Gislena’s Weblog

Hi! this is going to be about whatever i think and find on the web

  • Bookmark and Share
  • Kings of Chaos!!

    http://www.kingsofchaos.com/recruit.php?uniqid=6973n4zs
  • Flickr Photos

    IJmuiden

    More Photos
  • Fallen Sword!

art of feng shui

Posted by gislena on 5 September 2008

Feng Shui ( pronounced fong sway ) is an ancient science based on the belief that everything in the universe is either positive or negative energy. ( Yin and Yang ) This energy is called Chi, and the science/art of Feng Shui is the use and arrangement of positive objects to counteract the negative objects in your environment. It has been practiced for thousands of years in China. The Forbidden City was the largest Feng Shui project ever constructed. Every detail of the palace complex was studied and approved by the finest Feng Shui priests of the time. In fact, because there was no mountain behind the palace, they built one.

All over the world there has been a boom in interest in feng shui and contrary to popular belief, the application of feng shui need not be oriental. Traditional people all over the world have observed, recorded and reached an understanding of the ways in which different places and homes affect one’s well being and fortune.

Urban life everywhere, and particularly in the West, has become a remote controlled, instant food and push-button society. As a result we have become alien to the natural world, thereby exposing ourselves to increasing levels of toxicity, pollution and cramped living environments Feng shui is all about movement of energy and balance.  The underlying principle of feng shui is that everything in your overall and immediate surroundings which can be as basic as the smallest details of furnishing and decor, can either work in favor of your well being and your aims and goals, or go against you. 

The human body is a measure of all things in the Universe.  A structure cannot be put up without a plan or design.  The importance of aligning rooms and corners, and applying calculations that will be in harmony with nature, is the fundamental concept of feng shui. 

There are subtle currents of energy called ‘Chi’ which flows through our body and through everything in the universe.  If we understand the Chi, we can arrange our living and working environments to help us to achieve our goals. 

However we should bear in mind the fact that energy is not just about aligning the space and place of dwelling.  It also relates to the energy of the individual.  This is referred to as the “inner feng shui.” It goes without saying that it is vital to maintain the food energy balance for healthy living. 

The character Chi represents the fundamental energy of the Universe.  We are all born with plentiful supply of Chi, but as we grow, it is used up.  It needs to be restored and the source of that essential replenishment is food. 

In today’s era in which everything is just whirl and go, everyone has become obsessed with speed.  Most people view food as a mere facility and that is why so many people suffer from digestion problems. A cook needs basic elements like Water, Fire, Air, Metal and Earth.  The earth is the basic platform on which nearly all activities take place, and this includes cooking as well.  Any contemporary kitchen consists or must consist of the same five fundamental elements. The best feng shui advice is to prepare and cook food in a room that is separated from the rest of the living space.  Chinese cooking methods range across a spectrum that embraces the polar energies of Yin and Yang.  When we classify food further on the basis of their preparations, we get Yin food and Yang food. 

Plants and the position in which they are placed contribute to the positive feel of any space.  In feng shui, plants have an important role.  It is said that they bring life force or Prana into the home and keep the air clean.  Plants should be strong and healthy.  Sick plants and plants which shed their leaves profusely should be avoided.  The energy in the plants varies depending on its shape and size. Upright plants with slightly pointed leaves are considered ‘yang’ and are generally used in the South Corners and in narrow areas to move the energy. 

Round leaves and drooping leaves are used to calm down strong energy and are preferred for the North Corners.

When we arrange our rooms and space, we must de-clutter the space to create the physical space for energy to flow. An important aspect of good feng shui is placements.  Take care to position objects in a way that it does not block energy flow.  When positioning sofa or furniture ensure that you always have a clear view of the door.  In feng shui, locating the right place to sleep or sit is called locating the ‘power spot.’   This is the place where you feel you have the most control and visibility.  But this should not be in line with the door receiving the strongest flow of Chi.

