Πέμπτη, 15 Νοεμβρίου 2012

marilena: How Often Do People Have Sex at the Office?

marilena: How Often Do People Have Sex at the Office?: An expert advises, "Don't put it in writing...." Workplace As someone who reads people’s sex diaries professionally—for m...

How Often Do People Have Sex at the Office?

An expert advises, "Don't put it in writing...."

An expert advises, "Don't put it in writing...."


As someone who reads people’s sex diaries professionally—for my books and website I collect thousands of them—I am here to report that former CIA Director David Petraeus is really just a talented guy who, considering his marital and work history, is a typical American male.
Petraeus has been married for 38 years. Very few human beings sleep with just one person in a 38-year period. Most people simply aren’t married that long. According to the Census, the majority of marriages end long before the 38th anniversary mark (the average divorce occurs eight years after the wedding), and of the marriages that stay intact for 38 years, approximately half involve at least one other sexual partner.
Various news outlets reported that Petraeus had sex under his desk at CIA headquarters. This makes his case a rare one. Although the workplace is the most common place to meet a new partner, few people actually have sex at the office—in the 3,500 diaries I’ve read, a grand total of 11 office affairs actually took place within the workplace walls. Workaholics logging long hours, particularly those working 12- to 18-hour days, account for seven of those 11. (Oh, and regarding the issue of onthe desk vs. under the desk, I’ve discovered that people who prefer steadiness and balance—and the kinds of sexual positions given names such as “missionary,” for instance—opt for the floor. The desk is the domain of more acrobatic love-makers.)
Offices are no longer the great bastions of sex that they were in the Mad Men era, when doors were thick and carpeting thicker. The age of wide open “co-working environments,” glass walls, and security cameras has made the office a difficult place to find privacy. (Unless, of course, your office in a mid-20th-century government building is possibly camera-free and fully secure because you’re the head of U.S. intelligence—and perhaps your boss will never notice because he’s the president of the U.S. during an election year. Just saying.)
Regardless, privacy aside, there’s one thing I find to be an absolute certainty: If you communicated evidence of your lovemaking by e-mail or text message—like Petraeus apparently did—my research shows that you will likely be found out. All cheating affairs I encountered were discovered because of a digital paper trail. Remember, people: Don’t put it in writing.
Cohen is the author of The Sex Diaries Project: What We're Saying About What We're Doing (John Wiley & Sons).

marilena: Dying is a fact of life...

marilena: Dying is a fact of life...: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20309171 bbc

Dying is a fact of life...

Τετάρτη, 14 Νοεμβρίου 2012

marilena: Solar eclipse blocks sun in Australia – video

marilena: Solar eclipse blocks sun in Australia – video: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/video/2012/nov/14/solar-eclipse-australia-video the guardian

Solar eclipse blocks sun in Australia – video

marilena: Bad Haircut IMF Greek Debt Default Demand Could Ha...

marilena: Bad Haircut IMF Greek Debt Default Demand Could Ha...: The International Monetary Fund wants Greece's creditors to forgive a portion of the country's debt, a move which could cost Germany up t...

Bad Haircut IMF Greek Debt Default Demand Could Haunt Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel is in a bind.

The International Monetary Fund wants Greece's creditors to forgive a portion of the country's debt, a move which could cost Germany up to 17.5 billion euros. With general elections approaching next year, Chancellor Angela Merkel is adamantly opposed to such a move.

