segunda-feira, abril 30, 2007

Opheera McDoom / Mohamed Omer Abdelati

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Habits die hard eh? Even with Tags ... oh well. Looking for a replacement though - time will tell.

She caught my eye a while ago (Previous Post) or some part of my aparatus - how not? with a name like McDoom, apocalyptic eh? This is the first time I have seen a picture of her which is the kicker for this post.

Opheera McDoom is the Reuters correspondent in Sudan where she was one of few resident foreigners when she began her assignment three years ago. In the following story, she describes the elaborate rituals that marked her wedding in Khartoum last week and how they exemplify the rich and varied mix of traditions of a country associated usually with conflict.

08/04/07, Opheera McDoom, Wedding vows: A Sudanese love affair.

KHARTOUM — People often ask me how I can tie myself forever to Sudan, when I have covered the worst of this country in conflict zones like Darfur. I guess I finally understood the strength of love.

Opheera McDoomOpheera McDoomReuters correspondent in Sudan Opheera Mcdoom smiles next to her husband Mohamed Omer Abdelati during the "jirtik" ritual at their traditional Sudanese wedding in Khartoum April 4, 2007. (Reuters)

The news I report is often grim. But living here for three years has also given me a unique opportunity to see a side of this fascinating place that few get to understand.

War and oppression have ripped at the fabric of society in much of Sudan but strong family bonds have kept people together. I arrived as a stranger, alone in a place where there were few foreigners, and was welcomed by many into that family.

My new husband, Mohamed Omer Abdelati, is from northern Sudan and runs an aviation services company and the Canadian University of Sudan. We are both 29 and Muslim, and shared a circle of friends for two years. But I was often on the road and we did not really become close until 2005. When we did, we came together in this rich mix of ancient Arab and African cultures, where no culture is dominant, despite the indoctrination policies of various governments.

Opheera McDoom, Mohamed Omer AbdelatiMy wedding, for example, was a week-long affair that ended on Saturday. Pharaonic ceremonies passed down over thousands of years were more important than Muslim traditions. During the "jirtik" ritual, the boss of the home is prophesied by whether the bride or groom first spits milk in the other’s face. Chanting and singing women wave incense, waft perfumes and form a tight circle around the couple: he is draped in white cloth and carrying a huge sword; she is dressed in bright red and dripping in gold.

My Sudanese family spent many hours making traditional perfume. They picked what they call the "fingernails" of sea creatures from the Far East and stuffed hundreds of cloves in apples that they left to dry. The mixture is ground up, boiled in a huge pot and finally poured into crystal vases full of exotic scents for daytime and evening. Chanel, eat your heart out.


The bride has to dance for the women in both families. Shake it like Shakira I thought — great fun — until I discovered it entailed learning some 75 different tribal dances, including Ethiopian shoulder shaking. In the old days, the bride would dance in a grass skirt and nothing else to show the in-laws how fertile she would be. Now the bride is clothed — but not very.

Opheera McDoom, Mohamed Omer AbdelatiDuring the 1990s when a hard-line government enforced its strict version of Islamic sharia law, the racy bridal dance was one tradition they did not dare touch.

Everyone pitches in at a Sudanese wedding. Dozens of family and friends all work to prepare exotic dishes and design elaborate decorations. Relatives living abroad send packages with vital ingredients, from hair extensions for the bridal dance to candles, huge quantities of gold jewelry and dresses. The bride is expected to do, well nothing really. For at least a month before the wedding, a Sudanese bride is locked up at home, scrubbed daily with concoctions of turmeric, coffee, crushed almonds, rice and sandalwood. She is then placed aloft over a pit of burning perfumed wood to give the skin a beautiful color and scent. All her body hair is removed and her hands and feet are painted in intricate designs of henna. When she emerges on the first day of the wedding, her skin is dazzling.

2,000 GUESTS

I invited friends and family from around the world to my wedding — 2,000 people attended the white dress night at the Palace hotel on the banks of the Nile in Khartoum — because I wanted them to see this, the other side to Sudan. Yet I am a rather unconventional Sudanese bride. Three weeks before my wedding, I slipped off to Darfur one more time for what a friend called my "last dash for freedom". Authorities had banned me for almost three months from Darfur and I had finally been granted a travel permit.

