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first_imgWhen Tom Wolfe passed away on Monday, the literary world lost one of its most influential minds. Throughout his career, Wolfe tackled the human experiences, manners, and morals of a variety of areas within American culture. His 1979 book, The Right Stuff, captures the bravery and resolve of post-war military test pilots during the beginnings of NASA’s push into outer space. His satirical 1987 novel, The Bonfire of The Vanities, tackled all the vastly varying, endlessly interlocking storylines that make up New York City. From Wall Street suits to Grand Concourse street criminals and everyone in between, Wolfe’s examination of the ripples that emanate from a racially tinged hit-and-run in the Bronx deftly echoed the city’s all-too-real societal ills, despite being a work of fiction. The list goes on and on…Wolfe was a pioneer of “New Journalism,” the more narrative, novelistic style of reporting used by many of the celebrated writers of the 1960’s—a time of cultural revolution and reinvention in American unlike any the country had seen before. As Wolfe explained in his 1973 anthology, The New Journalism:The Sixties was one of the most extraordinary decades in American history in terms of manners and morals. Manners and morals were the history of the Sixties. … A hundred years from now when historians write about the 1960’s in America, they won’t write about it as the decade of war in Vietnam or of space exploration or of political assassinations…but as the decade when manners and morals, styles of living, attitudes toward the world changed the country more crucially than any political events.That notion was never more true than in one of Tom Wolfe’s earliest books, 1968’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. The work of nonfiction still stands today as one of the seminal examples of “New Journalism,” as well as one of the most thematically and descriptively accurate depictions of the burgeoning LSD culture in the mid-’60s.In the book, Tom Wolfe trails author, scholar, and West Coast psychedelic pioneer Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters as they begin the acid-oriented lifestyle that eventually made them idolized figures in the growing counterculture. Tom’s writing style fit this new lifestyle perfectly, making him ready and able to capture the interactions, emotions, and often fragile mental state of affairs that came along with it. Despite being fully engulfed in the movement and aligned with the Prankster’s philosophy, the book is still hailed for Wolfe’s ability to distinguish between the realities of the Pranksters and Kesey’s experiences and the emotions and actions triggered by their acid-fueled paranoia and disarray.[1965 Acid Test Flier]The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test chronicles the rise of LSD culture with Kesey and the Pranksters as its vessel, from the earliest acid parties thrown on his La Honda, California property to, eventually, the notorious “Acid Tests” for which the book is named. That is where they came in contact with The Grateful Dead, another rising psychedelic institution that truly cut their teeth as improvisational musicians playing at Kesey’s manic Acid Tests.Today, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test stands as one of the most important 60s’ counterculture texts, as it sees Tom Wolfe (now known for his unconventional and uniquely descriptive style of nonfiction reporting) using all his literary power to describe the experience of the Grateful Dead (which would become widely known simply for defying description)–well before either entity was a household name. You can check out several great Tom Wolfe passages about The Grateful Dead and the Acid Tests from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test below:On The Grateful Dead’s Acid Test PerformancesThose who were … not on the bus … would come to the realization that there was no schedule. The Grateful Dead did not play in sets; no eight numbers to a set, then a twenty-five-minute break, and so on, four or five sets and then the close-out. The Dead might play one number for five minutes or thirty minutes. Who kept time? Who could keep time, with history cut up in slices. The Dead could get just as stoned as anyone else. The … non-attuned would look about and here would be all manner of heads, including those running the show, the Pranksters, stroked out against the walls like slices of Jello. Waiting; with nobody looking very likely to start it back up. Those who didn’t care to wait would tend to drift off, stoned or otherwise, and the test would settle down to the pudding.On The Origins Of Ken Kesey & Jerry Garcia’s RelationshipKesey had hooked up with a rock ‘n’ roll band, The Grateful Dead, led by Jerry Garcia, the same dead-end kid who used to live in the Chateau in Palo Alto … and you had to throw them out when they came over and tried to crash the parties on Perry Lane. Garcia remembered—how they came down and used to get booted out “by Kesey and the wine drinkers.” The wine drinkers—the middle-class bohemians of Perry Lane. They both, Kesey and Garcia, had been heading into the pudding, from different