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TIME LAPSE: SAN FRANCISCO FOG The combination of cold ocean water and the high heat of the California mainland creates the city's characteristic fog that can cover the western half of the city all day during the spring and early summer. The fog is less pronounced in eastern neighborhoods, in the late summer, and during the fall, which are the warmest months of the year. Due to its sharp topography and maritime influences, San Francisco exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. The high hills in the geographic center of the city are responsible for a 20% variance in annual rainfall between different parts of the city. They also protect neighborhoods directly to their east from the foggy and cool conditions experienced in the Sunset District; for those who live on the eastern side of the city, San Francisco is sunnier, with an average of 160 clear days, and only 105 cloudy days per year.
6 years ago
TIME LAPSE: NOTRE DAME DE PARIS Notre Dame de Paris, often known simply as Notre Dame in English, is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. Notre Dame translates as "Our Lady" from French. Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque architecture. Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward.
6 years ago
TIME LAPSE: RENO BALLON RACE The Great Reno Balloon Race is a hot-air balloon race held each September in Reno, Nevada. The event is held at the Rancho San Rafael Park, just west of the University of Nevada, Reno. The event is free to the public, and completed its 24th year in 2005. Part of the mission statement of the race is to celebrate the joy of flight. The Coordination of the race is handled by two bodies: The Great Reno Balloon Race is staffed by paid workers to handle the operations of the event. The volunteer group, or Aeronauts, consists of about 100 people providing help in many areas of the race including field set-up, pilot crewing and up keep of the grounds. They also assist everyone involved in the race from the organizers and pilots to the sponsors and spectators. The volunteer group meets monthly and works in shifts during the actual event.
6 years ago
PBS FRONTLINE: RUMSFELD'S WAR PART 3 OF 5 "I think to a degree, he's stubborn. Being stubborn, holding to your convictions is good to a point, but when the evidence around you indicates your position is not tenable, then you ought to start adapting to the situation," says retired USMC Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper. That stubbornness, some officers say, led Rumsfeld to put the military in the difficult position of fighting in simultaneous conflicts against an unconventional enemy. With mounting casualties in Iraq and without a clear exit strategy in either Iraq or Afghanistan, Rumsfeld's critics charge the secretary has pushed too far. The danger, they say, is a military incapable of effectively fighting the next major conflict. Former CENTCOM Commander-in-Chief General Joseph Hoar (Ret.) tells FRONTLINE, "Today we find over fifty percent of the United States Army, the regular army, ten divisions, committed overseas. It's not sustainable." Rumsfeld, however, has stood firm in his assessment that U.S. fighting forces are more than capable of handling these or future conflicts, recently telling the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that with over 2.5 million Americans already enlisted, the military's problem is management of resources, not recruitment.
6 years ago
THE GENOVESE CRIME FAMILY PART 2 OF 3 The rackets that are today controlled by the Genovese family of American La Cosa Nostra were originally contolled by Salvatore Maranzano, a ruthless Mustache Pete who emigrated to the United States from Sicily in the mid 1920s. Educated and erudite, Maranzano at first impressed the embryonic New York underworld. However, with his penchant for histrionics and a healthy appetite for greed and power, Maranzano provoked Joe "The Boss" Masseria (also called "Joe Boss"), a Bronx underworld powerhouse, into a war. While Maranzano won, his reign was brief. An ambitious gangster named Lucky Luciano would soon rise to the top of the family and establish the nascent Five Family system of organized crime in New York. After Maranzano and Masseria were assassinated at the behest of Luciano, he took over the largest and most profitable family. Vito Genovese served as his underboss. However in 1936 Luciano was sent to prison for pandering and Genovese fled to Italy escaping a murder charge. Frank Costello took control of the family. During the reign of Frank Costello, the Genoveses controlled much of the bookmaking, loansharking, labor rackets and the garment industry in New York City. Costello also controlled much of the docks in New York. Known as the Prime Minister of the Underworld, Costello was said to have so many political and judicial contacts that no state judge could be appointed without his consent. Costello believed in diplomacy and discipline, and also started the Family's interests in Las Vegas. Costello ruled for 20 years until his underboss, Vito Genovese, attempted to have him assassinated in 1957 (the trigger man was Vincente "The Chin" Gigante, future boss of the Family). Having survived the bullet wound, Costello retired quietly.
