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Thursday, 14 October 2010
Ocean Acidification: History Repeating Itself posted by: Courtney Shelby


Ocean Acidification: History Repeating Itself


Some 55 million years ago, a huge underwater volcano erupted and released massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the oceans.

This underwater eruption, also known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), caused the mass extinction of between 30 and 50 perfect marine life.

It took our oceans 80,000 years to recover.

And today, humans produce around one million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per hour — nearly 10 times the rate of PETM.

So far, the ocean has absorbed more than 400 billion metric tons of these greenhouse gases. These dangerously high carbon dioxide levels create similar problems to the ones created during PETM, including an increased global temperature, lack of oxygen for ocean life and an increase in the ocean’s acidity.

If such high levels of carbon dioxide emissions caused mass extinction during PETM, you can’t help but wonder what 10 times that rate will do to today’s ocean life.

Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared light, causing the rise in global temperature. The ocean acts as a buffer for greenhouse gases by absorbing a portion of CO2 emissions, which reduces the global temperature that would otherwise be affecting us directly.

But this overabundance of CO2 causes a host of problems. Firstly, CO2raises ocean temperatures. Recent studies have revealed that during PETM, raised oceanic temperatures resulted in the slowing of global water currents. Oceanic currents exchange colder, deep water and warmer, surface water, regulating temperatures on land. They cause Europe’s relatively warm climate. But just like during PETM, the Atlantic Ocean’s currents are slowing by as much as 30 percent. If trends continue,Europe’s climate could change completely.

Moreover, too much CO2 deprives the oceans of oxygen. This creates “dead zones” that are absent of all marine life for thousands of years, posing a serious threat to biodiversity, as it did during PETM. Without oxygen, fish and other animals are forced to either leave the area or die.

PETM mirrors the current greenhouse gas crisis in yet another way: During PETM, more CO2 absorption by our oceans made the ocean more acidic, which caused mass extinction of calcium-dependent marine life, which absorb calcium from the ocean to grow their skeletons. Today’s calcium-dependent life, like corals and crustaceans, face similar threats as our oceans acidify.

Because of ocean acidification, the Great Barrier Reef’s growth has declined by 13 percent since 1990. Coral reefs are central to marine ecosystems. They are the forests of the oceans, and when they die, so do the fish and other animals that depend on them.

Fifty-five million years ago, PETM killed off up to 50 percent of marine species. Without regulation on greenhouse gases, our oceans face a similarly unhappy fate.…



Posted by dmacc502 at 7:22 AM CDT
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Ancient Egypt May Hold Clues for Climate Change Fix : Discovery News

As world experts grapple with ways to contain global warming, researchers gathered in Egypt are seeking answers from the country’s pharaonic past to help tackle environmental problems of the present.

Blessed with incomparable archaeological wealth, Egypt is the most populous Arab nation and the number of inhabitants is expected to more than double by 2050 to 160 million, according to estimates.

The effects of climate change have long been neglected in this large North African country which largely depends on the fertile Nile Delta to feed its growing population amid concerns about land erosion.

A three-day conference opened on Sunday with experts hoping to understand how the ancient Egyptians, who were capable of erecting the famous Giza pyramids, dealt with climate change.

“It’s time we try to learn from the past so as to make better decisions for our future,” said Shawkat Yahia, a researcher from the prestigious American University in Cairo.

He told the conference that answers were needed quickly, noting that the lives of millions of people are at risk if precious arable land disappears.

“By understanding more about how societies adapted to… their environment, we would be better prepared to plan and adapt to the current as well as the future challenges that face the Nile Delta,” he said.

Yahia is among some 200 archaeologists, geographers, historians, geologists and palaeontologists from 25 countries who hope geoarchaeology — the union between archaeology and geology — will provide the key.

The conference is the first of its kind to be held in Egypt, where archaeology has always taken a rigid and classical approach to understanding the past.

“Traditional Egyptology must adapt to new approaches… (such as how) to reconstitute the environment in which people evolved,” said Yann Tristant, of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology (IFAO).

The IFAO has joined forces with France’s national research center CNRS and Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities to create a platform for brainstorming that could help experts find solutions for the future.

Participants in the symposium have drawn up papers on a wealth of subjects ranging from pharaonic military campaigns to the patina known as “desert varnish” which forms a thin hard layer on the soil’s surface.

