Sunday, 31 October 2010

In Vain: Wayakin

I do apologise to my small legion of readers. I went on a trip to Denver, CO for the ATA (American Translator's Association) conference, and only returned last week. Return to not-so-very-nice times, that is. Lots of emotional and work-related problems, so I haven't felt like writing (even though I've got topics for ca. six entries haha). Hence, I apologise. And now, as I slowly step away from the clutches of limbo, I write, for thee my readers, the post!
PS: I'm now entering the final month of the Uni –here we end in November–, so forgive me if I don't post anything at the end of said month).

In Vain: Wayakin

One time the wind blew free and there
was nothing to break the light of the sun
In a past that is now lost forever
There was a time when land was sacred
and the ancient ones were as one with it
A time when only the children of the Great Spirit
were here. To light their fires in these places with no boundaries
When the forests were as thick as the fur of
the winter bearland and a warrior could walk
from horizon to horizon on the backs of the buffalo
And during that time when there were only simple ways,
I saw with my heart the conflicts to come,
and whether it was to be for good or bad,
what was certain was that there would be chance

Wayakin, summon strength and ward us from evil
Wayakin, a spirit with transformative powers
Wayakin, talisman of superhuman forces
Wayakin, the guardian spirit of the Nez Perce

We look to the bear, the owl and the eagle as our brothers
To teach us how to live
They talk to us, we listen
The bear tells us of our strength
The owl of our wisdom
And the eagle of our freedom
It is time for us to remember

I think it's kind of strange that a Norge (Norwegian) band would deal with topics related to Native Americans. Still, it's brilliant. I love this song because it speaks nothing but the truth. Us, pesky capitalist humans have lost contact with nature. There where times in which we would see the sun, but now it's covered by smog clouds and mile-high buildings. As I am writing this, at night, I hear the sounds of trucks passing by (and some crickets). Before there would be silence, nothing but the sound of those around you and nature. Now, one cannot sleep because of the noise.

Recently there was a massive downpour here in Costa Rica, in which (apparently) 25% of the roads were destroyed (not very good ones, of course. Why do they keep using asphalt instead of concrete? Oh yeah, money and corruption.) and more than 30 people died in Escazú because of a landslide.

But this wasn't the first time it happened. My professor of Spanish, Sr. D. Carlos Monge, told me that he read a document, dated back to 1891, in which a similar landslide occurred. But no one died because there were no houses on the mountain. Our grandparents, and their grandparents, were always in direct contact with nature. They knew were to build houses, where to reside. But as population grew out of control (7 billion now!!!), people started building houses anywhere, and forgot that there are places in which one can't (or at least shouldn't) live. And so, I say,

it is time, for us to remember.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Guide to greener electronics! Which company is the greenest? Which one pollutes the most?

As we all know, using computers, and all that incredibly-brilliant technology we all love, pollutes the planet (in the sense that all technological devices require energy to be used, and most of that energy comes from fossil fuels –i.e. petrol–). Yes, even listening to a folk metal band talking about nature pollutes the planet (ironic, is it not?) . I'm not here to say that you should stop listening to nature-loving Folk/Black/Acoustic Metal; au contraire, I think you should do it more! (When is the last time YOU heard Borknagar?) However, you should know which are the companies that are polluting the most when making the products you (and I love). In this link you can check everything that the companies are (not) doing to keep the world a green place. There's a PDF version available for download, try reading it.

Winner: NOKIA.

Finns do really love nature! Congratulations to the land of wolves! Finland is a great example to how Latin-American countries should be: It moved from an agriculture-based society to one of the most developed countries of the world. The answer, the key, to everything? A large investment in EDUCATION and a huge respect for professors and nature (most of the country is still virgin forests).

15th Edition, May 2010

Nokia stays in 1st place with a slightly increased score of 7.5, up from 7.3. It gains points for achieving its goal of phasing out brominated compounds, chlorinated flame retardants and antimony trioxide in all new models of products and for its CEO’s statement in support of 30% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries by 2020. However, despite Nokia’s support for further restrictions for chlorinated and brominated substances in legislation, it loses a point on its position on the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics) Directive, as it does not openly support restrictions on at least PVC vinyl plastic, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in the next 3-5 years i.e. in RoHS 2.0.


