April is the cruelest month: 6 ways to spark inspiration in spring

first_imgT.S. Eliot was on to something when he declared April the cruelest month. Here in the Northeast, the months of March, April and even May toggle between bursts of warm weather followed by soul-shredding cold-and-rainy spells. Flowers bloom, then die, then bloom, then die again. Our plans seem to go similarly awry: ideas burst forth like hopeful little buds out to catch a ray of sunshine, and then stall in the germination phase.This seemingly endless cycle of two-steps-forward-three-steps-back can leave us feeling a little, well, stuck in the mud.In Ayurvedic medicine, this time of year is considered “Kapha season.” One of the three doshas, or energies believed to circulate through the body, Kapha is ruled by the elements of earth and water. Kapha season is heavy, wet and damp, but it’s also a good time for letting go of that which is dragging you down and embracing your emotive self.Here are six strategies for harnessing Kapha energy for a happier, more creative, spring!1. Wake up with the birdsFor many of us, the first sign of springtime is the light breaking through the blackout curtains at some God-awful time in the early morning. Quick! Fight the dawn! Dive back under the covers and keep your thumb poised to press snooze on your phone!With still-chilly temperatures in the AM it’s all too tempting to stay snuggled down under the comforter, but early spring sunrises come with a precious gift: birdsong. Noticing small changes – like the sun rising a few minutes earlier each day and new bird species joining the morning chorus – can focus us and inspire gratitude.It’s a great way to start the day! Spend some time journaling, meditating, exercising or simply looking out the window with a cup of coffee or tea. Purposeful morning hours can transform even those rainy days into things of beauty.2. Get movingDuring transitional times, our bodies are more vulnerable to illness. In Kapha season in particular, we may be more likely to contract respiratory illnesses that cause a buildup of mucous and other wet, snotty substances. Ew.Combat respiratory sluggishness by upping your aerobic workouts. If you’re unable to engage in vigorous aerobic activity, consider mindful breathing techniques that move and warm the respiratory system like The Dog Breath of Fire.3. NestOver the winter, your home may have transformed from “habitable living area” to “fortress of blankets.” Use those rainy days to simplify your space: make repairs, go through storage, and donate the anything that you don’t use. Be a little ruthless: your home should reflect your values. If you’re keeping something for its sentimental value, ask yourself what it’s really worth – our personal narratives are always evolving and what seemed special 6 months ago may not hold the same meaning now.After you’ve unleashed your inner minimalist, use the blank space to build an environment that reflects your living priorities and aesthetics.4. Change your dietThe warming, heavier foods of winter may already be less palatable to you right now, but what to eat instead? Opt for warm, spicy dishes that rely less on oils and fats for flavor and more on fresh herbs and produce. Usually, your local farmers market has just the thing for a Kapha season constitution.If you’re interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic diet, there are many resources online that can help you determine your personal doshas and find Ayurvedic recipes.5. “Peacock”The birds and the bees do it… so why don’t you do it? It turns out, Kapha energy is also associated with sensuality. So, maybe it’s natural to feel a little, ah, spring fever?To “peacock” means to dress (or act) in a way that draws attention – like a male peacock strutting across the lawn with his tail feathers at full mast.Access your performative nature: Take a dance class. Sing in the shower. Revamp the wardrobe.Flirt with that which attracts you on gut level to access a deep and playful source of inspiration.6. Write poetryAh, yes. April is also National Poetry Month and what better way to break the slog of spring than with a little bit o’ verse? Writing poetry is like pushing a pressure release valve on the brain: Imagination train full steam ahead! Like singing or dancing, poetry is one of those amazing gifts to humanity that can do anyone good – even if you’re bad at it. That’s right. Loosen up and write something – it can be silly, profane, or wildly inane – as long as it’s a song from your soul, it’s worth singing.A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about community, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.last_img read more