The goal of their discussions is to unearth archaeological and geological evidence that may explain how the ancients survived climate change — and what lessons can be drawn from it.

CNRS experts Pierre Zignani and Matthieu Ghilardi believe that much can be learned from the architects who designed the centuries-old temples that have withstood the ravages of time.

“Heavy rainfall because of climate changes well attested over the last millennia and major flood events from the Nile River were also integrated by the architects when building the religious structures,” they said in a joint paper.

Researching the past “may provide information beyond our current fundamental knowledge and offer new critical information to our community.”

Mahmoud Abdel Moneim of Egypt’s Ain Shams University, in a paper prepared for the conference, wondered whether the head of the Great Sphinx could even come tumbling down because of climate change “during the present century.”

“The rate of the weathering of the Sphinx is calculated at 0.066 millimeters per year,” he said of the enigmatic half-lion, half-man statue which towers over the desert in the Giza pyramid complex.


Posted by dmacc502 at 9:03 PM CDT
Alaska Volcano Eruption Discovered to Fertilize the Planet’s Oceans

A volcanic plume of iron-laden ash from a 2008 Alaskan volcano eruption led to an unprecedentedly huge bloom of photosynthetic ocean plankton that fed off the ash, researchers have found.This natural phenomenon is much like a geoengineering scenario proposed by some researchers who want to fight global warming by spurring the growth of marine plants that can suck carbon dioxide from the air.
This massive bloom of plankton resulted, however, in only a modest uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the researchers said, seemingly dealing a blow to potential carbon-absorption geoengineering schemes. Scientists investigated the August 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands, which spewed iron-laden ash over a 620-mile (1,000-kilometer) swath of the North Pacific some 580,000 to 770,000 square miles (1.5 million to 2 million sq. km) in size.

The result was an “ocean productivity event of unprecedented magnitude,” said oceanographer Roberta Hamme at the University of Victoria in Canada. The ash caused the largest bloom of photosynthetic plankton detected in the region since ocean surface measurements by satellite began in 1997 — the first conclusive evidence that volcanic plumes can fertilize oceans.

A map of surface ocean chlorophyll concentrations in the North Pacific for the August 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands, from blue (lowest) to red (highest). The white triangle marks the position of the volcano.Photosynthetic plankton, or phytoplankton, are free-floating, single-celled organisms that account for half of all photosynthetic activity on Earth. Since they naturally absorb the global warming gas carbon dioxide, geoengineering advocates have proposed seeding the oceans with iron to help spur their growth. Iron, which acts as a fertilizer for phytoplankton, is rare in the oceans.

Even if people wanted to artificially replicate this event to combat global warming, “it would be essentially impossible,” Hamme told OurAmazingPlanet. “What really allowed this ash to hit such a large area was the fact there was a storm system forming over the volcano when it erupted, and the ash got swirled around. Unless you could somehow put vast amounts of iron-containing particles into a storm going in the right direction for you, I think replicating this would be pretty hard to do.”

Another problem for replicating this event as a geoengineering scheme, Hamme and her colleagues estimated that this massive plume only absorbed about 4 million tons (37 billion kg) of carbon dioxide. While this might sound like a lot, the burning of fossil fuels releases nearly 7,000 times as much carbon dioxide annually at about 26.4 billion tons (24 trillion kg) a year, while the oceans naturally absorb about 8.1 billion tons (7.4 trillion kg) of carbon dioxide annually.

“Despite the huge area of iron addition and the optimal time of year when there was plenty of sunlight, the impact of this August 2008 event in terms of carbon dioxide absorption was quite small,” Hamme said. “This tells us that iron fertilization would have to be performed on a truly gigantic scale to have an impact on our climate.”Hamme also suggested that one might not want to rely on volcanoes to fight global warming. “Volcanoes release carbon dioxide as well,” she said. “In the end, there might be a net zero effect.”