directions, all that time, and now Garcia was a, yes, beautiful person, quiet, into the pudding, and a great guitar player. Garcia had first named his group The Warlocks, meaning sorcerers or wizards, and they had been eking by playing for the beer drinkers, at jazz joints and the like around Palo Alto. To the Warlocks, the beer drinker music, even when called jazz, was just square hip. They were on to that distinction, too. For Kesey–they could just play, do their thing.On Young Jerry Garcia Trying To Have A Real-Life Conversation At The Acid TestsGarcia, for his part, however, doesn’t know which bursts out first, the music or the orange laugh. Out the edges of his eyes he can see his own black hair framing his face—it is so long, to the shoulders, and springs out like a Sudanese soldier’s.On Owsley’s Acid & How The Dead And The Acid Tests Invented “Acid Rock”When the acid scene spread to England in late 1966 and 1967, the hippest intelligence one could pass around was that one was in possession of “Owsley acid.” In the acid world, this was bottled-in-bond; certified; guaranteed; and high status. It was in this head world that the … Beatles first took LSD. … Through The Dead’s experience with the Pranksters was born the sound known as “acid rock.” And it was that sound that the Beatles picked up on, after they started taking acid, to do a famous series of acid-rock record albums, Revolver, Rubber Soul, and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.On The Influential Effects Of The Acid Tests & The Grateful Dead On Media Consumption“Mixed media” entertainment—this came straight out of the Acid Tests’ combination of light and movie projections, strobes, tapes, rock n’ roll, black light. “Acid rock”—the sound of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album and the high-vibrato electronic sounds of the Jefferson Airplane, the Mothers of Invention and many other groups—the mothers of it all were the Grateful Dead at the Acid Tests. The Dead were the audio counterpart of Roy Seburn‘s light projections. Owsley was responsible for some of this, indirectly. Owsley had snapped back from his great Freakout and started pouring money into the Grateful Dead and, thereby, the Tests.Maybe he figured the Tests were the wave of the future… Maybe he thought “acid rock” was the sound of the future and he would become a kind of Brian Epstein for the Grateful Dead. I don’t know. In any case, he started buying the Dead equipment such as no rock n’ roll band ever had before, the Beatles included, all manner of tuners, amplifiers, receivers, loudspeakers, microphones, cartridges, tapes, theater horns, booms, lights, turntables, instruments, mixers, muters, servile mesochroics, whatever was on the market. The sound went down on so many microphones and hooked through so many mixers and variable lags and blew up in so many amplifiers and roiled around in so many speakers and fed back down so many microphones, it came on like a chemical refinery. There was something wholly new and deliriously weird in the Dead’s sound, and practically everything new in rock ‘n’ roll, rock jazz I have heard it called, came out of it.Rest in peace, Tom Wolfe. To purchase The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and read more about Tom Wolfe’s adventures with Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters, and the Grateful Dead, head here.last_img read more

first_imgHarvard College announced today (Feb. 24) that it will restore nonbinding early action as part of its admissions process this fall and significantly enhance its recruiting program to assist talented students from modest economic backgrounds in navigating the admissions process. Harvard also announced it will increase its investment in undergraduate financial aid next year to more than $160 million. Currently, more than 60 percent of Harvard College students receive scholarship aid, and the average grant is about $38,000.In 2007, Harvard eliminated its nonbinding early action program on a trial basis and moved to a single admissions deadline, announcing at the time that it would evaluate the impact of the change after several years.“We piloted the elimination of early action out of concern that college admissions had become too complex and pressured for all students, and out of particular concern for students at under-resourced high schools who might not be able to access the early admissions process,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “Over the past several years, however, interest in early admissions has increased, as students and families from across the economic spectrum seek certainty about college choices and financing. Our goal now is to reinstitute an early-action program consistent with our bedrock commitment to access, affordability, and excellence.”