Program Director        
CA-Woodland, Yolo Community Care Continuum is a nonprofit mental health agency serving Yolo and Placer counties. This is a full-time exemption position and salary will start at $42,281.34-$44,395.39/yr plus benefits pay and annual leave and sick time off. To apply you must have a master’s degree in psychology, social work, or counseling; intern status with the Board of Behavioral Sciences or license eligible p
          By: Anon2        
While incentives are nice, pay usually comes down to market forces. For those of you on the clinical side you will see medical doctors make a ton of money, but not really contribute very much of anything, beyond adding their credential to a protocol. They mostly regurgitate what they can from MSLs. Then the present clinical data to basic scientists and basic science data to clinical folks (so to each party this MD is looked up to as someone who is filling a knowledge gap). The best incentives for early development folks would be a priority class of stock options/shares. However the VCs usually prevent that from happening.
          By: Kling        
Desperate times results in simple minded people flocking to the eloquent. The current pharma climate has detached scientific reason from business decisions. Science and BD are drifting apart. When has a pharma executive led BD deal ever been shot down during scientific due diligence? I have not seen it at my pharma. Maybe I am blind.
          By: Vivek        
Science?
          By: johnnyboy        
Ramaswamy, Theranos' Holmes, Moderna's Bancel - the key to get investment these days is to master Silicon valley-speak and get chummy with their VCs. The science is secondary at best.
          Sulla critica del diritto nel giovane Gramsci        
E' successo che, preparando un commento all'ultima sortita di Saviano a proposito di storia della sinistra italiana, ho ripreso in mano, dopo anni, il vecchio volume dell'Einaudi (Torino, 1960) che raccoglie i corsivi pubblicati da Gramsci sull'"Avanti!" nella rubrica Sotto la Mole (1916-1920). Qui mi è capitato sotto gli occhi il commento di Gramsci alla sentenza sui "fatti di Torino", cioè (annotano i curatori dell'edizione) "lo sciopero generale per il pane e contro la guerra, che sfociò nella sommossa del 23-26 agosto 1917". [1]

Il commento di Gramsci fu pubblicato sull'"Avanti!" il 20 ottobre 1918: il testo, come di frequente, uscì con vistosi "vuoti" dovuti all'azione della censura. Eccolo qui di seguito [2].

BELLU SCHESC' E DOTTORI!

Il giudice Emanuele Pili non è senza storia, come gli uomini e i popoli felici. Ma la storia del giudice Emanuele Pili ha una lacuna; iniziatasi col protagonista autore drammatico, riprende ora col protagonista «ragionatore» di sentenze, e riprende con una gloriosa e strenua pugna: il «ragionamento» della sentenza per i fatti di Torino, che nell'ultimo numero della «Gazzetta dei tribunali» il misuratore di crani prof. Vitige Tirelli qualifica «dotta».
Benedetto Croce ha scritto: «Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piú gio [dodici righe e mezzo censurate]. E il giudice giovane ha fatto sfoggio di dottrina; e il giudice giovane — poiché nella prima gíoventú aspirava alla gloria di Talia e dedicava le sue fresche energie intellettuali a scrivere commedie nei vari dialetti di Sardegna e non poté studiare tutti i risultati delle ultime ricerche sulla natura del diritto e delle costituzioni — ha ragionato [una riga censurata] nella sentenza dei fatti di Torino, rovistando nei vecchi cassettoni, rimettendo alla luce tutti gli imparaticci scolastici del primo anno universitario, quando ancora si frequentano le lezioni e si prendono gli appunti.
[Venticinque righe censurate].
Gli sono estranee le correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure — superando le concezioni puerilmente metafisiche della dottrina tradizionale, degli imparaticci da scoletta universitaria — colla riduzione dello Stato e del Giure a pura attività pratica, svolta come dialettica della volontà di potenza e non piú pietistico richiamo alle leggi naturali, ai sacrari inconoscibili dell'istinto avito, alla banale retorica dei compilatori delle storiette per la scuola elementare. Il «ragionamento» del giudice Pili è solo una filastroccola di banalità retoriche, di gonfiezze presuntuose: esso è il ridicolo parto di un fossile intellettuale, il quale non riesce a concepire che lo Stato italiano almeno giuridicamente (e come giudice questa apparenza della realtà doveva solo importare al «giovane» da tribunale) è costituzionale, ed è parlamentare per tradizione (l'on. Sonnino è gran parte dello Stato attuale, ma crediamo che il suo articolo Torniamo allo Statuto! non sia ancora diventato legge fondamentale del popolo italiano): [cinque righe censurate]. La «dottrina» del giovane da tribunale infatti si consolida (!) in esclamazioni enfatiche contro chi ha «resistito» o è accusato di aver resistito: non cerca (come era suo compito) di dimostrare, alla stregua delle prove concrete e sicure, un delitto per passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entità di una pena contemplata nel codice. No, il «giovane» vuole sfoggiare, come una contadina ricca del Campidano di Cagliari le vesti multicolori che hanno servito alle sue antenate per le nozze e per decine e decine di anni sono rimaste seppellite in un vecchio cassettone a fregi bestiali e floreali tra lo spigo e una dozzina di limoni: e sfoggia tutti i vecchiumi, tutti gli scolaticci dei vespasiani giuridici chiusi per misura d'igiene pubblica.
Il giudice Emanuele Pili ha scritto una commedia dialettale: Bellu schesc' e dottori! (che bel pezzo di... dottore!) L'esclamazione potrebbe essere la conclusione critica della lettura di una sentenza, cosí com'è il titolo di una commedia.

La prima lacuna è stata integrata facilmente dai curatori del testo gramsciano. Si tratta di una citazione dalla Logica di Croce, riportata come segue:

«Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piú giovane collega di "ragionarla", ossia di apporre una parvenza di ragionamento a ciò che non è intrinsecamente e puramente prodotto di logica, ma è voluntas di un determinato provvedimento. Questo procedere, se ha il suo uso nella cerchia pratica o giuridica, è affatto escluso da quella della logica e della scienza» (B. CROCE, Logica come scienza del concetto puro, Bari 1917, pp. 87-88).

Quando Gramsci nel suo corsivo parla delle "correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure", si riferisce appunto alla filosofia del diritto di Benedetto Croce. Croce aveva infatti affermato l'assoluta separazione tra morale e diritto, e aveva sottoposto il diritto alle categorie dell'utile e della forza. Nella concezione di Croce, il diritto è forza, che viene applicata per il raggiungimento di uno scopo ritenuto (da chi agisce questa forza) utile; il diritto è inoltre amorale, in quanto prescinde dal giusto e dall'ingiusto.

E' interessante notare che qui Gramsci si serve della teoria del diritto di Croce per porre un'istanza di garantismo giuridico. Infatti, ciò che Gramsci rimprovera al giudice Pili, estensore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino, è di aver confuso il diritto con la morale. Il giudice avrebbe dovuto limitarsi a vagliare le prove, accertare se fosse stato commesso un reato, e, in caso affermativo, determinarne la pena secondo le norme del codice. Invece, questa sentenza (scrive Gramsci) pretende di condannare gli imputati non sulla base della legge, bensì sulla scorta di considerazioni di ordine moralistico, la cui infondatezza giuridica è mascherata dal ricorso all'enfasi e alla retorica.

La linea del ragionamento gramsciano è abbastanza riconoscibile, nonostante i buchi lasciati dalla censura, e nonostante un probabile refuso tipografico [3]. Comunque, in un poscritto all'articolo del giorno successivo (Le vie della divina provvidenza, 21 ottobre 1918), Gramsci scrive:

P.S. Nell'articolo pubblicato ieri sul giudice Emanuele Pili la censura ha lasciato solo la parte «floreale» che può far supporre aver noi scritto un puro pamphlet per insolentire un magistrato. La censura ha imbiancato le giustificazioni delle insolenze: la giustificazione filosofica trovata nella Logica del senatore Benedetto Croce; la giustificazione storica trovata in una notizia pubblicata dal «Journal des Débats» l'8 novembre 1817 (milleottocentodiciassette!), la giustificazione costituzionale trovata nello Statuto albertino. Un'insolenza giustificata da «pezze» di tal genere crediamo non sia piú insolenza, ma espressione plastica della imparziale giustizia. La censura pertanto ci ha solo diffamati, senza che le leggi ci diano il modo di dar querela.

La "giustificazione filosofica" delle critiche che Gramsci rivolge al magistrato corrisponde, lo abbiamo visto, ad una citazione da Croce. Rimane la curiosità di sapere quali potessero essere le altre due "giustificazioni"  imbiancate dalla censura.

La "giustificazione costituzionale", che corrisponde alla lacuna di cinque righe, si trova, dice Gramsci, nello Statuto albertino; e potrebbe forse trattarsi di uno degli articoli che, in quel testo costituzionale, tutelavano i diritti civili: per esempio l'art. 26, secondo comma, "niuno può essere arrestato e tradotto in giudizio, se non nei casi previsti dalla legge, e nelle forme che essa prescrive".

Naturalmente, non è da pensare che Gramsci si facesse particolari illusioni circa l'effettività delle garanzie prescritte dallo Statuto. Sappiamo, invece, che Gramsci sempre ritenne la borghesia italiana incapace di creare un vero Stato di diritto che tutelasse le libertà individuali [4]. Un articolo di Gramsci di qualche anno successivo a quello che stiamo ora esaminando (Lo Stato italiano, in "L'Ordine Nuovo", 7 febbraio 1920) contiene una puntuale critica, da questo punto di vista, allo Statuto albertino:

Lo Stato italiano [...] non ha mai neppure tentato di mascherare la dittatura spietata della classe proprietaria. Si può dire che lo Statuto albertino sia servito a un solo fine preciso: a legare fortemente le sorti della Corona alle sorti della proprietà privata. I soli freni infatti che funzionano nella macchina statale per limitare gli arbitrî del governo dei ministri del re sono quelli che interessano la proprietà privata del capitale. La Costituzione non ha creato nessun istituto che presidî almeno formalmente le grandi libertà dei cittadini: la libertà individuale, la libertà di parola e di stampa, la libertà di associazione e di riunione. Negli Stati capitalistici, che si chiamano liberali democratici, l'istituto massimo di presidio delle libertà popolari è il potere giudiziario: nello Stato italiano la giustizia non è un potere, è un ordine, è uno strumento della Corona e della classe proprietaria. 

Gramsci sottintendeva questo tipo di considerazioni anche all'articolo qui in commento, laddove scriveva che lo Stato italiano "almeno giuridicamente" (cioè solo formalmente) era costituzionale, ed era "parlamentare per tradizione", nel senso che lo Statuto albertino non istituiva una vera e propria democrazia parlamentare, bensì l'ordinamento parlamentare dello Stato derivava da una semplice consuetudine che poteva essere in ogni momento abrogata: così come aveva proposto di fare Sidney Sonnino nel suo articolo del 1897, appropriatamente richiamato da Gramsci, Torniamo allo Statuto!,  e come poi farà il fascismo.

Tuttavia, il fatto che la monarchia sabauda fosse uno Stato di diritto carente e imperfetto non avrebbe dovuto esimere il magistrato dall'applicare comunque quelle garanzie (pur se insufficienti) che la legge disponeva a favore degli imputati: "come giudice questa apparenza della realtà doveva solo importare" al giudice Pili, osserva giustamente Gramsci.

La "giustificazione storica", che corrisponde alla lacuna di venticinque righe, è data (scrive Gramsci) da una notizia pubblicata sul numero dell'8 novembre 1817 del "Journal des Débats". Internet consente oggi di consultare facilmente quel numero di giornale per cercare quale potesse essere la notizia che costituiva la "giustificazione storica" invocata da Gramsci.

Una delle notizie ivi contenute, che possono essere state utilizzate da Gramsci ai fini del suo commento, è una corrispondenza dalla Gran Bretagna datata 3 novembre, che riporto qui di seguito in una mia traduzione (il testo originale è in nota):

Quattro individui di nome Booth, Brown, Jackson e King, prima delle ultime assisi di Derby, erano stati condannati a morte per crimine di ribellione. Condotti sul patibolo, al momento stesso della morte hanno avuto l'audacia empia di arringare la folla, affinché li venisse a liberare. Questa folla era composta da loro vecchi amici che li avevano frequentemente visitati in carcere; ma il luogo dell'esecuzione era sorvegliato da folti distaccamenti di cavalleria e di fanteria, e la legge ha avuto esecuzione [5].

Inizialmente ho pensato che questa notizia potesse aver attratto l'attenzione di Gramsci (per analogia con i fatti di Torino) perché riferita a un episodio di ribellione delle classi subalterne conclusosi con una condanna penale. Episodio che forse è leggibile nel quadro della fase di irrequietezza sociale che fu caratterizzata, in Gran Bretagna, dalle proteste contro la legge sul grano del 1815, fase che sfociò nel massacro di Peterloo.

Tuttavia, non ho trovato alcun elemento che potesse suffragare questa ipotesi. Non è chiaro neanche se i quattro uomini giustiziati a Derby nel 1817 siano stati effettivamente condannati a morte per reati politici, o non piuttosto per reati comuni; in un elenco dei giustiziati nel carcere di Derby, compilato da Celia Renshaw, una storica locale, questi Booth, Brown, Jackson e King risultano essere stati condannati per aver appiccato il fuoco a dei covoni di paglia [6]. Inoltre è noto che Gramsci non amava gli atteggiamenti tribunizi e teatrali, né apprezzava particolarmente i gesti individuali di ribellione: lo si evince dal suo stesso comportamento di imputato durante il "processone" del 1928 [7], nonché dal suo commento, contenuto nei Quaderni del carcere, ad un libro che raccoglieva i resoconti di una serie di processi contro anarchici libertari [8]. Perciò mi sembra improbabile che, nel suo corsivo del 1918 che stiamo ora commentando, Gramsci possa aver preso ad esempio il comportamento di quattro condannati a morte per reati contro il patrimonio che, dal patibolo, incitano la folla alla rivolta.

C'è però un'altra notiziola, sempre nella prima pagina  del "Journal des Débats" dell'8 novembre 1817, che potrebbe aver attirato l'attenzione di Gramsci. Si tratta di una corrispondenza da Losanna datata primo novembre:

Il Cantone Esterno di Appenzell ha da poco emesso una singolare sentenza contro un ragazzino accusato di alcuni piccoli furti. Lo hanno condannato a 50 fl. di ammenda e a trenta colpi di verga. Gli sarà inoltre assegnato un posto particolare in chiesa per un periodo di due anni: dovrà trovarsi colà per due volte ogni domenica, e sarà punito severamente in caso d'inosservanza [9].

In questa notizia di cronaca (un ragazzino condannato con sentenza penale ad andare a messa due volte la settimana) troviamo un esempio estremo e grottesco di quella perniciosa, pre-moderna confusione tra diritto e morale, che Gramsci stigmatizza nella sua polemica col giudice relatore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino. Perciò ritengo che sia stata questa la pezza giustificativa di quella parte dell'argomentazione gramsciana, che la censura ha cancellato lasciando nell'articolo un buco di venticinque righe.

Note

[1] Sempre secondo l'apparato critico dell'edizione citata, la sentenza fu emessa dal Tribunale militare di Torino il 2 agosto 1918; il testo della sentenza è reperibile in "Rivista storica del socialismo", n. 2, 1960.

[2] A. Gramsci, Sotto la Mole, ed. cit., pp. 447-48. L'articolo è stato poi raccolto nella più recente edizione degli scritti gramsciani precarcerari: A. Gramsci, Il nostro Marx 1918-1919, a cura di Sergio Caprioglio, Einaudi, Torino 1984, pp. 360-2. In Internet si trova qui: http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/g/gramsci/sotto_la_mole/pdf/sotto__p.pdf, p. 269.

[3] "Passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entità di una pena contemplata nel codice" è frase di cui si capisce il senso, ma che sembra guasta anche grammaticalmente. Penso che Gramsci abbia invece scritto "fissare l'esatta commisurazione della sua entità ad una pena contemplata nel codice".

[4] Cfr. Leonardo Rapone, Cinque anni che paiono secoli. Antonio Gramsci dal socialismo al comunismo (1914-1919), Carocci, Roma 2011, pp. 162-6.

[5] Quatre individus nommés Booth, Brown, Jackson et King, antérieurement aux dernières assises de Derby, avoient été condamnés à mort pour crime de rebellion. Amenés sur l'échafaud, ils ont eu, même au moment de la mort, l'audace impie de haranguer la multitude, et de l'engager à venir les délivrer. Cette multitude étoit composée de leurs anciens amis qui les avoient fréquemment visités dans leur prison; mais le lieu de l'exécution étoit gardé par de forts détachements de cavalerie et d'infanterie, et la loi reçut son exécution.

[6] Fonte: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DERBYSGEN/2009-08/1250276359

[7] Cfr. Giuseppe Fiori (a cura di), Antonio Gramsci: cronaca di un verdetto annunciato, I Libri de "l'Unità", supplemento al numero del 4 aprile, Roma 1994. 

[8] Antonio Gramsci, Quaderni del carcere, edizione critica a cura di Valentino Gerratana, Einaudi, Torino 1975, pp. 6-7 e 1896-7.

[9] Les Rhodes extérieurs d'Appenzell viennent de rendre une singulière sentence contre un enfant accusé de quelques petits vols. Ils l'ont condamné à 50 fl. d'amende et à trente coups de bâtons. Il lui sera d'ailleurs assigné une place particulière à l'église pendant deux ans; il devra s'y trouver deux fois chaque dimanche sous des peines séveres.

          La Quinta sinfonia di Brahms        
Vogliamo oggi parlare della meno eseguita fra le sinfonie di Brahms: la Sinfonia n. 5 in do maggiore, op. 123.

Questa sinfonia è il "canto del cigno" del grande musicista, che la terminò nel 1898, pochi mesi prima del suo definitivo crollo psichico.

Brahms visse ancora una decina d'anni chiuso nel manicomio di Amburgo, dove, secondo le relazioni cliniche e le testimonianze del personale ospedaliero, condusse una vita vegetativa, completamente immemore, punteggiata da intervalli di coscienza (ma non di lucidità), durante i quali il povero Brahms sosteneva di essere una taverniera; in tale sua immaginaria qualità di ostessa di una bettola di infimo ordine, Brahms interloquiva coi medici e gli infermieri, scambiandoli per avventori del suo locale. Lo si poteva allora udire in tutto il manicomio mentre, con voce stridula, urlava frasi del tipo: "Quante birre al tavolo sei?" - Tale scena penosa, su cui i biografi di Brahms hanno mantenuto, fino a tempi recenti, un imbarazzato silenzio, si ripeteva una o due volte la settimana.

Si direbbe che l'incombente follia abbia proiettato la sua oscura ombra anche sulla ricezione di quest'ultima opera brahmsiana, che già al suo apparire lasciò perplessi ascoltatori e critici, innanzitutto per la sua durata stranamente breve: la sinfonia dura circa venti o venticinque minuti, a seconda delle interpretazioni (diciotto minuti nella lettura di Toscanini, ventisette in quella di Klemperer; un'incisione dal vivo di Celibidache, con l'orchestra sinfonica della RAI di Napoli, arriva ai quaranta minuti, ma solo perché il direttore allunga fino all'inverosimile gli intervalli fra un movimento e l'altro). Decisamente poco per il pubblico dell'epoca, abituato al gigantismo formale.

Un altro motivo di stupore derivò poi dalla strumentazione, che comprende, oltre al solito organico orchestrale, anche una fisarmonica, un mandolino e un sassofono. Inoltre nell'ultimo movimento è introdotta una voce di basso.

Il primo movimento, Allegro amabile, in forma sonata, inizia con il primo tema, esposto dai soli archi. E' una melodia languida, per non dire sensuale, costruita sulle note Do - La - La - Mi bemolle - Do- Si. In tedesco, queste note si scrivono C - A- A- Es - C - H; si tratta perciò di un chiaro riferimento al nome di Clara Schumann, la musicista per la quale, com'è noto, Brahms nutrì a lungo una segreta e infelice passione. Dopo un ponte modulante, si passa al secondo tema, che è costituito, abbastanza sorprendentemente, dalla ben nota canzone goliardica italiana detta "delle osterie". Il tema viene ripetuto varie volte, con un crescendo rossiniano inconsueto in Brahms, passando da una sezione all'altra dell'orchestra, in modo sempre più insistente. Lo sviluppo è costituito da una ingegnosa combinazione contrappuntistica fra il primo tema e le ultime battute del secondo tema (quelle che, nel testo della canzone, corrispondono alle parole "Dammela a me, biondina, dammela a me, biondà"). La ripresa è assai regolare, ed è seguita da una coda in cui Brahms cita la melodia di un'altra canzone goliardica, Gaudeamus igitur, già da lui utilizzata nella sua Ouverture accademica, op. 80.

Il secondo movimento, Andante comodo, è in forma tripartita. Qui, dopo le stravaganze del primo tempo, ritroviamo con piacere il consueto Brahms di tanti suoi andanti sinfonici: nobile, compassato, un tantino soporifero. La parte centrale dell'Andante si distingue per il finissimo dialogo strumentale fra il sassofono e il mandolino, su una melodia che presenta sottili analogie strutturali con il tema dell'Andante del Trio op. 17 di Clara Schumann.

Non si discosta dal sostanziale classicismo dell'Andante il Minuetto con trio che costituisce il terzo movimento della sinfonia: anzi, questo Minuetto è così ostentatamente haydniano, così settecentesco in modo quasi iperrealistico, che nell'ascoltatore inizia a farsi strada il dubbio se Brahms stia facendo sul serio, e se, a questo punto, ci stia ancora con la testa.

Ogni dubbio viene meno con l'inizio del famigerato quarto movimento. Dapprima entra la fisarmonica solista, proponendo un Recitativo strumentale di sedici battute che non si sa veramente come definire. Dopodiché il basso, senza alcun accompagnamento strumentale, intona alcuni frammenti di Saffo, ordinati dallo stesso Brahms in una sequenza, di cui si ricorderà quarant'anni dopo il nostro Quasimodo nella sua traduzione dei lirici greci:

Tramontata è la luna
e le Pleiadi a mezzo della notte;
anche giovinezza già dilegua,
e ora nel mio letto resto sola.
Scuote l'anima mia Eros,
come vento sul monte
che irrompe entro le querce;
e scioglie le membra e le agita,
dolce amara indomabile belva.
Ma a me non ape, non miele;
e soffro e desidero.


E' difficile ascoltare questo recitativo senza provare disagio: il basso, infatti, inizia nel proprio registro centrale, ma poi sale gradualmente, terminando su delle note che si trovano talmente oltre il limite della sua estensione, che finora nessun cantante è riuscito ad intonarle se non in falsetto. Ebbene sì: qui al compositore ha decisamente dato di volta il cervello.

A questo punto entra l'orchestra, attaccando l'Allegretto, in forma di rondò, su cui il basso canta un testo, elaborato dallo stesso Brahms, tratto dal Cantico di Re Salomone. La singolare difficoltà di questa parte vocale, caratterizzata da repentini salti di registro, costituisce certamente uno dei motivi per i quali la Sinfonia n. 5 di Brahms viene eseguita così raramente, ma non è l'unico. Soprattutto è sconcertante la disinvoltura con cui Brahms si appropria di intere sequenze tratte dalla Traviata, dalla Carmen, dal Tristano di Wagner e dalla Manon Lescaut di Puccini, senza neppure sottoporle al lavorìo dell'elaborazione tematica e contrappuntistica di cui è maestro. No, qui Brahms prende interi brani di queste opere e li schiaffa pari pari nel suo rondò, che si trasforma così in una sorta di pot-pourri da operetta.

La Sinfonia n. 5 termina con un altro sberleffo musicale, questa volta affidato alla melodia della canzone napoletana "Oi Marì, oi Marì / quanto suonno aggio perso pe' tte!", eseguita all'unisono dall'intera orchestra e dal basso, per chiudere con un accordo violentemente dissonante che usa tutte e dodici le note della scala cromatica, più alcuni quarti di tono.

Mentre, come si è detto, i contemporanei di Brahms non nascosero l'inquietudine e l'imbarazzo di fronte a questa sinfonia, la critica novecentesca appare molto divisa. Il critico Giorgio Lukács, in una delle sue rare incursioni in ambito musicale, definisce la Quinta Sinfonia di Brahms "uno dei documenti più impressionanti della decadenza artistica e morale della borghesia capitalistica nella sua fase imperialista"; giudizio sostanzialmente riecheggiato da Teodoro Adorno, il quale ebbe a parlare, a proposito di questa sinfonia, di "evidente involuzione reazionaria, basata sulla negazione astorica della funzione sociale della relazione armonica, nella misura in cui il contrappunto, materialisticamente e dialetticamente inteso, cede il passo al costrutto timbrico falsamente progressivo, di carattere apoditticamente neoclassico, orientato a destra, prematurato e antani". La sinfonia fu invece molto lodata da Stravinsky e, ai nostri giorni, da Pierre Boulez, che ne ha dato l'interpretazione forse più vibrante.

Significativa, a suo modo, fu la reazione di Glenn Gould, il quale, durante un'intervista radiofonica col fido Bruno Monsaingeon, da questi interrogato su cosa ne pensasse della Quinta sinfonia di Brahms, per tutta risposta cominciò a ridere, dapprima sommessamente e poi in modo sempre più convulso e irrefrenabile, al punto che l'intervista dovette essere interrotta.

Ma è tempo di passare alla conoscenza diretta di questa composizione così controversa. Ecco il link, con l'avvertenza che, su alcuni browser e con sistemi operativi non aggiornati, la pagina potrebbe anche non aprirsi. Comunque, buon ascolto.

(Già pubblicato su Evulon).
          Pausa pranzo        
Torno a casa. Metto una pentola d'acqua sul fornello e lo accendo. Poi prendo un dischetto e lo metto nel lettore.

Beethoven, Sonata op. 106 nell'orchestrazione di Felix Weingartner. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, diretta dallo stesso Weingartner. Incisione storica, del 1930. Riversata su CD, edizione economica.

Che idea bislacca, trascrivere l'Hammerklavier per orchestra. L'opera, così, non funziona. E' incongrua, fuori posto. O forse è l'arrangiamento che non va bene: tutto in legato! Come no: siccome al piano non si può fare e con l'orchestra sì, allora mettiamo il glissando un po' dovunque...

Non importa. L'op. 106 è bellissima anche così. Beethoven è l'unico musicista che riesce a commuovere anche nelle esecuzioni più impossibili, e nelle situazioni d'ascolto più precarie.

Audiocassette in edizioni da autogrill della Quinta o della Sonata al chiaro di luna ascoltate in auto, d'estate, andando verso la spiaggia, coi finestrini aperti e quasi tutta la musica che si perde nel rumore...

C'è qualcosa di disneyano, nell'orchestrazione anni '30 di Weingartner. Quando ho visto per la prima volta Fantasia? Non ricordo, ma dovevo avere quattro o cinque anni. A Milano. I miei mi portarono al cinema, sicuramente, e qualcosa deve essersi depositato profondamente nella mia memoria. La Sesta sinfonia mi sembra di conoscerla da sempre.

Questa, però, è preistoria. La storia dei miei ascolti musicali comincia invece a metà degli anni '80. Avevo (o meglio, i miei genitori avevano) un magnetofono da tavolo a cassette, di quelli che si usavano per registrare pro-memoria e appunti vocali. Io lo usavo per sentire musica. Le cassette le avevo comprate all'uscita da scuola, prima di prendere il treno che mi avrebbe ricondotto a casa.

Il corso principale della città dove frequentavo il liceo scientifico aveva due negozi di dischi. Quello della signora Esposito era il più fornito: aveva dei meravigliosi cataloghi delle principali case discografiche. I cataloghi, però, mi mettevano in imbarazzo. Avrei voluto consultarli per ore, ma non stava bene: a un certo punto bisognava scegliere e ordinare. E poi, la cassetta arrivava dopo settimane, e a quell'epoca ero molto impaziente.

Il negozio del signor Cavo (dischi ed elettrodomestici, nomen omen) era più piccolo, ma aveva la particolarità di essere praticamente sempre aperto. Arrivavi col treno la mattina presto e trovavi già la saracinesca alzata, oppure perdevi il primo treno del ritorno, e potevi comunque rifugiarti una mezz'oretta da Cavo a contemplare lo scaffale con le cassette, senza essere disturbato (era, e per quanto ne so è ancora, un uomo di una discrezione esemplare, cosa non frequente in provincia). Potevi stare lì davanti quanto volevi prima di scegliere cosa comprare, oppure anche uscire senza aver preso niente, con un semplice grazie e arrivederci.

Ma, quando avevo diecimila lire in tasca, mi piaceva sempre entrare da Cavo per poi uscirne con una cassetta di Mozart o di Beethoven ben sistemata in mezzo ai libri - che tenevo orgogliosamente legati con una cinta elastica, per distinguermi dai miei compagni che sfoggiavano zainetti Invicta dai quali, durante l'intervallo, tiravano fuori i loro dischi di musica pop.

Intanto l'acqua bolle. Mezzo cucchiaino di sale. Apro la dispensa: pennette rigate o spaghetti? Opto per gli spaghetti: cuociono prima.

"La città dove frequentavo il liceo". Ho già scritto il nome di questa città? No. Lo scrivo adesso: Locri. Provincia di Reggio Calabria.

Da una vita, la semplice domanda "Di dove sei?" mi obbliga a fornire spiegazioni complicate e, suppongo, noiose, e anche poco convincenti. Ai tempi del liceo la risposta era semplice: di Africo. Se l'interlocutore era discreto, bastava così. Altrimenti scattava l'altra domanda: "E perché parli con l'accento milanese?" - Sai, la mia famiglia abitava a Milano, poi ci siamo trasferiti in Calabria. "Ah, allora i tuoi sono milanesi". - Niente affatto, siamo calabresi da chissà quante generazioni; ma i miei erano emigrati a Milano alla fine degli anni '60. "E come mai siete tornati qui?" - Uffa...

Da quando sto al Nord, la spiegazione è diventata ancora più involuta e implausibile. Se ci penso, mi vedo in un commissariato di polizia, seduto davanti a una lampada da tavolo puntata addosso a me, mentre l'ispettore, nascosto in una minacciosa penombra, mi inquisisce. "Ricominciamo daccapo. Di dove sei?" - Di Vigevano. "Ma non parli con l'accento di Vigevano". - No, perché sono calabrese. "Ma sul documento c'è scritto che sei nato a Milano". - Sì, perché all'epoca i miei abitavano lì. "Ah. E adesso dove abitano?" - Ad Africo. "Prima hai detto a Bianco." - Sì, anagraficamente stanno a Bianco. Sono due paesi confinanti. In realtà casa dei miei è tra Africo e Bianco, sulla statale. Ma comunque è più vicina ad Africo che a Bianco, anche se, sulla carta, è nel territorio di Bianco. Però i miei sono di Africo. "Ricominciamo daccapo..."

Intanto l'op. 106 di Beethoven, trascritta da Weingartner, è finita. Devo cambiare il CD. Ho ancora una cinquantina di minuti prima di tornare in ufficio. Cosa metto?

Scelgo velocemente, prima che la pasta scuocia: Invenzioni a due e tre voci di J. S. Bach. Glenn Gould, al pianoforte.

Butto gli spaghetti nello scolapasta. Che senso ha suonare il piano facendo finta che sia un clavicembalo? Venticinque anni che ascolto Gould e me lo chiedo.

Dicembre millenovecentoottantotto. Pomeriggio. Devo studiare per l'interrogazione di matematica. Non ne ho proprio voglia. Slego il fardello dei libri di scuola e ne estraggo il mio acquisto di oggi. Una cassetta made in U.S.A., dall'elegantissima copertina nera bordata d'oro. Bach, Inventions and Sinfonias. Glenn Gould.

Metto la cassetta nel mangianastri. Una musica astratta, trasparente, cantabile. Sembra provenire dallo spazio siderale, eppure i contorni si distinguono con precisione. Una sensazione di freddo secco, fine e pungente.

Guardai fuori. Non potevo crederci: stava nevicando. La casa dei miei è sul mare; l'Aspromonte dista solo una cinquantina di chilometri, ma qui sulla costa l'inverno è mite, la neve è un evento che capita forse una volta ogni dieci anni. Capitò quella volta. Mi alzai dalla scrivania e andai alla finestra a vedere i cristalli che scendevano lentamente.

L'inverno è mite, sulla costa ionica della Calabria. La stagione peggiore è l'autunno. A fine ottobre le piogge arrivano improvvise, massicce e violente, e possono durare per settimane. Non c'è che da chiudersi in casa e aspettare che passino.

Ho sedici anni e sto correndo attraverso la piazza principale di Locri verso la stazione. Il cielo è nero, l'aria è elettrica e tra poco scoppierà un forte temporale. Stavolta ho perso troppo tempo dalla signora Esposito, non sapevo decidermi, alla fine ho comprato la Sesta sinfonia di Beethoven e i concerti K. 488 e K. 491 nell'interpretazione di Daniel Barenboim, ma ora rischio di perdere il treno. La Sesta un po' la conosco, è quella della pubblicità. Ma il Concerto in do minore. Chissà com'è. Mozart scrive raramente in minore. Ma quando lo fa, mette i brividi. Mi precipito con il cuore in gola, mentre le bobine sbattono ritmicamente contro l'involucro di plastica nascosto fra i libri.

"Secondo le testimonianze di molta gente che ha vissuto in prima persona quei tragici giorni dell'alluvione e attraverso dei libri pubblicati da alcuni scrittori del paese, il 15 ottobre 1951 rappresenta una data indimenticabile e storica per il popolo di Africo in quanto un evento imprevisto sconvolse l’esistenza di Africo e della sua frazione, Casalnuovo. Per quattro giorni consecutivi dal 15 al 18 ottobre 1951, una bufera di vento, pioggia e nevischio si abbatté ininterrottamente sui due paesi causando frane, crolli di abitazioni e la distruzione di intere colture. La gente, spaventata, si riversò in massa in chiesa, pregando Dio e il suo Santo protettore, San Leo. La catastrofe avvenne soprattutto giorno 17 con continue frane, smottamenti di terreno, pioggia battente e violenta".

"La mattina del 18 ottobre la gente ricorda un'aria rossastra su nel cielo che metteva paura solo ad osservarla. [...] Molti furono quelli che, sorpresi dal maltempo, non fecero in tempo a mettersi in salvo, perché la piena del fiume impedì loro la via del ritorno a casa. Alla fine i due paesi contarono i danni: i morti furono sei a Casalnuovo e tre ad Africo. Gran parte del bestiame fu trascinato dal fiume, le case furono per la maggior parte distrutte e sepolte, le colture non più esistenti perché trascinate dalla pioggia."

"La lenta organizzazione della vita civile e della lotta politica fu sconvolta dall'alluvione del 1951. Una frana spazzò via il paese. I morti furono pochi, ma Africo scomparve. La storia della ricostruzione è allucinante. Per tutto un decennio gli africoti cercarono il terreno per ricomporre la loro comunità. Si iniziò una lotta tra chi voleva tornare nel vecchio territorio, dove erano restate le misere proprietà, e quelli che cercavano una sistemazione nuova. La scelta di una soluzione divise i due campi, anche la sinistra. Alla fine prevalse la tesi, sostenuta da don Stilo e dalla DC, di costruire un nuovo comune in una località distante 50 chilometri dal vecchio paese. Per lunghi anni la maggioranza degli africoti visse in un campo profughi. All'inizio del 1960 era sorta Africo Nuovo".

Un bambino di nove anni. Una bambina di due anni. Che esperienza possono aver fatto della catastrofe, e poi della loro condizione di profughi? Come l'hanno vissuta? Che tracce ha lasciato su di loro?

I miei genitori mi hanno parlato pochissimo dell'alluvione e degli eventi successivi. Hanno sempre insistito affinché studiassi, hanno incoraggiato i miei interessi per la musica, la letteratura, le scienze. Mi hanno sostenuto fino al diploma, poi fino alla laurea. Ma sugli eventi del loro paese non mi hanno mai detto molto.

Mio padre non sopporta il vento. Se è notte, e fuori c'è vento, non riesce a dormire.

"Non si è mai capito - manca una documentazione e mancano anche testimonianze orali credibili - se fu la mafia calabrese a premere per ricostruire Africo nel territorio di Bianco, senza terra, senza delimitazione territoriale e stato giuridico (com'è rimasto fino al 1980), in una località dove i contadini poveri, la grande maggioranza degli abitanti, sarebbero stati privati di quei diritti civici - il legnatico, il seminativo, il pascolo - di cui godevano nel vecchio paese. Da una montagna aspra al mare. Un caso esemplare di perdita dell'identità individuale e collettiva: gli abitanti di Africo infatti non sono più pastori né contadini, odiano il mare e non sono diventati né pescatori né marinai".

Ho diciannove anni. Preparo l'esame di maturità ascoltando la Sinfonia Italiana di Mendelssohn e la Sinfonia Incompiuta di Schubert. L'incongruità della situazione mi è divenuta insopportabile: che senso ha vivere in Calabria stando sempre chiuso in casa, parlare con un ridicolo accento settentrionale e, in generale, far finta di abitare in Mitteleuropa? A questo punto, non è meglio emigrare? Spengo il registratore e accendo la radio. Trasmettono The End dei Doors. C'è l'anniversario della morte di Jim Morrison.

Alla maturità, filosofia non è uscita. Peccato. Mi sarebbe piaciuto portare Kant. Non capisco perché tutti dicono che è un pensatore difficile: a me sembra così naturale, così ovvio. Certo: lo spazio, il tempo, sono forme della nostra mente. Ma, in sé, non esistono affatto.

Spengo lo stereo, aziono la lavastoviglie. E' ora di tornare in ufficio.

(Racconto pubblicato anche su Evulon. Nota: tutti i paragrafi tra virgolette sono tratti dal sito Internet di un mio compaesano, http://www.giuseppemorabito.it tranne l'ultimo che è tratto da Corrado Stajano, L'Italia ferita. Storie di un popolo che vorrebbe vivere secondo le regole della democrazia, Cinemazero, Pordenone 2010, pag. 96).
          Mozart schedato da Buscaroli        
Va subito detto che il titolo del libro di Piero Buscaroli, La morte di Mozart (Rizzoli, Milano 1996, pp. 373) è fuorviante. L'oggetto della trattazione di Buscaroli non è, infatti, "la morte di Mozart", bensì gli ultimi dieci anni di vita del grande compositore. L'intento dichiarato di Buscaroli è quello di demolire tutta una serie di leggende, falsità e luoghi comuni che, secondo lui, si sarebbero accumulati intorno alla figura di Mozart ad opera dei suoi biografi otto e novecenteschi: il Mozart di Buscaroli sarebbe infine quello genuino ed autentico, finalmente restituitoci dopo due secoli di menzogne.

Mi sembra che il punto di vista di Buscaroli sia politicamente determinato e che questa componente politica sia un elemento essenziale del suo metodo. Infatti, Buscaroli è un nostalgico dell'ancien régime, né più né meno. Tutto ciò che deriva dall'Illuminismo e dalla Rivoluzione francese, per Buscaroli, è pura e semplice aberrazione. Buscaroli non accetta nulla della modernità; del feudalesimo, invece, rimpiange ogni aspetto (per esempio anche l'elevata mortalità infantile, p. 261). Questo suo punto di vista radicalmente antimoderno dovrebbe, nelle intenzioni di Buscaroli, garantirgli una completa indipendenza dalle ideologie correnti nella nostra epoca e consentirgli così di vederci più chiaro di ogni altro biografo mozartiano prima di lui.

In altre parole, il libro di Buscaroli non si basa affatto su una ricerca archivistica che abbia prodotto fonti inedite e di prima mano. Si basa, invece, sulla reinterpretazione delle fonti già note, le quali, sotto l'occhio limpido e scevro di pregiudizi di Piero Buscaroli, rivelerebbero alfine quella verità che nessuno, prima di lui, aveva veduto.

Le fonti principali di Buscaroli sono infatti: l'epistolario mozartiano; la raccolta di documenti a cura di Erich Deutsch Mozart. Die Dokumente seines Lebens, Kassel 1961; e le prime biografie mozartiane di Schlichtegroll (1793), Niemetschek (1798), Nissen (1828) e Jahn (1856-59). Sono tutti materiali ben conosciuti e ampiamente utilizzati dalla critica mozartiana. Buscaroli esprime invece il massimo disprezzo per il W. A. Mozart di Hermann Abert (1921), opera considerata fondamentale da tutti ma non da Buscaroli il quale, naturalmente, è anche in costante e aspra polemica con quasi tutta la critica mozartiana novecentesca.

Vediamo allora, più nel dettaglio, qual è il bersaglio polemico della ricostruzione buscaroliana.

Mozart, che all'età di venticinque anni lasciò il servizio dell'Arcivescovo di Salisburgo per trasferirsi a Vienna, dove cercò di mantenersi con i proventi della sua attività di pianista e compositore, è oggi celebrato come il primo grande musicista dell'epoca borghese, colui il quale, per primo, tentò di conquistarsi lo status di libero artista, riscattando così la figura del musicista dal suo ruolo di dipendente delle corti. Nelle parole del sociologo Norbert Elias (1991): "Da outsider borghese al servizio della corte, Mozart combatté fino in fondo, con incredibile coraggio, una battaglia di affrancamento dai suoi padroni e committenti aristocratici. Lo fece di propria iniziativa, per amore della propria dignità di uomo e del proprio lavoro di musicista. E perse la battaglia [...]". Secondo Elias, Mozart perse la battaglia (e la vita) in quanto i tempi non erano ancora maturi per lui: la lotta di Mozart si svolse in una nazione, l'Austria del settecento, che si trovava "in una fase dello sviluppo sociale nella quale i rapporti di potere tradizionali erano praticamente ancora intatti".

Per l'ultrareazionario Buscaroli, questa moderna visione di Mozart come artista rivoluzionario è fumo negli occhi. Con grande insistenza, Buscaroli ci propone invece un Mozart meschino, pavido e conformista, caratterizzato dalla "evidente mancanza di superiori doti intellettuali e morali" (p. 342). "Mai anelò al riscatto sociale e politico della figura dell'artista, cercava un reddito fisso, ma alto" (p. 32). "Il libero mercato dell'arte gli si spalanca, e lui continua a sperare in un impiego a corte, meglio a Vienna, dove potrebbe, tutt'al più, raddoppiare lo stipendio di ora. Uomo libero è solo a parole [...]. I suoi sogni sono quelli di un impiegato" (pp. 183-4).

Tutto il libro di Buscaroli pullula di simili osservazioni, che in verità sono reiterate tanto spesso, quanto poco sono seriamente argomentate. E non potrebbe essere diversamente, dato che, come ho detto sopra, le fonti di Buscaroli sono le stesse dei critici mozartiani che lui tanto disprezza. Se, per loro, queste fonti disegnano una determinata figura e per Buscaroli la figura esattamente opposta, ciò dipenderebbe solo dal fatto che Buscaroli è intelligente e onesto, mentre gli altri autori sono stupidi e/o in malafede.

Un esempio del metodo argomentativo di Buscaroli lo si trova nella trattazione delle dimissioni di Mozart dalla corte arcivescovile di Salisburgo nel giugno 1781. In quella circostanza, com'è noto, il segretario dell'Arcivescovo, un tale conte Arco, per tutta risposta all'insistenza con cui Mozart continuava a chiedergli di accettare la sua richiesta di dimissioni, assestò al musicista un calcio nel sedere. Questo episodio, che ha suscitato l'indignazione unanime di tutta la posterità, viene raccontato da Buscaroli con le tecniche adottate dagli avvocati difensori di chi viene processato per stupro:
A) minimizzare. "Credette di dover ridurre alla ragione il musicista ribelle con la zotica seppur benintenzionata famigliarità elargita a sguatteri e inservienti".
B) Insinuare dubbi sulla veridicità del fatto. "E se fosse tutta invenzione [...]?"
C) Sostenere che la vittima, in fondo, se l'è cercata. "E il giovane genio dal corpo minuto [...] fece tutto quanto poteva per trarlo fuori dai gangheri" (tutte le citazioni sono dalla p. 53).
Il tutto al palese scopo di tessere l'apologia di un sistema sociale, nel quale era possibile che un Mozart venisse preso a calci dallo scagnozzo di un feudatario.

A ciò aggiungiamo il fatto che, della musica di Mozart, Buscaroli parla poco o nulla: al Don Giovanni sono dedicate in tutto 3 (tre) pagine, nelle quali Buscaroli si limita a dirci che Da Ponte copiò il libretto da Giovanni Bertati; e sai che novità! Questo ci dà la misura di quanto la lettura di questo libro possa risultare tediosa e irritante.

Questo, almeno, per le prime duecentosessanta pagine. E' solo quando Buscaroli inizia a parlare degli ultimi mesi di vita di Mozart, che il suo discorso comincia a farsi un minimo interessante. A proposito della genesi del Requiem, Buscaroli propone una tesi che, pur non essendo necessariamente giusta, non è né futile né banale. Secondo Buscaroli (il quale, per una volta, avverte onestamente il lettore di non aver prove di quanto afferma: p. 324), l'incompiutezza del Requiem non sarebbe dovuta alla morte improvvisa del compositore, bensì ad una sua scelta deliberata. Infatti, Mozart fu incaricato della composizione da un nobile musicista dilettante, il conte Walsegg-Stuppach, il quale intendeva appropriarsi della stessa paternità dell'opera: il conte voleva cioè far eseguire il Requiem (dalla propria orchestra di corte) figurandone lui come autore.

Secondo Buscaroli, quando Mozart si rese conto dei termini di questo incarico (che inizialmente aveva accettato per necessità di denaro), maturò un invincibile disgusto per il lavoro che gli era stato commissionato: la sua coscienza artistica e professionale si ribellò all'idea di dover comporre un'opera che non avrebbe mai potuto rivendicare come sua. Sarebbe questo, secondo Buscaroli, il vero motivo per cui il Requiem rimase incompiuto.

Una prova a sostegno della sua ricostruzione sarebbe costituita, secondo Buscaroli (il quale considera il Requiem di Mozart un'opera minore e mal riuscita), dalla stessa scarsa qualità musicale della composizione. Mozart, cioè, sapeva di dover scrivere un'opera che sarebbe andata sotto il nome di un musicista dilettante: perciò la scrisse in modo volutamente sciatto, adoperando ad esempio un "contrappunto opaco, scontato, da manuale" (p. 325), e alla fine si rifiutò senz'altro di completarla, meditandone probabilmente la distruzione.

Buscaroli, però, sembra non rendersi conto che quanto lui scrive in queste pagine finali, a proposito del Mozart autore del Requiem, contraddice in modo stridente quanto egli stesso ha sostenuto nel corso di tutti i capitoli precedenti. Se Mozart, dal 1781 fino all'estate del 1791, era quel piccolo-borghese pusillanime e opportunista che Buscaroli si è sforzato di dipingere, come si spiega questo improvviso scatto di orgoglio e di dignità a pochi mesi dalla morte?

A me sembra, invece, che in queste pagine finali gli occhiali dell'ideologia siano in qualche modo caduti dal naso di Buscaroli, il quale, alla fine, non può a fare a meno di riconoscere a Mozart quelle qualità umane che fin qui gli aveva ostinatamente e faziosamente negato.

Per finire, ho seri dubbi sulla valutazione critica che Buscaroli riserva al Requiem. Non trascurerei il fatto che quest'opera sembra attualmente la più popolare fra quelle del suo autore. Ad esempio, se si digita Mozart nella casella di ricerca di "YouTube", il Requiem è la prima opzione che viene proposta. Senza dubbio, ciò si deve in gran parte al film Amadeus. Ma in parte, secondo me, lo si deve anche alla relativa semplicità di fruizione del Requiem che Buscaroli, a suo modo, evidenzia, pur senza comprenderne le ragioni. Non dimentichiamo che Mozart, poco prima di morire, fu testimone dell'enorme successo del suo Flauto Magico, un'opera scritta per un teatro della periferia di Vienna e destinata ad un pubblico popolare.

Forse Mozart, dopo aver volutamente sfidato il gusto dell'aristocrazia, e dopo l'amara esperienza del mancato sostegno da parte del pubblico borghese, negli ultimi mesi di vita iniziò a intravedere la possibilità di rivolgersi ad un pubblico interamente nuovo, posto al di fuori delle classi dominanti del presente e dell'immediato futuro. E cominciò a orientare la sua scrittura musicale all'obiettivo di conquistare ed educare, se necessario anche calibrando il livello di complessità compositiva, questo nuovo pubblico.

(Trovate la presente recensione anche su Evulon).
          Il terremoto di Messina del 1908        
Ripubblico qui di seguito una mia recensione (risalente a sei anni fa) al libro di Giorgio Boatti, La terra trema. Messina 28 dicembre 1908. I trenta secondi che cambiarono l'Italia, non gli italiani, Mondadori, Milano 2004, pp. 414, € 18,50.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originariamente pubblicato il 22 febbraio 2005, qui.
          La rivoluzione russa        
La mattina del 20 settembre 1871, il Maestro Franz Liszt si esercitava al pianoforte nello studio della sua sontuosa magione di campagna vicino Budapest, quando fu interrotto da un confuso e concitato vociare proveniente dal portone d'ingresso.

"Che succede, Pierre?" chiese mentre raggiungeva il suo maggiordomo, il quale, bloccando con il suo corpo l'accesso alla casa, stava palesemente cercando di convincere un ospite indesiderato ad andarsene.

Quando Liszt, avvicinatosi dietro le spalle del suo domestico, poté scorgere l'aspetto dell'intruso (un uomo sui sessant'anni, calvo, barbuto, che sembrava assai malmesso, ma parlava un francese forbito con marcato accento parigino), quest'ultimo troncò subito, lasciando una frase a metà, il suo litigio con Pierre e, volgendo speranzoso lo sguardo al padrone di casa, così lo apostrofò:

"Maestro Liszt! Maestro! Vi prego, degnatevi di concedere udienza ad un vostro grande ammiratore, giunto or ora dalla Francia solo per avere l'inestimabile onore di fare la Vostra conoscenza!"

"Padrone!" diceva intanto il maggiordomo, "lasciate che cacci via a calci nel sedere questo vagabondo che pretende di farsi ricevere da Voi! E' inaudito! Come se qualsiasi pitocco potesse..."

"Va bene, Pierre, lascia pure entrare Monsieur... di grazia, come vi chiamate?"

Il viso dello strano ospite si rasserenò. "Mi chiamo Eugène Pottier. Da Parigi. Poeta. Per servirvi. Sapevo che avreste... oh, grazie, mille grazie, Maestro!"

"Potete chiamarmi semplicemente Padre. Come forse saprete, non sono che un umile servitore di Santa Romana Chiesa... Ma accomodatevi nel mio studio, ve ne prego, e raccontatemi di voi..." diceva Liszt mentre accompagnava il suo ammiratore lungo il corridoio. "Venite da Parigi, avete detto?", qui il musicista scoccò uno sguardo sospettoso sul suo interlocutore. "E dove siete diretto, se posso..."

Mentre Liszt tornava a sedersi al suo pianoforte, Pottier si accomodò su un'ampia poltrona disposta in modo da fronteggiare il lato destro dello strumento. Come in una sala da concerto, pensò Pottier un po' a disagio. "Maestro, cioè scusatemi, Padre. Avete già capito. Sono un combattente della Comune. Sono in esilio, ramingo per l'Europa, da ormai quattro mesi. Ma non voglio annoiarvi con il racconto delle mie tribolazioni. Sono venuto qui, attratto dalla vostra fama di grande artista e di uomo già attento alla questione sociale, perché ho un testo, da me composto, che vorrei chiedervi di porre in musica".

Ci furono alcuni secondi di silenzio, durante i quali le palpebre di Liszt si aprirono e si chiusero spasmodicamente per una ventina di volte. "Monsieur Pottier... vi rendete conto, spero, del rischio a cui state esponendo voi stesso e me. Mi è difficile comprendere come siate potuto giungere fin qui dalla Francia. Ma, che la vostra sia stata fortuna o incoscienza, sappiate che la polizia asburgica non è affatto indulgente con quelli come voi, né con chi dà loro rifugio."

Pottier si raddrizzò sulla poltrona. "Né fortuna, né incoscienza, Monsieur Liszt. Siamo stati sconfitti, è vero. Ma abbiamo compagni ovunque, pronti a dare il loro silenzioso contributo alla Causa. E' grazie alla loro solidarietà che sono riuscito a sopravvivere e ad arrivare a voi. La musica che porto con me" - a questo punto Pottier tirò fuori da una tasca della giacca un fascicolo spiegazzato, ingiallito e sgualcito, e lo tese a Liszt - "mi induce a confidare anche nella vostra solidarietà".

Sempre più stupito, ma senza offuscare la politezza dei suoi modi da gentiluomo, il musicista prese l'opuscolo che lo strano visitatore gli porgeva. Era uno spartito a stampa che recava sopra il pentagramma il titolo Lyon e il motto: Vivre en travaillant, ou mourir en combattant. Che si potrebbe tradurre, a un dipresso: Vivere del proprio lavoro, o morire combattendo.

"Dove l'avete trovata?" chiese subito Liszt. "Questa composizione non fa più parte della raccolta delle mie opere. Non viene più ristampata da..."

"Dal 1837" lo interruppe Pottier. "Me la regalò mio padre, il giorno del mio ventunesimo compleanno. Mi spiegò che un grande musicista l'aveva composta per celebrare il ricordo della rivolta degli operai disoccupati di Lione. Mi disse: se vuoi davvero fare l'artista, prendi esempio, figlio mio, e ricordati sempre da quale parte della barricata devi stare!"

