Friday, May 31, 2013

Heart-stopping Photographs

Heart-stopping Photographs:

This is heart-stopping photography by Vitaly Raskalo, a daredevil that climbs on high buildings, bridges, cranes and alike  and capture it visually through the art of photography. They call themselves..”Skywalkers”..
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By Vitaly Raskalo

The City As Interface: An Interview With Manuel Portela

The City As Interface: An Interview With Manuel Portela:
by Hillete Warner
Global Innovators is a 10-part series that celebrates the remarkable work of social innovators from outside the English-speaking world. Twice a month we profile the stories of inspiring community pioneers from across three broad cultural clusters: change enthusiasts from Italy, France and the Spanish-speaking world. The series, inspired by the multilingual editions of the Enabling City toolkit, focuses on a rich variety of themes that explore 'enabling' frameworks for participatory social change.

From CityCamps to crowdsourcing, Manuel Portela has worked across Latin America to help cities tap into one of their greatest resources: curious, connected, capable citizens. As an interaction designer and an event coordinator, Manuel works to develop platforms that help people come together and explore their creative side.  We spoke to him today about collective brainstorming, community-building and the power of 10.000 ideas.
Enabling City: Like others in our series, you are a designer by training. How did you become involved in the world of crowdsourcing, CityCamps and social innovation? 

Mauel Portela: I was studying graphic design at Buenos Aires University while building my programming skills on the side. Because of this, I was approached to lend a hand on a few research projects related to urban planning and social innovation.  At the time, I was also working as a freelance event producer and learned a great deal about how meeting spaces can generate unique interactions. Today, I'm interested in the city as interface so I use a design-based approach to bring citizens and institutions together.
EC: One of your projects, 10.000 ideas, is a crowdsourcing platform to re-think urban livability in Latin America. What was the inspiration behind it? 

MP: My early design projects led led to an interest in the development of participatory maps and digital interfaces. One day, I came across New York’s ChangeByUs campaign and thought it was very impressive, though I found the conversation to be flowing mostly in one direction: there were ideas for one city directed to and curated by one administration. This inspired me to develop a similar platform, this time open to all of Latin America. In essence, 10.000 ideas is a repository of suggestions and solutions that anyone – whether in the public, private or civil sector – can share and implemenet with others. I hope to see more and more places for this kind of problem-solving ‘offline’ but, in the meantime, we can make the most of what the web has to offer.
A screenshot of the 10.000 ideas platform
EC: You're also the founder of CityCamp Buenos Aires and Chiripa-City Starters. How do you see these initiatives contributing to the democratization of participation in cities? 

MP:  Physical spaces are essential to effective participation, and CityCamp was the first event developed to stimulate fresh thinking for and about cities. The event is an international format with its own brand and history where participants share project ideas, brainstorm solutions, and test them together.  In 2012, I helped bring a CityCamp in Buenos Aires and later inSantiago, and there will be more cities participating this year.
CHIRIPA, on the other hand, is an umbrella organization for my work. It stands for ‘serendipity’, which is a principle behind everything I do. It was founded last year as an 'urban lab'  for local initiatives and has now grown into a full-fledged consulting firm. We mostly work with local governments to ‘open up’ urban management and decision-making. We prioritize collaborative projects where we act as facilitators, but we also provide expertise in design, programming, event production, and academic research. Two of our major projects focus on sustainable development and creative communities, and we are working with the Ministry of Modernization on a new SmartCity Index to develop tools that encourage citizen participation.
As a citizen, I believe we need more spaces to think about the cities we live in in an inclusive and hands-on fashion. The two initiatives help me work on this in a well-rounded way – with communities and government.
Poster of the CityCamp event in Buenos Aires, Argentina
EC: How is working in Buenos Aires and Santiago? 

MP: The cities are very different and have been through very stark transitions. Buenos Aires suffers from a serious transportation problem; the economic crisis is embedded in the very fabric of the city. The community of urban enthusiasts is small, the concern for the development of the city is very recent, and there is almost no appreciation for urban issues. Much remains to be built here, in the cultural sense more than anything else. We have to work to prove that being an active citizen is important.
Santiago is totally different. It has grown significantly in the past five years because it is in booming growth. People have been taking an interest in decision-making in part due to a widespread re-hauling of the transportation system that has gone pretty badly. As a result, there is a growing concern for urban planning and public policy, and an active community of people involved in these issues. It is in Santiago that I got the idea for 10.000 ideas, thanks also to the inspiration provided by websites like Plataforma Urbana.
The CityCamp event in Santiago, Chile
EC: With experiences both online and offline, what is your favorite approach to community building?

