German Apple Cake

German Apple Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups raw chopped apples
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Beat the eggs and sugar until creamy. Add oil and continue to beat. Sift flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Mix with creamed mixture and remaining ingredients.

Bake in oblong pan (greased and floured) 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

 

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Receta de Mermelada de Cerezas

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Visit Cambodia

Size: 69,898 square miles

Population: 14,805,358

Capital: Phnom Penh

Currency: Riel, United States Dollar

Weather / Climate:

Cambodia’s climate, like that of the rest of Southeast Asia, is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences.

Cambodiahas a temperature range from 21 to 35 °C (69.8 to 95 °F) and experiences tropical monsoons. Southwest monsoons blow inland bringing moisture-laden winds from the Gulf of Thailand and Indian Ocean from May to October. The northeast monsoon ushers in the dry season, which lasts from November to March. The country experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February.

Cambodiahas two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22 °C (71.6 °F) and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F) around April. Disastrous flooding occurred in 2001 and again in 2002, with some degree of flooding almost every year.

Taken from wikipedia

www.wikipedia.com

CAMBODIAN languages

Khmeror Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language ofCambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese), with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through the vehicles of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predatingMon and by a significant margin Vietnamese.[2] The Khmer language has influenced, and also been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia.[3]

The Khmer language is written with an abugida known in Khmer as âksâr khmêr. Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Lao and Vietnamese in that it is not a tonal language.

The main dialects, all mutually intelligible, are:

Battambang, spoken in northern Cambodia.

Phnom Penh, the capital dialect and is also spoken in surrounding provinces.

Northern Khmer, also known as Khmer Surin, spoken by ethnic Khmer native to Northeast Thailand

Khmer Kromor Southern Khmer, spoken by the indigenous Khmer population of the Mekong Delta.

Cardamom Khmer, an archaic form spoken by a small population in the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia and eastern Central Thailand[4][5]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_language

CAMBODIAN culture

 

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CAMBODIAN people

As of 2010, Cambodia has an estimated population of 14,805,358 people. Ninety percent of Cambodia’s population is of Khmer origin and speak the Khmer language, the country’s official language. Cambodia’s population is relatively homogeneous. Its minority groups includeVietnamese (2,800,000), Chinese (1,180,000), Cham (317,000), and Khmer Loeu (550,000).[63]The country’s birth rate is 25.4 per 1,000. Its population growth rate is 1.70%, significantly higher than those of Thailand, South Korea, and India.[64]

The Khmer language is a member of the Mon–Khmer subfamily of the Austroasiatic languagegroup. French, once the language of government in Indochina, is still spoken by many older Cambodians. French is also the language of instruction in some schools and universities that are funded by the government of France. Cambodian French, a remnant of the country’s colonial past, is a dialect found in Cambodia and is sometimes used in government, particularly in court.[65]

In recent decades, many younger Cambodians and those in the business-class have favoured learning English. In the major cities and tourist centers, English is widely spoken and taught at a large number of schools because of the overwhelming number of tourists from English-speaking countries. Even in the most rural outposts, most young people speak at least some English, as it is often taught by monks at the local pagodas where many children are educated.

The civil war and its aftermath have markedly affected the Cambodian population; 50% of the population is younger than 22 years old. At a 1.04 female to male ratio, Cambodia has the most female-biased sex ratio in the Greater Mekong Subregion.[66] In the Cambodian population over 65, the female to male ratio is 1.6:1.[57]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia#Demographics

CAMBODIAN food

The food of Cambodia includes tropical fruits, rice, noodles, drinks, dessert and various soups.

The staple food for Cambodians is rice. Almost every meal includes a bowl of rice, although noodles are also popular. A wide range of curries, soups and stir fries are served with rice. Many rice varieties are available in Cambodia, including aromatic rice and glutinous or sticky rice. The latter is more commonly found in desserts with fruits like durian.

Khmer Cuisine shares much in common with the food of neighbouring Thailand, although it is generally not as spicy; and Vietnam, with whom it shares and adopts many common dishes and a colonial history, both being part of the French colonial empire in Southeast Asia. It has also drawn upon influences from the cuisines of China and France, both of whom are powerful players in Cambodian history. Curry dishes, known as kari (in Khmer, ????) show a trace of cultural influence from India. The many variations of rice noodles show the influences from Chinese cuisine.Preserved lemons are another unusual ingredient not commonly found in the cooking of Cambodia’s neighbours, which is used in some Khmer dishes. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of many Khmer curries and desserts.

A legacy of the French is the baguette, which the Cambodians often eat with pâté, tinned sardines or eggs. One of these with a cup of strong coffee, sweetened with condensed milk, is an example of a common Cambodian breakfast.

Typically, Cambodians eat their meals with at least three or four separate dishes. A meal will usually include a soup, or samlor, served alongside the main courses. Each individual dish will be either sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Chili is served on the side, and left up to individual diners and to their taste. In this way Cambodians ensure that they get a bit of every flavor to satisfy their palates.

Several cooking courses are now run in popular tourist areas, giving visitors the chance to share the culinary secret of the Khmers.