VIP bank customers looting the country: Mamata

first_imgJhargram (WB), Feb 16 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that wealthy borrowers were not repaying their bank loans, while farmers and self help groups were being deprived of them.Banerjee, who was interacting with officials in Jhargram district, said banks should extend cooperation to poor farmers, SHG members and small entrepreneurs to make them self-reliant and boost development.The Trinamool Congress chief said she had again written to the Centre against the controversial Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill., described the legislation as “anti-people”.”Those who have Kisan Credit Cards and are entitled to loans are being denied loans. And yet some VIP bank customers are looting this country,” Banerjee later said in a tweet.”The self help groups (SHGs), those who run small businesses, and other commoners, are deprived of loans. And yet special people are being given thousands of crores of rupees. Why this fraud ? Why this fraud?” she added.She has demanded a thorough and time-bound investigation into the fraud in state-owned Punjab National Bank. She has said that a scam of over Rs 11,000 crore had taken place and the peoples savings are not safe.Referring to the FRDI Bill, the chief minister said: “They (Centre) have to withdraw the draconian bill.”Stating that she would always be with the people, she said: “I have no personal agenda. I have always struggled for the rights of the people. As long as I am alive, I will work for them.”The chief minister slammed the Centre for depriving the state of its share of funds for various projects and demanded that the money be immediately released to keep these projects afloat in peoples interest.advertisement”The Centre has stopped funds for ICDS and ASHA projects. Despite our financial constraints, we are running these projects with our own funds,” she said.She recounted her association with movements in tribal Jangalmahal area of the state for its development, and said: “There was a time when my Adivasi brothers and sisters survived on insect eggs. There was a reign of violence in Jangalmahal. Tourists did not come to this region.”Stating that some parties were trying to incite violence and disturb law and order in this region, Banerjee asked people not to pay heed to their provocations.She said the development in Jangalmahal will continue and officials and local leaders must extend their cooperation to fulfil the aspirations of its people and make them self-reliant.”We started giving rice at Rs 2 per kilogramme to tribals in Jangalmahal. My best wishes to the people of Jangalmahal for restoring peace in the region,” she said adding that Jhargram, which falls in the area, had been made a new district to fulfil a long-standing demand of the people.She asked officials to promote the region as a tourist hub and introduce necessary bus routes linking it with Kolkata and Midnapore.Banerjee also said that her government has written to the Centre to enlist the Kurmi community in the scheduled tribe list.”Bills are also being brought to give recognition to Kuruk and Kurmali languages. A dictionary in Ol Chiki script would also come up soon,” she said.She also announced that the new scheme Ruposhree to help in the marriage of girls from poor families would be launched from the next month and that those who received prizes during Jangalmahal Sports Festival would be recruited as civic volunteers. PTI AKB KK ABHlast_img read more

Rashid Khan avenges Chris Gayle mauling and declares ‘SRH ready to defend anything’

first_imgExactly a week ago, on April 19, Rashid Khan looked dazed when Chris Gayle had smoked him for four successive sixes. By the end of his four-over spell, Rashid had conceded 55 runs.The world’s No.1 ODI and T20I bowler had been taken to the cleaners by Gayle who blasted his sixth IPL hundred. Kings XI Punjab brushed Sunrisers Hyderabad by 15 runs in a high-scoring match.Rashid was hurting. Never had he been hit like that in competitive cricket.Three days later, Rashid had failed to recover from that assault and he went for 49 runs off his four overs. SRH slumped to another defeat. Rashid was now seriously hurting. (IPL 2018, SRH vs KXIP: Sunrisers Hyderabad defend 132 to snap KXIP winning streak)But the Afghan superstar was back to his best, when he snared 2/11 to help SRH defend a paltry 118 against defending champions Mumbai Indians.And on Thursday, a week after that 55-run spell, Rashid spun a web around KXIP’s batsmen to return figures of 3/19 off his four overs. He was well and truly back.Rashid was brought on at a time when KXIP were going great guns in pursuit of 133. KL Rahul and Gayle had raced away to 55 off 7.4 overs in another quick opening start but Rashid produced a beauty to snare Rahul. (IPL 2018, SRH vs KXIP, Highlights: Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers defend another low score)Rashid knew what was at stake against Mumbai Indians as well as SRH on Thursday. It was not easy – far from it. But he chose to remain positive and he thanked the coaching staff for their support.advertisement”It was a tough challenge for me after two bad games against CSK and Kings XI. The plan was to be positive. The coaching staff’s support was amazing. They just told me to enjoy myself,” Rashid said after SRH wrapped up victory. (IPL 2018: Ankit Rajpoot grabs 5/14 to record best ever bowling figures for KXIP)It was a brave call to bring Rashid in, especially when Rahul and Gayle had started playing some aggressive shots but the leg-spinner was ready for the challenge.”I am ready to bowl any time the skipper needs me. Whether it’s in the Poweprlay, middle-overs or at the end, I am always ready,” he said.Rashid said Rahul’s wicket gave him particular pleasure. The KXIP opener was playing for the googly but deceived by the leg break. “Bowling Rahul was (special).. he’s a class player, he’s one of my favourites, and his wicket brought me a lot pleasure.”After getting hammered for two successive matches, Rashid starred as SRH defended two low totals. Doing that without Bhuvneshwar in their ranks has given Hyderabad a lot of confidence.”Defending low totals gives us confidence; we can defend anything. The guys did a very good job in the fielding department as well and hopefully we can keep this up.”It helped Rahid that his tormentor from last week, Gayle, fell to Basil Thampi in the next over. The 19-year-old then spun a web around KXIP’s batsmen and picked two more wickets – Karun Nair and R Ashwin.All three of his wickets were critical. Had Rahul stayed on for three more overs, SRH could have said goodbye to their chances and both Nair and Ashwin are capable batsmen, who could have hurt Hyderabad.But what’s Rashid Khan without a bit of challenge? The superstar from Afghanistan will be lethal from hereon and teams in the IPL will have to be wary of his skills and guile.last_img read more