Remember, that we need space to live and move and certain guidelines based on sound commonsense, should govern the allocation of space and objects in it and this balance is what feng shui is all about.

Posted in biology, cómo hacer, chinos, history, lampara, lapiz, life, luz | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Van Gogh hidden´s picture

Posted by gislena on 31 July 2008

Two European scientists have used a new technique to probe beneath the paint of a work by Vincent van Gogh, recreating an underlying colour portrait of a woman’s face.

Van Gogh's Hidden Picture

Van Gogh's Hidden Picture

In a scientific paper published online Wednesday in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry, Joris Dik, a materials scientist at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and Koen Janssens, a chemist at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, unveiled the method they engineered to recreate hidden paintings.

They used high-intensity X-rays from a particle accelerator and an in-depth knowledge of old pigments to probe beneath Patch of Grass, a small oil study of a field that van Gogh painted in 1887. The painting is part of the van Gogh collection in the Kroller-Muller Museum near the Dutch city of Otterlo.

The underlying image they produced of a woman’s head may be a likeness of the model the painter used in a series of portraits leading up to his 1885 masterpiece, The Potato Eaters.

Teio Meedendorp, an independent van Gogh expert in Amsterdam, told the Associated Press that the underlying painting was probably painted between November 1884 and March 1885.

“I was surprised by the quality of the image, which is really promising for the future of research,” Meedendorp said.

The new method will allow art historians to obtain higher-quality and more detailed images of paintings underlying old masterpieces, providing insights into how the artists worked.

Although his paintings are now worth millions of dollars, van Gogh was virtually unknown during his lifetime and struggled financially before committing suicide in 1890. He often reused canvases, and it’s estimated that one-third of his works were painted on top of existing ones.

Posted in código, dormir, historia, indiana jones, invention, life, luz, oscuridad | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Some funny pictures :)

Posted by gislena on 29 July 2008

Los carteles más increíbles! (fotos)

Me topé con un sitio que alberga (y sigue haciéndolo) los carteles más increíbles que haya visto. Algunos son tan graciosos que me han sacado lagrimones de risa (y no me tiento fácil), algunos dan lástima por lo “analfabestias” que son.

Algunos de los mejores son:

“Fast Foot”… debe ser comida para salir corriendo rápido… al baño. De Quequén.

 

Vino patero... aunque seguramente patético también

Vino “patero”… aunque seguramente “patético” también

No me quiero imaginar el lugar donde reside el poder de Dios

No me quiero imaginar el lugar donde reside el “poder de Dios”

No seria tan loco... exceptuando el hecho de que es un cartel en una escuela primaria

No seria tan loco… exceptuando el hecho de que es un cartel en una escuela primaria.

Si alguien lo entiende, por favor que avise. Va ganando el si va del lado contrario lo atropella un carruaje que lo lleva al hospital

Si alguien lo entiende, por favor que avise. Va ganando el “si va del lado contrario lo atropella un carruaje que lo lleva al hospital”

Esto es lisa y llana discriminacion a las llamas, espero que dejen entrar perros...

Esto es lisa y llana discriminacion a las llamas, espero que dejen entrar perros…

Es para uno de los famosos arboles que dan elefantes y rinocerontes

Es para uno de los famosos arboles que dan elefantes y rinocerontes…

Y si son perros mariachis, moriran fusilados!

Y si son perros mariachis, moriran fusilados!

Al final que onda? Espero que el perro tenga mas decision que el dueño...

Al final que onda? Espero que el perro tenga mas decision que el dueño…

Despues no se quejen, estan avisados!

Despues no se quejen, estan avisados!

Es que los excrementos de las cajas son mortales. Muy acartonados.

Es que los excrementos de las cajas son mortales. Muy “acartonados”.

Eso, pase solo cuando el porton este abierto. No intente pasar con el porton cerrado porque con el roce lo gasta.

Eso, pase solo cuando el porton este abierto. No intente pasar con el porton cerrado porque con el roce lo gasta.

