Monday, January 31, 2011
As unrest continues to grow in Egypt, so, too, does the number of people who are missing and unaccounted for. Samer Karam and Dara Mouracade have put together a shared spreadsheet with information about missing people and when/where they were last seen (as well as links to their online profiles and accounts). If anyone has any information about these folks please reach out to Samer or Dara and help update the list, or help pass it on so that it hopefully ends up in the hands of someone who does have info.
By MARTHA ROSENBERG - January 24, 2011
Even though AstraZeneca's anti-psychotic Seroquel is the fifth best-selling medication in the US...its safety, effectiveness, clinical trial and promotion records are highly checkered.
Open source protests are composed of people with very different views of the world brought together by a single achievable idea.
In Egypt's case, that's the removal of Mubarak.
Unfortunately, as a result of this diversity of views, open source protests are messy. Nobody is formally in charge.
However, this DOESN'T mean they aren't any leaders in the protest. In fact, there are lots.
The extent that anyone is a leader in a open protest like Egypt's is based on:
- Does the leader provide ways to move the protest forward, towards completing its goal? Do they provide good innovations and great examples of what to do?
- How closely does the leader's stay to the protest's goal? If that is what they focus on, they gain stature. IF their goals begin to grow and become more detailed (ideological), they lose support.
- Do leaders coach or command? If they coach, they gain support. If they command, they lose it. If they attempt to seize control, the protest will turn on them.
What this means is that leaders can emerge in Egypt's protest. They offer the chance to break the stalemate brought on by Mubarak's survival strategy.
What should the leaders of the protest do?
Here's an open question.
In favor of Mubarak:
- Mubarak is safely bunkered.
- He's realigned his government to be closer to the military.
- People are concerned about law and order (many want the government to resume operations).
- The Egyptian army is keeping government buildings safe and violence/looting to a minimum (which means that Mubarak's bunker could be safe).
- He successfully de-escalated the conflict by withdrawing the police.
- The police are starting to re-emerge.
- The US government is unwilling to help force Mubarak out (hedging their bets).
He wins if the protest evaporates.
In favor of the open source protest:
- It is open source and still enjoys a strongly plausible promise.
- It continues to generate crowds and a huge gathering is planned (for Tuesday).
- The people aren't afraid of the government anymore (fence sitters are likely to turn out).
- Leaders are starting to emerge (open source leaders that are able to articulate the demand of the protest: Mubarak must leave).
- The military is neutral. It is unlikely to turn against the crowd or fire on it.
- The police/interior ministry troops were badly beaten. They are likely demoralized.
- The US government has communicated it will not tolerate wholesale violence against the people.
The protest wins if Mubarak leaves.
Which side will win?
Haiti's government is ready to issue a diplomatic passport to ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, opening the way for his possible return home from exile in South Africa, a senior official said on Monday.
"The Council of Ministers, under the leadership of President Rene Preval, decided that a diplomatic passport be issued to President Aristide, if he asks for it," Fritz Longchamp, general secretary for the presidency, told Reuters.
A report released by Human Rights Watch documents how Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government effectively condones police abuse by failing to ensure that law enforcement officers who are accused of torture are investigated and criminally prosecuted.
HRW describes torture as "an endemic problem in Egypt." According to HRW, ending police abuse—and the cycle of impunity for those crimes—is a driving element behind the massive popular demonstrations in Egypt this past week. Snip from introduction:
'Work on Him Until He Confesses': Impunity for Torture in Egypt,' documents how President Hosni Mubarak's government implicitly condones police abuse by failing to ensure that law enforcement officials accused of torture are investigated and criminally prosecuted, leaving victims without a remedy.
'Egyptians deserve a clean break from the incredibly entrenched practice of torture,' said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch. 'The Egyptian government's foul record on this issue is a huge part of what is still bringing crowds onto the streets today.'
The case of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old man beaten to death by two undercover police officers on an Alexandria street in June, dominated headlines and set off demonstrations across the country. The local prosecutor initially closed an investigation and ordered Said's burial, but escalating public protests prompted the Public Prosecutor to reopen the investigation and refer it to court. 'We Are All Khaled Said' is the name of the Facebook group that helped initiate the mass demonstrations on January 25, 2011.