The biggest characteristic of Japan, I believe, is its double morale. They state that they love nature, but the reality is much, much more different. As the country becomes (or is?) the third largest economy of the world, swiftly beaten by China (despite the "housing bubble" of the latter), will 日本 , the Land of the Rising Sun, continue to destroy their forests in order to follow a Western-capitalist, consumerist, empty way of life?

15th Edition, May 2010

Nintendo remains in last place but has increased its score to 1.8 out of 10, up from 1.4. It gains points for adopting the precautionary principle in its approach to managing chemical substances and for publishing its Standards for chemicals management.

Nintendo scores most points on chemicals; it has put games consoles on the market that have PVC-free internal wiring. It has banned phthalates and is monitoring use of antimony and beryllium. Although it is endeavouring to eliminate the use of PVC, it has not set a timeline for its phase-out.

It continues to score zero on all e-waste criteria.

It scores points on energy criteria, for the energy efficiency of its low power AC adaptor for the Nintendo DSi, which meets the requirements for external power supplies in the Energy Star programme. It also retains a point on energy for disclosing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its own operations. However, it fails to score for its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, due to a second year of increases, despite a commitment to cut CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases by 2 percent over each previous year. Emissions in 2007 increased by 1.5 percent compared to 2006, following a rise of 6 percent in 2006".

As a side note, since I'm using a latest-generation 3.6 GHZ iMac to type this, I might as well include the score that Apple obtained. Read it, and compare it with the environmental part of the nice and brain-washing ads that they Mr Jobs releases.

15th Edition, May 2010

Apple remains in 5th place, with a slightly reduced score of 4.9, down from 5.1 points in version 14. It loses a point for lack of transparency in its reporting on its use of renewable energy.

Apple does best on the toxic chemicals criteria, where it scores most of its points. All Apple products are now free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), with the exception of PVC-free power cords in countries where their safety certification process is still ongoing. For this Apple continues to score full marks (doubled). Apple scores points for its chemicals policy informed by the precautionary principle and for lobbying the EU institutions for a ban on PVC, chlorinated flame retardants and BFRs during the current revision of the EU’s RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics), but for full marks it needs to provide a public position on its support for immediate restrictions in RoHS 2.0 on organo- chlorine and bromine compounds. It also needs to clarify its stance regarding the position of the trade federation TechAmerica on further immediate restrictions and in particular PVC and BFRs. Apple scores only one point on information about its management of chemicals and its supply chain communications; this criterion evaluates disclosure of information flow in the supply chain. Apple also continues to score poorly for the minimal information it provides about its future toxic chemical phase-out plans.[For a company that spends so much on ads, they sure do not tell people about their lack of disclosure of information.]

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Zwanzig Jahre, Deutschland!

Jetzt bin ich glückselig, DL ist heute 20 Jahre alt!

Aber heute müssen wir über die aktuelles Situation anbelangen die Natur nachdenken, und was kann wir um die Wälder zu helfen tun.

Was würde Goethe sagen…, wenn wir keinen Gipfeln haben?

Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.

- Goethe

Für Ohpa (RIP).


On a side note, I am really happy that a new BERSERK anime is coming out!

Check this link in order to see the new animation.

By the by, I remember the Getter Robo producer saying (when he came here to CR) that if you took all the manga produced in Japan in a month, and placed them in a straight line, said line would be more than 1000 km long.

Makes you think about the amount of paper that is used for our geeky needs.

RIP The Colorado River

I just received the latest Smithsonian issue, and I finally have an "urge" to start reading the mag again (the past 3 or 4 issues were not even touched, Wired is much better, without doubt).

The Colorado river is dead. Its waters no longer reach the ocean. Its waters are diverted for crops. The river will die.

Here you can see some gruesome pictures of the river
. Its amazing (or maybe not) to see how the river is simply killed to satisfy the population of and the US life-style. Perhaps, one day, when everything goes to hell, people will say: "Maybe we should have done more".

Because remember, nature will live on (albeit with a lot less species…), but mankind will die.

Current population: 6.5 billion
Population after petrol is "extinct": 2 billion

Makes you think about a lot of stuff, does it not?

Rivers are very metal. They can be tranquil, or they can drawn you in their might. It is like with Cynic, calm at Evolutionary Sleep, rapid at Integral Birth.


PS: Here is the Smithsonian article.