Germany has a problem. Now that euro-zone finance ministers have agreed to grant Greece another two years to meet its budgetary goal of achieving a structural surplus of 4.5 percent, attention has turned to ensuring that the crisis-wracked country reduces its overall debt load. And the International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposal to slash publicly held Greek debt could cost Berlin up to €17.5 billion ($22.3 billion).
Even worse, such a loss could endanger German efforts to balance its own budget by 2014 -- and would make unwanted headlines in coming months just as Chancellor Angela Merkel enters the heart of campaign season ahead of general elections next September.
Berlin, not surprisingly, is opposed to such plans. "Without speculating, we should concentrate on other solutions," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Tuesday in Brussels. His French counterpart Pierre Moscovici supports the German position.
The IMF believes that the only way Greece can reduce its sovereign debt to the target level of 120 percent of gross domestic product in the next decade is by way of another partial default. This time, however, it wouldn't just be private creditors who would lose out as they did in the debt haircut carried out this spring. A second such cut of Greek debt would force international creditors, Germany included, to write down a portion of the billions they have loaned Athens. A 50 percent default would result in Germany losing €17.5 billion of the €35 billion it has loaned Athens thus far.
It is partly for that reason that euro-zone finance ministers are in favor of extending by two years the deadline for Greece to reduce its debt load to 120 percent of GDP from 2020 to 2022. The difference of two years, they hope, would give austerity measures more time to produce budget surpluses, which could contribute to a paying down of the country's debt.
'A Bit too Ambitious'
But without a debt haircut, Greece still won't be able to meet the 120 percent target by 2022. According to the draft troika debt sustainability report, which has been seen by Reuters, without a partial default, Greek debt would comprise 144 percent of GDP in 2020 and 134 percent in 2022, assuming there are no further economic upheavals between now and then.
Schäuble himself on Tuesday said that cutting Greek debt to 120 percent of GDP "is likely a bit too ambitious for 2020." The country's debt load is forecast to hit a peak of 190 percent of GDP next year before it begins to fall as a result of austerity measures.
Still, for all the tough talk that has come out of Berlin in recent months regarding Greek reform efforts and aid tranche payments, Merkel and her conservatives would much rather give Athens more time than be forced to tell German taxpayers that billions in loans to Greece would never be paid back. Politicians in Berlin have long argued that Germany's support for beleaguered euro-zone countries has come exclusively in the form of guarantees, but a haircut this time would mean that, for the first time in the euro crisis, Germany would actually lose the money it pledged as backing. Conservative parliamentarian Norbert Barthle decisively rejects any talk of a Greek default. "We are not going along with that," he says. "And that means that a debt haircut is impossible."
A potential debt haircut, though, isn't Berlin's only problem. By giving Athens until 2016 to achieve budgetary consolidation targets originally scheduled for 2014, Europe has essentially committed to plugging a resulting €33 billion gap in Athens' finances. Schäuble wants to do all he can to avoid having to push yet another bailout package for the stricken country through German parliament. "We have to find other ways to close the gap without using" the bailout fund, Schäuble said on Tuesday.
Profiting from the Suffering
Just what those might be, remains unclear. But the German finance minister indicated on Tuesday that Berlin might be prepared to pass along to Athens the profits that Germany has made by lending money to Greece. Germany earned some €400 million on the first, €110 billion bailout package for Athens. With investors flocking to safety, Germany has been able to borrow money at extremely low rates on international financial markets whereas Greece has committed to paying a higher interest rate on emergency loans from its international creditors, including Germany. Profits from loans associated with the second, €130 billion bailout package stand to be even higher.
The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung cites sources within the government as saying that it could be damaging to Germany should the impression be created that some countries were profiting from the suffering in Greece. Still, even if Germany does send along its profits to Athens, it won't go far in filling the vast financing hole that has now opened up.
More important for Greece, however, is the payment of the next tranche of badly needed aid, worth some €31.5 billion. Athens has managed to keep itself afloat this week by selling €4 billion in short-term debt on Tuesday, a sale which was made possible by significant backing from the European Central Bank.
Euro-zone finance ministers plan to meet on Nov. 20 to once again address Greece's reform process and to determine if it has met all the prerequisites for additional aid. Just when a final decision might be made on a new Greek default, however, remains unclear.
With reporting by Severin Weiland

der spiegel

Economic crisis, what economic crisis? Sotheby's auction makes a whopping $375 million led by Rothko and Pollock sales

Mark Rothko, NO. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)Estimate: 35,000,000 - 50,000,000 USD LOT SOLD. 75,122,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)

rk RoJackson Pollock, Number 4, 1951 Estimate: 25,000,000 - 35,000,000 USD LOT SOLD. 40,402,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)th
ko, NO. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)Estimate: 35,000,000 - 50,000,000 USD LOT SOLD. 75,1
22,5Willem de Kooning, Abstraction, Estimate: 15,000,000 - 20,000,000 USD LOT SOLD. 19,682,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
 (HAlexander Calder, Eschutcheon II Estimate: 300,000 - 500,000 USD LOT SOLD. 842,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)a

icYves Klein, Ant Su 27, Estimate: 1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD LOT SOLD. 4,338,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)e
h Buye'Suicide' by Andy Warhol
Sotheby'sr's Premium)


