his childhood in New York City, and he makes passing mention of his Rhode Island prep school, but he says he "really grew up in East Hampton on eastern Long Island." His "idyllic childhood" involved being outdoors, riding bikes, a duck pond, fishing, sailing, and baseball. His dad wouldn't buy him a uniform for his baseball team because he thought it was a waste of money. The chapter concludes, "At heart, I'm a country person."

Chapter 2: Howard Dean, Farmer. Devoted to Dean's summer jobs as a teenager. Dean writes two sentences about working as a sailing-camp counselor but an entire page about his work on a cattle ranch in Florida. There he earned "agricultural minimum wage," cleared land, dusted crops, and in a yearning-macho voice worthy of Apocalypse Now's Col. Kilgore, he remembers "feeling the cool mist of the herbicide on my bare chest as the plane went over."

Chapter 3: "Unlike George W. Bush, I Had Black Roommates at Yale." Bush went to Yale, too, but his senior year was Dean's freshman year, 1968. "The gulf between our experiences was much larger, though; it was as if we were a generation apart," Dean writes, referring to the changes wreaked both by "the phenomenon of the sixties" and the increasing diversity of the Yale student body, including more Jews, more public school students, and in 1969, women.

Chapter 4: Howard Dean, Ski Bum. Dean's post-college years before medical school. He skis in Colorado (living in a cabin "in a little place called Ashcroft"), where he pours concrete and washes dishes to pay the bills. He becomes a teacher by virtue of a strange snap judgment after missing a plane to Bogotá, Colombia: "I've taken many hundreds of flights in my life, and this is the only time that's ever happened. I realized that there was a reason I missed the plane. I cut short my intended trip, went home, and decided to get to work." After teaching for a year, he takes a job on Wall Street. He decides he's too careful with other people's money to be a good broker, and that he doesn't really like New York City.

Chapter 5: Med School and Judy. Contains one of the more intriguing sentences in the book: "I didn't really get to be a happy person until I went to medical school." Dean's explanation for this is that he didn't work hard enough at Yale, and "If I'm directionless and coasting, I'm not happy." He meets his future wife, Judy Steinberg. He doesn't get into any of his top three choices for his medical residency. The University of Vermont was choice No. 4, and he moves to Burlington in May 1978.

Chapter 6: Dean Enters Politics. Is Dean a moderate Republican in disguise? He compares himself to his Republican father, a "fiscal conservative" who was "not particularly liberal on social issues, but he wasn't particularly conservative either. Today he would be considered a moderate, business-oriented Republican; he wanted the budget run properly. In that way, I am very much my father's son." Dean on why he's a "pragmatic Democrat": "I was friendly with the younger, more liberal Democrats because they were my age, but I didn't vote with them. I didn't relate to their political sensibilities."

Chapter 7: The Vermont Statehouse. A woman tells him, "You're going to do really well here, but you've got to get over this chip on your shoulder that tells you to fix somebody's wagon if they cross you."

Chapter 8: Governor. "Our telephone number remained in the book." Dean cuts marginal tax rates to improve Vermont's economy, but he insists he didn't engage in the "outrageous tax cutting that went on in some of the states." He also cuts spending programs over the objections of liberal Democrats. On one occasion, he visits Congress to talk about health care: "Bob Michel, the House minority leader, was there. He was a wonderful person. Newt Gingrich was there. He's not a wonderful person."

Chapter 9: More of the Vermont Miracle. Here's Dean's illustration of the "striking difference" between Republicans and Democrats: "When the Democrats controlled the National Governors Association (I was chair of the NGA from 1994 to 1995), we used to fight against our own party when it passed legislation that harmed the states. When the Republicans took over, however, they took orders from the G.O.P. in Washington, with few standing up for the people they represented. … Most Republican governors caved to the right-wing Republican White House because they were fearful; the folks in the White House are more than willing to threaten them."

Chapter 10: Pre-President Dean. He defends the Bush daughters: "I know that several thousand kids every year get caught with fake IDs." And he defends his wife's decision not to participate in his presidential campaign: "The notion that the wife is going to be dragged along in the wake of her husband's career is something that should have been left behind decades ago." Six sentences on religion, including "I'm a fairly religious person though I don't regularly attend church or temple," "I pray just about every day," and "I also believe that good and evil exist in the world, and I thoroughly disapprove of people who use religion to inflict pain on others."

Dean's favorite books: All the King's Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion; also Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed and David McCullough's Truman ("It is one of the books that has had the most impact on me in the last ten years").

Dean ranks the presidents: 1) Washington; 2) Lincoln; 3) FDR; 4) a four-way tie between Jefferson, Truman, TR, and LBJ, despite Vietnam. We also learn Dean's weight, about 167 pounds. And don't tell Arianna, but he drives a Ford Explorer.

Chapter 11: The Chapter Most Worth Reading. Dean on the execution of his brother Charlie by communists in Laos in 1975 and on the death of his father in 2001. His parents thought Charlie was CIA: "There was speculation that Charlie was in Laos because he was working for the CIA and I think my parents believed that to be the case. Personally, I don't think he was employed by the U.S. government in any capacity, but we'll probably never know the answer to that question." Dean admits that he has spoken to counselors about his brother's death, and the chapter ends, "I'm sure that, had he lived, he'd be the one running for president and not me."

The second half of the book is campaign boilerplate: True believers will nod in approval, but you've heard this stuff before.

          Flag on the Field   

BOSTON—Who wants to bet that Howard Dean wishes he had said last week thathe wanted to reach out to people who have silhouettes of naked women on their mudflaps? Or people who sport, "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God" bumper stickers? Or people who display pictures of Calvin urinating on Chevy or Ford logos on their back of their trucks?

But no, he had to say, "I still want to be the candidate for guys withConfederate flags in their pickup trucks" in an interview with the Des Moines Register.  I happen to think this is a bogus issue. Recovering their appeal to white working-class voters is something of an obsession among Democratic Party politicians, and the Dean campaign rightly points out that the Confederate-flag comment is something that their candidate says all the time, and that he never received any criticism for it in the past. During tonight's debate in Boston, the campaign issued a press release pointing to C-SPAN footage from the February 2003 winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee that was attended by every candidate except John Kerry. There, Dean said, "White folks in the South who drive pick-up trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us because their kids don't have health insurance, either, and their kids need better schools, too." The campaign says he was received with a standing ovation, "even bringing Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe to his feet," and they say you can see it on C-SPAN here, right before the 2:09:00 mark.

That said, Dean handled tonight's kerfuffle over the Confederate flag poorly, and he did so in a way that raises a worrisome question about his candidacy. Why is he so obstinate about admitting that he was wrong? Earlier in the campaign, when Dean was confronted with changes in his positions on trade, on Social Security, and on Medicare, his first instinct was to deny that he had held the earlier position. Surely it would have been far easier to just say, hey, I made a mistake.

Something similar happens tonight. Dean could easily have pointed out that he phrased his comment slightly differently this time, and he could see how it was misinterpreted. It is, after all, somewhat different to say that you want to "be the candidate" for those who wave the Confederate flag than to say that you want to bring those voters into your party. The latter suggests at least some effort to change hearts and minds, while the former implies that you just want to be their standard-bearer. Sure, he calls the Confederate flag a "loathsome symbol," a "racist symbol," and he says the party shouldn't embrace it. But on the matter of admitting that he made a teeny, tiny error, Dean won't budge.

In a way he created his own mess tonight. Had he simply answered the question he was asked by an audience member—"Could you explain to me how you plan on being sensitive to needs and issues regarding slavery and African-Americans, after making a comment of that nature?"—he might have gotten off more easily. But instead of explaining what he wants to do for African-Americans, Dean decides to talk about white people. "There are 102,000 kids in South Carolina right now with no health insurance. Most of those kids are white. The legislature cut $70 million out of the school system. Most of the kids in the public school system are white. We have had white Southern working people voting Republican for 30 years, and they've got nothing to show for it." This is all fine and good, and I'm generally against targeting political appeals to specific ethnic groups, but it was shockingly tone deaf for Dean to respond this way. The question was, how will you be sensitive to the needs of black people? Dean's response was, by working to help white people.

Al Sharpton jumps on Dean and says, "You are not a bigot, but you appear to be too arrogant to say 'I'm wrong,' and go on." (After the debate, Dean mistakenly attributes this comment to John Edwards.) Then, John Edwards stands up to confront Dean and delivers one of the best shots of the evening: "Because let me tell you the last thing we need in the South is somebody like you coming down and telling us what we need to do." By the time Edwards is done, you can feel his poll numbers among Southerners with chips on their shoulders start to spike. Luckily for Dean, at this point Carol Moseley Braun decides to bail him out, by endorsing his explanation that the party should bring whites and blacks together. She says, "Yes, this is an important conversation. But it has to be done in a way that does not play into the real racists and the real right wing."

Here was the night's marijuana-use scorecard, for those who didn't hear all of it: Kerry, yes; Kucinich, no; Sharpton, no; Edwards, yes; Lieberman, no; Clark, no; Braun, no comment; Dean, yes.

This may be my own pangs of guilt for calling him "irrelevant" after the Detroit debate last week, but other than the fact that he was dressed like Wesley Clark's Mini-Me (in an identical black turtleneck and blazer), I thought Dennis Kucinich had a pretty good night. I agree with him on almost nothing, but this was the first debate in which he did more than switch from angry ranting to moon-eyed idealism and back again. He was even a little inspiring when he told the young people in the audience to trust their hearts and their "inner knowingness."

Still, Kucinich couldn't top Wesley Clark for the best moment of the evening. In the spin room after the debate, Matt LaBash of the Weekly Standard asks the general what he thought when he noticed the two candidates were wearing the same outfit. Clark pauses, as if he's unsure of how to take this, then says, "I thought Dennis Kucinich had excellent taste."

          See Dick Run   

SIOUX CITY, Iowa—Dean season! Gephardt season! Dean season! Gephardt season! If any lingering debate remained over which presidential candidate is currently enjoying his media moment, my two days with Dick Gephardt settled it. The 20 national reporters who follow Gephardt for all or part of his campaign swing from Des Moines to Sioux City are the latest sign that not only have the leaves turned in late October, but so have the media.

I came along to witness firsthand the evidence for something I wrote earlier this month after the Phoenix debate, that Gephardt's hard-nosed and well-organized Iowa campaign presents, at the moment, the biggest obstacle to President Dean (or, to be fairer, Democratic Nominee Dean). But I missed the media conspiracy memo that told everyone else to show up, too. During Gephardt's weekend swing in Iowa two days before, only three national reporters trailed the candidate. But now, David Brooks is here. So are Mara Liasson of NPR and Carl Cameron of Fox News. Throw in reporters from ABC, MSNBC, Knight Ridder, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, and the New York Times. (Counting Brooks, on Wednesday there are two New York Times writers following Gephardt.) Just for the sake of overkill, there are reporters from the British press and from Japanese television along for the ride. At one event in Pocahontas, Iowa—a town with an absolutely gigantic statue of the Indian princess outside her teepee welcoming visitors from the highway—the number of journalists nearly matches the number of prospective caucus-goers.

The Gephardt campaign pushes its slow-and-steady-wins-the-race angle (or is it a plea for votes from Maryland Terrapins alums?) by emblazoning "Fear the Turtle!" on the front of the press itinerary, complete with a little clip-art turtle on every page. The packet includes the latest Iowa poll results, which show Gephardt and Dean in a statistical tie for the lead, with Kerry and Edwards lagging behind. For good measure, the campaign throws in last week's favorable press clippings, including Des Moines Register wise man David Yepsen's assertion that Gephardt is the Iowa front-runner and that Dean has "plateaued" in the state. Also enclosed is a much-discussed Washington Post report—distributed, in truncated form, to voters at campaign events—that Gephardt is the candidate "many prominent Republicans fear the most." Not included is a delicious metaphor for Gephardt supporters to latch onto: While hurtling from campaign stop to campaign stop in Iowa over the past few months, the Dean van has been pulled over multiple times for speeding.

At his first stop, a senior center in Des Moines (the first of three consecutive senior centers visited by the campaign), Gephardt is supposed to deliver a "health policy address," but it turns out to be a rehash of old Howard Dean quotes about Medicare. (Later, while being ribbed by reporters about the false advertising, Gephardt's Iowa press secretary, Bill Burton, protests that he never called it a "major" policy address.) The newest wrinkle: Gephardt wants to paint the 1997 balanced budget accord—generally thought to be one of President Clinton's major accomplishments, and one supported by Dean—as a "deep, devastating cut" in Medicare.

While Gephardt speaks in front of a sign that reads "Protect Social Security" and "Protect Medicare" over and over, like computer-desktop wallpaper, I wonder: Does he really want to play this game? Dredging up old quotes and votes about Gephardt's onetime conservatism is what helped to derail his '88 campaign. He voted against the establishment of the Department of Education. He voted for a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. He voted to means-test Social Security and to eliminate cost-of-living adjustments from the program. He voted for Reagan's 1981 tax cuts. He opposed an increase in the minimum wage. Does a man with a legislative record this long and varied really want to ostentatiously declare, "There are life-and-death consequences to every position taken and every vote cast"? If that's so, how many times was Dick Gephardt on the side of death?

For now, however, it's a more recent House vote that's preventing Gephardt from running away with the Iowa race. At nearly every campaign event I attend, Gephardt is forced to deliver, in effect, two separate stump speeches. The first is the one he would like the campaign to be about: universal health care, jobs, and the immorality of rapacious multinational corporations. Gephardt's not anticapitalist: "Capitalism is the best system," he says in Pocahontas. "But capitalism has to have rules, so the capitalists don't destroy the very system" they benefit from.

He describes his visits to Mexico, China, and India, where workers live in the cardboard boxes used to ship the products they make. "I smelled where they live," he says. They live without electricity, without running water, with raw sewage running down the streets and next to "drainage ditches filled with human waste." "They live in worse conditions than farm animals in Iowa," he continues. "This is nothing short of human exploitation, that's what it is, for the profit of some special interests in the world." I'm not sure I agree with Gephardt's proposed solutions—though I'm intrigued by his notion of a variable international minimum wage—but there's no denying that he's a powerful critic of global capitalism's excesses.

Then, once Gephardt has finished and the applause has subsided, almost invariably a voter raises his hand to ask: What about Iraq? Was this war about oil? How can we recover the world's respect? How can we pay for all your programs with a war on?

At this point, Gephardt is forced to unveil stump speech No. 2. Sept. 11 changed everything, he says. Government's highest obligation is to protect American lives. In a Gephardt administration, the highest priority would be to prevent a nuclear device—"dirty or clean"—from going off in New York, Los Angeles, or Des Moines. That's why he decided Saddam Hussein needed to be removed. He supported the war because he believed the estimates of the CIA and the warnings of former Clinton administration officials, not because he listened to President Bush ("I would never do that").

Slowly, Gephardt's defense of his vote for the congressional war resolution transitions into a critique of the president. Though in an interview he insisted that the president was smart, on the stump he's not shy about insinuating that the president (whom he often refers to as "Dubya") is stupid. "He's incompetent," "He frightens me," "He's hard to help," I told him America founded the United Nations because "I wasn't sure he knew the history," and "If you'd been meeting with him every week since 9/11, you'd be running for president," too. Because Bush refused to negotiate with Kim Jong Il, North Korea is now "weeks away" from producing nuclear bombs. Bush abandoned the peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, saying, "It's not our problem." He's arrogant. He doesn't play well with others. By the end, people are satisfied enough with Gephardt's explanation, and maybe even a little terrified, but you get the sense that they're not enthused by it.

But Gephardt isn't counting on enthusiasm. He has a couple edges on Dean, in addition to his obvious union support. For one, a surprising number of Iowa Democrats just don't like the former Vermont governor. The opposition to Gephardt tends to be substantive, based on his support for the war or his failure as Democratic leader to enact a more Democratic agenda. But the opposition to Dean is stylistic, or maybe even cultural. In socially conservative Iowa, sometimes you hear it whispered: Where's Dean's wife? Before Gephardt arrives at an event in the town of Ida Grove, I overhear a woman grumble about Judith Steinberg's refusal to campaign for her husband. "I can't get used to that," she tells her companion. "It's supposed to be a family thing."

By the same token, Gephardt never fails to mention the "church loans" and "church scholarships" that allowed him to attend Northwestern and then Michigan law school. He also refers to his son, Matt, who survived prostate cancer as an infant, as a "gift of God." I don't think I've ever heard Howard Dean say the word "God" in reference to anything.

Just before the last stop in Sioux City, I'm granted a 10-minute ride-along interview with Gephardt. I've got a number of questions, but the one I really want an answer to is this: If balanced budgets and free trade—two things that don't get a lot of emphasis in the Gephardt platform—weren't the secrets of the Clinton economy, what were? Higher taxes for the rich? Gephardt explains that the '97 budget accord wasn't needed to balance the budget, and then he tries to explain why Bush's steel tariffs—which Gephardt supported, and which made the United States lose manufacturing jobs—aren't analogous to the retaliatory tariffs Gephardt wants to be able to impose on foreign products or factories that don't comply with minimal labor and environmental standards. Soon enough, we're so sidetracked that I've forgotten entirely what we were talking about.

But afterward, when I'm once again following Gephardt in my rental car, I'm left with my question: Clinton balanced the budget and promoted free trade, and the economy boomed. President Bush ran up enormous deficits and put new restrictions on trade, and the economy sputtered. Isn't Dick Gephardt's plan closer to President Bush's?

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          WOW - Your Chinese Zodiac Animal And What It Says About Your Personality.   
Did you know you can find out some interesting facts about your personality, based on the traits of the various animal signs in the Chinese Zodiac?

You can determine your Chinese Zodiac animal according to your year of birth; however, do note that the Chinese Zodiac is based on the beginning of the year in the Chinese calendar, not the regular calendar year. The beginning of the year in the Chinese calendar varies from year-to-year and often falls in late January if not early February.

If you are born sometime in the early January or in the new year just before the start of the Chinese New Year in February, you might want to read about the personality traits associated with the previous year’s Zodiac to see if it more likely fits you.

Below are the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs and
their personality traits and/or meanings:

(1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)
Individuals born in the Year of the Rat are charming and generally companionably and at ease in social situations. As a matter of fact, they are notably popular individuals and exude prowess in business; though, they are also known to be critical and quick-tempered. Rats have an exceptional grasp of information and ideas and additionally have vivid imaginations and unique intellectual abilities. Thus, they often see a lot of opportunities that others may miss. They are opportunists but may take on way too many commitments to fault. Nonetheless, they highly value relationships, and they are very generous and passionate in love as they are in businesses.
(1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021)
Ox people are very much a representation of the expression ‘strong as an ox’ because of their uncanny ability to face and manage most types of circumstances. They deal with their responsibilities methodically and earn much respect for their confidence and great capabilities. On the negative side, they are sometimes prone to being chauvinists and are very demanding people, determined to defend their own interests to the extremes. Their admirable sense of duty to sometimes result to a less passionate or exciting personal life although very much stable. Nonetheless, ox people are classified as consistently faithful to their families and partners.
(1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022)
People born in the Year of the Tiger are deep sensitive and in-tune with their emotions, thus making them awesome lovers or partners. They seek balance between their domineering and strongly competitive nature and their immense need for love, which both drive them towards seeking independence from love; hence, they both bring passion and open candour into any relationship while also expecting the same in return. They have amazing confidence, though they can be quite shaken or depressed by criticisms at times. They can also be inherently restless. Tigers are best known for their ability to bounce back from negative occurrences, and they are dignified and courageous in facing any challenges, making them great leaders.
(1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023)
Rabbit people are generally well-liked because they are affectionate, pleasant, and polite-mannered. They feel more comfortable staying out of disputes, controversies, or mini-quarrels. They very much love enjoyable pursuits that, although unintentional, they tend to forget about their loved ones’ needs without them realizing it. They become so distracted with fun. Despite their inclination toward good times, they are also quiet and conservative as well as intellectual. Some people may regard their overly sentimental traits as shallow but they can be very loving. They often seek security in all their relationships.
(1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024)
People born in the Year of the Dragon possess an almost charismatic aura and they are always brimming with energy. They are very talented in their pursuits because they are highly intelligent. Occasionally, they may seem loud and boisterous and they often follow their own course, not believing that rules should hold them. Their perfectionism makes them appear very demanding of others, just as they are to themselves. Nonetheless, dragons are generally inclined towards success and they enjoy challenging situations that give them the opportunity to use their innate talents and energies. Although committed relationships are not very important to them, kindred spirits sharing their life’s adventures are most valuable to them.
(1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025)
Snake people are profound thinkers. They possess great wisdom and are often willing to work imperceptibly to achieve their goals discreetly without anyone realizing it. They also have a very charming and romantic side to them and they seek elegance in their relationships as well. They are prone to jealousy though. They also tend to be secretive and are most of the time seen as loners. Thus, they are less popular compared to their peers socially-speaking. Nonetheless, this may be ideal to the Snake as snakes often appreciate and prefer solitude.
(1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026)
The popular expression ‘works like a horse’ hold true to Horse people because they exert great efforts in their line of work. They will readily commit to success and hard work unless they perceive the job as beneath them. Horses may be challenged by their own emotions because they are prone to explode in their tempers and become impulsive especially in love. They are also not regarded as good team players since they prefer independent work. Their independence may lend themselves characteristic of Egotism but their strong intellect and excellent verbal skills aid them in social situations. They can be quite popular.
(1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027)
Ram people are often likable and charming, and socially gracious although quite reserved. They are also kind, sensitive, and sympathetic individuals. Ram persons especially love art, nature, and culture, and they are also often having an artistic or creative nature. On the negative side, they are inclined feel discomfort physically and will often complain about it, plus, they are also prone to pessimism. The Ram often find themselves on the opposite ends of being assertively self-confident and being prone to timidity, but in relationships, as long as there is security, they feel most fulfilled.
(1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028)
People who are born in the Year of the Monkey have intelligent and energetic natures, and they possess magnetic personalities that draw in crowds. Monkeys generally appear to have very appealing personalities and somewhat an eccentric side to them while also possessing the likely gift of chatter. They are quick-witted and have an easy talent for turning every situation into a humorous one. On the down side, some people see this as suspect, hence the Monkey personality is seen as untrustworthy because of their typical brunt practical jokes. Monkeys also are high-energy and tend to be restless, and may find it difficult to choose careers. Nonetheless, they tend to succeed in environments that thrive on change including dynamic relationships.
(1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029)
The Rooster sign is known for having a great sense of industry and diligence when it comes to work, and they also have a natural ease in expressing their opinions. They see their opinions, and their right to share it, as strongly important even to the extent that they have difficulties sharing their spotlight. They often display an attention-grabbing garb and style, and are generally successful at gaining attention they so eagerly love. Despite their sometimes-frustrating meticulous standards, they have many friends and they can be very loyal and genuine in their relationships. They also tend to achieve great success in their chosen careers because of their high standards.
(1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030)
Dog people are noteworthy for their loyalty and honesty in any relationship. They also focus their interest in a specialty subject, giving their whole heart and soul into it, be it a hobby or a career. They stick strongly to their principles of fairness and justice, and they also have great creative problem-solving skills. Dog individuals are challenged most by their need to criticize and their innate nature of having “sharp tongues.” As friends and lovers, they can be very trustworthy, but with special someone’s, they can be quite unforgiving because they tend to hold grudges till they feel they have been appeased. They have a profound need for a good, long-lasting relationship, making them loyal for life especially when feel they have found their perfect mate.
(1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031)
People born in the Year of the Pig make wonderful companions for they are tolerant, kind, sincere, and intellectually strong, which helps them perform well in rich conversations. They also use their intellect to go after challenging goals and ultimately achieve them. They strongly hold social harmony as highly important to, lending them well in overlooking people’s faults and seeing only the best in people. Pigs are noted, too, for their sense of humour and wit, but their greatest vulnerability lies in their seeming naiveté in expecting the same good traits in others. Their inclination to feel rage when people do not afford them the same kindness they are giving is one of their greatness weaknesses. Pigs are also inclined to physical/material indulgences, but they deeply cherish family or home life.

          General Labourer Packing House - JC Fresh Farms Ltd. - Kingsville, ON   
The responsibilities for this job are the vital functions of the packing line, which includes packing product in the appropriate containers for that commodity $11.43 an hour
From Indeed - Thu, 25 May 2017 14:54:47 GMT - View all Kingsville, ON jobs
          Just how accurate has your 2017 Horoscope been so far?   

We're half way through 2017 but just how accurate has your 2017 Horoscope been so far?

It had been forecast that 2017 would be a year full of love, passion and ambition. If you felt stressed or overburdened last year, this is your year to start relaxing and live life at your own pace. You will control your own destiny and make things happen.

2017 is the year to focus on those few things that touch your heart. Trust your feelings as well as your instincts - They serve you well. You can really make things happen this year.

What has your star sign said about you in 2017? Has it identified your good points and those things you need to work on? 

Read on, look up your star sign, compare what it says about you and how the year has gone so far and see for yourself.

Share on your Facebook wall if you find this useful because your family and friends may find it useful too. Enjoy.

CAPRICORN – The Passionate Lover (December 22 to January 19)

MOST AMAZING KISSER. Very high appeal. A Capricorn’s love is one of a kind… Very romantic. Most caring person you will ever meet in your life. Entirely creative person, most are artists and insane, respectfully speaking. They perfected sex and do it often. Extremely random. An ultimate freak. Extremely funny and is usually the life of the party. Most Capricorns will take you under their wing and into their hearts where you will remain forever. They make love with a passion beyond compare. Spontaneous. Not a fighter, but will stand up and fight if it comes down to it. Someone you should hold on to!

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

AQUARIUS – Does It in the Water (January 20 to February 18)

Great talker. Attractive and passionate. Laid back. Usually happy but when unhappy tend to be grouchy and childish. An Aquarius’s problem becomes everyone’s problem. Most Aquarius are very predictable and tend to be monotonous. Knows how to have fun. Is really good at almost anything. Great kisser. Very predictable. Outgoing. Down to earth. Addictive. Attractive. Loud. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. Not one to mess with. Rare to find and oh so good when found.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

PISCES – The Partner for Life (February 19 to March 20)

Dominant in relationships. Someone loves them right now. Always wants the last word. Caring. Smart. Loud. Loyal. Easy to talk to. Everything you ever wanted. Easy to please. A pushover. Loves to gamble and take chances. Needs to have the last say in everything. They think they know everything and usually do. Respectful to others but you will quickly lose their respect if you do something untrustworthy towards them. 
They forgive but never forget.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

ARIES – The Aggressive (March 21 to April 19)

Nice to everyone they meet. Their love is one of a kind. Silly, funny and sweet. Have own unique appeal. Most caring person you will ever meet! However, not the kind of person you want to mess with… you might end up crying. Aries can cause as much havoc as they can prevent. Faithful friends to the end. Can hold a grudge for years. Aries are someone you want on your side. Usually great at sports and are extreme sports fanatics. A very creative person.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

TAURUS – The Tramp (April 20 to May 20)

EXTREMELY adorable. Loves to joke. Very good sense of humour. Will try almost anything once. Loves to be pampered. Energetic. Predictable. GREAT kisser. Always get what they want. Attractive. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. Loves to party but at times to the extreme. Loves the smell and feel of money and is good at making it but just as good at spending it! Very protective over loved ones. HARD workers. Can be a good friend but if is disrespected by a friend, the friendship will end. Romantic. Caring. Put's up with NO BULL!

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

GEMINI – The Twin (May 21 to June 20)

Spontaneous. High appeal. Rare to find. Great when found. Loves being in long relationships. So much love to give. A loner most of the time. Loses patience easily and will not take crap. If in a bad mood stay FAR away. Gets offended easily and remembers the offense forever. Loves deeply but at times will not show it, feels it is a sign of weakness. Has many fears but will not show it. VERY private person. Defends loved ones with all their abilities. Can be childish often. Not one to mess with. Very pretty. Very romantic. Nice to everyone they meet. Their Love is one of a kind. Silly, fun and sweet. Have own unique appeal. Most caring person you will ever meet! Amazing in bed!!! Not the kind of person you want to mess with- you might end up crying. 

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

CANCER – The Beauty (June 21 to July 22)

Love to bust. Nice. Sassy. Intelligent. Sexy. Grouchy at times and annoying to some. Lazy and love to take it easy, but when they find a job or something they like to do they put their all into it. Proud, understanding and sweet. Irresistible. Loves being in long relationships. Great talker. Always gets what he or she wants. Cool. Loves to win against other signs in sports, especially. Cancer likes to cook but would rather go out and eat at good restaurants. Extremely fun. Loves to joke. Smart.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

LEO – The Lion (July 23 to August 22)

Trustworthy. Attractive. Great kisser. One of a kind. Loves being in long-term relationships. Tries hard. Will take on any project. Proud of themselves in whatever they do. Messy and unorganized. Procrastinators. Great lovers, when they’re not sleeping. Extreme thinkers. Loves their pets usually more than their family. Can be VERY irritating to others when they try to explain or tell a story. Unpredictable. Will exceed your expectations. Not a natural fighter, but will stand up and fight for what they believe in and those they love. Heart of a LION

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

VIRGO – The One that Waits (August 23 to September 22) 

Caring and kind. Smart. Likes to be the centre of attention. Very organized. High appeal to opposite sex. Likes to have the last word. Good to find, but hard to keep. Passionate, wonderful lovers. Fun to be around. Too trusting at times and gets hurt easily. VERY caring. They always try to do the right thing and sometimes get the short end of the stick. They sometimes get used by others and get hurt because of their trusting. Extremely weird but in a good way. Good sense of humour!! Thoughtful. Loves to joke. Very popular. Silly, fun and sweet. Good friend to others but needs to be choosy on who they allow their friends to be.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

LIBRA – The Lame One (September 23 to October 22) 

Outgoing. Lovable. Spontaneous. Not one to mess with. Funny… Excellent kisser. EXTREMELY adorable. Loves relationships, and family is very important to a Libra. Libra are known for being generous and giving. Addictive. Loud. Always has the need to be ‘Right’. Aries will argue to prove their point for hours and hours. Libra are some of the most wonderful people in the world.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

SCORPIO – The Addict (October 23 to November 21) 

Aggressive. Loves being in long relationships. Likes to give a good fight. Fight for what they want. Can be annoying at times, but for the love of attention. Extremely outgoing. Loves to help people in times of need. Good kisser. Good personality. Stubborn. A caring person. They can be self-centred and if they want something they will do anything to get it. They love to sleep and can be lazy. One of a kind. Not one to mess with. Are the most attractive people on earth!

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

SAGITTARIUS – The Promiscuous One (November 22 to December 21)

Nice. Love is one of a kind. Great listeners. Very good at confusing people. Lover not a fighter, but will still knock you out. They will not take any crap from anyone. They like to tell people what they should do and get offended easily. They are great at losing things and are forgetful. They can be very sarcastic and childish at times and are very nosy. Trustworthy. Always happy. VERY Loud. Talkative. Outgoing. VERY FORGIVING. Loves to make out. Has a beautiful smile. Generous. Strong. THE MOST IRRESISTIBLE.

What does your Star Sign say about your love life? CLICK HERE to find out.

If you found this to be interesting, please share the link on your Facebook wall and tell your family and friends so they can take a look for themselves. Thank you.

          Part Time Receptionist - James Braden Ford - Kingston, ON   
The Receptionist is responsible for answering phones, greeting customers, filing and general clerical support....
From Indeed - Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:29:17 GMT - View all Kingston, ON jobs
          Three Thoughts on Becoming Post-racial   
Re-posted from I have written plenty on [race] in general and [Martin Luther King Jr.’s] birthday in particular, but on this, the 2012 remembrance of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let me just offer three very random thoughts on the “post-racial” question. On achieving  a “post-racial” America – If conversations about race are to have
          Por la boca muere el pez   
  La vida privada de los funcionarios públicos es inversamente proporcional a la responsabilidad e importancia de sus cargos. - No queda bien a una mujer de tanta proyección jurídica, como debe ser la nueva Fiscal General (encargada), Martha Lucía Zamora, decir que las mujeres que ocupan altos cargos (en Colombia), son víctimas de prejuicios e intromisiones en su vida personal. Esa no es una acusación cualquiera. Es una acusación de la Fiscal General. Y es una acusación que nos...
          ¡La tengo!   
  A propósito del editorial de El Satélite ( titulado: “Con los crespos hechos”, sobre el secretario general de la CGT, Julio Roberto Gómez y su (hasta hacía poco) sólida aspiración al restaurado Ministerio del Trabajo, que aparentemente se malogró por su manifestación de apoyo a Petro a su candidatura a la Alcaldía de Bogotá, un lector muy al tanto de las cosas, nos hace llegar el siguiente cometario: “Mi estimado amigo: (…) con Julio creo que se te va la...
          Con los crespos hechos   
  Fuentes cercanas a la CGT afirmaban en las últimas horas que el apoyo que esa central obrera ofreció a la candidatura a la Alcaldía de Bogotá a Gustavo Petro, le habría dañado el nombramiento al Secretario General, Julio Roberto Gómez, como nuevo ministro de Trabajo. Gómez era fijo al cargo una vez se escindiera de nuevo las políticas laborales de las sociales, fundidas en la pasada administración en el Ministerio de la Protección Social. El Secretario de la CGT había corrido con...
          Un falso positivo a la gringa   
  El general Naranjo, director de la Policía Nacional, también sabe de alta diplomacia porque al responder a una alerta de la embajada de Estados Unidos sobre la seguridad ciudadana en Bogotá, dijo a los medios que esas alarmas “no son nuevas”. Y no son nuevas. Tiene razón el general. Y probablemente ni sean sinceras en el sentido en que no estén las autoridades gringas tan seriamente preocupadas por la seguridad de sus ciudadanos sino por las elecciones locales del próximo 30 de...
          Kinky Explorer Gangbang Hot Girl In Hope To Prove That Female Orgasm Can Produce and Generate Electric Power   
Watch Kinky Explorer Gangbang Hot Girl In Hope To Prove That Female Orgasm Can Produce and Generate Electric Power at - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          Five Things We Learned From Seahawks GM John Schneider   
Football season being over for the Seahawks means the busy season is just getting started for general manager John Schneider, who along with his scouting department and head coach Pete Carroll, will over the next few months shape what the Seahawks look like in 2016 though decisions they make in the draft, free agency and […]
          Synchronization in Neuronal Networks with Electrical and Chemical Coupling   

Synchronized cortical activities in the central nervous systems of mammals are crucial for sensory perception, coordination, and locomotory function. The neuronal mechanisms that generate synchronous synaptic inputs in the neocortex are far from being fully understood. This thesis contributes toward an understanding of the emergence of synchronization in networks of bursting neurons as a highly nontrivial, combined effect of chemical and electrical connections. The first part of this thesis addresses the onset of synchronization in networks of bursting neurons coupled via both excitatory and inhibitory connections. We show that the addition of pairwise repulsive inhibition to excitatory networks of bursting neurons induces synchrony, in contrast to one’s expectations. Through stability analysis, we reveal the mechanism underlying this purely synergistic phenomenon and demonstrates that it originates from the transition between different types of bursting, caused by excitatory-inhibitory synaptic coupling. We also report a universal scaling law for the synchronization stability condition for large networks in terms of the number of excitatory and inhibitory inputs each neuron receives, regardless of the network size and topology. In the second part of this thesis, we show that similar effects are also observed in other models of bursting neurons, capable of switching from square-wave to plateau bursting. Finally, in the third part, we report a counterintuitive find that combined electrical and inhibitory coupling can synergistically induce robust synchronization in a range of parameters where electrical coupling alone promotes anti-phase spiking and inhibition induces anti-phase bursting. We reveal the underlying mechanism which uses a balance between hidden properties of electrical and inhibitory coupling to act together to synchronize neuronal bursting. We show that this balance is controlled by the duty cycle of the self-coupled system which governs the synchronized bursting rhythm. This work has potential implications for understanding the emergence of abnormal synchrony in epileptic brain networks. It suggests that promoting presumably desynchronizing inhibition in an attempt to prevent seizures can have a counterproductive effect and induce abnormal synchronous firing.