6 years ago
THE GENOVESE CRIME FAMILY PART 1 OF 3 The Genovese Family is one of the "Five Families" of the Mafia that controls racketeering activities in New York City. The faction got its name from Vito Genovese, who ran it in the 1950s, although it had existed before that time. The Genovese Crime family has been nicknamed the "Ivy League" and "Rolls Royce" of Organized Crime. Genovese Family interests are estimated at around $500 million per year and the number of government informants from within the family can be counted on one hand. Due to their very secretive nature and habit of using 'front bosses' to disguise the true Boss of the family the FBI have found it repeatedly difficult, though not impossible, to incarcerate the families administration. Currently there are an estimated 200-250 'made' members and around a thousand associates in the family making it arguably the largest mob family. They are rivalled in size by probably only the Gambino crime family and in terms of power only the Gambino crime family and the Chicago Outfit match them. They have generally maintained a varying degree of influence over many of the smaller mob families outside of New York. Although the leadership of the family seems to have been in limbo the last few years, specifically since the death of Boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, the family stills appears to be more organized than most of the other families and has remained powerful.
6 years ago
BLACKWATER MERCS IN IRAQ Blackwater USA is a private military company and security firm founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark. It is based in the U.S. state of North Carolina, where it operates a tactical training facility that it claims is the world's largest. The company trains more than 40,000 people a year, from all the military services and a variety of other agencies. The company markets itself as being "The most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world". At least 90% of its revenue comes from government contracts, two-thirds of which are no-bid contracts. In 2003, Blackwater landed its first truly high-profile contract: guarding Ambassador L. Paul Bremer in Iraq, at the cost of $21 million in 11 months. Since June 2004, Blackwater has been paid more than $320 million out of a $1 billion, five-year State Department budget for the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which protects U.S. officials and some foreign officials in conflict zones. In 2006, Blackwater won the remunerative contract to protect the U.S. embassy in Iraq, which is the largest American embassy in the world. Of the State Department's dependence on private contractors like Blackwater for security purposes, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, told the U.S. Senate: "There is simply no way at all that the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security could ever have enough full-time personnel to staff the security function in Iraq. There is no alternative except through contracts." For work in Iraq, Blackwater has drawn contractors from their international pool of professionals, a database containing "21,000 former Special Forces troops, soldiers, and retired law enforcement agents," overall.
6 years ago
CLOSED MILITARY ZONE TRAILER Closed Military Zone is a theater of the absurd, touching human moments, and an incisive, action packed look at a weekly ritual of wasted energy and pointless friction between the Israeli Defence Forces and the civilian population of the Palestinian village of Bil'in. Eran Vered is a political and social activist, and also a video photographer. For several months, Eran has been visiting Palestinian villages and documenting the protests against the route of the separation wall. He has spent most of his time in Bil'in, whose residents have lost more than half their land to the route of wall. After one such protest, on July 8th, 2005, he invites his friend, journalist Rick Berman, to watch the footage. The result is Closed Military Zone, which began as a look at a handfull of demonstrations and grew into a three-month tracking of a conflict between one side, equipped with guns, grenades, and advanced protective and communications gear, and another side, which consists of adults who insist on protesting an injustice, and 15 year old kids who have nothing but rocks to offer against all that might. The first three demonstrations, which all took place in July 2005, are astounding in their structural similarity. Again and again, IDF soldiers repeat the same stages, despite the unflattering results. Closed Military Zone focuses on clashes and scenes of violence in the wild east, and does so almost exclusively from the rarely seend view-point of IDF soldiers. by tellingthetruth
6 years ago
BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: THE ROAD TO PALESTINE PART 2 OF 3 It may well be that journalists in the "West" should feel a burden of guilt for much that has happened because they have, with their gullibility, helped to sell US actions. Their constant references to a "fence" instead of a wall, to "settlements" or "neighbourhoods" instead of colonies, their description of the West Bank as "disputed" rather than occupied, has a bred a kind of slackness in reporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ehud Olmert first suggested handing over slices of the West Bank: "The choice between allowing Jews to live in all parts of the land of Israel" - the "land of Israel" in this context included the West Bank - "and living in a state with a Jewish majority mandate giving up part of the land of Israel. We cannot continue to control parts of the territories where most of the Palestinians live." However, most agreed that the Palestinians would be given a state on whatever is left after the huge settlements had been included behind the wall. Benjamin Netanyahu even suggested the wall should be moved deeper into the West Bank. But the implications were obvious. A Palestinian state will be allowed, but it will not have a capital in east Jerusalem nor any connection between Gaza and the bits of the West Bank that are handed over. So there will be no peace, and the words "Palestinian" and "terrorist" will, again, be inextricably linked by Israel and the US.