Vendran en caja con sus accesorios? Por suerte salen lo mismo que las comunes...

Vendran en caja con sus accesorios? Por suerte salen lo mismo que las “comunes”…

Milanesa de vaca sin preocupaciones, lista para la aventura...

Milanesa de vaca sin preocupaciones, lista para la aventura…

Todos aliens, por supuesto. Depredadores abstenerse.

Todos aliens, por supuesto. Depredadores abstenerse.

Dicen que bajo la delincuencia un 1493%...

Dicen que bajo la delincuencia un 1493%…

Si compran 1000 feng, 200 shui de regalo! Mas de 2000 feng-shui, envio sin cargo.

Si compran 1000 feng, 200 shui de regalo! Mas de 2000 feng-shui, envio sin cargo.

Publicidad cooperativa que se le dice...

“Publicidad cooperativa” que se le dice…

A hora voy y com pro al guno pa ra lle y var

Ahora compro alguno para lle y var

Claro, son los pollos deformes que se escapan corriendo del asesino con gorro.

Claro, son los pollos deformes que se escapan corriendo del asesino con gorro.

Cuidado, hombre semisentado con dos barriles va para atras.

Cuidado, hombre semisentado con dos barriles va para atras.

...y entonces?...

…y entonces?…

Son las camionetas que siempre le sacan todo el sueldo a uno y sólo quieren nafta super.

Son las camionetas que siempre le sacan todo el sueldo a uno y sólo quieren nafta super.

Para viejos verdes y onanistas

Para viejos verdes y onanistas

Deberia ser un cartel del Congreso. Avisan que no cierran y se disculpan por trabajar...

Deberia ser un cartel del Congreso. Avisan que no cierran y se disculpan por trabajar…

Ideal para llevar a su hijo...

Ideal para llevar a su hijo…

Son pollos con yean, vestidos a la moda

Son pollos con “yean”, vestidos a la moda.

Los acuaticos se agotaron...

Los acuaticos se agotaron…

Vienen con titulo universitario.

Vienen con titulo universitario.

Una sangria que jamas probare!

Una sangria que jamas probare!

Cuidado! Muerden, patean y se hacen pis y caca.

Cuidado! Muerden, patean y se hacen pis y caca.

Auspicia el Convento Salada Maria.

Auspicia el Convento Salada Maria.

Son ñoquis con aviso...

Son ñoquis con aviso…

Un Gran Hermano cada 500 metros.

Un Gran Hermano cada 500 metros.

Téngalo en cuenta para las próximas elecciones...

Téngalo en cuenta para las próximas elecciones…

Ok, lo tendré en cuenta para cuando vaya a comprar comestibles, no comestibles o cualquier tipo de cosa.

Ok, lo tendré en cuenta para cuando vaya a comprar comestibles, no comestibles o cualquier tipo de cosa.

Indulgencia una vez por d�a o plenaria? De todas formas es por ley, me quedo más tranquilo...

Indulgencia una vez por día o plenaria y perpetua? De todas formas es por ley, me quedo más tranquilo…

Prohibido agarrar de la mano a los niños que estén lejos de una maleta sobre una cinta de transporte...?

Prohibido agarrar de la mano a los niños que estén lejos de una maleta sobre una cinta de transporte…?

Usa tu mente, Neo...

Usa tu mente, Neo…

Claro, y para enseñarles cultura, empieza con ese ejemplo...

Claro, y para enseñarles cultura, empieza con ese ejemplo…

Prost�bulo encubierto? Lástima que no tengan duchas...

Prostíbulo encubierto? Lástima que no tengan duchas…

Orine directamente dentro. Gracias.

Orine directamente dentro. Gracias.

Prohibido bailar sobre los glaciares del bosque?...

