Friday, January 31, 2014

Ayn Rand First Interview 1959

I just finally finished reading Atlas Shrugged (1957), so I wanted to connect the author to the book a little more. Whatever your opinion on Ayn Rand might be, one thing can't be taken away from her--the fact that as an immigrant who came to the USA relatively late in life, her command of the English language was extraordinary. She was an erudite woman who wanted to be judged not on her own merit but on merit that had absolute, objective, universal and eternal value.

Related link: Metaphysical Issues: Objectivism and Relativism - Ethics - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Sunday, January 26, 2014

OK, it's official: I'm happy to announce I'm an American citizen now!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Agenda 21 and protecting dolphins

Protecting dolphins and whales from physical pain and terror is an important issue because the mammals are considered intelligent enough to be deemed "non-human persons" by many scientists and officially, by law, in India (edited to add: arguably, all animals are sentient, intelligent or not). However, there is something collectivist about dolphins being collectively "ours." How much power should a global body have in taking control of wildlife living on independent land and in waters, contained within the borders of individual countries and their territories? If Agenda 21 and the UN's plan to promote sustainability of nature is seen as a "land grab" by many Americans, would the UN's marine life sustainability program be interpreted as a "territorial water grab" elsewhere? If you own property but the contents within no longer belong to you but to "the world," would that be the same as a land grab? Also, since India has granted personhood to dolphins, does that now mean every country must follow suit and adopt their world view? If they do, would that grant the green light for global officials to enforce international law by force?

From Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Germany): Principles of international law - "One primary objective of the international community's environmental and development policy is the protection of the oceans, seas and coastal areas: This includes the protection, rational use and development of their living resources. This is stated in Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 -the action plan of the UN Conference on Environment and Development that was published in June 1992 (Rio Conference).

"Alongside the politically-oriented AGENDA 21, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides the international legal basis for provisions implementing these policy objectives. The Federal Republic of Germany is politically committed to the protection of the oceans and has ratified UNCLOS." Protecting the marine environment

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yoko Ono asks dolphin slaughter to be stopped for 'the future of Japan'

From The Tokyo Times: "Japanese artist and activist Yoko Ono on Monday asked the dolphin fishermen of Taiji, the small town made famous by the Oscar-winning film “The Cove” which depicts the annual dolphin slaughter, to stop their hunt.

"The artist wrote an open letter several days after the U.S. ambassador to Tokyo condemned the animal bloodbath as well.

"It is for the “future of Japan” and for its reputation, Ono said, according to the international press.

"It “will give an excuse for big countries and their children in China, India and Russia to speak ill of Japan,” she wrote.

“I am sure that it is not easy, but please consider the safety of the future of Japan, surrounded by many powerful countries which are always looking for the chance to weaken the power of our country." Continue reading: Yoko Ono asks dolphin slaughter to be stopped for 'the future of Japan - The Tokyo Times

Hollywood Stars Make Propaganda PSA for Dolphin Rights Activists

I have good faith that my people in Japan will understand how dolphins and whales are seen as human in this part of the world, and condemn the practices of a town they've never heard of, that of killing and eating the mammals' meat which is also unheard of, as soon as they stop feeling singled out for the same practices done by European countries. Things are not as black and white as we think.

Aside from cultural imperialism, the feeling now is that it seems people here care less about Fukushima and domestic violence than dolphin rights. Hey, at least they're not eating dogs and monkey brains, eh? I know, it's all bad...yet I'll never be vegan by choice like most of Hollywood. Read the article and see the video: Hollywood Stars Make Propaganda PSA for Dolphin Rights Activists - Japan Probe, 05/12 2010

China asks: Why doesn’t Japan hate America for dropping the A-bombs?

From Rocket News 24: "History has a way of creating awkward situations for future generations. I can’t think of how many times I’ve attempted friendly conversation by asking a Japanese local where they’re from and been blindsided by the answer, “Hiroshima.” I, with my American perspective, will then fall into this comically long pause as I wonder how appropriate it would be to apologize on behalf of my country for turning their city to dust, but the fact of the matter is that most Japanese people bear absolutely no grudge towards America for the atomic bombings of World War II.

"Apparently this is difficult for some Internet users in China to comprehend, as there was recently a thread on one of the country’s most popular bulletin board sites asking “Why doesn’t Japan hate the USA for bombing them with two atomic weapons?” Interestingly, the answers that the thread received probably say more about Chinese people’s lingering disdain for the Japanese than Japan’s view of America." Read the article: Why doesn’t Japan hate America for dropping the A-bombs? by Rachel Tackett, Rocket News 24, Jul 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DNA Test Confirms Remains Found In East River Belong to Avonte Oquendo

DNA Test Confirms Remains Found In East River Belong to Avonte Oquendo - Autism Speaks

There are lessons to be learned from this horribly sad news. One goes without saying, that schools must not skimp on security for their students, and must assume the autistic child will wander, even if he never has before. Two, people with autism are often drawn to water even if they cannot swim. I don't know the details that lead to this terrible end, but it's something to keep in mind. My deepest condolences go out to the Oquendo family.