Liszt guardò fisso il suo ospite, che ricambiava lo sguardo con fermezza. Poi sospirò. "Monsieur Pottier, i tempi sono cambiati. Persino quella testa calda del mio amico Wagner se n'è reso conto, ed è passato (come direste voi) dall'altra parte della barricata. L'epoca delle rivoluzioni è finita. Per sempre. Anche voialtri, col vostro folle tentativo laggiù in Francia, lo avete dimostrato. Datemi retta: la vostra cosiddetta questione sociale non ha alcuna soluzione. Non su questa terra, almeno. La sola cosa che posso fare per voi è scrivere due righe al priore del convento francescano che si trova a una lega da qui. E' mio amico. Vi darà ricetto e ospitalità, fino al giorno in cui Dio, nella Sua infinita misericordia, illuminerà la vostra mente, come già fece con la mia. Allora anche voi comprenderete, e vi rassegnerete alla Sua volontà".

Pottier rimase in silenzio. Poi fece per rimettere in tasca l'altro foglio di carta che ne aveva tratto poco prima e che stava per consegnare al grande musicista. Ma gli tremava la mano e, senza che lui se ne accorgesse, il foglio cadde per terra. Infine disse: "Bene, Monsieur Liszt. Vi chiedo scusa per l'incomodo e per il rischio che vi ho fatto correre. Mi ero sbagliato sul vostro conto. Ora non vi importunerò ulteriormente e, col vostro permesso, riprenderò il mio viaggio."

Stava per uscire senz'altro dallo studio di Liszt, ma quest'ultimo lo richiamo: "Aspettate, Monsieur Pottier. Non fatemi il torto di rifiutare la mia ospitalità, almeno sino a domattina... Tra poco sarà servita la colazione. Frattanto, accomodatevi, e siate così gentile da attendere che abbia finito i miei esercizi. Fra l'altro, suono meglio quando ho un pubblico ad ascoltarmi. Posso chiedervi inoltre, nuovamente, qual è la meta del vostro viaggio?"

Eugène Pottier si risedette. "Credo che andrò in Russia. C'è molto lavoro da fare, laggiù".

"In Russia!?" esclamò Liszt. Stava per aggiungere: voi siete pazzo, ma si trattenne. "Voi non sapete quel che dite! Ogni giorno, ogni giorno lo Zar incarcera, spedisce in Siberia o manda sul patibolo gente come voi! Ecco, guardate" - Liszt prese in fretta dallo scrittoio una rivista - "guardate questo giornale che mi è arrivato ieri da San Pietroburgo. Sapete leggere il cirillico? Ecco l'elenco dei terroristi che sono stati impiccati il mese scorso per avere cospirato contro la monarchia: Rodion Raskolnikov, Nikolaj Stavrogin, Aleksandr Uljanov... Va avanti per un'intera pagina! E voi volete andare in Russia?"

Pottier ribatté con calma: "Terroristi, avete detto? Uhm... no, non è questa la strada. Noi vinceremo, ma seguendo un altro cammino."

"Ah, sì? E quale, se mi è concesso chiederlo?

"Non lo so. Forse la strada non c'è. Ma so che c'è da camminare".

Liszt sospirò. Guardò Pottier. Poi guardò il giornale russo. Poi guardò il suo pianoforte. Infine ci si sedette e, senza dire niente, attaccò a suonarlo.

Suonava già da un quarto d'ora, e le tortuose armonie della Sonata in si minore si dipanavano con sicurezza sotto le sue dita, come un filo di lana in un labirinto, quando Liszt sentì un suono inconfondibile provenire dalla poltrona del poeta. Liszt portò a termine l'esecuzione della Sonata, poi si alzò dal pianoforte e risistemò delicatamente il poggiatesta imbottito sotto la tempia di Pottier. Quest'ultimo smise di russare, ma non si svegliò. Poi il musicista si chinò a raccogliere il foglio di carta che era caduto dalla tasca di Pottier. Si risedé al pianoforte e lo lesse. Era scritto in versi e iniziava così:

"Debout, les damnés de la terre
Debout, les forçats de la faim!
La raison tonne en son cratère
C'est l'éruption de la fin.
Du passé faisons table rase.
Foules, esclaves, debout, debout!
Le monde va changer de base.
Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout!"


Il poema andava avanti su questo tono per un'altra decina di strofe. Liszt lo lesse con attenzione. Poi sbuffò forte col naso, mise il foglio da parte e si rimise al piano. Attaccò a suonare una sua composizione che s'intitolava Funérailles. Si interruppe dopo poche battute. Poi, per la prima volta dopo decenni, dalla cassa armonica rintoccarono le possenti note iniziali di Lyon. Ma anche questa esecuzione fu lasciata a metà.

Liszt si prese la faccia tra le mani. Cosa gli stava succedendo?

Infine il musicista sembrò distendersi. Riprese in mano il foglio con la poesia di Pottier e lo pose sul leggìo. Iniziò ad improvvisare. Si udì una melodia piuttosto bella, allo stesso tempo vivace e solenne, in ritmo giambico. (Molto tempo dopo, qualcuno l'avrebbe descritta come una via di mezzo fra Oh, my darling Clementine e La cucaracha).

Subito iniziò a variare. Mentre un ritmo lento, profondo e pauroso rombava nella parte sinistra della tastiera, la melodia si trasformò in un canto popolare slavo che sembrava provenire dall'inizio dei tempi.
Poi il ritmo si fece più veloce, incalzante e sincopato, come di tamburi africani, mentre la melodia, stranamente deformata in semitoni, diede l'allucinante impressione di provenire non più da un pianoforte, ma da una tromba con sordina, o da qualche altro strano strumento a fiato non ancora inventato.

Poi ancora la stessa melodia, resa esile, sottile e tintinnante, si stagliò nelle zone alte della tastiera, sullo sfondo di colpi molto distanziati, come di un gong, che provenivano dalla mano sinistra. Senza soluzione di continuità, questo tintinnio si tramutò nel canto di un muezzin. Poi fu come se, prodigiosamente, tutte queste versioni della stessa identica melodia risuonassero insieme. Pottier, che nel frattempo si era svegliato, non credeva ai propri occhi. Le mani di Liszt si muovevano ad una velocità sovrumana, producendo una fittissima gragnuola di note di ogni altezza, che scemava e poi di nuovo s'intensificava, fino a scoppiare in un'onda di energia di terrificante violenza. Infine, mentre le ultime risonanze dell'esplosione ancora si dissolvevano, la melodia iniziale ritornò piano, semplice ed infantile, lenta, simile ad un carillon che suonasse una ninna-nanna.

La straordinaria esibizione di Liszt aveva intanto richiamato tutta la sua servitù, che si era raccolta ad ascoltare in un piccolo drappello dietro la porta dello studio: erano anni che non lo sentivano suonare a quel modo. Fra di loro, c'era una famigliola composta da una giovane coppia con la loro bambina di tre anni.

"Hai sentito, Sandor?" disse la moglie. "Tu dicevi che il vecchio si era ormai completamente rincitrullito..."

"Sì, Hannah, te lo confermo: il vecchio si è totalmente rimbecillito. Ma per sua fortuna, le mani ce le ha ancora buone. Vieni, Milena!" prese in braccio la sua figlioletta, "ascolta. Un giorno anche tu dovrai suonare così".

Pubblicato il 7 ottobre 2010, qui: http://www.evulon.net/news.php?extend.3549


          Radici        
"Sai" dico, "sono scaduti i diritti d'autore sulle opere di Freud".
E' domenica e sono le nove del mattino. Anna sa che, prima di colazione, non sono in grado di dire nulla che abbia un senso compiuto. Se è di buon umore, mi asseconda nel mio delirio. Oggi è di buon umore.
"Perché?", mi risponde. "Vuoi cominciare a tradurre Freud?"
"Magari. Purtroppo non so il tedesco. No, è per spiegare come mai mi sono alzato così presto. Ieri pomeriggio sono entrato in libreria e ho visto che la Newton Compton ha pubblicato questa edizione economica del saggio di Freud su Mosè..."
"Quello sul Mosè di Michelangelo? Ma non l'avevi già letto?"
"No, non quello sulla statua. E' una monografia proprio su Mosè il personaggio biblico. E' l'ultima grande opera di Freud, pubblicata nel 1938, un anno prima della morte. Non l'avevo ancora letta, perché l'edizione Bollati Boringhieri costa una barbarità e non mi andava di prenderla in prestito in biblioteca. Sai, i libri di Freud sono di quelli che voglio possedere. Comunque niente, ieri l'ho comprato e l'ho finito proprio poco fa. Senza zucchero, il tuo caffellatte, vero?"
"Tre cucchiaini, grazie".
"Mi prendi in giro?"
"Certo. Ma raccontami un po' questo libro, sono curiosa. E' assurdo come l'altro, quello sulla statua di Michelangelo? Quello dove Mosè, di ritorno dal Sinai, vedeva il suo popolo adorare il vitello d'oro, s'incazzava e stava per spezzare le tavole della legge, ma subito si tratteneva, e proprio in quel momento Michelangelo era lì che lo 'fotografava' con lo scalpello, e dietro un cespuglio c'era il professor Freud, col suo taccuino, che analizzava l'intera performance..."
"Dai, non essere così cattiva. Diciamo che, in quel saggio, Freud ha dato una sua interpretazione, un po' audace, di una celebre scultura rinascimentale. Comunque anche W. H. Auden, in una sua poesia, ha scritto che Freud a volte era assurdo e che ciò non diminuisce affatto la sua grandezza".
"Sarà. Intanto neppure il tuo Freud è riuscito a spiegare ad Auden la verità sull'amore".
"Tesoro! La verità sull'amore non la conosce nessuno. Tranne tu ed io, naturalmente".
"Naturalmente. Ma non mi hai ancora detto cos'ha di tanto speciale questo libro, che ti ha buttato giù dal letto poco dopo l'alba".
"E' presto detto. Hai presente Mosè, no? Il patriarca, il fondatore della religione ebraica, il profeta che guidò il suo popolo nell'esodo dall'Egitto verso la Palestina, che ricevette da Dio i dodici comandamenti, eccetera. Bene, Freud sostiene che Mosè, in realtà, non era affatto ebreo. Era egiziano".
"Ma va'?"
"Proprio così. Secondo Freud, Mosè era un nobile, o forse un alto sacerdote egiziano, seguace del dio Aton. Come ricorderai, il faraone Akhenaton aveva tentato di introdurre in Egitto il monoteismo, sostituendo al culto degli dèi la religione dell'unico dio solare Aton. Ma la sua riforma religiosa, molto avanzata per quei tempi, non ebbe fortuna. Quando Akhenaton morì, il politeismo riprese il sopravvento in Egitto. Il clero, che era stato represso ed esautorato da Akhenaton, morto il faraone, si vendicò ferocemente. Fu una reazione terribile: tutte le tracce del culto di Aton furono spazzate via. Persino il nome Aton fu cancellato dai monumenti".
"Sì, mi ricordo. Anche il faraone Tutankh-Aton, il giovane erede di Akhenaton, dovette cambiare nome, riconvertirsi alla vecchia religione e chiamarsi Tutankhamon. E forse neanche questo bastò a salvargli la vita, poverino! Probabilmente lo ammazzarono e lo chiusero nella tomba con quella bellissima maschera funebre tutta d'oro..."
"...quella che abbiamo visto cinque anni fa al museo del Cairo..."
"... durante il nostro viaggio di nozze. A proposito, fra poco è il nostro anniversario, Tato. Dove andiamo a festeggiarlo?"
"Mah, in Egitto ci siamo già stati. Ti porto a Vienna, a visitare la casa di Freud?".
"Anche a Vienna ci sono già stata".
"Ma io no. Comunque, stavo dicendo: Mosè era un fedele del dio Aton. La nuova religione gli piaceva proprio, e non si rassegnò alla restaurazione politeista. Era in contatto con questa popolazione di nomadi, che vivevano nel deserto, ai margini della società egiziana, chiamati Habiru...".
"Gli Ebrei?"
"Proprio loro. Mosè ne fece il suo popolo. Li convertì alla religione monoteista, diede loro nuove leggi, insegnò loro tutto ciò che sapeva, e li condusse con sé nell'esodo fuori dall'Egitto, verso la terra promessa."
"Ciumbia! Sembra una puntata di Voyager. Quali altre sensazionali rivelazioni ci sono, nel tuo libro? Nel senso: Mosè era egiziano, e poi? Shakespeare era siciliano? Le sinfonie di Mozart le ha scritte un veneto? Atlantide altro non era che la Sardegna? E qualcosa sul Graal? Non dirmi che non c'è niente sul Graal. Cioè, scusa, Tato, ma è una teoria un po' delirante..."
"Sshh! Se ridi così forte, svegli la bambina. Sì, hai ragione, è delirante. Proprio in ciò consiste la genialità di Freud. Lui ragionava come i suoi pazienti. Altrimenti non sarebbe mai riuscito a guarirli, no? Tramite lui, la Follia torna a parlare, dopo tre secoli di censura... E lascia perdere Voyager: non c'entra niente. Freud credeva in ciò che diceva, e non gli interessava fare audience".
"Boh. Ma li guariva, i suoi pazienti?"
"Certo che li guariva! Guarda, mi hai fatto talmente arrabbiare che mi sono mangiato tutti i pistokeddos".
"I savoiardi di Atlantide? Ma se te ne mangi un'intera confezione ogni mattina. Sei forte, Tato. Però spiegami una cosa. Allora, siamo nel 1938. Mezza Europa è sotto dittature fasciste, Hitler sta per annettersi l'Austria, lo stesso Freud deve scappare a Londra per sfuggire alla persecuzione, e in questa situazione tragica per il suo popolo, il professore non trova di meglio che pubblicare un libro dove sostiene che il fondatore dell'ebraismo non era ebreo? A me pare una mezza vigliaccata, non capisco come fai a parlarne con tutto questo entusiasmo".
"Ma caspita, Anna, è proprio questo il punto! Senti: chi ha vinto le ultime elezioni?"
"Non capisco cosa c'entra".
"Come, che c'entra? Ma lo senti, quello che dicono? 'Padroni a casa nostra. Ognuno a casa sua. Il Suolo. Il Sangue. La Razza. Le Tradizioni. Le Radici. Il Territorio. Radicarsi nel Territorio'... Dio, quanto ce la menano co' 'sta storia del territorio! Tutti a ribadire come un disco rotto che bisogna Radicarsi nel Territorio, come se non fossimo esseri umani, ma olmi, o platani, o che so io. E come se non fossero stati proprio loro a devastarlo e distruggerlo, 'sto cazzo di territorio, da quarant'anni in qua, a furia di capannoni e svincoli e tangenziali e inceneritori e ripetitori, centri commerciali e colate immonde di cemento, fabbriche aperte e poi chiuse, e sempre zero solidarietà, zero giustizia, zero cultura, zero arte e zero umanità... Talmente spaventati e abbrutiti e rimbecilliti da questo schifo che loro stessi hanno prodotto, da non saper fare altro che cercare spasmodicamente qualche capro espiatorio, cui far scontare tutta la loro bile e la loro frustrazione... E prima i meridionali, e poi i tossici, e poi gli albanesi, e ora gli islamici..."
"Adesso sei tu che rischi di svegliare la bambina".
"Sì. Scusami. Preparo un altro caffè. O preferisci un po' di spremuta d'arancia?"
"Spremuta, grazie. Quando parli di quelli là, mi sembri tuo padre".
"Che cosa brutta che hai detto..."
"Perché? Mi sta simpatico, tuo padre. Ma non mi hai ancora spiegato cosa c'entra tutto questo con Freud".
"Niente, tranne il fatto che tutta quella ripugnante retorica del Sangue e del Suolo era esattamente la stessa di cui si riempivano la bocca gli antisemiti al tempo di Freud. Sai cosa dicevano? Questo, dicevano: che ogni razza ha un proprio suolo d'origine, a cui è legata da un vincolo spirituale e mistico; che la qualità del suolo determina la qualità della razza; che gli ebrei non hanno patria, non hanno territorio e quindi non hanno dignità, sono nomadi e sbandati, vivono da parassiti degli altri popoli, eccetera eccetera."
"Beh, oggi gli ebrei ce l'hanno, il loro Stato".
"E infatti i razzisti di oggigiorno non se la prendono più tanto con gli ebrei (almeno per ora), quanto soprattutto con gli zingari e con i migranti. Ma gli argomenti sono più o meno gli stessi. Ed è contro questi argomenti che Freud mette in campo il suo Mosè. Considera questo: gli dèi che le popolazioni del Medio Oriente veneravano, a quell'epoca, erano divinità nazionali; ogni popolo aveva le sue, e queste facevano tutt'uno con il loro territorio. Erano divinità guerriere, rozze, sanguinarie, che accompagnavano ciascun popolo nella sua lotta per la supremazia sugli altri popoli."
"Ma era proprio così o lo dice Freud?"
"Non lo so. Non m'intendo di storia delle religioni. Comunque, Freud sostiene che il dio di Akhenaton e di Mosè era un dio molto diverso dagli altri dèi suoi contemporanei. Era un dio illuminista, per così dire. Anzi, quasi kantiano. Pacifista. Un dio universalista: non gli importava la nazionalità dei suoi fedeli. Non gliene fregava niente di cerimonie, riti, preghiere, statue o amuleti. Non pretendeva templi dove essere adorato, né una casta di sacerdoti per servirlo. Nemmeno prometteva alcuna vita dopo la morte. A questo dio, importava solo una cosa: che ci si comportasse bene. Che si vivesse una vita secondo ragione, verità e giustizia. Tutto qui. E' questa, secondo Freud, l'essenza del monoteismo ebraico: solo una personificazione della Ragione e della legge morale. L'aspetto etnico o nazionale o 'razziale' è così poco importante, nella concezione freudiana del monoteismo, che lo stesso fondatore dell'ebraismo non è ebreo. E allora il paradosso è che, con questo libro, l'ateo, scientista e razionalista Freud ha reso alla religione e alla cultura dei suoi padri l'omaggio più elevato che per lui fosse concepibile..."
"Bello. Ma è tutta una contraddizione. Prima non hai detto che tramite Freud la follia trova finalmente voce? Adesso te ne esci con questo panegirico della Ragione illuminista. Poi, scusa Tato, ma mi sembra tutta una diatriba tra maschi. Il dio di Freud, così ragionevole e tollerante, contro i rozzi e violenti dèi guerrieri delle mitologie pagane, va bene. Però le dee? La Grande Madre Mediterranea, per esempio, che fine ha fatto? E Iside? E poi, non capisco questa cosa dell'iconoclastia: cosa avete contro le cerimonie, i riti, e anche contro la magia, le statue e gli amuleti? Non so, sarà anche una bella cosa, questo famoso monoteismo, un grande progresso, non discuto, ma non so perché mi fa venire in mente la caccia alle streghe... Vado a svegliare la bambina, vah! Ché se no si fa tardi".
"No! Aspetta un minuto".

Pubblicato il 7 maggio 2010, qui: http://www.evulon.net/news.php?extend.3368
          '..FORGET fuel-powered jet engines .. looking into hybrid planes .. plasma engine..' (no replies)        
'FORGET fuel-powered jet engines. We’re on the verge of having aircraft that can fly from the ground up to the edge of space using air and electricity alone.

..

Berkant Göksel at the Technical University of Berlin and his team now want to fit plasma engines to planes. “We want to develop a system that can operate above an altitude of 30 kilometres where standard jet engines cannot go,” he says. These could even take passengers to the edge of the atmosphere and beyond.

..

Göksel is hoping for a breakthrough in compact fusion reactors to power his system..

In the meantime, he is looking into hybrid planes, in which his plasma engine would be combined with pulse detonation combustion engines or rockets to save on fuel.'

- Sandrine Ceurstemont, Plasma jet engines that could take you from the ground to space, May 17, 2017


Context

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

(The Electric Universe) - SAFIRE as Astrophysical Laboratory | EU2016

'Open source is now mainstream..'


The New Fusion Race - Part 4 - Fusion Race: Who is Ahead, April 6, 2017

          'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017..' (no replies)        
'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017. At least three times this winter, the Arctic experienced the equivalent of a heatwave, as powerful Atlantic storms drove warm, moist air into the region.

Changes in the Arctic and the melting of sea-ice are also leading to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns impacting other parts of the world. This is causing unusual heat in some areas - In the US, over 11,000 warm temperature records were broken in early 2017.

"Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory," said David Carlson, World Climate Research Programme Director at the WMO.

In the face of all this information, climate researchers around the world are irked by the attitude of the Trump government in Washington.'

- Matt McGrath, 'Extreme and unusual' climate trends continue after record 2016, March 21, 2017


Context

Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

          Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..') (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: 'In an interview on Monday with E&E News, Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post, and from the way his criticisms were portrayed in the Mail on Sunday article.

“The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” he said, “but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”

Climate Home, a nonprofit site based in London that offers news and analysis, also weighed in on one of the central contentions of Mr. Rose’s article, that the publication of the NOAA paper had "duped” policy makers into adopting the Paris accord. The site contacted representatives to the talks from 10 countries; none said that the paper had any influence.'

- Henry Fountain, No Data Manipulation in 2015 Climate Study, Researchers Say, February 7, 2016


Update February 09, 2017: 'Dr Bates’ main complaint is that Dr Karl and his co-authors did not follow strict procedures required for NOAA’s ‘operational’ data. It is not yet clear whether Dr Karl should have subjected his research data to the same procedures. Dr Karl, who retired from NOAA in August 2016, has not yet had the opportunity to respond fully to Dr Bates’ allegations.'

- LSE: More fake news in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, February 5, 2017 (Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail As 'Unreliable' Source, February 08, 2017))


'..a failure to observe proper ethical standards..'

'Dr John Bates’s disclosures about the manipulation of data behind the ‘Pausebuster’ paper is the biggest scientific scandal since ‘Climategate’ in 2009 when, as this paper reported, thousands of leaked emails revealed scientists were trying to block access to data, and using a ‘trick’ to conceal embarrassing flaws in their claims about global warming.

Both scandals suggest a lack of transparency and, according to Dr Bates, a failure to observe proper ethical standards.

Because of NOAA ’s failure to ‘archive’ data used in the paper, its results can never be verified.

Like Climategate, this scandal is likely to reverberate around the world, and reignite some of science’s most hotly contested debates.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017


'Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

..

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’ '


'Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.

..

Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.

..

In the weeks after the Pausebuster paper was published, Dr Bates conducted a one-man investigation into this. His findings were extraordinary. Not only had Mr Karl and his colleagues failed to follow any of the formal procedures required to approve and archive their data, they had used a ‘highly experimental early run’ of a programme that tried to combine two previously separate sets of records.

..

Dr Bates revealed that the failure to archive and make available fully documented data not only violated NOAA rules, but also those set down by Science. Before he retired last year, he continued to raise the issue internally. Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.

..

Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017


Context '..conduct more meetings on ethics .. Respectful discussion of different points of view should be encouraged.' - John Bates

Climategate: Follow the Money - By Bret Stephens

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future, Climate Data Edition, February 5, 2017

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'


'Trees are the best known ‘technology’ to cool our planet'

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Faraday - Tesla - 'The Accelerating Winds of Venus.' (Electric Universe - Solar Climate Change)


(The Electric Universe - Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Electric Fossils and Thundercrabs

(The Electric Universe) - '..weather systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Thymology - Haptopraxeology) - '..entrepreneurship .. actions he will carry out and estimates the future effect of those actions..'


'...The peer review process is broken...' - '...don't have the "situational awareness"...'

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015, February 5, 2017

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

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

..

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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..' (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')


'A new study has shown that a 2015 NOAA paper finding that the Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct.

..

This paper is another reminder why it is so important to invest in the temperature measurements that are needed to create long-term climate records. We really need uninterrupted measurements that span many years/decades if we want to truly understand the Earth’s changing climate.

..Now let’s move on to solving the problem.'

- New study confirms NOAA finding of faster global warming, January 4, 2017


Context

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(The Electric Universe) - '..weather systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Global Infrastructure Upgrade) - Mexico's former president: Global infrastructure needs an upgrade

          (Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization (no replies)        
'I remain optimistic, but even more cautiously than before. If 2016 taught me anything, it was that we economists should stick to our jobs as "students of civilization" as the founding members of the Austrian School saw their intellectual mission.

..

..We have the tools and mentality to be 'students of civilization" as our intellectual tradition demands.'

- Peter Boettke, 2016: A Year in a Life, December 29, 2016


'This book argues that the work of the Austrian economists, including Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, has been too narrowly interpreted. Through a study of Viennese politics and culture, it demonstrates that the project they were engaged in was much broader: the study and defense of a liberal civilization. Erwin Dekker shows the importance of the civilization in their work and how they conceptualized their own responsibilities toward that civilization, which was attacked left and right during the interwar period. Dekker argues that what differentiates their position is that they thought of themselves primarily as students of that civilization rather than as social scientists, or engineers. This unique focus and approach is related to the Viennese setting of the circles, which constitute the heart of Viennese intellectual life in the interwar period.

• Corrects the one-sided view on Austrian economists which dominates the literature • Investigates how economics was transformed into a modern engineering science and what was lost in the process • Helps the reader understand how the Austrian economists regarded their role and responsibilities as scholars and citizens'

- The Viennese Students of Civilization, 2014


Context 'A judgment of value .. a man's affective response to definite conditions of the universe..' - Ludwig von Mises

'..dismantle the Marxist myth..' - 'Karl Marx, False consciousness'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?'

(The Electric Universe) - SAFIRE as Astrophysical Laboratory | EU2016


The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..'

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

'..how socialism actually produces a superclass of elites and a form of socio-economic apartheid..'


Presentation: Phase I (2012 - 2022) - The Beginning

          '..dismantle the Marxist myth..' - 'Karl Marx, False consciousness' (no replies)        
'Every once in a while, even The Economist gets it right. In a review of an intellectual biography of Marx (Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion), published this past fall, they argue that “the myth is more impressive than the reality”. Echoing, in fact, several arguments from the book—written, surprisingly enough, by a scholar with Marxist leanings—, they point out how out of step Marx was with the theoretical developments of 19th century economics, and how dense and often nonsensical his writings were.

As refreshing as it may be, this perspective on Marx is hardly a new one. We know that throughout his work, Ludwig von Mises has exploded many of the fallacies of the Marxist school of thought, particularly those concerning the workings of a socialist system and the idea of class struggle. But Mises had, in several of his publications, also criticized the myth of Marx, pointing out inconsistencies and errors in his research, as well as criticizing his writing style.

Even if it will take a long time to dismantle the Marxist myth, I’d like to think that it will be Mises’s view of the world that will prevail.'

- Carmen Elena Dorobat, Mises on the Myth of Marx, December 26, 2016


'..Karl Marx .. the myth is more impressive than the reality.'

'COMMUNISM collapsed nearly 30 years ago, but the influence of Karl Marx lives on. Marxist approaches are found in some of the most interesting history and sociology being published today. Marx’s works, including “The Communist Manifesto”, written with Friedrich Engels in 1848, may have had more impact on the modern world than many suppose. Of the manifesto’s ten principal demands, perhaps four have been met in many rich countries, including “free education for all children in public schools” and a “progressive or graduated income tax”.

..

The overriding impression from this book is that Marx’s reputation (at least in some quarters) as an unrivalled economist-philosopher is wide of the mark. Marx had planned to write “Capital” in multiple volumes. He finished the first. But when it came to writing the second, on realising that he would face insurmountable intellectual hurdles, he pleaded illness (though seemed quite able to do other sorts of research). “Karl” was in the thick of the intellectual developments of the 19th century. But the myth is more impressive than the reality.'

- The Economist, Karl Marx, False consciousness, August 25, 2016


Context (Praxeology) - '..Menger’s experience stressed subjective factors..'

(Praxeology) - '..his or her subjective values .. to explain all economic phenomena as the results of what people do..'

(Praxeology) - 'Economics .. is about human choice and action.' - '..books by Mises, Rothbard and Hayek are already translated .. online bookstore in China..'

(Praxeology) - Savings - Economic Growth - 'We Need More Wealth, Not Necessarily More Employment' - Entrepreneurship


'..You really have to be able to think about the post-bureaucratic world..'

'..economic growth cannot be conjured into being by top-down interventionism in the form of monetary pumping and deficit spending..'

' “Monetary policy… after all, is extremely important” – is an understatement.' - Doug Noland


'..have organizations that are more and more adaptable and far more humane..'

'When Jan Patocka wrote .. the phenomenon of human conscience..' - Václav Havel

'..the phenomenon of wave after wave of economic ups and downs is ideological in character..'


Praxeology '...the primordial fact of individual human action.'

          Unlocking your nonprofit's data insights: Linking Ad Grants and Google Analytics        

So you’re a savvy nonprofit that has mastered Ad Grants? Read on! 

You’re a group of community leaders who know the impact of data. And who know that technology can help you leverage that.     

Like many other businesses, it’s critical for nonprofits to translate clicks on ads into a meaningful action on their nonprofit’s website. These actions could be donations, event registrations, file downloads, volunteer sign-ups or form completions — whatever it is that you’re compelling users to do.

Nonprofits like yours, however, often come to us with an important question: “How do we know if our Ad Grants account is actually resulting in these increased actions?” Great question!Our answer is simple, yet we hope it’s powerful too: Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is your go-to tool for providing insights into user behavior, which can be used to inform Ad Grants, as well as website optimization. By syncing data and using AdGrants & Analytics in tandem, you can boost the quality of traffic reaching your site and increase the chance of visitors completing a meaningful action on your NGO’s page. Best of all, Analytics can be used by nonprofits at no charge.

To get started, we strongly recommend defining your team’s marketing objectives. (If you haven’t set up goals yet, check out Smart Goals, which were designed with groups like nonprofits in mind.)

Then, link your Google Analytics account to your Google Ad Grants account to see your data. (Find out how to do so here: Link Analytics and Ad Grants). In doing so, you’ll unlock insights into your Ad Grants campaign. For instance, what happens after someone clicks on your Ad Grants ad and lands on your site? How does it differ by geographical region? Or how does user behavior differ between services offered?

Going forward, you can also track your nonprofit’s marketing goals in Google Analytics to understand how traffic from your Ad Grants campaigns is converted to meaningful action on your website. To do so, import your goals into Ad Grants as conversions.

Now, you’ll be able to see traffic quality data such as bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration for campaigns, ad groups, and keywords within Ad Grants. By adding goals as conversions, you’ll get the data you need to understand which text ads showing for keywords resonate best with your target audience.

Why, you might ask, is all this important for your nonprofit?

Take Science Buddies, a nonprofit that was one of the earliest adopters of the Google Ad Grants program, joining in 2003. Science Buddies then received 171,000 unique visits in 2004 via Ad Grants, with this number increasing by 4.5X to 773,000 unique visits in 2005. By 2006, Google Ad Grants had doubled the traffic to the website altogether. “Ad Grants really put us on the map!” said Kenneth Hess, President and Founder of Science Buddies.

The takeaway here is that the more you optimize, the better chance you have of improving your quality score — a key metric in an Ad Grants account! And more importantly, the better chance you have of authentically connecting with users who are trying to change the world along with with your nonprofit and you. 


Sign up for Google Ad Grants here.

For more information on how to get started and country availability, please visit our Ad Grants Help Center. To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more — all at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here. 


Science Buddies’ statements are made in connection with receiving in-kind donations as a participant in the Ad Grants program.


          Google for Education presents: Google RISE Awards!        

Google for Education just opened applications for the Google RISE Awards, a $10-25k USD grant given to nonprofit organizations globally that give girls and underrepresented students access to computer science through extracurricular outreach programs. In 2015, 37 organizations from 17 countries received RISE Awards for projects ranging from programming clubs in Johannesburg to workshops on CS and music production in San Francisco. 

chromebooks.JPG
Learning about CS promotes valuable problem solving skills that students can apply to any field of study. Unfortunately, many students have a negative perception of what CS is and who it’s for. By partnering with nonprofits that are providing students with access and exposure to CS, we hope to change this perception and encourage more students to pursue CS. We’ve been inspired by the creativity and passion we’ve seen from our past RISE awardees, and this year we’re excited to expand the reach of the RISE awards by opening two rounds of funding applications for nonprofit organizations. 

The RISE Awards are now accepting applications through February 19, and more information on the application process is listed on our website. Visit g.co/csedu to learn more about Google’s other CS resources, including our CS teacher professional development awards, Computer Science for High School (CS4HS), which is also currently accepting applications for the 2016 year.


          Information Assurance (HBSS) - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - We're looking for an Information Assurance Engineer with experience managing HBSS to join a top-notch group supporting world class science and technology at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
          Windows System Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a sharp, fun team doing challenging work supporting world class science and technology. At the Center for Computational Science at the US Naval Research Laboratory you'll be part of a team responsible for providing Windows platform administration.
          Active Directory Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a sharp, fun team doing challenging work supporting world class science and technology. At the Center for Computational Science at the US Naval Research Laboratory you'll be part of a team responsible for providing Windows platform administration.
          Windows Admin / Help Desk - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a team supporting world class science and technology. At the US Naval Research Laboratory, you'll be part of a small team responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Windows platform user workstations.
          Senior Linux Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - We're looking for an outstanding Sr. Linux Admin to join a top-notch group supporting world class science and technology at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Zurka Interactive is expanding our team at NRL in Washington DC.
          Associate Scientist - Selecta Biosciences        
Watertown, MA -
Jobs
Login
Watertown, MA, USA Full Time
Email Me Similar JobsEmail Me This Job
Associate Scientist in Watertown MA. Perform independent research for in vivo/in vitro testing of models/assays, plan/execute experiments, and analyze/report data, including: analyze immune responses
          Associate Engineer/Engineer, Manufacturing Sciences #661 - KBI Biopharma        
Durham, NC - Company:KBI Biopharma
Job Location(s):Durham, NC
Start Date:Immediately

Employment Term:Regular
Employment Type:Full Time
Starting Salary Range:Competitive

Required Education:Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience:0 to 2 years
Required Security Clearance:None
Related
          Senior Engineer, Manufacturing Sciences (Upstream) #662 - KBI Biopharma        
Durham, NC - Company:KBI Biopharma
Job Location(s):Durham, NC
Start Date:Immediately

Employment Term:Regular
Employment Type:Full Time
Starting Salary Range:Competitive

Required Education:Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience:3 to 5 years
Required Security Clearance:None
Related
          NyhetsbyrÃ¥n TT i mediesamarbete med scientologer        
Förmedlar pressinformation åt religiös anti-psykvårdsorganisation.
          OMG, she went there! Leah Remini argues that Scientology isn’t actually even a religion on ‘Late Night with Colbert’        

Oooh, churl! Leah Remini is continuing on her crusade to unravel the church of Scientology from ruining others’ lives after hers was effected, and she...
          Data Scientist TS/SCI with CI Polygraph        
MD-Bethesda, Data Scientist Bethesda, MD TS/SCI w/CI poly required Data Scientist The Data Scientist shall provide data analysis support to counterintelligence (CI) evaluations of US national security issues. The Data Scientist will use technical and analytical expertise to explore and examine data from multiple disparate sources with the goal of discovering patterns and previously hidden insights, which in tu
          IBM Ventures Advances Corporate Goals On 3 Pillars        
Platforms - We provide access to IBM assets such as Watson, data science capabilities, cloud resources, security protocols, IoT platforms. IBM is also ...
          Former State Dept, Sotera Official John Hillen Joins Govini Board of Advisers        
“A data science approach is essential to clarifying and simplifying the business of government.” Hillen is also currently a member of the board of ...
          IST student files patent, sees bright future in the ‘golden age of data science‘        
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For Penn State undergraduate student Yuya Ong, data sciences isn't just his major — it's a way of thinking about life.
          Comment: Artificial intelligence is coming, ready or not        
The other day, I got into a discussion about singularity and artificial intelligence with a computer science student. He's young, smart and full of ...
          Galvanize and Amazon Launch Series of Free Alexa Workshops Across the Country        
Galvanize is a 21st Century school for engineers, entrepreneurs and data scientists. On eight campuses across the U.S., the energy, intellect and ...
          Data Science Campus outlines plans for Fall        
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus has been set up to act as a hub for the whole of government to gain practical advantage ...
          Rare Disease Treatments to Be Discovered by Machine Learning and Simulation Platform        
"I look forward to combining the GNS REFS platform with Alexion's deep expertise in data sciences to accelerate the discovery of innovative medicines ...
          Machine Learning Model Tracks US Spy Planes        
Reporters-turned-data-scientists started by making calculations describing the flight characteristics of about 20,000 aircraft contained in a database ...
          Data Science Campus outlines plans for Fall        
Focused on exploring the potential for deep learning application to government data science challenges, Data Science is currently working on ten ...
          Data Science Engineer @ Semantive        
Data Science backend position at Semantive in Warsaw, Poland. 11000 - 17000 PLN / Month.
          How Machine Learning Is Helping Neuroscientists Crack Our Neural Code        
A big challenge in neuroscience is understanding how the brain encodes information. Neural networks are turning out to be great code crackers.
          QuanticMind Reports Record Year-over-Year Growth in Q2 2017        
“We're thrilled to partner with even more astute advertisers across the globe to conquer the challenges of digital with advanced data science, machine ...
          Kellenberg Memorial’s Science Olympiad Team Competes at State Championship        
Article by Polly Taylor ’18: On March 11th and 12th, the Kellenberg Memorial High School Science Olympiad A team competed at the 32nd annual New York State Competition hosted by Le Moyne College in Syracuse. New York State is one the most competitive states in the nation, with over 400 teams competing throughout the state. […]
          Science Olympiad Captures 2nd Place at Regional Competition        
Kellenberg’s premier STEM Club, Science Olympiad, took home a second-place team victory on Staurday, February 4, 2017, at the Nassau West Regional Science Olympiad Competition. Three teams represented Kellenberg in the day-long competition. Students competed in 25 different events from anatomy, game design, dynamic planet, tower building, and more exposed these students to challenging science […]
          Kellenberg Science Olympiad Team Captures First Place in Regional Competition        
Article by Rachel Buzeta, Class of 2015: On Saturday, January 31, Kellenberg Memorial High School hosted the Western Nassau Division C Regional Science Olympiad Competition. Representing 19 schools from Long Island, 34 teams came to compete. Donning team shirts with clever science puns, students did their best to make their presence known. Our hallways were soon bedecked […]
          Review: Laniege Trouble Relief Cream         
Today I am join review another item part of the Laneige Trouble Relief series. Previously I wrote a review on Laneige Trouble Relief Spot Gel HERE, which I really recommended. This is time the review will be on Laneige Trouble Relief Cream! I am not sure about the price since it is a gift from my friend. But it should S$50 dollars.

Let's start off with pictures of the product itself

Front view of the box
Back view of the box

Here is the product. I think it is made of glass, but don't worry because I have dropped it a few times and it did break haha.

The inside

The picture above shows the consistency of the cream. It has a snow consistency. This is my first time using a cream with snow consistency. The consistency is like in between emulsion consistency and body cream.

Instruction sheet that comes with the bottle


The instructions are:
1) After applying toner, apply 1.2 cm in diameter of the cream
2) Gently smooth the cream from the center to the outer edge of your face

Initially I did not follow the instruction. I feel that the second step make some difference to the effectiveness of the cream, I am not sure of the scientific reason behind it though haha.

before
after
I usually apply once in while, when I feel that there is a impending breakout of my face. Example redness, slight itchiness, red bumps that are going to emerge as acne. I apply it after I cleansing my face. From the picture, although the cream looks kinda clumpy it is easy to spread on you face evenly. When you first apply it, it will feel very slightly heavy and oily but after it filtrates into your skin it will not be oily at all. In fact it filtrates in pretty fast. I can usually see improvement in 1-2 days time. The next morning after I applied it on my skin, my T-zone will be less red/inflamed. It also reduces the bumps on my skin and prevent acne from breaking out on my skin. These are most likely due to the anti-bacterial properties of the cream. It also has moisturising effect, but i felt that is less moisturising compared to the emulsion. But it could also because I did not apply any toner.

I will rate this product 5/5.

          Comment on Episode 195: Franchise Mashup Challenge!!!!!! by David Jay        
This ep was really cool. I know there's a stigma against "tell me about your campaign" stories, but I love them--especially when the teller is as passionate as Kev was here (PS: college is terrible, more Walking Eye please :P). I've always thought a world that mixed X-Men and Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Optic Blasts?) would be amazing--where a few powerful individual mutants made factions/houses around their own particular mindset. Of course, this would lead to a cold war of constant intrigues/politicking with the constant threat of all out mutant war breaking out. So, you’d have the Magneto faction of violent activists/freedom fighters, the Hellfire’s exploitative/millionaire club, Sinister’s science by any means faction, Bishop’s (maybe?) government-sponsored response team, and, not to mention, Xavier’s wanna-be superheroes all competing against each other for public opinion and new mutant recruits. After this episode, I’ve been thinking about actually doing something with that. Thanks!
          Study: Penis size 'does affect attractiveness'        
Past research has indicated that women, as a group, are drawn to larger male members. But those results have been disputed as sexist, or scientifically flawed, or both. New research aims to settle the question of whether size matters.
          You can literally throw your negative thoughts away        

Take the trash out: According to new research in Psychological Science, writing down your negative thoughts and tossing them in the garbage can erase your bad mood.Take the trash out: According to new research in Psychological Science, writing down your negative thoughts and tossing them in the garbage can erase your bad mood.



          Two HIV patients now virus-free. Is this a cure?        
Two men unlucky enough to get both HIV and cancer have been seemingly cleared of the virus, raising hope that science may yet find a way to cure for the infection that causes AIDS, 30 years into the epidemic.
          Double arm transplant patient feels new hands        

Gabriel Granados Vergara, 52, received a double arm transplant at the National Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition (INCMN) in Mexico City.A Mexican man whose arms were severely burned by electricity became the first patient in Latin America to receive a double arm transplant, doctors said Thursday.



          C'est pour ton bien, Cindy Costes        
Je ne sais plus trop comment cette nouvelle est arrivée dans ma PAL numérique (tellement de bouquin là-dedans que si je devais me souvenir du pourquoi pour tous...). N'empêche, elle a dut me tilter à un moment donné. Et du coup, comme j'avais envie d'une lecture rapide, c'est tombé sur elle. Puis j'aime bien la couverture

C'est pour ton bien, Cindy Costes

Editeur : Autoédition
Collection : /
Année de parution : 2016
Format : epub

 A lire si :
- Vous voulez une lecture rapide (une vingtaine de page en gros)
- Vous aimez les moments de vie

A ne pas lire si :
- Vous voulez du long
- Vous aimez avoir un background.

Présentation de l'auteur :

Laetitia est une jeune femme d'aujourd'hui, une battante. Bien entourée par ses collègues, sa meilleure amie et sa mère....
Bien entourée ? Oui... effectivement, tous sont là pour la conseiller, la pousser à prendre les bonnes décisions que ce soit dans la vie amoureuse ou professionnelle.
Mais finalement, qui sont-ils pour juger et dire « ce qui est bon » ?
Avec une écriture mature, pleine de tendresse pour son personnage principale, Cindy Costes nous offre une tranche de vie, parfois douloureuse mais belle et lucide....

Mon avis

Imaginez-vous mère célibataire, travailleuse un peu trop acharnée, ayant à peine rompue avec son copain, lui-même dépressif. C'est ce qu'il se passe dans la vie de Laeti en ce moment. Or, si elle arrive à tout mener de front, il semble que cela ne soit pas l'avis de sa meilleure amie, Gaby et de sa mère. Les deux femmes veulent à tout prix chapeauter sa vie, l'incitant à changer de boulot par exemple. Le tout pour son propre bien. Et elle laisse faire, parce qu'elle n'a pas envie de se prendre la tête, parce que peut-être aussi que ça lui va pas trop mal comme situation. Situation qu'on est beaucoup à avoir connu, je suppose. Mais voilà, elle découvre qu'elle est enceinte. Et là, pas mal de chose vont changer pour elle. Parce que Gaby ne lui donne pas le choix. C'est pour son bien, elle travaille dur, elle n'a pas de mec, alors, elle va avorter. Point. D'ailleurs, elle lui prend même un rendez-vous pour ça. J'ai envie de dire "super la copine quand même...".

La nouvelle est courte, pas forcément sans défaut mais elle tape plutôt bien. On se reconnait pas mal en Laeti qui a somme toute une vie normale. Les amis trop envahissants, les mères qui continuent à diriger notre vie... C'est l'une des forces de la nouvelle d'ailleurs, ce personnage de "madame tout le monde" qui soudain va se rebeller. Pour elle, se sera parce qu'elle est enceinte et que non, elle n'a pas envie de suivre le choix que l'on veut faire pour elle. J'ai apprécié d'ailleurs qu'elle ne parte pas bille en tête juste pour être en rébellion. Une petite discussion avec la gynécologue sur le choix qui est intéressante bien que courte et hop, voilà notre Laetitia qui prend sa décision pour son bien à elle en son âme et conscience.

La nouvelle est agréable à lire, surtout qu'on arrive facilement à s'identifier à la jeune femme. Le style est fluide, n'en fait pas trop. On s'immerge rapidement et si la nouvelle est sans surprise, elle permet de passer un moment sympathique. Après, n'attendez rien de foufou ou de vraiment surprenant hein, ce n'est pas vraiment le but, il me semble. 



          Scumland, Absinthe Pandemos        
Vous allez finir par croire que je suis payée par Walrus pour faire des avis sur leurs livres. Et bien pas du tout, juste que quand on aime, on ne compte pas, surtout avec une OPMORSE qui m'a permis de me plonger dans les pulps qui m’intéressaient depuis un moment. Bref, depuis que j'ai découvert la maison d'édition numérique (en 2013), je n'ai jamais été déçue par mes lectures. Eux et moi, on se comprend parfaitement. Et ce n'est pas ce Scumland qui va me faire changer d'avis !

Scumland, Absinthe Pandemos

Editeur : Walrus
Collection : Pulp
Année de parution : 2015
Format : epub

A lire si :
- Vous voulez du saignant
- Vous voulez de la misandrie

A ne pas lire si :
- Vous êtes un gros macho qui ne comprend pas toujours le second degrés et qui se prend la tête pour un rien
- Vous voulez une petite histoire mêmère

Présentation de l'éditeur :

La nature est hostile en dehors des cités, mais la société se porte mieux depuis la révolution misandre : désormais, devenir un esclave castré est ce qui peut arriver de mieux à un « chamallo » (Cisgenre Hetero Male Low Life). Traqués dans les jungles qui bordent les villes, les mâles sont ramenés à leur condition de matière première et servent de cobayes à des expériences souvent sanglantes et rarement pratiquées sous anesthésie. Ainsi exploités, ils contribuent à la survie de l’espèce… et grâce à la technomagie, on n’en perd plus une goutte !
Flora et Maddy sont deux traqueuses bien décidées à aider le SCUM — l’élite des tueuses professionnelles — à mettre la main sur un chamallo errant repéré aux abords de la cité. Armées de leurs machettes et d’une bonne dose de rage, elles enfourchent leurs motos et partent en chasse dans les ruines du vieux monde.

Mon avis

Au fur et à mesure de mes lectures, je me rends compte que je porte un intérêt grandissant pour les thèmes féministes et pour les personnages féminins qui ne sont pas de potentielles "princesse à sauver par un chevalier blanc alors qu'elles auraient pu être bien plus badass que ça".  Alors lorsque je vois un livre comme Scumland, autant le dire, je me jette dessus. Rien que la quatrième de couverture me donnait l'eau à la bouche et cela s'en parler de cette magnifique couverture (comme toutes celles de la collection pulp d'ailleurs). Je le savais Scumland et moi, on était fait pour bien s'entendre. Mon côté féministe parle beaucoup et comme je l'écoute beaucoup, je n'allais pas faire une impasse sur le roman.

Scumland nous plonge dans un monde misandre. Pour les personnes dans le fond qui ne savent pas voici une définition de misandre : Qui éprouve du mépris, voire de la haine, pour le sexe masculin ; qui témoigne de ce mépris (merci Larousse). La société créée après une apocalypse (laquelle, on ne sait pas) est une société féministe et féminine qui se base pas mal sur le SCUM Manifesto de Valérie Solanas (oui, j'ai fait des recherches et on peut le trouver là). Alors du coup, vu le dit manifeste, le roman allait être bien violent, surtout pour les hommes. Et je n'avais pas tord du tout.

Parce que de la violence, il y a en et pas qu'un peu. Rien que les premières pages risquent de faire mal à ces messieurs et réjouir toutes les femmes qui ont pu ou se sentent encore opprimées. Vient ensuite une partie plus calme, où l'on découvre le traitement réservé aux chamallos (aux hommes (enfin aux cisgenre male quoi)) grâce à la technomagie mais aussi le fonctionnement de la société misandre. Une société qui a banni tous ce qui pouvait être masculin (le travail, l'argent par exemple) et qui surtout oppressé les femmes à notre époque. Alors, ça risque pour certain d'avoir l'air totalement surréaliste, malheureusement, ce n'est pas tant le cas que ça. Disons que la plupart des femmes vont parfaitement comprendre le discours de cette société et qu'un certain nombre d'autres personnes vont crier à la misandrie et se plaindre. Bref, les bons machos vont nous lâcher de belles male tears.  Après la dite partie calme, on passe à la chasse aux chamallos et au retour de la violence. Et là aussi, nous allons avoir des male tears. 

Mais la violence n'est pas le point central du roman, juste ce qui le place finalement dans la collection pulp de Walrus. On y trouve plein de chose qui font réfléchir la bébé féministe que je suis. Et c'est là que personnellement j'ai trouvé tout l'interet du bouquin. Oui, le féminisme sur lequel il s’appuie est clairement anti-hommes, mais il me semble que l'auteure joue justement sur cela pour ouvrir un peu les consciences. Du coup, on se divertit beaucoup et en plus de ça, on réfléchit aussi. 

Au final, je l'ai bien aimé ce Scumland. Les personnages sont pas forcément ultra développés mais elles sont plaisantes à suivre, l'univers m'a fait bien plaisir et ça se lit facilement (à condition par contre de connaitre deux trois trucs sur le genre, le féminisme mais franchement, suffit de traîner un peu sur twitter ou pas loin de féministes pour les comprendre et sinon y a google au pire). Un livre bien sympathique et qui donne à la femme un rôle à sa hauteur (celle de personne qui n'a pas besoin d'un mec pour déboîter grave)(je raconte pas comme ça fait du bien ce genre de personnage hein). Bref, c'est du pulp, c'est du Walrus, c'est du bon. Et je m'en vais voir si je peux pas trouver d'autres livres (roman ou nouvelles) d'Absinthe Pandemos de ce pas.

          Bioshock : Rapture, John Shirley        
Avant toute chose, sachez que je n'ai jamais joué à Bioshock. Du coup, je me suis aventurée dans cette lecture sans rien savoir. Juste parce que le livre fait partie du mois du Cuivre et que la couverture très art nouveau me plaisait beaucoup. Et cette lecture m'a plu et m'a donné envie de jouer au jeu. (il est sortit en 2007 et je n'ai pas la moindre idée de s'il tourne sous mac, faudra que je regarde ça de plus près).

Bioshock : Rapture, John Shirley

Editeur : Bragelonne
Collection : Le Mois du Cuivre
Année de parution : 2016
Titre en VO : Bioshock : Rapture
Année de parution en VO : 2011
Format : AZW

A lire si :
- Vous aimez les utopies qui tournent mal
- Vous n'avez pas peur de vous perdre entre personnages et les dates
- Vous voulez un huis-clos

A ne pas lire si :
- Vous voulez de la romance
- Vous voulez du tout beau tout propre
- Vous avez du mal avec le côté un peu trop documentaire

Présentation de l'éditeur : 

C’était la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale. Le New Deal du président Roosevelt avait redéfini la politique américaine. Les impôts avaient atteint un pic sans précédent. Les bombardements de Hiroshima et Nagasaki avaient créé la peur de l’annihilation totale. La montée d’agences gouvernementales secrètes avait rendu la population méfiante. Le sentiment de liberté des États-Unis s’était étiolé… Et nombreux étaient ceux qui voulaient retrouver cette liberté. Parmi eux, un grand rêveur, un immigré qui s’était élevé des plus profonds abysses de la pauvreté pour devenir l’un des hommes les plus riches et les plus admirés au monde. Cet homme s’appelait Andrew Ryan, et il avait la conviction que les grands hommes méritaient ce qu’il y avait de mieux. Alors il se mit en quête de l’impossible, une utopie libre de tout gouvernement, de toute censure, de toute restriction morale sur la science, où ce qu’on donnait on le recevait en retour. Il a créé Rapture, la lumineuse cité sous les mers. Mais l’utopie a été frappée d’une terrible tragédie. Voici comment tout a commencé… et tout a fini.

Mon avis

Comme dit en introduction, je ne suis pas du tout au courant de l'histoire de Bioshock, le jeu. Je partais donc totalement "vierge" de toute information, me demandant un peu ce que cela allait donner. Bon, après lecture, je me suis tout de même renseignée, et il s'avère que le livre se situe donc avant le jeu.

On se retrouve en fin de seconde guerre mondiale. Les USA ont largués les bombes atomique sur le japon, les populations ont peur, sont méfiantes. C'est avec un climat de plus en plus tendu qu'il faut vivre. Or, cela, Andrew Ryan ne le veut pas. Il a un rêve, créer une cité sous la mer où aucune règle ne viendrait ternir sa vision du monde. Une utopie fantastique pour qui veut évoluer dans la vie. Ce qu'aurait du être les USA avant le New Deal de Roosevelt. Ainsi va donc naître l'héroïne du roman, la ville de Rapture, dont nous allons connaitre l'histoire à travers quelques personnages, Ryan, Bill, Sullivan, Fontaine et d'autres.