Posted by dmacc502 at 5:43 PM CDT
75 Years of the Israel Philharmonic & 50 with Zubin Mehta Henryk Szeryng performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: II.Canzonetta: Adante Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra accompanying. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Musical Director Zubin Mehta, is planning a 75th season of festivities which coincides with Zubin Mehta’s 50th year conducting them.75 Years of the Israel Philharmonic & 50 with Zubin Mehta conducting them. By ISRAEL-CATALOG.COM 10/07/2010 14:49 The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s (IPO) 75th season and Zubin Mehta’s 50th year with them is an opportunity to treat yourself to the beautiful sounds of classical music from one of the world’s finest orchestras as well as an internationally acclaimed conductor. And what better way to do this than with one of these two amazing 12 disk compilations. The first set showcases the vast repertoire of the IPO. Ranging from Vivaldi to Stravinsky, the pieces represent some of the most beloved and beautiful works that appeal to a wide audience. These works, conducted by some of the finest conductors from the world over, are part of the IPO’s tradition of excellence, and represent some of their finest moments. For instance, the first disk contains Schubert’s Symphony no. 5 conducted by Sir Georg Solti in 1958. This concert was one of the earliest in their new facility, the Mann Auditorium. In disk 5 you’ll get Leonard Bernstein conducting his own work, the Chichester Psalms, recorded in 1978, while he was the IPO’s Laureate Conductor. Other conductors included here are Jean Martinon (who also served one year as Musical Director for the IPO), Carlo Maria Giulini and the current IPO’s Honorary Guest Conductor Kurt Masur. To finish off the set, you get the IPO’s recording of the Israeli National Anthem, HATIKVA with the Philharmonic Singers joined by the exceptional Israeli children’s choir ANKOR.


Posted by dmacc502 at 5:04 PM CDT
Monday, 11 October 2010
Massive Underground Coal Fire Started in 1962 Still Burns Today
Mood: a-ok
Now Playing:
Topic: environment
Photo by Jesse Gimbel


You may have already heard the story of Centralia, PA, a coal mining town that had some 1,000 inhabitants at its peak. Now, that population is down to 9. It’s become a ghost town for one of the most bizarre reasons imaginable–a fire started in 1962 to burn trash in a dump inadvertently spread to a coal seam underground and has simply never stopped burning.

The most recent report, published Dec. 1st in the Bismarck Tribune, confirms that the fire continues to this day–it’s lasted an incredible 47 years so far.


The Coal Fire of Centralia

The fire, which was started by five members of the volunteer fire company when they were hired by the town council to clean up the landfill, was not properly extinguished and spread to become one of the longest burning coal fires. According to Thinking Blog, which provides a short history of the fire, the landfill was located in an abandoned strip mine pit and as the firemen had in the past, they set the dump on fire, let it burn for a time, and then extinguished the fire, or so they thought.

WATCH VIDEO: Coal: The Good, The Bad, The Dirty Videos

It turns out the fire spread through a hole in the rock pit into an abandoned coal mine underground, where it grew in intensity. It continued to rage for years, putting the towns’ citizens at grave risk, writes Thinking Blog:

State-wide attention to the fire began to increase, culminating in 1981 when 12-year-old boy fell into a sinkhole 45 metres deep that suddenly opened beneath his feet. He was saved after his older cousin pulled him from the mouth of the hole before he could plunge to his probable death. The incident brought national attention to Centralia and in 1984 U.S. Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts.



Now, a mere 9 people continue to live on the hazardous lands, while the fire is now thought to have spread to an area of over 500 acres. Some worst-case scenario estimates fear the fire could eventually spread to an area of 3700 acres, and burn for another 100 years. Centralia’s history was the inspiration for the horror film Silent Hill.


Coal Fires Around the World

Now, the story of Centralia, while fascinating due to its intriguing narrative and dramatic history, is by no means unique. Decades-burning coal fires are unfortunately rather commonplace. In fact, it’s estimated that a stunning 2-3% of the entire world’s industrial carbon emissions may come from uncontained coal fires in China alone–where such fires burn 20 million tons of coal a year. The Tribune explains:

Such unwanted coal fires rage or smolder in the United States, South Africa, Australia, China, India and beyond. They are burning in huge volumes in rural China and blazing in a district of India to such a great extent the flames from some surface coal fires are more than 20 feet high. Here in the U.S., they are burning in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Colorado and Wyoming as you read these words.


An underground coal fire is nearly impossible to control, and since many other materials are burned along with the coal, large amounts of other greenhouse gases like methane are released as well. Such fires have raged for decades–and are still raging–in Colorado and Pennsylvania.


Posted by dmacc502 at 3:39 PM CDT
Monday, 4 October 2010
Fixing Afghanistan- Photos
Mood: a-ok
Now Playing:
Topic: political
The goal is to transform Afghanistan into a modern nation, fueled by a U.S.-led effort pouring $60 billion into bringing electricity, clean water, jobs, roads and education to this crippled country. But the results so far — or lack of them — threaten to do more harm than good.

