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Van Etten Lake State Forest Campground

The former Wurtsmith Air Force Base lies just south of this park. During the Cold War B 52 bombers were kept here. Now it's a local airport with no scheduled flights that might disturb (or fascinate) campers. Van Etten Lake's campground offers easy access and a boat launch to get on the bvlgari white gold fake necklace water, but be aware that much of the shoreline outside the park is developed. The campsites offer good shade in mixed forest and are spacious. Only half of the sites can be reserved, and just a few sites remain open through winter. South of bvlgari heart necklace fake here about 20 minutes is the Tuttle March Wildlife Area, an impressive 5,000 acre wetlands reserve that is a major draw for wildlife viewing, especially birds and especially during spring migration.

The former Wurtsmith Air Force Base lies just south of this park. During the Cold War B 52 bombers were kept here. Now it's a local airport with no scheduled flights that might disturb (or fascinate) campers. Van Etten Lake's campground offers easy access and a boat launch to get on the water, but be aware that much of the replica bvlgari jewelry necklaces shoreline outside the park is developed. The campsites offer good shade in mixed forest and are spacious. Only half of the sites can be reserved, and just a few sites remain open through winter. South of here about 20 minutes is the Tuttle March Wildlife Area, an impressive 5,000 acre wetlands bvlgari necklaces and pendants fake reserve that is a major draw for wildlife viewing, especially birds and especially during spring migration.
gouiss Sep 20, 07:45PM
The ridiculous gushing over Trump's speech opinion

The views expressed in this commentary are her own.

(CNN)Watching reaction knock off bvlgari necklace silver to President Donald Trump's speech to Congress on Tuesday night, the phrase that kept coming to mind was one made popular by former President George W. Bush, "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

Bush was bemoaning our habit of accepting underachievement when we expect as much from certain groups or people. But it's not a stretch to say that those who praised Trump for his speech didn't do it because he did a good job, but because we have come to fear to expect a horror show when we hear from this President.

And so a day after Trump's Tuesday speech to Congress, it seems pundits everywhere are proclaiming that he had suddenly become "presidential."

If anything, he barely, just barely, cleared an incredibly low bar.

In fact, if any other president had given the same speech filled, as it was, with inaccuracies, false claims, and statements directly replica bvlgari necklace men contradicting what he said only hours earlier the performance would have been lambasted from every corner.

There were, to be sure, very moving moments during the President's address. And there is no denying that Trump kept the level of his accustomed outrageous pronouncements bulgari replica gold necklace to a surprising minimum. That is the faintest of compliments.

The lengthy applause in tribute to Navy Seal William "Ryan" Owens killed during a raid in Yemen last month and to his distraught, tearful widow, Carryn Owens, was a wrenching, heartfelt homage to a fallen hero. It was not, let's be clear, in any way praise for the President. I find it mind boggling that CNN's Van Jones declared that at that moment Trump "became President of the United States."

It is grotesque to claim that the moment reflected Trump's triumph. His administration has done nothing but exploit Owens' death, in order to cover up the disastrous raid. Ryan's father, Bill Owens, blames the President for what he called a "stupid mission." The elder Owens has admonished Trump, "Don't hide behind my son's death." But that is exactly what the White House has been doing from the very beginning, and Trump cynically did it again during his speech.

Even more shamefully, in a Fox News interview Monday, the President pinned the death on his generals. "They wanted to do (the raid)" he told Fox News. "And they lost Ryan."

With this President, the buck stops somewhere else, unless there's something for which to take credit. Then it's all him, as when he listed the companies he falsely claims have decided to invest in the United States and increase hiring, supposedly thanks to his efforts. Most of those business decisions were made before the election. Still, large companies are happy to hear Trump praise them, so everyone wins, except the truth.

It was good to hear Trump start his remarks with a condemnation of the rash of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as the shooting in Kansas City. It is, indeed, presidential to say, as Trump did, "We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms."

It is so presidential, it is so basic, copy bvlgari men necklace that it should be unremarkable that he said it. But it is remarkable, because Trump has equivocated on the issue repeatedly. In fact, only hours before the speech, at a White House meeting with state attorneys general, Trump reportedly bafflingly appeared to suggest that the attacks might have been carried out "to make others look bad," according to one of the AGs in attendance, and that in terms of the threats, "the reverse can be true."

Indeed, if Trump genuinely condemns hatred, his plan to create an agency dedicated to highlighting crimes committed by undocumented immigrants is the most vile prescription imaginable for stoking prejudice and hatred. The "Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office," with the snappy acronym VOICE, is populist crowd riling at its worst. It will likely lead to more hate crimes and vigilantism.

No wonder there was an audible gasp in the audience when he announced it. Research shows that in fact undocumented immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the rest of the population.
gouiss Sep 20, 07:45PM
This election is a mass insurrection against a rigged system

It would be hard to overstate what Bernie Sanders has already achieved in his campaign for president, or the obstacles he's had to surmount in order to achieve it. Not only has he turned a planned Hillary Clinton coronation into an exercise in grass roots democracy, he's reset the terms of the debate. We are edging closer to the national conversation we so desperately need to have. If we get there, all credit goes to Bernie.

Many of those obstacles were put in place by Democratic national party chair and bvlgari white gold fake necklace Clinton apparatchik Deborah Wasserman Schultz. Without pretense of due process, Schultz slashed the number of 2016 debates to six, down from 26 in 2008, and scheduled as many as she could on weekends when she figured no one would be watching. To deprive would be challengers of free exposure, Schultz robbed voters of free and open debate and ceded the spotlight to the dark vaudeville of the Republicans. That Sanders got this far in spite of her is a miracle in itself.

Sanders got bagged again in Iowa, this time by a state party chair, one Andrea McGuire. Like Schultz, McGuire's specialty is high dollar fundraising, and like Schultz she was deeply involved in Clinton's 2008 campaign. Under the esoteric rules of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, and after a string of lucky coin tosses, Clinton eked out a 700.52 to 696.86 margin, not in votes cast but in a mysterious commodity known as equivalents. electing a president, not the senior warden of a Mason's lodge. All evidence indicates Sanders won the popular vote. It isn't a minor point. If the public knew he won the only vote anybody understands or cares about, Clinton wouldn't be "breathing a sigh of relief," she'd be hyperventilating. McGuire refuses to release vote totals. She says keeping them a secret is an Iowa tradition. So what if it is? As with debates, the stakes transcend the candidates' interests. In an editorial headlined Smells in the Democratic Party, the Des Moines Register, which endorsed Clinton prior to the caucuses, wrote:

What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.

Given that this entire election is a mass insurrection against a rigged system, one would think the national political press would share the Register's concern, but it moved on to the next race with barely a backward glance. Throughout the campaign the press has been nearly as big an obstacle for Sanders as the party. Even jaded political junkies were startled when the Tyndall Report exposed the media blackout of Sanders. In 2015, ABC News devoted 261 minutes to the 2016 campaign. Donald Trump got 81 minutes. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Nearly as harmful is the dismissive tone of the cable commentariat, and I don't mean just Fox News.