400 PPM: Carbon Dioxide Levels Cross a Sobering New Threshold

first_imgLast week we passed an unfortunate marker when it comes to climate change: concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have hit 400 parts per million (ppm) near the Arctic.What Does it Mean and Why Should We Care?This level was discovered by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who have long measured CO2 concentrations at stations around the world through two ways: (1) volunteers collect air samples and send them to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Colorado for analysis; and (2) half a dozen baseline observatories continuously monitor CO2 levels. One of these observatories is located in Barrow, Alaska. The observatory in Barrow, as well as air samples from several other northern locations including Canada, Finland, and Norway, show that 400 ppm was surpassed sometime this spring.Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming, and its concentration in the atmosphere provides a strong signal of how close we are in moving toward irreversible climate change. Because the projected impacts of higher CO2 concentrations are so significant, many advocate that we need to stay around 350 ppm in order to maintain a stable climate system.Present global average atmospheric CO2 concentrations, however, are 393.9 ppm. If current trends continue, it should take roughly four years for global levels to reach 400 ppm, according to NOAA. Part of the variation in regional CO2 levels is a result of the vegetation in mid-latitudes, which absorb CO2 during the spring and summer, causing somewhat lower concentrations in these areas. Levels then rise again during the fall, when CO2 is emitted from decaying plant matter. Despite these seasonal ups and downs, growth of global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide has accelerated over the past half century, increasing roughly 2 ppm annually.To put this data into context, scientific models show that CO2 concentrations are greater today than at any time in the last 800,000 years (check out https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html for a powerful demonstration of the unprecedented rising levels of CO2). This trend has accelerated rapidly in the post-industrial age, leading scientists to draw the connection between human activity and the heightened CO2 levels.IEA: Record-High EmissionsThe news of surpassing the 400 ppm marker was made more troubling as it coincided with new data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which indicates that global CO2 emissions increased 3.2 percent over the past year, reaching a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt). The IEA suggests that the world is now just 1 Gt away from the level at which CO2 emissions must stay if we are to have a 50 percent chance of keeping the rise in global average temperature to 2°C above preindustrial levels. And most scientists suggest that even a 2°C increase is too high, as some parts of the world—such as the polar regions—would face temperature increases of two-to-three times the global average.Globally, temperatures have risen 0.8°C since the late 1880s, and we are already seeing climate-related impacts take hold. Global temperature increases have already led to: earlier springtime and shifts in animal migration patterns; increased glacial runoff and warming of many rivers; enlargement of glacial lakes; changes to food chains; and shifts in ranges and abundance of plankton and fish. All of these have significant impacts on people, ecosystems, and economies around the world.Some would argue that surpassing 400 ppm is only noteworthy because it is a round number. But the figure serves as an alarm that we need to urgently find lasting solutions to turn these current climate trends around. Otherwise, society will continue to move into unchartered territory as our activities lead us into a new and more uncertain world.last_img read more

Aquaman spinoff The Trench will be more of monster horror movie James

first_imgLos Angeles: Filmmaker James Wan has revealed that “The Trench”, spin-off to his 2018 blockbuster “Aquaman”, will be more of a monster horror film than a superhero movie. Introduced in the Jason Momoa-fronted “Aquaman”, The Trench are aquatic abominations who tormented Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard) during one of the most intense sequences in the film. In an interview with Comicbook.com, Wan said,”We, you know, we’re still deep in sort of crafting the script, crafting the story right now so I don’t want to get into that too much.” Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “But definitely it’s one that I really want to lean into the horror of it, so it’s going to play more as a monster horror movie than it will as a superhero film, but it’s still definitely part of the Aquaman world,” he added. Producer Peter Safran had confirmed in March that Arthur and Mera will not appear in “The Trench”. He had also revealed that the movie will take place after the first “Aquaman”. The makers are planning to release the film before “Aquman 2” which is is scheduled to hit the theatres in 2022.last_img read more

Ottawa faces pressure to examine historic figures celebrated in Canada

first_imgOttawa is facing increased pressure from Indigenous advocates to look at historic figures celebrated in Canada after an Ontario teachers’ group passed a motion to remove Sir John A. Macdonald’s name from elementary schools in the province.NDP MP and Indigenous affairs critic Romeo Saganash says a much bigger conversation needs to unfold about the role of historic figures in the “dark realities of colonialism.”Saganash, a residential school survivor, was supportive of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to remove the name of Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation, from the Ottawa building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office.Trudeau made the announcement in June after Indigenous MPs and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde called for the change because Langevin was an architect of the residential school system.Bellegarde says he commends the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario for its motion, noting he is encouraged Canadians are acknowledging prominent leaders like Macdonald did not always have a respectful relationship with Indigenous Peoples.A spokesperson for Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says the government must “seize this opportunity” to acknowledge Canada’s past, adding it will listen and engage with Indigenous groups on how to best correct historical wrongs.last_img read more