Prohibido bailar sobre los glaciares del bosque?…

Posted in :O, chistes, humor, niños, pepito | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another invention of the month: The Airplane

Posted by gislena on 29 July 2008

Airplane

Man’s dream of flight is prehistoric as embodied oral legends such as the Greek Icarus and the ancient Indian epic of Vimana. In the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci drew aircrafts. It is conventionally acknowledged that it was the Wright Brothers who invented the first powered and controllable aircraft in the English speaking world. Their successful test flight on December 17, 1903, in fact, did not use wings that were completely fixed as they depended for stability on wing warping; a flexing mechanism.

With the advent of World War I, airplanes succeeded in proving their power to inflict significant harm on the enemy. By 1927, as designs improved, the first solo transatlantic flight was completed by Charles Lindbergh. During World War II, airplanes were in evidence in almost every battle on both the European and Pacific fronts. In October 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to exceed the speed of sound in an airplane. In 1952, the de Havilland Comet became the first commercial jet. Today, some Boeing 707s are still being used after more than 50 years. Until recently, the Boeing 747 was the largest commercial aircraft in the world. In 2005, it was surpassed by the Airbus A380.

Posted in cómo hacer, estreno, historia, history, invention, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Some stuff about the LHC

Posted by gislena on 29 July 2008

The LHC is an international research project based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, where scientists, engineers and support staff from 111 nations are combining state-of-the-art science and engineering in one of the largest scientific experiments ever conducted.

The LHC is the latest and most powerful in a series of particle accelerators that, over the last 70 years, have allowed us to penetrate deeper and deeper into the heart of matter and further and further back in time. The next steps in the journey will bring new knowledge about the beginning of our Universe and how it works, as the  LHC recreates, on a microscale, conditions that existed billionths of a second after the birth of our Universe.

The LHC is exactly what its name suggests – a large collider of hadrons. Strictly, LHC refers to the collider; a machine that deserves to be labelled ‘large’, it not only weighs more than 38,000 tonnes, but runs for 27km (16.5m) in a circular tunnel 100 metres beneath the Swiss/French border at Geneva.

However, the collider is only one of three essential parts of the LHC project. The other two are:

  • the detector, which sit in 4 huge chambers at points around the LHC tunnel and
  • the GRID, which is a global network of computers and software essential to processing the data recorded by LHC’s detectors.

The LHC’s 27km loop in a sense encircles the globe, because the LHC project is supported by an enormous international community of scientists and engineers. Working in multinational teams, at CERN and around the world, they are building and testing LHC equipment and software, participating in experiments and analysing data. The UK has a major role in leading the project and has scientists and engineers working on all the main experiments.

The LHC will allow scientists to probe deeper into the heart of matter and further back in time than has been possible using previous colliders.

Researchers think that the Universe originated in the Big Bang (an unimaginably violent explosion) and since then the Universe has been cooling down and becoming less energetic. Very early in the cooling process the matter and forces that make up our world ‘condensed’ out of this ball of energy.

The LHC will produce tiny patches of very high energy by colliding together atomic particles that are travelling at very high speed. The more energy produced in the collisions the further back we can look towards the very high energies that existed early in the evolution of the Universe. Collisions in the LHC will have up to 7x the energy of those produced in previous machines; recreating energies and conditions that existed billionths of a second after the start of the Big Bang.

The results from the LHC are not completely predictable as the experiments are testing ideas that are at the frontiers of our knowledge and understanding. Researchers expect to confirm predictions made on the basis of what we know from previous experiments and theories. However, part of the excitement of the LHC project is that it may uncover new facts about matter and the origins of the Universe.

One of the most interesting theories the LHC will test was put forward by the UK physicist Professor Peter Higgs and others. The different types of fundamental particle that make up matter have very different masses, while the particles that make up light (photons) have no mass at all. Peter’s theory is one explanation of why this is so and the LHC will allow us to test the theory.

The LHC accelerates two beams of atomic particles in opposite directions around the 27km collider. When the particle beams reach their maximum speed the LHC allows them to ‘collide’ at 4 points on their circular journey.

