Lebanese and Israeli Bloggers Empathize Online

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreParis– Beyond ideology, snippets of a true dialogue are beginning to appear between Israeli and Lebanese bloggers on the Internet. Ignoring their political differences, they benefit from the human, not to say intimate, aspect of blogs to engage in a conversation that conventional media cannot enable…“With the web, the war becomes personal”Ramzi, 27, lives in Beirut. The first post published on his blog, launched just two years ago, attested to the challenge of living in a country so invaded by tourists that it becomes difficult to find a seat at the terrace of a café. In early July, he mentioned the fact that, while waiting for a visa, he kept cancelling his plane ticket and saying “goodbye” to his friends. Today, he comments on the “Israeli aggression” through, namely, advertisements full of humour and poetry. Several Israelis have written to him in the form of comments to condemn the “waste” of this war, express their compassion, wish for a quick resolution to the conflict and call for peace between “neighbours”. Ramzi summarises this in a single line: “With the web, the war becomes personal” – thanks to blogs, amateur videos posted on the Internet and to the comments posted by Internet users.This was the “first time that residents of ‘enemy’ countries engaged in an ongoing conversation while missiles were falling”For Lisa Goldman, a Canadian-Israeli journalist and blogger who lives in Tel Aviv, this was the “first time that residents of ‘enemy’ countries engaged in an ongoing conversation while missiles were falling”. And the examples abound. Thus, the first person to react on her posting dedicated to an anti-war protest last Sunday was a Lebanese woman who condemns the state of siege, the destruction of her country and the death of civilians but adds that “with people like you, the dialogue will continue; we have no choice”.____________________________________________________________________________________________Beyond generating this type of civilised dialogue between citizens of warring nations, the Internet also creates otherwise more unsettling situations where the military, and those who support it, are kept informed of the consequences of their actions by the very people they are bombing. Last Monday, Shachar, a Tsahal soldier usually stationed at the Lebanese border, was on leave to attend a funeral. He took advantage of this by consulting a collaborative and very popular blog, Lebanese Bloggers, in order to stay informed of what is happening on the other side of the border: “We can’t see all the bombing in Lebanon from Israel (naturally, we’re focusing on bombs in Israel)”.When hate fades away…For several nights now, Lisa Goldman has found herself “chatting” live with a Lebanese man she met through his blog. Sitting on the roof of his apartment building in Beirut, he describes his impressions to her while Israeli missiles fall on the city “in a human, personal way that no newspaper article or television news segment can convey”.More generally speaking, what comes out of these conversations—through blogs or interspersed commentaries between Israelis and Lebanese—is a feeling of powerlessness and sadness regarding this conflict over the civilian losses it has caused, and over the policymakers of their respective countries and their international allies who have subjected them to this fait accompli. Hope is also present in these conversations, for while many Lebanese bloggers today feel hate toward Israel and will now refuse any contact with Israelis, most of those who communicate online do not consider themselves as “enemies” but as “neighbours”.Lisa Goldman goes even further: “When the anger dissipates, perhaps they will remember the personal connections with their ‘enemies’”. Catching herself dreaming that the next generation of Lebanese and Israeli politicians and business leaders will benefit from such intimate relations, she concludes that “it’s not so easy to kill someone you know… as a human being, not simply as ‘the former enemy’”.Jean-Marc Manach is a journalist for Le Monde. He also maintains a blog, rewriting.net, a distribution list on the information war, guerrelec, and a research interface of 200 search engines and databases, manhack.net. Excerpted from an article distributed by Common Ground News Service– Partners in Humanity (CGNews)First published in Le Monde, July 19, 2006.Reprinted with permission (excerpted without permission)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

TV Helicopter Pilot Saves Stranded Deer Blowing it off Ice

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA deer was trapped on an icy pond and couldn’t get its footing. A TV chopper pilot had the bright idea of using the blades of his helicopter to blow the deer to the shore. Sure enough, it worked!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Once-Endangered Sturgeon Rebounding in Hudson River

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreShortnose sturgeon have made a surprise recovery in New York City’s Hudson River, a new study shows. More than 60,000 occupy the river, greater by about four times than the number in 1970. The sturgeon comeback has been “so successful” that it may become one of the few species resurrected from the U.S. endangered species list — “becoming the first fish to do so.” (Nat’l Geographic News)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

20 Years of Peace Celebrated

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorePresidents of five Central American nations met to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a peace agreement that ended decades of civil wars in the region, the Esquipulas II peace plan, which led to a Nobel prize for President Arias of Costa Rica. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