Pets or meat PEI petting farm gets flak when some goats become

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN – The owner of a petting farm in P.E.I. says she never expected backlash for discussing how some of her goats will be served up next week in a Charlottetown restaurant.Flory Sanderson opened her popular Island Hill Farm to visitors four years ago but says she never disguised its main focus — raising goats for dairy and meat.“Some happen to go to table, and I think that’s A-OK,” she said from the 120-hectare property in Hampshire, northwest of Charlottetown.“It’s good. I think we need to teach our kids where your food comes from because it’s the next generation that is going to change how we see food, and how we eat.”Vegans and some parents have criticized Sanderson since she mentioned on Facebook that Charlottetown’s Terre Rouge eatery would feature her goat meat in donairs.Sanderson said all her animals are raised humanely with care. About 10 of her 100 goats are sold each year for consumption, depending on demand. They are killed off-site by local butchers.Sanderson said goats sold for meat are often too aggressive to interact with visitors and tend to be males aged nine months to two years. Females are kept for dairy and other products, including homemade soaps.Sanderson stressed that the farm’s best known goats are there to stay. They include the affectionate Bella — with her own social media hashtag #bellahugs — and Valerie, an orphaned goat that joined country music crooner Brett Kissel on stage last February during his swing through the province.Corona, a nine-month-old male that Sanderson saved from a meat farm last spring, will also remain at the farm.“You can’t keep them all,” she said. “Lots go for pets,” but others will continue to be sold for meat, she added.“Absolutely.”The roast meat pita sandwiches with garlic sauce will be served for lunch at Terre Rouge starting next week.Goat meat from Sanderson’s farm is also served at Taste of India, another restaurant in Charlottetown.“It’s illogical to bring children to … petting farms that are essentially disguising real farms, get them to fall in love with these animals, teach them to be kind to them, then turn around and kill the animal needlessly,” said one comment on Sanderson’s Facebook feed.“What kind of message is that sending?”Lucy Morrow, the chef at Terre Rouge, said she can understand why some people are upset. Still, it’s a chance to teach children where meat comes from, she said. She also noted that Sanderson has received overwhelming support from many local people and farmers across Canada.“Terre Rouge is totally farm to table. That means we have to get our meat from farms.”“I know her,” Morrow said of Sanderson. “I’ve been to the farm, I’ve petted the goats, I grew up on a farm. She’s an incredible person.“Instead of saying, ‘Oh, these children are petting the goats and unbeknownst to them they’re killed and eaten,’ I think that’s a great opportunity to introduce kids to the idea of a life cycle. If they’re not OK with knowing a goat died to eat meat, then maybe this is their opportunity to say, hey, I want to be a vegetarian. And that’s totally fine.”—By Sue Bailey in St. John’s, N.L.Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

Man charged in daughters death in hospital with selfinflicted gunshot wound police

first_imgPolice say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of his daughter is in hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was charged in 11-year-old Riya Rajkumar’s death after the girl’s body was found in his Brampton, Ont., home shortly after an Amber Alert was issued late Thursday night.Peel regional police say they were called by Riya’s mother after the child’s father failed to return her home from her birthday celebrations.Police say Roopesh was arrested by provincial police shortly after Riya’s body was found and was taken to hospital for injuries that were kept secret for several days.They say the province’s police watchdog was notified of his injury, but decided to not investigate the circumstances surrounding it.Police say Rajkumar is in custody, and will have a court appearance once his doctors say he is well enough.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Celebrity Fight Night In Italy Raises Over 4 Million

