August 5, 2009

Bruges ‘The Venice of the North’

Filed under: lifestyle — wepemac @ 1:13 pm

Because of its canals Bruges is often called ‘The Venice of the North’. The water situation in both cities was, however, very different. Venice was founded on islands in a lagoon of the Adriatic sea. Bruges lies deeper inland ; at least now, because in the five centuries B.C the Flemish coastline must have been flooded several times by the North Sea. When the waters retreated they left behind different sea-arms via which ships could reach the area where now Bruges is situated. Bruges was probably already visited by the Vikings. The Flemish name ‘Brugge’ is probably derived from the Latin word ‘Rogia’ (which was the Latin name of the ‘Reie’ the river which flowed through Bruges), and the Scandinavian word ‘Bryggia’, which meant ‘mooring place’.

Bruges (Dutch: Brugge) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country.
The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is egg-shaped and about 430 hectares in size. The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 193.7 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge (“Seabruges” in literal translation). The city’s total population is 117,073 (1 January 2008),[1] of which around 20,000 live in the historic centre. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km² and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.[2]

Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes referred to as “The Venice of the North”.
Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port. At one time it was the “chief commercial city” of the world.[3] Bruges is also home to the College of Europe.

In the Middle-Ages, the waterways to Bruges had to be regularly adapted and enlarged to allow large trade ships to reach the city. Already in the 12th century the cargo was mostly brought to the outports of Damme and Sluis, two small medieval cities that still exist today, and are certainly worth a visit. All through the golden era of Bruges the rivers and canals were constantly dredged. Inside the city the ‘Reie’ river had been turned into a network of canals that enabled the traders to bring their products to the large Water Halls at the Market. Inside the Water Halls the goods were stored or sold directly. The Water Halls do not exist anymore now. In their place is now the neo-gothic Provincial Court at the Market.

(View alongside the canal from Bruges to Damme, the medieval outport)

After they had passed Damme, the ships entered Bruges on the site where now the Dampoort-complex is situated. The ‘Dampoort’ was one of the city gates that allowed entrance to the city. On the way to the center the sailors followed the canals which are now called ‘Langerei’, ‘Potterierei’ (where the shipyards were located), ‘Spiegelrei’, and “Spinolarei’. From the Spinolarei one can see the ‘Poortersloge’ which was the meeting place for the richer and more important members of the Bruges society. Very often concerts, festivities and banquets were organized in this building. In front of it is the ‘Jan van Eyck’ square with the statue of the greatest Flemish painter of all times who lived and died in Bruges (+ 1444). Finally, on their way to the Market, the ships passed the great ‘Crane’, a medieval crane that was used to unload the goods from the ships.

Nowadays no commercial ships sail on the Bruges ‘reien’ (=canals) anymore. The canals are now exclusively used for tourist boats. There are five families that are allowed to organize tourist excursions by open boats on the canals. Each family has 4 boats.


Liquor License NEW YORK

Filed under: drink, food, lifestyle — wepemac @ 1:04 pm

ORHAN CAKIR, the owner of Pierre Loti Cafe and Wine Bar in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, absolutely knew that his two-year-old establishment was quaint enough, romantic enough and popular enough to engender a sibling. Et voilà: his dream was realized last month, when he opened a second diminutive restaurant six blocks west that is also — of course! — slyly named after an Istanbul-smitten French novelist who was elected to the Académie Française in 1891.