[ Warning: disturbing content. The report contains graphic descriptions of torture. ]
Report (95 pages): 'Work on Him Until He Confesses': Impunity for Torture in Egypt.The report is offered in in English and Arabic, English version of PDF here.
- Egyptian anti-torture blogger says YouTube shut his account.
- Supporters work to free Egypt blogger Kareem (NPR 'Xeni Tech')
- Egyptian bloggers harassed and detained in Egypt...
- NYT: Wikileaks cables reveal details of US-Egypt diplomacy - Boing ...
- Egypt keeps blogger in jail past release deadline
After she realized many people couldn't wrap their heads around what was going on in Egypt, Furrygirl decided to turn to Hollywood staples and made this Raiders of the Lost Ark mashup version which explains things pretty clearly.
Full graphic follows, below...
Instantly recognizable by her saucer eyes, mop of platinum hair, and gravelly voice, Broadway legend CAROL CHANNING (born 1921) rocketed to success as Lorelei Lee in a 1949 production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She was “a dazed automaton” on the boards, “husky enough to kick in the teeth of any gentleman on the stage, but mincing coyly in high-heel shoes and looking out on a confused world through big, wide, starry eyes. There has never been anything like this before in human society,” raved New York Times theater critic Brooks Atkinson. Husky, mincing, and coy: no wonder Channing has been a favorite of female impersonators for decades. PS: In her 2002 autobiography, Channing confessed that when she was 16 years old, her mother informed her that her paternal grandmother was black, a fact she imparted lest Carol be “surprised” by a future offspring’s skin color.
On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Grant Morrison.
READ MORE HiLo Hero shout-outs."
“I have a very peculiar background, attitude, and approach to the real world, because I am a conjurer.” So begins James Randi’s 2007 TED Talk, a few minutes before he takes a lethal dose (32 caplets) of homeopathic sleeping pills. He then proceeds with a scathing takedown of psychic practices, explaining how cold reading works, and ultimately calling psychic practice a “cruel farce.” Randi then proceeds to explain his One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, and briefly discusses homeopathy, including a very nerdy shout-out to Avogadro’s limit.
This is hugely entertaining and interesting if you’re into science. You may not agree with everything he says, but you will likely at least enjoy his style. Have a look below, or watch the high-resolution MP4 version.
There’s lots more where this came from at Randi’s website."
160,000 Strong Petition to Stop Internet Metering to Become Largest Online Action in Canadian History
One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Canadians Protest New Internet Fees
January 31, 2011 – The citizen engagement group OpenMedia.ca has announced that an unprecedented 160,000 Canadians have signed the Stop The Meter petition. The petition calls on Canadian political leaders, including Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff and Conservative Industry Minister Tony Clement, to take action to stop new Internet usage fees, or 'Internet metering'.
'I had an overwhelming desire to kill a child': Top German executive murders boy and blames it on stress at the office
'It was all the stress at work. The boss gave me a hard time and I had this overwhelming desire to kill a child,' the murderer told police after a five-month manhunt which led to the arrest.
The man, who has only been identified as 45-year-old Olaf H because of German privacy laws, phoned his wife as he drove home from work near Bonn to tell her about his miserable day and to say he might be late.
'I drove around aimlessly looking for a random victim, a child because I wanted to have power over somebody,' he said in a reported statement.
'A girl or a boy it didn't matter. I needed somebody so I could relieve my frustration.'
His victim was a boy named by police only as Mirco who was cycling home at 10pm after spending the evening at a skating rink.
He made the boy climb into his car before raping and then strangling him.
He dumped the body in a wood at Grefrath, near the Belgian border.
Olaf's career took a turn for the better after the murder. His boss promoted him, gave him a pay rise and put him in charge of a department with 150 workers."
During the main protest on Sunday in downtown Cairo, one man painted a 20- meter-long message in flowing Arabic cursive that echoed across the square: 'Go Away, Mubarak, you are from the Americans, and you're working for them!'
