Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline

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Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline
By mYCZNbxh On July 22nd, 2018

Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.

Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding

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Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding
By mYCZNbxh On July 22nd, 2018

Monday, April 6, 2009

Over 1,600 volunteers registered to help build approximately 65,000 of the 500,000 sandbags to create dikes 20.5 feet (6.2 meters) high to protect the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the war against the Red River of the North flood.

700 volunteers answered at the rural municipality of St. Andrews alone. Once sandbags are filled for West St. Paul, St. Andrews, and Selkirk, then frozen culverts must be cleared.

The height of the river is expected to be Thursday, and predictions are that it will be less than Flood of the Century of 1997. There is no precipitation in the forecast, and snow in the province should be melted by the end of the week.

“The fear right now is we have to get that ice out of the river. The Amphibex [Excavators] are still working and breaking the ice apart, and everyday we buy with the warm weather and the current, it is thinning the ice down a bit, so when it does start to move, the better chance it’ll move right out into the lake,” said Paul Guyder, the emergency coordinator for the RMs of St. Andrews and St. Clements.

“I feel that we’ve done everything humanly possible to get ready,” said Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, “But … there are fallibilities with human behaviour. We can take every preventative measure as human beings possible and we can still get Mother Nature proving again she is superior.”

Communities with ring diking will partially or fully close their dikes at the beginning of the week. Provincial officials are considering opening the Red River Floodway gates around mid-week before ice is fully melted.

Ice jams could cause flooding within the city, however opening the gates could spare neighbourhood flooding when the river rises to the estimated 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) height. The province does have back up plans for dealing with ice jams within the city if they do occur. The unpredictability of ice jams and the ensuing water level rise may cause neighbourhood flooding. The city is raising dikes where the river has jammed with ice in the past such as on tight curves and past bridges. Likewise there are excavators and backhoes positioned at these points.

Vulnerable neighbourhoods on the river banks have been reinforced with sandbag dikes at vulnerable areas from the massive volunteer effort over the weekend. Guyader feels no more extra volunteers are needed, however volunteers are still being asked to leave their names and number in case of unpredicted need. Existing personnel will assess roads, and help with clean up.

Approximately 400 of the 800 people who evacuated the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation have returned to their homes.

Former Premier, Dufferin Roblin, brought forward the floodway as a protection for Winnipeg residents and economy following the 1950 Red River Flood. The Red River floodway, “Duff’s Ditch” was finally finished in 1968, and its floodway gates have been opened 20 times saving Winnipeg from an estimated CA$10 billion in damages. The floodway expansion began in 2005 at a price of $665 million.

Polish and Chinese experts have come to survey the Red River Floodway, and Dennis Walaker, mayor of Fargo, North Dakota recognises the need for Red River flood defences down river. “Every town that you drive by from the Canadian line up to Winnipeg is either elevated or ring-diked,” said Walaker.

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds
By mYCZNbxh On July 22nd, 2018

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

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US Republicans query Linux Foundation about open-source security

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US Republicans query Linux Foundation about open-source security
By mYCZNbxh On July 17th, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

On Monday, two US Republican Party legislators, Greg Walden and Frank Pallone Jr., respectively the chairman and the ranking member of the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce, co-wrote a public letter to Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, about open-source software (OSS) and improving its security. They requested Zemlin to answer their questions by no later than April 16.

The letter contained the following four questions; each of the first two has a further two follow-up questions.

  1. Has the CII [Core Infrastructure Initiative] performed a comprehensive study of which pieces of OSS are most crucial to the “global information infrastructure”?
    1. If not, does the CII plan to perform such a study?
    2. What would the CII need in order to do so?
  2. Has the CII, or any other organizations, compiled any statistics on OSS usage?
    1. If not, does the CII plan to perform such a study?
    2. What would the CII need in order to do so?
  3. In your estimation, how sustainable and stable is the OSS ecosystem?
  4. Based on your response to the previous question, how can the OSS ecosystem be made more sustainable and stable?

Walden and Pallone exemplified Heartbleed, a “critical cybersecurity vulnerability” that allowed the hacking of websites and passwords, and millions of medical records in 2014. They also wrote that, in response to that vulnerability, The Linux Foundation established a multi-million dollar project, the Core Infrastructure Initiative, intended to improve the global infrastucture of such software.

The politicians noted large tech companies like Microsoft, Apple Inc., and Adobe Systems respond more quickly to such critical vulnerabilities than distributors and developers of open-source software.