But it is likely to be six months before Mr. Cakir can secure a liquor license for the new 36-seat Pierre Loti Restaurant on West 15th Street, given current realities at the New York State Liquor Authority. 
“We had to open our doors to pay the rent,” he said, “but we won’t really make any money until we get the license.” 
Over the river and into Brooklyn, Felipe Mendez opened his 32-seat taqueria, La Superior, in Williamsburg last year and has been waiting seven months for his license. “Sometimes people sit down, order, realize they can’t get a beer, and leave,” he said. “We lose a lot of customers.” 
Across the city and the state, rising cries of pain are being heard from restaurateurs and bar owners facing the lengthiest liquor license application delays in memory. Adding to the frustration, the state has renewed its efforts to enforce penalties on the time-honored custom of patrons’ bringing their own bottles while a license is pending. As a result, restaurateurs say they face additional financial risks in an unforgiving economy. 
Critics blame the fiscal crisis and understaffing at the State Liquor Authority, which has also been hobbled by the aftermath of a bribery investigation. 
“They are taking longer than they ever have to approve new applications,” said Warren B. Pesetsky, a lawyer who represents many applicants and was the authority’s general counsel from 1976 to 1981. “When things were working at their best several years ago, it took three months.” 
New York is not the only city where restaurateurs say the gears of bureaucracy are grinding more deliberately than ever. In San Francisco, it wasn’t until mid-July, five months after he applied, that Larry Bain finally got his wine and beer license for Let’s be Frank, his grass-fed beef hot dog emporium in the Marina District. 
“I have applied for seven licenses during the last 15 years and never waited longer than 10 weeks,” said Mr. Bain, the proprietor. “This was a direct impact of California’s cutbacks and mandatory furloughs.” 
He added: “Now the governor has announced steeper cuts and the licensing process is just going to slow down even more.” 
In Chicago, restaurant licensing can take four to six months and cost $10,000; applications for taverns, given neighbors’ objections, can take longer. In Boston, the number of liquor licenses has traditionally been more strictly capped than in New York, and restaurants can wait up to a year. 
Customarily, alcohol could generate 10 to 30 percent of revenue at a restaurant and 40 to 50 percent of the profit, and owners are losing not only money but also potential customers who recoil from a dry establishment. For years, New Yorkers waited out the approval period by bringing a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer, but the liquor authority recently sent letters to all license applicants reminding them that the practice is illegal under state law and can be grounds for rejecting an application. 
Mr. Mendez, of La Superior, has had to hand customers a copy of the letter, “because people get very annoyed at us when we tell them.” He sighed. “But they still think it’s me saying no.” 
For states, cities and counties, the licensing slowdown means lost tax revenue from establishments that are treading water. 
Furthermore, the delays have become job-killers, critics say. “The new-license situation is a crisis,” said Robert S. Bookman, legislative counsel for the New York City chapters of the New York State Restaurant Association. “In this economy, we need more licenses, and more jobs. It should be government policy to get these businesses open.” 
Mercat Negre, a 74-seat restaurant that has been unable to open on Grand Street in Williamsburg because of a seven-month licensing logjam, employs a skeleton crew. 
“We had hired a whole group of people, then lost a lot of them because there is no way of knowing when it will be approved,” said Andy Egelhoff, a spokesman. 
Statewide, 2,073 licenses were pending as of last week, including renewals; 873 of them for longer than three months. In New York City, Westchester and Long Island, 1,480 licenses were pending, 604 of them for longer than three months. 
William Crowley, a spokesman for the liquor authority, said that “we are sympathetic to the fact that there are hardships, and there isn’t anyone who wants to see these applications processed more than we do.” He added of the staff: “They are working as hard as they can.” 
The authority, with its budget of $17 million, is profitable, taking in some $55 million from licensing fees and fines. But among its statewide staff of 156 — down from 224 full-time employees in 1996 — the liquor authority has only 20 examiners who handle applications, renewals and permits. There are only nine in the Harlem office that serves New York City, Westchester and Long Island, regulating 65 percent of the state’s operating licenses and permits. 
In April, after a yearlong corruption inquiry, the New York State inspector general raided the Harlem office. Investigators suspected that employees had taken bribes to expedite liquor licenses. So far there have been no arrests in the investigation, which is still before a grand jury. 
The inquiry “has made a bad situation worse,” Mr. Bookman said. “Everyone there is afraid if they cough, they might get investigated.” Examiners were also interviewed by the investigators, reducing the amount of staff time available to process licenses. 
Restaurant and bar owners are to blame for some of the delays. “Ninety percent of the applications are incomplete when submitted,” Mr. Crowley said. 
The authority’s 26-page “on-premises” application requires owners’ detailed financial information, prior employment experience, proof of citizenship and floor-plan details, and it also entails fingerprinting and background investigations. It asks whether music will be played (and if so, what kind) and whether dancing is planned. 
Even seemingly straightforward applications can be delayed by a required hearings process, particularly when they fall afoul of the authority’s 200-foot rule (governing the proximity to schools, churches, synagogues and mosques) and 500-foot rule (which applies when three liquor-license-holding businesses are within 500 feet of each other). 
Applicants have also being stymied by increasingly empowered community boards that raise objections, both substantive and persnickety. And owners can also be held hostage to reviews by the city’s Department of Buildings, since a certificate of occupancy is an application requirement. 
Such an approval delayed Montenapo, a $4 million Italian restaurant on West 41st Street, overlooking the birch trees in the atrium of The New York Times building. It won its liquor license in six months, “something we had anticipated,” said Jozef Juck, a managing partner. But he had not expected that a disagreement with the Department of Buildings over required documents would delay the building’s certificate of occupancy, stalling the opening for another two months. Mr. Juck lost 25 of Montenapo’s original 60 employees, and a formidable sum of money he declined to reveal. “We are just happy to be open,” he said. 
And after a five-month wait Joaquin Baca, the chef and owner of The Brooklyn Star, a 40-seat restaurant in Williamsburg, won an initial approval in March for a license to serve wine and “some nice frosty beers,” he said. Then he learned that he needed a new certificate of occupancy, and has been waiting, alcohol-less, for the city to issue one. 
For owners, life in red-tape hell can go from frustrating, to infuriating, to totally “Waiting for Godot.” 
“If you’re starting a place and you need a liquor license, you need to put half a million dollars in the bank and be prepared to wait for months and months,” said Steve Chahalis, 47, a fourth-generation barkeep who is the proprietor, with his father, Tom, 73, of the P&G Bar on the Upper West Side. 
Such was the complexity of the application process that “I visited the office so many times, it got to the point where the guards stopped asking me for identification,” Steve Chahalis said. 
The licensing uncertainty keeps owners from hiring and training staffs well ahead of time, so “restaurants don’t have it together for the first two months,” Mr. Pesetsky said. Delays can also affect early word of mouth. 
Gov. David A. Paterson of New York has supported two pending bills that would enable new applicants to be issued temporary alcohol permits until their licenses are approved. 
“This is an acknowledgment that Governor Paterson sees that there is a problem here, and wants to see something done about it,” said Morgan Hook, a spokesman. 
Despite the delays, Mr. Pesetsky said, “I am handling the same number of license applications as last year.” 
He added: “People are always going to eat and drink.”