first_imgCelebrity Fight Night in Italy returned for its third annual event, this year taking philanthropic donors and specials guests on a 5-day excursion through Florence, Lajatico and Venice where they were treated to the very best arts, entertainment and culture in the region.Brian McKnight and Colbie CaillatCelebrity Fight Night, a star-studded annual charity event, has raised $127 million for many charities throughout its 22-year history, most significantly for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ. This year’s event raised an incredible $4 million dollars benefitting the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.Andrea Bocelli honours Queen Rania of JordanMore than 100 philanthropists traveled to Italy to participate in the “benefit trip” where Italian designer Stefano Ricci kicked off the festivities in Florence on September 8. Stefano Ricci took guests through the Basilica di Santa Croce, also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories, where Italian greats such as Michelangelo and Galileo were laid to rest. After exploring the Cappella dei Pazzi, the evening concluded in the Cloister of the Basilica with dinner and music, led by Andrea Bocelli.The following afternoon, guests departed Florence on a scenic drive through Tuscany to Lajatico, the birthplace of Andrea Bocelli, where Andrea and Veronica Bocelli welcomed everyone for an unforgettable night with guest of honor Nicolas Cage, who received the “Andrea Bocelli Humanitarian Award.” The evening included aperitifs at the magnificent Teatro del Silenzio, and a gourmet dinner at the country home of the Bocellis, with memorable entertainment by musical artists David Foster, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Peter Cetera, Colbie Caillat, Jordan Smith, and Bocelli himself. Additional guests included Evander Holyfield, Melissa Peterman, and more. The next day, everyone boarded a privately chartered train to Venice for an exciting day of exploration in one of the world’s most romantic cities that included lunch at the stunning Palazzo Pisani Moretta and a gondola ride to St. Mark’s Square, before returning to Florence.The pinnacle of this five-day experience was the featured gala on September 11, where guests walked the red carpet in the historical Salone dei Cinquecento at the Palazzo Vecchio. This massive Romanesque fortress-palace is one of the most impressive town halls in all of Tuscany; and it again opened exceptionally to host the gala. Andrea Bocelli, along with the extraordinary Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the direction of the great Maestro Zubin Mehta, headlined the evening. Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan received the “Andrea Bocelli Humanitarian Award” onstage, and Lonnie Ali was honored for her incredible philanthropic achievements, having been a part of Celebrity Fight Night along with her late husband, Muhammad Ali, for nearly two decades.The event concluded with a special evening in the heart of Florence that started at the Palazzo Spini Feroni, home to the Global Flagship Headquarters of Salvatore Ferragamo and the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. The Ferragamo family themselves welcomed guests with a cocktail and a visit to the museum and the shop, before guests were led to the nearby Palazzo Corsini for a night of dining and dancing.As a result of the funds raised by this third edition of Celebrity Fight Night in Italy, The Andrea Bocelli Foundation will assure continual access to education to the 2,550 students of 5 schools in Haiti to assure a salary for the teaching staff and to the grant all of the children the necessary healthcare treatments.The five-day experience was sponsored by Stefano Ricci, GVM La Civiltà del Marmo, Peak6 Best Marble, Ermanno Scervino, Falconeri, Fratelli Piccini Firenze, Mikimoto, Jeep, Fregoli Luxury Bags, Salotti del Gusto, Excellence Magazine, and Euro-Toques.last_img read more

Liev Schreiber and His Hurricane Harvey Rescue Pups Are Now PETA Pinups

first_imgIn a series of snapshots, Liev Schreiber snuggles up to brother-and-sister puppy duo Woody and Willow for a new PETA ad that proclaims, “Adopt! Once You Do, You Won’t Be Able to Picture Your Life Without Them!”Liev Schreiber PETA AdThe ad follows Schreiber’s adoption of Woody and Willow from the Live With Kelly and Ryan show set, where they’d been brought from an animal shelter in Texas that was overwhelmed with homeless animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.“Animal shelters across the country are flooded with dogs just like Woody and Willow,” says Schreiber. “It’s hard knowing that so many are still waiting for their forever home. The good folks at PETA and I encourage you to find your own perfect match and save a life (or two!) by adopting.”Not every pup is as lucky as Woody and Willow. Every year, more than 6 million dogs and cats end up in U.S. animal shelters, and half of them have to be euthanized because there aren’t enough good homes for them all. Countless more end up on the street, where they may starve, freeze, get hit by cars, or endure abuse.That’s why PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” — encourages caring people to adopt from local animal shelters and never buy from breeders or pet stores, which only exacerbate the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis.last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Short (1-40 min)$25$35$55 EARLYREGULARLATE Advertisement Facebook NOV 15DEC 6JAN 8 Please note that HST taxes (13%) are not included in the above fees. All deadlines are postmark deadlines.ELIGIBILITYAll submissions:must have been completed after January 1, 2017must be at minimum Toronto premieres (i.e. cannot have been screened publicly in Toronto prior to the 2018 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length)must not be available online in any form (this includes DVDs for purchase in any region). Not applicable for short film submissions.must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned (non-English language films may be submitted with an English transcript; however, if selected for Hot Docs, it must be subtitled or dubbed into English at the applicant’s expense)may not have submitted to the Festival previously in any stage of completion (i.e. films that were submitted as rough cuts will not be reconsidered)FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION – CLICK HERE Feature and Mid-Length (41+ min)$55$100$150center_img Twitter Submission Fees & Deadlines Film submissions for Hot Docs 2018 are open.Please note that deadlines and fees may have changed from previous years. Please review the below before submitting a film. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