Open-source software is “publicly accessible” and usually freely-licensed for a wide range of use, such as modification and commercial uses. Walden and Pallone also expressed praise toward open-source software and cited a 2015 survey conducted by Black Duck Software saying 78% of companies used such software.

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Vivien Goldman: An interview with the Punk Professor

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Vivien Goldman: An interview with the Punk Professor
By mYCZNbxh On July 17th, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Vivien Goldman recalls with a laugh the day in 1984 when she saw her death, but the laugh fades as she becomes lost in the memory. She was in Nigeria staying in Fela Kuti‘s home; she had just arrived hours before and found people sleeping everywhere like house cats when Muhammadu Buhari‘s army showed up to haul everyone to jail. Kuti was an opponent of the government who was in jail, and they came to arrest his coterie of supporters. They grabbed Goldman and were about to throw her in a truck until Pascal Imbert, Kuti’s manager, yelled out, “Leave her alone. She just arrived from Paris! She’s my wife! She knows nothing!

Goldman stops for a moment and then smiles plainly. “They thought I was just some stupid woman…. That time sexism worked in my favor.”

Vivien Goldman has become a living, teaching testimony of the golden era of punk and reggae. She is an adjunct professor at New York University who has taught courses on the music scene she was thrust in the middle of as a young public relations representative for Island Records. She writes a column for the BBC called “Ask the Punk Professor” where she extols the wisdom she gained as a confidant of Bob Marley; as the person who first put Flava Flav in video; as Chrissie Hynde‘s former roommate; as the woman who worked with the The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Slits and The Raincoats.

As Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found out, Goldman is one of those individuals that when you sit in her presence you realize she simply can not tell you everything she knows or has seen, either to protect the living or to respect the dead.


DS: The first biography of Bob Marley, Soul Rebel, Natural Mystic, was written by you based upon your personal experiences with him, and you have recently written a book about Marley called The Book of Exodus. How difficult is it to continue to mine his life? Is it difficult to come up with new angles?

VG: The original biography was written in a weekend and it was based upon my extensive interviews with him, whereas the Exodus book took two and a half years. I must have been a year past deadline, because it kept on growing. Even I had to acknowledge it was a more mature work. After I wrote the first one, all these other people came out with books. I read them, and they were all good in their different ways, but there was a story that had not been told but that I had lived so intensely, a deep story that had shaped my whole life. It demanded I write a book about it. Nobody else has the experience, and I still have that oompf.

DS: You were there with Marley through that time when he really caught on; was it obvious to you then that there was something amazing and unique happening?

VG: It was really something, and it was huge, but I didn’t examine it then. I believed in Bob with every fiber of my being, but it was hard to realize how everybody in the world would get it in the end, and just how towering a figure and enduring he would prove to be. He deserves everything and more; the role that he occupies is so central. It would have been hard to envisage how huge he became, though.

DS: Warhol’s Factory photographer, Billy Name, once told me he knew that what was going on was amazing, but he never thought Warhol would become the entire fabric of the art world as he is now.

VG: Especially in New York. Warhol was so associated with the punk scene.

DS: But Marley has become a fabric of sorts…

VG: Oh, he’s beyond the fabric of reggae, he’s the fabric of the rebel spirit. Now everybody just puts on a little red, green and gold and they feel it identifies them as being there in the struggle. Even if it is someone flying to the Hamptons for the weekend, they bring out Marley to expresses the rebel aspect they don’t want to completely lose.

DS: How do you define punk?

VG: There are two things. First, the aesthetic: harder, faster, louder. But the second thing is what interested me more, which was the rebel spirit and attitude. That free spirit of punk; that implicit sense of wanting to change a system that is always unfair wherever you are, except for maybe in the Netherlands. But it’s become so commodified

DS: What is the commodified version of punk selling?

VG: Edgy and dangerous. It is amazing: you open the New York Times and the free bits fall out and you get Urban Outfitters or Old Navy with lines of punk kiddie clothes. K-mart, even. I was trying to see what was so deeply punk about those clothes. They were maybe more colorful or something, but they weren’t punk. It’s like the Swarovski crystal take on punk, I mean, please!

DS: That aesthetic is everywhere, as though if one spikes his hair he is punk.