CNN has larded up best political team on television with partisans, including Bush acolyte Ana Navarro and Trump minion Jeffrey Lord. On the Democratic side, Paul Begala advises a Clinton super PAC; David Axelrod was Obama's guru; Donna Brazile a DNC chair; Van Jones an Obama staffer; David Gergen a Clinton adviser. All are bright, honorable people, but it's hard to report on a peasant revolt from inside the castle. (The network just added Sanders sympathizer Bill Press to the mix, but it's far too little and too late.)

Things aren't all that different over at MSNBC though to its credit it lets reporters do more of its analysis. One might expect its younger on air personalities to be in sync with Sanders but our younger political journalists aren't like our younger voters, being more attuned to the centrist politics of Clinton and Obama than to the reformist zeal now reshaping and reenergizing the Democrat left. The whole press corps still treats politics as theater or sport. No one ever explains policy on a post debate show. Must all talk be of the horse race? It's a democracy, not an off track betting parlor. We must all think less like political consultants and more like citizens, and journalists should lead the way.

That they don't is a gift to Clinton. Sanders wants to talk about the fallen state of our politics, the fallen state of our middle class, and how the first fall caused the second. Clinton can't have that discussion. Exposing her differences with Sanders on such topics would sink her. So she says she and he are alike in every way except she's practical and electable progressive who likes to get things done he's a hopeless dreamer. It's the kind of argument political reporters were born to buy, and despite being full of holes, it works even among some non journalists.

The electability argument is all about money and polls, ground games and firewalls, though you hear less about money lately. Clinton's campaign muddied the message of its launch by leaking a plan to raise $300 million for an PAC. This was to be the year of the super PAC but it's proving instead that even in politics, money isn't everything. Among Republicans, Jeb Bush raised the most money, Trump the least. Trump rides high. Bush is on a respirator. As you may have heard, Bernie doesn't have a super PAC. Backed by a record breaking 1.3 million small donors, he slashed 40points off Clinton's lead and rewrote the rules of presidential politics.

You hear even less about polls; or general election polls at least. What makes the media blackout of Sanders an even greater travesty is that it was imposed over a period of many months in which he led all 21 other candidates in both parties in nearly every general election poll. When a self described socialist leads every poll, something historic is happening. Even horse race reporters should have seen that a story so big, so confounding of conventional wisdom, demanded in depth coverage, but unless you read Salon or Rolling Stone, such coverage was hard to find.

In Thursday's MSNBC debate, Rachel Maddow, having raised the specters of George McGovern and Barry Goldwater, briefly acknowledged Sanders' general election lead ("I know you have good head replica bvlgari necklace silver to head polling numbers right now") before asking, "but do you have a general election strategy?" Sanders might have referred all Goldwater questions to Hillary, who after all worked on Barry's famed race, or asked Maddow why the guy leading every general election poll would need a new general election strategy, but he did neither.

There is no Clinton firewall. At most, 10states are out of Sanders' reach and public opinion is never static. Nor does she have a better game. (Sanders' support in each of those groups was at or above 85percent) Such groups are building the movement Sanders speaks of in every speech. Building a movement is like wiring a house for electricity. You can buy the most expensive lamps in the store but with no electricity, when you hit the switch the lights don't go on. It takes real conviction to fuel grass roots politics. In Iowa, Sanders ran 5points ahead of late polls. One is that Sanders is too far left. Pundits dismiss his polls by repeating her till the Republicans get ahold of him line. And they'll say what? That he's old? Jewish? A socialist? Everybody already knows and anyone who'd even think of voting Democratic is already down with it or soon could be. The tag needs explaining, but so do and Both parties' frontrunners carry baggage. For my money, Bernie's is the lightest. As for the notion that voters can't see that paying $1,000 in taxes beats paying $5,000 in health insurance premiums, it is an insult to the American people.

The core of Clinton's realpolitik brief pertains not to electability but to governance. Her point is that Sanders is nave. She says none of his proposals can get though a Republican Congress. She strongly implies that he'd roll back Obamacare, a charge that is false, cynical and so nonsensical she'll have to stop making it soon. She says she has a plan to get to universal health care she doesn't and that she'll do it by working "in partnership" with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Who's being nave here? A Republican Congress won't pass any of her ideas either. The only way to get real change is to elect Democrats to Congress and have a grass roots movement strong enough to keep the heat on them. Nor will insurers cough up a dime of profit without a fight. Vowing to spare us a "contentious debate" over single payer care she ignoresthe admonition of Frederick Douglass; "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will." There has been a lot of talk lately about what a progressive is. Here's a hint: if you think Douglass is wrong, you might not be one.

Clinton's last argument concerns loyalty. Throughout 2015 she sniped at Obama from the right while relegating Bill to the sidelines. Last month, seeing her lead slip away, she wrapped herself in political and family connections, as if hoping to gain the White House as a legacy admission. Analysts say Sanders drove her to the left. It's partly but only bvlgari necklace silver fake superficially true. Lately he has driven her to the status quo, a bad place to be in 2016.

Democrats are deeply loyal to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton who didn't so much reconcile their party's conflicts as engross them within their protean personalities. Hillary accuses Sanders of disloyalty to them and to the modern party they held together. When Sanders suggested that some progressive groups might be part of the establishment, she ripped into him, denying there even is such a thing. There is, copy bvlgari jewelry necklaces of course. Its main components were once grass roots movements that traded independence for access and are now Washington lobbies with grass roots mailing lists. They were better off when they played harder to get.

It's not a debate Hillary wants. She's a superb debater, whip smart, well prepared and a world class verbal gymnast. I'm guessing Sanders goes a little lighter on debate prep, making him less concrete and specific. I wish he engaged more directly. But his quiet dignity serves him, and us, well. He's the anti Trump, doing nearly as much to elevate public discourse as Trump does to debase it.

One way to sum up the case he's trying to make might be as follows. In the 1990s a near bipartisan consensus celebrated a new age of globalization and information technology in which technology and trade spur growth that in turn fosters a broad and inclusive prosperity. Government's job is to deregulate finance and trade and work with business in 'public private partnerships' for progress.

Twenty years on, Hillary still sees the worldthrough the rose colored glasses of that consensus. Not Bernie. He sees that in 2016rising tides don't even lift most boats, thatgrowth comes at a steep price when it comes at all, and that new technology cost more jobs than it creates. He understands that when jobs flow to countries with weak governments and low wages, the American middle class can't get a raise. He sees that public private partnership meant pay to play politics, and that thewhole system runs not on innovation but corruption. My guess is the middle class sees what he sees and wants what he wants: a revolution. If he can continue to drive the debate, they may get one.
gouiss Sep 20, 07:45PM
Tofino Bus takes over and expands Island routes

The Tofino Bus company is taking over bus service on copy bvlgari jewelry necklaces eastern Vancouver Island starting Thursday and will add service from Vancouver via the Horseshoe Bay ferry in mid October.

Service between Victoria and Campbell River, and stops in between, will be increased to three times per day from twice a day Tofino Bus owner , Dylan Green said Tuesday.

