Combating desertification with tree tunnels (Avantgardens /Willem Van Cotthem)


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Tunnel - willow - Photo Avantgardens - 575749_621090494571382_833796101_n

Suppose we create thousands of these tunnels in the Sahel countries. That would be combating desertification at its best. And we would create a fantastic carbon sink !

Maybe a suggestion for the Great Green Wall : why not using the drought-tolerant Navajo willow (Salix matsudana var. Navajo) for setting up a maximum of these tunnels, in which people could also grow their own fresh food ?

It would be killing several birds with one stone.

Don’t let me preach in the desert ! Just try it !

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Egypt’s ‘Daily Show’ has provoked the worst in Islamist ideology


Bassem Youssef Photo

(Photo: YouTube Screengrab)

This piece initially published in The Globe and Mail

Many Egyptians still remember the eagerly awaited speeches of presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, and the intense debate that usually followed. Nowadays the eagerness and the debate are still alive. But now Egyptians are not waiting to watch their president, Mohamed Morsi, but rather the man who is poking fun of him – the satirist Bassem Youssef.

Mr. Youssef has become Egypt’s most popular comedian with his Friday night TV show El Bernameg (“The Program”). Modeled on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, his merciless, biting jokesabout Mr. Morsi’s poor performance, bad English and Islamic fundamentalism have earned him million of fans – and also many enemies.

Last week’s arrest of Mr. Youssef for “insulting the president, denigrating Islam and disturbing the peace” has created a public outcry inside and outside Egypt, and even a…

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The Relativity of Freedom of Speech in Lebanon

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

The last few days have taught me that the statement: “I believe in freedom of speech” has to be amended to become the following: “I believe in freedom of speech as long as I agree with the speech.” Beyond that point of agreement, all bets of civility of discourse are off. Bigot, ignorant, racist, condescending, extremist, hypocrite, illiterate or any derogatory word of choice gets dropped in order to counter a point, regardless of what that point may be.

Santa Muerte, Santa Ejre:

I didn’t want to go over anything related to this issue again. It was blown way out of proportion. But my words were taken out of context. Lebanon’s self-anointed blogging police started to ridicule what I had to offer. Somehow this blog being nominated for Blog of the Year at the Social Media Awards became a mark of shame for some people – as if that changed…

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Ned’s Second Line View of the World – Sources of new bird flu

They found that a virus carried by wild birds from the Republic of Korea and other east Asian regions mingled with the avian influenza virus carried by ducks and chickens in the Yangtze River Delta during migration.

What they do not look at or talk about is that the disease begins with overcrowding poultry farming and wild birds catch it from feeding on plants contaminated by farmed birds un-sanitized manure!

via Ned’s Second Line View of the World.

Shanghai Reports Two New H7N9 Cases – Total Now 33

Two more H7N9 infection cases reported in Shanghai   2013-04-10 18:47:25

SHANGHAI, April 10 (Xinhua) — Two more cases of H7N9 bird flu infections were reported on Wednesday in Shanghai Municipality, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 33, health authorities said.

via Shanghai Reports Two New H7N9 Cases – Total Now 33.