October 2007

Happy Halloween everyone!! These pictures were actually taken last Saturday at a Halloween party held at A-Z Kids, a family entertainment center right around the corner from our house.

We had a lot of fun, although it was a bit nostalgia-tinged due the imminent departure of the kids’ mother, who has moved back to the US of all places (a bit odd considering she vowed never to return when we left in 2003).

As this will possibly be the last time Salomae does the kids’ makeup, I guess I will have to step up to the plate for future festivities. My own efforts at “makeup” can be seen by scrutinizing my face, which is covered with sigils. Go ahead… stare at my face. Do you feel any… urges? Let me know if you do.

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YouTube blocked in China

I’m surprised, yet not surprised that I missed this. Since October 18th, YouTube has been banned in China, joining the list of other staple sites enjoyed throughout the Western world that have been found to influence Chinese citizens in a manner deemed contrary to “supporting a harmonious society”.

Actually, I rarely use YouTube anymore, partially because I simply haven’t had the time nor inclination, but also because since it was bought up by Google, much of the content I was interested in has vanished. Of course, much of the content that I’m interested in is probably the kind of stuff most governments in the world would rather not have too many people see, but at least in the US, fringe-level conspiracy stuff (however factually-based it may be) is no threat due to the perceived lack of credibility of the sources, especially compared with the clout enjoyed by the media giants, who of course have all of our best interests in their hearts, as is easily discerned from their fair and un-biased coverage of the truly important things that matter. The governing forces (if not the government) are mostly content to let the “market” decide on whom to believe - pretty easy to manage when most of the media is controlled by the very same crooks/banking interests who took overt control of the government when they established the illegal Federal Reserve Bank.

So, it will be disappointing that I can’t use the YouTube servers to store my family videos anymore, but, alas, I’ll survive.

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The InterAcademy Council has just released a new report, commissioned by the governments of Brazil and China, that indentifies a detailed scientific consensus framework for directing global energy development. The report, Lighting the way: Toward a sustainable energy future, lays out the science, technology and policy roadmap for developing energy resources to drive economic growth in both developed and developing countries, while also securing climate protection and global development goals.

From a briefing to the Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Machado Rezende, on Oct. 16 in Brasilia:

Lighting the way establishes the best practices for a global transition to a clean, affordable and sustainable energy supply in both developing and developed countries. The report addresses incentives that can accelerate the development of innovative solutions, provides recommendations for financial investments in research and development, and explores other transition pathways that can transform the landscape of energy supply and demand around the globe.

In addressing mitigation of the environmental impacts of energy generation and use, Lighting the way will inform global action on climate change, such as implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, agenda-setting for the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and ongoing multinational talks on future global action to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Lighting the way also confronts the unequal access to energy experienced by the one-third of the world’s population without access to basic energy services, and makes recommendations for addressing this disparity as well as for promoting national and global energy security.

For those who are familiar with these issues, the approaches suggested are not necessarily earth shattering, but the fact that they are backed by solid scientific data, and that the report was sponsored by some of the highest ranking authorities in government and academia lends it some solid weight.

The report calls for action on three fronts:

  • Concerted efforts should be mounted to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon intensity
    of the world economy, including the worldwide introduction of price signals for carbon emissions.
  • Technologies should be developed and deployed for capturing and sequestering carbon from fossil
    fuels, particularly coal.
  • Development and deployment of renewable energy technologies should be accelerated in an
    environmentally responsible way.
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