Thousands of new particles are produced when particles collide and detectors, placed around the collision points, allow scientists to identify these new particles by tracking their behaviour.

The detectors are able to follow the millions of collisions and new particles produced every second and identify the distinctive behaviour of interesting new particles from among the many thousands that are of little interest.

As the energy produced in the collisions increases researchers are able to peer deeper into the fundamental structure of the Universe and further back in its history. In these extreme conditions unknown atomic particles may appear.

There are two types of benefit that the LHC project produces for the UK. The less easily measured benefits are:

  • new understanding of the physical world,
  • training of world class scientists and engineers,
  • maintenance of a vibrant, world class UK research base and,
  • a leading role in a major international project.

More easily appreciated are the knowledge, expertise and technology that is spun off from the LHC and can be directly applied to development of new medical, industrial and consumer technologies.

The science of the LHC is far removed from everyday life, but the fact that the science is so extreme constantly pushes the boundaries of existing technical and engineering solutions. Simply building the LHC has generated new technology.

The LHC is not primarily about building a better world. Rather, it allows us to test theories and ideas about how the Universe works, its origins and evolution. The questions asked, and answers found, are so fundamental that the information from LHC experiments will only be applied many years in the future, if at all. However, this is an experiment and one of the surprises from the experiment may be new science that can be applied almost immediately.

The LHC is physically located in a circular 27km (16.5m) long tunnel under the Swiss/French border outside Geneva, but as an international project the LHC crosses continents and many international borders.

In the UK, engineers and scientists at 20 research sites are involved in designing and building equipment and analysing data. UK researchers are involved with all four of the main detectors and the GRID. British staff based at CERN have leading roles in managing and running the collider and detectors.

 

Posted in biología, cómo hacer, sociología, universidad | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Arpa, the grandpa of internet

Posted by gislena on 28 July 2008

“The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation.” – supreme judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).

One opposing view to ARPAnet’s origins comes from Charles M. Herzfeld, the former director of ARPA. He claimed that ARPAnet was not created as a result of a military need, stating “it came out of our frustration that there were only a limited number of large, powerful research computers in the country and that many research investigators who should have access were geographically separated from them.” ARPA stands for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, a branch of the military that developed top secret systems and weapons during the Cold War.

The first data exchange over this new network occurred between computers at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute. On their first attempt to log into Stanford’s computer by typing “log win”, UCLA researchers crashed their computer when they typed the letter ‘g’.

Four computers were the first connected in the original ARPAnet. They were located in the respective computer research labs of UCLA (Honeywell DDP 516 computer), Stanford Research Institute (SDS-940 computer), UC Santa Barbara (IBM 360/75), and the University of Utah (DEC PDP-10). As the network expanded, different models of computers were connected, creating compatibility problems. The solution rested in a better set of protocols called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) designed in 1982.

To send a message on the network, a computer breaks its data into IP (Internet Protocol) packets, like individually addressed digital envelopes. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) makes sure the packets are delivered from client to server and reassembled in the right order.

Under ARPAnet several major innovations occurred: email, the ability to send simple messages to another person across the network (1971); telnet, a remote connection service for controlling a computer (1972); and file transfer protocol (FTP), which allows information to be sent from one computer to another in bulk (1973).

As non-military uses for the network increased, more and more people had access, and it was no longer safe for military purposes. As a result, MILnet, a military only network, was started in 1983. Internet Protocol software was soon being placed on every type of computer, and universities and research groups also began using in-house networks known as Local Area Networks or LAN’s. These in-house networks then started using Internet Protocol software so one LAN could connect with other LAN’s.

In 1986, one LAN branched out to form a new competing network, called NSFnet (Nacional Science Foundation Network). NSFnet first linked together the five national supercomputer centers, then every major university, and it started to replace the slower ARPAnet (which was finally shutdown in 1990). NSFnet formed the backbone of what we call the Internet today.