“We looked carefully at trends in Harvard admissions these past years and saw that many highly talented students, including some of the best-prepared low-income and underrepresented minority students, were choosing programs with an early-action option, and therefore were missing out on the opportunity to consider Harvard. We have decided that the College and our students will be best served by restoring an early option,” said Dean Michael D. Smith of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.Harvard’s concerns about equity and transparency will continue to guide the structure of its admission program. It will maintain a nonbinding approach, which maximizes freedom and flexibility for students. As in the past, students can apply under the single-choice, early-action program by Nov. 1 and will be notified by Dec. 15, at which point students completing financial aid applications will receive notice of their awards. Regular decision will continue to operate as usual, with applications due on Jan. 1 and notification on April 1. All students, whether admitted under early action or regular decision, will have until May 1 to decide whether to attend.To ensure that the return to early action serves Harvard’s commitment to access and diversity across many dimensions, the change in admissions policy will be accompanied by enhancements in the College’s recruiting program, including a new program promoting transparency in college admissions, greater outreach, and targeted staff visits to schools where few students apply early to college; increased involvement of Harvard undergraduates throughout the year in three major recruiting efforts — the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program, and the Undergraduate Admissions Council’s Return to High School Program; and enhanced web features providing families with the ability to calculate the likely net cost to them of sending a child to Harvard, and perspectives from financial aid students on life at Harvard.“The commitment to including first-generation, low-income, and historically disadvantaged minority students in the full spectrum of admissions options is a key feature of this new early-action option,” said Harvard College Dean Evelynn Hammonds. “We have made significant gains in recent years in recruiting larger numbers of these students and in supporting them for success once here. I am very pleased that we are able to re-conceive early action, consistent with these goals, and to work with students based on whatever timetable best meets their needs.”“We continue to be concerned about the pressures on students today, including those associated with college admission,” said Harvard College Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons. “In all of our work, we will do everything possible to level the playing field in admissions and encourage all students to make thoughtful choices about how they can best contribute to society.”last_img read more

first_img Related In less than three years, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, the influential school of modernist art and design active during the years of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919–33). The Harvard Art Museums will be no exception, with plans underway to mount a special exhibition in 2019 focused on connections between the Bauhaus and Harvard. However, some of the groundwork for the exhibition has already found a place online.A digital resource on the museums’ website offers a wealth of Bauhaus-related materials, research, and other information. Conceived and edited by Robert Wiesenberger, the Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Bauhaus Special Collection gives users access to records for the more than 32,000 Bauhaus-related objects in the museums’ collections and archives. These include photographs, textiles, paintings, and periodicals. Geared toward students, scholars, and the general public, the site demonstrates the breadth and strength of the collection, and supports scholarship on the Bauhaus.Founded by architect Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus promoted collaboration across creative disciplines as part of a utopian project of designing a new world. Important modernists, such as Josef and Anni Albers, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Oskar Schlemmer, taught in the school’s various workshops, realigning hierarchies of high and low by embracing new technologies, materials, and media, and enacting cosmopolitan forms of communal living. Though the school existed for only 14 years, its influence has been far-reaching, extending into the ways we teach, learn, and live even today.Josef Albers, a longtime friend of Gropius, teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1950. Photo: Harvard Art Museums, © President and Fellows of Harvard CollegeIt’s no coincidence that a vast archive of Bauhaus material resides at Harvard. “Both during and after the school’s brief existence in Europe, Harvard was a key site for the reception, documentation, and dissemination of Bauhaus ideas,” Wiesenberger said. “This came about through the work of its students, museum curators, and émigré faculty.”The University was the first location in the United States to host a Bauhaus exhibition, organized by Harvard undergrads in 1930. Gropius himself chaired the Department of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design from 1937 until 1952 and brought Bauhaus student-turned-master Marcel Breuer to join the faculty. By introducing Bauhaus pedagogy — as well as practitioners — to Harvard, Gropius shaped a new generation of architectural