Tofino Bus is taking over routes operated by Greyhound Canada. The Island based company received bulgari replica diva necklace approval Sept. Passenger Transportation Board to operate the routes. On the same day, the board approved Greyhound's application to discontinue serving those routes.

Tofino Bus will use the same stations as Greyhound, accept Greyhound tickets and freight and co ordinate with Greyhound service, which runs a daily service between Victoria and Nanaimo, Green said.

"Other than passengers getting used to the new name and the more frequent buses between Campbell River and Victoria/Vancouver, it is going to be a seamless transition," Green said.

Greyhound sought permission to discontinue east Island service because of dropping passenger numbers, which resulted in financial losses, said the Passenger Transportation Board. On the Nanaimo Campbell River route, and the Campbell River Port Hardy route, the company lost $1.2 million in its 2013 2014 fiscal year, the decision said.

Greyhound blamed higher costs for fuel and maintenance, reduced ridership and competition, the board said.

The board said that by allowing Tofino Bus to take on these routes, inter city bus service will continue for residents.

It said Tofino Bus has "less overhead and sufficient experience in comparable markets in southern Vancouver Island to sustain and grow ridership in the communities in northern Vancouver Island."

A Greyhound Canada official was not immediately available for comment.

Tofino Bus has a fleet of 21 buses in three sizes, allowing it to be flexible to suit passenger demand, Green said. Motor coaches carry 48 passengers, mini buses carry 30 and the company also has smaller van knock off bvlgari jewelry necklaces style buses.

Passenger fares will remain the same, he said.

The new service out of Vancouver starts Oct. 15 at Pacific Central Station, Green said. Other Vancouver stops are still being determined.

Green, 38, wants people to know that Tofino Bus is an Island brand that understands the needs of local residents.

He started his company in 2002 with a 10 passenger van, carrying surfers and their boards to the west coast.

A surfer himself, Green tries to get out on the water a few times a week.

"I still live in Tofino. Even with all this growth, I still made sure I can live on the west coast. That's where we are raising our family."

Soon after it started, Tofino Bus began regular passenger service from Victoria to Tofino, and took on school bus duties in Tofino and Ucluelet in 2005.

In 2006, it adopted Greyhound routes between the west coast of the Island and Nanaimo and Parksville.

As the company grew, it added a maintenance facility in Nanaimo. The company's 30 employees are knock off bvlgari necklace silver split between the Tofino head office and Nanaimo, Green said.
gouiss Sep 20, 07:45PM
Treasuring Moscow After 50 Years

In the 1950s, more than one big haired kid from the South shook up the world with the way he played music. Van Cliburn was a lanky and laconic 23 year old from Texas when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow on Apr. 14, 1958. and the Soviet Union posturing over Berlin, nuclear tests and the space race. The competition's judges reportedly asked Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev if they could really give first place to an American. Khrushchev replied, "Is he the best piano player? Then give it to him."

Cliburn returned home to a ticker tape parade in New York, as well as international celebrity. His recording of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 was the first classical recording to sell more than a million copies.

With his Moscow victory, Cliburn became something of a diplomat, striking a chord that connected common people from two countries that were bitter enemies. before his Moscow trip.

"The memories are so vivid," Cliburn told NPR's Scott Simon. "I remember the evening I arrived [in Moscow, on] March 26, copy bvlgari necklaces and pendants 1958 people were so friendly. One of the landmarks of the world that I had treasured the memory of seeing, when I was 5 years old, was the gorgeous photograph of the church of St. Basil. And so I asked this very nice lady from the ministry of culture if it was possible to pass by and see the church. She said, 'Of course,' and so we drove past it, and I felt like a dream had come true."

The Early Years

Cliburn's life at the piano began at age 3, when his mother found him at the keyboard, mimicking the piece of music that her piano student had just played.

She asked young Van if he wanted to play the piano. When he said, "Yes, mother," she said, "I'll teach you. You're not going to play by ear. You're going to know what you are doing."

Cliburn's mother, Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn, a pianist who studied with one of Franz Liszt's pupils, was his principal teacher until he entered Juilliard at age 17. He recalls that she always made him sing the music before he played it. During one of his return visits to Moscow, Cliburn invited her on stage to perform.

Cliburn's first public performance was knock off bvlgari necklace men a Bach Prelude and Fugue at age 4. He made his debut with the Houston Symphony at age 12. He also played clarinet in the Kilgore, Texas, high school marching band. He recalls that because of his height and large hands, the school tried to recruit him for the bulgari gold fake necklace basketball team.

In 1954, Cliburn won the Levintritt Competition, which opened doors to playing with orchestras in Cleveland, Denver and Pittsburgh, as well as with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Dmitri Mitropoulos.

After the Tchaikovsky Competition, Cliburn's schedule was hectic with tours and recordings. In 1962, a group of friends sponsored the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, in Fort Worth, Texas.

An Early Sabbatical

Cliburn went into semi retirement in 1978, but returned to the White House to give a formal recital during a 1987 summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. It was the first time the famed pianist had taken the stage in nine years.

These days, Cliburn rarely plays in public, but still practices every day often, he says, in the middle of the night.

"You feel like you're alone and the world's asleep, and it's very inspiring. I was never really the type that needed the stage. I love music. I love listening to it. But when you just listen, you can be 100 percent; when you have to serve music, you must be thinking of others, not yourself."

Fifty years ago, a tall, curly haired Texan pianist named Van Cliburn was given the full hero's treatment upon his arrival in New York: a ticker tape parade, complete with a declaration by the mayor. How was it that a classical musician could inspire this kind of idolatry?

It all started with Tchaikovsky specifically the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, held in Moscow in 1958.

Part of that thaw was a cultural exchange. The idea was to invite international musicians to compete with Russians for a grand prize, and to show off Soviet accomplishments in the arts.

A group of 50 pianists from 19 countries went to Moscow, including a few Americans. One was Van Cliburn. He had won an American competition, the Leventritt Award, at age 20, only to drift into an unremarkable career.

But his prodigious talent had not gone unrecognized by the jury this being no ordinary jury. Among them: Russian pianists Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter, composers Dmitri Kabalevsky, Sir Arthur Bliss, and Dmitri Shostakovich, chairman of the competition.