Ingredients

Prahok

A common ingredient, almost a national institution, is a pungent type of fermentedfish paste used in many dishes, a distinctive flavoring known as prahok . It’s an acquired taste for mostWesterners, but is an integral part of Khmer cuisine and is included in many dishes or used as a dipping sauce. The liberal use of prahok, which adds a salty tang to many dishes, is a characteristic which distinguishes Khmer cuisine from that of its neighbours. Prahok can be prepared many ways and eaten as a dish on its own right. Prahok jien is fried and usually mixed with meat (usually beef or pork) and chilli. It can also be eaten with dips, vegetables like cucumbers or eggplants, and rice. Prahok gop or Prahok is covered with banana leaves and left to cook under a fire under pieces of rock or over the coals.

When prahok is not used, kap? , a kind of fermented shrimp paste is used instead. Khmer cuisine also uses fish sauce widely in soups and stir-fried dishes, and as a dipping sauce.

Spices

The Cambodian herb and spice base paste Kroeung.

Unknown in Asia prior to the 16th century, the chili pepper arrived with the Portuguese. More years still passed before the chili pepper reached Cambodia, and to this day it lacks a certain status in Khmer cooking and is not extensively used, unlike neighbouring Thailand, Laos orMalaysia. Black pepper is the preferred choice when heat is required in a dish. Tamarind is commonly employed as a soup base for dishes such as samlar machu. Star anise is a must when caramelizing meat in palm sugar like pork in the dish known as pak lov. Turmeric, galangal,ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are essential spices in Khmer cooking, Khmer stews, and nearly all curries.[1]

As the country has an extensive network of waterways, freshwater fish plays a large part in the diet of most Cambodians, making its way into many recipes. Daily fresh catches come from theMekong River, Bassac River and the vast Tonlé Sap. While freshwater fish is the most commonly-used meat in the Cambodian diet, pork and chicken are also popular. Though not as common as in neighboring Vietnam, vegetarian food is still a part of Khmer cuisine and often favored by more observant Buddhists.

Kroeung

From India, by way of Java, Cambodians have been taught the art of blending spices into a paste using many ingredients like cardamom, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger andturmeric. Other native ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves are added to this mix to make a distinctive and complex spice blend called “kroeung.” Other ingredients for kroeung used by Khmers in America are lemongrass, turmeric powder, garlic, prahok, and lemon leaf. This is an important aromatic paste commonly used in Cambodian cooking.

Vegetables

Many vegetables used in Khmer cuisine are also used in Chinese cuisine. Unusual vegetables such as winter melon, bitter melon, luffa, and yardlong beans can be found in soups and stews. Oriental squash can be stewed, stir fried or sweetened and steamed with coconut milk as a dessert. Vegetables like mushrooms, cabbage, baby corn, bamboo shoots, fresh ginger, Chinese broccoli, snow peas, and bok choy are commonly used in many different stir fry dishes. Together these are known by the generic term chha . Banana blossoms are sliced and added to some noodle dishes like nom banh chok.

Fruits

Fruits in Cambodia are so popular that they have their own royal court. The durian is considered the “king,” the mangosteen the “queen,” sapodilla the “prince” and the milk fruit (phlai teuk doh ko) the “princess.” Other popular fruits include: the jan fruit, kuy fruit, romduol, pineapple, star apple, rose apple, coconut, palmyra fruit, jackfruit, papaya, watermelon, banana, mango andrambutans. Although fruits are usually considered desserts, some fruits such as ripe mangoes,watermelon, and pineapples are eaten commonly with heavily salted fish with plain rice. Fruits are also made into beverages called tuk kolok mostly shakes. Popular fruits for shakes are durian,mangoes, bananas.

Meat

Fish is the most common form of meat in Khmer cuisine. Dried salted fish known as trei ngeatare a favourite with plain rice porridge. The popular Khmer dish called amok uses a kind of catfish steamed in a savoury coconut-based curry. Pork is quite popular in making sweet Khmer sausages known as twah ko. Beef and chicken are stewed, grilled or stir fried. Seafood includes an array of shellfish like clams, cockles, crayfish, shrimp and squid. Lobsters are not commonly eaten because of their price, but middle class and rich Cambodians enjoy eating them atSihanoukville. Duck roasted in Chinese char siu style is popular during festivals. More unusual varieties of meat include frog, turtle, and various arthropods like tarantulas; these would be difficult to find in Khmer cuisine abroad, but are used in everyday dishes in Cambodia.

Noodles

While many elements of Cambodian noodle dishes were inspired by Chinese and Vietnamese cooking, a strictly Khmer noodle is noum prajok. Noum prajok is a distinct thin round rice noodle served with fresh vegetables and a choice of Khmer curry (red) or somla brahay (green soup with the main ingredient being fish, lemon grass, prahok, galanga, tumeric, garlic). (source is wong/inaccurate) Rice stick noodles are used in Mee Katang, which is a Cambodian variation ofch?o f?n with gravy. Unlike the Chinese styled ch?o f?n, the noodles are plated under the stir fry beef and vegetables and topped off with scrambled eggs. Burmese style noodles (Mee Kola) is a vegetarian dish made from thin rice stick noodles, steamed and cooked with soy sauce and garlic chives. This is served with pickled vegetables Jroak julienned eggs, and sweet garlic fish saucegarnished with crushed peanuts. Mi Cha is stir fried egg noodles.