The 2.5 million people who suffer from the conflict there can only imagine the luxury of a beach honeymoon as they fester in miserable camps, too afraid to go home and dependent on handouts from aid workers. My husband says he wants our children to be part of the generation that rebuilds Sudan as a more equal nation after so many years of civil war and faltering peace deals.

I just hope it doesn’t take that long.


domingo, abril 29, 2007


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This is just a jumble, sorry. Most of the news sites take their posts down after a few days so I have not included a clump of links I had collected on developments in Darfur. So it goes. Later I will transcribe a comment by Kurt Vonnegut on computers which explains it all.

First, Cargill, Brasil, Rio de Janeiro:

24/04/07, Amazônia, Proteção da Amazônia une Greenpeace e McDonald's, Source.
13/04/07, AP, Brazilian judge orders reopening of Cargill's Amazon River port, Source.
29/06/06, Iberê Thenório, Sob pressão, Cargill admite que vai assinar pacto contra escravidão, Source.
13/04/07, ORM, Porto da Cargill é reaberto em Santarém, Source.
13/04/07, ORM, Cargill fala sobre reabertura do porto de Santarém, Source.
12/04/07, ORM, Liminar autoriza reabertura do porto da Cargill, Source.
24/04/07, Marc Kaufman, New Allies on The Amazon - McDonald's, Greenpeace Unite To Prevent Rainforest Clearing, Source.
16/04/07, Monte Reel, In Rio, Death Comes Early, Source.

Al Gore John BairdA-and on k-k-k-Canada's 'reponse' to Kyoto:

David Suzuki speaks to John Baird (video with a silly advertisement tacked on).

"It's not enough John."
David Suzuki.

19/04/07, Steven Chase, Ottawa rolls out 'validators' to bolster anti-Kyoto stand, Source.
19/04/07, Tenille Boboguore, Kyoto would 'manufacture a recession': Baird, Source.
28/04/07, Globe, Al Gore says Tories' green plan a 'fraud', Source.
28/04/07, Editorial, The Kyoto quandary, Source.
28/04/07, Globe, Text of Baird's response to Gore, Source.
27/04/07, John M. Broder & Marjorie Connelly, Public Remains Split on Response to Warming, Source.

Kurt Vonnegut (God bless 'im!):

"And we have contraptions like computers that cheat you out of becoming. Bill Gates says, 'Wait till you can see what your computer can become.' But it's you who should be doing the becoming, not the damn fool computer."



from 'A Man Without a Country'.

Miss IndiaGoogle Sergey Brin Larry PageThis little exercise, with the links mostly laid out and ready to go, took me FOUR hours. And it is nothing and less than nothing. I have not commented on the mealy-mouthed Globe and Mail editors' comments on Baird's ridiculous 'plan' - their conniving aquiecence to his self-serving and oil-company-serving tar-sands-serving shit. Sigh ...

Miss Tammy FayeDumb Dumber Jim Carrey Jeff DanielsNot enough time to become and to do this too - that's what it amounts to. And no Tags either, but wtf, Technorati tags don't work anyway!

A-and Blooger's new edition leaves less and less possible tinkering with their silly user-interface. All-in-all - an increasingly losing proposition for me.

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quarta-feira, abril 25, 2007

Mary Magdalene meets Brasil

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:Madalena, I have a plan for you.
:It's two pieces of silver for a blow job, and three for 'the works'.
:No, that's not it, woman of little faith. I will save you from the false moralizers.
:Don't do that, they're my best customers!

cf. Mark - Chapter 16 (seven devils mind you) ... or even ... hahahaha, or this from Battery Radio.

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terça-feira, abril 24, 2007

Angra 3

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Angra 3

Jornal do Brasil, 24 de abril de 2007

Fernando Exman, Lula decide concluir usina nuclear Angra 3.

Brasília. Fonte do primeiro escalão do governo federal revelou ao JB que o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva resolveu concluir a construção da usina nuclear Angra 3. A decisão foi tomada na semana passada, em reunião do presidente com os ministros que debatem o tema. E deve ser referendada na semana que vem pelo Comitê Nacional de Política Energética (CNPE). Devido ao impasse existente até a semana passada no governo, a reunião do CNPE foi adiada duas vezes.