Cliburn famously copy bvlgari heart necklace tore into Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto, awing the Soviet judges. But they remained unsure whether they could give the prize to an American. As the popularly recounted story goes, the judges sought Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's approval. "Is he the best?" Khrushchev asked. The judges replied yes. "Then give him the prize," Khrushchev said.
gouiss Sep 20, 07:44PM
use change for global amphibian diversity

Amphibian population declines far exceed those of other vertebrate groups, with 30% of all species listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature1, 2, 3. The causes of these declines are a matter of continued research, but probably include climate change, land use change and spread of the pathogenic fungal disease chytridiomycosis1, 4, 5. Here we assess the spatial distribution and interactions of these primary threats in relation to the global distribution of amphibian species. We show that the greatest proportions of species negatively affected by climate change are projected to be found in Africa, parts of northern South America and the Andes. Regions with bvlgari replica chain necklace the highest projected impact of land use and climate change coincide, but there is little spatial overlap with regions highly threatened by the fungal disease. Overall, the areas harbouring the richest amphibian faunas are disproportionately more affected by one or multiple threat factors than areas with low richness. Amphibian declines are likely to accelerate in the twenty first century, because multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono causal, assessments have suggested.

a, Spatial variation of species richness (number of species per grid cell) of frogs (n = 4,875), salamanders (n = 508) and caecilians (n = 144). b, Intensity of threat from climate change, given as the proportion of species projected to lose climatic suitability in a given area (arithmetic mean across 14 GCMs, 3 emission scenarios and 3 modelling algorithms). c, Intensity of threat from chytridiomycosis, given as the projected probability of occurrence of B. dendrobatidis (arithmetic mean across 3 GCMs and 2 emission scenarios, data from ref. 17). d, Intensity of threat from land use change, given as the proportion of a given area projected to be converted from a natural to an anthropogenic state (arithmetic mean across 4 scenarios, data from ref. 19). For further details on the quantification of threat intensities, see Methods. White areas in panels a and b indicate the absence of a given amphibian order.

Each point refers to one grid cell in Fig. 1 and represents the relative intensity of each of the three threats when considered jointly: climate change (proportion of species losing climatic suitability); chytridiomycosis (probability of occurrence of chytridiomycosis); and land use change. For details on the quantification of threat intensities, see Fig. 1 and Methods. Values of threat intensity are standardized to vary between 0 and 100%, and then transformed into relative proportions to add up to 100% (division by the sum of the three threat intensities). Darker colours indicate higher point densities.

a, Climate change and chytridiomycosis. b, Climate change and land use change. c, Chytridiomycosis and land use change. Colours indicate areas of particularly high threat intensity. These areas are defined as the 25% of all grid cells with (1) the highest proportion of species projected to lose climatic suitability, (2) the highest projected probability of occurrence of chytridiomycosis and (3) the highest proportion of land projected to be converted from a natural to an anthropogenic state. For other details see Fig. 1.

Figure 4: Spatial overlap between areas with the highest amphibian species richness and the main factors threatening global amphibian diversity, projected for 2080.

Areas with the highest species richness are defined as the 25% of all grid cells with the highest number of species. Areas where high levels of species richness coincide with high intensity of 1 of the main factors threatening amphibian diversity are coloured in yellow, orange and red, respectively (blue: no coincidence of high richness and high threat intensity). For definition of 25% areas of high threat intensity and further details see Figs 1 and 3.

Amphibians are experiencing population declines in all regions of the world2, 6. Causes for this global decline have been identified. Among the highest ranking threats are anthropogenic land use changes, leading to habitat destruction and fragmentation, and the fatal disease chytridiomycosis, which is caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Other threats include climate change, which may interact with chytridiomycosis, environmental pollution, direct exploitation for the food, medicine and pet trades, increase in ultraviolet B irradiation due to anthropogenic ozone depletion, and the spread of invasive species4, 5.

Many studies have assessed how these threats affect amphibian populations and how they may interact at local and regional scales7, 8, 9, 10. Recent assessments have used bioclimatic envelope models to project climate change impacts on amphibian diversity on a continental scale11, 12. Attempts have also been made to assess the relative importance of different threats for large groups of species13, 14, but not in a spatially explicit way. Several hypotheses have suggested that there may be interactions of chytridiomycosis with land use change15 and climate change9, yet no final consensus has been reached10, 16. Preliminary models of the global geography of chytridiomycosis under climate change have been provided17, but an integrative, analytical, spatially explicit assessment at a global scale of the spatial interactions of the most severe threats is urgently needed.

Using a nearly complete global data set of 5,527 amphibian species, we elucidate how the spatial interaction at the global scale of three important threats (climate change, chytridiomycosis and land use change, see Methods) could affect global amphibian diversity between a baseline period (1980) and late in the present century (2080). Threat from future climate change was estimated as the proportion of species locally losing climatic suitability ( losers per area, as given by species specific bioclimatic models (see Methods). Because the spatial distribution of species richness varies considerably among the three amphibian orders Anura (frogs and toads, hereafter), Caudata (salamanders and newts, and Gymnophiona ( (Fig. 1a), we conducted climate change analyses separately for each group. Threat from chytridiomycosis was quantified as the future probability of occurrence of B. dendrobatidis from a bioclimatic model projection17. Lastly, estimates of future land use change (that is, changes from natural to human encroached land cover) were based on the projections of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment18, 19, 20.

a, Spatial variation of species richness (number of species per grid cell) of frogs (n = 4,875), salamanders (n = 508) and caecilians (n = 144). b, Intensity of threat from climate change, given as the proportion of species projected to lose climatic suitability in a given area (arithmetic mean across 14 GCMs, 3 emission scenarios and 3 modelling algorithms). c, Intensity of threat from chytridiomycosis, given as the projected probability of occurrence of B. dendrobatidis (arithmetic mean across 3 GCMs and 2 emission scenarios, data from ref. 17). d, Intensity of threat from land use change, given as the proportion of a given area projected to be converted from a natural to an anthropogenic state (arithmetic mean across 4 scenarios, data from ref. 19). For further details on the quantification of threat intensities, see Methods. White areas in panels a and b indicate the absence of a given amphibian order.

The three major global threats to amphibians exhibit characteristic, yet disparate geographic patterns (Fig. 1b For frogs, regions with a high projected impact of climate change (regions where high proportions of climate losers in 2080 coincide with a high level of species richness) are the northern Andes and parts of the Amazon and the Cerrado in South America, large areas of sub Saharan tropical Africa, and a small region in South East Asia (Fig. 1b and Supplementary Fig. 1a). In the northern Andes, which harbour the greatest frog diversity worldwide, the proportion of probable climate losers reaches 166 species (73% of the local frog fauna). For salamanders, western North America, northern Central America and southern and south eastern Europe are the regions projected to be most heavily affected by climate change, as are some areas in northern South America for caecilians (Fig. 1b). 1b). The regions with the highest projected probability of occurrence of chytridiomycosis are located in mostly temperate climates as well as mountainous and coastal regions (Fig. 1c). Areas with high projected land use change are mainly found in tropical Central and South America, tropical Africa and montane parts of central and southern Asia (Fig. 1d).

Geographic coincidence in the intensity of the three types of threat is highly uneven and varies strongly among the three amphibian orders (Figs 1b and 2). Within the range occupied by frogs, the spatial overlap between the top 25% affected grid cells for the three threat types is small: 6.1% of these cells (out of a 25% possible) overlap for chytridiomycosis and climate change, 9.1% for climate change and land use change and 8.6% for chytridiomycosis and land use change (Figs 2 and 3; see Supplementary Table 1 for sensitivity analyses and spatial null model tests of overlap; see also Methods and Supplementary Methods for further details). The small degree of overlap between areas of highest impact from chytridiomycosis and climate change arises because of the strong association of B. dendrobatidis with humid and cool conditions found in temperate regions21 and cool tropical high mountains, whereas the negative impacts from climate change are more prominent in the warm and wet tropics (see Fig. 1a). For salamanders, the comparable figures for spatial overlap are 12.2%, 4.6% and 10.0%, respectively (Fig. 3 and Supplementary Table 1). Globally, more than half of the distributional replica bvlgari mens necklace area of each of the three amphibian orders is likely to be highly affected by at least one of the three major threat factors. When only regions with the highest species richness are considered, then about two thirds of the areas with the richest frog and salamander faunas (half of the area for caecilians) are projected to become heavily affected by 2080 (Fig. 4).

