Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
„The International Tracing Service at Bad Arolsen (ITS) serves victims of Nazi persecutions and their families by documenting their fate through the archives it manages.
The ITS preserves these historic records and makes them available for research.”
In its mission statement, the International Tracing Service (ITS) declares its commitment to serve the victims of Nazi persecution and their families by documenting and evaluating the fate of the victims and maintaining this information in its archives.
The archive’s collections are unique in scope and significance. The ITS is responsible for preserving historical records, processing » tracing requests and making the archive accessible for » historical research.
The ITS archive stores 26,000 metres of various types of record. The alphabetically and phonetically arranged Central Name Index contains over 50 million reference cards for over 17.5 million people and is the key to the documents and correspondence files.
In the » ITS collections on » Prisoners, » Forced Labourers, the Post-War Period (» Displaced Persons) and » Children Tracing Archive information is stored in lists or on cards.
These records can still help to shed light on the fate of many. The staff of the International Tracing Service support research and offer comprehensive help to visitors who wish to work with our archives."It will now be possible to carry out detailed research on the transport of prisoners, the camp populations and the health of forced laborers," said Reto Meister, Swiss director of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany.http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2976227,00.html
Mailer, renowned for his biting prose, penchant for controversy and larger-than-life personality, had provoked and enraged readers with his acerbic views on U.S. politics and the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.
Norman Mailer posthumously awarded Bad Sex prize | Entertainment | People | Reuters
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
But hand-washing was more than pragmatic:
it was also a sign of honor and civility, something you offered your guests, via a basin and towel, as soon as they arrived. Since the Greeks believed that any respectful relationship, with gods as well as humans, demanded cleanliness, washing was a necessary prelude to prayer, and sanctuaries usually had fonts of water at their entrances.
For the Romans and Greeks, well-washed hands were a natural accompaniment to fairly clean bodies. The medieval and Renaissance focus on clean hands is more surprising, because those ages had little interest in washing beyond the wrist. It’s true that the Crusaders imported the idea of the Turkish bath into Europe, but even if your town had a bathhouse, it merited a visit only once every week or two.
Note: I have birds,and I love watching my finches,as everytime I change their water,immediately they jump into the cups and have a bath.... maybe the bird bath has origins there....(but I admit, not all birds do it )
Monday, November 26, 2007
The humble zebrafish will be used to find meaning for the code in the human genome.
Being a vertebrate, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has blood, kidney and optical systems that share many features of the human systems.
Work on this organism will complement that on the mouse, which is the most widely used mammalian genetic model organism.http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Info/Press/001121.shtml
This interesting article illustrates how amazingly zebra fish regains its tail after losing one. Apparently a zebrafish tail grows back within a matter of one week. It not only can replace the tail, but also can replace a number of other body parts.And according to Alfred Kinsey,"God had given young men at around puberty a vital substance which turns boys into men. The effects of wasting this fluid could be very dangerous indeed."
A tail fin, for example, has a number of different types of cells and is a very intricate structure. It is the fish version of an arm or leg.
The question of how cold-blooded animals re-grow missing tails and other appendages has fascinated veterinary and medical scientists.
They also wonder if people, and other warm-blooded animals that evolved from these simpler creatures, might still have untapped regenerative powers hidden in their genes.
People are constantly renewing blood components, skeletal muscles and skin. We can regenerate liver tissue and repair minor injuries to bone, muscle, the tips of our toes and fingers, and the corneas of our eyes. Finding out more about the remarkable ability of amphibians and fish to re-grow complex parts might provide the information necessary to create therapies for people whose hearts, spinal cords, eyes or arms and legs have been badly hurt.
Researchers have discovered some of the genes and cell-to-cell communication pathways that enable zebrafish to restore their tail fins..
And here this:Start with why women prefer to talk about their feelings, while men prefer to meditate on sex.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5197440.stm http://www.annalsnyas.org/cgi/content/abstract/1047/1/13 .
Portuguese Prime Minister and current European Council President José Sócrates talks about the Lisbon Treaty, Europe's trouble with Russia and Brussels' engagement with Africa.
Sócrates, 50, a civil engineer by trade, is the secretary-general of the Socialist Party and has headed Portugal's government since March 2005. In June, Portugal assumed the rotating six month presidency of the European Union. And at an EU summit next month in Lisbon, the treaty that succeeded the failed European draft constitution is expected to be signed.