          A Mathematical Model for β1-adrenergic Regulation of the Mouse Ventricular Myocyte Contraction   

The β1-adrenergic signaling system is one of the most important systems regulating heart function. Activation of this system leads to an increased heart rate, which can be beneficial during exercise, but can lead to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure with continuous over-stimulation. In this dissertation, we have developed two comprehensive mathematical models of mouse ventricular myocyte contraction. The first model is based on a previously published mathematical model of action potential and Ca2+ handling mechanism of the mouse cardiac cell that are not modulated by the β1-adrenergic signaling system. The model was verified with experimental data on mouse myocyte contraction at room temperature. In the model, we implement simplified sarcomere length variability and indirect modulation of the tropomyosin transition rates by Ca2+ and troponin. The resulting model describes well steady-state force-calcium relationships, dependence of contraction force on sarcomere length, time course of contraction force and myocyte shortening, frequency dependence of contraction force and cellular contraction, and experimentally measured derivatives of myocyte length variation. We emphasize the importance of including variable sarcomere length in the model for ventricular myocyte contraction and investigate the differences in contraction force and cell shortening for epicardial and endocardial ventricular myocytes. The second model of the mouse ventricular myocyte contraction includes a more advanced description of the forces involved in myocyte contraction (active, passive, viscous, and flexible forces) and the β1-adrenergic signaling system. The model was verified by the simulation of major experimental protocols on measurements of steady-state force-calcium relationships, crossbridge release rate (krel) and force development rate (kdf), force-velocity relationship, and force redevelopment rate (ktr). It also reproduces quite well frequency and isoproterenol dependencies for [Ca2+]i transients, total contraction force, and sarcomere shortening. The resulting mathematical model reveals the mechanisms of increased contraction force and myocyte shortening upon stimulation of β1-adrenergic receptors. The developed mathematical models can be used further for simulations of contraction of ventricular myocytes from genetically modified mice and myocytes from mice which have developed chronic cardiac diseases.

          Old Fashion Modern   
The days of knitting and cross-stitching are ancient history. Well, sort of. It has taken a brand new facade, coming back in a generation of …

Because of budget constraints a survey has two major limitations when it comes to availing data on prevalence of diabetes in small areas as Counties. First, it is costly for a survey to cover all relevant areas. And second, a survey often comes short of taking large samples for adequate representations. Examining such limitations and shortcomings of a direct method of estimation which uses data from such surveys, this dissertation attempted to apply Bayesian Hierarchical Model of estimation to provide reliable data on prevalence of Diabetes in small areas (counties). In doing so a range of Bayesian Hierarchical models which provide reliable data on prevalence of diabetes for small areas as counties were explored.

The Estimation Models used data of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS [1]) survey. In total the analysis examined survey data made on 1,497 counties (including the 644 counties in the CDC diabetes belts [2] in 16 states in the US.

The statistical models used in this analysis are aimed at reducing estimation error of diabetes prevalence in direct estimation methods, so as to help an efficient policy formulation and budget allocation. In this regard we generated estimates on the prevalence of diabetes for 1,188 Counties having a complete set of information and another 295 which were not covered in BRFSS survey and among the 1188 Counties 824 Counties that have smaller sample size (Healthy people 2020 data suppression for BRFSS [3]).

Unlike the direct method usually applied for such estimation the result in this analysis brought about statistical significance of the estimates in our study.

          Statistical Models and Analysis of Growth Processes in Biological Tissue   

The mechanisms that control growth processes in biology tissues have attracted continuous research interest despite their complexity. With the emergence of big data experimental approaches there is an urgent need to develop statistical and computational models to fit the experimental data and that can be used to make predictions to guide future research. In this work we apply statistical methods on growth process of different biological tissues, focusing on development of neuron dendrites and tumor cells.

We first examine the neuron cell growth process, which has implications in neural tissue regenerations, by using a computational model with uniform branching probability and a maximum overall length constraint. One crucial outcome is that we can relate the parameter fits from our model to real data from our experimental collaborators, in order to examine the usefulness of our model under different biological conditions. Our methods can now directly compare branching probabilities of different experimental conditions and provide confidence intervals for these population-level measures. In addition, we have obtained analytical results that show that the underlying probability distribution for this process follows a geometrical progression increase at nearby distances and an approximately geometrical series decrease for far away regions, which can be used to estimate the spatial location of the maximum of the probability distribution. This result is important, since we would expect maximum number of dendrites in this region; this estimate is related to the probability of success for finding a neural target at that distance during a blind search.

We then examined tumor growth processes which have similar evolutional evolution in the sense that they have an initial rapid growth that eventually becomes limited by the resource constraint. For the tumor cells evolution, we found an exponential growth model best describes the experimental data, based on the accuracy and robustness of models. Furthermore, we incorporated this growth rate model into logistic regression models that predict the growth rate of each patient with biomarkers; this formulation can be very useful for clinical trials. Overall, this study aimed to assess the molecular and clinic pathological determinants of breast cancer (BC) growth rate in vivo.

          Constructing Empirical Likelihood Confidence Intervals for Medical Cost Data with Censored Observations   

Medical cost analysis is an important part of treatment evaluation. Since resources are limited in society, it is important new treatments are developed with proper costconsiderations. The mean has been mostly accepted as a measure of the medical cost analysis. However, it is well known that cost data is highly skewed and the mean could be highly influenced by outliers. Therefore, in many situations the mean cost alone cannot offer complete information about medical costs. The quantiles (e.g., the first quartile, median and third quartile) of medical costs could better represent the typical costs paid by a group of individuals, and could provide additional information beyond mean cost.

For a specified patient population, cost estimates are generally determined from the beginning of treatments until death or end of the study period. A number of statistical methods have been proposed to estimate medical cost. Since medical cost data are skewed to the right, normal approximation based confidence intervals can have much lower coverage probability than the desired nominal level when the cost data are moderately or severely skewed. Additionally, we note that the variance estimators of the cost estimates are analytically complicated.

In order to address some of the above issues, in the first part of the dissertation we propose two empirical likelihood-based confidence intervals for the mean medical costs: One is an empirical likelihood interval (ELI) based on influence function, the other is a jackknife empirical likelihood (JEL) based interval. We prove that under very general conditions, 2log (empirical likelihood ratio) has an asymptotic standard chi squared distribution with one degree of freedom for mean medical cost. Also we show that the log-jackknife empirical likelihood ratio statistics follow standard χ2 distribution with one degree of freedom for mean medical cost.

In the second part of the dissertation, we propose an influence function-based empirical likelihood method to construct a confidence region for the vector of regression parameters in mean cost regression models with censored data. The proposed confidence region can be used to obtain a confidence interval for the expected total cost of a patient with given covariates. The new method has sound asymptotic property (Wilks Theorem).

In the third part of the dissertation we propose empirical likelihood method based on influence function to construct confidence intervals for quantile medical costs with censored data. We prove that under very general conditions,2log (empirical likelihood ratio) has an asymptotic standard chi squared distribution with one degree of freedom for quantile medical cost. Simulation studies are conducted to compare coverage probabilities and interval lengths of the proposed confidence intervals with the existing confidence intervals. The proposed methods are observed to have better finite sample performances than existing methods. The new methods are also illustrated through a real example.

          Analysis of traveling wave propagation in one-dimensional integrate-and-fire neural networks   

One-dimensional neural networks comprised of large numbers of Integrate-and-Fire neurons have been widely used to model electrical activity propagation in neural slices. Despite these efforts, the vast majority of these computational models have no analytical solutions.

Consequently, my Ph.D. research focuses on a specific class of homogeneous Integrate-and-Fire neural network, for which analytical solutions of network dynamics can be derived. One crucial analytical finding is that the traveling wave acceleration quadratically depends on the instantaneous speed of the activity propagation, which means that two speed solutions exist in the activities of wave propagation: one is fast-stable and the other is slow-unstable.

Furthermore, via this property, we analytically compute temporal-spatial spiking dynamics to help gain insights into the stability mechanisms of traveling wave propagation. Indeed, the analytical solutions are in perfect agreement with the numerical solutions. This analytical method also can be applied to determine the effects induced by a non-conductive gap of brain tissue and extended to more general synaptic connectivity functions, by converting the evolution equations for network dynamics into a low-dimensional system of ordinary differential equations.

Building upon these results, we investigate how periodic inhomogeneities affect the dynamics of activity propagation. In particular, two types of periodic inhomogeneities are studied: alternating regions of additional fixed excitation and inhibition, and cosine form inhomogeneity. Of special interest are the conditions leading to propagation failure. With similar analytical procedures, explicit expressions for critical speeds of activity propagation are obtained under the influence of additional inhibition and excitation. However, an explicit formula for speed modulations is difficult to determine in the case of cosine form inhomogeneity. Instead of exact solutions from the system of equations, a series of speed approximations are constructed, rendering a higher accuracy with a higher order approximation of speed.

          Functional Principal Component Analysis for Discretely Observed Functional Data and Sparse Fisher’s Discriminant Analysis with Thresholded Linear Constraints   

We propose a new method to perform functional principal component analysis (FPCA) for discretely observed functional data by solving successive optimization problems. The new framework can be applied to both regularly and irregularly observed data, and to both dense and sparse data. Our method does not require estimates of the individual sample functions or the covariance functions. Hence, it can be used to analyze functional data with multidimensional arguments (e.g. random surfaces). Furthermore, it can be applied to many processes and models with complicated or nonsmooth covariance functions. In our method, smoothness of eigenfunctions is controlled by directly imposing roughness penalties on eigenfunctions, which makes it more efficient and flexible to tune the smoothness. Efficient algorithms for solving the successive optimization problems are proposed. We provide the existence and characterization of the solutions to the successive optimization problems. The consistency of our method is also proved. Through simulations, we demonstrate that our method performs well in the cases with smooth samples curves, with discontinuous sample curves and nonsmooth covariance and with sample functions having two dimensional arguments (random surfaces), repectively. We apply our method to classification problems of retinal pigment epithelial cells in eyes of mice and to longitudinal CD4 counts data. In the second part of this dissertation, we propose a sparse Fisher’s discriminant analysis method with thresholded linear constraints. Various regularized linear discriminant analysis (LDA) methods have been proposed to address the problems of the LDA in high-dimensional settings. Asymptotic optimality has been established for some of these methods when there are only two classes. A difficulty in the asymptotic study for the multiclass classification is that for the two-class classification, the classification boundary is a hyperplane and an explicit formula for the classification error exists, however, in the case of multiclass, the boundary is usually complicated and no explicit formula for the error generally exists. Another difficulty in proving the asymptotic consistency and optimality for sparse Fisher’s discriminant analysis is that the covariance matrix is involved in the constraints of the optimization problems for high order components. It is not easy to estimate a general high-dimensional covariance matrix. Thus, we propose a sparse Fisher’s discriminant analysis method which avoids the estimation of the covariance matrix, provide asymptotic consistency results and the corresponding convergence rates for all components. To prove the asymptotic optimality, we provide an asymptotic upper bound for a general linear classification rule in the case of muticlass which is applied to our method to obtain the asymptotic optimality and the corresponding convergence rate. In the special case of two classes, our method achieves the same as or better convergence rates compared to the existing method. The proposed method is applied to multivariate functional data with wavelet transformations.

          Intersection of Longest Paths in Graph Theory and Predicting Performance in Facial Recognition   

A set of subsets is said to have the Helly property if the condition that each pair of subsets has a non-empty intersection implies that the intersection of all subsets has a non-empty intersection. In 1966, Gallai noticed that the set of all longest paths of a connected graph is pairwise intersecting and asked if the set had the Helly property. While it is not true in general, a number of classes of graphs have been shown to have the property. In this dissertation, we show that K4-minor-free graphs, interval graphs, circular arc graphs, and the intersection graphs of spider graphs are classes that have this property.

The accuracy of facial recognition algorithms on images taken in controlled conditions has improved significantly over the last two decades. As the focus is turning to more unconstrained or relaxed conditions and toward videos, there is a need to better understand what factors influence performance. If these factors were better understood, it would be easier to predict how well an algorithm will perform when new conditions are introduced.

Previous studies have studied the effect of various factors on the verification rate (VR), but less attention has been paid to the false accept rate (FAR). In this dissertation, we study the effect various factors have on the FAR as well as the correlation between marginal FAR and VR. Using these relationships, we propose two models to predict marginal VR and demonstrate that the models predict better than using the previous global VR.

          Matchings and Tilings in Hypergraphs   

We consider two extremal problems in hypergraphs. First, given k ≥ 3 and k-partite k-uniform hypergraphs, as a generalization of graph (k = 2) matchings, we determine the partite minimum codegree threshold for matchings with at most one vertex left in each part, thereby answering a problem asked by R ̈odl and Rucin ́ski. We further improve the partite minimum codegree conditions to sum of all k partite codegrees, in which case the partite minimum codegree is not necessary large.

Second, as a generalization of (hyper)graph matchings, we determine the minimum vertex degree threshold asymptotically for perfect Ka,b,c-tlings in large 3-uniform hypergraphs, where Ka,b,c is any complete 3-partite 3-uniform hypergraphs with each part of size a, b and c. This partially answers a question of Mycroft, who proved an analogous result with respect to codegree for r-uniform hypergraphs for all r ≥ 3. Our proof uses Regularity Lemma, the absorbing method, fractional tiling, and a recent result on shadows for 3-graphs.

          Synchronization in Dynamical Networks with Mixed Coupling   

Synchronization is an important phenomenon which plays a central role in the function or dysfunction of a wide spectrum of biological and technological networks. Despite the vast literature on network synchronization, the majority of research activities have been focused on oscillators connected through one network. However, in many realistic biological and engineering systems the units can be coupled via multiple, independent networks. This thesis contributes toward the rigorous understanding of the emergence of stable synchronization in dynamical networks with mixed coupling. A mixed network is composed of subgraphs connecting a subnetwork of oscillators via one of the individual oscillator's variables. An illustrative example is a network of Lorenz systems with mixed couplings where some of the oscillators are coupled through the x-variable, some through the y-variable and some through both. This thesis presents a new general synchronization method called the Mixed Connection Graph method, which removes a long-standing obstacle in studying synchronization in mixed dynamical networks of different nature. This method links the stability theory, including the Lyapunov function approach with graph theoretical quantities. The application of the method to specific networks reveals surprising, counterintuitive effects, not seen in networks with one connection graph.

          Spanning Halin Subgraphs Involving Forbidden Subgraphs   

In structural graph theory, connectivity is an important notation with a lot of applications. Tutte, in 1961, showed that a simple graph is 3-connected if and only if it can be generated from a wheel graph by repeatedly adding edges between nonadjacent vertices and applying vertex splitting. In 1971, Halin constructed a class of edge-minimal 3-connected planar graphs, which are a generalization of wheel graphs and later were named “Halin graphs” by Lovasz and Plummer. A Halin graph is obtained from a plane embedding of a tree with no stems having degree 2 by adding a cycle through its leaves in the natural order determined according to the embedding. Since Halin graphs were introduced, many useful properties, such as Hamiltonian, hamiltonian-connected and pancyclic, have been discovered. Hence, it will reveal many properties of a graph if we know the graph contains a spanning Halin subgraph. But unfortunately, until now, there is no positive result showing under which conditions a graph contains a spanning Halin subgraph. In this thesis, we characterize all forbidden pairs implying graphs containing spanning Halin subgraphs. Consequently, we provide a complete proof conjecture of Chen et al. Our proofs are based on Chudnovsky and Seymour’s decomposition theorem of claw-free graphs, which were published recently in a series of papers.

          Some Results on Generalized Complementary Basic Matrices and Dense Alternating Sign Matrices   

The first part of this dissertation answers the questions posed in the article ``A note on permanents and generalized complementary basic matrices", {\it Linear Algebra Appl.} 436 (2012), by M. Fiedler and F. Hall. Further results on permanent compounds of generalized complementary basic matrices are obtained. Most of the results are also valid for the determinant and the usual compound matrix. Determinant and permanent compound products which are intrinsic are also considered, along with extensions to total unimodularity.

The second part explores some connections of dense alternating sign matrices with total unimodularity, combined matrices, and generalized complementary basic matrices.

In the third part of the dissertation, an explicit formula for the ranks of dense alternating sign matrices is obtained. The minimum rank and the maximum rank of the sign pattern of a dense alternating sign matrix are determined. Some related results and examples are also provided.

          Computational Study in Chaotic Dynamical Systems and Mechanisms for Pattern Generation in Three-Cell Networks   

A computational technique is introduced to reveal the complex intrinsic structure of homoclinic and heteroclinic bifurcations in a chaotic dynamical system. This technique is applied to several Lorenz-like systems with a saddle at the center, including the Lorenz system, the Shimizu-Morioka model, the homoclinic garden model, and the laser model. A multi-fractal, self-similar organization of heteroclinic and homoclinic bifurcations of saddle singularities is explored on a bi-parametric plane of those dynamical systems. Also a great detail is explored in the Shimizu-Morioka model as an example. The technique is also applied to a re exion symmetric dynamical system with a saddle-focus at the center (Chua's circuits). The layout of the homoclinic bifurcations near the primary one in such a system is studied theoretically, and a scalability ratio is proved. Another part of the dissertation explores the intrinsic mechanisms of escape in a reciprocally inhibitory FitzHugh-Nagumo type threecell network, using the phase-lag technique. The escape network can produce phase-locked states such as pace-makers, traveling-waves, and peristaltic patterns with recurrently phaselag varying.

          On Regularized Newton-type Algorithms and A Posteriori Error Estimates for Solving Ill-posed Inverse Problems   

Ill-posed inverse problems have wide applications in many fields such as oceanography, signal processing, machine learning, biomedical imaging, remote sensing, geophysics, and others. In this dissertation, we address the problem of solving unstable operator equations with iteratively regularized Newton-type algorithms. Important practical questions such as selection of regularization parameters, construction of generating (filtering) functions based on a priori information available for different models, algorithms for stopping rules and error estimates are investigated with equal attention given to theoretical study and numerical experiments.

          Perfect Matchings, Tilings and Hamilton Cycles in Hypergraphs   

This thesis contains problems in finding spanning subgraphs in graphs, such as, perfect matchings, tilings and Hamilton cycles. First, we consider the tiling problems in graphs, which are natural generalizations of the matching problems. We give new proofs of the multipartite Hajnal-Szemeredi Theorem for the tripartite and quadripartite cases.

Second, we consider Hamilton cycles in hypergraphs. In particular, we determine the minimum codegree thresholds for Hamilton l-cycles in large k-uniform hypergraphs for l less than k/2. We also determine the minimum vertex degree threshold for loose Hamilton cycle in large 3-uniform hypergraphs. These results generalize the well-known theorem of Dirac for graphs.

Third, we determine the minimum codegree threshold for near perfect matchings in large k-uniform hypergraphs, thereby confirming a conjecture of Rodl, Rucinski and Szemeredi. We also show that the decision problem on whether a k-uniform hypergraph with certain minimum codegree condition contains a perfect matching can be solved in polynomial time, which solves a problem of Karpinski, Rucinski and Szymanska completely.

At last, we determine the minimum vertex degree threshold for perfect tilings of C_4^3 in large 3-uniform hypergraphs, where C_4^3 is the unique 3-uniform hypergraph on four vertices with two edges.

          Παναγιώτης Χριστόπουλος : Ένας κύκλος κλείνει , ένας νέος ξεκινά   

Νέα παρουσία στην προεδρία της Δυμης… Μετά από 4μιση χρόνια παρουσίας στον προεδρικό θώκο της Δύμης ο Παναγιώτης Χριστόπουλος αποχωρεί από το συγκεκριμένο πόστο, παρότι ουσιαστικά θα συνεχίζει να προσφέρει στο σωματείο που αγαπά και βοηθά ανελλιπώς από το ρόλο του General Manager. Συνολικά ο Π. Χριστόπουλος μετράει 10 χρόνια παρουσίας στην οικογένεια του ΑΟ […]

The post Παναγιώτης Χριστόπουλος : Ένας κύκλος κλείνει , ένας νέος ξεκινά appeared first on

          LIFF SPECIAL REVIEW: Babylon Sisters   
Twelve-year-old Kamla (Amber Dutta) lives with her parents Shanti (Nav Ghotra) and Ashok (Rahul Dutta) in a run-down apartment building in Trieste, Italy. The building’s inhabitants represent the newer waves of immigration to Italy (and other western European countries), coming from regions as far-flung as Eastern Europe, Turkey, China and India. The one exception is the Professore Leone (veteran Italian actor Renato Carpentieri), a retired teacher who rails against his neighbours, accusing them of eating his cats and generally ruining the neighbourhood. The lives of the inhabitants are turned upside down when the landlord, Zacchigna (Lorenzo Acquaviva) serves eviction notices
          Good advice for acne - Tips against acne - Acne Prevention   
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          Rethinking the Ways of the Blue Jay   

A Blue Jay attempting to "rule the roost".
Claudia always chooses to see the good in something, just one of her many fine traits. Suffice it to say, she has never shared my disdain for the Blue Jay. There was a time in the not so distant past when I regarded Blue Jays as nothing more than plunderers and pillagers. Unlike Claudia, rather than seeing their beauty, I chose to see them as pirates of the bird feeder, bullies who chased smaller songbirds away.   
A pretender to the throne, perhaps?
Moreover, I considered the Blue Jay a noise maker of raucous shrieks and harsh cries. While the non-stop squawking of a single Blue Jay was bothersome enough, it was those occasions when several banded together in a single tree producing a relentless non-stop cacophony that was particularly annoying. Then a strange thing happened. I learned to appreciate and admire Blue Jays. First and foremost, they photographed quite nicely. However, that was hardly the sole reason for my attitude adjustment toward the Blue Jay. 

Equal in size, a Red-bellied Woodpecker is
unfazed by the Blue Jay's presence.
Sometime after we got involved with nature photography we began taking the time to observe and study Blue Jays. Though I had long known them to be aggressive and pesky rascals, I also discovered them to be curious and intelligent and, at times, quite beneficial. In fact, they are even known to serve as nature’s tree planters, albeit unwittingly. One can only guess how many oak trees exist east of the Mississippi River as a result of forgotten acorns stashed underground by hoarding Blue Jays.   

Singing it's own song of Joy to the Lord, and all who care to listen.
They can make a variety of sounds, including the rather gentle and musical sounding queedle-queedle. As a songbird it may not produce the rich sound of warblers and wrens, yet for sheer looks the Blue Jay can hold its own against anything the avian world has to offer.   

A striking bird, against a similarly striking sky.
I am no longer a detractor of the stately-looking Blue Jay. After all, who am I to argue with their Creator? In the first chapter of Genesis we find these words: “He created every winged bird according to its kind….And saw that it was good.”  

Until Next Time,
Jim & Claudia

J. D. Barrett - has canoe, will paddle
J.D. Barrett sets out each year to match his age with the number of times he goes canoeing during the calendar year. Four years ago, at the age of 87 his 87th trip entailed paddling Black Creek as it flows through Genesee and Monroe Counties.  It was December at the time.  

Canoeing in December? Was there ice on the water? You bet, but not enough to deter J.D. and some well-wishing fellow paddlers who were on hand to help commemorate the occasion. On that day the group of seven launched their solo canoes in Churchville Park and paddled upstream a few miles before stopping for a celebratory hot lunch on shore.

The man in his element.
One might figure that given J.D. Barrett’s yearly quest, last year, at age 90, he would make ninety paddling trips on the waterways he so enjoys. Not quite. “God was willing” as J.D. might say, to see him complete 105 canoe outings on the lakes, creeks and rivers he favors. 

Some years J.D. meets his “quota” and other years, well, let’s just say age throws unforeseen snags in his path. This year shoulder problems prevented him from pursuing his outdoor endeavors as much as he would have liked. Still, he put in ample time both canoeing and fly-fishing.

Regardless of the weather, there's nothing better than being on the water.
In addition to paddling, J.D. has fashioned many a canoe and kayak from scratch and is well known for his custom paddles which he often presents as gifts to friends.  A skilled and meticulous craftsman, the time J.D. has spent making canoes and kayaks or helping friends do so is considerable, yet it is surpassed by the time he spends on the water in pursuit of one of his favorite pastimes. 

J.D. doesn’t spend all his time on the local lakes and streams or in his woodworking shop. A Stafford resident who is highly regarded in both the canoeing and fly-fishing communities, he has also been a member of Grace Baptist Church in Batavia for the better part of six decades.  In addition to serving as a deacon and on various committees, J.D. has used his musical talents as an accomplished pianist as part of the worship service for many years at Grace. 

The look of genuine contentment. 

A devoted family man, J.D. and his wife, Dorothy celebrated their sixty-ninth wedding anniversary earlier this year. To those who know him best, his attributes are many; good husband & father, adept canoeist, skilled fly-fisherman, talented musician, and a faithful servant of the Lord. A diverse and laudable repertoire indeed, one befitting a great American and a Godly man.

Until Next Time,
Jim & Claudia

          Fluttering Gems of Late Summer   
Often mistaken for a Monarch, this is the Viceroy.
It is distinguishable by the arched black line that crosses the hind wing.
It's late summer and fallow fields and meadows are awash with the color of wildflowers. Likewise, roadsides and hedgerows are speckled with the brilliant hues of goldenrod, purple asters, and chicory to name a few.  

While this landscape is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and enjoyed by many, perhaps nothing appreciates those colorful wild blooms more than butterflies. The weather has been nothing short of spectacular and it stands to reason that this is perhaps the greatest time of year for watching a wide variety of butterflies as they flit and flutter from flower to flower, drawing nectar from bloom after colorful bloom. With that in mind, we thought it a great time to share with you some of our favorite butterfly photos.
This is a Pear Crescent, one of the more common smaller
 butterflies, seen here alighting on some goldenrod.
A Question Mark touches down by the side of the road at Genesee CountyPark and Forest. This species is so named for the silver marking along the base of its rear wings.
A Mourning Cloak absorbs some mid-morning sunshine. Some believe
 its named for its somber color, much like a funeral shawl worn by widows. 
Flower gardens are equally attractive to butterflies this time of year.  We especially enjoy gazing upon our butterfly bush while it's in bloom to see the variety of visitors it attracts.  

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is busy at work pollinating the tiny
individual blossoms of our butterfly bush.
A White Admiral also enjoys visiting our yard.
While butterflies might not be as fast or efficient as bees when it comes to pollinating, they certainly are a pleasing sight to behold.  Plus, when was the last time anyone got stung by one?

Until Next Time,
Jim & Claudia

          A Red-tailed Hawk's "Long" Lunch   
The Red-tailed Hawk is a familiar site throughout Western NY.
Not far from our home in the town of Batavia is a tract of land consisting of some large fields, hedgerows, a couple of ponds, a small creek and small woodlots. In one of the fields is a pair of aged oak trees which serve as both a perch and look-out post for the resident Red-tail hawk who calls this place home. More often than not, whenever I drive down the road that leads into the area, the Red-tail hawk takes flight as soon the tires of my pickup make contact with the gravel surface.

But this day was different. For starters the hawk wasn’t perched in either of the towering oaks. Instead, it was situated in a much smaller tree alongside the roadway, and literally within a stone’s throw from my vehicle. I stopped the truck, readied the camera and, much to my delight, the hawk stayed put. What’s more, I could see that it wasn’t paying me any mind whatsoever. It was intently staring at something on the ground, almost directly below. 
The bird clearly had something pinned beneath it.
In an instant, the bird "dropped" to the ground and pounced on it's prey. I was about 40 yards away and couldn’t make out what it was so I continued taking photos, focusing solely on the hawk.    

The raptor takes a quick look to see if the coast is clear.
Getting back to the task at hand, the hawk uses its talons to hold
 the quarry in place  and, as I would soon discover......decapitate it.
The meal in question turned out to be a snake, sans head.
My best guess of this shot is the hawk was having a harder time than
expected swallowing the snake.  Even without a head it was probably
still writhing around on it's way down the hatch.  
While I say kudos to the Red-tail, this was not the first time I’ve seen winged predators of various species and sizes make a meal of a snake. I’ve seen birds like Great Blue herons fly off with a snake dangling from its bill and the much smaller Grackle do likewise.  Has ever a creature of the wild been frowned upon with more disdain than the lowly snake?
Genesis 3:14 “And the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And dust shall you eat all the days of your life.”

Until next time, 
Jim & Claudia    

          The Much Maligned Snapping Turtle   
Cute & cuddly, he's not.
While a good many of nature’s creatures have their share of admirers, there are those which the general public, for the most part, hold in low esteem. But like all of God’s creatures, those same critters held in disdain by many, all have a role to play in the natural order.  The Snapping Turtle is one such creature.

The dark green moss covering this turtle's back
 is proof positive he's a sloooooooow moving fella.
His head is larger than a grown man’s fist, characteristics which speak to his longevity. And no, he isn’t much to look at, but he is important to the environment. In addition to dining on plant and animal matter, he is an aquatic scavenger, cleaning up decaying and rotting flesh from its watery environment. 

The claws of the Snapping Turtles come in handy when excavating a nest
 in gravel and hard ground where they like to deposit their eggs
The Snapping Turtle also has earned a bad rap for eating ducklings. While they do on occasion take unwary birds, to be fair, their own young offspring suffer a high mortality rate. Whereas the adults have few predators to contend with, mink, raccoons, opossum, fox, skunks and crows will readily unearth a Snapping Turtle nest and feast on the eggs.  Last weekend, while hiking atop one of the berms on Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, we counted no less than a dozen or more nests that had been unearthed, all within a half-mile stretch.  The threat doesn’t end there for the young. Hatchlings are subject to the same predators in addition to herons, bitterns, hawks, owls and fishers just to name a few.      

This turtle uses every inch of his long neck while scanning his surroundings. 
Longer than most people realize, the turtle's neck is also heavily muscled and quick as lightning, able to strike in the blink of an eye. He’s an excellent swimmer and while he may move slowly along the ground. many a would-be Good Samaritan attempting to “help” one across the road has learned the hard way just how fast and how far back they can extend their neck.

Lastly, the Snapping Turtle has no choice but to tough out our long northern winter. It was once believed that all Snapping turtles go into a semi-hibernation called torpor, buried in a layer of mud and silt. While some indeed do spend the winter beneath a layer of muck, telemetric studies have shown some specimens fitted with transmitters to be active beneath the ice – nowhere near as active as in the warmer months, but barely moving about and using minimal oxygen.

For sure the Snapping Turtle is frowned upon by many, yet he has been on the scene since time immemorial and he has endured. He is a touch customer a verse from the Good Book comes to mind.  

Job: 41:1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?”

Until next time,
Jim & Claudia 

          Comment on How Can A Dream Matter? by Liv Dietrich   
Wonderful dreams of 1) the hand off of your ministry from your husband to yourself 2) a picture of technology as God to the younger generation 3) impending chaos of the last days for people on the wrong side of God
          NEWS: Photo: Kuujjuaq graduate honoured with Governor General’s medal   
          CONFERENCIA Y TALLER DE LITERATURA ( Gloria Fernandez)   
Conferencia taller

Primera parte: "De poetas, narradores y otras formas de simulación: Crítica literaria para lectores apropiadores”

Segunda parte: “Robar la materialidad literaria y autoproclamarse autor”
Magíster Mirta Gloria Fernández, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires


Platón alertó sobre el peligro que acarrea la poesía al estar hecha por los artistas que son hechiceros y engañadores. Así, inaugura la idea de que la literatura, al contener adornos de toda índole, no se valora solo por lo que dice sino en especial por cómo lo dice. El poeta puede no conocer el tema, pero sí tiene que hechizar al público con su forma de hablar. De este modo, usa lógicas distintas para dar a conocer su mundo, y combina las palabras para inaugurar maneras nuevas de decir.

La propuesta de esta exposición es recorrer diferentes textos literarios dirigidos a la infancia a efectos de estudiar precisamente esas formas de decir. Libros concebidos desde la función estética, que a veces molestan un poco por su constitución polisémica. Centraremos nuestro análisis, entonces, en la especificidad literaria o materialidad del lenguaje es decir, en el punto de vista que se elige para contar, el juego con las palabras, la riña con la sintaxis clásica, y en las artes del narrador para develarse, ocultarse y hasta burlarse de sus “inocentes” lectores. Luego de nuestro recorrido tendremos más preguntas para hacernos sobre los niños y sobre sus supuestas “dificultades de comprensión”.

El mundo interior no se nutre únicamente del yo, sino que precisa de la experiencia ajena. Aunque quienes nos rodean sean apasionantes, necesitamos conocer el mundo, atravesar contextos, ampliar nuestro horizonte. Afortunadamente, a lo largo de la historia, la humanidad contó con sus narradores orales, luego… los libros. Hoy los libros están en las escuelas. Entonces indaguemos esos textos, para que podamos narrar el mundo con palabras que no estén gastadas. Las formas de describir el mundo nos transforman porque el lenguaje nos constituye.

Por eso, en la segunda parte de la conferencia taller recorreremos algunas propuestas de escritura poética y ficcional que invitan al lector a apropiarse de aquellas estrategias materiales que ha detectado en los textos analizados, a efectos de producir materiales escriturarios de su autoría.

Primera jornada

Se expone la influencia positiva de “lo literario” a partir del concepto de apropiación y cuestionando la idea de comprensión. Leeremos el corpus (libros álbum) e iremos ejecutando, con la participación del público, el estudio de los aspectos formales de la literatura: narrador, narratario, ironía, parodia, metaficción, perspectiva múltiple, polifonía versus monologismo, focalización, etc.

Primera Parte: Especificidad de la LIJ (1 hora)
La literatura y el pensamiento, según Vigotsky (1970) y de Certeau (1996).
Tensión entre las concepciones sobre la LIJ: el placer de leer, generación de mecanismos intelectuales complejos, problemas de una literatura en valores. Doble destinatario.
La concepción de “afecto” del filósofo Espinoza (Deleuze, 2001)

Segunda Parte: El estudio del narrador (1 hora)
El procedimiento de focalización: “El globo”.
Múltiples narradores o perspectiva múltiple: “Voces en el parque”.
La metaficción: “La flor más grande del mundo” y “Cuento con ogro y princesa”.
Narrador protector: “Irulana y el ogronte”.
Narrador fauvista (expresionismo): “De noche en la calle”.
Poner en duda el acto de narrar: “Un rey de quién sabe dónde”.

Tercera parte: Los subgéneros del humor (1 hora)
La polisemia y el problema ideológico en “El cochinito de Carlota”.
La parodia en “Las pinturas de Willy” y en “Silencio niños”.
La distancia irónica hacia el tabú en “El topito Birolo”.
El humor a través del choque entre texto e imagen en “¿Qué pasa aquí abuelo?”
Humor negro y transgresión en “El cuentista” y “Ahora no Fernando”.

Segunda jornada (con todo el público) (3 horas turno vespertino)
Literatura e inclusión: El taller de lectura como disparador de escrituras: Experiencia poética a partir de textos de Girondo. La alfabetización y “Del topito Birolo…”.
Propuestas concretas de escritura para llevar a cabo en el momento o para analizar su incidencia en los productores de escritura.
Inscripción: Te: 342-4577960 / Anexo Santo Tomé Instituto de Profesorado N° 8 Calle H. Sabrozo y O. Gelabert SANTO TOMÈ (3016) hasta el miércoles 12 de Octubre.

          7° Festival Internacional de Oralidad Artística y Narración Oral Escénica SANTA FE DE CUENTOS   
Entrada libre y gratuita el 7 de Octubre (inauguración en el teatro 1° de Mayo) más información linkear el afiche.

Narradores Orales de Colombia, Cuba, España, México, Panamá, Venezuela y Argentina
10 años convocando a narradores del mundo para hacer
el festejo de la Palabra Viva, la Memoria y la Imaginación
6 al 20 de Octubre de 2010
Declarados de interés Municipal y de Interés Cultural y general para la Provincia de Santa Fe y para la Nación Argentina
(degajo de la imagen, información específica sobre los cursos internacionales)

La inscripción podrá efectivizarse por AMSAFE PROVINCIAL (CON DESCUENTO POR PLANILLA), ó en el FORO CULTURAL DE LA U.N.L. (9 de Julio 2150, de lunes a viernes), a pagar en dos cuotas: Septiembre y Octubre , ó a distancia en planilla que se solicita a correos ó
(Se otorgan certificados de la U.N.L.)
Fechas: 8, 9. 10 y11 de Octubre 2010
Dirigidos a jóvenes y adultos, a partir de los dieciséis años y que no precisan tener experiencia en el área.