UN Resolution Pressures Polisario to Stop Undermining Status Quo

In the resolution, the 15 members of the Security Council calls on the Polisario Front to refrain from taking any action that might destabilize the region or seek to change the status quo in the areas located east of Morocco’s defense wall and the buffer strip at Guerguerat.In the second part of the sixth operative paragraph, the resolution “calls on the Frente Polisario to fully adhere to its commitments to the Personal Envoy with respect to Bir Lahlou, Tifariti, and the buffer strip at Guerguerat.”Analysts say that This paragraph in itself is a “winning card” for Morocco because it mentioned Tifariti, which has long been called a “liberated zone” by the separatist group.  The first draft resolution, obtained by Morocco World News, did not include Tifariti. The final version Wednesday, however, added Tifariti, which Morocco considers a diplomatic gain. As a result of the strong language used in the new resolution against Polisario’s provocative actions, the front is unlikely to take similar actions to its moves in the past two years.It is not the first time the Security Council has warned against a change in the status quo of the region. In April, the Security Council voted on Resolution 2414, which expressed  concern over Polisario’s presence in Guerguerat.Like Resolution 2414, the new resolution renews MINURSO’s mandate for six months only, an extension that was highly supported by the US.France and other countries, such as Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire and Kuwait, supported the UN and Morocco’s preference for a one-year extension for MINURSO’s mandate.The US aimed for a six-month extension in order to pressure the parties to the conflict to show their willingness to be involved in serious negotiations before accepting a one-year extension for the MINURSO mandate.Morocco also has commended the resolution’s call for Algeria to show commitment to the UN-led political process. Resolution 2440 “notes that invitations to an initial roundtable meeting in Geneva on 5 and 6 December 2018 were sent on 28 September 2018, welcomes that Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria, and Mauritania have responded positively, and encourages them to work constructively with the Personal Envoy, in the spirit of compromise, throughout the duration of this process to ensure a successful outcome.”The resolution also shows support for the political process led by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his Personal Envoy Horst Kohler. read more

Learn the serious through play UN launches childrens video game on disaster

“Education is essential for reducing children risks to disasters,” UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Director Salvano Briceño said. “Children are the future mayors, architects, builders, school teachers and citizens of tomorrow.” “If we teach them about disaster risk reduction from an early age, they will understand why it is vital to build houses, schools and hospitals in safe locations, to have early warning systems in place and reduce disasters,” he added of the game, which features in colourful panels various levels of play in guarding against or mitigating the impact of an advancing wall of flames, waves and other hazards. Drought may soon be added to the menu. The free project, “Stop disaster game” (www.stopdisastersgame.org), part of ISDR’s campaign on education called “Disaster risk reduction starts at school, teaches youngsters how to build safer villages and cities against disasters.” “Children will learn how the location and construction materials can make a difference when disaster strikes and how early warning systems, evacuation plans and education can save lives and livelihoods.” UN experts believe that had such systems and plans existed at the time of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami scores of thousands of the more than 200,000 lives lost could have been saved. Produced by Playerthree, an English company, and downloadable in less than three minutes, the game gives players different types of missions to accomplish within a specific budget and time limit before a simulated hurricane, earthquake, flood, tsunami or wildfire strikes. They have to choose between five scenarios with three levels of difficulty and the winners will be the ones who save more people and livelihoods. At present the game is available only on the internet and in English but a multi-language version will be released on International Disaster Reduction Day on 10 October. “We are aware that not all children have easy access to Internet and we are already preparing a DVD format to reach more youngsters in remote areas in Africa, Asia and Pacific or Latin America and Caribbean,” Mr. Briceño said. “We are also thinking of adding new scenarios such as drought which is a devastating disaster in many parts of the world,” he added. ISDR previously produced a board game called Riskland, aimed at children aged 6 to 10. The game has been a very successful educational tool and has been translated into many local languages, available at www.unisdr.org. Nor is ISDR the only UN body turning to internet game to raise the awareness of youngsters. In 2005, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched ‘Food Force’ (www.food-force.com), an internet video game with a virtual world of planes launching food airdrops over crisis zones and emergency trucks struggling up treacherous roads under rebel threat with emergency supplies, to teach children the arduous but vital task of feeding the world’s hungry. Millions of youngsters around the world have since downloaded the game. 1 March 2007From raging wildfires, devastating floods and towering tsunamis to roaring hurricanes and cataclysmic earthquakes, children can now learn how to respond to and mitigate disasters through a new internet video game launched today by the United Nations, the latest in a series of such UN web tools. read more