There was a strange sense that Australia, which had seemed so often to sleepwalk, mesmerised, through the past 11 years, had suddenly woken up. But where it might go and what it might do and be, no one any longer knew.
....described by a fellow Labor MP as "about as interesting as carpet".
He was declared a "heartless snake".....
...a company intending to build one of the world's biggest pulp mills in Tasmania, which will burn half-a-million tonnes of native forest a year in the monstrosity of its electricity generator alone.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2217016,00.html
Descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemens Land (later renamed Tasmania) during the Great Famine, Richard Flanagan was born in his native island in 1961, the fifth of six children. He spent his childhood in the mining town of Rosebery and left school at sixteen to work as a bush laborer. He later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His first novel is the much celebrated DEATH OF A RIVER GUIDE, which won major Australian literary prizes including the 1996 National Fiction Award and was described by the Times Literary Supplement as "one of the most auspicious debuts in Australian writing." His second novel, THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING, was similarly critically acclaimed and has sold over 150,000 copies in Australia, an unprecedented figure there for a literary novel. It won the Australian Booksellers Book of the Year Award and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. Flanagan’s first two novels, declared Kirkus Reviews, “rank with the finest fiction out of Australia since the heyday of Patrick White.” GOULD’S BOOK OF FISH, his third novel, won Best Book for the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize in the South East Asia & South Pacific Region. In addition to Australia and the USA, his novels are being published in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Holland, and France. He directed an acclaimed feature film based on THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING, which had its world premiere in competition at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Bear for best film. He lives in Tasmania with his wife and three children.
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My responses (to the novel) are largely from Tasmanian people, this is where I live. I think Tasmanians like it because it's one of the first times they've seen their own world - somebody has attempted to depict their world with honesty and love. They (Tasmanians) are a much-maligned people who have been misrepresented by others for a long, long time. And because there wasn't an attempt to engage with their world as it was, and write about it with love.
'There are a series of responses to Tasmania; one is to present it as a Gothic horror land, and the other is to present it as this Utopia. But nobody wants to look at truths that might be more complex. And everybody's after a little box to put the place into, rather than to accept that it's a large and moving mystery. And they ought to try to come to terms with some of the tensions that make that mystery, to me, so interesting. I personally think it's a terrific place for a writer - there's an enormous well of subconscious experience that's accumulated over centuries.
'I think a lot of the problem with Australian writing at the moment is people simply try to tap into their own talent, and that's a frail and small world to draw upon and you've got to find something more and other than yourself to be writing about. I think the Tasmanian experience is a particularly powerful and rich one on which to draw. The great problem with a lot of Australian writing, I think, is that it's constantly in flight from the truths of this place rather than engaging with it.'
The Sound of One Hand ClappingA sweeping novel of world war, migration, and the search for new beginnings in a new land, The Sound of One Hand Clapping was both critically acclaimed and a best-seller in Australia. It is a virtuoso performance from an Australian who is emerging as one of our most talented new storytellers.It was 1954, in a construction camp for a hydroelectric dam in the remote Tasmanian highlands, where Bojan Buloh had brought his family to start a new life away from Slovenia, the privations of war, and refugee settlements. One night, Bojan's wife walked off into a blizzard, never to return -- leaving Bojan to drink too much to quiet his ghosts, and to care for his three-year-old daughter Sonja alone. Thirty-five years later, Sonja returns to Tasmania and a father haunted by memories of the European war and other, more recent horrors. As the shadows of the past begin to intrude ever more forcefully into the present, Sonja's empty life and her father's living death are to change forever. The Sound of One Hand Clapping is about the barbarism of an old world left behind, about the harshness of a new country, and the destiny of those in a land beyond hope who seek to redeem themselves through love.
Les Australiens ont trouvé un mot pour cela : le "me too-ism", la technique du "moi aussi".
Sunday, November 25, 2007
“and if one is lucky not to be caught in the middle of more on Porque non te callasa gunfight, well, it’s almost paradise.”
EVEN though they achieved independence more than a century ago, the Spanish-speaking nations of Latin America often look to Spain as a reference point. Sometimes the mother country is a foil, sometimes a support, sometimes a mirror, for what unfolds on this side of the Atlantic.Once upon a time,Santa Maria,Pinta and Nina..........