Taller Básico: Viernes 8/10 - 9 a 13 - 14 a 18 hs. Sábado 9/10- 9,30 a 13,30 hs
Taller Perfeccionamiento 1): Sábado 9/10- 14,30 a 19,30 hs. Domingo 10/10- 9 a 15 hs.
LUGAR: Foro Cultural Universitario- 9 de Julio 2154- 0342-4571182/83
Taller Perfeccionamiento 2): Domingo 10/10- 16 a 19 hs- Lunes 11/10 (feriado) 10 a 13,30 y 14,30 a 15,30 a 20 hs.
LUGAR: Teatro de la Abadía- Estanislao Zeballos 3074- 0342-4690507

A cargo del Lic. En Arte, Escritor y Narrador Oral Esc. Pedro Mario López Delgado (Cuba/ Colombia) y del Magister en Danzas Folclóricas del Caribe Colombiano Henrry Ibargüen Murillo (Colombia)


¡Gracias Profe Gloria por colaborar con este espacio... !

          Farm Supervisor - Pomas Farms Inc. - Staples, ON   
Ability to supervise more than 20 people. Coordinate and supervise the work of general farm workers and harvesting labourers. Develop work schedules and $15 an hour
From Indeed - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:13:50 GMT - View all Staples, ON jobs
          Nivel Inicial de EXCURSIÓN /Parque Arqueológico Santa Fe la Vieja ...   

La historia de la antigua ciudad de Santa Fe se descubre en las Ruinas de Santa Fe La Vieja, antiguo emplazamiento en el que pueden admirarse las huellas del ayer.


El sitio corresponde al asentamiento en el que estuvo la ciudad de Santa Fe desde su fundación en 1573 hasta la década de 1660, cuando fue trasladada 78 kilómetros hacia el sur. Su localización y excavación se debe a Agustín Zapata Gollán (1895-1986), quien inició sus investigaciones a mediados de 1949. En el sitio pueden distinguirse dos áreas que tuvieron usos y formas de ocupación diferenciadas: el entorno de la Plaza de Armas, con solares dedicados a usos religiosos, administrativos y viviendas, y la zona de las "cuadras", dedicadas a cultivos urbanos (frutales y viñedos). El río San Javier ha erosionado el sector próximo a la Plaza, donde se encontraban la Iglesia Matriz, la Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, la iglesia de San Roque y la casa del propio Juan de Garay. El área actual del sitio de casi 69 hectáreas corresponde a las dos terceras partes de la traza fundacional. En este sector se ubican el remanente de la Plaza de Armas, las iglesias conventuales de San Francisco, Santo Domingo y La Merced, el Cabildo y un número significativo de viviendas, entre ellas: las de Cristóbal de Garay, nieto del fundador, y las de Alonso Fernández Montiel, Francisco de Páez, el escribano Juan de Cifuentes, Juan González de Ataide y Manuel Ravelo. De las construcciones originales se conservan partes bajas de los muros y sus cimientos, construidos con la técnica de tapia o tierra apisonada, además de fragmentos de tejas, algunas de ellas con dibujos e inscripciones. En relación con estas estructuras, las investigaciones arqueológicas han puesto a la luz un importante caudal de objetos que testimonian la vida de la ciudad hasta mediados del siglo XVII: cerámica indígena, hispano-indígena y española, porcelana oriental, tejas, ladrillos, monedas, medallas, cuentas de collares y rosarios, amuletos, útiles de labranza y herramientas. El registro arqueológico da cuenta de una sociedad compleja y pluriétnica en la que conviven españoles, mestizos, aborígenes y africanos. Dentro del recinto de los templos las excavaciones dejaron al descubierto los restos de los pobladores allí enterrados, dos centenares de sepulcros de los cuales Zapata Gollán pudo identificar algunos de los más importantes, entre ellos los de la hija de Garay, fundador de la ciudad, y su esposo Hernandarias de Saavedra, el primer gobernador criollo del Río de la Plata.


  • Campo de la Doma

  • Reserva ecológica

  • Museo de Sitio

  • La Posta

  • Parque

  • Cabildo

  • Iglesias de San Francisco, Santo Domingo y La Merced

  • Casas de González de Ataide, Garay, Páez, Cifuentes, Fernández Montiel

  • Casa ambientada de Vera Muxica

  • Plaquetario

  • Parque Santa Fe de Granada

  • Ambiente natural

  • Borde Río San Javier

          "Alfabetización Temprana: ¿cómo empezamos?"   
Clases, organizadas por el Ministerio de Educación de la Nación , transmitidas por teleconferencia a todas las provincias a través de los Auditorios de OSDE, tratan temas relacionados con las prácticas educativas en general, y didácticas y pedagógicas en particular, que proponen la alfabetización inicial en nuestros niños. En esta oportunidad se trabajará: "Alfabetización Temprana: ¿cómo empezamos?" Las profesionales que dictarán esta clase son: BETTINA MOTTA, ALICIA MARTIARENA y GRACIELA CAGNOLO. El lugar en la ciudad de Santa Fe es: la sede de OSDE, Rivadavia 3238, 2º Piso. Cualquier consulta dirigirse por este medio al mail:

          BIOS Visitó nuestro instituto el 02 del septiembre para compartir inquietudes que nos enlazan desde la Ciencia Ecológica y la educación.   

Esta es una organización ecologista, trabaja en la defensa del ambiente, los derechos humanos y la difusión del conocimiento.Las áreas de trabajo específicas se centran en los impactos del modelo de crecimiento y sus impactos en el ambiente y la salud.Desarrollan campañas, promueven la legislación y generan material pedagógico y de prensa, en cuanto a los químicos peligrosos, agrotóxicos y modelo rural, salud y ambiente, problemática de la incineración y respeto a la diversidad biológica y cultural.
Mariela Kogan, miembro de dicha asociación, Doctora en Ciencias Biológicas con increíble sencillez y a través de diferentes soportes dejo circular inquietudes en el encuentro, vinculadas al medio ambiente, una responsabilidad compartida entre ciencia y educación que nos enlaza y convoca, una clara propuesta y recursos creativos para poder trabajar con los niños/as.
Nos presentó un video generado por BIOS y a partir de este una propuesta lúdica dejándonos un lazo a futuras consultas.

VIDEO: Para no caer en "El cuento de la buena soja"

          "La lectura no entusiasma a los chicos de hoy. ¿Acaso lo hacía en el pasado?"   
Entrevistada por Claudio Martyniuk.

De la exigencia por memorizar en la Edad Media a la necesidad actual de manejar todos los soportes, leer es siempre una actividad que oscila entre el placer y los obstáculos. La escuela no es ajena a visiones tan extremas.
La historia de las tecnologías de escritura y lectura, así como de los soportes materiales de los textos, se entrelaza con la historia de la alfabetización. Y la lectura de ese pasado brinda una renovada comprensión del presente y de las tareas de la escuela ante un objeto clave de nuestra cultura: el libro. Sobre él descansa, ambiguamente, la pretensión civilizatoria. Anne-Marie Chartier es una especialista en la historia de las prácticas de enseñanza de la lectura y escritura reconocida internacionalmente. Visitó Buenos Aires para dictar un seminario en el posgrado en Lectura, escritura y educación de Flacso. En la Edad Media pocas personas sabían leer y accedían a los libros. En los conventos surgió la lectura silenciosa, interna. Esa innovación, ¿qué proyección tuvo?Fue muy importante porque instaló los gestos intelectuales del trabajo con los libros que se mantienen hasta hoy. Pero si bien instaló la lectura mental, moderna y muy rápida, hay una diferencia fundamental con la manera de leer actual: en el medioevo, leer era memorizar íntegramente los textos fundamentales, mientras que hoy lo que esperamos de la lectura mental es la extracción de las informaciones principales de un texto y no su memorización literal. Durante siglos se enseñó a los niños que leer era fijar la memoria literal de un texto. Y los saberes que eran considerados fundamentales para los niños eran los religiosos, los cuales son leídos, repetidos, cantados, recitados. El lugar donde hoy podemos encontrar este estilo de lectura es la poesía. La lectura de poesía nos da una idea de lo que era la lectura en la Edad Media.La minoritaria lectura de poesía en parte parece tener que ver con la falta de lectura en voz alta. ¿Es una pérdida irremediable?No. Felizmente existen los cantantes. El lugar donde nos vemos obligados a pensar la relación entre la voz y el texto son las canciones. En el espectáculo, también en la ópera, esa cuestión de la relación entre la voz y el texto no es algo residual. En la publicidad y en los medios modernos se integran imagen, texto y voz. Pienso que los medios audiovisuales, con las revoluciones de la imagen y el sonido, restituyeron a nuestra vida de lectores una tradición de lectura en voz alta que muestra que nuestra memoria fija las cosas con más fuerza cuando lee con todos nuestros sentidos, con la imagen, el texto y la voz.Sin embargo, la "Galaxia Gutenberg", centrada en el libro, parece desplazada por la imagen. La "Galaxia Gutenberg" perdió el mundo de la imagen y del color para entrar en un mundo en blanco y negro, un mundo gris. Ese descubrimiento extraordinario de la modernidad -la imprenta- en parte suprimió la riqueza de la tradición medieval que vinculaba imagen de color y texto. En la modernidad, la introducción de imágenes en el texto exigió un largo tiempo de trabajo tecnológico hasta llegar a insertar viñetas, pequeñas láminas en el interior de los libros. En la actualidad, reencontramos la riqueza estética medieval en textos que incluyen imágenes en color. La novedad es el sonido. Texto, imagen, color y sonido están conectados en los nuevos soportes tecnológicos.Pero es problemática la comprensión de las imágenes. El procesamiento de la imagen no es secuencial o lineal, como lo es el procesamiento del texto escrito, y hay interacciones entre las imágenes y el texto que no son fáciles de analizar. No hay un procedimiento de lectura de imágenes que pueda enseñarse como se enseña la alfabetización. Siento preocupación cuando se habla de leer imágenes o situaciones, como si la lectura fuera el paradigma de todo entendimiento. Es una metáfora: no se leen las imágenes, las imágenes se comprenden, se analizan, se perciben, se sienten. Decir que las leemos es una manera de hablar que obstaculiza. Las imágenes funcionan de la misma manera en diferentes culturas, y niños que no hablan el mismo idioma pueden comprender la misma imagen. Hay fenómenos que son específicos de la imagen. Yo puedo leer un libro del siglo XVIII con el sentimiento de que hay una continuidad entre esa escritura y la actual. Pero la forma en que están ilustrados los libros del siglo XVIII no tiene nada que ver con la ilustración de los libros actuales. Para la educación esto es un problema porque no hay tradición en la escuela de una cultura de la imagen que no sea una ilustración de lo escrito. En la escuela primero está lo escrito y la imagen aparece como un complemento para adornar, mientras que en la vida no es así.¿Sólo esa función cumple la ilustración en los libros escolares?Hay una evolución desde fines del siglo XIX, con la creación de la escuela republicana -con Sarmiento, aquí en Argentina, y Jules Ferry en Francia; la historia de la creación de la escuela republicana en Argentina y en Francia se parece mucho. En ella, lo prioritario es el texto y las imágenes están para fijar la memoria, utilizando también la emoción en la representación de los próceres de la patria. El libro de Héctor Rubén Cucuzza "Yo, argentino. La construcción de la Nación en los libros escolares (1873-1930)" muestra que ante los próceres que marcaron la historia -que es como la historia de los santos que marcaron la historia de la Iglesia- hay un relato mítico que necesita imágenes, porque ellas fijan la representación de los héroes que jalonan el relato del texto. También los textos de ciencias tienen imágenes.Pero es distinta la ilustración de esos libros escolares que quieren dar una idea del discurso científico con lecciones sobre el agua, el aire o la circulación de la sangre. Se ilustran con esquemas. Los chicos tienen que reproducir el esquema de circulación de la sangre, por ejemplo, mientras que no se les pide que dibujen al prócer. Hay una introducción al gesto científico de representación abstracta de la realidad, la que parece aportar una verdad invisible. En libros escolares muy simples aparece la representación de la variedad de los discursos que existen en el mundo científico. En geografía es el mapa, y en la escuela cada disciplina científica está marcada por un tipo de uso diferente de la articulación imagen-texto. La alianza imagen-texto funciona como un indicador disciplinario, y los chicos saben de inmediato, al abrir un libro, en qué disciplina están, aunque no sepan leer. La escuela encontró un medio muy eficaz para darles a los niños una clasificación de los saberes.¿Hoy los chicos no se entusiasman con la lectura?Parece que no, pero tampoco en el pasado, ¿no cree? En definitiva, habría que probar que la lectura no entusiasma a los chicos hoy y que los entusiasmaba ayer. No hay que mezclar los recuerdos nostálgicos de los amantes de los libros con la realidad de la generación anterior. Yo no tengo la sensación de que en la generación de mi abuela había entusiasmo por los libros. Existía mucha desconfianza respecto de los libros y cuando a las chicas les gustaba leer, se pensaba que eran malas amas de casa y madres y que perdían el tiempo. Había desconfianza hacia los libros en los sectores populares; los consideraban pasatiempo de ricos. Y la mayoría de la gente no leía, salvo el diario para saber las noticias locales y quiénes habían muerto, pero no se tenía la idea de que a uno le faltaba algo cuando no leía. Esto se ha olvidado. Se tiende a reconstruir el pasado con la cultura de las clases medias, que son las clases que enseñan. La extensión de la alfabetización, ¿generó más lectores?Se esperaba, con la generalización de la alfabetización y de los estudios prolongados, un aumento del número de personas que irían a bibliotecas, comprarían libros y leerían. Cuando eso se volvió posible -con los libros de bolsillo y los diarios accesibles- llegó la revolución tecnológica de la televisión y después Internet. ¿Y qué puede hacer la escuela en esa batalla?La escuela está tironeada por dos objetivos: existe para desarrollar una cultura general, científica y literaria, pero debe preparar a los chicos para el mercado de trabajo, algo que nunca antes había tenido que asumir. La cuestión del mercado laboral dependía de una formación profesional o de la demanda local, pero no era rol de la escuela preparar a los niños para oficios, simplemente porque la mayoría de los oficios no requería saber leer. En la actualidad, todos los oficios, aun los de bajo nivel de calificación, exigen el conocimiento de la lectura y la escritura. Un ejemplo: en los hoteles Accor, una cadena internacional, el personal de limpieza tiene un protocolo de 40 ítems para verificar. Cada vez que entran en una habitación, deben ver si funciona la luz, etc. Es una lista escrita y se debe tachar con una cruz. Una mujer que no sabe leer y escribir no puede ser mucama. Eso era impensable antes, cuando para las tareas manuales se requería fuerza de trabajo, no competencia de lectura. ¿Cómo afecta esto a los maestros?Los docentes no desean quedar sometidos a la demanda económica, pero saben que los chicos vienen a la escuela también con una expectativa de inserción social y de éxito en el mercado laboral. Esos imperativos económicos pesan y, como consecuencia, los imperativos culturales de la escuela quedan un poco como de lujo. Se duda: "¿Es necesaria la poesía en la escuela?" Esto trae un problema de identidad cultural en los docentes porque no eligieron la profesión con esa perspectiva.

Copyright Clarín, 2009.

          SEGUNDO AÑO EDUC. INICIAL - Atención a la diversidad - Prof. Clara Matzkin   
martes 7 de julio de 2009 , 22:14 hs

Les propongo hacer una lectura de un texto al hilo del otro. Se trata de un recorrido en el que puedan entrar y salir (ya sea a vuelo de pájaros o montados en una tortuga…)
La idea es que puedan generar una producción escrita individual, recuperando preocupaciones , interrogantes, imágenes, voces, que den cuenta, (que les cuente), acerca del “apostar a la educación como forma particular de antidestino”
Prof. Clara Matzkin

          *GRAPHIC* Footage shows civilian bleeding after getting shot by terrorists in Tehran   
Gunmen have stormed Iran's parliament and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini in two seemingly coordinated attacks in Tehran. Four attackers armed with automatic rifles and pistols made their way into the parliament, shooting indiscriminately. The gunfire reportedly left seven people dead, including a security guard, and several others injured. Shooting continues at the legislative chamber with security forces exchanging fire with the armed men. Reports say one assailant was killed and another arrested. The legislature is under lockdown as the attackers have taken a number of people hostage. In another incident, four attackers burst into the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini with firearms, killing one person. One attacker blew explosives, but another one was gunned down before detonating hand generates. Iran's intelligence ministry has blamed the twin attacks on terror group, saying it has busted a terrorist cell in Tehran.
          Reasons Why You Need a Lead Generation Website   
A lead generation website is one that encourages customers to enquire about the product or service that you have to offer. For example, it could be something as simple as “enter your email here for more details”. The customer doesn’t have to enter in pages of personal details and in all likelihood it will take […]
          General Labour, Warehouse - Saskatoon - Coca-Cola Refreshments - Saskatoon, SK   
Coca-Cola Refreshments is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex,...
From Coca-Cola Refreshments - Sat, 20 May 2017 12:49:10 GMT - View all Saskatoon, SK jobs
          General Labourer - Prime-Tech Telecom Services LTD. - Saskatoon, SK   
Position requires working outdoors in all types of weather.Previous experience in fiber optic or telecommunications installation an asset but not required... $15 - $20 an hour
From Indeed - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 21:10:56 GMT - View all Saskatoon, SK jobs
          US $6 million Agreement between Jewish Agency for Israel and Genesis Philanthropy Group on Educational Activities in the Former Soviet Union   
          Boy Who Accidentally Prevent Mom Get Fucked Was Generously Rewarded For It   
Watch Boy Who Accidentally Prevent Mom Get Fucked Was Generously Rewarded For It at - best free sex video tube updated daily with new porn videos!
          Leah Golan, Deputy Director General for Programs at The Jewish Agency, To Leave after 20 Years of Dedicated Service   
          Visiting Wonderland   
Katherine Hayles

One of the more distressing experiences you can have in academia is for someone to criticize you for making the erroneous argument X when you should have been arguing Y, when in fact you have been arguing for Y and against X. This Alice-in-Wonderland scenario confronted me when reading Diana Lobb’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes or Who’s Afraid of N. Katherine Hayles?” The allusion to Albee’s play is more appropriate than Lobb realizes, for the crisis comes when the characters can no longer escape the realization that a supposed reality is only a fantasmatic object of desire. Lobb’s desire is expressed in her wish to find an analysis that “breaks its back genuflecting to the Truth as revealed by the `master’ scientific discourse.” The object becomes fantasmatic when she decides that my book Chaos Bound exemplifies this position. Lobb finds Chaos Bound typical of “a deliberate refusal in areas of the humanities to recognize that the discourse of the sciences and the discourse of the humanities are equally valuable, mutually interactive parts of a bigger picture - be that bigger picture called discursive field, episteme or world view.” The idea that the sciences and humanities are part of a “larger picture” is precisely the argument I have been making for twenty years, insisting the convergences that emerge between literature and science should be understood not primarily as science influencing literature but rather as an indication that both are rooted in an underlying cultural matrix. Here is a typical sentence from Chaos Bound, taken from the Preface: “Especially notable is the increased emphasis in Chaos Bound on locating science and literature within contemporary culture,” (xiii), which is only one of many places in the book where I develop and expand this central claim.

The ironies multiply when Lobb claims that I “suggest that an act of translation across disciplinary knowledge bases is not necessary when considering the relationship of complexity sciences to the humanities.” Here is a passage, again taken from the Preface and elaborated more fully in the chapters that follow, that states exactly the opposite to what Lobb claims I say: “These similarities notwithstanding, different disciplinary traditions can impute strikingly different values to isomorphic paradigms. In the physical sciences, for example, nonlinear dynamics is seen as a way to bring complex behavior within the scope of rational analysis. Analogous theories in literary studies, by contrast, are often embraced because they are seen as resisting totalizing theories” (xiv). She further claims that I argue “the convergence of interests must be evidence of a singular event which shifts the singular epistemic structure from which both disciplines are produced.” Although she then goes go to use two phrases central to my argument - “cultural context” and “feedback loop” - she apparently does not know what these terms imply. The very idea of a feedback loop, which I use to show that developments in different fields cycle through the cultural matrix to affect change across time and between different sites, implies that no event should be understood as singular and no episteme as homogeneous. Indeed, my book that follows Chaos Bound, How We Became Posthuman, devotes several chapters to tracing in detail the microstructures that necessarily always come between epistemes that are erroneously seen as sharply differentiated from one another and homogeneous within themselves.

The following paragraphs of her review take us deeper into Wonderland. Somehow she thinks that I “conceive of the advent of the complexity sciences as an opportunity to revel in the progressive dissolution of any humane, or even human, text.” I am simply at a loss to understand how this reading could come from anything I wrote in Chaos Bound. The representative literary figures about whom I wrote - Stanislaw Lem, Henry Adams, and Doris Lessing - are deeply concerned precisely with recovering a sense of the human from what they perceive as crises in which their contemporary cultures are descending into chaos. Here is a sample sentence from the conclusion of the Lessing chapter: “In being able to distinguish her authentic voice from a parody, Anna retains a sense of the reality of subjectivity and consequently of its potential as a source of her art. Thus the ending can be read as a resincription of the values that underlie the realistic novel, and more generally of the assumptions that make modernist representation possible” (264). I go on to point out that Lessing’s novel “can also be read as signaling the transformation of the text into a postmodern collage of information, in which parody does not exist because the center did not hold. This ambiguity points toward a profound duality within the new paradigms - whether they imply the renewal of human subjectivity as it has traditionally been constituted or its demise” (264). Perhaps Lobb, without making the move explicit, has drifted from Chaos Bound to How We Became Posthuman. If so, she has entirely missed the major point of that book - namely that there are different varieties of posthumanism. The more “humane” version for which I argue passionately is a kind of posthumanism that can move past the erroneous assumptions of liberal humanism while still recognizing the centrality and importance of the embodied human subject.

Finally, in several places Lobb alleges that I propose the sciences convey directly to us an “ontology.” This is a serious error that no one who has read my work carefully could possibly think I advocate. In “Constrained Constructivism: Locating Scientific Inquiry in the Theater of Representation” (New Orleans Review, 18 (1991); 76-85), an essay that was seminal to my thinking and whose ideas deeply informed Chaos Bound, I make explicit that science is always embedded in linguistic, cultural, and historical contexts. One of my most emphatic conclusions is that the sciences cannot speak the Truth, because that would presume an objective viewpoint unattainable for anyone - what Donna Haraway calls the God’s-eye view and which I identify as a theoretical position that can in actuality never be occupied.

In conclusion, with apologies in advance to Lobb, I offer the following playful Wonderland interpretation of her review: she bemoans the fact that the humanities are hubristic enough to think they can contribute on an equal basis to the sciences and she thinks we should all recognize that only the sciences can speak the Truth. Now there is a position with which I could have a serious argument!

          Bye Bye AdGrads, hello AdMISSION...   

Bye bye, all. See you at the Ad-Mission...

Hello, everyone.

This is quite a hard post to write. 

I (Will) have written AdGrads for about five and a half years now - and, to get to the point, AdGrads is moving to become part of the IPA's graduate recruitment blog, the AdMission

Initially, AdGrads was begun by the four of us. Myself, Anton Reyniers, Alex Jena and Sam Ismail. The blog was originally meant to stand as a counterpoint to the dearth of Advertising advice out there. The IPA had a good fact file on agencies, but there was nothing out there that *really* showcased what life was like when getting in as a graduate.

The seeds were sown when my blog (‘Confessions of a Wannabe Ad Man’, now living here, and still being updated, happily) and Anton & Sam’s blog (‘Ad Lads’) seemed to have the same, underlying purpose - to document what the first steps in Advertising were really like.

People sometimes asked us, ‘have you ever accepted any money for blogging?’ And, I’m pleased to say that no, no-one at AdGrads has. We have always written and posted help and advice because it was the right thing to do. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the blog has had an obvious upside for us - AdGrads has always believed that by helping people out, it’ll benefit the agency sector and help us out when we’re more senior. More bright people equals better work, which in turn, equals better place/s to work - places that aren’t staffed by nepotism and privilege, which was one of the big driving forces behind AdGrads’ inception.

What’s more, over the past few years, I’m pleased to say the blog’s helped a lot of people and agencies recruit and be recruited - examples that range from helping Leo Burnett with their revamped graduate scheme to writing for The Guardian. Personally, as I’ve become the sole writer of the blog, I’ve met a whole lot of bright, vivacious, interesting people who will be the agency stars of the future. I hope, in some small way, that AdGrads has helped them.

Finally, and most encouragingly, I’m delighted to say that as Sam, Alex, Anton and myself became busier and less able to contribute as much as we did back in 2007, the IPA have really stepped up their efforts to help provide different perspectives about how to get into the business. Recent IPA presidencies have made graduate recruitment a priority, which is utterly brilliant.

With that in mind, the IPA have launched the AdMission. You can read more about it here. I (Will) will be writing there periodically - and it'll use 'the best of AdGrads' to help add to its content; however, more to the point, there will be another generation of AdGrads who will be writing about their adventures in the business. Anton, Alex, Sam and myself are now more removed from graduate experiences, and, given that we have less time, it’s good, right and appropriate for the next generation to step up. I wish them all the luck in the world. 

Read what they have to say here - the Ad-Mission should be your first point of call for graduate recruitment queries.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. The blog won’t be deleted (even if I wanted to delete it, I’m not the admin - Sam is, and I’ve not been in touch with him for a while); it will still provide a useful resource for those searching for ‘AdGrads’. Similarly, the twitter account will remain, but I’d urge those who follow it to follow the IPA/Ad-Mission twitter account.  

P.P.S. If, for some reason or another, you’d like to meet for some graduate advice, I’m more than happy to meet for a coffee before work. Email me at william.humphrey [AT] 

          Some practical advice...   
Borrowed from here. Usual rules apply. 

I thought that it might be a good idea to talk a little bit about something most graduate schemes (and indeed, the industry) seem to neglect. The practical side.

For those of you who don’t live in the South East of the country, getting into Advertising - (or, at the very least, getting some work experience so you can make your mind up) seems doubly tricky; because a) You don’t know anyone in London or have anyone you can stay with and b) Most of the graduate schemes or work experience programmes are closed/you’ve not heard anything back from those few emails you sent to a general email address most agencies offer.

Before I go on, I do know there are agencies outside of London. Of course. There are many fine agencies in Manchester or Birmingham.  But, given that the bulk of agencies are in London (and London is what I have experience of, as a West Midlander who wanted to work in London), that’s what this blog post will concern itself with. The same, general rules apply for any big city, I think - whether it’s within Blighty or the US.

Right. There are two flavours of practical advice you need to concern yourself with, which I’ll outline below:

1) Proving that you know about/want a career in Advertising

Over the past six odd years, I have met a lot of people who have seemingly done everything right - they have a good degree, have already made in-roads into meeting people in Advertising and may even run their University or College’s Marketing/Advertising student club.

Despite this, they haven’t been able to get in. I’m afraid (and I had to learn this the hard way) that there’s a gap between being academically adept and getting into the industry. This puts a lot of bright people off, chiefly because they’ve been used to getting good marks and simply progressing. ‘Getting in’ is not an empirical thing. There isn’t a magic route. Some people are simply fortunate by getting in via their first interview. Others, like me, have had to have a year or so getting work experience, living at home and saving money before they finally succeeded.

That said (and I don’t wish to hector or belabour the point), there are definitely short cuts you can use.

I did several things to prove that I knew about and really wanted a career in Advertising. I blogged, showcased my situation and my thinking and tried to connect, via twitter, with a wider number of Ad-folk. There wasn’t one magic, ‘eureka’ moment. It all worked together to help me get into the business.

Whilst, I know, more people blog than ever nowadays (at the time, in 2005/6, ad blogs were fairly new, much less a wannabe, graduate blog), not enough grads use Slideshare to showcase their thinking/situation. Consider using it - it’ll help provide an introduction to those potential agency employers when sending those initial emails to agencies.

If you can, email a named person, not just a generic email address. A real person has responsibility. A 'wanttowork' email has very little obligation to get back in touch with you.

2) Getting to, and living in London.

This, for most, will prove to be the biggest stumbling block. You don’t need me to tell you that London is bloody expensive, and if you don’t have family members/friends living here, it seems like a right bloody faff.

It needn’t be. There are ways and means for getting down to the Big Smoke and having somewhere to live. For starters, unless you’re loaded, don’t consider a short term let. The chances are, you’ll need to be in London for a week to about six weeks, depending on what you’ve been able to get (work experience, or a summer school programme; or even just a day of graduate interviews).

Instead, consider youth hostels. Yes, I know. YOUTH HOSTELS?! If you went travelling, you probably last encountered them somewhere halfway round the world, or somewhere to be put up on a school trip. Suffice to say, neither memory is likely to be wholly positive.

I’m pleased to say that the YHA is a brilliant option. I stayed in one when I had work experience at Fallon, DLKW and Saatchi & Saatchi. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly the Ritz, but it’s good value for money and gives you breakfast, which is the important thing.

Yes, London is costly, but if you’re savvy (the Taste Card is a good shout for evening meals) and stay in the right sort of accommodation, it is affordable, no matter who you are. And, personally, it helped spur me on to do my best at my work experience to try and turn it into a full time position.

I hope that little lot helps, all.
          2017 Baseball Season is Almost Here in Missouri   

How can you not be romantic about baseball?” – Brad Pitt, as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, in Moneyball It’s time to rekindle that old flame. Baseball is coming back. As the 2017 season approaches, Missourians find themselves fortunate to have two big league teams (not to mention minor league and semi-pro teams) for …

The post 2017 Baseball Season is Almost Here in Missouri appeared first on VisitMO Spotlight.

          Graduate Memories & An Exeter Apology...   

Me, today.

Hello, Exeter folks (or regular AdGrads student readers).

As you may or may not have noticed, I’m not there speaking today. Sorry about that.

By way of an apology, I’ve decided to write a blog post. Not just any blog post, either. One that, I hope, is helpful for those who are deciding whether a career in communications* (*PR, Advertising in this case) is the right thing for you. It features a bit of my story and some of the lessons I've learned along the way. Read on...

Once upon a time in my first year, I wandered up from Birks (the old one, not the shiny new Birks Grange – this one resembled something like a 1950’s prison) and went to see the careers folks. I was told I should either become a teacher or a solicitor (NB: Exeter's career service is now excellent, but when I was graduating, finding the right job was a bit trickier for the average English student).

Being an English undergrad at the time, both seemed, well, a bit creatively sterile** (**they are creative in their own way, but I was interested in making stuff; y’know, stuff with my own name attached to it in some way – the English student’s creative conceit, I think).

They also, if I'm honest, seemed a bit grown up. And, as a 19 year old man-child who could barely cook for himself, never mind entertain the notion of a ‘proper’ job, I wasn’t overly enthused:

"COULDN’T a job encourage my creative side? DO I have to wear a suit every day, anyway? WHY can't I be paid well for thinking about and helping to create ideas?"

In a way, I was lucky. I knew of one from the start. That was Advertising. I’d been fortunate enough to grow up in a household in the West Midlands where my father was involved with managing an ad agency. I’d been able to find out about the inner-most workings of how ads got made, and the process of talking to clients, conducting research and creating creative work to solve a client’s business problem/s.

Account handlers (account executives when junior, rising through account manager to account director and beyond) were the day to day liaison with the client – the business minded sorts who sold work to the client and generally ensured everything went smoothly. Account planners were the ones who analysed the marketplace, trends and helped some up a defined problem for communications to solve (in the form of a creative brief), assessing the work as/after it was made. Creatives – art directors, copywriters (and even digital/tech developers) were those who came up with the ideas to help clients sell more products or amplify consumer behaviour.

With all of this prior knowledge and career advice bubbling in the background, I got on with the serious*** (***it wasn't that serious – not with my amount of hours) business of getting a degree. And, I got one. And it was lovely, and all that. Mum was very proud.

Knowing what I know now, I should have tried to get some work experience in the holidays. If you’re reading this as a first or second year student, try and do it as soon as you can, even if it's just one stint. Of course, I wasn’t from the South East, and this poses a massive problem for most people – how do you come to a major ad agency (the overwhelming majority of whom are based in London) if you can’t live at home or don’t have friends in the area?**** (**** the answer is ‘stay in a youth hostel’, for those who’re thinking about it).

Anyway, that’s an aside. I applied to lots of ad agency graduate schemes, all of which I found out through the IPA (the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) or through my Dad/googling. And, I was confident. I had a good degree, after all. So, what happened next?

Total rejection.

After the first interview (at Leo Burnett, who run a very fine graduate programme), I was rejected from every other place without an initial chat. You might say it was a bit of a set back.

After completing a few pieces of work experience (at Fallon and DLKW)…with even more rounds of rejection… I had a conversational language. I knew how to speak ‘ad’; I was comfortable when talking about ideas in ads – about what ads were trying to achieve and what they could have been.

I’d urge EVERY person reading this who’s thinking about advertising or comms to practice this, and to ask questions of it – what is the comms trying to say? What do you like about it? Or, better yet, what do you dislike? (NB: Check the AdGrads archives for more information; there's lots about this in there).

Spurred on by this, I started a blog***** (***** back when blogging was a new, fairly useful way of standing out; it’s less useful now, as everyone's doing it.) documenting my adventures in adland. The blog, called ‘Confessions of a Wannabe Ad Man’, can now be found here. All of the archives are there, and I think they helped me when explaining how and why I liked Advertising.

Because of these experiences, I eventually got into account management at Saatchi & Saatchi, where I was a fairly terrible account handler. Happily, I was a better planner. I have worked at Lowe, Edelman, Anomaly and M+C Saatchi/LIDA. I’m still at the latter.

That’s my story.

After going through this experience, I've picked up the odd lesson. I hope these are useful:
  1. Mentors are the most important part of communications (and indeed, any job). With a good one, you learn exponentially and have someone to test things on. Without one, you are prone to free wheeling.
  2. Start big, get smaller. The bigger agencies have the time and resource to train you properly. The small ones, though you learn a lot through doing, you un the risk of not learning properly. You can always work at that sexy small agency. Far better to work there when you know the basics well. 
  3. Think about how you communicate. It’s a bit wanky to say ‘you’re a brand’, but you must be able to prove why you like communications, and be able to be found. If I googled you, would I find you and your opinions/interests? No? Then why do you want to work in communications?
  4. Keep track of your favourite on your lateral thinking. What’s the best example of thinking you’ve seen to solve a problem? It can be non comms led (ideally it would be marketing-based), an ad, something you’ve done or so on – but it must show a clever lateral thought to solve an associated problem. Keep a log of your favourites. They’ll help when demonstrating how you think about the world in an interview.
  5. Don’t get disheartened. Rejection is part and parcel of the game. Before every relevant job or decision, I have been rejected far more than I’ve been accepted. The trick is to use it to spur you on. After all, Advertising is a trade, not a profession. There’s rarely one way to solve a problem, or indeed, one straightforward way to get in.
Exeter folks, I’ll try to be there next time. Honest.

Feel free to email me on William.Humphrey at if you have any further questions.

Good luck to any student reading this.
          Bolt vence en la Golden Spike de Ostrava pese a un mal comienzo   

El atleta jamaicano Usain Bolt logró la victoria este miércoles en la Golden Spike que se celebra en Ostrava (República Checa) gracias a los 10.06 segundos que estableció en la prueba de 100 metros pese al inicio lento que le obligó a remontar.

          Bolt vence en la Golden Spike de Ostrava pese a un mal comienzo   

El atleta jamaicano Usain Bolt logró la victoria este miércoles en la Golden Spike que se celebra en Ostrava (República Checa) gracias a los 10.06 segundos que estableció en la prueba de 100 metros pese al inicio lento que le obligó a remontar.

