Daily Archives: February 18, 2017

Watch “Alphas (SyFy) Opening Theme “People Like Me” – FULL VERSION! (Lyrics in Description)” on YouTube


No one understands anyone else! 

Watch “Yoga Pranayama : exercices de respiration alternée” on YouTube


It’s a way of life! 

Watch “Prana Yoga College – Flow Two” on YouTube


Life is about breathing:  Exhsling and inhaling…exhaling and inhaling…exhaling and inhaling…

And so on!

A pair of curious Great horned Owls in Northern Colorado, USA. Prints available by messaging the photographer Blake Hess Photography. More about Great Horned Owls here –> http://owlpag.es/GreatHornedOwl


A pair of curious Great horned Owls in Northern Colorado, USA. Prints available by messaging the photographer Blake Hess Photography. More about Great Horned Owls here –> http://owlpag.es/GreatHornedOwl

France 24 : Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure


Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure

http://f24.my/2lrXg0G

Libya’s transition has been bogged down by insecurity and chaos, leaving the country looking like a “failed state” six years after the uprising and Western military intervention that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

“We got rid of one dictator only to see 10,000 others take his place,” said Fatma al-Zawi, a Tripoli housewife, bemoaning the multitude of warlords and militias which have run the North African country since the armed revolt which erupted in mid-February 2011.

Ordinary Libyans were showing little enthusiasm in the lead-up to the anniversary, which authorities marked on Thursday with cultural and sporting events in Martyrs’ Square in the capital.

“It’s not entirely a failed state. There is a government structure in place which more or less operates,” said FRANCE 24’s chief foreign editor Robert Parsons. “But if you’re an ordinary Libyan at the moment, the picture is certainly not a pretty one,” he said. “Six years after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, they would have hoped for something much better. They were optimistic six years ago and that optimism was quite clearly been misplaced.”

Living conditions have deteriorated badly through a combination of insecurity, power cuts, water shortages, a cash crunch and the plunging value of the Libyan dinar.

Libya‘s executive and legislative branches have been paralysed by fierce rivalries between political movements, ideologies and tribes.

“The protagonists have not understood that no single ideological branch or political or tribal clan can govern the country on its own” in the post-Gaddafi era, said Rachid Khechana, director of the Mediterranean Centre for Libyan Studies in Tunis.

“This is why the country is not ready for ‘classic’ democratic competition” through elections, he said.

Smugglers and desperate migrants

In the absence of a strong regular army, the oil-rich country with long, porous borders has turned into rich terrain for smugglers of arms and people from sub-Saharan Africa desperate to reach Europe via perilous Mediterranean crossings.

Also stepping into the void have been jihadists, especially the Islamic State group which has seized swathes of Libya, although it was expelled in December from its bastion of Sirte, a city on the Mediterranean.

Hopes raised by a Government of National Accord (GNA), set up under a December 2015 agreement brokered by the United Nations and signed in Morocco, proved short-lived.

It set up shop in Tripoli in March 2016 but has failed to extend its authority, even in the capital itself which is controlled by dozens of militias of shifting allegiances.

The authority of the GNA headed by Fayez al-Sarraj is also challenged by a rival administration in eastern Libya, much of which is under the control of armed forces commanded by controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The general in his 70s was overlooked in the Morocco accord but has returned to the forefront with his forces’ capture of four oil terminals in the east from which most of Libya’s oil lifeline is exported.

Haftar, a sworn foe of Islamist militants, has so far failed to get full Western support.

But a rapprochement with Russia and the backing he enjoys from regional states such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are prompting the international community to review its position.

The UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said last week that talks had made progress on “possible amendments” to the December 2015 agreement, and notably on a future role for the military strongman.

Prospects of ‘failed state’

But analysts remain sceptical over the prospects for Libya to avoid becoming a “failed state”.

“It’s now been six years that the international community is trying to impose a democratic, united government when there is nothing on which they can build it,” said Federica Saini Fasanotti, an analyst with the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Fasanotti stressed that “not a single remotely unifying political leader has emerged for the country”.

Claudia Gazzini of the International Crisis Group was also downbeat, ruling out any major political or military settlement in 2017.

“Whether or not this state of suspended animation marks the beginning of Libya as a ‘failed state’ depends primarily on its economic standing,” she said.

“The risk of a further deterioration of the country’s economy is real despite the uptick in oil production,” which has climbed to 700,000 barrels per day, was her bleak assessment.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

France 24 : Huge storm slams southern California


Huge storm slams southern California

http://f24.my/2ltaKJH

A huge Pacific storm parked itself over Southern California and unloaded, ravaging roads, opening sinkholes and leading to the deaths of at least two people.

The storm feeding on an atmospheric river of moisture stretching far out into the ocean was at its most fierce late Friday afternoon, dropping over 8 inches of rain in one area, and was expected to last until Saturday afternoon.

The region appeared to dodge any major disasters, but in the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street, and one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

And in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit his car.

Later in the same neighborhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver got out of the second before it fell. No one was injured.

Inland at the Cajon Pass, the shoulder of Interstate 15 crumbled and sent a parked firetruck spilling over the side, but no one was hurt.