Τρίτη, 13 Νοεμβρίου 2012

marilena: Father of the modern cigarette

marilena: Father of the modern cigarette: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20042217 BBC

Father of the modern cigarette

marilena: Five photos that sparked body image debates

marilena: Five photos that sparked body image debates: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20252921 BBC

Five photos that sparked body image debates

Δευτέρα, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2012

marilena: Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Why Not Go Greek? Giant B...

marilena: Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Why Not Go Greek? Giant B...: By  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN Published: November 12, 2012 The  recent feature   in The New York Times Magazine about Ikaria, the island...

Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Why Not Go Greek? Giant Beans With Spinach, Tomatoes and Feta

The recent feature  in The New York Times Magazine about Ikaria, the island in Greece renowned for the longevity of its population, brought back wonderful memories of a two-week stay on that island, where I studied its cuisine and the cuisines of many of the other regions of Greece with the prolific Greek-American food writer Diane Kochilas. Diane’s family comes from Ikaria. She was born and raised in Queens, but during one of her many summer stays on the familial island, she fell in love with an Ikarian artist and photographer, Vassilis Stenos (you can see his amazing photography in her latest book, “The Country Cooking of Greece”), and eventually she moved to Greece. She and her family divide their time between Athens and Ikaria, and Diane spends a lot of time in New York, where she is the consulting chef at the Greek restaurants Boukies and Pylos.

I’ve written before about Greek vegetarian main dishes. The culture is rich with them, both vegan dishes and dishes with cheese and eggs. I know that Greek food is not exactly what comes to mind when you hear the word “Thanksgiving,” yet why not consider this cuisine if you’re searching for a meatless main dish that will please a crowd? It’s certainly a better idea, in my mind, than Tofurky and all of the other overprocessed attempts at making a vegan turkey. If you want to serve something that will be somewhat reminiscent of a turkey, make the stuffed acorn squashes in this week’s selection, and once they’re out of the oven, stick some feathers in the “rump,” as I did for the first vegetarian Thanksgiving I ever cooked: I stuffed and baked a huge crookneck squash, then decorated it with turkey feathers. The filling wasn’t nearly as good as the one you’ll get this week, but the creation was fun.
Giant Beans With Spinach, Tomatoes and Feta
This delicious, dill-infused dish is inspired by a northern Greek recipe from Diane Kochilas’s wonderful new cookbook, “The Country Cooking of Greece.” The traditional way to wilt spinach in that part of Greece is to salt it lightly, put it in a colander and knead it against the sides of the colander for about 10 minutes. I find blanching or steaming the spinach more efficient, and a better method for those who need to watch their salt intake.
1/2 pound (about 1 1/8 cups) dried Greek giant beans, giant lima beans or Christmas limas, washed and picked over
1 1/2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 onion, cut in half
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large bunches spinach, (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), stemmed and washed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and light green part only, chopped
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice, pulsed to a coarse purée in a food processor
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1. Combine the beans, water, bay leaf, halved onion, and crushed garlic in a large saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and simmer another 30 minutes. The beans should be al dente: not yet soft but not hard either.  Remove from the heat. Using tongs, remove and discard the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the beans. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
2. While the beans are simmering, blanch the spinach in a large pot of salted boiling water for 20 seconds, or steam just until it wilts, abut 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the leek and the scallions. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole or baking dish, preferably earthenware. Stir in the spinach, parsley, dill, beans, half the tomato purée, 2 cups of the bean broth and half the feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in another tablespoon of olive oil. Place the remaining tomatoes over the top and sprinkle on the remaining feta. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cover and place in the oven.
5. Bake 1 to 2 hours, checking the liquid every 20 minutes to make sure that the beans are submerged; add more bean broth if necessary. When they’re done, the beans will be creamy but intact.
Variation: If you don’t want to cook the spinach so long, so that it is brighter, add it when the beans are tender. Stir it in and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. If you want a vegan dish, leave out the cheese.
Yield: 6 servings
Advance preparation: This tastes best if made a day ahead. Reheat in a medium oven until it begins to bubble.
Nutritional information per serving: 293 calories; 12 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 17 milligrams cholesterol; 36 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams dietary fiber; 532 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 15 grams protein