          Feijóo remarca Galicia como "nacionalidad histórica" y defiende "perfeccionar" el Estado autonómico sin "liquidarlo"   

El presidente de la Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, ha remarcado que la Constitución, el Estatuto y el pueblo gallego "consagran" a Galicia como "nacionalidad histórica" y, aunque ha admitido que el Estado autonómico es "perfectible", ha rechazado su "liquidación irreflexiva" o priorizar debates nominales que "ensombrezcan" cuestiones "más relevantes" como la solidaridad entre territorios.

          Feijóo remarca Galicia como "nacionalidad histórica" y defiende "perfeccionar" el Estado autonómico sin "liquidarlo"   

El presidente de la Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, ha remarcado que la Constitución, el Estatuto y el pueblo gallego "consagran" a Galicia como "nacionalidad histórica" y, aunque ha admitido que el Estado autonómico es "perfectible", ha rechazado su "liquidación irreflexiva" o priorizar debates nominales que "ensombrezcan" cuestiones "más relevantes" como la solidaridad entre territorios.

          El Pride LGTBI de Torremolinos se celebrará del 31 de mayo al 3 de junio de 2018   

El Ayuntamiento promocionará esta fiesta el sábado en Madrid

          El Pride LGTBI de Torremolinos se celebrará del 31 de mayo al 3 de junio de 2018   

El Ayuntamiento promocionará esta fiesta el sábado en Madrid

          (AM)Feijóo remarca Galicia como "nacionalidad histórica" y defiende "perfeccionar" el Estado autonómico sin "liquidarlo"   

Cristina Pato erige Galicia en "nación llena de valores" al recoger su Medalla Castelao con Gayoso, Beramendi, Nove y el Oceanográfico vigués

          Guest Post: 'Getting In & Knowing Stuff'   
This could be you...

Hi all.

As part of the start of a new influx of AdGrads writers, below is an account about how to prepare for interviews by Jen Meyerson Dubbin. Take it away, Jen:

“They aren’t going to expect us to know stuff, right?”
by Jen Meyerson Dubbin

Your blood is pumping. You are hopefully not sweating through your suit. You nervously tap your foot against your leg while sitting on a modern chair that was clearly chosen for design instead of comfort. After having applied to every grad scheme and junior position under the sun, you have landed an interview.

You’re an ad grad who knows their stuff. Your lecturers and professors have prepared you. You brought your portfolio of your previous work to show, and yesterday you reviewed pertinent materials from your lectures to refresh yourself.

You start talking to and sizing up the competition whilst you all wait for a chance to break into Adland. There's someone with a BSc in Biology from Edinburgh, BA in Medieval History from Cambridge, BA in English from Sheffield, and then there's you; an ad grad. When the group finds out you are an ad grad the whole dynamic changes to you versus everyone else. The guy from Cambridge anxiously asks, “They aren’t going to expect us to know stuff, right?” While the girl from Edinburgh reassures him by saying, “They know we aren’t ad people.”

This should be obvious, but make sure you prepare for your interview. When I went on interviews, I was surprised at the number of people who didn’t seem to think they needed to do anything to prepare. Yes, ad agencies do expect you to know about advertising. You aren’t being hired as an account manager or planner for your ability to make a decent cuppa - especially in this economy. There is nothing wrong with never having taken an advertising course, but that’s not a valid excuse to not know about advertising. You wouldn’t expect a lorry driver not to know how to operate a vehicle. No-one expects you to know everything and it's okay to be wrong. However, it’s essential to have an opinion - make sure you're more knowledgeable than a general consumer. 

There are several things you can do to prepare for an advertising interview. It might take a bit of work to get there, but knowledge is empowering and a confidence booster too. Obviously, I can’t cover everything in this post - those who've gotten in, please feel free to post additional recommendations in the comment section.

Knowing how an advertising concept works and having knowledge of a little bit of history is essential; especially if there is a team task involved in the interview process. Sometimes you will be lucky by being informed before the interview the type of task you will be given. Use that information to focus your preparation - for instance, I was in a team where one of members was trying to explain to the team that the target market should be as broad as possible when it should actually be narrow and specific to be optimally targeted. He obviously didn’t do his prep work and it hurt the team. In these situations, you don’t want to be the weak link in your group.

What's more, you should try to find out what the person in the position you are applying for does. There are a lot of websites and blogs that should have the information available (Linkedin, for example). If you can’t find anything, note that some agencies do have quirky job titles, so be sure to ask in the interview. Use what you learned to sell yourself by connecting your skills and experience to the position - most things you've done can be related to advertising in some way - you've just got to know what the job entails.

When it comes to research, look at the agency you are applying to online. You can learn about their agency culture, clients, current & past work, people, and history. You can also find information in trade publications and websites such as (e.g., IPA, Brand Republic).

Learn about other agencies. Agencies are brands with communication products just like Coca-Cola is a brand with soft drink products. Other agencies are the competitors of the agency you are applying for. You don’t need to do SWOT analyses for each, but basics like what they offer, who their current & past clients are, current & past work, and agency culture should have you well covered. In the end, you should be able to talk about what differentiates Agency A from Agency B.

Finally, when I set off in advertising school I thought Planners & Account Managers went to college and Creatives went to portfolio school, but the ad world isn’t like that. There are no extra points for having a communications and business background. No specific mold of what makes an ad person exists. 

Advertising is incredibly diverse. Some people have degrees while others don’t. Those who do have degrees come from a variety of disciplines. Regardless of their discipline, ad people are willing to put in the work to stay current and knowledgeable because they genuinely like what they do.

          India and the Balance of Power   

India is arriving on the world stage as the first large, economically powerful, culturally vibrant, multiethnic, multireligious democracy outside of the geographic West. As it rises, India has the potential to become a leading member of the "political West" and to play a key role in the great political struggles of the next decades. Whether it will, and how soon, depends above all on the readiness of the Western powers to engage India on its own terms.


India's grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighborhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over the actions of outside powers. In the second, which encompasses the so-called extended neighborhood stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance the influence of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests. In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great powers, a key player in international peace and security.

Three things have historically prevented India from realizing these grand strategic goals. First, the partition of the South Asian subcontinent along religious lines (first into India and Pakistan, in 1947, then into India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, in 1971) left India with a persistent conflict with Pakistan and an internal Hindu-Muslim divide. It also physically separated India from historically linked states such as Afghanistan, Iran, and the nations of Southeast Asia. The creation of an avowedly Islamic state in Pakistan caused especially profound problems for India's engagement with the Middle East. Such tensions intertwined with regional and global great-power rivalries to severely constrict India's room for maneuver in all three concentric circles.

The second obstacle was the Indian socialist system, which caused a steady relative economic decline and a consequent loss of influence in the years after independence. The state-socialist model led India to shun commercial engagement with the outside world. As a result, India was disconnected from its natural markets and culturally akin areas in the extended neighborhood.

Finally, the Cold War, the onset of which quickly followed India's independence, pushed India into the arms of the Soviet Union in response to Washington's support for Pakistan and China -- and thus put the country on the losing side of the great political contest of the second half of the twentieth century. Despite being the largest democracy in the world, India ended up siding with the opposite camp on most global issues.

The last decade of the twentieth century liberated India from at least two of these constraints; state socialism gave way to economic liberalization and openness to globalization, and the Cold War ended. Suddenly, New Delhi was free to reinvent its foreign policy -- positioning itself to face the rise of China, shifting its strategic approach to its other neighbors, and beginning to work closely with the world's existing great powers.


India's recent embrace of openness and globalization has had an especially dramatic effect on the country's role in the region. As the nations of the subcontinent jettison their old socialist agendas, India is well positioned to promote economic integration. Although the pace has been relatively slow, the process has begun to gain traction. The planned implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement this summer signals the coming reintegration of the subcontinent's markets, which constituted a single economic space until 1947.

At the same time, optimism on the economic front must be tempered by an awareness of the problematic political developments in India's smaller neighbors. The struggle for democracy and social justice in Nepal, interminable political violence and the rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh, and the simmering civil war in Sri Lanka underscore the potential dangers of failing states on the subcontinent. There are also the uncertain futures of Pakistan and Afghanistan: defeating religious extremism and creating modern and moderate states in both countries is of paramount importance to India. A successful Indian strategy for promoting peace and prosperity within the region would require preventing internal conflicts from undermining regional security, as well as resolving India's own conflicts with its neighbors.

In the past, great-power rivalries, as well as India's own tensions with Pakistan and China, have complicated New Delhi's effort to maintain order in the region. Today, all of the great powers, including the United States and China, support the Indian objective of promoting regional economic integration. The Bush administration has also started to defer to Indian leadership on regional security issues. Given the new convergence of U.S. and Indian interests in promoting democracy and countering extremism and terrorism, New Delhi no longer suspects Washington of trying to undercut its influence in the region. As a result, it is more prepared than ever to work with the United States and other Western powers to pursue regional goals.

Meanwhile, the external environment has never been as conducive as it is today to the resolution of the Indo-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir. The conflict has become less and less relevant to India's relations with the great powers, which has meant a corresponding willingness on New Delhi's part to work toward a solution. Of particular importance has been the steady evolution of the U.S. position on Kashmir since the late 1990s. The support extended by President Bill Clinton to India in its limited war with Pakistan in 1999 removed the perception that Washington would inevitably align with Islamabad in regional conflicts. But India remained distrustful of the Clinton administration's hyperactive, prescriptive approach to Kashmir. It has been more comfortable with the low-key methods of the Bush administration, which has avoided injecting itself directly into the conflict. The Bush administration has also publicly held Pakistan responsible for cross-border terrorism and has extracted the first-ever assurances from Pakistan to put an end to the attacks. New Delhi does not entirely believe these promises, but it has nonetheless come to trust Washington as a source of positive of influence on Islamabad.

These developments have opened the way for a peace process between the two governments. With the growing awareness that the normalization of relations with Pakistan would end a debilitating conflict and help India's regional and global standing, New Delhi has begun to negotiate seriously for the first time in decades. Although the pace of talks has not satisfied Pakistan, the two sides have agreed on a range of confidence-building measures. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected the idea of giving up territory, but he has often called for innovative solutions that would improve living conditions and for common institutions that would connect Kashmiris across the Line of Control. Singh has made clear that the Indian leadership is ready to risk political capital on finding a diplomatic solution to Kashmir.

India's recent effort to resolve its long-standing border dispute with China has been just as bold. New Delhi decided in 2003 to seek a settlement with Beijing on a political basis, rather than on the basis of legal or historical claims. As a result, during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi in April 2005, India and China agreed on a set of principles to guide the final settlement. The two governments are now exploring the contours of mutually satisfactory territorial compromises.

India's search for practical solutions to the disputes over Kashmir and its border with China suggests that the country has finally begun to overcome the obsession with territoriality that has consumed it since its formation. Ironically, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan in 1998 may have helped in this regard: although nuclearization initially sharpened New Delhi's conflicts with both Islamabad and Beijing, it also allowed India to approach its territorial problems with greater self-assurance and pragmatism.


Progress on the resolution of either of these conflicts, especially the one over Kashmir, would liberate India's political and diplomatic energies so that the country could play a larger role in the world. It would also finally release India's armed forces from the constraining mission of territorial defense, allowing them to get more involved in peace and stability operations around the Indian Ocean. Even with all the tensions on the subcontinent, the armies of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have been among the biggest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. The normalization of Indo-Pakistani relations would further free up some of the best armed forces in the world for the promotion of the collective good in the greater Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Even as the Kashmir and China questions have remained unsettled, India's profile in its extended neighborhood has grown considerably since the early 1990s. India's outward economic orientation has allowed it to reestablish trade and investment linkages with much of its near abroad. New Delhi is negotiating a slew of free- and preferential-trade agreements with individual countries as well as multilateral bodies including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Southern African Development Community. Just as China has become the motor of economic growth in East Asia, a rising India could become the engine of economic integration in the Indian Ocean region.

After decades of being marginalized from regional institutions in different parts of Asia, India is also now a preferred political partner for ASEAN, the East Asian Summit, the GCC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the African Union. Moreover, it has emerged as a major aid donor; having been an aid recipient for so long, India is now actively leveraging its own external assistance to promote trade as well as political objectives. For example, India has given $650 million in aid to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Meanwhile, the search for oil has encouraged Indian energy companies to tail their Western and Chinese counterparts throughout the world, from Central Asia and Siberia and to western Africa and Venezuela.

On the security side, India has been actively engaged in defense diplomacy. Thanks to the strength of its armed forces, India is well positioned to assist in stabilizing the Indian Ocean region. It helps that there has been a convergence of U.S. and Indian political interests: countering terrorism, pacifying Islamic radicalism, promoting democracy, and ensuring the security of sea-lanes, to name a few. The Indian navy in particular has been at the cutting edge of India's engagement with the region -- as was evident from its ability to deploy quickly to areas hit by the tsunami at the end of 2004. The Indian navy today is also ready to participate in multinational military operations.


The end of the Cold War freed India to pursue engagement with all the great powers -- but especially the United States. At the start of the 1990s, finding that its relations with the United States, China, Japan, and Europe were all underdeveloped, India moved quickly to repair the situation. Discarding old socialist shibboleths, it began to search for markets for its products and capital to fuel its long-constrained domestic growth. Economic partnerships were easy to construct, and increasing trade flows provided a new basis for stability in India's relations with other major powers. India's emergence as an outsourcing destination and its new prowess in information technology also give it a niche in the world economy -- along with the confidence that it can benefit from economic globalization.

Barely 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, India's omnidirectional engagement with the great powers has paid off handsomely. Never before has India had such expansive relations with all the major powers at the same time -- a result not only of India's increasing weight in the global economy and its growing power potential, but also of New Delhi's savvy and persistent diplomacy.

The evolution of Sino-Indian ties since the 1990s has been especially important and intriguing. Many see violent conflict between the two rising Asian powers as inevitable. But thanks to New Delhi's policy of actively engaging China since the late 1980s, the tensions that characterized relations between them from the late 1950s through the 1970s have become receding memories. Bilateral trade has boomed, growing from less than $200 million in the early 1990s to nearly $20 billion in 2005. In fact, China is set to overtake the European Union and the United States as India's largest trading partner within a few years. The 3,500-kilometer Sino-Indian border, over which the two countries fought a war in 1962, is now tranquil. And during Wen's visit to India in April 2005, India and China announced a "strategic partnership" -- even though just seven years earlier New Delhi had cited concerns over China as a reason for performing nuclear tests, prompting a vicious reaction from Beijing.

India has also cooperated with China in order to neutralize it in conflicts with Pakistan and other smaller neighbors. In the past, China tended to be a free rider on regional security issues, proclaiming noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations while opportunistically befriending regimes in pursuit of its long-term strategic interests. This allowed India's subcontinental neighbors to play the China card against New Delhi when they wanted to resist India's attempts to nudge them toward conflict resolution. But now, Beijing has increasingly avoided taking sides in India's disputes, even as its economic and security profile in the region has grown.

China is not the only Asian power that India is aiming to engage and befriend. Japan has also emerged as an important partner for India, especially since Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has transformed Japanese politics in the last few years. During a visit to New Delhi just a couple of weeks after Wen's in April 2005, Koizumi announced Japan's own "strategic partnership" with India. (This came despite Japan's harsh reaction to India's nuclear test in 1998, which prompted Japanese sanctions and an effort by Tokyo to censure India in the United Nations and other multilateral forums.) Amid growing fears of a rising China and the incipient U.S.-Indian alliance, Japan has elevated India to a key player in its long-term plans for Asian security.

Recognizing the need to diversify its Asian economic portfolio, Tokyo has also, for political reasons, begun to direct some of its foreign investment to India (which has overtaken China as the largest recipient of Japanese development assistance). Since the start of the Bush administration, Japan has also shown increasing interest in expanding military cooperation with India, especially in the maritime domain. India, too, has recognized that it shares with Japan an interest in energy security and in maintaining a stable balance of power in Asia. Japan actively supported India's participation in the inaugural East Asian Summit, in December 2005, despite China's reluctance to include New Delhi. Neither India nor Japan wants to base their political relationship exclusively on a potential threat from China, but both know that deepening their own security cooperation will open up new strategic options and that greater coordination between Asian democracies could limit China's impact.

India's relations with Europe have been limited by the fact that New Delhi is fairly unimpressed with Europe's role in global politics. It senses that Europe and India have traded places in terms of their attitudes toward the United States: while Europe seethes with resentment of U.S. policies, India is giving up on habitually being the first, and most trenchant, critic of Washington. As pessimism overtakes Europe, growing Indian optimism allows New Delhi to support unpopular U.S. policies. Indians consistently give both the United States and the Bush administration very favorable marks; according to a recent Pew Global Attitudes poll, for example, the percentage of Indians with a positive view of the United States rose from 54 percent in 2002 to 71 percent in 2005. And whereas a declining Europe has tended to be skeptical of India's rise, the Bush administration has been fully sympathetic to India's great-power aspirations.

Still, India does have growing economic and political ties with some European powers. Although many smaller European countries have been critical of the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal, the continent's two nuclear powers, France and the United Kingdom, have been supportive. Paris, in particular, bet long ago (well before Washington did, in fact) that a rising India would provide a good market for high-tech goods; with this in mind, it shielded New Delhi from the ire of the G-8 (the group of eight highly industrialized nations) after India tested nuclear weapons in May 1998. In the last several years, the United Kingdom has also started to seize economic opportunities in India and has been generally accommodating of New Delhi's regional and global aspirations.

In the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, India also worked to maintain a relationship with Russia. The two states resolved residual issues relating to their old semi-barter rupee-ruble trading arrangements, recast their 1971 peace and friendship treaty, and maintained military cooperation. When President Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin, in 2000, India's waiting game paid off. A newly assertive Moscow was determined to revive and expand its strategic cooperation with India. New Delhi's only problems with Moscow today are the weakening bilateral trade relationship and the risk of Russia's doing too much to strengthen China's military capabilities.


At the end of the Cold War, the prospect of India's building a new political relationship with the United States seemed remote. Washington had long favored Pakistan and China in the region, India had in turn aligned itself with the Soviet Union, and a number of global issues seemed to pit the two countries against each other. Yet after the Cold War, India set about wooing the United States. For most of the Clinton administration, this sweet-talking fell on deaf ears, in part because Clinton officials were so focused on the Kashmir dispute and nonproliferation. Clinton, driven by the unshakable assumption that Kashmir was one of the world's most dangerous "nuclear flashpoints" and so needed to be defused, emphasized "preventive diplomacy" and was determined to "cap, roll back, and eventually eliminate" India's nuclear capabilities. Of course, Clinton's approach ran headlong into India's core national security concerns -- territorial integrity and preserving its nuclear option. Pressed by Washington to circumscribe its strategic capabilities, New Delhi reacted by testing nuclear weapons.

But even as it faced U.S. sanctions, New Delhi also began to proclaim that India was a natural ally of the United States. Although the Clinton administration was not interested in an alliance, the nuclear tests forced the United States to engage India seriously for the first time in five decades. That engagement did not resolve the nuclear differences, but it did bring Clinton to India in March 2000 -- the first American presidential visit to India in 22 years. Clinton's personal charm, his genuine empathy for India, and his unexpected support of India in the 1999 war with Pakistan succeeded in improving the atmospherics of the relations and in putting New Delhi on Washington's radar screen in a new way.

It took Bush, however, to transform the strategic context of U.S.-Indian relations. Convinced that India's influence will stretch far beyond its immediate neighborhood, Bush has reconceived the framework of U.S. engagement with New Delhi. He has removed many of the sanctions, opened the door for high-tech cooperation, lent political support to India's own war on terrorism, ended the historical U.S. tilt toward Pakistan on Kashmir, and repositioned the United States in the Sino-Indian equation by drawing closer to New Delhi.

India has responded to these sweeping changes by backing the Bush administration on missile defense, the International Criminal Court, and finding alternative approaches to confronting global warming. It lent active support to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan by protecting U.S. assets in transit through the Strait of Malacca in 2002, agreed to work with the United States on multinational military operations outside of the UN framework, and, in 2005 and 2006, voted twice with Washington against Iran -- an erstwhile Indian ally -- at the International Atomic Energy Agency. India also came close to sending a division of troops to Iraq in the summer of 2003 before pulling back at the last moment. Every one of these actions marked a big departure in Indian foreign policy. And although disappointed by India's decision to stay out of Iraq, the Bush administration recognized that India was in the midst of a historic transformation of its foreign policy -- and kept faith that India's own strategic interests would continue to lead it toward deeper political cooperation with Washington. New Delhi's persistence in reaching out to Washington since 1991 has been driven by the belief that only by fundamentally changing its relationship with the world's sole superpower could it achieve its larger strategic objectives: improving its global position and gaining leverage in its relations with other great powers.

But India's ability to engage everyone at the same time might soon come to an end. As U.S.-Chinese tensions grow and Washington looks for ways to manage China's influence, questions about India's attitude toward the new power politics will arise: Can India choose to remain "nonaligned" between the United States and China, or does India's current grand strategy show a clear bias toward the United States?

The nuclear pact unveiled by Bush and Singh in July 2005 -- and consolidated when Bush went to New Delhi in March 2006 -- was an effort by Washington to influence the ultimate answer to that question. Bush offered to modify U.S. nonproliferation laws (subject to approval by Congress, of course) and revise the global nuclear order to facilitate full cooperation with India on civilian nuclear energy. New Delhi, in return, has promised to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs, place its civilian nuclear plants under international safeguards, and abide by a range of nonproliferation obligations. India's interest in such a deal has been apparent for a long time. Having failed to test weapons before the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was drafted, in 1968, India was trapped in an uncomfortable position vis-à-vis the nuclear order: it was not willing to give up the nuclear option, but it could not be formally accommodated by the nonproliferation regime as a nuclear weapons state.

India's motives for wanting a change in the nuclear regime are thus obvious. But for the Bush administration, the deal is less about nuclear issues than it is about creating the basis for a true alliance between the United States and India -- about encouraging India to work in the United States' favor as the global balance of power shifts. Ironically, it was the lack of a history of mutual trust and cooperation -- stemming in part from past nuclear disputes -- that convinced the Bush administration that a nuclear deal was necessary.


Many critics argue that the Bush administration's hopes for an alliance are misplaced. They insist that the traditionally nonaligned India will never be a true ally of the United States. But such critics misunderstand India's nonalignment, as well as the nature of its realpolitik over the past 60 years. Contrary to a belief that is especially pervasive in India itself, New Delhi has not had difficulty entering into alliances when its interests so demanded. Its relationship with the Soviet Union, built around a 1971 peace and friendship treaty, had many features of an alliance (notwithstanding India's claim that such ties were consistent with nonalignment); the compact was in many ways a classic response to the alignment of Washington, Beijing, and Islamabad. India has also had treaty-based security relationships with two of its smaller neighbors, Bhutan and Nepal, that date back to 1949-50 -- protectorate arrangements that were a reaction to China's entry into Tibet.

In fact, there is no contradiction between India's alleged preference for "moralpolitik" (in opposition to pure power politics, or Machtpolitik) and the Bush administration's expectation of an alliance with India. New Delhi is increasingly replacing the idea of "autonomy," so dear to Indian traditionalists, with the notion of India's becoming a "responsible power." (Autonomy is thought appropriate for weak states trying to protect themselves from great-power competition but not for a rising force such as India.) As India starts to recognize that its political choices have global consequences, it will become less averse to choosing sides on specific issues. Alliance formation and balancing are tools in the kits of all great powers -- and so they are likely to be in India's as well.

That India is capable of forming alliances does not, however, mean that it will necessarily form a long-term one with the United States. Whether it does will depend on the extent of the countries' shared interests and their political capacity to act on them together. The Bush administration expects that such shared interests -- for example, in balancing China and countering radical Islam in the Middle East -- will provide the basis for long-term strategic cooperation. This outcome is broadly credible, but it is by no means inevitable, especially given the United States' seeming inability to build partnerships based on equality.

When it comes to facing a rising China, India's tendency to engage in regional balancing with Beijing has not come to an end with the proclamation of a strategic partnership between the two nations. Indeed, preventing China from gaining excessive influence in India's immediate neighborhood and competing with Beijing in Southeast Asia are still among the more enduring elements of India's foreign policy. Despite Western concerns about the military regime in Myanmar, New Delhi has vigorously worked to prevent Yangon from falling completely under Beijing's influence, and India's military ties with the Southeast Asian nations are expanding rapidly. In 2005, when Pakistan pushed for giving China observer status in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India acted quickly to bring Japan, South Korea, and the United States in as well. Given India's deep-seated reluctance to play second fiddle to China in Asia and the Indian Ocean region -- and the relative comfort of working with a distant superpower -- there is a structural reason for New Delhi to favor greater security cooperation with Washington.

In the Middle East, too, India has a common interest with the United States in preventing the rise of radical Islam, which poses an existential threat to India. Given its large Muslim population -- at nearly 150 million, the third largest in the world -- and the ongoing tensions stemming from the subcontinent's partition, India has in the past acted on its own to avert the spread of radical Islam. When Washington aligned with conservative Islamic forces in the Middle East during the Cold War, India's preference was for secular nationalist forces in the region. When the United States acted ambivalently toward the Taliban in the mid-1990s, India worked with Russia, Iran, and the Central Asian states to counter the Taliban by supporting the Northern Alliance. Now, although some in India are concerned that alignment with the United States might make India a prime target for Islamist extremists, there is no way India can compromise with radical Islam, which threatens its very unity.

But shared interests do not automatically produce alliances. The inequality of power between the two countries, the absence of a habit of political cooperation between them, and the remaining bureaucratic resistance to deeper engagement in both capitals will continue to limit the pace and the scope of strategic cooperation between India and the United States. Still, there is no denying that India will have more in common with the United States than with the other great powers for the foreseeable future.

While New Delhi has acknowledged that U.S. support is necessary for India's rise to be successful, Washington has recognized India's potentially critical role in managing emerging challenges to global order and security. As a major beneficiary of accelerating globalization, India could play a crucial role in ensuring that other developing countries manage their transitions as successfully as it has, that is, by taking advantage of opportunities while working to reduce the pain of disruption. Given the pace of its expansion and the scale of its economy, India will also become an important force in ensuring that the unfolding global redistribution of economic power occurs in an orderly fashion. Meanwhile, India could become a key player in the effort to modernize the politics of the Middle East. If nothing else, India's success in ensuring the rights and the integration of its own Muslim minority and in reaching peace with Pakistan would have a powerful demonstration effect.

To secure a long-term partnership with India, Washington must build on the argument of "Indian exceptionalism" that it has advanced in defense of the recent nuclear pact, devising a range of India-specific policies to deepen cooperation. India is unlikely, however, to become a mere subsidiary partner of the United States, ready to sign on to every U.S. adventure and misadventure around the world. It will never become another U.S. ally in the mold of the United Kingdom or Japan. But nor will it be an Asian France, seeking tactical independence within the framework of a formal alliance.

Given the magnitude of the global security challenges today, the United States needs more than meek allies. It should instead be looking to win capable and compatible partners. A rising India may be difficult at times, but it will act broadly to defend and promote the many interests it shares with Washington. Assisting India's rise, then, is in the United States' own long-term interest.

          SAIC to commence operations in India with Morris Garages brand in 2019   
The investment, a SAIC spokesperson said, will depend on whether SAIC sets up a greenfield facility or starts operations from General Motor India's Halol facility.
          General Motors dealers to sit on 'dharna' at Jantar Mantar tomorrow   
A majority of General Motors' 96 dealers, which operate around 140 showrooms across India, are unhappy with the company's offer of compensation.
          General Motors starts export of Chevrolet Beat sedan to Latin America from India   
Unable to turn around its fortunes in India after nearly two decades of struggle, General Motors had announced that it would stop selling in India by the end of 2017.
          Record-breaking Canadian sniper saved Iraqi lives according to special forces general   

The sniper who shattered the record for the longest confirmed kill also saved lives, the deputy commander of Canadian special forces said.
          Less Known Facts About Google Ranking   
Many of affiliate marketers use the Google PageRank as a reliable source to measure the popularity of the website. But many of them, in fact, many of internet users do not know how Google PageRank is actually evolved and what the notion behind it is. Ten years ago, the ranking was not the same as that of today, they were quite predictable. The search algorithm was more manually-driven than programmatically and so the search results from Google often showed the same websites over longer period of time. As a result of this, users were dependent on Google more as a site browsing tool. This is one of the facts about Google PageRanking.

However, the conditions have changed a lot now. Google has developed its services in more modern way where there is no manual dependency. All the things are taken care by algorithms. Now you do not experience the same search results for similar terms for even two days. You can see totally search results for same keywords. This really puts a question in front of all Google PageRank users, that is it really useful when Google shows very dynamic Page Ranks for the same website for same keywords. This proves that Page Rank is not merely a number but a result of complicated algorithms applied. To generate Page Rank, Google takes into account following factors- websites Meta tags, titles, keywords density, description tags, links coming from other websites, the Page Ranks of the referring websites. So you can now imagine how complex is the Page Rank generation algorithm. And this is the second of some facts about Google page ranking.

There is a variation in the Google suggestions for search query phrases. This way, the search queries data entered by people can also be under question. You cannot really depend on it. Sometimes, Google search gives totally different and strange results on the referral data of your website. Some people also reported a wide variation or sudden rise in the Google page crawling activity and after such activity, their Google traffic data was significantly decreased and hence lowering their page ranks.

For some webmasters, Google PageRank is not the only parameter to evaluate the popularity of the website. But of course they also get worried when their PageRank is modified because of any known or unknown reasons. This creates a fear among their PR network for sure. This way, above stated facts about Google PageRanking can affect your website’s popularity and thus affecting your money.
          Karlie Vintage Halsband mit 4eck-Nieten 50mm - Schwarz 50 mm / 70 cm   
59,00 EUR
Speziell f?r den gro?en Hund gedacht ist dieses extra breite und mit viereckigen Ziernieten dicht besetzte Halsband. Handwerklich in Deutschland verarbeitete handselektierte Lederh?ute sorgen f?r eine lange Lebensdauer. Pflegeleicht und weich bietet es Ihrem Hund einen hohen Tragekomfort. Eine zus?tzliche Nyloneinlage sorgt f?r Stabilit?t und Rei?festigkeit. Das Halsband ist genietet und mit verchromten Beschl?gen versehen. Farbe: Schwarz Breite: 50 mm Gesamtl?nge: 70 cm Verstellbar ca. von 53 bis 59 cmVintage - edel und einzigartig. Die Halsb?nder ?ppig besetzt mit modischem Strass oder Ziernieten. Die Vintage-Reihe umfasst besonders edle Lederleinen und Halsb?nder in modischen Trendfarben. Hergestellt aus weichem Rindnappaleder sind sie sehr strapazierf?hig und trotzdem angenehm weich. Durch das doppelt gebuggte Leder besonders schonend zum Fell und wegen der glatten Oberfl?che besonders abweisend gegen Feuchtigkeit und Verschmutzung.

          Turtle out of her shell--   
Sometimes, it's really good to get your routine shaken up.  It's not always easy, but it's a good thing.  I found myself in such a situation just recently -- not only was I summoned for jury duty, but for the first time in my life, actually chosen.

The courthouse was in Lawrence, and the case was predicted to be two weeks long.  Not necessarily the most pleasant or convenient circumstances, but there you have it.  I could see no reason not to participate; because I have such a solid crew, I forged ahead with my civic duty.

For those of you who don't know me well, my work commute is generally 8-9 minutes.  I can see the ocean the whole ride.  I like it that way.
As you all know, most of the time my job includes making delicious, messy, chocolate-y treats.  My work wardrobe is well suited for mud pie making.  Just as I would have it.
My day often consists of telling stories, listening to stories, laughing a lot, listening to music,  and being productive in ways that are immediately appreciated by 99% of the folks who happen to open our door. Sometimes there is singing.  It's good life. It truly is.

I haven't spent much time in Lawrence.  It's pretty big, there's a lot of history, and a refreshingly vibrant and diverse population.  The employees of the Supreme Court were really lovely, very accommodating, very helpful.  There's a lot of excellent food in this city.  I was determined to have lunch hour be my carrot every day, scoured Yelp for recommendations, and had some excellent luck.

Our jury consisted of fourteen individuals, and it took two days for the full number to be reached. Our jury was as diverse as Lawrence itself, which was really pretty cool; I really didn't know what to expect, and this was a happy surprise.  All ages, colors, sexes, really, a great cross section.

The whole process is fascinating, but what was really interesting was this:  while we know that jurors are not allowed to talk about the case outside of the courthouse until the case is completed, I was surprised to find that the actual jurors were not permitted to talk among themselves about the case until all of the evidence and testimony has been heard.  This actually makes a great deal of sense, as new information comes to light every day, and opinions can easily change as the case reveals itself.

So here are these fourteen strangers, spending countless hours together, not talking about the only thing the group had in common. Lots of traffic talk, lunch talk, small talk.  The group dynamics were fascinating to watch; people's personalities took a couple of days to surface (or assert themselves, in some cases).  Interesting to see who always sat in the same seat in the deliberation room, who worked the room, who kept their heads down and read, those who complained, stared into space, knitted, tried to talk about the case, overshared, played games on their phones, just mesmerizing stuff.

In the courtroom, the sociological fodder was just as rich -- watching witnesses, lawyers, the defendants, the plaintiffs, so much to see and hear.  Riveting!  I soaked it all up like a sponge.

This isn't to say my transition was easy.  Waking up at an ungodly hour to fight traffic for 50 minutes or more each morning was only slightly better than trying to figure out what would be considered grown up clothes in which to attend court.  I found myself up against a wall of striped shirts. Sweaters, too.  Apparently, one can have too many striped shirts....

On the commute home, despite the fact that the judge required us to forget all about the case until the next morning, I often would mull over what I saw and heard throughout the day.  After about day four, it became very clear that we fourteen people were going to have a significant impact on some people's lives. It could get a little heavy.

After 6 days of testimony and evidence, we were sent to the deliberation room, where we were to stay until we had either come to a decision, or the day was up. Our case was a civil case, not criminal. The major difference between the two as far as I could tell, was that while a criminal case had to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, a criminal case is decided on the preponderance of evidence -- the weight of the testimony and evidence heard.  This distinction can make reaching a verdict really difficult, a 12-2 verdict almost impossible, in our case.

On the first day of deliberation, most of us had no idea what the other did for work.  I was outed as the Turtle lady on the first day of court (there were three of us from Gloucester), so was an open book.  I had theories about what different people did professionally.  A couple of times I was spot on, but mostly I had no idea.  It was intriguing to me that only during the course of deliberations, almost everyone identified what they did, as it informed their opinions of the case.  

What a talented, varied, brilliant group.  Really.  Just fabulous.  Well spoken, thoughtful.  For almost 12 hours over two days, the debate was thorough, civilized, just really smart.  In the end, most of us were content with the verdict reached. Some were just pleased to have avoided a hung jury.  All of us were looking forward to returning to our lives.

Me?  Feeling really fortunate to have had the chance to do my civic duty,  and grateful the Turtle team could roll on without me at the helm.
Mostly, though, I'm delighted to be back making mud pies, my less-than-ten-minute commute, laughing lots, and telling stories.

Plus the singing.  Mustn't forget that.

Happy Summer, folks!