modernists, such as I.M. Pei and Philip Johnson. This pedagogical legacy also informed the founding of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, where the practice of the arts is encouraged alongside theoretical study. Gropius literally left his mark on campus with his Graduate Center, which opened in 1950. A modernist complex of dormitories and a commons building, the center featured the art of some of his modernist allies and former Bauhaus colleagues, including Hans Arp, the Alberses, and Herbert Bayer.Gropius and Charles Kuhn, then curator of the Germanic Museum (now the Busch-Reisinger Museum) collaborated to form what was variously referred to as Harvard’s Bauhaus study collection or Bauhaus archive. After World War II, Germany had neither the will nor the resources to preserve Bauhaus objects. The Germanic Museum, however, felt obligated to do so. Gropius solicited gifts from his Bauhaus contacts, and works of art arrived by the hundreds for incorporation into the collection. Correspondence, student notes, and other ephemera were added to the archives.Bauhaus Exhibition Postcard No. 19, designed by Kurt Schmidt, 1923. Photo: Harvard Art Museums, © President and Fellows of Harvard College“It’s amazing material,” Wiesenberger said, “but not enough people know it’s here or how to view it.”The Harvard Art Museums’ digital Bauhaus Special Collection aims to broaden awareness of both the Bauhaus and its afterlife in America, specifically at Harvard. It presents a history and chronology of Harvard’s Bauhaus-related holdings, and enables easier access to virtual copies of all of the objects. A menu bar lets users browse topics specific to the Bauhaus, such as “The Bauhaus at Harvard,” “Pedagogy,” and “Typography.” Bauhaus artists, as well as students of those artists (and in some cases, even students of students), are searchable, as are time periods, techniques, and more.The resource also includes a history of all Bauhaus shows held at the Busch-Reisinger/Germanic Museum, an extensive bibliography, and an annotated Google map of Bauhaus-related sites in and around Boston. These resources could fuel future Bauhaus research and catalyze new engagement with the collection, particularly through the museums’ Art Study Center.As the Harvard Art Museums prepare for the 2019 Bauhaus exhibition and related centennial events, the hope is that the Special Collection will serve multiple audiences.“We want this to appeal to all levels,” Wiesenberger said. “If you’ve never heard of the Bauhaus, you can use it. If you’re writing your dissertation on the Bauhaus, you will hopefully find new and rich material. One hundred years later, the relevance of the Bauhaus remains undiminished.”SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave Scholar spotlights Albers’ wall as part of GSD series Eyes on ‘America,’ with hope of drawing morelast_img read more

first_imgAiming at facilitating discussion on issues related to gender and race, the fourth biennial international Gender Studies Program Conference titled “Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race” is set to take place in McKenna Hall starting Thursday afternoon.Organized by faculty and students associated with the Gender Studies Program, the three-day event will feature a multitude of guest speakers, artists and activists from across the nation and world who specialize in a variety of disciplines.“The conference is bringing together some of the best and brightest people in intersectionality studies, but we are gathering not just to discuss research but also to strategize solutions for our world’s ongoing problems regarding race and gender,” Gender Studies Program director Mary Celeste Kearney said.The conference will consist of roundtables, creative presentations, papers, two plenary sessions and a keynote address, all of which will feature an array of perspectives on topics related to the conference’s theme: intersections of race and gender.“I think this conference may have more of an impact on our campus community than previous Gender Studies conferences, since it is not just focused on scholarship, but also art work and activism,” Kearney said. “The issues we’ll be discussing impact everyone, not just academics.”According to the conference program, some of the topics that will be addressed at the conference are pay equity, equitable representation in the media, asylum seekers, the Black Lives Matter movement, feminist teaching and learning in secondary schools, sexual violence across a continuum of institutional systems, and women in active combat roles and in the government.Students, faculty and staff can freely attend any session, but will not be given a name tag, program or food unless they register on-site for all three days.“We have over 60 Notre Dame faculty, staff [and] students registered for the conference, which is far more than normal for Gender Studies’ conferences,” Kearney said.The keynote address, titled “Sharpening Intersectionality’s Cutting Edge,” will be conducted by Professor Patricia Hill Collins, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. According to Kearney, Collins is “one of the most respected scholars on intersectionality today.”As the only Notre Dame professor speaking at a plenary session, Atalia Omer, associate professor of religion, conflict, and peace studies in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the sociology department, said she decided to participate in the conference because she is especially fascinated with the “intellectual insights of intersectionality” and how it has informed various social justice movements.