Jackhammers fumes turn BC familys Panama Canal cruise into construction zone

VICTORIA — A suburban Victoria woman says she didn’t expect to be hearing jackhammers or smelling strong fumes when she booked a spring-break family cruise through the Panama Canal.Cecilia Jenkins says a major construction project began moments after the Norwegian Cruise Lines vessel left a dock in Miami, and the ruckus lasted the entire voyage.Jenkins is one of dozens of passengers who were aboard the Norwegian Sun and are now publicly criticizing the company for launching the work on a vessel loaded with passengers.She says her family spent more than $10,000 for the two-week trip that was filled with dust, noise and inconvenience.Jenkins says she’s been suffering breathing problems since returning to Vancouver Island and at one point on her trip almost collapsed from inhaling fumes.Norwegian Cruise Lines has not been immediately available for comment, but Jenkins and others say passengers were offered a 25 per cent discount on another cruise if they take it within the next year. read more

Small earthquake rattles rural San Diego county near Palomar Mountain

first_img Posted: September 16, 2018 Small earthquake rattles rural San Diego county near Palomar Mountain Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom SANTA YSABEL (KUSI) — A small earthquake struck a rural corner of San Diego County in the early morning hours Sunday.A preliminary magnitude 3.3 temblor was recorded near Palomar Mountain at 4:37 a.m. Sunday, according to the United States Geological Survey.The epicenter was located about 20 miles east-northeast of Escondido and about 16 miles north-northeast of Ramona — an area near Lake Henshaw.Reports on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” map showed light shaking could be felt throughout inland North County and the mountains of East County. September 16, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more

JM Family Enterprises kicks off 150M renovation in Deerfield Beach

first_imgDEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida car dealership kicked off a multimillion-dollar renovation at its Deerfield Beach headquarters.JM Family Enterprises held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday. President and CEO Brent Burns said the company’s $150 million renovation and expansion project is designed to make their headquarters a place their employees will love.“We’re preparing for the future by investing in this community and enabling our associates to be able to maximize their potential by having a campus that they truly want to come and work,” he said. “[They will want to] deliver and collaborate and be as innovative and agile as we’ll need to be, so that we’re as successful in the next 50 years as we were in the first 50.”The company is aiming to finish the project in about three years. Once complete, it will feature a sports facility, health facility and many other amenities.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Hunters Point Bears Fruit after Decades of Battle over Contamination

first_imgAs new homeowners move into the first 88 units of new housing at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard this spring and summer, officials from the Navy, the city of San Francisco and master developer Lennar Urban could be excused if they breathe a sigh of relief while looking back at the hurdles that were overcome to reach this point.“It really is the culmination of many, many years of thinking about what to do and many fights over what to do, so it’s huge that we have new residents in those units,” Olson Lee, director of the mayor’s office of Housing and Community Development, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Yes, it’s a former Superfund site. Yes, there were toxics on the site, but the city has followed all federal and state protocols that are part of the base conversion process to make sure all the new housing is safe.”The site’s reuse plan calls for 10,500 residential units to be built over the next two decades at the former shipyard and adjacent Candlestick Point. Almost one-third of the housing will be designated for low- or middle-income buyers and renters.To be sure, cleanup efforts to remove contaminated piping, groundwater, bay sediment and soil is expected to continue until 2021, but the new homes going up at Hunters Point mark the end of decades of bickering over the extent of pollutants left over from the decontamination of ships used as targets in atom bomb tests, research on the effects of radiation and industrial activities.“We are righting several wrongs — we are building affordable housing, cleaning up a Superfund site, bringing in retail, hiring local contractors and subcontractors, and building all this inclusionary and affordable housing,” said city Supervisor Malia Cohen.To date, three parcels have been cleaned up completely and two more are expected to be clean by 2016. The Navy hopes to hand over the last parcels to the city in 2021.“It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of money to continue to move down the right path, but what we are seeing now is a renaissance,” Cohen told the Chronicle. “We are turning it around, like a phoenix rising up from the toxins.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

What Will The Trump Effect Be On Texas Economy

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Dacia ClayRice University political scientist Mark Jones says the impact of President-elect Trump’s policies on the Texas economy will likely be mixed.On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the country’s 45th president.Much uncertainty still surrounds his administration, but do we have an idea about what impact it could have on the Texas economy?Will Trump’s business-friendliness outweigh his opposition to free trade and immigration?To get some answers, we spoke with Rice University political scientist Mark Jones for this week’s Bauer Business Focus.You can listen to the interview by clicking the play button above. Listen 00:00 /03:36 Share Xlast_img read more