Estatal do Ministério de Minas e Energia, a Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE) tem um estudo que cita Angra 3 entre os projetos necessários para que o Brasil não volte a enfrentar racionamentos de eletricidade no futuro.

- O presidente disse que o Brasil tem tecnologia e a sexta maior reserva de minério de urânio do mundo - declarou ontem a graduada fonte, sob a condição do anonimato.

Segundo a Eletronuclear, estatal responsável pelos projetos brasileiros de energia nuclear, Angra 3 demandaria investimentos de R$ 7 bilhões. Inicialmente, a empresa deve, se liberada a conclusão das obras, procurar parceiros privados para executar o projeto. Parte dos equipamentos da usina já foi adquirida pelo país. O governo gasta US$ 20 milhões por ano só para manter as máquinas em condições de uso, além de pagar seguro, inspeções e outros custos operacionais. Comprados em 1999, os equipamentos custaram US$ 750 milhões na época.

O governo excluiu Angra 3 do Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC). Em audiência pública realizada pelo Senado no mês passado, a chefe da Casa Civil, Dilma Rousseff, disse que, se a construção fosse aprovada, a usina seria incluída num "programa nuclear brasileiro". Na ocasião, Dilma afirmou também que, apesar de o Ministério de Minas e Energia defender a retomada da construção da usina nuclear, o governo ainda não havia liberado as obras porque analisava aspectos estratégicos e ambientais. Em outra audiência pública no Senado, o ministro de Minas e Energia, Silas Rondeau, revelou ser favorável à conclusão da obra, já que agora haveria consenso de que o preço da energia gerada por Angra 3 ficará na média do mercado, tornando a usina competitiva. O preço médio do MWh das usinas térmicas vencedoras do leilão de contratos de fornecimento de energia a partir de 2011 alcançou R$ 137,44.

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sábado, abril 21, 2007

O Rio reza pela paz

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PazMissa pela paz reúne 30 mil pessoas na Apoteose.

RIO - Cerca de 30 mil pessoas se uniram na Praça da Apoteose para pedir pelo fim da violência na manhã deste sábado. Presidido pelo cardeal-arcebispo do Rio, dom Eusébio Scheid, o Momento de oração pela paz e pela vida foi promovido pelo Jornal do Brasil como parte das comemorações pelos seus 116 anos. A missa foi acompanhada por milhares de famílias de vítimas da violência e emocionou o público na Sapucaí.

A celebração começou às 8h15, com a participação de Padre Jorjão, cantando para o público, na Parça da Apoteose desde as 6h30.

PazEm seguida, subiu ao palco a cantora Joanna, para a Coroação de Nossa Senhora. Às 9h, o cardeal-arcebispo do Rio, dom Eusébio Scheid, iniciou a celebração e fez um apelo pela paz.

– Nós nos declaramos irmãos de quem perdeu parentes por causa da violência, na tristeza e na solidariedade – disse dom Eusébio, lendo em seguida um telegrama enviado por Bento XVI.

Um dos pontos altos da missa foi a subida do padre Marcelo Rossi ao palco, acompanhado de crianças vestidas de anjinhos. Neste momento, mais de 20 parentes de vítimas subiram ao palco, como Elson Vieitis, pai de João Hélio, morto em 7 de fevereiro.

Mais de 10 toneladas de alimentos foram arrecadados na celebração e serão doados para a Pastoral do Menor.


Desejo que a essa iniciativa seja uma gota, que se transforme em um oceano.


quinta-feira, abril 19, 2007


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The Question Answered, William Blake

What is it men in women do require?
The lineaments of gratified Desire.
What is it women do in men require?
The lineaments of gratified Desire.

I have often puzzled over this poem. 'Lineaments' is not a word I use everyday; to me its meaning falls closer to appearance than reality - and yet, as Northrop Frye says over and over, Blake is very serious. If Blake thought that this was 'The Question Answered', then in his mind at least it probably was.

The other evening I was mulling ... and it came to me that if you expanded the scope of this poem from the (apparently) sexual, to a more general social context, and substituted 'satisfied' for 'gratified' ... and generally re-jigged the entire poem :-) ... then it would say something like, "Everyone wants the world to be satisfied with them."

A-and to me, that's something.