July 12, 2009

del G8: Barack Obama se pierda el culo a esta chica

Filed under: lifestyle — Tags: , , — wepemac @ 4:13 pm

Una foto, aparentemente incriminatoria ha estado haciendo las rondas que aparece Barack Obama para demostrar control de la culata de una de 16 años chica brasileña en la Cumbre del G8. El vídeo, sin embargo, cuenta una historia diferente. Obama en cambio parece ser que ofrece su mano en un gesto caballeroso con otra mujer subir los escalones. El verdadero culpable es el Presidente francés Nicolas Sarkozy, que es claramente gawking a la chica. Debes amar el francés. Véase la foto, ver el vídeo, y juzgar por ti mismo. Cuando se trata de torpe diplomáticas, Obama va a tener que intentar mucho más difícil si quiere estar a la altura de la herencia del presidente Bush, quien una vez dio la Canciller alemana Angela Merkel no invitados un masaje en el cuello una Cumbre del G8.


Hot Obama! 🙂



July 4, 2009

Why I’m smell and how do I fight body odor?

Filed under: lifestyle — Tags: — wepemac @ 7:37 am

This is the reason why you so smelly

1. You don’t towel off after showering

2. You love chicken tikka

3. You brush—but only your teeth

4. You’re under serious stress

5. You’ve upped your fiber intake

6. You snore like a banshee

7. You eat on the run

8. You only use deodorant

9. Your scalp is flaky

10. You take a prescription drug

11. You’re between periods

12. You’ve cut out carbs

13. You wear spandex when you work out

14. You’re a gum addict

15. You have allergies

16. Your office has a “no-sandals” policy

And this is the explanation

You know you’re slightly pungent after a hard Spinning class or garlicky dinner.

But it turns out that some less expected factors—like how quickly you get dressed in the morning, the amount of carbs you eat, or whether you snore—can also affect your BO, breath, gassiness, and more. Here’s how to fix it, fast.

1. You don’t towel off after showering

A speedy post-shower rubdown may end up causing a problem later on.