There were several traffic deaths on slick and flooded roads also, but it was difficult to say which were a direct result of the storm.

Other forms of travel were tough too. Amtrak canceled its rail trips for a long stretch of the state’s southern and central coast, and more than 300 arriving and departing flights were delayed or canceled at Los Angeles International Airport.

Winds gusting to 70 mph or more lashed parts of the region. Heavy rains turned creeks and rivers into brown torrents and released slews of mud from hillsides burned barren by wildfires.

“At one point the wind was so strong I’m surprised it didn’t blow my windows out,” retiree Phoenix Hocking said from Carpinteria. “I now have a pond in my patio. And my dog is starting to grow flippers so he can go out and do his business.”

Several stretches of freeways and highways were closed by flooding, including very busy arteries like Interstate 5 and Interstate 10.

“It’s crazy,” said Robin Johnson, an academic adviser at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s just pouring down rain. The wind is just going nuts.”

In LA’s Sun Valley, 10 cars were trapped in swift-moving water on a roadway and 15 people had to be rescued, the Fire Department reported.

Using ropes and inflatable boats, firefighters rescued seven people and two dogs from the Sepulveda basin, a recreation and flood-control area along the Los Angeles River. One person was taken to a hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

The storm took aim at Southern California but also spread precipitation north into the San Joaquin Valley and up to San Francisco. It was not expected to bring significant rain in the far north where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.

The National Weather Service said it could end up being the strongest storm to hit Southern California since January 1995.

Hundreds of trees and dozens of power lines had toppled in the Los Angeles area and about 150,000 customers were without electricity across the region.

Another tree smashed a carport and vehicles in the Santa Barbara suburb of Goleta.

By evening, Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County had seen 24-hour rain totals of up to 7 ½ inches, with the San Marcos mountain pass in Santa Barbara County receiving nearly 8 ½ inches.

The city of Duarte, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, ordered evacuation of 180 homes below a burn scar.

(AP)

The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany Artist Antonio and Giovanni Giusti (also known in France as the Juste brothers)1515-31Location Basilique Saint-Denis


The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany 

Artist Antonio and Giovanni Giusti (also known in France as the Juste brothers)
1515-31

Location  Basilique Saint-Denis 

Commissioned by Francis I (the successor to Louis XII), this tomb was designed by Florentine sculptors, the Guisti, residing in France. Scholars comment on its echo of Michelangelo’s first plan for the tomb of Pope Julius, another freestanding scheme with multiple figures. The arched canopy, underneath which the two are shown dead, is decorated with statues of the Apostles (see Saint Peter below) as well as the four cardinal virtues at the corners. The reliefs on the side depict the king’s deeds (battle relief is shown below) while above the couple kneels in prayer–a symbol of their resurrection. Zerner comments on the development of kneeling effigy, what Panofsky called “the activation of the effigy”: “The deceased ceased to be represented lying on a parade bed. The older formula had the advantage of gracefully articulating the passage from one life to another, recalling the exhibition of the corpse during funeral rites, while anticipating an awakening to eternal life. Suddenly, the effigy drew itself upright and knelt in prayer. However, the statue did not pray in a void; these kneeling individuals turn toward the altar and to the divine figures placed on it. Such funeral portraits are only comprehensible within the transcendental space–both real and fictional–of the church, shared by the faithful and statues

Hermione: Besides…it’s Harry Poter… 


Hermione: Besides…it’s Harry Poter…

France 24 : Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure


Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure

http://f24.my/2lrXg0G

Libya’s transition has been bogged down by insecurity and chaos, leaving the country looking like a “failed state” six years after the uprising and Western military intervention that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

“We got rid of one dictator only to see 10,000 others take his place,” said Fatma al-Zawi, a Tripoli housewife, bemoaning the multitude of warlords and militias which have run the North African country since the armed revolt which erupted in mid-February 2011.

Ordinary Libyans were showing little enthusiasm in the lead-up to the anniversary, which authorities marked on Thursday with cultural and sporting events in Martyrs’ Square in the capital.

“It’s not entirely a failed state. There is a government structure in place which more or less operates,” said FRANCE 24’s chief foreign editor Robert Parsons. “But if you’re an ordinary Libyan at the moment, the picture is certainly not a pretty one,” he said. “Six years after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, they would have hoped for something much better. They were optimistic six years ago and that optimism was quite clearly been misplaced.”

Living conditions have deteriorated badly through a combination of insecurity, power cuts, water shortages, a cash crunch and the plunging value of the Libyan dinar.

Libya‘s executive and legislative branches have been paralysed by fierce rivalries between political movements, ideologies and tribes.

“The protagonists have not understood that no single ideological branch or political or tribal clan can govern the country on its own” in the post-Gaddafi era, said Rachid Khechana, director of the Mediterranean Centre for Libyan Studies in Tunis.

“This is why the country is not ready for ‘classic’ democratic competition” through elections, he said.

Smugglers and desperate migrants

In the absence of a strong regular army, the oil-rich country with long, porous borders has turned into rich terrain for smugglers of arms and people from sub-Saharan Africa desperate to reach Europe via perilous Mediterranean crossings.