          Spit Test May Reveal The Severity Of A Child's Concussion   
A little spit may help predict whether a child's concussion symptoms will subside in days or persist for weeks. A test that measures fragments of genetic material in saliva was nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying children and adolescents whose symptoms persisted for at least a month, a Penn State team told the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. In contrast, a concussion survey commonly used by doctors was right less than 70 percent of the time. If the experimental test pans out, "a pediatrician could collect saliva with a swab, send it off to the lab and then be able to call the family the next day," says Steven Hicks , an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State Hershey. Hicks helped develop the test and consults for a company that hopes to market concussion tests. A reliable test would help overcome a major obstacle in assessing and treating concussions, which affect more than one million children and adolescents in the U.S. each year. Many of
          'Minibrains' In A Dish Shed A Little Light On Autism And Epilepsy   
Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy. An experiment using these cell clusters — which are only about the size of the head of a pin — found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature. "They were sort of left behind," says Dr. Sergiu Pasca , an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. And that type of delay could be enough to disrupt the precise timing required for an actual brain to develop normally, he says. The clusters — often called minibrains , organoids or spheroids — are created by transforming skin cells from a person into neural stem cells. These stem cells can then grow into structures like those found in the brain and even form networks of communicating cells. Brain organoids cannot grow beyond a
          A 'Hot Zone' In The Brain May Reveal When, And Even What, We Dream   
Most of us have about five dreams each night, though we're not likely to remember any of them. But a team of researchers has found a pattern of brain activity that seems to reveal not only when the brain is generating a dream but something about the content of that dream. "When subjects were having [dream] experiences during sleep, there was a region in the back of the brain that tended to be very active, as if this region was a little bit more awake," says Francesca Siclari , a researcher at the Center for Research and Investigation in Sleep at Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland. Patterns of brain activity in this region also suggested whether the dream included a face or movement, Siclari and a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report in Nature Neuroscience . The team found that dreams occurred during both rapid eye movement — REM — and non-REM sleep. But there were also periods of deep sleep in which dreaming did not occur. The team studied dreams
          Cancer Drug That Might Slow Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Headed For Bigger Tests   
Scientists are hoping that a single drug can treat two devastating brain diseases: Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The drug is nilotinib, which is approved to treat a form of leukemia. In late 2015, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center found that small doses of the drug appeared to help a handful of people with Parkinson's disease and a related form of dementia. They'd tried the unlikely treatment because they knew nilotinib triggered cells to get rid of faulty components — including the ones associated with several brain diseases. Results of that preliminary study generated a lot of excitement because there is currently no treatment that can slow or halt the brain damage caused by either Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. "Our phones were basically (ringing) off the hook," says Fernando Pagan , medical director of the translational neurotherapeutics program at Georgetown. Many researchers were cautious, though. "It was such a small trial, there was no placebo control and it
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          The Real Secret of Cambodia’s Mythic Warrior: Archaeological Insight   
By Kent Davis
Originally posted at

…like a good Indiana Jones movie, the real story of this lost treasure began with a flash of archaeological insight in a remote Asian jungle half a world away….

Koh Ker, Cambodia – Protests from the Kingdom of Cambodia recently halted the multi-million dollar Sotheby’s sale of an ancient stone statue with the support of the United States government. When the Cambodians sought help bringing the thousand-year-old Khmer statue back to their country the New York Times ran a detailed article entitled “Mythic Warrior Is Captive in Global Art Conflict.”

10th century Cambodian sculpture previously scheduled for a multi-million dollar Sotheby’s sale.
Their investigation reveals that the legal and moral issues surrounding the ownership and sale of ancient art are quite complex. In this case, one generous art collector may actually provide a positive solution. But like a good Indiana Jones movie, the real story of this lost treasure began with a flash of archaeological insight in a remote Asian jungle half a world away.

Mystery of the Missing Men of Koh Ker

One thousand years ago, the Khmer Empire ruled most of what is now Southeast Asia from its capital in Angkor. During their heyday, the architecturally and artistically sophisticated Khmer people created some of humanity’s most extraordinary stone temples and statues. Apart from a few stone inscriptions, however, no written records of the civilization survived. Out of necessity, archaeologists have had no alternative but to piece the story of the Khmer people together, clue by clue and stone by stone.

Rising above 30 meters in height, Koh Ker’s central temple-mountain of Prasat Thom was built 100 years before Angkor Wat. Photo: Khmersearch, Panoramio.
Early in the 10th century (for reasons that are still unclear), King Jayavarman IV and his son Harsavarman II relocated the empire’s capital from Angkor to an isolated plateau 100 km to the northeast. There they built the city of Koh Ker, a huge new complex of temples and shrines, where they established their throne for a brief 16 year period (928-944 AD). Like all great Khmer cities, Koh Ker was ultimately abandoned and swallowed up by the jungle. The rediscovery of the Khmer civilization by Westerners didn’t begin until French explorers arrived in the second half of the 19th century.

In 2007, stone conservator Simon Warrack was working with the German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP), a scientific organization that had been doing critical restoration on Angkor Wat temple for more than a decade. In May, Warrack took a side trip to the Koh Ker site (Google Map link) to consider future conservation needs there.

At Koh Ker, Warrack noticed two distinctive pedestal platforms in the first enclosure of Prasat Chen. There, by the west gopura (an entry structure), he saw the feet where two statues had clearly been broken off. But the gods that once stood there were nowhere to be found. The mystery sparked his imagination.

The two Koh Ker pedestals as Warrack found them at Prasat Chen in May 2007. The pedestal circled in red shows a fabric section still attached in the center.
Virtually Connecting Ancient Dots…and Stones

From my own research cataloging the devata of Angkor I can attest that field work is generally hot, uncomfortable and distracting. Almost all of my discoveries happen at my desk in Florida examining photos taken weeks or years before at remote locations. Warrack continued his search in similar fashion.

The Norton Simon dvarapala featured in “Adoration and Glory”, p. 149
He pondered the distinctive bases and began searching for photos in books and research archives. Finally, he found a possible solution. In “Adoration and Glory – The Golden Age of Khmer Art” by Emma Bunker and Douglas Latchford one image stood out. It showed a figure identified as a dvarapala (guardian) at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena California. That statue was missing its feet, but many are. The key to solving this puzzle was the unique tail at the bottom of its clothing element. After scanning images and digitally combining them Warrack confirmed the close match between the two fragments.

Warrack’s 2007 digital superimposition of the base and body of the Koh Ker statue.
Warrack immediately wrote a short paper to seek opinions from others in the field of Khmer studies. He forwarded copies to friends and associates as well as to key authorities including the APSARA Authority, which manages the Angkor region’s heritage assets; the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in Phnom Penh; and the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), a French organization dedicated to Asian studies that has been active in conservation efforts at Angkor since 1907. I met Simon in 2007 shortly after his find and the photos above come from the original article he shared with me.

Everyone who saw his image realized the importance of this observation. Determining the original location of displaced objects can be a huge help in interpreting their meaning and significance within the context of an ancient civilization. The record shows that the Norton Simon piece was acquired legitimately and is on public display for educational, artistic and cultural appreciation. But not all art ends up this way. Much of it disappears into private collections, out of view.

Such was the case of the complimentary statue that stood face to face with this one more than a thousand years ago at the Khmer capital of Koh Ker.

Sotheby's twin Khmer warrior. Note the unbroken base of the fabric tail.
The Long Lost Twin Reappears

In the summer of 2010, a “noble European lady” contacted Sotheby’s to discuss the sale of a “spectacular tenth-century Cambodian sculpture, 160 centimeters in height and exceptionally well carved.” Word got out quickly to the worlds of art and archaeology. When pictures began to circulate it was instantaneously clear that this was the long-lost companion to the statue Warrack had connected to the Norton Simon Museum three years earlier.

Meanwhile, in New York, the matching sculpture was estimated to sell for millions of dollars. According to the owner’s records, she legally acquired the piece in 1975 from the now-defunct London art dealer Spink & Son. The Norton Simon Museum also acquired their piece that year. Some evidence suggests that both statues left Cambodia in the late 1960s, but exactly when and how that happened, and who arranged it, is unknown.

Paraphrasing Sotheby’s Senior Vice President Jane A. Levine, the New York Times article stated “Ms. Levine countered that the statue could have been removed any time in its thousand-year history, and said the word ‘stolen’ was often ‘used loosely.’ ” Meanwhile, Christie’s auction house acquired Spinks in 1993 and claims that the 1975 records of the statue’s origin are “no longer available.”

Regardless of the lack of facts, the ownership of both statues seems quite legal under international laws. Which brings us to a question at the heart of this matter.

Who Should Own Historical Art?

An idealistic answer is “humanity” but even this dream can have unexpected consequences as we’ll discover below. My personal goal would be for historical assets to be accessible to everyone who wants to respect them, preserve them, appreciate them and learn from them. But this philosophy wouldn’t get me through the front door at most of the world’s public institutions holding these assets (let alone to private collections).

Most of us are fortunate enough to live in a free society. We can buy, sell and own personal property within the law. The laws protecting heritage assets have evolved considerably over the past few decades, and they continue to do so. But the fact remains that countless artifacts were legally acquired by collectors (“noble ladies” included) as well as public museums since the beginning of time. Isn’t it their right to display, use and sell their property as they see fit?

Let’s consider some difficult questions raised by recent news:

The taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction. Photo: Wikipedia.
1. Can a government or private entity decide to demolish old structures? This happens every day in every city around the world. Sometimes historical societies rally to save a site. Sometimes they can’t, as seen in the shocking annihilation of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Was that government right? Were those people right? And who are you to judge? Do you live there?

In Sarasota Florida some local groups rallied to have this mural erased from a shop.
2. Can a government or private entity destroy something offensive or blasphemous to their values or religion? How far does freedom of expression go? This Yale article discusses the destruction of Buddha images in the Maldives. But it also mentions things like Henry VIII’s systematic destruction of all the monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland. Near my home in Sarasota Florida a debate has run for months about erasing a mural that may promote gangs. Acts of artistic control and destruction happen all the time.

Sunken treasure found by Odyssey Marine 1700 feet deep in the Atlantic Ociean.
3. Can a private group use its own funds to recover or preserve historical objects that were clearly abandoned by the original owners hundreds or even thousands of years earlier? In other words, does everything actually belong to some hypothetical “rightful owner”? And who owned these things before them? Odyssey Marine Exploration in Tampa Florida just got a harsh lesson in how arbitrarily this question can be answered. Odyssey spent years working to locate and salvage a ship in international waters off the coast of Portugal. It lay, unknown and untouched for two centuries in 1700 feet of water. US courts just ruled against Odyssey and returned all the artifacts to Spain.

Ironically, that silver and gold was mined in Peru by peasants working under slave-like conditions. Peru, of course, came under Spanish control in the 16th century when conquistadors brutally subjugated the Inca civilization in their quest for territory, power and treasure. But to the US courts, 200 years of ownership was enough to confiscate assets for an “original” owner…but not 400 years. Peru’s claim to the artifacts was ignored.

On the other side of the gold coin, salvage operations generally destroy much of the archaeological evidence that exists on a wreck site. I took an archaeological research diver workshop at a Florida galleon site, and I’ve also had the privilege of discussing this topic with the father of underwater archaeology, George Bass. I am quite opposed to the wholesale destruction of history to recover precious metals on land or at sea.

But in this case, Odyssey Marine consistently gathers a lot of archaeological data from their sites. And is it reasonable to ask when and how carefully archaeologists would be excavating this particular site more than half a kilometer deep? It seems we can all learn much from Odyssey’s digital photos, detailed site maps and the thousands of objects recovered. More than we would have known if the site was never found. Now the responsibility falls to Spain to educate and inspire us with their recovered objects. The world watches.

The “Angel of Beng Mealea” - March 5, 2006 and February 12, 2007.
4. Do poor people have the right to take abandoned objects from public places just to survive? I wrote about my own painful experience with this at Beng Mealea in this article “Death of an Angel.”

There are countless examples. There will be countless more. Each situation is different. Right and wrong are not always clear. And certainly never appear the same to opposing parties in a disagreement.

Back in 2008 I bought a used car legally. But what if the original owner (or the factory, or the country where it was built) tried to reclaim it because “I parked it too long” or “I wasn’t taking care of it” or “they want to study it” or “it belongs in the original place”? I can’t say I’d be too happy.

But there are solutions to these issues…as there are to most human conflicts: communication, empathy and diplomacy. Fortunately, a combination of these factors may lead to a resolution to the quandary of the Sotheby’s statue sale.

Collectors Who Share

Cultural sensitivity about who historical objects should belong to is a fairly new concept. As noted above people have the right to own private property. This has been going on for a long time. Humans are an acquisitive species by nature.

It’s worth noting that some of the most successful “acquirers” (Rockefeller, Carnegie, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates come to mind) have also proven themselves as some of our most generous givers. And some art collectors have proven themselves in this way, too. After a lifetime of actively hunting, obsessively gathering and painstakingly preserving the rare objects they crave…many end up donating their collections to public institutions.

In the world of Khmer art, Douglas Latchford, co-author of “Adoration and Glory” with art historian Emmy Bunker, is one example. He began collecting Khmer artifacts 56 years ago (1956). Over the years he and his friends have shared financial gifts with the National Museum of Cambodia. More significantly, he is the museum’s biggest contributor of artifacts (read more about Douglas Latchford on KI-Media).

Now another collector may assist with a solution to the thorny situation of the Koh Ker statue at Sotheby’s.

Dr. István Zelnik, founder of the Gold Museum in Budapest, Hungary.
During the 1970s, Dr. István Zelnik served as a Hungarian diplomat in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Like many passionate collectors he invested his money in rare books, antiques and works of art. Motivated by a love of art and curiosity about the objects he found, he became an increasingly sought after consulting expert for museums and archaeologists around the world. In 2011 his dreams culminated with his greatest achievement: founding the Zelnik István Southeast Asian Gold Museum in Budapest Hungary.

In a statement to the New York Times Dr. Zelnik expressed the possibility that he may purchase the statue for donation to the people of Cambodia. A generous, diplomatic and expedient solution in our complex world. The owner would be compensated for her private property, huge amounts of time and money would not be wasted on legal litigation, and the people who respect and admire the art of the Khmer people could once again see this expression of creativity in the land where it was born.

I wish him success and encourage him along with Mr. Latchford and other collectors to continue sharing the objects of their passion with the world.

The two mythic Cambodian warriors as they one faced each other at Koh Ker. Below, Simon Warrack asks if they can one day be reunited?
Could Two Ancient Brothers Meet Again?

To conclude this article I contacted Simon Warrack to ask his current ideas about the ownership of historic art. Here’s what he had to say:
“The concept of “ownership” may be the wrong place to start when considering important objects. It is the value and significance of an object that should be thought of first, rather than who it belongs to.

”The questions should really be about the object itself, not who it belongs to. Where is the object best valued? Where is it best appreciated? Where is it best understood? Where is it best conserved?

“Who an object belongs to should be secondary. As one of my colleagues observed ‘Objects are not important because they are in museums. They are in museums because they are important.’ The object itself is the important factor, not the museum that possesses it.

“After finding the empty pedestals seven years ago actually seeing both Koh Ker statues is remarkable. The possibility now exists that, one day, they may be reunited.

“Today, I called HE Hab Touch to ask his opinion on this matter. He is optimistic but noted that at this early stage no decisions or agreements are in place. However, Cambodia is ready and there are at least two suitable, secure locations where the pieces could be located for public appreciation. In the National Museum, of course, but plans are also being made for a museum at Preah Vihear, the same province where Koh Ker is located. There, the museum will become a gateway to the World Heritage Site and these figures could, once again, provide a wonderful center piece to welcome visitors from around the world.”
Simon closed by mentioning a concept from the book, Who Owns Antiquity by James Cuno. Cuno observes that national museums in wealthy nations host “encyclopedic” collections of objects from around the world, while national museums in less wealthy countries host indigenous local art relating to their own history.

He suggests that the global exchange of art would be a good direction to head in. Just as it is good for a child in Pasadena to experience the art of Cambodia, wouldn’t it also be wonderful for a child of Cambodia to see pieces of American history? Or the creations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mexico, etc.?

With communication, empathy and diplomacy we can all grow and learn.

          Make a king's ransom by Performing Internet affiliate marketing   
Internet is actually producing lots more people more potent than any other otherwise. Thousands of people through round the world decide to make millions of earnings month to month through the use of internet. There are various methods for generating income online; internet affiliate marketing is probably the many different ways of earning cash over the internet.

The meaning regarding affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing online indicates selling precuts or perhaps companies of the some other producer or even supplier using diverse techniques accessible online and acquire paid out from your producer or even service provider for your. The type regarding affiliate marketing is almost just like that of the sales person; but there are some variations exist, mainly when it comes to functioning.

The actual ways of doing internet affiliate marketing
That you can do internet affiliate marketing in several ways. For those who have a web sites of your own, you'll be able to position the hyperlink from the websites for which you wish to accomplish the particular affiliate marketing. An advanced tumblr, then you can also insert the links of websites that you want to do advertising. You can also do that simply by writing and submitting articles and set several links presently there.

The particular generating potential associated with affiliate marketing
There's no limit around the benefit focus on of the making prospective of the affiliate marketing online. Probably, the sky may be the reduce; so far as the earning potential is actually concern. The harder you can sell the harder you may earn. All hangs upon, just how much you do and what is the grade of work.

Bottom line
If you're not really not used to the world of world wide web and also be aware of delicate fine art of doing affiliate marketing online, then you must do that as soon as possible. An advanced product manufacturer or perhaps company, you then must hire some affiliate marketer to market your product or service.

          A Brain Tweak Lets Mice Abstain From Cocaine   
Researchers have created mice that appear impervious to the lure of cocaine. Even after the genetically engineered animals were given the drug repeatedly, they did not appear to crave it the way typical mice do, a team reports in Nature Neuroscience. "They didn't keep going into the room where they received the cocaine and they seemed to be just as happy exploring all around the cage," says Shernaz Bamji , a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. "Addiction is a form of learning," Bamji says. And somehow, these mice never learned to associate the pleasurable feelings produced by cocaine with the place where they received the drug. The result was startling because the scientists thought these mice would be especially susceptible to addiction. "We repeated the experiment several times to see if we had made a mistake," Bamji says. The reason for the team's surprise had to do with proteins that affect learning.
          Helpful Tips to Earn Income from Blogging   
Internet is the best way to generate income through blog or website. Blogs are the easy way to make money without having to work too much and its easy to setup.

What is a blog?
A blog is online dairy that displays data/content in chronological order. It displays the content in descending order with date and time. A blog is easily picked and crawled fastly by the search engines. So it is a good way to direct traffic to the desired websites. Regular updation and little seo work will increase the ranking of the blog in search engines and it can play and important role in selling the products or inform the users about the new products added on the website.

Write Unique Content for Your Blog
We all know that content is king. So if you are selling your products or add new product, write some unique lines about the product and direct the traffic to the product page of your website. Donot copy the content from your website and paste on your blog. Unique content will increase traffic on your website. So always update the post with unique content.

Blogging Daily
If a blog is not updated on regular basis, it becomes useless for you. So always try to blog about the products and services offered by your company. A content write can be hired if you have lack of time to update your blog.

Blog About Products
To direct more traffic to your website and earn, always blog about your products. Write it review. Also compare it with the other products. Comparing will provide option to your visitors to select the best one. If do not sell any products, join affiliate program and write posts on the products of the manufacturer. When a visitor purchase any product through your affiliate link, you get the commission.

Earn from Google Adsense
Google adsense is the best way to make money online for the publisher. It shows the relevant ads on the content pages. You will earn when a visitor clicks on google ads displayed on your blog. It easy to setup. Fill the form offered by Google to apply for google adsense account.

There is no need to invest money in hosting and domain registration for blogging. The Blogger and Wordpress are the most popular platforms for blogging. Create your account and start blogging. Wordpress is very user-friendly and most popular but you cannot earn money from google adsense here. The free version of wordpress will not allow you to add the google adsense code anywhere in your blog.
          Wordpress Blog - SEO Tips and Avoid Mistakes   
Recently I have visited the blogs and found some mistakes by the blogs owner. SOme mistakes are serious and search engines can penalize for these careless jobs. Few things are important and it helps you to get more traffic and get benefits. Some of the important points and steps are mentioned below :

Remove the hyperlink of Title from the single post:
Its common mistakes I have seen in the blogs. If a visitor in the single post then the title must not be hyperlinked. It is very easy to remove the hyperlink from the post title. Just go to Presentation > Theme Editor > and open singlepost.php and replace the following line "> with .

Use Wordpress Plugins:
Many plugins available free that helps you to make your website more seo-friendly. Some of the plugins are :
Google Sitemap Generator : Sitemap makes search engine easy to crawl all the pages. With the help of this, you can create the sitemap for your blog and submit it in google webmaster tools.

Optimize your Meta Description Tag : Meta descriptions are not very important, but still helpful in yahoo and other search engines. With the help of this plugin, you can manually insert the meta description for each post separately.

Title Tags Generator : Titles are still important. Install this plugin and insert title tags for each post.

Optimize Images :
Image optimization is the basic on-page seo. The visitors enters the website with the help of images also. So must include alt tags in the images.

Change the default Wordpress Theme:
The default wordpress theme is not very impressive. Lots of free attractive themes available. Download the theme and replace it with default. This makes your wordpress blog more professional.

Add noindex and nofollow to Category and Archieves:
Add noindex to categories, archieves, tags to avoid duplicate content issue. To insert noindex in the archieve, goto Theme Editor>header.php and replace with "meta name="robots" content="noindex"
          Generating Traffic Through Keywords   
Keywords are probably the most important factor to establishing a successful website. When you visit your favorite search engine, their software is using Keywords to decide what websites to show you and in what order to display them on the search results. To a webmaster, profiting off of the popularity of their website through online advertising, keywords are very important indeed.

When a search engine is deciding what website to display, it is reviewing millions of sites at once, and is searching for the proper optimization of keywords to decide which pages will be listed first. Obviously the first page of results in the search engine is going to be the most visited by traffic searching for the applicable topic. There is understandably quite a large amount of competition for these spots. The only get your page to top the list is to use Keywords efficiently and correctly.

When using Keywords, generally 10-15 targeted words are chosen to base the site’s content around. These keywords should be the words that potential site visitors would use on the search engine.

Another way of generating traffic through keywords is by creating your keyword-heavy content as an article on social networking sites, including links to your website. Another way the search engine determines page ranking in the search results is by the number of “back links” a site has. Back links are links posted on other web pages that will redirect the user to your site. The more back links a site has, the more traffic it can expect.

Keywords can definitely increase the amount of traffic coming to your website or Blog if done correctly. It should be stressed that keywords can be overused within content and can be neglected by search engines if no real content is present. When used properly though, keywords can drive more traffic to your site than any other method. In the end though, Keywords are only as useful as the content they are in. Successful websites have unique and well-written content. Keywords only add onto the value of your websites content.
          Nueva propuesta a los gremios docentes   
El Gobierno de la provincia de Buenos Aires hizo una nueva propuesta a los gremios docentes, se trata de un ofrecimiento superador a todos los anteriores que incluye un aumento para este año de un 21,5% más la cláusula gatillo y una compensación de 2,5% por el año 2016. 

La reunión se llevó adelante hoy en el ministerio de Economía de la provincia de Buenos Aires y contó con la presencia, en representación del Ejecutivo bonaerense, del ministro de Economía, Hernán Lacunza, de su par de Trabajo, Marcelo Villegas y del Director General de Educación, Alejandro Finocchiaro. 

El aumento es en dos tramos: 11% en abril (retroactivo a enero) y 10,5% en septiembre. De esta manera, el salario inicial (1 cargo de 4 horas, sin antigüedad) pasa a ser $12.151. El salario promedio pasa a ser $ 23.352.

Los representantes de los gremios docentes tomaron la propuesta y se comprometieron a responder el próximo martes.

          Thailand Pushes Xayaburi Dam   
Xayaburi work goes on (photo credit: Suthep Kritsanavarin)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Written by Our Correspondent
Asian Sentinel

Despite reservations from Mekong Basin countries, construction continues

Over the opposition of environmental groups and the governments of other countries in the Mekong Basin, the Thai government is pushing ahead with the construction of the controversial Xayaburi Dam, environmentalists say.

Although the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments have expressed concerns about the dam and work was supposed to stop until further study has been completed, preliminary construction on the giant dam deep inside Laos, is continuing, according to International Rivers, which opposes the structure.

Large numbers of workers have been on the job for two years to build access roads and facilities for the project, said Pianporn Deetes, Thailand Campaign Coordinator for International Rivers. Ch. Karnchang, Thailand’s largest construction company, has the contract to build the dam for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, better known as EGAT, which has contracted to 95 percent of the energy from the dam.

“It doesn’t mean the dam can’t be stopped,” Deets told Asia Sentinel in a telephone interview. “We believe there are many channels that we can try to cancel the PPA (power purchase agreement).”

Thailand appears to be defying an agreement in early December by the Mekong River Commission Council, comprising water and environment ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, to seek international support to produce a more complete study of the dam, which is intended to produce 1,280 megawatts of power for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

The Mekong supports the largest freshwater fishery in the world. The downstream governments are concerned that the Xayaburi and 10 other dams planned for the Mekong, which feeds a river basin populated by 60 million people, will do irreparable damage to the river’s habitat.

Environmentalists say anywhere between 23 and 100 fish species could be adversely affected.

The dam, 810 meters wide and 32 meters high, is opposed by 263 NGOs from 51 countries. Thousands of people in the region have urged that it be cancelled. Its primary objective is to generate, along with electricity, foreign exchange earnings for financing socio-economic development in Laos, a landlocked and obscure country of 6.8 million mostly poverty-stricken people. Laos is seeking to develop its way into prosperity through extensive investment in dams, mines and plantations, hoping for jobs, rising incomes and revenues to end poverty.

Wracked by incessant bombing and the dropping of tens of millions of antipersonnel mines by the Americans during the Vietnam War, Laos remains one of the world's poorest countries, ranking 135th in the world. Nearly 41 percent of the population are under the age of 14. It is one of the few remaining one-party Communist countries left on the planet. Subsistence agriculture accounts for as much as 30 percent of gross domestic product, according to the CIA Factbook, and provides 80 percent of total employment.

Ten dams are already in operation across the country, generating 669 megawatts of power. Another eight are expected to be operational by this year, generating an additional 2,531 megawatts. Nineteen more are planned and 42 more are the subject of feasibility studies, almost all of them financed and developed by foreign interests expecting to turn a profit from electricity generation. Thailand is to import up to 7,000 megawatts by 2015. Vietnam will take another 3,000 megawatts by 2015 possibly rising to 5,000 megawatts by 2020 in accordance with an understanding reached in December 2006, according to a 2010 study titled Development in LAO PDR: the Food Security Paradox, produced for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and written by researcher David Fullbrook.

In 2010, the Mekong River Commission commissioned a strategic environmental assessment that recommended all decisions on Mekong mainstream dams be deferred for a period of at least 10 years while further studies can be conducted.

“We are afraid the fish migration could be destroyed,” Deets said. “There are 60 million people in the basin who depend for their livelihood on the river.”

The Thai government, she said in a prepared statement, “has ignored the agreements made last year among the four regional governments and the concerns expressed by Cambodia and Vietnam. With more than eight provinces in Thailand at risk from the Xayaburi Dam’s transboundary impacts, the state has also disregarded its duty to protect its own people from harm. It’s irresponsible to push forward with this dam, when the project’s impacts on Thailand have yet to be adequately studied.”

“The Mekong River Commission governments have not yet reached agreement on the Xayaburi Dam nor have they closed the prior consultation process,” the press release quoted Lam Thi Thu Suu, Director of the Centre for Social Research and Development in Vietnam, as saying. “By committing to purchase power from the dam and moving forward with the project’s implementation, EGAT and Ch. Karnchang are violating the trust and goodwill of Thailand’s neighbors. No construction on the Xayaburi Dam should proceed while further study is underway.”

Four Thai banks have already provided financial support for the dam including the state-owned Krung Thai Bank. When the Commission asked about the steps they took to examine the project’s environmental and social impacts, however, the banks were not able to provide detailed information.

“It’s astonishing to think that the financiers of this project have not taken the dam’s significant environmental and social impacts more seriously. Even a five minute search on the internet would reveal numerous media reports that highlight the concerns of the Thai people,” Deets said. “The recklessness of EGAT’s and the Thai companies’ pursuit of the project is likely to become a catastrophe for our country’s reputation. We call on the Thai government to immediately cancel the power purchase agreement and for Thai banks to withdraw financing from the Xayaburi Dam.”

An independent study has already concluded that the Xayaburi Dam’s electricity is not needed to meet Thailand’s demand for energy in the coming decades.

          Buchvorstellung "Die Folter. Eine Enzyklopädie des Grauens" von Horst Herrmann   
Vorstellung des Buches "Die Folter. Eine Enzyklopädie des Grauens" von Horst Herrmann; Interview mit Heinz Patzelt, Generalsekretär von amnesty international austria. Sender: Radio Orange (Wien, 94MHz, Kabel 92,7MHz) Sendung: Radio Augustin (Augustin-Magazin) Sendedatum: Dezember 2004 Gestaltung: Chris Haderer Moderation: Claudia Altendorfer, Chris Haderer
          UN protests after Cambodia blocks Khmer Rouge judge [-Does the UN have the gut to pull out of the KRT?]   
Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet was appointed as Reserve Co-Investigating Judge on 1 December 2010. (Photo: Courtesy of ECCC)
Friday, January 20, 2012
AFP News

The United Nations on Friday protested at Cambodia's rejection of a Swiss judge to the international Khmer Rouge tribunal who has paralyzed probes into two cases opposed by the government.

Cambodia is in "breach" of an accord with the UN setting up the international tribunal into the Khmer Rouges crimes of the 1970s in which up to two million people died, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.

"This is a matter of serious concern," stated Nesirky who said the Cambodian government had formally notified UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday of its refusal to name Laurent Kasper-Ansermet of Switzerland as co-investigating judge.

"The United Nations continues to support Judge Kasper-Ansermet and Cambodia should take immediate steps to appoint him as international co-investigating judge," the spokesman said.

The tribunal, officially known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, was set up with one Cambodian investigating judge and one foreign judge. The previous German judge resigned in October following government opposition to further prosecutions linked to the 1975-1979 regime.

Kasper-Ansermet was the official reserve judge and Nesirky stressed that the 2003 accord setting up the court "states unequivocally" that if there is a vacancy the person appointed must be the reserve judge.

The Cambodian government "raised ethical concerns" about Kasper-Ansermet in November, said Nesirky.

"The United Nations thoroughly reviewed the concerns, determined that they were unfounded, and requested that the Supreme Council of the Magistracy proceed with his appointment."

David Scheffer, an American named as special expert on UN assistance to the Cambodia trials, is travelling to Phnom Penh for talks with the government and court officials, the spokesman added.

Kasper-Ansermet has been blocked since his arrival in Phnom Penh in December. The supreme council, the government body charged with rubber-stamping the nomination, has not met.

And the Cambodian co-judge You Bunleng has publicly refused to work with the Swiss. Kasper-Ansermet has in turn accused You Bunleng of blocking "important" information about the two new cases involving five ex-Khmer Rouge members accused of crimes against humanity.

The tribunal has so far completed just one trial. A second is underway but risks being overshadowed by the new controversy.

          Cambodia stands out among CLMV [... for Thai investments]   
January 20, 2012
The Nation

Among Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, widely abbreviated as CLMV, Cambodia is the most outstanding investment destination for Thai companies thanks to the country's free-trade policy and abundant natural resources, according to the Trade Negotiations Department.

Srirat Rastapana, director-general of the department, said that though Cambodia was the last to join Asean in 2009, its trade policy is the most liberalised among the four countries under the government’s policy to draw foreign investment and reduce poverty.

"Cambodia sets its sight on infrastructure investment, particularly road connection with neighbouring countries and hydro power plants. Beside, it possesses a competitive edge, over natural resources. Offshore oil and gas reserves were discovered. This could help eradicate poverty, but it depends on the efficiency and transparency of revenue to be derived from the resources," she said.

In 2010, Cambodia attracted FDI worth US$782.6 million (including $349 million from other Asean countries), up 45.2 per cent from the previous year. Among 10 Asean nations, in terms of FDI, it was ranked the 7th. Cambodia is also a member of key international organisations like the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank.

Srirat noted that the Asean community paves way for Thai investment. Low labour cost would also be on the plus side. Attractive investment areas are in parawood processing, hotel, food and spa, aside from construction.

          Michigan State drops college algebra requirement   

Students at Michigan State University will no longer have to take college-level algebra, thanks to a revision of the general-education math requirement.

          Predavanje o regenerativnoj medicini u Institutu Igalo   
U Institutu Igalo sjutra će biti održano predavanje iz regenerativne medicine u suorganizaciji sa Liv Hospital iz Turske. Predavanje (Stem cell therapy) imaće prof. dr Erdal Karaoz. Prezentaciju Liv Hospital prirediće medicinski direktor te ustanove Dr Fatih Akpinar. Predavanje je najavljeno sjutra, sa početkom u 11 h u Kongresnoj sali II Faze Instituta Igalo. Mogu […]
          Debate over whether all undergraduates should take mathematics course   

Wayne State University drops what has been part of its general-education program for all students, raising the question of which fields are needed by all undergraduates.

          Dow, other markets, see second record day   

GenevaLunch News Why is it happening, how long will it last, investors are asking GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Low interest rates that provide little investment incentive plus good news about the US job market may have sparked the big push Tuesday that led to a record high for the Dows Jones Industrial Average of 14,253.77 (previous closing high […]

Dow, other markets, see second record day © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Syrian refugee flood continues unabated: UN needs $1 billion   

GenevaLunch News GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The UN says it will need $1 billion for the first six months of 2013 to cope with the massive flow of refugees who continue to flee Syria, where the bloodshed and chaos of the country’s civil war continue unabated. The funds will be needed to handle the most basic needs of […]

Syrian refugee flood continues unabated: UN needs $1 billion © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Nearly CHF1b of Arab spring dictators’ funds blocked by Swiss   

GenevaLunch News Returning assets to the people is a priority, says ambassador GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – More than CHF1 billion in assets linked to the regimes of dictators who fell during the Arab spring, as well as Syrian assets, have been frozen and it’s a priority for these to be returned to the countries, Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, who […]

Nearly CHF1b of Arab spring dictators’ funds blocked by Swiss © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Swiss president, US attorney general discuss tax issues at IMF meeting   

GenevaLunch News Switzerland to share seat with Poland, pledges additional $10 billion to IMF BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and US Attorney General Eric Holder met on the fringes of a key International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington 20-21 April. Bern’s statement was brief, noting that the two met “in order to discuss bilateral […]

Swiss president, US attorney general discuss tax issues at IMF meeting © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Connecticut and Texas aim to grow STEM enrollment, but take different approaches   

University of Connecticut and Texas A&M University have ambitious plans for enrolling and graduating many more science and technology students, but are there enough talented high school graduates to fill the growing programs?