CEO Gives 20 Million Dollar Company to Employees

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA CEO this week gave his entire company to the workers who’ve made his natural food company the success that generates revenues exceeding $20 million a year. Founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Bob Moore, turned 81 on Monday, Feb. 15 and announced the news to his employees in Milwaukie, Oregon. With everyone at his birthday celebration and on behalf of his partners in the business, Bob announced that through the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), Bob’s Red Mill is now an employee-owned company. “We believe our employees are the finest people in the natural foods business, and by offering our current and future employees an ownership in the company we will continue to retain and attract the best.” “It’s been my dream all along to turn this company over to the employees,” said Mr. Moore. “I get to spend every day with our many loyal and long-time employees who will now share in ownership, and it just thrills me to know they will be joined by many new faces over the years.” “The partners could have sold this company many times for a lot more money, but to them this company is about so much more than the money,” said Operations VP Dennis Vaughn. “I’m just proud to wear the Bob’s Red Mill logo because anywhere I go in this country people say nice things about the company.” “Bob is basically passing the entrepreneurial torch on to his employees and is instilling in us that hard work provides rewards,” said Roger Farnen, a Quality Assurance Manager. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods produces more than 400 products, including a full line of certified gluten free products and an extensive line of certified organic products. (Read more at OregonLive.com) Thanks to Jim Ells for sending the good news! last_img read more

Prisoners Lovingly Raise Endangered Frogs by Hand‎

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn a fenced off-area behind Cedar Creek Correctional Center, two inmates spend nine hours a day feeding and tending their tiny Oregon spotted frog darts as participants in an endangered species conservation program.Much to the surprise of research scientists and zookeepers, who are also participating in the program, the two have raised the biggest, healthiest amphibians of all.(READ the News Tribune story at the Register Guard)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Olympic Swimmer’s Quest to Teach Black Kids to Swim is Born of Tragedy

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreNew Jersey Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones has a reason to swim.He nearly died in the water. At age five, he didn’t know how to swim. Days after watching her son almost drown, she enrolled him in swimming lessons.19 years later, after becoming an Olympian gold medalist in Beijing, Cullen is using his status to help battle the shocking statistic of Africa-Americans, especially children, who die every year in the water. (WATCH the moving video below from MSNBC)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore

Registration Surges for Sunday’s Vancouver Race After Boston Blasts

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreRegistration has surged for the annual race since Monday and participants are being encouraged to honor the victims of the explosions by wearing the Boston Marathon colors of yellow and blue. There will also be an official tribute at the start line.Jamie Pitblado, vice-president of promotion and community investment at The Vancouver Sun and Province, said 691 new participants signed up Monday, compared to 343 on the same day last year. Other marathons scheduled this weekend will feature a 30-second moment of silence at the start and runners who will hold their hands over their hearts.(READ the story from the Vancouver Sun)Thanks to Craig Withers for submitting the link!Photo: 2010 Boston Marathon by Peter Farlow, Flickr-CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Minnesota Man Gives Away Everything in Final Days

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreMaple Grove resident Bob Karlstrand is dying but he is also finding inspiration in acts of generosity, giving away everything during his final months.He is giving his home to a fellow veteran through Habitat for Humanity. He is giving his retirement fund to nursing students through a million dollar scholarship program.• Who Are the Ten Most Generous Celebrities? Though he is giving everything away, he is grateful that the pulmonary fibrosis is allowing him to live his final months or years with little pain, compared to people suffering with other diseases.(WATCH the video below or READ the story from KMSP-TV)Photo from KMPS / Story tip from John BaumgartenAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

New York City Plants One Million Trees, Reaches Goal 2 Years Early

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn 2007, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched an initiative to plant a million trees in 10 years. This week, officials reached their goal — two years ahead of schedule.The one-millionth tree, an eight-year-old, 25-foot-tall lacebark elm, was planted Tuesday in the Bronx. Leaders behind the greening effort say they finished ahead of schedule because so many people were willing to volunteer.A half-dozen poor neighborhoods, which were devoid of trees and reporting high rates of asthma, were singled out for mass plantings as a part of a city-wide environmental plan focused on creating new parkland and battling climate change. The trees would filter urban air pollutants and provide shade that keeps concrete and asphalt streets from heating up.RELATED: Ecuador Breaks World Record for Planting Most Trees in One DayThree-quarters of the trees planted as part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative were added to existing parks, but others sprouted along streets, at schools and churches, outside of private businesses, and in people’s backyards.City Hall teamed up with actress and singer Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project to raise $30 million toward the tree plantings. Over the course of the MillionTreesNYC initiative, the city expanded its number of trees by 20 percent.FUN: City Assigns Trees Email Addresses So Folks Can Report Problems, They Send Love Letters, InsteadThe one-millionth tree was planted in the ground at the Joyce Kilmer Park. Yes, that Joyce Kilmer — the poet who wrote “Trees.”(READ more at the New York Times) — Photo by tubafil, CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more