Egyptians understand that the world is waiting to see if President Hosni Mubarak falls to popular pressure before major leaders decide which side to support. But this is infuriating the demonstrators, who realize that six days of unrest have not accomplished their goal and that they need united international pressure in order to topple the almost-30-year incumbent."
Egyptians, Greeks, British, Tunisians rebelling against being pillaged by giant, international banks and their own government
She also points out that the Greek, British, Tunisian and other protesters are all in the same boat:
The ongoing demonstrations in Egypt are as much, if not more, about the mass deterioration of economic conditions and the harsh result of years of financial deregulation, than the political ideology that some of the media seems more focused on.
According to the CIA's World Fact-book depiction of Egypt's economy, 'Cairo from 2004 to 2008 aggressively pursued economic reforms to attract foreign investment and facilitate GDP growth.' And, while that was happening, 'Despite the relatively high levels of economic growth over the past few years, living conditions for the average Egyptian remain poor.'
Unemployment in Egypt is hovering just below the 10% mark, like in the US, though similarly, this figure grossly underestimates underemployment, quality of employment, prospects for employment, and the growing youth population with a dismal job future. Nearly 20% of the country live below the poverty line (compared to 14% and growing in the US) and 10% of the population controls 28% of household income (compared to 30% in the US). [By the most commonly used measure of inequality - the Gini Coefficient - the U.S. has much higher inequality than Egypt]. But, these figures, as in the US, have been accelerating in ways that undermine financial security of the majority of the population, and have been doing so for more than have a decade."
So this year’s Sundance has come to an end. It now seems to be a yearly tradition that I’ll fly home the day of the awards and jetlag will allow me to stay awake and watch the ceremony that runs until 4am UK time. We tried to predict the winners this year during the festival, but as always the majority that win are the films I didn’t get a chance to see. Next year I’ll make my predictions solely on that basis.
Sundance 2011 was an amazing year for documentaries, and an extremely eclectic one when it came to subject matter. The new Documentary Premieres section took the big name directors out of the competition and allowed less-seasoned filmmakers a chance at the awards. This proved to be a great idea as the diversity of viewpoint really came through in the programming. It would be great to have an award for this section though, as the Premieres category standard was understandably high.
Danfung Dennis’ film Hell and Back Again was undeniably the shining star of the documentary awards, being the only film to take home two, with the World Cinema Cinematography Award for Documentary Filmmaking and World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary. We posted a brief description of how the film was made here, and the review will be online soon. Of those that I had a chance to see I was absolutely thrilled that first time filmmaker Jon Foy’s Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles won the U.S. Documentary Competition Directing Award, Marshall Curry’s If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front won the U.S. Documentary Editing Award and The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 took home the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award (review here).
We still have many reviews on their way and they should be posted throughout the next few weeks, and also look out for a special Sundance podcast that we recorded during the festival. Podcast host Josh spent the majority of his time at the festival chasing down filmmakers to take part, so it will definitely be worth listening to.
The full list of documentary awards are below the jump.
Winner of the World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Documentary Film:
Position Among the Stars (Stand van de Sterren), directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich (Netherlands)
Winner of the World Cinema Cinematography Award for Documentary Filmmaking:
Hell and Back Again, cinematography by Danfung Dennis (U.S.A./U.K.)
Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award:
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, edited by Goran Hugo Olsson and Hanna Lejonqvist, and directed by Goran Hugo Olsson. (Sweden/U.S.A.)
Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award:
Project Nim, directed by James Marsh (U.K.)
Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary:
Hell and Back Again, directed by Danfung Dennis (U.K./U.S.A.)
Winner of the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary Film:
Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia (U.K.)
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Competition Audience Award, presented by Acura:
Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary Competition:
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, directed by Constance Marks
Winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award, U.S. Documentary Competition:
The Redemption of General Butt Naked, cinematography by Eric Strauss, Ryan Hill and Peter Hutchens.
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Editing Award:
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, edited by Matthew Hamachek and Marshall Curry.