“The Internet’s pace of adoption eclipses all other technologies that preceded it. Radio was in existence 38 years before 50 million people tuned in; TV took 13 years to reach that benchmark. Sixteen years after the first PC kit came out, 50 million people were using one. Once it was opened to the general public, the Internet crossed that line in four years.” – quote from the U.S. Department report “The Emerging Digital Economy”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Unknown insects found in 110-million-year-old amber in Spain

Posted by gislena on 26 July 2008

The remains of several unknown insect species which became extinct long before dinosaurs stopped roaming the earth have been discovered in pieces of 110-million-year-old amber found in Spain, researchers said Thursday.

 

Palaeontologist Enrique Penalver said the amber discovered in the El Soplao cave in the northern province of Cantabria was in “exceptional” condition.

“The conservation is incredible. You can study the details,” he told a news conference in Santander according to the Europea Press agency.

Several types of arachnids, as well spider webs and plant remains, were found fossilised in the amber discovered at the site, added Penalver, a researcher with the science ministry’s Geology and Mine Institute.

It is the most important amber find to date in Spain and possibly in all of Europe, he added. There are few other amber finds from that era in the world, he said.

Posted in biología, biology, código, historia, history, indiana jones, life, salió ileso, universidad | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

History of San Marino:

Posted by gislena on 24 July 2008

San Marino, the oldest republic in the world, is the sole survivor of the independent states that existed in Italy at various times from the downfall of the Western Roman Empire to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. (The Vatican City State, which is also an independent enclave in Italy, was not constituted in its present form until the 20th century.)

According to tradition, the republic was founded in AD 301 by Marinus, a Christian stonecutter who fled from Dalmatia to avoid religious persecution; later canonized, St. Marinus is known in Italian as San Marino. If founded at the time asserted by tradition, San Marino is the oldest existing national state in Europe. There was a monastery in San Marino in existence at least as early as 885.

Because of the poverty of the region and the difficult terrain, San Marino was rarely disturbed by outside powers, and it generally avoided the factional fights of the Middle Ages. For a time, it joined the Ghibellines and was therefore interdicted by Pope Innocent IV in 1247–49. It was protected by the Montefeltro family, later dukes of Urbino, and in 1441, with Urbino, it defeated Sigismondo Malatesta and extended the size of its territory. It was briefly held by Cesare Borgia in 1503, but in 1549 its sovereignty was confirmed by Pope Paul III. In 1739, however, a military force under a papal legate, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni, occupied San Marino and unsuccessfully attempted to get the Sanmarinese to acknowledge his sovereignty over them. In the following year, Pope Clement II terminated the occupation and signed a treaty of friendship with the tiny republic. Napoleon allowed San Marino to retain its liberty; the Sanmarinese are said to have declined his offer to increase their territory on the grounds that smallness and poverty alone had kept them from falling prey to larger states.

In 1849, Giuseppe Garibaldi, the liberator of Italy, took refuge from the Austrians in San Marino; he departed voluntarily shortly before the Austrians were to invade the republic to capture him. San Marino and Italy entered into a treaty of friendship and customs union in 1862. This treaty was renewed in March 1939 and amended in September 1971.

During the period of Mussolini’s rule in Italy, San Marino adopted a Fascist type of government. Despite its claim to neutrality in World War II, Allied planes bombed it on 26 June 1944. The raid caused heavy damage, especially to the railway line, and killed a number of persons. San Marino’s resources were sorely taxed to provide food and shelter for the over 100,000 refugees who obtained sanctuary during the war.

The elections of 1945 put a coalition of Communists and left-wing Socialists in control of the country. In 1957, some defections from the ruling coalition were followed by a bloodless revolution, aided by Italy, against the government. The leftists surrendered, and some were imprisoned. The rightists, chiefly Christian Democrats, won the election of 1959 and remained in power until 1973, chiefly in coalition with the Social Democrats. In March 1973, after splitting with the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats formed an unstable coalition with the Socialists. After new elections in May 1978, the Communists, the Socialists, and the Socialist Unity Party, who together commanded a one-seat majority in the legislature, formed a governing coalition; San Marino thus became the only West European country with a Communist-led government. This coalition governed until 1986, when a Communist–Christian Democratic coalition, replaced it; this was the first coalition government formed by these two parties in San Marino’s history.

