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28 June 2008

Taiko master Daihachi Oguchi dies

Master taiko drummer Daihachi Oguchi has died:

Oguchi was crossing the street when he was struck by the car Thursday. He was rushed to the hospital but died of excessive bleeding early Friday, said Yuken Yagasaki of Osuwa Daiko, the group in Nagano prefecture (state) in northern Japan that Oguchi had led.

Oguchi helped found top U.S. taiko groups, including San Francisco Taiko Dojo, which has performed in Hollywood movies and on international tours since its founding 40 years ago.

A former jazz musician, Oguchi was one of the first to elevate the traditional folk sounds of taiko to modern music played in concert halls, not just festivals and shrines.

[ht to Ashe]

Japan Probe 6/27/08 3:42 PM James General Japan taiko Comments

Cambiar el cartel


socialismo_o_muerte1.gif

Hay definiciones, consignas y formas de llamar las cosas que siguen usándose por puro automatismo, aunque en la realidad poco quede que justifique esos apelativos. Se sigue hablando de una igualdad social que no logro encontrar por ninguna parte, de una soberanía que contrasta con nuestra dependencia real de los mercados extranjeros y de una ideología que no asoma sus principios en medio de este "seudo-capitalismo de Estado".

Podremos seguir con el mismo cartel sobre la puerta, pero eso no hará que la realidad se parezca a lo que en él se anuncia. Por ejemplo -en la foto de arriba- un árbol creció y tapó parte de la numantina opción "Socialismo o muerte". La vida terminó por ridiculizar la extrema elección que nos proponía ese slogan. Unas gruesas ramas con hojas verdes cubrieron la mención a "la pelona", y crearon una disyuntiva diferente a aquella que nos gritaban desde la tribuna, en los años más duros del Período Especial.

Un pequeño retoño amenaza con tapar también la palabra "socialismo". ¿No será ya el momento de cambiar el cartel?

Generación Y 6/28/08 6:06 PM Yoani Sanchez Generación Y Comments

Ain't I a Mommy? | Reproductive Justice and Gender


The absence of black mommy memoirs mirrors the relative absence of black women's voices in mainstream U.S. media discourse about motherhood in general. In particular, this discourse is concerned with how women balance the demands of family and careers, and with the decision by some college-educated women to opt out of the labor force altogether and remain at home with their children...

African-American News 6/28/08 11:56 AM

24 June 2008

Weather Report

State Probes Ex-Mayview Patients Deaths, Arrests
The state is investigating a series of violent incidents involving people who have received psychiatric treatment at Mayview State Hospital.

Political Redistricting Shifts Debate
After nearly losing to a political rookie in 2000, then-House Majority Leader John Perzel found a way to survive in elections to come: he had his Northeast Philadelphia...

Viral Video Tips From Queen Rania
In 4 steps, Jordan’s Queen Rania shows you how to create video clips designed break down stereotypes.
It’s fascinating to watch what Rania is doing with YouTube and how she’s using it as a platform to encourage understanding between cultures. 
Does it still count as citizen media, though, when you’re the Queen of Jordan?

World Refugee Day evawhite.com
World Refugee Day started out as Africa Refugee Day. Africa has the highest numbers of refugees in the world perhaps resulting from a higher level or civic unrest, human displacement and tragedy. So what is the relevance of this day today? Well the fact is that there are some 40 million refugees world wide today.

Fwd: » World Refugee Day evawhite.com



Begin forwarded message:

From: jim reid <augenreid@mac.com>
Date: June 24, 2008 12:08:41 AM EDT
Subject: » World Refugee Day evawhite.com

World Refugee day started out as Africa Refugee Day. Africa has the highest numbers of refugees in the world perhaps resulting from a higher level or civic unrest, human displacement and tragedy. So what is the relevance of this day today? Well the fact is that there are some 40 million refugees world wide today;


NewsCloud.com Front Page 6/23/08 10:49 AM



State Probes Ex-Mayview Patients Deaths, Arrests



Begin forwarded message:

From: jim reid <augenreid@mac.com>
Date: June 24, 2008 12:10:12 AM EDT
Subject: State Probes Ex-Mayview Patients Deaths, Arrests

The state is investigating a series of violent incidents involving people who have received psychiatric treatment at Mayview State Hospital.

Cheap T-shirts

Cheap T-shirts
Why shoppers are finding it harder to plead ignorance.

BBC News 6/23/08 7:10 AM Magazine

20 More A-bomb Victims Recognized

NAGASAKI (Kyodo) The Nagasaki District Court on Monday recognized 20 of 27 plaintiffs as having illnesses caused by radiation from the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, declaring illegal the government's decisions not to grant them certification. Earlier this month, the government decided not to appeal rulings delivered by high courts in Sendai and Osaka in late May, both of which recognized all the plaintiffs in those suits as having radiation-induced ailments, including plaintiffs who do not meet new criteria set by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in April.

Read the full story
The Japan Times: All Stories 6/18/08 4:37 PM

More People Dying Alone

More people dying alone
Many elderly people die alone these days. The breakup of the extended family structure amid the march of urbanization as well as, possibly, the accompanying economic decline in rural areas may be responsible for weakening human bonds. To discuss the issue of dying alone, four government bodies — the internal affairs ministry, the health and welfare ministry, the national police agency, and the infrastructure and transport ministry — set up a panel of experts. The panel calls for reviving the sense of community among people in general and helping elderly people feel that they have a role to...

Read the full story
The Japan Times: All Stories 6/18/08 4:12 PM

Acid violence is damaging the nerve of women…………….


Acid violence is becoming a very worse practice in Bangladesh while a millions of women are under threat of being a victim of it. It is creating a lot of crime in every society of this country especially in the villages where girls are incredibly denied about their rights.
 Acid violence makes a lot of consequences on the life of women life. When someone threats to throw acid to a woman's face the family becomes afraid and tries to give her marry as early as possible. Therefore, t...
GroundReport.com 6/23/08 3:47 AM

Cheap T-shirts


Why shoppers are finding it harder to plead ignorance
BBC News 6/23/08 7:10 AM Magazine

Viral Video Tips From Queen Rania


In 4 steps, Jordan's Queen Rania shows you how to create video clips designed break down stereotypes.

It's fascinating to watch what Rania is doing with YouTube and how she's using it as a platform to encourage understanding between cultures. 

Does it still count as citizen medi, though, when you're the Queen of Jordan?

Podcasting News 6/23/08 10:41 AM James Lewin Citizen Media Video Video Podcasts Muslims Queen Rania YouTube Comments

Political Redistricting Shifts Debate


After nearly losing to a political rookie in 2000, then-House Majority Leader John Perzel found a way to survive in elections to come: he had his Northeast Philadelphia...

State Probes Ex-Mayview Patients Deaths, Arrests


The state is investigating a series of violent incidents involving people who have received psychiatric treatment at Mayview State Hospital.

» World Refugee Day evawhite.com


World Refugee day started out as Africa Refugee Day. Africa has the highest numbers of refugees in the world perhaps resulting from a higher level or civic unrest, human displacement and tragedy. So what is the relevance of this day today? Well the fact is that there are some 40 million refugees world wide today;

NewsCloud.com Front Page 6/23/08 10:49 AM

23 June 2008

The Secret of Marlboro's Success: Freebase Nicotine


title=class="imageMost American cigarette makers including Philip Morris (PM) have used ammonia in their manufacturing processes for decades, to "puff up" tobacco to increase its volume, highlight certain flavors, help hold together reconstituted tobacco sheet and reduce the amount of nicotine in tobacco. Lesser known, though, is that tobacco companies use ammonia to "freebase" the nicotine in smoke, essentially turning naturally-occurring nicotine into "crack nicotine." Freebase nicotine is absorbed by the body more quickly and easily, resulting in a faster, harder "kick" after lighting up. Using ammonia has allowed tobacco companies to lower the tar and nicotine levels in cigarettes while still keeping smokers addicted, a chemical strategy they applied to deal with the health fears surrounding cigarettes. PM was the first to use "ammonia technology" this way, applying it to Marlboros in the 1960s. After the change, Marlboro zoomed from a minor brand to a runaway market success, causing the other cigarette makers to scramble to discover PM's "secret." After PM was accused of intentionally manipulating the nicotine deliveries of its cigarettes, the company pointed to all the other uses for ammonia to defend itself against the charge.


Center for Media and Democracy - Publishers of PR Watch 6/23/08 6:21 PM Anne Landman corporations education ethics health human rights issue management science secrecy tobacco Comments

Plan Puts End to Pigs in Delta Cities


No new pig farms will be allowed to be built near waterways in the Pearl River Delta, as Guangdong seeks to protect its natural resources and develop large-scale pig-rearing bases in less populated areas, the provincial government said yest ...
China 6/23/08 8:51 PM

Pittsburgh Cloud Press 23JUN08

Venezuela: Amid Despair in a Venezuelan Prison, Strains of Hope From a Music Program


June 23, 2008
Los Teques Journal
Amid Despair in a Venezuelan Prison, Strains of Hope From a Music Program
By SIMON ROMERO
NY Times

LOS TEQUES, Venezuela — When Nurul Asyiqin Ahmad was taken seven months ago to her cell at the National Institute of Feminine Orientation, a prison perched on a hill in this city of slums on the outskirts of Caracas, learning how to play Beethoven was one of the last things on her mind.

"The despair gripped me, like a nightmare had become my life," said Ms. Ahmad, 26, a shy law student from Malaysia who claims she is innocent of charges of trying to smuggle cocaine on a flight from Caracas to Paris. "But when the music begins, I am lifted away from this place." Ms. Ahmad plays violin and sings in the prison's orchestra.


In a project extending Venezuela's renowned system of youth orchestras to some of the country's most hardened prisons, Ms. Ahmad and hundreds of other prisoners are learning a repertory that includes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and folk songs from the Venezuelan plains.

The budding musicians include murderers, kidnappers, thieves and, here at the women's prison, dozens of narcomulas, or drug mules, as small-scale drug smugglers are called. The project, which began a year ago, is expanding this year to five prisons from three.

"This is our attempt to achieve the humanization of prison life," said Kleiberth Lenin Mora, 32, a lawyer who helped create the prison orchestras, modeling them on the system that teaches tens of thousands of poor children in Venezuela classical music. "We start with the simple idea that performing music lifts the human being to another level."

Few nations have prison systems as much in need of humanizing as Venezuela, where 498 inmates out of a total population of 21,201 were killed in 2007, according to the Venezuelan Prison Observatory, a group that monitors prison violence.

The women's prison, the scene of gang fights and hunger strikes by inmates in recent months, is not immune to this violence. But it is not all bleak. Inmates have free access to the Internet. They can pay to use cellphones. A commissary sells soft drinks and junk food.

And now INOF (pronounced like the word "enough"), the acronym the prison is known by in Spanish, has its orchestra, which most of the more than 300 women incarcerated here opt to avoid. But the 40 or so who have joined find themselves enmeshed in an experience that was unexpected in their lives in prison and in their lives out of prison.

"Before this my music was reggaetón," said Irma González, 29, a street vendor serving a six-year sentence for robbery, referring to the fusion of reggae, hip-hop and Latin pop that is widely popular in Venezuelan slums. Now she plays the double bass. Her proudest moment, she said, was when her four children, ages 14, 13, 10 and 9, recently came here to watch her play.

"When they applauded me, I finally felt useful in this life," said Ms. González. Like other participants, she hopes to reduce her term by playing in the orchestra, which judges may consider the equivalent of hours of study.

Officials say it is too early to tell whether the project will improve overall conditions here and at the two prisons for men where it started, in the Andean states of Mérida and Táchira. No stars have emerged like Gustavo Dudamel, the 27-year-old from the youth-orchestra system named as the next music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

For now, the project, which receives $3 million in funding from President Hugo Chávez's government and the Inter-American Development Bank, takes baby steps. It staged its first public performance last month in Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas. And it insists its participants hew to a few specific rules.

For instance, no one can threaten the professors, many of whom are drawn from the youth-orchestra system. Everyone must speak clearly during discussions in the daily practice sessions. Everyone must stand up straight and take care of his or her instrument. Smoking and chewing tobacco are not allowed.

The orchestra at INOF is one of the most cosmopolitan in Venezuela. Many of the inmates are foreigners arrested on drug-smuggling charges. Women from Colombia, Spain, Malaysia and the Netherlands play instruments or sing in the chorus alongside Venezuelans.

"I drain away my bad thoughts in the orchestra," said Joanny Aldana, 29, a viola player serving a nine-year sentence for kidnapping and auto theft. Like some of the other inmates, she is imprisoned here with her child, a 2-year-old daughter. Still, she despairs sometimes.

"There's the pain of my children, of having destroyed my life, my youth," Ms. Aldana said.

Perhaps no amount of music can make up for such loss. Perhaps that explains the fervor with which some of the women play their instruments or sing. It is not uncommon to see one of them shedding a tear when a certain note is struck.

For Yusveisy Torrealba, 18, that moment comes when the chorus sings a few words from "Caramba," the folk song by the Venezuelan composer Otilio Galíndez performed with the cuatro, a four-string guitar. Ms. Torrealba was caught in April taking cocaine on a flight to Orlando, Fla.

In her soft voice, she sang these lines for a visitor one recent afternoon:

Caramba, my love, caramba

The things we have missed

The gossip I could only hear

Between the rocks of the river.

"Caramba," she repeated quietly, as if contemplating how much time remained in an eight-year sentence that began last month. "The only thing keeping me together is this music."

Sandra La Fuente P. contributed reporting.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/world/americas/23venezuela.html?scp=3&sq=Venezuela&st=nyt


22 June 2008

Word Cloud

Tao/

New Trends in Baby Shower Favors Point to Simple Pleasures and Enjoyment


Hosting a baby shower can be fun and tiring, but maintaining a focus on the purpose can make all the details fall into place. Keeping the process simple and organized not only ensures a success, but

Mongol


Matt Yglesias offers a good review of this excellent movie, which chronicles the early life of Genghis Khan, or one vision thereof.  There are at least two increasing returns to scale mechanisms in this movie.  First, leadership is focal, which tends to bind groups together and make concentrated rule possible.  Winning battles makes you focal and winning larger battles makes you focal across larger groups.  Second, if you walk or ride alone in the countryside, you will be snatched or plundered.  That causes people to live in settlements and also larger cities.  Put those mechanisms together, solve for equilibrium, and eventually one guy rules a very large kingdom and you get some semblance of free trade.  Sooner or later, that is.  The movie brings you only part of the way there and I believe a sequel is in the works.


Marginal Revolution 6/22/08 2:35 PM Tyler Cowen Film History

Around 500 Tibetan separatists detained in Nepali capital

Nepali police on Saturday afternoon detained about 500 Tibetan separatists involved in anti-China activities in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu.

The separatists thronged the visa office of the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, chanting slog ...

China 6/21/08 9:53 PM

There's a Tenth Amendment?


The list of things that the Fed Gov is doing but does not have authority to do because of the 10th Amendment is staggering. The reason federal politicians ignore the 10th is that they would have little to do if the 10th were applied as intended by the Founding Fathers ...

Channel: Politics Tags: tenth amendment oklahoma sovereignty states rights government

Propeller.com Hot Stories 6/21/08 6:20 PM populist Array Array Array Array Array Comments

The 10 Most Common Foreign Cities Americans Get Arrested


Over 2,500 Americans are arrested abroad annually. More than 30% of these arrests are drug related. Over 70% of drug related arrests involve marijuana or cocaine.

Channel: Travel Tags: americans arrest mexico canada united kingdom china toronto london tijuana hong kong drugs

Propeller.com Hot Stories 6/21/08 6:10 PM Neophile Array Array Array Array Array Array Array Array Array Array Array Comments

It’s a Riot: Part 2


Quick Links
Welcome to Kanji Curiosity | The Basics | Glossary

How odd it is that "She's a riot!" means someone's funny. English speakers even say that something's "riotously funny." I've never been to a riot, but from the photos I've seen, nothing amusing happens at such events.

riot.jpg
Riot After an Election
Photo Credit: Daniel Meyer

In Japanese, too, there seems to be a fine line between riots and merrymaking. Take this word, for instance:

(sōran: riot, disturbance)     clamor + disorder

Last week we saw how (SŌ, sawa(gu): clamor, noise, disturbance; to make a fuss) plays a part in 大騒ぎ (ōsawagi), which means "shocking events." Now we see that in 騒乱, the same kanji helps to cause a riot.

If you flip 騒乱 and add a "foolish spirit" to it, your riot turns into a party:

乱痴気騒ぎ (ranchiki sawagi: boisterous merrymaking)
     disorder + foolish + spirit + clamor

And if you'd like to "make merry" in a different way, here's another option:

底抜け騒ぎ (sokonuke sawagi: boisterous merrymaking)
     bottom + to remove + clamor

Ah, 底抜け (sokonuke) breaks down as bottom + to remove and means "bottomless"! And no, even though there's boisterous merrymaking at hand, we're not talking about bottomless pants (a la David Lee Roth).

Further Notes on Bottomlessness …

Boisterous merrymaking is one thing, but what about when the fun becomes disorderly? Then you have this situation:

悪騒ぎ (warusawagi: disorderly merrymaking; making a fuss without considering the annoyance it causes others)     bad + clamor

Disorderly merrymaking? Not allowed! First, you need to clean off your desk and get your files in order, aligning your stapler just so and disentangling your paper clips. Only then is it OK to have fun!

(more̷ ;)

JapanesePod101.com Blog 6/13/08 10:03 AM Eve Kushner Kanji Curiosity Comments

US schoolgirls make pregnancy pact


A small fishing town in Massachusetts is coming to terms with the news that 17 teenage girls at the local high school are pregnant, almost half of them having entered a pact to have babies and raise the children collectively. Teachers at the 1 200-student Gloucester High School first noticed something strange last October.
Mail & Guardian Online 6/21/08 9:16 PM Ed Pilkington International

YouTube - Social crisis in Detroit


The World Socialist Web Site interviewed workers and professionals in Detroit about the worsening social conditions as gas prices and food prices soar through the roof. In this clip, our reporters spoke with Jada Browning a young mother of three who recently lost her job.

NewsCloud.com Front Page 6/21/08 9:15 PM

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