VG: Well, the punk is in the heart, to paraphrase Deee-Lite. I was writing about Good Charlotte and The Police. They adopted the trappings of punk. They aren’t bad groups, but the punk aspect is more manifested by somebody like Manu Chao. He’s one of the punkiest artists out there I can think of. It’s an inclusionary spirit that is punk.

DS: Your philosophy is that punk is not just musical, but also an aesthetic. That it can imbibe anything; that it stands for change and for changing a system. Let me give you a few names, and you to tell me how you think they are or are not punk. Britney Spears.

VG: Oh, no she’s not punk. Punk is not just about wearing smeary black eyeliner, but some sense of engagement. That’s it in a nutshell. She doesn’t have that sense of engagement. She is society.

DS: Dick Cheney.

VG: He is the essence of Babylonian, old structure capitalism, which is about greed and how much one can take for himself. I could see capitalism that is mutually beneficial, such as ‘I want a bigger customer base,’ but they don’t. Take a place I know well like Jamaica. I don’t know if you have seen that documentary Life and Debt, about how the INF squeezed everything out of Jamaica, but that’s a typical thing that happens. Instead of building these people up and paying them a living wage for their work, where we could sell more to them, we just want to suck everything out of the place. Suck the sugar, suck the labor. And that is not very punk. It’s the opposite of punk. That’s what Dick Cheney represents to me. He tries to bring about change, but change that just fattens his pocket. It’s not thinking of the community, and that’s what punk is about.

DS: Kanye West.

VG: He seems to be a positive force. In that sense, I would file him slightly under punk.

DS: Osama bin Laden.

VG: He thinks he is a punk, but he’s too destructive. If I was sitting in the madrassa in the desert chanting the Koran seven days a week, I’d think, yeah, he’s a punk. But I’m not, so I don’t.

DS: Is the definition of punk relative, then? He’s a Madrasah punk but not a Manhattan punk?

VG: Having said that, they would loathe punks, so I think we can safely say, not a punk.

DS: Pete Doherty.

VG: Oh yeah, I think he’s a punk. He’s a punk and he engages with the system in terms of how a powerful a presence he’s become. He is the Keith Richards of his day.

DS: If punk is about change, then why the maudlin sentimentality over the closing of CBGB‘s, which at times turned into demonizing a homeless shelter?

VG: Yeah, and they had not paid their rent, had they? I sided with the homeless shelter in a way, except I thought the whole thing was ridiculous because somebody should have stepped in and bought it and paid it and fixed it up, in the sense there is no shrine. They don’ think about the tourism, do they? I expect that of America now. Los Angeles just destroyed the Brown Derby, and the modernist architecture. That’s the thing about America. There seems to be very little regard for legacy. I think they should have kept CBGBs, but I think that more cynically. My students had a huge debate about it.

DS: I felt it was what it was at a certain moment, but it wasn’t that anymore. They were charging eight dollars for a beer. That’s not very punk, and that wasn’t attracting the punk crowds. It was like people who move to the Bowery because they think it’s so edgy but it’s really a boulevard of glittering condos.

VG: Nostalgie pour la boue: nostalgia for the mud. Not all of them, though. Patti Smith. Anyway, the spirit had moved on to Williamsburg.

DS: Where do you think New York’s culture is going? There are so few places on Earth with such a large concentration of creatives who meet and influence each other, but the city is becoming less affordable and cleansed of any grit. Is there a place for punk in the Manhattan of the future?

VG: They are flushing out the artists. Manhattan is now a ghetto for the very rich. When punk started it was in weird places, places you broke into and that had never been used for shows. It was never in regular venues, but now every nook and cranny is a regular venue and it doesn’t leave much space for the old punk spirit. ABC No Rio, I think they manage to work it in the system. And there are places like The Stone, John Zorn‘s place, which has avant-garde free form jazz. He subsidizes that place, so it remains a little haven. There are a few little pockets, but it has a lot do with the rent. Realistically, there’s loads of stuff happening in places like Brooklyn, more than there seems to be in Manhattan. When I jammed with The Slits, that happened at some after-hours thing in Brooklyn in some warehouse. I remember loads of things in funny places. The first time I heard Public Enemy I was on the rooftop of a building.

DS: You’re friends with Flava Flav, right?