Popular dishes

  • Amok trey– Fish covered with kroeung and coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
  • Ansom chek– A cylindrical rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and filled with bananas (sweet). There is also a savoury version filled with pork and mung bean paste called ansom chrook .
  • Babar– A type of congee or rice porridge, plain or usually with chicken or pork served with fresh bean sprouts and green onions. (Babar Praey – salted Congee)
  • Bai cha– A Khmer variation of fried rice which includes Chinese sausages, garlic, soy sauce, and herbs, usually eaten with pork.
  • Banh chiao– The Khmer version of the Vietnamese dish bánh xèo.

  • Ban hoaw– Steamed rice vermicelli noodles with mint, crushed peanuts, pickled vegetables, and deep fried egg rolls, cut into bite sized pieces, lathered in sweet fish sauce.
  • Bok L’hong– Khmer green papaya salad, pounded in a mortar and pestle. Related to LaotianTam mak hoong, the salad may include the herb kantrop, asian basil, string beans, roasted peanuts, cherry tomatoes, salted preserved small crabs, smoked or dried fish, and chili peppers. Mixed with a savory dressing of lime juice, fish sauce and/or prahok.
  • Caw– A braised pork or chicken and egg stew flavored in caramelized palm sugar. It may contain tofu or bamboo shoots. A typical Khmer Krom dish, who are ethnic Khmer indigenous to southern Vietnam, this dish is similar to the Vietnamese dish of Th?t Kho and the Filipino dish called Humba.
  • Cha knyey– A spicy dish of meat stir fried with julienne ginger root, black pepper, and freshjalapeños or fresh peppers.
  • Jroak sway– Unripe julienned mango salad flavored with fish sauce and peppers. Usually served as a side dish with fried or baked fish and rice.
  • Ka tieu  – This traditional pork broth based noodle soup dish is a popular dish in Cambodia. It is served with the garnishes of fresh bean sprouts, chopped green onions and cilantro.
  • Kralan– A cake made from steamed rice mixed with beans or peas, grated coconut and coconut milk.
  • Loc Lac– Stir fried cubed beef served with fresh red onions, served on a bed of lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes and dipped in a sauce consisting of lime juiceand/or black pepper. It is the Cambodian version of the Vietnamese Bò lúc l?c.
  • Lou– Cambodian thick short noodles, with added eggs and chicken, eaten mainly with fish sauce.
  • Mee Katang– Wide rice noodles in an oyster sauce typically stir fried with eggs, baby corn, carrots, Chinese broccoli, mushrooms and a choice of meat, usually beef. This dish is similar to the Thai dish Rad Na.
  • Mee M’poang– crispy yellow noodles served under a gravy sauce of eggs, carrots, Chinese broccoli, bok choy and a meat.
  • Ngam nguv– A chicken soup flavored with whole preserved lemons.
  • Num Yip– yellow star like dessert made of egg yolk, flour, and sugar.
  • Pleah– Partially cooked beef salad with beef tripe, flavored with prahok and tossed with onions and fresh herbs.
  • Samlor kari– A traditional spicy coconut chicken curry with a soupy consistency, often cooked with sweet potatoes, juliennedonion, and bamboo shoot. The soup is also used as a dipping sauce for fresh baguettes.
  • Samlor machu– A popular sour soup with a tamarind base. Includes meat such as chicken or fish, tomatoes, lotus roots, water greens, herbs and may be flavored with prahok. It is derived from the Vietnamese sour soup canh chua.
  • Sankya Lapov  – A dessert made of pumpkin and coconut flan.
  • Yaohonor yaohon – A Khmer-style hot pot for dipping beef, shrimp, spinach, dill, napa cabbage, rice noodles and mushrooms. It is similar to the Japanese sukiyaki, however, it is derived from Chinese hot pot.
  • Num Ppang Chen(literally Chinese Bread): Spring onion bread often referred as Chinese pizza. It combines Chineses and French styles foods. It is flat and bake and fry simultaneously rather than simply being fry like its Chinese counterpart.

Taken from wikipedia

Places to go in CAMBODIA

 

 

 

 

Doing business in CAMBODIA

In 2011 Cambodia’s per capita income in PPP is $2,470 and $1,040 in nominal per capita. Cambodia’s per capita income is rapidly increasing but is low compared to other countries in the region. Most rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Rice, fish, timber, garments and rubber are Cambodia’s major exports. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines.[77] These varieties had been collected in the 1960s.

Based on the Economist, IMF: Annual average GDP growth for the period 2001–2010 was 7.7% making it one of the world’s top ten countries with the highest annual average GDP growth. Tourism was Cambodia’s fastest growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219,000 in 1997 to over 2 million in 2007. In 2004, inflation was at 1.7% and exports at $1.6 billion US$.