          Bern gives transalpine rail cargo aid to offset high Swiss franc   

GenevaLunch News BERN, SWITZERLAND – Four rail groups are receiving CHF21 million in aid from the Swiss government to offset some of the losses they suffered in 2011 due to the rapid increase in the value of the Swiss franc during the year. All four provide transalpine shipping and use combined or piggyback cargo transport, carrying trucks […]

Bern gives transalpine rail cargo aid to offset high Swiss franc © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Swiss condemn Israel for measures against Palestine   

GenevaLunch News BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss government said Wednesday night 2 November that it condemns Israel for two new measures, voted by the Israeli cabinet Tuesday, shortly after Unesco admitted Palestine as a member. Bern stopped short of calling the measures retaliatory, but it notes that the decision by Tel Aviv to “speed up construction of […]

Swiss condemn Israel for measures against Palestine © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Abacha retrial to go ahead   

GenevaLunch News GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal Tribunal has ordered a new trial for Abba Abacha, son of former Nigerian General Sani Abacha, who ruled the country for five years in the 1990s. He was suspected of stealing more than $2 billion and after his death his sons managed the money. Abba Abacha was given a […]

Abacha retrial to go ahead © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Seco confirms CHF27m in Syrian assets frozen   

GenevaLunch News BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs confirmed to ATS and AP news agencies Sunday that the government has blocked more than CHF27 million in Syrian assets, although it has not confirmed if they belong to Bachar al-Assad, president. He and his brother are on a list of 23 persons whose assets were […]

Seco confirms CHF27m in Syrian assets frozen © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Duvalier money goes to court after 25 years (update)   

GenevaLunch News Update 12:50  Bern / Zurich, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The argument over who gets the Duvalier millions, some CHF5.8 million of them, will finally be heard in court, with the Swiss government 2 May initiating forfeiture proceedings at the Swiss Administrative High Court. The proceedings are the first under a Swiss law that went into effect […]

Duvalier money goes to court after 25 years (update) © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Trixie Softgeschirr - Grün 33 - 50 cm   
22,99 EUR
Das Softgeschirr besteht aus atmungsaktivem Mesh-Material und Nylon und bietet Ihrem Hund dank seiner weichen Polsterung einen besonders angenehmen Tragekomfort. Durch den stufenlos verstellbaren Bauchgurt l?sst es sich optimal anpassen.Ma?e: ca. 33 - 50 cm / 20 mm Gr??e: S Farbe: Gr?n

          Având un împrumut de urgență, rapid, de încredere în 48 de ore   

Bună ziua, Mr & D-na Sunt un individ în toată Europa și în lume (Franța, Belgia, Elveția, ...
          Pet-Star RELAXX Kissen - Rund, 70 cm Rot   
69,99 EUR
Das Besondere an den Relaxx? Hundekissen ist die k?rpergerechte F?llung. Sie besteht aus hochwertigen EPS-Perlen. Diese finden in gleicher Qualit?t zum Beispiel auch in Stillkissen oder im therapeutischen Bereich ihre Anwendung. Dank dieser Perlen passt sich das Kissen optimal der K?rperform Ihres Tieres an. Gleichzeitig wirkt die F?llung w?rmer?ckstrahlend, isolierend, antiallergisch und ist absolut hygienisch. Aber Achtung: EPS ist nicht gleich EPS. Wir verwenden ausschlie?lich neue 2 bis 4 mm Perlen in eine Qualit?t von 20 g/L. Andere Anbieter benutzen h?ufig gemahlenes Recycling-Material, schlechtere Qualit?ten oder auch einfach nur zu wenige Perlen. Da hat Ihr Tier dann nach kurzer Zeit ein platt gelegenes Kissen, das auch schon mal nach Fisch riechen kann, wenn die F?llung beispielsweise aus einer Fischkiste recycelt wurde. Letztes wird Ihren Hund aber wom?glich gar nicht st?ren. Vergleichen Sie daher nicht nur den Preis! Die Perlen befinden sich in einem atmungsaktiven Inlett mit Rei?verschlu? (Sie k?nnen also auch einmal nachf?llen oder austauschen). Dieses Inlett steckt dann wiederum in der Au?enh?lle aus hochwertiger und extra stabiler spezialbeschichteter Kunstfaser. Mehrere attraktive Farben stehen zur Auswahl. Sie reinigen das Kissen durch einfaches feuchtes Abwischen oder durch Handw?sche der H?lle bis 30?C. Ihr Hund verdient nur das Beste: Relaxx?, ein Markenprodukt von Pet-Star?.

          China’s Popular ‘Facekini’ Swimwear Gets a New Porcelain Design   

Just in time for the summer, beachgoers in China are adding the porcelain facekini to their swimwear wardrobe. While wearing face masks, known as facekinis, to the beach is nothing new, the 7th generation Chinese swimsuit staple features blue-and-white porcelain and embroidery. In 2004, designer Zhang Shifan was running a small swimwear shop in the […]

The post China’s Popular ‘Facekini’ Swimwear Gets a New Porcelain Design appeared first on NextShark.

          Comment on We Still Celebrate Independence Day at Church (by Dean Stewart) by Louis   
Chad: Thanks for the question and your observations. I agree with the way you describe the SBC. I would put a bit of a twist on your view of how Baptists view the State. I agree that we do not believe in a State church or that the State can dictate religion to others. But there is a tension here, is there not? I would argue that any time Christians seek to bring Biblical truth to the legislative process and argue for that, that we are, in fact, "dictating religion" to others. When we seek to impose a view of abortion in law as the taking of human life, and we do that even in part on theological grounds, we are seeking to impose our religion on others. When we try to outlaw gambling, we do the same. Or when we try to say that marriage is between one man and one woman, that is a religious view. We then seek to impose that on others. Why shouldn't the Mormons and Utah been allowed to join the U.S. without giving up polygamy? It was specifically because of the imposition of religion. This is an inevitable tension in our faith. True, we do not impose belief in Jesus on others or require that they join a church (though not long ago, Christians did that, or at least came really close to it). The issue is when Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you ..." he gave us the command to evangelize and disciple. But the question is to what extent teaching and discipling others involves, in a democracy, teaching what is godly and good to the culture around us, and seeking to impose that by law. Was Wilburforce wrong to trying to abolish slavery, or should he have said, "Well, it's the culture around me. I will take care of the kingdom of God. This is the kingdom of this world?" Or should Martin Luther King not have agitated, on explicitly Christian theological grounds, for the equal treatment of races? And if we are going to use the Bible to speak to the Kingdom of this World and call for it to reflect God's truth, isn't that the imposition of religion in some form? And if we do it in those instances, why not others? Is it just tactical, that is, we have lost this battle, so we move on to other things? If it's not tactical, but we take a different view on other issues of justice and social ills, what is the theological basis for dividing these issues up and saying on the one hand "Thus sayeth the Lord", and on the other hand, "Well, that's the kingdom of this world and it's not the kingdom we are trying to redeem or create." Don't get me wrong. I am not being critical. I am just asking. You are right that the "SBC" is not monolithic on these questions. But these are areas where we do have an agency that works for us that addresses these things, so in effect, "We" are speaking. My sense is that there are different camps in the SBC right now. The Reformed crowd, lots of younger guys, are really gung ho about some issues and are willing to speak to the culture about it and speak to other churches about it - say, for example, race, immigration. But that same crowd has no interest in an issue that motivated our Baptist forefathers for decades - alcohol consumption. And I sense that while they believe in marriage, that many of the younger Reformed guys have no interest in the SBC filing an Amicus brief in support of marriage at the Supreme Court. But that they would on race or immigration. I hope I am making sense here. Again, I am not trying to be critical. I am describing what I am seeing and what is motivating a new generation of young people in the SBC. I would be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this subject. Are we seeing churches just divide up on the issues, or is there a really principled theological difference in our churches?
          Inside Sales Representative (Construction / Home) - (Northborough)   
Telefluent Communications Inc, the sales lead generation office for Renewal by Andersen, is looking for Inside Sales Representatives. This position is focused primarily on reaching out to customer leads in order to set up an in-home appointments with a Renewal by Andersen Sales Representative. The Inside Sales Representative will perform the following job responsibilities: Sets appointments via inbound/outbound calls Meet or exceed appointment setting and quality of goals within system guidelines.
          Re: Damian Snow's Pawn Shop   

Alright everybody, I apologize that there hasn't been any new weapons for the past few weeks, mostly because I've been forgetting, too lazy, or playing video games. Now before I announce the weapons/items, I would like to propose an idea. The idea being I would do this every other week and the week I did it would be a double feature. Also I would like to propose the idea of you guys choosing the era, or country that I find my weapons for a one month feature of that time period/country. Let me know what you think.....Anyways this week's weapons/items are a qaudruple feature.

The first one is........the Naginata!!!



This bad boy is very similar to the Chinese Guan Dao, the only difference's being the spike on the blade and the length of the weapon. The blade is constructed in the same manner as a regular samurai sword and is 12-24'' long. The shaft has a guard on it similar to that of a guard on a sword, it can be between 4-8' long. Now it is uncertain when Naginata appeared but historian's believe it was around 1146, it was most commonly wielded by samurai or monks, also known as sohei.

Next up is............the Grappling Hook!!


These things are classics when it come to any type of entertainment, but they are also good weapons too. They were first used in naval warfare, in order to catch ship rigging. They can be used for many different uses, but the most common use these days are for getting up to high buildings. A factory made grappling hook can have up to six barbs on it, with each one having a serrated edge for more gripping power. That same edge can be a deadly weapon if wielded correctly, add a spike in the middle and you got a nasty weapon.

The next one is...............the Sai!!!!


This weapon may be familiar if you know some certain green ninja's. Before they came to Japan they were being used in India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Some evidence suggests that an Indonesian martial art known as "chabang" predates the use of the weapon in Japan and China. These weapons are used for blocking, parries, strikes, and disarmament and are generally used in pairs. In ancient times they where used by domestic police to arrest criminals and for crowd control. The tips are generally blunt, not sharp as some would believe.

The final item for today is............the Trident!!!!!


These guys are known mostly because of of Poseidon and Aquaman, but they also make great weapons, and gear. In Ancient Rome they were used by gladiator's in tandem with a net so as to trap the prey and stab them to death. They generally stand about 6' high with the barbs being either straight points or the barbs having an arrow head-shaped point. For fishing they are used in the Southern and Midwestern United States in order to catch "suckers, bullfrogs, flounder, and many species of rough fish". This process is called "gigging".


Well that's it for this week, sorry about the wait.......Enjoy!!!! 

          Second Circuit Holds that Contingent Equity-Based Compensation of Former Lehman Employees are Subordinate to Creditor Claims   
In In re Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. 855 F.3d 459 (2d Cir. 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court order subordinating the claims of former Lehman Bros. (“Lehman”) employees for undelivered equity-based compensation to those of the defunct bank’s general creditors. The Court determined the compensation benefits were...… Continue Reading
          Macy's Locker Room Assistant Manager Part-Time - (Boston)   
Location: Boston (Downtown)450 Washington StreetGenerate SalesProduce sales gains, by providing customer service.To meet or exceed Company Objectives in all individual statistics.Learn to provide consistent, documented appraisal of an associate's sales performance. Provide support by giving feedback on areas of strength and opportunity while keeping in line with Company Objectives.Adhere to current visual guidelines includes: proper merchandising, signage and store cleanliness.Maintain a professional appearance consistent with Dress Code Policy.Control ExpensesProtect Company assets within guidelines of LIDS Retail policies.Assist in preparation of store schedules that provide proper store coverage and are within the Company guidelines for wage control.Follow all policies to accurately manage store inventory including receiving, transferring, completing price changes and conducting product counts.Perform proper documentation and record keeping per LIDS Retail policies as well as state and federal laws.Open and close the store as required following the procedures per the Operations P&P Manual.Support and adhere to all LIDS policies, procedures, and guidelines.Supervise AssociatesParticipate in LIDS Training Programs, adhere to set goals (for sales and tasks) and regular follow up.Assist in recruiting and training store personnel on proper store operations and procedures.Encourage store associates' direct compliance of established company policies, procedures and guidelines including (but not limited to) safekeeping of company inventory, funds and property.Perform work of subordinates as needed.Communicate with employees at all levels of the company.Other duties as assigned.Education and/or ExperienceHigh school diploma or equivalent plus one year relative experience.Established ability to produce sales results while minimizing loss.Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate verbally in a clear professional manner.Ability to operate a computer, as well as maneuver relative software programs.Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.Ability to climb a ladder and work with hands overhead.Standing required for up to 100% of the work time.Ability to work unsupervised. Source:
          Lids Part-Time Sales Help - (Peabody)   
Location: North Shore210 Andover St, F101Generate SalesProduce sales gains, by providing customer service.Meet or exceed Company Objectives in all individual statistics.Participate in store maintenance per the current visual guidelines including: proper merchandising, signage and store cleanliness.Maintain a professional appearance consistent with Dress Code Policy.Control ExpensesProtect Company assets within guidelines of LIDS Retail policies.Participate in managing store inventory including processing shipments and resetting merchandise.Assist with accurate product counts in a consistent and timely manner.Support and adhere to all LIDS Retail policies, procedures and guidelines.Other duties as assigned.Education and/or ExperienceStrong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate verbally in a clear and professional manner.Ability to read and operate a computer.Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.Ability to climb a ladder and work with hands overhead.Standing required for up to 100% of the work time. Source:
          Starbucks Picket in DC   

The DC IWW held a picket Monday, September 11, 2006 of Adams Morgan Starbucks from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

IWW members passed out 300 flyers and collected approximately 75 signatures for a petition demanding that the four fired workers (IWW Members Daniel Gross, Evan Winterscheidt, Joe Agnis Jr and Charls Fostrom) be rehired.

About 8 or 9 IWW members and supporters attended the picket and generally speaking a good time was had by all. The DC IWW is planning to picket another Starbucks in two weeks.

          Seeking Sales Superstars - Be Your Own Boss - Freight/Logistics Sales - (Worcester)   
Job Description:Seeking Sales Superstars - Be Your Own Boss - Freight/Logistics Sales THE ABSOLUTE BEST AGENT EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY! YOU VE CHECKED THE REST NOW JOIN THE BEST!If you have at least 6 months of freight sales / freight broker experience and are looking to partner with a company that treats its Agents like GOLD, treats it s carriers as true partners (and not just vendors ), and treats its employees like FAMILY you owe it to yourself to join the BEST team in the industry!Call Us Today At 866-553-6608Or Apply Online - The AMERICAN DREAM Program!Overview:As an American Group Agent, you ll have:The FREEDOM to own and operate your own business - not a franchise!Access to thousands of carriers, multiple modes, and a state of the art TMS (Transportation Management Software) systemOne of the most generous commission splits in the industry - paid weekly!Uncapped and unlimited earnings potential Unmatched back office support, including Customer Service, Credit and Collections, cargo claims assistance, etc.Free load board postings with the most widely used posting platformsThe ability to sell to any client, anywhere - and not be limited by territory boundaries LIBERTY to set your own hours working from home or wherever you chooseEthical and honest dealings with us no hidden fees, no nonsense that s our PROMISE to you!Requirements:Must have a minimum of 6 months experience as a freight sales rep or freight broker (current or former carrier sales reps welcome) note: Freight Broker school does NOT count as experience!Established customer base with a strong desire to maximize your earnings potential by growing AND hunting!About American Group:We have been in business for over 10 years and we are a stable and financially secure company! We are not the largest, nor do we want to be.
          Battipaglia. Successo per la Video/Poesia “Il senso di te”, di Mario Festa   
Battipaglia. Mario Festa canta la donna. Con pennellate di cielo dipinge una donna incommensurabilmente  grande, bella e complessa. Per il poeta, la donna è mistero, creatura indefinibile: “riflesso” della Divina beltà, perla di saggezza e di virtuosità, dolcezza, umano calore… “Qualcosa che sa d’infinito”, …”Qualcosa che dà vita alla vita”, generatrice di “nuova” vita… Nella [...]
          Pablo Iglesias: "España es una realidad plurinacional enormemente compleja"   
El secretario general de Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, ha asegurado hoy en un desayuno informativo de...
          Puigdemont denuncia que la Fiscalía actúa contra el 'procés' al servicio de algunos grupos políticos   
La Guardia Civil lleva semanas interrogando a funcionarios de la Generalitat de Catalunya que...
          Commentaires sur Adding an existing Docker host to Docker Machine : a few tips par Anonyme   
just use ssh key login ``` docker-machine -D create --driver generic --generic-ip-address --generic-ssh-key ~/.ssh/docker/qcloud_rsa qcloud ```
          TB5244 ボルボ S80 マフラー 【S308】   
TB5244 ボルボ S80 マフラー 【S308】
現在価格:13,231 円,入札数:-,終了日時:2017/07/03 20:27
          Significado de Samira   
Samira es un nombre con varios orígenes y un enigmático significado. Además, es un nombre sonoro y que será perfecto para tu hija si estás pensando ponérselo. ¿Por qué? Descúbrelo en este artículo en el que te contamos todo sobre el significado del nombre Samira.  Que significa el nombre Samira Samira es un nombre con varios […]
          General Farm Worker NOC 8431 - Lane View Farms Ltd - Kincaid, SK   
Class 5 drivers license or equivalent required to drive equipment and get around (isolated area). Valid driver's licence.... $19.05 an hour
From Saskjobs - Mon, 29 May 2017 23:45:29 GMT - View all Kincaid, SK jobs
          Farm Centre Clerk (Student) - Pioneer Co-operative Association Ltd. - Ponteix, SK   
Duties are to assist with customer service and sales of farm supplies, stock shelves, general housekeeping, assist with yard maintenance, assist with receiving... $11.70 an hour
From Saskjobs - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:35:39 GMT - View all Ponteix, SK jobs
          Avalancha Rio Paez   

Bogotá, 21 de noviembre de 2008.  Hacia las  07:00 am ingresó al Embalse de Betania la primera avalancha del Río Páez con un caudal de 1.783 m3/s.   El nivel del Embalse en el momento de entrada era de 87,63% lo que permitió amortiguar la creciente generada por ésta y evitar la apertura de compuertas.
Debido a  situación de actividad del volcán Nevado del Huila y las alertas de las autoridades correspondientes de las últimas semanas, Emgesa tomó las medidas necesarias para mantener el nivel del Embalse entre el 75% y el 85%,  condiciones adecuadas para amortiguar posibles avalanchas. La segunda avalancha se estima que esté entrando al Embalse hacia las 10 de la mañana y que finalicen los picos totalmente hacia la 1 de la tarde. En la actualidad la capacidad del Embalse para amortiguar crecientes es de 114 millones de metros cúbicos y se estima que durante el pico de estas avalanchas se recibirán entre 16 y 20 millones de metros cúbicos de agua, lo que representa  hasta ahora una tranquilidad para los habitantes de las poblaciones aguas debajo de la represa.
Hasta el momento no será necesario abrir compuertas, sin embargo la compañía seguirá en permanente monitoreo de la situación y en coordinación con las autoridades pertinentes como la Oficina de Atención y Prevención de Desastres, Ingeominas, Ministerio de Minas y Energía, Gobernación del Huila entre otras, para informar oportunamente a la opinión pública sobre cualquier cambio en la situación del Embalse. 

Pack con Fotos de alta resolucion y Videos

Fotos: Ing: Jhon Jairo Valderrama

          Naturaleza Colombiana I   

Colombia, desde un punto de vista geográfico, posee tres grandes cordilleras, la oriental y la occidental, a las que se une la central, que divide las dos anteriores. En ellas, ríos, lagunas, selva, extensos bosques se funden con las ciudades, los volcanes y las costas del Océano Pacífico y del Mar Caribe. Todo ello forma este paisaje tan increíble presidido por el Pico Cristóbal Colón, en Santa Marta, con 5775 metros de altura.
Si comenzamos nuestro recorrido por la parte oriental, la zona más pegada al Mar Caribe y al Océano Dentro de los ríos de Colombia, también debemos destacar el Río Atrato, el Río Magdalena y el Río Cauca. De los volcanes, debemos destacar el Nevado del Huila, así como el Nevado del Ruiz, y de sus cumbres, el pico Cristóbal Colón, que tiene más de 5700 metros sobre el nivel del mar.

Las zonas geográficas más destacables de Colombia son la andina, la caribeña, la de la Amazonas, la de la Costa del Pacífico y la insular. De todas ellas la andina es la más poblada.

En Colombia, hablar de naturaleza es también hablar del SINAP, o Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas, un área que gestiona el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y que cuenta con una red de parques nacionales y naturales que ocupan más de 14% del territorio nacional, donde encontramos parques nacionales, parques naturales, santuarios, áreas protegidas... debemos destacar el Parque Nacional Natural los Nevados en la región de Risaralda. Atlántico, descubrimos tierras planas, llanuras, mucha masa forestal y ríos que fluyen hasta el Orinoco o el Río Amazonas. En esta zona también debemos destacar las pequeñas Islas.

          The brawn behind the boom: Ranking SoFla’s biggest general contractors   
Cranes still hover at construction sites throughout South Florida, tall testimonies to the high-rise construction boom that has rebuilt skylines on the state’s Southeast coast. But in the shadows of the gleaming new condo towers, construction contractors are moving on, building more airport concourses and schools these days than gleaming skyscrapers. Competition is fierce at this stage of the real estate cycle, with big firms bidding fiercely for midsize projects and working extra hard to […]
          Elvis Presley hit 'Love Me Tender' inspires picture book   
NEW YORK (AP) — One of Elvis Presley's biggest hits is the latest song to be turned into a picture book, and part of an effort to introduce the King to a new generation.
          A life well lived – CARICOM remembers Sir Cuthbert Sebastian   
 (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has extended sympathy to the family of former Governor General of St. Kitts
          How to Use Native Custom Stone’s Go-Stone as a Decorating Tool   

There are many different ways we can decorate our interiors. Generally, available choices use texture, color, and pattern, and they range from paint to wallpaper and a huge number of different veneers. Your choice will be determined by the effect you want to achieve. For instance, if you want to brighten a room with color, […]

The post How to Use Native Custom Stone’s Go-Stone as a Decorating Tool appeared first on Native Custom Stone.

          Pet-Star Transporthütte CARRY BOX, 50 cm Dunkelblau   
32,99 EUR
Der perfekte Reisebegleiter aller Haustiere und Haustierbesitzer f?r unterwegs. Die Transporth?tte CARRY BOX bietet Ihrem Tier sein gewohnt angenehmes Zuhause und l?sst sich leicht und bequem ?berall mit hinnehmen. Die Transporth?tte hate eine stabile Rahmenkonstruktion und obwohl die CARRY BOX ein Leichtgewicht ist, besteht es doch aus robustem Material und ist? langlebig und Wasser-abweisend. An der linken und rechten Seite befinden sich jeweils eine Au?entasche mit Klettverschluss. Zusammengefaltet l?sst es sich leicht tragen und locker verstauen, da es somit nur einen Bruchteil des Platzes z.B. einer gew?hnlichen Hundeh?tte einnimmt. Ihr Haustier wird in k?rzester Zeit die Vorz?ge der an allen Seiten einstellbaren Luftzufuhr zu sch?tzen wissen. ? Gr??e (L?nge x Breite x H?he): 50 x 35 x 35 cm Gewicht: 2,3 kg Ma?e im gefaltenen Zustand: ca. 50 x 37 x 9 cm

          I used to think it was gold.    

The orange part of the flag, that is. I thought it was something like ‘green for the 40 shades’, ‘white for the sky’ and ‘gold for the all gold’ (or Golden Age of Irish monasticism, would be more fitting). And when I found out it was ‘orange’, I was in denial. I refused to give up the lustre of gold for the rust of orange. Of course, I really had no idea what the Irish tricolour actually meant.

 For those still favouring gold, you should know that ‘green is for those who regard themselves as Irish on the island of Ireland’, ‘orange (after William of Orange) is for those who regard themselves as British on the island of Ireland’, and ‘white is for the peace between them’. Some would say that it’s more so a religious divide than a cultural one, but some would also say that the white is not peace they share but ….

The story of the flag is that it was inspired by that of France, which similarly has disputed symbolism. White represents the clergy, red for the nobility, and blue for the bourgeoisie. That just gave me an idea to add to our list of symbols for the Irish flag: white is the church that has separated the two groups. Ah, tis all a bit political for me. Personally, I would prefer a different flag:

This flag does have gold. Hurray! But it’s more than just that. The golden harp has been a symbol of Ireland for around a millennium (see here). The harp is our national emblem and I interpret its place on this flag as representing not only the importance of the harp in Irish history, but the importance of music in general, and, with that, all the arts. All the arts of Ireland: Irish music, poetry, song, story - our heritage. These are what have made our country unique. The gold symbolising our culture’s richness. That, not political boundaries, was what united our country.

The green is a deeper, solemn shade. A shade for wisdom. For centuries’ learning of our monks, our brehon’s (judges) 20 years of aural memorisation of every detail, poets’ and story-tellers’ ability for something new nearly every day of the year, for education for Catholics after O’Connell abolished the Penal Laws.
All that speaks to me more.
So why isn’t the flag of Ireland? Well, because it’s already the flag of Leinster. 

You see, during the Eleven Years’ War, a self-governing body was established in Kilkenny which remained loyal to the British monarch throughout its duration. From 1642 to 1649, the Irish Catholic Confederation governed most of Ireland and basically wanted freedom for Catholics in Ireland under the crown of England, as opposed to free from it. Their flag was a gold harp on a green background, supposedly incited by Owen Roe O’Neill (one of the descendents of the ancient Irish ruling dynasty of Uí Néill) who flew it from his ship’s mast and who would become the Commander of the Confederate Army. Thenceforth, it became associated with Kilkenny and its province, Leinster.

Our tricolour was first flown in public on the Mall in Waterford City on March 7th 1848. And we commemorate its anniversary today. So it’s a more suitable day than most to buy a wee Irish flag.

Don’t know which one, though. ;)

          Pet-Star Transporthütte CARRY BOX, 50 cm Grün   
32,99 EUR
Der perfekte Reisebegleiter aller Haustiere und Haustierbesitzer f?r unterwegs. Die Transporth?tte CARRY BOX bietet Ihrem Tier sein gewohnt angenehmes Zuhause und l?sst sich leicht und bequem ?berall mit hinnehmen. Die Transporth?tte hate eine stabile Rahmenkonstruktion und obwohl die CARRY BOX ein Leichtgewicht ist, besteht es doch aus robustem Material und ist? langlebig und Wasser-abweisend. An der linken und rechten Seite befinden sich jeweils eine Au?entasche mit Klettverschluss. Zusammengefaltet l?sst es sich leicht tragen und locker verstauen, da es somit nur einen Bruchteil des Platzes z.B. einer gew?hnlichen Hundeh?tte einnimmt. Ihr Haustier wird in k?rzester Zeit die Vorz?ge der an allen Seiten einstellbaren Luftzufuhr zu sch?tzen wissen. ? Gr??e (L?nge x Breite x H?he): 50 x 35 x 35 cm Gewicht: 2,3 kg Ma?e im gefaltenen Zustand: ca. 50 x 37 x 9 cm

          Anniversaries - reasons to celebrate.    

Or to commemorate. 

Or… not.

In Ireland we have important anniversaries every week of the year. Things like the birth or death of Irish martyrs or battles or the first time an abortion will be legally rendered in this country. But, generally, it seems, Irish people don’t like anniversaries. We have far too many – a result of having too much history.

Furthermore, as a whole, the Irish nation does not celebrate its history or identity. (St. Patrick’s Day is the exception, of course, but even on that one day of the year when we openly celebrate our Irishness, I’m sure many Irish people celebrate our thirst instead.)


So, why is this? 

The Irish have an inferiority complex: having been told by the English for so long that our language, customs, dress, law, society, manners were second to theirs, we believed them. And though it seems like the oppression of the English has been gone 81 years, we still have that sense of inferiority, that lack of pride in our nation. It had been inculcated for so long that it still remains for the next generation. Albeit, this sense of inferiority is subconscious, hidden, but, to an outsider, puzzlingly evident in an apathetic form – Irish people don’t know why, but they don’t seem to want to celebrate their Irishness as much as they should.

The Irish language is the best example. Terrible primary school teachers aside, the Irish language should be thriving in Ireland. People don’t want to speak it, not because they can’t or are afraid of making mistakes, but because, deep inside, they’re ashamed of it.

Like the generations before us, speaking Irish was a symptom of your poverty. Those who held onto the language could not represent themselves at court, could not be employed by the landlord, and would die in destitution and starvation. And, in order for the Irish to survive in this English-engineered world, they had to regard their language and culture negatively. It was necessary. We were able to survive, to raise ourselves up by pulling the Irish language down, under us.

Then there’s the whole ‘if you celebrate the Easter Rising with anything more than a nod, I’ll consider you a radical and a Sinn Féiner’ – another consequence of The Troubles. But hopefully this will dissolve when the 100-year anniversary of the 1916 Rising in celebrated.

As for the other anniversaries that should be celebrated, time will tell.

Happy Irish Independence Day, by the way.

          Corsair Hydro H60 & H55 CPU Coolers Review   
Corsair’s Hydro series is getting a minor refresh with the H55 and new H60 taking over from the previous generation’s H50 and H60 respectively.  Priced at just $70 and $80 they target the entry-level gamer who wants increased cooling performance for overclocking and easy installation.
          Karlie COTTAGE LINE Führleine - Beige-Weiß 15 mm, 100 cm   
44,90 EUR
COTTAGE LINE Eine besondere Zierde f?r den besonderen Hund. Die COTTAGE LINE Produkte sind trendy und farblich erfrischend im Design. Halsband und Leine vermitteln den Eindruck gediegenen Schmucks, den nicht jeder Hund tr?gt. Das Material ist hochwertiges Artleder. Ein Halsband dieser Kollektion wird bestimmt zum Lieblings-Accessoire Ihres Hundes. - Sorgf?ltige Verarbeitung - Hoher Tragekomfort - Modisches Design - Verchromte Beschl?ge

          Ba, c'est un Irlandais!   
Well, I’m heading out of the country again. If I said that twenty years ago, you would have the impression that I was a successful businessman with a mythical travelling lifestyle. Nowadays, it can cost as much to go to Warsaw from Dublin as it does to Limerick.

I’m not going for a short break, or a holiday, or even a wedding. I will be embracing one of the oldest and strongest Irish traditions. After rebelling, the favourite activity of the Irish is leaving the country. And that’s usually the chronological order it takes as well. I’m going to France. But don’t worry, it’s just for the winter season.

Oh, the histories I could tell you of Irishmen going to Gaul/France. I could start with John Scotus Erigena, a great 9th century Irish philosopher whose career culminated with service at the court of the French King. He is regarded as Europe’s greatest philosopher of the early Middle Ages. And then you’ve got Irish mercenaries sighted in France in the 14th century. But Irish holidays to France really took over in the 18th century.

In the 18th century, the number of Irish soldiers leaving for France reached its peak. They didn’t just go over there because of this mysterious season called ‘summer’, no. For the previous two centuries, at least, there was a great link between France and Ireland. It began as a religious link, with Irish students studying in France (before the Celtic Tiger in Ireland, generally if you were studying at university level, it meant you were studying for the priesthood!), but then blossomed into a military link with numerous brigades of the French armies composed of men of Irish descent. In some cases, an Irishman would join the very same brigade of the French army as his grandfather. 

The reason France is not speaking a Gaelic tongue now –the reason for the decline of the strong Irish-French connection – is because the British army lifted its ban on recruiting Irishmen. And they lifted it well! By the end of the 19th century, there were, apparently, more Irish commanding officers serving in the British Empire than there were Welsh, Scottish or even English commanding officers!

And the axiom is still holds true today – Irish people become more successful abroad than in their own country.

So, come on Grenoble, give me a commanding position!

My flat there is a penthouse, does that count?
          China unveils first domestically-built bullet train    

The first high-speed train designed and manufactured entirely in China debuted on the Beijing-Shanghai line on Monday. It boasts a top speed of 400 kilometers per hour (kph).
The high-speed train is called ‘Fuxing’ which means 'rejuvenation.' There are currently two models, CR400AF and CR400BF, operated by China Railway Corporation.

A CR400AF model departed from Beijing South Railway Station at 11:05 am local time for Shanghai. At the same time, a CR400BF model left Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station for Beijing.
The trains will run at a steady 350 kph meaning it takes three and a half hours to travel between Shanghai and Beijing. Currently, the travel time between the two cities by rail is around five hours.
The Beijing-Shanghai railway line is China's busiest, used by more than 50,000 passengers daily.

The Fuxing train has a sophisticated monitoring system which checks its performance in real time and automatically slows the train in case of emergencies or abnormal conditions.
The bullet trains provide free Wi-Fi and more legroom in all carriages.
According to Lu Dongfu, the general manager of the China Railway Corporation, the new train models were developed according to China's railway standards and technologies.

Beijing plans to export Fuxing trains to foreign countries, including Russia.
A senior researcher with the Chinese high-speed rail program, Jia Limin told China Daily the Fuxing Bullet Trains would operate on the Chinese network as well as on the Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line in Russia.

          El Primer Tren Ligero Electrico de Supercondensadores del Mundo SIN RIELES- China   
380 pasajeros de capacidad

70KMH de Velocidad


How does China solve the country’s prevalent public transportation problems? By unveiling the world’s first autonomous train transit system that runs on a virtual track.
In this video we will know about China’s New Autonomous Train that Doesn’t Even Need Rails for its truck.


The world’s first rail less train was revealed last week in Zhuzhou in central China’s Hunan province. China’s state-owned enterprise called CRRC began developing the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit back in 2013, to provide a solution to the country’s transportation problems in congested urban areas.

The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit in short ART is some kind of cross between a train and a bus or tram. The ART runs on roads like a bus, but only on designated paths like a tram. It's modular like a train, and carriages can be added or removed to accommodate different numbers of people. Each carriage can fit about 100 passengers.


It is considered to be a cheaper alternative to other commute networks as well as being sustainable and environmentally friendly. With a cross appearance between a bus and a train, the autonomous train is composed of three carriages and spans 30 meters long.

It’s part of the intelligent rail express system by CRRC, which operates on rubber tires as opposed to traditional rail tracks. Means, it runs on rubber tires and has sensors to read the dimensions of the road and plan its route.

A pair of dashed white painted lines acts as virtual tracks which the autonomous train follows. The idea is that the 'smart train' could travel without a driver or rails.


This ART system can be driven up to a maximum speed of 70 km/h and can carry up to 300 passengers in three carriages at a time. Providing a new and smart method for solving urban transport pressures, the autonomous vehicle is powered by electricity, which can journey to a distance 40 km when fully charged. It uses a lithium titanate battery and can embark on a substantial journey with only 10 minutes of charging.

Equipped with sensors, the autonomous train can process and analyze road dimensions then plan its own course. Very much like a bus-train hybrid vehicle running on a virtual track. CRRC can also add more carriages to the transit system in order to increase the passenger capacity. Moreover, the newly developed ART system can be integrated fairly easily into existing road infrastructures as it doesn’t require heavy construction works compared to rail track systems.


In general, most medium-sized and smaller cities in China doesn’t have the budget to build expensive subway systems, or most of the time, they take too long to build.
According to Xinhua, it costs up to $102 dollar to build a kilometer of a subway track, as compared to about $2 million for a standard length ART bus.
So, this solution proves to be ideal because of its multiple advantages over conditional transit systems. It’s cheap, sustainable, and is able to transport a large volume of people in a fast and reliable manner.


The current ART system is still in its prototype stage and is driven manually by a human driver. However, the Zhuzhou city government in the Hunan province is expected to build a 6.5-kilometer ART line throughout its downtown. Operations of the autonomous train within the city will begin in 2018.

          MTC: Hay tres empresas interesadas en el Tren de cercanías de Ica a Barranca   
La adjudicación se dará el 2019. Por otro lado, el titular del MTC Bruno Giuffra anunció que fusionará Provias Nacional y Provias Descentralizado.

Foto: Andina.
Foto: Andina.
Durante su primera presentación ante una comisión del Congreso como titular del MTC, el ministro Bruno Giuffra anunció que ya hay tres postores interesados en el Tren de Cercanías de Barranca a Ica.
“He conversado en la última semana con tres empresas interesadas en el tren de cercanías de Ica a Barranca, señaló Bruno Giuffra en su primera evaluación tras dos semanas en el cargo.

El Tren de Cercanías Lima Norte (Proyecto Ferroviario Costero Lima-Huacho) fue declarado de interés nacional en setiembre del año pasado. El corredor ferroviario se construirá en función a la demanda de pasajeros.
Por otro lado, el titular del MTC señaló que pretende concesionar los 11 aeropuertos que todavía son administrados por el Estado, según datos de Corpac.
Además, dijo que la Hidrovía Amazónica será declarada de interés público próximamente. “Ya hay postores interesados”, anunció.


Giuffra señaló que pretende realizar la simplificación administrativa, ya que entre la liberación de predios y la ejecución de la obra pública se estiman que transcurren 7 años.
Entre sus medidas, Bruno Giuffra indicó que se creará la Dirección General de Liberación de Predios, ya que este proceso suele demorar 1 año y siete meses, entre la identificación (12 meses), tasación (5 meses) y publicación de la resolución ministerial requerida (2 meses).

Además, la nueva administración del MTC juntará Provias Nacional y Provias Descentralizado, a niveles provinciales, locales y regionales. “Para unificar y generar escala a las decisiones”
Señaló que un proyecto de inversión pública demora 5 años y 5 meses. Esto se debe al tiempo que toman los estudios de preinversion (14 meses), el estudio definitivo (14 meses) y los procesos de selección y Buena pro (13 meses).