That’s because moisture can get trapped between folds of skin, like below your breasts, under your love handles, or even between your toes, says Marina Peredo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Smithtown, New York. “There’s no access to air there, and it’s easier for bacteria and fungi to multiply and mix with sweat, causing odor and irritation,” she says.

Fix it: Peredo recommends this trick to her patients: “After you dry off, set a blow-dryer to cool and wave it over your belly, groin, feet—anywhere that gets uncomfortably sweaty.” You can also sprinkle an absorbent powder with antifungal properties onto your skin or in your shoes. Try Zeabsorb-AF, available at drugstores.

2. You love chicken tikka

Foods with pungent ingredients, such as curry, garlic, and other spices, can not only cause bad breath, but also a bit of a body odor.

When digested, these foods produce several stinky sulfur-containing gases. Most of these byproducts are metabolized in the intestines and liver, but some, such as allyl methyl sulfide, are absorbed into the bloodstream and released through your lungs and pores, an effect that can last for a few hours or more, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Fix it: You can temporarily mask bad breath with mouthwash or by chewing a bit of fresh parsley, mint, or fennel seeds, but you’ll have to wait until your body is done digesting before all the odor is completely gone. Sit down to a spicy meal in good company; it’s tough to smell it on others if you all eat the same thing, says Richard Price, D.M.D., spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Avoid garlic-rich chow in the hours before an important meeting or date.

3. You brush—but only your teeth

Neglect your tongue, and your breath may not be as fresh as you’d like.

Your tongue is covered with thousands of small hair-like projections called papillae, which can trap and harbor tiny scraps of food. So even if you brush and floss regularly, small remains from your meals can hang behind, collecting bacteria and emitting hydrogen sulfide vapors—also known as bad breath.

Fix it: Mouthwashes may help, but the best way to remove bacteria, dead cells, and food debris from the crevices of your tongue is with an inexpensive tongue scraper. Brushing your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush works well too. Gently clean as far back as you can without gagging. Also, switch to a toothpaste that contains chlorine dioxide or tea tree oil, a powerful disinfectant with a pleasant, eucalyptus-like smell.

4. You’re under serious stress

When an urgent project drops on your desk, sweating is part of how your body naturally handles the pressure.

Our bodies are smart. The famous fight or flight response mechanism—yep, the same one that helped our ancestors outrun saber-toothed tigers—increases sweating so that we don’t overheat while we’re battling it out. Fast-forward a few thousand years, and hectic days at the office can produce those same sweaty palms and sticky underarms.

Fix it: Try sage tea. It contains the astringent tannin and several antiseptic compounds that may act to calm down the sympathetic nervous system, which is what triggers all those stress symptoms. Sage tea should reduce overall perspiration if sipped frequently in small quantities throughout the day. To make it, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of coarsely powdered dried sage leaves in hot water and leave covered for 10 minutes to ensure all the active ingredients have been released.

5. You’ve upped your fiber intake

Fiber-packed foods are great for your health, but they may leave you feeling a little gassy.

Unfortunately, the reason some fiber-rich foods—such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans—keep you feeling full longer is the same reason that they can cause gas, according to the Mayo Clinic. This type of fiber, called soluble fiber, doesn’t get digested until it reaches the large intestine (other foods typically get digested in the small intestine, earlier in the digestive process).

Here, healthy bacteria in your gut break down the fiber, which produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and even methane. Eventually, these smelly gases have to go somewhere—and they often exit in the form of flatulence.

Fix it: Add these foods to your diet over a few weeks so your body can adjust. If you use a fiber supplement, be sure to take it with at least 8 ounces of water and drink plenty of liquids throughout the day—fiber won’t move easily through the digestive system without it.

6. You snore like a banshee

Blame those nighttime noises for cover-your-mouth morning breath.

Sleeping with your mouth open dries out your oral cavity, enabling dead cells to accumulate and decompose on your tongue, gums, and cheeks. This is what causes morning breath.

Fix it: Skip the nightcap. Alcohol before bed can make snoring worse. Placing an adhesive snoring strip across the bridge of your nose can help by enhancing breathing. In the morning, in addition to brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing, gargle with a small cup of acidic lemon juice to kill odor-causing bacteria. Then eat plain unsweetened yogurt, which contains healthy lactobacillus bacteria, a probiotic that competes with and replaces the reeking bacteria in your mouth. The lemon-yogurt combo instantly neutralizes odor and lasts 12 to 24 hours, says Mark Moyad, M.D., M.P.H., director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

7. You eat on the run

If you wolf down lunch in mere minutes because of work deadlines, you may have a burpy afternoon ahead of you.