“Intersectionality should be a central component of our discussions at the [Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies],” Omer said. “It has not been and so my own engagement with this academic and activist sets of discourses is motivated partly by this failure of peace studies to more centrally integrate feminist modes of analysis and scholarship.”Omer will be presenting on “Biopolitics and Borders: Intersectional Bodies and the Globalizing of Nation” through the perspective of a cultural sociologist of religion.Many other Notre Dame professors, as well as scholars from universities in South Africa, Canada, Texas, Colorado, Maryland and plenty of other locations across the United States will also be presenting at the conference.“It would be hard for me to compare this group of scholars to those who have come to other [Gender Studies] conferences, since the topics of each conference has been very different,” Kearney said. “But, given the conference theme, my guess is that we will have a far more racially diverse group than in previous years, and it’s likely that women of color will be in the majority.”Tags: Gender Studies, gender studies conference, intersectionality, Marylandlast_img read more

first_imgMost parents plan on seeing their child’s teacher only a few times a year at parent-teacher conferences. But building a relationship with your child’s teacher can improve your child’s performance during the school year. Parents who have a working relationship with their children’s teachers can tackle problems with the child’s academic performance or behavior earlier and more effectively. “That relationship with a teacher is important, especially when a child is young,” said Diane Bales, a child development specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “The teachers are sometimes the first people to see when a child is having difficulty and can alert parents to any problems.” One key to building an open conversation with your child’s teacher is to start talking at the beginning of the school year before any problems arise. When a teacher has to tell a child’s parent that their child is misbehaving or falling behind, tensions can run high. That’s not the best time to start a relationship with your child’s teacher. “Don’t wait until something goes wrong to talk to your child’s teacher,” Bales said. She suggests meeting the teacher in person at the beginning of the year and then touching base regularly through a quick email or with a phone call. If you feel your child is facing a hurdle in class or you have other serious concerns, set up an appointment to meet with the teacher. You don’t have to wait for the parent-teacher conference at the end of the grading period to have a conversation about your child. When parent-teacher conference time does come around, make the most of it. Write down any questions or concerns you want to address and use that to guide the conversation. Be prepared to share information about any life changes that you or your child are going through during the school year — a move, a new sibling or a change in parents’ relationship can impact a child’s classroom performance. “You don’t have to tell your whole life story, but give the basics about why your child might be upset so the teacher knows what’s going on,” Bales said. Above all, don’t be defensive if your child’s teacher reaches out to you about a behavior problem or your child’s difficulties in class. Teachers sometimes have insight into children’s behaviors and academic performance that parents don’t. They also can help find your child the extra help or interventions they need to get back on track. “A parent is the expert on their child, but teachers know, on average, what children are like and may spot problems before parents,” Bales said. “Parents may not notice that something is unusual; they are not around as many different children as teachers.”last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Colorado is preparing to boost its use of energy storage, especially since Xcel revamped its energy plan, committing to completely eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, and regulators are beginning to lay out rules to ensure batteries are included in utility planning processes when they acquire supply-side resources. The order approved this week by the PUC codifies the intent of legislation passed earlier in the year.The new rules “establish requirements for a coordinated electric planning process that is to be conducted on a comprehensive, transparent, statewide basis.” The PUC noted in its order that the commission “does not currently treat all electric facilities alike from the perspective of planning or procurement.” The Energy Storage Association in a statement celebrated the PUC’s move, saying the new rules “raise the bar for