VG: Yes, although I haven’t seen him in a very long time. I remember how I met him. I was doing this video for I Ain’t No Joke with Erik B and Rakim, and they weren’t very vibey in terms of the stagecraft, as it were. The projection. Not to diss anybody, but I needed someone to bring a bit more life into it; it was very low-budget, a vérité kind of shoot. We were in a playground in the projects and there were all these blokes hanging around, and there was one who was super-sprightly, like a live wire. I didn’t know it was Flava Flav and I shouted out, Hey, you, will you come over and be groovy for us? and he did and a lot of the action in the video is Flava Flav spinning around, doing a Dervish in the middle of the playground.

DS: At the time he wasn’t known?

VG: Well, it turned out he was in a group called Public Enemy. The first time I heard them was at a rooftop party, and it’s one of my great New York memories. It was a warehouse building that’s still there behind Houston and Bowery and I remember it was amazing because you never heard music like that before. It was blaring. It was so hot and we were in the middle of the city with graffiti on the walls, people smoking spliffs. It was very free. You don’t see that anymore. Everything is more heavily policed.

DS: Do you think apathy is a problem today?

VG: There’s less intelligent, critical content in general, and celebrity magazines pay the most and sell the most. It’s the Lowest Common Denominator. Britney Spears is an unbelievable example. She’s so young with no good guidance around her, and she is fodder for them to sell more magazines. There’s a gladiator aspect of it: the worse off she is, the better for that industry. But I’m still looking for the people who have conscience. Michael Franti, he’s one of the only ones I look to now. He had that band Spearhead. I’m looking around for conscious artists.

DS: What about G. G. Allin? He used to defecate on the stage to make a point.

VG: That’s quite extreme, and very unhygienic. I wouldn’t need to see that. I don’t think that’s necessarily punk, it’s just scatological. Some people might think it’s punk, but I personally wouldn’t dig it. It’s outrageous, but not in the way I find interesting.

DS: Well, he’s dead. Do you think people are afraid to speak out today?

VG: I guess in Vietnam you did, but now the culture isn’t nearly as organized.

DS: Is violence for the cause of social change punk?

VG: Violence will occur in social change. Violence has always been associated with punk, although punk wants peace in a way. When you look at all the bands in punk, like No Future and Blank Generation, it has implicit an aspiration to a place where you don’t have to be violent. Often it happens. The punk era was violent. Very, very violent. So many people were beaten up during those days. I’m very much a peacenik, but violence often happens, one observes, on the road to social change.

DS: Sandra Bernhard once did an homage to what she called the Big-Tittied Bitches of Rock n’ Roll: Heart, Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks. She mourned that there were no big-tittied bitches left. Who are the big-tittied bitches of Rock n’ Roll today?

VG: M.I.A. Tanya Stephens. Joan Jett, still. The Slits, who still suffer from the system and they are still brilliant. Male bands of that statute would have more deals. Big-tittied in terms of cojones, as opposed to cleavage as such.

DS: Do you have moments of extreme self-doubt where you wonder if anything you do matters to anyone?

VG: I have a lot of moments of extreme self-doubt, but you have to be humble and listen to what people say. Although I was never top of the New York Times book chart, I know people have liked my stuff, and that keeps me going. The classes have been amazing. I had done a lot of television and media, but it was the first time I had done something one-on-one. It was the old cliche that a person learns as much as they teach. Loads of my old students keep in touch with me; one wrote to me to tell me he is free-lancing for XXL and some other rap magazines, and how the classes really have been useful and he always refers to them. Even just one person is gratifying and encourages me to continue my work.

DS: You have worked for two corporations that are seen by many as the least punk in their respective communities, the BBC and NYU. How does one remain punk in such environments?

VG: I’m a freelancer. I go in, do my thing, and if they don’t like it then I don’t do it anymore. I stay true to myself, and if it doesn’t work out then I guess ‘fuck off’ on both sides. I haven’t had to compromise myself; nobody has asked me to. BBC America is a different animal than the BBC. As long as I can say what I want to say; I think people come to me because they know what they are getting.

DS: Have you ever been in a situation where you feared for your life, where you thought, this may be the way I go?

