New Year Resolution

Every day, we are bombarded by awful news from around the World: Earthquake in Nepal, tsunami in Japan, hunger in South Sudan, war refugees fleeing Syria. It’s easy to become numb to this constant barrage of bad news, feeling shocked for a few minutes until the next bad news hit us. Most of the time, there is not much we can do but broadcast our outrage to friends and social media.

This new year of 5776, I plan to rededicate myself to small acts of loving kindness around me. Here is my updated list:

  • I will acknowledge people around me, say hello, good morning, good evening, and smile. (I don’t care if folks think I am weird or a pervert…),
  • I will ask people who seem lost if they need directions or help,
  • I will offer to help folks at the grocery store, picking up items from upper shelves if they can’t reach them, helping elderly folks cross the road, bring they empty cart back,
  • I will recycle more often, donate unused clothes and appliances to people who need them,
  • I will patronize local businesses, buy local farm-grown fruits and vegetables, eat less meat, try to reduce our imprint on the World,
  • I will get to know my neighbors, invite them over and help them cut the grass or take care of their cats, bring dinner when they need it,
  • I will acknowledge and thank the folks who deliver my mail, pick up my trash, clean my table at the restaurant, bag my groceries at the store, direct traffic around an accident,
  • I will drive less aggressively, not follow cars too closely, courteously let other drivers merge or change lanes,
  • I will tip more generously,
  • I will vote.

It is not much but I hope it will make a small difference.

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Kaohsiung night market – Taiwan

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I had the chance to visit Taiwan a few weeks before typhoon Soudelor.  My first outing was at the Ruifeng night market, one of the largest in Kaohsiung.   The market is a feast for the eyes and the palate, … Continue reading

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Sun Moon Lake – Taiwan

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I had the chance to visit Taiwan a couple of weeks before typhoon Soudelor, including tea farms in Nantou County, Sun-Moon Lake and the Taroko National Park.   Sun-Moon Lake is a beautiful lake that is now a major tourist attraction … Continue reading

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Netanyahu, not Iran, a danger to Israel!

NetRouPresident Obama announced today that six major powers and Iran have agreed to a deal to delay and curb Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for sanction relief.  Republicans in the U.S. Congress have criticized this approach, favoring war over peaceful negotiations, as famously illustrated by Senator McCain’s “bomb bomb Iran“s chant.

Prime minister Netanyahu has criticized this deal long before it was even drafted, saying that any deal would be a bad deal.  Netanyahu has worked hand-in-hand with Republicans in the U.S. to try to prevent this deal, coming to the U.S. just before the elections to try to turn public opinion against Obama, or did he?  I suspect that Netanyahu’s love of Republicans has a lot more to do with financing his own re-election.

Republicans in the U.S. paint the World in broad brushes: the good (money, competition), the bad (Government, anyone outside the U.S.), but seldom offer concrete solutions besides “bombing Iran”.   By aligning himself and his coalition with the Republicans, Prime Minister Netanyahu is placing Israel in the same bag as the hopeless Republicans in Congress.  In one stroke, he has isolated Israel from the six large powers (U.S., China, Russia, France, Germany and the U.K.) who signed the Iran deal, encouraged Israeli boycotts around the World and put Israel on the wrong side of peace in the Middle East.

The deal with Iran and its timeline have been crafted with the idea of breaking Iran’s isolation with the rest of the World, encouraging democracy and reducing the risk of war from within.  Netanyahu is doing just the opposite, and, in so doing, is endangering Israel as a whole.

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Around the World in 10 Photos – Set 10

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Ten random photos with legends. Click on a photo to start the slide show. Check the other sets too!  

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Around the World in 10 Photos – Set 9

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Ten random photos with legends. Click on a photo to start the slide show. Check the other sets too!  

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Solar Impulse landing in Hawaii

Wow, I am watching the live arrival of Solar Impulse in Hawaii after a historic 5-day flight Slider-challenge-flying-day-and-night-solar-impulse-2from Japan only powered by the sun.   Not only is this a historic event in the attempt to fly round the World with only solar power, but the enterprise behind this venture is absolutely amazing.

  • The project leverages a number of large European private sponsors who contribute technical resources to the project (and get terrific publicity from it)
  • The project collects a huge amount of telemetry (data) that is shown live on their website – now that’s reality TV!
  • The project leverages technology to the max, including photovoltaics, weather forecasting, human factors, etc…
  • The project combines professional PR and broadcasting, mixing the technical and emotional aspects of the flights,

Simply amazing!  Make sure to check out their website HERE!

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A summer of photos from around the world – Set 8

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Ten random photos with legends. Click on a photo to start the slide show. Check the other sets too!

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Still more photos from around the world – Set 7

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Ten random photos with legends. Click on a photo to start the slide show. Check the other sets too!  

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Even more photos from around the world – Set 6

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Ten random photos with legends. Click on a photo to start the slide show. Check the other sets too!

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