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Competition Directing Award:
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles, directed by Jon Foy
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize:
How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter D. Richardson
Since we last heard from our lady in Cairo, Rachel Pollock, the situation in Egypt has obviously gotten a great deal more intense. Rachel sent us this update via a bunch of text messages from an apartment in Dokki. Update: We edited the text messages into one long article so you don’t have to read a bunch of broken up text messages. That’s why it doesn’t look like a bunch of text messages. Update over.
Our landlord came upstairs while we were sitting on our roof terrace drinking the last of our beers. “Hey guys, what’s up?” he said as he went into the storage room and emerged with a cricket paddle. Then he headed back downstairs to give it to an unarmed security guard.
We watched silently as looters and criminals ravaged the city and groups of Egyptians armed with knives and metal poles staked out their neighborhoods. No one mentioned it, but everyone on the rooftop was aware that our friend Ahmed was doing the same thing in his neighborhood in Heliopolis. And like the last few nights there was no chance of sleep.
My friend J was having panic attacks from the sounds coming from outside, so I spent hours rubbing his back and trying whatever encouraging words I could think of. “Come on, let’s watch the Mighty Ducks,” I pleaded.
When the gunshots went off, I looked at J and immediately ran into the next room to where L and T were sleeping. “We’re naked,” they both chimed in. I must not have heard them because I continued to hurriedly talk about the violence. L came into the living room and we talked about the situation within a situation developing outside our window: a bunch of people with suitcases standing outside the Jordanian embassy who were obviously intending to get the fuck out of the area any way they could.
The next morning we decided to walk from Cairo to Tahrir. The UN has urged all foreigners to leave the country and scheduled outgoing flights for Monday, but I am staying here. Egypt is my home now. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me for doing this. Some things are bigger than I am.
Some men walked by with handguns. People on the street suggested that we take another street. Eventually a man holding a metal pole escorted us. Gunshots rang out everywhere. Tanks moving away from Tahrir kept passing us. We stopped for food and some little kids with sticks asked if we are Egyptian. We said yes. “OK, same deal as our trip to Gaza,” I said to L. “We stay smart and look after each other.”
People kept asking where we were going. We said “home” and kept walking. Eventually we got to the first bridge we had to cross to get into Tahrir. Stores were looted and vacant. Then we made it to the second bridge. We saw abandoned tanks. Some guy shook his stick at me, but when he saw that I was scared he put it down and said he was just kidding. We ran into Lucy and Muhammad, friends we were supposed to meet up with earlier. Muhammad’s voice was shot from screaming. We left and said we would come back soon.
We headed to Tahrir and it was amazing. The people there were all chanting and praying. We ran into Jack, another reporter who was recently dragged into the middle of the desert and beaten. But he was fine. El Baradei spoke and most people were supportive, and by supportive I mean that no one threw rocks at him. Nobody trusts this guy.
Next we ran into our friend Merc who has been stuck downtown for days. We brought him back with us. L was being a bitch about getting cigarettes, but eventually we left with Merc. He was the only foreigner in his building. Even the Egyptians had left. He was sitting alone, watching people get shot in the street. Then they started burning the police headquarters, which was next to his building. We decided to go home, but first I had to convince everyone to forgo looking for a place that’s still selling wine. I asked, “Do you really want to die over a bottle of wine?” No one put up a fight.
We crossed the Kasr-el-Aini bridge, and a man gave me a bullet shell as a souvenir. It’s printed with the words Made in the USA. On the way back people seemed calm; no one was carrying weapons. We crossed the next bridge. I don’t know the name of it, but the Sheraton was on my left and Dokki was ahead.
Egyptian people were and are still controlling the streets. They are much more organized than the police ever were. At every checkpoint there were people with knives and sticks who told us to be careful. Eventually we made it to my friend’s house. We are finally safe and have celebratory cigarettes and beers.
I question my identity every day. During all of this I question making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Picking out my outfit seems trivial compared to Egypt picking a new government. We will never fully understand but until you come here and ask yourselves the same questions neither will you.
Things are quasi-normal the next day, but Americans are evacuating like crazy. I coughed up blood, probably from the teargas and whatnot. There’s been talk of food, water, and electricity being cut off. We talked about eating my dog.