7 Fab Nail Polish Colors Men Love on Women

Really, guys--green? 7 Fab Nail Polish Colors Men Love on Women - by Sara Lustberg,

Twitter-Bashing Bores

From The New York Times: (...)"The genius of Twitter is instantaneousness and compression. It is solipsistic, a form of narcissism, at the same time as being the ne plus ultra of outreach. Its essence is the link. Through links, tweets are in fact very long, so long that Twitter is a great way to waste time; in fact I hardly recall any longer how I wasted time before Twitter. It is also a great scattershot way to stumble on the unexpected or the enriching.

"Repeat after me: Thou shalt not complain about social media or judge the habits of a generation you do not understand." Read the article: Twitter-Bashing Bores by Roger Cohen, The New York Times, January 20, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Perfume Favorites for January 2014

I'm back on a Chanel kick, and my current signature is the Green Floral No. 19 Eau de Parfum. I love the parfum and eau de toilette, too, but this EDP smells particularly honeyed and dewy-green fresh to me. Based on this advertising image I found (see below), I guess I'm a daring personality type because I like this scent. I knew Green lovers were associated with being assertive, so I'm happy to be pigeonholed for once, as a leader-type personality in the most positive way.

Contrary to some opinions on classification, Chanel No.19 is not a Chypre; it doesn't smell like one, and with the exception of a few special perfumes (Guerlain Chamade, for instance, although I haven't worn it lately), I don't care for most chypre perfumes. Chanel No.19 is a fresh and springlike scent, rich yet light and uplifting in character. Chypres for the most part smell perfumier than No.19--for example, Cristalle is a chypre by Chanel. It's a rich and complex scent, seemingly light but not as sharp and fresh as No.19 which is brisk, sporty and sweet but sparklingly sharp and hesperidic in feel, minimalist and almost masculine by comparison.

As with my often fast and hard-edged musical taste, I feel that few share my olfactive preferences. I like other brisk scents like Creed Spring Flower and Nina by Nina Ricci, both characterized by cool, green notes of apple. Feminine fragrances are by far my favorites overall, but I sometimes have a preference for fragrances for Men and those shared by both Women and Men such as 4711, Guerlain Vetiver and Metallica (Metalys). Many women like masculines, but not many are buying Gris Clair for themselves.

For what it's worth, it's been an elucidating journey to follow only my true preferences at any given time. All in all, my preference is still fairly wide open, although my current list is short and sweet. It's been a little while since I posted my last fragrance list, but let's get this party started. These are my most worn fragrances this month so far:
1. Chanel No.19 Eau de Parfum
2. Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto
3. Nina by Nina Ricci
4. Guerlain Metallica

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Olympic figure skating faves: Yu-na Kim & Yuzuru Hanyu

Will you be watching the Sochi Olympics? These two figure skaters are my favorites for their beauty, athleticism and grace. The 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Yu-na Kim will be competing in her second Olympics. Yuzuru Hanyu is the 2012 World bronze medalist and the 2013 Grand Prix Final champion. If I had to pick, my other faves from the past are Oksana Baiul, Katarina Witt and Brian Boitano, but of course all of the Olympians are great for making it that far. I'm not sure I'll be watching this year, but in the true spirit of the games, may the best athletes win.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Abandoned Dogs Roam Detroit in Packs as Humans Dwindle

Abandoned Dogs Roam Detroit in Packs as Humans Dwindle By Chris Christoff, Bloomberg, August 21, 2013

Related article: Detroit's Stray Dog Epidemic: 50,000 Or More Roam The City by Mark Memmott, NPR August 21, 2013

PETA giving out mink coats to Detroit’s homeless women

Are you the kind of person who should be allowed to wear fur coats that already exist out of necessity? Are you the kind that deserves to have your belongings ruined with red paint so someone in more dire need than you can make better use of them? PETA can decide for you. From NY Daily News: "Fur-loathing PETA is handing out mink coats to Detroit’s homeless as harsh temperatures in the Motor City dip below freezing. The animal advocacy group, which says “only people who are truly struggling to survive have any excuse to wear fur,” dropped off 100 donated furs to the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries on Monday in partnership with the Bethlehem House, a local women’s group." Continue reading: PETA giving out mink coats to Detroit’s homeless women - Donated furs found new lives with Detroit’s homeless women this week. And the gift came from an unlikely donor: PETA. The animal rights group often distributes furs at homeless shelters, after they’re donated from women who have gone fur-free. By Rheana Murray / New York Daily News, December 17, 2013