If this post seems a strange montage, consider that I was going to include it as a footnote on the previous one :-)

12/04/07, Kate Connolly, Militant feminist on trial after 20 years on run, Source.
12/02/07, BBC, Meinhof gang killer to be freed, Source.
03/04/07, BBC, Thai prisoner boxes for freedom, Source.

19/04/07, Steve Connor, The prospect of all-female conception, Source.

Samson Sor SiripornSamson Sor SiripornSamson Sor SiripornSamson Sor SiripornSamson Sor SiripornSamson Sor SiripornSamson Sor SiripornSamson Sor Siriporn

19/04/07, Andrew Gumbel, Killer sent photographs and video to broadcaster between shootings, Source.
19/04/07, FOX, Virginia Police Say Killer's Manifesto Has Little Value to Investigation, Source.

Cho Seung HuiCho Seung HuiWhat comes to me from this story is how totally incomprehensible he was to everyone. And yet, their responses, if anyone had reflected on them, seem to me not to wash. The 'noted poet' who says, "I was willing to resign before I was going to continue with him." A poet of the bourgeoisie then eh? Dunno, here, judge for yourselves: Nikki Giovanni website, Wikipedia: Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni:

Nikki Giovanni
No Reservations (for Art Jones)

there are no reservations
for the revolution

no polite little clerk
to send notice
to your room
saying you are WANTED
on the battlefield

Nikki Giovannithere are no banners
to wave you forward
no blaring trumpets
not even a blues note
moaning wailing lone blue note
to the yoruba drums saying
strike now shoot
strike now fire
strike no

While I am at it ... Lisa Norris, and Lucinda Roy.
Lisa NorrisLisa NorrisLucinda RoyLucinda RoyLucinda Roy

Several bits of the FOX article jumped out at me as I read it: "The women who complained to the police never filed charges, and one them described his actions as 'annoying' rather than threatening."

Adds up to a possible tragedy to me - when I look at the images of his face he seems to be on the verge of tears. So far they have only published snippets of his suicide note and other writings - maybe later they will reveal it all.

Well ... no. Looks like these ramblings and writings will not be presented integral. Enough to say 'dememented raving' and let it go at that.

Two clips from the NYT, one seeming to say, 'we tried, but he would not come across', and the other, 'we need more planning and CONTROL!":

20/04/07, Christopher Whitcomb, Building a Better Lockdown, Source.
20/04/07, Mark Santora & Christine Hauser, Anger of Killer Was on Exhibit in His Writings , Source.

A-and then this from the k-k-k-Canadian left; the only thing I have read that even begins to get at the 'real' issues:

Spiral20/04/07, Rick Salutin, After VT, a sense of unease, Source.

Rick SalutinRick SalutinRick Salutin

He's at, and ... he even made it into Wikipedia.
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quarta-feira, abril 18, 2007

not just one ... a Fleet!

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: None, Thread Back: Nuclear, floating this time.

Akademik LomonosovAkademik LomonosovAkademik Lomonosov

17/04/07, BBC, Russia making floating atom plant, Source.
30/11/05, Debka File, Abrupt sacking of Russian nuclear energy minister, Source.
17/04/07, Tatyana Sinitsyna, Floating NPP will be safer, Source.
17/04/07, WNN, Russian floating reactor construction starts, Source.
05/04/07, WNN, Two floating nuclear plants for Chukotka, Source.

Alternat1ve: Russian Nuclear Barge is a “Go” for construction.
10/06, Bjorn Carey, A Floating Chernobyl?.

Sergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei KiriyenkoSergei Kiriyenko

Co-operation iss goot! But control iss bettah!

Vladimir Putin fires Alexander Rumyantsev - I don't know much about him beyond the name (yet) but the Israelis trusted him; and appoints Sergei Kiriyenko who definitely doesn't know much and who does what he is told. QED.

Well, at least Alexander Rumyantsev knew some Physics, PhD. Another critique of his replacement: 01/12/05, NEI, Rumyantsev replaced, a bit of a bio: Alexander Yurievich Rumyantsev, Minister for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation, and an interview: 29/04/02, Minister of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy.

He would have built these barges too no doubt, maybe better at least.

"In the worst-case accident, with damage to the radioactive zone, civilian protection measures will not be needed beyond a one-kilometre radius around the plant".
     Oleg Samoilov, senior project engineer.

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