Folktale diffusion traced using genomic data

first_img Study shows cultural flow may be slower than genetic divergence © 2017 Phys.org Most people today in the Western world are familiar with a handful of folktales, including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin”—such tales typically have a moral or lesson. Those that struck a chord tended to be widely told and were passed down through the generations, first orally, then through books. The researchers with this new effort wanted to know whether such tales were distributed through the grapevine, so to speak, or whether they were carried by people moving from one place to another. To find out, they used some of the growing amount of publicly available genome data.For their study, the researchers made a list of what they deemed the 596 most famous folktales in Europe and Asia—then, they compiled another list containing titles and information about published folktales. Next, they extracted information from global genome databases that provided data regarding the movement of people over different time periods. Connecting the two types of data allowed the researchers to create flow charts that described the movement of folktales over time.The researchers were able to see that both types of distribution were involved in the spread of folktales. Some of the tales moved through populations until they reached a border, either physical or social, such as a language barrier. Others were able to make giant leaps as people traveled great distances, taking the tales with them and relating them to those they encountered. The team notes that they were also able to isolate approximately 15 of the tales that had clearly spread due to migration. The researchers report that they were also able to narrow down the origination sites of some common fables to regions as broad as Northern Africa or Central Asia. More information: Inferring patterns of folktale diffusion using genomic data, Eugenio Bortolini, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1614395114AbstractObservable patterns of cultural variation are consistently intertwined with demic movements, cultural diffusion, and adaptation to different ecological contexts [Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman (1981) Cultural Transmission and Evolution: A Quantitative Approach; Boyd and Richerson (1985) Culture and the Evolutionary Process]. The quantitative study of gene–culture coevolution has focused in particular on the mechanisms responsible for change in frequency and attributes of cultural traits, the spread of cultural information through demic and cultural diffusion, and detecting relationships between genetic and cultural lineages. Here, we make use of worldwide whole-genome sequences [Pagani et al. (2016) Nature 538:238–242] to assess the impact of processes involving population movement and replacement on cultural diversity, focusing on the variability observed in folktale traditions (n = 596) [Uther (2004) The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography. Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson] in Eurasia. We find that a model of cultural diffusion predicted by isolation-by-distance alone is not sufficient to explain the observed patterns, especially at small spatial scales (up to ∼∼4,000 km). We also provide an empirical approach to infer presence and impact of ethnolinguistic barriers preventing the unbiased transmission of both genetic and cultural information. After correcting for the effect of ethnolinguistic boundaries, we show that, of the alternative models that we propose, the one entailing cultural diffusion biased by linguistic differences is the most plausible. Additionally, we identify 15 tales that are more likely to be predominantly transmitted through population movement and replacement and locate putative focal areas for a set of tales that are spread worldwide. Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencescenter_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from several European countries has conducted a study involving tracing the spread of common folktales throughout history in Eurasia. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes using genome data to trace two common means of folktale distribution. Citation: Folktale diffusion traced using genomic data (2017, August 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-folktale-diffusion-genomic.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


first_imgNew Delhi: Purelogic Labs India, an initiative to increase awareness about air pollution in India, today announced the launch of India’s first one of a kind motorized air mask, Prana Air Motion Mask. Engineered with special attention to details such as the quality of toxic air in a particular city and the various issues that one might face when breathing in, Prana Air Motion Mask provides maximum protection from the deadly haze and air pollutants both indoors and outdoors. The mask is the most convenient, effective and affordable anti-pollution solution that lets you be safe while on the go. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Prana Motion Air Mask is built of more than 30 unique parts equipped with anti-microbial and anti-allergy qualities. The adjustable foam head strap comfortably fits on all head sizes and doesn’t have any odor or itch the skin, keeping it soft and smooth. The powerful motor carefully calibrated into the mask produces up to 2L/s air volume in comparison to the average human intake of 0.5L/s. The motor in the mask helps in creating just the right pressure to keep your airways open so you can breathe in and out easily. This motor comes with 3 different speed settings in the form of a toggle switch, which can help you set the level of air as per your activity such as walking, jogging or running. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive The motion mask has a medical silicon grade which takes the shape of your face, leaving no space for the air to come in from anywhere but the filter. The filters in the mask stops even the smallest of dust particles ranging from PM1 to PM 2.5. There are 3 different kinds of filters in the mask planted with 5 more layers. There is a pre-filter which stops the big particles of the dust. The mask also features 2 layers of activated carbon eliminating toxic gas and 2 layers of HEPA filters stopping dust particles up to PM1. These dust particles cause respiratory issues such as bronchitis and asthma. In a standard mask, you breathe in and out the same air which gives little to no space for the carbon dioxide to go out freely, making you feel tired. The Prana Air motion air mask has micro ventilators that open and close when you inhale and exhale giving you clean air to breathe. These micro ventilators attached to the motion mask also enhance the protection in the rapid extraction of heat and moisture. With this combination, you can experience enhanced breathability and cooler airflow while wearing the mask for a long period of time. Commenting on the launch of the product, Mr. Rohit Bansal (Director), Purelogic Labs, said, “We believe that breathing fresh and clean air should be everyone’s basic right. Therefore, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable, fresh and clean air for all. The Prana Air motion mask has been carefully curated with essential techniques needed to completely purify the air that you and your family breathe. It’s apersonal protection product with the capability to neutralize hazardous oxidizing gases in the air.”last_img read more