Companies Attack Dakota Pipeline ruling

Companies Attack Dakota Pipeline ruling

A big dispute is going on for the approval of the construction of a  1,200 miles pipeline to carry crude oil crossing four states. One of the sections of the pipeline is planed to run under Lake Oahe, at the Missouri River in Standing Rock and a group of native american Sioux Tribe have been protesting for months. 
The protesters fear that the pipeline may contaminate the drinking water and cross over sacred burial sites. 
The companies involved in the project :Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics are  attacking the white house for this project after US army Corps of Engineers refused to grant the construction permit, they are saying that the decision has a political interference. The community of Sioux Native Americans are celebrating the decision coming from the Obama Administration. 
However the elected president Donald Trump has some stocks of the companies involved in the issue and analysts are speculating if the new president will rever the decision or not. 
This issue shows the battle between two completely different  worldviews, one side with the companies who are willing to invest and create a route for crude oil and provide a way to transport oil in a lower price and willing to take the risk of contaminating the drinking water for the communities living in the surroundings. 
On the other side the Native Americans, holding on the preservation of rivers and lakes, and the tradicional burial sites that are considered sacred to their culture. 
The tension between the two are very tangible and expresses the interests of predominant views of the world. 
One considers the earth a source of resources to be explored and to provide jobs and financial benefits. The Native Americans are concerned about the preservation of natural resources and their cultural ancestry sites. 
Advance and Technology versus Tradition ad preservation. 
Who wins the battle ? 
It seems to me that this battle will take longer than just reports and legal battles. It’s more an issue of what is cultural appropriate and what will look good to the public. 
I hope that the decision makers will evaluate the impact in the environment of this project, not delegating the decision to the decision in the courts, but come to an agreement that takes into consideration the most affected people, the people living close to the pipeline in case it causes an environmental accident. More and more the issues of environmentalism and cultural preservation is taking more room in the media that used to be. 
The companies involved have to be very careful not to cause any damage to their public image and at the same time seek for the best interest of the country, not just their side. 
I believe that the American society can come to an agreement to what is best for the benefit of the people. Both sides of it, not just one group of people. 

Tags: Worldview, Global Affairs – USA, Pipeline
December 05, 2016 at 02:05PM
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Class Report

Class Report

Science and Religion has been a great debate. Some people see science as a threat against religion, not my friend Derek Kirbow, a great scientist with a great passion for teaching and with a tremendous potential.
He spoke this week to our school of Humanities and Science and he as able to demystify the area of science and walked us through the steps of the scientific method. 
What stood out for me was the importance the western world in the development of good science. 
Today we see many instances where scientist have not being honest in publishing their results, being influenced by the interests of the groups who funded the research. It’s important to have integrity like everything else and the consequence in doing good science can lead to live instead of death. 
This week I had the privilege to watch a good friend Derek Kirbow to share his knowledge and his understanding of Science with a group of students in the school Humanities and Science. The teaching was very interesting because Derek was able to show the participants that Science is everywhere and we are all involved in this matter. Whether we’re aware or not, we are all immerse in science and it is something that we are all affected. Science allows people to learn and understand the phenomenal that happens around the world and also to provide a great amount of knowledge that can help mankind to improve and deal with problems. 
The scientific method is very useful to help problems to be solved and to be able to find the solutions needed in the many problems in the world. 
Derek was also able to share how Science is being addressed in the University of the Nations as we develop teachings in the areas of FEWS:
Food
Energy
Water and
Sanitation
It was interesting to see how the subjects are connected to one another and how we have to secure a few basic thing before we begin addressing more problems like property rights, or emotional problems. 
I was very surprised to discover during the lecture that Cristopher Columbus was not necessarily looking to prove that the earth was flat but was actually going to India as a Missionary of Christian Faith, as we read in his journals. 
Derek also addressed a tool for assessment based on SWOT
Strengths
– an internal good assed that we have and we have control over it. 
Weakness – internal lack of something, knowledge, skill, information, but we can fix it. 
Opportunities – external scenario that we can picture ourself living or experiencing to be able to try the experiment
Threatens – external scenario that can damage or stop the process/project that we are working on. 
Looking at those elements, will make a plan to implement something/someone in a more better way. The plans will not predict every movement but can make the project better prepared for circumstances or situations that will lead us to success and avoid problems. Or at least will make us more prepared when circumstances occur. 
To me it was very interesting to see how Christianity and Science can walk together and make room for the development of good science and improve the lives of many people. From the Biblical perspective not necessarily just for the sake of getting famous and rich, but getting to the roots of the problems and giving glory to God.