Car la ville est bel et bien l'héroïne du livre, bien plus que les personnages qui la peuplent.  Mais parlons d'eux avant de parler d'elle. Le panel couvert par l'auteur est assez hétéroclite bien que principalement masculin. Oui, j'aurais voulu que les femmes ait de plus grand rôle, mais je ne peux pas tout avoir, n'est-ce pas ? Bref, des personnages nombreux et qui ne se ressemblent pas vraiment. On retrouve Ryan, richissime entrepreneur qui va donner naissance à Rapture, en faire une utopie secrète. Bill, employé de Ryan, confident aussi qui petit à petit va se rendre compte du désastre qui s'annonce, Fontaine, le "méchant" de l'histoire, Brigid Tenenbaum, scientifique ayant travaillé avec les nazis (et certainement pour moi le personnage qui aurait mérité plus de concidération), Sullivan, chef de la sécurité... Tous vont permettre de voir Rapture sous ses divers visages, et autant dire que ce n'est pas toujours très beau.

Si la ville se présente comme une utopie parfaite au départ, il s'avère qu'elle ne va pas le rester longtemps. Le fait qu'il n'y ait pas de règles pour réguler le marché ou la science va faire perdre la tête à plus d'un. Rapidement, les plus pauvres deviennent encore plus pauvres tandis que les plus riches s'enrichissent encore plus. Là où tout le monde aurait du avoir sa chance, le fossé se creuse de plus en plus. Et forcément quand les inégalités sont là, les contestations aussi. Entre un Ryan qui ne veut surtout pas modifier sa belle utopie malgré le désastre qui arrive, un Fontaine qui profite de tout cela pour prendre la ville de force, des scientifiques à l'esprit tordu, une psy communiste, plus personne ne sait vraiment qui suivre. Et rien ne s'arrange lorsque Fontaine aider par Tenenbaum et un autre scientifique inventent les plasmisdes, des produits capable de donner des pouvoirs surhumains aux hommes.

Je dois bien dire que j'ai adoré voir la ville descendre petit à petit dans les Enfers. C'est plutôt bien fait, surtout qu'on découvre les points de vue de personnages moins importants dans l'histoire mais qui éclaire un peu mieux la dite descente. Voir la belle utopie vouait à l'échec n'est pas nouveau mais je trouve ici que c'est plutôt bien fait, bien que pour moi, il reste quelques points noirs (parce que je n'ai pas joué au jeu ?). D'ailleurs, parfois, j'aurais voulu un peu plus de mystère et moins de fait annoncer froidement. C'est quelque chose que je reproche un peu à l'auteur, pas assez de sentiment. IL est parfois trop "documentaire". Pourtant, l'histoire de la création et de la chute de Rapture aurait surement pu être conté d'une manière plus romanesque (et je ne parle pas de romance ou que sais-je d'autre, juste un peu plus de sentiments, de n'importe quel sentiment). IL n'en reste pas moins que l’enchaînement des événements, qui courent sur plusieurs années est bien foutu et qu'on suit la chute de la cité sans le moindre problème. 

Finalement, ce Rapture a été une bien bonne découverte. J'ai vraiment apprécié le livre qui se lit bien et pousse à réfléchir sur quelques petites choses, comme la morale scientifique, le monde des affaires et surtout la place de l'homme dans son environnement et ce qu'il se passe quand il se prend pour un Dieu. Bref, passionnant, instructif aussi. Tout ce que j'apprécie dans un bouquin. Sans parler de l'esthétisme très rétro-futur, art nouveau de la ville qui transparait dans la couverture mais aussi dans les descriptions de Rapture. Quel dommage qu'il me parait si court (pourtant, il est dense comme roman) et qu'il manque un peu trop de sentiment. 

          Les Chevaliers de Mars, Le Château des Etoiles, tome 3, Alex Alice        
Hier, en allant sur un autre site de travail, je suis passée devant la librairie. Et il était en vitrine, bien voyant. Hier, en rentrant chez moi, je me suis arrêtée à la librairie, et j'en ai aussi profiter pour me prendre le dernier tome des Outrepasseurs. Hier, à peine rentrée à la maison, j'ai dévoré la bande dessinée (mais pourquoi est-elle si courte ?). Bref, hier, j'ai retrouvé Séraphin, Sophie et Hans pour une nouvelle aventure.

Les Chevaliers de Mars, Le Château des Etoiles, tome 3, Alex Alice

Editeur : Rue de Sèvres
Collection : /
Année de parution : 2017
Nombre de pages : 60

A lire si :
- Vous avez aimé le tome 1
- Vous aimez le steampunk et Jules Verne
- Vous voulez de beaux dessins accompagnent une bonne histoire

A ne pas lire si :
- Vous ne voulez pas de jeunes héros

Présentation de l'éditeur : 

1870. En plein dix-neuvième siècle, le sort de la Terre se joue sur Mars ! Dans cette suite de la série à succès Le Château des étoiles , récompensée par de nombreux prix, Séraphin et ses amis sont de retour sur Terre. Après avoir révélé au monde le secret du voyage spatial, ils ont trouvé refuge dans un manoir breton. Mais leur engin volant est désormais l'objet de toutes les convoitises ! Alors que le père de Séraphin est en voyage à Londres, le manoir est cerné par des brumes lourdes de menaces... Spectres, ou espions prêts à tout pour mettre la main sur le précieux engin ? Nouvelles machines, complots internationaux, têtes couronnées, expéditions au-delà de l'espace... La course à l'éther est lancée, et la paix sur Terre est désormais entre les mains de Séraphin et des Chevalier de Mars !

Mon avis

La Conquête de l'espace, premier tome de cette série , m'avait particulièrement plus, le second tout autant. Autant dire que j'avais plus que hâte de lire la suite. Alors forcément, cette couverture rouge m'a attirée. Moi qui m'étais promis de ne pas aller toutes les semaines à la librairie...  Bref, je suis faible, je le sais, et ça ne me dérange pas tant que ça. Mais que vaut-il ce nouveau tome à la belle couverture rouge ?

On retrouve Séraphin, Sophie et Hans en bretagne, quelques temps après leur retour de la Lune. Ils ont donné les plans du moteur à Ether au monde, voit le début de la conquête de l'Ether par les nations sans pouvoir rien y faire. Pendant ce temps, les scientifiques essaient de réguler tout cela, de ne pas faire de cette conquête une nouvelle guerre. Mais alors que le professeur Dulac est à Londres, il se fait enlever par les Prussiens. Prussiens qui comptent bien conquérir Mars. Une planète qui attire aussi les jeunes gens, puisque d'après les calculs de Sophie, Ludwig de Bavière doit s'y trouver.

Mais bien entendu, rien ne se passe comme prévu. Les Prussiens veulent l'éthérine ramenée de la Lune et attaque la cachette de nos héros. Débarque alors l'impératrice Sissi qui va leur permettre de s'envoler une nouvelle fois vers l'Ether, et plus précisement vers Mars avec deux missions, retrouver le père de Séraphin et le roi Ludwig.

L'histoire nous entraîne rapidement sur cette seconde partie de la conquête de l'Ether. Et il faut bien dire qu'elle est passionnante, mais vraiment. Entre une Sophie qui semble être en manque d'Ether, un Séraphin qui doute de plus en plus, un Hans toujours égal à lui-même (ce personnage mérite pourtant plus que de sembler être le bout en train du groupe), on découvre rapidement l'importance qu'à pris leur voyage dans leur vie. En plus de cela, l'Ether est devenue la chose à conquérir, que se soit scientifiquement parlant ou politiquement parlant. Tous les enjeux d'une telle découverte sont présentés, même si de manière parfois un peu simpliste (ok, il n'y a que 60 pages dans ce tome, c'est aussi un peu normal).

Et puis, comme toujours, les planches sont juste magnifiques. J'aime vraiment tout ce travail à l'aquarelle où l'on voit tout de même un peu le dessin préparatif. J'aime les nuances de couleurs dans les ciels terriens ou non d'Alex Alice. Je trouve que cela donne tout le charme de la bande dessinée. Non mais vraiment, les paysages quoi et les ciels. C'est juste beau quoi. Et ça va si bien avec cette ambiance steampunk. 

Au final, vous l'aurez compris, j'ai juste beaucoup beaucoup aimé ce troisième tome. Et je veux le quatrième maintenant (je veux beaucoup de chose maintenant en même temps, heureusement que la réalité est tout autre par rapport à mes envies, sinon, vingt quatre ne me suffiraient pas). 

          Old school tattoos never quite        

and shoulder tribal tattoo



and shoulder tribal tattoo
tattoo on shoulder

and shoulder tribal tattoo



and shoulder tribal tattoo
tattoo on shoulder

and shoulder tribal tattoo



and shoulder tribal tattoo
tattoo on shoulder

and shoulder tribal tattoo



and shoulder tribal tattoo
tattoo on shoulder

and shoulder tribal tattoo



and shoulder tribal tattoo
tattoo on shoulder

Tattoo Flash from Kimberlee



Tattoo Flash from Kimberlee
feminine tattoo flash art sheet pictures

Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.



Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.
tattoo on shoulder

Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.



Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.
feminine tattoo flash art sheet pictures

Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.



Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.
tattoo on shoulder

Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.



Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.
tattoo on shoulder

Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.



Posted by TATTOO at 7:01 AM.
tattoo on shoulder

Flash Set of Brandon Bond and



Flash Set of Brandon Bond and
feminine tattoo flash art sheet pictures

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
old school flash tattoo

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
tattoo on shoulder

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
tattoo designs for men shoulder

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
old school flash tattoo

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
old school flash tattoo

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
tattoo designs for men shoulder

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
china letter tattoo

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
tattoo on shoulder

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
different styles of font for tattoos

Old school tattoos never quite



Old school tattoos never quite
china letter tattoo

blog entry 72
blog entry 99


the key west po
          Forty summers ago – July 5, 1977 – grand jury began hearing testimony, piercing, slightly, the ongoing Showalter hit-run cover-up in New London, CT        


Editor’s Note: The Showalter grand jury is noteworthy in that forces for justice – Judge Joseph Dannehy, Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan and as many as 17 Connecticut State Police detectives – could only knock down some of the walls protecting New London Police, State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti, Asst. State’s Attorney Harold Dean, Judge Angelo Santaniello, former Mayor Harvey Mallove and others who escaped complete discovery. The cover-up continues to this day, highlighted by the suppression and disappearance of the grand jury transcripts.




The foundation for investigative reporting in this case was developed by John Peterson, who was managing editor of The Norwich Bulletin during the grand jury. The grand jury began hearing testimony on July 5, 1977
.








Special Prosecutor McGuigan became Chief State’s Attorney, then was fired after convicting appointees of the governor and many other public officials.

---
Chronology, Grand Juror Report, Follow-up Columns
Via
Law And Justice In Everyday Life, CT Law Tribune


F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

APPENDIX

THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


New London, Ct.

1973

December 24

Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

December 25

Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

1974

February 6

FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

February 7

Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

February 28

New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

April 20

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

April 23

Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

June 4

Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

June 10

Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

June 24

Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

July 2

Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

July 9

Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

July 10

Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

July 25

Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

August 6

Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

August 9

Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

August 15

Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

August 20

Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

August 28

The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

August 31

Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

November, 1974

After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

1975

January 24

A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

“We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

March 19-22

The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

- Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

- Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

- Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

- A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

July 12

The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

July 21

A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

November 8

The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

December 10

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

1976

January 6

Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

January 9

Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

February 19

In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

“The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

February 23

Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

April 2

Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

May 6

Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

August 6

State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

August 30

Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

September 1

Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

September 23

State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

November 23

Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

“I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

December 21

Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

“I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

“The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

December 24

Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

1977

January 4

Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

February 8

State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

April 18

Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

May 10

State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

May 18

State police again film and re-create death scene.

June 22

The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

June 23

More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

June 24

Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

July 5

The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

July 6

Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

July 7

Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

July 12

Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

July 13

New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

July 14

Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

July 19

The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

July 20

The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

July 21

Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

July 26

The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

July 27

The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

July 28

Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

August 30

New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

Peterson testifies for three hours.

August 31

The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

September 1

Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

September 2

Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

September 12

Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

September 18

Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

September 19

One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

September 26

Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

October 3

Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

October 11

Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

“They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

“Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

October 17

The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

October 24

The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

November 14

The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

November 21

State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

November 29

The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

December 7

The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

1978

Feb. 17 Report filed.

Feb. 22

Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.


    Find & Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial








  • more COOL JUSTICE








  •           Story behind my choice of career :p        


    Assalamualaikum.. today i'll tell the story behind why i choose to be a teacher.. opps, not just a teacher. I'm going to be an ENGLISH teacher lah. :) heee. Emm, korg smue mesti ade byk ambition dulu2, betul tk? Klau korg nk tahu, i have lotssss of ambitions yg dikumpul sejak kecil. Haha.. So now, jom kite share story..

    Masa umur 5 tahun:
    Abah suruh anak2 die (termasuk diriku) utk jadi arkitek.. Klau abah tanye, bile besar nk jdi ape, kteorg adik bradik smue beriya2 jwb... arkitek!! :p Tk tahu lah kenape, tp kteorg mmg suke sgt melukis. Slalu masuk pertandingn melukis, mewarna.. (tp ape kaitan ngn arkitek? haha) tk de kaitan lgsung... Okay...so, cita2 ni dibawa smpailahhh ke----------------> form 3.


    Masuk form 4 :
    Aaa, minatnye bahasa Spanish.. isy, abah, tk nk lah amik architecture.. Tgk angah ambik architecture, mcm susah je.. Tk mo lahhh tk mo lahhh~~~ Pastu dh decide. Okay nk ambik bahasa spanish. Nk jdi pakar dlm bidang nie, nk jd translator, nk translate smueeee telenovela kt tv. pergh berangan. haha... Okay, so cita2 ni dteruskan smpailahhhhh-------------------- form 5

    Masuk form 5 :
    Cita2 nk jdi spanish translator membuak2.. Haha.. Mmg siap plan nk keje ngn duta lg . ==' Emm, pastu dh decide nk ambik course tu kt UM. Dh beli linguaphone spanish, nk blaja spanish la.. Pastu tup2 lepas spm, col UM ( Universiti Malaya), smpai ckp ngn dekan die.. tanye die psl course tu. Tetibe die jwb, eh dik... course ni, kite ambik budak STPM je.. kite ambik org yg mmg dh ade basic bahasa asing. ==' grr, hancur berkecai harapanku... aaaaaaaaaaa..aaaaaaa.......
    So, nk dijadikan citer, abah ngn mama gi berjumpe kwn die.. kwn die cite psl anak die ambik Tesl kt oversea... Hmm, balik je umah, mama dn abah mrh2, ckp course Spanish tu tk menjamin mase dpn...dn suruh ambik tesl sbb nia tanak ambik medic, tanak ambik engineering..


    Kenape tanak ambik medic??
    1.Takut darah, penggeli,.. dn sgt nk pengsan klau tgk drh, haha.. so what's the use amik medic?


    Kenape tanak ambik engineering??
    1. Sbenarnye, ade trdengar citer dri kawan yg mak die engineer. die kate, mak die smpai balik lewat mlm.. die slalu sunyi sorang2 kt umah.. And, kwn2 kakak pn ade bgtau, yg engineering mostly lelaki.. I dont want to be surrounded by guys.. Takowt la. hehe. Dn, i've promised to myself, i dun wan science stream anymore.. no more burden please. >_<


    So, beberape perkara telah dipertimbangkan sbelum mencapai keputusan utk apply A Level TESL :

    1. Klau jdi cikgu, boleh jdi isteri dn ibu yg berbakti utk family.. Boleh jdi ibu yg sntiase ade dgn anak2...dn boleh jdi isteri yg baik sbb slalu dpt teman suami. Ye lah, cikgu kn slalu free. Weee, seronoknye! So, ini adalah sebab UTAMA knp nia pilih utk jdi English teacher.

    2. Klau amik A level tesl, dpt pegi oversea. Ni lah peluangnye, sbb adik beradik lain smue tk pegi oversea pn. I'm abah's last hope.. so, mcm menarik je. haha.



    Jadi, kesimpulannye, dua sebab di atas tu adalah the only reasons why akhirnye i chose to be an english teacher. Ala, tk pe la, lgpun, ni lah peluangnye nk speaking 'cair' . Dulu berangan nk ckp mcm omputeh. So peluang dh terbukaaa~~ WALAUPUN ade beberape cikgu yg mulut kuang aja, they said..." B***H la dpt 10A tp jadi cikgu jgk. pegi oversea jauh2 tp jdi cikgu jgk akhirnye.." And i was like....So?? Geramnye...tp pendam je. Tk pelah 'cikgu', nti sy buktikn jdi english teacher ni is not a bad thing. Nia lngsung tk menyesal.. Sbb nia tanak kerjaya yg busy.. becuz im just a lady to be, now still a girl kot. hee.. Perempuan ni, tk perlu kerja tinggi2.. nnti kn ade suami. Keje biase2 pn dh okay. :) gembira jgk insyaAllah.. alahai, result spm tinggi2 tapi tk keje professional pn nia tk kisahlah.. It's just SPM je pn. duniawi belaka.. haha. :p Well, setiap org ade reasons kenape die pilih kerjaya yg die nk..
    Hee...ade muke cm cikgu tk?? :p



    ADVICE FOR TODAY: Believe in what you think best for you.. Ignore other people lah....okay? Gud luck!

              Airing on U.S. TV: Canadian #TrueCrime Documentary Series Features #CT #WoodChipper Case Among Others That Inspired Hollywood Thrillers         

    Update, 6-28-17, shows RESCHEDULED, to air Aug. 6:
    REELZ announces- We will air The Shocking Truth "Fargo" and "Foxcatcher" episodes on Sunday, August 6 at 9pm ET ("Fargo") and 9:30pm ET ("Foxcatcher").


    Editor's Note, 6-17-17: A power outage zapped the servers for The REELZ Channel Friday night. Fargo and Foxcatcher will be rescheduled, a spokesman said.



  • Video Preview 2 -- A Chainsaw in Lake Zoar -- Fargo: The Shocking Truth

  • Video Preview 3: Late PI Keith Mayo …

  • --
    Via Radar ONLINE:

  • 'The Shocking Truth' Reveals 'Wood Chipper' Murderer CAUGHT In String Of Lies!


  • Why would someone be out in a storm with a wood-chipper on the side of the road?

    How did Connecticut state police get a murder conviction without a body?

    Shocking Truth [Fargo - Crafts / wood chipper case] Provides the Answers June 16 on REELZ

    Series Premiered May 21 w/ Goodfellas; Up Next: Exorcist & Amityville Horror

  • BACKGROUND


  • REELZ



  • WFSB: Woodchipper murder case from 30 years ago was pivotal for forensic scientists




  • Complete Schedule



    (Goodfellas) Sunday, 5/21 at 9:00pm ET



    (Jaws) Sunday, 5/21 at 9:30pm ET



    (Exorcist) Friday, 5/26 at 9:00pm ET



    (Amityville Horror) Friday, 5/26 at 9:30pm ET

    (Conjuring) Friday, 6/2 at 9:00pm ET

    (Silence/Lambs) Friday, 6/2 at 9:30pm ET

    (Psycho) Friday, 6/9 at 9:00pm ET

    (Zodiac) Friday, 6/9 at 9:30pm ET


    During one of The Shocking Truth road trips through the US, a crew drove 1245 km conducting interviews in WI, IL, PA, NY, CT and MA. Dr. Henry Lee was interviewed for his crucial role in the infamous wood chipper murder.

    (Fargo) Friday, 6/16 at 9:00pm ET

    (Foxcatcher) Friday, 6/16 at 9:30pm ET

    (Natural Born…) Friday, 6/23 at 9:00pm ET

    (Monster) Friday, 6/23 at 9:30pm ET



              Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

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




    NEW BOOK:

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


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

    EXCERPTS:

    From the Introduction


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

    *

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

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

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

    *

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

    *

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

    SELECTED ENTRIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

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

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

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



  •           Hit-and-Run Chronology, Grand Jury Report & Follow-up Columns, Re; Library Discussion 9-22-16        

    Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial




  • Cool Justice Editor's Note:
    This post is primarily for patrons and guests of the Sprague Public Library, who might participate in a discussion on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. A link to announcements of that event is at the very bottom of this post. Thanks for reading, AT.


    Via
    Law And Justice In Everyday Life


    F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

    This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

    APPENDIX

    THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


    New London, Ct.

    1973

    December 24

    Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

    There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

    Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

    Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

    Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

    December 25

    Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

    In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

    New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

    1974

    February 6

    FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

    February 7

    Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

    During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

    February 28

    New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

    April 20

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

    On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

    April 23

    Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

    June 4

    Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    June 10

    Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

    June 24

    Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

    July 2

    Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

    July 9

    Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

    July 10

    Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

    July 25

    Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

    Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

    Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

    August 6

    Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

    Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

    August 9

    Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    August 15

    Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

    Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

    Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

    August 20

    Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

    August 28

    The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

    Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

    Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

    August 31

    Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

    November, 1974

    After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

    1975

    January 24

    A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

    “We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

    March 19-22

    The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

    - Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

    - Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

    - Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

    - A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

    The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

    April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

    July 12

    The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

    July 21

    A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

    November 8

    The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

    December 10

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

    1976

    January 6

    Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

    January 9

    Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

    February 19

    In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

    Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

    “The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

    February 23

    Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

    April 2

    Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

    May 6

    Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

    State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

    August 6

    State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

    August 30

    Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

    September 1

    Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

    Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

    September 23

    State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

    Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

    November 23

    Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

    “I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

    Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

    December 21

    Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

    John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

    “I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

    Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

    An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

    “The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

    December 24

    Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

    1977

    January 4

    Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

    McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

    February 8

    State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

    Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

    April 18

    Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

    The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

    May 10

    State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

    May 18

    State police again film and re-create death scene.

    June 22

    The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

    June 23

    More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

    June 24

    Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

    July 5

    The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

    Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

    The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

    Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

    July 6

    Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

    Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

    Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

    On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

    Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

    Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

    Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

    July 7

    Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

    Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

    A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

    July 12

    Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

    Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

    July 13

    New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

    The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

    McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

    Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

    There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

    July 14

    Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

    At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

    July 19

    The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

    July 20

    The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

    July 21

    Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

    A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

    July 26

    The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

    On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

    Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

    July 27

    The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

    Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

    July 28

    Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

    Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

    Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

    The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

    August 30

    New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

    Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

    Peterson testifies for three hours.

    August 31

    The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

    It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

    State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

    September 1

    Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

    September 2

    Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

    Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

    Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

    September 12

    Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

    Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

    September 18

    Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

    Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

    September 19

    One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

    Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

    September 26

    Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

    October 3

    Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

    The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

    October 11

    Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

    “They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

    I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

    “Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

    October 17

    The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

    In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

    State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

    October 24

    The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

    November 14

    The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

    November 21

    State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

    November 29

    The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

    Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

    Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

    Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

    Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

    In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

    In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

    Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

    In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

    In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

    Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

    December 7

    The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

    The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

    After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

    The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

    After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

    1978

    Feb. 17 Report filed.

    Feb. 22

    Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.







  • more COOL JUSTICE







  • Recent columns:

  • Via @CtNewsJunkie: City evades responsibility for unjust killing, 4th Amendment violation


  • NEW: RFK Jr. says ‘recent forensic evidence’ points to two shooters in his father’s assassination


  • Judges who played role in murder probe squelched access to key testimony


  • UPCOMING:


  • Book news @NorwichBulletin @HartfordCourant #moreCOOLJUSTICE #SpraguePublicLibrary Thursday, Sept. 22, 6:30 pm



  •            Scientific Workflow Tools         
    Crawl, Daniel and Altintas, Ilkay. (2010) Scientific Workflow Tools. In: Nanoinformatics 2010, November 3 - 5, 2010, Arlington, VA. (Unpublished)
              Grants will fund water quality research and STEM education        

    The Duke Energy Foundation is handing out grants totaling $500,000 to fund water quality research and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education at the University of Cincinnati and Thomas More College.

    Each school is getting $250,000.

    UC plans to use the money to complete a groundwater quality monitoring station and create a summer environmental research training program for K-12 science teachers.


              The Effect of Nasal Breathing         
    "Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear" - a fascinating study on the affect of nasal breathing on memory and emotional response. Not surprisingly, this is also linked to smell processing and the amygdala.
              EL AUMENTO DE LOS IMPUESTOS ES CONSECUENCIA DEL AUMENTO DEL ESTADO        
    El recaudador de impuestos. Pieter Brueghel
    Para una de las materias de la Universidad en la maestría en economía tuve que hacer un largo escrito presentando una investigación. Mi tesis o trabajo de maestría será sobre impuestos. Aunque inicialmente [en realidad inicialmente pensé en algo muy enredado y como los fractales de longitud infinita] pensé dedicarme a denunciar el aumento de la retención en la fuente a título de renta que se observa en series de tiempo, creo que tengo motivos suficientes para ampliarlo al impuesto de renta.

    ¿Por qué ampliar un poco el tema al impuesto como tal? a La razón es que a veces para los particulares y empresas la retención en la fuente es conveniente. Luego de haber escrito una larga disertación de su inconveniencia, una amiga contadora me dijo que había casos en los que era conveniente. Coincidencialmente, luego del comentario de mi amiga contadora como agente retenedor me pidieron dos personas en menos de una semana que no se acogían a beneficios legales que me permitían no retenerles sino que por el contrario me pedían que les retuviera. Esto tiene también su fundamento en el flujo de caja, el impuesto de renta afecta fuertemente el flujo de caja, la retención en la fuente puede diferir esa afectación al flujo de caja que es el impuesto de renta.

    En todo caso, sin perjuicio de los alcances que la investigación vaya a tener o a cambiar quisiera compartir unas pequeñas notas sobre por qué los impuestos tienden a subir –o a bajar-. ¿Qué hace que paguemos más impuestos en términos reales? ¿Por qué el estado promueve reformas tributarias? Básicamente porque necesita dinero. A continuación se mostrarán dos perspectivas, la histórica y la teoría económica sobre por qué aumentan los impuestos. Ambas coinciden a pesar de su diferencia en perspectiva.

    Aunque  se desconoce si existe algún marco teórico que presente hechos estilizados [hechos que se repiten al aumentar los impuestos] o hipótesis de las causas que influyen en el recaudo, hay un hecho central los impuestos surgen de la necesidad que tienen los estados de financiar el “gasto público”.  Esto puede observarse tanto desde la perspectiva histórica como desde la teoría económica.

    1. PERSPECTIVA HISTÓRICA Y FILOSÓFICA
    A mi modo de ver hay hechos estilizados están en un análisis histórico. Mil años antes de Cristo en el libro primero de Samuel se hace una advertencia vital: ¡Los reyes cuestan! (1 Samuel vs 11-18). Se tienen registros de impuestos alrededor de 3000 años antes de Cristo en la China (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008). En la antigua Grecia los impuestos se usaban para la guerra pero cuando esta terminaba se devolvían (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008). Quien fuese el tutor de uno de los más grandes tiranos de la historia, Aristóteles, tenía claro que los impuestos no pertenecían al que los recaudaba sino al “tesoro público” (ARISTÓTELES, pág. Volumen 8) y que eran objeto de reembolso (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008).

    En la Antigüedad parece entonces que los impuestos respondían a guerras y eran en general en cantidades pequeñas. El impuesto sobre las ventas del emperador Julio César era del 1% (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008). Los impuestos para financiar las guerras como el crecimiento imperial eran la mayor motivación para cobrarlos como sus aumentos. Por ejemplo, Pedro el Grande en Rusia gravó todo lo que pudo (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008) para sus ambiciones imperiales.  Por ejemplo en Inglaterra en 1914 el impuesto sobre el ingreso era del 6% y pasó al 30% al finalizar la primera Guerra Mundial en 1918  (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008).

    En la antigüedad eran muy pequeñas las cantidades que prácticamente no tenían efecto sobre la mayoría de los ciudadanos. Sin embargo, con el paso del tiempo las ideas de limitar los impuestos o inclusive negar su legitimidad han ido aumentando. Claro de la mano del crecimiento del estado. Tan es así que sorprende lo poco que importaban a los grandes filósofos estos temas con únicamente pequeñas alusiones al tema, siendo la Aristotélica mucho más racional y la platónica suelta una denuncia en uno de los apartados de la República. No es sino hasta la escolástica española que se hace un análisis jurídico-económico a los impuestos. La historia también ha mostrado ejemplos de límites y desobediencia a los impuestos. Francisco Suárez nos cuenta Carlos Parma sintetizó basado en las enseñanzas de Santo Tomás los límites de los impuestos. Según él estos debían ser para que fuesen justos (LAMAS):

    -          debe ser impuesta por la máxima autoridad legislativa;
    -          su finalidad debe ser conocida y justa
    -          y la proporción del tributo establecido por ella debe ser acorde con su finalidad, en el momento de su creación y durante la subsistencia del impuesto.

    Derivado de estos principios es que Juan de Mariana denuncia la mutación de la moneda –el aumento del flujo circulante de dinero- como un impuesto encubierto. Este método en la actualidad consiste en que el Banco Central [en Colombia Banco de la República] prenda la máquina de billetes a favor de los acreedores del estado. Esa mutación de la moneda es un robo, o viéndolo más “objetivamente” es un impuesto encubierto.

    Por otro lado, las cuestiones tributarias han sido motivo de movimientos políticos como la independencia de los Estados Unidos (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008).  También se cuenta que el pensador Norteamericano Henry David Thoureau autor de On the duty of civil disobedience fue encarcelado por no pagar un impuesto que financiaba una guerra que los Estados Unidos libraba con México (COY-FERRER, 1975, pág. 414). La oposición a los impuestos se encuentra de manera directa en las acciones de Thoureau, el filósofo Lysander Spooner (SPOONER, 1882)  al igual que el alemán Friedich Nietzsche (NIETZSCHE, pág. 68), consideran que no existe tal tesoro público sino que lo que “pertenece” al estado es robado.

    No presento las teorías que favorecen los impuestos por dos razones. La primera es que parecen estar implícitas en la mente de todos, como un lavado de cerebro muy bien hecho, así todos se quejen de ellos. Esta primera razón le explicará de entrada por qué le choca la cita Nietzscheana. La segunda razón es que más adelante sí hablaré de ellas.

    2. PERSPECTIVA ECONÓMICA
    Desde la perspectiva de la teoría económica hay una coincidencia total con la perspectiva histórica. La ventaja de la insípida perspectiva económica es que nos permite decir la verdad, sin necesidad de que usen nuestras ideas para distorsionar la veracidad de nuestras afirmaciones. El aumento del gasto público como impuesto presente o futuro es lo que se conoce como la equivalencia ricardiana. ¿Qué nos explica la equivalencia ricardiana?

    “Esta dice que cualquier cambio en el timing de los impuestos —es decir, por ejemplo, bajar transitoriamente impuestos hoy, financiar con deuda y repagar- la en el futuro— no tiene efectos sobre la economía, en particular sobre las decisiones del público. De ahí que se pueda argumentar que, a partir de esta idea, la deuda pública no es riqueza agregada, ya que al final hay que pagarla, y lo que la restricción del gobierno nos dice es que este pago se hará con impuestos.” (DE GREGORIO, 2007, pág. 148)

     Uno de los conceptos claves frente al recaudo es el déficit fiscal. El déficit fiscal puede expresarse matemáticamente la siguiente manera:


    Si es negativo se considera superávit fiscal e implica que los gobiernos o estados están gastando menos de lo que les ingresa lo cual es positivo en términos de finanzas públicas. Hay diversas distinciones sobre los distintos niveles de déficit pero la noción es clara. Ahora bien, ¿Qué pasa si el estado para crecer gasta más de lo que recauda? ¡Tiene necesariamente que endeudarse! Ya vimos que lo que enseña la equivalencia ricardiana tarde que temprano tiene que pagarse con más impuestos. Esto nos permite inferir la restricción presupuestaria del gobierno [o sea que el gobierno no tiene dinero absoluto en el tiempo] a lo largo del tiempo así:


    Esto quiere decir que el valor actual de todos los gastos más el valor actual de la deuda deben ser financiadas completamente por el flujo proyectado de impuestos. El último término significa que la deuda al final de los periodos tiene que tender a cero o decrecer lo que nos permite reexpresar así:



    Esto quiere decir que el valor actual de todo el flujo de impuestos, menos el flujo de gastos debe ser igual al valor actual de la deuda. Esta restricción presupuestaria intertemporal es la que impide que haya un déficit elevado y que la deuda no crezca a una tasa mayor que los intereses. Por tal motivo, habrá un momento que para suplir la restricción presupuestaria del gobierno habrá que aumentar los impuestos o estaríamos violando la condición de solvencia.

    Mejor dicho, a los estados también los pueden enviar a “cobro jurídico” por no pagar, por eso a la larga tendrán que pagar sus deudas. Pero ¿cómo pagan las deudas que son el precio del “bien común”? O vendiendo bienes propios o aumentando los impuestos porque es la única fuente de ingresos.

    3. IMPUESTOS EN EL ESTADO COLOMBIANO.
    Hemos visto que históricamente los afanes expansionistas estatales generan como consecuencia directa o indirecta el aumento de los impuestos. Y Colombia está en un afán estatal expansionista. Desde esta perspectiva, el flujo de gastos del estado colombiano se espera que crezca en los próximos años las razones son entre otras las siguientes:

    -          Las indemnizaciones a las víctimas del conflicto, el Consejo de Estado maneja la tesis de la reparación integral bastante costosa.

    -          El estado social de derecho que significa estado de bienestar en términos económicos y consiste en que el estadovela por el denominado “mínimo vital” de los individuos.

    -          Esto implica que los gastos en salud, educación, recreación, entre muchos otros sean prestados por el estado.

    ¿Quién paga esos costos? Derivado de la tesis del “mínimo vital” pronto caeremos en un pasivo pensional elevado, subsidios al agro, al desempleo –y al empleo-, subsidios a los ricos y a los pobres [que paga la clase media] que el estado tendrá que pagar con dinero recaudado de más impuestos.

    Previamente no citamos las corrientes que fundamentan los impuestos. Este es el momento. Si usted cree en el estado social de derecho tendrá que afirmar que el pago de los impuestos es vital para el sostenimiento de labores estatales como el “gasto público social”. Que es vital una estructura impositiva para redistribuir los ingresos de las clases más favorecidas a las menos favorecidas y que eso es labor del estado. En la teoría eso suena hermoso pero en la práctica es más impuestos para todos.

    Como el estado depende de una gran burocracia y ya no solamente se paga la corte del rey [por aquello de los “frenos y contrapesos”] sino la de Presidencia, Fiscalía, Procuraduría, Defensoría del Pueblo, Banco de la República, Gobernaciones, Alcaldías, Superintendencias, Establecimientos Públicos, Comisiones de Regulación, la DIAN, altas Cortes, Congreso –con altos salarios- con su aparato administrativo y todos aquellos extraterrestres administrativos como le decía una profesora (que creía en el estado) que podrían crecer ad infinitum. ¿Cómo así que pueden crecer ad infinitum? Pues infinitas son las formas de corrupción luego para preverlas se necesitan infinitos entes que también pueden ser corruptas: ¡una bonita serie de crecimiento geométrico! Es claro, con la burocracia que el estadoes un ente redistributivo, toma el dinero de las clases medias para dárselo a las altas o sea congresistas, funcionarios públicos, entre otras. Efectivamente ¿quién paga los impuestos? A más impuestos ¿quién pagará más si nadie quiere pagarlos?

    4.  REFLEXIÓN FINAL
    Uno de los objetivos del trabajo de grado no le gustaba al asesor, pero fue propuesto por el asesor [estos académicos no se ponen de acuerdo]. El objetivo es el siguiente:

    “Denunciar el peligro político y jurídico de que la retención en la fuente crezca a un ritmo porcentual superior al del ingreso de familias y empresas.”

    En este objetivo soy claro, mis afanes académicos tienen que tener una finalidad que sirva a la gente, sino escribiré buena carreta. De alguna manera hay algo entre este objetivo y esto que son notas previas a la investigación que en términos académicos llaman “marco teórico”. Sin embargo, el objetivo no se sobrepone a la conclusión que es levemente distinta: para reducir impuestos se requiere reducir el estado. Y ¿por qué es bueno reducir el estado? Pregúntese ¿De qué le sirve el estado? Y ¿Cuánto le cuesta el estado? Y con un análisis práctico quizás sepa la respuesta.

    Referencias.

    ARISTÓTELES. (s.f.). LA POLÍTICA (Vol. 8). La Editorial Virtual. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de http://www.laeditorialvirtual.com.ar/pages/Aristoteles_LaPolitica/Aristoteles_LaPolitica_000.htm

    COY-FERRER, J. (1975). THOUREAU, HENRY DAVID. En E. RIALP, GRAN ENCICLOPEDIA RIALP (Vol. 22, págs. 413-414). Madrid: Ediciones RIALP S.A.

    DE GREGORIO, J. (2007). MACROECONOMÍA. TEORÍA Y POLÍTICAS. Santiago de Chile: Pearson. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de http://www.degregorio.cl/pdf/Macroeconomia.pdf

    LAMAS, F. A. (s.f.). CARLOS PARMA. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de Francisco Suarez y el impuesto injusto: http://www.carlosparma.com.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=172:francisco-suarez-y-el-impuesto-injusto-&catid=47:filosofia-del-derecho&Itemid=27

    NEW INTERNACIONALISM. (01 de 10 de 2008). NEW INTERNACIONALISM. Recuperado el 27 de 11 de 2013, de A short history of TAXATION: http://newint.org/features/2008/10/01/tax-history/

    NIETZSCHE, F. W. (s.f.). ASÍ HABLÓ ZARATHUSTRA. España: Euroliber S.A.

    SPOONER, L. (1882). NATURAL LAW OR THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE. Boston. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59


     OTROS ENLACES QUE TOCAN EL TEMA DE LOS IMPUESTOS



              AUTO-SEMEJANZAS Y FAMILIARIDADES: HUELLAS Y FLUJOS        
                                                                   â€œA great presence is hard to see. A great sound is hard to hear. A great figure has no form.” Lao-Tzu

                                                                    "Cantando alegre, cruzó el valle, pasó la Sabana y al mar llegó". Calavera y la Popular Independiente.

    Una de mis obsesiones permanentes son los flujos que generan patrones auto-semejantes, es en otras palabras, una obsesión por una nueva rama de la matemática llamada "geometría fractal". Sin embargo, el patrón fractal no es exclusivo únicamente de la geometría. El fractal se puede oír en música, en especial la música de Bach como este concierto donde los patrones son auto-semejantes, sin dejar de notar las diferencias. Son los flujos de muchas cosas que generan ciertos patrones auto-semejantes dibujando formas geométricamente hermosas.  Sin embargo ¿cómo podemos trascender un concepto de la matemática a la filosofía? ¿Cómo podemos utilizar el fractal para ampliar y trascender el rango de nuestros conocimientos? ¿Cómo pueden unas ideas matemáticas y de filosofía del caos aportarnos a descubrir la causa y sentido del todo? A continuación daremos un abrebocas al concepto matemático para luego trascenderlo a la filosofía y al arte y comprender cuáles son las huellas que dejan los flujos de movimiento de las cosas en los seres.

    1. DESCRIBIENDO E INTUYENDO LOS FRACTALES: Auto-semejanzas.

    1.1 Intuyendo al fractal y su causa
    ¿Qué es un fractal? ¿Cuál es su esencia? ¿Cómo es un fractal en términos geométricos? Muchas preguntas pueden surgir legítimamente acerca de lo que es un fractal en términos geométricos o de espacio.

    Un fractal es mejor mostrarlo que describirlo, en él se verá la auto-semejanza. Auto-semejanza que implica que la parte se asemeja al todo y el todo a la parte y para parafrasear a la señorita Antioquia "también del mismo modo y en el sentido contrario". El concepto de auto-semejanza es más intuitivo que racional y o mejor es mostrar la imagen de un fractal, el más famoso, el conjunto de Mandelbrot:


    Los fractales, son entonces estos modelos generados por fórmulas de retroalimentación no-lineal  (Las siete leyes del caos, pág. 138). En últimas son funciones en los términos que aprendimos matemáticas en el colegio. Sin embargo, la definición de la causa de los fractales, "fórmulas de retroalimentación no-lineal", términos que nadie entiende, es válido para los fractales generados por computador como el conjunto de Mandelbrot. Sin embargo, los fractales y más aquellos que son naturales, implican algo mucho más profundo.

    A los fractales naturales podríamos denominarlos la huella del caos (Las siete leyes del caos, pág. 140) o más bien de los flujos de movimiento que son caóticos. En términos Aristótelicos le hemos dado la vuelta al fractal desde la perspectiva de la causa-eficiente. Es decir lo que los origina. Sin embargo, la explicación de su origen era para intuir el concepto de "auto-semejanza" que es en últimas la esencia del fractal.

    Los flujos de movimiento decíamos dejan una huella Â¿cómo es esa huella? ¡Auto-semejante a escalas diferentes! (Las siete leyes del caos, pág. 140) Si se observa el conjunto de Mandelbrot podemos ver que a primera vista tiene una imagen, pero mirando las más pequeñas encontramos que hay un cierto patrón que se repite. La forma en la que se repite la huella del flujo de movimiento se denomina auto-semejanza. Invitemos a los autores de "Las Siete Leyes del Caos" para que nos expliquen lo que es la auto-semejanza:

    "Por mor de la claridad, diremos que el término 'autosemejante' incluye esta idea de las diferencias individuales y la singularidad, así como las similitudes (...) En algunas formas fractales -particularmente aquellas generadas por los computadores mediante fórmulas matemáticas- la autosemejanza tiene algo de mecánica. En otros fractales -de la naturaleza y el arte- lo que es autosemejante se halla mezclado con lo que es diferente de forma tal que constituyen un desafío a la descripción." (Las siete leyes del caos, pág. 142)
    1.2 Fractales naturales y algunas preguntas
    Si el Conjunto de Mandelbrot es un fractal artificial ¿cómo sería un fractal natural? ¡Algo que suele verse mejor desde la ventanilla de un avión! Si alguien quiere cazar fractales que pida la ventanilla de un avión así haya algunos mal encarados que crean que es capricho. Algo como la siguiente foto:

    NUBES FRACTALES

    El flujo de movimiento en el caso de las nubes es el agua, el fluido -término físico- más común en la tierra. La huella que deja son las formas que tienen una retroalimentación del sol, luego del "albedo" que producen devolviendo radiación solar al espacio, los choques de las goticas, la disminución de la temperatura ocasionada por el impacto de la devolución de la radiación que disminuye la evaporación, lo que disminuye la temperatura, aumenta la condensación, disminuye la humedad específica, al enfriar aumenta la presión. Mejor dicho es una situación de una multicausalidad enorme o sea de muchas causas, que se retroalimentan así mismas... 

    Esos fractales naturales son la huella de aquello que los primeros filósofos denominaban el arjé. Los primeros filósofos empezaron a ver que la naturaleza estaba compuesta de algo y el fluir de ese algo era lo que generaba los seres. Ese arjé plural o singular me parece que siempre era algo sometido a un flujo de movimiento capaz de dejar huella: Vgr -Agua, Aire, Fuego, Tierra. 

    Sin embargo, al ver el amplio movimiento. Algunos como Heráclito decían "uno no se baña dos veces en el mismo río", pero ante eso se genera una pregunta ¿cómo puede nombrar al río si siempre es diferente? Parménides se iba al otro extremo de considerar todo como eterno e inmutable. Pero ¿cómo explica que no hay una nube igual a otra? ¿Cómo explica al anciano y al niño? Heráclito diría que son personas distintas, lo que es contra-evidente, pero también sería contra-evidente negar la diferencia, son la misma persona pero con una diferencia en su estado. En todo caso ¿en qué medida habría impactado en su filosofía la geometría fractal? Una pregunta que generará en el lector un flujo de preguntas y respuestas... "¡Un diálogo es un fractal!" dice la Mula Pensante.

    1.3 De la filosofía a la intuición
    Quisiera cerrar este fractal con dos frases que muevan la intuición para comprender lo que es un fractal. Muchas veces la intuición la mente la entiende en forma de paradoja, o las paradojas producen intuiciones, y también del mismo modo y en el sentido contrario:

    "Ver el mundo en un grano de arena,
    y el cielo en una flor silvestre;
    tener el infinito en la palma de la mano
    y la eternidad en una hora."
    Flower world/mundo en la flor
    ¿El mundo en una flor...? ¡Quizás!
    (William Blake en PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50)
    Dice un texto budista Chan: 

    "Se levanta una partícula de polvo y toda la tierra está allí; florece una flor y amanece un universo con ella" (Las siete leyes del caos, pág. 142-143)
    Finalmente:
    “A great presence is hard to see. A great sound is hard to hear. A great figure has no form.” Lao-Tzu. Y mi pésima traducción: "Una gran presencia es difícil de ver. Un gran sonido es difícil de oír. Una gran figura no tiene forma.". Ahh y es una cita que leí en
    http://www.yamamotomasao.jp/from_the_artist_3.html
    Hago una advertencia a los lectores eruditos desprevenidos y creen tener el dogma en sus cerebros que esto no es panteismo. Es una filosofía que quizás aún no la tenga categorizada en su aburrida cabeza. Es posible comprender la pluralidad de los entes y la trascendencia de Dios y las intuiciones orientales acerca de la parte y el todo. Las interrelaciones entre los entes que participan de la creación de Dios son mucho más profundas y delicadas de lo que parecen. Mejor dicho es una frase de desahogo ante tanto dogmático suelto que en vez de procurar entender y debatir busca clasificar y categorizar. Por cierto, las cosas no son mentiras o verdades porque yo las clasifique en modelos negativos, eso es una falacia denominada muñeco de paja.

    2. DE LA MATEMÁTICA A LA FILOSOFÍA: Familiaridades.
    Me escribe en estos días la Mula Pensante en facebook "el Apocalipsis es un fractal". Ante tal sorpresa le pregunté ¿Por qué? Y lo que me contestó me permitió entender el concepto de Iglesia. Me contestó o tal vez le entendí algo así como "la lucha individual de cada Cristiano es auto-semejante y se retro-alimenta a la lucha de la Iglesia Universal". La cuestión tiene lógica, si la gracias es un flujo de movimiento sobrenatural su huella ha de estar determinada por la lucha individual de cada cristiano. En últimas la gracia es un río que viene de Dios y a Él pretende llevarnos. De la misma forma podemos considerar el diálogo como un fractal que es la huella de un flujo de movimiento de ideas o insultos en algunos casos: insultos o ideas son fractales al fin y al cabo. También vemos fractales en la música, en especial de Bach.

    Esas autosemejanzas geométricas podríamos denominarlas también familiaridades. Los apartes de una melodía de Bach suelen ser similares al todo y así mismo a otras partes. Las nubes suelen ser familiares a las montañas, que suelen ser familiares a los árboles, las olas forman en la arena rizos familiares a las corrientes de los ríos. La auto-semejanza fractal traducida como una familiaridad esencial nos lleva a una intuición que los metafísicos descubren por lógica... ¡hay algo en común entre los seres/entes! ¡Que SON! Filósofos como Ockham por el contrario niegan esas familiaridades y dejan lo común de las cosas como meros nombres flatus vocis.

    Entre las mismas cosas hay una familiaridad, algo común, que viene como huella del rastro de los flujos de movimiento. No significa que todas sean lo mismo, para que haya autosemejanza tiene que haber diferencia. Podríamos llegar a múltiples disquisiciones al respecto, pero esa familiaridad y la retroalimentación que cada cosa hace a la otra y por ende a sí misma, sumada en un flujo de tendencias o fines al bien, ¿no será una prueba de que el arjé es el flujo del amor? Si los entes naturales se retroalimentan a sí mismos para lograr sus fines, todos esos entes tienen una huella de algo amoroso que los trasciende. La misma familiaridad y la retroalimentación que los entes hacen al flujo debe indicar que en ellos hay inmanente algo de amor. ¿Será que el amor es el arjé? El amor es querer el bien del otro, los flujos de movimiento naturales parecen indicar el bien de las cosas o que siempre les hacen un bien, un bien que las trasciende pero que las retroalimenta.

    Escher Metamorfosis. Estos cuadros utilizan los fractales para  dibujar las imágenes, pero el fondo que puede interpretárse es que todas sus imágenes a pesar de ser distintas cuentan con esa familiaridad.

    Me encantaría sentar claro que efectivamente ese amor proviene del Dios que es su causa, pero esto dejaría muchas dudas acerca de cómo de las familiaridades entre los entes que se retroalimentan se puede llegar a concluir que ese arjé proviene del flujo del amor. Creo que es así, pero esto lo digo por fe, no porque tenga la prueba fehaciente. Es decir, la existencia del mundo denota un Dios, pero que lo que mueva el mundo sea movido por el amor, es algo que requiere mayor rigor y profundidad. Apenas voy entendiendo las familiaridades. No sé lo que intuyo y razono.

    3. FAMILIAS Y FAMILIARIDADES: Arte.
    La razón intencional de este escrito era mostrar la auto-semejanza o familiaridad entre las intuiciones o sensibilidades mía y de un primo. El primo Calavera, es el cantante de la Banda Calavera y la Popular Independiente que son un nuevo género musical que busca mezclar la tradicional guasca antioqueña con un poco de rock. Es algo estilo Juanes pero mejor a mi modo de ver. Lo curioso del asunto es que oyendo una de sus canciones que advierto está mal grabada porque todavía no lo han hecho en estudio descubrí que la banda describía la intuición que me persigue hace días, la intuición y vocación hacia los "flujos". Vocación e intuición que me hace desear viajar en exceso en avión y pedir una bendita ventanilla. La canción donde Teo Calavera expresa la idea del flujo y de las familiaridades es "Soñé en el Río":

     

    Al fin y al cabo, las familias tienen la huella de la genética y también de prácticas -virtudes y vicios- de hace muchos años. Oír al abuelo diciendo que el cogía tigres de la cola y que venía El Alispruz, o a la abuelita obsesionada por tener las flores más hermosas de las palmas tienen claros impactos: "soñé una finca para mi madre -dice la canción-, llena de flores mirando al sol" . Son otra forma de "genética" pero a ambos nos tocaron y dejaron huellas en el espíritu que ahora queremos expresar al mundo. Que se expresan de acuerdo al espíritu y vocación individual, pero que tienen su auto-semejanza, su familiaridad. La familia es la portadora del flujo de herencia material y espiritual, esos flujos generan auto-semejanzas y diferencias en sus miembros.

    Teo Calavera hace sus alispruces mediante la música. La canción bellas imágenes describe los flujos de movimiento. La canción describe ese constante movimiento "soñé en el río y el río me llevó, bajó por la montaña..." luego la descripción lleva a la forma de cómo baja el río "Cantando alegre, cruzó el valle, pasó la Sabana y al mar llegó". Ese punto del mar donde se funde con el todo, con una cultura "eran las voces de una nación"  o la paradoja con la totalidad "mientras las olas me iban llevando yo era el cielo y tú mi sol". La canción tiene el mismo estilo literario de García Márquez, un realismo mágico, que describe la realidad sin desdibujarla pero de una forma curiosamente mística. En el fondo refleja ese anhelo de amor, de querer unirse con el universo, con la totalidad de las cosas en imágenes llegando a un mar que refleja ese todo de los anhelos humanos.

    INCONCLUSIÓN
    Ya se me volvió un delicioso vicio -o quizás virtud- de dejar mis escritos inconclusos. La razón es fractal ¡no quiero agotar el flujo del conocimiento! El fin de un ensayo no es el fin de lo que se pueda decir de una cosa, el fin de un ensayo es el comienzo para que muchos en su libre razonar, su creatividad y su inteligencia utilicen esas ideas para algo. Que las utilicen así sea para decir lo ridículo que es un autor o para tomar parte razonable y criticar el resto. Tesis, Antítesis y Síntesis como el Hegel Pop es imposible tenerlas en un escrito.  La dialéctica -que es quizás la ciencia que estudia los flujos de diálogos- no se agota en un escrito, ni en un autor. La verdad no es tan caprichosa como para quedarse en una sola cabeza.

    Por eso que siga el fluir, el movimiento, la dialéctica, las Tesis, Antítesis y Síntesis del Hegel Pop. Que le den duro al ensayo, modifiquen la idea y sea simplemente una ayuda de mi parte en el constante parto del conocimiento que no es oficio particular sino de la humanidad. Ojo, que sea oficio de la humanidad no significa como creen erradamente los marxistas que eso es oficio del estado. El estado es una metáfora de lo contrario al flujo de movimiento. Es oficio de la humanidad en cabezas particulares que libremente lo retroalimentan ¡un buen ejemplo es Wikipedia! En fin...

    BIBLIOGRAFÍA

    PAPPAS, T. (1996). LA MAGIA DE LA MATEMÁTICA. El orden oculto tras la naturaleza y el arte. (M. Rosenberg, Trad.) Madrid, España: Zugarto Ediciones S.A. 

    Peat, F. D., & Briggs, J. (1999). Las siete leyes del caos (Primera Edición ed.). (D. Mas, Trad.) Barcelona, Cataluña, España: Grijalbo.

    OTROS ARTÍCULOS DEL BLOG




              CALL OF DUTY | INFINITE WARFARE        
    Call of Duty! This project has been my primary creative focus for the last couple of years, and it's been a great honour and a pleasure to have been involved with such a potent franchise. There's not much bigger than COD! The development studio for Infinite Warfare, Infinity Ward, has been my home since January and part of last year, and it's been a dream come true to live and work in Los Angeles. Ever since I was a kid, looking through art-of books of my favourite movies, LA has been the place I always wanted to be.