En ese sentido, anunció la creación de un mismo formato de contratos-tipo para los proyectos de inversión a fin de que “ya no sean producto de la inspiración de un funcionario”.
          Human Resources Administrator   
CA-Perris, Job Summary: Under general supervision this position will handle a variety of duties by providing administrative support to the Corporate Human Resources department. Job Expectations: Manage team member status change forms, title, pay, department changes in ADP. Communicate changes with Payroll department Maintain all personnel files, I-9 records, drug and alcohol screening and background investig
          Africa - China (Belt and Road Initiative); #SGRLaunch: A new chapter of China-Africa cooperation (Madaraka Express)   
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is on the maiden voyage of the Madaraka Express. China officially handed over the Standard Gauge Railway to Kenya at a special ceremony. High-level Kenyan and Chinese dignitaries have praised the project as a sign of deepening relations between the two countries. The SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence. It runs over 4-hundred and 72-kilometres between the port of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi. The railway will reduce the travel time from 10 hours to less than five. The name - Madaraka Express -translates as independence, freedom or liberty. Chinese and Kenyan leaders have lauded the project, which is one of the first outcomes of the ambitious Belt and Road Intitiative.

One of the stops along the route is Mtito Andei. It's the nearest station to the Tsavo National Park. President Kenyatta is expected to stop here on the inaugural journey later on Wednesday. Kathryn Omwandho reports.

Kenya's standard gauge rail line is an ambitious project, that has taken five years to build. The SGR is Built and funded by China, and the rail line is part of China's bridge and road initiative CTGN's Robert Nagila went to the streets of Nairobi to find out what Kenyans think of this mega project

Kenya is about to witness its first modern railway. The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, or SGR, will massively boost the country's economic growth, and possibly the whole of East Africa. The railway, which is built according to Chinese standards, is another great example of China-Africa cooperation. Here is more on that story

The train is not just a milestone for Kenyan construction, but for gender equality too. Eight women were selected to go to China to learn how to drive the SGR. Four of them will be driving the inaugural train. CGTN's Maria Galang met one of these extraordinary ladies.

There's a lot of excitement in Nairobi since in a matter of hours, the new SGR train will be arriving in the Kenyan capital. CGTN's Kane Kiyo is at the Nairobi Terminal to share the excitement.

As the Kenyan President officially launches the first phase of the new Standard Gauge Railway, Kenyans say the new raiway will not only improve lives but make it easier to do business.

On the vast African savannah, a steel dragon crawls through the terrain. It is part of the East African Master Plan - the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway. By introducing Chinese standards, technology, equipment and management to this fast-growing continent, Chinese builders are also bringing hope and love to the people. Today we will visit Maasai Primary School near the Nairobi South station, and listen to their story

Local manufacturers in Kenya have been major beneficiaries of the just launched Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway. Already, 40% sourcing of materials was dedicated to the local market, generating inflows of about 95 million dollars. Now that Kenya's first modern railway is complete, local players are still set to win big. Earlier on, I had a chat with the CEO of Kenya's manufacturers association, Phyllis Wakiaga, about the benefits of this project to the country's manufacturing sector

It is clear that East Africa is a natural extension of the Maritime Silk Road. During the Ming Dynasty, four of the famous admiral Zheng He's seven expeditions reached the east coast of Africa, where they promoted friendship between China and the continent. The Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway had to pass through Tsavo, an important wildlife reserve in Kenya. In this episode, we will see how the Kenyans and the Chinese worked together to guarantee that the project was completed successfully without affecting the local wildlife.

And ordinary kenyans who were lucky to experience the maiden trip have been speaking out as well

          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
sinak, moze lako da se desi da si ti novija generacija od mene...
          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
nove generacije koje pokusavam da razumem...
          Human Resources Assistant   
IL-Rockford, Position Description Position Title: Human Resources Assistant Reports to: Human Resources Director Department: Human Resources SummaryAdministers activities involving the internal and external employment process and in general supports the Human Resources Department activities Duties Administer Human Resources files and supports record retention rules Administers and assists with employment proce
          Human Resources Generalist   
NY-Scarsdale, Well-established southern Westchester-based Trading company seeks a Human Resources Generalist with exposure to a variety of Human Resources functions, particularly Leave and Benefits Administration (e.g., FMLA, Disability, Insurance, etc.). The ideal candidate will have experience in a large corporate environment and will report to the Director of Human Resources. Job Responsibilities: Coordinate
          Bhen of Brothers   

The idea came to us in a general bakar session. May be we'll shoot a spoof on this. Just made the posters. What say?
          Human Resources Generalist   
MI-Allen Park, JOB SUMMARY: The Human Resources Generalist will serve as a strategic business partner to the Belle Tire Stores. The Human Resources Generalist will be primarily responsible for employee relations, recruiting and general HR services and programs while ensuring continuous process improvement in all aspects and programs of the HR function. Duties and Responsibilities: * Works collaboratively with th
          London Update   
Went to Edinburgh, Scotland. The trip was a dampner, mainly due to bad weather and somewhat due to our bad luck. We wanted to hire a car and drive & enjoy the beautiful country side of Scotland. Couldn't do since we didn't have any credit cards on us. It might have worked with our debit cards also, we didn't have the pin numbers! The highlight of the visit was our trek up the Aurthur's Seat (which I abandoned mid-way :-). But it's a great town and nice place to visit. May be some other time I'll make a better visit to Scotland and spend more time.
The TV channels we get at our service apartments suck big time! Very rarely do we get to see some interesting program. Between time to watch a cricket match & telecast of that match, till now I've been able to get just one. I missed the world cup final too (oh well, but that was a let down anyway).
Routine during weekdays has ceased to look so bad. I've got used to it, I guess. I get up around 7, reach office by 8:30, lunch at around 12:30 and dinner around 7:30 (in office), be back home by 8:30-9 & sleep by 11:30. Started to get hang of the work also, actually liking it. Another three weeks before I fly back to India. Got somewhat encouraging feedback from office junta, but have to push a little more. I guess coming three weeks are going to be busier (wish me luck ! :-).
Things I learnt the hard way -
1) You can visit Switzerland on UK work permit, but 3 months' work permit won't do.
2) £80 can get you round trip to Geneva with
3) refund in case you want to/have to cancel.

          ¿Es en serio? ¿Qué la conexión transcontinental conviene más a China que al Perú?   

Este “argumento”, contrario al proyecto Ferrovia Transcontinental Atlántico Pacífico Brasil Perú, FETAB, originado en “The Economist” de Londres, y repetido luego en “El Comercio” de Lima, siendo falaz, descubre la pasmosa pasividad de nuestros políticos y profesionales. En especial, luego de más de 20 décadas en que, explicando nuestro subdesarrollo, nuestros mejores pensadores notaron que era más fácil llegar desde un lugar del Perú a Londres, que unir dos puntos de nuestro propio país. Luego de casi un siglo de las propuestas descentralistas, y luego de muchísimas décadas que énfasis en la integración continental, esgrimida por los movimientos sociales y políticos latinoamericanos de mayor arraigo. Luego de ser el primer país de Sudamérica en iniciar su programa ferroviario. 
De hecho, ni la descentralización, ni la integración regional ni el desarrollo son posibles sin la infraestructura vial, integrada con los aspectos de energía, habilitación urbana, y manejo de aguas.  
Sin embargo, hay cuestionamientos más razonables que son atendibles: el Perú no se puede convertir en un país “puente” entre China y Brasil, dos de las dos economías más grandes del mundo. Generalmente, en los países “puente” queda muy poco del beneficio global. Por lo cual, el Perú debe generar una oferta exportable adicional en las dos direcciones, y, además, la conexión trasversal debe complementarse con la longitudinal. 

En general, la conectividad vial nacional debe ser transversal y longitudinal, en primer lugar, y en segundo lugar, dar lugar a una serie de “anillos” en especial ferroviarios, para articular los desintegrados ferrocarriles y sistemas carreteros nacionales.  Por ejemplo, la propuesta de planeamiento de la futura red ferroviaria, preparada en la Facultad de Ingeniería Civil de la Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Centro de Transferencia Tecnológica Instituto Vial Iberoamericano – Perú,  propone el Sistema de Anillos Ferroviarios de la ilustración.Documento completo aquí.
Esta propuesta, que no incluye el FETAB en forma integra, sin embargo, representa la idea que los primeros formuladores de la red ferroviaria peruana tuvieron siempre: un sistema integrado de trasporte, para unir al Perú con el Perú, pero también con el subcontinente y el mundo.

          Human Resources Generalist   
CA-Bakersfield, Job Description: Great company is seeking a Human Resources Generalist. Successful candidates will possess education and 3 to 5 years experience as a HR Generalist and come with a strong background in safety. Bilingual in Spanish would be a huge plus,but not required. Strong written and verbal communication skills required. In this role you will be responsible for directing and implementing HR pol
          Human Resources Generalist   
NC-Winston Salem, Liberty Hardware Human Resources Generalist 30718BR Winston Salem North Carolina Description As a growing Masco company, Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp. has built its reputation by offering high quality decorative and functional hardware products. Our product lines include bath hardware, bath safety, shower doors, decorative and functional cabinet hardware, hooks, hook rails and wall plates and are av
          Skeptic Youth vs Confident Veterans   
The panel discussion I mentioned in my last post turned out to be quite an interesting one. The topic of discussion was - "100 Indian MNCs by 2020." The panelists were -
Sandipan started with his views, which unfortunately didn't look very well prepared. However, he was lucid; talked much without saying much. Rest three had solid experience in industry, extending the operations at the world stage. They talked with more authority and shared their experiences. All of them were very sure that the dream of 100 Indian MNCs by 2020 is well within the reach and sort of underrated. It was quite inspiring hearing their first hand experiences.

Like all good panel discussions, this one too ended with a Q&A round by audience. Like all good audience, lots of questions came out after a little prodding. What was most interesting to note was that the crowd - comprising the leaders of tomorrow, yada yada yada - was quite skeptic about achieving the goal! There were questions about the government and its ineffectiveness, about sustaining the current wave of growth, about population & literacy, about infrastructure & investment - all of them showing how improbable this goal seems to be. On the contrary, the panel maintained its stand that India will have to do too bad to miss this one!

Their settling argument was that India has reached this stage even with the kind of government & stifling regulations we've had, so there is every chance that now that the condition have improved a lot, India will bloom even more. The post-lib generation hasn't seen those days, when Infosys almost died as an infant after frustrating experiences trying to work for global client, mainly due to the policies in 1989!

What will happen remains to be seen, but this skeptism in the youth of the nation, crème de la crème, worries me. Not like OMG-India-is-screwed-now worry, just a little concern.

PS: Just a small note, reply to Jeet's comment on my last post where he said, "I don't agree with Sandipan's only one answer theory.. I don't know about comp. sci and engg. but Civil Engineering was all about evaluating multiple correct answers and 'choosing' one of them." Still, you'll find the management education a whole lot different than engineering. CS is mainly about optimizing; space, speed, transfer, safety.. So in a way, you are confined in your pursuit of the answer. You can say that A is better than B and like that. Civil, as I understand, does have an element of subjectivity to it. In the managerial world, I'm told, there are many situation where nothing's universally better or worse. It all depends on what you decide.

          Lab Technician - Atlanta Center for Medical Research - Atlanta, GA   
Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse’s Assistant, Nurses Aid, Phlebotomist or EKG Technician experience (preferred not required). GENERAL SUMMARY OF DUTIES –*....
From Indeed - Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:20:16 GMT - View all Atlanta, GA jobs
          Closing the Bangalore Chapter   
16th July, 2003: I reached the company guest house in Jayanagar, wet, tired & hungry. Things could've gone only better from there.
And how well things turned out to be! As the time for me to bid adieu to Bangalore is sneaking close, a mix of melancholy & nostalgia is setting in. When I first came to Bangalore, I was a fresh out of college, wide-eyed kid of 21; tired of scraping my time for the degree & bumbling with anticipation towards the corporate world. Coffee machine & the biscuits in the office pantry excited me, so did the free stationary (I did build up a mini ball pen collection of my own) & the wall-to-wall carpet in the office. I already had some of my closest buddies working in Bangalore then and later on I made many more good ones, at work. Sadly, many of them are no longer in touch. Not everything was as rosy though; coming from the soggy & warm Mumbai to wet & windy Bangalore, messed me up bad and I was in-n-out of viral fever for about one month. Then I guess, I just got used to it. The rains in Bangalore, though no lesser in the vigor, don't last for as long as those in Mumbai and they have assuring surety of schedule, unlike the ill-tempered rains in Mumbai which visit at the most inappropriate hours.

In last three years, Bangalore has given & taught me a lot. I have changed jobs twice since my first company and finally acknowledged that this is perhaps not what I would want to do all my life. The software industry, with all its lures & charms, failed to excite me for long; but it wasn't just the job. I was feeling a bit jaded for a while, by the city, by its people, by the mundane routine. Almost all the people I know in general, have one tiresome similarity - all of them are software guys! And the city, it has perhaps the greatest weather in India, but I think I've had enough of Bangalore. Nothing against the city, but I guess I would relish the change right now. Incidently, Bangalore is the city where I've spent the second longest continuous spell of my life (After Mumbai, where I spent four years of college. So much for being a Jaipuri :-) ). I guess, the wanderer in me is still not ready to settle. At the same time, if Calcutta wouldn't have happened, I guess I would've stayed back in Bangalore for another year or so, and happily. Who knows?

Change comes with a price tag; you need to get out of the comfort zone and go through the ordeal of settling up yet again, in a new rhythm. To accomodate new people, you need to get away from the existing friends; to venture new places you first need to leave the comforts of your home. Ironically, often we seek change to get rid of the monotonous rhythm only. It seems contradictory, but such is life.

There is just less than a week before I fly out of here, and yet the feeling isn't sinking that I'm leaving Bangalore. I guess it would start settling once I leave the city & its heavenly weather, to get roasted in the ruthless Jaipur summers :-) So here's me, off to yet another new city.
          Pizza - Spicy Salami, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil with Filete di Pomodoro Sauce   

Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying out homemade pizzas.  Using a heated pizza stone, has been key in producing a crispy, chewy thin crust.  Today I decided to venture into a simple traditional pie.  Using only four ingredients; spicy salami, fresh basil, sliced mozzarella and prepared Filete di Pomodoro sauce, on top of rolled out refrigerated pizza dough, I was hopeful that it would produce a flavorful but clean final product.  It did!  Two things I learned, one, be patient as I burnt the roof of my mouth, though it was definitely worth it and two, consider adding the basil at the last minute to keep its color and freshness.

Total Time - 25-30 minutes
10-15 minutes for heating oven, rolling out dough and assembling pie
15 minutes to cook
One sliced fresh mozzarella ball
15-20 fresh basil leaves
15-20 slices of spicy salami
6 oz.  Filete di Pomodoro sauce
One package of refrigerated pizza dough
Flour as needed to roll out the pizza dough
Course corn meal for sprinkling on heated pizza stone

Set oven at 500 degrees and place pizza stone inside to warm up.
Wash the peeled basil thoroughly to get out sand.  Repeat.
Slice the mozzarella ball into thin slices.  One ball should yield about 8 slices.
Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and place dough on flour. Roll and flip until it is the right size for your stone.
Sprinkle course corn meal on heated stone (make sure the stone is hot).  Carefully place rolled out dough on the stone and cover entire surface.  Flip over or smooth out any excess dough. 
Place sauce, preferably using a ladle, on the middle of the dough and spread evenly, up to about a one-inch area from the edge.  Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the sauce. 
Place in oven for 10 minutes at 500 degrees.  At ten-minute mark, turn the broiler on to high for about 2-3 minutes, watching to get top of pizza some color and crisp up the crust.  Return for 2 minutes longer to 500 degrees and then remove from oven.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes at then slice into 6-8 slices using a pizza cutter.
Serve and enjoy!  

The collected ingredients
All ingredients ready to go.

Roll out the prepared dough using flour as needed to roll it out.

Sprinkle corn meal on the hot stone and then fit the dough on top.  Add ingredients.

Use extra basil to make a pesto sauce for another meal.
Fifteen minutes at 500 degrees, with a two minute period on high broil at the 10 minute point.

          Meeting Lidia Bastianich at Felidia   
So, when one of your oldest and dearest friends is the GM at Felidia, a 3-star restaurant in Manhattan, where you have enjoyed the delectable cuisine of Lidia Bastianich, you get a little spoiled.  It is truly one of the best dining experiences one can have in NYC.  However, when Lidia is actually there and you get to speak with her, the excitement level grows exponentially.   That is what happened earlier this evening.  While I was having a Manhattan at the bar and catching up with Genji, I noticed her out of corner of my eye.  Genji introduced me and I immediately mentioned how enjoyable it was to see her make octopus salad with Christopher Walken and Anthony Bourdain on the NY holiday episode of the Layover.  She was very gracious and generous with her clientele and it was fun to get a chance to chat with her about cooking.  I will be making her octopus salad that she encouraged me to try out.

Shaved raw seafood and vegetables with tomato water and crunchy puffed rice.


Getting to chat with Lidia was the perfect end note to a wonderful meal.

          thermal oxidizers,VOC Emission Control,EPA Compliance,cor-pak,ash handling   
          e-commerce, lube oil systems, centrifugal pumps, steam turbo-generators, gate valves, digital control systems    
Provider of, utilities, check valves, centrifugal, pumps, solid waste, heavy, industrial, equipment, lube oil, systems
V  – Sentenza 20 giugno 2017, n. 15209   Licenziamento – Contestazione disciplinare – Insubordinazione – Espressioni lesive dell’onore dell’Ordine degli Avvocati        – Sentenza 26 giugno 2017, n. 15877   Licenziamento – Perdurante carenza di lavoro – Riduzione del personale – Motivi generici  – Sentenza 27 giugno 2017, n. 15971   Soci […]
          Hackers Rack Up $20,000 Phone Bill In Swampscott   
Corded Phone, CallOfficials in Swampscott are trying to figure out who hacked into the Town Hall phone system.
          FCC Cracks Down On Robocalls   
Corded Phone, CallTelemarketers will now need your permission before they can call you.
          Trixie Tragetasche Samira - Braun-Beige Groß   
39,99 EUR
Die Tragetasche Samira besteht aus besonders hochwertigem und stabilen Nylon. Sie ist von oben zu ?ffnen und besitzt zwei Taschen, um Kleinigkeiten zu verstauen. Ein abnehmbarer, stufenlos verstellbarer Schulterriemen macht den Transport von Katzen oder kleinen Hunden angenehmer. Um ein ungewolltes Herausspringen des Tieres zu vermeiden, ist eine integrierte Kurzleine im Inneren der Tasche vorhanden. Auch mit einem extra Nylongurt f?r die Befestigung an einem Trolley ist die Tasche ausgestattet. Die seitlichen Netzeins?tze sorgen f?r eine gute Luftzirkulation. So ist der Transport f?r Ihren Vierbeiner so angenehm wie m?glich. Die herausnehmbare Bodenplatte ist gepolstert und wird mit Klettverschluss befestigt.Ma?e: ca. 31 x 32 x 52 cm (BxHxL) Belastbar bis 12 kg. Farbe: Brau-Beige

          Joining a Retweet Group #repost from @lisasheaauthor   
The following is a repost from here.

You see the value of retweets - but how do you get them? Having a retweet group you participate in can easily get you thousands of additional views on each tweet you make. Here's how it works.

Let's say I'm an author and I make a post to promote one of my books. The post looks like this.

Joining a Retweet Group

Some of those hashtags make general sense. The #FREE, #FreeEbook, and #FreeBook catch the attention of people out there looking for free stuff. The #YoungAdult, #Dystopian, and #Western categories draw in readers of those genres.

But what is #CR4U and #IARTG?

Read the rest of this post here.

          How to Optimize Your Sales with Smart Links by @K8Tilton #repost   
The following is a repost from here.

How to Optimize Your Sales with Smart Links by AD Starrling -

Following on from my affiliate marketing blog post, let’s talk smart links for authors.

So, what are smart links?

They are URLs that you generate using particular platforms and tools with the aim of achieving a specific goal.

Want to make a link prettier? You can smart link it.

Read the rest of the article here.

          Чудесные квасы для похудения и очистки организма   

Это цитата сообщения РИМИДАЛ Оригинальное сообщениеЧудесные квасы для похудения и очистки организма

Чудесные квасы для похудения и очистки организма

Издревле наши предки готовили чудодейственный для здоровья квас, а современники открыли в нем еще одно важное свойство – способность снижать вес и ускорять обмен веществ.

В данной статье собраны лучшие рецепты кваса для похудения. Все они готовятся в домашних условиях и без дрожжей.

Овсяный квас для похудения

Курс приема кваса длится 2 недели. Уже через 2 недели будет заметное улучшение пищеварения и потеря килограмм. Даже приеме пищи за месяц можно потерять несколько килограмм.

На трехлитровую банку достаточно будет взять 0,5 кг овса или овсяных хлопьев. Предварительно промываем их, высыпаем в нашу емкость и заливаем кипяченой водой. Добавляем около 3 столовых ложек сахара для того, чтобы пошел процесс брожения. Далее следует завязать горлышко банки марлей и оставить на 2 суток. По истечению этого времени на поверхности кваса из овса должна образоваться пленка — это верный признак того, что напиток готов. Теперь можно слить закваску и пить ее для похудения по 1 стакану за 30 минут до еды.

Рецепт свекольного кваса для похудения

Одну крупную свеклу или 2 небольшие натереть на терке, добавить черствую корочку ржаного хлеба и залить 2 литрами холодной воды. Размешать с 4 ст. л. сахара. Оставьте на 3-4 дня, затем поместите в холодильник.

Польза свекольного кваса: выводит холестерин, улучшает обмен веществ, помогает при сердечно-сосудистых заболеваниях, расширяет сосуды, очищает кишечник, полезен при ожирении.

Как пить свекольный квас: по 0,5 стакана за полчаса до еды (не более 5 стаканов в сутки). Если организм стал слишком часто очищаться, то прием прекратить на время либо уменьшить количество напитка в сутки. Для разнообразия можно приготовить на нем окрошку.

Травяной квас по Болотову

Очень многим известен следующий рецепт кваса из чистотела с добавлением молочной сыворотки, который придумал академик Болотов. Этот целебный напиток способствует очищению организма от шлаков и расщеплению жиров. Он также укрепляет иммунитет и часто применяется при простудных заболеваниях.
С помощью травяного кваса можно быстро снять жар при повышенной температуре.
Готовить его следует так: в трехлитровую банку нужно засыпать 1 стакан нарезанных листьев чистотела, 200 гр сахара, 0,5 литра молочной сыворотки и все содержимое до верху залить чистой водой. Такой квас будет готов через 10 дней. Для похудения его следует пить каждый день за 30 минут до еды.

Лимонный квас

Для этого напитка нужно будет 3-4 больших лимона. Предварительно лучше всего ошпарить их кипятком, чтобы обезопасить себя от различных химических веществ, которыми обильно покрывают продукт для предотвращения порчи при транспортировке и хранении. В большую емкость для кваса отжимаем сок из наших лимонов, добавляем туда 2,5 стакана сахара, 20 гр дрожжей, 100 гр изюма и лимонную цедру. Для процесса брожения достаточно будет 2-х дней при комнатной температуре. Далее хранить лучше на холоде.

Рисовый квас

На 1 литр остывшей кипяченой воды берем 4 столовые ложки риса любого, кроме сечки. Добавляем 3 столовые ложки сахара и совсем немного изюма (5-6 штучек). Все размешиваем и оставляем отстаивать на 3-4 дня (в зависимости от того, насколько жарко в комнате). После процеживаем, разливаем по бутылкам и храним в холодильнике. Такой напиток не только поможет очистить кишечник, но и будет очень хорош для профилактики остеохондроза и болей в суставах.

Имбирный квас

Для кваса из имбиря можно взять 500 гр ржаных сухариков или 800 гр ржаного хлеба, залить их кипятком так, чтобы вода покрыла полностью хлебную массу. Закрываем крышкой и оставляем настаиваться на 5 часов.
Имбирный корень очищаем и нарезаем пластинками (достаточно будет около 7 тонких пластин), заливаем их 4 литрами воды и варим порядка 20 минут после того, как закипит. Нам нужен будет чистый отвар без имбиря, если используете молотый имбирь, то отвар следует процедить.

Имбирный отвар после того, как он остынет, добавляем в хлебную смесь и доводим до кипения. Затем ждем, пока все остынет до комнатной температуры. Тем временем берем 30 гр дрожжей и разводим их в теплой водичке. Далее добавляем в нашу имбирно-хлебную массу дрожжи, 0,5 литра яблочного сока и 2 стакана сахара. Все тщательно размешиваем и оставляем в теплом месте. Обычно уже через 12-18 часов имбирный квас готов. Такой напиток отличается особым богатым и охлаждающим вкусом.

Полезные советы для приготовления кваса для похудения:

Ингредиенты заливаются прохладной водой, прокипяченной и охлажденной или очищенной.

Обычно во всех рецептах квас настаивают в стеклянной банке.

Накрывают его марлей.

Проследите, чтобы между марлей и верхом воды было небольшое расстояние – 3-4 сантиметра.

Сахар можно заменять медом в соотношении 1-2 ст. л. меда вместо 2-4 ст. л. сахара. Естественно, мед должен быть натуральный, желательно обычный, без водорослей и т.п. Добавление меда может избавить от часто появляющейся плесени.

В любой квас для вкуса и брожения можно добавить изюм (примерно 4-6 штучек на 2 литра) во время предварительного приготовления.
Обязательно процеживайте напиток через двойную или тройную марлю перед тем, как собираетесь его пить. источник


          03/24/17: New Biomateriality Lab   
New Biomateriality Lab in the Enter and Encounter exhibition presents new Finnish biomaterials, mainly based on wood. All materials have been invented and produced in multidisciplinary research projects.

Enter and Encounter – 24.3.–22.10.2017
Designmuseum, Korkeavuorenkatu 23, Helsinki

Historically, wood cellulose has had a remarkable role in Finnish industry, though mainly for high volume and low value products. The annual growth of wood biomass in Finland is 104 million m3 and about one fifth of this is not brought into use. This equates to about four million additional tonnes of cellulose per year.  If this additional tonnage could be refined into value-added cellulose products and if those products had an estimated price similar to that of cotton, then the value of that additional business for Finland could be worth five billion euros per year. However, we still need to closely monitor that we are using our precious forests in a smart and responsible way.

The ongoing collaboration between designers, architects, material scientists, engineers and business specialists aims to generate a new high-value industry. Through the combination of traditional large-scale and new start-up businesses, the Finnish cellulose ecosystem will be a strong player in the global market of the future.

Contact person:

Pirjo Kääriäinen
+358 50 3810 217
Cellulose from Finland

The exhibition is coordinated by Aalto University’s CHEMARTS collaboration and participating projects are DWoC, NoMa, Hiilinielu Designstudio and Trash2Cash. The main partners are Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Technical University of Tampere, Universities of Applied Sciences in Lahti and Tampere, University of Vaasa and Design Forum Finland, in collaboration with various companies, funded by Tekes and EU.


          08/18/17: Defence in the field of architecture: M.Sc. (arch) Julle Oksanen   
The focus of the dissertation is on achieving change in the existing architectural outdoor lighting design paradigm by introducing the use of heuristic metaphors, modern - and also forgotten lighting design tools in practical architectural lighting design projects.

M.Sc. (arch) Julle Oksanen will defend his dissertation Design Concepts in Architectural Outdoor Lighting Design Based on Metaphors as a Heuristical Tool on Wenesday 18 August 2017.

Opponent: PhD, prof. Ihab Elzeyadi, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Custos: prof. Anssi Joutsiniemi, Aalto University Department of Architecture

Discussion will be in English


Architectural outdoor lighting design is currently based on strictly rule and system oriented technical lighting design. This method is totally impervious to external feedback and creative aesthetic development. The focus of the dissertation is on achieving change in the existing architectural outdoor lighting design paradigm by introducing the use of heuristic metaphors, modern - and also forgotten lighting design tools in practical architectural lighting design projects.

The key tool to a successful design solution is “The Law of The Pragmatic Truth”. Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Instead, pragmatists develop their philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is that of an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving. We design buildings today according to these laws, although we now know that they are not theoretically perfect, they are however, precise enough for practical calculations and work in real life. “The Law of Pragmatic Truth” can be used as a tool to define pragmatic and collectively accepted “tolerances” between scientific research results and practical values in architectural outdoor lighting projects. Wise use of this tool also saves huge amounts of energy in public lighting.

The dissertation presents important and partly new design elements and their development. The dissertation delves deeper into the principle structures of the design core and its elements than the basic practical architectural lighting design tools. It opens the doors for creative aesthetic architectural outdoor lighting design world and can change its paradigm.

This dissertation is a work of interdisciplinary lighting design research, adding art and science in a harmonious and useful combination, focusing on the new paradigm for architectural outdoor lighting. However, it also provides tools and examples for future research on a change of approach to architectural indoor lighting and also for architectural design generally.


The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at the Learning Hub Arabia (Hämeentie 135 C, 5th floor, room 570), at latest 10 days before the defence date.

          Karlie Buffalo Ultra Führleine - Braun/Hellbraun 15 mm / 200 cm   
69,90 EUR
Buffalo Ultra - eine elegante, gen?hte F?hrleine mit neuartigen Aluminium-Karabinerhaken. Die F?hrleine ist vielseitig verwendbar durch ihre 3-fache Verstellbarkeit. Aufgrund einer speziellen Scotchgard Behandlung ist das verwendete B?ffelleder unempfindlich und Wasser abweisend. Eine zus?tzliche Nyloneinlage sorgt f?r Stabilit?t und Rei?festigkeit. Die F?hrleine ist mit weichem Futterleder unterlegt und angenehm zu halten. Made in Germany. .Sehen Sie sich als Erg?nzung zu diesem Artikel das passende Halsband an! Die Buffalo Ultra Halsb?nder sind stufenlos verstellbar und mit einem Alu-Schnellverschluss ausgestattet, was sie zu einer wirklichen Innovation macht!Farbe: Braun/Hellbraun Gesamtl?nge: 200 cm Breite: 15 mm

          09/01/17: Defence of dissertation in the field of computer science, Mikko Rinne, M.Sc. (Tech.)   
Title of the dissertation is: Event Processing Using Semantic Web Technologies

Mikko Rinne, M.Sc.(Tech.), will defend the dissertation "Event Processing Using Semantic Web Technologies"  on 1 September 2017 at 12 noon in Aalto University School of Science, lecture hall T2, Konemiehentie 2, Espoo.

The dissertation studies hierarchical processing of structured events, where conclusions of higher levels of abstraction can be formed out of patterns of large numbers of simple event objects. Using rule-based reasoning, as supported by Semantic Web technologies, pre-existing entailment regimes can be used for filling in missing event information and for error detection.

The explosive growth of information produced both by networked sensors and as results of other transactional events has lead to a situation, where the capability for fast online processing of large quantities of events is becoming a critical advantage for competition. The increasing need to combine streams of information from heterogeneous sources emphasizes the importance of managing different conceptual approaches.

In this study methods for hierarchical processing of patterns of structured events have been developed. Tangible conclusions of higher layers of abstraction are formed out of larger quantities of simple lower layer events. The tested Semantic Web technologies offer ready-made tools for managing conceptual differences from multiple sources and for rule-based reasoning, which can be used e.g. to fill-in missing event data or to detect errors.

With the presented rule networks and tests it is shown that the studied technologies RDF and SPARQL have sufficient capabilities to serve as the basis of even complex hierarchical event processing applications. One studied application is the detection of counterfeit and theft in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Other application areas, which can benefit from event stream processing, are for example traffic, retail, investment markets, farming, emergency response and health services.

Dissertation release (pdf)

Opponent: Professor Alessandro Margara, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Custos: Professor emeritus Heikki Saikkonen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science

          Comment on Contact by Frank anderson   
the rss global feed is broken ( generates the error: "ERROR: This is not a valid feed template."
          Dogington Post Announces Ellen Degeneres as Best Dog-Loving Celebrity for 2012   

Dogington Post held their first annual Dogington Post Awards, honoring those that provide the best products, services, and foods for dogs. After weeks of voting, readers and fans chose Ellen Degeneres as the Best Dog-Loving Celebrity of 2012.

(PRWeb February 15, 2013)

Read the full story at

          Samsung Will Open a Home Appliance Factory in South Carolina   
The plant is expected to generate 954 local jobs by 2020.
          Comentario en ¿ Que es la S.T.P.S. y Cuales son sus funciones ? por Admin   
Hola Nayeli Zamano, con todo gusto podemos ayudarte, solo dame algunos datos: ¿En que estado de la república laboran? ¿Son contratados directamente por la empresa o pertenecen a un outsorsing? y ¿Cuantos compañeros estan dispuestos a generar un cambio para mejorar sus condiciones laborales? Para cualquier duda o atención personalizada de dejo mi correo y numero celular Tel: 5549508515
          Opini-Setitik Asa Generasi Muda   
"Setitik Asa Generasi Muda" (Serambi Indonesia, 27 Oktober 2012)

Oleh Cut Liza Novita Sari

SUMPAH Pemuda merupakan satu tonggak sejarah dan bukti bahwa pada 28 Oktober 1928 Bangsa Indonesia dilahirkan. Proses kelahiran Bangsa Indonesia ini merupakan buah dari perjuangan rakyat yang selama ratusan tahun hidup tertindas di bawah kekuasaan kaum kolonialis pada saat itu. Kondisi ketertindasan inilah yang kemudian mendorong para pemuda pada saat itu untuk membulatkan tekad demi mengangkat harkat dan martabat bangsa. Tekad inilah yang kemudian menjadi komitmen perjuangan rakyat Indonesia hingga berhasil mencapai kemerdekaannya pada 17 Agustus 1945.

Hari sumpah pemuda diperingati setiap tahunnya pada 28 Oktober demi mengenang semangat juang para pemuda terdahulu yang dengan gagah berani memperjuangkan kemerdekaan Indonesia. Semangat yang berkobar melawan penjajah, sebuah pengakuan dari pemuda-pemudi Indonesia yang mengikrarkan bahwa satu tanah, satu bangsa, dan satu bahasa. Kini, setiap tahun kita memperingati Hari Sumpah Pemuda sebagai refleksi bahwasanya meskipun berbeda-beda suku, bahasa, ras, dan agama, tapi kita tetap satu, hidup di bawah payung yang sama, yaitu Negara Republik Indonesia. 

Sejak kemerdekaan penjajah sudah tidak ada lagi di negeri kita, tapi masih ada “penjajah-penjajah pribumi” yang harus kita lawan. Penjajah itu ialah mereka-mereka yang melakukan praktik korupsi kolusi dan nepotisme (KKN). Mereka adalah musuh yang harus kita berantas bersama. Praktik KKN yang terus terjadi telah merugikan negara hingga berdampak pada semakin suburnya persoalan kemiskinan yang dihadapi negara ini.

 Korupsi merajalela
Kita bisa melihat realita yang terjadi belakangan ini, bagaimana korupsi merajalela di negara kita. Bagaimana hukum begitu lemah dan tunduk pada penguasa. Negara kita adalah negara hukum. Tapi jika hukum tak bisa lagi menjadi pondasi yang kuat, apa mungkin rakyat bisa sejahtera? Ibarat sebuah rumah, hukum adalah pondasi, negara Indonesia adalah rumah, dan kita adalah penghuninya. Jika Pondasinya sudah tidak kuat, apakah rumah itu masih bisa berdiri kokoh? Apalagi jika terjangan angin dan badai kian kencang, maka rumah itu perlahan-lahan akan roboh dan hancur.

Bercermin dari sejarah masa lalu, kita bisa melihat bagaimana perjuangan para pemuda dalam memperjuangkan kemerdekaan Indonesia. Meskipun mereka berasal dari berbagai daerah dan suku yang berbeda, mereka bisa menyatukan perbedaan-perbedaan itu demi mencapai cita-cita yang sama. Memaknai Hari Sumpah Pemuda adalah dengan mengingat kembali sejarah masa lalu untuk menumbuhkan kembali semangat perjuangan para generasi muda saat ini.

Ironisnya, masih banyak generasi muda kita yang lupa bahkan apatis dengan sejarah bangsa ini. Bagaimana kita bisa memaknai hari sumpah pemuda, jika sejarah yang melatarbelakangi hal itu terjadi pun kita tidak tahu. Mengenang sejarah merupakan salah satu langkah kecil dalam memaknai hari sumpah pemuda, juga dengan menumbuhkan semangat dan jiwa kebangsaan, serta keinginan bersatu yang tinggi. Seperti kata Bung Karno dalam setiap pidatonya, “Jangan sekali-kali melupakan sejarah” yang akhirnya dikenal istilah “Jasmerah”.