Christopher Columbus departed from Spain on August 3, 1492, on a fleet of three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Nina and Pinta were both smaller, sleeker ships, called caravels. Santa Maria was a larger, round-hulled ship, called a
Together, the three ships carried about 120 men, equipment and supplies.
Of the three ships, only the Santa Maria was built with a deck, and it was a much slower, heavier ship, with a keel that was about 115-feet long (35 meters). Both Nina and Pinta were about 50 feet long (15 meters). All three ships were armed. The Nina sailed under Vicente Yanez Pinzon, and the Pinta sailed under his brother, Martin Alonso Pinzon.
The goal of the voyage was to find a new passage to Asia. After a few "wrong turns", the crew landed in the New World, on one of the Bahama Islands, on October 12, 1492. The island was later renamed San Salvador by the Spaniards.
In November, the Pinta disappeared in a strong wind. On December 25, 1492 (Christmas Day), the Santa Maria ran aground and was completely destroyed. Later, in January, the Pinta rejoined the Nina. Columbus returned to Spain on the Nina, arriving in March of 1493. The Pinta arrived soon afterwards.
Columbus always believed that he had arrived in the Indies, never fully realizing the extent and importance of his discovery.There are now about 300,000 Spaniards in Venezuela, many of whom moved here in search of opportunity before Spain’s economy lifted off in the 1990s; many of them are less than thrilled about the insults to Spain.
The New Old World,back and forth
The influx, in fact, has strengthened bonds between Venezuela and Spain, and they are reflected here in cuisine, music, trade, even novels. One book published this year, “La Caraqueña del Maní,” by the Spanish writer José Luis Muñoz, captures the complexity. The protagonist is a Basque exile seeking a new life amid the demimonde here of salsa bars and Iberian eateries.Over a meal of Txakolí wine and Idiazábal cheese, he sums up how the New World, despite its occasional outbursts against Spain, still fascinates the Old.
martes, agosto 07, 2007
Que José Luis Muñoz nos ofrezca una novela excepcional no debe constituir una sorpresa, a estas alturas. Hay autores que suponen una apuesta segura. Y especialmente cuando transitan territorios que sienten como suyos. Es lo que le pasa a José Luis Muñoz con el género negro.
Pero La caraqueña del maní (título muy bello, para empezar) es más que una novela negra. O no sólo eso. Es un homenaje a la capital de Venezuela, presentada con todas sus contradicciones y contrastes. Una ciudad que, al menor descuido, pasa a ser selva y culebra. La urbe endemoniada se convierte unos metros más allá en la selva agreste que describió sin ahorrar ni un detalle ni un adjetivo Alejo Carpentier en Los pasos perdidos. Aquí también hay exuberancia, que alcanza a las mujeres que rozan la vida de Macario, el personaje que nos mueve por La caraqueña del Maní. El ex dirigente de la banda terrorista ETA, aunque perseguido por el pasado, intenta correr más rápido que él,con el resultado esperable en estos casos. Y elige el trabajo como director de una editorial. Esta pirueta tan exagerada podía provocar un accidente de nefastas consecuencias en términos de credibilidad. Pero José Luis Muñoz lo evita, con oficio y con talento, hasta parecernos verosímil.
...nodded her head slowly – though, it should be noted, that is her standard habit when an ally or supporter is addressing her.
“There have been a lot of media consolidations in the last several years, and it is quite troubling,” Mrs. Clinton began her reply. “The fact is, most people still get their news from television, from radio, even from newspapers. If they’re all owned by a very small group of people — and particularly if they all have a very similar point of view – it really stifles free speech.”
If somebody writes a book and doesn’t care for the survival of that book, he’s an imbecile.Eco often cites his upbringing among this culture as a source of the unique temperament in his writing: “Certain elements remain as the basis for my world vision: a skepticism and an aversion to rhetoric. Never to exaggerate, never to make bombastic assertions.”
Eco remembers his grandmother fondly, and like both Borges and García Márquez, he claims that he developed his delight in the absurd from her peculiar sense of humor.
His train of thought is about in a novel that could be read as an open text – enigmatic, complex, and open to several layers of interpretation.