    I had been working remotely, as a freelancer, on the IW project for a while, creating concepts like the C12 here, so it was a natural next step to join the team in house in sunny California. The project needed a dose of solid, believable, and badass science fiction flavour, and that's exactly what I love to do! The C12 was the first thing I designed for the project, and it turned out great. The brief was for a walking tank, an enemy robot with a threatening presence, bristling with armaments. I love the right hand appendage, a combination door breaching hammer and articulated claw. The arms are mounted on curved shoulder rails, so they can rotate around and track various targets. There is so much articulation in this guy, it really taxed the rigging department! Bone count be dammed! ha ha

    This is the accompanying human sized enemy robot, the C6. A menacing eyeless axe shaped sensor head is mounted on a 360° degree swiveling pintle frame, so the head can target you from any angle. I imagined the player shoot one in the back, only to have the head spin 180° round and target you, the weapon following a split second behind, helped by the highly mobile shoulder and upper arm sections, allowing the robot to move in ways a human can't, and creating a unique adversary. The work done by the character department to model and texture these robots was insane. It was a true honour to have my concepts brought to life by such a talented team!

    A couple of variations on the standard SDF enemy soldiers. The idea was to create an iconic look, something clearly a guy in a suit, but still dehumanised and threatening enough to make them clearly the badguys, and worthy of killing by the hundreds. I added some frames to the 'muzzle', similar to the mounts on a modern day soldiers helmet, that can have additional optics or emergency breathing apparatus attached, to create an aggressive look. The reinforced polymer face pieces have a variable opacity laminate, I imagined a scene where you see a soldier seal up his transparent mask, then the mask turns cloudy white from the bottom up, obscuring the face and turning the visage into an eyeless skull. These SDF soldiers live in their suits, and have multiple redundancy life support systems, with visible added connective cable and hoses, to create a unique inside-out look to contrast against the clean and slick suits of the Earth forces.

    Ethan, or E3N, the buddy brobot you as the player have alongside for the game. This guy was fun to design, and I love how the head and upper arms worked out. My brother was the inspiration for this character, he's a big badass dude with the right friendly demeanor that I thought was perfect for this robot. I wanted Ethan to look and feel like someone who would have your back in battle, and be down for some extreme sports in down time. My bro is into motocross, so for the articulated pistons on Ethan's neck, I gave him gold cylinders to reflect the awesome looking forks you find on race bikes. Ethan's head is also a combination of elements from a motocross helmet, with articulated lens hood pieces from a camera lens, and the top hood piece forming a cap and visor peak shape.

    Really happy with how his head was resolved. It's tough to come up with a unique and iconic robot head with the right character and ability to emote.

    The final design for the UNSA SATO Marine helmets. With the hero Marines, I wanted to create a rugged and tough suit that paid homage to some classic Marine ideas. Mainly the thick armoured neck and arms. The thick neck was an attempt to create a different silhouette than the usual space suit form of thin neck/big helmet. I kept the helmet as slim and 'operator' as possible, while pumping up the neck, to create a unique look that feels badass, and harks to the leatherneck moniker of the Marines.


    With the arms I wanted the suit to feel like the rolled-up-sleeves look that's popular with Marines, and seen in some classic movies like Aliens. The lower arm sections and neck utilise mechanical pressure to protect from the vacuum of space, while the rest of the outfit is a traditional gas pressure space suit. Taking inspiration from the latest concepts of future space suits from places like NASA, with their elasticated tight fitting sleeves and lines of non-extension, I created a rugged military look with a thick armoured feel and beefy grid like pattern.

    I've loads more concepts to share in the future, so excited to show some of the other cool characters and weapons I was lucky enough to create for the project. Be sure to check out the game too, I'm playing through the final product now and it's rad, so cool to see my work realised to such a high level by a huge and talented team. Cheers!
              Templo del sol y asombro agradecido        
    Templo del sol by ElAlispruz

    Templo del sol, a photo by ElAlispruz on Flickr.

    El asombro es aquella capacidad que comparten niños, poetas y filósofos. Sin embargo, el asombro tiene un contenido que trasciende la poesía y la filosofía. ¿Qué es? La mística. ¿Acaso se requieren milagros extraordinarios para descubrir aquel ser magnífico detrás de cada obra? Cada movimiento del sol, que no sale ni se oculta nunca por el mismo lugar, la caída de la lluvia, la formación de un arco iris las formas siempre iguales y siempre diferentes de las nubes, son una muestra de la existencia de un ser que las trasciende. 

    Ya nos decía Fernando González en Viaje a Pie:

    "Subiendo a pie la vertiente del Arma tuvimos la impresión nítida de la dureza y pesadez que nos atrae hacia la tierra. ¡Qué dificultad para elevarse! Somos hijos de la tierra y sus parásitos; nos liga a ella, como un cordón umbilical, la ley de la gravedad. Por momentos la abandonamos, nos parece que existe otro ser que nos llama hacia las alturas aéreas; nos parece abandonar todo lo terrestre y después caemos más definitivamente abrazados a su seno materno; somos únicamente materia dura, materia grave. Cuando levantábamos las piernas para trepar hacia Aguadas tuvimos la impresión nítida de la atracción terrestre. Esta esfera dura es nuestra cuna y nuestro sepulcro. ¿Por qué deseamos abandonar esta madre? ¿Por qué los ímpetus de elevarse? ¿Por qué el Santo y el Héroe? Es un indicio, un leve indicio, de que hay en nosotros algo que no es terrestre. Ese leve indicio ha creado la metafísica y el misticismo." (González-Ochoa, Fernando. Viaje a Pie. Versión digital en http://www.otraparte.org/ideas/1929-viaje.html)

    Esta foto nos muestra "el Templo del Sol". Este "templo" se encuentra en las ruinas de Macchu Picchu en el Perú. La parte frontal está alineada con la salida del sol en el solsticio de verano en el hemisferio sur (21 de Diciembre) y la lateral con el de invierno (21 de Junio) en dicho hemisferio. Aunque vivo en el trópico demasiado cerca al ecuador, he logrado observar esas diferencias por las posiciones solares. Adicionalmente, con un poco de lectura he relacionado esas diferencias a los periodos de sequía y de lluvía. ¿Por qué? La máxima evaporación se produce cuando el sol se encuentra perpendicular a la tierra, en ese momento la presión baja al extremo en esa latitud, asciende el aire y cuando llega a la tropopausa seco desciende hacia las latitudes circundantes disminuyendo la evaporación. De esa forma, en la medida en que el sol se encuentra más elevado en el cielo, más elevada es la evaporación en los países tropicales. 

    Los incas lograron intuir esta interrelación entre la posición solar, que el templo del sol, les permitía seguir las temporadas de sequía (solsticio de invierno 21 de Junio) y las de lluvia (solsticio de Verano 21 de diciembre). Estos ciclos vitales denotan los flujos de la existencia humana, la esencia de la naturaleza que entre opuestos y contrarios genera profundas auto-semejanzas fractales. Esto, para cualquiera con una mínima capacidad de asombro, lo lleva al extremo del éxtasis, al misticismo si se quiere como nos decía Fernando González. Los primeros filósofos, cuando empezaron a razonar, utilizaron los elementos de la naturaleza como el sustrato del ser. Los libros modernos de meteorología y climatología hacen una referencia a esta primera aproximación intuitiva de la realidad.

    El viento, el aire, el fuego, el agua y la tierra que producen vida y muerte, belleza, poesía. Los primeros filósofos se asombraron de una naturaleza maravillosa, que seguía ciclos semejantes pero inciertos. Lo mismo hoy me asombro de la belleza de un atardecer, del cielo azul, de las montañas y las nubes como algodón. Todas diferentes pero auto-semejantes, conocidas pero a la vez sometidas a un halo de incertidumbre propio de su permanente creatividad. 

    Algo nos dicen estos ciclos, algo nos dicen los solsticios y equinoccios, algo nos dice la estética de los flujos auto-semejantes producidos por opuestos y contrarios. Algo nos dicen la noche y el día, la lluvia y la sequía, las nubes y el cielo, el calor y el frío, la poesía y la razón, el arte y la contemplación... Tanta belleza debe provenir de algo que, en sí mismo, sea bello, ordenado y artista, creativo y racional. Un creador capaz de regalarnos maravillas poéticas permanentes, milagros cotidianos que nos hagan vivir una vida de belleza y asombro agradecido.

              SAN JOSEMARÍA, OPUS DEI Y ASOMBRO AGRADECIDO        

    Estimados lectores del blog: aquí les dejo una carta que escribí acerca de un gran Santo. San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. Muchos de ustedes pueden tener prejuicios con las personas del Opus Dei, pero así como Cristo no son los cristianos (si quiera porque qué degradación haríamos de Cristo) tampoco los seguidores de San Josemaría Escrivá siguen del todo su mensaje. El mensaje de San Josemaría Escrivá está llamado a pacificar nuestra sed de absoluto, de Ser. Muchos no hemos entendido lo revolucionario de San Josemaría asociando a sus seguidores a ideas ultraconservadoras, pero el mensaje de San Josemaría Escrivá es liberador.

    A continuación la carta…

    Queridos Amigos:
    Si a mí me preguntan qué pienso de San Josemaría Escrivá y claramente les contesto, es el Santo que más que consuela. En general es un santo que me emociona porque tiene una propuesta absolutamente hermosa y absolutamente personal de entender la santificación. Muchos consideran al Opus Dei como un movimiento ultraconservador, a mí no me parece así haya algunos ultraconservadores en el Opus Dei, bueno también hay del Polo y la cabeza brillante. 

    El Opus Dei es el movimiento más revolucionario que ha tenido la Iglesia en siglos, porque no está exigiendo grandes prodigios sino que se enfoca en las cosas pequeñas. El Opus Dei es revolucionario precisamente porque entendió que "revolución" no era "extraordinariedad", como vivir con una espina en la frente, beberse el agua de los leprosos, estar estigmatizado, tener rasguños en la frente a modo de "estigma", arrobarse y flotar en medio del éxtasis místico o esas "locuras" hechas por amor a Dios. Esos también son Santos, pero, no todos nacimos con la fuerza de Sansón, ni padeceremos las noches oscuras de San Juan de la Cruz. 

    Yo a veces me siento extraño para este mundo, también me siento extraño en la Iglesia, pero ¡El Opus Dei -entendido como el mensaje de San Josemaría o de Dios a través de San Josemaría- es realmente consolador! Gozándome el mundo, entre chiste, filosofía, ironía, apoyo a bebés y mamás, alegría, rumba, finanzas, meteorología, dinero, molestar a la cabeza brillante, hacer ejercicio, revisar contratos todo el día hasta que uno se enferma del ojo, echar carreta, la vida de pareja, cuando uno habla con niñas lindas, si todo se ofrece a Dios ¡Santifica, acerca a Dios! 

    Es que San Josemaría entendía al matemático del evangelio San Mateo. San Josemaría entendía que la Iglesia cotidiana, entre pequeñas obras de amor, iba construyendo el cielo poco a poco y, "al que es fiel en lo poco se le confía lo mucho". Ese es un consuelo para un mundo laico y carente de Dios, donde ya lo que acerca es la vida diaria del creyente, del buen creyente. Esa es la verdadera sal de la tierra, del Santo Ordinario. 

    Chesterton promotor del asombro agradecido,
    creo que es la mejor forma
    de contemplar el Opus Dei.
    San Josemaría nos mostró que ser Santo no es sinónimo de solemnidad y aburrición sino de dulzura y alegría, pero ante todo de la expresión del Sí-mismo. Algunos aún no entienden eso y objetan el proceso de canonización de Chesterton simplemente porque era alegre y bonachón, porque manejaba la paradoja y la ironía, porque era amigo de sir Bernard Shaw ateo, porque le gustaba la cerveza Beer and Bible. Chesterton, me parece, es precisamente a lo que se refería San Josemaría Escrivá, la santificación en el trabajo ordinario: ¡una vida de literato, irónico y promotor del asombro agradecido!  

    La verdad, aunque a veces pienso si debería pedir la admisión en la prelatura personal, mi mente se pregunta si el Opus Dei no significa más que el movimiento que muchos siguen de vocación. Creo que el Opus Dei trasciende -si me equivoco pueden corregirme- la prelatura personal y lo que hace es enviar un mensaje al cristiano del común: Tu trabajo es Opus Dei, obra de Dios. Mi vida es Opus Dei como ser creado como que mi trabajo ordinario es mi participación en la creación. Me salvo escribiendo, me salvo pensando, porque ese Opus Dei que soy yo, ha sido llamado, con vocación a eso. Gente como Sócrates se salva si pregunta bien y lo ofrece a Dios, gente como el zapatero se salva haciendo bien los zapatos, el panadero haciendo el pan, el profesor enseñando, el jurista diciendo la justicia, el médico curando, el barrendero barriendo, el psicólogo enloqueciendo al prójimo, el conductor conduciendo, el contador en su labor, el empresario generando riqueza. 

    La vida humana como Opus Dei obra de Dios: vivir la vocación individual, única e irrepetible que no implica necesariamente que uno haya nacido para vivir muchos éxtasis místicos. Pero ¿qué más místico que contemplar a Dios en cada acción ordinaria? ¿Qué más místico que aceptar cada acto humano como parte del plan de la creación, del Opus Dei, del "milagro ordinario"? 

    Bueno, ahí los dejo con mis consuelos del Escrivá de Balaguer, de aquel sacerdote curioso, extraordinario que nos enseñó a vivir felices en cada instante, en cada una de nuestras acciones como parte del plan de Dios... como parte de un asombro agradecido, de un Opus Dei en cada zapato ofrecido con amor a Dios.


              Â¿QUÉ PASA SI HACEMOS BILLETES?        
    En el artículo  Â¿LA POBREZA PROVIENE DE LA FALTA DE DINERO? sembramos la inquietud de cómo el dinero no implica pobreza ni riqueza sino su medida. Sin embargo, explicamos qué pasa si hacemos billetes. El niño propuso como solución hacer billetes y... Keynes le hizo caso. Quizás me digan que degrado a Keynes considerándolo que promovía la misma solución del niño, la verdad es que no, promovía el control de la "oferta monetaria" para influir en la "demanda agregada"... no promovía hacer billetes, promovía un sinónimo. 

    Pero ¿cuáles son las consecuencias de hacer billetes? Prendamos la maquinita y experimentemos. Las consecuencias anticipo son dos, la primera se llama inflación, la segunda se llama hurto mediante la mutación de la moneda.

    INFLACIÓN
    La inflación es la pérdida del poder adquisitivo del dinero por el aumento de los precios. Es que el valor del dinero también está sometido a las reglas de exceso y la escasez, escaso vale más por lo que los precios bajan, si vale menos por tanto los precios suben. Ya esto lo había descubierto Domingo de Soto como nos lo cita José Alpiniano García en su tesis doctoral:

    "La falta de dinero en un lugar determinado hace que el precio de los demás bienes descienda, y la abundancia de dinero hace que el precio suba. Cuanto menor es la cantidad de dinero en un sitio, más aumenta su valor y, por tanto, ‘caeteris paribus’, con la misma cantidad de dinero se pueden comprar más cosas”.  (DE SOTO, 1968, pág. 543).
    Es que como decíamos en Â¿POR QUÉ SURGE EL DINERO? el dinero vale en la medida en que  puede cambiarse por otra cosa, además que la compra es el fin de la venta como veíamos en Domingo de Soto citado por García Muñoz. El ejemplo de una persona en una isla con un millón de dólares desierta que no puede cambiar por nada muestran como ese dinero no vale nada. ¿Un millón de dólares no valen nada? Sí, en una isla desierta sin poderlos cambiar por nada. 

    Eso pasa si hacemos billetes. La cantidad de bienes producidos será exactamente la misma, pero con más billetes éstas valdrán mucho más. Es sencillo, si tenemos 100 unidades de productos por 100 unidades monetarias, esos 100 productos pueden cambiarse por las 100 unidades monetarias. Pero si por esa misma cantidad de unidades tenemos 200 unidades monetarias, todas esas 100 unidades valdrán el doble. 

    EL ROBO CAMUFLADO.
    Una de las formas que utilizan los estados para reducir sus déficit fiscales de todas las absurdas promesas que hacen los políticos, es prendiendo la maquinita. Es en últimas si no hay plata ¡hagamos billetes! Aparte que esa situación aumenta el precio que tienen que pagar las personas por las cosas, genera que el porcentaje de poder adquisitivo que tienen los particulares sobre los bienes se reduzca y el de los estados:

    Si hay 100 unidades de cambio por 100 bienes y servicio y el estado produce 60 para "aumentar la demanda agregada" ahora por cada unidad de bienes ya no habrá 1 unidad de cambio, sino que se requerirá 1,6 unidades de cambio para adquirir un bien. Pero que implica eso, que si las unidades de cambio pertenecían al 100% antes de la emisión de dinero, ahora tenemos que el estado será dueño del 37,5% de las unidades de cambio y los particulares del 62,5%. Lo que palabras más palabras menos significa un robo muy sofisticado...: la mutación de la moneda. (TORO RESTREPO, 2010)

    Sin embargo, una mejor explicación al respecto puede encontrarse en (GARCÍA-MUÑOZ, 2001, pág. 151 a 155). Además, las denuncias sobre estos temas ya se hicieron por los escolásticos españoles, en especial Juan de Mariana en su libro sobre la mutación de la moneda que he buscado pero no lo encuentro. En todo caso sí encuentro la descripción del libro en uno de los artículos del excelente Instituto español que lleva su nombre. Este libro: 



    "comienza en sus dos primeros capítulos explicando con firmeza que “el Rey no es dueño de los bienes particulares de sus vasallos”, por lo que, lógicamente, conforme a derecho y justicia, debe “tomar el beneplácito del pueblo para imponer en el reino nuevos tributos y pechos”. En seguida derivará su argumento hacia lo que constituyó el objetivo de ese librito: criticar la alteración monetaria que practicaba el gobierno de Felipe III por ser causa directa de subida de los precios; juzgando inmediatamente (con enorme perspicacia) que tal inflación era injusta por ser un impuesto oculto, no votado en las Cortes." (GÓMEZ RIVILLAS, 2010)
    ¿Por qué es robar? Es simple, si una persona me quita mi dinero me está quitando mi poder adquisitivo, pero pueden quitarme mi poder adquisitivo dejándome mi dinero. En últimas no se roba dinero, porque como hemos visto el dinero vale es en su capacidad de cambio por otra cosa, por eso se hurta poder adquisitivo. En el ejemplo citado vemos cómo el estado, mediante la impresión de moneda, redujo el poder adquisitivo de las personas en un 62.5%, si una persona se los hubiera quitado habría generado el mismo perjuicio y el mismo enriquecimiento injusto.


    LA FORMA QUE UTILIZAN LOS PARTICULARES PARA "HACER BILLETES".
    Sin perjuicio de la falsificación de la moneda, que también es un hurto similar a producir más dinero, los particulares también tienen sus formas de hacer dinero. Obviamente no somos el Banco de la República o Banco Central para hacer billetes, algo que sería tentador, pero sí tenemos el acceso al crédito que no podemos pagar. El crédito no es malo en sí mismo, muy por el contrario es una forma de garantizar la liquidez de las empresas, pero el crédito de consumo (que no genera riqueza) puede utilizarse como una forma de autoengañarse gastándose los recursos que no se tienen.

    A mi modo de ver, un crédito válido y viable es aquel que puede garantizarse con otra cosa que es el objeto del crédito. Es decir, un crédito debe garantizarse o apalancarse con aquello objeto del crédito. De esa forma, mediante el apalancamiento el balance permanece intacto pero se aumenta la liquidez, a futuro generará pérdida si no se paga, pero si se paga puede ser una forma de mejorar el balance. Pero cuando se accede a un crédito de consumo el balance no queda igual, sino que, como se trata de bienes de consumo, el balance queda en negativos. 

    En Colombia el crédito de consumo es mayor inclusive que el de vehículos (que es una forma de crédito de consumo), vivienda o educación. Al respecto veamos lo que dicen los expertos de Investigaciones Económicas de Bancolombia en uno de sus editoriales:


    La cartera del sector financiero llegó a 177 billones de pesos en junio de 2011, habiendo crecido 11.5% frente a diciembre de 2010. En ese mismo periodo la cartera de consumo creció 14.7% y alcanzó los 52.2 billones de pesos, un 29.5% de la cartera total (un año atrás representaba el 28.7%). En todo 2010 el monto de deuda en consumo aumentó 6.4 billones, y en los primeros seis meses de 2011 aumentó en 6.7 billones de pesos. Los datos mencionados contrastan con el hecho de que la cartera de vivienda a junio de 2011 creció 11% desde diciembre de 2010, con lo que representa el 11.3%de la cartera total (similar a los últimos tres años), y el monto de deuda en vivienda aumentó 2 billones de pesos en el primer semestre del presente año. 
    Existen varias alertas por el endeudamiento de los hogares. Una de ellas hace mención a cuánto más pueden endeudarse los colombianos sin comprometer su capacidad de pago.  (BANCOLOMBIA INVESTIGACIONES ECONÓMICAS, 2011) 
    ¿Hasta cuándo podremos endeudarnos? El crédito de consumo implica, en muchos casos, hacer lo mismo que hace el estado utilizar un dinero que no representa, ni representará riqueza. De esa manera, la herida en el patrimonio de las personas y de la economía en general genera una inflación. No se trata de unos recursos que adquirí con el sudor ni podré adquirir con todo el sudor a futuro. En otras palabras el mal uso del crédito de consumo me desincentiva de producir y trabajar, que es lo que verdaderamente genera riqueza. De esa forma se disminuye el valor del dinero porque no requiere bienes, servicios o trabajo para producirse. 

    Si somos realistas la cartera de consumo de 52.2 billones de pesos es un indicador que mide los recursos que no tenemos pero que tarde que temprano tendremos que generar. Eso sin contar con los intereses que generan y van a generar. Se preguntan ¿qué genera el ciclo económico y las crisis? ¡Demandar más de lo que podemos dar a cambio por ello!

    INCONCLUYENDO.
    La confusión que la riqueza proviene del dinero nos genera tanto el robo estatal como el deseo desenfrenado de consumir más de lo que podemos ofrecer. El dinero no es la felicidad, la compra hecha dice una frase, pero tampoco será felicidad si ese dinero no lo hemos conseguido a cambio de algo, a futuro será infelicidad. La falsedad de la idea de que el dinero es la riqueza radica en la confusión -originada en Adam Smith- que considera que el origen de los intercambios proviene de la demanda y no de la oferta (GARCÍA MUÑOZ, Derecho y Economía según Tomás de Aquino, Tesis Doctoral, 2011, pág. 34). Y es que, claramente, el dinero está del lado de la demanda, no de la oferta. ¿Será entonces que tenemos que mirar la oferta? ¿Será que es en la oferta donde podremos conocer la naturaleza del dinero? ¿Será que la riqueza proviene de la oferta?

    OTROS ARTÍCULOS

    OTROS ARTÍCULOS

    BIBLIOGRAFÍA


    DE SOTO, D. (1968). De Iustitia et iure (Vol. III). Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Políticos.

    GARCÍA MUÑOZ, J. A. (2011). Derecho y Economía según Tomás de Aquino, Tesis Doctoral. Pamplona, España: Universidad de Navarra. Facultad de Filosofía .

    GARCÍA-MUÑOZ, J. A. (2001). Derecho Económico de los Contratos. Bogotá: Ediciones Librería del Profesional.

    GÓMEZ RIVILLAS, L. (28 de Mayo de 2010). MARIANA Y LOS IMPUESTOS. Recuperado el 28 de Enero de 2012, de INSTITUTO JUAN DE MARIANA: http://www.juandemariana.org/comentario/4625/mariana/impuestos/

    Niño Tarazona, D. I. (11 de Noviembre de 2011). BANCOLOMBIA INVESTIGACIONES ECONÓMICAS. EDITORIAL SEMANAL: EL GASTO Y EL ENDEUDAMIENTO EN LOS HOGARES COLOMBIANOS . Colombia: Investigaciones Económicas Bancolombia.

    TORO RESTREPO, D. (29 de Marzo de 2010). EL MITO DE LA SOBREPOBLACIÓN Y LAS VERDADERAS CAUSAS DE LA POBREZA. Recuperado el 28 de Enero de 2012, de EL ALISPRUZ: http://elalispruz.blogspot.com/2010/03/el-mito-de-la-sobrepoblacion-y-las.html



    PUBLICIDAD EXTERNA



              CARBON        
    Introducing Carbon, the first full length book showcasing my personal ideas around science fiction art and design. This is a project I'm very excited about, a chance to delve deep and develop the various worlds and concepts that are the result of a life long passion for nature, science, technology, and futuristic science fiction ideas.

    These images are explorations I have been working on to develop the design and art direction of the book. It's been a lot of fun to work with concepts springing from the Carbon name. Carbon is the workhorse element of nature, it forms the strongest bonds and is the basis for life as we know it in the universe. Carbon nanotubes and graphene take their hexagonal molecular structure and hold great promise for artificial muscle, advanced building materials, powerful motors, faster computing, and so much more.

    Carbon will contain a wealth of exclusive artwork, design, and descriptive text breakdowns, including in depth development of several personal projects that I wish to evolve into short film and video game concepts. In this sense Carbon forms the first step towards turning these dreams into reality.

    I'm looking forward to exploring the graphic design of the book, and want to create a bold and exciting product that will be much more than just a collection of art and ideas.

    I'm also looking forward to exploring ideas in environment design and story telling, realms I rarely get to delve into with my regular conceptual design work.

    I have a heap of artwork for Carbon already, but this is just the start and familiar to anyone who knows my work. The book will allow me the opportunity to really push myself and create fresh new work, to go crazy and expand on some of the more involved ideas I've been thinking about for years. I have a massive pile of sketches ready to be fleshed out, some real exciting stuff!

    The kick starter campaign will have to wait till I get back from a trip to the US for Comicon (more on that later), so keep an eye out, it should be something special! Cheers!
              CARBON        


    Introducing

     C A R B O N
    Science fiction art and design by Aaron Beck

    More info coming real soon!




              LA INMENSA CANTIDAD DE LO POCO        
    Ver el mundo en un grano de arena,
    y el cielo en una flor silvestre;
    tener el infinito en la palma de la mano
    y la eternidad en una hora.
    (William Blake en PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50)

    Los seres humanos nos preocupamos tanto por las grandes obras, que las pequeñas acaban destruyendo la posibilidad de llegar a la grandeza. Es una paradoja, pero una paradoja con fuertes fundamentos fácticos que denotan cómo descuidar lo poco, es el más grande de nuestros errores. El presente ensayo partirá de una reflexión metafísica pasando por una económica, pero la intención será trascender hasta, si es posible, una reflexión mística. Partiremos de ser centaveros, con imagen de ambiciosos, para llegar a la gloria infinita... simplemente por el valor de lo pequeño.


    Una breve contemplación matemática.

    NUBES FRACTALES
    Nubes fractales.
    El fractal denota la potencia de esta paradoja,
    la parte se ve en el todo y el todo en la parte.
    Un cálculo elemental para cualquier persona es la suma de 1 + 1. La unidad pareciese una figura simple y carente de todo significado estético y místico. ¿Qué importa el número uno? ¿Uno no más? Sin embargo, cuando se ve el elevado potencial del uno a nivel matemático, su aparente carencia de significado y su falta de estética, le dan a ese número insignificante, nada dentro del infinito, un valor tan elevado que nos lleva a una paradoja: el uno es nada en comparación con el infinito pero el infinito no es nada sin el uno. ¿Cómo puede surgir tal paradoja en una proporción que todos prácticamente consideramos evidente si sabemos un poco de cálculo y de matemáticas? Evidentemente el infinito ha sido un creador de paradojas como la de Zenón (si cada vez recorro la mitad de lo que me falta ¿cuándo llegaré a la meta?) (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50) Sin embargo, esta explicación nos la da Pappas en una cita al pie sobre por qué los números naturales son infinitos: "los números de contar o naturales, son potencialmente infinitos ya que a cualquiera de ellos se le puede sumar uno para llegar al siguiente, pero nunca se puede tener el conjunto completo" (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 52).

    Efectivamente todos los números son "una multitud compuesta de unidades" como decían los pitagóricos y por ello los consideraban la sustancia de todas las cosas (RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 30). Aunque los pitagóricos no consideraban a la unidad (1) como un número, de esta unidad procedían todos los demás que eran la sustancia del universo. "-¿Cuánto es uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno? -No lo sé - dijo Alicia-, he perdido la cuenta. -No puedo hacer la suma - dijo la Reina Roja." (CARROL LEWIS [ALICIA EN EL PAÍS DE LAS MARAVILLAS] en RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 109). Efectivamente la suma constante de uno, uno, uno, cada vez va generando un número que ni la Reina Roja podía sumar, ni lo harán los sabios ancianos del rey en un caso que luego se expondrá. 

    Los pitagóricos, aunque erraron en lo que es un número tuvieron otros aciertos pues nadie ha visto un uno volando a menos que -como decía un compañero mío del colegio- estuviera sentado en una hamaca bastante trabado. Esto quiere decir que los números no son el mundo sino simples son abstracciones de intuiciones que nos explican el mundo, los pitagóricos sí acertaron en la magnifica intuición que nos remite al poema del comienzo. Es de unidades que se forman las cosas y de unidades que se suman indefinidamente que crecen indefinidamente y van formando pieza por pieza, una por una, el mundo. ¿Qué es una estrella? ¿Qué es un grano de arena? ¿Pero qué es una estrella y otra, y otra, y otra...? ¡El firmamento! Y ¿qué es un grano de arena y otro, y otro, y otro,...? ¡Una playa! Lo mismo podemos decir de las gotas de agua que conforman el mar, de las hojas, de las células que forman nuestro cuerpo. ¿Qué es un átomo? ¡lo que compone el universo!

    Deteniéndonos un poco en el tema de las células del cuerpo, nuestra vida comenzó con una célula, que se dividió en dos, en cuatro, en ocho, mórula, blástula, etc, especialización, hasta transformar una vida de una célula en millones de ellas. Podríamos entrar en miles de ejemplos místicos, poéticos que nos lleven a trascender en la contemplación pero eso haría que este escrito fuera infinito. Pues al fin y al cabo, así se comporta la naturaleza que los pitagóricos intuían, una sucesión de unidades que forman el todo, la unidad no es nada frente al todo pero el todo no es nada sin la unidad. Por tal motivo pasaremos de una breve contemplación matemática a un análisis económico.


    Del misticismo a la economía.
    El Banquero y Su esposa.
    ¡La diligencia en el cuidado de lo poco!
    Últimamente tengo pegada la frase "cuide los centavos que los pesos se cuidan solos". Esta frase se la escuché a mi papá, que entiendo se la escuchó a un empresario antioqueño ya difunto. La sabiduría de esta frase no va en lo sonoro de la misma sino en que puede corroborarse en la práctica. Si las personas gastáramos al nivel que lo hacemos en cosas de pequeña cantidad, nos quedaríamos asombrados de lo pronto que nos quebraríamos. Pondré un ejemplo sencillo. Si una persona tiene un capital de $2.000 pesos colombianos (alrededor de un dólar estadounidense) es muy probable que si le ofrecen algo cuyo valor es de $2.000 se relaje y cambie su dinero por esa cosa ¡No son más que $2.000! Pero si todo su capital líquido es de $50.000 (alrededor de 25 USD) y le ofrecen algo de $50.000 es mucho más probable que se controle y diga ¡es que son $50.000! Pero únicamente bastaría hacer únicamente 25 veces el ejercicio con los $2.000 para haberse gastado los $50.000 en cosas de $2.000. Haga el ejercicio de ahorrar $500 diarios durante un año y obtendrá una suma de $182.500, hágalo con $1.000, $2.000, etc.

    En un escrito anterior manifesté lo siguiente:

    "De hecho los pobres saben más de finanzas que los ricos. Un rico no sabe cuánto vale un peso porque ese es su día a día, pero una persona pobre sabe verdaderamente cuál es el costo del dinero, el sudor que se requiere para ganar $18.000 (10 Us$ aprox) [Cfr ElAlispruz. En 2010 si se quiere profundizar en el costo del trabajo]. Esto es tan cierto que los modelos financieros exitosos surgieron precisamente de un elevado valor del dinero. Adicionalmente es la razón por la cuál los modelos tecnocráticos e intervencionistas fracasan. (TORO RESTREPO, 2011)"

    ¿Por qué surgen modelos exitosos con un elevado costo del dinero? El valor de una cosa está relacionado con su escasez, entre más escasa más valiosa, por lo tanto el dinero es mucho más valioso cuando hay poco. Mientras escribo esto recuerdo la gloriosa frase de nuestro presidente Juan Manuel Santos "En Colombia se puede vivir con $190.000 mensuales". Lo glorioso no es tanto que no sea posible (personalmente no lo creo) sino que venga de una persona que ni siquiera sabe cuánto cuesta la gasolina porque tiene choferes y no ha tenido la necesidad de montar en bus. Si a uno le entran $190.000 mensuales tiene que ser bastante inteligente para que con esa suma pueda comer, tener un techo, vestirse y transportarse y si alguien nunca ha tenido el reto de vivir con esa miserable suma... ¿lo hará bien? Mi abuelo materno decía que los mejores financieros son los mendigos porque de $100 en $100 no se asuste si se encuentra al mendigo que pide en el semáforo de la 10 en un vuelo a Santa Marta con usted. Es más complicado cuando la liquidez es mucha pero inconstante, creo yo.


    Tributaristas, delincuentes financieros y el valor del dinero.

    La vocazione di San Matteo
    Caravaggio.
    Recordemos que San Mateo
    era un recaudador de impuestos y
    él comprende el mensaje de la fidelidad en lo poco.
    Los tributaristas son personas MUY INTELIGENTES que trabajan para el sector equivocado, el estado. El estado es una forma de robo menos violenta y menos inútil, pero forzada al fin y al cabo. Paréntesis, admiro a los delincuentes financieros, esos que roban un peso de cada cuenta de un banca, que forman pirámides, etc., porque son perversos, pero comprenden lo mismo que los pitagóricos acerca de la sustancia del mundo. Cualquiera se preguntará ¿por qué pongo a los delincuentes financieros con el sector tributario? Porque ambos piensan estrategias para sacar más de la manera más sutil.

    Una de las formas más inteligentes que comprenden el trasfondo del valor del dinero es la invención del Gravamen a los Movimientos Financieros o Cuatro por mil. Si fuera un señor tomando un peso de cada cuenta, diferente del estado, se llamaría Hurto Calificado. El caso es que no estoy anarquista sino que quiero elogiar al creador del 4 X 1000, eh Ave María qué tan inteligente, el problema es ¡por qué te contrató el lado equivocado!

    Mil pesos vienen siendo poco, pero cuatro pesos no son nada. Bueno 4 X 1000 no son nada y ¿qué tal 4000 por millón? ¿Duelen $40.000 al mover 10.000.000? ¿Qué tal $400.000 al mover $100.000.000? Si una empresa mueve al año $1.000 millones de pesos $4.000.000 pueden ser fácilmente la nómina de unos cuantos meses a salario mínimo. Miremos el 4 X 1000 desde otra perspectiva.

    Si yo pago 1 millón de pesos a otra persona a su cuenta, y ésta a su vez mueve todo ese millón pero pagando el 4 X 1000 y así sucesivamente deduciendo el 4 x 1000, en 27 transacciones, totalmente viables en la velocidad de nuestro sistema financiero, ya se habrá perdido alrededor del 10% de ese valor. O sea si hay una cadena de 27 deudores donde cada uno sea acreedor y deudor de 1.000.000, el 27 avo deberá conseguirse alrededor de $100.000 si cada uno ha venido descontando el 4 x 1000. El cuatro por mil tiene el valor de pasar desapercibido, no se siente su impacto sino cuando se empieza a sumar cada uno de esos gravámenes. 

    Si el PIB de 2010 fue de 548.273.000.000.000 (DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA, 2011) cifra que confieso no cabe en mi cabeza. Si moviéramos toda esa suma en una transacción serían $2.193,092 millones de pesos. Eso sin contar que son muchas las transacciones lo que implicaría que el recaudo estatal por este impuesto sería gigantesco. 


    Granos de arroz, trigo y hambre en el mundo.

    Hay algunos personajes que trabajan en la ONU que para discutir el problema del hambre en el mundo llegan llenitos luego de haber pagado los mejores hoteles 5 estrellas en New York. La comida debe ser de la mejor calidad y costosa. Ante esa situación cuando empiezan a discutir el tema con barrigas llenas, observan el problema y ven cómo comer un poquito menos sería bastante costoso y para no sufrir el dolor de ver la pobreza que su despilfarro ocasiona proponen matar a los pobres. Efectivamente, la solución es fácil: "seguimos comiendo igual y despilfarrando igual mientras matamos a aquellos que no pueden despilfarrar como nosotros.".

    Sin embargo, el problema del hambre no es de "exceso de población" sino de "desperdicio de comida". Cualquiera dirá que lo hago porque soy pro-vida o porque no creo que el calentamiento global sea ocasionado por el ser humano o como mínimo por la población. Somos 7.000 millones de personas, pero resulta que el número de hormigas ocupa la misma biomasa (o sea pesando TODAS las hormigas de la tierra pesan lo mismo que TODOS los seres humanos) (Chadwick & Moffet, 2011, pág. 86). La fuente del peso de las hormigas, como puede observarse, es la revista National Geographic de mayo de 2011, fuente científica acreditada a nivel mundial.

    Ahora bien, tomando en cuenta la misma revista pero del mes de julio tenemos un dato todavía más perverso y más triste sobre alimentación. Citemos la fuente textual. Refiriéndose frente a cómo alimentar un planeta creciente en su tercera solución plantea:
    "3. Reducir el desperdicio. Aproximadamente la mitad de las cosechas mundiales desaparecen 'entre el campo y el plato', dice Stockholm International Water Institute. El desperdicio, la desviación para fabricar alimentos para animales y el comportamiento del consumidor son factores que llevan a esto.". (TOMANIO, KLEBER, CASSIDY, WELLS, & BUZBY, 2011)
    Según el dato anterior no sería necesario aumentar las cosechas, bastaría que se acabara el desperdicio por el comportamiento desmedido del consumidor. La carencia proviene del derroche y la abundancia de la sobriedad. Cualquier persona pensadora a nivel actual, o sea lectora de periódicos, dirá: "pues que el estado impida el derroche". Sin embargo en ello también está la paradoja de lo poco, eso no lo hará el que tiene mucho poder, sino el pequeño poder de cada persona ante su plato. ¿Cómo entenderlo? Hagamos algunos análisis con gramos...

    ¿Cuánto pesa un gramo de arroz? De acuerdo con una fuente no tan fiable como Yahoo Answers pero en algo creíble, dice que un grano de arroz pesa 1.16 mg. Si cada persona del mundo desperdicia un grano de arroz, algo insignificante, el desperdicio acumulado sería de 8.12 toneladas. No soy nutricionista pero eso beneficiaría la dieta de miles de personas. El punto es ¿cuántos granos de arroz promedio desperdicia cada persona al día? 

    Al respecto de granos y desperdicio partiendo de la unidad hay una sabia leyendo sobre el momento en el que se inventó el ajedrez. El inventor llega ante el rey con el ajedrez y el rey le dice ¿qué puedo darte por esto? El inventor al principio no pidió nada pero ante la insistencia del rey le pidió "ordena que me den un grano de trigo por la primera casilla, dos por la segunda, 4 por la tercera y así sucesivamente hasta completar las 64 casillas." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 52). Al rey esto le pareció un insulto al fin y al cabo, sentía que le pedía demasiado poco... unos granitos de trigo no más.

    Pero hagamos el esquema matemático de lo que pedía el inventor del ajedrez:

    1+2+4+8+16+32+...

    Si organizamos la propuesta en una serie encontraremos que sigue la siguiente secuencia:

    1+2^1+2^2+2^3

    Concluyendo que la serie es 1+2^1+...+2^(n-1) por lo tanto por la última casilla recibirá 2^63 granos. 

    Plantación de trigo.
    No es la foto más hermosa pero se
    observa el efecto infinito.
    El caso es que sinteticemos la conclusión. Luego de un largo periodo de demora en el conteo de todos los matemáticos del rey veamos lo que pasó:

    "-Antes de comenzar tu informe [dice el rey], quiero saber si se ha entregado por fin (...) la mísera recompensa que ha solicitado.
    - Precisamente por eso me he atrevido a presentarme tan temprano -contestó el anciano [uno de los sabios del rey]. Hemos calculado escrupulosamente la cantidad total de granos que desea recibir... resulta una cifra tan enorme.
    -Sea cual fuere la cifra -le interrumpió con altivez el rey- mis graneros no empobrecerán. He prometido darle esa recompensa, y por lo tanto, hay que entregársela.
    -Soberano, o depende de tu voluntad cumplir semejante deseo. En todos tus graneros no existe la cantidad de trigo que exige. Tampoco existe en los graneros de todo el reino. Hasta los graneros del mundo entero son insuficientes. Si deseas entregar sin falta la recompensa prometida, ordena que todos los reinos de la Tierra se conviertan en labrantíos, manda desecar los mares y océanos, ordena fundir el hielo y la nieve que cubren los lejanos desiertos del norte. Que todo el espacio sea totalmente sembrado de trigo, y ordena que toda la cosecha obtenida en estos campos sea entregada [a él]. Sólo entonces recibirá su recompensa.
    El rey escuchaba lleno de asombro las palabras del anciano sabio.
    -Dime cuál es esa cifra tan monstruosa -dime reflexionando.
    -¡Oh soberano! Dieciocho trillones cuatrocientos cuarenta y seis mil setecientos cuarenta y cuatro billones setenta y tres mil setecientos nueve millones quinientos cincuenta y un mil seiscientos quince." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 55)
    Trascendiendo a lo místico: conclusión.
    Desde la V inicial hasta el último paréntesis este escrito consta de unas 2602 palabras y 12559 letras o signos y faltan unas pocas más. El punto es que una por una en unas 3 horas he llegado a tocar el teclado más de 12.600 veces una por una, palabra por palabra, sumando lentamente, pero sumando. Como estamos en navidad no puedo dejar de hacer el comentario místico, porque es el Espíritu Santo el que me inspira a escribir (yo iba a hacer un ensayo sobre por qué hay que ser sobrio, moralista como siempre y acabé partiendo de lo místico a lo económico) y los errores son míos. Ese Neuma, hálito o soplo quizás trabaja con la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, la paradoja de lo pequeño, la simple paloma que se posa. ¿Acaso nadie ha podido comprender que los vientos y las corrientes de aire son el trasfondo de las tormentas, lluvias e inundaciones? Quizás así sea el Espíritu Santo, sea esa pequeña mariposa del océano índico que con su movimiento preciso y conociendo todas las causas que lo influyen genera un huracán en el Atlántico. 

    Jesús es el ejemplo de esto. La multiplicación de los panes y los peces muestra cómo de unos pocos panes y peces se alimenta a una muchedumbre y lo que sobra se recoge. Aunque evidentemente es un milagro, no es lo milagroso lo que interesa, sino lo mucho que sale de lo poco su sentido o significado me parece más sorprendente, de la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, el infinito no es nada sin la unidad. Muchos son los ejemplos como el grano de mostaza (aunque lo discuten algunos tecnicistas pero al fin y al cabo de muchas semillas pequeñas salen cosas grandes). Todo el mensaje cristiano está en esa paradoja, un Dios que nace en lo poco pero que trae la más grande de las riquezas..., la salvación. hay que leer a Chesterton para mirar ese sentido cristiano como paradoja. 

    En la parábola de los talentos Jesús muestra cómo se confían ciertos bienes a unos trabajadores y aquí sale la frase bíblica que resume el mensaje aquí contenido:

    "Has sido fiel en lo poco, te confiaré lo mucho" (Mt. 25 vs 23)

    Esa es la inmensa, gigantesca, infinita cantidad de lo poco, de la unidad, lo pequeño o cuasi insignificante. Como los pitagóricos el sustento son las unidades (no los números por lo que ya expliqué) pero cada ente, por más insignificante que sea forma el todo. La sumatoria de cosas insignificantes es lo que produce la grandeza, la sorpresa, aquello invaluable. Sospecho que quizás esa es la lógica del Dios de los ejércitos, la adecuada valoración de lo que a los ojos del mundo es insignificante...

    TRIBUTO AL CIELO
    El guayacán y sus flores.
    Un árbol que da tributo al cielo y cae humildemente a la tierra para que persista el ciclo de la belleza

    Bibliografía.
    Chadwick, D. H., & Moffet, M. W. (Mayo de 2011). HERMANDAD DE TEJEDORAS. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) , 82-95.

    DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA. (25 de Noviembre de 2011). 'Producto Interno Bruto Departamental, a precios corrientes. '2000 - 2010pr. Miles de millones de pesos. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de DANE: http://www.dane.gov.co/files/investigaciones/pib/departamentales/B_2005/PIB_Total_habitante_2010.xls

    Holmes, N. (Mayo de 2011). Población. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) .

    PAPPAS, T. (1996). LA MAGIA DE LA MATEMÁTICA. El orden oculto tras la naturaleza y el arte. (M. Rosenberg, Trad.) Madrid, España: Zugarto Ediciones S.A.

    PERELMAN, Y. (2002). Matemáticas recreativas. (F. Blanco, & C. Pérez, Trads.) Bogotá, Colombia: Planeta Colombiana S.A.

    RECAMÁN SANTOS, B. (2007). LOS NÚMEROS, UNA HISTORIA PARA CONTAR. BOGOTÁ D.C, Colombia: Taurus.

    TOMANIO, J., KLEBER, J., CASSIDY, M., WELLS, H., & BUZBY, J. (Julio de 2011). Cómo alimentar un planeta creciente. National Geographic , Sección Hoy (Inpaginado).

    TORO RESTREPO, D. (16 de Febrero de 2011). FINANZAS Y CUESTIÓN SOCIAL. REFLEXIONES SOBRE EL SISTEMA FINANCIERO. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de EL ALISPRUZ: http://elalispruz.blogspot.com/2011/02/finanzas-y-cuestion-social-reflexiones.html


              Siendo humanos ¿Qué somos cuando somos? ¿Qué somos cuando no somos?        
    La mula pensante, mujer mantequilla y demás auto-apelativos de los cuales ya me desactualicé me puso el reto de hacer un video en respuesta a la inquietud de alguien. ¿Qué es lo que somos? ¿Qué significa ser humano? Ella lo hace en un simple video de 57 segundos. Me impone el mismo reto ¿seré capaz? La verdad me da pereza quedarme horas buscando fotos y editando, por eso prefiero soltarme en el blog y escribir. Sé que si me dedicara a editar un video, mi exagerado perfeccionismo me llevaría a quedarme horas editando sin contar aquellas en las que se bloquearía el computador.

    El video con el que inicia la discusión pueden verlo aquí, parto de la base que es bueno, por eso, absolutamente digno de dedicarme a criticarlo. Como prefiero lo escrito, lo describiré. En primer lugar, su visión del ser humano parte con el vicio de la esperanza, ¿acaso todos estamos llamados al conocimiento? Por lo que he aprendido de ella, sí, todos estamos llamados al conocimiento, pero no todos lo desarrollamos de tal forma tan trascendente como la que describe el video. Si no fuera una amiga, ¿qué no me impediría para poner -como ella dice- una vieja chismosa que demuestre el afán de conocimiento? Y si lo hiciera ¿implica que lo que ella plantea es falso? No, es real ¿Qué pasa entonces? ¡Es incompleto! Es tan real la descripción de la vieja chismosa para describir al ser humano, como el filósofo con su mano en su quijada sentado. Mi primera crítica, no se enfocó en el vicio de la esperanza, se centró en la ausencia de lo cotidiano.

    1. Cotidianidad, gloria y grandeza.
    MOVIMIENTO CONGELADO
    Movimiento congelado.
    ¿Es cotidiano encontrar al ser humano creando? ¿Es cotidiano ver obras de arte como Van Gogh? Eso no es cotidiano, pero ¿significa que no hay obras de ese calibre en el hombre imago Dei? O ¿Será más bien que hay muchas formas más sutiles y ocultas de desarrollar esa creación? ¿Acaso no hay estética en la contemplación diaria de mi gata? ¿Acaso no hay estética en todos los días de aquellos que silenciosamente trabajan para producir el alimento que comemos y que nos hace que ese ser permanezca Siendo? ¿No es eso creación? ¿No es eso poesía diaria? ¿Qué será de esa madre abnegada que da la vida por su hijo enfermo? ¿Qué será de aquel que sonríe al pobre? Indiscutiblemente Van Gog es un genio, lo son muchos seres humanos pero ¿dónde está nuestra percepción de la belleza cotidiana? 

    El deseo de gloria y grandeza está viciado, pero ¿no hace parte ese vicio también del siendo? Anhelamos grandes obras milagrosas, que el sol se salga de cauce para creer en un Dios que todas las mañanas permite que el sol nos ilumine con su amanecer y de paso a la noche con su hermoso atardecer. ¿Por qué nos perdemos de esta estética cotidiana? ¿Por qué nos perdemos de ese asombro agradecido de lo cotidiano? 

    Efectivamente somos seres infinitos, pero, también, somos finitos. Ese infinito requiere de incontables sucesos finitos, ¿carecen de belleza esos finitos? ¿Cómo podrían hacerlo si en ellos está, paradójicamente el infinito? Desde el momento mismo de nuestra concepción inicia un proceso que poco a poco va desarrollando diversas fases, desde una sola célula hasta las millones que somos ahora. Esa fase celular es un estado finito, pero tanto en ella, como cada momento de nuestra vida, contiene ese siendo. Desde nuestros momentos más trascendentes, hasta nuestro sueño, mostramos aquello finito que somos.

    Tal posible interpretación del video nos lleva a que ese siendo sea una fotografía, sea como congelar el movimiento. ¿Acaso la foto muestra el movimiento del niño? Lo congela, pero nosotros intuimos que se mueve. La vida, es una sucesión de instantes, de videos, que reflejan una imagen eterna, imago Dei pero una imagen que se mueve instante tras instante.


    2. La nostalgia y la inmovilidad... el ridículo.
    Hoy en día, la civilización nos aliena. No al nivel de gloria que cree la mula, sino a la cotidianidad. De repente, el finito nos absorbe, al punto que nos desespera. Cada instante se sucede sin descubrir ese infinito que nos hace, en el que somos siendo.Al perder de rumbo tanto el instante como el infinito, nos alienamos, estamos siendo sin ser, siendo en o para otra cosa, no siendo ese fin en sí mismo que es el ser humano. Es allí donde la vida pierde sentido y la angustia nace como consecuencia irremediable de no ser lo que somos. 

    NOSTALGIA DE ANTAÑO by ElAlispruz
    No ser en nosotros, ser en otro es la alienación. Esa alienación que nos hace irónicos, absurdos y ridículos. Es hacer el papel que no nos corresponde. Es como aquel que se equivoca en el libreto que le corresponde y todos se ríen, es como aquel golpe sordo en medio de una melodía. La situación no es solamente ridícula, es triste. 

    ¿Por qué nostalgia de antaño? Hace una semana tomé la foto de la derecha. Aquel mimo, solo, desesperado por unos pesos, refleja aquel pasado nuestro que sufre porque ya no es. Cada instante que se sucede sin percibir el infinito nos paraliza e inmoviliza, en esa inmovilidad del instante perdido es cuando de repente recordamos y desesperamos. Esa es la nostalgia de antaño, ese verbo tan usado pero tan irreal como el hubiera, el habría o hubiese. Nietzsche nos recuerda que la voluntad no puede querer hacia atrás, pero, la voluntad suele querer en proporciones viciadas aquello que no puede, pero que pudo en un instante anterior.

    ¿Por qué de repente se empieza a querer hacia atrás cuando no se puede? ¿Qué nos indica esa desesperante agonía de nostalgia y desesperación? ¿Qué en un siendo no fuimos? ¿Pero cómo si permanecimos? ¿Acaso el existencialismo de Sartre acierta en que podemos subsistir, simplemente existir, sin esencia? Tal vez en el instante más pobre de la filosofía, más lejano al ser como el siglo XX, es en el instante donde más se logró comprender lo que somos. Tal vez tener ese contacto absurdo con la nada, es la mejor forma de comprender el ser. 

    Sin ese delirio agotante de la desesperación ¿cómo podría el auténtico saber que va por el camino correcto?   En ese camino donde el siendo no es, pero el ser persiste, es donde más nos llama esa sed de absoluto. De repente, en el fondo, podríamos permanecer en esa sucesión de instantes sin sentido o buscar aquello que da sentido a cada uno de los instantes. 

    3. Ser o no ser, ¿no ser siendo?
    "All is vanity"
    El ser humano es quizás lo que denota el video de la mula filosofante, pero ese ser humano, ese being Â¿no incluye instantes en los que sigue siendo being? La sucesión de instantes sin sentido o el desconocer que los instantes suceden [las dos formas de desesperación Kierkegaana] son instantes donde no somos lo que somos pero seguimos siendo ¿cómo resolver la evidente contradicción? Si partimos de una lógica rigurosa la contradicción y la violación de que un ser no puede ser y no ser al mismo tiempo nos indican un error o al menos una paradoja pero ¿es que acaso la realidad no trasciende la lógica misma? Ese es un problema a resolver ¿qué es el hombre cuando no deviene lo que es? ¿Qué es el hombre cuando está alienado? ¿Pierde el hombre su condición humana por el simple hecho de caer en la desesperación? 

    Una primera respuesta podría ser el academicismo aristótelico-fastidioso de plantear una distinción entre el ser humano y el actuar humano. Pero esa distinción sería como decir que el hombre visto desde atrás es espalda y desde adelante pecho, nariz, ojos. Los aristotélicos suelen hacer eso, partir, dividir, distinguir. El aristotélico es como el lujurioso cree que la mujer es únicamente cuerpo y el reprimido cree que la mujer es espíritu sin ser cuerpo. Aristóteles les diría que ambos tienen razón porque están distinguiendo. No es que las distinciones sean malas, son necesarias, siempre y cuando procedan de la realidad. La distinción con fines académicos no permite intuir, sino solamente, partir. 