The reconstruction efforts have stalled and stumbled at many turns since the U.S. military arrived in 2001, undermining President Barack Obama’s vow to deliver a safer, stable Afghanistan capable of stamping out the insurgency and keeping al-Qaida from re-establishing its bases here.

Poppy fields thrive, with each harvest of illegal opium fattening the bankrolls of terrorists and drug barons. Passable roads remain scarce and unprotected, isolating millions of Afghans who remain cut off from jobs and education.

Electricity flows to only a fraction of the country’s 29 million people.

Case in point: a $100 million diesel-fueled power plant that was supposed to be built swiftly to deliver electricity to more than 500,000 residents of Kabul, the country’s largest city. The plant’s costs tripled to $305 million as construction lagged a year behind schedule, and now it often sits idle because the Afghans were able to import cheaper power from a neighboring country before the plant came online.

What went wrong?

The failures of the power plant project are, in many ways, the failures of often ill-conceived efforts to modernize Afghanistan:

The Afghans fell back into bad habits that favored short-term, political decisions over wiser, long-term solutions. The U.S. wasted money and might by deferring to the looming deadline and seeming desirability of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s 2009 re-election efforts. And a U.S. contractor benefited from a development program that essentially gives vendors a blank check, allowing them to reap millions of dollars in additional profits with no consequences for mistakes. Rebuilding Afghanistan is an international effort, but the U.S. alone has committed $51 billion to the project since 2001, and plans to raise the stakes to $71 billion over the next year — more than it has spent on reconstruction in Iraq since 2003.

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


An Afghan refugee lights his gas lamp outside his tent in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan consumes less energy per person than any other country in the world, even after years of reconstruction efforts, according to data compiled by the U.S. government.(AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A man fixes power lines in Kabul, Afghanistan. Rebuilding Afghanistan is an international effort, but the U.S. alone has committed $51 billion to the project since 2001, and plans to raise the stakes to $71 billion over the next year Å�ƒ more than it has spent on reconstruction in Iraq since 2003. (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A shopkeeper waits for customers using a gas lamp in Kabul, Afghanistan. The number of Afghans with access to electricity has only inched up from 6 percent in 2001 to an estimated 10 percent now, well short of the development goal to provide power to 65 percent of urban and 25 percent of rural households by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


An Afghan man selling bananas walks in rain in Kabul. The U.S. and other international donors had spent years helping Afghanistan develop an energy strategy, one focused on reducing the country’s reliance on diesel as a primary power source, since it was too costly and too hard to acquire. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A man operates a diesel power generator in Kabul, Afghanistan. Too many major projects are not delivering what was promised to the people, and rapidly dumping billions of reconstruction dollars into such an impoverished country is in some ways making matters worse, not better, Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal says. (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A man sits in a diesel generator room in Kabul, Afghanistan. Reconstruction efforts have stalled and stumbled at many turns since the U.S. military arrived in 2001, undermining President Barack Obama’s vow to deliver a safer, stableÄ�˜AfghanistanÄ�˜capable of stamping out the insurgency and keeping al-Qaida from re-establishing its bases here. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A man operates a diesel power generator in Kabul, Afghanistan. A new power plant constructed by the U.S. has run into problems and cost overuns. (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


An Afghan refugee playing with his son is silhouetted inside a tent in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan consumes less energy per person than any other country in the world, even after years of reconstruction efforts, according to data compiled by the U.S. government. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


An Afghan blacksmith works in his shop in Kabul, Afghanistan. Despite spending millions of dollars over more than six years studying the nation’s natural gas fields in the north, no plan is in place to tap that substantial resource for power. And a huge project to expand hydropower in the south that already has cost about $90 million is delayed by continued fighting in the region, which has long been a Taliban stronghold. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A guard stands over the Tarakhil power plant in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. The $305 million diesel power plant represents the biggest single investment the U.S. has made thus far to light up the country. It has been dubbed the most expensive plant of its type in the world, sitting in one of the world’s poorest countries. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

In Focus: Fixing Afghanistan


A worker checks machines inside the Tarakhil power plant in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. The diesel plant that was supposed to serve Kabul was not ready to be turned over to the Afghan government until May 2010. Today, it runs mostly only for short periods, producing only a fraction of its promised 100 million watts of power. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Posted by dmacc502 at 9:16 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, 4 October 2010 9:19 AM CDT
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Edgar Allan Poe
Mood: a-ok
Topic: literature

Biography of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan PoePoe was born in Massachusetts, the son of travelling actors David and Elizabeth Arnold Poe. His mother died when he was two and his father was an alcoholic, so Poe went to live with a prosperous Scottish tobacco merchant, John Allan, in Richmond. Allan always refused to adopt Poe which led to bad feeling between the two of them.