We haven’t had internet access in about a week—that’s why I had to send this dispatch via text message. Some people have had success with dial-up modems, but that’s not really an option for us because all of the stores are looted. We don’t even have TV. Everything we know is via rumors. But that’s exactly the point here. You can never know what’s true.
The most recent issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Health contained an article explaining how music can reinforce healthy behavior and even help with pain management. It may come as a surprise...
Continue reading "Can Music Can Make You Thinner (and Happier)? Science Says "Yes!" " >"
Polyphenols present in green tea exert a potent antioxidant effect that helps to counteract free radical damage to cells.
Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration on
Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power.
so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million
people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment
reaches a fever pitch.
Several hundred demonstrators remained camped out in Tahrir Square in
central Cairo overnight, defying a curfew that has been extended by the
CAIRO - Saturday's optimism on the streets of Cairo for imminent political change gave way to anger on Sunday, as thousands of demonstrators became increasingly frustrated with the lack of response from major world leaders, especially the US.
During the main protest on Sunday in downtown Cairo, one man painted a 20- meter-long message in flowing Arabic cursive that echoed across the square: "Go Away, Mubarak, you are from the Americans, and you're working for them!"
Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.
Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West's interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime. The diplomatic measures came after statements in Western capitals implying that the United States and European Union supported Mubarak's ouster.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Can Egyptians Revolt?
'The traditional wisdom has always been that Egyptians don't revolt simply because they are an agricultural society. Farmers require stability and patience to tend their land.Egypt is a classic case of shock doctrine - the World Bank and the IMF taking advantage of a nation's vulnerability by appealing to the greed of a few power seekers.
'Farmers also need a strong central government to protect them against natural disasters, such as floods and droughts.
'Egypt is no longer an agricultural society.'
'... In the 1990s Mubarak was forced to speed up the privatisation process under the pressure of a daunting foreign debt crisis and foreign international lending organisations, such as the World Bank and the IMF, who made privatisation a pre-condition for aid.'
'After privatisation, the new business elite gained control over millions of workers or potential voters who used to work for the public sector in the past. The new wealthy elites can now buy the loyalty and votes of millions of private sector workers through wages and other economic benefits. They also have much needed cash to support their political campaigns and their parties if needed.'So in Canada ...
Walmart to open 40 supercenters, to add jobs
And to destroy other jobs by killing smaller businesses. Have you noticed that every small town looks the same now as you enter it by bus or train? McDonald's, WalMart, Home Depot ...
All you have to do is look at the crappy Mexican and American produce at the supermarket to know that we're not an agricultural country. Can Canadians revolt? Are we prepared for this? Are we prepared to die, as in Egypt (VIDEO) and Tunisia (VIDEO)?
Did you notice in the Egypt video that in the areas where some vandalism was done, there were few protesters? It's the same here in Canada. Most people want peaceful protest, but the police are not 'peaceful'. They are no longer there to serve and protect us and our so-called democratic freedoms; their job is to support the power structure, whether good or downright evil.
VIDEO: G20 scenes of police brutality
NOTE: There's a unique analysis of our justice system near the end of this video.
Related: Tunisia Wants to Arrest Deposed President
Included: Video of Tunisian protest. Again, fewer protesters in areas where people are shown throwing rocks at police.
The Tunisia article tickles my fancy. There are so many 'leaders' I'd like to see arrested. The Tunisian president's promised concessions are way too little, way too late.
Walmart Image borrowed from here: My Walmart Dilemma
It's all about seeking - The latest research, though is changing this view. Instead of dopamine causing us to experience pleasure, the latest research shows that dopamine causes seeking behavior. Dopamine causes us to want, desire, seek out, and search. It increases our general level of arousal and our goal-directed behavior.'"
People worship Burroughs' Naked Lunch, but don't give it its props as a science fiction classic, argues Rudy Rucker on his blog. Rucker, whose new novel about Alan Turing includes Burroughs as a character, describes Naked Lunch as 'Transreal SF.' More »