    En todo caso esa cuerdísima distinción aristótelica tendría algo de razón, que el hombre actúe como burro ¿lo hace burro? El actuar como rata ¿nos hace ratas? Esta inquietud para el que lee de paso puede ser ridícula, pero, si eso fuera así, el más degradado y desesperado sería menos humanos y por ende carecería de derechos, lo cual tanto en esencia como por su consecuencia antropológica es un error. No perdemos nuestra calidad de humanos por actuar contrario a lo humano, al fin y al cabo ¿qué hay más humano que actuar y querer así sea contra nosotros? ¿Qué hay más humano que querer, así sea querer no ser lo que somos?

    Así que ¿cómo resolver este problema?  La verdad, en este momento, no se me ocurre una respuesta. Lo único que se me ocurre es que, ese yo como la relación que se refiere a sí misma (Kierkegaard), cuando actúa contrario a su ser, no deja de ser, es un ser en contradicción. ¿Qué quiere decir ello? No tengo ni idea. O tal vez no sea más que ironía, ridículo, absurdo. 

    4. Volviendo al video, repensando la vida misma. 
    El video muestra aquello que nos llama, aquello que tenemos que devenir pero, ¿qué pasa si no devenimos aquello? Esa es la carencia, carencia del video, carencia de la vida, porque ¿siempre nos descubrimos en ese cosmos, en esa contemplación estética directa? ¿Acaso actuamos acorde con esa imago Dei? Aparte de cotidianidad, esa sucesión de instantes en los que somos aquel being, el video no responde a la complejísima pregunta ¿qué somos cuando no somos lo que somos?  

    El video muestra una humanidad viciada de esperanza y alienada por el infinito. Bueno, realmente no lo hace, pero desprevenidamente podríamos tomar esa interpretación. Sí, somos lo del video, pero, también somos lo contrario al video. ¿Siendo y no siendo al mismo tiempo? Quizás, pero, al fin y al cabo... siendo...

              Worldly War Machinery         
    Here's some more artwork from World War Machine. First up a higher res version of the initial design for the player character, the quintessential War Machine. I had a lot of fun working on this friendly chap!

    And here are a bunch of quick conceptual sketches for a variety of enemy units. My thinking with these was to push the anatomically inspired biomechanical feel of the War Machine into something more twisted and deformed. The various shattered AI remnants of humanity are at perpetual war with themselves, and create these machines to wage their battles. Attack types and methods of movement and combat are drawn from the broken and disjointed totality of human knowledge that's contained in the AIs, from militaristic science to the animal kingdom. Robot zombies if you will!




    Check out the Square Enix Collective War Machine page and put in a vote!
              Â¿Cómo mantener la motivación en el entrenamiento?        
    Motívate con estos consejos y excelentes instalaciones al entrenar | Elena del Mar
    Al momento de entrenar y crear hábitos saludables o equilibrados enfocados en actividad física se debe mantener cierta motivación para no desfallecer en el intento y, por el contrario, ver resultados. Elena del Mar, como gimnasio spa y lugar perfecto para que no solo lleves a cabo tus rutinas de ejercicio sino que también cuentes con un centro de estética facial en Cafam Floresta, te da algunos consejos para que sepas cómo mantenerte motivado con el ejercicio.

    Motivación: principal consejo para ver resultados en tu cuerpo


    Desde Elena del Mar creemos en el equilibrio que debe tener tu cuerpo con tu mente y la necesidad de mantener buenos hábitos de ejercicio, como también, la necesidad de contar con un espacio que te brinde todas las facilidades para que te mantengas motivado.

    Por ello, la lista de consejos que te presentamos hoy se enfocan en ti pero también, te permiten contar con instalaciones de gimnasios spa en Bogotá norte y otras zonas de la ciudad, para que empieces y no desfallezcas. Vale la pena entregar lo mejor a tu cuerpo y mente.

    Fraccionar los objetivos

    Es necesario plantear metas y objetivos muy claros durante determinadas frecuencias, estos pueden ser semanales y mensuales. Aquí te plantearás perder 1 kilo de grasa corporal, correr 10 km a las 5:15 km/h, ir al gimnasio tres veces por semana. En vez de decir este tipo de cosas: “quiero bajar peso” esto te lleva a saber que debes bajar de peso o grasa corporal pero no te lleva a fijarte y motivarte.

    Escoge tu música

    La música llega a ser un factor crucial al momento de sentirte motivado, pero también es una elección personal. Mientras unos prefieren hacer deporte sin música porque se sienten distraídos o molestos, otros deben escoger sus géneros favoritos porque no se imaginan el tiempo de ejercicio sin este.

    Cambia de Rutinas

    La monotonía es un factor que te hará desfallecer. Además, después de determinado tiempo tu cuerpo se acostumbra a las rutinas de ejercicio, por ello, hay un momento donde empiezas notar que estancas tu proceso y los cambios en tu cuerpo son mínimos. Esto se debe a la rutina; cámbiala cada 8 a 12 semanas, dile a tu cuerpo que todo será diferente por un tiempo y empezarás a notar resultados.

    Regístrate y motívate

    En países como EEUU es habitual fotografiarse cuando empiezan las rutinas de ejercicio, de esta manera los cambios son más evidentes a los ojos y se empieza a entender lo que se ha avanzado en determinado lapso de tiempo. Toma este hábito, así no olvidarás cómo empezaste y podrás darte respuesta al cómo te encuentras ahora. Es necesario reconocerte y decirte que has mejorado pero se puede mucho más. Siempre podrás ser una mejor versión de ti mismo.

    Un amigo te ayudará a mantener el ánimo

    Debes saber que, en ocasiones, la mejor motivación no está en ti. Por el contrario, siempre buscarás la manera de decirte que no ves cambios ni resultados porque tus ojos e inconsciente siempre te engañarán. Por ello, cuando te unes a un compañero o amigo se permiten fijar metas y objetivos claros y entre los dos se recuerdan lo planteado. Además, es la mejor manera de combatir el aburrimiento y la monotonía.

    Contratar un entrenador personal

    Ejercitarte con un entrenador personal es una experiencia que arroja los resultados más auténticos y exclusivos porque será él quien se encargue de llevarte por un camino coherente donde evitarás la rutina, contarás con alguien que siempre estará recordándote los objetivos, brindándote seguridad y eficacia al momento de formular buenas técnicas de entrenamiento para tu caso en específico. Además, su experiencia será la que te permita ir por un camino correcto y lleno de buenos resultados.

    En Elena del Mar trabajamos por el gran propósito de entregarte los resultados que esperas ver en tu cuerpo. Por ello, ofrecemos instalaciones acordes a tus ideales, la perfecta combinación entre gimnasios y spas en el centro de Bogotá para que no solo lleves a cabo tus rutinas de ejercicio, sino también, puedas tomarte tiempos de relajación que harán muy bien a tu cuerpo y mente.

    Somos un centro deportivo y corporal donde promovemos un estilo de vida orientado al bienestar y la armonía donde buscamos fortalecer el equilibrio en cuerpo y mente para que el ser humano alcance las metas de su proyecto de vida. Te invitamos a empezar hoy visitando nuestro centro de estética en Hacienda Santa Bárbara y complementes tus rutinas en nuestras sedes con gimnasio. 

    Motívate y cuenta con expertos que buscan entregarte las instalaciones ideales para tu entrenamiento.

    Artículo tomado de Elena del Mar.

              Pain Management Through Integrative Therapies        
    A unique event immersing attendees in the world of the practicing acupuncturist. This two hour, one of a kind event is perfect for anyone curious about the internal workings of the art and science of acupuncture. Attendees will have a hands on opportunity to experience the tools of the trade, learn some of the medical […]
              Popular Science: "Are We Alone: Searching for Life in Space"         

    Popular Science (part of Time) is offering a supermarket glossy booklet “Are We Alone? Searching for Life in Space”. 96 pages.

    There are some highlights not seen before in other booklets like this.  One is an examination of the seven earth-like planets around the Trappist M-star 39 light years away, with planet E having the best chance for Earth-like temperatures, and an artist’s rendition of the surface of a moderately cold Planet F.

    There is some discussion of the earth-like planet around Proxima B. an M-star and the closest to Earth at 4.2 light years.


    There is a lot of attention to Europa and its subsurface ocean and likelihood of life, as well as Encedalus.  But Titan gets mentioned only in passing with the possibility of silicon-and-methane based life.  Ironically, my own Science Honor Society project in 1960  had speculated about silicon-based life, but I was hardly as accomplished as Jack Andraka (who came 53 years later, however, and that matters).  I had tried some experiments in my father’s workshop with an acetylene torch that I recall very little about now.

    There is also an article about the idea of aliens eating electricity, which has been the subject of horror movies before (“Kronos”).

    There is mention of the possibility of a Dyson Sphere around Tabby’s Star, as well as other theories, and a nice drawing of what it could look like.
     

    There’s also an essay about keeping Mars biologically clean. 

              NatGeo: "The Next Earth": what if mankind does have to find a new home?         

    National Geographic has a special coffee table issue “The Next Earth: What Our World Can Teach Us About Other Planets”, by Tom Jones and Ellen Stofan.   Somehow I'm reminded of the 1990s series "Earth II" with Anthony Saboto.

    There is a spectacular photo of Chixulub, Yucatan, Mexico, where a 6-mile long comet crashed 65 million years ago and changed the history of Earth and made us possible.

    There is a lot of comparable geology of Venus and Mars, both of which have volcanoes larger than any on Earth (even the Yellowstone Caldera).

    There is a pretty thorough exploration of what we know about possible life on Mars and in the ocean of Europa, and some discussion of Titan (I have a review of a BBC film about Titan today on my movie’s page).



    But the most interesting photo probably occurs on p. 106, an artist’s sketch of a desert landscape on an Earth-like planet in the Goldilocks zone around Proxima Centauri B, a red dwarf star, the closest to Earth.  The planet is probably tidally locked, which would make the habitable area of perpetual twilight and mild temperatures smaller. Tidally locked planets may have strong winds.

    Stephen Hawking is reported to have said that mankind has about 100 years to escape Earth (by drawings straws?)

              Dean Koontz's "Moonlight": how a commercially prolific suspense novelist remains relevant as technology and politics change         

    During my first year of employment at USLICO in Arlington in 1990 (what would become my last main job, for 12 years and four owners), I read the Dean Koontz 1989 novel “Midnight”, and shared it (paper, Putnam was original publisher) with a few people in production control in what would become a coffee break book club.

    The novel is remarkable in its huge number of chapters, and organization into three parts each with its own chapter 1.



    The novel starts with a jogger running in a California beach town (Moonlight Cove  -- “In the Moonlight, Do Me” indeed) being attacked by a mysterious alien-like creature, and soon the mystery, somewhat in a “Twin Peaks” -like fashion, is examined from the viewpoint of various characters, whose narratives gradually connect.  (Irving Wallace had used this technique for building plots for Cold War spy novels back in the 1960s).  It seems as though people are getting converted into hybrid creatures and that a sociopathic computer scientist Shaddock is involved.



    I would have thought that this novel would make a good miniseries on a cable channel,, even today, as the premise has less dependence on political circumstances and even technology than most sci-fi suspense novels.  Koontz sometimes gets into Shaddack’s head, anticipating the psyche of a modern terrorist, deflecting the social issues (like gay rights in one passage) in surprising ways.
    I mention the novel because Koontz is often heralded in some circles as the ideal author who writes strictly to sell, and he indeed has a huge career of a long list of novels, divided into various subcategories of suspense.   Literary agents love his approach, because it is so commercial.  So do trade publishers.

    One problem with developing suspense novels is that sometimes they become very vulnerable to changes in world politics, which can come suddenly and be largely unexpected by suspense authors, like the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.  Today it’s not clear who is the biggest threat: North Korea, Iran, ISIS, Russia, China.

    I’ve had that problem, and my own approach to fiction has to start with my own narrative first.  I make no apologies, despite the disruptive advice and sales calls from others.


              NatGeo presents article "Genius" to accompany is new cable series         

    The National Geographic issue for May 2007 has a feature cover story on p. 30, “Genius: Why some people are so much smarter than the rest of us.”, link (paywall) here .
     â€˜
    An important measure of genius is whether the person’s output lives throughout the ages.  Beehoven’s output takes on a life of its own. 

    The article gives some attention to the life story of Leonardo DaVinci.

    The years of highest probability of major output are the late twenties into the mid thirties.

    An important and controversial variable would be how versatile the person is with "real life" skills.  The best of today's young adults simply are or were much more mature than I was at ages like, say 16-21. But it helps to be born later. 


    However, there are real prodigies, in coding (Mark Zuckerberg) and in music.  In music, prodigy becomes harder to show after Mozart.  But Eugen d’Albert’s gigantic first piano concerto (as published, in B Minor) was composed before age 20 and shows real intellectual brilliance as to harmony, counterpoint, and form. Brahms, on the other hand, waited until his forties to compose symphonies.  Genius enters new territory in the latest years, as we know from the last nearly-complete symphony of Bruckner.

    There is a new series on National Geographic Channel which I have not seen yet.
      

    The issue also has an article on the Central African Republic, the Burning Heart of Africa, and “United in Protest” against the North Dakota oil pipeline. 

              Popular Science: "The Future of Space Travel"         

    Popular Science offers a “Special Edition” mag “The Future of Space Travel”, 96 pages, from Times Books.

    There are many short illustrated articles in 5 parts, “Places We’re Going”, “How We’ll Get There”, “How We’ll Survive There”, “Other Tools of Exploration.”.

    There is a wide variety of interesting information. One fact is that Proxima Centauri, in a 3-star system that is the closest to the Earth, may have a rocky planet in the “GoldiLocks” zone. The shortest time that it is technologically possible to send a robotic probe on a photon light sail with laser accelerator would be about 20 years, which means it would take 24 years to get the photos and information back as to what the planet looks like.  It is about 8000 times as far to this star system as it is to Pluto.



    The other most interesting section is “The Everyday Life of an Astronaut”.  This would be very important for a voyage to Mars, for example.  It raises questions as to who would go:  what about childless or single people?  The long exposure to zero gravity is bound to cause physical deterioration, so this is not a place for pretty preppies.  Essential body functions are different.  You bathe with soap that does not have to be rinse off but stays on the skin to disintegrate. Without gravity, it is hard for your body to sense when it needs to urinate.
     
    There is an artist’s closeup of Europa on page 8, a closeup on Pluto on p. 16.  There is an article on space mining on p. 16.  I didn't see any discussion of Titan.


              "Rich Man, Poor Man": Is Irwin Shaw's 1969 novel a template for today's debate on inequality?         

    I do remember reading the paperback of Irwin Shaw’s “Rich Man, Poor Man”, 1969, Delacorte, while in the Army.  The novel was a large -sized family drama moving around the world, about an upstate New York Family, the Jordache’s, whose two sons Rudolph and Thomas, who turn out so differently. While on one level the novel concerns the “rich and poor”, it also emphasizes that the social and personal connections of wealth and poverty tend to be self-reinforcing. The novel is considered remarkable in literary circles because of the way if manipulates the “omniscient observer” concept of third person narration.



    The  novel became a TV miniseries in 1976 on ABC with Peter Strauss and Nick Nolte playing the two brothers.



    An article by Michelle Singletary in the Washington Post Sunday, April 2, alluded to the novel as she wrote about people who have it all losing it, partly through trying to coast too soon into retirement.  The article is titled “From privilege to poverty” about Pulitzer Prize author William McPherson, author of “Falling” (2014), who died last week at 84. The online title of the article is more brazen, “The next face of poverty could be yours”.

    I’d also look at Robert Samuelson’s column this morning, “Is the American dream killing us?”


              Bogho-A-Lago        
    The big scandal this weekend: Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay pulled a hoax on a social-science journal by getting a deliberately nonsensical paper published there, and then crowed that this demonstrates the field of gender studies to be “crippled academically.” However, when people with a measure of sense examined B&L’s stunt, they found it to … Continue reading Bogho-A-Lago
              Shorter Pinker        
    Wasn’t I just kvetching about Steven Pinker? Not that long ago, even? Well, some gifts just won’t stop giving. He’s at it again, this time complaining about the “anti-science PC/identity politics/hard-left rhetoric” of the March for Science. It might have been obvious to some of us ten years or more ago that basic respect for … Continue reading Shorter Pinker
              Science Is Now the Enemy        
    No, let’s be a little more forceful than that. The news warrants that much, and it just keeps coming. For the party now in power, the people who keep rat shit out of your food and stop rivers from catching on fire are now the enemy. I’m really not feeling that good about our ability … Continue reading Science Is Now the Enemy
              NESTT Center at EWU        
    The Natural and Environmental Science Testing and Teaching Center (NESTT) will be the first of its kind at a public university, going beyond the highest LEED standard to meet the Living Building Challenge.
              The Startup Founder Effect: The Genetics of Success        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. The ‘Founder Effect’ was discovered by Ernst Mayr in 1942 (Wikipedia) as part of his seminal work on population genetics.  It basically states that many of the traits that you might see in a given sub-population of individuals can be attributed to the genetics of the first individuals that inhabited the […]
              Building a Powerful Contact List: Key Tactics for Making the Random Walk a Little Less Random        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. Building up a substantial contact list is crucial to any startup especially as they approach the commercial launch of their first product or service.  This list will be used by your commercial team to recruit alpha and beta evaluators, find strategic partners and of course uncover customers.  One of the key […]
              Eliminate This Risk to Your Sales Momentum        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. Your team has pushed hard to get a successful product launch.  There is intense focus on Sales & Marketing to take the ball now to close on ever greater numbers of sales.  There is nothing like being ‘out-of-stock’ to put a crimp in your sales momentum.  With a little bit of […]
              Building Strong Technology Companies One Royalty Deal at a Time        
    By:  Robert Benson, Ph.D. How to write license agreements to ensure monitoring and auditing is as simple as possible. This was the topic of a seminar (“Licensing Compliance – Getting What You Negotiated – Pitfalls and Best Practices”) hosted recently by MATTO (Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices).  This event was mainly attended by tech […]
              The Next Two People You Need to Start Up Your Startup        
    By: Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. It seems that every week there is an article or post that bemoans the shortage of innovation in America.  However, this is not due to a lack of great ideas and the pace of discovery in the labs across the nation.  The problem is getting the right team to lead and […]
              Get the Biggest Bang for Your Tradeshow Buck with These Tips        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. Tradeshows can be a great place to get the word out about your product and also to keep abreast of late breaking news, trends and opportunities.  However, they can also be very expensive.  Registration fees, travel costs, shipping and other logistical costs, not to mention opportunity costs by having your sales […]
              Are we there yet? The Secret to Keeping your Company on Track        
    By: Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. Every summer as a kid, my family would pile in the car and drive to beautiful Lake Champlain, Vermont for a week of fun and relaxation.  The car ride itself felt like a quick detour to the 9th circle of a place a little less nice than Lake Champlain.  This was […]
              The Company You Keep: Three Steps to Finding the Breakthrough Team        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. and Sarah Cardozo Duncan You can find new articles for entrepreneurs almost every day advising how to best make a success out of their brilliant ideas.  One of the key pieces of advice is to make sure that you hire the very best team you can to make this all work.  […]
              Comment on Free Year 7 Science Revision – Interactive whiteboard game by Imma        
    It really helps
              Index of courses (cover page) in Natural Sciences from U.N.R.R.A. University: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    Index of courses (cover page) in Natural Sciences from U.N.R.R.A. University: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) U.N.R.R.A. University This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Index of courses (cover page) in Natural Sciences (Pharmacy) attended by Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska at U.N.R.R.A. Munich University, Germany in 1946.; Munich
              Jurkov, Grigorij Dmitrievič        
    Autor: Panzer

    Datum: 10.08.2017 14:53:45



     
    Příjmení:
    Surname:
    Jurkov Grigoriy
    Jméno:
    Given Name:
    Grigorij Dmitrievič Dmitriyevich Yurkov
    Jméno v originále:
    Original Name:
    Григорий Дмитриевич Юрков
    Fotografie či obrázek:
    Photograph or Picture:
    -
    Hodnost:
    Rank:
    major Major
    Akademický či vědecký titul:
    Academic or Scientific Title:
    - -
    Šlechtický titul:
    Hereditary Title:
    - -
    Datum, místo narození:
    Date and Place of Birth:
    DD.MM.1907 Soľ-Ileck /
    DD.MM.1907 Sol'-Iletsk /
    Datum, místo úmrtí:
    Date and Place of Decease:
    DD.MM.RRRR
    DD.MM.RRRR
    Nejvýznamnější funkce:
    (maximálně tři)
    Most Important Appointments:
    (up to three)
    - veliteľ 88. samostatnej dopravnej letky stíhacieho letectva protivzdušnej obrany - Commander of the 88th Independent Transport Squadron of the Fighter Aviation of Counter-Air Defence
    Jiné významné skutečnosti:
    (maximálně tři)
    Other Notable Facts:
    (up to three)
    - -
    Související články:
    Related Articles:

    Zdroje:
    Sources:
    http://podvignaroda.ru/?#id=1105489338

               Knox, Henry        
    Autor: wlasto

    Datum: 10.08.2017 14:03:35



     
    Příjmení:
    Surname:
    Knox Knox
    Jméno:
    Given Name:
    Henry Henry
    Jméno v originále:
    Original Name:
    Henry Knox
    Fotografie či obrázek:
    Photograph or Picture:
    Hodnost:
    Rank:
    generálmajor Major General
    Akademický či vědecký titul:
    Academic or Scientific Title:
    - -
    Šlechtický titul:
    Hereditary Title:
    - -
    Datum, místo narození:
    Date and Place of Birth:
    25.07.1750 Boston /
    25.07.1750 Boston /
    Datum, místo úmrtí:
    Date and Place of Decease:
    25.10.1806 Thomaston, Maine
    25.10.1806 Thomaston, Maine
    Nejvýznamnější funkce:
    (maximálně tři)
    Most Important Appointments:
    (up to three)
    Minister války Secretary of War
    Jiné významné skutečnosti:
    (maximálně tři)
    Other Notable Facts:
    (up to three)
    - -
    Související články:
    Related Articles:

    Zdroje:
    Sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Knox

              Lundy, Michael D.         
    Autor: wlasto

    Datum: 10.08.2017 12:00:13



     
    Příjmení:
    Surname:
    Lundy Lundy
    Jméno:
    Given Name:
    Michael D. Michael D.
    Jméno v originále:
    Original Name:
    Michael D. Lundy
    Fotografie či obrázek:
    Photograph or Picture:
    Hodnost:
    Rank:
    Generálporučík Lieutenant General
    Akademický či vědecký titul:
    Academic or Scientific Title:
    - -
    Šlechtický titul:
    Hereditary Title:
    - -
    Datum, místo narození:
    Date and Place of Birth:
    DD.MM.RRRR ?
    DD.MM.RRRR ?
    Datum, místo úmrtí:
    Date and Place of Decease:
    DD.MM.RRRR
    DD.MM.RRRR
    Nejvýznamnější funkce:
    (maximálně tři)
    Most Important Appointments:
    (up to three)
    velitel: Vysoká škola pro velitele a důstojníky štábů Armády Spojených států Commander: United States Army Command and General Staff College
    Jiné významné skutečnosti:
    (maximálně tři)
    Other Notable Facts:
    (up to three)
    - -
    Související články:
    Related Articles:

    Zdroje:
    Sources:
    usacac.army.mil

               Brown, Robert Brooks        
    Autor: wlasto

    Datum: 10.08.2017 11:17:14



     
    Příjmení:
    Surname:
    Brown Brown
    Jméno:
    Given Name:
    Robert Brooks Robert Brooks
    Jméno v originále:
    Original Name:
    Robert Brooks Brown
    Fotografie či obrázek:
    Photograph or Picture:
    Hodnost:
    Rank:
    generál General
    Akademický či vědecký titul:
    Academic or Scientific Title:
    MSc MSc
    Šlechtický titul:
    Hereditary Title:
    - -
    Datum, místo narození:
    Date and Place of Birth:
    14.04.1959 ?, Pennsylvania
    14.04.1959 ?, Pennsylvania
    Datum, místo úmrtí:
    Date and Place of Decease:
    DD.MM.RRRR
    DD.MM.RRRR
    Nejvýznamnější funkce:
    (maximálně tři)
    Most Important Appointments:
    (up to three)
    velitel: Vysoká škola pro velitele a důstojníky štábů Armády Spojených států Commander: United States Army Command and General Staff College
    Jiné významné skutečnosti:
    (maximálně tři)
    Other Notable Facts:
    (up to three)
    - -
    Související články:
    Related Articles:

    Zdroje:
    Sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Brooks_Brown

              Encontro Grupo Orion - Educação Ativa        














    Dias 14 e 15 de agosto - 19 as 21 h - Contribuição consciente - Quintal da Ninho
    Com Margarita Valencia, Esperanza Chacon e Edgar Espinosa (Equador)

    É hoje comprovado que uma pessoa amada e respeitada, nas suas verdadeiras necessidades em cada uma de suas etapas de desenvolvimento, se tornará um adulto que convive em paz e respeito consigo mesmo, com seus iguais e com a natureza, se tornando co-construtor de um planeta com as mesmas características.
    Estes sãos os parâmetros que norteiam a educação ativa, uma perspectiva sobre a educação que nos permite construir uma vida em harmonia com as nossas crianças e adolescentes. Esta vertente se baseia em etapas sobre o desenvolvimento do ser humano realizadas por Jeanne Piaget e no conceito de “autopoyesis” do Humberto Maturama, dentre outros, que ressalta que na vida/natureza jamais existem relações instrutivas.
    Esta palestra apresentará um conteúdo sobre a Educação Ativa como Alternativa de Convivência no Amor e Respeito entre Adultos e Crianças, , como uma oportunidade de aprofundar estes e outros elementos básicos de respeito aos processos de vida e acompanhamento adequado ao crescimento da criança e o adolescente, incorporando também insumos da vivencia de uma escola referencia mundial na área, em Equador: a escola Pestalozzi.

    Serão também apresentados elementos importantes para resolver os inúmeros desafios no lar e na escola, como os de criar ambientes que satisfaçam as necessidades individuais de acordo com a idade e permitir a autonomia necessária para que a aprendizagem se faça de dentro para fora.

              RESOLUCION LAUDO NRO. 1/09        

    B.O. 13/03/09 - ST - Laudo 1/09 - Define incremento Concepto “Sueldo Básico” correspondiente a la Categoría Embalador de Primera de la escala salarial

    MINISTERIO DE TRABAJO, EMPLEO Y SEGURIDAD SOCIAL

    Laudo Nº 1/2009

    Bs. As., 27/2/2009

    VISTO el Expediente Nº 101.214/08 del Registro del MINISTERIO DE TRABAJO, EMPLEO Y SEGURIDAD SOCIAL, y

    CONSIDERANDO:

    Que por el Expediente citado en el visto tramitó la negociación mantenida, en los términos de las leyes Nº 20.744 (t.o 1976 y sus modificatorias), 14.250 (t.o. 2004) y 25.877, entre el SINDICATO DE OBREROS EMPACADORES DE FRUTA DE RIO NEGRO Y NEUQUEN y la CAMARA ARGENTINA DE FRUTICULTORES INTEGRADOS, en relación a las escalas salariales para la actividad de empaque de frutas frescas, en el ámbito de las Provincias de RIO NEGRO y NEUQUEN, con vigencia a partir del 1º de enero del año 2009.

    Que luego de sucesivas audiencias celebradas ante la autoridad de aplicación, con fecha 16 de enero de 2009, ante el inicio de medidas de acción directa, se encuadró el conflicto en el marco de la Ley Nº 14.786, iniciándose un período de Conciliación Obligatoria por el plazo de CINCO (5) días, que en una primera etapa no fue acatado por el sindicato, tema éste ajeno a la cuestión en análisis.

    Que con fecha 23 de enero de 2009 se dispuso la prórroga del período de Conciliación Obligatoria, por el término de DIEZ (10) días a partir de la CERO HORA del día 24 de enero de 2009.

    Que con fecha 23 de enero de 2009, en la audiencia celebrada al efecto, la autoridad de aplicación propuso someter a las partes a un laudo en los términos y alcances de la Ley Nº 14.786, en razón de poder alcanzar una justa composición de intereses que garantice el mantenimiento de la paz social en la región, atento a los hechos de público conocimiento que han acontecido en la región del Alto Valle.

    Que con fecha 24 de enero de 2009, la CAMARA ARGENTINA DE FRUTICULTORES INTEGRADOS manifestó su disponibilidad para encauzar la solución del conflicto por la vía del laudo arbitral, en tanto se den las condiciones para ello.

    Que con fecha 25 de enero de 2009, el SINDICATO DE OBREROS EMPACADORES DE FRUTA DE RIO NEGRO Y NEUQUEN manifestó su acatamiento a las disposiciones que encuadraran el conflicto en los términos de la Ley Nº 14.786 y, en consecuencia, aceptó someterse al laudo propuesto por la autoridad de aplicación.

    Que con fecha 27 de enero de 2009, se celebró una nueva audiencia en la sede central del MINISTERIO DE TRABAJO, EMPLEO y SEGURIDAD SOCIAL, destinada a consensuar los términos del compromiso arbitral.

    Que luego de un breve cuarto intermedio, las partes aceptaron la cláusula propuesta por la autoridad de aplicación y suscribieron de común acuerdo el compromiso respectivo. Asimismo, ratificaron el contenido general del acuerdo celebrado el 7 de enero de 2008 y en especial la estructura de la escala salarial y los premios que surgen del convenio suscripto en dicha fecha.

    Que en cuanto al procedimiento a sustanciarse, las partes acordaron que el árbitro sea designado por el MINISTERIO DE TRABAJO, EMPLEO y SEGURIDAD SOCIAL, dándose un traslado de UN (1) día para que ejerzan el derecho a que hubiera lugar. A su vez, se pactó el término de CINCO (5) días hábiles a los fines de ofrecer y producir la prueba, la que limitan exclusivamente a la informativa e instrumental, y dentro del mismo plazo presentar una memoria escrita, dándose luego un plazo común de DOS (2) días hábiles para alegar.

    Que las partes establecieron que el cómputo del plazo indicado para el ofrecimiento, producción de prueba y presentación de memoria escrita corre a partir del día hábil siguiente a aquel en que quede firme la designación del árbitro. El cómputo del plazo previsto para alegar se contará a partir del día hábil siguiente al del cierre período de prueba.

    Que finalmente, las partes estipularon que el árbitro dispondrá de un plazo de DIEZ (10) días hábiles para emitir su laudo, plazo que comenzará a correr a partir del día hábil siguiente del vencimiento del plazo para alegar.

    Que mediante el artículo 2º de la Resolución de la SECRETARIA DE TRABAJO Nº 98 de fecha 2 de febrero de 2009 se designó al Dr. Leonardo Jesús AMBESI (M.I. Nº 18.317.925) cómo árbitro en el presente proceso de arbitraje voluntario.

    Que con fecha 3 de febrero de 2009, el citado se notificó y aceptó el cargo para el que fuera designado, en tanto las partes quedaron notificadas de dicho dispositivo con fecha 5 de febrero de 2009, sin formular observación alguna.

    Que con fecha 12 de febrero de 2009, las partes realizaron sus presentaciones, en tanto con fecha 13 de febrero de 2009 se ordenó su traslado y se clausuró la etapa probatoria, pasando los autos para alegar.

    Que con fecha 16 de febrero de 2009 se notificó de lo precedentemente dispuesto la parte empresaria, en tanto que, con fecha 17 de febrero de 2009, hizo lo propio la parte sindical.

    Que las partes presentaron sendos escritos dentro del plazo estipulado para alegar, pasando los autos a resolver con fecha 19 de febrero de 2009.

    Que con fecha 23 de febrero de 2009, el Dr. Leonardo Jesús AMBESI decidió excusarse para continuar desempeñándose como árbitro en las presentes actuaciones, por las razones expuestas en el expediente de referencia, lo que originó el dictado de la Resolución de la SECRETARIA DE TRA BAJO Nº 258 de fecha 24 de febrero de 2009, por la cual se aceptó la excusación del mencionado y se designó a la suscripta como árbitro.

    Que en este estado, con carácter previo, corresponde el tratamiento preliminar de cuestiones incidentales arrimadas por las partes, a fin de despejar el sendero que conduce al análisis sustantivo del asunto sometido a laudo arbitral.

    Que en primer término, cabe aludir a la reserva expresada por la CAMARA ARGENTINA DE FRUTICULTORES INTEGRADOS en su escrito de alegato, donde impugna el contenido de la memoria y alegato presentados por el sector sindical, lo que a su parecer, derivaría en una violación a su derecho de defensa, por afectar el principio de contradicción.

    Que al respecto, debe advertirse que, tal como se ha dicho, los términos del procedimiento han sido fijados de común acuerdo por las partes y, en el caso de las memorias y alegatos, no existen pautas expresas en lo relativo a las modalidades de cada presentación, más allá de los límites impuestos a los medios de prueba (cfr. fojas 80).

    Que desde esta perspectiva, la riqueza u orfandad de los argumentos desplegados por las partes constituyen un motivo de consideración por el Arbitro pero en modo alguno pueden derivar en una causal que afecte la validez del procedimiento por ellas mismas articulado; máxime, cuando se encuentra registrado el pleno acceso a las actuaciones y a las posiciones interpuestas por la contraria.

    Que en otro orden, la parte sindical ha expresado, en su alegato, el presunto perjuicio causado por parte del sector empresario en razón de la falta de convocatoria en término al personal, limitando así la temporada laboral.

    Que al respecto, dichas circunstancias forman parte de la etapa previa a la formulación del compromiso arbitral y no se encuentran expresamente detalladas en los puntos acordados previamente, por lo que no pueden ser materia de evaluación del arbitraje, ceñido al temario estipulado por las partes.

    Que delimitado el marco general por el que transitará el presente laudo, corresponde expedirse sobre la sustancia sometida a consideración.

    Que los puntos sometidos al arbitraje voluntario son los siguientes:

    1- Definir el incremento que debe ser aplicado a cada uno de los rubros remunerativos y no remunerativos que surgen de la escala salarial vigente para la actividad al 31 de diciembre de 2008 y que fuera pactada por las partes en fecha 7 de enero de 2008, respetándose la misma estructura y premios.

    2- Definir el incremento sobre los premios por productividad previstos en acuerdos vigentes a nivel de las empresas comprendidas en el CCT 1/76, aplicándose en las mismas condiciones de tiempo, modo y lugar que rige de cada empresa conforme lo acordado por empleadores y sus trabajadores para la temporada anterior.

    Que sobre el particular, las partes refieren que sus últimas posiciones en relación a los puntos acordados finalmente para someter al arbitraje, son las indicadas en el acta suscripta en esta misma fecha antes de pasar al cuarto intermedio.

    Que ello significa que para la parte sindical el incremento salarial debería fijarse en un TREINTA Y CINCO POR CIENTO (35%), estimando que el incremento sobre los premios por productividad previstos en los acuerdos vigentes a nivel de empresas, también debería fijarse en un TREINTA Y CINCO POR CIENTO (35%).

    Que por el contrario, para la parte empresaria el incremento salarial debería fijarse en un VEINTIUNO POR CIENTO (21%), en tanto correspondería establecer el incremento sobre los premios por productividad previstos en los acuerdos vigentes a nivel de empresas en un DIEZ POR CIENTO (10%).

    Que de los antecedentes reseñados surge la existencia de una divergencia apreciable en las posturas mantenidas por las partes así como en la interpretación que realizan de la abundante prueba documental aportada.

    Que sin perjuicio de ello, a pesar de la disparidad en evidencia, surge un elemento probatorio común, aportado por ambos sectores, que se identifica como “Costos referenciales de producción y empaque”, Convenio I.N.T.A. - U.N.C. - S.F.R.N., para las Temporadas 2006-2007, 2007-2008 y 2008-2009 (ver puntos 3.c., 3.d. y 3.e. de la presentación sindical y Anexo VIII de la presentación empresaria, referido a las dos últimas temporadas).

    Que dicho instrumento, en su punto titulado “Retribución de la mano de obra”, expresa: “La cantidad de personal afectado al proceso de empaque varía según la capacidad y eficiencia de la planta de empaque.

    Dada la diversidad de situaciones presentes en el sector del empaque de la región, no es posible determinar un único modelo representativo del mismo, más aún cuando no existe una relación directa entre tamaño del establecimiento/productividad/costos.

    Esto se confirma al realizar un relevamiento de los costos asociados a la contratación de mano de obra en el sector. Surge allí la disparidad que existe en el costo laboral entre las diferentes empresas debido tanto a la relación laboral (convenio, cooperativas de trabajo) como a la productividad alcanzada” (cfr. punto 2.3.-).

    Que lo expuesto refleja las características singulares de la actividad, que no permiten, en principio, adoptar conclusiones genéricas en uno u otro sentido.

    Que ante ello, debe recordarse, como lo ha sostenido la doctrina, que “...es una realidad incontrastable que el conflicto forma parte de la vida social y en particular de las relaciones laborales, su contracara inexcusable debe ser la construcción de medios o procedimientos de solución de conflictos, aprovechando las herramientas e institutos que nos brinda el Derecho del Trabajo, a fin de que los efectos del conflicto recurrentemente inevitable, se minimicen en sus alcances cuantitativos, cualitativos y de duración, para beneficio de los actores sociales y de la sociedad en su conjunto” (cfr. RIMOLDI, Alberto, “Métodos alternativos de solución de conflictos en la negociación colectiva”, Derecho del Trabajo, noviembre 2005, pág. 1557).

    Que en ese sentido, cabe aclarar que, aun cuando el arbitraje constituye una garantía constitucional reconocida al sujeto gremial (art. 14 bis C.N.), ello no obsta a reconocer su génesis como producto de la negociación. Así, se ha dicho: “La afirmación que alguna doctrina formula respecto del carácter transaccional del Derecho del Trabajo quizás pueda ser discutida en lo que hace al derecho individual del trabajo, pero parece más difícil negarla en lo que hace al derecho colectivo. Es de la esencia de esta rama tanto el conflicto como su superación por vía de la negociación. El arbitraje voluntario es precisamente el resultado de una negociación” (cfr. SIMON, Julio César - PAVLOV, Federico, “El renacer de un viejo remedio”, La Ley, Suplemento Convenios Colectivos, marzo 2007, pág. 3).

    Que con lo expuesto, la suscripta ha deseado poner de relieve la naturaleza particular que reviste esta clase de arbitrajes, destinados a superar el cerco formado por las posiciones rígidas de los contendientes.

    Que en este contexto, es dable interrogarse acerca de la pauta a tomar en cuenta para resolver las cuestiones planteadas. La respuesta se encuentra en los recientes pronunciamientos de nuestro Máximo Tribunal de Justicia, en donde se ha destacado que: “... en la relación y contrato de trabajo se ponen en juego, en lo que atañe a intereses particulares, tanto los del trabajador como los del empleador, y ninguno de ellos debe ser descuidado por las leyes. Sin embargo, lo determinante es que, desde el ángulo constitucional, el primero es sujeto de preferente tutela...” (CSJN, 14/09/2004, “Vizzoti, Carlos c/AMSA”, La Ley, Suplemento Especial Septiembre de 2004).

    Que tal concepción ha sido integrada por el tribunal con la interpretación brindada a la garantía constitucional de asegurar “condiciones dignas y equitativas de labor, donde se enuncia un mandato que se proyecta sobre los restantes contenidos de la norma que, sin perder su identidad y autonomía, también son susceptibles de integrar el concepto de condiciones de labor. De allí que “equitativo” significa justo en el caso concreto (v. fallo citado).

    Que en consecuencia, el arbitraje en el conflicto colectivo de intereses constituye una solución derivada de la negociación y no puede obviar ese origen transaccional pero a la vez, debe atender los principios y criterios que informan la relación laboral y la posición de cada una de las partes.

    Que respecto al modo de resolver, se ha facultado a la suscripta para definir el incremento de cada uno de los rubros remunerativos y no remunerativos que surgen de la escala salarial vigente, con el único límite de respetar la misma estructura y premios.

    Que esto implica la posibilidad, en el marco antes descrito, de adecuar individualmente los rubros señalados, en tanto y en cuanto no se altere el diseño general apuntado.

    Que, como se señalara, la estructura salarial contiene un detalle de conceptos vinculados al Salario o Sueldo Básico junto a otros de valor fijo, siendo de naturaleza remunerativa y no remunerativa.

    Que ello motiva la necesidad de establecer el aumento en tales rubros de manera diferenciada, a fin de alcanzar una recomposición equilibrada y efectiva de cada uno de los conceptos que integran la grilla salarial.

    Que por lo expuesto, teniendo en cuenta lo anteriormente manifestado y la información aportada por las partes, se estima adecuado incrementar en un VEINTICINCO POR CIENTO (25%) el Sueldo Básico correspondiente a la Categoría de Embalador de Primera, máximo nivel de la grilla, con vigencia a partir del ámbito temporal fijado para el laudo.

    Que en función del nuevo valor se calcularán los Conceptos de “Temporada” y “Presentismo”, de acuerdo a los porcentajes vigentes y se relacionarán en forma proporcional decreciente las restantes categorías y especialidades, de conformidad con la estructura salarial vigente.

    Que asimismo, se estima pertinente incrementar la suma a percibir por el ítem “Reducción al Ausentismo”, en PESOS CUARENTA ($ 40.-), para la categoría de Embalador de Primera, con la relación proporcional decreciente que ello tendrá en las restantes categorías y especialidades, de conformidad con la estructura salarial vigente.

    Que asimismo, se entiende necesario incrementar la suma remunerativa existente en PESOS CIEN ($ 100.-) y la suma no remunerativa existente en PESOS CIENTO VEINTE ($ 120.-), a fin de mantener una vinculación razonable en la estructura salarial aplicable, y posibilitar que la recomposición impacte a la totalidad de las Categorías.

    Que en cuanto al aumento sobre valores actuales de los premios por productividad previstos en los acuerdos vigentes a nivel de empresas, se estima equitativo fijar su incremento en un DIECISIETE POR CIENTO (17%).

    Que por último, debe dejarse constancia que el laudo arbitral tiene carácter de fuente de derecho conforme el artículo 1º, inciso c), de la Ley Nº 20.744 (t.o. 1976 y sus modificatorias) y los efectos de una convención colectiva de trabajo cuyo cumplimiento es obligatorio, en los términos de la Ley Nº 14.250 (t.o. 2004).

    Por ello,

    EL ÁRBITRO

    LAUDA:

    ARTICULO 1º — Definir el incremento del Concepto “Sueldo Básico” correspondiente a la Categoría Embalador de Primera de la escala salarial vigente para la actividad al 31 de diciembre de 2008 y que fuera pactada por las partes en fecha 7 de enero de 2008, en un VEINTICINCO POR CIENTO (25%), sobre los valores actuales, con vigencia a partir del 1º de enero de 2009 y hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2009.

    En función del nuevo valor se calcularán los conceptos de “Temporada” y “Presentismo”, de acuerdo a los porcentajes vigentes, y se relacionarán en forma proporcional decreciente las restantes categorías y especialidades, de conformidad con la estructura salarial vigente.

    ARTICULO 2º — Definir el incremento del Concepto “Reducción al Ausentismo” de la escala salarial vigente para la actividad a l 31 de diciembre de 2008 y que fuera pactada por las partes en fecha 7 de enero de 2008, en el monto de PESOS CUARENTA ($ 40.-) sobre los valores actuales, con vigencia a partir del 1º de enero de 2009 hasta el 31 de enero de 2009, el cual se relacionará en forma proporcional decreciente para las restantes categorías y especialidades, de acuerdo a la estructura salarial vigente.

    ARTICULO 3º — Definir el incremento del Concepto “Suma Remunerativa” de la escala salarial vigente para la actividad al 31 de diciembre de 2008 y que fuera pactada por las partes en fecha 7 de enero de 2008, en el monto de PESOS CIEN ($ 100.-), sobre los valores actuales, con vigencia a partir del 1º de enero de 2009 hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2009.

    ARTICULO 4º — Definir el incremento del Concepto “Suma No Remunerativa” de la escala salarial vigente para la actividad al 31 de diciembre de 2008 y que fuera pactada por las partes en fecha 7 de enero de 2008, en el monto de PESOS CIENTO VEINTE ($ 120.-), sobre los valores actuales, con vigencia a partir del 1º de enero de 2009 hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2009.

    ARTICULO 5º — Establécese, en consecuencia, la siguiente escala salarial que regirá a partir del 1º de enero de 2009 y hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2009, correspondiente a la categoría de embalador de primera y cuyas sumas serán abonadas en forma proporcional decreciente a las otras categorías y especialidades, cuando así corresponda y conforme a la estructura salarial vigente:

     
    Salario Básico: PESOS UN MIL QUINIENTOS                ($ 1.500.-).
    Temporada (10%): PESOS CIENTO CINCUENTA                ($ 150.-).
    Presentismo (30%): PESOS CUATROCIENTOS CINCUENTA       ($ 450.-).
    Reducción al Ausentismo: PESOS DOSCIENTOS              ($ 200.-).
    Suma Remunerativa: PESOS TRESCIENTOS                   ($ 310.-).
    Sub-total Remunerativo: PESOS DOS MIL SEISCIENTOS DIEZ ($ 2.610.-).
    Suma No Remunerativa: PESOS CUATROCIENTOS SETENTA      ($ 470.-).
    Total: PESOS TRES MIL OCHENTA ------------------------ ($ 3.080.).

    Las Horas Extras al CINCUENTA POR CIENTO (50%) y CIEN POR CIENTO (100%) se calcularán conforme la normativa aplicable.

    ARTICULO 6º — Establécese un incremento del DIECISIETE POR CIENTO (17%) sobre los valores actuales de los premios de productividad previstos en los acuerdos vigentes a nivel de empresas, comprendidas en el C.C.T. Nº 1/76, aplicándose en las mismas condiciones de tiempo, modo y lugar que rige en cada empresa conforme lo acordado por los empleadores y sus trabajadores para la temporada anterior.

    ARTICULO 7º — Las partes deberán presentar ante la autoridad de aplicación la escala salarial resultante de este Laudo, con el detalle para cada una de las categorías de la estructura salarial vigente, en el término de CUARENTA Y OCHO (48) horas de notificado el presente.

    ARTICULO 8º — Notifíquese al SINDICATO DE OBREROS EMPACADORES DE FRUTA DE RIO NEGRO Y NEUQUEN y a la CAMARA ARGENTINA DE FRUTICULTORES INTEGRADOS.

    ARTICULO 9º — Regístrese, comuníquese, publíquese, dése a la Dirección Nacional del Registro Oficial y archívese.

    — Dra. MERCEDES M. GADEA, Árbitro.


              CONVENIO COLECTIVO DE TRABAJO NRO. 1/76        
    CONVENIO COLECTIVO DE TRABAJO NRO. 1/76

    I) PARTES INTERVINIENTES
    ART. 1- PARTES INTERVINIENTES
    II) APLICACIÓN DE LA CONVENCIÓN
    ART. 2- VIGENCIA
    ART. 3- AMBITO DE APLICACIÓN
    ART. 4- REINCORPORACIÓN DEL PERSONAL
    ART. 5- BOLSA DE TRABAJO
    ART. 6- RELACION DE TRABAJO
    ART. 7- LLAMADO AL PERSONAL POR ANTIGÜEDAD
    ART. 8- LABORACION DE HORAS EXTRAS
    ART. 9- TRABAJO A DESTAJO (PROHIBICION)
    ART. 10- NO OBLIGATORIEDAD DE MAXIMO RENDIMIENTO
    ART. 11- FORMAS DE TRABAJO
    ART. 12- APLICACIÓN DE LEYES: LEY DE ACIDENTES DE TRABAJO
    ART. 13- ACCIDENTES Y/O ENFERMEDADES INCULPABLES
    ART. 14- PAGO DE SUELDOS
    ART. 15- PAGO SALARIOS FAMILIARES
    ART. 16- VACACIONES ANUALES Y/O PROPORCIONALES
    ART. 17- PAGO POR INDEMNIZACION
    ART. 18- HORARIO DE TRABAJO
    ART. 19- BONIFICACIÓN POR MAYOR ESFUERZO (10% TEMPORADA)
    ART. 20- SUSPENCIONES
    ART. 21- COSECHA PAGO MES COMERCIAL
    ART. 22- GUARDERIA INFANTIL
    ART. 23- DIA, HORA Y LUGAR DE PAGO
    ART. 24- SERVICIO MILITAR OBLIGATORIO
    ART. 25- DURACION Y APRENDIZAJE
    ART. 26- NUMERO DE APRENDICES- REMUNERACIÓN DE TRABAJO DE CATEGORIA SUPERIOR A LA DEL OPERARIO QUE LA EFECTUA
    ART. 27- DEBERES DEL PERSONAL
    ART. 28- INASISTENCIA POR ENFERMEDAD O ACCIDENTE
    ART. 29- SANCIONES POR FALTA INJUSTIFICADA
    ART. 30- MEDIDAS DISCIPLINARIAS- FACULTAD DEL EMPLEADOR
    ART. 31- OBLIGACIONES DE LA PATRONAL: OBLIGACIONES VARIAS
    ART. 32- PERMISO PARA DONAR SANGRE
    ART. 33- PIZARRA PARA COMUNICADOS GREMIALES
    ART. 34- TRANSPORTE DE PERSONAL
    ART. 35- LICENCIA POR FALLECIMIENTO FAMILIAR DIRECTO
    ART. 36- DEBERES Y OBLIGACIONES DE LOS DELEGADOS
    ART. 37- PERMISOS GREMIALES
    ART. 38- ESPECIALIDADES Y CATEGORIAS
    ART. 39- RETENCIONES Y APORTES SOCIALES
    ART. 40- RETENCIONES DE CUOTA SOCIAL Y/O ESPECIALES
    ART. 40 BIS- RETENCIONES CUOTA MUTUAL DE LA FRUTA
    ART. 41- ADICIONALES MENSUALES: BONIFICACIÓN POR ANTIGÜEDAD
    ART. 42- ADICIONAL POR PERAS
    ART. 43- ADICIONAL O BONIFICACIÓN POR ASISTENCIA PERFECTA
    ART. 44- DIA OBRERO DE LA FRUTA
    ART. 45- ACREDITACION FEHACIENTE DE CATEGORIA- SALARIO
    ART. 46- PROHIBICIÓN PARA CAPATACES O ENCARGADOS
    ART. 47- INDUMENTARIA PROVEIDA POR EMPRESA
    ART. 48- VIERNES SANTO- ASUETO
    ART. 49- SEGURO DE VIDA
    ART. 50. CONSTANCIA DE TIEMPO TRABAJADO
    ART. 51- ARTICULOS DE APLICACIÓN EN POST-TEMPORADA: SUSPENSIÓN POST-TEMPORADA
    ART. 52- CALCULO SALARIO POST- TEMPORADA
    ART. 53- MINIMO DE DIAS PARA COBRO SALARIO FAMILIAR
    ART. 54- PROHIBICIÓN TAREAS EMPAQUE EN CÁMARA O ANTECAMARA FRIGORIFICA
    ART. 55- REPRESENTACIÓN GREMIAL EN POST-TEMPORADA
    ART. 56- INCORPORACION TRABAJADOR ENFERMO DADO DE ALTA. SUSPENCIÓN LEGÍTIMA AL REEMPLAZANTE
    ART. 57- ORDEN PÚBLICO DEL PRESENTE CONVENIO
    ART. 58- COMISIÓN DE INTERPRETACION DE ESTA CONVENCIÓN
    III) DISPOSICIONES TRANSITORIAS
    ART. 59- PROYECTO DE REGLAMENTACION DE GUARDERIAS
    ART. 60- REMISIÓN AL SINDICATO DE PLANILLA DE PERSONAL
    ART. 61- POST-TEMPORADA: ANTELACION DE 24HS PARA SUSPENDER Y FECHA PROBABLE DE REINCORPORACION
    ART. 62- RESPONSABILIDAD EMPRESARIA POR TRABAJO EN CAMARA O ANTECAMARA FRIGORIFICA
    ART. 63- OBLIGACION DE INFORMAR VOLUMEN DE FRUTA EN FRIO A SINDICATO
    ART. 64- FECHA INICIACION DISCUCIÓN SALARIAL

    ADVERTENCIAS

    Debemos hacer algunas advertencias en relación al texto del Convenio que sigue a continuación.
    Primero, que los montos dinerarios que figuran en el texto fueron fijados en la fecha en que se firmó el Convenio, es decir en Enero del año 1976, por lo que dichos montos están totalmente desactualizados.
    Segundo, muchos de los artículos han sido modificados por sentencias judiciales en casos concretos, que no alcanzan a modificar el texto del Convenio, pero como las Sentencias sientan jurisprudencia, en el momento de la aplicación judicial pesan más esos fallos que la letra del Convenio.
    Tercero, que en el articulo 1, cuando se hace mención a las partes intervinientes, es necesario aclarar que Empacadores y Frigoríficos de Frutas Asociados de Río Negro y Neuquén actualmente es la Cámara Argentina de Fruticultores Integrados (CAFI).


    TEXTO DEL CONVENIO

    I) PARTES INTERVINIENTES

    Artículo 1- Las partes que suscriben el presente convenio, Sindicato de Obreros y Empacadores de Frutas de Río Negro y Neuquén; y Empacadores y Frigoríficos de Frutas Asociados de Río Negro y Neuquén, se reconocen mutuamente como entidades gremiales representativas con el sentido y alcance que se desprenda de las normas legales vigentes, a los efectos de la suscripción de esta convención.

    II) APLICACIÓN DE LA CONVENCIÓN

    Artículo 2- Vigencia temporaria: el presente convenio regirá desde el 1 de Enero de 1976 y hasta el 31 de Diciembre de 1976, en las cláusulas que determinan las condiciones de trabajo. Con respecto a las condiciones económicas rigen desde la misma fecha, comprometiéndose las partes a reunirse el 30 de Mayo de 1976 para considerarlas nuevamente.
    Articulo 3- Ámbito de aplicación: el presente convenio será de aplicación al personal que labore en los establecimientos en que se empaque fruta fresca, sitos en las provincias de Río Negro y Neuquén, en tareas propias de la actividad.
    Artículo 4- Reincorporación del personal: A la iniciación de la temporada, la reincorporación del personal se efectuara comenzando por los obreros de mayor antigüedad, computada por tiempo efectivo de trabajo y dentro de cada especialidad y categorías conforme a las necesidades del empleador. En caso de coincidir en igual especialidad y categoría, será preferida a los fines de la reincorporación y suspensión, el de más antigüedad de la planta de empaque.
    El caso de la clasificadora puntera de acuerdo al párrafo anterior que debiera ser suspendida, quedará trabajando como clasificadora, cuando tuviera antigüedad como tal, si mediara conformidad de la primera para efectuar dicha tarea con el sueldo de clasificadora. En el caso que un obrero adquiera otra categoría dentro de la especialidad no perderá la antigüedad adquirida en la especialidad a la fecha, computándose la misma a los fines de la reincorporación en la temporada. Para la suspensión por finalización de cosecha, se aplicara igual criterio comenzando por los menos antiguos y de conformidad al artículo 21.
    Artículo 5- Bolsa de trabajo. Las empresas que deben incorporar personal nuevo a su plantel, podrán requerir el mismo en la bolsa de trabajo de la Seccional respectiva del S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. del mismo lugar donde deban llevarse a cabo las tareas. Las Seccionales del Sindicato deberán pasar la lista total de los obreros inscriptos en cada especialidad, a las empresas, para que están concreten los pedidos en cualquiera de los integrantes de esa nomina que presenten antecedentes de idoneidad que lo acrediten en la especialidad. Toda solicitud de personal deberá hacerse con 24 horas de anticipación y deberá ser provisto dentro del mismo lapso de recibida la solicitud.
    En caso de que la empresa no contratare al personal solicitado y que le fuera proveído, cuyo pedido no fuera anulado oportunamente, deberá abonarle a ese personal una compensación de los jornales correspondientes a tres (3) días.
    El que hubiere sido despedido por el empleador con anterioridad a esa solicitud, no es obligatorio contratarlo nuevamente.
    Articulo 6- Relación de Trabajo: La patronal asegura a los obreros el trabajo mientras dure el termino de cosecha con las limitaciones expresadas en los artículos 4º y 21º. Se entiende por cosecha el término durante el cual ingresa fruta fresca a la planta para ser empacada.
    Articulo 7- Llamado al personal por listas de antigüedad: Con diez días de anticipación a la iniciación de la cosecha, los empleadores colocaran en lugar visible y de fácil acceso a los obreros, una lista de aquellos que por su orden de antigüedad en la especialidad, deben reingresar haciendo constar en la misma fecha de ingreso y tiempo efectivo trabajado en la empresa, la fecha probable progresiva en que deban presentarse en la temporada. Será obligatoria la remisión de una copia de dichas listas a la Seccional respectiva del Sindicato. A los efectos del Art. 107º de la Ley nº 20.744, antes del 31 de Diciembre de cada año el trabajador deberá manifestar al empleador su disposición de desempeñar el puesto y el empleador de ocuparlo en la forma y con las modalidades requeridas. Toda notificación al obrero deberá hacerse en el domicilio real del mismo, el que deberá ser denunciado por este finalizar cada temporada. Si el obrero que tuviere domicilio dentro de las provincias de Río Negro y Neuquén, no se presentase dentro de las 48 hs. posteriores a la fecha probable en que debería ingresar, deberá ser intimado por el empleador mediante telegrama simple para que .lo haga en un plazo de cuarenta y ocho horas; si no se presentare será considerado incurso en abandono de trabajo. Pero si el obrero tuviera domicilio fuera de ambas provincias deberá ser intimado se igual forma para que se presente en siete (7) días bajo el mismo apercibimiento. En caso de encontrarse el domicilio real del obrero fuera del radio de distribución de correspondencia de la localidad en donde resida, deberá fijar domicilio en el radio antedicho, bajo de apercibimiento de considerarse valida las notificaciones que se efectúen en las Seccionales respectivas de S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. Es voluntad de las partes que la contratación del personal nuevo sea efectuada con preferencia entre el que tenga residencia en las provincias de Río Negro y Neuquén.
    Articulo 8- Laboracion de horas extras: Cuando haya que embalar fruta para exportación y sea necesario trabajar horas extras, a juicio de la empresa, aquellas que empleen una cantidad de personal inferior a la del año anterior, queda limitada la cantidad de horas extras a diez horas en días continuado se dará al finalizar la primera, quince minutos de descanso pagos. Las horas extras deberán ser laboradas por todo el personal o por sectores en forma rotativa, y nunca por una minoría o sector determinado, a excepción del personal afectado a carga y descarga de frutas. Todas las empresas deberán tener controla reloj.
    Articulo 9- Queda prohibido el trabajo a destajo en temporada.
    Artículo 10- Ningún operario podrá ser obligado a efectuar tareas a un ritmo superior al normal de trabajo. En caso de surgir algún inconveniente, este será planteado por el delegado o la comisión de reclamos. Cuando la entrada de frutas exceda de los dos mil (2.000) cosecheros diarios el empleador pondrá como mínimo dos(2) descargadores. Cuando las tareas de cualquier especialidad, exija un máximo rendimiento, el Delegado solicitara a la empresa el personal que fuera necesario.
    Artículo 11- Ningún obrero podrá ser destinado a tareas que importen una disminución permanente de especialidad y/o categoría. Para el caso de que el obrero deba realizar tareas distintas a la que esta afectado, el mismo no podrá negarse, salvo su derecho a mayor salario que corresponda y siempre que no afectare su decoro y este dentro de las posibilidades físicas y materiales. Este desplazamiento deberá efectuarse por parte de la patronal en forma rotativa, evitando que recaiga en una sola persona y/o especialidad. Las tareas que requieran esfuerzo físico excesivo no podrán ser asignado a mujeres.
    Artículo 12- Aplicación de leyes: Las empresas asumirán el conjunto de las obligaciones preceptuadas por ley 9.688 y sus modificaciones.
    Articulo 13- Respecto a los accidentes y/ o enfermedades inculpables regirá lo dispuesto en el art. 225 de la ley 20.744.
    Articulo 14- El pago de las retribuciones se hará de acuerdo a lo establecido en el Titulo IV de la Ley Contrato de Trabajo nro. 20.744.
    Articulo 15- Los obreros del empaque de frutas tendrán derecho a los beneficios establecidos por ley 18.017. A tal fin la antigüedad a que se refieren los artículos 2, 3 y 4 de dicha ley, se computaran por trabajo efectivo sumado por temporada sucesiva, Los subsidios se pagaran siempre que el evento de que se trata se produzca en tiempo en que el obrero tenga derecho a trabajar. El salario familiar se pagara en todos los casos en que corresponda, según las normas C.A.S.F.E.C.
    Articulo 16- Los trabajadores que se desempeñen en forma continua o discontinua gozaran de vacaciones anuales pagas de acuerdo a lo establecido en el Titulo V de la Ley 20.744. En cuanto al personal que se desempeña en temporada tendrá al finalizar la misma, derecho a percibir el equivalente a un día de vacaciones cada 20 días de trabajo, tomando en cuenta la totalidad de los días trabajados en la temporada, computables de acuerdo a lo dispuesto en el articulo 166 de la mencionada Ley.
    Articulo 17- El pago por indemnización por despidos se hará conforme a lo previsto en los artículos 20, 104, 105, 106 y concordantes de la Ley Contrato de Trabajo (20.744). A estos efectos se considerara tiempo de servicio al que efectivamente haya prestado el obrero durante la relación laboral.
    Artículo 18- El horario habitual de la tareas de clasificación y empaque, no podrá iniciarse antes de las 7 horas a la mañana y a las 14horas por la tarde. Las horas trabajadas fuera de este horario serán pagadas como suplementarias con los recargos de ley. El personal de la planta que trabaje en horas nocturnas, no podrá hacerlo antes de las 21, ni después de las 24. Estas horas serán remuneradas la 100%.
    Artículo 19- Por el mayor esfuerzo que significa el trabajo durante la temporada de cosecha, se fijara una bonificación durante dicho lapso equivalente al 10% del salario profesional o básico que se liquidará conforme esta previsto en el art. 42.
    Artículo 20- Solo se aceptaran como validas las suspensiones que estén motivadas en las siguientes circunstancias:
    a) Disminución normal de entrada de fruta en la planta de empaque.
    b) Alteración en el normal levantamiento de la cosecha debido a factores climáticos, problemas sanitarios, inconvenientes en el transporte y cualquier otra circunstancia ajena a la voluntad del empleador. Estas suspensiones deben ser comunicadas al personal en forma fehaciente. Los tres primeros días de las suspensiones enumeradas por este articulo deberán ser pagados. Por finalización de cosecha la suspensión deberá ser comunicada con 48 horas de anticipación como minino.
    Artículo 21- Mientras dure el término de la cosecha la patronal abonara al personal los haberes correspondientes por mes comercial.
    Artículo 21 bis: Las partes acuerdan que al solo efecto del cálculo de la retribución de las horas suplementarias laboradas en temporadas los rubros remunerativos de la escala mensual se dividirán por doscientas horas y a tal resultado se le sumará el recargo del 50% y 100% según corresponda.
    Artículo 22- La obligación impuesta por el articulo 195 de la Ley 20744 la cumplirán las empresas mediante un aporte que cada empleador hará al Sindicato, proporcionalmente a los niños que deban atenderse de cada empresa, haciéndose cargo la organización sindical del funcionamiento y mantenimiento de la guardería. La aplicación de este artículo será reglamentada por acuerdo de ambas partes.
    Artículo 23- No podrá pagarse a los trabajadores remuneraciones solo por razones de edad o sexo. El recibo de pago que no se ajuste a las prescripciones vigentes o no dé cuenta de que se ha hecho la retención legal y convencional pertinente, carecerá de validez para operar como prueba destinada a acreditar que se ha extinguido la obligación. Cuando el Sindicato o Delegado u obrero del galpón solicite a la empresa fijación de hora y lugar de pago por medio fehaciente antes del 28 de cada mes, estas estarán obligadas de fijar día y hora de pago con una antelación de 24 horas también en forma fehaciente. Dichos pagos así dispuestos, podrán ser controlados por autoridades del Sindicato que no excedan de dos y/o el Delegado del galpón inicialando los recibos en prueba de conformidad. Los pagos se efectuaran dentro del horario de trabajo. El empleador se ajustara en un todo a los artículos 143, 204 y concordantes de la Ley nro. 20.744. Las empresas otorgaran al trabajador constancia simple de la recepción de la documentación de las asignaciones familiares. Los empresarios están obligados a aceptar que los obreros entreguen la correspondiente documentación con la intervención de los Delegados del Galpón en caso de ser necesario.
    Artículo 24- El personal que deba cumplir con la Ley de Servicio Militar obligatorio y tuviera una antigüedad no inferior a dos temporadas, gozará de un porcentaje equivalente al 30% de las remuneraciones que por la especialidad y categoría le correspondan durante el tiempo que el obrero tuviera derecha a trabajar en la temporada.
    Artículo 25- La duración del aprendizaje será de sesenta días, no pudiendo excederse de una temporada y ser inferior a 40 días, cumplido el cual, si la empresa no lo ascendiera, el obrero solicitara de la misma ser sometido a examen, el que será rendido ante un representante de la Dirección Nacional de Frutas y Hortalizas, a cuyo fallo se someterán las partes.
    La idoneidad del personal que ingresa será apreciada por el empleador, capataz o encargado. El obrero podrá impugnar esa calificación solicitando ser examinado por un representante de la Dirección Nacional de Frutas y Hortalizas, a cuyo fallo se someterán las partes. Esta impugnación deberá efectuarla dentro de los 5 días que le fuera negada la categoría que pretende. En los dos casos mencionados en este articulo, el examen podrá ser presenciado por un dirigente gremial o un Delegado obrero y un representante de la patronal y cuando el fallo fuera favorable al obrero, el empleador pagara con retroactividad a al mismo, la diferencia de sueldo que corresponda de acuerdo al fallo. Si pasados los cinco días del reclamo la empresa no se expidiera al respecto, se considerará que el obrero pasa automáticamente a la categoría inmediata superior.
    Artículo 26- La cantidad de aprendices no podrá ser superior a l 15% de los obreros ocupados en la empresa, salvo que no hubiera personal especializado en la Bolsa de trabajo del Sindicato. El operario que realice tareas de cualquier categoría remunerada con un sueldo superior, recibirá la diferencia por el tiempo que se haya desempeñado, siempre que lo haya efectuado como mínimo durante media jornada normal de trabajo.
    Artículo 27- Son deberes del personal:
    a) efectuar correctamente su trabajo siendo considerado falta grave el insistir en hacer pasar un trabajo defectuoso;
    b) ser cuidadoso y económico en el uso de los útiles y herramientas que se le confíen;
    c) comunicar al superior inmediato toda circunstancia peligrosa o anormal que observe, como así avisar sobre hallazgos de herramientas o material abandonado;
    d) no abandonar las tareas sin causa justificada y cumplir estrictamente el horario de iniciación y finalización de las tareas;
    e) acatar las órdenes del inmediato superior;
    f) notificar de inmediato a la empresa todo cambio de domicilio;
    g) notificarse de toda comunicación o sanción disciplinaria patronal, aún cuando estén en desacuerdo. La negativa a ello implicara falta. La firma de la notificación no significara por sí reconocimiento a la legitimidad de la sanción o de la verdad de los hechos. Todo conforme a lo dispuesto en los art. 72, 235 y concordantes de la ley nro. 20.744;
    h) hacer uso correcto de las instalaciones sanitarias, velando por la higiene de las mismas.
    Artículo 28.- El obrero que falta a su trabajo por enfermedad o accidente, deberá comunicarlo de inmediato, salvo que acredite la imposibilidad de hacerlo, y el domicilio en que se halla, para que dicha inasistencia sea controlada por la patronal. El obrero no podrá negarse al examen médico que el empleador mande al domicilio comunicado. , sin perjuicio de sus derechos de asistirse con el facultativo de su confianza. La omisión injustificada del aviso antedicho, constituirá acto de indisciplina, pero no alterara el derecho a la percepción de las remuneraciones si se acreditara que existió enfermedad que imposibilito la concurrencia del trabajador del acuerdo al articulo 226 de la Ley nro. 20.744.
    Artículo 29.- La primera falta injustificada será sancionada con amonestación, la segunda con dos días de suspensión, la tercera con tres días de suspensión, la cuarta con cinco días de suspensión y la quinta dentro de la misma temporada será causal de despido justificado. Cuando la llegada tarde no supere los cinco minutos, el obrero comenzará a trabajar de inmediato; si se superara dicho tiempo ingresara a la media hora del horario fijado, sin perjuicio de descontarse el tiempo no trabajado. Esta tolerancia de cinco minutos se admitirá hasta cinco veces por mes calendario. Este criterio se aplicara tanto a las horas comunes como en las horas extras. Las empresas deberán entregar al personal constancias de los permisos que otorgue para faltar a sus tareas.
    Articulo 30.- Es facultad privativa del empleador la aplicación de medidas disciplinarias al personal por faltar a sus obligaciones. Toda medida deberá ser notificada por escrito al afectado y, asimismo, al Delegado del galpón y/o Seccional respectiva, con expresión de motivos. El obrero recibirá para constancia el original y devolverá el duplicado firmado, reservándose el derecho de impugnar esa sanción, si la considera injusta o improcedente. Por sí sola dicha firma ni significara consentir la sanción.
    Artículo 31.- Obligaciones de la Patronal: es obligación de la patronal proveer al personal de todo los elementos necesarios para la ejecución de las tareas. Deberá proveerse delantales de protección (1 por temporada) a. cargadores, descargadores, selladores, emboquilladotes, alambradotes, tapadores, , embaladores/as. Se proveerá de guardapolvos a todo el personal femenino, excepto las embaladoras, y todo el personal que en forma permanente tenga contacto con fruta fría o húmeda, se le proveerá de guantes. Las empresas colocaran tinglados en los lugares que se efectúen habitualmente tareas al rayo del sol, salvo en playa de cargas. El empleador deberá ceder un lugar para que el personal estacione su medio de movilidad (bicicletas-motos-automóviles). También deberá disponerse en cada planta de empaque de un botiquín equipado con todos los elementos necesarios para practicar curaciones de emergencia. En todos los lugares deberá proveerse de agua y jabón para la higiene del personal, debiendo haber baños suficientes, divididos por sexo, manteniéndose en completo estado de higiene y conservación.
    Se entiende por baños suficientes la cantidad de uno por cada 30 trabajadores, o fracción mayor de 15, pudiendo ser comunes los lavatorios y mingitorios. En los galpones de empaque deberá proveerse de agua fresca y abundante para el consumo del personal. Para las obreras clasificadoras, se habilitaran bancos con respaldo, para que sean utilizados cuando lo crean necesario. Cuando el personal sea contratado con alojamiento el empleador suministrará el mismo en condiciones de habitabilidad e higiene, asegurando cobertizos por sexo, habitación independiente para familias y baños con duchas. Durante la temporada las empresas colocaran ventiladores en la mesa de clasificación. En post-temporada las empresas colocarán calefacción efectiva para que el personal que labora o reacondicione fruta, pueda utilizarlas cuando lo crea necesario.
    Articulo 32.- La patronal tendrá la obligación de permitir a su personal donar sangre gratuitamente al banco de sangre de la Obra Social del Sindicato y/u otras instituciones. El trabajador que done sangre ese día será pagado por el empleador y aquel deberá acreditarlo mediante certificado expedido por la Obra Social o la institución a la que ha donado sangre. No podrá salir de la planta de empaque más del 2 por ciento de los obreros a los fines de este artículo.
    Articulo 33.- las empresas colocaran en un lugar visible del establecimiento una pizarra o vitrina, donde el Sindicato o sus representantes pueden insertar avisos de carácter estrictamente gremial, el contenido de tales comunicados no deberán emitir quejas ni expresar manifestaciones contra la patronal, hechos estos que deberán ser presentados por la vía correspondiente. Las empresas permitirán el entrada a galpón a dirigentes gremiales de la Asociación Profesional correspondiente, y su libre accionar dentro del mismo para realizar reuniones con los obreros, ajustándose en un todo al articulo 81 de la ley 20744.
    Artículo 34.- Las empresas que se encuentran a más de dos kilómetros del radio urbano asumirán la obligación de transportar al personal desde los puntos que la misma fije hasta los lugares de trabajo. Si la empresa estuviera radicada fuera del radio urbano y a una distancia no mayor a dos kilómetros del mismo tendrán la misma obligación anterior si el 40 % de su personal tuviere domicilio real fuera del radio urbano y fuera del radio de dos kilómetros desde el lugar de trabajo. Esta deberá asegurar comodidades de seguridad a los trabajadores. Se habilitara un lugar en el establecimiento donde los obreros puedan protegerse del sol o la lluvia antes de la entrada al trabajo. Esta habilitación será de 30 minutos antes de comenzar las tareas.
    Artículo 35.- En caso de fallecimiento de padres, cónyuge o hijos residentes en el país la empresa otorgará al trabajador una licencia de tres días corridos con goce de sueldos. Cuando el fallecimiento se produzca fuera de la zona de trabajo, se concederá una licencia ampliatoria de cinco días más sin goce de sueldos.
    Artículo 36.- Deberes y atribuciones de los delegados: Los delegados serán elegidos en la proporción y el número establecido por la ley nro. 20645 y de entre ellos se elegirá la Comisión Interna de reclamos que no podrá estar compuesta por más de tres miembros y que preferentemente pertenezcan a distintas especialidades, a cuyo cargo se hallará la relación con la patronal.
    Será obligación de los delegados:
    a) velar por el respeto y cumplimiento del Convenio;
    b) bregar en defensa de los intereses de sus representados.
    c) cumplir y hacer cumplir directivas del Sindicato. A tal efecto la patronal no entorpecerá el libre accionar de los mismos dentro de la empresa para las gestiones gremiales.
    Artículo 37.- Los empresarios otorgarán permisos con goce de sueldos a los Delegados y Representantes Gremiales que tengan acreditada su personería gremial para faltar por tareas inherentes a sus funciones a cuyos efectos éstos deberán justificar la inasistencia por medio de una notificación previa y fehaciente del S.O.E.F.R.Y N. Las inasistencias a las que se refiere el párrafo anterior no podrán sumar más de tres jornadas laborales dentro del mes. Cuando pasare esa cantidad, el permiso será otorgado por la patronal sin goce de haberes. La actuación de los Delegados Titulares excluye la de los suplentes, siendo estos designados de igual forma y oportunidad que aquellos. Los obreros que resulten elegidos Delegados Titulares y los Suplentes con titularidad, serán incorporados en la especialidad con referencia al resto del personal y suspendidos en último término. Los Delegados del personal serán elegidos en el lugar y hora de trabajo. Las empresas otorgaran un lapso de 20 minutos para la convocatoria de elecciones y de ninguna manera trabaran el acto eleccionario. Todo ello de acuerdo a las disposiciones establecidas en la ley 20.615.
    Artículo 38.- Quedan establecidas para la clasificación general de las tareas las siguientes especialidades, categorías y salarios (solo se pondrán las especialidades y categorías, pues los salarios se renuevan en paritarias y la escala se encuentra en otro lugar de este blog): 1) Embalador de primera
    2) Tapador a mano
    3) Alambrador
    4) Tapador a maquina
    5) Embalador de segunda
    6) Armador de cajones a mano
    7) Estibador o secador
    8) carretilleros
    9) Emboquillador o alimentador
    10) Armador de cajones a maquina
    11) Chofer auto elevador ant. Cámara frigorífica
    12) Mecánico
    13) Tamañador de Primera
    14) Recibidor y/o pesador
    15) Clasificadora puntera
    16) Alambrador de maquina automática
    17) Descargador de cosecheros llenos
    18) Cargador de cajones empacados
    19) Embalador aprendiz
    20) Chofer auto elevador de primera
    21) Tamañador de segunda
    22) Operario maquina lavadora
    23) Clasificadora
    24 Alambrador aprendiz
    25) Peón de trabajos varios
    26) Sereno de 12 horas
    27) Chofer de auto elevador de segunda
    28) Chofer camión planta de empaque
    29) Papelero
    30) Apuntador
    31) Romaneador
    32) Carretillero aprendiz
    33) Alcanzador de tamañador o embalador
    34) Sereno de diez horas
    35) Sellador de riel
    36) Afichador o encartonador
    37) Sereno de ocho horas
    38) Sellador de playa
    39) Clasificadora aprendiz
    El presente convenio regirá solo para aquellas chóferes que sean tomados en y para la temporada y afectados con tareas relacionadas con el empaque de frutas. Cuando el trabajador en razón de sus tareas deba ausentarse de la localidad, sede de la planta de empaque y deba almorzar, cenar o pernoctar, lo hará con cargo al empleador. Al personal de vigilancia se le proveerá de elementos mínimos necesarios para cumplir con sus tareas y cuidar su seguridad personal. Queda comprendido en la escala salarial precedente, el aumento otorgado por el decreto nro. 350/76 del Poder Ejecutivo Nacional.
    Artículo 39.- Retenciones y aportes Sociales. Las retenciones que se apliquen a los obreros y el aporte patronal, en virtud de lo dispuesto por la Ley 18.610 con destino a la Obra Social, serán depositadas a la orden del S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N., en la cuenta especial nro. 2-91-27 del Banco de la nación Argentina. Los importes deberán ser depositados por los empleadores dentro de los 15 días corridos posteriores a cada mes vencido, debiendo remitirse la boleta de deposito y las planillas correspondientes, en el mismo termino, las cuales serán enviadas, una al domicilio legal de la Obra Social: 25 de Mayo 152 de Cipolletti, y otra a la Seccional que corresponda. Tal obligación deberá ser satisfecha independientemente del hecho de haberse o no abonado las remuneraciones del personal. Las empresas enviarán mensualmente al Sindicato o a la Seccional respectiva la planilla del personal con las altas y bajas, de acuerdo a lo establecido en el articulo 7 de la Ley 18610 reglamentado por el articulo 13 del decreto nro. 4714/71.
    Artículo 40.- La patronal deberá retener a todo el personal beneficiado por esta convención, por única vez en la temporada, medio día de sueldo. Asimismo deberá retenerles el 1% del total de las remuneraciones en concepto de cuota sindical, debiendo ser depositados dentro de los cinco días de abonados los salarios. Los importes de las retenciones de cuota social y/o especial será depositado en la cuenta nro. 9759-8 del Banco de la provincia de Río Negro debiendo remitirse la boleta de depósito y las planillas correspondientes en el mismo término, las cuales serán enviadas, una al domicilio legal de la central del S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. , 25 de mayo 152 de Cipolletti, y otra a la Seccional que corresponda. Éste será el único medio de pago válido de esta obligación. El incumplimiento del depósito en los plazos estipulados, producirá la mora automática del empleador, sin necesidad de previa intimación y autoriza al Sindicato a iniciar las acciones judiciales pertinentes. Todo pago que se efectúe al margen de lo determinado en el presente artículo, como así en el artículo 39, no será reconocido por esta organización.
    Artículo 40 bis.- La patronal será agente de retención del 0,50% del total de las remuneraciones percibidas por el trabajador y depositar en la cuenta especial que el S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. indique, destinada al Fondo de Mutual-Vivienda y Obra. Esta retención deberá ser depositada a los cinco días de haberse efectuado el pago de haberes.
    Artículo 41.- Adicionales Mensuales: Se estableció una bonificación mensual por antigüedad de $25 por temporada de cosecha trabajada. Esta bonificación se liquidara de la misma forma establecida en el artículo 42.
    Artículo 42.- Las empresas abonaran al empleador que trabaje peras durante el mes, un adicional de $250. Este adicional se abonará en proporción a los días trabajados durante el mes por el embalador y conjuntamente con el salario. La proporción se obtendrá dividiendo el adicional por 25.
    Artículo 43.- Las empresas abonaran al personal que observa asistencia perfecta una bonificación mensual equivalente a $470 durante la temporada. Para los obreros que trabajan en post-temporada, esta bonificación será de $700 mensuales. Se entiende por asistencia perfecta cuando el obrero labore todos los días normales del mes y no registre llegadas tardes a su trabajo dentro de los límites del artículo 29. Esta bonificación se liquidará de la misma forma prevista en el artículo 42.
    Artículo 44.- Día del Obrero de la Fruta: se instituye el tercer domingo del mes de Marzo, como DIA DEL OBRERO DE LA FRUTA, el que será pagado por todos los empleadores involucrados en el presente convenio, al personal en actividad, con el equivalente a un día de trabajo.
    Artículo 45.- El personal que ingrese como nuevo en la planta de empaque y acredite mediante recibo de pago y/o certificado de trabajo, su categoría dentro de la especialidad en que se va a desempeñar, no podrá percibir salario inferior a ella.
    Artículo 46.- El personal que se desempeñe como capataz o encargado de la planta de empaque no podrá realizar tarea alguna en forma permanente, en ninguna especialidad, mientras no se haya incorporado la totalidad del personal o hayan sido suspendidos.
    Artículo 47.- Las empresas proveerán a todo el personal efectivo o permanente, durante el periodo de invierno, de dos pantalones y dos camisas, siendo su uso obligatorio, debiendo ser reemplazados cuando se deterioren por su uso normal.
    Artículo 48.- La empresa otorgará o no asueto el viernes santo de acuerdo a su tradición y creencia, en horas de la tarde, conforme al artículo 17 de la ley 20744.
    Artículo 49.- Las empresas que a la fecha no hayan contratado el seguro implantado por decreto nro. 1567/74 del Poder ejecutivo nacional deberán hacerlo exclusivamente por la Caja Nacional de Ahorro y Seguro, aquellas que la tengan concertados con otras compañías aseguradoras, deberán comunicar al S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. el nombre y domicilio de las mismas, y a su vencimiento deberán contratarlo con la Caja Nacional de Ahorro y Seguro, conforme a lo establecido en este articulo. El monto de este seguro es de $30.000 por cada obrero o empleado con ajuste anual automático de acuerdo a la evolución del índice del precio minorista, cubriendo los riesgos de muerte e invalidez total, absoluta e irreversible o permanente de todo trabajador en relación de dependencia. El pago de las primas está a cargo de los empleadores. Este beneficio no sustituye a los que otorgue la ley de accidentes de trabajo u otras normas de derecho laboral o provisional. Asimismo no podrá afectarse los capitales que se abonen por concepto alguno, teniendo en cuenta que los mismos son de exclusiva pertenencia del asegurado o los beneficiarios.
    Artículo 50.- A la finalización de cada temporada la patronal entregará a su personal, constancia del tiempo trabajado en la misma, a los fines de controlar el obrero su antigüedad para su próxima reincorporación.
    Artículo 51.- Artículos de Aplicación en Post-temporada: Aquellas empresas que realicen tareas en post-temporadas, en el momento de comunicar la suspensión a cualquier trabajador, deberá confeccionar una lista por duplicado de todo el personal, donde éste manifestara su voluntad de realizar o no trabajos en post-temporada, dicha lista será remitida al Sindicato dentro de los cinco días de terminada la cosecha. Aquellas empresas que realicen tareas de este tipo en tales periodos deberán reincorporar a ese personal de acuerdo a sus necesidades, respetando el orden de antigüedad y categoría, otorgándole un plazo de 48 horas para presentarse. Si el obrero dejara de hacerlo, la empresa quedará relevada de sus obligaciones emergentes de este artículo. Aquellos obreros que a la finalización de la cosecha expresaran su voluntad de no reincorporarse en temporada fuera de la cosecha y los que no respondieren a la citación patronal, dentro de dicho lapso quedarán suspendidos con derecho a ser reincorporados en la próxima temporada de cosecha. . Los obreros que en la temporada fuera de cosecha acepten desempeñarse en una especialidad o categoría distinta a la suya, percibirán el salario que por este convenio le corresponda a la especialidad y categoría que efectivamente trabaja.
    Artículo 52.- En las tareas de post-temporada, cuando se abone el salario por tiempo efectivamente trabajado, la retribución diaria se obtendrá dividiendo el sueldo de este convenio por 25. Además se pagará al trabajador media jornada o jornada completa, aún cuando no se completare la misma, por razones ajenas a su voluntad y siempre que se encuentre a disposición del empleador.
    Artículo 53.- A todo obrero que trabaje en post-temporada más de ochenta (80) horas durante el mes calendario, le será asegurado un mínimo de cien (100) horas en dicho mes y por lo tanto las asignaciones familiares correspondientes.
    Artículo 54.- Queda terminantemente prohibido realizar tareas de empaque en cámaras o ante cámaras frigoríficas. Cuando las empresas cedan sus instalaciones para el empaque de frutas a mano o a maquina, deberá ajustarse al régimen establecido por la ley 20.744, artículo 248.
    Artículo 55.- Será obligación de los empleadores que desarrollen actividades en post-temporada, cualquiera sea su naturaleza, mantener al personal con representación en la planta de empaque del delegado o los Delegados obreros en la proporción que establece la ley de acuerdo a la cantidad de operarios. La representación sindical será ejercida por el Delegado/a/s, con mayor antigüedad como trabajador en la empresa. La reincorporación del Delegado/a/s, será de acuerdo a lo establecido en el artículo 37.
    Artículo 56.- El obrero que haya manifestado su voluntad de trabajar en post-temporada y que al ser llamado por la empresa se encontrase enfermo, se incorporará al ser dado de alta. En tal caso será legítima la suspensión que se aplicare a quien lo reemplazó.
    Artículo 57.- Las disposiciones del presente convenio son de orden público y será nula y sin ningún valor toda convención de partes que anule los derechos determinados en la misma, conforme a la Ley de Trabajo 20.744 en sus artículos 7, 8, 9, 11 y concordantes de la misma.
    Artículo 58.- De la Comisión de Interpretación: La comisión paritaria de interpretación de esta convención esta integrada por dos representantes del S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. y un representante de la Delegación nacional del Ministerio de Trabajo de la ciudad de general Roca, Provincia de Rio Negro, quien la presidirá. Esta comisión tendrá a su cargo la solución, por vía conciliatoria de los diferendos que se susciten con motivo de la interpretación de este Convenio.

    III) DISPOSICIONES TRANSITORIAS

    Artículo 59.- A los efectos de la aplicación del artículo 22 el S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N., presentará dentro de los 60 días un proyecto de reglamentación de funcionamiento y administración de la guardería que se discutirá dentro de la comisión de interpretación.
    Artículo 60.- Las empresas enviaran mensualmente al Sindicato o a la Seccional respectiva la planilla del personal con las altas y bajas, de acuerdo a lo establecido en el articulo 13 de la Ley nro. 18.610 y decreto reglamentario.
    Artículo 61.- Post-temporada: La patronal comunicará al personal, en caso de suspensión, con 24 horas de antelación y probable fecha de reincorporación. Si el obrero se presentara a trabajar y no se lo reincorpora de acuerdo a la notificación antedicha en un plazo posterior a 72 horas, el trabajador recibirá a partir de ese lapso, los jornales correspondientes, sin necesidad de recurrir al cobro por vía legal.
    Artículo 62.- Para el caso en que se realicen tareas de empaque en la cámara o ante-cámara de un frigorífico que no integre el establecimiento de un galpón de empaque, el propietario o la razón social propietaria del frigorífico, será responsable de todos los efectos que surjan del contrato de trabajo de empaque de frutas y cargará con todos los derechos y obligaciones emergentes de este convenio y de las leyes que rijan la actividad.
    Artículo 63.- Las empresas no podrán negar al representante de S.O.E.F.R.N. Y N. que se acredite como tal cuando éste lo solicite, el volumen de fruta existente en cámara frigorífica (cajones empacados o cajones bins) como así también es requerido a los efectos de determinar aproximadamente la duración del vínculo laboral. Este artículo es también de aplicación para aquellos frigoríficos particulares que alquilen o cedan sus cámaras o ante-cámaras.
    Artículo 64.- Se conviene de ambas partes que la escala salarial, bonificaciones o cualquier otro beneficio acordado por la parte económica de este convenio, será ajustable en las siguientes fechas: 30-5 y 30-08-76, dejando expresamente aclarado que los salarios fijados por este acuerdo se considerarán mínimo profesional. En este mismo acto queda convenido también como fecha de iniciación en la discusión de próximos convenios de temporadas sucesivas al 1 de Diciembre de cada año calendario.

              Best Of 2014 - The Science Of Marijuana: What We Do & Don't Know        
    This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a November program on the science of marijuana. With legalization...
              Pruitt’s inquiry gives climate science the reality TV treatment        
    This is an attempt to confuse the public and sow doubt about an already-settled issue.

         …

              5 things the world may not know about America and the environment        
    The United States is losing respect overseas, but most Americans don't support Trump's destructive policies.

         …

              Ikariam        
    The sun beams down on you and in the distance you can hear the soft crashing of waves. The blue shoreline is a vast space of emptiness and is waiting to be colonised. A new age of prosperity is beginning with workers, soldiers and scientists. Do you want to take charge of it?
              Project Technician/Scientist - Environment - WSP Canada - Lloydminster, SK        
    University degree in environmental science or related discipline. The role will potentially blend field and office duties and will require travel within Alberta...
    From WSP Global Inc. - Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:48:32 GMT - View all Lloydminster, SK jobs
              Field Museum Educational Investments in Pembroke        
    Environment & Conservation

     

    The Field Museum Keller Science Action Center’s Youth Conservation Action (YCA) Team partnered with Lorenzo R. Smith Sustainability and Technology Academy (LRSSTA) for the 2016-2017 academic year. The team is working with teachers to provide Mighty Acorns (3rd – 5th grade) and Earth Force (6th – 8th grade) programming to educate students about nature and stewardship in the Pembroke-Hopkins Park community. Students participate in field trips and in-class activities that allow them to make connections to nature in their backyard, such as The Pembroke Savanna Nature Preserve (Ball Hill). Field Museum is excited to be collaborating with The Nature Conservancy and local landowners to get LRSSTA students outdoors.  

    After a successful year at the Pembroke Public Library, LRSSTA is the new home of Rooted! The Richness of Land & Culture, an exhibit co-developed by Field Museum and PHP residents that highlights the significance of this ecosystem and local human history. We encourage members of the community to enjoy this exhibit.


              Pembroke Sustainability Planning Sessions        
    Environment & Conservation

    Through support from The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Keller Science Action Center is facilitating Sustainability Planning Sessions in Pembroke Township, IL. Though Pembroke has always been known for its incredibly diverse wildlife, there is currently no plan in place to ensure its protection. Various conservation agencies have interest in acquiring land, but no formal understanding existed between the residents and the agencies to determine what is best. In early 2016, The Field Museum helped to establish a joint agreement between the agencies and elected offices to collaborate on a sustainability plan for the region.

    Following the agreement, the team initiated a series of community meetings with Pembroke-Hopkins Park residents, the Nature Conservancy, United States Fish & Wildlife Service, State of Illinois conservation representatives, and government officials from the Village of Hopkins Park, Pembroke Township, and Kankakee County. During these sessions, participants have the opportunity to ask stakeholders questions directly, receive updates from government officials, and contribute to planning initiatives in smaller working groups. In December and January they explored ways to protect the community’s natural resources and achieve sustainable economic development. An immediate outcome was the commitment from USFWS to establish a stipend-based youth program this summer that will hire local teenagers. The program will hire four teens and one supervisor to do restoration projects in community greenspaces while learning about ecology and conservation. Residents are encouraged to be a part of this program by helping to create the curriculum and suggesting locations in the area that needs work.

    As the sessions draw upon the wisdom of farmers, ranchers, and longtime members of the community, the team is hopeful that more impactful outcomes will come out of this process. USFWS has announced they will include the results of this sustainability planning process for their federally mandated land protection plan. And further TNC and USFWS will not buy more land in this region until the process is complete. The final meeting will take place in February, and will identify strategies for building upon community values in the face of growth and change. These planning sessions have helped to create much needed dialogue in the township. The Field Museum is looking forward to the continued growth in the community and protection of precious land.


              Quality of Life report published        
    Environment & Conservation

     

    The Field Museum is happy to announce the publication of the Pembroke-Hopkins Park Quality of Life Report. Pembroke-Hopkins Park (PHP) is a rural African-American community about an hour south of Chicago. It is rich in biodiversity and culture, and has a long-standing tradition in agriculture. This area is of particular interest because of the high concentration of globally rare black oak savanna which is home to many species in population decline, including henslow’s sparrow, bobolink, and regal fritillary butterfly. Over the years conservation land acquisition has become a pressing issue, along with other concerns such as opportunities for youth and threats to the environment. The Field Museum engaged the community in a process to find out what is important for both the land and the people.

    In spring of 2016, Keller Science Action Center staff trained a team of local facilitators who led residents through a structured process to determine what well-being and sustainability mean within the community. The team used The Field Museum’s approach to help residents draw upon their core values and community strengths to develop recommendations to improve quality of life and access to natural areas. For PHP, this involves strong cultural traditions, healthy social relationships, the ability to meet basic needs, and a fair political system.

    The Quality of Life Report documents the outcomes of this process, and serves as an empowering tool for residents to convey the values, assets, and opportunities for growth in the community. It is available in public spaces such as the local library and school. It will be used as the foundation for sustainability planning in Pembroke lead by residents to help determine a clear future direction. This could not have been possible without the generous support of Science Innovation and Field of Dreams grants.  


              Of Ivory Gulls and Parasites        
    BirdsIvory Gull by Nathan Goldberg

    Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) photo by Nathan Goldberg.

    On the morning of January 7, I received a phone call from our former intern Nathan Goldberg, currently a student at Cornell University, who was birding in northeast Minnesota. "I just found a roadkill Spruce Grouse, do you guys want it?" That was an easy question: "Of course we do," I replied. Spruce Grouse is a bird of the North Woods, far from Chicago, so this was an excellent opportunity to get a fresh specimen of a species that rarely comes into the collection. Plus we have all of the necessary permits to receive specimens from Minnesota.

    That was just the beginning of the story. One of the main reasons Nathan was in that area, along with dozens of other birders, was to see the rare Ivory Gull that showed up a week earlier on the Duluth lakefront and was being seen daily.

    Not long after his phone call, I saw a distressing message on Facebook--an Ivory Gull had been found dead, mostly eaten by a mammal, just across the border in Wisconsin. Only the head and wings remained. Laura Erickson, a birder who lives in Duluth, went out and salvaged what was left of the specimen after learning of the bird's demise. As is the norm these days, all of this was known in real-time thanks to social media.  Nathan then contacted Laura to ask if, while he was at it, he could take the Ivory Gull remains to the Field Museum along with the Spruce Grouse that was already in his trunk. She agreed. In the meantime, a living, breathing Ivory Gull was seen again in Duluth! (I highly recommend reading Laura’s account of the remarkable situation). Late the following night, Nathan, knowing that his mother wouldn't approve of a big bag of dead birds in her freezer, stopped by my apartment on his way home from Minnesota to drop off the specimens.

    nathan_ruffling_img_4212.jpg

    Nathan Goldberg ruffling
    Nathan Goldberg and I examine the Ivory Gull specimen for ectoparasites. Photo by Lynne Remington.

    As an intern at the Museum, Nathan had worked with Jason Weckstein, a former staff scientist whose research focuses on birds and their associated parasites. Not wanting to miss an opportunity for further study, Nathan asked that we wait a week to prepare the specimens so he could come in to the museum and examine them himself for lice. That wasn't a problem, and we both knew Jason would be thrilled to receive anything that he found. 

    The following week Nathan came to the museum to do just this. We had pulled the birds out of one of the Bird Collection’s many freezers that morning, so they were thawed and ready to be "ruffled," the term for rummaging through a bird’s plumage to collect its ectoparasites: lice, mites, fleas, and ticks in particular. We find ectos, as we call them, on roughly 50% of the birds we check; today, however, the success rate was 100%. Nathan found lice on both the Ivory Gull and the Spruce Grouse as well as a mite on the gull. It's entirely possible that some of the parasites represent new species. We checked the “Bird Louse Bible,” and it turns out that several louse species have been found on Ivory Gulls—the first was described way back in 1780! Just one species is known from Spruce Grouse.

    ivgu_louse.jpg

    The Ivory Gull's louse, in the genus Quadraceps. Photo by Nathan Goldberg.

    Tom Gnoske, our Assistant Collections Manager, then prepared both birds as specimens. The Ivory Gull specimen consists of one wing, the head feathering, the skull, plus additional feathers. The Spruce Grouse was prepared as a study skin, with a partial skeleton saved as well. As we do for every specimen that comes through the prep lab, tissue samples were saved from both birds to preserve their DNA. A quick search of VertNet, the online database of museum bird collections, shows that the Ivory Gull tissue sample may be only the second one in a museum collection. 

    Ivory Gull is a rare bird, making this a unique opportunity to study its parasite fauna and collect a tissue sample that can be used for genetic studies in the future. It is classified as Near-threatened by BirdLife International because it “has declined rapidly in part of its range,” indeed by as much as 80% in Canada over the last thirty years. Part of the problem may be mercury poisoning, which increased in their systems by 45 times in 130 years. Whether or not this is related to birds showing up so far out of range is yet to be studied. But thanks to the quick work of birders and the wonders of social media, when it is studied there is no doubt that this specimen will be used.

    ivory_gull_specimen_img_2514.jpg

    Ivory Gull and Spruce Grouse specimens
    The prepared specimens: the Ivory Gull's wing and head feathers, along with the Spruce Grouse and a Least Bittern.

     


              Post-storm Northerly Island update        
    BirdsStorm damage Northerly Island

    Storm debris, broken fence, closed path, and erosion under the east trail at Northerly Island. 

    Northerly Island, the Museum Campus park that occupies the peninsula where small planes once took off from Meigs Field, was re-opened last fall after a two-year, $9.7 million renovation project. I wrote a review of it at the time. One of my concerns that I wrote about was a last-minute modification to the plans: due to storm damage that occurred during the construction, a large wall of rip-rap was added to the lakeshore in an attempt to protect the park from future storm damage. While perhaps important from a structural perspective, the wall had the unfortunate effect of blocking off visitors' views of the lake as they enjoyed the wide path around the newly constructed lagoon. 

    A major storm system passed through Chicago on December 28, bringing with it howling east winds, which in turn created huge waves that pounded the lakeshore. Lake Shore Drive flooded and much of the lakefront bike path was closed. Two days later, it was announced that the east (lakeside) trail at Northerly Island would be closed for the remainder of the winter, because "high wave events have been eroding the trail and is [sic] tossing rocks along the trail." Curious, I headed over there to take some photos and see the damage for myself. I was especially interested to see if the rip-rap wall succeeded in limiting damage to the areas it was built to protect and to see how much disturbance there was to the fragile vegetation. While the damage to the trail and vegetation was less in areas where the rip-rap wall was, even that couldn't fully contain the enormous waves, which knocked down a long stretch of adjacent fence. 

    img_2678.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    With the Chicago skyline in the background, you can see the rocks and gravel strewn about the recently planted grasslands. The trail is also covered with debris. This area was not protected by the wall of rip-rap along the shore. 

    img_2673.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    This area has been planted with native grasses during the renovations, but all that was covered by gravel and stone in the storms. 

    img_2671.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    A view of the east trail looking south, where it is covered in stones, gravel, and storm debris. The fence is damaged in places as well.

    img_2675.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    Storm debris, broken fence, closed path, and erosion under the east trail at Northerly Island. 

    img_2674.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    Water washing over the rip-rap wall knocked down the path-enclosing fence in some places.

    img_2676.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    This photo shows the knocked-down fence and extensive erosion under the trail on the east side of the lagoon. The soil underneath the path was already eroding quite severely before the storms; the park district had put down the rocks seen here to try to prevent further erosion. It didn't work in the face of the big storms that passed through on December 28. 

    img_2677.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island
    The fence was knocked down and sand and rocks covered the recently planted vegetation along parts of the east side of the lagoon.

    map2.jpg

    Storm damage Northerly Island map


              Peregrine Removed from Illinois' Endangered List        
    Birds

    Illinois officially removed Peregrine Falcons from the state Endangered & Threatened Species List.

    What does this means for our state population of Peregrine Falcons? First, it is an affirmation of the recovery of the species in Illinois.  This is due in part to the long-term stewardship and dedicated effort of numerous individuals and organizations that have supported and assisted in looking after Illinois’ Peregrines. 

    It does not leave our Peregrines unprotected. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it "illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to Federal regulations." Peregrines are protected under this law. 

    Another thing the Peregrine’s removal from Illinois’ state Endangered & Threatened Species List will not change is the work conducted by the Chicago Peregrine Program. The Chicago Peregrine Program oversees Illinois' Peregrine Falcon population. This is accomplished in part by monitoring individual birds as well as nest sites, conducting scientific research and participating in public education.

    Illinois currently (2015) has Peregrines at 28 different locations in the state, 19 of which are breeding pairs. While the majority of the state population are urban dwellers, Peregrines are using natural cliffs down near Alton, IL.

    It has been wonderful to witness the return of Peregrines to Illinois. Many thanks and congratulations to all! 


              History and birds come together: "Spring Migration Notes" from 1920 and its famous authors        
    Birds

    This little booklet has so much history, it's hard to know even where to begin. Let's start with the fact that the first author, James D. Watson, is the father of one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, also named James D. Watson, who along with Francis Crick is credited with the discovery of the structure of DNA. But that's the least of it. The third author is even more intriguing. A budding young ornithologist, just 15 years old at the time the booklet was published, Nathan Leopold would spend the bulk of his adult life in prison for the murder of Bobby Franks, one of the most famous crimes of the 20th century.

    The Field Museum's copy of Spring Migration Notes of The Chicago Area, published in 1920, is now stored in the Mary W. Runnells Rare Book Room. Because of its historical value, it was recently added to the Biodiversity Heritage Library, including the type-written, hand-signed letter on page 4 from young Nathan Leopold to Ruthven Deane, a leading ornithologist of his time and a resident of Chicago, who eventually donated part of his collection of specimens to the Field Museum (as Leopold did when he went to jail). The cover of this copy even says "Compliments of the authors," presumably written by Leopold.

    springmigrationn00wats_0005.jpg

    The typed, hand-signed letter, from Nathan Leopold to Ruthven Deane, that can be found in the booklet.

    Then there's the actual information that the booklet contains, a priceless indication of what the birdlife of Chicago was like in the early part of the 20th century. At the time, many wetland birds that are now rare or altogether gone as breeding birds were still common, an indication of the destruction of wetlands in the Chicago area over the last century.  This includes birds like Black Tern (about which the authors say "Breeds commonly"), King Rail ("Common summer resident"), and Wilson's Phalarope ("Nests in the Calumet region"). On the other hand, grassland birds were already declining, with many formerly common birds becoming rare. For example, Greater Prairie-Chicken was "A formerly abundant permanent resident; now rather rare," Northern Bobwhite was "A formerly very common permanent resident, but now rather rare," and Loggerhead Shrike, which then was known as Migrant Shrike, was a "Fairly common summer resident." These days you have to go hundreds of miles from Chicago to find Loggerhead Shrike or a prairie-chicken.

    There's a lot of interesting information in the booklet, including spring arrival dates for every species each year from 1913-1920. I also love the English name the authors use for the bird we now call Snow Bunting (see page 11, bird number 534).

    Special thanks to Field Museum Librarian Christine Giannoni for getting this wonderful document scanned.

     

     


              Nanochip can regrow organs by injecting DNA into the skin        
    Tissue Nanotransfection is a nanochip the size of a penny made by Ohio scientists. Within a second it injects genetic code into skin...
              HIV experimental injection could offer hope for patients        
    Scientists at the US Military HIV Research Program tested the effects of 'broadly neutralising antibodies' on a small study of 18 people...
              Scientists may be one step closer to an HIV cure        
    Researchers from multiple institutions, including Texas A&M University, found that when HIV was injected into cows, all of the animals...
              Vídeo emocionante sobre abandono de cachorros! Conscientize-se!        
    Assista ao vídeo e se derreta em lágrimas vendo a realidade dos nossos melhores amigos! Ajude a mudar o destino desses seres amigos!
              [Article] The Home Performance Forum        
    The Home Performance Coalition (HPC) recently launched the Home Performance Forum, where members discuss topics in their respective fields. These topics include building systems; building science; envelope and mechanical design; field procedures; energy modeling, education, and certification; building codes and standards; sales and marketing; and business systems. The forum’s diverse professional membership includes energy auditors, raters, builders, home performance contractors, design professionals, instructors, code officials, program managers, and building scientists.
              [Article] Why Proof Will Be the New Normal // Part 3: Getting It All on Screen        
    This is part 3 of a series of articles on Corbett Lunsford and Grace McPhillips Lunsford’s PROOF is POSSIBLE tiny-house tour. While the Lunsfords have engaged consumers directly on the PROOF is POSSIBLE tour, they’ve waged a parallel campaign to impress the virtues of building science on them through mass media with Home Diagnosis. But navigating the ephemeral world of reality television production has many pitfalls. From Property Brothers to Holmes on Homes, the couple are aware that they’re competing for entry to a crowded field driven by personality. The process of even getting producers ...
              [Article] Why Proof Will Be the New Normal // Part 1: Meet the First Family of Home Performance        
    This is part 1 of a series of articles on Corbett Lunsford and Grace McPhillips Lunsford’s PROOF is POSSIBLE tiny house tour. Chances are you need no introduction to Corbett Lunsford. You may have listened to his Building Performance podcast, read Home Performance Diagnostics, his guide to advanced testing, or seen advertisements for his Fall Fast Track seminars in the pages of this publication. Maybe you’re among the 4,500+ subscribers to his YouTube channel, Home Performance, one of the most popular sources of building science content online.
              Ayurveda        

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

    The post Ayurveda appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.


              Aplastic Anemia        

    Idiopathic aplastic anemia is a condition where your bone marrow stops making new blood cells. This condition is not that uncommon and can be fatal if left untreated. Aplastic anemia is caused by damage to the bone marrow which can be due to viruses, some drugs, and radiation exposure. Some scientists think that this may […]

    The post Aplastic Anemia appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.


              From statistics to surgery to psychology: Our favourite reads        
    A visit to the bookstore turns up a trove of smart scientific (and not-so-scientific) thinking
              Chemical controllers: How hormones influence your body and mind        
    Does testosterone make men bald? Is there a love hormone? Do pregnancy hormones turn your brain to mush? New Scientist sifts the facts from the fiction
              Science fiction picks: Time for a reality check        
    In this season’s crop of science fiction, the world turns to putty in our hands, we dodge “calendrical rot” and worry about absolute truth
              Finding the first pulsar set my world spinning        
    Fifty years ago, Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered a mysterious, pulsing radio signal – and the downsides of being a young woman in science
              Self-propelling droplets creep towards heat to cool microchips        
    For the first time, scientists have simulated the reverse of the common effect where cold water runs away from heat, and the result could keep electronics cool
              Eight great accidents in scientific discovery        
    Scientists looking for one thing sometimes stumble upon the unexpected. Here are some lucky breaks, from the cold depths of space to the heat of the bedroom
              Old Scientist: How to make a car chase really boring        
    Cars hurt the planet in many ways, but the New Scientist archives for August reveal one that may be news to you. Plus a dull response to criminals’ vehicles
              Feedback: God’s phone number revealed by Zimbabwean pastor        
    Now you can have heaven on speed dial. Plus: a stumble in our scientific pub crawl, sending a pie to space, selling freezers to polar bears, and more
              Laboratory Life, B. Latour & S. Woolgar (1979)        
    Let’s do one more post on the economics of science; if you haven’t heard of Latour and the book that made him famous, all I can say is that it is 30% completely crazy (the author is a French philosopher, after all!), 70% incredibly insightful, and overall a must read for anyone trying to understand […]
              â€œWhy Did Universities Start Patenting?: Institution Building and the Road to the Bayh-Dole Act,” E. P. Berman (2008)        
    It goes without saying that the Bayh-Dole Act had huge ramifications for science in the United States. Passed in 1980, Bayh-Dole permitted (indeed, encouraged) universities to patent the output of federally-funded science. I think the empirical evidence is still not complete on whether this increase in university patenting has been good (more, perhaps, incentive to […]
              â€œWhat Does it Mean to Say that Economics is Performative?,” M. Callon (2007)        
    With the last three posts being high mathematical-economic theory, let’s go 180 degrees and look at this recent essay – the introduction of a book, actually – by Michel Callon, one of the deans of actor-network theory (along with Bruno Latour, of course). I know what you’re thinking: a French sociologist of science who thinks […]
              Family Science Night – March 24        
      Sign up for Annual Family Science Night -2017 ( http://signup.com/go/5vehB8 ) on @SignUpdotcom today!
              Prehistoric creatures dazzle in recreated art nouveau murals        
    Ichthyosaurs soaring over the waves like dolphins may not be scientifically accurate, but these painstakingly repaired murals from Berlin Aquarium are history in their own right
              Throwaway culture: The truth about recycling        
    We take it for granted that recycling is the best way to dispose of waste. But is that just greenwash? New Scientist sorts through the trash so that you can make up your mind
              Papers we Scrutinize: How to critically read papers        

    As someone who enjoys being at the intersection of the academic world and the world of industry, I'm very happy to see any attempts at bridging this harmful gap. For this reason, it is great to see that more people are interested in reading academic papers and that initiatives like Papers We Love are there to help.

    There is one caveat with academic papers though. It is very easy to see academic papers as containing eternal and unquestionable truths, rather than as something that the reader should actively interact with. I recently remarked about this saying that "reading papers" is too passive. I also mentioned one way of doing more than just "reading", which is to write "critical reviews" – something that we recently tried to do at the Salon des Refusés workshop. In this post, I would like to expand my remark.

    First of all, it is very easy to miss the context in which papers are written. The life of an academic paper is not complete after it is published. Instead, it continues living its own life – people refer to it in various contexts, give different meanings to entities that appear in the paper and may "love" different parts of the paper than the author. This also means that there are different ways of reading papers. You can try to reconstruct the original historical context, read it according to the current main-stream interpretation or see it as an inspiration for your own ideas.

    I suspect that many people, both in academia and outside, read papers without worrying about how they are reading them. You can certainly "do science" or "read papers" without reflecting on the process. That said, I think the philosophical reflection is important if we do not want to get stuck in local maxima.


              The mythology of programming language ideas        

    If you read a about the history of science, you will no doubt be astonished by some of the amazing theories that people used to believe. I recently finished reading The Invention of Science by David Wootton, which documents many of them (and is well worth reading, not just because of this!) For example, did you know that if you put garlic on a magnet, the magnet will stop working? Fortunately, you can recover the magnet by smearing goats blood on it. Giambattista della Porta tested this and concluded that it was false, but Alexander Ross argued that our garlic is perhaps not so vigorous as those of ancient Greeks.

    You can just laugh at these stories, but they can serve as interesting lessons for any scientist. The lesson, however, is not the obvious one. Academics will sometimes read those stories and use them to argue against something they do not consider scientific - arguing that it is like believing that garlic break magnets.

    This is not how the analogy works. What is amazing about the old stories is that the conclusions that now seem funny often had very solid reasoning behind them. If you believed in the basic assumption of the time, then you could reach the same conclusions by following fairly sound reasoning principles. In other words, the amazing theories were scientific and entirely reasonable. The lesson is that what seems a completely reasonable idea now, may turn out to be wrong and quite hilarious in retrospect.

    In this article, I will look at a couple of amazing theories that people believed in the past and I will explain why they were reasonable given the way of thinking of the time. Along the way, I will explore some of the ways of thinking that we use today about programming and computer science and why they might appear silly in the future.


              Thinking the unthinkable: What we cannot think in programming        

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

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

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

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


              The Gamma and Digital News Innovation Fund        

    Last year, I wrote a bit about my interest in building programming tools for data journalism. Data journalism might sound like a niche field, but that is not the case if we talk about data-driven storytelling more generally,

    In programming, your outcome is typically some application that does stuff. In data science, your outcome is very often a report or a story that aims to influence people's behavior or company decisions. No matter whether you are a journalist writing an article about government spending or an analyst producing internal sales reports, you are telling stories with data.

    Being able to tell stories with data (but also verify and assess other people's stories that can be backed by data) is becoming a vital skill in the modern world, which is partly why I find this topic extremely important and interesting. But to do this currently, you need to be a skilled programmer, great designer and good storyteller, all at the same time!

    I have not written about this topic much over the last year (mainly because I was busy with Coeffects, fsharpConf, FsLab and fsharpWorks), but this will be changing - I'm very happy to announce that my data-journalism related project The Gamma has been awarded funding from the DNI Innovation Fund and I'll be working on it over the next year at the Alan Turing Institute in London.


              Better F# data science with FsLab and Ionide        

    At NDC Oslo 2016, I did a talk about some of the recent new F# projects that are making data science with F# even nicer than it used to be. The talk covered a wider range of topics, but one of the nice new thing I showed was the improved F# Interactive in the Ionide plugin for Atom and the integration with FsLab libraries that it provides.

    In particular, with the latest version of Ionide for Atom and the latest version of FsLab package, you can run code in F# Interactive and you'll see resulting time series, data frames, matrices, vectors and charts as nicely pretty printed HTML objects, right in the editor. The following shows some of the features (click on it for a bigger version):

    In this post, I'll write about how the new Ionide and FsLab integration works, how you can use it with your own libraries and also about some of the future plans. You can also learn more by getting the FsLab package, or watching the NDC talk..


              Philosophical questions about programming        

    Combining philosophy and computer science might appear a bit odd. The disciplines have very little overlap. Both philosophers and computer scientists get taught formal logic at some point in their undergraduate courses, but that's probably as close as they get.

    But the fact that the disciplines do not overlap much might very well be the reason why putting them together is interesting. In an article about Design and Science, Joichi Ito (from MIT Media Lab), describes the term antidisciplinary and nicely summarizes why looking at such unusual combinations is worthwhile:

    Interdisciplinary work is when people from different disciplines work together. But antidisciplinary is something very different; it's about working in spaces that simply do not fit into any existing academic discipline.

    [When focusing on disciplines, it] takes more and more effort and resources to make a unique contribution. While the space between and beyond the disciplines can be academically risky, it (...) requires fewer resources to try promising, unorthodox approaches; and provides the potential to have tremendous impact (...).

    As you can see from some of my earlier blog posts, I think the space between philosophy and computer science is an interesting area. In this article, I'll explain why. Unlike some of the previous posts (about miscomputation, types and philosophy of science), this post is quite broad and does not go into much detail.

    At the danger of sounding like a collection of random rants, I look at a number of questions that arise when you look at computer science from the philosophical perspective, but I won't attempt to answer them. You can see this article as a research proposal too - and I hope to write more about some of the questions in the future. I wish antidisciplinary work was more common and I believe looking into such questions could have the tremendous impact that Joichi Ito mentioned.


              Philosophy of science books every computer scientist should read        

    When I tell my fellow computer scientists or software developers that I'm interested in philosophy of science, they first look a bit confused, then we have a really interesting discussion about it and then they ask me for some interesting books they could read about it. Given that Christmas is just around the corner and some of the readers might still be looking for a good present to get, I thought that now is the perfect time to turn my answer into a blog post!

    So, what is philosophy of science about? In summary, it is about trying to better understand science. I'll keep using the word science here, but I think engineering would work equally well. As someone who recently spent a couple of years doing a PhD on programming language theory, I find this extremely important for computer science (and programming). How can we make better programming languages if we do not know what better means? And what do we mean when we talk about very basic concepts like types or programming errors?

    Reading about philosophy of science inspired me to write a couple of essays on some of the topics above including What can programming language research learn from the philosophy of science? and two essays that discuss the nature of types in programming languages and also the nature of errors and miscomputations. This blog post lists some of the interesting books that I've read and that influenced my thinking (not just) when writing the aforementioned essays.


              F# + ML |> MVP Summit: Talk recordings, slides and source code        

    I was fortunate enough to make it to the Microsoft MVP summit this year. I didn't learn anything secret (and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you!) but one thing I did learn is that there is a lot of interest in data science and machine learning both inside Microsoft and in the MVP community. What was less expected and more exciting was that there was also a lot of interest in F#, which is a perfect fit for both of these topics!

    When I visited Microsoft back in May to talk about Scalable Machine Learning and Data Science with F# at an internal event, I ended up chatting with the organizer about F# and we agreed that it would be nice to do more on F#, which is how we ended up organizing the F# + ML |> MVP Summit 2015 mini-conference on the Friday after the summit.


              Miscomputation: Learning to live with errors        

    If trials of three or four simple cases have been made, and are found to agree with the results given by the engine, it is scarcely possible that there can be any error (...).

    Charles Babbage, On the mathematical
    powers of the calculating engine (1837)

    Anybody who has something to do with modern computers will agree that the above statement made by Charles Babbage about the analytical engine is understatement, to say the least.

    Computer programs do not always work as expected. There is a complex taxonomy of errors or miscomputations. The taxonomy of possible errors is itself interesting. Syntax errors like missing semicolons are quite obvious and are easy to catch. Logical errors are harder to find, but at least we know that something went wrong. For example, our algorithm does not correctly sort some lists. There are also issues that may or may not be actual errors. For example an algorithm in online store might suggest slightly suspicious products. Finally, we also have concurrency errors that happen very rarely in some very specific scenario.

    If Babbage was right, we would just try three or four simple cases and eradicate all errors from our programs, but eliminating errors is not so easy. In retrospect, it is quite interesting to see how long it took early computer engineers to realise that coding (i.e. translating mathematical algorithm to program code) errors are a problem:

    Errors in coding were only gradually recognized to be a significant problem: a typical early comment was that of Miller [circa 1949], who wrote that such errors, along with hardware faults, could be "expected, in time, to become infrequent".

    Mark Priestley, Science of Operations (2011)

    We mostly got rid of hardware faults, but coding errors are still here. Programmers spent over 50 years finding different practical strategies for dealing with them. In this blog post, I want to look at four of the strategies. Quite curiously, there is a very wide range.


              Green gloves and a blogger meet up!        
    I'll get to the green gloves in a bit...


    On Wednesday I led a Ramblers walk of 7 miles. It was a chilly, overcast day and we were cold at the start but soon warmed up. Everyone enjoyed the walk including me! It was the same walk that I did the first time I ever led a walk back in May 2016, but I reversed it and added on a short bit to the end. I've now led 3 walks for the Ramblers and want to find a new walk to lead for the Autumn programme.


    Trousers are from the Tesco outlet shop, boots present from daughter this Christmas. Every thing else is charity shopped.


    I went for a rummage on Thursday afternoon after the food shopping. I went to the Kempston charity shops as I hadn't been for a while. I got quite a few summer items for the grandsons and for myself some green earrings 75p; a white top 1.00; and finally an animal print blouse in brown; 2.49 in the Keech Hospice shop. A yellow  scoop neck top for 2.99 in the Cat's Protection League and last but not least, a turquoise bracelet and ring; 1.00 each from the Day Hospice shop. I didn't bother going to the Barnardo's shop as I was chazza'ed out by then.


    I wonder if any of you know what this tree is? I saw it whilst collecting the youngest grandson from school - it's just around the corner and I thought it was so striking. Please let me know what it is as I haven't a clue!


    I bought this necklace in a charity shop in Derry for 2.50. Top and shirt also charity shopped.

    On Friday, I went walking by myself and it was a brilliant walk. The weather was pleasant; bright but windy. I saw my first swallows of the year and you know what that means don't you? It means summer's here! At last. Thank the Lord and pass the gravy. I'm sick of overcast skies and wind and cold...


    Jeans from the 1.00 rail at Barnardo's Great Denham bought on a rummage with Linda; man's shirt £1.00 box Keech; cardigan 1.99 Red Cross shop. Boots; DDB.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    Top by Wallis; charity shopped, Country Casuals jacket; charity shopped. Trousers; La Redoute sale and black brogues; Tesco outlet.

    It was no longer summer on Saturday, in fact it was overcast and cold again.  But despite the weather I went to Rushden for a blogger meet up. It's the first one for me and it was with the very lovely Kelly of the Mother of Reinvention blog HERE.  Kelly's blog states she is a:

    Plus-Sized Sewing Scientist with a Love of Corsets, Kittens & Cake! Vintage Seamstress, Novice Knitter and All-Round Crafty Type.

     It was a pleasure to meet Kelly.  She had moved to Rushden five weeks previously for a new job and luckily really likes her new town and neighbourhood. It was so nice to meet another blogger and I felt I had known Kelly for ages already through reading her blog


    We started with a cup of tea and a chat and then went rummaging! We had a fab time and started by visiting the most excellent Salvation Army charity shop where Kelly's friend, Bill, joined us. Kelly found some lovely material - she loves to sew. She also found some great square plates with matching bowls, some cookie cutters and a cute pottery butter dish. I found some earrings for 50p, a lace skirt for 3.50, some wool for 50p and a boring, but useful, tupperware dish; also 50p. We went on to visit 4 other charity shops where I bought a large cake tin and that was it. Then in true blogger fashion we all decamped to Wetherspoons for a drink and some lunch!

    Kelly and I plan to meet up again and next time we'll go to Kettering or Northampton - both good places for charity shopping.


    I bought these beads at the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings from Sainsbury's; bangles and ring charity shopped.

    On Sunday OH and I went to a car boot sale at Lidlington. We got there at about 11 am; we don't like early starts... I bought a lovely handmade vintage coat for £2.00 which I am so delighted with. I still have to steam it and then I'll post a photo.

    We're off to a reunion of OH's ex battalion at the weekend - Barnsley here we come! I don't know Yorkshire very well at all so I'm curious to see what Barnsley and its environs look like. We might squeeze in a quick rummage. Anyway, I may wear the coat with a knee length dress; I'm still thinking about it.


    Monday was volunteering at the Red Cross. By the time this photo was taken at about 8.30 in the evening my linen trousers were baggy at the knee and very creased - I'd just been on my hands and knees washing the kitchen floor!


    Everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from a local shoe outlet called PJ shoes in Kempston.

    Of course I couldn't leave the Red Cross without buying something...
    I bought some books; some elbow length emerald green gloves; some brand new grey Mary Jane's with a little heel and a top. I don't know where on earth I might wear the green gloves but an occasion might present itself - who knows? It's always as well to be prepared!

    Aren't they fabulous?

    I went completely mad on Friday and swapped my winter wardrobe to my summer wardrobe; I'm now thinking I was a bit premature. It was cold on Saturday when I met up with Kelly - I was cold the whole day. Then Sunday was very pleasant but Monday was cold, grey and windy. Luckily, I only pack away the thickest of cardigans so I still have a few warm  ones in the wardrobe. Just as well as one was needed on Monday.

    Tuesday was a warmer day but still cloudy and grey. I had a busy day running errands here, there and everywhere. My blanket is about half way done:


    I want to have it finished by the time I next go to Ireland so I can start a new one whilst I'm there.


    I went to town today without a jacket or coat and was warm in this outfit. Everything is charity shopped. Skirt is by Phase Eight; top by M&S, sea green cardigan; Per Una at M&S. Mary Jane's charity shopped in Ely almost a year ago.


    All jewellery charity shopped. The ring was bought on my rummage in Kempston last Thursday and the necklace is from the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings are from Sainsbury's and have to be at least 7 or 8 years old...

    I still haven't got round to steaming the coat but here it is:



    This is the button detail on the sleeve. I love it. I think I might wear it on Saturday evening to the reunion - what do you think?

              Osiris la 9éme planète        

    Osiris la 9éme planète Streaming VF HD Titre Similaire : The Osiris Child Titre Original : Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child

    Cet article Osiris la 9éme planète est apparu en premier sur Site de streaming gratuit vf et vostfr.


              How Plastic We've Become        

    Our bodies carry residues of kitchen plastics

    Food for Thought

    In the 1967 film classic The Graduate, a businessman corners Benjamin Braddock at a cocktail party and gives him a bit of career advice. "Just one word…plastics."

    Although Benjamin didn't heed that recommendation, plenty of other young graduates did. Today, the planet is awash in products spawned by the plastics industry. Residues of plastics have become ubiquitous in the environment—and in our bodies.

    A federal government study now reports that bisphenol A (BPA)—the building block of one of the most widely used plastics—laces the bodies of the vast majority of U.S. residents young and old.

    Manufacturers link BPA molecules into long chains, called polymers, to make polycarbonate plastics. All of those clear, brittle plastics used in baby bottles, food ware, and small kitchen appliances (like food-processor bowls) are made from polycarbonates. BPA-based resins also line the interiors of most food, beer, and soft-drink cans. With use and heating, polycarbonates can break down, leaching BPA into the materials they contact. Such as foods.

    And that could be bad if what happens in laboratory animals also happens in people, because studies in rodents show that BPA can trigger a host of harmful changes, from reproductive havoc to impaired blood-sugar control and obesity (SN: 9/29/07, p. 202).

    For the new study, scientists analyzed urine from some 2,500 people who had been recruited between 2003 and 2004 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Roughly 92 percent of the individuals hosted measurable amounts of BPA, according to a report in the January Environmental Health Perspectives. It's the first study to measure the pollutant in a representative cross-section of the U.S. population.

    Typically, only small traces of BPA turned up, concentrations of a few parts per billion in urine, note chemist Antonia M. Calafat and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, with hormone-mimicking agents like BPA, even tiny exposures can have notable impacts.

    Overall, concentrations measured by Calafat's team were substantially higher than those that have triggered disease, birth defects, and more in exposed animals, notes Frederick S. vom Saal, a University of Missouri-Columbia biologist who has been probing the toxicology of BPA for more than 15 years.

    The BPA industry describes things differently. Although Calafat's team reported urine concentrations of BPA, in fact they assayed a breakdown product—the compound by which BPA is excreted, notes Steven G. Hentges of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. As such, he argues, "this does not mean that BPA itself is present in the body or in urine."

    On the other hand, few people have direct exposure to the breakdown product.

    Hentges' group estimates that the daily BPA intake needed to create urine concentrations reported by the CDC scientists should be in the neighborhood of 50 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight—or one millionth of an amount at which "no adverse effects" were measured in multi-generation animal studies. In other words, Hentges says, this suggests "a very large margin of safety."

    No way, counters vom Saal. If one applies the ratio of BPA intake to excreted values in hosts of published animal studies, concentrations just reported by CDC suggest that the daily intake of most Americans is actually closer to 100 micrograms (µg) per kilogram bodyweight, he says—or some 1,000-fold higher than the industry figure.

    Clearly, there are big differences of opinion and interpretation. And a lot may rest on who's right.

    Globally, chemical manufacturers produce an estimated 2.8 million tons of BPA each year. The material goes into a broad range of products, many used in and around the home. BPA also serves as the basis of dental sealants, which are resins applied to the teeth of children to protect their pearly whites from cavities (SN: 4/6/96, p. 214). The industry, therefore, has a strong economic interest in seeing that the market for BPA-based products doesn't become eroded by public concerns over the chemical.

    And that could happen. About 2 years after a Japanese research team showed that BPA leached out of baby bottles and plastic food ware (see What's Coming Out of Baby's Bottle?), manufacturers of those consumer products voluntarily found BPA substitutes for use in food cans. Some 2 years after that, a different group of Japanese scientists measured concentrations of BPA residues in the urine of college students. About half of the samples came from before the switch, the rest from after the period when BPA was removed from food cans.

    By comparing urine values from the two time periods, the researchers showed that BPA residues were much lower—down by at least 50 percent—after Japanese manufacturers had eliminated BPA from the lining of food cans.

    Concludes vom Saal, in light of the new CDC data and a growing body of animal data implicating even low-dose BPA exposures with the potential to cause harm, "the most logical thing" for the United States to do would be to follow in Japan's footsteps and "get this stuff [BPA] out of our food."

    Kids appear most exposed

    Overall, men tend to have statistically lower concentrations of BPA than women, the NHANES data indicate. But the big difference, Calafat says, traces to age. "Children had higher concentrations than adolescents, and they in turn had higher levels than adults," she told Science News Online.

    This decreasing body burden with older age "is something we have seen with some other nonpersistent chemicals," Calafat notes—such as phthalates, another class of plasticizers.

    The spread between the average BPA concentration that her team measured in children 6 to 11 years old (4.5 µg/liter) and adults (2.5 µg/L) doesn't look like much, but proved reliably different.

    The open question is why adults tended to excrete only 55 percent as much BPA. It could mean children have higher exposures, she posits, or perhaps that they break it down less efficiently. "We really need to do more research to be able to answer that question."

    Among other differences that emerged in the NHANES analysis: urine residues of BPA decreased with increasing household income and varied somewhat with ethnicity (with Mexican-Americans having the lowest average values, blacks the highest, and white's values in between).

    There was also a time-of-day difference, with urine values for any given group tending to be highest in the evening, lowest in the afternoon, and midway between those in the morning. Since BPA's half-life in the body is only about 6 hours, that temporal variation in the chemical's excretion would be consistent with food as a major source of exposure, the CDC scientists note.

    In the current NHANES paper, BPA samples were collected only once from each recruit. However, in a paper due to come out in the February Environmental Health Perspectives, Calafat and colleagues from several other institutions looked at how BPA excretion varied over a 2-year span among 82 individuals—men and women—seen at a fertility clinic in Boston.

    In contrast to the NHANES data, the upcoming report shows that men tended to have somewhat higher BPA concentrations than women. Then again both groups had only about one-quarter the concentration typical of Americans.

    The big difference in the Boston group emerged among the 10 women who ultimately became pregnant. Their BPA excretion increased 33 percent during pregnancy. Owing to the small number of participants in this subset of the study population, the pregnancy-associated change was not statistically significant. However, the researchers report, these are the first data to look for changes during pregnancy and ultimately determining whether some feature of pregnancy—such as a change in diet or metabolism of BPA—really alters body concentrations of the pollutant could be important. It could point to whether the fetus faces an unexpectedly high exposure to the pollutant.

    If it does, the fetus could face a double whammy: Not only would exposures be higher during this period of organ and neural development, but rates of detoxification also would be diminished, vom Saal says.

    Indeed, in a separate study, one due to be published soon in Reproductive Toxicology, his team administered BPA by ingestion or by injection to 3-day-old mice. Either way, the BPA exposure resulted in comparable BPA concentrations in blood.

    What's more, that study found, per unit of BPA delivered, blood values in the newborns were "markedly higher" than other studies have reported for adult rodents exposed to the chemical. And that makes sense, vom Saal says, because the enzyme needed to break BPA down and lead to its excretion is only a tenth as active in babies as in adults. That's true in the mouse, he says, in the rat—and, according to some preliminary data, in humans.

    Vom Saal contends that since studies have shown BPA exhibits potent hormonelike activity in human cells at the parts-per-trillion level, and since the new CDC study finds that most people are continually exposed to concentrations well above the parts-per-trillion ballpark, it's time to reevaluate whether it makes sense to use BPA-based products in and around foods.


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


              A Sweeter Hops        

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

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Alpha vs. beta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    John A. Henning

    Forage Seed and Cereal Research

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    3450 SW Campus Way

    Corvallis, OR 97331

    Barbara M. Reed

    National Clonal Germplasm Repository

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    33447 Peoria Road

    Corvallis, OR 97333-2521
    Further Reading

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

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

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

              It's Spud Time        

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

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Room C-776

    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

    00153 Rome

    Italy

    International Potato Center

    Apartado Postal 1558

    Lima 12,

    Peru
    Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              No Peanuts for Your Peanut        

    Youngsters are developing peanut allergies earlier because of exposures in babyhood

    Food for Thought

    Peanuts are a protein-rich snack food packing plenty of vitamins and trace nutrients. However, these legumes can elicit potentially life-threatening immune reactions within the one in 100 American adults who are allergic to them. Rates of peanut allergy are even higher among children. And the really disturbing news: A new study finds that the age at which this common food allergy first shows up is falling.

    Today, peanut allergy typically emerges in early toddlerhood, a team of Duke University researchers reports in the December Pediatrics. "That's almost a year earlier than what we knew, scientifically, a decade ago, "explains A. Wesley Burks, a pediatric allergist who coauthored the new study.

    Although children outgrow many allergies, peanut allergy is not typically one of them. Among people who develop immune reactions to this food, 80 percent retain their allergy for life.

    The new study began, Burks says, after Duke immunologists noticed that they were encountering younger patients with peanut allergy. To investigate, the researchers pulled entry records and medical charts for all 140 young patients who had come in with the allergy since 1988. Poring over the records confirmed a fall in age at first diagnosis throughout this period—one that proved more dramatic than expected, Burks told Science News Online.

    Nationally, the rate of food allergy appears to be increasing, according to a 2006 report of a National Institutes of Health expert panel. The most striking increase, it noted, has been for peanut allergy, which is also the most common food sensitivity. Because some allergies can be avoided by delaying a child's initial introduction to certain foods, in 2000 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents "consider" keeping peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish out of the diet of kids under age 3.

    Burks acknowledges that most parents aren't aware of this recommendation. On the other hand, most peanut allergy shows up in children that had already exhibited allergic reactions to other foods—typically eggs or milk. Many affected children also had skin sensitivities as infants, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, and a parent or sibling with allergies, although not necessarily to food.

    Against that background, you would think parents of the most vulnerable kids would be especially careful about introducing peanuts into the diet. And they might well have been. Indeed, Burks suspects that most initial introductions to peanuts in his young patients were inadvertent. Either a child encountered items that contained unlabeled traces of peanuts—perhaps a jelly bean, certain flavorings used in medicines, or any of several baby lotions (see Unexpected Sources of Peanut Allergy). Or perhaps the kids encountered peanut allergen in the air when others were eating, handling, or cooking foods that contained the legume.

    But for now, Burks' team has no firm leads on why peanut allergies are showing up earlier. The Duke group and others will be probing that in the next few years.

    Homing in on the problem

    Children with peanut allergy in the new study showed the expected history of vulnerability. For instance, four in five had parents or a sib with some form of allergy. Four in five children also had personally experienced atopic dermatitis, two in every three suffered from asthma, and more than half had allergies that triggered runny noses. Moreover, blood tests from two-thirds of the youngsters turned up antibodies highlighting sensitivity to other foods, typically eggs or tree-nuts.

    Half of the young patients were born between 1988 and 1999, the rest between 2000 and 2005. The average age of their peanut allergy's onset was significantly different between the two groups—roughly 29 months old for the pre-2000 birth group, versus 15 months for children born since 2000. Within the first group, half of the children developed peanut allergy by 21 months of age; for children born since 2000, half developed their allergy by the time they were 14 months old.

    In hopes of teasing out factors that contributed to the trend of earlier allergies, Burks' group is participating in a Food Allergy Research Consortium that has been given $17 million to study food allergies—especially to peanuts. One facet of the 5-year program, which is sponsored by NIAID, is investigating the use of shots to desensitize people with peanut allergy. In addition, some 400 infants with milk and egg allergies will be studied for signs of immunological differences that distinguish those who outgrow their allergies from those who retain them lifelong.

    Currently, some 30,000 people a year are hospitalized for food allergy in the United States, and 200 die during an allergic episode. One concern, Burks notes, is that children who develop peanut allergy earlier than in the past might face a lower-than-usual chance of outgrowing their life-threatening affliction—one that requires constant vigilance.

    Such an allergy can even crimp one's social life. Consider the poor teenage girl whose lips swelled up after being kissed by her boyfriend (see A Rash of Kisses). Hours earlier, the boy had eaten peanuts, to which the girl was allergic.


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

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

    Web site: [Go to]

    A. Wesley Burks

    Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

    Duke University Medical Center

    DUMC 2644

    Durham, NC 27710

    National Institutes of Health

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    Office of Communications and Government Relations

    6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612

    Bethesda, MD 20892-6612

    Web site: [Go to]
    Further Reading

    Helmuth, L. 1999. Allergy vaccine may take fear out of nuts. Science News 155(April 3):213. Available at [Go to].

    Long, A. 2002. The nuts and bolts of peanut allergy. New England Journal of Medicine 346(April 25):1320-1322. Extract available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2003. Unexpected sources of peanut allergy. Science News Online (March 15). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. A rash of kisses. Science News 162(July 20):40. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. The mango that thought it was poison ivy. Science News Online (Aug. 8). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1997. A whiff, a sniff—then asthma. Science News Online (Feb. 1). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. Peanut allergy found common and increasing. Science News 150(Sept. 7):150. Available at [Go to].

    _____. 1996. Family allergies? Keep nuts away from kids. Science News 149(May 4):279. Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2003. Tough nut is cracked: Antibody treatment stifles peanut reactions. Science News 163(March 15):163. Available at [Go to].

              Canadians Advocate Boosting Vitamin D in Pregnancy        

    A Canadian medical society recommends pregnant women and nursing moms boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically

    Food for Thought

    Canadian pediatricians certainly aren't shirking controversy when it comes to a vitamin guideline they've developed for pregnant women and nursing moms. They're asking these women to boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically—to 10 times the daily doses advocated by most health organizations in the States. This new prescription is aimed at combating rickets—leg deformations caused by soft bones—in youngsters who get too little of the sunshine vitamin.

    Vitamin D helps build strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Getting pregnant and nursing women to take more of the vitamin ensures that plenty will reach developing children.

    In the past, most people had little trouble getting enough vitamin D—they just went outdoors where ultraviolet rays from the sun trigger chemical reactions in skin to make this vital nutrient. However, some people always had trouble making enough. Canadian kids at highest risk of vitamin deficits generally live in First Nations and Inuit communities. With sun-filtering pigments in their skin, and living at high latitudes, they must glean most of their vitamin D from the diet—generally a poor source—not the sun.

    Most North American women—including those in the United States—eat diets delivering only about 100 international units, or IU, of vitamin D daily, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in Washington, D.C. That is half of what IOM recommends and a mere 5 percent of what Canadian pediatricians are now advocating for new and soon-to-be moms.

    Although IOM's dietary recommendations are for the United States, the Canadian health establishment has tended to rubber stamp them. In this case, though, Canada's health agency took the unusual tack of signing off on a Canadian Paediatric Society proposal to boost the recommended intake by women who are pregnant or breast feeding to 2,000 IU per day. This new guideline appears in a consensus statement published in September by the society in its journal, Paediatrics & Child Health.

    Soon the society will begin sending its new guideline to every provincial, territorial, and aboriginal health department across Canada, notes Marie Adèle Davis, the group's executive director. The goal, she told Science News Online, is to make sure all public health officials learn about it—not just pediatricians.

    The higher recommendation equals the amount that IOM has designated as the safe upper limit for vitamin D's daily consumption. Most nutritionists don't really consider that value is a true ceiling for safe intake—especially since sunbathing on a bright summer day can generate 10,000 to 20,000 IU in the body without harm. Still, for political and legal reasons, most organizations shy away from advocating intakes near what IOM has flagged as a potential maximum for safe consumption.

    Now a number of researchers suspect that intakes by pregnant and lactating women much below 2,000 IU per day could actually prove unsafe for child health.

    Reinhold Vieth of the University of Toronto explained why, recently, to officials with Health Canada, a counterpart to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To prevent rickets, he argued, a baby needs 400 IU of vitamin D per day. And in many parts of Canada, he said, nursing women may require several thousand IU of vitamin D per day to get 400 IU into their breast milk. Vieth had been recruited by the Canadian Paediatric Society to help defend its proposed guideline to government officials.

    U.S. physicians won't quibble over the 400 IU figure for babies and young children, notes pediatrician Frank R. Greer, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) committee on nutrition. Although the 1997 IOM report says 200 IU of vitamin D per day should be sufficient for anyone under 50—including children—few researchers buy that. "Everybody feels that we should be taking more than 200 IU," says Greer, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    Unlike the Canadian Paediatric Society, though, "We [at AAP] don't really have any influence on what pregnant and lactating women take," Greer says. "However, I can say that AAP's committee on nutrition has recommended to the board that we go back to [recommending] 400 IU for all children." That's the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil—the vitamin D supplement of choice throughout the early 20th century. Greer expects his committee's recommendation to be approved by AAP's board, perhaps within the next month.

    Optimal needs vary

    For most of the past century, nutrient guidelines have been set to prevent gross deficiencies—shortfalls that could cause disease. Those recommendations tended to represent minimally adequate intakes. Over the past decade, however, considerable debate has surrounded what vitamin D consumption levels would be optimal versus merely adequate.

    The controversy has been fueled by a steady stream of studies that have emerged since the IOM set its vitamin D guidelines. Nearly all demonstrate substantial health benefits from relatively high intakes of vitamin D—amounts well in excess of what most individuals now get. Moreover, those benefits extend well beyond protecting bone. More vitamin D seems to diminish the risk of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, muscle loss, viral infections—even gum disease.

    Researchers gauge vitamin D sufficiency on the basis of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-HD). This is not the form of the vitamin that is consumed—nor the hormonal form that the body actually uses—but an intermediary. To achieve optimal concentrations of 25-HD, growing numbers of nutrition and health scientists suggest, most of us would need intakes of 800 to 4,000 IU per day (see Vitamin D: What's Enough?).

    How much vitamin D someone needs can vary widely, largely depending on the amount of skin that gets exposed to the sun each day—and for how long. Further complicating the picture, some skin is heavily pigmented, filtering sunlight out. Many people cover up with clothes or sunblock when they go outdoors. Still others live at high latitudes—as Canadians do—where little ultraviolet radiation makes it through the atmosphere during much of the year.

    Even for women in the southern United States, however, "we've found that lactating women need about 6,000 IU a day to transfer enough vitamin D into their milk to supply adequate amounts to a nursing infant," says Bruce W. Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    Nor are nursing moms the only individuals who may need relatively large doses of the vitamin. Hollis' research has shown that black women may sometimes need 4,000 IU a day for months at a time to compensate for little time outdoors, heavy skin pigmentation, and/or obesity—a factor that appears to diminish the body's ability to use vitamin D efficiently (see Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency).

    Another reason for moms' supplementation?

    In March, researchers at Harvard Medical School reported evidence that ample vitamin D diminishes the chance a child will develop asthma, a scourge who's incidence has been rising, especially in black and low-income communities (see Childhood Vitamin D—A New Benefit?). Recently, an additional putative benefit has emerged for pregnant women and their developing babies.

    A study linked elevated risk of preeclampsia—high blood pressure that develops in some women during the last half of pregnancy—with low intakes of vitamin D. This condition, which can lead to miscarriage and even the death of the mother—ordinarily develops in some three to seven percent of first pregnancies.

    Pittsburgh researchers enrolled 1,198 women who were pregnant for the first time and measured their blood concentrations of vitamin D within the first 22 weeks of gestation. Subsequently, 59 women developed preeclampsia. Blood values from all but four were compared to a similar group of recruits who maintained normal blood pressure throughout their pregnancies.

    The higher a woman's blood concentrations of 25-HD, the lower her chance of developing preeclampsia—and that risk fell steadily and "strikingly" with increasing vitamin D values, Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh and her colleagues found.

    Moreover, babies whose moms had developed preeclampsia were far more likely to have low vitamin-D values than were children whose moms had maintained normal blood pressure. "These differences were found in our population despite widespread prenatal/multivitamin use in the 3 months before delivery," Bodnar's group reports in the September Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    Black women face far higher risks of developing this hypertensive syndrome. Overall, black women are also far likelier than other ethnic or racial groups to have low blood levels of vitamin D. Against this backdrop, Bodnar's group says, "our data linking vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia risk raises the intriguing possibility that vitamin D may contribute to racial disparities in this [syndrome]."

    "The story of deficiency begins with vitamin D itself and its primary mode of synthesis, which is from sunlight," argue Adekunle Dawodu of the University of Cincinnati and Carol L. Wagner of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In a commentary in the September Archives of Disease in Childhood, they report a resurgence of rickets around the world, not only in children at high latitudes, but also in the Arab world and Asia where culture or excessive temperatures may keep women and children indoors or covered up.

    A shift from vitamin-D sufficiency to widespread deficiency has occurred rapidly—mostly throughout a half-century. The reason for it is clear, Dawodu and Wagner say: "insufficient sun exposure and inadequate corrective vitamin-D supplementation." They conclude, much as the Canadian Paediatric Society just has, that dosing moms during pregnancy and lactation "would achieve the double effect of preventing vitamin-D deficiency in both mothers and children." But unlike the Canadian society, they note that doses considerably higher than 2,000 IU may be necessary for some individuals and communities.

    As a goal, achieving population-wide vitamin D sufficiency "may be one of the more important preventative public health initiatives," conclude Dawodu and Wagner.


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

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098


    Lisa M. Bodnar

    Department of Epidemiology

    University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

    A742 Crabtree Hall

    130 DeSoto Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15261


    John J. Cannell

    Psychiatry Department

    Atascadero State Hospital

    10333 El Camino Real

    Atascadero, CA 93423

    Marie Adèle Davis

    Canadian Paediatric Society

    2305 St. Laurent Boulevard

    Ottawa, Ont. K1G 4J8

    Canada

    Frank R. Greer

    Department of Pediatrics

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI 53792

    Bruce W. Hollis

    Department of Pediatrics

    Medical University of South Carolina

    P.O. Box 250917

    171 Ashley Avenue, Room BM326

    Charleston, SC 29425


    Reinhold Vieth

    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    Mount Sinai Hospital

    600 University Avenue

    Toronto, ON M5G 1X5

    Canada
    Further Reading

    Cannell, J.J. In press. Autism and vitamin D. Medical Hypotheses. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Dijkstra, S.H., et al. 2007. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of high-risk mothers. Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):750-753. Available at [Go to].

    Moore, C.E., M.M. Murphy, and M.F. Holick. 2005. Vitamin D intakes by children and adults in the United States differ among ethnic groups. Journal of Nutrition 135(October):2478-2485. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A new benefit? Science News Online (May 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A dark side? Science News Online (May 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. The antibiotic vitamin. Science News 170(Nov. 11):312-317. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Breathing easier with vitamin D. Science News Online (Dec. 17). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Vitamin D boosts calcium potency. Science News Online (Nov. 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Understanding vitamin D deficiency. Science News Online (April 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin D: What's enough? Science News 166(Oct. 16):248-249. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin boost. Science News 166(Oct. 9):232-233. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Should foods be fortified even more? Science News Online (Sept. 11). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Calcium may become a dieter's best friend. Science News 157(April 29):277. Available at [Go to].

    Williams, A.F. 2007. Vitamin D in pregnancy: An old problem still to be solved? Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):740-741. Available at [Go to].

              Cleaning Up after Livestock        

    Food for Thought

    As any pet owner knows, the more food that goes into an animal's mouth, the more wastes that eventually spew out the other end. The bigger the animal, the bigger its appetite. So imagine the volumes of manure—often tainted with germs—that farmers must manage for even a small feedlot with perhaps 3,500 head of cattle.

    Ordinarily, beef producers house their animals in pens—some the size of football fields or larger. They're designed to leave each animal about 80 square feet of space. Cattle wastes just fall to the ground and collect—often for a month or more—before feedlot crews periodically scrape away the muck. After composting, the dried manure will be applied to fields as a rich fertilizer.

    The real problem develops when it rains. Then, a manure-rich, watery slurry can drain off the fields. Conventionally, feedlot managers would divert this liquid into huge, smelly ponds or lagoons—some 10-feet deep or more, explains Bryan L. Woodbury, an agricultural engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Nebraska.

    His team has been developing a literally greener alternative to pond storage for manure-laced runoff from feedlot pens. The new system directs that runoff into a foot-deep drainage basin. Leading out of it are a series of narrow pipes. Because the interior diameters of these pipes are small, rain-deposited wastes temporarily back-up in this glorified drainage ditch. It typically takes hours for all of the liquids to fully drain out through the pipes. While they wait, solids in the rain-manure slurry tend to settle out as sediments that will accumulate on the basin's bottom.

    Exiting liquids, meanwhile, flow gently into a mildly sloping field of grass, where the animal wastes will fertilize the plants' growth. At the end of the season, farmers harvest that grass as hay, bale it, and then feed it back to the herd.

    For much of the past decade, Woodbury's team has tinkered with the system's design to optimize gravity's removal of solids from the initial rain-manure slurry and the pace at which fertilizing water enters the hayfield. In terms of those features, the system appears ready for prime time—at least in the Midwest, Woodbury says.

    However, what hadn't been evaluated was the fate of germs that were shed by cattle along with those wastes. If the brief holding of the manure-water slurry and its subsequent release into fields promoted the growth of disease-causing microorganisms, those germs might eventually find their way into plants (see Not Just Hitchhikers). That would risk re-exposing animals that later dined on the tainted hay.

    A new investigation now indicates that although the raw manure often hosts germs, most of the nasty microbes hitchhiking in it appear to settle out along with sediments in the initial holding basin. Bugs that remain suspended in the water long enough to travel on to the fields don't appear to survive there long, Woodbury and his colleagues report in the Nov. 1 Journal of Environmental Quality.

    Indeed, the researchers note, while their new data "indicate that there is some risk for hay contamination, it appears to be low." For instance, on one day that hay was cut—two weeks after a major rainfall that shunted diluted manure into the field—only four of 10 tested soil samples hosted Escherichia coli O157.

    Yet only one of the 30 samples of loose hay that was cut that day from parts of the field that had received manure-fertilized rainwater tested positive for that E. coli strain. Microbiologists also failed to later detect that E. coli O157 in hay following its baling and storage.

    That's encouraging news because this bacterium has a long track record of causing disease. It was, for instance, responsible for the major food poisonings associated with tainted spinach in September 2006—an outbreak that sickened more than 200 people, killing five. These microbes can set up housekeeping in the bovine gut, causing no harm to the animal. However, germs shed in the cow's feces can infect people or crops that contact it.

    The Nebraska researchers also probed for evidence of Campylobacter, another bacterium shed by cattle that can provoke gut-wrenching illness. And although three of 10 field-soil samples tested positive after one major rain, none did 2 weeks later. The germ also failed to show up in loose or baled hay.

    Similarly, even though the test herd of 750 cattle had been periodically shedding large quantities of Cryptosporidium and Giardia—two common parasites responsible for substantial human disease, especially in persons with weakened immune systems—biologists found none of these microbes in field soil, much less the hay that had been grown on it.

    Woodbury and his colleagues conclude that their vegetative filtering of manure washed off of feedlots is effective in dramatically sequestering and ultimately removing several of the major families of microbes responsible for human, food-related illness.

    What they don't yet know is whether there will be significant rainfall constraints to their system's efficacy. Will arid regions benefit from it? Will very wet areas send so much fertilizer to hayfields that they burn the grass? "That's what we're in the process of testing right now," Woodbury says. "The jury's still out."

    Other advantages

    Earlier tests showed that the short-term basin storage of wastes upstream of the hayfield removes about half of the nitrogen in manure and almost all of the phosphorus, Woodbury says. That's important because one of the primary problems associated with fertilization of farm fields has been their release during rains of any unused nitrogen and fertilizer into streams.

    Eventually, the fertilizing effects of these nutrients in surface waters can fuel the growth of algae that ultimately suck most of the oxygen out of large patches of coastal waters, creating what are colloquially termed dead zones (see Limiting Dead Zones).

    The new waste-sanitizing system's basin also removes most of the solid material suspended in the rain-manure slurry. This means that about once a year, people must excavate the buildup from the basin. However, what they remove is no longer a waste, but yet another fertilizing amendment for farm fields.

    Oh, and Woodbury points to another potential advantage of his team's new system—something that he refers to as the "white picket fence effect." When people see a picket fence out front, they focus on that pleasant feature, and not every detrimental facet of a house or yard. Well, nobody views a big, smelly lagoon filled with bovine fecal material as the farm equivalent of a white picket fence, he says. A hayfield, on the other hand: That's almost Norman Rockwell Americana.


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

    Citations

    Bryan L. Woodbury

    Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

    Agricultural Research Service

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    P.O. Box 166, Spur 18D

    Clay Center, NE 68933-0166
    Further Reading

    Milius, S. 2007. Not just hitchhikers. Science News 172(Oct. 20):250-252. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2006. Protozoa aid food-poisoning germs. Science News Online (March 18). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Limiting dead zones. Science News 165(June 12):378-380. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Marsh farming for profit and the common good. Science News Online (May 15). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Retail meats host drug-resistant bacteria. Science News 160(Oct. 20):246. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Germ-fighting germs. Science News Online (Aug. 18). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Antibiotic resistance is coming to dinner. Science News 159(May 26):325. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Sickening food. Science News Online (Jan. 1). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1999. Food poisoning: Sprouts linked to bouts. Science News 155(Jan. 23):63. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Hay! What a way to fight E. coli. Science News Online (Sept. 19). Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2000. Venison can contain E. coli bacteria. Science News (Aug. 5):95. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

              Tag! You're It        

    Biologists catch and tag big sawfish in Florida waters

    Food for Thought

    Once a common top predator throughout coastal seas around the globe, sawfish have become remarkably rare. Indeed, today most populations are threatened with extinction. So spotting even one of these animals is reason to rejoice, notes Beau Yeiser of Mote Marine Laboratory in southern Florida. And this week, "we are nothing but giddy," he reports.

    He and colleague Tonya Wiley just returned from a 2-day sawfish-scouting expedition during which they tagged a 7-foot male on Oct. 16. At that size, the strapping youth may be 5 to 7 years old, Yeiser says. He cautions, however, that estimating age is challenging "as we try and piece together the life history of this species. We don't even know its size at maturity yet."

    These animals—essentially flattened sharks with wings—are members of the ray family. Only one species of this fish remains in U.S. waters, mostly off of Florida. Over the first half of the 20th century, this smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) was fished to the brink of extinction—largely by accident.

    Although many cultures eat sawfish—the animals' fins are especially prized in Asia as the featured ingredient in a pricey soup—most of the animals in U.S. waters were landed and destroyed as bycatch, that is, nuisance species hauled in by commercial fishing fleets. The dire status of sawfish globally won these animals protection, last month, under a treaty banning international trade in endangered species (see Hammered Saws).

    So far this year, Yeiser and Wiley have caught just 14 sawfish, most of them less than 4 feet long. Those would still be little kids, considering that these fish are almost a yard long at birth. Then again, the pair had expected only small ones because they've mainly been cruising coastal shallows this year in hopes of running into newborns and youngsters.

    The scientists attach a numbered identification tag to the dorsal fin of every sawfish they catch—and then release the animal.

    But last week's catch was so big that it qualified for a second identifier: a pop-up archival tag, or PAT. These recording devices are so heavy that they're reserved for large sawfish—at least 7-footers. To date, only some dozen of these animals have received PATs. Costing at least $4,000 each, these data-storage systems collect information every minute, for months, on the depth at which its host is swimming, the water temperature, and light levels. The latter information gets plugged into a computer program that roughly gauges the animal's geographic coordinates at any moment.

    Researchers program a PAT to pop off the fish on a particular date. Once it floats to the surface, it sends its stored information in spurts, twice a day, to a satellite. That orbiting relay station then shoots those data back to Earth and the scientists' email addresses.

    Last week's sawfish encounter took place in a southern Florida national wildlife refuge, in very shallow water. Investigated as a possible nursery, Yeiser says "I was expecting any sawfish that I might catch to be perhaps 4 to 5 feet in length." Instead, he found a much older juvenile. "But that's the beauty of this [sawfish] project; you never know what you are going to get when you're scouting a species that has not been studied much!"

    Yeiser named the youth that he tagged last week Raloff. Hmmm—I like the sound of that. Its tag is programmed to pop off on March 15. Stay tuned for an update on my namesake's travels.

    If all goes well, that is.

    A 7- and an 11-foot sawfish each received PATs in May. Although the satellite tags had been programmed to pop off 3 months later, they actually surfaced within just a couple weeks, Yeiser says—and were never recovered.

    So, each time biologists deploy the pricey devices, he says, "we just cross our fingers that they won't pop up early—or get lost in the middle of the Gulf."

    Don't try this yourself

    The sawfish is an endangered species, so federal law forbids its capture—except by researchers who have been granted a waiver. And even they need to release an animal after measuring and tagging it.

    It's against the law to even harass the animals. Still, anglers may inadvertently snag one of the toothy marvels. When that happens, this species "should be released by keeping the fish in the water and cutting the line as close to the hook as possible," according to guidelines issued late last year by the National Marine Fisheries Service in St. Petersburg, Fla. "If it can be done safely, untangle the line if it is wrapped around the saw. Do not handle the animal or attempt to remove any hooks on the saw, except for with a long-handled dehooker," NOAA says.

    Biologists request that any anglers who sight a sawfish report their encounter to the Mote lab. Its scientists are maintaining a database to help them identify important habitat for these endangered animals.

    As interesting as these piscine oddities are, biologists would prefer that the public give the fish a wide berth. The primary reason: Approaching the animals can stress them, chase them from what should be waters safe from predators, or even interfere with their reproduction.

    But there's another reason to steer clear, according to Captain Harvey Lee Hamilton, who charters a fishing boat out of Pineland, Fla. "I've caught plenty of sawfish in my life, and I'll tell you: They're dangerous. I'm still scared to death of them." Their saws—which he terms blades—are edged with dozens of razor-sharp "teeth." The muscular animals slash those saws from side to side to kill prey or defend themselves.

    Says Hamilton: "Those fish get big, with blades that can go to at least 5 foot." And they slash those blades "so fast," he says, "that they could slice your feet off." Indeed, he told Science News Online: "I'd rather fight a shark than a sawfish."


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

    Citations

    Beau Yeiser and Tonya R. Wiley

    Center for Shark Research

    Mote Marine Laboratory

    1600 Ken Thompson Parkway

    Sarasota, FL 34236

    Smalltooth Sawfish Coordinator

    National Marine Fisheries Service

    Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division

    263 13th Avenue South

    St. Petersburg, FL 33071
    Further Reading

    2006. Mote scientists to help eBay identify species in new sawfish ban. Mote Marine Laboratory news release. Jan. 25. Available at [Go to].

    Mote Marine Laboratory. How you can help save the U.S. smalltooth sawfish. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff. J. 2007. Hammered saws. Science News 172(Aug. 11):90-92. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Clipping the fin trade. Science News 162(Oct. 12):232-234. Available at [Go to].

    Sawfish in Peril: Sawfish Education Program. Available at [Go to].

              Troubling Meaty 'Estrogen'        

    High temperature cooking can imbue meats with a chemical that acts like a hormone

    Food for Thought

    Women take note. Researchers find that a chemical that forms in overcooked meat, especially charred portions, is a potent mimic of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. That's anything but appetizing, since studies have linked a higher lifetime cumulative exposure to estrogen in women with an elevated risk of breast cancer.

    Indeed, the new finding offers a "biologically plausible" explanation for why diets rich in red meats might elevate breast-cancer risk, notes Nigel J. Gooderham of Imperial College London.

    At the very high temperatures reached during frying and charbroiling, natural constituents of meats can undergo chemical reactions that generate carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (see Carcinogens in the Diet). Because these compounds all have very long, unwieldy chemical monikers, most scientists refer to them by their abbreviations, such as IQ, MeIQ, MeIQx, and PhIP.

    Of the nearly two dozen different heterocyclic amines that can form, PhIP dominates. It sometimes accumulates in amounts 10 to 50 times higher than that of any other member of this toxic chemical family, Gooderham says. Moreover, he adds, although heterocyclic amines normally cause liver tumors in exposed animals, PhIP is different: "It causes breast cancer in female rats, prostate cancer in male rats, and colon cancer in both." These are the same cancers that in people are associated with eating a lot of cooked meats.

    However, the means by which such foods might induce cancer has remained somewhat elusive. So, building on his team's earlier work, Gooderham decided to probe what the heterocyclic amine did in rat pituitary cells. These cells make prolactin—another female sex hormone—but only when triggered by the presence of estrogen. Prolactin, like estrogen, fuels the growth of many breast cancers.

    In their new test-tube study, Gooderham and coauthor Saundra N. Lauber show that upon exposure to PhIP, pituitary cells not only make progesterone, but also secrete it. If these cells do the same thing when they're part of the body, those secretions would circulate to other organs—including the breast.

    But "what was startling," Gooderham told Science News Online, is that it took just trace quantities of the heterocyclic amine to spur prolactin production. "PhIP was incredibly potent," he says, able to trigger progesterone production at concentrations comparable to what might be found circulating in the blood of people who had eaten a couple of well-done burgers.

    The toxicologist cautions that there's a big gap between observing an effect in isolated cells growing in a test-tube and showing that the same holds true in people.

    However, even if PhIP does operate similarly in people, he says that's no reason to give up grilled meat. Certain cooking techniques, such as flipping hamburgers frequently, can limit the formation of heterocyclic amines. Moreover, earlier work by the Imperial College team showed that dining on certain members of the mustard family appear to detoxify much of the PhIP that might have inadvertently been consumed as part of a meal.

    The human link

    Three recent epidemiological studies support concerns about the consumption of grilled meats.

    In the first, Harvard Medical School researchers compared the diets of more than 90,000 premenopausal U.S. nurses. Over a 12-year period, 1,021 of the relatively young women developed invasive breast cancers. The more red meat a woman ate, the higher was her risk of developing invasive breast cancer, Eunyoung Cho and her colleagues reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine last November. The increased risk was restricted, however, only to those types of breast cancers that are fueled by estrogen or progesterone.

    Overall, women who ate the most red meat—typically 1.5 servings or more per day—faced nearly double the invasive breast-cancer risk of those eating little red meat each week.

    Related findings emerged in the April 10 British Journal of Cancer. There, researchers at the University of Leeds reported data from a long-running study of more than 35,000 women in the United Kingdom who ranged in age from roughly 35 to 70. Regardless of the volunteers' age, Janet E. Cade's team found, those who consumed the most meat had the highest risk of breast cancer.

    Shortly thereafter, Susan E. Steck of the University of South Carolina's school of public health and her colleagues linked meat consumption yet again with increased cancer risk, but only in the older segment of the women they investigated. By comparing the diets of 1,500 women with breast cancer to those of 1,550 cancerfree women, the scientists showed that postmenopausal women consuming the most grilled, barbecued, and smoked meats faced the highest breast-cancer risk.

    These data support accumulating evidence that a penchant for well-done meats can hike a woman's breast-cancer risk, Steck and her colleagues concluded in the May Epidemiology.

    PhIP fighters

    Such findings have been percolating out of the epidemiology community for years. Nearly a decade ago, for instance, National Cancer Institute scientists reported finding that women who consistently ate their meat very well done—with a crispy, blackened crust—faced a substantially elevated breast-cancer risk when compared to those who routinely ate rare- or medium-cooked meats.

    However, even well-done meats without char can contain heterocyclic amines, chemical analyses by others later showed. The compounds' presence appears to correlate best with how meat is cooked, not merely with how brown its interior ended up (SN: 11/28/98, p. 341).

    At high temperatures, the simple sugar glucose, together with creatinine—a muscle-breakdown product, and additional free amino acids, can all interact within beef, chicken, and other meats to form heterocyclic amines. In contrast, low-temperature cooking or a quick searing may generate none of the carcinogens.

    Because there's no way to tell visually, by taste, or by smell whether PhIP and its toxic kin lace cooked meat, food chemists have been lobbying commercial and home chefs to reduce the heat they use to cook meats—or to turn meats frequently to keep the surfaces closest to the heat source from getting too hot.

    The significance of this was driven home to Gooderham several years ago when just such tactics spoiled an experiment he was launching to test whether Brussels sprouts and broccoli could help detoxify PhIP. "I bought 30 kilograms of prime Aberdeen angus lean beef," he recalls. "Then we ground it up and I gave it to a professional cook to turn into burgers and cook." Professional cooks tend to move meats around quite a bit, he found. The result: His expensive, chef-prepared meat contained almost no PhIP.

    In the end, he says, "I sacked the cook, bought another 30 kilos of meat and prepared the burgers myself. It was a costly lesson."

    Once restarted, however, that study yielded encouraging data.

    One way the body detoxifies and sheds toxic chemicals is to link them to what amounts to a sugar molecule. Consumption of certain members of the mustard (Brassica) family, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts (both members of the B. oleracea species)—can encourage this process. So Gooderham's team fed 250 grams (roughly half a pound) each of broccoli and Brussels sprouts each day to 20 men for almost 2 weeks. On the 12th day, the men each got a cooked-meat meal containing 4.9 micrograms of PhIP.

    Compared to similar trial periods when their diets had been Brassica-free, the volunteers excreted up to 40 percent more PhIP in urine, the researchers reported in Carcinogenesis.

    Experimental data suggest that two brews may also help detoxify heterocyclic amines. In test-tube studies, white tea largely prevented DNA damage from the heterocyclic amine IQ (SN: 4/15/00, p. 251), and in mice, extracts of beer tackled MeIQx and Trp-P-2 (see Beer's Well Done Benefit).

    The best strategy of all, most toxicologists say, is to prevent formation of heterocyclic amines in the first place. In addition to frequently turning meat on the grill or fry pan, partially cooking meats in a microwave prior to grilling will limit the toxic chemicals' formation. So will mixing in a little potato starch to ground beef before grilling (see How Carbs Can Make Burgers Safer) or marinating meats with a heavily sugared oil-and-vinegar sauce (SN: 4/24/99, p. 264).


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

    Citations

    Janet E. Cade

    UK Women's Cohort Study

    Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    30/32 Hyde Terrace

    The University of Leeds

    Leeds LS2 9LN

    United Kingdom


    Eunyoung Cho

    Channing Laboratory

    Department of Medicine

    Harvard Medical School

    181 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115

    Nigel J. Gooderham

    Biomolecular Medicine

    Imperial College London

    Sir Alexander Fleming Building

    London SW7 2AZ

    United Kingdom

    Susan Elizabeth Steck

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program

    Arnold School of Public Health

    University of South Carolina

    2221 Devine Street, Room 231

    Columbia, SC 29208
    Further Reading

    Raloff, J. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part II—Beyond the heart. Science News Online (July 7). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part I—The heart of the issue. Science News Online (June 16). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Pesticides mimic estrogen in shellfish. Science News 170(Dec. 16):397. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. No-stick chemicals can mimic estrogen. Science News 170(Dec. 2):366. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Meat poses exaggerated cancer risk for some people. Science News Online (March 25). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Beer's well done benefit. Science News Online (March 5). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Carcinogens in the diet. Science News Online (Feb. 19). Available at [Go to].

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

    ______. 2004. Uranium, the newest 'hormone'. Science News 166(Nov. 13):318. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Fire retardant catfish? Science News Online (Dec. 8). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1999. Well-done research. Science News 155(April 24):264-266. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Very hot grills may inflame cancer risks. Science News 154(Nov. 28):341. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. Another meaty link to cancer. Science News 149(June 8):365. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. 'Estrogen' pairings can increase potency. Science News 149(June 8):356. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1995. Beyond estrogens: Why unmasking hormone-mimicking pollutants proves so challenging. Science News 148(July 15):44. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1994. Meaty carcinogens: A risk to the cook? Science News 146(Aug. 13):103.

    ______. 1994. Not so hot hot dogs? Science News 145(April 23):264-269.

    ______. 1994. How cooked meat may inflame the heart. Science News 145(March 12):165.

    ______. 1994. The gender benders. Science News 145(Jan. 8):24. Available at [Go to].

    Smith-Roe, S.L., et al. 2006. Induction of aberrant crypt foci in DNA mismatch repair-deficient mice by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Cancer Letters. 244(Nov. 28):79-85. Abstract available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent responses to 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP), a food-borne carcinogen. (Abstract # 514). Toxicologist 90(March):105.

    ______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent suppression of specific mutations induced in vivo by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 594(Feb. 22):101-112. Abstract available at [Go to].

              Diminishing Obesity's Risks        

    Mouse data suggest that, properly managed, obesity can be benign.

    Food for Thought

    Health-care professionals typically refer to an extremely heavy person as being morbidly obese. The term reinforces the idea that the individual is at high risk of diabetes, fatty-liver disease, and heart attacks. Researchers who have been working with mice now report that certain chronic diseases don't have to be consequences of obesity.

    The team accomplished the disconnect by tricking the animals' bodies into storing all their excess fat within their fat cells, or adipocytes.

    That's not what the bodies of rodents—or people—typically do. Initially, excess lipids—fat—are stored in these cells, making up what's called adipose tissue or simply body fat. These deposits lie primarily in the breasts, belly, and thighs. However, once adipocytes fill up, new storage sites take up the overflow. Those new depots usually develop in muscle and the liver.

    Of those two depots, the liver is more dangerous when it becomes fatty. Straightforwardly named, fatty liver disease can arise and lead eventually to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death.

    A drop in the hormone called adiponectin is the body's signal to store fat outside adipose tissue. Sometimes referred to as the starvation hormone, adiponectin normally remains high in lean animals. With obesity, however, blood concentrations of the molecule fall.

    Philipp E. Scherer of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and his colleagues reasoned that keeping adiponectin concentrations high might fool the body into making extra adipocytes instead of sending surplus fat to muscles and the liver.

    The team has now investigated the hypothesis in a strain of mice that make copious adiponectin regardless of how fat they become. In the Sept. 4 Journal of Clinical Investigation, the researchers report that as the novel mice mature, they become unbelievably huge. Indeed, muses Scherer, these are "the fattest mice ever reported," with fat comprising 60 percent or more of their body weight.

    As hoped for, the mice deposit all their excess fat in adipose tissue. Also in sharp contrast to other obese mice, the high-adiponectin animals develop no signs of diabetes. They also avoid a metabolic disorder known as syndrome X, which puts animals, including people, at high risk of heart disease (SN: 4/8/2000, p. 236).

    So, although these barely mobile, blubbery mounds of flesh look like wrecks, they don't appear to be at high risk for several chronic diseases associated with obesity, Scherer told Science News Online. Actually, he says, from the preliminary data, the mice "appear perfectly healthy."

    He suspects that there's a lesson in this for investigators of human-obesity treatments. Drugs exist that raise adiponectin values in even overweight individuals. Most, like pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia), are prescribed to treat diabetes. However, data suggest these drugs also reduce the buildup of fat in the liver.

    Unfortunately, diminishing health risks in morbidly obese people may require far more than just supersizing their treatment with the diabetes drugs—especially since data reported earlier this year linked rosiglitazone with an increased risk of heart attack (SN: 6/23/07, p. 397).

    Fat signals

    Tissues throughout the body communicate on a regular basis via signaling hormones. Adiponectin is one of those messengers released by adipocytes to inform the rest of the body about how full the fat cells are. If they aren't full, Scherer explains, the cells pour out copious adiponectin. The body then responds by directing its fat into those cells for storage. As adipocytes fill with lipids, they turn down the adiponectin signal, telling the body that it's time to find new fat depots.

    Adipocytes release several other messengers, among them leptin. As lipids swell the adipocytes, the cells crank up production of this hormone. Once released into the bloodstream, leptin circulates to the brain, where it offers a status report on how full the fat cells are. If leptin signals that there's plenty of fat on hand, a healthy body not only experiences satiety but also reduces its food intake and burns more calories.

    At some point, a spontaneous mutation in mice led to a strain of animals that lacked the ability to make leptin. The resulting rodents, always hungry and primed to store—not burn—any excess energy consumed, inevitably become obese. Scherer's group worked with this strain and engineered it also to make extra adiponectin. The new mice typically produce about twice as much adiponectin as a normal, svelte rodent does. This excess is comparable to what can occur when people take certain diabetes-controlling drugs.

    In the new study, the researchers compared normal, lean, leptin-producing mice with leptinfree, obese ones and the new leptinfree-but-high-adiponectin animals. By adulthood, the new mice far surpassed the girth of the original obese line. But instead of having high blood sugar and insulin concentrations—characteristics of the original obese animals that mimic type-2 diabetes symptoms—the new megafatties exhibited normal insulin and blood-sugar values. In fact, Scherer says, the engineered animals had about the same insulin characteristics as healthy, lean mice.

    "That was a real surprise," he concedes—"that the [new] mice could get so fat and yet remain very healthy, metabolically speaking."

    One solution: More fat cells

    Most people are like obese mice, chronically taking in more calories than they burn, Scherer says.

    Lipid buildup in the liver is "really the driving force for insulin resistance," a metabolic change that precedes the development of diabetes, notes Scherer When this develops, the body makes normal amounts of insulin, but finds itself increasingly unable to use it. The end result: Too little insulin is used to move energy into cells, leaving high concentrations of sugar in the blood.

    The new study with high-adiponectin mice shows that "if you can overcome this block of overexpansion of adipose tissue, there is no need for excess calories to deposit as fat in the liver," Scherer says. Instead, fat can accumulate where it does the least damage, "in the professional fat-storage cell, the adipocyte."

    But Scherer doesn't want to say that excess calories are benign when they wind up in fat cells. Bulging adipocytes send out a number of inflammatory compounds (SN: 2/28/04, p. 139). It's not yet clear how important a role these compounds may play in chronic disease, but some have been linked to diabetes. Moreover, extra weight may strain an animal's joints and even its heart. So, it's premature to give a clean bill of health to mice whose physiques rival that of Jabba the Hutt.

    Still, Scherer argues, "from a qualitative point of view, these [new] mice are relatively healthy." Indeed, he says, what happens in the animals' tissues may explain why some very obese people are able to retain good insulin sensitivity and dodge the diabetes bullet.

    People who develop diabetes as adults tend to put all of their fat into a few big, inflammation-prone fat cells. However, some people's bodies employ a different strategy, Scherer says. They pack relatively small quantities of fat into an ever-proliferating number of fat cells, ones that never seem to undergo stress-induced inflammation. This approach is triggered by a "local overexpression of adiponectin in adipocytes." That, in turn, switches on production of a key signaling molecule—PPAR-gamma—that serves as a master switch "governing how many fat cells we have," he explains.

    "None of this is an endorsement for obesity," Scherer cautions. "But it shows that if you can expand your fat stores in a healthy way to keep up with your caloric intake, this will improve insulin sensitivity."

    Overall, he argues, "the best strategy is to eat less and exercise more. But for the many of us who continue to take in more calories than we burn, it would be better to expand our fat-cell numbers than to store excess lipids in other tissues. That's our take-home message."


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

    Citations

    Philipp E. Scherer

    Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research

    Department of Internal Medicine

    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

    5323 Harry Hines Boulevard

    Dallas, TX 75390-9077
    Further Reading

    Dormandy, J.A., et al. 2005. Secondary prevention of macrovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes in the PROactive Study (PROspective pioglitAzone Clinical Trial In macroVascular Events): A randomised controlled trial. Lancet 366(Oct. 8):1279-1289. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Harder, B. 2007. Fixes for fatty liver. Science News 171(March 3):136-137. Available at [Go to].

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Psaty, B.M., and C.D. Furberg. 2007. Rosiglitazone and cardiovascular risk. New England Journal of Medicine 356(June 14):2522-2524. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Fattening carbs—Some promote obesity and worse. Science News Online (Sept. 29). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Infectious foie gras? Science News Online (June 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Inflammatory fat. Science News 165(Feb. 28):139-140. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2007. Diabetes drug might hike heart risk. Science News 171(June 23):397. Available at [Go to].

              Fattening Carbs—Some Promote Obesity and Worse        

    Food for Thought

    Nutritionists call them carbohydrates. To most of us, they're simply sugars and starches. And although the fructose in soft drinks and the refined flour in white bread taste quite different, "nutritionally and metabolically they're the same as table sugar," explains endocrinologist David S. Ludwig. That's because the body digests all carbohydrate-rich foods into glucose, or blood sugar.

    However, all carbs don't break down at the same rate. The body digests those in many whole-grain products quite slowly. Others become converted to glucose almost immediately.

    Rapidly digested carbs aren't healthy for people with diabetes and others watching their blood sugar. A new study by Ludwig and his colleagues at Children's Hospital Boston suggests that such carbs are also problematic for people looking to shed body fat. Indeed, the findings indicate that consumption of the wrong carbs can spur the development of body fat, even with no gain in weight.

    In the study, mice that chowed down on a type of rapidly digestible starch didn't gain any more weight than did animals eating a starch that digests slowly. But the first group did accumulate lots of excess fat. The data indicate that something about rapidly digesting carbs signaled the body to convert more of a meal's energy into body fat, into fatty lipids that circulate in blood, and into deposits of fat throughout the liver.

    Ludwig considers the observed effect on the animals' livers the most troubling one. Fatty-liver disease has traditionally been regarded as the first stage of damage from alcoholism that can progress to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death. But researchers in recent years have discerned the beginnings of an epidemic of fatty-liver disease unrelated to alcoholism but correlated strongly with being overweight. Recent data suggest that as much as one-third of children and even a higher proportion of adults have the condition. Ludwig told Science News Online that he suspects that "up to half of the [U.S.] population" now has fatty-liver disease.

    The question has been what's fueling this epidemic. Because the disease so often accompanies obesity, many researchers have suspected that high-fat diets and junk foods are responsible. Ludwig's group had another idea.

    In recent years, the mushrooming incidence of obesity in the United States has led to a push to get people to lower their intakes of fat. However, reducing fat consumption almost always translates into increasing the intake of carbs (see Counting Carbs). Moreover, the carbs most people reach for first are the refined—easy to digest—types found in white flour, white rice, pasta, and potatoes.

    Ludwig's team decided to see whether a diet rich in a similar carb promotes fat buildup. They used a proportion of carbs that people on a low-fat diet might eat and compared its effects with that of a diet equal in all respects except that its carbs were mainly a slowly digested starch.

    In the September Obesity, the researchers show that animals eating rapidly digested carbs accumulated more fat throughout their bodies—including their livers—than did animals eating primarily the slow-to-digest starch.

    Says Ludwig, "This is the first study in which a single dietary factor—varied within normal ranges—affected whether the liver remained normal or accumulated seriously elevated levels of fat."

    Recipe for pudge

    In the new study, Ludwig's team fed 18 recently weaned mice food pellets containing 13 percent fat, 19 percent protein, and 68 percent carbohydrates from corn starch. Half the animals got pellets containing the starch called amylopectin, which is made up of a string of glucose molecules that the gut easily degrades into sugar. The remaining mice ate pellets containing some amylopectin but mostly the starch called amylose. That type of corn starch resists breakdown in the gut.

    All the animals ate and drank as much as they wanted for 25 weeks. Throughout the study, the researchers charted weight gain, body fat, fecal excretion of starch, and blood concentrations of glucose and insulin. At the end, the researchers killed the animals and measured their livers' fat contents.

    Weight gain didn't differ between the two groups of animals, suggesting that the mice found the diets comparably palatable. However, the animals' bodies responded differently to the two food-pellet recipes. Mice dining on amylopectin-enriched chow became twice as fat as those eating the slower-digested amylose recipe. Mice eating this starch grew a little longer in body, so they looked leaner that the "roly-poly" mice eating easily digested starch, Ludwig says. The latter mice "felt squishy," whereas the slow-digested-starch eaters felt firm, he adds.

    Although blood sugar concentrations didn't differ between the two groups, mice on the amylopectin-rich food developed higher insulin values after a meal. The body uses the hormone to shepherd energy into its cells. Higher blood insulin after a meal, Ludwig explains, indicates that an animal needs more insulin to fully use the food it's eaten. Needing more of the hormone can be a first sign of insulin resistance and impending diabetes.

    Ludwig notes, "Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone, meaning it promotes the storage of fat. In fact, that's arguably one of [the hormone's] main roles." One of the first places newly made insulin ends up is in the liver, where it can trigger the localized creation and stockpiling of fat.

    Although the rodents' livers weighed the same whether they ate fast- or slow-digested starch, fat made up 12 percent of the liver in mice fed the amylopectin-rich diet. That's double the fat content of livers in animals that had eaten the slow-digested starch. For perspective, Ludwig notes, people whose livers contain 10 percent fat are considered to be suffering from "advanced" nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease.

    What about people?

    This isn't the first study to indicate that foods that rapidly break down to glucose in the body—characterized as having a "high glycemic index" (see The New GI Tracts)—can fuel nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease. For instance, last year Silvia Valtueña of the University of Parma in Italy and her colleagues reported findings from a study of 247 apparently healthy men and women. The volunteers' diets were evaluated and given a glycemic-index (GI) rating.

    Low GI foods included corn, dairy products, and fruit. High GI fare included bread, pizza, and baked snacks. The volunteers were grouped into four categories based on the ascending GI rankings of their diets.

    Participants with the highest-GI diets were twice as likely to have undiagnosed fatty-liver disease as were other study participants. People in the highest group were also far likelier to be insulin resistant, the researcher reported in the July 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    In an editorial accompanying the Valtueña report, David J.A. Jenkins and his colleagues at the University of Toronto argued that the "implication of this study is that a low-GI diet, or selection of lower-GI rather than higher-GI foods, may benefit persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver." Indeed, the commenters suggested, it might be possible for doctors to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver by lowering the glycemic index of an individuals' diets.

    That's what Ludwig's group is now investigating: "We hope to enroll 46 kids to a diet for 6 months," he says. The 8- to 17-year-olds and their parents will receive dietary counseling. Half of the recruits will be assigned to a low-fat diet. The rest will receive counseling to lower the glycemic index of their diets. The general guidelines for a low-GI diet call for substituting whole-grain foods for ones made from highly processed cereal fibers and reducing refined sugars in favor of sweet fruits.

    "Conceptually," Ludwig says, "fatty liver should be reversible—we've seen it anecdotally in practice many times, such as when someone loses weight or changes the quality of their diet."


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

    Citations

    David J.A. Jenkins

    Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center

    St. Michael's Hospital

    61 Queen Street, East

    Toronto, ON M5C 3E2

    Canada


    David S. Ludwig

    Children's Hospital Boston

    Department of Medicine

    333 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115


    Silvia Valtueña

    Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

    University of Parma

    43100 Parma

    Italy
    Further Reading

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Counting carbs. Science News 166(July 17):40-42. Available at [Go to].

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

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Sloth, I., et al. 2004. No difference in body weight decrease between a low-glycemic-index and a high-glycemic-index diet but reduced LDL cholesterol after 10-wk ad libitum intake of the low-glycemic-index diet. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80(Aug. 1):337-347. Available at [Go to].

              Human Suffering and Humanitarian Emergencies [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Humanitarian emergencies are not simply brute facts, appealing directly to our emotions or our moral sensibilities. They are one of the important ways in which perceptions of human life, sympathy for suffering, and responses to social upheaval have come to be organized in recent decades. Like nations and business corporations, they are creatures of social imaginaries, but no less materially influential for that. They are shaped by a history of changing ideas about the human; moral responsibility for strangers; structures of chance and causality; and the imperative and capacity for effective action, even at a distance. They reflect the context of the modern era generally and more specific features of the era since the 1970s. And they are embedded in a complex institutionalization of responses. First, grasping human suffering as humanitarian emergencies is made possible by a long history of changes in how we – Westerners especially – construct the categories of the human, the emergency, and moral obligation. Second, though they are influenced by both state politics and economic activity, humanitarian emergencies appear as anomalies outside the putatively normal stable functioning of political and economic systems. Third, emergencies and humanitarian sympathies are produced importantly through large-scale media systems, including especially visual media. Fourth, they have commanded attention especially since the 1970s as responses to an era of market-driven globalization and declining faith in political action. Fifth, they have occasioned a new institutional field of response in which NGOs and voluntary action are pivotal (even though states remain crucial funders), and they are shaped by the way such response organizes both what we see and what happens materially on the ground. Sixth, they reflect a view from relatively ‘core’ locations in the modern world-system on seeming chaos in its periphery, a view often linked at once to a managerial orientation, an idea of charity, and the reassurance of grasping suffering and chaos precisely as distant. The specific historical circumstances that gave rise to humanitarian response are changing, and with them this specific project of cosmopolitan care for distant strangers may be undergoing a deep transformation. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              Social Movements in the US: From the American Revolution to Obama [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              The Democracy Project [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Dr David Graeber, Professor Craig Calhoun | From the earliest meetings for Occupy Wall Street, David Graeber felt that something was different from previous demonstrations. What was it about this particular movement that worked this time? And what can we now do to make our world more democratic again? Graeber presents a vital new exploration of anti-capitalist dissent, looking at the actions of the 99% and revealing the alternative political and economic possibilities of our future. David Graeber is an anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, who has been involved with the Occupy movement most actively at Wall Street. He is widely credited with coining the phrase "We are the 99%" and is the author of the widely praised Debt: The First 5000 Years. His new book The Democracy Project is published by Allen Lane. Craig Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              LSE Director's Inaugural Alumni Lecture [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Craig Calhoun took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes.
              Social Movements and Social Change [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Drawing on his decades of research on social protest, Professor Calhoun will explore the roots of radicalism and the relationship between social movements and social change. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
              Knowledge Matters: the public mission of research universities [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | The university is an institution in upheaval. In his Inaugural Lecture as Director of LSE, Professor Craig Calhoun explores the options for the future. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Occupy's Predicament: The Moment and the Prospects for Movement [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Todd Gitlin, Professor Craig Calhoun | Erupting in September 2011, Occupy Wall Street was jump-started by a radical core who devised a form of action, occupation, that combined face-to-face with electronic elements. In an election year, the ingenuity of the original core has been overshadowed by the momentum, the stakes, and not least the money of the presidential campaign. Whether an Occupy movement takes shape and endures, focused on transformation of a political system overwhelmingly shaped by plutocrats, depends on the actions of many networks that were mobilized within and around the Occupy moment. Todd Gitlin is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and is the author of 15 books, including, Occupy Nation: the roots, the spirit, and the promise of Occupy Wall Street. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council.
              Central Banking and the Credit Crunch [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies | Howard Davies is working on a book about the future of central banking to be published in 2009 by Princeton University Press. He will assess the ways in which central banks around the world have responded to the credit crisis and what that implies for their role in financial sector regulation in the future. Howard Davies is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Prior to this, from 1997-2003 he was Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, the single regulator for the UK financial sector, which was created under his leadership from nine separate regulatory agencies. From 1995-1997 he was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.
              China and Financial Reform [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies | Howard Davies sits on the International advisory councils of the China banking and securities regulatory commissions. In the fourth lecture of an annual series he reviews the progress of reform in china's financial markets, and the implications for the rest of the world. Howard Davies is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Prior to this, from 1997-2003 he was Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, the single regulator for the UK financial sector, which was created under his leadership from nine separate regulatory agencies. From 1995-1997 he was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.
              Global Financial Regulation: The Essential Guide [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies, David Green, John McFall, Sir Steve Robson, Gillian Tett | As international financial markets have become more complex, so has the regulatory system which oversees them. The Basel Committee is just one of a plethora of international bodies and groupings which now set standards for financial activity around the world, in the interests of investor protection and financial stability. These groupings, and their decisions, have a major impact on markets in developed and developing countries, and on competition between financial firms. Yet their workings are shrouded in mystery, and their legitimacy is uncertain. Howard Davies was the first chairman of the UK's Financial Services Authority, the single regulator for the whole of Britain's financial sector. He was a member of the main international regulatory committees for several years, and is now director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). David Green was head of International Policy at the FSA, after 30 years in the Bank of England, and has been particularly closely associated with the development of the European regulatory system. He now advises the Financial Reporting Council. John McFall MP is Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons since 2001. He was re-elected to this post in October, 2005. In 1997 John served as a Government Whip and in July 1998 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office. His portfolio included responsibility for the Department of Education, Community Relations, the Training and Employment Agency and the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Economic Affairs. Sir Steve Robson is a former senior UK civil servant, who had responsibility for a wide variety of Treasury matters. His early career included the post of private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and secondment to ICFC (now 3i). He was also a second permanent secretary of HM Treasury, where he was managing director of the Finance and Regulation Directorate. He is a non-executive director of JP Morgan Cazenove Holdings, RBS, Xstrata Plc, The Financial Reporting Council Limited and Partnerships UK plc, and a member of the Chairman's Advisory Committee of KPMG.
              Trepei com a minha vizinha que estava bêbada        

    Era um sábado à noite em Salvador, tava curtindo uma garrafa de vinho barato na varanda de minha casa vazia...2 horas e 2 garrafas de vinho depois, isso já pelas 03:30 da madrugada, eu vejo surgir no final da rua uma silhueta feminina rebolando sensualmente com uma bolsa na mão...cabelos soltos na altura dos ombros, negros como a noite que a envolvia, usava uma micro-saia de couro marron, e uma blusa com cadarso na frente como se fosse um corpete daqueles dos tempos da vovó que teimavam em sufocar um par de seios loucos pra pular pra fora, porém não escondia uma barriga perfeita com pelinhos que segundo minha imaginação desciam até onde mora o tezão.
    A medida que ela se aproximava, eu ia notando mais detalhes, pele morena, coxas grossas, alta, 1,75m no mínimo, quadris largos o que denunciavam uma bunda empinada e nada pequena. Percebi lindos olhos verdes, e pra minha surpresa eu conhecia aquela escultura viva!! Era minha doce e casada vizinha! No dia anterior eu escutei de casa a briga dela com seu marido que culminou com a saída dele de casa, mas o que teria acontecido de tão grave pra que aquela mulher tão respeitável estivesse literalmente vestida como uma prostituta, e cheirando a álcool como naquele momento?
    Bom, isso ela mesmo me respondeu com uma voz balbuciante de quem já havia tomado umas 8 doses de wisky:
    - Marcos, aquele desgraçado disse pra mim que eu não desperto interesse nos homens... ao que respondi:
    - Isso passa, foi só uma briga de casal...
    - só uma briga? Então vc vai querer me convencer que isso é motivo pra que ele me deixe sem sexo por 3 meses ?
    Quando houvi isso, meu sangue gelou... aquilo soou nos meus ouvidos como um convite pra uma noite de sexo, já reparava aquela minha vizinha a algum tempo, mas nunca havia visto ela usando roupas tão reveladoras, nesse momento ela já estava dentro da varanda da minha casa, de frente pra mim, encostada com um pé na parede, eu tava sentado na escada e aquela posição dela revelava suas coxas com pelos loirinhos, e de tão pequenina a saia quase me dava uma visão de sua calcinha, nesse momento,meu pau estava duro e podia sentir minha cueca começando a se melar...
    A partir daí pensei: porque não tirar proveito daquela situação, uma vez que ela se mostrava louca pra extravazar o tesão que a enchia e eu pra realizar meu grande fetiche por mulheres casadas, e de quebra, me vingar da minha namorada que havia brigado comigo sem um bom motivo.
    Resolvi pôr meu plano em prática... fiz com que ela se acomodasse ao meu lado na escada e ofereci vinho pra ela, bêbada como ela estava, foi fácil deixa-la bem a vontade e passou a se abrir, rir e contar mais da sua vida... tratei de dirigir logo o papo pro lado do sexo e ela deixou claro que desde que casou, vivia de papai-e-mamãe com seu marido, mais surpreso ainda fiquei quando ela me confidenciou que seu marido a chamou de puta quando ela tentou fazer sexo oral nele, e que daquele dia em diante ela não sabia o que era o gosto de uma pica na boca, e tava muito infeliz, pq ela adorava sexo e sexo oral pra ela é o que mais a excita!! Fiquei louco com aquilo tudo, já que adoro sexo oral tanto quanto ela, tratei de deixa-la a par disso... ela rindo muito, me olhou de cima a baixo e me falou com a voz mais sensual que já ouvi: - isso é um convite?, já não agüentando mais aquela situação respondi: -não, isso é uma ordem!
    Então ela me olhou fundo nos olhos, largou o copo que segurava e passou a acariciar e apertar meu pau por cima da bermuda, fechei os olhos e respirei fundo, enquanto ela falava que queria me ver todo nu pra saber o quanto eu era gostoso (palavras dela... efeito do álcool hehehe!)
    Levantei e tirei a camisa, sou moreno claro, tenho 1,83m de altura, peso 82kg, tenho cabelos e olhos castanhos, frequento academia, por isso tenho um corpo forte, tenho 26 anos e ela me revelou que tava fazendo 29 naquela noite, meu pau mede uns 18cm, eu acho, nada descomunal como os de alguns contos que li nesse site, mas é bem grosso, minha namorada vive reclamando disso!
    Sugeri que fossemos pra dentro de casa e ela aceitou entrando na frente... tranquei a casa, me certificando que ninguém havia nos visto entrar, ela sentou no sofá, e me puxou pra ficar em pé de frente pra ela... abriu minha bermuda, abaixou até o pé, e ficou apertando meu pau e falando coisas que só ela entendia... meu tezão era tamanho que a cabeça do meu pau tava saindo da cueca por cima, ela ficou passando o polegar na abertura e espalhando o melado que escorria dele, e perguntou com voz de menina dengosa: - Marcos, deixa eu matar meu desejo? Quero muito esse pau na minha boca!! Não respondi, apenas segurei sua cabeça e tentei meter em sua boca, ela não deixou, primeiro tirou minha cueca, me deixando todo nu, surgiu um pau duro e melado na frente dela, ficando a poucos centímetros dos seu rosto, em seguida ela passou a lamber minhas coxas de baixo pra cima metendo a lingua entre minhas verilhas até que colocou minhas bolas na boca... nossa!! Que delícia!! O calor daquela boquinha pequena e molhada engolindo meu saco quase me fez gozar, meu pau pulsava e meus quadris faziam movimentos inconscientes de vai-e-vem como se já fudesse sua buceta. Ficou assim um bom tempo, e depois seguiu lambendo do saco até a cabecinha, engolindo por completo, chupou, chupou, chupou e tirou da boca deixando um fio de baba da ponta de sua língua até a cabeça do pau, e falando que tava louca de saudades daquele gostinho segundo ela: (gosto de macho) que a enlouquecia nos seus sonhos eróticos. Segurei sua cabeça e passei a bombar e fuder sua boca feito louco, ela segurou o pau com uma mão e sugar com muita força! Me sentia metendo numa buceta virgem tamanha era a pressão q meu apu sofria daquela boca gulosa... 2 minutos nesse movimento e um jato de porra grossa enchia sua boca, eu tava gozando! Meus olhos reviraram, minhas pernas enrrigeceram, tentei tirar meu pau de dentro pra gozar o que faltava no seu rosto, mas pra minha surpresa, ela fez algo que nenhuma outra mulher fez antes: ela engoliu meu pau até o talo fez ele sumir todinho dentro da boca encostando os lábios nos meus pelos pubianos, sentia a cabeça do pau descer e encostar na sua garganta, segurou minha bunda com as duas mãos não permitindo tirar meu pau de dentro de sua boca!! Sinceramente, eu nunca gozei como naquele momento e talvez jamais volte a gozar de novo!! Cheguei a gritar de tanto tesão, e meus movimentos de estocadas fortes foram diminuindo, diminuindo, e quando parei, ela foi tirando o pau de dentro da boca e lambendo como se quisesse prosseguir uma nova chupada, caí deitado no sofá com as pernas duras quase dando câimbras, e ela rindo me disse: - Você acha que depois de tanto desejar um pau na boca, eu perderia um leitinho tão gostoso? Gargalhou, bêbada, e me pediu cerveja, prontamente trouxe as cervejas e depois de uns 25minutos já tínhamos tomado quatro latas cada um e eu fui ao banheiro, quando voltei ela tava dormindo deitada no sofá, sua saia havia subido revelando um volume enorme embaixo da bela calcinha rendada, dourada e de lacinho que ela usava , meu pau voltou a ficar duro, me aproximei e aquele cheiro de cerveja que exala dela me deixou muito mais louco, passei a acariciar sua xota por cima da calcinha e vi que aquele volume todo era de uma buceta carnuda de pelos ralos, lisinhos e bem aparados, com lábios grandes e pela calcinha encharcada pude comprovar o tezao q ela sentiu quando me chupava... me coloquei sobre ela e passei a desamarrar o cadarso de sua blusa, até ver surgir um belo par de seios com marcas de biquine branquinhas contrastando com sua pele morena , os bicos eram lindos e tavam durinhos como facas afiadas, não resisti e resolvi chupar ! chupei, chupei, chupei muito, e vi os bicos duros cada vez mais duros... livrei seu corpo totalmente da blusa e desci chupando tudo no caminha da xotinha até chegar no umbigo, me concentrei ali, metendo a língua e fazendo movimentos circulares, esperando q ela acordasse e compartilhasse do tezao que era só meu! Mas o único sinal de vida que ela me mandava eram arrepios pelo corpo...
    Resolvi descer até a xaninha alagada dela, levantei mais sua saia e passei a morder e lamber sua buceta por cima da calcinha, aquele cheirinho de buceta melada me enloquece, puxei a calcinha de lado e um fio de baba da buceta foi junto com a calcinha... louco de tesão, caí de boca e chupei e lambi o quanto pude... pentrava minha língua fundo na xota e sentia as contrações na minha língua, e o gosto delicioso daquela bucetinha apertadinha... chupava os lábios da buceta com força e sentia o clitóris enrrigecer-se na minha boca, nesse momento o corpo dela se contorcia e ela erguia os quadris como se quisesse ser penetrada pela língua... com o pau já muito duro , resolvi ir mais mundo naquela delicia que tava babando de tesão!, dormindo como estava, aquele mulherão tava muito pesado... me ajeitei no sofá, pus suas pernas nos meus ombros e vi meu pau se enterrando e sumindo naquela buceta ... o barulho de melado que fazia me deixava pirado, tava adorando fuder aquela mulher maravilhosa enquanto ela dormia!! Dava um ar de estupro, já não queria que ela acordasse, passei a bombar com grande velocidade, como um cachorro quando trepa numa cadela... o suor escorria, seus seios balançavam, o barulhinho de melado, eu chegava a tirar e botar o pau inteirinho dentro dela, metia com muita vontade e até com uma certa violência... aí ouvi ela sussurrar baixinho: - to gozandoooooo! Vi seu corpo se arrepiar e sua buceta contrair com força meu pau, o tesão era imenso pra eu parar naquele momento! GOZEI!!! Gozei muito, e com muita força!! Gozei vendo ela morder os lábios e chupar a propria língua!! Gozei em espasmos fortes, longos, gozei tudo dentro dela!! Bem no fundo daquela xota! Meus quadris prosseguiam bombando inconscientes depois de tanto gozo, a cebeça da pica doía... eu caí sobre ela exausto e molhado de suor, sentir seus braços me enlaçando e seus bicos dos peitos ainda duros contra os meus...
    Adormecemos assim...No domingo pela manhã fui despertado por ela (Ana) repetindo a chupada que ela havia feito horas atrás. Aí tive a certeza que apesar de ela estar bêbada, estava muito consciente do que fizera!!
    Desejei pra ela um bom dia, mas ela me interrompeu dizendo: - cala a boca! , o único som que quero ouvir de sua boca são seus gemidos!! Nossa ! que tesão me bateu!! Dessa vez eu não me deixou gozar!! Tirou o resto da roupa, e ficou ajoelhada no sofá com o rosto pra parede e a bunda bem empinada, e me puxou pra me posicionar atrás dela, quando tava posicionando pra enterrar de novo naquela xota, pra minha surpresa, ela pegou meu pau começou a pincelar o buraquinho do cu! Imaginei: ora!! Se o marido não deixava ela nem chupar um pau, seguramente aquele cuzinho nunca tinha vista uma pica!
    Voltei com força a enterrar na xota, fazendo ela e conseqüentemente me melar junto, baixei e chupei com tesão aquele cuzinho, tentava penetra-lo com a língua, mas era muito apertado pra isso... levantei e atendi seus pedidos pra que eu fizesse dela mulher. Comecei a forçar mas a cabeça grande do meu pau dificultava, aí falei pra ela parar de tentar sugar meu pau com o cu e fazer o contrario, tentar expelir!! Ai sim senti a cabeça enterrando dilatando aquele cu... o corpo dela tremia e ela me xingava de desgraçado e que eu tava rasgando ela em duas bandas...
    Mas finalmente e pau entro até a metade e comecei a movimentar num vai e vem e cada vez mais lubrificado, a dor que ela e que também eu sentíamos passou a ser prazer, só prazer!! Segurei seus peitinhos e passei a bombar com força e rapidez e ela pedindo pra q eu gozasse q ela não tava agüentando de dor!! Via sangue no meu pau e resolvi parar!! Ela se voltou pra mim e disse:
    - se vc parar agora eu mato vc!! Me fode porra!! Rasga meu cuzinhooooooo!!!
    Ouvindo isso, eu enterrei o Maximo que pude e comecei a gozar com estocadas fortes, gozei muito!! Ficamos grudados como cachorros depois da trepada..., algum tempo depois fui tirando o pau de dentro e vi escorrer porra e sangue entre suas pernas... eu sentei no sofá e ela entre minhas pernas... ficamos abraçados um tempo... com versamos um pouco e depois fomos tomar banho...
    Depois que ela se vestiu, veio até mim pra se despedir e só aí ela veio e me beijou!!
    Saiu em seguida, a rua tava deserta, fiquei na varanda olhando ela entrar em casa, e nesse momento percebi feliz da vida que não havia sido só mais uma trepada, eu havia ganho uma amante!!
    Espero que gostem e mandem suas opiniões!
    J.P – Salvador - BA
              Workforce        
    In order to improve the availability of ECE services in Los Angeles county, there must be a substantial pool of qualified and trained staff who work in these settings, and who are qualified to provide high-quality early childhood education to children in the county. As stated by the National Academy of Sciences (2012) and reinforced…
               05 de setembro dia Amazônia        
    Resultado de imagem para dia da amazonia texto

    A Amazônia é a maior floresta tropical do mundo com a maior biodiversidade, logo merece um dia em sua homenagem. A data (5 de setembro) foi escolhida, pois foi em 5 de setembro de 1850 que D.Pedro II criou a província do Amazonas.

    É uma data voltada para a conscientização da população sobre a importância da floresta amazônica para o meio ambiente. Além da riqueza de vida (vegetal e animal), a Amazônia é rica em rios, lagos e diversos recursos naturais. Toda esta riqueza e beleza devem ser preservadas para as futuras gerações. A exploração dos recursos da Amazônia deve ser feita de forma sustentável, ou seja, sem agredir a natureza. 

    Importância: um momento para ação e reflexão

    A Amazônia é a maior floresta tropical do mundo com a maior biodiversidade, logo merece um dia em sua homenagem. A data (5 de setembro) foi escolhida, pois foi em 5 de setembro de 1850 que D.Pedro II criou a província do Amazonas.

    É uma data voltada para a conscientização da população sobre a importância da floresta amazônica para o meio ambiente. Além da riqueza de vida (vegetal e animal), a Amazônia é rica em rios, lagos e diversos recursos naturais. Toda esta riqueza e beleza devem ser preservadas para as futuras gerações. A exploração dos recursos da Amazônia deve ser feita de forma sustentável, ou seja, sem agredir a natureza. 

    Um sério problema enfrentado pela Amazônia nas últimas décadas e que devemos refletir e agir é a questão do desmatamento ilegal. Com o objetivo de retirar madeira ou ampliar áreas para pasto e plantações, muitas pessoas estão devastando a floresta amazônica. O desflorestamento afeta diretamente a fauna e a flora da região, causando danos irreversíveis ao ecossistema amazônico.

    Além do desmatamento, podemos citar outros problemas que atingem a Amazônia são: biopirataria (contrabando de animais e de plantas); pesca e caça sem ilegais e sem controle; conflitos por disputas de terras.

    Objetivos da data

    - Conscientizar as pessoas sobre a importância da Amazônia para o Meio Ambiente;

    - Debater sobre os problemas atuais da Amazônia;

    - Educar e informar, principalmente jovens e adolescentes, sobre a importância da preservação da floresta amazônica.

    Alguns dados importantes da Amazônia:

    - Bioma: floresta tropical

    - Área: 5,5 milhões de km²

    - Países: Brasil, Peru, Venezuela, Colômbia, Equador, Bolívia, Suriname, Guiana, Guiana Francesa.

    - Principais rios: Rio Amazonas, Rio Negro, Rio Solimões, Rio Japurá, Rio Purus, Rio Juruá, Rio Madeira, Rio Tapajós e Rio Branco.

    - Clima: Equatorial quente e úmido.


              Professores trabalhando o Abuso e Tráfico de Drogas. Conscientizando aos nosso alunos que droga não é uma coisa legal e que todos saibam dizer não quando for oferecida.        








              Thirty candidates registered at contest for National Prize 2017 in Moldova        

    The members of the commission for awarding the National Prize today held at meeting at the government, to consider those 30 files of the candidates and collectives of candidates, put forward for the 2017 issue of the contest.    


    The list of candidates, the fields of nomination and the information on the degree of files’ meeting the contest’s regulation were unveiled at the meeting chaired by the deputy head of the Commission, Education, Culture and Research Minister Monica Babuc. Following the discussions, the Commission members approved all files submitted for the National Prize 2017, with the structure according to the sectors being the following: science (11 files), technologies (2 files), culture and art (13 files), sport (4 files).       


    At the same time, the commission established the composition of the groups of experts, made up of famous persons: academicians, university professors, practitioners with experience in the field fitting the files, masters of the arts and sportspeople. The evaluation will be made based on a record of criteria, according to the Regulation.     

     

    It is worth mentioning that the deadline for submitting files to participate in the contest expired on 28 July 2017. The gala of the contest of the National Prize 2017 will take place on 26 August.   

     

    Candidates registered at contest for National Prize 2017

     

     


              Scienza senza confini        

    Trieste città di confine. In un caldo week end di maggio gli studenti del Master in Comunicazione della scienza della Sissa intraprendono un viaggio tra scienza, sapori, popolazioni, culture e lingue diverse. Un mix di suoni e parole di frontiera diviene così la nuova puntata di Jekyll on air andata in onda sulle frequenze di Radio Fragola (Popolare Network, Trieste) domenica 24 maggio. Eccola qui anche in podcast e streaming. Buon ascolto!


              30 anni di legge Basaglia         

    Sono passati trent’anni dall’approvazione della legge 180, la legge Basaglia. Una rivoluzione culturale, sociale e politica che ha portato alla chiusura dei manicomi e al riconoscimento dei diritti dei malati di mente. Franco Basaglia fu il medico veneziano che per primo aprì i cancelli di un ospedale psichiatrico, quello di Trieste. Qui sono nate moltissime iniziative per il reinserimento sociale dei malati mentali tra queste anche Radio Fragola. Abbiamo sentito ai nostri microfoni la sociologa e Presidentessa della Fondazione Basaglia, Maria Grazia Giannichedda, una protagonista di questa rivoluzione.

    Realizzato da Adriano, Adele e Viviana, studenti del I anno del Master in Comunicazione della Scienza della Sissa


              Scienziati senza frontiere         

    Voci, lingue, facce diverse. La globalizzazione della scienza porta i ricercatori in giro per il mondo. Le loro teste sono materia prima preziosa per il paese che li accoglie. Il problema può non essere esplorare i segreti della natura, ma ottenere un permesso di soggiorno. Allora la vita di uno scienziato si fa dura. Ostacoli economici e burocratici: se l'Italia offre questo, il bilancio tra cervelli in entrata e in uscita non sarà a nostro favore. Ne parlano da Trieste ricercatori e studenti stranieri del Centro Internazionale di Fisica Teorica e Stefano Fantoni, direttore della Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati.

    Realizzato da Anna, Andrea e Enrico, studenti del I anno del Master in Comunicazione della Scienza della Sissa


              Che cos'è Fest        

    Una festa o una fiera dell’editoria scientifica? Quali sono le diverse anime che le danno forma? E a chi si rivolge? Parole scritte o testi parlati? Per rispondere a queste domande abbiamo chiesto aiuto a Pietro Greco, giornalista scientifico e direttore della manifestazione. E poi a Carlo Baccigalupi, astrofisico alla Sissa e collaboratore del premio Nobel George Smoot, Martha Fabbri, responsabile del tavolo editoriale di Fest, e Luca Caridà, responsabile dell’animazione scientifica.

    Realizzato da Silvia, Davide e Filippo, studenti del I anno del Master in Comunicazione della Scienza della Sissa


              Nasce la neuroetica        

    Le più recenti tecniche di neuroimmagine hanno rivoluzionato il modo di studiare la mente. La sensibilità dei nuovi strumenti riesce a svelare i meccanismi fondamentali dei comportamenti umani. Da più parti si accende il dibattito per un uso corretto delle nuove metodologie. La neuroetica muove i suoi primi passi. Verso quale direzione, l’abbiamo chiesto a Raffaella Rumiati, docente di neuropsicologia alla Sissa di Trieste e a Laura Boella, ordinario di filosofia morale all’università Statale di Milano e autrice del recente "Neuroetica. La morale dopo la morale”.

    Realizzato da Giulia e Giovanni, studenti del I anno del Master in Comunicazione della Scienza della Sissa


              La radio che dà voce a chi non ha voce        

    Sotto la direzione dell'associazione "Arte e Salute" e del Dipartimento di Salute mentale dell'Azienda Usl di Bologna, e con il finanziamento della Regione, ha preso il via il progetto Psicoradio, programmi radiofonici realizzati da pazienti con problemi psichici, in onda sulle emittenti locali, in particolare su Radio Città del Capo, o direttamente su internet. Dopo un corso di formazione su misura per 15 pazienti, tenuto da professionisti della comunicazione, docenti universitari, protagonisti della cultura e dell'arte, è nata la redazione vera e propria. La radio è una grande opportunità per far capire che chi ha problemi a livello psichico possiede sensibilità, competenza e talento. Dalle parole di Lucia Manassi, caporedattrice di Psicoradio, cerchiamo di capire cos’è una radio che “darà voce a chi voce non ha".

    Realizzato da Adriano, Adele e Viviana, studenti del I anno del Master in Comunicazione della Scienza della Sissa


              Europe Summit Aims to Revive Lost Momentum Toward Unity         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Become a part of the Monitor community


              SCOPE        

    Forty-one students participated in the 8-week summer research program, SCOPE, a student-faculty collaborative experience, conducting research in animal behavior, biology, chemistry/biochemistry, kinesiology, math/computer science, and physics.


              Inglewood Open Studios
Tour Celebrates Its Tenth Year! Saturday, November 12 & Sunday, November 13, 2016. 12pm-5pm        

    Inglewood Open Studios Celebrates its Tenth Year! Saturday, November 12th and Sunday November 13,2016 12pm - 5pm

    For Immediate Release:  


     Inglewood Open Studios
Tour Celebrates Its Tenth Year!
    Saturday, November 12 & Sunday, November 13, 2016. 12pm-5pm
       
    
LOS ANGELES, CA – Inglewood has become the fastest growing artist community in Los Angeles. It is also the fastest growing city, undergoing daily changes for and around the NFL stadium, Hollywood Park Casino, along new Metro lines and downtown Inglewood. The tenth annual Inglewood Open Studios tour will showcase the impressive depth and talent of this community on the weekend of November 12-13, from 12:00 to 5:00pm both days. As always, Inglewood Open Studios remains an artist run event, co-organized by local non profit Inglewood Cultural Arts (ICA).

    On both Saturday November 12 and Sunday, November 13, Inglewood artists will open their studios to the public, inviting visitors to personally tour their private working spaces and enjoy art created in all media--drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed-media, photography, print making, installation, video and performance.

    To mark our 10th year anniversary, co-founder Renée Fox will curate a group show of 2016 Inglewood Open Studios artist participants at Residency gallery, a new gallery in Inglewood, managed by Rick Garzon. With its second exhibition about to open, Residency has already had reviews in Contemporary Art Review la (also known as CARLA) and Artillery. The group show will serve as stop #1 on the tour route, and, as a preview of art that can be seen on the tour. Group show dates: Saturday, November 12 through Wednesday, November 16 with a closing reception on November 16 from 6-9PM.

    An official map with Inglewood Open Studios location details will be available online, at Residency gallery and at all artist studio locations on the tour. For additional information on Inglewood Open Studios, including the printable tour map, please visit  www.inglewoodopenstudios.com Free shuttle transportation will also be provided by the City of Inglewood.

    Participating Artists -
    Inglewood Open Studios participants include both established and emerging artists. The 2016 Inglewood Open Studios artists are listed in alphabetical order:

    Adrienne Adar
    Susan Amorde
    Brian Biedul
    Martin Bruinsma
    Kelly Brumfield-Woods
    Darel Carey
    Matthew Carey
    Anne Cheek La Rose
    Joyce Dallal
    Bibi Davidson
    Beth Dubber
    Martin Durazo
    Renee Fox
    Sue Francis
    Calida Garcia Rawles
    Michael Giancristiano
    Nancy Jo Haselbacher
    Shelly Heffler
    Astrelle Johnquest
    Michael Massenburg
    Christopher L. Mercier
    David Newcombe
    Lindsey Nobel
    Kenneth Ober
    Toni Reinis
    Joan Robey
    Alexandra Rose
    Dawn Rosenquist
    Karen Sikie
    Stan Smith
    ZinShu Spock, 
    Ernie Steiner
    Holly Tempo
    Sidney Tuggerson, Jr.
    Ginger Van Hook
    Luke Van Hook
    MonaLisa Whitaker
    Exceptional Children's Foundation (29 artists)

    Inglewood, CA -

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2012
    Inglewood, CA -
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook©
    Inglewood is nestled in the center of Los Angeles County. Bordered by the LAX International Airport, it is in close proximity to Otis College of Art and Design and is surrounded by the cities of Culver City, El Segundo, Marina Del Rey, Westchester, and Torrance.




    Inglewood Cultural Arts -
    Inglewood Cultural Arts, Inc. (ICA), functions as fiscal receiver and co-organizer for the Inglewood Open Studios. ICA is an independent, multidisciplinary nonprofit arts organization serving residents of Inglewood and surrounding communities. ICA's mission is to enhance the quality of life in the community by providing diverse cultural arts programs. www.inglewoodculturalarts.org 



    Van Hook Foundation-
    Van Hook Foundation (VHF) is the media sponsor for the Inglewood Open Studios and may be contacted for additional information. 
    VHF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Inglewood and located at the Beacon Arts Building Gallery 1D.
    The Van Hook Foundation’s mission is to promote the merging of fine art and science through the curating, jurying, installation and mounting of artistic, educational and scientific exhibitions for the public and to Promote Visibility of the Local Arts Communities in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.  vanhookfoundation.blogspot.com, www.gingervanhook.com, www.lukevanhook.com, gingersartjournal.blogspot.com



    For additional information, please contact press liaison Ginger Van Hook at gingervanhook@gmail.com


              SEE THRU EXHIBITION OPENED 8.14.10 GALLERY 825 LOS ANGELES        


    THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010

    SEE THRU EXHIBITION OPENED 8.14.10 GALLERY 825 LOS ANGELES

    Professor Shinsuke Shimojo of CalTech, 
    a worl