Tags: Science, blog, Tumblr, humanities and science, fews
December 04, 2016 at 04:00PM
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Global Affairs – Brazil

Global Affairs – Brazil

This sunday another big protest took Brazilian population out of their homes to go the streets to protest against corruption. 
This week on the very same day that the country was still mourning the tragedy  that took place in Colombia when an airplane crash killed 71 people, the Brazilian Congress the lower house approved a bill that began as 10 initiatives against corruption. The text was later altered to become an institutionalization of corruption. One of the points was to give the people being accuse the power to use the law and making the prosecutors as guilty of abusing their authority to go after the accusers. 
That infuriated the Brazilian population. They approved the bill very late at night, not giving anybody the chance to discuss or protest against it. All the Deputees from the Working party as well as the ones from the Actual Government Party PMDB voted yes to the bill. 
As the Brazilians woke up the next morning the were shocked with then news and the judiciary stood up agains the bill, alerting the population of what could become the worst evidence in Brazilian History in legalizing corruption. 
In the next days the president of the senate tried to approve the law in a rush but was stopped by a group of senators that were agains the bill. Giving the society a few more days to discuss and understand what was going on. 
The Judge that is after the “car-wash operation” Sergio Moro was granted a hearing in the senate to give his opinion and the opinion of the majority of the Government officials working in the operation that has been arrested the majority of the Construction Companies in Brazil. Not only them, but also the former president of the Congress, two former ministers , two former governors of the State of Rio, the CEO of the largest investment bank and the top executives of Brazilian Oil Company Petrobras are all in jail. 
The bill brought a great hopeless among the society and the judges called the population to go to the streets to protest against corruption. 
The Car Wash Operation was also granted an award from Transparency International as a prize to fight corruption. 
The society is watching a fight between one side the politicians that has been always ruling with the law on their side with the idea that they can rule the law according to their own interests, and on the other side the Judiciary system trying to make sure that the Law is applied to all citizens including the people in the government. The rule of Law is making history in Brazil as they are making sure that the law is applied as it has to be. 
The population is watching all this and wants corruption to end and is willing to engage with the rest of the authorities to make sure that the country will overcome this situation. 
Demonstrations of this sunday show that the population is no longer willing to accept the ruling of the governments, but is willing to see the ruling of the law to become reality in the government and in the all the spheres of life. 
I hope that the Brazilian population would be willing to change their view of politics and be willing to engage and be part of the process that they are part of. Not just to seek for their won interests but to seek for the interests of the whole Brazilian society. 

Tags: Tumblr, humaities and Science, global affairs
December 04, 2016 at 03:45PM
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Chapecoense plane crash

Chapecoense plane crash

This week the world woke up with a bitter taste in everybody’s mouth. This past Monday evening, an airplane from the charter company LaMia carrying a whole Brazilian soccer team and 22 journalist crashed when they were arriving in Medelin Colombia where they were heading for a game. 
The team was conquering steps towards a great campaign in South American Soccer Tournament. They have been in a  successful ascendence as they climbed from lower categories towards the higher level of professional soccer. 
The airplane crashed close to the airport in Medelin Colombia killing 71 people, only 6 people survived. The Brazilian bodies were sent back to Brazil and the collective funeral was held today (sunday) at the home stadium of the team Chapecoense, in Chapeco south of Brazil. 
The media is now spreading the news that the aircraft didn’t have enought fuel to arrive to the final destination. 
The team was supposed to flight from Brazil to Colombia, but they flight from Brazil to Bolivia  on a comercial flight. Then they took the aircraft in Santa Cruz and then went straight to Medelin. Apparently they could have stopped in Cobija, at the border between Bolivia and Brazil but was aborted since the airport did not operate at night. Another point for refueling was Bogota but again, the flight went straight to Medelin. 
As the aircraft approached the airport, they were informed that they have to wait as there was another aircraft requesting emergency to land. The flight went in circles as they have to wait to land. An audio conversation between the plane and the traffic controller revealed that the pilot asked how much time they have to wait and then he went on requesting help as they had an electric problem followed by the note that they had no fuel. 
Now more evidences are showing up that the aircraft was warned they didn’t have enough fuel to complete the trip, and the authorities are collecting all the evidences from the Black Box and the other recordings from the communication with the flight controllers to find the real cause of the accident. 
This all happened in a very unusual day in Brazil. On the very same day when the world was still shocked with the news, the Brazilian Congress voted a law that could allow politicians that have been prosecuted for corruption to be free from their charges. 
That in itself created a tremendous turmoil in the Brazilian Society, generating more heat and discomfort in the minds of the Brazilian Citizens. 
The accident is now coming to a point where the evidences is pointing to the bad decisions that has been made that  lead to the death of 71 people leaving behind widows, orphans, brothers and sisters, parents and friends without their beloved ones. All the society was touched by the tragedy. 
Authorities are now in a very delicated position. The population does not trust them and the president does not know how to handle the situation. He is tryign to hide and become invisible, but the population rejection towards him is getting worst. 
The society has to come together to help the mourning for those who lost their beloved ones, and keep trusting that there is hope for the future  in spite of all the decisions made to institutionalize corruption. 