6 years ago
BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: THE ROAD TO PALESTINE PART 1 OF 3 The Road to Palestine examines the displacement of Palestinians by Zionist immigrants and Jewish refugees, depicting the plight of refugees on both sides of the religious, historical, and ideological divide. Also, Robert Fisk looks at the rise of Hamas (the PLO fundamentalist group in Gaza). "Palestine" - the inverted commas are more important than ever today - and its own act of democracy. Of course, the Palestinians elected the wrong people, Hamas, and had to suffer for it. Democratic Israel would not accept the results of Palestine's democratic elections and the Europeans joined with America in placing sanctions against the newly elected government unless it recognised Israel and all agreements signed with Israel since the Camp David accords of the 1970s. Even when Ariel Sharon was staging his withdrawal of 8,500 settlers from Gaza last year, he was shifting 12,000 more settlers into the West Bank, and George W Bush had effectively accepted this illegality by talking of the "realities" of the Jewish settlements still being enlarged there. And that was the end of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 upon which the "peace process" was supposed to be based - Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, in return for the security of all states in the area. -Credits- Director-DUTFIELD, Mike Production Company-Chameleon Television Producer-WALSH, Dennis Presenter-FISK, Robert
6 years ago
BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: MUSLIMS & THE WEST PART 3 OF 3 Robert Fisk (born July 12, 1946 in Maidstone, Kent) is a British journalist and is currently a Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent. He was married to the American journalist Lara Marlowe. He lives in Beirut, Lebanon, where he has resided for over 25 years. Described by the New York Times as "probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain", he has over thirty years of experience in international reporting, dating from 1970s Belfast and Portugal's 1974 Carnation Revolution, the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War, and encompassing the 1979 Iranian revolution, the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, 1991 Persian Gulf War, and 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He is the world's most-decorated foreign correspondent, having received numerous awards including the British Press Awards' International Journalist of the Year award seven times. Fisk speaks good vernacular Arabic, and is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden (three times between 1994 and 1997). Fisk's reporting—and his bestselling books, based on his field notes and recordings— offer strong criticisms of Middle Eastern governments as well as what he perceives as hypocrisy in British and United States government foreign policy. His view of journalism is that it must "challenge authority — all authority — especially so when governments and politicians take us to war", and he quotes with approval the Israeli journalist Amira Hass: "There is a misconception that journalists can be objective ... What journalism is really about is to monitor power and the centres of power."
6 years ago
BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: MUSLIMS & THE WEST PART 2 OF 3 From Beirut to Bosnia strikingly shows Muslim suffering, explaining why there is unhappiness with the West. There are horrific, unflinchingly filmed, images, such as a Lebanese baby that has been hit by an Israeli bomb, and looks like a crushed loaf of bread. (Bizarrely, the Paramount does a roaring trade in boysenberry icecreams). Fisk is unapologetic. “This is what I see.”