Each point refers to one grid cell in Fig. 1 and represents the relative intensity of each of the three threats when considered jointly: climate change (proportion of imitation bvlgari silver necklace species losing climatic suitability); chytridiomycosis (probability of occurrence of chytridiomycosis); and land use change. For details on the quantification of threat intensities, see Fig. 1 and Methods. Values of threat intensity are standardized to vary between 0 and 100%, and then transformed into relative proportions to add up to 100% (division by the sum of the three threat intensities). Darker colours indicate higher point densities.

a, Climate change and chytridiomycosis. b, Climate change and land use change. c, Chytridiomycosis and land use change. Colours indicate areas of particularly high threat intensity. These areas are defined as the 25% of all grid cells with (1) the highest proportion of species projected to lose climatic suitability, (2) the highest projected probability of occurrence of chytridiomycosis and (3) the highest proportion of land projected to be converted from a natural to an anthropogenic state. For other details see Fig. Second, other threats not investigated here may also cause declines in amphibian populations, including pollution, direct exploitation, spread of invasive species, or increased ultraviolet B irradiation5. These additional factors give reason for further concern, especially when they interact with one another4. Third, modelled presence of chytridiomycosis does not always cause local declines or extinctions and interspecific as well as regional differences in amphibian susceptibility to chytridiomycosis exist22. Fourth, the spatial resolution of our analysis is relatively coarse, yet several factors allow population persistence at finer scales (see also discussion in refs 23, 24). In particular, our analyses disregard dispersal, biotic interactions and adaptive potential, and rely on the assumption that coarse scale projections from bioclimatic envelope models provide a good surrogate for species climatic requirements at finer scales. However, in some cases, species might persist owing to increased climatic stability in fine grain refugia25, or to local adaptations of amphibian populations26. Our projections thus provide measurements of the exposure of global amphibian species distributions to key threatening processes but, because the species responses to these threats are not investigated, projections overestimate the impacts of multiple threats on the persistence of local amphibian populations (see also Supplementary Discussion).

Despite these uncertainties, our results reveal an intriguing pattern of non overlap between key threatening factors. The implication is that risk assessments focusing on a single threat, such as just climate change or only chytridiomycosis, are probably picturing an optimistic view. As such, they fail to identify the key actions required to curb the ongoing global decline in amphibian diversity. The low coincidence between regions projected to have high prevalence of chytridiomycosis and climate or land use change emphasizes the potential for silent extinctions away from the regions where the current human footprint is larger. In turn, the higher coincidence between land use and climate change highlights the existence of potential synergies between the two threatening factors that are often neglected18, 27, 28. The substantial overlap of threats with many of the world centres of amphibian richness further underlines the pessimistic long term perspective for global amphibian diversity1, 5. It reinforces the realization that prioritization of conservation efforts needs to be based on knowledge of the spatial distribution both of the different key threats and of biodiversity.

DataWe fitted bioclimate envelope models (BEMs) for 5,527 amphibian species from the three bvlgari ring fake necklace amphibian orders Anura (frogs and toads), Caudata (salamanders and newts) and Gymnophiona (caecilians), which for simplicity are henceforth referred to as frogs, salamanders and caecilians. Distribution data were compiled from the Global Amphibian Assessment31. 1a). This resolution approximates the average of the original resolutions of the climate data sets (see later).

Climatic data were obtained from the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi model data set30 of the Fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Data were derived from 14 coupled Atmosphere Ocean GCMs and 3 emission scenarios (see Supplementary Table 2 for an overview of the used data sets). Outputs for each model were obtained for three SRES32 emission scenarios A1B, A2 and B1, but A2 and B1 scenarios were not available for all of the GCMs (Supplementary Table 2; see ref. 33 for a description of the different scenario storylines). Inclusion of these three scenarios ensures that the models cover a wide range of likely climatic changes.

For each of the GCMs and emission scenarios, five climatic variables were obtained to characterize the baseline period (averaged across a 30 year time period from 1970 to 1999) that was used to calibrate the models. The same variables were then used to make projections into a 30 year time period between 2070 and 2099, subsequently referred to as 2080. The variables used were mean annual rainfall and precipitation seasonality, annual temperature range, minimum temperature and maximum temperature. These variables are known to impose constraints on amphibian physiology and survival34 and are often used to model amphibian species distributions and richness12, 35. All climate variables were resampled to the 2 using a global extent approach and given the grain of our analysis, we (1) avoid asserting artificial data quality by inappropriate downscaling of the climatic data, and (2) minimize the problem of false absences in the species distribution data36 as many species in the data set have only been identified in a few localities, with no knowledge about the true occurrence of the species2. However, the coarse resolution precludes detailed local assessments of threat interactions and processes; therefore our focus is on documenting coarse spatial patterns.

Projections of the probability of occurrence of B. dendrobatidis were obtained from climate based consensus projections previously described17. These projections (standardized probability of occurrence given by a consensus of MaxEnt BEMs across three GCMs and two emission scenarios; Supplementary Fig. 3) were resampled to the 2 by weighted averaging. In contrast to the climate change and land use change projections, for chytridiomycosis we did not use values of the change of the probability of occurrence, as many regions are not infected yet by chytridiomycosis, which makes the absolute value of probability of occurrence a better estimate of future risk of B. dendrobatidis infection. For the subsequent analyses, we used a consensus map calculated as the arithmetic mean across all the projections (Fig. 1b). Generally, averaging across different scenarios may be problematic. 3), we used the consensus map.

For the projections of potential land use change, we used data from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment20, 37. Ecosystems and Human Well Being: Scenarios. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment maps provide information on current and future distributions of 18 different land cover types at a 0.5 latitude resolution. For a quantification of potential land use change we identified grid cells that are projected to change from a natural to an anthropogenic land cover state (change of any land cover type to land cover type 3 pasture and calculated the proportion of area changed for each cell of our 2 for 2080, as a consensus map (arithmetic mean across all four scenarios, Fig. 1c) and separately for each of the four scenarios (Supplementary Fig. 4). As for the projections of chytridiomycosis, for practical reasons and because a separate use of different Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios does virtually not affect the results, we used the consensus map in the subsequent analyses.