Tags: Tumblr, Brazil, humaities and Science, Global Affairs – Brazil, tragedy, chapecoense, soccer, air crash, plane crash
December 04, 2016 at 01:52PM
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Movie Report

Movie Report

Movie: Something the Lord Made 
Year 2004
Director:  Joseph Sargent
Written By Peter Silverman /Robert Caswell
This movie was based on the true story between a Black Carpenter Vivien Thomas and a prominent white surgeon Alfred Blalock and how they worked together to pioneer the cardiac surgery at the John Hopkins Hospital. 
They met in Nashville where Blaloc was an assistant professor and Vivien came to work for him as a janitor. Very soon, Dr. Blalock discover the unique gift  that Viven possessed in his hands as being extremely precise and also his interest and desire to learn about Medicine. 
According to the Doctor, the gift in his hands was “Something that the Lord Made” that named the movie. 
As they develop a fellowship during the years of working together, when Doctor Blalock has a chance to move to a larger and more prestigious Hospital, he then takes Vivien with him and faces the challenges of having a black man as a laboratory technician in the middle of a  very racist society where the black workers were limited in being janitors. 
The movie explains the tension of the relationship in the midst of the racist society. Several times the white doctor had to fight against the rules to allow his technician work along side with him. However, Vivien becomes very disapointed with Dr. Blalock after they successfully performed a pioneer surgery in a child that was able to bring back to life a disease known as “blue baby” due to malformation of their heart. 
After the successful surgery, the whole academic community gives glory to the doctor but Vivien witness Doctor Blalock congratulate every single white member of the team, but him. This created in him a bitter spirit leaving him to change his mind and try a different career. 
After unsucesfull tries. Vivien comes back and ask his job back and he later becomes a great asset in training surgeons with his skill. 
The movie brings a very interesting topic about skill and academic degrees. Vivien cannot get good salary nor good job positions because he didn’t have college degress, even though he was extremely qualified and very gifted for the job. 
The other issue the movie brings is the racism that was very strong in the american society at the time. Simple things like be able to enter throught the front door or to eat in the same cafeteria were taboo at the time and there was a clear distinction on how black people were not considered to have the same habilities of a white person. 
However, it’s very interesting how both of these men were able to use their skills and their desire to searh for the cure and to find the solution for the problem of that particular disease. By countless hours of research and development they were able to overcome the problem and open a whole new realm of scientific development and discoveries in the hart surgery. 
It’s very interesting to see that the Catholic Priest and the hospital leadership were not willing to take the risk of this new technique and be able to reach unknown areas of human knowledge that paved the way for heart surgery in the United States. It took people willing to take risks and believing in the talent of black person regardless the lack of degree to achieve the success. 
I have very similar experience in my own life. I was part of a team that worked in the development of a new Medical Device. I had the privilege to work with a very talented doctor who had a very distinct way of knowing his field. He was willing to take risks and creating a new device to be able to prove his theory. 
Today the company is doing well and they even helped my financially as gratification for my efforts. I must say that in my experience by no means I never suffer any kind of discrimination for not having a medical degree, but it brought me good memories of dealing with the unknown and the pursue of understanding drove these people in the search for understanding. 
The fact that scientist are always willing to find new things and discovering the unknown makes the finding of solutions something that is very unique for the human nature and so many things have been brought into existence because of countless hours of man and women willing to sacrifice their own lives to see a problem solved. 

Tags: Science and Tech, Humanitites and science, Tumblr, Movie Report
December 04, 2016 at 12:33PM
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