VG: There was a lot of violence in the punk times and I got beaten up in street brawls. I particularly remember once in Nigeria… I was there to make a documentary for Channel 4 about Fela Kuti. He was in jail at that time and he wanted to draw attention to his plight to showcase what was going on in Nigeria. It was hard to get through customs because my guides weren’t there to meet me. I found them hiding in the carpark because the police were after them.
We went to Fela’s house where I was going to stay; we went to the shrine and it was amazing. The whole house was covered in people sleeping. I was woken up by this little girl very early in the morning, only about two hours later. She was tapping me on the shoulder and when I looked around there was nobody there, whereas it had been covered in people. She said, “Come! Come! The army is here!”
I went outside and there was the army arresting everyone. People were lined up against the wall. Pascal Imbert, a French guy who was managing Fela, was already on the truck and they were about to take him away. There were all these really serious, heavey Nigerian soldiers with machine guns around. Not friendly, more like stone-faced Belsen guards. It was like that Bob Marley song Ambush in the Night: there were four guns aiming at me. They all turned their guns on me and said, “What should we do with her?” From the truck Pascal shouts out, “Leave her alone! She’s my wife! She’s just arrived from Paris! She doesn’t know anything!” The combination of the words “She’s my wife, she doesn’t’ know anything” were enough. Of course, I had neither arrived from Paris nor was his wife. But they just left me alone; they thought I was just some stupid woman. That time sexism worked in my favor. [Laughs] She doesn’t know anything! They were about to take Pascal away and I rushed up to the head guy very bravely—Pascal always gives me props for this—and I said, “Where are you taking my husband?!” They were actually taking him to a secret jail.

DS: What happened to him in the secret jail?

VG: There’s a documentary about it. He got very thin, he contracted dysentry and he got various diseases. No food, or terrible food. Luckily for him after some months there was an amnesty and he was amongst the prisoners who were released. That was a very heavy moment. I thought I would die, either right then or in a Nigerian jail.

DS: In Jamaica there was so much violence during the civil war.

VG: I’ve seen a lot of death. Many of the people I knew in Jamaica are dead. I think of them a lot; like my very, very close friend Massive Dread. He did so much for the community. At Christmas he’d hold a big party for the kids, and all the rival gangs would come. He was trying to break up some of the coke runnings. They started to have crack dens in Trenchtown and he worked against those. He was opening a library called the Trenchtown Reading Center, in the middle of this broken down ghetto, where kids could sit down to do homework and read books in this nice courtyard. It was really worthwhile.

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Toyota employs the Japanese hybrid solar powered vehicle carrier ship ‘Auriga Leader’

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Toyota employs the Japanese hybrid solar powered vehicle carrier ship ‘Auriga Leader’
By mYCZNbxh On July 16th, 2018

Friday, July 3, 2009

On Friday, a new generation solar powered cargo vessel, the Auriga Leader has docked in North America for the first time. Toyota Motor Corp will employ this car carrier for automobile shipments to Europe and North America from Japan. The vessel will be operated by the Japanese-based NYK Line.

Auriga Leader has 328 solar panels to provide 40 kilowatts, about 10% of the ship’s power while sitting idling in dock. This amount of energy is the equivalent to the power used by ten average homes.

“This is the first ship to direct the solar power into the ship’s main electrical grid. It’s helping all of the time, and its helping with everything, like the ship’s thrusters and the hydraulics for the steering gear,” said Brian Mason, national manager of marine logistics and export for Toyota.

The panels are installed on the ship’s car-carrier, and then connected to the onboard 440 volt electrical network. Nippon Yusen K.K. and Nippon Oil Corp created the Auriga Leader’s US$ 1.6 million innovative green technology solar power grid. The cargo ship has a length of 200 meters (656 ft) and gross tonnage of 60,000 GT, which is capable of carrying 6,400 automobiles.

Richard Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach said of the joint demonstration project, “From our standpoint, it’s another positive step,” to reduce diesel emissions and the release of greenhouse gas.

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Chesapeake Bay Program issues first-ever water quality forecast

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Chesapeake Bay Program issues first-ever water quality forecast
By mYCZNbxh On July 16th, 2018

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

For the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, a first-time-ever “water quality forecast” was issued Monday for the upcoming summer season by the Chesapeake Bay Program. The eastern mid-Atlantic region’s heavy spring rainfalls are predicted to increase nutrient levels in bay waters, leading to oxygen eating algae blooms and leaving deep water dead zones.

Project leader William Dennison, of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies said, “The forecast indicates that recent weather conditions and heavy pollutant loads could lead to a bad summer for the Bay.” The prediction is for this to be the fourth-worst season for dissolved oxygen in two decades.

The Chesapeake Bay Program launched the new forecast to build on a base of environmental data gathered over the last two decades as water quality concerns have grown. The forecast is meant to be a proactive tool that provides resource managers with information that can be used to guide policies for the bay’s protection and restoration.

