Genuine leaders are those that through sheer will power, determination, and perseverance can change anything. Nelson Mandela used these strengths to crush “apartheid” and in the process changed South Africa and became an example of high moral standards for the world.
Mandela’s words, “The struggle is my life,” are not to be taken lightly.
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.
And so he recently died with his moral ideals held high for the world in oppression to see. We have lost a great soul similar to that of Mahatma Gandhi in India.
Nelson Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election.
Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison. Mandela served 27 years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island.
Following his release from prison on February 11, 1990, Mandela led his party in the negotiations that led to multi-racial democracy in 1994. As president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation.The violence between whites and blacks must stop, and to a great degree, it did.
In South Africa, Mandela is often known as Madiba, his Xhosa clan name; or as tata.
Before his death, Mandela said these powerful words: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Rest in Peace Mr. Mandela, the world will never forget you. Your name and moral deeds will be with us till the end of time.
In a frantic race to become the first economy in the world, China is suffocating its population with dense clouds of smog in its largest cities. Shortly before its Olympic Games, Chinese authorities were forced to shut down its factories to clear the air of air pollutants. After the games were over, it was business as usual.
China’s stability-obsessed leadership has become increasingly concerned by the abysmal air quality in cities, as it plays into popular resentment over political privilege and rising inequality in the world’s second-largest economy. A few days ago in Shanghai, the situation was so bad, that the municipality’s landmark buildings disappeared from the skyline in the morning as the official air quality index exceeded 400. By 8:00 p.m., the index had hit 484, almost reaching the maximum of 500, according to the website of the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.
With such a high concentration of air pollutants, the authorities warned even healthy people would show some serious health symptoms and be more vulnerable to disease. Children, the elderly and the sick were advised to stay at home, while others were told to cut their outdoor activities as much as possible.
Some of the worst polluting factories were told to limit or stop production. Building and road construction work was halted and nearly a third of government cars were pulled out of service.
Most inbound flights were cancelled and more than 50 flights diverted at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. With some roads closed, traffic was also severely affected.
Why is this happening? China has a very poor record on environmental regulation, and Shanghai has 24 million residents. The staggering smog is an inevitable confluence of urban migration and insufficient measures to curb pollution. Even state-run newspaper China Daily declared in early 2013 that China’s major cities were rapidly becoming “barely suitable for living.”
China’s neighbors, such as South Korea and Japan, are likely to complain about the effect of pollution on them. Environment officials from the Seoul city government will arrive in Beijing next Wednesday. They are expected to urge China to begin sharing air pollution information with them.
It’s absolute madness to push a country to the hilt in order to become a world power sacrificing the health of its people. Asphyxiating the nation to become the number one economic player in the world is not an option. That is one of the many weaknesses of Communists countries where “We the people” can not decide their own destiny. I hope China learns how to develop by controlling its economic growth. The West should also learn from China’s experience.
The skies are blue in Panama City. It’s a blessing to have this high quality of air, when others can barely breathe. Good Day.
As much as I’m strongly inclined to using desktops, laptops, cellphones, and tablets, my wife is all the opposite. She tries to stay as far away as she can from these “complicated” devices. However, over time, she realized that having a mobile phone is highly convenient, especially when you have an emergency.
Last year she acquired a cheap Samsung cellphone which ended up in the mouth of the Twisters’ dog, Rex. After it was chewed up by Rex, there wasn’t much you could do, but to go to the nearest shop and buy a new one. Well, the wallet was pretty tight, so Aura (my wife) had to wait about six month to make the replacement. She opted for another Samsung cellphone, only slightly better. It can be considered a smartphone with Samsung and Google’s applications and the whole nine yards. The name of her new mobile phone is Samsung Galaxy Pocket also identified as GT-S5301L.
- Dimensions: 4.08 x 2.26 x 0.47 inches
- Weight: 3.42 ounces
- Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors, multi-touch
- Sound: Vibration, MP3 ringtones, loudspeaker and 3.5mm jack
- Memory: Card slot micro SD, up to 32 GB, internal 3GB
- Data: GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, USB
- Camera: 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels
- Operating System: Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
- Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS
- GPS: A-GPS support
- Applications: Organizer, image/video editor, document viewer, Google Search, Maps. G-Mail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Tal, Picasa, voice memo/dial, predictive text input and a lot more. Too many to include here.