Poe was educated at Stoke Newington in London from 1815-20. Despite considerable academic success his gambling debts forced him to leave the University of Virginia, where he had gone to study, after one year. By 1827 Poe, with typical restlessness, had moved from Boston to Richmond and then back to Boston again. He gained a good reputation in the army which he joined in 1827, but spent a miserable year at the US Military Academy at West Point in 1830, before being dishonourably discharged.

Poe stayed in Baltimore from 1831-35 and began writing more seriously. In 1836 he married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia. He had been working as a journalist since 1831, earning a bare minimum to survive, and from 1835-37 edited the Southern Literary Messenger.

His short stories reveal a fascination with emotional extremes, particularly fear, though his essays show that he was capable of being objective and critical.

In 1844 Poe moved to New York, but despite popular acclaim his life was still wretched. Virginia died of tuberculosis in 1847 and Poe, still poor and an alcoholic, died in Baltimore two years later.


Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!

My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
‘Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be- that dream eternally
Continuing- as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood- should it thus be given,
‘Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revell’d, when the sun was bright
I’ the summer sky, in dreams of living light
And loveliness,- have left my very heart
In climes of my imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought- what more could I have seen?
‘Twas once- and only once- and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass- some power
Or spell had bound me- ’twas the chilly wind
Came o’er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit- or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly- or the stars- howe’er it was
That dream was as that night-wind- let it pass.

I have been happy, tho’ in a dream.
I have been happy- and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid coloring of life,
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality, which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love- and all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.


Posted by dmacc502 at 6:00 PM CDT
Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010
Mood: a-ok
Topic: media

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010. Denver Post

Posted Sep 30, 2010


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Villagers look for survivors in the aftermath of a landslide that buried hundreds of homes in Santa Maria Tlauiltoltepec in Oaxaca state, Mexico on September 29, 2010. A landslide has left 11 people missing in the southeastern Mexican state of Oaxaca, the latest toll from an intense hurricane season that has brought heavy rains and floods.

A demonstrator throws jeans after assaulting a Levi’s store in Barcelona. Spanish workers staged a general strike Wednesday to protest austerity measures imposed by a government struggling to slash its budget deficit and overcome recession.

A boy is silhouetted in front of a washing line at Utmanzai relief camp near Charsadda, northwest Pakistan, on September 24, 2010. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the floods in Pakistan “the worst natural disaster the United Nations has responded to in its 65-year history. Ban Ki-moon requested a record two billion dollar international aid effort for the Asian country, four times his initial request.

Each week, the Denver Post compiles some of the week’s most poignant photos from around the world.

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


Fans watch from an upper deck while a thunderstorm approaches Bill Snyder Family Stadium during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game between Central Florida and Kansas State Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 in Manhattan, Kan. Play was suspended in the game due to lightning. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


In this Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, a Minotaur 4 rocket carrying the Space Based Space Surveillance satellite blasts off and heads toward orbit at 9:41 p.m., at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The satellite is designed to detect and monitor debris, satellites and other space objects that could be a threat to national security, communications and weather satellites. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Andrew Lee)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


A man walks on a path as fog rises over the lake at Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


A man comforts a grieving woman near the scene of a shooting in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. Five people, including a toddler, were shot, according to police. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


A Hindu devotee prays at Bharatkund in Faizabad, India, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. Bharatkund is a pilgrimage site for Hindus mainly for performing rites and rituals for the souls of the departed. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


Bethany Storro, who falsely claimed a stranger threw acid in her face, walks out of court in Vancouver, Wash., Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


Flood waters surround a condominium’s pool in Carolina Beach, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


Tourists stand below the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday Sept. 29, 2010. Brazil will hold general elections Oct. 3. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


A model shows a creation, part of Serbian-born designer Nana Aganovich Spring-Summer 2011 fashion collection, presented in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