Chewing too fast and drinking through a straw can cause you to swallow too much air. You release most of this air, which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, from the stomach by burping. What’s left makes its way through the digestive tract until it is eventually expelled through the other end—as gas.

Fix it: An hour-long lunch break may be unheard of these days, but do give yourself enough time to chew properly, without gigantic bites. Put down your fork while you munch to slow down, if necessary. Also, don’t eat when you’re anxious, upset, or stressed—it can interfere with digestion.

On hectic days where you know you’ll eat quickly, take two enteric-coated peppermint capsules (500 mg each) three times daily, recommends Ronald Hoffman, M.D., author of Alternative Cures that Really Work (Rodale, 2007). Peppermint kills bacteria that cause bloating and relaxes gastrointestinal muscles for smoother digestion.

8. You only use deodorant

Make sure your white stick contains antiperspirant too.

Deodorants only temporarily mask your BO—they don’t prevent your body from releasing sweat, says Peredo. “Antiperspirants actually plug your sweat glands, which stops you from excreting sweat,” she says.

Fix it: You really need only an antiperspirant, but if you want that ocean breeze scent, at least pick a product that has both deodorant and antiperspirant. If you’re a big-time sweater (especially in sticky summer months), apply it before you go to sleep. You perspire less at night, so more of the antiperspirant’s aluminum-based active ingredient is pulled into sweat glands. The effect can last 24 hours or longer, even if you shower in the morning. If this doesn’t help, ask your doctor about prescription-strength antiperspirants, such as Drysol or Xerac, which contain aluminum chloride.

9. Your scalp is flaky

Dandruff isn’t the problem—it’s the hiatus from hair washing that makes your mane smell gamey.

“It’s a common misperception that dandruff occurs when your hair scalp is too dry,” says Peredo, a myth that makes people wash their hair less. This, combined with the fact that an irritated scalp may be more of a bacteria breeding ground, can make your tresses smell. “In fact, dandruff happens when your hair is too oily.”

Fix it: Washing your hair with shampoo regularly may help get the flakes in check. If not, try an OTC dandruff shampoo. Look for ones with zinc pyrithione, an antifungal/antibacterial agent that can de-germ your scalp (found in Head & Shoulders or Selsun Salon), or with coal tar, an ingredient that slows down your skin cell–shedding process (like Neutrogena T/Gel). If the dandruff still doesn’t go away after a few weeks, see your doctor or dermatologist. You may need a stronger prescription-strength product or steroid lotion.

10. You take a prescription drug

Check your medicine cabinet—it could be the source of your not-so-fresh breath.

Hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs—for everything from allergies to high blood pressure to depression—can cause dry mouth, one of the most common triggers of bad breath. They may block the action of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that tells nerves to switch on the salivary glands.

Fix it: Ask your doctor to adjust your dosage or suggest an alternative medication that doesn’t list dry mouth as a side effect. In the meantime, frequently sip water to stimulate the production of saliva, which keeps the mouth moist and clean. Limit coffee consumption and try to breathe through your nose, not your mouth, to avoid drying it out further. OTC saliva substitutes can also help keep your mouth moist, according to the Mayo Clinic. Look for ones containing carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethylcellulose to help thicken saliva.

11. You’re between periods

Who knew? A woman’s monthly cycle can influence how much she sweats.

Body temperature rises half a degree midcycle when you’re ovulating, enough to prompt more sweat—and BO, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine and a Prevention advisor. Vaginal secretions increase then too.

Fix it: Try a stronger underarm antiperspirant/deodorant midcycle (about 14 days from the day your last menstrual period started) and wear cotton underwear, which allows moisture to evaporate. If you’re noticing a persistent, unusual vaginal odor, check with your doctor; it could be an infection that requires treatment.

12. You’ve cut out carbs

Followers of protein-packed diets may find their breath surprisingly stinky.