- Battery life: Endurance rating 34 hours
- Price: $99,90 plus a 7% ITBMS Tax = $106.89
- Mobile Phone Carrier: Cable & Wireless Panama
In the big scheme of things, this is a low-level entry smartphone, which could be considered a small toy for a veteran user of mobile phones. However, for my wife, it is a powerful communication’s tool which has more than she is willing to learn or use. Maybe she will slowly start using some basic applications such as a calendar, calculator, texting messages and so forth. At this moment, she is only interested in making and receiving calls. Period!
Reading the small manuals, I found out that the official Samsung manual could be found on the Internet. It was a relief, because the supplied manuals barely gave you the basic stuff to get started. Other than that there wasn’t much information to squeeze the juice out of the baby. Sometime today I plan to start reading the web manual and find out what tricks this darling can perform. I’m sure I’m in for a couple of nice surprises. Before I forget, above link will take you to a Spanish manual of the Samsung Galaxy Pocket, which is fine for me.
Well, that’s just about it regarding my wife’s new cellphone. Knowing that I can contact her in case of any special situation that may arise, it’s a relief to know that she can be reached faster than you can blink an eye. Technology is just so fascinating these days, don’t you think so? Good Day.
“Whereas at one time the decisive factor of production was the land and later capital– understood as a total complex of the instruments of production–, today the decisive factor is increasingly man himself; that is, his knowledge, especially his scientific knowledge, his capacity for interrelated and compact organization as well as his ability to perceive the needs of others and to satisfy it.”
Centesimus Annus, John Paul II
On July 27, 2005, I dipped my toes in the pond of journal entries known as blogs. Little did I know that I would be blogging eight years later on a regular basis. Back then my blogging platform was Life Journal which was a good starting point. Powerful, yet easy to use. It was an stimulating experience learning the ropes—wet behind the ears—inexperienced and naive.
LiveJournal was the first blogging platform I used when I was getting my feet wet with blogs. I had no idea what “blog” meant but I had an open mind and was willing to learn. When my writing needs expanded, I switched to WordPress which was more powerful and generously flexible. As we speak, I’m using WordPress as my blogging software exclusively.
For more than four years I posted daily entries on Epiac’s Place trying to please my readers, and at the same time, polishing up my broken English. As you probably know, my native language is Spanish. It was a rewarding intellectual ride.
As I gained more experience, I realized that LiveJournal was not the best platform for my growing blogging needs. That led me to WordPress where I opened a blog dubbed Lingua Franca. This blog was started on January 1, 2008.
I decided to keep Epiac’s Place as a backup blog for when WordPress would crash or something like that. It happened to me once with a blogging site called WordCharm. So far, my experience with WordPress has been extra-ordinary. Everything I need to do is right there—at the tip of my fingers. In my humble opinion, it’s the best blogging platform available today on the Internet.
As the days dragged on, I was amazed by the way veteran bloggers like Abraham Lincoln in Ohio and Don Ray in David, were using their cameras to complement their blogs. Using them as my reference, I purchased a point-and-shoot camera —Canon PowerShot A720 IS—and began my journey into the magic world of photography. I haven’t counted, them, but my best estimate is that I’ve taken more than four thousand snapshots. Many of them have been inserted here in Lingua Franca.
Following my enthusiasm for movies, blogging and photography, I decided to buy a 32-inch LED television set and hooked it to an Apple TV box. It turned out to be a fantastic idea. Not only can I watch to my heart’s content, more than 24,000 films, but I can also listen to classical music, and enjoy my snapshots using an ingenious Flickr software.
What Flickr does is import pictures from my computer’s hard disk, organizes them on a white wall, and enhances them with wood-like mahogany frames. The snapshots rotate in slow motion from right to left and randomly up and down. The effect is subtle and soft. To bestow charm to the spectacle, I added classical music to the rotating slide show; specifically choosing Mozart.
The pictures were jumping out of the screen with their bright crisp colors highlighted by the Full HD television set. I knew photography was great, but magnified by a 32″ screen, the result was nothing less than magnificent, in search of a better word.
As I sat alone in my home office last night, watching the ballet of multicolored pictures neatly encased in wooden frames, I saw part of my life flowing slowly before my eyes. All those pictures represented moments of my life interrelated with other persons and objects. Those infinitesimal moments are now gone and will never repeat themselves again. Before me was a visual slide show of my life. I felt very emotional and fully appreciated the richness and blessings of being alive. Soon I will be 67. Good Day.