22 December 2011


"At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest.  Now I realize I am fighting to save humanity."  ~  Chico Mendez.

On this day in 1988, Brazilian environmentalist and human rights advocate Chico Mendez was assassinated.  He was one of nineteen rural activists murdered that year, but certainly the most well-known ~ which also made him the greatest threat to the ranchers, rubber plantation owners, and government officials who felt threatened by his insistence on protecting native habitat and native peoples.  His story was made into an award-winning documentary, as well as a cinematic drama.

The winners of the prestigious National Geographic 2011 photo contest have been announced, and here they are.  The exquisite Grand Prize winner appears above (you'll definitely want to enlarge this image by clicking on it.)

Ever wonder what happened to the art of the insult?  I refer not to the crude profanities which prevail today, but rather to the artful verbal stilettos wielded by piercing minds like those of Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and Winston Churchill.  Despair not, gentle reader ~ I refer you to the most prolific linguist (and author of veiled and not-so-veiled insults) in the English language, Sir William Shakespeare.  Here is a "tastefully offensive insult kit" ~ you have only to "combine one word from each of the three columns, prefaced with 'Thou'."  Delicious.

Finally, this title speaks for itself, and it is fascinating reading ~ How Germany Builds Twice as Many Cars as the U.S. While Paying Its Workers Twice as Much.  Small wonder that the German economy is the strongest in the entire European Union.  

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