Antoine Fesnell, right, prays as his daughters Nicole, 9, center, and Antoine, 6, look on during mass in the rubble of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday Sept. 26, 2010. Fesnell’s wife died in the magnitude-7 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010 and killed a government-estimated 300,000 people and left millions homeless. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Pictures of the Week: September 30, 2010


TOPSHOTS Belarus team performs with the hoops during the group apparatus final at the 30th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Moscow on September 26, 2010. KIVRIN-GOLOVANOV/AFP/Getty Images


Posted by dmacc502 at 8:17 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 2 October 2010 8:20 AM CDT
Friday, 1 October 2010
Song- Friling
Mood: special
Now Playing: Friling
Topic: family

Ikh blondzhe in geto
Fun gesl tsu gesl
Un ken nit gefinen keyn ort
Nito iz mayn liber,
Vi trogt men ariber?
Mentshn, o zogt khotsh a vort.
Es laykht oyf mayn heym itst
Der himl der bloyer
Vos zhe hob ikh itst derfun?
Ikh shtey vi a betler
Bay yetvidn toyre
Un betl a bisele zun.

Friling, nem tsu mayn troyer
Un breng mayn libstn
Maynt trayen tsurik
Friling oyf dayne fligl bloye
O, nem mayn harts mit
Un gib es op mayn glik.

Ikh gey tsu der arbet
Farbay undzer shtibl
In troyer, der toyer farmakht.
Der tog a tsehelter
Di blumen farvelkte,
Zey vanynen, far zey iz oykn nakht.
Far nakht oyf tsurikvegs,
Es noyet der troyer,
Ot do hostu libster gevart.
Ot do inem shotn
Nokh kentik dayn trot iz,
Flegt kushn mikh liblekh un tsart


S’iz hay-yor der friling
Gor fri ongekumen,
Tseblit hot zikh benkshaft nokh dir,
Ikh ze dikh vi itster
Balodn mit blumen,
A freydiker geystu tsu mir.
Di zun hot fargosn
Dem gortn mist shtraln,
Tseshprotst hot di erd zikh in grin
Mayn trayer, mayn libster,
Vu bistu farfaln?
Du geyst nit aroys fun mayn zin.


I wander through the ghetto
From lane to lane
Useless, no solace I find.
My beloved is gone
How can I go on?
Someone, oh say just a word!
My house is aglow now
The sky’s like a blue dome
But what is there left in my life?
I stand like a beggar
At each of these doorways
And beg for a little bit of sun

Springtime, please take my sorrow
And bring my loved one,
My dear one back to me.
Springtime, upon your wings of blue
Take my heart with you
And bring love back to me

I go to my work
And pass by our small house
In sadness, the door is closed tight
The days is full of sunlight
But flowers won’t bloom now,
They’re wilting, for them too it’s night
At night when returning
The sadness is burning
Right here love, you waited for me
Right here in the shadows
I still hear your footsteps
You kissed me so passionately


Springtime is with us
This year very early
My longing for you is in bloom.
I see you before me
Adorned with spring flowers
Smiling, you will greet me soon
The sun’s rays have lit up
The garden with sunlight,
Turning the hard earth to green.
My dearest, my loved one
Are you gone forever?
I can’t get you out of my mind.


English – singable Translation
This moving song memorializes the author’s wife who perished in the ghetto.

Written by the poet after the death of his wife in April 1943. Kaczerginski joined the partisan forces following the liquidation of the ghetto in September 1943. After the war he compiled several hundred poems and song lyrics. He survived the war to meet his death in a plane crash in 1954. The music is by Abraham Brudno, who, following the liquidation of the ghetto was deported to a concentration camp in Estonia, where he died.
(from liner notes to “We are Here – Songs of Remembrance, Hope, and Celbrat)

About Chava Alberstein’s Yiddish Songs album
Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908-1954 Poet Partisan of Vilna)
Abrom Brudno (Died in the Holocaust 1943)
Chava Alberstein
Margaritkalach (1994) Track 1
Yiddish Songs (2000)
Words transliterated and translated by George Jakubovits of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
English – singable translation by George Jakubovits of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Where do I buy this song online?
For all other CDs, DVDs, Books, Gifts and products click on the Jewish Australia Online Shop
Contact the publisher of Hebrew

English – singable translation
I walk through the Ghetto
alone and forsaken,
There’s no-one to care for me now.
And how can you live
when your love has been taken,
Will somebody please show me how?
I know that it’s springtime,
and birdsong, and sunshine,
All nature seems happy and free,
But locked in the Ghetto
I stand like a beggar,
I beg for
some sunshine for me.

what good is springtime,
What good is sunshine,
when he is away?
you shine upon my sorrow,
but still tomorrow
Is as bleak as today.

The house that we lived in
is now barricaded,
The windows are broken and bare.
The sun is so fierce
that the flowers have faded,
They wilt in the wintery air.
Each morning, each evening
I have to walk past it,
Hiding my eyes from the sight
The place where you loved me
the place where you kissed me,
The place where you held me so tight.


How thoughtful,
how kind of the heavenly powers
To send spring so early this year.
Why thank you for coming,
I see you brought flowers
You want me to welcome you here?
They say that the Ghetto
is golden and glowing
But sunlight and tears make me blind.
You see, my beloved,
how soon they start flowing
I can’t get you out of my mind.



Posted by dmacc502 at 8:49 PM CDT
Shop floor reflects changes in Belfast
Mood: a-ok
Topic: global

Shop floor reflects changes in Belfast

In 1989, Bombardier bought Short Brothers, the Belfast airplane manufacturer with a history older than Boeing. Since then the Canadian company…

By Dominic Gates Seattle Times aerospace reporter

In 1989, Bombardier bought Short Brothers, the Belfast airplane manufacturer with a history older than Boeing. Since then the Canadian company has invested $1.4 billion in modern manufacturing equipment, completely updating the operation.

That’s not the only modernization under way. As recently as the 1980s, Shorts, as it was known, was like most of Belfast’s industrial base a stronghold of Protestant discrimination against Roman Catholics.

The politics of Belfast — a Victorian industrial city, built on textile mills and shipbuilding, with airplanes a later addition — was mired in tribal animosity stretching back to the 17th century.

The city’s industrial jobs were largely reserved for what Americans refer to as Scotch-Irish, the descendants of Protestants who originally came mostly from Scotland. The longer-established Gaelic Irish community, which was Catholic, was actively excluded.

The Titanic, for example, was built in Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard in 1911 — a massive project on a scale comparable to a new airplane program at Boeing. But the men who built it were almost exclusively Protestant.

Every July, commemorating a Protestant victory in a battle three hundred years ago, the inside of the Shorts factory was emblazoned with sectarian flags and emblems offensive or intimidating to Catholics.

Very few Catholics worked at Shorts through the late 1960s, when a civil-rights movement modeled on the black civil-rights movement in the U.S. began to agitate for change and compelled the British government to pass anti-discrimination laws.

Before that legislation could make a difference, the peaceful civil-rights movement gave way to a long terrorist war of attrition between the Irish Republican Army, the British, and various illegal Protestant paramiltary groups. Northern Ireland’s two communities became even more polarized.

About 40 percent of the Northern Irish population is Catholic, but in the early 1980s, less than 5 percent of the Shorts work force was Catholic, said Bombardier Belfast spokesman Alec McRitchie.

Yet when Bombardier (based, ironically, in largely Roman Catholic Quebec) bought Shorts, its timing was fortuitous. “The Troubles,” as Ulster’s civil war was known, edged toward a solution by the mid-1990s and Northern Ireland’s political leaders finally agreed on a framework of government that rooted out discrimination.

Today, any personal display inside the factory that might be seen as sectarian — even wearing the soccer shirt of a team associated with one side of the community — is banned.

Although Bombardier has not hired heavily in the past couple of decades, thanks to affirmative action and outreach, the proportion of Catholics in the work force has climbed to approximately 17 percent, McRitchie said

“The religious affiliation of the annual intakes of apprentices and graduates has for some time reflected the religious breakdown of the Belfast travel-to-work area,” McRitchie said.

Another person close to the Bombardier Belfast shop floor said that although sectarian attitudes linger among a few older workers, open expression of religious bigotry is no longer acceptable, and among younger workers, “it’s a thing of the past.”

Bombardier is a rare bright spot in the Northern Irish economy, which otherwise remains largely stagnant despite the political stability.

With the CSeries wing plant projecting 800 new jobs, young Catholics in Northern Ireland can now aspire, as they never could before, to a career in aviation.


Posted October 20, 2010 by dmacc502 in Uncategorized

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