Also stepping into the void have been jihadists, especially the Islamic State group which has seized swathes of Libya, although it was expelled in December from its bastion of Sirte, a city on the Mediterranean.

Hopes raised by a Government of National Accord (GNA), set up under a December 2015 agreement brokered by the United Nations and signed in Morocco, proved short-lived.

It set up shop in Tripoli in March 2016 but has failed to extend its authority, even in the capital itself which is controlled by dozens of militias of shifting allegiances.

The authority of the GNA headed by Fayez al-Sarraj is also challenged by a rival administration in eastern Libya, much of which is under the control of armed forces commanded by controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The general in his 70s was overlooked in the Morocco accord but has returned to the forefront with his forces’ capture of four oil terminals in the east from which most of Libya’s oil lifeline is exported.

Haftar, a sworn foe of Islamist militants, has so far failed to get full Western support.

But a rapprochement with Russia and the backing he enjoys from regional states such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are prompting the international community to review its position.

The UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said last week that talks had made progress on “possible amendments” to the December 2015 agreement, and notably on a future role for the military strongman.

Prospects of ‘failed state’

But analysts remain sceptical over the prospects for Libya to avoid becoming a “failed state”.

“It’s now been six years that the international community is trying to impose a democratic, united government when there is nothing on which they can build it,” said Federica Saini Fasanotti, an analyst with the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Fasanotti stressed that “not a single remotely unifying political leader has emerged for the country”.

Claudia Gazzini of the International Crisis Group was also downbeat, ruling out any major political or military settlement in 2017.

“Whether or not this state of suspended animation marks the beginning of Libya as a ‘failed state’ depends primarily on its economic standing,” she said.

“The risk of a further deterioration of the country’s economy is real despite the uptick in oil production,” which has climbed to 700,000 barrels per day, was her bleak assessment.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

France 24 : Huge storm slams southern California


Huge storm slams southern California

http://f24.my/2ltaKJH

A huge Pacific storm parked itself over Southern California and unloaded, ravaging roads, opening sinkholes and leading to the deaths of at least two people.

The storm feeding on an atmospheric river of moisture stretching far out into the ocean was at its most fierce late Friday afternoon, dropping over 8 inches of rain in one area, and was expected to last until Saturday afternoon.

The region appeared to dodge any major disasters, but in the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street, and one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

And in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit his car.

Later in the same neighborhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver got out of the second before it fell. No one was injured.

Inland at the Cajon Pass, the shoulder of Interstate 15 crumbled and sent a parked firetruck spilling over the side, but no one was hurt.

There were several traffic deaths on slick and flooded roads also, but it was difficult to say which were a direct result of the storm.

Other forms of travel were tough too. Amtrak canceled its rail trips for a long stretch of the state’s southern and central coast, and more than 300 arriving and departing flights were delayed or canceled at Los Angeles International Airport.

Winds gusting to 70 mph or more lashed parts of the region. Heavy rains turned creeks and rivers into brown torrents and released slews of mud from hillsides burned barren by wildfires.

“At one point the wind was so strong I’m surprised it didn’t blow my windows out,” retiree Phoenix Hocking said from Carpinteria. “I now have a pond in my patio. And my dog is starting to grow flippers so he can go out and do his business.”

Several stretches of freeways and highways were closed by flooding, including very busy arteries like Interstate 5 and Interstate 10.

“It’s crazy,” said Robin Johnson, an academic adviser at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s just pouring down rain. The wind is just going nuts.”

In LA’s Sun Valley, 10 cars were trapped in swift-moving water on a roadway and 15 people had to be rescued, the Fire Department reported.

Using ropes and inflatable boats, firefighters rescued seven people and two dogs from the Sepulveda basin, a recreation and flood-control area along the Los Angeles River. One person was taken to a hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

The storm took aim at Southern California but also spread precipitation north into the San Joaquin Valley and up to San Francisco. It was not expected to bring significant rain in the far north where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.

The National Weather Service said it could end up being the strongest storm to hit Southern California since January 1995.

Hundreds of trees and dozens of power lines had toppled in the Los Angeles area and about 150,000 customers were without electricity across the region.

Another tree smashed a carport and vehicles in the Santa Barbara suburb of Goleta.

By evening, Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County had seen 24-hour rain totals of up to 7 ½ inches, with the San Marcos mountain pass in Santa Barbara County receiving nearly 8 ½ inches.

The city of Duarte, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, ordered evacuation of 180 homes below a burn scar.

(AP)

William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905, French)


William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905, French)

À bientot!


À bientot!

Taos Pueblo. New Mexico. 1890-1900. Source – Denver Public Library.


Taos Pueblo. New Mexico. 1890-1900. Source – Denver Public Library.

Adam and Eve of the tree 


Adam and Eve of the tree

Adam and Eve of the tree

Knowing oneself…


Knowing oneself…

White Hawk.  Cheyenne.  1905. Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana. Photo by Richard Throssel.  Source – University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.


White Hawk. Cheyenne. 1905. Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana. Photo by Richard Throssel. Source – University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.