NY times

marilena: Greece bailout extension 'to cost 32bn euros more'...

marilena: Greece bailout extension 'to cost 32bn euros more'...: A draft document prepared for eurozone finance ministers suggests that Greece should be given two more years to meet budget goals, but ...

Greece bailout extension 'to cost 32bn euros more'

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Brussels, 12 Nov

A draft document prepared for eurozone finance ministers suggests that Greece should be given two more years to meet budget goals, but that this will add 32.6bn euros ($41.4bn) to its bailout.
Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss new targets for Greece based on the report.
They will also discuss whether to release the latest tranche of funds but a decision is not expected on Monday.
Greece is pushing for the funds after passing a tough budget for 2013.
Greek PM Antonis Samaras has warned that without the new tranche of 31.5bn euros the country will run out of money within days.
'Smoother path'
The draft document on the pace of Greek economic reform was prepared by the so-called "troika" - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.
The troika has already pledged 240bn euros in bailout loans to Greece.
The two-year extension would give Greece time to achieve a primary budget surplus - a figure that would not include debt-financing costs.
The document says: "Our revised fiscal programme targets the 4.5% of GDP primary surplus target by 2016, two years later than foreseen.
It adds: "The smoother path will help to moderate the impact of fiscal adjustment on the economy."
The extension would cost an additional 32.6bn euros and comes with "very large" risks, the report says.
Those risks include the uncertain political support for the programme within Greece, the possible negative effect on the economy of the fiscal consolidation and possible court challenges to the measures.
The BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels says the original intention was for debt to be reduced to 120% of GDP by 2020 but that this is no longer feasible and a new target needs to be agreed by everyone.
He says this means more uncertainty, at a time when many Greek citizens believe they have taken all the austerity they can swallow.
Market fund-raising
Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker had earlier expressed optimism about the troika report.
"The basis is positive, because the Greeks have really delivered," he said.
Greek MPs approved the 2013 budget, which includes further cuts to pensions and wages, in a vote on Sunday night.
More than 10,000 people joined demonstrations outside Greece's parliament to protest against the cuts.
The passing of the budget was a pre-condition for Athens to be granted the next tranche of 31.5bn euros of EU/IMF loans necessary to stave off bankruptcy.
Greece faces a repayment deadline for 5bn euros of debt on Friday.
However, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was unlikely the eurozone ministers would decide on the disbursement of the tranche at Monday's meeting.
The funding will have to be approved first by some parliaments, including Germany's.
"We all... want to help Greece, but we won't be put under pressure," Mr Schaeuble told the weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
On Tuesday, Greece will make an urgent bid to raise funds from the financial markets in case it does not get the tranche of bailout money.
The national economy is expected to shrink next year by 4.5% and public debt is likely to rise to 189% of GDP, almost double Greece's national output.
This year, public debt stood at 175%.
The head of Syriza, a left-wing opposition party, said the budget cuts would leave Greeks unable to afford essential goods this winter.

Measures in austerity package

  • Retirement age up from 65 to 67
  • A further round of pension cuts, of 5-15%
  • Salary cuts, notably for police officers, soldiers, firefighters, professors, judges, justice officials; minimum wage also reduced
  • Holiday benefits cut
  • 35% cut to severance pay
  • Redundancy notice reduced from six to four months

marilena: Venice hit by floods – in pictures

marilena: Venice hit by floods – in pictures: More than 70% of Venice has flooded after the city was hit by high tides, a strong southerly wind and heavy rain the guard...