including energy storage in utility planning.” Following the passage of the underlying legislation, ESA said the commission “took its own momentous step toward leveling the playing field for energy storage and other flexible technologies.” Requiring consideration of energy storage in utility planning processes will be a “critical ingredient to ensuring the greatest savings for ratepayers,” the group said.A previous bill passed by lawmakers directed the PUC to adopt rules governing the installation, interconnection and use of customer-sited energy storage systems, setting some parameters for interconnection reviews.Colorado’s legislature “has made it clear that storage must be considered as an option for cost-effective electric service,” ESA said in a statement.More: Colorado adopts rule to include storage in utility planning Colorado to require utilities to consider storage in long-range resource planslast_img read more

first_imgThe U.S. Forest Service is planning five prescribed burns on the Pisgah Ranger District in the coming months to reduce the risk of wildfires. The low- to medium-intensity burns also create healthier, more diverse, and more resilient forests that can better support wildlife. The dates for the burns and the actual number of units burned will depend upon weather conditions. Burning days are changeable because the proper conditions are needed; wind and relative humidity are key factors in fire behavior, safety, and smoke control. Prescribed burning will only occur when environmental conditions permit. During the burns, proper personnel and equipment will be on-site and some roads and trails may be closed to ensure safety. Prescribed burns planned on the Pisgah Ranger District to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health CountyBurn UnitSize (acres)HaywoodBalds550HaywoodSams Knob200Transylvania and HendersonPink Beds2000TransylvaniaBear Pen1500BuncombeBent Creek117 All prescribed burns are thoroughly planned and analyzed by a team of specialists to ensure that wildlife, fisheries, rare plants, and historic sites are not harmed. Habitat for a variety of wildlife can be improved through carefully-planned and executed prescribed burns. Regular burns promote the growth of plants that provide food for wildlife including important game animals such as deer and turkey. Prescribed burning is an important and versatile forest management tool that can mimic natural fire disturbances and reduce underbrush and flammable vegetation, which is key to limiting wildfire growth.For more information contact the Pisgah Ranger District at 828-877-3265. Photo: Controlled burn from Getty Imageslast_img read more

first_imgBy Kay Valle/Diálogo August 25, 2017 Honduras’s National Interagency Security Force (FUSINA, per its Spanish acronym) continues to conduct operations to build itself up as the most successful government task force in the fight against crime. “This institution’s work has been reinforced through joint interagency operations,” Honduran Military Justice Lieutenant Colonel Santos Nolasco, a spokesman for FUSINA, told Diálogo. “Also, new legislation was passed to support these operations, and that will make the application of justice more effective.” One of the most recent achievements was the destruction of coca and marijuana plantations in July, in which special anti-narcotics units identified, secured, and destroyed drug manufacturing centers. “That operation located one four-hectare coca plantation and a 24-hectare marijuana plantation in the department of Colón. Both have already been destroyed,” Lt. Col. Nolasco reported. “Twenty hectares [planted] with marijuana were also secured in the department of Olancho.” “Organized groups devoted to the distribution and sale of narcotics will always be continually evolving and willing to expand their illegal enterprises,” said Edgardo Mejía, a security analyst and professor at the National University of the Honduran Police. “Drug trafficking has expanded the kinds of operations that are conducted in Honduran territory. This territory has become a transfer point and a place for money laundering, as it is seen as a geographical area for drug production.” Training and equipment The acquisition of arms and high-tech material is a clear example of the effort that this Central American nation is making in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. “Little by little, Honduras is acquiring new technology to strengthen its Armed Forces,” Lt. Col. Nolasco said. “This technology is deployed in our land shield, in our naval shield, and in our air shield, in order to combat drug trafficking and all petty crime and organized crime activities.” According to the U.S. State Department’s 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the vast majority of cocaine that transits through Honduras arrives by sea. “The Caribbean region of Honduras continues to be a primary landing zone for maritime transport in drug trafficking and for non-commercial flights,” according to the report. That is why, with cooperation from partner nations, specialists from the Honduran Armed Forces have undergone training within the framework of Operation Morazán. An example of this occurred in June, at