Ditching bread to slip into your skinny jeans may take a toll on your breath—and your overall health. Some of these high-protein plans have you consuming between 30 and 50% of total calories from protein. Because carbs are your body’s normal energy source, when you consume too few, you start burning your own fat stores for energy, which releases substances called ketones into your bloodstream, according to the American Heart Association. These can make your breath smell funky—some describe it as a combination of nail polish and overripe pineapples.
In addition, diets high in animal sources of protein may also have too much saturated fat, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Fix it: Cut out overall calories—not just those from carbs—to lose weight. You should consume at least 130 g of carbohydrates daily—ideally whole grains, beans, and fruits and veggies—to stay healthy.

13. You wear spandex when you work out

Ditch those form-fitting clothes for a less smelly gym session.

Tight, synthetic fabrics, like spandex, rub against skin and can trap sweat. This may cause extra odor, as well as skin irritation, like folliculitis (inflammation around hair follicles) and acnelike eruptions, says Peredo.

Fix it: Opt for moisture wicking fabrics that are antimicrobial too. Wool-containing fabrics, for example, naturally inhibit the growth of stink-causing bacteria (one to try: lightweight, itch-free Smartwool). Newer synthetic fabrics, like Cocona, are spun with fibers from recycled coconut shells that provide odor repellent (find it in brands like New Balance and Merrell).

14. You’re a gum addict

Sugar-free kinds are better for your teeth, but they can make your tummy rumbly, causing flatulence.

Our bodies don’t completely digest the low-cal sweeteners, such as sorbitol, found in sugar-free gum. When bacteria in the large intestine break them down, it can cause gas and even diarrhea.

Fix it: Soothe your sweet tooth with a cup of peppermint tea instead. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which appears to have a soothing effect on the muscles of your digestive tract, providing relief from gas and gas pain. Or drink a half-cup of cranberry juice a day. It contains phytochemicals that suppress the odor-causing bacteria in your gut.

15. You have allergies

A drippy nose can make your breath smell sour.

When nasal fluid drips from the sinuses to the back of your throat, it can stink up your breath. So can breathing mainly from your mouth when nasal passages are blocked because this dries out your mouth. A dry mouth prevents saliva from keeping your mouth moist and clean, making dead cells more likely to accumulate on your tongue, gums, and cheeks. When these cells decompose, they produce an odor.

Fix it: Drink plenty of water—not coffee, soda, or alcohol, which can dehydrate you. Decades worth of clinical tests have also found that nasal irrigation, in which the sinus cavities are rinsed with lukewarm salt water, is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to flush out the mucous that causes halitosis. Rubber syringes, ceramic Neti pots, a plastic squeeze bottle such as SinuCleanse, or sprays like ENTsol all work well. Use warm, distilled water and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt per 1 cup for the Neti pot.

16. Your office has a “no-sandals” policy

Do you slip your bare feet into pumps? You could have an odor problem at the end of the day.

Closed shoes can act as a bacteria breeding ground, trapping moisture and causing that stinky feet stench, according to The Doctors’ Book of Home Remedies. When you skip out on socks, there’s nothing to absorb the sweat your feet produce.

Fix it: You can rub an antiperspirant on the bottom of your feet and between toes. It’s also a good idea to dab your feet with an antifungal powder, which will help keep your tootsies dry. At night, dunk feet in a bacteria-killing bath of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water. You could also try a black tea soak for about 30 minutes. The tannins kill bacteria and close up pores, which keep your feet dryer, longer. You’ll see results in a few days to a week.

I hope it works for you.


China Against All Odds (Internet?)

Filed under: internet — Tags: — wepemac @ 7:15 am

In the Chinese countryside in 2009, man is in essence unclassifiable. Neither dissenting professional or cantor of the “New China”. Ai Weiwei is co-designer of the National Stadium, the iconic Bird Nest Olympic Games. But the artist field is also a social commitment and his blog posts at cogne shortcuts on what the system can secrete injustice and arbitrariness.