ModellingThree different modelling algorithms, Euclidean distance (ED), Mahalanobis distance (MD) and MaxEnt (MX), were used to run BEMs. These presence only algorithms were selected owing to the large number of species with uncertain distributions or very small range sizes to be modelled (see also Supplementary Discussion). The two distance based methods (ED and MD) measure the similarity of each species occurrence to the mean (or centre) of the available climatic space. Accordingly species niches are defined as circular (for ED) or elliptical (for MD) shapes in climatic hyperspace38. BioEnsembles, a computer software which is able to optimize and take advantage of high speed parallel processing, was used to run the ED and MD models39. MaxEnt version 3.2.440, 41, a machine learning technique based on the principle of maximum entropy, was used to run the MX models. In MaxEnt, we used a regularization multiplier of 0.5 (a model parameter which allows for adjustment of the degree of model overfitting), because this value represents a balance between being able to fit models for species with very few records while avoiding an unreliable degree of overfitting. Standard BEM validation procedures were not applicable in our study (but note that a validation for future scenarios is in any case not possible42). However, we cautiously assessed patterns of variation in model results that may have resulted from different sources of uncertainty, such as species with small numbers of occurrence records, different mo
gouiss Sep 20, 06:40PM
Tick season begins as Sydney immunologists warn

Associate Professor Cheryl Van Nunen is a imitation bvlgari necklace uk specialist in clinical immunology with the Royal North Shore Hospital and has published over 100 papers regarding stinging insects.

Together with her colleagues at the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and bvlgari necklace fake Allergy, they have come up with a handy rhyme to help remember what to do if you are unlucky enough to be bitten.

Professor Van Nunen said people living in areas prone to ticks should also have a permethrin cream and an ether containing spray on hand in their first aid kit.

"They have to be prepared to deal with a tick at any time, day or night, so there bvlgari ring necklace fake is a little planning," she said.

"Fine tipped tweezers will work, but many people translate that to household tweezers; household tweezers are tick bvlgari bvlgari necklace fake squeezers."

Professor Van Nunen also said it was important to resist the urge to scratch the bite.

"It's absolutely essential not to scratch . because disturbing [it] causes the tick to 'squirt' and when it does that it squirts in allergens," she said.
gouiss Sep 20, 06:40PM
The secret sauce of Russian autocracy

Excerpted from"Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State"

"Drunken hooligans b zero1 fake pendant and thugs, every one" the neighborhood thugs were always loitering in the courtyard where Vladimir Putin grew up. "Unwashed, unshaven guys with cigarettes and bottles of cheap wine. Constant drinking, swearing, fistfights and there was Putin in the middle of it all." Putin essentially grew up in Leningrad's Fight Club, where the scrappy kid held his own against the biggest and the baddest. "If anyone ever insulted him in any way, Volodya would immediately jump on the guy, scratch him, bite him, rip his hair out by the clump."

Coming from the mean, drunken streets, Putin developed an affinity for judo and sambo at a young age and the human cockfight that is mixed martial arts (MMA) later in life. When, in 2007, Russian heavyweight sambo champion Fedor "the Last Emperor" Emelianenko finally fought in Putin's hometown of copy bvlgari chain necklace St. Petersburg, Putin sat ringside flanked by "the Muscles from Brussels" Belgian kickboxing actor Jean Claude Van Damme and Silvio "the Italian Rapscallion" Berlusconi. Putin, Van Damme, and Emelianenko later reconnected to kick off the Mixed Fight European Championship in Sochi in 2010, and when the Russian champ Emelianenko looked to end a three fight slump against American Jeff "the Snowman" Monson at a packed Olympic Stadium in Moscow in late 2011, Putin again looked on approvingly from the front row.

Beamed live on the Rossiya 2 television channel, the no holds barred battle between these "two enormous sacks of rocks" (as David Remnick artfully described them), lasted the entire three rounds. An early round kick broke Monson's leg. Another ruptured a tendon, further limiting his mobility. A flurry of punches caused the fight to be stopped to tend to the blood pouring from the American contender's mouth, which poured all over his anarchist and anti capitalist tattoos. Still, online MMA aficionados panned the fight as "a bit of a snoozer."

Each fighter's corner was conspicuously emblazoned with the VTB logo of the fight's primary corporate benefactor, Vneshtorgbank. At the end, both returned to their corners as trainers tended to their injuries Monson's being far more apparent than Emelianenko's before the latter won by unanimous decision. Only then did Prime Minister Putin climb through the ropes to congratulate "the genuine Russian hero," Emelianenko. What happened next was a shock to the cocksure Putin, who just two months earlier declared his intention to return to the presidency in the 2012 elections. Unexpectedly, yet unmistakably, Russia's most powerful man was booed. Taken aback, Putin puzzled momentarily before continuing his judo kudos. During the previous twelve years in power Putin had never been booed by his own people. Now it seemed that his return for at least one (and, more likely, two) newly extended six year presidential terms did not sit well with some. Something had definitely changed.

Suddenly, the global media took an interest in MMA, trying to gauge what just happened. Were they booing a bad fight, as Putin's spokesman claimed? Were they booing the pre fight singer, as the organizers claimed? Or were they booing the long lines at the bathrooms, as the pro Putin youth movement Nashi claimed? As far as I can tell, MMA blogger Michael David Smith has never been one to take sides in Kremlin politics or any politics for that matter but it was clear even to him that "No one floating those alternate explanations has explained why, if that's what the fans were booing about, they began their booing at the exact moment Putin began talking. And if the fans weren't booing Putin, it's hard to understand why Russian state television broadcasts felt the need to edit out the booing."

From the other side of the blogosphere, anti corruption activist Alexei Navalny claimed that the booing heralded "the end of an epoch." Navalny's campaigns had brought him toe to toe with Putin's regime: his re branding of United Russia as "the party of crooks and thieves" resonated with a wide swath of a new Russian middle class that had grown tired of duplicity, corruption, and the bizarre, neo feudal system of Putinism. The erosion of support could not have come at a worse time for the Kremlin: the December 2011 Duma elections were already upon them. Despite ratcheting up both nationalist rhetoric and pressure on independent monitors and critics, United Russia received only forty nine percent of the votes the party's first ever backward step. Despite the frigid Moscow winter, first thousands, and then hundreds of thousands, of protestors condemned the vote rigging, ballot stuffing, and biased media coverage that marked the "dirtiest elections in post Soviet history" suggesting that even United Russia's forty nine percent was a greatly inflated figure. Even more telling, tens of thousands of Russians part of an increasingly active civil society trained to become election observers in polling stations throughout the country.

These "for fair elections" protests were the largest Russia had seen since the collapse of communism, leading many to wonder whether the autocratic regime would respond with repression and bloodshed. Thankfully, it did not. Despite a sizable security presence looming nearby, the largest protests between the December 2011 Duma elections and the March 2012 presidential elections all passed without confrontation. Other signs of accommodation followed: the protests were reluctantly covered on state run TV, and once blacklisted opposition figures were allowed to air their grievances. Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev met with opposition leaders and even proposed liberalizing reforms, such as reinstating the direct election of governors. The state even promised greater transparency in the presidential elections by installing webcams to monitor each of Russia's nearly one hundred thousand polling stations.

Whether the webcams deterred the widespread voter fraud of previous elections or simply pushed it off camera is still unclear. What is clear is that Vladimir Putin easily won the 2012 election, due primarily to his enduring popularity beyond the capital and the lack of an opponent who could unite the diverse streams of anti Putin discontent. Nationalist posturing and promises of increased social spending further bolstered his appeal.

