Tags >> international
Dec 29
2009

"The Dangerous World of Butterflies"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , trees , tourism , timber , resources , policy , parks , open space , media , law enforcement , international , government , farms , environment , conservation , author , animals

Bruce Robinson

 Nature lovers versus breeders. Preservationists versus poachers and smugglers.  A history that goes back eons versus threatened extinctions in the 21st  century. These are just some of the stories that lie within the dangerous world of....butterflies?

 Here on the west coast, we enjoy seeing the annual migration of the brilliant orange monarch butterflies, some of which gather in certain trees at the Bodgea Dunes state park on the Sonoma Coast.  But the Monarchs of eastern North America have a longer and far more remarkable migratory cycle.

 

Researching and writing this book on butterflies has opened his eyes in unexpected ways, Peter Laufer (left) says, but it also served to fulfill the unarticulated wish behind the impromptu remark that first set him onto that path.

 

 

 

This video compresses the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly into less than three minutes of striking time-lapse photography.

[video:[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD0jQH 400x400] 300x300] 


From PeterLaufer.com:

War weary after writing a book about Iraq, Laufer joked before an audience that his next book would be about butterflies. The result: an invitation to a butterfly preserve in Nicaragua. There he stumbled into a theater of intrigue full of strange and nefarious characters-all in pursuit of one of nature's most delicate creatures.

 

The Dangerous World of Butterflies chronicles Laufer's unexpected discoveries in the butterfly industry and underground. Readers will learn everything there is to know about the beauty and magic of butterflies. But Laufer's narrative takes unpredictable turns into the high-stakes realms of organized crime, ecological devastation, species depletion, natural history museum integrity, and chaos theory. Set in locales throughout the Americas and beyond, this fascinating book takes us into a behind-the-scenes world sure to alter our view the next time we delight in the colorful fluttering of butterflies in our yards.

 Butterflies are enormously popular, and have been for centuries, but not everyone loves them. There is even a website for people who are repelled by them.

 

Dec 18
2009

The Messenger

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , volunteer , veterans , politics , policy , media , international , government , families , author , arts

Bruce Robinson

The Messenger is a film about war that doesn’t take sides, according to director Oren Moverman, but seeks instead to personalize the losses experienced by the families of the servicemen and women who don’t return.

Oren Moverman (right), writer-director of The Messenger, says there is no political agenda behind it, other than a desire to raise awareness about the human costs and consequences of modern warfare.

The Messenger has drawn generally good reviews, but Moverman is even more pleased that coverage of it has also included his central themes about the people it portrays.

In his private life, actor Woody Harrelson (below right)  is well know for his progressive politics. But in the film, Moverman says Harrelson was entirely in sync with the director’s apolitical stance.

View the trailer for The Messenger below, or go here for a sampling of reviews of the film.

[video:http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2740519449/ 300x300]

 

Dec 17
2009

Copenhagen Climate Conference

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , Sonoma County , resources , research , protest , politics , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , law enforcement , justice , journalism , international , Ideas , Green , government , go green , events , environment , economy , design , corporate responsibiliyt , conservation , Congress , climate change , carbon , California , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Sonoma County’s delegation to the Copenhagen Climate Summit will be heading home with some ideas they hope to apply locally.

There was a considerable backlash when it was announced that Sonoma County was sending seven delegates to the Copenhagen conference. Tim Anderson, a spokesman for the Sonoma County Water Agency, says those concerns were understandable, but notes that nearly half of those travel expenses have been picked up by other agencies from outside the county. And he believes the trip will prove worthwhile to the county, over time.

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There was a considerable backlash when it was announced that Sonoma County was sending seven delegates to the Copenhagen conference. Tim Anderson, a spokesman for the Sonoma County Water Agency, says those concerns were understandable, but notes that nearly half of those travel expenses have been picked up by other agencies from outside the county. And he believes the trip will prove worthwhile to the county, over time.

{play}http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/copbenefits.mp3&autoplay=0&autoreplay=0" />

Anderson, who is also attending the Copenhagen conference, says that while he has not been directly affected by any of the numerous protests that have been staged in and around the Danish capital, it’s impossible not to be aware of them.

Rohnert Park city councilman Jake McKenzie is one of the local elected officials attending the Copenhagen conference. In this video clip, filmed earlier this week, he shares some of his ideas and inspirations from the event.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2CVwYtMb98&NR=1 300x300]

Also attending is Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown, who explains that her primary focus there is being an advocate for local governments.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTyDNEVi7yI 300x300]

Dec 09
2009

Chinese Medical Magazines

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , policy , news , medicine , media , journalism , international , healthcare , government , business

Bruce Robinson

New approaches and western ideas find many paths into modern China, even through niche magazines about medical specialties.

State of the art procedures, and the ways medicine is practiced and made available elsewhere is gradually forcing some incremental changes in the ways that individual Chinese doctors think about their work, something that Jeffrey Parker (left) says his Chinese publications are quietly helping to facilitate.

After he reported on India’s high-volume, low cost eye care treatments, Parker says the first wave of reaction from his readership of Chinese ophthalmologists was skepticism. But that was soon followed by a upwelling of interest in learning how the Indian system worked.

Jeffrey Parker will talk about his experiences as a journalist and publisher in China before the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County Dec. 10 at Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa, at 7:30 pm. Details about the event can be found here.

He will also speak at Stanford University at noon on January 14, 2010 on the subject,  "Grassroots Empowerment: Can Models from India Spark a Revolution in Healthcare Delivery in China?"

 

 

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