Venice hit by floods – in pictures

More than 70% of Venice has flooded after the city was hit by high tides, a strong southerly wind and heavy rain
Venice floods: A young man and a woman swim in flooded St Mark's Square

Venice floods: Tourists walk on wooden walkways

Venice floods: People take a coffee in a flooded shop

Venice floods: People sit at a table in flooded St Mark's Square

Venice floods: A tourist crosses flooded St Mark's Square

Venice floods: A shoe seller displays wellies outside his shop

Venice floods: A woman stands on a bench above a flooded street

Venice floods: Chairs in St Mark's Basin

the guardian

Κυριακή, 11 Νοεμβρίου 2012

marilena: Who Will Stop These Sado-Monetarists As Youth Unem...

marilena: Who Will Stop These Sado-Monetarists As Youth Unem...: Greek unemployment rose to 25.4pc in August. Youth unemployment rose to 58pc. Under the official forecast, the economy will contra...

Who Will Stop These Sado-Monetarists As Youth Unemployment Surges To 58% In Greece? Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/who-will-stop-these-sado-monetarists-as-youth-unemployment-surges-to-58-in-greece-2012-11#ixzz2Bx8X8GLp

Greek unemployment rose to 25.4pc in August. Youth unemployment rose to 58pc.
Under the official forecast, the economy will contract by a further 4.5pc next year, so it fair to assume that lots more people are going to lose their jobs. It is certainly not going to improve in any meaningful way for years to come.
This is what happens when you lock into the wrong currency and block the escape routes – or join a "burning building with no exits" in the words of William Hague.
Even if Greeks comply with all demands, public debt will reach 179pc of GDP next year. Perhaps there will be some sort of formula to cut debt service costs by shaving 50 basis points off interest on rescue loans, and persuading the ECB to forgo "profits" on its estimated €40 billion holdings of Greek bonds (though unrealised profits would seem be courting fate).
Yet it is hard to see how the salary and pension cuts, etc, pushed through the Greek parliament last night with enormous difficulty can do any more than buy a few months’ delay. The protests on Wednesday bordered on urban guerrilla warfare. It will not take much to cross that line.
Even if the EMU machine succeeds in keeping Greece in the system, is this any longer a remotely desirable goal? Has it not become a vicious and immoral policy in itself?
I agree with the IFO Institute’s Hans-Werner Sinn that upholding euro membership has by now become an act of cruelty. It not being done in the interests of Greeks. It is being done for the Project, by enforcers of the Project. Only by breaking free can Greece restore a minimum of economic vibrancy and national dignity.
Everything we know from labour studies is that the early twenties are crucial years, shaping lifelong career paths and earnings ten to fifteen years beyond. The worst economic crime you cannot commit is to leave 58pc of youth grinding away their days in frustration in cafs, if they can afford the coffee.
Premier Antonis Samaras issued hysterical warnings before the vote of what would happen if parliament refused to obey the EU-IMF Troika, talking of catastrophe and a collapse of Greek society.
He has little credibility. His party was chiefly responsible for the grotesque mismanagement of Greece in the early EMU years. There is no necessary reason why Greece should spiral into collapse outside EMU, or why the Drachma would plummet to Third World levels.
This would happen only if the EU decided to make that happen. Why would the EU behave in such a fashion? It would have every reason to try to salvage what it could from the fiasco and demonstrate that EU solidarity is still worth something.
Technically, the ECB could be instructed to defend a euro-drachma rate – let us say a 30pc devaluation – until the dust had settled.
The EIB and Commission could intervene with all kinds of investment and trade support to cushion the blow. An orderly transition is not beyond the wit of man. It would restore the basic competitiveness of the Greek economy at a stroke.
We all know the reason why this is not being done. The ideologues running monetary union cannot bring themselves to contemplate any step back in the Project, just as they would not admit yesterday in the Commission’s economic report that they have gravely misjudged the effects of fiscal tightening (the fiscal multiplier) and have therefore miscrafted their entire austerity strategy.
We are not dealing with rational people. We are dealing with a religious order, and these monks are becoming an increasing danger to Europe’s societies and democracies.
Margaret Thatcher’s advisers were tagged Sado-Monetarists in the early 1980s but they never inflicted anything remotely close to this level of suffering. The strange silence of the Left on this is baffling. Sooner or later my Fabian friends will have make up their minds whether they are for the workers, or for the "bankers ramp" — as old Socialists like Peter Shore used to describe monetary union.
The Draghi Put has lifted the immediate financial threat, but this makes matters worse. The drip-drip of ugly economic data continues each day. The deeper structural crisis is still getting worse. Loan demand has crashed 50pc in Italy and France. Spain’s unemployment is 25.8pc and may reach 30pc next year.
Yet there is no longer any immediate catalyst or external umpire in the markets that can bring this mass civic abuse to an end. Unless the Bundestag comes to the rescue by refusing to pay for any more can-kicking, we may have to wait until internal devaluations in the Club Med bloc push jobless rates to such excruciating levels that the political system snaps.
It is the worst of all worlds.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/who-will-stop-these-sado-monetarists-as-youth-unemployment-surges-to-58-in-greece-2012-11#ixzz2Bx8jBW5B