But while the opposition did not sink Putin, they certainly fired a warning shot across his bow. Just one step up in the eighth circle are the fraudsters: crooks, thieves, and corrupt politicians boiling in the sticky pitch of their own dark secrets. Alongside them are prognosticators and false prophets their heads twisted backward, forever looking back on their failed predictions. So while we should perhaps tread lightly in making bold political prognostications, we can at least understand the constraints imposed on the Kremlin by Russia's demographic past.

In 2010 the United Nations released its new long term population projections. Despite such recent improvements as increased fertility and decreased mortality under Medvedev and Putin, Russia's population will likely shrink from 143 million today to roughly 125 million by 2050 (figure 24.1). This would drop Russia from the seventh most populous nation to the eleventh barely beating out Vietnam.

How do they come up with estimates so far into the future, and how can they possibly be reliable? Well, demographers consider fertility and mortality statistics for all age cohorts, figure in migration, and calculate a range of optimistic, pessimistic, and likely scenarios. As it turns out, these projections hit the mark ninety four percent of the time. When they miss, it usually is due to big surprises: the unexpected baby boom after World War II made earlier American projections look foolishly low. The grim reality of the HIV/AIDS epidemic made African population projections from the 1980s look far too rosy. And demographers from the 1980s could not foresee the demodernization that decimated Russia and its heavy drinking post Soviet neighbors.

Unlike the African AIDS epidemic, however, Russia's demographic wounds were self inflicted: the culmination of centuries of bad governance through vodka politics. The exhaustive 2009 study in The Lancet concluded that, were it not for vodka, Russia's mortality figures would look more like those of Western Europe instead of resembling war torn areas of sub Saharan Africa. Were it not for vodka, Russia could have at least escaped the gut wrenching post communist transitions of the 1990s with a healthier population more like the Hungarians with their wine or the Czechs with their beer instead of being mired in demographic decay.

Consider Poland: a neighboring hard drinking Slavic nation with its own storied vodka traditions. Poland also suffered the pain of post communist transition. Yet while Yeltsin and Putin ignored the vodka epidemic in the 1990s and 2000s, Poland consistently increased excise taxes on the far more potent vodka as part of a concerted effort to migrate to safer, fermented wines and beers. Partly as a consequence, Poland has not suffered the same demographic calamity that has befallen Russia. When communism collapsed in Poland, sixty one percent of alcohol consumed was in the form of distilled spirits. By 2002, it was down to twenty six percent. Even despite the "stress" of transition, male life expectancy in Poland jumped four full years. In Estonia, the proportion of alcohol consumed in the form of vodka dropped from seventy two to thirty three percent over the same time frame. Male life expectancy increased 1.5 years. Meanwhile, in the absence of a real alcohol policy in Russia, vodka's share of alcohol consumption increased from sixty six to seventy one percent and male life expectancy plummeted by five years. Today, Poles and Estonians still drink a lot, but far less of it is in distilled forms like vodka. As a consequence, male life expectancy for both Polish and Estonian men is north of seventy years or a full decade longer than their vodka soaked neighbors in Russia.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin seems content to settle for band aid solutions that treat symptoms of vodka politics rather than the disease. Even while the government undertakes yet another well intentioned campaign against alcohol, it hypocritically promotes increased vodka production by well connected insiders. Meanwhile, the finance ministry implores citizens to impale themselves on the bottle for the greater glory of the state.

At some point, this madness must end.

Even if we limit ourselves to just the last two decades since the collapse of communism, clearly the single greatest obstacle to a normal, healthy, and wealthy Russia is the legacy of the state's own vodka politics. Despite improvements under Medvedev, Russia still loses some fifteen thousand people every year to alcohol poisoning that's more than the number of soldiers sacrificed during the Soviets' entire ten year debacle in Afghanistan (1979 89). Since the Soviet Union collapsed, some six hundred thousand people have died directly as a result of vodka: more than the total number of military deaths in imperial Russia's nine eighteenth century wars.

Alternatively we can look to the projections of what Russia would have been were it not for the vodka laced demodernization of the 1990s. In 1988 Sergei Scherbov and Wolfgang Lutz projected that the population of the Russian Republic then within the Soviet Union would be some one hundred eighty million by the year 2050 (figure 24.1). If we subtract the reasonable, mid range estimate of the United Nations of 125 million from what should have been around 180 million, it leaves a difference of 55 million people. That is more than three times the number of soldiers killed in every Russian war, ever. In other replica bvlgari necklace words, by 2050 the Russian population will only be two thirds of what it should have been were it not for the alcoholization and demodernization of the past twenty years all legacies of vodka politics.

This, then, is what Russia could have been or what economists would call the "opportunity cost" of vodka. To this lost fifty five million since the collapse of communism, one could add perhaps hundreds of millions more lost to the bottle over the five hundred plus years since the tsars first started pushing the more lucrative and more potent distilled alcohol over the lighter beers, ales, meads, and wines indigenous to Russia.

Just consider what Russia could have been how great it could have been had its rulers not consistently encouraged the people to drink such a potent concoction to benefit the state. Consider the combined economic contributions of another fifty five million people especially if one third of them were not getting bvlgari replica necklace drunk at work. Consider the potential contributions to commerce, science, or the arts that another healthy fifty five million people would bring. As Russia's population would have expanded, so too would its wealth, its tax base, and its capacity to innovate and modernize. It would have no problem staffing its military and would not have to rely on immigrants to bolster its demographic prospects. But that is all gone Russia's potential and ambitions have been drowned at the bottom of the bottle, by its own unwitting government.

Instead, Russia's once and future president Vladimir Putin confronts a bleak future on the vodka front one that he did precious little to fix during his previous two terms. The government's own statistics project that, even with generous immigration from the other former Soviet republics, by 2030 the number of Russians between the ages of fifteen and sixty five will shrink from 102.2 million to 91.1 million. The dwindling working age population will put a brake on economic growth, since there will be far fewer productive workers. We know that younger employees are especially important to technological innovation but with fewer younger workers, the Russian economy will be even more hamstrung by the old, outmoded, and corrupted labor patterns of the past, putting it at a further competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world. Under normal circumstances, the policy response would be to invest in modernization and growing the productive capital stock but this option is stymied by Russia's rampant, systemic corruption, which is itself a legacy of vodka politics. Encouraging research and development would be another option, but according to Russian scientists, fundamental science in the country is in a "catastrophic" condition still largely isolated from international research trends. The picture is bleak: without profound change, the Russian economy will become less dynamic and less productive, reinforcing the country's reliance on selling off its mineral, oil, and gas wealth, with well placed oligarchs investing the profits from them in more attractive locations abroad. And if this journey has taught us anything if there is another crisis in these lucrative resource sectors, the Kremlin will increasingly revert to vodka revenues, making the situation even worse.