the Naval Training Center located in Trujillo Bay, where a group of 255 Honduran officers and noncommissioned officers received elite training from qualified instructors from the U.S., Colombia, and Chile. “The goal of the training, in addition to training naval personnel in combating drug trafficking and other illegal activities and raising the level of operational readiness, will be to bolster and equip the Marine Corps and create a new force that is comparable to Army Special Forces,” Captain Héctor Manuel Tercero López, chief of the Joint Staff of the Honduran Navy, told Diálogo. “Navy Special Forces will be the new force to bolster our maritime shield, and it is expected to be up and running at full capacity by the end of 2017.” As with other nations, it will act as a certified professional force that will combat new threats. “The most important thing is that these officers will have a multiplying effect,” Capt. Tercero stated. “From what they have learned, they will train other [elite] service members in order to strengthen the maritime shield implemented along the coasts.” Forecasting the future “There are clear objectives in the strategic combat plan against drug, arms, and human trafficking and the criminal acts of the maras and gangs, among others,” Lt. Col. Nolasco said as he forecasted FUSINA’s future. “However, the short-term goal is to achieve a considerable reduction in the rate of homicides per 100,000 residents in 2017.” For his part, Mejía acknowledges that social progress is just the starting point for more meaningful achievements that will benefit the citizenry. “At one time, Honduras was considered the most violent country in the world. That has changed. We’ve achieved a reduction in violence as well as of the homicide rate, showing that our teamwork strategy is working,” he said. Mejía added that FUSINA’s evolution as a joint interagency task force will be based on not losing continuity with training and specialization programs and that they must not stop recruiting personnel to grow the force. “All of the elements that work with and make up FUSINA — the Honduran Armed Forces, the Office of the Attorney General, the National Police, the Supreme Court, and Immigration — receive ongoing training,” Lt. Col. Nolasco concluded. “This has allowed us to be unified and specialized in fighting the domestic and transnational crime that impacts Honduran society.”last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York CHAPTER I:AROUND THE WORLDHere are some things everyone should know about global warming (all reports guaranteed true):In Europe, the bears are confused. It’s too warm to hibernate at their normal time, and all the berries are gone. Where the bears will find food, and what they’ll do with their spare time if warm weather persists, is anybody’s guess.Butterflies are moving north, from Italy all the way to Finland. If you happen to live in Helsinki and have just spent a fortune on down vests and large quantities of alcoholic beverages for a long, dark winter, butterflies can be quite disconcerting.The flowers are also bewildered—many blooming during Europe’s increasingly warm winters (which seem like early spring to them). Forsythia is blooming several months early in alpine valleys in Austria.In the Rockies, ski resorts are making contingency plans to move to higher elevations, where there’s actually some dependable snow. Some resorts have already lobbied the U.S. government for new leases on federal land at higher altitudes.On a positive note, global warming is nothing but good news for cockroaches! They thrive in warmer weather, so we can expect them to reproduce more frequently during the year, and more of them will survive the new, shorter winters. (Same goes for fleas and ticks, by the way.)CHAPTER II:IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOODIs global warming coming to your neighborhood? Look for possible clues:A. While walking your dog in January you start to sneeze and your eyes begin to itch. Is that really a field of ragweed your dog is peeing in?B. Your local NFL team has shed its hot helmets and pads and is now wearing shorts and T-shirts and playing in the brand new NTFL: the National Touch Football League. Their stadium has been completely air-conditioned.C. Canadian travel ads appear in your local newspaper, offering “Yukon Ice-Skating Vacations”—a tour of the last three naturally frozen ponds in North America.CHAPTER III:TAKE ACTION!Here’s what you can do about global warming:Politically:Write a letter expressing your concerns to President Obama, your senator and your congressman. This will make you feel better, but will accomplish absolutely nothing.Ironically, some say our only hope may be Texas, an epicenter of global warming. If Texas has six months of 110-degree heat and its low-lying cities (i.e. Galveston and Corpus Christi) vanish into the Gulf of Mexico, that may get some attention from Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Then again, maybe not.Personally:1. Build a large wooden boat. Collect a male and a female of your favorite species.2. Buy retirement property in the “New Sun Belt” while prices are still low. (This includes North Dakota, Montana, parts of