His last facet is known today for his countrymen to “strike the Internet.” Because, for some months now, “Chinese authorities have strengthened their control, closing thousands of websites and blogs under the false pretext of fight against pornography or unhealthy.” Last episode to date, the willingness of Beijing to impose control software sold with every computer sold in China, which has aroused the anger of a majority of Chinese Internet users and against which Washington went to war. The call for Ai Weiwei to “strike” was unlikely to be heard. While there are still pleased that his little blog, one of the most famous of China, is the only tone so violent that is not blocked, the artist tells us that the ax fell in early June when 20th anniversary of Tiananmen. It is now hosted abroad and is more accessible in China. Photographs demonstrate the provocateur to a finger of honor or Tiananmen Square with the inscription “fuck off” on his bare-chested in front of the famous giant portrait of Mao …

Previous months, Ai Weiwei was already scrap with censorship for his last fight. Because the authorities refused to publish the list of students died in the disaster in Sichuan in May 2008, Ai Weiwei was undertaken to provide this memory stolen. In conducting its own investigation. “I first thought about a work of art in tribute. Then I decided to change registry. Tell me a list of dead children is “state secret” was unbearable. ” Ai Weiwei was first launched a campaign of telephone harassment of local managers. Then he hired dozens of volunteers to travel around the country ravaged, visiting families, noted the names of schools, classrooms, students. “They had a crazy courage as local authorities regarded them as secret agents. It’s amazing. ”

Ai Weiwei web

(Photo Elisa Haberer)
In his house where he lives with forty cats away from the bustle of downtown Beijing, the walls of offices where busy architects and designers are covered with dizzying lists of names of young victims of the earthquake. They have consistently been published on the blog of Ai Weiwei, and censors the Web are used to erase with the same diligence. “How the police can harass and intimidate parents who lost their children, who have lost everything? Ai Weiwei wondered, this is terrifying double jeopardy. ” For him, it is clear that the earthquake has revealed serious problems in construction. The battle seems to have borne fruit, since Beijing has decided after a year to publish the small shattered lives: 5 335 dead or missing. But in terms of work already done, Ai Weiwei says the balance sheet at more than 6 000.

Ai weiwei web 2-thumb-500x375-9885
(At the lists of child victims of Sichuan, photo CDs)

The artist admits now devote most of his time, 14 hours a day, “to his blog and his writings. “These past three years, I followed all the major social problems of the country” he says. Ai Weiwei, who has kept her Chinese passport, can afford boldness that would apply to other serious problems. Two things protect it, no doubt. Being the son of poet Ai Qing. And having put his genius to the service of the great national cause of the Olympic Games. But recently, increased police surveillance gear. Sabreur of the absurd and unjust, AI Weiwei still believes that things are going in the right direction in China, although civil society and NGOs for example are still struggling to exist. The artist has signed the famous Charter 08, appeared in December 2008, and proposes a plan for democratization of the country. But his commitment to this text which has been a virulent reaction of the scheme is atypical. “Frankly, I did not read the text carefully, he says, but I signed my friend, the writer Lu Xiaobo was arrested for that. This is unacceptable to deprive someone of their liberty just because he helped draft a platform of ideas. ”

With filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Ai Weiwei, is one in 1978 of the first generation of students from the Beijing Film Academy. It is then the first wave of Chinese artists avant-garde, called The Stars. Will follow in 1981 a long period of American twelve years, with a passage from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York. Back in China in 1993, and involvement in art magazines underground. This hands-on artistic expression is finally experiencing a specialty: the “revolution,” fun “he said,” I like to change the structures, break the rules, standards . Courtesy provocative, this man of 51 years looks like a Buddha would be nice to be left to grow a wild beard, pepper and salt. “Artists are, above all men, is justified there, all my work to express a value, a truth, otherwise why bother? “Magnet markets and margins, it stands rather outside the Chinese art world. Precisely because it was unclear that these talents do not put their creativity at the service of “more truth, more social justice, the only guarantee for the development of people.”

Between two rounds on the Internet, Ai Weiwei preparing exhibitions in Tokyo, Munich, Madrid, London and possibly Paris. He is also working on two television, one in Sichuan and the other on Yang Jia, a man who was tried for murdering six policemen in a police station in Shanghai last year. An act crazy, but following a police harassment, which has earned popularity as lethal surprising that massive Chinese on the Internet. In a China where artists and intellectuals do not know how far to go too far, Ai Weiwei loves to walk on the border, crossing the same, often. “I do not know how far I can go every day reserve of unpredictable events, but I have no choice, this is my reason for living.” Life seemed quite similar to the navigation. “You know that you will eventually one day a touch a rock, but it serves no purpose to paralyze seeking to guess the time.”

Weiwei wall fuck

(A wall of the garden …)



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