marilena: These Are The Best Colleges To Go To If You Want T...

marilena: These Are The Best Colleges To Go To If You Want T...: http://www.businessinsider.com/presidents-alma-maters-2012-11 javascript:void(); business insider

These Are The Best Colleges To Go To If You Want To Be President Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/05/the-nine-best-colleges-for-aspiring-presidents-of-the-united-states-of-america/#ixzz2Bx3e7zZz


marilena: HOW OBAMA'S VICTORY LOOKS IN MOSCOW: TIME FOR ANOT...: Tied together - (AZRainman) By Sergei Strokan KOMMERSANT /Worldcrunch MOSCOW  - Barack Obama’s re-election has allowed many people in ...


How Obama's Victory Looks In Moscow: Time For Another Reset?

Tied together - (AZRainman)
By Sergei Strokan
MOSCOW - Barack Obama’s re-election has allowed many people in Moscow to sigh with relief: The Cold War really is over. And that is the most important take-away from the Russian capital after the 2012 presidential election in the United States.
The Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, had surprised everyone during the campaign by citing Russia as America's No.1 geopolitical opponent. So his defeat means the Kremlin can stop worrying about such caveman-like announcements. Indeed, Russia can be assured that Romney, who is 65 years old, will not be running in the next U.S. elections. 
Does Obama’s re-election mean that Moscow and Washington have a second chance at a reset? The answer is obvious: yes, of course. However, the fact that history is giving these two former foes a second chance does not necessarily mean that the opportunity won't be wasted.
In the wake of the U.S. election, there is a wave a new expectations that every new term ushers in. It is a good time for the governments in both countries to work past their previous mistakes. Both administrations should figure out the reason why towards the end of the presidential elections in the United States the ‘reset’ with Russia morphed from a promising foreign relations project into the subject of increasing criticism and open derision from hawks in both Moscow and Washington

It’s not possible to build something with your right hand and destroy it with your left. Moscow cannot declare its commitment to a strategic partnership with the United States while at the same time fanningthe flames of anti-Americanism, which has returned recently in the Russian media and to the lips of Russian officials after a brief historical respite.
That should be the lesson for Moscow from Obama’s first term. It is not possible to build a serious partnership with someone whom you don’t trust or whom you are constantly flipping off behind his back.
Let's fix it

But the Obama administration, which offered Moscow the reset button, should also avoid repeating the same mistakes. Moscow’s increasing annoyance with the White House is not without merit. Once again, the White House did not consult with Moscow about the European missile shield nor the conflict in Syria.At the same time, after Russia agreed not to use its veto power against the the United Nations Security Council vote on Libya, the U.S. went ahead and overthrew the Libyan regime.
It has to be said that in spite of Obama’s polite rhetoric regarding Moscow, his actions as President have often aggravated the anti-Americanism that we see in Russia today. 

Most importantly, Washington has to understand that President Vladimir Putin will never agree to be a junior or subordinate partner to the United States. A real partnership built over the course of Obama’s second term must be a partnership between equals. 