Eco describes himself as a polychronic personality, who “will start many things at the same time merging them together to form a continuous interconnection. . . .If I don’t have many things to do, I am lost.”
Umberto Eco (born January 5, 1932) is an Italian medievalist, semiotician, philosopher and novelist, best known for his novel The Name of the Rose (Il nome della rosa) and his many essays
.His family name is supposedly an acronym of ex caelis oblatus (Latin: a gift from the heavens), which was given to his grandfather (a foundling) by a city official.from Wikipedia
One more to join the club:http://www.observer.com/2007/if-she-did-it
WHAT follows is, in brief (well, not so brief), the curious tale of how a handsome black man who can also look an awful lot like a beautiful black woman, except with better legs than most and a beard, happened to end up on the November cover of French Vogue.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/fashion/25andre.html
Saturday, November 24, 2007
For an entire generation of young artists who had been confronted with the appalling possibility of atomic catastrophe,embodied in the photographs of Hiroshima that shocked the world,a new awareness of life-supporting energies had become imperative.It was no longer enough to come to terms with artistic tradition;the future had insinuated itself into artists' lives with an immediate and unparalled poignancy.To many,a utopian leap seemed the only way to break with the past,in the hope that someday,somewhere,they would be able to breathe free.
Shortly before his death,Yves Klein entrusted these thoughts to his journal:Now I want to go beyond art- beyond sensibility- beyond life.
I want to enter the void.My life should be like my symphony of 1949, a continuous note,liberated from begining to end......
.Excerpt from KLEIN by Hannah Weitemeier
Friday, November 23, 2007
Raisins are about 60% sugars by weight, most of which is fructose. Raisins are also high in antioxidants, and are comparable to prunes and apricots in this regard.http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3208,36-980288@51-960600,0.html
Thursday, November 22, 2007
You should be grateful all the time, they say,
and one of the best ways is in writing.
Keeping a list of things you’re thankful for can make you happier.
relationships get better,
people are more active and enthusiastic. There are benefits for others, too, as happier people are more creative, productive and easier to be around.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
fragment of a Fragebogen document in Krakow before my mother was taken to Plaszow and then Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck.
Jean Samuel narra 63 años después las vivencias que compartió con Primo LeviNos abrazamos. Primo me había traído naranjas y chocolates. Hablamos durante largo rato, dos horas como mínimo, reunidos en esa frontera entre nuestros dos países".
Durante 36 años, Jean Samuel sólo habló de su estancia en el infierno con otros dos supervivientes, uno de ellos, el escritor italiano Primo Levi. Decidió hacerlo en público a partir de 1981. ¿Por qué?
"Ni él ni yo teníamos pasaporte. Hubo que discutir mucho para que los aduaneros de uno y otro lado nos dejaran pasar, encontrarnos entre los dos puestos mientras ellos se quedaban con nuestros documentos de identidad.
Levi escribe a Samuel, ya en 1946, que "lo queramos o no, somos testigos y llevamos sobre nuestras espaldas ese peso".
Some 27 were sighted in the National Waterway Wildlife Survey 2007
Photo: Andy Rouse/Corbis
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
The Kaczynski twins went a long way toward destroying Poland's relations with Europe. Now that Donald Tusk has become prime minister, the repairs have begun. But how much of the damage can he really fix? By Jan Puhl
.Radek Sikorski has rammed a sign into the ground in front of his property near the town of Bydgoszcz. "De-Communized Zone," it reads. It's been a full 16 years since the collapse of the Soviet bloc, but such a clear break with the country's socialist past remains an important credential for a Polish politician to have. The 44-year-old Sikorski, though, has other elements on his political resume. He also happens to wear elegant suits and possess a razor-sharp wit -- not to mention that he speaks English almost as well as he speaks Polish.
The historically difficult relations between Warsaw and Berlin are worse than ever. In the European Union, the Poles are seen as troublemakers and national egotists. And a dispute over food imports and US plans to station missiles on Polish territory have practically severed Poland's ties to Moscow.
Monday, November 19, 2007
drawing by marguerita So let me get this out of the way:
The NYTimes Out of The Dark Ages.......
Transparency, independence, the free flow of information, moral clarity, objective truth .