Idaho, Alaska and northern Maine.)3. Check out emerging investment opportunities: Roach Motel is clearly one product poised to set new sales records. And Wall Street is excited about earnings from companies that make SPF 400 sunscreen products, as well as the rumor that Warren Buffett has bought the two remaining companies in America that still make large hats.4. Start a branch of the GWDC (Global Warming Defense Corps) on your block. You’ll learn basic survival skills, like “Xtreme grilling”—including recipes for simple meals to cook on the hood of your car or on concrete sidewalks.Note: Experts will also teach you which strategies and weapons are effective against hordes of hungry, confused European bears.Global warming is here. It’s time for all of us to adapt and evolve.last_img read more

first_img The FDA has extended the public comment period on the prior notice interim final rule through July 13, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner, told the health subcommittee Jun 25. The final rule will be published in March 2005. Historically, the FDA inspected less than 1% of imports. That percentage has doubled. FDA inspectors conducted 78,659 examinations of imported food shipments in fiscal year 2003, according to Herndon. The number far exceeded the agency’s goal of 48,000 field inspections for the year and was more than six times the 12,000 inspections conducted in fiscal 2001. Food importers give the new rules mixed reviews. “What we initially thought was 450,000, we’re thinking is more likely 250,000,” Herndon said. It’s also likely that some companies aren’t aware they need to register or that they don’t believe the rules apply to them. The notices allow agency officials to judge which shipments need inspection. The food security rules are jointly enforced by the FDA and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Despite increased inspections, few shipments have been detained. Since the prior-notice law took effect in December 2003, FDA and customs inspectors have detained 12 shipments because of concerns about food contamination or filth. None of the shipments was found to be a threat to people or animals, Herndon said. Importers must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide 2 to 8 hours’ notice of food shipments. The FDA has been receiving advance notice of about 150,000 shipments each week, according to the agency’s compliance summary information. About 99.3% of those notices are completed on time, a marked improvement from earlier this year, Michael Herndon, a public affairs specialist with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told CIDRAP News yesterday. “We’re going back now and examining to make sure the prior-notice information is accurate,” Herndon added. Stout also asked that the FDA eliminate requirements that food and beverage companies track lot or production codes for each retail product. If the food supply is threatened, Stout said, companies and retailers remove all the suspect products from shelves. The new system has led to more targeted inspections and prompted some criticism from the food industry. But as with a student’s homework assignment, filling in the blanks doesn’t always mean giving a right answer. Although most notices are complete, the information isn’t always accurate. “While FDA made many improvements to the proposed regulations, there is still room for more, especially with concern to prior notice and record keeping,” said Susan Stout, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, in congressional testimony Jun 25. Addressing the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she requested that the FDA provide feedback on incomplete notices. Registration remains a stumbling block. By Jun 24, only 208,277 foreign and domestic companies had registered with the FDA. By some FDA estimates, twice that many businesses need to register; others say the estimates have been adjusted. Herndon said Jun 29 that the FDA continues to work with importers to educate them about registration and completing the prior-notice forms. The FDA went gently into the new rules by emphasizing education. Now regulators are moving toward the enforcement end of the spectrum. Jun 30 (CIDRAP News) – As federal agencies near the Aug 12 deadline for full enforcement of the food security provisions of the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, authorities say the food industry is getting better at following the new rules. Inspectors also have more sophisticated tools to target suspect imports. When companies notify the FDA that a shipment is arriving, agency employees can run that information through up to 100 checks, looking for red flags such as easily contaminated foods, specific countries of origin, or a product that matches other intelligence information, an FDA spokesman said. “Even though the bigger picture is to protect Americans from bioterrorism, we’re still not in the business of impeding commerce,” he said. Amy Becker is a full-time reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a freelance reporter for CIDRAP. She will enter the University of Minnesota’s graduate program in public health administration and policy in fall 2004.last_img read more