As of 2003, the ruling coalition was composed of the Sanmarinese Christian-Democratic Party and the Sanmarinese Socialist Party. In December 2002, Fiorenzo Stolfi was named secretary of state for foreign and political affairs, the equivalent of the office of a prime minister.

San Marino’s high standard of living makes Sanmarinese citizenship a valuable commodity. With the only ways for foreigners to obtain citizenship being to reside in San Marino for 30 years or marry a male citizen, the government passed a law in August 1999 prohibiting female household servants under 50 because of the potential for elderly men to fall for their young female help who may have suspicious motives.

Also in 1999, San Marino joined the European Monetary Union and adopted the euro as its currency. The Europe-wide single currency was forecasted to boost tourism but simultaneously hurt Sanmarinese bank revenues as the banks would no longer be able charge fees for currency exchange. In June 2000, the OECD accused Sanmarinese banks of making the country a “harmful” tax haven; San Marino promised to reform its banking practices.

Because San Marino has a customs union with Italy, it enjoys all of the benefits that flow from European Union membership. However, San Marino’s goal ultimately is to become a full-fledged member of the EU.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Blast from the past; first hurricane hit Pilgrims in 1635

Posted by gislena on 23 July 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — The winds whipped up to 130 mph, snapping pine trees like pick-up sticks and blowing houses into oblivion. A surge of water, 21 feet high at its crest, engulfing victims as they desperately scurried for higher ground.
The merciless storm, pounding the coast for hours with torrential sheets of rain, was like nothing ever seen before. One observer predicted the damage would linger for decades.

This wasn’t New Orleans in August 2005. This was New England in August 1635, battered by what was later dubbed “The Great Colonial Hurricane” — the first major storm suffered by the first North American settlers, just 14 years after the initial Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth Colony.

The Puritans, after landing at Plymouth Rock, endured disease, brutal winters and battles with the natives. But their biggest test roared up the coast from the south, an unprecedented and terrifying tempest that convinced rattled residents the apocalypse was imminent.

And why not? The transplanted Europeans knew almost nothing of hurricanes, an entirely foreign phenomenon. Their fears of approaching death were reinforced when a lunar eclipse followed the natural disaster.

Once the weather cleared and the sun rose again, the few thousand residents of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were left to rebuild and recover from a hurricane as powerful as 1938’s killer Long Island Express. The 20th century hurricane killed 700 people, including 600 in New England, and left 63,000 homeless.

“The settlers easily could have packed up and gone home,” said Nicholas K. Coch, a professor of geology at Queens College and one of the nation’s foremost hurricane experts. “It was an extraordinary event, a major hurricane, and nearly knocked out British culture in America.”

Last year, Coch used information that he collected from detailed colonial journals to reconstruct the great hurricane. The 371-year-old data was brought to Brian Jarvinen at the National Hurricane Center, where it was interpreted using the SLOSH (Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) computer model.

The result: The hurricane likely tracked farther west than was thought, passing over uninhabited easternmost Long Island before moving north into New England. Once clear of the colonies, it veered off into the Atlantic.

Previously, researchers had believed the hurricane missed Long Island — which always annoyed Coch.

“We started out doing this as a lark, and it turned out to be a very interesting piece of science,” said Coch. “This information can be applied to any hurricane in the north. I think that’s neat.”

Coch said the pioneers from across the Atlantic likely endured a Category 3 hurricane, moving faster than 30 mph, with maximum winds of 130 mph and a very high storm surge — 21 feet at Buzzards Bay and 14 feet at Providence. Reports at the time said 17 American Indians were drowned, while others scaled trees to find refuge.