MP: I like toolkits like Enabling City, Streetplan’s Tactical Urbanism or The Placemaker's Guide for their ideas on how to create spaces for change. As a designer, I am also passionate about the process itself so I rely on design thinking and toolkits like IDEO’s Human Centered Design. I am a very methodical person and I like to outline and diagram my way through things –I'm not very good with chaos! In the end, no matter the tools, I think the real secret is investing in the generation of social capital. That and being intentionally pro-commons, because it is that that helps us rethink the relationship between cities and citizens. Today more than ever, public spaces are coming under attack so it is important to find new places for community creation, places where we can safeguard the common good.
In this sense, the Internet can be useful in transcending boundaries – virtual and physical alike. It is no coincidence that successful networks are relevant in both realms. I’ve always been an advocate for thinking about the city outside of the box, thinking beyond its jurisdictional boundaries.  I interact daily with virtual networks that help grow my local initiatives and this is important because being surrounded by people with no vision can easily degenerate into an alienating feeling that “it’s not worth it,” or that “nothing makes sense.” Crossing paths with people working on progressive projects, on the other hand, can be very motivating.
Everybody wants to live better, but not everyone works on it. Community-building can be a powerful way to dream up tools and share knowledge in support of an empowered, creative citizenry.
Follow Manuel on Twitter, or find him online here.

Vibrational Medicine

Vibrational Medicine: Nicola Tesla once said, "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."

The only thing that has changed from his time to ours is the illusion of linear time.

Energy, can be neither created or destroyed. Everything is energy. Energy follows thought (intent).

Thought becomes belief. Belief becomes Reality, (perceived) and Reality, manifests as Destiny...

which can be found in the dictionary between destination; & destitute.
Now that we're all on the same wavelength, we can proceed into the realms of vibrational medicine.

Consider that we exist in a spherical energetic environment; in that we are constantly awash in energetic impulses of many kinds, emanating from all directions; all the time. Increasingly most of this 'electromagnetic soup' is manmade, and as we are discovering, it is toxifying our very environment.

Being that we are entities of light and energy it just makes sense that we should endeavor to protect ourselves from these emanations when we can, and to heal the damage they do when we must. I think the first thing we need to acknowledge is that all this isn't necessarily something outside of creation. It is the frequency of resonant vibration that accounts for creation itself. Allow me to explain as I have come to understand it.

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New Study Shows Cannabinoids Improve Efficiency Of Mitochondria And Remove Damaged Brain Cells

New Study Shows Cannabinoids Improve Efficiency Of Mitochondria And Remove Damaged Brain Cells: A recent study conducted by Andras Biokei-Gorzo at the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn in Germany is suggesting that marijuana(or the activation of the brain’s cannabinoid system) triggers the release of antioxidants, which act as a cleansing mechanism. This process is known to remove damaged cells and improve the efficiency of mitochondria. Mitochondria is the energy source that powers cells. The study was published in Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society, B. You can read the entire study here.

These discoveries shed new insight on how natural marijuana cannabinoids hold the capacity to literally kill the brain inflammation responsible for causing cognitive decline, neural failure, and brain degeneration. By supplying these receptor sites with cannabinoids, patients may be able to overcome brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and more, not to mention premature brain aging. The human brain contains an extensive network of special receptor sites that modulate nervous system function only when activated by the appropriate cannabinoid compounds, which are found in the marijuana plant.

Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate canbinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation. The body regenerates best when it’s saturated with Phyto-Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can also be found in Cannabis. Cannabinoids may very well be the best cancer fighting substance out there!

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10 Things Government Can Do That Would Land You in Jail

10 Things Government Can Do That Would Land You in Jail: Do you still believe the government represents the people? Are you part of the majority that genuinely wants the government to do good things?

There remains a large portion of the population that believes government to be a force for good and they blindly support giving it more power even at the expense of their own liberty.

Perhaps government should be a force for good represented by the will of the people. But, unfortunately, that is not what it is. Instead, the government does horrible things including breaking laws that regular citizens would go to jail for.

Ask yourself, why is a "representative" government allowed to do things that regular citizens are not allowed to do?

When a government declares itself above the law of the land, then the people live in a imperial dictatorship, and a tyrannical one at that. It is the hallmark of a ruling class that lives with a separate set of rules than the rabble.

Take a look at the top ten things the government can do that would land you in jail:

Spying: You are considered a Peeping Tom if you spy on your neighbor, and if caught you'd go to jail or be sued. Citizens are also increasingly being arrested for filming police or public buildings under wiretapping charges of all things. Meanwhile, the government is using massive resources (paid for by tax slaves) to violate the Constitution to spy on everyone and everything with impunity.

Insider Trading: Yes, you will serve jail time like Martha Stewart did for using marginally helpful insider trading information, but politicians voted themselves exempt from insider trading laws. It must be nice to be exempt from the peasant's laws.

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