Chinais Cambodia’s biggest source of foreign direct investment. China planned to spend $8 billion in 360 projects in the first seven months of 2011. It is also the largest source of foreign aid, providing about $600 million in 2007 and $260 million in 2008.

The National Bank of Cambodia is the central bank of the kingdom and provides regulatory oversight to the country’s banking sector and is responsible in part for increasing the foreign direct investment in the country. Between 2010 and 2012 the number of regulated banks and micro-finance institutions increased from 31 covered entities to over 70 individual institutions underlining the growth within the Cambodian banking and finance sector.

In 2012 Credit Bureau Cambodia was established with direct regulatory oversight by the National Bank of Cambodia.[78] The Credit Bureau further increases the transparency and stability within the Cambodian Banking Sector as all banks and micro-finance companies are now required by law to report accurate facts and figures relating to loan performance in the country.

One of the largest challenges facing Cambodia is still the fact that the older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid, although there has been significant aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004,[79] while the Asian Development Bank alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance.[80]

Tourism

The tourism industry is the country’s second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry.[56] Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations.[81] Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south west which has several popular beach resorts and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station. Tourism has increased steadily each year in the relatively stable period since the 1993 UNTAC elections; in 1993 there were 118,183 international tourists, and in 2009 there were 2,161,577 international tourists.[82]

Taken from wikipedia

CAMBODIA: useful links

http://www.cambodia.org/

http://www.tourismcambodia.org/

http://www.pmtair.com/www/index.php

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/1243892.stm

 

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Norwegian Star Cruise

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Madelines Recipe

Larousse himself discounts the “attribution of the cake to Madeline Paumier, Cordon-bleu cook to a rich burger of Commercy,” and finds it more likely that the chef is anonymous, and the cakes “originated in Commercy–a town in Lorraine, which was then a duchy under the rule of Stanislaw Leszczynski.  It is said that during a visit to the castle in 1755, the duke was very taken with a cake made by a peasant girl named Madeline.”

According to Larousse, Madelines became in-fashion at the court of Louis XV as his wife, Marie, was the daughter of Stanislaw Leszczynski.

Due to the age of the recipe, it seems doubtful that a concensus will ever be found as to the origins of Madelines–some still even attribute the cake to Avice–Tallyrand’s chef–a much later event in history.

I will include both recipes from Larousse’s Gastronomique–It turns out that my family preferred the Pain de Genes in flavor, but were happy to snack on Madelines made with a teaspoon of rum–an addition that made them poofier and more cake-like.

Also note that since I like Madelines in the morning with my coffee, I tend to make the mix the day before and then refrigerate it overnight in a tupperware–though they are sometimes a little more dense, I get the hot cake without having to use my sleepy morning brain to do much.

Classic Madelines: (adjusted from Larousse’s Gastronomique pg 642)

Melt 100grams/ 4oz/ 1/2 c butter to softness and set aside

Butter Madeline trays and heat oven to 180 C or 350 Degrees Farenheight, ready a wire cooling rack on the side ***

Juice 1/2 lemon, mix with a pinch of salt, 125grams/ 4 1/2oz/ scant 2/3 c caster/superfine sugar, add 3 large eggs and one extra yolk and mix with a wooden spatula.

Sprinkle in 125grams/ 4 1/2 oz / scant 1 1/4 c sifted flour and then add the butter that you set aside earlier.

To add air, I did put one batch with an electric mixer on medium high and though it balled up, it seemed to put some air into the mix.

***If you add the butter first, the mix will seem to curdle–just keep mixing till it smoothes out somewhat

Spoon out enough batter to fill each shell halfway (I used a mini melon baller and the medium sized Madeline aspic molds)

Bake 10 minutes in Convection oven or until the tops are golden with brown around the edges

Dump out onto wire rack to cool

Sprinkle with powder sugar and eat!

Pain de Genes (from Larousse’s Gastronomique p 499)

Heat oven to 180 C or 350 F

Butter pan or Madeline molds (if using a cake pan, put wax paper or parchment paper in bottom of pan) and ready a wire cooling rack

Bring 125 grams/ 4 1/2 oz/ generous 1/2 c butter to room temperature–work it into a paste in a Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle or with a firm wooden implement and add 150 grams/ 5oz/ 2/3 c caster/superfine sugar.  Beat mix until it turns white, then blend in 100grams/ 4oz/ 1 c ground almond flour.  Gradually add 3 eggs one by one, a pinch of salt, 40 grams/ 1 1/2oz/ 1/3 c cornstarch, 1 tbs liquor like Curacao or Pure Vanilla Extract.

Bake around 7 minutes in a convection oven or until the edges look crispy and a little brown, then turn out immediately onto the wire cooling rack.

I hope that this post hasn’t been too overly wordy–perhaps I have gone a little overboard on the topic of such a simple pleasurable cake–yet I am hoping that you will try out one of the recipes, brew a nice cup of tea or coffee, put a few on a plate and sit somewhere sunny while you take a moment to relax and enjoy!