Reality television, anonymous bloggers, the threat of ideologically driven global media enterprises .
Juan Carlos’ words conquer the net
The reporting on the Summit of leaders of the Latin Countries is exceedingly horrible.
Five words - “Why don’t you shut up!” - have catapulted King Juan Carlos, the Spanish monarch, to Internet stardom, and driven Spain’s relations with Latin America to a new low.
ORLY? A new low? I thought that happened during the Bolivarian Revolutions, of which these writers are obviously ignorant. I’m not an expert on them, but at least I know they occurred in the 1820s, unlike the author or this article. Monroe Doctrine anyone?
The unprecedented spectacle of King Juan Carlos losing his temper is a big hit on YouTube this week. “Por qué no te callas!” has also become a popular ring-tone for mobile phones in Spain as well as a rallying cry for Mr Chávez’s opponents in Venezuela.
Wow, folks go against tyranny. But we must backtrack,
For the Spanish government, however, the summit was a disaster. Mr Zapatero, who courted Mr Chávez and other leftwing leaders when he took office in 2004, seemed particularly shaken by the vehemence of the attacks against Spain and its multinationals. “I hope we never, ever repeat these scenes again,” the Spanish premier said as he left Chile.
What does that mean? We must have solidarity with bigots so long as they support us? It looks like the Spanish government is seeing that their supposed allies are a bunch of moon bats – they aren’t just anti-American, they are anti-Spanish to boot. Spain was the colonial power, blame them for current issues.
My serious prediction – this is not a disaster for Spain. The Monarch of Spain said the truth that needed to be said. The ass-wipe of Venezuela (I’ve been in countries he has threatened toinvade, so who in the Imperialist?) just got owned, and hopefully adios.
Noblesse Oblige. Juan Carlos understands it.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thoughtful gestures are life’s grace notes in an age of dissonance.
So,here I am posting Chris Durang's words,as I aeem to think along his lines.....But "worried, really worried" (about the world, and the country) is the main thing I've been feeling, and it permeates my daily wanderings about. And "uninspired" because I haven't been working on a play I've started (alert the media!), and because I haven't written anything on the Huffington Post.
I mean, my writing a post isn't significant, except I feel that the more voices that get out there with "worry pay-attention-damn-it" the better. But I have felt paralyzed about adding my voice lately.
I feel like a person who is in a community where first one house is on fire, then another one, then there's an earthquake, then there's a mud slide, then there's a witch burning ... politically there are so many issues that tumble into each other, I am tongue-tied.
Of course, Cheney and Bush don't believe they need agreement from the legislature to bomb anyone or start any war. They govern by Advertisement (Clean Air Initiative!), and they defend themselves by Redefinition. The President signs a bill, but then has a "side letter" saying he doesn't need to abide by the law if he doesn't agree with it. Well, gosh... what are laws then?
Sigh. I may have to just have a psychotic break, and live in an alternative universe where Al Gore gets elected president and Chuck Hagel magically tones down some of his domestic conservativism and is elected vice president.
And the two of them reclaim America's ability to talk with countries and not dictate to them. And America can start to heal again. Maybe.
l est une idée assez commune, en ce temps de mondialisation, que le monde s'américaniserait. Et il est difficile d'ignorer que la mode, le cinéma, la musique nés outre-Atlantique ont un impact sur les cultures du monde. Encore faudrait-il préciser "les cultures des villes du monde" ou bien "les cultures de certains quartiers des villes du monde" ou même "certaines catégories sociales de certains quartiers des villes du monde".
Aujourd'hui, en tout point du globe, chacun voit non pas midi, mais le monde à sa porte. Mais qui pense, en voyageant ou en surfant sur le Net, à appréhender chez l'autre ses profondes différences en évitant d'universaliser ses propres valeurs ? La mondialisation n'efface pas d'un trait une foultitude de rapports singuliers à l'histoire, au temps, au travail, à l'argent, au pouvoir ou à la nature. Et l'usage extensif de l'anglais du business ne gomme pas les enjeux du langage qui révèle toujours, lors du travail de traduction, l'ampleur des divergences entre cultures dans la perception de "la" réalité.
L'émergence du "nous" humain, par Jean-Michel Dumay
Jean-Michel Dumay est journaliste. Il travaille pour le journal Le Monde.