6 years ago
BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: MUSLIMS & THE WEST PART 1 OF 3 Why have so many Muslims come to hate the West? Robert Fisk—award-winning Middle East and Balkans correspondent for the London Independent—reports on Muslim unrest as ideology, religion, history, and geography come into conflict. This gripping program investigates the desperate situations of Muslims in Egypt and Bosnia, who, though worlds apart, are plagued by a common feeling of betrayal by the West. For members of Egypt's Gama'a al-Islamiya, religious fervor and violence--vehicles to create an Islamic state--are viewed as the only antidotes to poverty and unemployment, while Bosnians fight for the simple right to exist in a Europe that they feel does not want them. Interviews with leaders, fighters, and victims from both regions show the many faces of Cairo and Sarajevo. -Credits- Director-DUTFIELD, Mike Production Company-Chameleon Television Production Company-Barraclough Carey Prod Executive Producer-LANDIS, Tomi Bednar Producer-WALSH, Dennis Script-FISK, Robert Photography-FOSTER, Stephen Photography-HODGE, Frank Photography-WHITE, Phil Editor-REYNOLDS, Barry Music-WOOD, Ernie Reporter-FISK, Robert Host-PALMER, John
6 years ago
SALVADOR DALI: JOURNEY OF A MAN PART 4 OF 4 Dalí produced over 1,500 paintings in his career, in addition to producing illustrations for books, lithographs, designs for theater sets and costumes, a great number of drawings, dozens of sculptures, and various other projects, including an animated cartoon for Disney. In Carlos Lozano's biography, Sex, Surrealism, Dalí, and Me, produced by the collaboration of Clifford Thurlow, Lozano makes it clear that Dalí never stopped being a surrealist. As Dalí said of himself: "the only difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist." Everything, including his support for Franco and telegrams to Ceauşescu must be seen in this light. The largest collections of Dalí's work are at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, followed by the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida which contains the collection of A. Reynolds Morse & Eleanor R. Morse. It holds over 1,500 works from Dalí. Other particularly significant collections include the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, and the Salvador Dalí Gallery in Pacific Palisades, California. Espace Dalí in Montmartre, Paris, France, as well as the Dalí Universe in London, England, contain a large collection of his drawings and sculptures. The unlikeliest venue for Dalí's work was the Rikers Island jail in New York City; a sketch of the Crucifixion he donated to the jail hung in the inmate dining room for 16 years before it was moved to the prison lobby for safekeeping. The drawing was stolen in March 2003 and has not been recovered.
6 years ago
SALVADOR DALI: JOURNEY OF A MAN PART 3 OF 4 Dalí employed extensive symbolism in his work. For instance, the hallmark soft watches that first appear in The Persistence of Memory suggest Einstein's theory that time is relative and not fixed. The idea for clocks functioning symbolically in this way came to Dalí when he was staring at a runny piece of Camembert cheese during a hot day in August. The elephant is also a recurring image in Dalí's works, appearing first in his 1944 work Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephants, inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture base in Rome of an elephant carrying an ancient obelisk, are portrayed "with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire" along with obelisks on their backs. Coupled with the image of their brittle legs, these encumbrances, noted for their phallic overtones, create a sense of phantom reality. "The elephant is a distortion in space," one analysis explains, "its spindly legs contrasting the idea of weightlessness with structure." … I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly. —Salvador Dalí, in Dawn Ades, Dalí and Surrealism.
6 years ago
SALVADOR DALI: JOURNEY OF A MAN PART 2 OF 4 La persistencia de la memoria (1931) or The Persistence of Memory is quite possibly the most famous painting by artist Salvador Dalí. The painting has also been popularly known as Soft Watches, Droopy Watches, The Persistence of Time or Melting Clocks. It has been owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City since 1934. It will, however, be on display at the Tate Modern, London, from June 1 to September 9, 2007, as part of the exhibition "Dalì and Film". It will then travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (October 14, 2007–January 6, 2008) and the Salvador Dalì Museum, in St. Petersburg, Florida, (February 1–June 1, 2008). The Persistence of Memory will return to Museum of Modern Art in June 2008 as part of the exhibition Dali and Film, on view June 29–September 15, 2008. The well-known surrealistic piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomises Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness", which was central to his thinking at the time. Although fundamentally part of Dali's Freudian phase, the imagery predicts his transition to the scientific phase, which occurred after the decisive dropping of the atom bomb in 1945. The imagery can be read as a graphic illustration of Einstein's theory of Relativity, depicting gravity distorting time. It's possible to recognise a human figure in the middle of the composition, in the strange "monster" that the same Dalí used in several period pieces: it's a head (probably a self-portrait of the artist).
6 years ago
SALVADOR DALI: JOURNEY OF A MAN PART 1 OF 4 Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Daly Domènech, Marquis of Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), was a Spanish (Catalan) surrealist painter. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Salvador Dalí's artistic repertoire also included film, sculpture, and photography. He collaborated with Walt Disney on the Academy Award-nominated short cartoon Destino, which was released posthumously in 2003. Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí insisted on his "Arab lineage", claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors who invaded Spain in the year 711, and attributed to these origins, "my love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes." Widely considered to be greatly imaginative, Dalí had an affinity for doing unusual things to draw attention to himself. This sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric manner sometimes drew more public attention than his artwork. The purposefully sought notoriety led to broad public recognition and many purchases of his works by people from all walks of life.
6 years ago
HOW TO HACK A COKE MACHINE -TIPS- * This only works for Coke machines, which may sell products such as Barq's Root Beer, Sprite, Dasani, Evian, Fanta, Fresca, Frutopia, Powerade, Hi-C, Minute Maid, Nestea, Odwalla, Mr. Pibb, Planet Java, Power Ade, Seagram's Ginger Ale, Simply Orange, Sparkletts, or Tab in addition to Coke and Diet Coke. * In general, these are the only options you can access without having the door unlocked and open. Different machines may list these options in somewhat different formats, so experiment a bit to learn what each new one does. * If you need to exit the menu quickly (i.e. when you just can't wait another second to buy an ice cold Coke) press the change (coin return) button. This will normally quit the menu. * On some machines, holding the coin return button will display the machine's inner temperature. * Vending machine owners or service people have the option to change the access sequence from 4231 to some other combination of buttons, but they rarely do. This is probably because having one code makes it easier for anyone to service all the machines along a route. It may also be because the information you can access through the external menu with the door closed is limited and fairly harmless. * There are several videos available on the Internet that show people using this hack. Many claim to be able to change prices or get a free drink, but the videos don't actually show them doing so. * In order to get to the same menu in a machine that sells Pepsi products, simply enter 1,3,2,4. All the menu options should be the same. (This does not seem to work on all Pepsi machines) * This might also work on some Coke vending machines that have a numeric keypad instead of buttons for specific drinks. Enter in the Coke code as usual, and you'll get to the sales menu!
6 years ago
MEGACITIES: HONG KONG PART 3 OF 3 A Megacity is usually defined as a recognized metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density (at least 2,000 persons/square km). A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge upon one another. The term metacity is also sometimes used to describe cities with more than 20 million people. In 1800 only 3% of the world's population lived in cities. By the 20th century's close, 47% did so. In 1950, there were 83 cities with populations exceeding one million; but by 2007, this had risen to 468 agglomerations of more than one million. If the trend continues, the world's urban population will double every 38 years, say researchers. The UN forecasts that today's urban population of 3.2 billion will rise to nearly 5 billion by 2030, when three out of five people will live in cities. The increase will be most dramatic in the poorest and least-urbanised continents, Asia and Africa. Surveys and projections indicate that all urban growth over the next 25 years will be in developing countries. One billion people, one-sixth of the world's population, now live in shanty towns, which are seen as "breeding grounds" for social problems such as crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, poverty and unemployment. In many poor countries overpopulated slums exhibit high rates of disease due to unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, and lack of basic health care. By 2030, over 2 billion people in the world will be living in slums. Already over 90% of the urban population of Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda, three of the world's most rural countries, live in slums. In 2000, there were 18 megacities – conurbations such as Tokyo, Mexico City, Bombay, Sao Paulo and New York City – that have populations in excess of 10 million inhabitants. Greater Tokyo already has 35 million, more than the entire population of Canada.
6 years ago
MEGACITIES: PARIS PART 3 OF 3 A Megacity is usually defined as a recognized metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density (at least 2,000 persons/square km). A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge upon one another. The term metacity is also sometimes used to describe cities with more than 20 million people. In 1800 only 3% of the world's population lived in cities. By the 20th century's close, 47% did so. In 1950, there were 83 cities with populations exceeding one million; but by 2007, this had risen to 468 agglomerations of more than one million. If the trend continues, the world's urban population will double every 38 years, say researchers. The UN forecasts that today's urban population of 3.2 billion will rise to nearly 5 billion by 2030, when three out of five people will live in cities. The increase will be most dramatic in the poorest and least-urbanised continents, Asia and Africa. Surveys and projections indicate that all urban growth over the next 25 years will be in developing countries. One billion people, one-sixth of the world's population, now live in shanty towns, which are seen as "breeding grounds" for social problems such as crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, poverty and unemployment. In many poor countries overpopulated slums exhibit high rates of disease due to unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, and lack of basic health care. By 2030, over 2 billion people in the world will be living in slums. Already over 90% of the urban population of Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda, three of the world's most rural countries, live in slums. In 2000, there were 18 megacities – conurbations such as Tokyo, Mexico City, Bombay, Sao Paulo and New York City – that have populations in excess of 10 million inhabitants. Greater Tokyo already has 35 million, more than the entire population of Canada.
6 years ago