Russians did not always drink vodka: when Prince Vladimir of Kiev famously declared that "drinking is the joy of the Rus', we cannot exist without it," he wasn't talking about vodka. The traditional drinks of Russia were naturally fermented beers, ales, meads, and kvas. The imposition of the more potent, artificial, distilled spirits came only with the imposition of the modern autocratic state, which used vodka to siphon off society's wealth into the treasury, making vodka the central pillar of Russian autocratic statecraft. Vodka, autocracy, and corruption in Russia have been inseparably intertwined ever since.

Russia is a nation that has achieved greatness despite vodka, certainly not because of it. If Russia truly wants to regain its place among the great world powers, it will have to confront its greatest challenge ever: the deeply rooted traditions of vodka politics itself. How great could Russia be without this debilitating political curse?

One Final History Lesson

One of the great virtues of historical investigation is to use the past to inform the politics of the present with an eye to the future. Yet history is not simply populated by events and people, but also by ideas and innovations forgotten as we haughtily bask in the wisdom of the present. Especially when it comes to the struggle with alcohol, it may be time to dust off some lessons of the past. Consider, if you will, the following account from 1904, which traces the origins of public drunkenness to autocratic edicts . . .

which made the distilling and selling of spiritous liquors a State monopoly, and one of the principal sources of public revenue. The consumption of spirits was encouraged in every way in order to increase the receipts of the Treasury. Public servants knew they might count upon favour by inducing people to drink by every means in their power. Tea and coffee were prohibited to prevent undesirable competition; beer was unknown, wine rare; and the Government produce reigned supreme.
gouiss Sep 20, 06:40PM
tta protes besv

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gouiss Sep 20, 06:40PM
title challenge looks to be over after shock defeat at the Emirates

A famous, famous victory for Watford and an infamous performance from Arsenal who lost a golden opportunity in the Premier League title race with a display that was base. They deservedly lost. They can have no dispute; no complaint over that because of their own carelessness. With Arsene Wenger banned from the touchline they lost touch.

This was Watford's first win in eight Premier League games and there will be no threat of relegation if they maintain these determined heights while Arsenal will be subsumed into another period of angst as they prepare to travel to Chelsea this Saturday. Arsenal were far better in an increasingly desperate second half but Watford with held the onslaught. This time there was no comeback, no late goals only a chorus of home disapproval at the sodden end.

Arsenal were sloppy from the off; conceding a series of careless free kicks in particular by Shkodran Mustafi and then conceding a goal. Again it was Mustafi who erred and this time Tom Cleverley tapped the ball sideways for Younes Kaboul to thump it from 25 yards with his shot deceiving Petr Cech and cradling into the net. The deception was caused by a deflection, taking a change of direction off Aaron Ramsey to wrong foot the goalkeeper.

It was also the first ever time Watford had led Arsenal imitation bvlgari ring necklace in a Premier League game. They were buoyed. Watford had made a bristling start, belying their recent form and astonishingly doubled their advantage when they were again aided by Arsenal's carelessness.

Again Mustafi was involved, allowing Etienne Capoue to run past him and that came after an appalling throw in, a mix up between Aaron Ramsey and Gabriel, giving the ball to the Watford midfielder. Capoue ran on, superbly, skilfully, beating Francis Coquelin and then Mustafi and his eventual shot was parried by Cech but squirmed across goal.

There were three, four Arsenal defenders there but Troy Deeney wanted it more and hurtled in to turn the ball home. Already there was a whiff of anger; a mood of frustration at the Emirates with just two minutes and 54 seconds between the goals and the only consolation for Arsenal being they had to surely improve and also had plenty of time to do it.

They also had to make a change with Ramsey's calf giving up on him (it appeared to have happened when he stretched for Gabriel's throw in). The midfielder puffed out his cheeks in disbelief, at another injury and probably also at the score line, as he trudged off.

Watford had cashed in and not just with the sale confirmed before kick off of striker Odion Ighalo to Chinese Super League club Changchun Yatai for a fee that could rise as high as 25million with loan signing, from AC Milan, M'Baye Niang, making his debut and funnelling back, working hard as Arsenal finally provided some threat.

What was Arsene Wenger's reaction? This was the second game of his four match touchline ban for pushing the fourth official, and he was picking out, murky in the stands, by the cameras. His mood would have been even darker than the images with Nacho Montreal then cautioned for a dive inside the penalty area before Watford threatened again with Capoue once more running past Coquelin and crossing deep for Sebastian Prodl to arc a powerful header back across goal.

Cech tipped it over and then, from the corner, Olivier Giroud deflected Miguel Britos's fierce angled drive. There was another chance, a snap shot from Daryl Janmaat, set up by Deeney, beaten away by Cech.

At half time the boos rang out. Theo Walcott, scorer of a hat trick against Southampton in the FA Cup last weekend, started on the bench but went through his paces during the break. He came on Giroud was replaced and his first involvement was to flash a low shot wide and then went even closer, forcing a fine block bvlgari chain fake necklace from goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, when teed up by Mesut Ozil. Still he should have scored and it was Arsenal's first solid opportunity. There was then a second with Sanchez backheeling into Alex Iwobi's path only for Gomes to shoot out a hand and save his low effort.

The siege was on. Arsenal, finally, had some momentum and then they had a goal. As they claimed a penalty they played on with Sanchez working his way into the area and scooping the ball beyond the far post where Iwobi guided a volley back across goal and into the net after Craig Cathcart inexplicably allowed it to run past him.

Boos ring out as the players exit the pitch following a stunningly poor first 45 minutes for Arsenal.

Even after the second goal it looked more likely that we were heading for 3 0than 2 1.

Sure, the first goal felt like a bit of a fluke, only slipping past Cech due to a deflection from Aaron Ramsey.

But the second was really the first half in a nutshell: careless from Arsenal, direct and determined from Watford. If not for quick reactions knock off bvlgari bvlgari necklace from Cech, Janmaat would have added to the margin. It's a long way back for the home side.

So Danny Welbeck is not in the squad for copy bvlgari mens necklace Arsenal despite his two goal salvo against Southampton on Saturday, which is believed to be just a precautionary measure to manage the striker as he returns to full fitness. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain both drop to the bench after impressive displays at St Mary's, and in total Arsene Wenger has made 10 changes from the 5 0 FA Cup win, with Skhodran Mustafi the only survivor.

Watford have made nine changes from the side that lost 1 0 to Millwall in the FA Cup on Saturday, and there's a debut up front or new signingM'Baye Niang.

Arsenalare expected to recall a host of first teamregulars on Tuesday night.

Arsene Wenger made 10 changes for the 5 0 FA Cup fourth round win at Southampton but the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are set to return against Watford .

The AC Milan man missed out on the FA Cup defeat to Millwall but has received international clearance in time to feature at the Emirates, although Mazzarri may be reluctant to throw him straight into the side.

While names such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robin van Persie and Ian Wright have all been managed byWengerduring his two decade reign in charge of the Gunners, the Frenchman reckons his 2017 strike force is the strongest collection he has assembled to date.

Wengersaw Danny Welbeck return from a serious knee injury to score twice in the 5 0 FA Cup win at Southampton on Saturday before Theo Walcott struck a hat trick to seal an impressive victory.
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