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Archive for July, 2012

Umberto Boccioni, “La cittá che sale” (1910) – Futurismo ItalianoImmagine

« è guerra contro l’accademia, contro l’università, contro lo scolarismo, contro la cultura ufficiale, è liberazione dello spirito dai vecchi legami, dalle forme troppo usate… è forsennato amore dell’Italia e della grandezza d’Italia… è odio smisurato contro la mediocrità, l’imbecillità, la vigliaccheria, l’amore dello status quo e del quieto vivere, delle transazioni e degli accomodamenti…[1] »

di Giovanni Papini “sul Futurismo”

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Over All Medal

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

1.U.S.A.

1016

824

729

2549

2.Soviet Union

473

376

355

1204

3.Germany

336

377

386

1099

4.Italy!!

228

189

211

628

5.France

218

239

274

731

6.Great Britain

216

258

263

737

7.Germany East

192

165

162

519

8.Sweden

190

193

221

604

9.China

172

135

122

429

10.Norway

161

154

132

447

12.Russia

144

126

138

408

26.Bulgaria!

52

86

80

218

45.Mexico

12

18

25

55

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After the opening ceremony on Friday night, the organizers have been keen to emphasize the Games’ sustainability credentials, so we are going to have a look at it and see what is on offer.

A program called “Active Travel Programme” enables to the visitors have access to walking and cycling routes across London and other cities hosting the Games. £10m (US$15.5m) has been invested in making improvements to over 75km (46.6 miles) of key walking and cycling routes in and outside London. Thanks to this program people will able to walk and cycle, prevent emissions and improve human health.

Thereby, the organizers have set up an energy centre producing energy for the Olympic stadium using a biomass boiler fueled with biomass. 

Besides, 60 percent of construction materials by weight were delivered by rail or water transport. Like this, 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill and was reused or recycled instead. The Olympic Stadium is said to be the most lightweight Olympic Stadium to date, thanks to a minimal use of steel. Moreover, the Velodrome is almost 100 percent naturally ventilated. Rainwater is collected from the roof for flushing toilets and for irrigation.

Controversy:

However, the list of corporate sponsors is not so green…The culmination of the ceremony involved green custard being poured over the heads of three company representatives of Dow Chemical, British Petroleum and mining giant Rio Tinto, which sponsor the Games. The Olympic medals are provided by Rio Tinto, which is responsible for such a string of international environmental and human rights controversies.

These cannot be the most sustainable games ever when the medals have been sourced so irresponsibly,” said Richard Solly of London Mining Network.

The issue of corporate sponsorship is particularly strong in the UK, where protesters often criticize the ethics (or lack of) steeming from the acceptance of money from companies that pollute.

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According to U.N. report, global investment in renewable energy reached a record $257 billion in 2011 (a 17% increase from the amount invested in 2010). Globally, renewable energy covers approximately 16.7% of energy consumption.

  • Modern technologies such as solar and wind accounted for just 8.2%,
  • the 8.5% is contributed by biomass.

By comparison, more than 80% of electricity consumed worldwide still comes from fossil fuels.

Top 5 Countries for investment in R.E.

China was responsible for almost one-fifth (1/5) of total global investment, spending $52 billion on renewable energy last year. The United States was close behind with investments of $51 billion, as developers sought to benefit from government incentive programs before they expired. Germany, Italy and India rounded out the list of the top five countries.

China’s goal is to have 20% of its total energy demand sourced from renewable energy by 2020.

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In 2011, solar power led the way as far as global investment in renewable energy, with investment surging to $147 billion, a year-on-year increase of 52%, due to strong demand for rooftop photovoltaic installations in Germany, Italy, China and Britain. Large-scale solar thermal installations in Spain and the United States also contributed to growth during the year. Wind power investment slipped 12% to $84 billion as a result of uncertainty about energy policy in Europe and fewer new installations in China, according to the report.

Despite the substantial investments in solar energy, the industry is in turmoil. While China pricing has been devastating for American and European solar manufacturers, it has been no less devastating for their Chinese rivals.

The economics for the solar industry, both globally and in China, have never been worse, and there are no bright spots on the horizon. Clearly, solar investments in the United States and Europe will take a hit in 2012. However, the underlying unprofitability of the industry is in sharp conflict with China’s long-term goal to derive 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources as well. How can the Chinese companies continue to operate in the face of such losses? Will China continue to support the industry’s development?

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Employment in Developing Countries Continues to Gradually Recover

  • Employment growth in selected middle-income countries continued its steady recovery despite moderate output growth, although these economies may face difficulties reabsorbing workers re-entering the labor force after the crisis.
  • Labor markets in Europe and Central Asia have continued their steady recovery from the 2009 financial crisis, and four East Asian countries continued to experience improved employment and wage growth.
  • Slowing economic growth has not prevented labor markets from improving in Latin American countries in the sample, but the effects have been more mixed in South Africa.

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The European Skyline

The Skyline of Europe:

  • the tallest skyscrapers from the Shard at London’s Tower to Porta Garibaldi in Milan (My City!)

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La afición al deporte mejora la salud, pero…

  • La pasión deportiva nos da integración con un grupo y mejores habilidades sociales,
  • pero también está relacionada con riesgo cardiaco!

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