I find it is the simple flavors in life that elicit the most reaction from an eater. Nostalgia ensues from the farthest reaches of our palate when stimulated by familiar and comforting scents and flavors.  Marcel Proust is famous for his praise of Madelines in his book In Search of Lost Time:

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. … Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? … And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.
—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
Some sources, including the New Oxford American Dictionary, say madeleines may have been named for a 19th century pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier, but other sources have it that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanisław Leszczyński, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her. The Larousse Gastronomique offers two conflicting versions of the history of the madeleine.
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2038: The Great Pyramid Timeline Prophecy

Edgar Cayce 2038: The Great Pyramid Timeline Prophecy.

The Great Pyramid in Egypt is the only surviving member of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” The other six wonders were the Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus, and the Lighthouse at Alexandria.

Even in the modern world of today, the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau is a marvel of design and engineering. Sir Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), an English archaeologist known as the “father of modern Egyptology” wrote: “The pavement, lower casing and entrance passage are exquisitely wrought; in fact, the means employed for placing and cementing the blocks of soft limestone, weighing a dozen or twenty tons each, with such hair-like joints, are almost inconceivable at present; and the accuracy of the leveling is marvelous. How in the casing of the Great Pyramid, they could fill with cement a vertical joint about 5 feet by 7 feet in area, and only an average one-fiftieth (1/50) part of an inch thick is a mystery. Yet this was the usual work over 13 acres of surface, with tens of thousands of casing stones, none less than a ton in weight.” (30, p. 213) W. Marsham Adams (1838-death date unknown), a British Egyptologist, fellow of Oxford’s New College, wrote: “It is absolutely unique. No other building, it may be safely averred, contains any structure bearing the least resemblance to the upper chambers.”(1, p. 34) Architect James Fergusson (1808-1886), the 1871 recipient of the gold medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, wrote in his book The History of Architecture (published in 1855) that the Great Pyramid is “the most perfect and gigantic specimen of masonry that the world has yet seen. No one can possibly examine the interior of the Great Pyramid without being struck with astonishment at the wonderful mechanical skill displayed in its construction. The immense blocks of granite brought from Syene [Aswan, in southern Egypt], a distance of 500 miles, polished like glass, are so fitted that the joints can scarcely be detected.

Nothing can be more wonderful than the extraordinary amount of knowledge displayed in the construction of the discharging chambers over the roof of the principal apartment, in the alignment of the sloping galleries, in the provision of the ventilating shafts, and in all the wonderful contrivances of the structure. Nothing more perfect, mechanically, has ever been erected since that time.” (18, p. 85)

Features of the Great Pyramid

There is no way to give all of the amazing features, mathematical wonders, and marvelous engineering feats of this pyramid without becoming overwhelmed. And there are plenty of books and Web sites that do this for you. But some of the more mysterious features should be noted here for they lend greater credence to the pyramid prophecy. First among the mind-stretching facts about this wonder is the extraordinary degree of precision found throughout it. The architects and builders were more than the theory of evolution would tolerate, given that everything old is primitive and we today are the apex of evolution. How could ancient primitives conceive of such a structure and then execute the building of it within tolerances that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate today? We have already read the comments and the astonishment of some the experts who studied the edifice in the 1800s. Here are some of the most perplexing and mysterious features:

• The Great Pyramid is positioned so exactly due north that it is more accurate than the modern attempt at the Paris Observatory, which is within 6 minutes of a degree of exact north. The ancient Great Pyramid is within 3 minutes of exact north and this after roughly four thousand years of settling (subsidence) and earthquakes! This is an astonishing achievement by ancient builders. It also appears to be positioned in alignment with specific stars above it! In an early announcement of this fact by Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert in their popular book The Orion Mystery, it was proposed to be in alignment with the star Alnitak in the Belt of Orion, and the other two Giza Plateau pyramids (Khafre and Menkaure) aligning with the other two stars in the Belt (Alnilam and Mintaka). Even the offset star Mintaka matched the offset Menkaure pyramid. (Note that two of the three pyramids are inline with one another, but the third is slightly off-line. See illustration 1.) But after further investigation, it was found that this alignment was more of a mirror image, not a directly overhead match. Then another researcher, Andrew Collins in his book The Cygnus Mystery, revealed that many of the structures on the Giza Plateau, including the Great Pyramid, aligned precisely with Cygnus, the Swan Constellation. (See illustration 2.) How could these ancient people align their work with stars? And why would they attempt such a difficult feat?

• We have already read a bit about the precision with which the stones were cut and put together, but the cement used to hold these stones in place is unknown to scientifically oriented researchers. Even when our modern labs discovered the elements of the chemical composition of the cement, they were unable to duplicate it! How is this possible? From where did the ancient ones get this cement? How did they produce it, given their primitive conditions in comparison to ours? But wait, there’s more! In 1986 a French research team found sand in a hidden chamber behind the wall of the passageway to the Queen’s Chamber, and when they examined the sand, it was found not to be indigenous to Giza! From where did the ancient ones get this sand? And why would they hide it in a secret chamber? Are they trying to convey some strange message to us? Aren’t we the high point of evolution and science? These two discoveries add to the mystery and wonder of the Great Pyramid and the intentions of its ancient designers and builders.

• The red granite coffin (or sarcophagus) in the King’s Chamber is too large to fit through the entrance to this chamber! Did these builders actually build this magnificent chamber around the coffin? If so, why? What purpose could justify adding so much difficulty to building the chamber? One might consider that they wanted to prevent the sarcophagus from ever being taken out of that chamber—but what a feat of engineering and manpower to build the massive chamber around the coffin. And what were they doing with this coffin that never contained a mummy and did not require a lid?

• There is growing evidence that the ancient Egyptians could not build this pyramid. It’s true! Attempts have been made to prove that the pyramid could be constructed using known ancient Egyptian tools and methods. Egyptologist Dr. Mark Lehner made an attempt with a large group of people, but when the structure that he and his team built reached twenty feet high (six meters), they had to use a truck with a winch to get even the downsized stone blocks out of the quarry. They only attempted to cut and stack small blocks, so keep in mind that many of the stones in the Great Pyramid weigh from 2.5 to 70 tons and had to be hoisted to heights over four hundred feet! In the late seventies a Japanese team, funded by auto manufacturer Nissan, made another attempt to create a scaled-down model of the pyramid 59 feet high (18 meters) using the same primitive ancient Egyptian tools archaeologists assume were used, such as chisels and hammers. The highly skilled and technically savvy Japanese team could not cut the Aswan granite. They ended up using jackhammers. They were also unable to move the stones and ended up using bulldozers, a truck, and even a helicopter to get the blocks stacked in a pile that remotely resembled a pyramid. Again, like Dr. Lehner and his team, the Japanese used only small blocks, nothing close to the size and weight of those in the Great Pyramid. This situation is perplexing, leading us to no answers as to how this pyramid was built by these people. But even today we may not be able to build a structure like this because we have only two cranes on the planet that could possibly lift some of the stones in the pyramid to the heights necessary to place them on the levels they are found in that structure. Clearly we are dealing with a people and a monument that is more than it appears to be.

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CITIZEN Facebook

Could Facebook be a factor in the next election?
Studies in America suggest that the social networking site has the tools to influence voter turnout.

John Naughton Sunday 4, january 2015

There are two things about 2015 of which one can be reasonably certain: there will be a general election in May and it’s unlikely to produce an overall majority for either of the two big parties. In those circumstances, small, localised events might have big implications: a Ukip candidate shoots his mouth off about, er, non-white people; a Labour candidate turns out to have an embarrassing past; a Tory garagiste cannot differentiate between sexual harassment and bum pinching. The kind of stuff, in other words, that could affect the outcome in a finely balanced constituency.

Which brings us to social media and the question of whether the 2015 general election could be the first one in which the outcome is affected by what goes on there. Could Facebook, for example, be a factor in determining the outcome of some local constituency battles?

Far-fetched? Maybe. But the question is worth asking because in the 2010 US congressional elections, Facebook conducted an interesting experiment in social engineering, which made some of us sit up. The company collaborated with some political scientists to see if a social network could persuade apathetic American voters to get off their butts and vote. And the answer was yes.

The methodology used was simple enough. Sixty-one million Facebook users were shown an icon containing a link for looking up polling stations, an “I voted” button to click to announce they had voted, and the profile pictures of up to six of their Facebook friends who had indicated they’d already done the same. The icon and button were inserted in the newsfeeds of tens of millions of users, while others were shown either a generic get-out-the-vote exhortation or no message at all. Then the researchers cross-referenced their subjects’ names with the day’s actual voting records from precincts across the country to measure how much the Facebook voting prompt actually increased turnout.

The Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain summarised the findings thus: “Overall, users notified of their friends’ voting were 0.39% more likely to vote than those in the control group, and any resulting decisions to cast a ballot also appeared to ripple to the behaviour of close Facebook friends, even if those people hadn’t received the original message. That small increase in turnout rates amounted to a lot of new votes. The researchers concluded that their Facebook graphic directly mobilised 60,000 voters, and, thanks to the ripple effect, ultimately caused an additional 340,000 votes to be cast that day. As they point out, [in 2000] George W Bush won Florida, and thus the presidency, by 537 votes – fewer than 0.01% of the votes cast in that state.”
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In itself, the experiment was innocuous: after all, in a democracy encouraging people to vote can only be a good thing. But Facebook is a big data company and what such companies do is experiment on their users all the time. Most Facebook users probably have no idea that what appears on their newsfeeds is determined by algorithms, which are constantly making guesses about what they might want to see – and determining what Facebook wants them to see.

So far, so unremarkable: that’s the manipulative reality of social networking services. What’s more interesting is that some of these ongoing user “experiments” may have emotional or political dimensions. In one such study, for example, an experiment involving 660,000 Facebook users showed that “emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness”. It provided “experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient) and in the complete absence of non-verbal cues”.

So Facebook can influence the emotions of its users. Could it also influence their interest in politics? Micah L Sifry, the co-founder of Personal Democracy Media, reports that in the months leading up to election day in 2012, Facebook made a change to the newsfeeds of 1.9 million users in order to see whether it could influence those users to become more interested in political activity: it did this by increasing the number of hard news items that appeared at the top of a user’s newsfeed. The results were a “statistically significant” increase in the amount of attention users paid to government-related news.

None of this amounts to any kind of smoking gun. But, given that social media clearly influence behaviour in many other areas of life, it seems implausible to imagine that when it comes to politics, they don’t have any impact. Which means they now wield power of an unaccountable kind. In an election period, we fiercely regulate broadcasters’ coverage of the campaign to ensure “balance” and “fairness”. Should we now do the same for Facebook? More importantly, could we?

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Gold Standard vs. Fiat money

The Nixon Shock: 1971

“Inauguration Day was cloudy, grim,” wrote Arthur Burns in his diary on Jan. 20, 1969. As he watched President-elect Richard Nixon, Burns—an immigrant from Galicia, the son of a housepainter who had risen to become the foremost expert on U.S. economic cycles and chief economist to Dwight Eisenhower—saw a man with “a look of exaltation about him.” It was not a feeling Burns shared. “I would have felt better if his head were bowed and his body trembled some.”

Nixon was inheriting an overheated Economy—inflation was already a concern. Burns, 64, would be joining the Administration as a uniquely trusted adviser. In 1960, when then Vice-President Nixon was seeking the White House, Burns had warned him that if the Federal Reserve tightened interest rates, it could damage Nixon’s chances. It had played out just so: The Fed tightened, the Economy suffered a recession, and Nixon lost to John F. Kennedy. Nixon never forgot the power of the Fed, and he remembered Burns as an Economist with political savvy.

The Nixon Shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971, the most significant of which was the unilateral cancellation of the direct convertibility of the United States Dollar to Gold.

THE GOLD STANDARD

The Gold Standard as “a commitment by participating countries to fix the prices of their domestic currencies in terms of a specified amount of Gold. National money and other forms of money (bank deposits and notes) were freely converted into Gold at the fixed price.” A county under the gold standard would set a price for Gold , say $100 an ounce and would buy and sell gold at that price. This effectively sets a value for the currency; in our fictional example $1 would be worth 1/100th of an ounce of Gold. Other precious metals could be used to set a monetary standard; silver standards were common in the 1800s. A combination of the Gold and Silver standard is known as bimetallism.

On the “Gold” Standard, you cannot print Gold. Every Dollar, Yen, Euro would be backed by Sold or Silver. The reason that public officials do not want a gold standard is because they cannot print precious metals. Gold and silver are real money. The money used by ever country is not a money, they are currencies backed by nothing but debt.

 

What Do We Use Today?

Almost every country, including the United States, is on a System of Fiat Money (Commodity money is based on a good, often a precious metal such as Gold) , which the glossary defines as “money that is intrinsically useless ( its only paper ); is used only as a medium of exchange”. We saw in the article ” Why Does Money Have Value ” that the value of money is set by the Supply and Demand LAW for money and the Supply and Demand for other goods and services in the economy. The prices for those goods and services, including Gold and Silver, are allowed to fluctuate based on market forces.

For the first time in human history, the entire world is on a Fiat Monetary System. Fiat Money is money that is backed by debt and the promise to repay. In other words, the intrinsic value of the bill (any denomination) is zero. You can take any bill out of your pocket and look at the top: It reads, “Federal Reserve Note”. The Federal Reserve is not a part of the U.S.Government and has Zero reserves. The Federal Reserve is in fact a private bank. When you hear that the Fed is using “Quantitative Easing” to prop up the economy. They are printing paper money.

FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE : This Note Is Legal for All Debts Public and Private.

 

Gold and Silver have been used as money for the past 3000 years. It is light, spongable, and rare. It will not tarnish nor break down. Go out and start investing in Gold and Silver to protect your wealth.

See This links:

http://www.positivemoney.org/2012/03/fiat-money-or-gold-standard/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7GJb0kufQI

 

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Stop TPP!!

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)?The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement.
The main problems are two-fold:(1) IP chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate.(2) Lack of transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.The twelve nations currently negotiating the TPP are the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam. The TPP contains a chapter on intellectual property covering copyright, trademarks, patents and perhaps, geographical indications. Since the draft text of the agreement has never been offically released to the public, we know from leaked documents, such as the February 2011 draft US TPP IP Rights Chapter [PDF], that US negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The TPP Will Rewrite Global Rules on Intellectual Property Enforcement

All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement. In the US, this is likely to further entrench controversial aspects of US copyright law (such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA]) and restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector. The recently leaked US-proposed IP chapter also includes provisions that appear to go beyond current US law.

The leaked US IP chapter includes many detailed requirements that are more restrictive than current international standards, and would require significant changes to other countries’ copyright laws. These include obligations for countries to:

  • Place Greater Liability on Internet Intermediaries: The TPP would force the adoption of the US DMCA Internet intermediaries copyright safe harbor regime in its entirety. For example, this would require Chile to rewrite its forward-looking year 2010 copyright law that currently establishes a judicial notice-and-takedown regime, which provides greater protection to Internet users’ expression and privacy than the DMCA.
  • Regulate Temporary Copies: Treat temporary reproductions of copyrighted works without copyright holders’ authorization as copyright infringement. The language reveals a profound disconnect with the reality of the modern computer, as all routine computer functions rely upon the regular creation of temporary copies of programs and files. As drafted, the related provision creates chilling effects not just on how we behave online, but also on the basic ability of people and companies to use and create on the Web.
  • Expand Copyright Terms: Create copyright terms well beyond the internationally agreed period in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The TPP could extend copyright term protections from life of the author + 50 years, to Life + 70 years for works created by individuals, and either 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation for corporate owned works (such as Mickey Mouse).
  • Enact a “Three-Step Test” Language That Puts Restrictions on Fair Use: The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is putting fair use at risk with restrictive language in the TPP’s IP chapter. US and Australia have proposed very restrictive text, while other countries such as Chile, New Zealand, and Malaysia, have proposed more flexible, user-friendly terms.
  • Escalate Protections for Digital Locks: It will compel signatory nations to enact laws banning circumvention of digital locks (technological protection measures or TPMs) [PDF] that mirror the DMCA and treat violation of the TPM provisions as a separate offense even when no copyright infringement is involved. This would require countries like New Zealand to completely rewrite its innovative 2008 copyright law, as well as override Australia’s carefully-crafted 2007 TPM regime exclusions for region-coding on movies on DVDs, videogames, and players, and for embedded software in devices that restrict access to goods and services for the device—a thoughtful effort by Australian policy makers to avoid the pitfalls experienced with the US digital locks provisions. In the US, business competitors have used the DMCA to try to block printer cartridge refill services, competing garage door openers, and to lock mobile phones to particular network providers.
  • Ban Parallel Importation: Ban parallel importation of genuine goods acquired from other countries without the authorization of copyright owners.
  • Adopt Criminal Sanctions: Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation, based on the provisions of the 1997 US No Electronic Theft Act.

In short, countries would have to abandon any efforts to learn from the mistakes of the US and its experience with the DMCA over the last 12 years, and adopt many of the most controversial aspects of US copyright law in their entirety. At the same time, the US IP chapter does not export the limitations and exceptions in the US copyright regime like fair use, which have enabled freedom of expression and technological innovation to flourish in the US. It includes only a placeholder for exceptions and limitations. This raises serious concerns about other countries’ sovereignty and the ability of national governments to set laws and policies to meet their domestic priorities.

Non-Transparent and On The Fast Track

Despite the broad scope and far-reaching implications of the TPP, negotiations for the agreement have taken place behind closed doors and outside of the checks and balances that operate at traditional multilateral treaty-making organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.

Like ACTA, the TPP is being negotiated rapidly with little transparency. During the TPP negotiation round in Chile in February 2011, negotiators received strong messages from prominent civil society groups demanding an end to the secrecy that has shielded TPP negotiations from the scrutiny of national lawmakers and the public. Letters addressed to government representatives in Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and the US emphasized that both the process and effect of the proposed TPP agreement is deeply undemocratic. TPP negotiators apparently discussed the requests for greater public disclosure during the February 2011 negotiations, but took no action.

Why You Should Care

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities. In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens.

The US Trade Rep is pursuing a TPP agreement that will require signatory counties to adopt heightened copyright protection that advances the agenda of the US entertainment and pharmaceutical industries agendas, but omits the flexibilities and exceptions that protect Internet users and technology innovators.

The TPP will affect countries beyond the 11 that are currently involved in negotiations. Like ACTA, the TPP Agreement is a plurilateral agreement that will be used to create new heightened global IP enforcement norms. Countries that are not parties to the negotiation will likely be asked to accede to the TPP as a condition of bilateral trade agreements with the US and other TPP members, or evaluated against the TPP’s copyright enforcement standards in the annual Special 301 process administered by the US Trade Rep.

Here’s what you can do:

Are you in the United States?

Tell U.S. lawmakers to stand up for your digital rights and preserve our constitutional checks and balances in government. Demand your state representatives oppose any initiative to enact Fast Track (aka Trade Promotion Authority), which hands their own constitutional authority to debate and modify trade law.

Join EFF and more than 30,000 people in sending a message to Congress members to demand an end to these secret backdoor negotiations. Tell the White House to uphold openness and transparency in TPP negotiations.

For close analysis of the TPP and its impacts on digital rights, visit Knowledge Ecology International’s TPP resource page.

For more information on other aspects of the TPP, visit Public Citizen’s resource page.

 

Local actions around the world

  • Si estas en Chile, unete a la campaña promovida por la ONG Derechos Digitales y di NO al TPP! ( Alianza Pacífico )
  • Si estas en Peru, contacta lo más pronto posible a los bloggeros que se oponen al TPP y a las organizaciones que reclaman transparencia!
  • 日本に住んでいる方には、Stop TPP!! ウェブページでご案内できますし、Stop TPPのT−シャツを買う事もできます。日本語でのTPPアップデートはツイッターを利用して下さい。
In January 1 we celebrate the Public Domain Day
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