Cars, fertilizer, human and animal wastes, industrial and agricultural pollutants all play a part. “This means that we need to do a lot more to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen pollution from getting into the bay,” said Beth McGee, of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “The biggest source of pollution in the bay is agriculture, and we’ve got to find a way to provide farmers with more resources to manage the land better.”

Nutrient rich pollutants composed mainly of nitrogen and phosphorous come from far away places carried by rivers, and nearby the bay from farm and metropolitan runoff. They collect in the huge bay and meet tidal flows from the ocean.

Algae feed off the nutrients, and they are either consumed by aquatic life or sink at the end of their life cycle. With such an abundant food source, algae blooms can cover large surfaces of water and choke off sunlight to underwater plants. Later when the plants die, the process of their decomposition on the bottom consumes oxygen to a state where the water becomes anoxic, and unable to support life.

As notorious as weather forecasters are for often being wrong, it should come as no surprise if this first forecasting step by the federally funded program misses its mark. Forces such as heavy storms or hurricanes, which churn water, would have an effect. Excessive wind and unexpected precipitation, or nutrient level jumps, would also contribute.

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Category:April 24, 2005

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Category:April 24, 2005
By mYCZNbxh On July 15th, 2018
? April 23, 2005
April 25, 2005 ?
April 24

Pages in category “April 24, 2005”

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Giant tuna sold for $177,000 at Japanese fish market

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Giant tuna sold for $177,000 at Japanese fish market
By mYCZNbxh On July 15th, 2018

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

File:Tuna.jpg

This Tuesday, at a wholesale auction at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, a 512-pound bluefin tuna was sold for over sixteen-million yen ($177,000 USD). The great fish was bought and then shared by the owners of a local sushi restaurant and a Hong Kong-based dining establishment. This tuna is the most expensive fish sold on record since 2001, when a 440-pound tuna was sold for over twenty-million ($220,000) at the very same market.

When asked by local media outlets why he decided to purchase this giant tuna, the Hong Kong restaurateur said, “I want[ed] to make an impact on the Japanese and Hong Kong economies by buying the highest-priced tuna.”

This locally caught tuna was among over two-thousand others bought and sold at this bustling fish market. Japan is the world’s largest consumer of seafood per annum. With tuna being a major staple of their cuisine, the Japanese eat nearly eighty-percent of all commercially caught bluefin.

However, tuna consumption in Japan has declined over recent years due to the change in the spending habits of its people as a result of economic downturns from the most recent recession.

“Consumers are shying away from eating tuna…We are very worried about the trend,” a spokesperson for the Tsukiji market told the Associated Press.

In addition to the lack of demand and declining tuna stocks, fishermen and wholesalers worldwide are worried by the possibility of tighter fishing regulations that will be sanctioned and enforced by the Japanese government. Despite this promise, many environmentalists say that this is not going far enough; they say that the only way to curb the inevitable extinction of the Pacific bluefin tuna is to initiate a trade ban on the fish altogether.

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Italy seeks indictment of U.S. marine

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Italy seeks indictment of U.S. marine
By mYCZNbxh On July 13th, 2018

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Italian prosecutors have asked a judge to indict a United States soldier for fatally shooting Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari at a roadblock in Iraq a year ago. The shooting occurred when Calipari was escorting the Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena on her way to Baghdad airport. When their car came under fire from U.S. Marines at a roadblock, Calipari was fatally shot while trying to shield Sgrena, who was only lightly wounded in the incident.

The circumstances of the shooting are a matter of dispute between Italy and the United States. The U.S. military claims that the car was approaching the checkpoint at high speed, when the troops attempted to signal the car with light signals, aiming a green laser at the windshield and warning shots. When the car failed to slow down, the soldiers shot into the engine of the car.

The Italian government claims that there were no warning signs prior to the shootings. They contest that the car was speeding and that it accelerated after the first round of fire. Moreover, they allege that a proper inquiry into the case was impossible since the vehicle was removed and army logs destroyed shortly after the incident.

Italian prosecutors are arguing that the shooting was a “political murder” as Calipari was a civil servant and the shooting damaged Italy’s interests. In Italy, murder suspects cannot be tried in absentia unless the murder has political connotations. It is expected to take at least two months for a judge to rule on the indictment request.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome declined to comment.

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