Realita yang kita hadapi kini adalah semangat para pemuda kian terkikis zaman. Persatuan dan kesatuan yang dulunya menjadi ruh perjuangan pemuda, sekarang telah berganti menjadi semangat individualis, primordialisme, dan etnosentrisme. Sebagai contoh, kini tawuran antar pemuda sesama anak bangsa semakin sering terjadi dan penyampaian aspirasi dilakukan secara anarkis yang mengganggu ketenangan dan ketertiban ditengah-tengah masyarakat.

Semangat primordialisme pun kian menguat, hingga tanpa sadar telah membangun sekat-sekat keberagaman dalam kehidupan berbangsa. Jika semangat kedaerahan itu terlalu berlebihan, maka dapat mengancam persatuan nasional dan menimbulkan perilaku etnosentrisme. Seperti yang dikatakan Matsumoto (1996) bahwa “Etnosentrisme adalah kecenderungan untuk melihat dunia hanya melalui sudut pandang budaya sendiri”. 

Sehingga terkadang etnosentrisme ini memunculkan sikap prasangka dan stereotype negatif terhadap etnis atau kelompok lain. Hal ini tentu saja akan berdampak pada menipisnya rasa persatuan dan saling memiliki dengan yang berbeda budaya. Tidak hanya itu, generasi muda juga mulai sering membuang-buang waktu dengan melakukan kegiatan-kegiatan yang tidak produktif, seperti duduk berjam-jam di warung kopi dan ketergantungan pada game online.

Memaknai hari sumpah pemuda dapat kita lakukan dengan banyak cara, seperti generasi muda yang menjalankan fungsinya untuk mengawasi kinerja pemerintah dan kebijakan-kebijakan yang diambil. Ketika hukum begitu lemah dan tak berkutik pada para penguasa, maka generasi muda harus menjadi pengawas dan penegak ketimpangan itu. Generasi muda tidak hanya berdiam diri dan menjadi penonton terhadap ketidakadilan dan praktik KKN yang terus terjadi.

 Harus lebih peka

Di samping itu, generasi muda juga berperan sebagai penyampai aspirasi masyarakat. Saat para wakil rakyat terbuai dengan jabatan dan kekuasaannya, maka di sinilah peran generasi muda, khususnya mahasiswa untuk bertindak sebagai penyampai aspirasi. Generasi muda harus lebih peka dan sensitif dengan masalah-masalah yang dihadapi masyarakat saat ini. Lebih kreatif dan solutif dalam menyelesaikan masalah-masalah yang terjadi. 

Sebagai generasi muda kita harus ikut berkontribusi untuk membangun negara, seperti aktif di kegiatan-kegiatan yang berdampak positif di kampus dan masyarakat, serta mengembangkan potensi diri (skill) yang nantinya dapat berguna di masa mendatang. Selain itu, untuk menjalankan peran kita sebagai generasi muda, kita harus bisa menyatukan perbedaan-perbedaan yang ada menjadi satu kesatuan yang utuh. 

Negara kita membutuhkan peran pemuda-pemudi untuk menumbuhkan kembali semangat sumpah pemuda dan nasionalisme yang kian memudar mengingat tantangan ke depan semakin berat dan kompleks. Momentum Sumpah Pemuda ini untuk mengingatkan kita kembali bahwa tidak boleh ada golongan yang merasa ditindas, dianaktirikan, atau diabaikan. Sumpah Pemuda harus melahirkan keadilan bagi seluruh warga negara tanpa ada diskriminasi.

Saya berharap dengan adanya Hari Sumpah Pemuda ini menjadi cermin bagi kita semua untuk berkaca seperti apa bangsa kita saat ini. Ke depannya, semoga pemuda-pemudi Indonesia dapat terus menjaga semangat persatuan dan jiwa nasionalisme untuk mewujudkan cita-cita bersama menuju Indonesia yang maju, adil, dan sejahtera.

* Cut Liza Novita Sari, Mahasiswi Jurusan Ilmu Komunikasi, Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik (FISIP) Universitas Syiah Kuala (Unsyiah), Banda Aceh. Email:

Editor : hasyim

          ETUC/ETUI launch Benchmarking Working Europe 2011, 23 March 2011    
On Wednesday, 23 March - on the verge of this year’s Spring European Summit, the Benchmarking Working Europe 2011 report will be launched, in the presence of ETUC General Secretary John Monks and ETUI General Director Philippe Pochet.
          igra istine   
A jel' mis'iš ono za ono ili ono generalno ? roll roll
          Typography for marginal, non-latin writing systems   

Hello to anyone reading this.

I primarily work with typographic design of the Javanese script, one of Indonesia's traditional script, here's an image in case you never saw it

It is a very marginal script, without official status anywhere and declining number of users despite it's long history. I was wondering if there are any other writing system with similar situations. I'd like to know how users of other marginal, non-latin script handle their typography. Though generally, I would like to know about the typography scene of other scripts other than Latin and Arab (since those two are the most prominent, is it?)

This is my first post in typophile, so apologies if I made any mistake :)

          Bolsheviks of the Revolution will be long-haired    
Bolsheviks of the Revolution will be long-haired pot smokers.[35] All of these activities and perspectives that marijuana supposedly enhances may be summed up, paradoxically, by one of the antipot arguments which seems to score more points than any of the other weapons in the arsenal: smoking marijuana is an escape from reality. By refuting this argument, potsmokers feel that they have not only neutralized a damaging contention, but have even scored a few points in the drug's favor. Far from seeing the use of marijuana as an escape from reality, the apologists in fact look upon it as one possible means of embracing reality, even more dramatically and soulfully than is possible normally. Art, sex, fun, freedom, human companionship?all form slices of life, and the point is, to make them even larger and more emotionally involving. The argument is that marijuana drives the user into life more intensely, magnifying the emotional significance and enjoyment of the best things that life has to offer. "Pot," says Allen Ginsberg, "is a reality kick." It is only a specific kind of reality the antipots accept: marijuana offers an escape from the mechanical, sterile, senseless striving of a nine-to-five world, basically antilife in its (15 of 22)4/15/2004 1:03:59 AM The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 4 steely thrust. Marijuana thankfully, helps to obliterate that version of reality. Potsmokers see this attribute entirely in the drug's favor. In their basically romantic revolt, the ideologists of the marijuana movement wish to glorify one particular mode of living, discrediting another. The fact that the success-oriented, materialistic, middle-class, overforty generation has labeled its special way of life the total compass of "reality" is of no concern to the members of the drug movement. Their version of reality is very different, a world populated with denizens of a divergent phylum. If The Green Berets is reality, does that make the Yellow Submarine any less real The civil libertarian position on freedom parallels the pot-smoking prolegalization faction's.[36] If, indeed, the argument runs, the medical profession knows relatively little about the effects of marijuana,[37] then what is really being said is that there is no case for the drug's dangers. A case has to be made for the deprivation of liberties.[38] It is impermissible to incarcerate anyone before there is definitive evidence concerning the dangers of a drug. The federal and state statutes were passed long before anything was known about the effects of the drug. From a civil libertarian point of view, a solid case has to be make before an activity is illegalized. And no irrefutable causal connection has been established between the ingestion of marijuana and potential or actual danger to oneself or others, and until that connection has been established, the marijuana statutes are unconstitutional and in violation of essential rights and liberties. The cry that m
          Journal Club: June 27th 13:00 EST/18:00 UK   
Today live from Cooper Union, NYC, the June edition of Journal Club is being broadcast on our Facebook page at 13:00 EST / 18:00 UK. We are discussing the recent paper “Common Telomere Changes during In Vivo Reprogramming and Early Stages of Tumorigenesis.” by Blaso et al. Tune in today and get involved in the […]
          If EMdrive is real and scales with Q factor then we get almost Star Trek level Technology   
Adam Crowl considers spaceships if EM-Drive is verified as a real thing. If the NASA emdrive performance of 1.2 millinewtons per kilowatt. 8.3 TeraWatts of power would be needed to provide 10 million newtons of thrust to accelerate a 1000 ton space-craft at 1 gee of acceleration. We have no power source that could generate […]

Solar-Energy Usage Made Simple And Affordable

The sun's energy is harvested by solar energy systems. This helps the planet and your wallet. Solar power is a good option for homeowners and for business owners. If you are on the fence about this, then the following paragraphs should open your eyes a little.

Take baby steps in your quest for solar power. Get yourself a couple of solar energy lights if you want to use them for landscaping purposes so that you can save some energy. These can be found at many retailers including big box retailers and home improvement stores. They are as easy to install as any other garden light.

Check the density figure for your solar panels to determine the quality. High density panels cost more; however, they also produce a great deal more power. For this reason, the added expense is justified. Carefully evaluate the density and efficiency of all options before making a purchase.

If you do not want to go all out when using solar power, you can use small-scale versions. This is accomplished in one of two ways. You could attach solar panels to your windows and use these to recharge smaller electronics. You should also consider investing in small appliances that can be powered with solar panels. Every tiny thing you do will make your energy bill that much cheaper.

You should have a backup plan should your solar panels stop functioning. You can either purchase a generator, or simply stay connected to your local power grid, drawing extra power as you need it. If you go the generator route, make sure to perform tests on it often and think about getting more than one.

A wonderful long-term investment that can save you money is a solar power system. The initial costs of a solar energy system for your home is expensive. If you are not ready to settle in a particular home, solar panels may not be a good investment.

Track numbers when getting solar panels for the home. While solar panels have come a long ways, there are still instances where the costs outweigh the benefits. Do the math to figure out how much quality solar panels will cost you and how much money you will be able to save on the long-term.

There are people worldwide harvesting the suns power for themselves. Solar power has become increasingly popular and has lots to offer. You are able to cut costs and help the planet. Apply the simple information from this article to make wise solar energy decisions.

          Mercedes Clase B F-Cell 2010, todos los detalles   

Mercedes Benz presento el otro día, las primeras imágenes y datos, de la variante a hidrógeno del Clase B, un motor que proviene de un prototipo presentado el año pasado..

La entrada Mercedes Clase B F-Cell 2010, todos los detalles aparece primero en

          PNV would repeat win if elections were held now   

Basque Country poll: The Basque nationalist party PNV, ruling party in the Basque Country, would win the vote and as many seats as in October election (27).
          Selling Your Home Faster through Home Staging   
During hot and cool home sale periods, there are homes which simply have difficulty generating buyer interest. While homes around it have offers coming in, they remain largely unseen and do not sell. The trick others have often discovered isn't just about pricing the home right. Or finding the perfect real estate agent. It's usually the homeowners have hired or taken the lead of a home stager.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the process of making a house look not only presentable to potential buyers, but look like their future home. Staging involves rearranging and/or updating the home's interior furniture and decor, de-cluttering and adding curb appeal. In general, a staged home is a clean, well-lit home depersonalized from the current resident.

What Are the Basics of Home Staging?

Home staging is about one fundamental principle--making the home look more like a new construction model than a family's home. Fit for a brochure is another way to think of home staging. But it involves these key factors:

Clean and Clear

The first thing which needs to be done is to lighten the load inside the home. Meaning, de-cluttering the space. Taking down family photos and other personal items is a must. Anything which personalizes the space has to be removed because it acts as a mental barrier to potential buyers. In addition, scrubbing the floors, freshening up the walls with some paint and dusting thoroughly is absolutely necessary.

Light the Space

Curtains and blinds are cleaned and opened. The more light inside a home, the better. It not only helps to "connect" the outside space, it makes the house appear more open. It also promotes a sense of warmth.

Enhance Curb Appeal

Mow the yard. Pull weeds. Plant colorful flowers and plants along the walkway and place potted plants or flowers near the door. Pressure wash the exterior walls and roof, along with the garage floor and driveway. If the paint looks worn even after the pressure washing, it's time to slap on a coat of paint.

Highlight Key Features

Pools, fireplaces, spas, kitchens and baths. These are key features in any home. Making them stand out is very important to staging the home properly. Using furnishings and decor, make those key features pop with pizzazz. Color goes a long way in making a home more inviting. Lastly, get some inspiration from home staging magazines. Or, look online at staged homes for guidance.

For more information about Homer Alaska and Anchor Point Alaska Real Estate contact Coastal Realty Alaska
          The Benefits of Investing in a Multi-Family Property   
New property investors often begin with buying a single family home. After all, they grew up in one and live in one--so it is only natural to choose a single family property at the beginning of an investment property venture. However, after the home has set vacant a few months for one or more times, new investors discover multi-family properties offer a more steady income.

Advantages of Multi-Family Properties

By far, the largest advantage is if one unit of a multi-family property is vacant, it doesn't cut the income stream to zero. While it may reduce it to 50 percent in a duplex, it is more preferable than no rent collection at all. In addition, maintenance fees and property management costs are reduced because their is only one unit, not several detached single family houses.

Other Benefits of Investing in Multi-Family Properties

While vacancy rates and multiple rent  payments are good reasons for owning multi-family properties, there are more benefits. Which, particularly over time, greatly enhance their investment value:

Repair Expenses

Having to replace ten roofs on ten single family homes is very expensive, even if done during separate times. But a ten unit multi-family property needing a new roof is one job and done. Ten single family homes means ten different permits, adding to the cost substantially.

Property Management Fees

Using the same example of ten single family homes versus a ten unit multi-family property, it's less expensive to incur property management fees. Single family homes tend to rent for more than apartment units. And with property management agencies basing their rates on the amount of rent collected, it means less of an expense.

Selling and Holding

Here again, selling ten single family homes will be more difficult that selling one multi-family property. Not only must each single family be negotiated separately, they all must pass inspection. Whereas with multi-family properties, there is only one structure. It also makes it easier with regard to real estate commissions. Investors won't have to deal with ten different personalities.

Cap Rates

The cap rate or net operating income/price is in play, making it a better investment generator. In other words, a multi-family property's value is based on how much income it generates and is not exclusively tied to the real estate market. So while a single family may decline in market value during downturns, multi-family properties continue to collect rents. And those rents are proof positive of the property's earning potential.

For more information about Homer Alaska Real Estate contact Coastal Realty Alaska
          Trøbbel med opplasting av bilder   
Forum: Generell prat Skrevet av: 22250rem Post tidspunkt: 28-06-17 klokka 20:52
          Interlude: Sirius Rising    

Click here if you're at all lost.

The first thing I'd like to do here is reframe this narrative. The prism we should see this through is that of the story of the theme song to what was at one time the most watched television show in the world, namely House MD.

And subsequently we're also looking at the backstory of a music video that's gotten over 48 million views on YouTube. Those are Beyonce numbers. 

So rather than try to figure out why this incredibly strange and impossible chain of events has focused on a couple singers most people have never heard of, let's approach it all under that context. 

This is a story tens of millions of people have been exposed to without realizing what it is they're hearing.

I'd also like to let it be known that this isn't a story that ended twenty years ago. As we've seen Chris Cornell- whose death continues to make headlines- somehow found himself wound up in all this, both through his close relationship with Jeff Buckley but also through his unlikely connection to the mythos we're unfolding here.

And into the midst of it all comes the announcement that Elizabeth Fraser is appearing at Royal Albert Hall in July:

John Grant will chat to Cocteau Twins vocalist Elizabeth Fraser about her iconic indie group’s 1988 album, Blue Bell Knoll, with all proceeds from the show going to gay rights charity Stonewall. 
The event on Sunday 23 July is a rare chance to see Fraser talk about her distinctive, indelible music, which influenced an entire generation of performers, including Grant, with his exquisite electro-balladeering.

I really don't know where to start. I couldn't possibly make up an event more symbolically loaded. Is someone actually fucking with me here?

Where to begin? Let's try this, from the must-read VISUP site.
(Robert Anton) Wilson is primarily responsible for bringing the 23 enigma to public attention. Wilson in turn partly became obsessed with the number 23 after supposedly receiving telepathic messages from an alien race based upon Sirius after performing a Crowley-inspired ritual on July 22, 1973. The next morning he found a peculiar message in his 'magickal diary' stating "Sirius is very important." This led Wilson to doing some research. 
"The Skeptic went to town and browsed in the public library. Imagine my state of mind when I discovered that this very day, July 23, when I had received the message 'Sirius is very important,' is the day when, according to Egyptian tradition, the occult link (through hyperspace?) is most powerful between Earth and Sirius. 
"Celebrations of the Dog Star, Sirius, beginning on July 23, are the origin of the expression 'dog days,' meaning the days from July 23 to September 8, when the last rituals to Sirius were performed."- The Cosmic Trigger Volume I, pg. 87 
What Wilson is referring to is the heliacal rising of Sirius, often associated with July 23:
The heliacal rising: the first visible, though brief, appearance of a star on the eastern horizon before sunrise. On the previous morning, sunlight made the star invisible.  
Sirius is also identified with Isis, who plays a major role in our story here:
As the star Sopdet (Sirius (in Greek Sothis)), she heralds the life-giving inundation. 
July 23rd has also been connected with the Ancient Egyptian New Year:
Ancient Egyptian culture was closely tied to the Nile River, and it appears their New Year corresponded with its annual flood. According the Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year was predicted when Sirius—the brightest star in the night sky—first became visible after a 70-day absence. 
July 23rd is also identified with Our Sweetheart, the Drunk:
This massive party was tied to the myth of Sekhmet, a war goddess who had planned to kill all of humanity until the sun god Ra tricked her into drinking herself unconscious.  
Which turned her into the love goddess Hathor. And then there's this little detail here: 
In ancient Egypt, the helical rising of Sirius coincided with the annual rising of the Nile at Memphis.
Wait: did they say Memphis? I thought so.

Elizabeth Fraser last appeared at Royal Albert Hall with the Cocteau Twins, touring the Milk and Kisses album, which included a number of songs written about Jeff Buckley.

Blue Bell Knoll is a luscious album, the musical equivalent of having warm honey dripped on your head while you're taking a milk bath on really good drugs, but its title has a darker meaning:
In folklore, the flowers assist mortals in seeing fairies or seeing into their reality, but were regarded by some as unlucky because they could also reveal or even attract malign spirits, including the Devil himself... They are also called Dead Men's or Dead Man's Bells, because hearing the bells ringing is an omen of death.  
Remembering the line from Song to the Siren, "Did I dream you dreamed about me? Were you hare when I was fox?", note that bluebells are also known as harebells:
Campanula rotundifolia is associated with the fairies and with witches...The name Harebells may also allude to a folk belief that witches used juices squeezed from this flower to transform themselves into hares. 
And hey- milk again.
These juices lent the flower another Scottish folk name, "Milk-ort" (milk herb).
More importantly, the bluebell also connects to the central conceit of our story- the seemingly inexplicable symbolic overkill connected to the ancient myth of the goddess (variously associated with sex, war, music and the Moon) and her shepherd-boy consort.

Shepherd-boy being the literal translation of Buckley.

As it happens milk plays a very major role in that ur-myth as well. From the first known telling of the story, The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi:

  Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom / My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk / Wild bull Dumuzi, make your milk sweet and thick/ I will drink your fresh milk.
Elizabeth Fraser's dedication on Milk and Kisses plows the same metaphorical furrow.

 "Milk and kisses for the first man / my old man / love and a thousandfold rose for Buckley /my Rilkean-Hearted friend."
(We're going to return to The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi again, in a big, bad way).

The bluebell has also been named for Endymion, the young shepherd consort of the goddess Selene, who fell in love with and put under a spell of eternal sleep so that she alone might enjoy his beauty. Selene was also known as Phoebe and one of the key tracks on Blue Bell Knoll is "For Phoebe, Still a Baby."

So I suppose it's only appropriate that this is being held at Royal Albert Hall, named in honor of Prince Albert, formally known as Albert, Prince Consort. 

And here were have another goddess-consort sad story. 

Albert was husband of Queen Victoria, herself named after the Roman goddess of victory. And for those of you who don't know the rest:
Albert died at the relatively young age of 42, plunging the Queen into a period of deep mourning in which she rarely appeared before her subjects.

We saw that that Jeff Buckley drowned on the evening of the Carnival Memphis. As it happens it seems that he and Fraser began their courtship on the eve of the original Carnival...

This would be the night of March 4th, when both Buckley and the Cocteau Twins were playing in Atlanta. Significantly, the Twins performed "Road, River, and Rail" that night.

Simon Raymonde of The Cocteau Twins remembers Jeff being introduced to them as Tim Buckley's son while they were touring America in 1991.

Road, River and Rail is 3:17
3/17 is the day of Osiris' drowning

OK, I thought I heard that Buckley met them before 1994 but I couldn't find any corroboration online for that so I thought I had imagined it. If that is indeed true it makes the prophecies on 1990's Heaven or Las Vegas even creepier because that was the album they were touring then (and the only significant omen after that is the insanely-disturbing post-breakup Rilkean Dreams). 

Having recorded an ineffably beautiful version of Tim's ‘Song For The Siren’ (as This Mortal Coil) they were pleased to meet the young man, who was in turn awestruck by their music, especially the spectral voice of Elizabeth Fraser. Three years later it was their turn to see him perform. Simon and Liz went together to a small bar in Atlanta. "It was just Jeff and his little Fender guitar and amp. He sang for two hours and he knocked me sideways. Liz and I spent some time with him over the next few days."
It's likely that Fraser connected (or reconnected) with Buckley on what is technically March 5th, since the Twins had their own concert to do the night of the 4th. But what is the significance of March 5th? 

It's sacred to Isis. Very sacred, in fact:
Ididis Navigium, or alternatively Navigium Isidis, means Vessel of Isis. The festival gets its name from the main offering to Isis. In Apuleius’ Metamorphosis he describes the grand procession of worshippers from the temple of Isis to the harbor. 
Harbor. And the connection to Carnival? 
Modern carnival resembles the festival of the Navigium Isidis, and some scholars argue that they share the same origin (via carrus navalis, meaning naval wagon, i.e. float – later becoming car-nival). 
Reminding us again the Carnival Memphis is centered around Ancient Egyptian symbolism:
The twelve Grand Krewes that Carnival Memphis recognizes are the Mystic Society of the Memphi, Osiris, Sphinx, RaMet, Ennead, Phoenix, Aani, Ptolemy, Kemet Jubilee, Ptah, Luxor, Queen Bee...The Grand Krewes of Memphi, Osiris, RaMet and Sphinx are "old-line" Grand Krewes and were all started in the 1930s as the original secret societies of the Memphis Cotton Carnival.
And let's remember this Carnival centers of the appointment of the new Queen Isis and King Osiris:
Our Queen Isis has always been known for her beauty and membership in a prominent family. She wears the Ring of Isis, engraved with her hieroglyphic symbol. 
The identity of King Osiris is revealed at the Banquet of Past Kings. He and all Past Osiris Kings wear the King’s Medallion on a scarlet and white ribbon at all Osiris and Carnival events.
And this: 
Many elements of Carnival were in turn appropriated in the Corpus Christi festival, most prominently in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). 
Jeff Buckley recorded "The Corpus Christi Carol" on his first album.

Then there's this: 

Thus Plutarch tells us that Osiris was murdered on the seventeenth of the month Athyr, and that the Egyptians accordingly observed mournful rites for four days from the seventeenth of Athyr. Now in the Alexandrian calendar, which Plutarch used, these four days corresponded to the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth of November, and this date answers exactly to the other indications given by Plutarch, who says that at the time of the festival the Nile was sinking, the north winds dying away, the nights lengthening, and the leaves falling from the trees.
Which would mean, according to this reckoning, that the "Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys" took place either on or right before November 17. Why is this significant?
Jeffrey Scott Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), raised as Scott Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. 

Next we'll take a closer look at the prophecies involved and why they might have gotten some unwanted attention.


UPDATE: Darren reminds of that famous Beatles song that namedrops Albert Hall and also  tells us of another doomed young prince, Tara Browne, dead exactly a month after Jeff Buckley was born. More 17s:

On 17 December 1966, Browne was driving with his girlfriend, model Suki Potier, in his Lotus Elan through South Kensington at high speed (some reports suggesting in excess of 106 mph/170 km/h).[2] He was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. Browne failed to see a traffic light and proceeded through the junction of Redcliffe Square and Redcliffe Gardens, colliding with a parked lorry. He died of his injuries the following day. Potier claimed that Browne swerved the car to absorb the impact of the crash to save her life.

"A Day in the Life"
On 17 January 1967 John Lennon, a friend of Browne's, was composing music at his piano whilst idly reading London's Daily Mail and happened upon the news of the coroner's verdict into Browne's death. He worked the story into the song "A Day in the Life", which was later released on the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

John Lennon's "Good Morning Good Morning" was the first song you heard on the last episode of The Monkees. "Song of the Siren" was its swansong.

          Interlude: Swan Song, or In My Time of Dying   

A weird little coincidence struck me yesterday.

As we've seen, the last songs Jeff Buckley and Chris Cornell sang were songs most commonly associated with Led Zeppelin.
Cornell’s “sudden and unexpected” death right in the middle of Soundgarden’s U.S. tour that kicked off only last month is compounded only by the fact that his death was ruled a suicide, and while the 52-year-old musician outwardly showed no signs of depression or suicidal tendencies, the final song from last night’s sold out show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre: a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying”. 
And this: 
When Buckley entered the water from the trash-strewn bank, he was wearing jeans, a T-shirt and boots. He turned, grinning back at Foti, as he drifted in backward. When he was about knee deep, Foti remembers cautioning him: "You can't swim in that water." As Buckley continued, Foti repeated his caution: "What are you doing, man?" But Buckley smilingly reclined into the slate-gray water, singing the chorus of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" as he backstroked into the channel.
In 1974, Led Zeppelin started their own record label called Swan Song. 

The term swan song comes from an ancient belief that swans will sing a beautiful song just before they are about to die. 

Now we're treading into dangerous waters here, no pun intended. There's a temptation to cast too wide a net in search of symbolic connections, which, as they pile up, can tend to have a numbing effect. Plus, ancient mythology is so enormous that you could probably dig out a connection for whatever you like if you're not rigorous about it.

And there's still the open question as to why we would see so much symbolism and prophecy - practically to the point of overkill - attached to what most people might see as an historical footnote.  

So let's then establish that we're specifically looking here at the "swan songs," the very last performances by the people in question.

So with that in mind let's look at the very last line of the last verse of the last song on the last Cocteau Twins album- or if you prefer, their swan song. The song is "Seekers Who Are Lovers" and the line goes like this: 

"So send Lucifer into Hell."

The song is- you guessed it- yet another of Elizabeth Fraser's love letters to Jeff Buckley*, in this case a little note explicitly reminding him how amazing she thought the sex was.  Which is probably why nearly all of her performances of the song were extremely passionate, in her very strange way.

Then there's this :
Love, on the tip of it/ The old river's lack of other sweet sex†/ So sweet/You are a woman just as you are a man
The last line there corresponds to Buckley's self-identification of a "chanteuse with a penis," a reference to his interpretations of torch songs by singers like Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf. Which, of course, it's also entirely compatible with his role as a postmodern incarnation of Attis. 

And then there's that "river" reference again.

This in turn then corresponds to the more recent death of one of Buckley's closest friends (and posthumous spoeksman) just a few minutes away from Belle Isle on the Detroit River, which is itself closely associated with a Native American variant of the Siren myth.

Note also the connection of these fertility gods we've been looking at to rivers:
Adonis sprang from a tree; the body of Osiris was concealed in a tree which grew round the sea-drifted chest in which he was concealed. Diarmid concealed himself in a tree when pursued by Finn. The blood of Tammuz, Osiris, and Adonis reddened the swollen rivers which fertilized the soil.
But there's another connection between these ancient fertility gods and Lucifer; all of them were sent into the Underworld.  

And the way to the Underworld was traditionally the River Styx.


Bearing in mind that Buckley died on the eve of an explicit Osiris ritual in Memphis, remember that the consort of Osris (who drowned in the Nile River) is Isis, whom "The Greeks conceived of (her) as a corn-goddess, for they identified her with Demeter. In a Greek epigram she is described as 'she who has given birth to the fruits of the earth,” and “the mother of the ears of corn.'” 

Similarly, Attis was identified closely with corn:
  Like tree-spirits in general, Attis was apparently thought to wield power over the fruits of the earth or even to be identical with the corn. One of his epithets was “very fruitful”: he was addressed as the “reaped green (or yellow) ear of corn”; and the story of his sufferings, death, and resurrection was interpreted as the ripe grain wounded by the reaper, buried in the granary, and coming to life again when it is sown in the ground
Corn-- and subsequently Cornell-- both derive from the Latin cornu, meaning "horn."

The closest Egyptian analog to goddesses like Isthar and Aphrodite is actually Hathor, whom Isis would eventually syncretize with, and who was commonly depicted as wearing horns. She has an interesting origin story: 
In the Story of Re, she was created by her father Re as "Sekhmet" as a destroyer of men, who were disobedient to him. Later Re changed his mind, but even he could not stop her from killing men. He then disguised beer as blood and when Sekhmet became drunk, she could no longer kill and was known thereafter as Hathor, a goddess of love.
Jeff Buckley's eventual swan song- which Chris Cornell was closely involved in producing- was the collection Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk.  It included the song "Morning Theft", commonly assumed to be a documentation of Buckley's reunion with Fraser sometime around the recording of 'All Flowers in Time Bend Toward the Sun'.


There's been an ongoing controversy over the Swan Song label, which depicts an angel or winged man in the throes of death. One side of the debate claims it's a depiction of Icarus and others claim it's actually paying homage to Lucifer, and that the image is a depiction of his fall from Heaven. 

The painting is in fact an adaptation of a sketch by 19th century painter William Rimmer entitied "Evening, the Fall of Day." Some have argued that the image is a depiction of Apollo, but we don't see the chariot here which was associated with him when he absorbed the aspects of the Titan Helios.

So I think the Lucifer interpretation is probably closest to the mark. "The Fall of Day" is most probably a reference to Phosphoros the daystar, whose name is the Greek equivalent of Lucifer. Note that Jimmy Page had recently recorded the Lucifer Rising and later used a similar image for the release of the soundtrack.

Plus, Jimmy Page. 

What we also need to remember here is that Led Zeppelin's first use of the Swan Song logo was on the first side of the first disk of Physical Graffiti. And the last song on that side is Chris Cornell's swan song,  'In My Time of Dying'. 

The album also has a strong link to Jeff Buckley:
"When I was 12, I decided to become a musician," Buckley says. "Physical Graffiti was the first album I ever owned. My stepfather [who lived with Buckley's mother from 1971 to 1973] bought that for me."

But wait! There's more: Swans were closely associated with the love goddeses of the ancient world, particularly Aphrodite. 

As we saw, Elizabeth Fraser- in what seems to be her only foray into cosplay ever-  explicitly portrayed herself as a rising Aphrodite (0r Atargatis) in the video for 'Bluebeard'.

That single was released in February 1994. Fraser and Buckley met in March. At the time Fraser was in the midst of an ongoing personal crisis and seemed to experience a meltdown when the band performed 'Bluebeard' on The Tonight Show, going into full-WTF alien mode.

That meltdown was taped the same day Chris Cornell's friend Kurt Cobain died, which was called a suicide at the time.

And just to throw out another creepy death omen, Jeff Buckley would have a fling with Cobain's widow shortly before he died.


Lucifer also links us to another prophecy we recently looked at- Fraser's retelling of the myth of Narcissus and Echo, "Mud and Dark" (again, Jeff Buckley was swimming near Mud Island in the dark when he drowned). From The Aeon Eye blog:
Like Icarus, the archangel Lucifer is said to have fallen because of his pride and vanity over his own beauty and power, much like the myth of Narcissus. This supreme spirit of evil who was once radiant, but who because of his sin of pride fell from heaven into darkness and became Satan, saying: “Non serviam: I will not serve,” and thus brought upon himself the everlasting wrath of God.  
There's also a strain of the Narcissus daffodil called "Lucifer." 

And there's a Daffodil Hill in Memphis.

The mind reels.


NOTE: It's also important to remember that Icarus- whose sin was disobedience- actually died by drowning.

The lyric "His poor essence" may in fact be "His Pur Essence," a reference to the fact the Fraser may have realized that she seemed to call Buckley by his given name - Scott Moorhead- in "Summerhead" (read:"S.Moorhead") in between the songs "Essence" and "Pur" on Four Calendar Cafe. 

That album was recorded while Buckley was still doing club gigs in tiny dive bars in Manhattan. They wouldn't begin their relationship for at least another year.

† Erroneously listed as "sweet scents" on some lyric sites.

          Deeper Than You Could Ever Know, or The Eternal Psychodrama   

The rabbit keeps digging. And digging. How far are you ready to go down?

I first began to follow this story when I heard about the drowning death of Jeff Buckley. I'm not sure why but the first thought that came into my head was that it had something to do with Elizabeth Fraser. 

I had no idea that all of this had been prophesied for years and years before, in ways that actually give me chills.

I had no idea that this was all closely following a very ancient script, for reasons I can't begin to wrap my head around. The symbolism is almost shockingly unambiguous, as we'll soon see.

I had no idea that a tragedy involving Chris Cornell, Jeff Buckley's close friend and posthumous spokesman, would take place on the banks of another river almost exactly 20 years later, a tragedy that seemed to follow a remarkably similar mythic script. And a tragedy that would seize the attention of millions all around the world.

And I most certainly had no idea twenty years ago that at the very same time police divers were scouring the muddy waters of the Wolf River Lagoon for Jeff Buckley's corpse a well-publicized reenactment of a mystery religion based on the drowning death of a revered ancient Egyptian god was being undertaken by an elite "secret society" just a few blocks away.

Yeah. That happened.

I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around that one too.


A reader asked a highly pertinent and perceptive question in the comments section of the previous post. It cuts to the heart of this extraordinarily unlikely mystery we're trying to crack here.
The thing that I keep asking is "why?" Why would spirits reenact this little passion play at all? Why with this small handful of singers and songwriters? It seems like a lot of effort, a lot of autistic attention to trivial details few would even notice - so where's the actual payoff for the Good Folk's effort? The only thing I can think up is that all the world's a play to them, but the dramatis personnae onstage never see more than a few glimpses of their lines before it's time for them to be spoken.
Why indeed? We're not talking about show biz superstars here, we're not talking about Benifer or Brangelina,  we're talking about two cult performers who never broke into the mainstream. 

We're talking about two very vulnerable souls whose supernatural gifts were balanced out by their struggles with their troubled upbringings and mental illness. But at the same time we're talking about two performers who could count the highest echelon of the music biz elite in their circle of apostles.

And we're talking about a love story whose tragic end was prophesied in a song that has garnered a staggering 48 million views on YouTube. Those people may not realize it but they've soaked all this in.

Which only makes sense because what we're actually seeing is a ritualistic reenactment of one of history's oldest love stories.

It's becoming increasingly well-known on the Internet that this song is about Jeff Buckley, though I think most people tend to underestimate how deep Fraser's obsession with the man really was. I don't think she ever got over it.

Buckley idolized Fraser, studied her, imitated her (the first time I heard Jeff Buckley- knowing nothing about him- I said to myself, "this guy sure sounds like he listens to a lot of Cocteau Twins records"). But when they met Fraser was in the middle of a serious- and painfully public- mental health crisis that would find her hospitalized twice within a year. 

Buckley brought color and excitement back into her life but he had far too many groupies chasing him to stay with an older woman who brought a lot of emotional baggage in tow. Plus, his star was rising and her band was in the process of winding down their long run.

The Wikipedia entry recites the almost-unimaginably eerie fact that Fraser was recording this song while the man about whom she was singing was dying on the other side of the world, but omits the fact that they were lovers:
Fraser wrote the song's lyrics. While recording the song on 29 May 1997, she found out that her once-close friend, Jeff Buckley, had drowned. "That was so weird ... I'd got letters out and I was thinking about him. That song's kind of about him – that's how it feels to me anyway." 
And what most people tend to overlook is that not only is she singing about Buckley- yet again- she is also unconsciously prophesying his death. Yet again:

Night, night of matter (?)
Black flowers blossom
Fearless on my breath
Black flowers blossom
Fearless on my breath
Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath