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MO-Saint Louis, St. Louis Community College is a multi-campus district comprised of four campuses and six satellites serving 718 square miles of St. Louis city and county and portions of Jefferson and Franklin counties. The college employs over 3,000 full and part time faculty, administrators, staff, and student employees. One of the most rewarding things about working at St. Louis Community College is the chance
          Comment on The Open Source – SELRS Update by SELRS at the Lake – SELRS Update | Growing Food Security in Alberta        
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          Watch and Download FOUR CHRISTMASES - Movie        


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          Waycross woman in court, accused of kicking death of toddler        
WAYCROSS, Ga. — A 42-year-old woman accused of killing a 3-year-old boy appeared in court Thursday morning. Karena Fay Warden is charged with murder and first degree child cruelty. According to the warrant, she kicked and punched Maliachi Smith in the body and head. The toddler was taken to the Mayo Health Clinic Saturday where […]
          ASAHI INDIA GLASS LTD ANNOUNCES UNAUDITED FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED 30TH JUNE, 2017        
by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi – AIS (Asahi India Glass Ltd.), India’s leading integrated glass Company announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended    30th June, 2017 at its Board Meeting.

The consolidated financial performance highlights for the quarter ended 30th June, 2017 are as follows -

Sales (inclusive of Excise Duty) at Rs. 670.98 crores, reflected an increase of 8.60% over the previous period (Rs. 617.84 crores).

Operating EBIDTA i.e. Operating Earnings before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes and Amortisation was recorded at Rs. 109.85 crores registering an increase of 7.89% over the corresponding figure of Rs. 101.82 crores for the previous period.

Cash profit increased by 19.94% from Rs. 66.65 crores in Q4 FY 2016 to Rs. 79.94 crores in Q4 FY 2017.

PBT increased by 25.67% from Rs. 46.08 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 57.91 crores in Q1 FY2018.

PAT increased by 38.33% from Rs. 28.33 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 39.19 crores in Q1 FY2018.

The table below gives the details of the financial performance both on standalone and consolidated basis –  

AIS – Financial Results for the first quarter ended 30th June, 2017
(Rs. Lakhs)
Particulars
Standalone
Consolidated
2017
2016
Change (%)
2017
2016
Change (%)
Sales
65,891
61,022
7.98
67,098
61,784
8.60
Operating EBIDTA
11,314
10,427
8.51
10,985
10,182
7.89
Cash Profit
8,329
6,923
20.31
7,994
6,665
19.94
Profit Before Tax
6,202
4,963
24.96
5,791
4,608
25.67
Profit after Tax
4,145
3,058
35.55
3,919
2,833
38.33


We have also implemented some operational upgrades in our float glass plant at Roorkee leading to productivity increases from the next quarter. We also welcome the new regulations & standards from the government for architectural glass which shall be beneficial to everyone in the long term. As required by law, we have migrated to the new IndAS method of accounting and therefore, our results have been restated this quarter with minor upside on PAT coming from positives in depreciation.  Overall, we continue to look forward to consistent growth in auto and architectural segments as well as a stable macro environment.”

About AIS:
Asahi India Glass Ltd. (AIS) is a joint venture between the Labroo family, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. of Japan, and Maruti Suzuki India Limited. AIS began operations in 1987.
AIS, today, is a leading integrated glass company in India, manufacturing a wide range of international quality automotive safety glass, float glass and architectural processed and value added glass. AIS operates under three strategic business units (SBUs), namely, Auto Glass, Architectural Glass and Consumer Glass.
Auto Glass is India's largest manufacturer of world class automotive safety glass and is, in fact, one of the largest in the field in Asia. It is the sole supplier to almost all the OEMs and has a market share of approx. 77 per cent in the Indian passenger car industry.
Architectural Glass is formed as a result of management merger of Float & Glass Solutions (Processed Glass) SBUs. This SBU manufactures quality float glass and deploys an extensive network of 4 zonal offices and over 1000 distributors. It also markets a wide range of AGC products in India as its distribution partner.
Consumer Glass SBU is Company’s interface with end users for its range of automotive and architectural glass offerings. Impeccable, customized and consumer centric solutions is the key differentiator of Consumer Glass SBU. It includes GlasXperts – a retail initiative in the Architectural Glass segment and Windshield Experts which is India’s only automotive glass repair & replacement specialist.

          Union Bank of India Announces Excellent Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017         
Highlights  of  Union Bank of India's Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017  

CASA     25.1 per cent YoY
Non Interest Income      `  ` 1414 crore  (up 36 per cent YoY) 
Savings Deposit     27.6 per cent YoY
Operating Profit     ` ` 2057 crore (up 26.5 per cent YoY) 
CASA Share      35.5 per cent 
Net Profit        ` 117 crore (up 7.3 per cent QoQ) 
RAM* Sector      14.8 per cent YoY
CRAR       12.01 per cent 
RAM* Share       55.4 per cent
Tier I      9.24 per cent 

 The growth in Deposits was driven by Savings Deposits, which grew by 27.6 per cent on YoY basis.
 
 Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent against 48.28 per cent on YoY basis.

 Capital Adequacy Ratio (Basel III) improved to 12.01 per cent compared to 10.75 per cent a year ago. * (Retail, Agriculture & MSME share in domestic advances) 

Business
Global Business grew by 10.5 per cent to `670971 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `607280 crore as on June 30, 2016. Domestic business grew by 10.0 per cent to `635233 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `577473 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Total deposit of the bank grew from `338727 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `375796 crore as on June 30, 2017 showing growth of 10.9 per cent. 
Financial Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017 
                                            
CASA deposits grew by 25.1 per cent to `133412 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `106604 crore as on June 30, 2016.   CASA share in total deposits improved to 35.5 per cent as on June 30, 2017 compared to 31.5 per cent as on June 30, 2016. Average CASA ratio also increased by 430 basis points (bps) to 33.5 per cent on YoY basis.  Savings Deposit registered YoY growth of 27.6 per cent.  A total of 8.70 lakh CASA accounts were opened during April-June 2017, out of which 8.38 lakh were Savings Bank Accounts (excl. BSBDA/BSBDS accounts).   The Bank’s Global Advances grew by 9.9 per cent (YoY) to `295175 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `268553 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Due to encouraging growth of 14.8 per cent in RAM (Retail, Agriculture & MSME) sector, Domestic Advances increased by 9.4 per cent from `242935 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `265683 crore as on June 30, 2017. 


Financial Performance for the quarter ended June 2017

Domestic Net Interest Margin (NIM) stood at 2.20 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 2.36 per cent for April -June 2016. Global NIM for April -June 2017 stood at 2.06 per cent as against 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017 quarter. It was 2.28 per cent a year ago.    Yield on funds stood at 6.94 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 7.94 per cent for April-June 2016 and 7.35 per cent for January-March 2017.   Cost of funds stood at 5.03 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 5.82 per cent for April-June 2016 and 5.24 per cent for January-March 2017.  Net Interest Income for April-June 2017 increased by 6.7 per cent to `2243 crore from `2103 crore for April-June 2016. It was `2387 crore during January-March 2017.  Non Interest Income for April-June 2017 stood at `1414 crore, showing increase of 36.0 per cent over April-June 2016.   Operating profit increased by 26.5 per cent to `2057 crore during April-June 2017 over `1626 crore during April-June 2016 and was `2134 crore during January-March 2017.  Net Profit for April-June 2017 sequentially increased to `117 crore from `109 crore in January-March 2017.  Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent for April -June 2017 from 48.28 per cent for April-June 2016 and it was 44.32 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on average assets (annualised) stood at 0.10 per cent for April-June 2017 as against 0.17 per cent for April-June 2016 and 0.10 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on equity (annualised) stood at 2.46 per cent in April -June 2017 as against 3.36 per cent for April -June 2016 and 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017.  Earnings per share (annualised) stood at `6.78 in April -June 2017 as against `9.69 for April -June 2016 and `6.33 for January-March 2017.

Asset Quality
Gross NPA stood at 12.63 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.17 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.   Net NPA ratio stood at 7.47 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 6.57 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 6.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  Provision Coverage Ratio stood at 51.13 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 51.41 per cent as on March 31, 2017. It was 49.99 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  

Capital Adequacy

Capital Adequacy ratio of the Bank under Basel III improved to 12.01 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.79 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.75 per cent as on June 30, 2016 compared to minimum regulatory requirement of 10.25 per cent.  The Tier I ratio as of June 30, 2017 is 9.24 per cent, within which Common Equity Tier 1 ratio is 7.73 per cent compared to regulatory minimum of 6.75 per cent. 

Digital Initiatives

The Bank has been pioneer in taking various digital initiatives and continuously launched various digital products for enhancing the customer services. Following are some of the key achievements during the quarter:
 66 per cent growth in mobile banking users on YoY basis.  U-Mobile transaction volume doubled from June 2016.  90 per cent growth in number of PoS terminals on YoY basis.  7th largest presence in banking industry and 3rd largest presence amongst all PSU banks within short span of time in Social media.  Trendsetter on Social media channels by taking various initiatives like Live streaming, Digital Education Series – #KyaAapJanteHai etc.   67 per cent share of “transactions through digital channels” in “overall transactions”. 

Financial Inclusion:

Under the Pradhan Manrti Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the the Bank has more than 69 lakh accounts having a balance of `1270 crore.   48.91 lakh Rupay Card issued under PMJDY as on June 30, 2017.

Total enrollment under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APJ) increased to 30.1 lakh, 12.8 lakh and 2.21 lakh respectively.  The Bank financed `696 crore in 33433 accounts under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, including an amount of `211 crore to 7964 beneficiaries through a specific scheme for financing of light commercial vehicle during April–June 2017. 

Network

The Bank has 4286 branches as of June 30, 2017 including 4 overseas branches at Hong Kong, DIFC (Dubai), Antwerp (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia). In addition, the Bank has representative offices at Shanghai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. The Bank also operates in United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Bank of India (UK) Ltd.   Total number of ATMs stood at 7574 including 1685 talking ATMs as of June 30, 2017. ATM to branch ratio stood at 1.77. 

Awards & Accolades during FY 2017-18 (April-June)

Skoch Award 
Skoch Order of merit Award – Operational Customer Relationship Management (OCRM)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Unified Payment Interface(UPI)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Green PIN solution for Debit cards 
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Union Digi Gaon
Skoch Financial Inclusion Award for Financial Inclusion

          Shri Saibaba’s Holy Paduka’s Darshan Programme in India and Abroad News         

by Shrutee K/DNS

On 18th October, 2018, Sadguru Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi Embrace will attain 100 years at Shirdi. This auspicious occasion is of extra ordinary significance and life-time memories, for Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust as well as Sai devotees all over world. Hence, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has decided to celebrate this holy event as a grand festival, starting from 1st October, 2017 to 18th October, 2018.

On this auspicious occasion, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has planned to arrange various religious and cultural programmes. In line with this spirit, on behalf of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi a festival of ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’ will be organized in every district of Maharashtra and each state of our country, as well as 25 nations around the world.

Lakhs of devotees have come together and erected hundreds of Sai temples, all over India.  Their devotion to Shri Saibaba is of spiritual importance, arranging ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’, through Sai temples, will serve as a life time opportunity for Sai devotees to celebrate Centenary Year of Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi, in their town.

Dr Shri Suresh Haware, President, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi appeals to trusts & organizing bodies of Sai temples, desirous of arranging ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’ festival in their town, to contact with complete details – Deputy Collector, Email – dycoll.2@sai.org.in, Mob – 07720077205 or Shatabdi Cell, Email – shatabdi@sai.org.in, ph – 02423-258907-Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.

          BPCL awards its prestigious microsites design & implementation contract to Octaware Technologies        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10, 2017: Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), a leading software and business solutions development company, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious contract from BPCL for the design and implementation of their loyalty and brand microsites. Octaware was one of the bidders and was awarded the contract, post evaluation and presentation of efficient solutions and capabilities to the evaluation committee.

The scope of work under the contract includes design and implementation of microsites for BPCL’s loyalty programs – SmartFleet & PetroBonus and other brands - Speed and In & Out. The engagement includes a period of 3 months for implementation of microsites and an additional three years of support and maintenance. Octaware Technology Limited’s expertise in the areas of online portals & enterprise systems helped them win the contract.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Aslam Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Octaware Technologies Limited, said, “We are extremely delighted to have won the prestigious contract from BPCL, our first major win in the Indian PSU sector, post our IPO in April 2017. The fact that it falls under one of Octaware’s key focus verticals of governance, demonstrates our consistent and steady inroads in the Indian market, surpassing some of the strong players in the region. We look forward to a long-term business association with BPCL”.

About Octaware Technologies Limited:
Incorporated in 2005, Octaware Technologies Ltd is a software development company providing a range of information technology solutions. The company designs, develops, and maintains software systems and solutions. Company's services include custom software development, ECM/portal solution, ERP and CRM implementation, mobile platform solution, RFID solution, cloud and IT infrastructure services, consulting services and geospatial services.
Octaware provides specialized software application and product development services and solutions in the areas of healthcare, finance, and e-government industry. The company has proprietary products for domestic, as well as international markets, such as PowerERM – Human Capital Relationship Management, Hospice – Healthcare and Citizen Services solution, and iOnAsset – Inventory management and tracking System etc. These products are available as packaged products as well as software-as-a-service model integrated with legacy system.
Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), got listed on the BSE –SME platform on April 3, 2017 and was oversubscribed by 148%, providing testimony to the faith, the investors have reposed in the company.

          Hospitals and local physicians are noticing a spike in the no of respiratory cases in the city        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10th, 2017: The rains have arrived and so is the number of diseases along with it. People are aware of the most common ailments such as viral fever, the common cold, malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea, etc. But very few are aware of the respiratory ailments that stems from indoor air pollution in monsoon caused by the dampness in the walls, fungus from air conditioners, floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, sofa covers, wooden furniture harboring fungus, etc. The Hospitals and local physicians in the city have noticed a spike in the no. of cases with respiratory problems. Suspended Particulate Matter is the main trigger of damage in air Pollution. Other contents like SO2, ammonia, carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons add to the toxicity. Air pollutants which are less than 10 microns in size enter the smaller airways and causes damage. This may trigger cough, breathing difficulty, choking, chest tightness and Asthma.

Taking adequate precautions are one of the best ways to avoid monsoon-related ailments. All age groups are affected because of air pollution; however, there is a definite rise in asthma and lung infections among children. Also, elderly and diabetics are at a risk of lung infection because of air pollution. Avoiding floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, stuffed toys, burning incense sticks at home and regular cleaning of air conditioner filters are some of the precautions that can be taken to avoid indoor air pollution during the monsoon.

Mr. Girish Bapat, Blueair air purifier, Director West and South Asia Region further added, “Our mission at Blueair is to help Indian women, children and men confront the health challenges posed by rising air pollution. It is very essential to identify the Invisible dangers. Breathing in tiny, unseen pollutants put every individual at risk. These pollutants further pass through the lung tissue and puts you at risk of stroke, heart disease and developing Asthma, Allergy, Bronchitis, Infection and other respiratory problems. Getting acquainted of personal health records, heart rate and blood sugar level, is the best way to safeguard long-term health issues by classifying troublesome concerns at the earliest.”

Blueair’s air purifiers are innovated in Sweden to put people in control of their own air quality with superior filtration efficiency. Sold in over 60 countries around the world, Blueair delivers home and office users cleaner indoor air for enhanced user health and wellbeing faster than any competing air purifier thanks to its commitment to quality, energy efficiency and environmental care. A Blueair air purifier works efficiently and silently to remove airborne allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other pollutants.

          Feast after fasting this Janmashtami at Taj Wellington Mews Mumbai         

by Shrutee K/DNS 
Mumbai: This Janmashtami welcome the birth of Lord Krishna with a burst of flavour and fervour! Get together with family and friends and feel the festive cheer with a range of delicious treats perfect for breaking your fast. The light and crispy Sabudana Vada, the soft Rajgiri Puri, traditional Vari Rice, refreshing Thandai, Vrat Waale Aloo will satisfy after a day’s fast, before a sweet and creamy Badam Kheer and fresh fruit. Come and taste the ‘food of the Gods’/ ‘divine offerings’ at Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews!

Offer valid:
Date: 14thAugust 2017
Day: Monday
Timing: 12 PM to 10: 45 PM
Venue: Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews, Mumbai 
Contact Number: 022 66574331
About Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 98 hotels in 61 locations across the globe, including presence in India, North America, United Kingdom, Africa, Middle East, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury.  For over a century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, the iconic flagship has set a benchmark for fine living with exquisite refinement, inventiveness and warmth. Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris is part of the Tata Group, India’s premier business house. For more information, please visit www.tajhotels.com.



          ISKCON Kharghar Celebrates Sri Krishna Janmashtami from 13th to 16th August, 2017        

​


by Shrutee K/DNS

Navi Mumbai, 09th August 2017:  The devotees from ISKCON Kharghar will be celebrating Sri Krishna Janmashtami Festival which starts from 13th to 16th August, 2017 at Sri Sri Radha Madanmohanji Temple, Kharghar- Navi MumbaiThe Janmashtami celebrations are part of the festivities of the Radha Madanmohanji Mahotsav 2017 which have begun from 03rd August 2017 with the Jhulan Yatra Utsav and end on 16th August 2017 with the celebration of Srila Prabhupada’s 121st Vyasa Puja.

The highlights of this festival are the SRI KRISHNA KALASH ABHISHEK which will be held on 15th August 2017 from 7.30 pm onwards, wherein donors are given an opportunity to bathe Their Lordships with panchamrita in Silver Kalash. The most important event is the MAHA ABHISHEK of The Lord in the temple at 12 midnight. This year it is special as it will be held in the pandal so that thousands of devotees who visit the temple can have Darshan of this divine spectacle.

Bhakti Kala Kshetra, the cultural wing of ISKCON is organizing a cultural program comprising of dance, drama, discourses and bhajans has been organized in the pandal from 13th to 16th August and shall feature performances by congregational devotees, local artists and cultural organizations. The star attraction is going to be the celebrity performances of flute recital by Shri. Ronu Majumdar and bhajans by Shri. Shounak Abhisheki, Smt. Anuradha Paudwal, Shri. Anup Jalota, Shri. Vinod Trivedi and Dr. Vikram Parlikar.

On 16th August to commemorate the 121st birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON Kharghar has organized a day long program in which prominent people, devotees and congregational devotees will offer homage and heartfelt offerings to Srila Prabhupada from 10am onwards. This celebration shall comprise of Pushpa Abhishek and aarti to Srila Prabhupada at 12:30 noon followed by special 1008 offering. There will be prasadam for all after the celebration. In the evening from 6.00 pm onwards, congregation devotees, life members and donors will bathe Srila Prabhupada with milk, honey and gangajal in special kalash made of meena and brass. Devotees shall sing the glories of Prabhupadaji and remember his teachings that deeply touch the heart of people all over the world.

Preparations for Janmashtami festival at ISKCON Kharghar began almost 2 months prior to the actual festival. A special festival committee is formed to organize, manage and coordinate the festival.

About The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Kharghar:
ISKCON’s Sri Sri Radha Madanmohanji Temple at Navi Mumbai, is designated as ‘Glory of Maharashtra- A Vedic Educational and Cultural Center’. Spread over nine acres of land it is more than just a temple. It offers a spiritual and cultural experience that is one of its kind. While the magnificent temple with three alters dedicated to Sri Sri Radha Madanmohanji, Sri Ram Sita Laxman Hanuman and Sri Nitai Gaur Sunderji, is the main attraction, the project has other features that will make it a prominent landmark, like the Bhaktivedanta College of Vedic Education, which will teach the ancient Vedic philosophy as well as a Bhaktivedanta Library. Other facilities include a Guest House, Ayurveda Wellness Center, Vanprastha Ashram (old age home) and a magnificent Auditorium to cater to the cultural events in Navi Mumbai. Though the project is in the making, there is a small temple with the deities installed and  it has  already become a major landmark and place of  tourist attraction in Navi Mumbai.

          Ziox Mobiles announces Sushant Singh Rajput as its Brand Ambassador along with Rs. 300cr investment for FY17 - 18        
Launches its newest Mobile phone ‘Ziox Duopix’
        Forays into LED TV and Consumer Durables Segment
        Plans to open 2 new manufacturing units and R&D facilities with investment of Rs. 200cr.
        Plans a 360-degree marketing campaign with a budget of
Rs. 100 Cr.
by Shrutee K/DNS
In the light of its vigorous expansion, Ziox Mobiles under the aegis of Sun Air voice Pvt Ltd, one of the fastest growing Mobile handsets brand, ropes in the very versatile, Sushant Singh Rajput, as its Brand endorser who truly lives up to the brand name.  While Ziox mobiles is a preferred brand across the country through its outstanding innovation and quality, the other has won the hearts of a million Indians as he slips into any role with nonchalance. Both the brand and its ambassador ride on the precepts of resilience, hard work and steady growth. A rare blend of energy, perseverance, and popularity coupled with his ability to connect to people, Sushant Singh Rajput is a fine addition to the Ziox Mobiles family. This association will further boost the legacy of Ziox Mobiles as the actor resonates to the brand promise: Quality that Speaks.
Answering strong demand and an overwhelming response from the Indian market, Ziox Mobiles also chalked out a detailed expansion plan and the roadmap for FY 2017-2018.The Brand aims to establish a stronger foothold in the Indian Market, with the total investment of over Rs. 200crore which shall span for a year, the Brand announced its plan to set up 2 new manufacturing units (in Sikkim and Noida) and R&D facilities apart from the existing New Delhi unit, with a holding capacity of around 1 Million units per Month. With the induction of Sushant Singh Rajput as its brand endorser along with the total investment of Rs. 100 Cr. this FY 2017-2018, Ziox aims to achieve an estimated revenue of Rs. 1,000 Cr and a sale of 10 million product units.
Commenting on this association and a promising future, Mr. Deepak Kabu, CEO Ziox Mobiles said “The future looks bright, Ziox Mobiles has a range of phones in the pipeline with exciting new launches. We are enthralled to present Sushant Singh Rajput as the new face of Ziox Mobiles. With Sushant Singh Rajput on board, it will help augment sales and further its reach in the market. The partnership with him is timed with Ziox Mobiles’ next phase of expansion on a pan-India level” Mr. Kabu further adds, “Sushant embodies talent, youthfulness and style. More importantly, he blends well with the core values of hard work, reliability, and is the epitome of our brand philosophy. Today our target audience is the young, driven, forward-moving generation, who have ever changing needs. Sushant understands the pulse of this audience well and has a great rapport with them. That is why, with immense preparation, he goes on to entertain his fans with one performance after another just as Ziox Mobiles constantly strives to understand the changing needs of its customers.”
Speaking on the association, Sushant Singh Rajput said, "I have always known Ziox Mobiles to be an inspirational brand in terms of their persuasion to becomes India’s biggest mobile brand. I am happy to be associated with a brand which is very young, and has a journey that is very similar to mine. I love how this brand designs its products to suit every need of its customers and are constantly innovating themselves as I see myself doing that while working on a role. I look forward to being part of the Ziox Mobiles family and to contribute to its fascinating growth journey in India." The ever-evolving brand has slated a major strategic transformation that entails the signing of a new brand endorser, an aggressive expansion and launches of it new products. The Brand at the event also announced the launch of its newest smartphone Series ‘Duopix”, Phone Series with Dual Cameras. Designed to fulfil the brand promise of providing users with superior camera performance and quality, ‘Duopix’ comes equipped with wide angle Dual front camera (8.0MP + 2.0) front +8.0MP Rear. The latest Dual 4G model runs on Android 7.0, with 5inch HD IPS Display along with 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM all packed in 2500mAh battery. Some of the key features includes strong battery life & also the fast charging capability. The budget friendly Smartphone comes equipped with various other features like 21 language support with multilingual phonebook, MP3 player, FM Radio, Bluetooth connectivity to help you stay connected. The phone will be available across all retail stores in few week’s time. Along with the smartphones, the brand also announces its foray into LED TVS and Consumer Durables category.

About Ziox Mobile: Ziox Mobiles, part of Sun Airvoice Pvt. Ltd., incepted in the Year 2015, with a singular motto to break the boundaries while offering technologically superior products without compromising on quality. Headquartered in New Delhi, Ziox Mobiles has built up an impressive product portfolio of more than 40 distinguished products and constantly innovating to make superior products.
Empowering consumers with affordable technology through quality products- the brand has truly demonstrated quick and robust expansion since inception, showing profitability and growing sales since the first year of operations. Being considered as one of the most innovative and fastest growing brands in the Mobile category, the brand has established its presence across India through its wide network comprising of its various branch offices and system integrators across several states in India.

          Sugar Free launches a web series ‘The Sweet Breakup’ a first of its kind in the food space        


by Shrutee K/DNS


Mumbai, August 2017: Sugar Free, a name synonymous with sugar substitute, is the single largest leader in India in the category. The brand always thrives on innovation as key for its growth and has introduced many variants in the category for the sweet binging yet calorie conscious Indians. As an extension to its innovation drive, the brand has unveiled a new campaign ‘The Sweet Breakup’, a one-of-a-kind 5-part web-series in the food category. The series is conceptualized and executed by Maxus Content, the content solutions arm of Maxus.
Talking about the campaign Tarun Arora, Chief Operating Officer & Director, Zydus Wellness said, “Our vision for “Sugar Free” is to make it the brand of choice for consumers seeking low / no calorie options to lead a healthier life style. Hence to address the myths attached with the usage of Sugar Free as part of one’s daily culinary needs made us conceptualize ‘The Sweet Break Up’.  This web series demonstrates in an authentic way that you can indulge into your favourite dessert guilt-free without compromising on the taste. The 5- city trail as part of the campaign only reaffirmed that any sweet recreated with Sugar Free tastes the same when made with sugar. I believe this was the first time a dessert truck was going around India and hence there was a lot of excitement amongst people wanting to know what’s cooking !”
Pooja Verma, Head - Content, Entertainment and Sports Partnerships at Maxus said, “Maxus believes that changing traditional behaviour among consumers with content, needs a compelling strategy which is driven by insights and fused with creative thought. Showcasing Sugar Free as more than just a sugar substitute via ‘The Sweet Break-Up’ campaign is a prime example of our focus. Sweets have a strong relationship with celebrations in our country. With that insight in mind, we brought our campaign together on the message that enjoying sweets while breaking up with unhealthy calories is a win-win outcome for every foodie. The creative vehicle to deliver that message is our one-of-a-kind series where Chef Kunal Kapur joins famous foodie-duo Rocky & Mayur, in recreating delicious Indian sweets with Sugar Free. Through this content solution, the brand stands to generate extensive and meaningful conversations with viewers who love their sweets.”

This campaign marks the culinary journey of Sugar Free across 5 cities Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai, where celebrity chef Kunal Kapur reconstructed 5 different speciality desserts by using Sugar Free products. The brand also had on board the famous foodie duo Rocky and Mayur whose fun banter added to the entertainment element in the web-series. The journey started from Delhi where the chef created the famous Tewari Brother’s Gulaab Jamun followed by Lucknow where Ram Asrey’s famous Malai ki Gilori was made. The truck then headed East to Kolkata where he recreated Balaram Mullick’s Sandesh and then southward to Bangalore where he made a fusion dessert using G Pulla Reddy’s Dharwad Peda and created Dharwad Peda Tiramisu. The final leg of the web series was shot in Mumbai where Chef Kapur added a spin to made Ladu Samrat’s modak and created delicious chocolate modaks. All of these were created using Sugar Free. While the brand has a strong linkage with table top consumptionand pellets as a format, the culinary consumption for powder formats is a gap that needs to be bridged. ‘The Sweet Breakup’ campaign is that step forward by Sugar Free to make consumers aware of the format, its usage and the fact that the taste of the dessert stays as good. What more? One can indulge in sweets now without having to feel guilty.
The Sweet Breakup will be unveiled on-air on youtube.com 18thAugust
About Zydus Wellness Limited: Zydus Wellness Limited is the Consumer products company from the Zydus Group. Zydus group is a pharma major with flagship organization, Cadila Healthcare Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company with significant global presence apart from India. Zydus Wellness has been a pioneer in various categories it operates in. The company focuses on emerging segments and has its DNA of innovations with “Do good benefits” at the core of its business. Zydus Wellness commands leadership in the sugar substitute market, table spreads and the skin care segments. In the sugar substitute market, Sugar Free is a market leader with a market share of 94% and targets health and fitness seekers apart from diabetics.
Nutralite is a market leader in the Fat Spread category and appeals to consumers looking for healthier alternatives to normal butter. It is cholesterol free, does not contain any hydrogenated fats and is also trans-fat free. Everyuth is a pioneer in facial cleansing space in India. It enjoys leadership in the scrub and Peel off Mask segments and is amongst the top players in the overall facial cleansing category with strong “Naturals” equity Zydus Wellness Limited is listed on NSE and BSE and has manufacturing locations in Gujarat and Sikkim.
About Maxus:  Maxus is a marketing communications consultancy that helps marketers build profitable relationships between consumers and their brands. They combine the disciplines of communications planning and customer relationship marketing to deliver Relationship Media, a next generation model powered by creative media thinking and sophisticated, real-time customer data.

Their services include communications strategy, digital marketing, direct response media, social media, data analytics, media investment management, content & sports marketing, marketing ROI evaluation and CRM. Having a talent team of 2,500 people across 55 markets, they are part of GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group that serves as the parent company for all of WPP’s media agencies.

          Celebrate the platinum year of Indian Independence with HISTORY TV18        

This August watch inspiring stories of incredible Indians with ‘India: 70 wonders’ and a History TV18 original documentary on the great Subhash Chandra Bose with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 2017: This Independence month HISTORY TV18 is presenting a marathon of inspiring stories that is sure to keep the viewers glued to their screen. The channel brings two most amazing shows India 70 Wonders starting 8th August, 2017 every Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 PM and a documentary on Subhash Chandra Bose - ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ on 18thAugust at 9 PM. The viewers are in for a surprise as the August marathon will feature Bollywood “womaniya” Huma Qureshi.
India 70 wonders will feature inspiring and out-of-the-box OMG stories of India and Indians. Some amazing stories from across the country include the cemetery-hotel in Ahmedabad, a barber who drives a Rolls Royce, a 75 year old woman who has mastered Kalaripayattu, a man who transforms iron nails into art and the likes. A series of 7 extraordinary episodes, each episode will showcase 10 inspiring stories that will depict 70 years of a young nation that is at the crossroads of change. Each story has been handpicked based on the level of amazement and intrigue generated.
The next offering is a television first, based on Subhash Chandra Bose, one of the most dynamic leaders of India's struggle of independence. The undying questions surrounding the mystery of the fabled INA Treasure and it’s disappearance along with Bose will come alive with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ a History TV18 original documentary.  The secrets, locked away in the vaults of South Block and protected by the Official Secrets Act, will be showcased for the first time on television.
The thrilling one-hour special, is filmed in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar & Japan and uses rare archives as it pieces together the mysteries. With an interesting combination of present day shots, archival footage, graphics and interviews, the film takes one through an unexplored treasure hunt of World War II and its key players.









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

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

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

by Shrutee K/DNS

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

          Ducati launches Scrambler Café Racer in India at INR 9,32,000         


by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi : Ducati India announced the launch of the Scrambler Café Racer at INR 9,32,000 (Ex-showroom, India). The motorcycle is powered by the air and oil-cooled EURO 4-compliant 803 cc twin-cylinder engine. The Desmodue engine delivers 73 hp at 8,250 rpm* and a torque of 67 Nm at 5,750 rpm* and comes with blacktrimmed covers and machined cooling fins.   Sergi Canovas Garriga, Managing Director of Ducati India said, “This motorcycle is a modern interpretation of the legendary Café Racer scene from the 1960s that triggered a motorcycling revolution. It represents the expression of free spirit and is an icon of style for enthusiasts. We’re very confident that with the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, we will successfully bring the global cultural phenomenon to India as well.”

The bike combines the best of the two worlds – the design language of the Scrambler brand and a sporty riding position. This version features rear-view mirror mounted aluminium clip-on handlebars, Termignoni exhaust with dual tailpipes, black anodized aluminium cover and a dedicated seat featuring a cover for the passenger section. 
This version has cast aluminium 17” wheels with Pirelli DIABLO™ ROSSO II tyres (120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 180/55 ZR17 at the rear). The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer mounts a Brembo braking system featuring Bosch 9.1 MP ABS with a pressure sensor. The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer also features a radial-type front brake pump ensuring true sport bike braking performance.

The Scrambler Café Racer has a dedicated line of accessories and apparel. The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer is now available in a Black Coffee colour with black frame and gold wheels across all Ducati dealerships in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad & Kochi. 
  
Ducati Scrambler 
Ducati’s new Scrambler brand re-interprets the values of the Ducati Scrambler, the iconic twowheeler developed in the 1970s in the USA, which quickly became a worldwide success. Anticonformist, accessible and essential, the Ducati Scrambler is a perfect mix of tradition and modernity, a step towards the pure essence of motorcycling: two wheels, wide handlebars, a straightforward engine and endless fun. And, to meet everyone's individual “self-expression” needs the Ducati Scrambler comes in several different versions like the Icon, Classic and Full Throttle. This year two more versions join the Land of Joy: The Scrambler Desert Sled, a version that draws its inspiration from the off-road bikes that, back in the '60s and '70s, made US motorcycling history, and the Café Racer, the Scrambler interpretation of the legendary '60s bikes that triggered a motorcycling revolution

          Wrangler Celebrates 70th anniversary with its Autumn Winter’17 Collection        

by Shrutee K/DNS


This year, Wrangler celebrates its 70th anniversary of producing perennial fashions with a global advertising campaign and a fresh anniversary collection, influenced by their iconic, revolutionary denim and authentic retro looks that took the 1970s by storm.

Wrangler was the definitive denim brand for teenagers back in this style-setting decade, and the anniversary collection has been artfully inspired by the brand’s notable archive finds: reinventing the most popular ’70s styles for today’s spirited youth with a passion for life and all of its adventures.
Trademark Wrangler basics are back and better than ever, as the label taps into’70s imagery for inspiration and relaunch the timeless vintage logo. The collection includes bold, colourful t-shirts featuring variations of the iconic ’70s Wrangler rainbow graphic, and signature staples in vibrant hues with retro seventies cuts. The rainbow symbolises confidence, exuberance and freedom: traits that are intrinsic to the Wrangler’s brand’s persona. Denim comes in authentic stone washes and brighter shades of blue.  Wrangler continues to be renowned and praised for being inspiring, progressive and always in tune with the ever-changing needs of its fashion-forward customers.
 Price Details: Tees: Rs.995/- Onwards & Denims: Rs.2995/- Onwards

Availability: Across all Wrangler stores in India.

About Wrangler
The heritage of Wrangler goes back literally 70 years when the brand first made an appearance. Wrangler was the first modern five-pocket jeans to be test-fitted and endorsed by real-life cowboys. Since then, Wrangler continues to inspire freedom, independence and self-reliance in its wearers.

The brand in India has come a long way, evolving to meet the needs of the ‘urban cowboy’ with a range of fashion apparel that is contemporary, fashionable yet rugged. 

A part of VF Corporation - the world's largest apparel company, Wrangler has found a loyal consumer base in the Indian youth that swear by this unique fashion brand. This stylish denim brand is available at exclusive standalone stores, leading apparel stores and major department stores Log on to wrangler-ap.com/in.

          Ambi Pur’s New TVC Focuses on Refreshing Monsoons        
Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 4, 2017:-Ambi Pur’s Smelly to Smiley campaigns have always challenged and conquered the toughest and most pungent odours in a real time set up with live experiments. The third edition of the Smelly to Smiley campaign focuses on yet another very relevant odour issue that most have us have encountered – the problem of the lingering monsoon odour that plagues all Indian households during the season. While monsoons have always stood for happy, fun times, growing up brings us face-to-face with monsoon-related issues. Akin to the advertisement format that has become synonymous to Ambi Pur, the new TVC is a real-life experiment at a real consumer’s home, where a unique sensorial challenge is conducted. After all, how often would you come across people with blind folds and pegs on their noses?

This interesting play on the senses reveals that a home, which may look immaculately clean, may, in reality, be perceived as unclean because it is doused with the damp monsoon odour. This TVC, conceptualized by Grey Group, features Brand Ambassador Boman Irani who presents a reality check in context to the damp, lingering odours that specially torment during monsoons. Launching nationally on August 03, the TVC positions the New and Improved Ambi Pur, with odour-clear technology, as the perfect solution to restore freshness to your favorite season. 

The recently released findings from a survey conducted by AC Nielsen, commissioned by Ambi Pur, unearthed the extent of suffering that these damp, musty odours impose on all of us. In fact, 9 out of every 10* women felt that monsoons bring issues within the household such as drying clothes inside, that lead to a musty damp odour.
 
Nidhish Garg, Brand Manager, P&G Home Care India, comments: “To drive awareness regarding the New & Improved Ambi Pur with patented odour-clear technology, we have launched the 3rdleg of the very popular Smelly to Smiley campaign. The brand stays with its ideology of putting the product to torture tests against relevant odour issues, and this time we take on the musty odour that all Indians face during monsoons. The TVC captures live reaction of a consumer who experiences the monsoon odour when visiting a friend’s home that looks perfectly clean. The same consumer sees Ambi Pur in action and how it completely eliminates the monsoon odour as opposed to temporarily concealing it with a fragrance. This format of communicating with our consumers through live experiments helps in building brand salience and credibility.”
 

Ambi Pur’s Brand Ambassador, Boman Irani further adds, “Monsoon is my favourite season but we all know the challenges that come with it, right from drying clothes inside to the rigorous cleaning regime. The new TVC shows that the house that looks clean may not actually smell clean due to the overwhelming moisture-heavy air giving out a feeling of lack of hygiene. It is always fun shooting for Ambi Pur ads, as well as extremely reassuring to witness the brand live up to toughest home odours in live experiments, year on year! This time too, Ambi Pur in its new avatar, truly eliminated the musty monsoon odour. So, it’s time to stop being enslaved by this moldy smell and refresh your monsoons with Ambi Pur.”

The New & Improved Ambi Pur uses a distinct formulation that focuses on odour removal, not just on emitting the fragrance. P&G has created a trademarked ‘Odour-clear technology’, which has been brought to India in July. The new technology fights odour at a molecular level, neutralizing it completely, and leaving behind a subtle fragrance, thus truly eliminating all tough odours.

All Ambi Pur fragrances, including the newly launched Sandalwood fragrance, are available across stores at a price of Rs. 299.

Agency Credits:
Lead Creative Agency: GREY Düsseldorf
Local Support: GREY Mumbai
Production House: Casta Diva Pictures, Mumbai

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers in India with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Vicks ®, Ariel®, Tide®, Whisper®, Olay®, Gillette®, AmbiPur®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Oral-B®, Head & Shoulders® and Old Spice®. P&G operates through 3 entities in India of which 2 are listed on NSE & BSE. The listed P&G entities are: ‘Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited’ and ‘Gillette India Limited’, whereas the unlisted entity (which is a 100% subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S) operates by the name ‘Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Ltd.’ In the last 12 years, P&G’s signature CSR program P&G Shiksha has built and supported 1000 schools that will impact the lives of 10,00,000 underprivileged children across the country by providing them with access to education. Please visit http://www.pg-India.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G India and its brands.

          Director, Sandeep Mohan & Tiranga Productions to release “Shreelancer” on 18th August         

Based on the story of a freelancer, the feature film is an adaptation of the people who are self-employed

by Shrutee K/DNS 

Director Sandeep Mohan’s next release, “Shreelancer” is a feature film starring Arjun Radhakrishnan (an actor known for his film “A White Feather”) in the lead along with a veteran theater artist Salmin Sheriff and Monica Mahendru. The film is produced by Giju John – Tiranga Productions Pvt. Ltd. and Sandeep Mohan and slated to hit the screens on 18th August 2017.

Official Trailer Link - https://youtu.be/VkM2WWU5kyY

The film has background score by Vivek Philip and features songs by Ankur Tewari, Prateek Kuhad, Andrew Sloman and Natalie Matos. The film features one of the popular Indie song, "Dil Beparvah" by Ankur Tewari and Prateek Kuhad. The film is looking to be one of the best adaptation of the people who are self-employed.

Shreelancer, a 98-minute feature film is the contemporary take on the life of a freelancer in today’s India. Shreelancer follows Arjun Radhakrishnan (Shree), a Bangalore based mid 20's freelance copywriter who is battling with nagging self-doubts about his artistic abilities. Shree belongs to a Maharashtrian family from Belgaum. He does ads for small time ad agencies, but is quite frustrated that the world doesn't seem to understand or respect freelancers. Unable to concentrate at home, he visits various cafes to find his peace and works from there. Addicted to his cellphone and the social media, Shree's worldview is shaped by what he reads online, not having traveled much in the "real" world. As fate would have it, Shree gets an invitation to attend an all-expenses paid trip to a college friend's wedding. And life as he knows it will never be the same again for Shree. The film highlights the journey of a freelancer, despite having a flexible schedule, they work on deadlines, love to take up all jobs and seldom say “No” to any assignment.

Shreelancer had its World Film Festival Premiere at the prestigious New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) in May 2017 where it was nominated in the best screenplay category. The film will next screen at the Blue Whiskey International Film Festival on the 8th August 2017 where it has been selected in the competition category. Apart from this, Sandeep Mohan has conducted 30 screenings at spaces like Cafes, Pubs, Office Spaces, Coworker Spaces, Colleges, Homes, Art Galleries, etc. and convert them into

mini-theatres for the duration of the film. Sandeep conducts this screening under what he calls the "The Great Indian Travelling Cinema" experiment.


          ASIA’S LARGEST FILM MAKING CHALLENGE INDIA FILM PROJECT CALLS FOR ENTRIES        

 
by Shrutee K/DNS 
Mumbai: Asia’s largest content creation festival, India Film Project that encourages people to create video content will enter into its seventh edition this year. India Film Project invites entries from all the film enthusiasts who love making films from across the globe for all their competitive sections with 31st August’2017 as a closing date.

India Film Project which is one of the rare platforms focused at content creation rather than content consumption will be held in Mumbai. Currently a daylong event, India Film Project will be conducted for two days hosting conversations with 50+ celebs, workshops and masterclasses, curated video screenings amongst others. The festival, this year, will be held on 30th September’17 and 1stOctober’17 at NSCI, Worli, and tentatively attended by over 60,000 film enthusiasts from across India.

Participants can enter into the following categories:

The Best of Digital category where participants can enter their already created work under the sections like short films, music videos, ads and brand films, corporate videos, food and travel videos, wedding and celebration videos, animation and motion graphics, web sketches and web series. Best of Digital awards bestows a chance to the content creators to compete with the best ones on the web. This is the first time the best in digital category has been introduced at India Film Project. Currently, there are no other awards and recognitions for digital videos in India.

Poster Redesign Compete in association with The Souled Store that encourages participants to design a movie poster and compete with some of India’s leading designers. The top posters will be exhibited at the festival and even bought by the audience offline and online.

Scriptwriting competition in association with Terribly Tiny Tales

For the first time ever, the festival bring to you a competition between the scripts from across the globe where one can stand a chance to present their story to some of the best scriptwriters of country and get talent recognized. Narrate your story in your own words around the theme “over the edge”.

50 Hour Filmmaking: India Film Project’s flagship competition which will battle it out with more than 30,000 filmmakers from 300+ cities to show your filmmaking skills in a duration of just 50 hours – Sep 15 to Sep 17. Teams can choose any one category to participate – Professional, Amateur or Mobile. The theme will be revealed at the beginning of 50 hours. The Last date to register 14th September’17.


          U Mumba announces sale of tickets for Home Leg of Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League         
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai: Hosting their home leg at the Dome @ National Sports Club of India (NSCI), SVP stadium in Mumbai between the 25th and 31st of August 2017, U Mumba announced the start of their sale for tickets and offers on ticketing partner websites paytm.com and insider.in. The home leg will be the fifth of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, that will extend into the last week of October.  

The VVIP tickets are priced at INR 7,000, while the VIP tickets are priced at INR 5,500. Both the VVIP and VIP tickets include refreshments and the seating surrounds the playing area.

In the General Stand, tickets for Section 2 are available at INR 1,000 and Section 3 and INR 800. U Mumba fans have a lot to cheer about with the team reducing prices of tickets in the General Stands by 25%.

With tickets now available for sale online, fans can avail attractive discounts on Season Passes, Weekend Passes and Weekday Passes.

Season Passes (for all 6 match days) and Weekday Passes (for games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) are available at a 25% discount.

The Weekend Pass (for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are available at 10% discount.
In an offer exclusive to the student community, students aged under 21 years, are entitled to a 35% discount on Section 3 tickets. These can be purchased online and collected at the Box-Office on displaying their Student ID.
NSCI members can avail a special discount of 10% at the Box Office by displaying their membership cards.
“With 6 games, we’ll have an entire week of Kabaddi in Mumbai city and this is a real treat for our fans, especially given the exciting line-up of matches scheduled. Further, with the Ganesh Festival coinciding with our home leg, we look forward to celebrating the festival together with all our fans,” commented U Sports CEO Supratik Sen.

The Dome @ NSCI, SVP stadium will play host to the extended league for 6 days this season with U Mumba taking on the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the first encounter followed by the Maharashtra Derby on the second night with their weekend ending with a match against Dabang Delhi. Post their Rest Day on Monday, U Mumba will face debutants Gujarat Fortunegiants and Haryana Steelers on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively and close their home leg with a match against the Jaipur Pink Panthers again.

All matches start at 8:00 PM and Gates Open at 6:00 PM on match days.


                  

 Descarga toda la discografia de mana gratis [completo]

Amar es combatir:
01. Manda una señal
02. Labios compartidos
03. Ojalá pudiera borrarte
04. Arrancame el corazón
05. Tengo muchas alas
06. Dime luna
07. Bendita tu luz (con Juan Luis Guerra)
08. Tú me salvaste
09. Combatiente
10. El viaje
11. El rey tiburón
12. Somos mar y arena
13. Relax


Revolucion de amor:
01. Justicia, Tierra Y Libertad
02. Ay, Doctor
03. Fe
04. Sábanas Frías
05. Pobre Juan
06. ¿Por Qué Te Vas?
07. Mariposa Traicionera
08. Sin Tu Cariño
09. Eres Mi Religión
10. No Voy A Ser Tu Esclavo
11. Ángel De Amor
12. Nada Que Perder


Grandes exitos mana:
01. Perdido en un barco
02. Rayando el Sol
03. Vivir sin aire
04. Oye mi amor
05. Te lloré un río
06. Cómo te deseo
07. De pies a cabeza



dijo:
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          Accelerate Live! talk: Health-generating buildings, Marcene Kinney, Angela Mazzi, GBBN Architects        
Architects Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance.

 

During the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed an evolution in building design, from high-performance and energy-efficient buildings, to sustainable and green buildings, and now to spaces that enhance performance and promote wellness and health. 

In this 15-minute talk at BD+C’s Accelerate Live! conference (May 11, 2017, Chicago), Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi from Cincinnati-based GBBN Architects talk about their work in behavior change and health-generating design.

Their predictive outcome modeling helps clients make strategic design investments that enhance user and building performance, while minimizing behaviors that can lead to more negative outcomes, such as injuries, poor health, or mistakes.

They also share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance to help clients get more success out of their spaces.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

As Principal and Market Director at GBBN Architects, Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP, leads her team's exploration and focus to do more than merely solve functional architectural problems for clients. Her applied research details fives types of space and their physical attributes that contribute to socialization and gathering patterns within spaces. She has dedicated 17 years exploring how space facilitates social interaction and builds community within the educational environment. Kinney has presented her research-based design work to American Institute of Architecture and Society of College and University Planning audiences and is the recent recipient of an AIA design award for work completed at Northern Kentucky University. Perhaps most important are the satisfaction survey reports by her clients who are reporting increased engagement and retention from their customers.

Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, is a Senior Associate and Medical Planner at GBBN Architects, where she focuses on enhancing quality of life through built environments—connecting great design with user needs. Her background in design, business management, and research on socio-cultural contexts provides a unique perspective on how culture is reflected in architecture and user experience. Mazzi serves on the Board of Regents for the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA), the Board of AIA Cincinnati, the Advisory Committee for the Institute for Patient-Centered Design, and was an Advisory Board member for Arizona State University's Healthcare Design Program in its initial years. Her research linking wellness to design has been published in many healthcare journals and been presented at both national and international conferences.

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          Cinque buoni motivi per (non) leggere D'Annunzio        
Quest'estate ho intrapreso un viaggio in automobile attraverso i classici della prosa italiana. Per non partire da troppo lontano, ho limitato l'arco temporale agli ultimi due secoli; sono entrato al casello dell'Ortis, ho proseguito per Manzoni, poi ho attraversato le Operette morali e lo Zibaldone e, già che c'ero, mi sono concesso una deviazione per i Canti e i Paralipomeni. Durante la sosta in autogrill, davanti a una piadina e a un quartino di Chianti, ho pensato a quanto ero fortunato per il fatto che né Carducci né Pascoli si fossero mai dedicati alla narrativa; poi ho imboccato con fiducia il rettilineo che conduce al grande De Roberto attraverso il grandissimo Verga.

Fin qui tutto bene. Ma già sapevo che, dopo la barriera in uscita dall'A-800, e prima di imboccare con decisione l'A-900, avrei dovuto attraversare un tratto di raccordo pericoloso e arduo.

Ecco che già si snoda sotto i miei occhi la temutissima tangenziale D'Annunzio, con le sue cinque uscite.

1. E' un classico. Può esservi capitato, per motivi di lavoro o di studio, di dover leggere parecchi testi italiani risalenti alla fine del diciannovesimo o all'inizio del ventesimo secolo. Non necessariamente testi letterari: anche articoli di giornale o saggistica. Vi sarete accorti di quanto spesso lo stile appare gonfio, ampolloso, enfatico. E' come se, in quel periodo, un'epidemia di cattiva retorica (il "dannunzianismo") si fosse abbattuta sulla prosa italiana. E però: quando un autore riesce a imprimere in modo così massiccio e durevole la propria impronta sulla lingua nella quale scrive, questo autore è ciò che si dice un classico. Vale a dire che D'Annunzio non può essere tralasciato, in quanto rappresenta una fase di evoluzione della lingua italiana.

"Ma, trapassando il simbolo materiale, ci abbandoniamo con ansia alla virtù evocatrice dei profondi accordi in cui il nostro spirito sembra oggi trovare il presentimento di non so qual sera grave di belle fatalità e d'oro autunnale su un porto quieto come un bacino d'olio odorifero ove una galera palpitante d'orifiamme entrerà con uno strano silenzio come una farfalla crepuscolare nel calice venato d'un gran fiore".

2. E' decadente. Mettiamo che un bel mattino vi svegliate e vi sentiate esteti. Ovviamente non lavorate, e non avete il problema della sussistenza materiale. Fra i moltissimi modi a vostra disposizione per iniziare la giornata (il sesso, l'equitazione, il gioco d'azzardo, le droghe, bighellonare per il centro cittadino, ecc.) scegliete di leggervi un buon libro. Siete snob, e quindi sdegnate l'idea di leggere una volgare traduzione. Siete pigro, e non vi va di approcciare Proust né Wilde in lingua originale. Siete italiano, e vi dovete accontentare di quello che passa il convento. E allora non c'è via di scampo. Alla richiesta "estetismo decadente", la letteratura italiana risponde con D'Annunzio. O cambiate arte (Puccini è una validissima alternativa), oppure vi tocca tirare giù dall'ultimo scaffale il poeta di Pescara.

"Ricordi la ventesima delle variazioni beethoveniane sul tema del Diabelli dedicate ad Antonia Brentano? - diceva Aldo, svegliando nella profondità della nera cassa quegli accordi in cui per una miracolosa trasfigurazione il tema principale è irriconoscibile. - Non sembra armonizzata su quel fondo ove la croce le scale i corpi i singhiozzi le grida gli aneliti la luce non penetrano? Ascolta; e guarda quell'azzurro opaco sordo eguale, senza raggio, senza nube, di là da cui spazia forse quella regione della vita ove una sola cosa importa".

3. E' un poeta. Nonostante tutto, in D'Annunzio c'è del bello. Egli si autodefinì "l'Imaginifico" (con la I maiuscola, e una emme sola). Infatti, la sua prosa è caratterizzata da una strabordante varietà di immagini, di similitudini e di metafore. In gran parte sono rumore di fondo e gratuito orpello kitsch. Ma, per un puro fatto statistico, ogni tanto qualcuna è giusta. In altre parole, D'Annunzio funziona un po' come quei comici che producono battute a raffica, velocissime: alla fine ridi, un po' per sfinimento e un po' perché fra le tante ce n'era una buona.

"E nella faccia e nella mano era tanta forza d'espressione e d'illuminazione, ch'elle parevano sorpassare la realtà e intagliarsi nel cielo stesso del fato, come quando il crinale delle Dolomiti solo arde nei crepuscoli inciso contro tutta l'ombra e ciascuno dei suoi rilievi s'addentra nell'anima di chi mira e vi s'eterna".

4. E' conseguente. Come si sa, l'opera di D'Annunzio ha anche una ben precisa connotazione politica. Non mi dilungo su questo aspetto, però voglio rilevare che, sotto questo punto di vista, moltissimi italiani sono dannunziani, senza saperlo o sapendolo. Non tanto, e non solo, per una questione di appartenenza a certi partiti o a certe ideologie; quanto per il fatto di condividere con D'Annunzio un determinato rapporto con il reale. Infatti, il tipico atteggiamento dannunziano nei confronti della realtà non consiste nel riconoscerla così com'è, né tanto meno nel cercare di cambiarla. Consiste nel mistificare, sempre e comunque, e con ammirevole pertinacia e coerenza, la realtà. Se D'Annunzio fosse un software, sarebbe una specie di Matrix che trasfigura esteticamente tutti gli oggetti dell'esperienza facendo apparire "bella" ogni cosa. Se D'Annunzio fosse un odierno manager della TV, la sua ambizione sarebbe quella d'ideare un palinsesto così avvincente da tenere tutti i telespettatori attaccati allo schermo ventiquattr'ore su ventiquattro, dimentichi della vita e desiderosi di sempre nuove illusioni. Se D'Annunzio fosse un politico... Ma lo fu, tra l'altro. E fece scuola, ed ebbe tanti seguaci. E molti ne avrebbe ancora oggi, se fosse vivo.

"Né soltanto verso quella moltitudine ma verso infinite moltitudini andò il suo pensiero; e le evocò addensate in profondi teatri, dominate da un'idea di verità e di bellezza, mute e intente dinanzi al grande arco scenico aperto su una meravigliosa trasfigurazione della vita, o frenetiche sotto il repentino splendore irradiato da una parola immortale. E il sogno d'un'arte più alta levandosi in lui anche una volta, gli dimostrò gli uomini novamente presi di reverenza verso i poeti come verso coloro i quali potevano soli interrompere per qualche attimo l'angoscia umana, placare la sete, largire l'oblio. E troppo gli parve lieve quella prova ch'egli compiva; poiché mosso dal soffio della folla il suo spirito si stimò capace di generare finzioni gigantesche".

5. E' morto. Alla fine questa è la cosa più importante. Dall'esperienza dannunziana la nostra letteratura uscì vaccinata: per un paio di generazioni gli scrittori sfuggirono la retorica e cercarono una lingua scabra ed essenziale.

"Io non comprendo perché oggi i poeti si sdegnino contro la volgarità dell'epoca presente e si rammarichino d'esser nati troppo tardi o troppo presto. Io penso che ogni uomo d'intelletto possa, oggi come sempre, nella vita creare la propria favola bella. Bisogna guardare nel turbinio confuso della vita con quello stesso spirito fantastico con cui i discepoli del Vinci erano dal maestro consigliati di guardare nelle macchie dei muri, nella cenere del fuoco, nei nuvoli, nei fanghi e in altri simili luoghi per trovarvi invenzioni mirabilissime e infinite cose".

Sì, certo.
E l'orifiamma e la ventesima variazione e l'arco scenico e le Dolomiti...
Le Dolomiti?
Mi sa tanto che ho sbagliato uscita.
Sto andando verso il Brennero.
Arrivederci, Italia!

[Già pubblicato su Evulon]
          Su "My Favorite Things" di John Coltrane        
Il 16 novembre 1959 debuttava a Broadway The Sound of Music, di Richard Rodgers e Oscar Hammerstein, uno dei musical più popolari di tutti i tempi anche grazie alla versione cinematografica che ne fu tratta nel 1965 (regia di Robert Wise, protagonista Julie Andrews, la versione italiana porta il titolo Tutti insieme appassionatamente).

Una particolare canzone tratta da questo musical ha avuto fortuna immensa. Di My Favorite Things, infatti, si contano centinaia di cover; l'elenco preparato dai redattori di Radio Rai è lungo sedici pagine.

Qui mi occuperò della versione forse più celebre, quella incisa in studio da John Coltrane il 21 ottobre 1960. Per capire quest'ultima, però, è opportuno partire dalla versione originale di Richard Rodgers. In questo articolo mi avvarrò dell'analisi condotta dal massimo studioso di Coltrane, il musicologo Lewis Porter, nella sua fondamentale monografia (Blue Train. La vita e la musica di John Coltrane, traduzione di Adelaide Cioni, Minimum Fax, Roma 2006, pp. 277-80).

La canzone è musicalmente molto semplice. Si tratta di un valzer in mi minore di quattro strofe, A-A-A'-B. Le prime tre strofe hanno la stessa musica, salvo che nella terza strofa, A', dove ci sono otto battute in maggiore. La quarta strofa, B, usa una diversa melodia e finisce in sol maggiore.

Qui di seguito copio il testo della canzone, di Oscar Hammerstein, cui faccio seguire una traduzione, volutamente molto pedestre, che ho preparato grazie all'ausilio del traduttore automatico di Google:



(A) "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

(A) Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

(A') Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

(B) When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad!"

"Gocce di pioggia su rose e baffi di gattini
Bollitori di rame luminosi e caldi guanti di lana
Pacchetti di carta marrone legati con corde
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Pony color crema e croccanti struedel di mele
Campanelli e campanelli da slitta e schnitzel con tagliatelle
Le oche selvatiche che volano con la luna sulle ali
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Ragazze in abiti bianchi con sciarpe di raso blu
Fiocchi di neve che rimangono sul mio naso e sulle ciglia
Inverni bianchi d'argento che si sciolgono in primavere
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Quando il cane morde
Quando l'ape punge
Quando mi sento triste
Non ho che da ricordarmi delle mie cose preferite
E allora non mi sento così male!"

The Sound of Music è ambientato a Salisburgo, fra le due guerre. Richard Rodgers ha naturalmente cercato di tener conto della tradizione musicale austriaca: My Favorite Things, come detto, è un valzer; negli altri brani si sentono riferimenti allo jodler, al laendler, al canto gregoriano, ecc. In un numero c'è anche un singolare omaggio ad Haydn: la canzone So long, farewell è eseguita da un coro di bambini che, uno alla volta, abbandonano il proscenio, finché a cantare rimane una sola bambina, così come, nel finale della Sinfonia degli addii, tutti gli esecutori smettono uno alla volta di suonare facendo concludere la sinfonia da un solo violinista.

Come ci si potrebbe aspettare, il testo di My Favorite Things fa uso di un immaginario prettamente alpino, o comunque nordeuropeo: bollitori per il té, guanti di lana, slitte che corrono sulla neve... Se di questa canzone volessimo realizzare un video-clip animato, seguendo pedissequamente il testo, dovremmo adoperare in prevalenza le tinte chiare, e in particolare il colore bianco, la cui presenza, in corrispondenza della terza strofa (quella con le otto battute in maggiore), diventa quasi ossessiva: abiti bianchi, fiocchi di neve, inverni bianchi... (Nella versione cinematografica quest'aspetto "eurocentrico" della canzone è ancora più sottolineato dal forte accento british di Julie Andrews).

Molti si sono chiesti cosa potesse avere indotto un artista come John Coltrane, che da lì a poco sarebbe diventato un'icona della cultura afro-americana, a musicare una sua versione di questo brano, il quale inizialmente c'entrava così poco con il jazz.

Secondo Lewis Porter, è un errore "dare per scontato che Coltrane trovasse la canzone sciocca e che per questo volesse abbellirla". Al contrario, Coltrane ammirava sinceramente questa canzone e, nella sua versione, la trattò "con rispetto". Il "messaggio" della canzone, "che le cose buone ci aiutano a superare le cattive", è secondo Porter "del tutto sensato e prezioso - per nulla sciocco - è solo che utilizza esempi alla portata di un bambino, perché nel copione la canzone si rivolge a dei bambini".

Qui però l'ottimo Porter ha preso una cantonata. Nel film, è vero, Julie Andrews canta la canzone a dei bambini. Il film, però, è del 1965, quindi è posteriore all'incisione di John Coltrane, che a quell'epoca poteva conoscere solo la versione teatrale di questo musical; e, nella versione teatrale, la protagonista canta My Favorite Things in una delle scene iniziali, che si svolgono in un convento di suore, e non la canta ai bambini, bensì alla Madre Badessa del convento.

Sembra, in realtà, che Coltrane non fosse attratto tanto dal "messaggio" della canzone, quanto invece dalla sua manipolabilità sul piano strettamente musicale. Ecco come si espresse Coltrane in un'intervista: "Questo valzer è fantastico: se lo suoni lento, senti un elemento di gospel che non è per niente sgradevole; se lo suoni veloce, possiede altre innegabili qualità. E' molto interessante scoprire un terreno che si rinnova a seconda dell'impulso che gli dai".

Quindi, si direbbe che il valzer di Rodgers fosse per Coltrane quello che il valzer di Diabelli era stato per il Beethoven dell'op. 120: poco più che un pretesto, un canovaccio utile per imbastire una serie potenzialmente infinita di variazioni che poco o nulla hanno a che fare con il tema originale. E, in verità, Coltrane eseguì in concerto My Favorite Things moltissime volte (secondo Wikipedia, sono state documentate su nastro non meno di 45 esecuzioni), creandone versioni sempre più lontane dalla canzone originale, fino a renderla irriconoscibile.

La versione sull'album si compone di un'introduzione di quattro battute, suonata due volte; viene poi esposto un vamp (breve inciso ritmico, costantemente ripetuto, che è per il jazz quello che nel rock si chiama riff e nella musica barocca si chiama ostinato), cui fanno seguito un primo assolo di Coltrane, un altro assolo di McCoy Tyner al pianoforte, e un assolo finale ancora di Coltrane, per complessivi 14 minuti circa. Nel primo assolo Coltrane esegue le prime due strofe (A) in minore, poi c'è un interludio in maggiore, poi altre due strofe (A) in minore. Gli altri due assoli seguono lo stesso schema, salvo che per la parte finale dell'assolo conclusivo di Coltrane, di cui dirò fra poco.



La prima cosa che si nota all'ascolto è che Coltrane ha spostato molto lontano dall'Europa il baricentro etnico del brano. La ripetizione ossessiva, ipnotica, di un inciso ritmico in tempo dispari; la voce acuta dello strumento a fiato (un sax soprano, fino ad allora poco usato nel jazz); il clima di fissità tonale e il senso del tempo molto dilatato, sono tutti elementi che richiamano la musica orientale. (A me il brano fa venire in mente una danza sufi). Porter nota che Coltrane era appassionato di musica indiana, era un ammiratore di Ravi Shankar, ed era profondamente interessato alla musica folk e modale di tutto il mondo, nonché alle scale pentatoniche (pare che certe volte, nelle sue esercitazioni, eseguisse col sassofono determinate sequenze del Concerto per orchestra di Béla Bartók). Sempre secondo Porter, in My Favorite Things si possono anche scorgere influenze musicali provenienti dall'Africa occidentale.

La cosa per me più sorprendente è che, nella musica originale di questa canzone, Coltrane abbia sentito un "elemento gospel". Per quanto ascolto e riascolto la canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein, devo confessare che questo elemento gospel non riesco assolutamente a percepirlo. Ma è significativo che, per Coltrane, la canzone avesse qualcosa a che fare con le radici stesse della musica nera americana. Questo forse ci aiuta a far luce su un'altra singolarità della versione di Coltrane.

Abbiamo detto che la versione coltraniana di My Favorite Things è basata sulla strofa A della musica originale. Che fine ha fatto la strofa B, quella il cui testo contiene, secondo Porter, il "messaggio" della canzone e che si conclude in modo maggiore?

Alla fine del suo assolo conclusivo, Coltrane esegue anche la strofa B, senza apportare particolari variazioni alla musica. Però la esegue in mi minore, dandole, secondo Porter, "un effetto più pensoso, riflessivo".

Il testo originale della strofa B fa riferimento ad api che pungono e a cani che mordono, per delineare scherzosamente una situazione da "giornata storta", in cui le cose, chissà perché, non vanno per il verso giusto. Ma questa situazione si supera (dice la canzone) richiamando alla mente le piccole cose belle della vita. Se si fa in questo modo, l'atteggiamento cambia e ci si accorge che non si sta poi così male. La canzone si chiude così, trionfalmente, in sol maggiore.

Qui, però, è meglio fare ricorso alla bella traduzione ritmica di Antonio Amurri (quella utilizzata nella versione italiana del film), che ha colto al meglio il senso di questa strofa:



"Se son triste, infelice, e non so il perché,
io penso alle cose che amo di più
e torna il seren per me!"

Immaginiamo ora di sentire queste parole sovrapposte al mi minore del sax di John Coltrane, nelle battute finali del suo secondo assolo (a partire dal minuto 12'33''). L'effetto è di un'ironia indefinibile, profonda, pungente, tristemente consapevole. Uno speciale tipo di sarcasmo, composto e controllatissimo, ma inequivocabile.

Per me (e sottolineo: per me) in questo minuto e dodici secondi di musica c'è l'essenza stessa del jazz. Ogni volta che l'ascolto, mi commuovo.

Provo a spiegarmi meglio.

Il cantante e chitarrista Huddie W. Leadbetter (1885-1949), uno fra i musicisti più influenti della musica nera americana del secolo ventesimo, tentò una volta di definire a parole quel particolare complesso psicologico che porta il nome di blues. Possiamo leggere le sue parole come una specie di negativo fotografico della canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein:

"Quando la notte sei sdraiato nel letto, e ti giri da una parte e dall'altra senza riuscire a prendere sonno, non c'è niente da fare. I blues si sono impadroniti di te... Quando ti svegli al mattino, ti siedi sulla sponda del letto, e puoi avere vicino a te padre e madre, sorella e fratello, il tuo ragazzo o la tua ragazza, ma non hai voglia di parlargli... Non ti hanno fatto niente, e tu non hai fatto niente a loro, ma che cosa importa? I blues si sono impadroniti di te".

Così commenta Arrigo Polillo nel suo classico Jazz. La vicenda e i protagonisti della musica afro-americana (Mondadori, Milano 2009, p. 43): "Avere i blues è qualcosa di diverso dall'essere triste dell'uomo bianco. E' essere afflitti da un tedio esistenziale, da una malinconia greve che non lascia spazio alle fantasticherie, vuol dire autocommiserazione, rassegnazione, vuol dire disperazione sorda, grigiore, miseria. E' una poesia fondata sulle cose di tutti i giorni, su personaggi familiari, visti in una luce realistica, con occhio disincantato. Non c'è, né ci vuol essere, nel blues, trasfigurazione lirica, che è un lusso da bianchi; non c'è dramma, perché il dramma è fatto di ombre ma anche di luci. C'è invece la consapevolezza di una tragedia in atto, che non finirà mai. Il blues singer non canta la vita, ma il non morire, parla sempre di ciò che non ha e che non avrà mai".

Ecco il senso del mi minore con cui si conclude My Favorite Things di John Coltrane. Non c'è consolazione, e non c'è neanche protesta. E' la constatazione oggettiva di una situazione fondamentalmente tragica. Il "messaggio" della canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein è sovvertito. Vista in questa luce, non solo la canzone, ma la stessa cultura (musicale e non solo) cui essa fa riferimento, viene radicalmente messa in questione.
          Hearty Nourishing Greens Salad        

Hearty Nourishing Greens Salad – crisp and crunchy, rich and buttery – this flavor packed salad is a cool dose of green for a warm summer day.   Here we are in the depth of summer – uh, Portland is expected to reach temps of 108 or higher this week – and I am still...

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          Tangy Spinach Artichoke Burgers        

Tangy Spinach Artichoke Burgers – with the flavors of your favorite classic party dip, these protein rich burgers are quick and easy!     A warm bubbly spinach artichoke dip is always a winner, right? I know it is always one of the first empty dishes on any party table I’ve seen… and I am...

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          Spicy Jalapeño Sesame Salsa        

Spicy Jalapeño Sesame Salsa – perfectly fresh and spicy, with the warmly aromatic flavor of sesame, you will want to put this on everything!   My hot and spicy friends, I have something good for you today. Even if you’re not so into the spicy heat, but love fresh flavor? Cut down on the amount of...

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          Warcraft        

Warcraft was a great project to work on. A great team of artists and supervisors were on it, so it was a really fun project all around. Although the movie wasn’t greatly accepted in the US, it was a success overseas, so I hope we will have the chance to make another one of those. […]
          Rango: Pixologic Interviews Our Team!        

Here you can check a cool interview with our talented team of artsists at ILM, presented by Pixologic, makers of the software ZBrush:                 Thanks to our model supervisor Geoff Campbell for the opportunity and thank you Pixologic for the great job putting this interview together!!! -Kris
          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

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

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

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

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


Context

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style (no replies)        
Those who make dreams come true get noticed

- Aldowa (A Semco Style Company)

'Leading Wisely is a podcast series by Ricardo Semler about the search for wisdom in organizations. In discussions with business leaders such as Zappos' Tony Hsieh, Basecamp's Jason Friedman and David Heinemeier Hansson and with other experts on the topic such as Frederic Laloux, he challenges assumptions and explores how we can change the way we live and work.

- Killing the dinosaur business model, 2017

'In France, almost every couple of days a company or public sector organization is entering corporate liberation. How about US? Here is one more example on how a company’s leader decided to liberate his company.

Ricardo Semler’s book served as an inspiration. Add to that a deep conviction and a lot of common sense.'

- Freedom Inc, '..corporate liberation.' June 6, 2017


Context (Leaders)

'..I believe in responsibility but not in pyramidal hierarchy .. the negative value of structure. Structure creates hierarchy, and hierarchy creates constraint..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(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..'


'I, too, have a pet little evil, to which in more passionate moments I am apt to attribute all the others. This evil is the neglect of thinking. And when I say thinking I mean real thinking, independent thinking, hard thinking.'

- Learning How to Think (Economics - '..acts of choice.' (‘..imagination of alternatives..’))


(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

(Haptopraxeology) - '..the senses were the windows of the soul and that reason had a divine right to feed upon fact..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'


'..to rethink and to rebuild a culture where there are open channels between feeling and understanding..'

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

'Reinventing Organizations: ..radically more soulful, purposeful and powerful ways to structure and run .. organizations.'


(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization

          'Nuclear Crisis Group .. preventing .. the use of nuclear weapons.' (no replies)        
'VIENNA — In response to the alarming rise of tensions involving nuclear-armed governments and their allies, the Global Zero movement has formed an international Nuclear Crisis Group dedicated to preventing these flashpoints from escalating to the use of nuclear weapons. The NCG will launch May 5-6 at the United Nations in Vienna at the first preparatory meeting of the 2020 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.'

- Global Zero Launches Nuclear Crisis Group To Prevent Nuclear War, May 5, 2017


Context

Vision of Humanity - Global Peace

          '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..'

          (Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..' (no replies)        
'Now that he is president, Trump likes to tout the fact he’s listening to America’s generals. Perhaps he needs to talk to General Mike Millen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps then he would see that the greatest threat America faces isn’t from China, Russia, or North Korea – it is from the national debt. Until Trump reverses course on military spending, and gets tough on entitlements, his "America First" budget will only make the US worse off.'

- Tho Bishop (Source, March 20, 2017)


'..a crippling national debt..'

'Under a Republican budget resolution, the national debt will explode by a third from an already staggering $19 billion to $29 trillion over the next ten years. Although counterintuitive, Democratic presidents, at least those after World War II, have reduced deficits as a portion of the value of the national economy (GDP) while Republican presidents have increased them — thus accumulating less public debt as a percentage of GDP. Yet neither political party has paid enough attention to this burgeoning national security problem.

National security problem? Yes. General Mike Mullen, while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military man, was enlightened enough about long-term health of American power to realize that it takes continuing infusions of money to acquire the weapons and equipment, personnel, training, maintenance and benefits to create a credible military to adequately defend the country. In addition, all other indices of national power — political, diplomatic and cultural — require money too.

To generate those resources, a strong economy is needed. The number one problem dragging down economic growth rates through the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies was a crippling national debt..'

- Ivan Eland, National debt is our biggest security threat: Column, January 11, 2017


Context

'..World Debt Hits $152 Trillion.'

'Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism..' - Doug Noland

'..Global policies since the 2008 crisis have spurred the expansion of speculative finance to multiples of pre-crisis levels..'


'Germany Plans to Cut 2017 Debt Sales .. Balanced-Budget..'

'..monetary knowledge .. of currency reform under difficult conditions you have to go to Carl Menger.'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..The Theory of Money and Credit .. an invaluable guide for ending the business cycles of our own time.'


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

          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

          '..another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism.' (no replies)        
'..until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

'Economists pondering about human action distinguish between four types of individual incomes; the Koran permits only two, which explains much poverty in the Muslim world. Economists speak of labor income which flows from services rendered either in self-employment or working for an employer; the Koran smiles upon this basic kind of income. Economists also discern interest income which, reflecting human frailty and mortality, flows from the differences between man’s valuation of present economic goods and future goods; the Koran condemns “riba”, that is, interest income, and threatens all creditors who may be tempted to demand “riba” with “the fire prepared for unbelievers.” Economists also like to wax eloquent about entrepreneurial income, commonly called profits, which may be earned through correct anticipation of economic changes; failure to anticipate changes correctly may inflict entrepreneurial losses. The Koran simply prohibits economic activity that involves uncertainty, risk, or speculation and may earn “ghara.” The prohibition obviously discourages and hampers economic changes, adjustments, modernizations, and improvements that are uncertain and risky.

..

Muslim clerics are the tutors and preceptors not only of Islamic theology but also of social and economic ideology. Surely, they may not descend to the level of envy but may fly into anger and passion about the sinful behavior of all non-believers, that is, Christians and Jews, who grow rich in market economies, engaging in uncertain, risky, and speculative economic activity and prospering on riba and ghara. For some clerics the United States is the “Great Satan” and Israel his little offspring. It cannot be surprising that faithful followers abhor, fear, and hate the Great Satan and wish him evil. When a few Muslim fanatics flew into the World Trade Center in New York, killing more than 2,900 men and women, and another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, killing 189 employees, jubilant masses thronged streets across the Muslim world, celebrating and rejoicing about the destruction and massacre.

..

..Today, the United States is in the early stages of a long struggle with radical Islamism that has been waging war against this country for some thirty years. Radical Islamic states have been breeding, sheltering, and financing the terrorist armies and radical clerics are invoking divine favor upon them.

The Western world, and especially the United States, is facing the prospect of a long and bitter war with a fanatical enemy. It is a desperate enemy because powerful forces of change are eroding its very ideological foundation. Modern communication technology has opened the windows of the world and is allowing people everywhere to observe Western mores and living conditions. A network of communication satellites, for instance, is continuously receiving, amplifying, and rebroadcasting signals to earth. Western ideas are reaching the minds of people everywhere and changing social, economic, political, and educational institutions. It cannot be surprising that Muslim autocracies like to keep the windows closed by monopolizing and disallowing access to such technology.

It is doubtful that the U.S. military will crush and completely render inactive a desperate enemy consisting of an organized guerilla force of Allah-fearing men and women. A small army of suicidal fanatics, a diminutive percentage of one billion and three hundred million Muslims in 206 countries, may wear away the patience and resolve of the American public and its political and military commanders. Such a possibility does not in any way intimate a victory and sway of Muslim fanatics over the forces of the West. Its paramount strength does not rest on brute military might but on its free and open way of life, its private property order and individual enterprise system. Its windows are wide open and its busy subjects are at work all over the world, simple ambassadors or even missionaries of its order. Even if the United States should ever stumble and lose its way, the windows are wide open and the bright light of individual freedom and the private property order would remain visible in many other parts of the West. It is unlikely that it can ever be extinguished.

The U.S. military is not going to conquer many Muslim countries, but individual freedom and the private property order may in time..

..

We shall know the future only when it comes. But our thoughts like to live in the future, and what they see is another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism. They see the Muslim world in a crisis which causes a few revolutionaries to strike at Americans. Insurgents may continue to lash out until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

- Hans F. Sennholz, In Another Cold War, 2004


Context

'..the battle of ideas taking place in the Muslim world..'

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

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?' (no replies)        
'This factory-like system seems increasingly out of date. More and more people are crying out for innovation in education and starting to experiment with curricula, technologies, and governance in schools. But is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school? And what would it look like? A superb example can be found in the center of Berlin in Germany. The “ESBZ” is a grade 7-12 school that opened its doors in 2007 with more than a bit of improvisation. Just three months before the start of the school year, the city council had suddenly given a decrepit prefabricated building from communist times to a group of pesky parents who simply wouldn’t let go of their dream. When the school year started, only 16 students were registered. A few months later, at the mid-year point, 30 more students had joined, mostly rejects and troublemakers other schools had expelled. Hardly a promising start for a new school. And yet today, only a few years later, the school has 500 students and attracts hundreds of principals, teachers, and education specialists from all over the country who want to study the ESBZ model.'

- Frederic Laloux, (Reinventing Organizations, Chapter 2.2 _ Self-management Structures), page 93


'..Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..'


'..At Oberländer’s school, there are no grades until students turn 15, no timetables and no lecture-style instructions. The pupils decide which subjects they want to study for each lesson and when they want to take an exam.

The school’s syllabus reads like any helicopter parent’s nightmare. Set subjects are limited to maths, German, English and social studies, supplemented by more abstract courses such as “responsibility” and “challenge”. For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Some go kayaking; others work on a farm. Anton went trekking along England’s south coast.

The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the requirements of the labour market are changing, and smartphones and the internet are transforming the ways in which young people process information, the school’s headteacher, Margret Rasfeld, argues, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.

“Look at three or four year olds – they are all full of self-confidence,” Rasfeld says. “Often, children can’t wait to start school. But frustratingly, most schools then somehow manage to untrain that confidence.”

The Evangelical School Berlin Centre (ESBC) is trying to do nothing less than “reinvent what a school is”, she says. “The mission of a progressive school should be to prepare young people to cope with change, or better still, to make them look forward to change. In the 21st century, schools should see it as their job to develop strong personalities.”

Making students listen to a teacher for 45 minutes and punishing them for collaborating on an exercise, Rasfeld says, was not only out of sync with the requirements of the modern world of work, but counterproductive. “Nothing motivates students more than when they discover the meaning behind a subject of their own accord.”

Students at her school are encouraged to think up other ways to prove their acquired skills, such as coding a computer game instead of sitting a maths exam. Oberländer, who had never been away from home for three weeks until he embarked on his challenge in Cornwall, said he learned more English on his trip than he had in several years of learning the language at school.

Germany’s federalised education structure, in which each of the 16 states plans its own education system, has traditionally allowed “free learning” models to flourish. Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..

..

Aged 65 and due to retire in July, Rasfeld still has ambitious plans. A four-person “education innovation lab” based at the school has been developing teaching materials for schools that want to follow the ESBC’s lead. About 40 schools in Germany are in the process of adopting some or all of Rasfeld’s methods. One in Berlin’s Weissensee district recently let a student trek across the Alps for a challenge project. “Things are only getting started,” says Rasfeld.

“In education, you can only create change from the bottom – if the orders come from the top, schools will resist. Ministries are like giant oil tankers: it takes a long time to turn them around. What we need is lots of little speedboats to show you can do things differently.” '

- Philip Oltermann, No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down, July 1, 2016


Context

(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..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'


(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

          The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..' (no replies)        
'.."What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II..'

'Deist: One thing that’s so remarkable about the Christmas Truce is this whole question of what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier or be somehow limited. Weintraub addresses this in his book. We may not have had the rise of communism, the Russian Revolution and Stalin and Lenin, we certainly would not have had Versailles. As a result, we might not have had Hitler or Nazism or maybe even FDR. I mean, it’s remarkable to think about, isn’t it?

Denson: That’s right and that’s counterfactual history at its best. Weintraub, in his last chapter, entitled "What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II, as I have argued in the past, World War II was simply a continuation of World War I with a truce, and World War I was to see if you could remake the world to benefit the English, the British, and the Russian Czar. World War II was to see if you could keep it that way, what they’d done in World War I. So, it would have changed the whole history, in my opinion, of the twentieth century. And, we are still in the Middle East, suffering the results of the treaties that ended World War I. I mean, the treaties that created Iraq, tried to give Syria to the French, and Israel was created in the middle of an Arab world and it’s still a problem that was created by the World War I treaties. So, all of that, the whole twentieth century, I think, would have been completely different, if it could have ended, say when the troops stopped at Christmas of 1914. It’s amazing to think about that.

..

..H. Kingsley Wood, a cabinet minister, got up and made a speech and he said, he had been in the trenches, he said in the front trenches in Christmas 1914 and he said, I took part in what was well known at the time as a truce. We went over in front of the trenches and shook hands with many of our German enemies and a great number of people and I think we did something that was degrading or wrong and refused to stop, he said, the fact is, we did it. And I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves, there never would have been another shot fired. For a fortnight, the troops went on and we were on the most friendly terms and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary for us to start trying to shoot one another again.

And he blamed the resumption of war on “the grip of the political system which was bad, and I and others who were there at the time, determined there and then, never to rest until we had seen whether we could change it.” And then it concludes. There are people that thrive on war, the military industrial complex and one of the results of the World War I revisionism showed that the people that do the armaments and make money off that, help cause war. There are people, bankers, that have an interest. JP Morgan had a big interest in America getting into World War I and he financed the British Army..'

- The Christmas Truce and the Future of War, December 24, 2016


Context

(Haptopraxeology) - '..We have lost three centuries as a result of ignoring our scholars!'

Christmas Truce of 1914

In The Electric Universe a Future of Peace and Love


'..the mismanagement and corruption of bankers and politicians..

Economics in One Lesson

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

..

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



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

..

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

..

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

..

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

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

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

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

..

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

..

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

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

..

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

..

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

          Links der Woche, 24. Juli 2011        
RAMP: Easy Content Deployment for WordPress | alexking.org Google+ is the social backbone – O’Reilly Radar Einen besseren Hintergrundartikel zu G+ habe ich noch nicht gelesen. Weblogs als Fels in der Brandung der Social Networks | WordPress & Webwork Warum es wichtig ist, selbst die Kontrolle zu behalten.
          Service Mini Horse “Teddy” Gets Custom Ride from Friendly Ford        

ROSELLE, Illinois—Equine Dreams, a non-profit therapeutic riding center in Newark, Illinois, is getting a unique customization for its miniature horse transporter vehicle, courtesy of Friendly Ford in Roselle. A Ford Excursion is being modified by the dealership to carry “Teddy,” the group’s star miniature horse. Equine Dreams provides therapeutic horseback riding to both kids and […]

The post Service Mini Horse “Teddy” Gets Custom Ride from Friendly Ford appeared first on Car News in the USA.


          Jim Ellis Audi Marietta Wins 2015 DealerRater Audi Dealer of the Year Award        

Marietta, GA February 2 – Jim Ellis Audi Marietta has been awarded a 2015 DealerRater Dealer of the Year award, which recognizes auto dealerships across the U.S. and Canada that deliver outstanding customer service, based on consumer reviews written on DealerRater.com. “Consumers have identified the best dealers to do business with, and Jim Ellis Audi […]

The post Jim Ellis Audi Marietta Wins 2015 DealerRater Audi Dealer of the Year Award appeared first on Car News in the USA.


          Jupiter Chevrolet Sponsors GISD Teacher of the Month Contest        

  The monthly contest compiles votes from parents and students at Jupiter Chevrolet’s Facebook page.  Every month, the highest vote-getter will win the services of a Jupiter Chevrolet vehicle for an entire month.  The contest, which awards the teacher who receives the most votes at the Jupiter Chevrolet Facebook page with a free car for […]

The post Jupiter Chevrolet Sponsors GISD Teacher of the Month Contest appeared first on Car News in the USA.


          Nissan of Clinton Named #1 Dealer in Sales Satisfaction, Wins Award of Excellence        

CLINTON, North Carolina—Local Clinton dealership, Nissan of Clinton, just earned two prestigious honors as it closed out its 2013 sales year. The dealership, which is located at 412 Southeast Blvd. in Clinton, North Carolina, was ranked the #1 Dealer in Sales Satisfaction surveys for Nissan’s entire Raleigh/Eastern North Carolina region. To honor this achievement, Donnie […]

The post Nissan of Clinton Named #1 Dealer in Sales Satisfaction, Wins Award of Excellence appeared first on Car News in the USA.


          Sanderson Lincoln in Phoenix Receives President’s Award        

Sanderson Lincoln has won the Ford Motor Company’s 2012 President’s Award for customer satisfaction excellence.  This major award recognizes top-performing Lincoln dealerships that achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction in sales and service in automotive retailing. Since 1998, the President’s Award has been known for recognizing dealerships who achieve the highest satisfaction in sales […]

The post Sanderson Lincoln in Phoenix Receives President’s Award appeared first on Car News in the USA.


          Chrome - Google Tone        


I continue to be impressed by the options for access that are being developed for the Chrome Web Browser.  Google just released an experiment called Google Tone.  The concept is that it will play a short tone that other computers can hear, and they will open the URL you shared.  The extension must be installed on all the computers nearby (wish it worked on mobile devices!) and have access to the microphone.  Just click the link in the toolbar and it sends out the "tone".  You can install the extension here - g.co/tone and it works in Chrome for Mac, Windows and all Chromebook devices.  Happy Sharing!



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          Wandoo Planet        


It took me quite a while to get through my backlog of podcasts, so I just listened to a great episode from Chris Bugaj of the A.T.Tipscast.  Episode 132 featured an interview with a former educator spreading the word about Wandoo Planet.  Wandoo Planet is a recommendation engine for children, think Pandora or Netflix.  Basically, kids pick some of their favorite interests, via a fun game, and the website suggests books and/or movies for them to check out.  The goal is to help students find books in their interest and get them reading more, which as we all know, is one of the best ways to increase students ability to read!

I took a few minutes and tried it out myself, and have to say it's fun.  The game is a great way to get children thinking about their interests.  Some students may need to have the interests read to them, and a suggestion to make it more accessible might be to include pictures or text to speech for the interests.  It looks like a fun way to engage students and get them reading!



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          Powtoon - Free Accounts for Teachers!        


Powtoon is a fun platform for creating animations.  I've personally used it to create the trailer for the EdCeptional Show.  So far that's all I've done, but I can see it would be a fun way to engage students and excite them about a topic or lesson.  So, that's why I claimed my FREE Powtoons account!

Powtoons is giving away over $5 million of teacher and student accounts before October 2014.  All of these accounts will be valid for 1 year, and include 1 teacher account with 60 student accounts!  You can get yours now at Powtoons ToonUp.



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          AAC/Medicare Changes        

I was hoping to have written this post last week, so that you might have more time to help out, but life got in the way!  This is a VERY important post, especially to those of you who rely on Medicare to secure AAC devices.  Specifically this is related to patients with ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Rett Syndrome,spinal cord injuries, spinal muscular atrophy and other impairments and their ability to retain and receive Speech Generation Devices (SGD).

As of September 1, Medicare will be changing the rules and will not allow patients to receive this devices to "unlock" them.  Thereby, denying individuals the ability to communicate with their families and other individuals via email, text, video chat, etc...  Even though the unlock fee is not paid by Medicare, they will no longer allow individuals to purchase devices that this could be done on.

Medicare has also been denying Eye Gaze devices for those individuals whose only means of access if via an eye gaze system.  Many of these cases have 2 medical professionals certifying the need for an eye gaze system and it is still denied. The backlog of appeals is years long and many patients are being denied the ability to communicate.

Please take a moment and go to this website - Center for Medical Advocacy, fill in your zip code, and the short form that follows to contact your representatives and urge them to sign a petition to stop these rule changes!  It takes just 2-3 minutes.  You only have until August 27, so please do it right away!



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          Chrome - QR-Code Extension        
I a big fan of the Google Chrome Browser, there are a ton of amazing extensions and apps that you can use with students.  I've blogged about quite a few of them - Read & Write for Google Docs, Kaizena,  and on EdCeptional #42.  Here's a new one that just for creating and reading QR Codes.

The QR Code Extension is designed to allow you to quickly create QR codes for downloading and sharing.  Once you are on a page, just click the icon in your extension bar (to the right of the address bar) and it will show you the QR Code.  Click "Edit This QR Code" to find options for downloading and sharing.

The other option is not one I've seen in an extension.  Click the "Scan a QR Code" and it allows you to use your webcam to decode a QR Code.  So if you've ever been sitting and wanted to use a code, this is the extension for you!!  It's a great option for students, I've always advocated for using QR Codes for long URL's and this would help do that without a special program.  Just print out QR Codes for your students and let them scan using the extension.

You can try out The QR Code Extension here!



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          QR Codes for Vocabulary        


Matt Bergman, at Learn, Lead, Grow, shared a great post on ways to use QR Codes to teach and retain vocabulary.  I love the ideas of engaging students with technology to teach this skill.  Check out all his ideas at his blog:

3 Ways to Use QR Codes to Make Word Walls Assessable to ALL Students #UDL



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          Google Classroom for SPED        

Google Classroom is a new offering for districts who use Google Apps for Education (GAFE).  Classroom is a combination of Edmodo and Doctupus; part social network and part document manager.  Once Classroom is enabled you are able to create classes and invite your students to join.  Google creates a folder in your Drive, a place for you to upload and/or create documents to share with those students.  From the main Classroom page you have options for posting Announcements or create assignments.  Assignments can be linked to a Drive Document, Youtube video, weblink or you can attach a file.  Students can then complete the work and turn it in via Classroom.  When using Google Docs you have the option to allow students to view the document, edit one document or it will create a separate document for each student.

For self-contained teachers this immediately solves issues with distributing and collecting Google Doc files.  It's also a place for students to communicate questions with their classmates or you.  While the interface is limited and the themes are pretty basic, I think the potential for this product is astounding.

From my new perspective of a push-in support teacher, I see this as a way to push out modified assignments to students.  Part of our new reading curriculum involves discussion guides and we, as a special education team, are considering modifying them so they are Google Docs.  This would give me a way to push out specific docs, to specific students easily.  I also think giving students a place they can post questions might be useful, especially students who may not want to speak up in class.  I can see it as a way for those students to contact me when we are not together in class.

I'm going to continue to give it a try, and see if there are other ways it can be utilized.  I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on using Google Classroom.  This week Google opened it all users with GAFE account, but there is one caveat.  You and your students must be on the same domain.  This is actually a problem in my district, my email ends in "d57.org" and our students are "students.d57.org" so I cannot create a Classroom unless I have a different login.  This is frustrating, but Google is aware and hopefully they will fix it in the near future.



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          Embrace the Shake        



It's been almost 5 months since I've actually sat down and written for this blog.  It's also been over 6 years since I put down my first post.  Over the past 6 years I've shared a lot of information, but it's also been a place for me to reflect.  Something I've missed the past year.  It's interesting, the reason I'm writing this post is because of a video I watched recently.  I'm a fan of TEDTalks and a colleague shared this one with me:

Phil Hansen:  Embrace the Shake

Within the first 2 minutes, I realized that this talk made sense to me.  I had difficulties in my new position and I gave up this blog.  I gave up something that has connected me to so many others and so many experiences.  I'm hoping that this year I can, as Phil says, embrace the shake.  I am starting another new position.  I'll continue in my role in Assistive Technology, but now I'll be (for the first time ever) in a resource special education position.  I've never done anything but self-contained, and while this was something I never thought I would do, I'm looking forward to it.  Whether it's the challenge or just the change I am going in with a lot of new ideas.

I don't know exactly how this will change this blog, but I do know that I am going to keep posting my ideas.  I'll be sharing my thoughts and hopefully getting some feedback!  Take a few minutes and watch Phil, maybe it will inspire you to embrace the shake



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          weekly Diigo Post (weekly)        

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


          Tag des Vaters        
Als ich im November 1991 das erste Mal Vater wurde, bekam mein Leben zum ersten Mal wirklich Sinn. Und auch wenn ich damals verhältnismäßig jung war, so fand ich in der Aufgabe und Ehre, in der Verantwortung und der Ernsthaftigkeit … Weiterlesen
                  
BAGAIMANAKAH BAHASA YANG BAIK DAN BENAR ITU???
Oleh Puji Triasih

Bahasa Indonesia memiliki kaidah ejaan dan pembentukan istilah yang sudah distandarkan, kaidah pembentukkan kata yang sudah tepat itu dianggap sudah baku, namun dalam pelaksananya(kehidupan sehari-hari) patokan itu belum mantap.
Masih banyak orang yang bertanya-tanya berbahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar itu yang bagaimana?????????
Orang yang berbahasa, dengan maksud hati mencapai sasrannya, apapun jenisnya dianggap sudah berbahasa dengan efektif. Pemanfaatan ragam yang tepat dan serasi menurut golongan penutur dan jenis pemakaian bahasa itulah yang disebut bahasa yang baik dan benar. Bahasa ynag harus mengenai sasarannya tidak selalu perlu beragam baku. Dalam kegiatan tawar-menawar dipasar misalnya penggunaan ragam bahasa baku hanya akan menimbulkan keheranan dan kegelian.
Oleh karena itu mungkin saja kita berbahasa yang baik tapi belum tentu benar. Anjuran agar kita berbahasa yang baik dan benar dapat diartikan pemakaian ragam bahasa yang serasi dengan sasrannya dan yang disamping itu mengikuti kaidah bahasa yang betul.
                  
Saatnya kita kali ini mempermudah diri memahami isi sebuah buku dengan bahasa kita sendiri. Rangkuman baca diantaranya ataupun catatan-catatan kecil tentang isi buku akan lebih memudahkan diri kita megerti apa yng ada dalam buku tersebut. Ada dua buah buku yang saya sajikan milik Prof. Dr. Rachmat Joko Pradopo yaitu, Beberapa Teori Sastra, Metode Kritik dan Penerapannya dan Prinsip-Prinsip Kritik Sastra.

1. Beberapa Teori Sastra, Metode Kritik dan Penerapannya Karya Prof. Dr. Rachmat Joko Pradopo

Buku ini dimaksudkan untuk menanggapi atau mengantisipasi masuknya teori-teori sastra dan kritik sastra yang baru. Disamping itu juga untuk menanggapai kesusastraan Indonesia sendiri, terutama kesusastraan Indonesia modern. Pada saat ii sangat perlu adanya pemahaman terhadap kesusastraan Indonesia modern secara menyeluruh. Oleh karena itu perlu adanya penyusunansejarah sastra Indonesia modern, yang pada waktu itu sudah berusia 75 tahun sejak lahirnya sekitar tahun 1920. berdasarkan alasan ini Rachmat Joko menulis buku tentang teori dan metode penyusunan sejarah sastra, maka didalam buku ini disajikan tulisan ‘Masalah Angkatan dan Penulisan Sejarah Sastra Indonesia’.
Menurut Pradopo (2005:3) teori-teori dan metode kritik sastra Indonesia itu bermacam-macam, yang semuanya untuk konkretisasi dipandang dari sudut pandang teori tertentu. Oleh karena itu dalam buku tersebut tidak semua teri sastra dan kritik sastra dapat dipaparkan. Yang menjadi utamanya adalah teori sastra dan kritik sastra strukturalisme dan semiotik serta teori dan metode estetika resepsi yang sekarang sedang banyak dipelajari dalam kritik sastra ilmiah.
Adapun hal-hal yang dibahas dalam buku “Beberapa Teori Sastra, metode kritik dan Penerapannya” adalah:

1.Masalah Angkatan dan Penulisan Sejarah Sastra Indonesia.
Ada dua masalah yang harus dibahas dalam bagian ini. Pertama, masalah angkatan sastra dan yang kedua akan dibahas masalah penulisan sejarah sastra Indonesia. Yang pada intinya, masalh angkatan itu tak lepas kaitannya dengan penulisan sejarah sastra Indonesia, atau penulisan sejarah sastra Indonesia tak dapat mengesampingkan pemecahan masalah angkatan dalanm sastra Indonesia.
2.Sejarah Puisi Indonesia Modern: Sebuah Ikhtisar.
Pada umumnya sampai sekarang, yang dianggap sebagai tahun lahirnya kesusastraan Indonesia modern adalah tahun1920,tahun terbitnya (ditulisnya) roman Azab dan Sengsara (1921) oleh Merari Siregar. Sedangkan sajak Indonesia modern yang pertama adalah sajak “Tanah Air” yang ditulis oleh M. Yamin. Jadi sesungguhnya lahirnya kesusasraan Indonesia modern itu bukan hanya ditentukan oleh sastra prosa saja melainkan juga sastra puisi dalam Rosidi (1964:7).
3.Perkembangan yang Dialektis dalam Kesusastraan Indonesia Modern.
Dalam tahun 1980an, selama satu dekade, karya-karya sastra yang menampilkan latar sosial budaya daerah makin berkembang seperti tampak dalam karya-karya Linus Suryadi Ag dan Darmanto Jt. Adapula dalam novel-novel Y.B. Mangun Wijaya Burung-Burung Manyar dan Roro Mendut.
4.Pusat Pengisahan Metode Orang Pertama dan Perkembangn Dalam Roman dan Novel Indonesia Modern
Dalam bagian ini diuraikan pusat pengisahan metode orang pertama dan perkembngannya dalam novel dan roman Indonesia modern. Untuk menguraikan perkembangan itudipilih roman dan novel Indonesia modern yang menunjukkan adanya pusat pengisahan orang pertama dan perkembangannya. Roman dan novel yang menjadi sampel dalm bagian ini adalah Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah, Atheis, Girah untuk Hidup dan Untuk Mati, Olenka, Priyayi dll.
5.Kritik Sastra Indonesia Modern dan Perkembangannya.
Untuk menafsir, menganalisis dan menilai karya sastra adalah arientasi karya sastra yang menentukan arah atau corak kritik sastra. Orientasi karya sastra itu berdasarkan keseluruhan situasi karya sastra: alam (kehidupan) pembaca, penulis dan karya sastra. Berdasar hal itu ada empat orientasi, yaitu, mimetik, pragmatik, ekspresif dan objektif.
6.Konkretisasi sastra.
Istilah pemberian makna dalam sastra disebut konkretisasi. Dalm analisis karya sastra itu diuraikan unsur-unsur pembentuknya. Dengan demikian makna keseluruhan karya sastra akan dapat dipahami. Hal ini mengingat bahwa karya sastra itu adalah sebuah karya sastra yang utuh. (Hawkes, 1978:16) disamping itu sebuah struktur kemampuan yang utuh dapat dipahami makna keseluruhannya bila diketahui unsur-unsur pembentuknya dan saling hubungan diantaranya dengan keseluruhannya.

7.Penelitian Sastra dengan Pendekatan Semiotik.
Penelitian sastra dengan pendekatan semiotik sesungguhnyamerupakan lanjutan dari pendekatan strukturalisme(Junus,1981:17) bahwa semiotk itu merupakan lanjutan atau perkembangan strukturalisme.
8.Analisis Puisi Secara Struktural dan Semiotik.
Untuk menganalisis struktur sistem tanda perlu adanya kritik struktural untuk memahami makna tanda-tanda yang terjalin dalam sistem (struktur) tersebut. Analisis struktural merupakan prioritas pertama sebelum yang lain-lain, tanpa itu kebulatan makna intrinsik yang dapat digali dari karya itusendiritidak akan tertangkap.
9.Hubungan Intertekstual dalam Sastra donesia.
Intertekstual hanya dapat dipahami dengan baik sesudah bagaimana wujud kritik sastra dan perdebatannya sepanjang sejarahkritik sastra. Dalam bagian ini pertama kali diuraikan mengenai wujud kritik dan perdebatannya.
10.Hubungan Iintertekstual dalm Roman-Roman Balai Pustaka.
Dalam hal ini makna karya sastra tidak semata-mata ditentukan oleh sruktur instrinsiknya saja, melainkan juga ditentukan oleh latar sosial budaya dan kesejarahannya.
11.Estetika Resepsi dan Teori Penerapannya.
Yang dimaksud estetika resepsi adalah estetika(ilmu keindahan) yang didasarkan pada tanggapan-tanggapan atau resepsi-resepsi pembaca terhadap karya sastra. Dari dahulu sampai sekarang karya sastra itu selalu mendpat tangapan-tanggapan pembaca, baik secara perseorangan mauapun secara bersama-sama atau massal.
12.Tinjauan Resepsi Sastra Beberapa Sajak Chairil Anwar.
Karena sebagai pentair yang sangat penting karena sajk-sajaknya, maka drai waktu ke waktu sajak-sajaknya selalu mendapat tanggapan dari para pembaca sastra termasuk para kritikus, tanggapan tersebut bermacam-macam berdasarkan horizon jawaban masing-masing pembaca atau horizon harapan pembaca pada tiap periode.
13.Tanggapan Pembaca Terhadap Belenggu.
Melalui tanggapan pembaca dari waktu ke waktu ini maka karya sastra lebih terungkap dan nilai sastranyapun dapat ditentukan dengan lebih baik. Belenggu dari waktu ke waktu selalu mendapat tanggapan yang berbeda, bahkan juga pada waktu terbitnya(1940). Menurut Mr. Dajoh dalam Pradopo(2005: 236) Belenggu adalah buku modern, bahkan paling modern, amat baru penyajian isinya, disamping itu juga amat baru bentuk gambaran mengenai masyarakatnya dan kehidupan yang digambarkan pengaranganya.



2. Prinsip-Prinsip Kritik Sastra Karya Prof. Dr. Rachmat Joko Pradopo

Dalam bukunya prinsip-prinsip kritik sastra Rachmad Joko Pradopo menjabarkan beberapa teori kritik sastra dan pelaksanaanya dalam kritik sastra modern. Pada awal-awal buku diulas tentang apa, bagaimana, seperti apa,hingga bentuk-bentuk kritik sastra. Adapun karya sastra yang dikritik dalam buku ini cukup banyak sekali. Seperti H.B Jasin, Amal Hamzah, Ajip Rosidi, J.U Nasution, Junus Amir Hamzah, Boen Oemajati, dan M.S. Hutagalung. Di dalam buku yang setebal 211 halaman ini banyak sekali mengulas serta membicarakan karya sastra yang bersangkut paut soal penilaian. Menurut Rachmat Joko Pradopo sendiri, kritik sastra adalah ilmu sastra yang berusaha menyelidiki karya sastra dengan langsung menganalisis, memberi pertimbangan, baik-buruknya karya sstra, bernilai seni atau tidaknya.
Sedangkan seorang kritikus menurut Rachmat Joko Pradopo sendiri adalah “hakim” harus berpegang teguh pada kebenaran juga kejujuran karena ia haruslah adil. Jadi dalam menilai ia haruslah objektif dan dapat melepaskan perasaan senang dan tidak senangnya. Ia hanya mencari kebenaran, tidak menambah-nambah, tidak pula menguranginya bila baik dikatakan baik, dengan alasan dan sandaran-sandaran yang dapat diterima akal dan budi manusia.
Pada pokoknya kritik sastra mempunyai tiga kegunaan diantaranya; pertama, berguna bagi ilmu sastra sendiri, kedua bagi perkembangan ilmu kesusastraan dan yang ketiga berguna bagi masyarakat pada umumnya yang mengininkan penerangan dalam karya sastra. Sedangkan menurut bentuknya kritik sastra terbagi menjadi kritik teori, kritik praktik dan kritik terapan. Kemudian jika dilihat dari pelaksanaanya, kritik oleh Abrams dibagi menjadi kritik judisial, dan kritik immpresionistik. Sedangkan berdasarkan pendekatannya terhadap karya sastra Abrams membagi kritik sastra kedalam empat tipe. Kritik mimetik, kritik pragmatik, kritik ekspresif, dan kritik objektif.
Dari sini terlihat betapa pentingnya kritik sastra itu, apalagi dalam kesusastraan Indonesia yang masih muda. Selain itu kritik sastra berguna pula untuk menyusun ilmu sastra, berguna pula untuk para penulis muda yang sedang memperkembangkan bakatnya. Sangat menyenangkan apabila khasanah sastra Indonesia bertambah dengan terbitnya buku semacan prinsip-prinsip kritik sastra karya Rachmad Joko Pradopo.
          VMWARE FUSIONを買ってその上でXPを動かせば?        

追加の費用が発生しますが、ウインドウ切り替えて使えるし、BootCampのごとく再起動して切り替える必要はないですし。あ、パラレルもありますね。

色々なOSできるのもMacならでは?

先に回答の方もあるように。ついでに開発なら、iPhoneのを作ってみるとか、?

一台で、Unix(Linux).Mac,Ms系と多彩にできるPCもMacならでは、、、

結論:仮想環境をこさえて使い続ける。


          USAHA JAHE        
Usaha Jahe
Cuaca yang dingin menusuk tulang menjadi alasan utama seseorang untuk mencari penghangat (penghangat yang sebenarnya : red). Selain kopi hal yang paling di cari dalam kondisi dingin adalah JAHE. Produk pertanian ini telah banyak beredar baik dalam bentuk olahan pabrik atau pun racikan dari resep-resep tradisional, seperti bandrek, sekoteng, ronde, JAHE susu ataupun wedang JAHE. Menjamurnya warung-warung tenda pinggir jalan terutama yang menjual minuman penghangat, mendorong permintaan yang besar atas JAHE. Selain sebagai minuman JAHE juga di kenal luas sebagai bahan utama obat-obatan, seperti obat masuk angin dan aneka jenis obat gosok. Bukankah sebuah peluang yang cukup besar bagi para petani untuk mendapat porsi dalam memenuhi kebutuhan akan produk pertanian yaitu JAHE. JAHE merupakan tanaman obat berupa tumbuhan rumpun berbatang semu. JAHE berasal dari Asia Pasifik yang tersebar dari India sampai Cina. Oleh karena itu kedua bangsa ini disebut-sebut sebagai bangsa yang pertama kali memanfaatkan JAHE terutama sebagai bahan minuman, bumbu masak dan obat-obatan tradisional. JAHE termasuk dalam suku temu-temuan (Zingiberaceae), se-famili dengan temu-temuan lainnya seperti temu lawak (Cucuma xanthorrizha), temu hitam (Curcuma aeruginosa), kunyit (Curcuma domestica), kencur (Kaempferia galanga), leng kuas (Languas galanga) dan lain-lain. Nama daerah JAHE antara lain halia (Aceh), beeuing (Gayo), bahing (Batak Karo), sipodeh (Minangkabau), jahi (Lampung), JAHE (Sunda), jae (Jawa dan Bali), jhai (Madura), melito (Gorontalo), geraka (Ternate), dsb. URAIAN TANAMAN TANAMAN JAHE Divisi : Spermatophyta Sub-divisi : Angiospermae Kelas : Monocotyledoneae Ordo : Zingiberales Famili : Zingiberaceae Genus : Zingiber Species : Zingiber officinale CIRI-CIRI MORFOLOGIS JAHE Terna berbatang semu, tinggi 30 cm sampai 1 m, rimpang bila dipotong berwarna kuning atau jingga. Daun sempit, panjang 15 – 23 mm, lebar 8 – 15 mm ; tangkai daun berbulu, panjang 2 – 4 mm ; bentuk lidah daun memanjang, panjang 7,5 – 10 mm, dan tidak berbulu; seludang agak berbulu. Perbungaan berupa malai tersembul dipermukaan tanah, berbentuk tongkat atau bundar telur yang sempit, 2,75 – 3 kali lebarnya, sangat tajam ; panjang malai 3,5 – 5 cm, lebar 1,5 – 1,75 cm ; gagang bunga hampir tidak berbulu, panjang 25 cm, rahis berbulu jarang ; sisik pada gagang terdapat 5 – 7 buah, berbentuk lanset, letaknya berdekatan atau rapat, hampir tidak berbulu, panjang sisik 3 – 5 cm; daun pelindung berbentuk bundar telur terbalik, bundar pada ujungnya, tidak berbulu, berwarna hijau cerah, panjang 2,5 cm, lebar 1 – 1,75 cm ; mahkota bunga berbentuk tabung 2 – 2,5 cm, helainya agak sempit, berbentuk tajam, berwarna kuning kehijauan, panjang 1,5 – 2,5 mm, lebar 3 – 3,5 mm, bibir berwarna ungu, gela p, berbintik- bintik berwarna putih kekuningan, panjang 12 – 15 mm ; kepala sari berwarna ungu, panjang 9 mm ; tangkai putik 2mm. JENIS TANAMAN JAHE dibedakan menjadi 3 jenis berdasarkan ukuran, bentuk dan warna rimpangnya. Umumnya dikenal 3 varietas JAHE, yaitu : 1. JAHE putih/kuning besar atau disebut juga JAHE gajah atau JAHE badak Rimpangnya lebih besar dan gemuk, ruas rimpangnya lebih menggembung dari kedua varietas lainnya. Jenis JAHE ini bias dikonsumsi baik saat berumur muda maupun berumur tua, baik sebagai JAHE segar maupun JAHE olahan. 2. JAHE putih/kuning kecil atau disebut juga JAHE sunti atau JAHE emprit Ruasnya kecil, agak rata sampai agak sedikit menggembung. JAHE ini selalu dipanen setelah berumur tua. Kandungan minyak atsirinya lebih besar dari pada JAHE gajah, sehingga rasanya lebih pedas, disamping seratnya tinggi. JAHE ini cocok untuk ramuan obat-obatan, atau untuk diekstrak oleoresin dan minyak atsirinya. 3. JAHE merah Rimpangnya berwarna merah dan lebih kecil dari pada JAHE putih kecil. sama seperti JAHE kecil, JAHE merah selalu dipanen setelah tua, dan juga memiliki kandungan minyak atsiri yang sama dengan JAHE kecil, sehingga cocok untuk ramuan obat-obatan. Rimpang JAHE dapat digunakan sebagai bumbu masak, pemberi aroma dan rasa pada makanan seperti roti, kue, biskuit, kembang gula dan berbagai MANFAAT TANAMAN 1) JAHE tumbuh baik di daerah tropis dan subtropis dengan ketinggian 0- 2.000 m dpl. JAHE juga dapat digunakan pada industri obat, minyak wangi, industri jamu tradisional, diolah menjadi asinan JAHE, dibuat acar, lalap, bandrek, sekoteng dan sirup. Dewasa ini para petani cabe menggunakan JAHE sebagai pestisida alami. Dalam perdagangan JAHE dijual dalam bentuk segar, kering, JAHE bubuk dan awetan JAHE. Disamping itu terdapat hasil olahan JAHE seperti: minyak astiri dan koresin yang diperoleh dengan cara penyulingan yang berguna sebagai bahan pencampur dalam minuman beralkohol, es krim, campuran sosis dan lain-lain. Adapun manfaat secara pharmakologi antara lain adalah sebagai karminatif (peluruh kentut), anti muntah, pereda kejang, anti pengerasan pembuluh darah, peluruh keringat, anti inflamasi, anti mikroba dan parasit, anti piretik, anti rematik, serta merangsang pengeluaran getah lambung dan getah empedu.
          KECELAKAAN BIS DI NGEMBAL, NONGKOJAJAR        
Tiga dari tujuh jenazah warga Candi Lontar Surabaya yang menjadi korban kecelakaan bus terguling langsung dimakamkan pada Senin dini hari setelah sebelumnya dishalatkan. Ketiga jenazah yang merupakan ayah, ibu dan anak itu tiba dari Pasuruan ke rumah duka sekitar pukul 23.00 WIB dan langsung disholatkan di Masjid Al-Muhajirin. Mereka adalah Imam Zuhdi (63), istrinya Suwarni (53) dan anaknya Dhany (28). Wali Kota Surabaya Tri Rismaharini yang hadir di rumah duka mengatakan, keluarga korban meminta malam itu juga dimakamkan. Mereka dimakamkan di Tempat Pemakaman Umum Babat Jerawat, Kecamatan Pakal. "Karena itu saya meminta petugas Dinas Kebersihan dan Pertamanan untuk segera membuat tiga liang lahat dan dimakamkan," tutur Tri Rismaharini. Sekitar pukul 00.00 WIB, ratusan warga dan kerabat korban turut memakamkan ketujuh jenazah. Sementara empat korban lainnya direncanakan dimakamkan Senin pagi. Mereka adalah Pitoyo (47), Utami (37), Syafa Putri Maharani (4), dan Sutarni (55). Seperti diberitakan, bus pariwisata nomor polisi B-7076-PV terguling di Desa Ngembal, Kecamatan Tutur (Nongkojajar), Kabupaten Pasuruan, Minggu (6/5) siang. Selain tujuh korban meninggal, puluhan penumpang lainnya mengalami luka dan sebagian selamat. Puluhan korban luka sampai saat ini masih dirawat di rumah sakit di Pasuruan. Namun oleh Pemerintah Kota Surabaya semua korban luka diminta dirawat di RSU dr Soetomo dan RSUD Soewandhie. Dari data yang dimiliki pengurus PKK RT III, RW VII, ada 63 penumpang di dalam bus dan 44 penumpang di antaranya selamat serta sebagian mengalami luka ringan.
          CALON CABUB CAWABUB KAB. PASURUAN 2013        
PELAJARI KARAKTER CALON PEMIMPIN KABUPATEN PASURUAN, BARU MEMILIH DENGAN PILIHAN YANG TEPAT UNTUK KABUPATEN PASURUAN

          SOFTWARE LKM GAPOKTAN PUAP        
Kepada yth : semua Pengurus Gapoktan PUAP, PMT, Tim Teknis ,Penyuluh Pendamping, dan semua anggota kelompok tani, diseluruh indonesia dimanapun anda berada, telah diciptakan software lembaga keuangan mikro ( LKM ) agribisnis, untuk mempermudah semua akses pencatatan dan pengelolaan administrasi dan keuangan gapoktan dengan nama SIM Gapoktan sistem Informasi Managemen Gapoktan. yang bisa langsung diakses dan didownload di :www.digitalsense.com aktifasi menghubungi PMT masing2 kabupaten / kota diseluruh indonesia.

          RENUNGKANLAH SAUDARAKU...!        
Abdul Karim Germanus, Legenda Muslim Hungaria
"Islam satu saat nanti akan memperlihatkan keajaibannya pada saat dunia mulai diliputi oleh kegelapan." (Abdul Karim Germanus) Dr. Abdul Karim Germanus (1884-1979) adalah seorang orientalis terkemuka asal Hungaria dan juga seorang akademisi yang telah mendunia. Perjalanan spiritual Abdul Karim Germanus (dulu bernama Julius Germanus) mencari Islam menyita hampir separuh perjalanan hidupnya. Dia menghabiskan sepanjang hidupnya untuk mempertahankan Islam dan bahasa Arab. Selepas melewati masa-masa sulit semasa remaja dan lepas dari belenggu tradisi, dia kemudian tertarik untuk mempelajari Islam. Germanus menggambarkan kisah keislamannya itu sebagai “bangunnya sebuah kehidupan baru.” Disebutkan, awal perkenalannya dengan Islam adalah di Turki pada saat menjadi mahasiswa di sana. Kemudian, dia pergi ke India untuk mengajar di sana, pada masa Perang Dunia I. Dan di negeri Bollywood itulah dia mengucapkan dua kalimah syahadah. Selepas bertugas di India Germanus kembali ke Hungaria dan diangkat sebagai profesor di sana. Dia sering beradu argumentasi dengan para profesor dan orientalis Hungaria, terutama tentang kebenaran Islam. Berikut kisah perjalanan hidup salah satu legenda Muslim di Hungaria ini yang diambil dari beberapa sumber. *** Awal perjalanan Germanus lahir di Budapes, ibukota Hungaria pada tahun 1884 dan dibesarkan dalam nuansa Kristen taat. Segera setelah lulus dari Universitas Budapes, dia memutuskan untuk mengambil spesialisasi bahasa Turki. Selanjutnya pada tahun 1903 dia pergi ke Istanbul. Dia diterima di Universitas Istanbul dan mengambil program studi bahasa Turki. Selama bertahun-tahun tinggal di sana akhirnya dia menjadi fasih baik dalam hal percakapan, membaca maupun menulis. Selama di Istanbul, Germanus juga belajar Al-Quran berikut terjemahan dalam bahasa Turki. Itulah perkenalan awalnya dengan Islam. Dengan kemampuannya yang tinggi dalam membaca terjemahan Al-Quran berbahasa Turki, membuatnya mudah memahami Islam langsung dari sumber aslinya. Tak hanya itu, dia juga membandingkan terjemahan dalam beberapa bahasa lainnya. Sebuah upaya yang lazim dilakukan oleh misionaris Kristen untuk mengkaji kelemahan Islam. Namun Germanus justru tertarik dengan Islam. Termotivasi dengan kebenaran agama Islam, dia memutuskan untuk melakukan penelitian yakni menelusuri apa saja yang telah ditulis oleh orang-orang Kristen tentang Islam dan membandingkannya dengan sumber aslinya yaitu Al-Quran dan Sunnah Nabi. Dia melakukan berbagai upaya. Misalnya dengan membaca terjemahan kitab-kitab hadis dalam rangka mempelajari perkataan-perkataan Nabi Muhammad SAW. “Bertengkar” dengan profesor Germanus kembali ke Hungaria dan berjumpa dengan beberapa eks profesornya di Universitas Budapes. Mereka punya reputasi hebat sebagai orientalis. Namun sering menyampaikan pemikiran-pemikiran yang menyimpang tentang Islam. Germanus berdebat dengan para profesor itu. Dia menceritakan karakter sesungguhnya dari sosok Nabi Muhammad SAW. Uraiannya didasarkan pada berbagai hadis yang dia ketahui. Setelah puas “bertengkar” dengan para profesornya, Germanus memutuskan belajar bahasa Arab lebih mendalam lagi. Germanus memang punya bakat besar di bidang bahasa. Buktinya, dalam jangka waktu singkat dia sudah mahir berbahasa Arab. Belum puas, dia juga belajar bahasa Persia. Tahun 1912, Germanus diangkat sebagai profesor bahasa Arab, Persia dan Turki di Hungarian Royal Academy di Budapes. Dia juga mengasuh mata kuliah Sejarah Islam. Selanjutnya dia memimpin Department of Oriental studies pada Budapest University of Economics. Bersyahadah di India Pada tahun 1928, setelah bekerja beberapa lama di University of Budapest, sastrawan dan penerima Nobel terkemuka asal Bangladesh (dulu masih bernama India -red) Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) mengundang Germanus untuk mengajar sekaligus memimpin program Islamic Studies di Visva-Bharati University. Germanus bermukim di India selama beberapa tahun dan disana pula dia menemukan cahaya Islam. Prosesi syahadahnya berlangsung di Mesjid Agung Delhi dan dia berganti nama menjadi Abdul Karim. Universitas tempat dia bekerja tak mendiskriminasikannya gara-gara masuk Islam. Bahkan dia mendapat kelonggaran, misalnya untuk menunaikan shalat Jumat ke mesjid. Keinginan Germanus yang kuat untuk mendalami Islam dan menyelami sifat-sifat khas Muslim telah mempertemukannya dengan salah satu pujangga Islam tersohor asal Pakistan yakni Muhammad Iqbal. Rasa ingin tahu Germanus yang begitu tinggi hingga dia sering terlibat pembicaraan hingga berjam-jam lamanya. Tak hanya itu, mereka juga sering berdiskusi tentang aktifitas para orientalis dan misionaris Kristen. Germanus dan Iqbal punya pandangan berbeda tentang aktifitas misionaris Kristen. Menurut Germanus, propaganda yang disebarkan oleh para misionaris Kristen di Eropa sebagai sebuah masalah pelik yang mengkhawatirkan. Sementara Iqbal justru melihat masalah sesungguhnya ada pada orang Islam sendiri. Iqbal menyebut kesatuan Muslim yang lemah yang membuat Islam mudah diombang-ambing. Belajar bahasa Arab klasik Kecintaan Germanus pada bahasa Arab telah membawanya ke Kairo, tempat dimana dia kemudian belajar bahasa Arab klasik. Satu ketika, pada saat pertama kali menjejakkan kakinya di pelabuhan Alexandria, dia mengaku sangat terkejut dengan respon yang diberikan oleh penduduk setempat. Mereka pada tertawa mendengar bahasa Arab Germanus. Bukan apa-apa, karena dia berbicara dengan menggunakan bahasa Arab klasik atau kuno! Mereka, warga Alexandria, berbincang dengan memakai dialek setempat hingga Germanus tak mampu mencerna apa yang mereka ucapkan. Kontan dia merasa marah dan berteriak lantang, “Saya kemari untuk belajar bahasa Al-Quran dari Anda! Kenapa kalian justru menertawakan dan mengejek saya?” Selama di Mesir, Germanus menjalin hubungan erat dengan penulis terkenal negeri kuda nil itu yakni Mahmoud Timour. Mahmoud bahkan menulis tentang perjalanan Germanus mencari Islam dalam bukunya Behind the Veil (Dibalik Hijab) yang berisi kumpulan kisah-kisah pendek. Dia menyebut Germanus seorang teman yang baik, yang memiliki kecakapan bahasa Arab demikian mengagumkan. Menurut Mahmoud, Germanus memainkan peranan yang penting dalam menjaga dan melestarikan bahasa Arab klasik. Begitulah, akhirnya Germanus benar-benar mencapai tingkat kemahiran yang tinggi dalam tata bahasa Arab (baca: Al-Quran). Dia selanjutnya kembali ke kampung halaman dan menjadi profesor di Universitas Budapes bidang sejarah dan kebudayaan selama hampir 40 tahun lamanya. Dia banyak mempublikasikan hasil-hasil pemikirannya, terutama tentang kebangkitan bahasa Arab klasik di dunia Arab. Obsesinya adalah membangkitkan kembali kejayaan bahasa Arab klasik yang mati suri selama sekian lama. Impiannya, satu saat nanti semua negara-negara Arab bisa bercakap dengan format bahasa Arab yang seragam hingga akan mengikat kesatuan di antara mereka serta tumbuh kecintaan akan warisan budaya dan sejarah Arab yang begitu tinggi. Menentang sikap orientalis Sepanjang perjalanan karir akademisnya, Germanus berperang melawan orientalis di Eropa. Dalam berbagai penjelasan, dia selalu menyampaikan argumentasinya berdasarkan data dan fakta serta rasional. Begitupun dia selalu mendapat tentangan, bahkan menjurus permusuhan. Akibatnya sering berselisih pendapat dengan para orientalis lain. Bahkan dia dipecat oleh pihak universitas dengan alasan kelakuan yang tidak pantas. Sebaliknya dengan para mahasiswa bimbingannya, meskipun Germanus dicap berseberangan pemikiran dengan para orientalis, mereka tetap mendukung ide-ide yang dibawanya. Mereka menghargai pekerjaannya dan melihat buah karyanya punya pengaruh yang besar secara akademis, di Barat dan dunia Islam. Karena dukungan para mahasiswa itu pula dia masih masih bisa tetap menjadi staf pengajar di universitas. Naik Haji Di Hungaria, Germanus berusaha keras memberikan pencerahan kepada Muslim di negerinya, yang kala itu berjumlah antara 1000 hingga 2000 jiwa. Dia mendirikan sebuah organisasi guna menjembatani hubungan antara Islam dengan pemerintah. Misinya kala itu adalah membawa Islam agar diterima sebagai salah satu agama resmi di Hungaria. Tahun 1935 Germanus menunaikan rukum Islam kelima dan menjadi satu dari sedikit Muslim Eropa yang berangkat ke Mekkah pada masa itu. Tahun 1939 dia menunaikan ibadah haji untuk kali kedua. Bahkan kisah perjalanan rohaninya ke Mekkah dirangkumnya dalam sebuah buku berbahasa Hungaria yang cukup terkenal berjudul Allahu Akbar! Buku tersebut telah diterjemahkan ke dalam beberapa bahasa. Germanus menikah dengan seorang perempuan Eropa yang dulunya beragama Kristen. Setelah beberapa lama, sang istri akhirnya memeluk Islam dengan disaksikan oleh Syekh Ahmed Abdul Ghafur Attar, seorang penulis dan akademisi Islam terkenal. Publikasi Islam di Eropa Germanus aktif berdakwah melalui tulisan. Dia menulis tentang Islam di pelbagai media di Eropa. Dalam sebuah artikelnya dia pernah menulis bahwa Islam satu saat nanti akan memperlihatkan keajaibannya pada saat dunia mulai diliputi oleh kegelapan. Germanus bisa disebut sebagai jenius bahasa. Buktinya dia menulis banyak buku, diantaranya The Greek, Arabic Literature in Hungarian, Lights of the East, Uncovering the Arabian Peninsula, Between Intellectuals, The History of Arabic Literature, The History of the Arabs, Modern Movements in Islam, Studies in the Grammatical Structure of the Arabic Language, Journeys of Arabs, Pre-Islamic Poetry, Great Arabic Literature, Guidance From the Light of the Crescent (a personal memoir), An Adventure in the Desert, Arab Nationalism, Allahu Akbar, Mahmoud Timour and Modern Arabic Literature, The Great Arab Poets, dan The Rise of Arab Culture. Germanus yang meninggal pada 7 Nopember 1979 mengabdikan dirinya untuk Islam sepanjang lebih kurang 50 tahun. Begitulah, kisah sang legenda yang tak lekang oleh zaman. Dia dikenang hingga kini sebagai salah satu legenda Muslim di Hungaria. [www.hidayatullah.com]
          RENUNGKANLAH SAUDARAKU SEMUA        
Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood, Menulis Hingga Nafas Berakhir
Ia mendapat ijazah dibidang Teologi Kristen. Namun pengetahuan Kristen-nya yang begitu mendalam menjadikan dia mencintai Islam. Ingin terus menulis hingga akhir hayat Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood dilahirkan pada tahun 1942 di kota London, Inggris. Ruqayyah merupakan salah satu penulis buku-buku Islam paling produktif. telah menghasilkan lebih dari 30 buku berkenaan dengan Islam. Buku-bukunya termasuk best seller dan menjadi referensi serta rujukan di berbagai negara. Awalnya dia dibesarkan dalam lingkungan Kristen Protestan. Nama asalnya ialah Rosalyn Rushbrook . Dia memperoleh ijazah dalam bidang Teologi Kristen dari Universitas Hull tahun 1963. Pengetahuan Kristennya begitu mendalam hingga dia menulis beberapa buah buku, tentang Kristen. Tapi rupanya, karena pengetahuannya yang begitu mendalam tentang Kristen pula yang menyadarkannya. Ia dapati ajaran Kristen telah banyak menyimpang, terutama yang berkaitan dengan konsep Trinitas. Akhirnya tahun 1986, diusia 44 tahun, dia memeluk Islam. Tahun 2001 dia dianugerahkan Muhammad Iqbal Awards karena sumbangannya yang tinggi dalam pengembangan metodologi pengajaran Islam. Bahkan Maret 2004 Ruqayyah terpilih sebagai salah satu dari 100 wanita berprestasi di dunia. Berikut rangkuman kehidupannya dikutip dari berbagai sumber. Orang beriman tak takut dengan penderitaan hidup; tak takut dengan kematian; juga tak takut dengan kehidupan setelah dunia ini; karena Allah bersama mereka. Mereka tak sendirian, Allah selalu menemani dan membimbingnya. Allah itu nyata, Dia menyayangi kamu. Dia mengetahui semua kesukaran yang kamu hadapi dalam perjuangan. Bahkan, jika kamu berbuat salah, Dia masih tetap mencintaimu.モ ~Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood~ Bait-bait kalimat di atas menggambarkan betapa teguhnya hati seorang Ruqayyah. Bait penuh makna itu diadopsinya dari ayat-ayat suci Al-Quran. Dia memang menumpukan setiap tulisannya dengan memasukkan petuah-petuah dari Al-Quran dan hadis Nabi Muhammad SAW. Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood yang diilahirkan tahun 1942 di London, Inggris, pada ada usia 8 tahun telah jadi seorang anak yang memiliki komitmen yang tinggi dengan Kristen sebagai hasil dari panggilan hatinya. Setelah menamatkan program sarjana ilmu teologi (1963) dan master bidang pendidikan (1964) dari Universitas Hull, dia selama hampir 32 tahun mengelola program studi ilmu-ilmu keagamaan di berbagai sekolah dan perguruan tinggi di Inggris. Dia menikah dengan penyair Georg Morris Kendrick pada tahun 1964. Dari perkawinannya dengan Georg mereka memiliki dua orang anak, Daniel George lahir 1968 dan Frances Elisabeth Eva lahir 1969. Tahun 1986 pasangan itu bercerai. Tahun itu pula masuk Islam dan tahun 1990 menikah lagi dengan pria keturunan Pakistan, Waris Ali Maqsood namanya. モSaat ini Islam dicap sebagai agama bermasalah. Sangat tidak adil. Karena itu saya berupaya menulis untuk memperbanyak literatur-literatur Islam. Harapa saya agar, melalui tulisan-tulisan itu, dapat membantu memperbaiki atmosfir yang kurang berpihak ke Islam,ヤ cetusnya. モSaya sangat tertarik menggeluti sejarah Islam, terutama tentang kehidupan wanita-wanita di sekitar Nabi Muhammad. Saya acapkali meng-counter kampanye anti Islam yang mendiskreditkan wanita Muslim,ヤ kata dia. Best seller Mau tahu seberapa produktifnya dia? Catat saja, sewaktu masih bernama Rosalyn Rushbrook dia menghasilkan 9 buah buku yang umumnya berisi isu agama. Dan satu volume buku kumpulan puisi. Lalu selepas hijrah ke Islam, dia menghasilkan sekitar 30 buah buku. Saat ini dia memiliki 9 buah buku yang masih dalam proses penerbitan. Dia juga menulis berbagai artikel di majalah maupun koran yang berkaitan dengan Islam dan Muslim. Salah satu sumbangannya yang paling penting bagi komunitas Islam adalah The Muslim Marriage Guide (Petunjuk Pernikahan bagi Muslim). Buku itu menjadi rujukan dan direkomendasikan, tidak saja untuk pasangan yang akan menikah namun juga bagi mereka yang telah lama mengarungi bahtera rumah tangga. Bagi kalangan non Muslim, terutama yang sedang mendalami Islam, tentu saja buku Ruqayyah menjadi referensi yang sangat berharga. Dalam buku yang bernilai tinggi itu dia menggambarkan kehidupan Nabi Muhammad SAW dan para sahabatnya dilengkapi dengan petunjuk, tatacara dan hukum perkawinan. Tak hanya dia juga menguraikan bagaimana pertalian suami istri dalam hal warisan dan sejenisnya. Jadi sangat terpadu dan lengkap. Ruqayyah pernah diundang oleh Hodder Headlines untuk menulis buku Islam for the World Faiths (Islam bagi Penganut Agama se-Dunia). Saat ini buku itu telah dicetak sebanyak tiga kali dan termasuk salah satu buku best seller. Tak hanya buku-buku kategori モberatヤ, dia juga menulis buku-buku tentang bimbingan konseling bagi remaja Islam. Juga ada beberapa buku saku, antara lain; a Guide for Visitors to Mosques, a Marriage Guidance booklet, Muslim Womenメs Helpline. Bukunya di Indonesia banyak diterbitkan oleh Mizan. Misalnya Menciptakan Surga Rumah Tangga. Lalu buku bimbingan untuk remaja berjudul Menyentuh Hati Remaja. Buku itu mengulas seputar solusi untuk mengatasi problema-problema remaja. モMengapa hidup kita di dunia ini kadang-kadang berlalu dalam keadaan sulit. Ada cerita terkenal tentang seorang petani Afrika yang menanam rami. Ia harus menanamnya dalam keadaan yang sulit, dengan kondisi tanah yang mematahkan punggung dan dengan sedikit hujan untuk menyiraminya. Ketika ia pindah ke tempat yang iklimnya lebih bersahabat, ia membawa beberapa tanaman rami tersebut, dengan pikiran bahwa tanamana ini akan mudah tumbuh di tempat yang baru. Ya, tanaman itu memang tumbuh, besar, hijau dan subur; tetapi ketika ia mencabut batang itu untuk mengeluarkan seratnya, ternyata batangnya tidak berisi serat kecuali ampas. Tanaman itu memerlukan kondisi sulit untuk mengembangkan kekuatan batangnya,ヤ tulis Ruqayyah dalam buku bimbingan remajanya, dengan perumpamaan yang gampang dimengerti remaja dan juga memberi motivasi hidup. Silabus Islam モSaya juga diminta menulis buku teks yang dipakai secara luas di Inggris selama hampir 20 tahun. Buku-buku teks itu dipakai oleh kalangan pribadi, muallaf, dan pelajar-pelajar sekolah umum dan madrasah. Tidak saja di Inggris tapi juga di beberapa negara lainnya,ヤ begitu katanya. Ya, memang Ruqayyah juga sibuk menulis buku-buku teks yang banyak dijadikan rujukan. Ia membantu mengembangkan silabus bagi pelajar sekolah agama, bekerjasama dengan dinas pendidikan setempat. Silabusnya tergolong unik, dibuat khusus agar pelajar mandiri. Jadi, tanpa guru atau fasilitas tetap bisa jalan. Silabusnya dirancang untuk pelajar sekolah dasar hingga perguruan tinggi. Menariknya lagi, bisa dipakai untuk pendidikan formal, non formal, misal di rumah, bahkan juga di penjara. Pokoknya untuk dimana saja. Menjadi tutor jarak jauh (distance learning) untuk Asosiasi Peneliti Muslim (AMR) adalah aktifitas lainnya. Aktifitas mengajarnya juga padat. Banyak negara telah disambanginya, diantaranya AS, Kanada, Denmark, Swedia, Finlandia, Irlandia dan Singapura. Ruqayyah juga mengajar di beberapa universitas yang ada di Inggris seperti Oxford, Cambridge Edinburg, Glasgow dan Manchester. Juga mengajar di School of Oriental and Arabic Studies di London. Atas aktifitas dan jasanya itu ia menerima Muhammad Iqbal Award tahun 2001 atas kreatifitasnya dalam mengembangkan pembelajaran Islam. Dialah muslim pertama Inggris yang pernah menerima anugerah bergengsi tersebut. Tak hanya itu, Maret 2004 Ruqayyah terpilih sebagai salah satu dari 100 wanita berprestasi di dunia. Dalam ajang pemilihan Daily Mailメs Real Women of Achievement, dia termasuk satu dari tujuh orang wanita berprestasi dalam kategori keagamaan. Menulis dan Terus Menulis Majalah Islam, Emel pernah menanyakan adakah ia merasa lelah dengan seabrek aktifitasnya itu serta bagaimana membagi waktu menulis dan mengurus rumah tangga, misalnya di kesibukannya dengan para cucunya. モSaya sangat ketat dengan waktu. Bertahun-tahun saya menjalani itu dan sudah jadi irama hidup saya, hingga semua jadi mudah. Saya biasanya menulis malam hari. Kala semua telah tidur, hingga tak ada yang mengganggu saya. Jam 4 pagi saya bangun untuk shalat subuh. Selepas itu saya tidur sejenak hingga jam 8 pagi. Beraktifitas lagi dan siangnya saya ambil waktu untuk istirahat,ヤ ujarnya. モKerja saya sehari-hari ya menulis. Kini ada lebih dari 40 buku telah diterbitkan. Belum lama saya telah menyelesaikan satu manuskrip yang sangat tebal tentang Kehidupan Rasulullah SAW. Buku berjudul モThe Life of Prophet Muhammadヤ itu diterbitkan oleh Islamic Research Institute of Islamabad tahun 2006 silam,ヤ katanya. Tentang pembajakan buku-buku, Ruqayyah mengaku sedih dengan tingginya kasus pembajakan buku terutama di negara-negara Islam. モKenyataan saat ini banyak buku-buku Islam yang dibajak dan pembajaknya adalah orang Islam sendiri. Sedih bukan? モ ujarnya risau. Tentang Yesus Dia memiliki pengetahuan Kristen begitu mendalam. Dengan pengetahuannya itu Ruqayyah bergerak atas inisiatif sendiri mencari kebenaran berdasar kajian-kajian ilmiahnya. Namun akhirnya dia meninggalkan agamanya itu setelah bergulat bertahun-tahun dalam pencarian atas pertanyaan-pertanyaannya tentang konsep teologi Trinitas. Dia tak menemukan apa-apa. Jadi Ruqayyah memeluk Islam murni berdasar latar belakang pengetahuannya dan kajian mendalam tentang ajaran ketuhanan, baik dalam Islam dan Kristen. Seperti kebanyakan muallaf lainnya, dia menyebut dirinya telah モkembaliヤ menjadi Muslim. Kini dia memperjuangkan Islam lewat tulisan dan buku-bukunya. Dalam sebuah wawancara dengan sebuah media, dia ditanya perihal konsep Islam tentang Nabi Isa yang dalam ajaran Kristen disebut Yesus. モDi negara Barat ada ajaran ilmu etika berinti pada cinta dan kasih Tuhan dan tolong menolong sesama manusia. Itu semua diajarkan juga oleh semua nabi termasuk di dalamnya, tentu saja, Nabi Muhammad SAW. Kami orang Islam juga meyakini Nabi Isa sebagai salah satu nabi yang diutus Allah,ヤ kata Ruqayyah. モSebelum Nabi Isa datang, nabi-nabi terdahulu membawa ajaran Yahudi. Kami juga beriman dengan nabi-nabi terdahulu yang diutus kepada umat-umat sebelum Islam datang, Yahudi adalah salah satu agama samawi juga. Nabi Isa datang membawa ajaran Kristen itu kami yakni juga. Kemudian Nabi Muhammad diutus Allah membawa ajaran Islam dan tugas Isa AS telah selesai, Jadi tidak seperti dipahami ajaran Kristen dengan konsep Trinitasnya yang menyatakan Yesus itu anak Tuhan. Dia memang dilahirkan dari seorang ibu, Maryam. Tanpa ayah. Jadi jangan lantas disebut sebagai anak Tuhan. Itu kuasa Allah. Jika Allah katakan モjadiヤ, maka jadilah,ヤ imbuhnya lagi. Apakah Nabi Muhammad diutus karena misi Nabi Isa dianggap telah gagal? Demikian cocoran pertanyaan menohok media tersebut. モKami tidak beriman dengan itu, bahwa misi Nabi Isa gagal. Kami beriman, dia (Isa AS) adalah salah satu utusan Allah yang terbaik bagi umatnya. Contoh dan tunjuk ajarnya ditiru oleh jutaan pengikutnya kala itu. Jika kemudian, umatnya rusak, itu bukannya karena ajaran atau misi Isa AS itu rusak lantas dikatakan gagal. Lalu untuk menyelamatkan umatnya, menghapus dosa umatnya, Isa digambarkan (dalam Kristen) mengorbankan dirinya dengan disalib. Tidak begitu. Inilah yang saya katakana ajaran Kristen telah menyimpang dari aslinya,ヤ terangnya. Cyber counsellor Salain menulis, kesibukan lainnya adalah sebagai seorang konselor. Melalui internet, ia aktif menjawab dan membantu konseling. モKegiatan lain saya adalah mengasuh bimbingan konseling online melalui e-mail hingga dijuluki sebagai cyber councellor. Tiap hari sedikitnya ada 50 e-mail yang saya terima. Kebanyakan berasal dari orang-orang minta nasehat, karena masalah budaya, perkawinan, dan bahkan masalah ketuhanan. Kebanyakan dari mereka adalah orang-orang yang dalam masa pencarian, mereka ingin tahu apa itu Islam. Bahkan ada juga dari orang yang bermaksud menyerang Islam. Kami saling bertukar pendapat. Banyak juga e-mail berisi pengaduan-pengaduan yang sifatnya sangat pribadi. Saya ini persis seperti モibu atau tanteヤ bagi mereka dalam menyelesaikan persoalan-persoalan pribadi,ヤ ungkap Ruqayyah senang. Begitupun dia mengaku sedikit sedih dengan kenyataan masih banyak kalangan Islam yang bertingkah laku kurang baik. Tidak Islami. Hingga merusak wajah Islam sendiri. モSebagai contoh di Barat, banyak anak-anak muda Arab dan Asia yang bergaul bebas dengan gadis-gadis kulit putih tanpa memperhatikan kaedah Islam. Sedihnya lagi, ada yang sampai mengandung tanpa ikatan agama. Seringnya si wanita kemudian masuk Islam. Memang baik, tapi saya kira ini bukan jalan menuju Islam yang benar,ヤ keluhnya. Begitulah, Ruqayyah kini mengisi hari tuanya di sudut kota London dengan menulis, mengasuh para cucunya, disamping juga berbagi ilmu keislamannya dengan non muslim melalui dialog antar umat beragama. Dia menyisihkan waktunya berkunjung ke sekolah-sekolah dan gereja untuk menjelaskan Islam dan memberikan pengetahuan dasar-dasar Islam. Dia berjuang keras menyadarkan berbagai pihak dengan berbagai latar kehidupan yang berbeda agar dapat saling menghargai. [Zulkarnain Jalil/www.hidayatullah.com]
          SENTRA DURIAN NGEMBAL        
Durian Unggulan





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


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


Anggrek Unggulan Pemeliharaan

Salam pertanian! Bagian terpenting dan paling menarik dari anggrek adalah bunganya, namun sayang kita sering menjumpai bunga anggrek yang malas untuk berbunga. Apa ada yang salah?

Merawat anggrek gampang-gampang susah dan diperlukan pengalaman serta kedisiplinan. Untuk menciptakan anggrek yang rajin berbunga juga diperlukan unsur kasih sayang dari pemeliharanya. Salah satu faktor yang terpenting agar anggrek rajin berbunga adalah pemilihan bibit unggul anggrek. Beberapa sifat unggul dari anggrek adalah anggrek berbunga banyak, berbunga besar, bunga berwarna cerah dan bunganya tahan lama.

Beberapa faktor yang perlu diperhatikan agar anggrek rajin berbunga adalah:

Rumah lindung yang sesuai. Anggrek harus diletakkan dalam rumah yang intensitas cahanya 50 – 70 %, maka atap dari rumah lindung harus diberi paranet.
Penyusunan anggrek. Agar anggrek rajin berbunga juga harus diperhatikan penyusunan tanamannya, sebaiknya penyusunan rak-rak anggrek diletakkan datar dengan ketinggian 1 m dan jangan diletakkan berjenjang karena akan mengganggu sirkulasi udara.
Kelembaban udara. Agar anggrek rajin berbunga dibutuhkan kelembaban antara 60 – 80 %. Agar kelembaban tetap terjaga dibawah rak bisa dibikin kolam atau dibuat kabut didalam rumah lindung dengan cara pemasangan sprinkle.
Media tanam. Media tanam yang ideal untuk membuat anggrek rajin berbunga tersusun 2 bagian. 1/3 bagian bawah diisi dengan potongan batu bata dan 2/3 sisanya pake pakis.
Konstruksi pot. Pot juga sangat mempengaruhi dalam tanaman anggrek agar rajin berbunga. Yang paling ideal pot yang dipakai adalah pot yang terbuat dari tanah liat dan banyak lobangnya.
Penyiraman. Agar anggrek rajin berbunga sangat perlu diperhatikan masalah kandungan air dari medianya. Jika cuaca panas diperlukan penyiraman 2 kali dan jika cuaca hujan tidak perlu melalukan penyiraman. Yang sangat perlu diperhatikan adalah kadar air media. Waktu penyiraman yang ideal adalah jam 07 – 09 pagi dan jam 03 – 05 sore.
Pemupukan. Kunci utama pemupukan agar anggrek rajin berbunga adalah pemberian pupuk dengan kandungan unsur hara P yang tinggi. Pemupukan bisa diberikan melalui penyemprotan/ penyiraman bisa juga menggunakan pupuk slow rilis yang ditaburkan pada media tanam anggrek.
Pemberian ZPT atau Hormon. Untuk membuat anggrek rajin berbunga kadang diperlukan pemberian ZPT atau hormon. Yang bisa digunakan untuk memacu pembungaan anggrek adalah Giberelin. Bisa juga digunakan air kelapa dengan konsentrasi 15 % (150 ml air kelapa dibuat larutan semprot 1 liter)
Pengendalian hama dan penyakit. Seperti tanaman lain anggrek juga takan luput dari serangan hama dan penyakit. Pengamatan setiap hari adalah cara paling tepat untuk mencegah serangan hama dan penyakit anggrek. Untuk membuat anggrek rajin berbunga tanaman anggrek harus dibersihkan dari kotoran, gulma dan daun-daun busuk. Penggunaan insektisida jika terserang hama, fungisida jika terserang jamur dan bakterisida jika terserang bakteri.
Semoga tulisan diatas bisa sedikit menambah wawasan para pecinta anggrek, trimakasih.
          PROSPEK GAHARU 2012        
GAHARU, AROMATIK TERMAHAL DI DUNIA


Gaharu adalah bahan aromatik termahal di dunia. Harga gaharu kualitas baik di tingkat konsumen di pasar internasional, sekitar US $ 5 sd. 15 per gram, (Rp 45.000,- sd. 135.000,-). Sedemikian tingginya nilai produk gaharu, hingga penjualannya menggunakan bobot gram. Bukan ons atau kg. Gaharu adalah bahan parfum, kosmetik dan obat-obatan (farmasi). Parfum diperoleh dari hasil ekstraksi resin dan kayunya. Gaharu sudah dikenal sebagai komoditas penting, semenjak jaman Mesir Kuno. Mumi mesir, selain diberi rempah-rempah (kayumanis, cengkeh), juga diberi cendana dan gaharu. Dalam injil, disebutkan bahwa kain kafan Yesus (Isa Al Masih), diberi Aloe. Istilah ini bukan mengacu ke Aloe vera (lidah buaya), melainkan kayu gaharu.

Itulah sebabnya kayu gaharu juga disebut sebagai aloeswood (kayu aloe). Nama dagang lainnya adalah agarwood, heartwood, dan eaglewood. Di pasar internasional, gaharu murni diperdagangkan dalam bentuk kayu, serbuk dan minyak (parfum). Kayu gaharu bisa dijadikan bahan kerajinan bernilai sangat tinggi, atau untuk peralatan upacara keagamaan. Serbuk gaharu digunakan untuk dupa/ratus, dan minyaknya merupakan parfum kelas atas. Serbuk gaharu sebagai dupa akan dibakar langsung dalam ritual keagamaan. Baik Hindu, Budha, Konghucu, Thao, Shinto, Islam dan Katolik. Kayu gaharu disebut sebagai kayu para dewa. Aroma gaharu karenanya dipercaya mampu menyucikan altar dan peralatan peribadatan lainnya.

Selain itu dupa gaharu juga dimanfaatkan untuk mengharumkan ruangan, rambut dan pakaian para bangsawan. Aroma gaharu akan digunakan sebagai aromaterapi di spa-spa kelas atas. Selain untuk ritual keagamaan, parfum dan kosmetik, produk gaharu juga sering dikaitkan dengan hal-hal yang berbau mistik. Baik pemanfaatannya, terlebih lagi proses pencariannya dari alam. Pengambilan gaharu dari hutan, memang selalu dilakukan secara tradisional, dengan berbagai ritual dan kebiasaan setempat. Pencarian gaharu di lokasi sulit, harus menggunakan pesawat terbang atau helikopter. Beberapa kali pesawat terbang dan heli pencari gaharu, hilang di hutan belantara di Kalimantan, hingga memperkuat kesan mistis produk gaharu.

# # #

Gaharu adalah getah (resin, gubal) dari pohon genus Aquilaria, yang tumbuh di hutan belantara India, Asia Tenggara (termasuk Indonesia) dan Cina Selatan. Sampai saat ini, Indonesia masih merupakan pemasok produk gaharu terbesar di dunia. Meskipun populasi tumbuhan Aquilaria cukup besar, namun tidak semua pohon menghasilkan gaharu. Sebab resin itu baru akan keluar, kalau tanaman terinfeksi oleh kapang (fungus) Phialophora parasitica. Akibat infeksi, tanaman mengeluarkan getah yang aromanya sangat harum. Getah ini akan menggumpal di dalam batang kayu. Para pencari gaharu menyebut kayu dengan resin ini sebagai gubal. Tanaman Aquilaria yang tidak terinfeksi Phialophora parasitica, tidak akan beraroma harum.

Genus Aquilaria terdiri dari 22 spesies: A. (Aquilaria) agallocha; A. apiculata; A. baillonii; A. banaensis; A. beccariana; A. brachyantha; A. citrinicarpa; A. crassna; A. cumingiana; A. filaria; A.grandiflora; A. hirta; A. malaccensis; A. microcarpa; A. ophispermum; A. parvifolia; A. pentandra; A. rostrata; A. sinensis; A. subintegra; A. urdanetensis; A. yunnanensis. Dari 22 spesies itu, yang bisa terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica hanya ada delapan spesies yakni: A. agallocha; A. crassna; A. grandiflora; A. malaccensis; A. ophispermum; A. pentandra; A. sinensis; dan Aquilaria yunnanensis. Dari delapan spesies itu, yang paling potensial menghasilkan gaharu adalah A. malaccensis dan A. agallocha.

Gaharu yang sekarang beredar di pasaran, semuanya berasal dari perburuan dari hutan. Para pencari gaharu, kadang-kadang tidak membedakan, mana kayu yang ada gubalnya, dan mana yang tidak. Hingga semua pohon Aquilaria yang dijumpai akan ditebang. Akibatnya, populasi kayu Aquilaria terus terkikis dan makin langka. Dalam pertemuan ke 13 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP 13) di Bangkok, Thailand, 2 -14 Oktober 2004, genus Aquilaria telah dimasukkan dalam apendik II. Hingga pengambilan gaharu dari alam, sebenarnya dilarang. Tetapi karena tingginya nilai gaharu, maka pencarian gaharu dari hutan terus berlangsung tanpa bisa dicegah.

Genus Aquilaria adalah pohon dengan tinggi mencapai 20 m dan diameter batang 60 cm, yang tumbuh di hutan hujan tropika basah, mulai dari ketinggian 0 sampai dengan 1.000 m. dpl. Aquilaria bisa hidup pada berbagai jenis tanah. Mulai dari tanah humus, berpasir, lempung, berkapur, sampai berbatu-batu. Gaharu termasuk tanaman yang tahan kekeringan, dan juga tahan hidup di bawah naungan. Tanaman yang masih muda, memang memerlukan banyak air, dan naungan. Biasanya Aquilaria tumbuh di bawah tajuk palem atau pakis-pakisan. Aquilaria berkembangbiak dari biji. Buah Aquilaria berupa polong yang keras, dengan panjang antara 2,5 sd. 3 cm. Biji mudah dikecambahkan di tempat yang lembap dan hangat, tetapi terlindung dari panas matahari.

# # #

Dalam kondisi optimum, pohon Aquilaria akan mampu tumbuh dengan sangat pesat. Yang dimaksud dengan kondisi optimum adalah, suhu udara, kelembapan, sinar matahari, air dan unsur haranya cukup. Meskipun Aquilaria tahan hidup di berbagai macam tanah, tetapi dia akan tumbuh optimal di tanah humus yang subur, dengan topsoil cukup tebal. Tidak semua Aquilaria yang tumbuh di hutan merupakah penghasil gaharu. Produk gaharu, baru akan terjadi, apabila kayu Aquilaria terinfeksi oleh kapang Phialophora parasitica. Tumbuhan Aquilaria yang tidak terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica, hanya akan menjadi kayu biasa yang sama sekali tidak harum. Beda dengan cendana (Sandal Wood, Santalum album), yang kayunya memang sudah harum.

Untuk mempertahankan diri, tumbuhan Aquilaria yang sudah terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica akan menghasilkan getah resin (jawa: blendok). Resin ini akan menggumpal dan membentuk gubal. Proses pembentukan gubal berlangsung sangat lambat. Bisa puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun. Resin dan bagian kayu yang terinfeksi inilah yang akan menghasilkan aroma harum yang tidak ada duanya di dunia. Aroma gaharu ini sedemikian khasnya hingga hampir tidak mungkin disintetis. Pembuatan gaharu sintetis, hasilnya akan lebih mahal dibanding dengan gaharu alam. Proses pembentukan gubal berlangsung sangat lama, juga merupakan salah satu penyebab tingginya produk gaharu.

Kapang genus Phialophora terdiri dari delapan spesies aktif: Phialophora americana, Phialophora bubakii, Phialophora europaea, Phialophora parasitica, Phialophora reptans, Phialophora repens, Phialophora richardsiae, dan Phialophora verrucosa. Dari delapan spesies itu, yang berfungsi menginfeksi kayu Aquilaria hanyalah kapang Phialophora parasitica. Spesies lainnya merupakan kapang patogen, yang bisa menginfeksi manusia dan menimbulkan gangguan penyakit. Malaysia dan Indonesia, sudah bisa mengisolasi kapang Phialophora parasitica, untuk diinokulasikan ke pohon Aquilaria.

Di Indonesia, penelitian gaharu antara lain dilakukan oleh Balitbang Botani/LIPI, Badan Litbang Departemen Kehutanan dan Universitas Mataram di Mataram, Lombok. Universitas Mataram, malahan sudah melakukan ujicoba penanaman gaharu, dan menginfeksinya dengan kapang Phialophora parasitica. Sayangnya, tanaman yang belum membentuk gubal itu sudah dicuri orang. Para pencuri ini beranggapan, bahwa kayu gaharu sama dengan cendana. Padahal cendana pun memerlukan waktu paling sedikit 30 tahun agar meghasilkan kayu dengan tingkat keharuman prima. Gaharu yang sudah terinfeksi ini, masih memerlukan waktu puluhan tahun agar gubalnya bisa dipanen.

# # #

Mengingat tingginya nilai gaharu, dan juga kelangkaannya, maka budidaya gaharu sudah semakin mendesak. Membuat hutan Aquilaria, bisa dilakukan dengan mudah. Sebab tumbuhan genus ini relatif mudah dikembangbiakkan dan toleran dengan lokasi tumbuh yang sangat ekstrim sekalipun. Mengisolasi kapang Phialophora parasitica juga sudah bisa dilakukan di laboratorium Universitas Mataram. Menginfeksi tumbuhan Aquilaria dengan kapang Phialophora parasitica juga sudah berhasil diketemukan metodenya. Yang menjadi masalah, untuk mengembangkannya dalam skala komersial, diperlukan jangka waktu lama. Gaharu kualitas baik, baru akan terbentuk setelah proses selama puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun.

Para pemilik modal, akan berpikir ulang kalau investasinya baru akan kembali pada puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun yang akan datang. Para pejabat di lingkup pemerintah daerah pun, juga akan menolak untuk merancang proyek yang tingkat keberhasilannya baru akan bisa diukur puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun kemudian. Belum lagi gangguan masyarakat yang tidak terlalu tahu tentang gaharu. Mereka menganggap bahwa tanaman Aquilaria yang sudah diinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica, akan segera bisa ditebang untuk diambil gaharunya. Ketidaktahuan masyarakat ini, juga disebabkan oleh sedikitnya publikasi tentang gaharu. Para wartawan yang mengenal gaharu, jumlahnya juga masih sangat sedikit.

Dalam situasi seperti ini, pencarian gaharu di hutan menjadi satu-satunya alternatif. Di Papua, pencarian gaharu bahkan dilakukan oleh para pengusaha dengan cara yang sangat tidak bermoral. Para pengusaha tahu bahwa masyarakat Papua, sudah kecanduan minuman keras. Hanya dengan disodori beberapa kaleng bir, mereka sudah bersedia untuk mencari gaharu. Apabila gaharu sudah diperoleh, para pengusaha pun menawarkan perempuan kepada penemu gaharu. Perempuan-perempuan malang ini didatangkan dari Jawa, kebanyakan dengan cara ditipu untuk dicarikan pekerjaan yang layak di Freeport atau perusahaan HPH. Setibanya di Papua, mereka hanya dijadikan umpan memperoleh gaharu.
          Kemajuan Iptek Banyak Ungkap Kebenaran Al Qur'an        



Ilmuwan Mesir, Prof Dr Zagloul Mohamed El-Naggar,mengatakan, semakin maju ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi (Iptek), semakinterungkap pula keajaiban kitab suci Al Quran. "Al Quran bukan buku ilmu pengetahuan,tetapi ayat-ayat mengenai alam semesta (kauniyah) kini terbukti dalampenemuan-penemuan ilmiah di abad modern ini," kata Prof Naggardalam ceramahnya di Aula Harun Nasution, Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) SyarifHidayatullah, Jakarta, pada Kamis 30/9/2010 silam.
Pakar ilmu bumi (geologi) tersebut mengupas beragampenemuan ilmiah mengenai alam semesta yang mengamini hakikat kebenaran AlQuran. Sebagai contoh, Ayat-6 Surat Al Thur, "Al Bahrul Masjur" (Demilaut yang—di dalam tanah bawah laut itu—ada api). Terbukti secara ilmiah olehpara ahli geologi dan ilmu kelautan bahwa dasar semua samudra dipanasi olehjutaan ton magma yang keluar dari perut bumi. Menurut peraih doktor geologi jebolan UniversitasWales, Inggris, pada tahun 1963 itu, magma tersebut keluar melalui jaringanrengkahan raksasa yang secara total merobek lapisan litosfir dan sampai kelapisan astenosfir. "Para ilmuwan yang jujur akan kagum melihatkepeloporan Al Quran dan hadis-hadis Nabi terkait petunjuk tentangfakta-fakta ilmiah bumi, yang baru dapat dibuktikan pada akhir abad ke-20seiring dengan kemajuan iptek," kata ilmuwan yang telah menghafal semua 30juz Al Quran saat berusia sepuluh tahun itu.
Fakta ilmiah lain, katanya, yaitu Ayat 15 dan 16 SuratAt Takwir: "Fala Uqsimu bil khunnas. Al Jawaril Kunnas" (Akubersumpah dengan bintang-bintang yang tak tampak. Yang bergerak sangat cepat).
Prof Naggar menjelaskan, para ulama dahulu menafsirkan ayat tersebut secarametaforis, namun para ahli astronomi pada akhir abad ke-20 menemukan faktailmiah, yaitu apa yang disebut black hole (lubang hitam).
Black hole adalah planet yang ditandaidengan densitas yang tinggi dan gravitasi yang kuat, tempat zat dan semuabentuk energi, termasuk cahaya, tidak mungkin lepas dari perangkapnya, katanya.Disebut lubang hitam karena ia sangat gelap tak terlihat, dengan kecepatangeraknya diperkirakan mencapai 300.000 km per detik. Black hole dianggap sebagai fase tua kehidupanbintang, yang didahului ledakan dan zatnya kembali menjadi nebula. "Faktaini baru terungkap pada akhir abad ke-20, yakni 14 abad setelah wafatnya NabiMuhammad SAW," kata Prof Naggar.
          Jadilah Engkau Ahlul Mujahadah        
Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jauzi mengatakan, orang-orang yang berhak mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ itu, tidak mudah. Tentu untuk mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ itu memerlukan mujahadah dan tajarrud (totalitas). Mujahadah dengan segala jiwa dan raganya agar mencapai maqam yang hendak dituju. Tidak mungkin hanya dapat dicapai dengan bentuk raganya, tanpa jiwa dan bathinnya ikut bermujahadah.
Diantaranya, golongan pertama yang berpendapat, bahwa ibadah yang paling utama dan paling bermanfaat, ialah yang paling berat dan paling sulit atas jiwa. “Karena ia paling jauh dari hawa nafsu, dan merupakan hakikat ta’abud. Pahala diberikan berdasarkan kadar kesulitannya.” Seperti diriwayatkan dalam sebuah hadist, “Amal yang paling utama ialah yang paling sulit dan paling melarat.”
Mereka ini adalah ahlul mujahadah dan orang-orang yang mampu mengendalikan hawa nafsu. Di tengah-tengah beratnya godaan, yang terus-menerus dialami dengan segala bentuknya, dan mereka dapat selamat dari semua godaan, tanpa sedikitpun tersentuh oleh godaan dan hawa nafsu yang datang dari setan. Golongan ini, berkata, “Sesungguhnya jiwa hanya dapat lurus dengan ibadah yang sulit dan berat, karena jiwa mempunyai karakter malas, dan menyukai kerendahan dan kehinaan. Ia tidak dapat menjadi lurus, kecuali dengan melakukan hal-hal yang berat dan memikul kesulitan.”
Meninggalkan segala kenikmatan, kemewahan, angan-angan akan keindahan dunia, harta yang banyak , semuanya harus dipupus. Selain itu, harus meninggalkan orang-orang yang selalu menawarkan kenikmatan, keindahan, pangkat, serta buaian wanita-wanita yang cantik, dan dengan segala bujukan keindahan dan kenikmatan yang selalu ditawarkannya. Semuanya itu hanyalah akan mendera jiwa dan bathinnya,dan tak akan dapat membuat dirinya mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budi wa Iyyaka Nata’in”.
Tidak mungkin dapat mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ bagi jiwa dan bathin orang-orang yang terus menerus hidupnya dipenuhi dengan khayalan dan dikotori oleh kehidupan dunia, yang tidak pernah henti-henti. Kehidupan dunia hanyalah ambisi orang-orang yang lalai, dan tidak menyukai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu”, karena hakikatnya mereka tidak lagi mempercayai janji dari Allah Azza Wa Jalla. Mereka ini hanyalah menjadi budak dunia, dan kemudian berwala’ (memberikan loyalitasnya) kepada hamba-hamba setan.
Bagi mereka yang menginginkan maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’, hanya dapat dicapai dengan melakukan hal-hal yang berat dan memikul kesulitan. Kesulitan dan beban berat yang harus dipikul, pasti akan bermunculan dalam kehidupan ini, terutama bagi mereka yang ingin mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’, karena tantangan dalam kehidupan jahiliyah, yang tak lagi mengenal batas-batas, yang sudah ditetapkan dalam Qur’an dan Sunnah. Kencintaan pada hawa nafsunya telah membawa mereka meninggalkan segala kebaikan yang bersifat fitrah yang diberikan oleh Allah Azza Wa Jalla kepada mereka.
Bagi mereka yang ingin menggapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu”, orientasi hidup mereka hanyalah mencari ridho Allah. Tidak mencari ridho makhluk termasuk manusia. Ketika, ibadah utama di masa jihad adalah mengutamakan jihad, dan meninggalkan wirid-wirid, seperti shalat malam, dan puasa sunah pada siang hari, bahkan sampai meninggalkan kesempurnaan shalat fardhu seperti dalam kondisi aman. Mereka pergi berjihad di jalan Allah Rabbul Alamin.
Karena mereka tahu bagi mereka yang memiliki maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’, nilai berjihad itu lebih utama, dan akan janji Allah Azza Wa Jalla, di mana akan memasukkan ke dalam surga-Nya, tanpa melalui hisab, bagi mereka yang mati syahid. Betapa indahnya kehidupan bakal digapai kelak di akhirat.
Bagi mereka yang ingin mendapatkan maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budi’, lebih menyukai bangun malam, melakukan shalatul lail, membaca Qur’an, berdo’a, berdzikir, beristighfar, meninggalkan segala urusan saat datangnya adzan, melaksanakan shalat fardhu dengan penuh ikhlas, dan pergi ke masjid-masjid shalat berjamaah. Mereka tetap shalat berjamaah dalam kondisi apapun. Tidak sekali-kali masbukh. Masjid sebagai ‘Baitullah’ lebih utama dari segalanya. Tidak berarti apapun baginya, kecuali hanya masjid yang berharga bagi kehidupannya, di mana setiap saat sesuai dengan ketentuan Rabbnya, dan selalu melaksanakannya dengan penuh keikhlasan dan kesungguhan.
Saat orang-orang membutuhkan pertolongan baik jabatan, fisik, maupun harta, maka ia akan segera memberikan pertolongan, dan berpikir panjang tentang pribadinya, dan mensegerakan kepentingan dari saudaranya yang tertimpa musibah.
Ketika membaca Qur’an, tak ada lagi yang diingatnya, karena Qur’an itu adalah ‘Kalamullah’, dan membaca dengan sepenuh hati, memahami makna-maknanya, dan berjanji melaksanakan semua perintah-Nya. Seperti generasi Salaf, yang terus melaksanakan apa saja, yang diperintahkan oleh Allah Azza Wa Jalla, sehingga mereka mendapatkan kemuliaan dan kejayaan.
Ketika, menjelang hari terakhir di bulan Ramadhan, ia tinggalkan semunya, dan beri’tikaf di masjid-masjid, dan hanya mengharapkan datangnya maghfirah dari Rabbnya. Tidak lagi menyibukkan diri dengan kehidupan dunia, yang justru akan merusak hari terakhir puasa, yang akan membawanya kepada golongan muttaqin.
Mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ sebuah perjuangan yang sangat berat bagi manusia. Karena manusia selalu digoda oleh hawa nafsunya, dan sifat malasnya untuk melakukan kebaikan dan mencintai Rabbnya.
Manusia jahiliyah hidupnya hanyalah dipenuhi dengan berebut sekerat kehidupan dunia, yang diakhirat menjadikan mereka golongan yang merugi. Wallahu’alam.
          JADILAH KITAB WALAU TANPA JUDUL        
Kun kitaaban mufiidan bila ‘unwaanan, wa laa takun ‘unwaanan bila kitaaban. Jadilah kitab yang bermanfaat walaupun tanpa judul. Namun, jangan menjadi judul tanpa kitab.
Pepatah dalam bahasa Arab itu menyiratkan makna yang dalam, terutama menyangkut kondisi bangsa saat ini yang sarat konflik perebutan kekuasaan dan pengabaian amanah oleh pemimpin-pemimpin yang tidak menebar manfaat dengan jabatan dan otoritas yang dimilikinya. Bangsa ini telah kehilangan ruuhul jundiyah, yakni jiwa ksatria. Jundiyah adalah karakter keprajuritan yang di dalamnya terkandung jiwa ksatria sebagaimana diwariskan pejuang dan ulama bangsa ini saat perjuangan kemerdekaan.
Semangat perjuangan (hamasah jundiyah) adalah semangat untuk berperan dan bukan semangat untuk mengejar jabatan, posisi, dan gelar-gelar duniawi lainnya (hamasah manshabiyah). Saat ini, jiwa ksatria itu makin menghilang. Sebaliknya, muncul jiwa-jiwa kerdil dan pengecut yang menginginkan otoritas, kekuasaan, dan jabatan, tetapi tidak mau bertanggung jawab, apalagi berkurban. Yang terjadi adalah perebutan jabatan, baik di partai politik, ormas, maupun pemerintahan. Orang berlomba-lomba mengikuti persaingan untuk mendapatkan jabatan, bahkan dengan menghalalkan segala cara. Akibatnya, di negeri ini banyak orang memiliki “judul”, baik judul akademis, judul keagamaan, judul kemiliteran, maupun judul birokratis, yang tanpa makna. Ada judulnya, tetapi tanpa substansi, tanpa isi, dan tanpa roh.
Padahal, ada kisah-kisah indah dan heroik berbagai bangsa di dunia. Misalnya, dalam Sirah Shahabah, disebutkan bahwa Said bin Zaid pernah menolak amanah menjadi gubernur di Himsh (Syria). Hal ini membuat Umar bin Khattab RA mencengkeram leher gamisnya seraya menghardiknya, “Celaka kau, Said! Kau berikan beban yang berat di pundakku dan kau menolak membantuku.” Baru kemudian, dengan berat hati, Said bin Zaid mau menjadi gubernur.
Ada lagi kisah lain, yaitu Umar bin Khattab memberhentikan Khalid bin Walid pada saat memimpin perang. Hal ini dilakukan untuk menghentikan pengultusan kepada sosok panglima yang selalu berhasil memenangkan pertempuran ini. Khalid menerimanya dengan ikhlas. Dengan singkat, ia berujar, “Aku berperang karena Allah dan bukan karena Umar atau jabatanku sebagai panglima.” Ia pun tetap berperang sebagai seorang prajurit biasa. Khalid dicopot “judul”-nya sebagai panglima perang. Namun, ia tetap membuat “kitab” dan membantu menorehkan kemenangan.
Ibrah yang bisa dipetik dari kisah-kisah tersebut adalah janganlah menjadi judul tanpa kitab; memiliki pangkat, tetapi tidak menuai manfaat. Maka, ruuhul jundiyah atau jiwa ksatria yang penuh pengorbanan harus dihadirkan kembali di tengah bangsa ini sehingga tidak timbul hubbul manaashib, yaitu cinta kepada kepangkatan, jabatan-jabatan, bahkan munafasah ‘alal manashib, berlomba-lomba untuk meraih jabatan-jabatan. Semoga.
          SBY MENYERAHKAN KALPATARU 2011        

Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono menyerahkan penghargaan Kalpataru dan Adipura pada peringatan Hari Lingkungan Hidup Sedunia 2011 di Istana Negara Jakarta, Selasa (7/6).

Penghargaan yang diserahkan rutin setiap tahun itu terbagi atas empat kategori untuk Adipura yang diberikan kepada perorangan dan kelompok, serta empat kategori Adipura untuk kota metropolitan, kota besar, kota sedang, dan kota kecil.

Penghargaan juga diberikan kepada kepala daerah tingkat provinsi dan kabupaten/kota untuk penyusun Status Lingkungan Hidup Daerah (LHSD) 2012 terbaik.

Kalpataru kategori perintis lingkungan diberikan kepada Sugiarto dari Desa Cowek, Kecamatan Purwodadi, Kabupaten Pasuruan, Jawa Timur, Marmis Asid dari Nagari Sinurui, Kecamatan Talamau, Kabupaten Pasaman Barat, Sumatera Barat, serta Lulut Sri Yuliani dari Kelurahan Baruk, Kecamatan Rungkut, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur.

Kalpataru Pengabdi Lingkungan diberikan kepada Soleman Nugroho dari Desa Tematana, Kecamatan Wamena Timur, Kabupaten Sumba Barat Daya, Provinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur, Surjadi SP dari Kelurahan Bebalang, Kecamatan Bangli, Kabupaten Bangli, Bali, serta Sudarli dari Desa Purwodadi, Kecamatan Tepus, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Provinsi Yogyakarta.

Kategori Penyelamat Lingkungan diberikan kepada Kelompok nelayan pesisir Karya Segara Serangan, Tukad Semanik, Desa Serangan, Kecamatan Denpasar Selatan, Kota Denpasar, Bali, Pondok Pesantren Nurul Hakim, Desa Kediri, Kecamatan Kediri, Kabupaten Lombok Barat, Provinsi Nusa Tenggara Barat, dan Yayasan Pelopor Sehati dari Desa Padang Mutung, Kecamatan Kampar, Kabupaten Kampar, Provinsi Riau.

Sedangkan kategori pembina lingkungan diberikan kepada Aang Hamidi Suganda dari Kabupaten Kuningan, Jawa Barat dan Krido Suprayitno dari Kabupaten Sleman, Provinsi Yogyakarta.

Penghargaan Adipura kategori Kota Metropolitan diberikan untuk Kota Surabaya, Provinsi Jawa Timur, yang diterima oleh Walikota Surabaya dan Kota Palembang, Provinsi Sumatera Selatan, yang diterima oleh Walikota Palembang.

Adipura untuk kota besar diberikan untuk Kota Yogyakarta, Provinsi DI Yogyakarta, yang diterima oleh Walikota Yogyakarta dan Kota Pekanbaru, Provinsi Riau, yang diterima oleh Walikota Pekanbaru.

Sedangkan Adipura kategori kota sedang diberikan kepada 32 kota antara lain Kota Jepara, Kabupaten Jepara, Provinsi Jawa Tengah, Kota Pare Pare, Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan, Kota Kendari, Provinsi Sulawesi Tenggara, Kota Gresik, Provinsi Jawa Timur, Kota Probolinggo, Provinsi Jawa Timur.

Adipura kategori kota kecil diberikan kepada 42 kota antara lain Kota Pangkajene, Kabupaten Pangkep, Sulawesi Selatan, Kota Pangkalan Bun, Kabupaten Kotawaringin Barat, Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah, Kota Pati, Kabupaten Pati, Provinsi Jawa Tengah, Kota Mojosari, Kabupaten Mojokerto, Provinsi Jawa Timur dan Kota Kolaka, Kabupaten Kolaka, Provinsi Sulawesi Tenggara.

Untuk penghargaan Adiwiyata Mandiri diberikan kepada 21 sekolah yang tersebar di Indonesia, di antaranya SDN P 12 Benhil, Bendungan Hilir, Jakarta Pusat, SMPN 1 Merakurak Tuban, Jawa Timur, dan SMAN 1 Bandar Bener Meuriah, Provinsi Aceh.

Sedangkan penyusun Status Lingkungan Hidup Daerah (SLHD) 2010 terbaik diberikan kepada Provinsi Sumatera Barat diterima oleh Gubernur Sumatera Barat, Provinsi DKI Jakarta diterima oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta, Provinsi Jawa Timur diterima oleh Gubernur Jawa Timur, Kabupaten Pesisir Selatan, Provinsi Sumatera Barat diterima oleh Bupati Pesisir Selatan, Kota Padang, Provinsi Sumatera Barat diterima oleh Walikota Padang, dan Kota Tangerang, Provinsi Banten diterima oleh Walikota Tangerang. (*/abi)
          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


          The story of some bugfixes        

KDE Project:

This is the story of how bugfixes can happen. For each bug there is a bug reporter. It doesn't really matter if it is another developer or a non-developer user, as in the end it is just a user. Or does it? Let's see.

The first bug I fixed not so long ago was a line on the chat asking "what's ctrl+shift+l supposed to do in kmail?" from Albert (tsdgeos). Sounded like user support, but turned out that the reason he asked me was that pressing this combination crashed KMail. Of course, I tried and could reproduce it. It was related to Favorite Folders and as nor the reporter, nor I had such folders configured, it was rather straightforward where the problem is. Half an hour ago the bugfix was committed, everybody is happy.

The second was more complicated. There was a long standing report from our KDE expert David Faure that resulted in losing the mail content on move. It wasn't the first time I looked at the code to find the problem, without success. We couldn't even reproduce the bug. Then suddenly a message came on IRC: he could reproduce it again and found a pattern how it happens: it happens if the source mail account (resource) is in offline mode, meaning KMail *might* not have access to the whole mails, only to the cached parts (the mail header). Having this information finding the bug was relatively easy and next day David has the patch. But he wasn't happy: now he got an ugly message box with an error that doesn't mean too much, an error that doesn't tell what is the problem and what could be the solution. So I looked up how this could be fixed. The solution wasn't straightforward, involved changing several pim related components, including adding a new DBUS method that is used to communicated between different Akonadi part, but in the end I had it...only to realize that although I get a nice error now when copying mails, I can't read my mails. Because it gives a DBUS related error. I've added a method returning a string, but from the error it said that it was expecting a string, but got a boolean. Confusing.
Looked at the code, looked again, tried different things: no go. I told to David (knowing that he is an extermly good developer), that here is the code, here is the error, I have no idea what to do.
He looked at, and all seemed fine. It was late, we both called it a night and went to sleep. Of course the problem bothered me, so next day I wanted to give it a go. Guess what, David was also online (this was Saturday), he was also interested in the problem. :) To make the story short, he found the issue: the problem was a setDelayedReply( true ); call I overlooked. That caused basically QDBus to ignore our return value, that must be sent later (and the code sent a boolean there). David did a refactoring, I found a corner case, we both tested, all was fine. After a few final touches, like making the string translatable the patch was ready for review. As David said, it was a nice teamwork.

The last one was the same day at evening: a complaint that KMail cannot move/delete folders from an IMAP inbox. Weird bug, as most of us use IMAP, so this should have been noticed before. I asked for details, I asked for different logs, to try different scenarios. The reporter followed everything I told promptly, and the surroundings of the bug started to take shape. He had an IMAP server without support for ACL (access rights). In that case we should assume everything is fully accessible. And so was everything for him, but the top-level inbox. Having that information, by reading the code I found the faulty line - a line that was weird, and unneeded. The line was introduced because of a bugfix, so I looked up the bug only to find users complained it is still not fixed. No wonder, as the fix was not doing anything about the original problem, but unfortunately created other problems. I have to admit that the API involved is easy to be used in a wrong way, but hard to fix now. For those interested (and to avoid such API), here is the problem:

// Returns the rights the user has on the collection.
Collection::Rights Collection::rights() const
{
CollectionRightsAttribute *attr = attribute();
if ( attr ) {
return attr->rights();
} else {
return AllRights;
}
}


// Sets the @p rights the user has on the collection.
void Collection::setRights( Rights rights )
{
CollectionRightsAttribute *attr = attribute( AddIfMissing );
attr->setRights( rights );
}

And the problematic commit looked like this:

Collection root;
root.setRights( Akonadi::Collection::CanCreateCollection );

You see, by default, a Collection object doesn't have any rights set. If Collection::rights() is called it will return AllRights. What happens after the above setRights() call? The Collection will have now right attributes (CanCreateCollection), so a further Collection::rights() returns that attribute. But *only* that one. Certainly not the behavior one would expect. We can debate that the plural form (setRightS) suggests that, but I still find bad API.
Back to the reporter, luckily the problem could be fixed with the developer tool called "akonadiconsole", so he was happy. Other users will get the fix in the next release.

From the three reporters two were KDE developers. One not having too much knowledge about the PIM part, the other having some knowledge, as he is the one running in the most weird PIM Issues, and we just tell to him to fix his own bugs, while the third was somebody who I never met before, so I assume he is a regular user.

What helped in all cases was communication: giving valuable information (like how to reproduce, what is your configuration, etc) and carefully following the instructions the developer makes. Especially if the developer cannot reproduce it, the only real chance to fix it is that the user acts as the eyes and hands of the developer. If I tell to my hand to type "foo", but it types "bar", nothing good will result in it, as I'd expecet that "foo" was typed and act further accordingly.
So bug reporters, please try to gather as much information from your side as possible when creating a report and always follow the requests a developer makes.

You should not draw a wrong conclusion from the above: that reporting on *development channels* on IRC helps and you should always come there with your bugs. IRC is great for instant communication. It is very bad though as you might not find the right person there when you report.
Use the bugtracker. Wait patiently for feedback (e.g. I work on KDE only from time to time and many others do the same). It is ok to ask about certain bug on IRC, but don't forget to report it. It is also ok, once the developer responds and starts to work on the bug to contact him on IRC (if you know its nick), as communication is faster on it.
Just saying something doesn't work on IRC will also not do any good, unless you are prepared to help track down the issue. And then you will suddenly become part of the team. It is not that hard to be a KDE contributor, no? :)

To answer my first question: does it matter if the reporter is a developer or a user? In certain aspect it does, I couldn't fix the bug (at least not that easy) without David. It might be slightly easier or faster to get out information from a developer. But if the communication is good, it doesn't matter too much.


          Akonadi misconception #1: where is my data?        

KDE Project:

I regularly see the same misconception and fear popping up on the mailing lists, bug reports and IRC: if the Akonadi database gets corrupted, I will lose my data.

To make it clear from the beginning: the Akonadi database is NOT your MAIN data storage.
Even if it gets destroyed, removed, your data is still safe.

So what is the database?

1) It is an interface: the Akonadi server and the underlying database is a common interface to your (PIM-alike) data for different applications, so those applications do not have to deal with the data files directly.

2) But I see my email headers and even the body in the database and in $HOME/.local/share/akonadi/file_db_data. Why? Because the database is also a cache towards your data. Common, frequently accessed parts (like e-mail headers) are stored in the database. These are usually stored permanently and kept in sync with your original data source (IMAP folders, mails on the local disc).
Parts requested infrequently are either stored in the database or in the above folder. The actual place is decided upon the size of the data. These parts are from time to time cleaned up from the cache, if they were not used for a certain period of time. Technically it is possible to configure when the cache is cleaned or if it is cleaned at all, but the regular user should not have to deal with it.

3) Is there anything I might lose by deleting the database? Yes, there is, and that is the metadata added to your data. That can be anything extra information that cannot be stored in the format of your data, like Nepomuk tags or other custom information. In case of emails, you might think that read/forwarded/etc. can be lost. Luckily this is not the case (since KDE 4.7.2), as the email storage formats can store these informations natively.

The above explains why you will not lose any critical information by losing your akonadi database.

Good, but where is my data if not in the database? This depends on what kind of data we are talking about.

1) E-mail: in case of IMAP (online or disconnected) your data is on the IMAP server. With disconnected IMAP there are windows when your local cache contains data that is not yet syncronized to the server, deleting the local cache in this case indeed will make you lose the unsynchronized files. This is not Akonadi specific though, this is true for any disconnected IMAP client.
In case of POP3, the mails is stored immediately after download in a local maildir folder. The actual place of the folder depends on your configuration, it can be just as $HOME/Mail, as $HOME/kde./share/apps/kmail/ or $HOME/.local/share/.local-mail (for new installations).

2) Calendars and contact information: they can be either on a server (Kolab server, LDAP server) and only cached in Akonadi as explained, or they can be in local vcard or .ics file. The actual location of these files again depends on your setup. The new standard place for them is $HOME/.local/share/contacts.

Still there were reports of data losing, why? Unfortunately programmers are not perfect and introduce bugs in the codebase. One of the most severe bugs caused real data losing when copying mails from one folder to another. This is fixed with KDE 4.7.2+ and any recent Akonadi server. There are other bugs around, but none will cause losing your original data files.

Finally, what will happen if the database gets corrupted? Of course, it needs to be recreated. You can try by shutting down akonadi server (akonadictl stop), removing the $HOME/.local/share/akonadi and syncronize all your resources again (this will take some time). If the database is not recreated, you need to do a full cleanup by removing also the configuration files under $HOME/.config/akonadi.
Then you need to add back your resources (IMAP/POP3/contact files/etc) and syncrhonize them. In case of emails, you need to check your filters, they most probably try to move the mails into a wrong folder.
Yes, this is a lot of work and should be avoided as much as possible, but it should be done only in the rare case of real database corruption.

I hope this will clear some confusion about the data storage inside Akonadi.

And a few word about the database itself.
We use MySql. I don't know the original reason why it was picked up (ask Volker about that ;) ), but I know some people don't like it for whatever reason.
Most of them try to use SqLite. A friendly warning: don't. This is explained also in the akonadi wiki. All what is written there is true, and I experienced myself as well.
Unfortunately recently I learned that MySQL has some severe issues in certain cases: NFS mounted home directories and failed suspend/resume. In these cases the database gets corrupted (this is a MySQL bug!), and cannot be easily restored. I did not experience this corruption myself, but was reported from time to time.
What remains is trying another database server, namely PostgreSQL. Akonadi supports it, it is possible to change the database backend in the akonaditray or in the akonadiconsole application. Changing backends means importing all your data again to the database, like you'd start from scratch. PostgreSQL support is not that well tested, so expect some rough edges, but we would like to see people try it out and reporting their experience with it.
It is my personal opinion only, but if PostgreSQL proves to work fine, we might switch to that as the default backend, given the problems with MySQL.

What about other database backends? There were plans to use Virtuoso, to reduce the number of database severs needed for a KDE desktop, but the work was not completed. See the techbase aritcle.

UPDATE: Christophe Giboudeaux raised a point about PostgreSQL, that their database format changes between major releases in an incompatible way and there is no automated, easy way for upgrade (you need to dump it with the old version and import with the new one). Sad, that there is no perfect solution.


          Kommentar zu Einen Award für diese Tasche von Sebastian Sturm! von Beatrice Schuberth        
Hallo Maja, melde dich auf b.schuberth-coaching@web.de Was gibt es? Ich freue mich über deine Email. Bin bei Facebook oder Whats App. Stephan hat meine Nummer.
          Precedensowy wyrok: rekordowa rekompensata dla dziecka i rodziców        
Wyrokiem Sądu Apelacyjnego w Warszawie po siedmiu latach zakończył się proces w sprawie nieprawidłowego przeprowadzenia porodu w jednym z mazowieckich szpitali. - Przyznana dziecku kwota 1,2 mln zł to wciąż górny pułap zadośćuczynienia w tego typu sprawach, ale z pewnością nie może być uznana za zbyt wysoką, zważywszy na realia - twierdzi radca prawny Jolanta Budzowska.
          Warszawa: ugody ze szpitalem MSWiA nie będzie        
Nie będzie ugody ze szpitalem w sprawie śmierci pacjenta dra G.
          Grinding a cam for a model V4 engine by Joe Martin        

Joe Martin put together a cam grinder from mostly off-the-shelf Sherline components, a coolant pump and a few custom plumbing and bent brass pieces. He spent over 3 years developing the g-code software, which he wrote himself. The heart of the system is a 4″ grinding wheel driven by a Sherline headstock and a Sherline […]

The post Grinding a cam for a model V4 engine by Joe Martin appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          A tip on lathe cutting direction by William Bassett        

“We had a CNC shop for many years. One item required using 35° inserts for profiling, including machining up to a shoulder. We had a problem with breakage. Every machinist learns to feed a bit from the tailstock toward the headstock. We reasoned that as the insert curled a chip, that chip would get caught […]

The post A tip on lathe cutting direction by William Bassett appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          Polimex potrzebuje jeszcze więcej pieniędzy        
Firma Polimex Mostostal chce pozyskać dodatkowe środki na gwarancje niezbędne do realizacji kolejnych inwestycji. Stąd konieczna jest restrukturyzacja finansowa.
          Polimex pozbywa się działki w centrum Warszawy        
Spółka zależna od Polimeksu Mostostalu sprzedała na rzecz Vivartis nieruchomość przy ul. Smulikowskiego w Warszawie.
          Sąd umarza postępowanie w sprawie upadłości Polimeksu-Mostostalu        
Sąd w Warszawie umorzył 21 grudnia postępowanie w sprawie ogłoszenia upadłości likwidacyjnej spółki Polimex-Mostostal.
          Polimex pozbywa się działki nad Zegrzem        
Firma Polimex-Mostostal podpisała ostateczną umowę przenoszącą własność nieruchomości zlokalizowanej w Jadwisinie, w gminie Serock. Wartość transakcji to 85 tys. złotych netto.
          Odrzucony wniosek o upadłość Polimeksu Mostostalu        
Sąd w Warszawie odrzucił wniosek o ogłoszenie upadłości likwidacyjnej spółki Polimex Mostostal.
          Wniosek o upadłość Polimeksu-Mostostalu        
Spółka ADER ze Świnnej koło Żywca złożyła do Sądu Rejonowego dla m. st. Warszawy wniosek o ogłoszenie upadłości likwidacyjnej Polimeksu-Mostostalu.
          Polimex sprzedaje nieruchomości        
Firma Polimex Mostostal zawarła umowę sprzedaży nieruchomości w gminie Kołbaskowo w województwie zachodniopomorskim. Nabywcą jest spółka Molina.
          CCC zadowolone z wyników sklepu eobuwie.pl        
CCC S.A. podało wyniki finansowe za 2016 rok.  Przychody ze sprzedaży przekroczyły wartość 3,18 mld zł (w 2015 wyniosły 2,30 mld zł). Zysk netto wyniósł  315,5 mln zł wobec 259,4 mln zł.
          Popularne marki obuwnicze otworzą sklepy w Galerii Młociny        
Do Galerii Młociny pewnym krokiem wchodzi sektor obuwniczy. Nowoczesne centrum handlowo-usługowo-rozrywkowe, którego budowa trwa obecnie na warszawskich Bielanach, wybrały marki CCC (1420 m kw.) i Wojas (126 m kw.).
          CCC przejmuje dystrybutora swoich towarów w Rosji        
Zarząd CCC Spółka Akcyjna poinformował, że 20 września 2016 roku spółka zależna CCC Shoes & Bags Sp. z o.o. z siedzibą w Warszawie nabyła 75 proc. udziałów o wartości 375 000 rubli w spółce rosyjskiej CCC Russia Sp. z o.o. (dawniej: „3S Retail” spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością) z siedzibą w Moskwie, będącej wyłącznym dystrybutorem towarów CCC na rynku rosyjskim.
          IMS będzie świadczyć usługi audiomarketingu dla sieci CCC        
Zarząd IMS S.A. będzie świadczyć usługi audiomarketingu dla spółki CCC, właściciela sieci sklepów obuwniczych. Umowa została zawarta na okres dwóch lat. Szacowana wartość umowy w okresie od 1 grudnia 2015 roku do 30 listopada 2017 roku wynosi 3.805 tys. zł.
          Sprzedaż Gino Rossi na poziomie zbliżonym do wzrostu powierzchni handlowej        
Skonsolidowane przychody ze sprzedaży Grupy Gino Rossi wzrosły o ponad 9 proc. w pierwszym półroczu 2015 r. i wyniosły 136,5 mln zł. Po korekcie o wartość sprzedaży komponentów przychody wyniosły 125,3 mln zł. Oznacza to wzrost o 11 proc. – zgodny z założoną prognozą na 2015 rok.
          Polski rynek odzieży i obuwia wart 29 mld zł        
Rynek odzieży i obuwia w Polsce wzrósł w 2012 roku o ponad 2 proc., do wartości prawie 29 mld zł - wynika z raportu firmy badawczej PMR, który podał serwis wirtualnemedia.pl.
          UNI Sustainability Candlelight Dinner        

The Piazza will host an energy awareness dinner with low-carbon meal options!

Location: 
Piazza (Redeker Center)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 -
12:00 pm to 4:45 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Email: 
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          UNI Sustainability Candlelight Dinner        

The Rialto will host an energy awareness dinner with low-carbon meal options!

Location: 
Rialto
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 -
12:00 pm to 4:45 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Email: 
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          Green Iowa 5K Run        

This is a fun 5K Run/Walk with proceeds benefiting the efforts of Green Iowa AmeriCorps, a local non-profit that provides free home energy audits and weatherizations to populations in need.

5K Course: Follows the UNI South Campus Trails, Start and Finish at the CEEE Arch

Entry Fee: $15 Donation -participants will receive a reusable water bottle, access to the runners station and a running bib.

Awards: Prizes will be awarded for the Greenest Outfit (Be Creative), as well as the Top Finisher in the four categories, 35+ Male/Female and Under 35 Male/Female.

Location: 
UNI South Campus Trials
Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 4:00 am
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Julia Ostapiej
Phone: 
2099144005
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          Cedar Falls Practical Backyard Tour        
Sponsored by UNI's Center for Energy & Environmental Education and Green Iowa AmeriCorps, the Practical Backyard Tour highlights several backyards around Cedar Falls where practical and effective methods have been utilized.  From composting to solar and rain barrels to gardening, the tour features backyards that work!
Beginning at 2 p.m., participants are welcome to arrive at any of the  backyards listed below where tickets will be available (one ticket gains  participant access to all five backyards). After 5 p.m., participants are encouraged to visit Beck's on The Hill afterwards for dinner, a prize drawing, and open discussion on practical uses for backyards.
Tickets ($5, does not include dinner) will be available the day of the event at each of the backyards. Proceeds from the event will support Green Iowa AmeriCorps work in the Cedar Valley. Please direct any questions to Green Iowa AmeriCorps. We hope to see you there!
The five backyards featured during the tour include:
1. Cedar Falls Community Garden, 600 Block Lincoln Street, Cedar Falls “Taking Back, Giving
Back” this garden is flood-reclaimed land and features a sitting area, water collection
system, and composting [from Cup of Joe]. With 50 of the 80 available plots rented and four
organizations actively growing food to be donated to the Cedar Valley Food Bank and other
charities, this location is full of vast and diversified garden delights  growing for a great cause.
2. Dave Gibson, 524 West Lone Tree Road, Cedar Falls “Twin Cedars, a Gated  Community” this
wonderful stop in North Cedar will feature fruit trees, vegetable garden, hens, passive solar
kitchen, solar electric system, and 140 recently planted trees.
3. Kamyar Enshayan, 1703 Washington Street, Cedar Falls “Lawn & Order” featuring backyard
hens, easy-going compost, native prairie pollinator heaven, local wood  shed, solar hot water,
linear evaporative drying system (clothes lines), 20 years of pesticide-free lawn, vegetable
garden.
4. Jack & Carole Yates, 519 Chateau Ct, Cedar Falls “Perfectly Practical” both the front and back
yard features beds with native Iowa prairie plants, two vegetable gardens and an orchard with
apple, pear, Asian pear, cherry, peach and plum trees. Visitors can also see their two active solar
systems, a wood burning stove, clothes line and additions like a fire ring, patio and other places
that make it a great backyard to spend time in.
5. Ann Duncan, W 13th Street at the alley between Franklin and Tremont, “Smoke Stack Twin
Gardens” Featuring gardening for large and small spaces, a wide variety of vegetables,
raspberries, tiered garden, strawberry pyramid, rain barrels, compost bin, clothes line.
Location: 
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Sunday, June 10, 2012 -
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Ashley Wolter
Phone: 
3192737233
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          Commentaires sur Optical Illusion Series by Erika Zolli par ผ้าอ้อม Goon        
Does your website have a contact page? I'm having trouble locating it but, I'd like to send you an e-mail.I've got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time. <a href='http://www.cysporter.com/comment/html/index.php?page=1&id=157712' rel="nofollow">ผ้าอ้อม Goon</a>
          Tools: php-malware-finder - Detect potentially malicious PHP files         

          Around the Globe - Fundación Todo Mejora supports LGBT youth        

Todo Mejora means “it gets better”—and it’s this message that the Chile-based nonprofit has worked tirelessly to advocate for. In the wake of continual LGBT discrimination around the world, Fundación Todo Mejora strives to support the LGBT adolescents who face discrimination, including those considering committing suicide. Chile has one of the highest levels of suicide and school violence in Latin America. It’s projected that if nothing is done, in four years, one adolescent in Chile will end his or her life  nearly each day—an astounding metric that Fundación Todo Mejora hopes to change.1,2

Continuing  with our series about impactful organizations using Google for Nonprofits tools, this week we’re highlighting how Fundación Todo Mejora uses technology to spread its message and creates a safe space for these teenagers to find refuge in times of need.

Showing up when searching for help—Google Ad Grants

By implementing a strategic campaign using Google Ad Grants, the nonprofit targeted Google searches common to suicidal thoughts such as “I want to commit suicide”, “Who should I call if I want to kill myself?”, or “Help me, I want to die”. When a local person searches this on Google, Fundación Todo Mejora’s ads show up to intervene with supportive messages, and provide links to resources to find help. One 19-year-old girl who found support from these ads said, "Amidst my depression, I Googled how to commit suicide. Your foundation, ’Todo Mejora,’ popped up in my search results. It made me smile and reminded me the reason to go on.”

These ads have allowed Fundación Todo Mejora to save lives and navigate people to their website where they can find resources and support. As a result, website traffic increased by 20% in one year alone, which means the organization found a way to reach more people in need. This increase also prompted Fundación Todo Mejora to expand their suicide hotline support to 30 hours/week up from 7 hours/week.

Spreading the word—YouTube

To further increase visibility, Fundación Todo Mejora created a YouTube channel where adolescents share their personal stories, which have helped create a community of support, coupled with the call-to-action overlays inspiring others to follow suit, take initiative, and send donations. In their most popular video, with over 62,000 views, Demi Lovato speaks out against homophobic and transgender bullying and encourages victims to reach out for help.

TODO MEJORA - Demi Lovato, cantante

Storage & syncing—G Suite

Fundación Todo Mejora now uses G Suite exclusively for all its day-to-day operations, relying on Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar to work productively. The unlimited user accounts and 30GB of storage per user has saved them time and money that once went towards paying for other storage products. Now, they can save important data in a shared and collaborative space which has helped them streamline their processes, preserve historical documents, and improve communication.

With more time, funding, and organizational processes, Fundación Todo Mejora can focus on expanding their support for youth in need and the LGBT community. Read more about their story on our Community Stories page on our Google for Nonprofits site.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.

1 OECD (2016). Low Performing Students: Why They Fall Behind and How To Help Them Succeed. PISA. OECD Publishing. Paris

2.Ministerio de Salud de Chile (2013). Situación Actual del Suicidio Adolescente en Chile, con perspectiva de Género [Current Situation of Adolescent Suicide in Chile, with a gender perspective]. Programa Nacional de Salud Integral de Adolescentes y Jóvenes. Chile.


          G4NP Around the Globe - Zooming in on Action Against Hunger        

Every dollar and minute count to further your cause and focus on your mission. We’re pleased to highlight nonprofits who were able to make greater impact with fewer resources by using Google tools—from G Suite to Google Ad Grants–made available through Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) at no charge.

Varying in size, scope, and timezones, these nonprofits from around the world share one thing in common: utilizing the G4NP suite of tools to help their specific needs. G4NP offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more at no cost. This week, we’ll take a look at how the nonprofit Action Against Hunger utilizes these tools to increase productivity, visibility, and donations,  in order to improve lives in  the communities they serve.

Action Against Hunger

In 2016 alone, Action Against Hunger provided nourishment to over 1.5 million starving children(1). In order to save lives with nutritional programs, Action Against Hunger looked to Google for aid—not for food, but for technology. Action Against Hunger now utilizes five Google technologies that have drastically improved their ability to save lives around the globe.

Raising Awareness with Google Ad Grants & Analytics

For major international emergencies, like the Ebola outbreak or the South Sudan famine, Action Against Hunger needs a way to inform people and recommend ways to get involved. With Ad Grants, the nonprofit activates targeted keywords relating to the crises to drive people to their page and empower them to take action. Google Analytics then allows them to track their effectiveness and adjust accordingly to increase engagement and improve their fundraising techniques. With this data-driven strategy and the tools’ ability to optimize campaigns, Action Against Hunger has nearly doubled funding year-over-year. In fact, Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Increasing Productivity with G Suite

When working with a global network and managing hundreds of programs abroad, collaboration and communication are key. After experiencing unnecessary latencies in their operations, Action Against Hunger has since adopted G Suite which streamlined their workflow. The nonprofit is especially fond of Gmail, Hangouts, and Drive where Action Against Hunger employees can message each other quickly, share files securely, and collaborate on Docs in real-time—avoiding duplication of efforts and saving time.

Fundraising with One Today & YouTube

To drive donations and expand awareness to broad audiences, Action Against Hunger uses One Today, a Google app that allows users to easily donate $1 or more towards causes they care about. Campaigning on One Today on World Food Day in 2016,  Action Against Hunger raised more than $1,200 in support of their cause with each dollar going directly helping those in need. Additionally, Action Against Hunger creates and shares content on YouTube to reach their global audience, and is  beginning to use the YouTube donation cards to further increase donations. The large exposure and website referrals from both YouTube and Google+ helped Action Against Hunger raise over $20,000.

Using Google products Action Against Hunger gained extra time and energy to focus on what really matters: feeding the hungry.

To read more about Action Against Hunger’s story and learn how they used Google tools so effectively, visit our Google for Nonprofits Community Stories page. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more inspirational stories about nonprofits using technology to help their cause.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.



          Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits: Improve internal workflow and communication        

Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents?

This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?

Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly  Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.

Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams  are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication.

Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & Sites

Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often  impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.

To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync?
MBB-trained nurse in South-Sudan village
MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders

Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:

  • Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.

  • Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time.

  • Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnerships. To take it one step further, MBB also added a comment section for board members to engage in open communication.

“It [G Suite] helps to better connect, engage, and keep Board members up-to-date in between meetings, or  if they are unable to make a meeting (in which case they can view the Meeting Archives page),” said Adrienne Perez.


MyFace - Increasing productivity and improving internal workflow by remote access

Established in 1951, MyFace was founded to address the medical, surgical and psychological needs of those living with facial deformities. The organization offers access to care and treatments --- regardless of the severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care. In America alone, 1 in 650 children is born with an facial cleft. Every year, MyFace helps more than 1,000 patients seek treatment. Of this population, 85% are children, 70% live in poverty, and 95% require long-term care. The costs involved in this are high and verges on insurmountable for low income families. With this in mind, MyFace ensures that all children receive highest quality interdisciplinary and comprehensive reconstructive care by doctors who provide their services pro bono.

As a small nonprofit (their staff of eight including their therapy dog, Bentley), employees are required to perform a variety of different tasks. On any given day, team members might be responsible for website design, grant proposal writing, and marketing strategy. And oftentimes, what one employee starts today is  picked up by another employee tomorrow. Because it’s often all-hands-on-deck, collaboration is particularly key for MyFace.

Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP Carolyn Spector Executive Director MyFace

To address their challenge, MyFace began using Google Drive to centrally store, access, and share information from anywhere at anytime. Drive helped decrease the amount of time that MyFace spends on administrative tasks, like sending documents back and forth or working with out-of-date data or information. Drive’s tools like Docs and Sheets enable the team to collaborate both in and out of office.

MyFace also deals with an overwhelming amount of data and information. The team needs this data to not only be easy to store, retrieve, and share — it needs to be secure, since it contains confidential and personal patient information. G Suite offers that as well, ensuring that all information is kept private and secure. (Want to know more about G Suite security and how safe they really are? Read more about it here).

“Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP because it offers invaluable resources to nonprofits of any size at no cost,” stated Carolyn Spector, Executive Director of MyFace.

MyFace Staff photo
MyFace team. Photo credit: MyFace

Having global teams of different sizes with varying access to technology can make timely communication difficult, if not impossible. While nonprofits like Mercy Beyond Borders and myFace strive to accomplish unique missions, both organizations are passionate about changing the world. And about using the right technology to help. Utilizing tools like G Suite has been key for nonprofits like these in order to improve internal workflow and communications. For Mercy and my Face, making information shared, up-to-date, and secure has been crucial for navigating the Technology Age.

Interested in learning more about the tools available to your nonprofit? Check out our website to see how G4NP can help your nonprofit with real-time, up-to-date communication and data sharing.

//

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received free products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers free products to qualified nonprofits.


          2016 Year in Review        

2016 was a year of many things - changes, challenges and opportunities. But above all else, 2016 was a year where you continued your work to change the world; to bring the world a little closer to finding common ground amongst peace, progress, and innovation.

As 2016 comes to a close, Google for Nonprofits took one final opportunity to reflect on a year past and look forward to the year ahead.  So without further ado, here are the top posts from 2016 from your friends at Google for Nonprofits.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 3.54.11 PM.png

From LA to Tokyo: YouTube Spaces opens production studios to nonprofits free of charge

From LA to London, Tokyo to Mumbai, Berlin to São Paulo, YouTube Spaces empower nonprofits by providing them exclusive access to the best production resources around — all at no cost. All enrolled nonprofits with 1,000 or more subscribers are now eligible to apply for production access at YouTube Spaces.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 3.54.53 PM.png

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

So you’re using Ad Grants - our in-kind advertising solution for nonprofits which allows you to run text ads on Google Search - and you’re looking for more insights? Google Analytics is your go-to tool for providing insights into user behavior, which can be used to inform Google Ad Grants, as well as website optimization. By syncing data and using Ad Grants & 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.

Benefits of Linking your Google Analytics and Adwords Accounts

Four ways to keep your nonprofit safe & secure online

“How do we keep our nonprofit (and the community we serve) safe and secure online?” In 2016, we partnered with Google’s User Advocacy Group to share four smart tips to keep your nonprofit, your users, and you safe online.

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What do you and your nonprofit want to learn in the new year? Leave a comment below, and we’ll work on learning together in 2017.

Lastly, we so appreciate all nonprofits’ unwavering dedication to changing the world. We wish all nonprofits and their communities a peaceful holiday season and a joyful new year.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


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

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

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

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


THE BAD GUYS: MALICIOUS ACTIONS/TERMS

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

How to avoid social engineering attacks

THE GOOD GUYS: ONLINE SAFETY TERMS


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

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

//

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


          3 Reasons why Chromebooks might be a good fit for your nonprofit        
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When we speak with nonprofit organizations, we often hear about the challenges related to technological resources. So when it comes to investing in new technology, it’s important to consider three primary factors:

  • Security: Does it keep my information private and secure?
  • Compatibility: Does it work with the programs I use?
  • Price: Is it within budget?
To address these questions, Google created the Chromebook, a series of laptops built with ChromeOS. The vision behind Chromebooks is simple — to create a safe, accessible, and affordable laptop. To improve user privacy and security, Chromebooks  automatically update to provide virus protection, encryption and safe browsing. For easy access and collaboration, they’re outfitted with Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts (and nonprofits receive the full Google Apps bundle with 30GB of space per user at no charge). What’s more, they start at $169 USD & that’s for a laptop that has up to 10+ hours of battery life!
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ASUS Chromebook C201 ($169)

Case Study

Charity:water, a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, has a “100 percent model,” where every dollar donated goes directly to fund clean water projects. As a result, resources are limited. In order to cover operational costs like salaries and supplies, the organization relies on a few passionate and dedicated supporters. With this in mind, Charity:water transitioned to Chromebooks to improve the efficiency of its staff’s workflow. Now, employees can spend more time focusing on their goals and working towards their mission to nourish the world.

Want to learn more?

Chromebooks gives nonprofits unified access to the Google Apps suite, including:

  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides: Allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time. They’re automatically backed up online, and you can also open and edit Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel files.
  • Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts can be used to make phone calls, screenshare, and video chat.
  • Google Drive: Store, sync, and share documents in the cloud for secure and easy access.

As a nonprofit, you also receive discounted access to Chrome licenses, which give you management controls via the Chrome Device Management. Chrome Device Management is a unified way to manage all of your nonprofits’ users, devices, and data. For nonprofits, the Chrome management license is discounted to only $30 dollars — in comparison to $150!

Chromebooks are our vision for providing cheaper, easier to use, and more secure laptops. Installed with Google Apps out of the box, nonprofits can maximize impact, while saving both time and resources.


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

To learn more about Chromebooks for nonprofits, take a look at Google for Work’s Chromebook’s website. To take advantage of the Google Nonprofit license discount, a Google partner will reach out to you once you fill out the Contact Us form.


          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.


          Broadway Unlocked shares five lessons learned from hosting a livestream benefit        
Each year, one in six people in the U.S. will be victims of violent crimes. Two years ago, we became part of the effort to change that, when we began work with Broadway Unlocked. 

Two years ago, we met Jessica Ryan — a woman whose mission is rooted in two seemingly unique spheres: celebrating live theatre and helping survivors of interpersonal violence. Jessica founded the  Broadway Unlocked #giveback concert, a livestream, interactive benefit concert aimed at connecting the two communities and helping raise awareness and donations for the Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC). The CVTC, New York State’s largest and most comprehensive hospital-based victim assistance program, provides therapy and services to survivors of assault, abuse and violence. All treatments at CVTC are free.

In an effort to reach a larger audience and expand the nonprofit’s donor base, Broadway Unlocked collaborated with Google for Nonprofits to broadcast the show and spread the message globally in 2016. On February 22, Google for Nonprofits helped bring Broadway to YouTube for the second year in a row with one night of song and social responsibility through the concert. To bring the show beyond NYC, Google Fiber hosted a watch party at the Fiber space with local Kansas City theatre groups and community members. 

This was a Broadway show unlike any other. This was Broadway with a variety of star performers, including Kyle Dean Massey, Carolee Carmello, Ali Stroker, Natalie Weiss, and Collabro. This was Broadway hosted by Google Fiber. Streamed via Google Hangouts on Air. And fueled in part by fundraising through donation cards on YouTube. This was Broadway on the internet -- crowdfunded and broadcast for one night only.

How did Broadway Unlocked make their globally livestreamed and crowdfunded event a success? We’re turning the mic towards Broadway Unlocked to hear what they learned.

5 Lessons Learned from Hosting a Livestream Benefit

  1. Engaging the community is key: Using Hangouts on Air, we were able to pull off a cross-city sing-a-long! Check it out. The video wasn’t flawless, but we successfully transported Broadway beyond the Big Apple.

  2. Global events can help grow engagement and donor base: Putting on an event in different cities is no easy feat. But it's amazingly rewarding to bring like-minded people and groups together to support similar causes. Hangouts and livestream technology made reaching new communities easier to do in one event. And by engaging these communities, we’ve been able to grow a stronger community and ultimately, donor base.

  3. Interactive video adds another dimension of creativity: Using Hangouts allowed us to engage the audience on the other side of the screen, adding a new dimension unique from watching on a passive screen. Our creative team came up with Musical MadLibs, (our new favorite game!), which really shows how we were able to interact with the crowd through video chat.

  4. Google is a gamechanger for nonprofits: YouTube and Google Fiber enabled us to livestream the concert to theatre lovers and supporters in Kansas City and hundreds of people at home that night. This allowed us to increase the viewership of our benefit by 10X more than if we had only shown the concert to the folks at the Greene Space in NYC.

  5. Crowdfunding and donation cards can help you reach your goals: Through crowdfunding using donation cards on YouTube, One Today donations, live fundraising at the concert, and private donations, we raised more than ever before -- an astounding $50,000. This additional funding will hugely impact our ability to provide treatments for victims of domestic violence in tandem with the CVTC.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the nonprofit programs, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google


          Introducing new donation tool on YouTube benefiting nonprofits        
YouTube has over a billion users. That’s almost one-third of all people on the Internet. And everyday those users watch hundreds of millions of hours of video, racking up billions of views – which are now billions of opportunities to do good.

We’re excited to announce a brand new tool that U.S. nonprofits can utilize — donation cards on YouTube! Donation cards make it even simpler to raise money for your cause by allowing your viewers to donate directly from your YouTube video. Even better — Google covers the processing fees, so your organization will receive 100% of the money donated. Donation cards on YouTube are currently available for U.S. nonprofits and creators, but we look forward to expanding into other countries, so nonprofits and creators can digitally fundraise across the globe. 

Using donation cards, YouTube creators can also now raise money through their content to both support your cause and make their videos more impactful! Donation cards for creators in the U.S. enable their subscribers and viewers to donate directly from their videos. Creators can choose any United States, IRS-validated 501(c)3 public nonprofit organization. Your nonprofit will receive 100% of the money donated.

Want to see donation cards in action? Check out this video from Madison Beer. 

Now it’s your turn. To help you get started, we’ve put together an outreach toolkit – including email templates, social media templates, and fundraising best practices – to help your nonprofit share the news about donation cards with your supporters and other YouTube creators. With these tools, we hope you’ll empower as many people as possible to learn about your nonprofit and fuel fundraising on your behalf. 

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the YouTube for Nonprofit Program, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.
If you are a U.S. YouTube creator looking to fundraise for your favorite cause, learn more here. 

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google


          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. 

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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.


          Proenhance patch - Get a longer lasting        



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          eCommerce Manager - Lux Research        
Mountain View, CA - Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CAType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Mid Level
WARNING: Reading this job description may cause you to change your life and embark on a career with tremendous satisfaction and meaning. Proceed with caution.



We?re Eargo and we?re on a mission... to
          Sr. Software Development Engineer - Test - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Engineering Seattle, Washington

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Skytap is looking for talented senior level Software Development Engineers in Test to join our engineering team. Cloud computing is one of today's hottest technologies, and Skytap is leading the way by providing self-service
          Inventory/Receiving Associate - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Eden Prairie, MN - Warehouse / DC
Eden Prairie, MN
The Inventory Team works hard to ensure there is a large quantity and variety of golf equipment to purchase in our retail stores and on our online channels. This team plays an integral role in helping us achieve our mission of "owning the best
          Lead Blockchain Engineer - Talla        
Boston, MA - Lead Blockchain Engineer Boston, MA or Palo Alto, CA
Talla is looking for an entrepreneurial lead blockchain software engineer with experience building innovative services and technologies to help Talla incorporate blockchain & cryptocurrency functionality into their
          Sales and Marketing Intern (CapDB) - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Sales
Boston, MassachusettsIntern

Job Description

Our international recruitment software delivers best-of-breed technology solutions for the world?s leading recruitment firms. With over 300,000 users, we work at a rapid pace to deliver an incredible customer experience. As a
          Senior Product Manager - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Product Management
Boston, MassachusettsFull time

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At Bullhorn, we put the world to work. Our international recruitment software delivers best-of-breed technology solutions for the world?s leading recruitment firms. Our engineers use modern technologies in agile
          Software Tester - RuffaloCODY        
Cedar Rapids, IA - Software Tester
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The Software Tester?s main duties will be focused primarily on testing applications that are under development. This person will be a key member of the development team and responsible for developing robust testing solutions
          Entry-Level DevOps Engineer - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Development/IT
Boston, MassachusettsFull time


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Bullhorn is the leading provider of CRM software to relationship-driven businesses. Our engineers use modern technologies in Agile development to innovate and create the future of our product suite.
          Software Configuration Analyst - Retail Solutions, Inc.        
Providence, RI - Project Management - Providence, RI - Full Time
POSITION SUMMARY:

The Software Configuration Analyst will be responsible for supporting our internal business processes by designing, implementing, documenting, and deploying enhancements to our JIRA and Zendesk implementations.


          Entry Level Software Engineer - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Development
Boston, MassachusettsFull time

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Entry-Level Software Engineer

At Bullhorn, we put the world to work. Our international recruitment software delivers best-of-breed technology solutions for the world?s leading recruitment firms. With over 300,000
          Billing Support Specialist - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Finance/Accounting
Boston, MassachusettsFull time

Job Description

Bullhorn is the leading provider of CRM software to relationship-driven businesses. Serving over 350,000 users across its suite of products, Bullhorn is seeking the best talent to continue building its world
          Human Resources Director - Lux Research        
Mountain View, CA - Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CAType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Executive
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We?re Eargo and we?re on a mission?.to disrupt
          Front End Developer - Lux Research        
Mountain View, CA - Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CAType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Experienced
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          Inside Sales Representative - HighJump Software        
Columbus, OH - Job Title:Inside Sales Representative
Job Type:Full-Time
Location:Columbus, OH
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TrueCommerce, a HighJump company, revolutionizes trading partner connectivity by linking suppliers, retail hubs and
          Scrum Master - IJet Intelligent Risk Systems        
Annapolis, MD - Department:Software Development
Location:Annapolis/Reston, MD
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The Scrum Master will serve the iJET Labs scrum teams as we develop software products and services to support iJET?s mission to keep millions of people safe as they do business around the world.
          Senior Software Engineer, Platform Services - Coursera        
Mountain View, CA - Engineering ? Mountain View, CA
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          Warehouse Lead - Ryan Herco Products Corporation        
Albuquerque, NM - ID:1257
Department:Warehouse
Employment Type:Regular Full-time position
Location:Albuquerque, NM
Description
Responsible for each aspect of operational performance for the designated RHFS warehouse/distribution facility. Through hands-on management, administer company policies
          Technical Support I - HighJump Software        
Cranberry, PA -
Job Title:Technical Support I
Job Type:Full-Time
Location:Cranberry, PA
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Job Description:

TrueCommerce, a HighJump company, revolutionizes trading partner connectivity by linking suppliers, retail hubs and end
          The Collision of Faith, Media and Culture        
How do these three intertwine? More personally, how do these intertwine in our personal life? It is easy to live life   compartmentally, keeping nice, neat, separate boxes with the various areas of our lives. Is this effective? Our guest this week was a dynamic, intentional, creative leader, John David Ware, who is an award-winning writer-director…
          A Fifteen-Year Summer Tradition        
Do you have summer traditions you look forward to each year? A summer tradition that we both share has happened in August for the past fifteen years: the Global Leadership Summit. Our church, Central Christian AZ is a satellite host for this huge event. Every year we participate with new anticipation and expectations depending on…
          If I Run        
I’ve become more and more aware lately of my “default modes.” These knee-jerk tendencies of mine can be good, bad, or really, REALLY ugly; they may be  innately ingrained in me or have been shaped by my experiences, but either way, they inform my view of life and how I process it. My negative default…
          Who's a good boy?        
Silas hasn't had an accident in a whole week! It's like the most exciting thing ever...
Work is really crazy right now, I have less than 70 days left before the election which makes me nervous and excited and exhausted and relieved and terrified all at the same time. Mostly because part of thinks "holy crap there's so much to do before November!" and the other part of me thinks "thank goodness, maybe I'll be able to sleep a little bit soon" and yet another part of me thinks "ummmmm, I don't have a job starting November 10th and I haven't even thought about looking for one."
So those are the major stresses in my life right now. Not really sure what to do about them.
Last thing: Last night was the first night of the democratic national convention in Denver, and my Senator here in Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke towards the end. Her kids, including her daughter Maddie (who I know!!! eeek!!) introduced her. This was the part of the convention I wanted to see. The ONE PART other than Obama's acceptance speech. And guess what? I MISSED IT. I was driving. because I work all the time. Boo. :(
          OMG, Aaron Carter comes out as bisexual, expresses his attraction towards men        

pic.twitter.com/Zi6ahCtk4U — Aaron Carter (@aaroncarter) August 6, 2017 It’s Aaron’s party, come get it, boys! Welcome to the club Mr. Carter! SO – who are...
          8 Celebrities Who Look Like ‘Harry Potter’ Characters        
Everybody knows the feeling; you’re watching a movie, flipping through a magazine, or even just scrolling through your social media accounts, when you start to wonder why your favorite celebrity looks a little bit different. Is it a new hairstyle? Or did they give their wardrobe a major overhaul? Could it just be the angle … Continue reading
          5 Movies and TV Shows That Deserve Their Own ‘Harry Potter’ Style Theme Park        
Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley doesn’t open until this summer (see the sneak peek above), but the buzz is already at a fever pitch. Of course, while we’re beyond excited to revisit Hogwarts with this latest attraction, we can’t help but want to spread the theme park love to some other beloved movies … Continue reading
          New 2012 TV Shows Are Enroute (What Do You Think?)        
The People’s Choice Awards are a week from tomorrow – are you ready for a great show featuring the wildly talented Kaley Cuoco? Did you vote yet? Don’t forget the polls are still open for Favorite New TV Comedy and Favorite New TV Drama…so if you haven’t told us your picks you can still do … Continue reading
          Hit TV Shows on the Big Screen?        
It’s Thursday – we’re almost there! And boy, do you all have some serious opinions about “American Idol” (thanks for the feedback). Seems very few of you are fans of Howard Stern: The Music Judge.  Although maybe he likes it that way.  In TV news, an obit. Captain Phil Harris, the man who piloted the … Continue reading
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