The storm was moving about three times as fast as the typical southern hurricane, and arrived in full bluster. Although it struck nearly four centuries ago, very specific details about the first recorded hurricane in North America were provided by the local leaders’ writings.

“The documentation was better than any hurricane until the mid-1800s,” said Coch. “That’s a story in itself.”

John Winthrop, head of the Massachusetts Bay group, recalled in his Aug. 16, 1635, entry that the winds were kicking up a full week before the hurricane.

Once it did arrive, the hurricane “blew with such violence, with abundance of rain, that it blew down many hundreds of trees, overthrew some houses, and drove the ships from their anchors,” Winthrop wrote. He detailed the deaths of eight American Indians sucked under the rising water while “flying from their wigwams.”

William Bradford, the leader of the Plymouth group, offered a similarly florid recounting.

“Such a mighty storm of wind and rain as none living in these parts, either English or Indian, ever saw,” he wrote. “It blew down sundry houses and uncovered others … It blew down many hundred thousands of trees, turning up the stronger by the roots and breaking the higher pine trees off in the middle.”

The local crops, along with the forests and many local structures like the Aptucxet trading house on the southwest side of Cape Cod, suffered major damage. Bradford, in his account, predicted signs of the damage would endure into the next century.

So brutal was the storm that 50 years later, Increase Mather wrote simply, “I have not heard of any storm more dismal than the great hurricane which was in August 1635.” His father, the Rev. Richard Mather, was aboard one of the ships nearly sunk at sea by the ferocious weather — but he survived, along with about 100 other passengers.

Others were less fortunate.

The Rev. Anthony Thacher, his cousin and their two families were headed by boat on a short swing from Ipswich to Marblehead. The fast-moving storm smashed their craft on the rocks, dooming all aboard except for the preacher and his wife, who somehow survived the storm as 21 others perished.

“Before daylight, it pleased God to send so mighty a storm as the like was never felt in New England since the English came there nor in the memories of any of the Indians,” Thacher wrote in a letter home to his brother.

Thacher’s Island and Avery’s Rock — named for his late cousin Joseph Avery — remain as geographic reminders of the storm and its toll.

Coch said the most interesting news about the hurricane, more than 350 years later, is that storms can often follow the same track. And just a minuscule shift of the storm’s movement in the area of North Carolina — “a fraction of a degree” — could send a hurricane up through Providence and right into Boston, the professor said.

“We could have a catastrophic situation with national repercussions,” said Coch. “If the track of a future moves 25 miles to the west of the ‘Colonial Hurricane,’ the dangerous right side could pass right over Boston and Providence. That’s why we study old hurricanes in the Northeast.”

Posted in biology, historia, history, life, oscuridad, stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

miss america resigns: 7-23-1984

Posted by gislena on 21 July 2008

On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant’s history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams’ tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, to music teacher parents. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In 1982, while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. Kisco, New York, photographer Thomas Chiapel took the nude pictures of Williams, telling her they’d be shot in silhouette and that she wouldn’t be recognizable. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge. Williams later dropped lawsuits against the magazine and photographer after it was learned that she had signed a model release form at the time the photos were taken.

The Miss America pageant, which prides itself on projecting a wholesome, positive image of women, began in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a stunt developed by local businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In 1945, the Miss America Organization handed out its first scholarship. Today, it provides over $45 million each year in cash and tuition assistance to contestants on the national, state and local levels. In 1954, the competition was broadcast live for the first time. Beginning in the 1980s, contestants were required to have a social platform, such as drunk-driving prevention or AIDS awareness, and Miss America winners now travel an estimated 20,000 miles a month for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2006, following a decline in TV ratings, the pageant moved from Atlantic City for the first time in its history and took place in Las Vegas, where a new Miss America was crowned in January instead of September.

Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.

Posted in cannes, cine, estreno, historia, hollywood, moda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.