Lastly, it is important that both sides stop blaming each other for the turbulence in the relationship. Saying “You break it, you fix it” does not work in today’s world. The second chance at a reset will not be wasted only if both parties are able to sit down at the negotiating table and find the courage to say, “If we break it, we both fix it.”


marilena: FROM SIOUX TROPHIES TO RASTA DREADLOCKS, THE POWER...: By Véronique Lorelle LE MONDE /Worldcrunch PARIS  – Ever seen a human scalp transformed into a drumhead? Or a shrunken head with its l...


From Sioux Trophies To Rasta Dreadlocks, The Power And Art Of Human Hair

By Véronique Lorelle
LE MONDE/Worldcrunch
PARIS – Ever seen a human scalp transformed into a drumhead? Or a shrunken head with its lips sewn shut to keep the dead from casting spells from beyond the grave?
With their hair uncannily preserved, these centuries-old trophies seem to have retained all their eerie powers. They are some of the key pieces of the exhibition The Art of Hair: Frivolities and Trophies that recently opened at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and lasts until July 14, 2013.
© musée du quai Branly, photo Claude Germain
"Hair comes from the body’s darkest intimacy, it continues to grow after you’re dead  --or so it is believed-- and if you cut it, it grows back..." explains Yves Le Fur, the curator of this mesmerizing exhibition at Paris’s museum of indigenous art, cultures and civilizations. "That is why ancient civilizations attributed magical powers to it."
Le Fur designed the exhibition as a sort of rite of initiation, where visitors start with mere ornamental whims and work their way to loss and grief, with the nicely curled hair… of a mummified head. "It’s a kind of memento mori that reminds us of how precarious our passage on earth is," Le Fur comments.
From the Jivaroan warriors who shrank the heads of their enemies, down to Native American Sioux who adorned their clothes with locks of hair, they all believed they were absorbing the strength of their former owners.
Hairy trophies were worn as necklaces, bracelets or belts and used to distinguish the most outstanding hunters. In the Pacific Islands, tribesmen would braid locks of hair around the handle of their clubs, and tribe leaders around their scepters, because they believed it would increase their arm strength.
Hair was put in amulets, as illustrated by an Australian circumcision knife whose sheath is adorned with hair.
The art of hair
The fact that this is a part of the body that does not rot makes it the perfect medium to talk to the eternal gods, or to deceased ancestors. It may also be the reason that magical powers were imputed to hair, even in societies that were not big on headhunting.
The Frankish kings, who famously sported their hair long, forbade their vassals to wear comparable manes. At King Louis XIV’s court, when wigs were all the rage, the rule of thumb was: the more impressive the hairpiece, the greater the prestige of its owner.
Flowing or messy hairstyles are also often a fantasized expression of wild femininity. The hair of a woman becomes a net, a trap, a prison ... meaning that women with their hair down become seductive sirens luring sailors to their death -- or witches.
According to Greek mythology, Medusa, whose hair was interwoven with snakes, could turn to stone anyone who gazed upon her. Joan of Arc, accused of witchcraft, had her head shaven by guards before she was burned at the stake.
The theme of hair continues to exert a puzzling fascination on society, even today.
Neither hair nor there
"What happens when you get a haircut?" asks French philosopher Roger Pol-Droit in his book Aller chez le coiffeur ("Going To The Hairdresser"). "There’s this belief that your hair is linked directly to your thoughts and that these change once you’ve been to the hairdresser. Getting your hair done is the equivalent to getting your soul done – meaning your soul has become unrecognizable, useless; meaning you’ve become a stranger to yourself."
© Neal Barr
Nowadays, women strive to eradicate every hair on their body using laser or pulsed light, while men pluck their thighs and torso. Our hair has never been so important to us. "We're a bit like Barbie dolls whose hair grows at the turn of a knob," says Odile Gilbert, one of the most famous haute couture hairstylists. This also means that those who start to lose their hair, because of old age or sickness, are doomed to be somewhat excluded from our image-obsessed society. Like the Nazca people, a pre-Inca civilization (circa 100 BC), hairdressers have started using "extensions" to boost both heads and self-esteem.
From Samson, whom Delilah symbolically castrated by cutting his braids, to Rastas and theirdreadlocks, the idea persists that hair retains the vital energy of its owner.

marilena: Greece hopes for tourism led recovery

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Greece hopes for tourism led recovery