‘You don’t find orchids; they find you’: Q&A with botanist Edicson Parra

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Maria Salazar Edicson Parra has not only discovered more than 20 new species of orchids in his home country of Colombia, but has also used his expertise in orchid diversity to help halt development, road and mining projects that would have otherwise threatened their forest habitats.But studying orchids can be a dangerous challenge in Colombia, due to drug traffickers and threats to environmentalists in the country.Parra says orchids could be “one of the most sensitive of all Earth’s taxa.” Orchids are particularly vulnerable and fragile to deforestation, including edge effects, making protecting large tracts of forests key to their survival. When a mining company came to exploit an old-growth cloud forest near Edicson Parra’s hometown of Fusagasuga in Colombia, he decided to take action. He rallied as many relatives and friends as he could and joined a street protest against the looming project.Photos of Parra and his family waving placards and sporting identical Colombian soccer jerseys ran in local newspapers. But Parra had one superpower nobody else at the protest possessed: he had spent 10 years learning how to identify orchids.On entering the tract of forest slated for demolition, Parra, who recently received his Ph.D. in conservation science from Imperial College London, did what any biologist worth their salt would do: he carried out a biological survey. Rooting through mossy treetops and rotten logs, Parra found 24 species of orchids living in the cloud forest. Three were endemic to Colombia. One of these, Epidendrum fusagasugüense, Parra had discovered and named after his hometown only the year before.He provided the information from his botanical survey to a legal team fighting the mining. A court eventually banned development in the ecosystem. A central factor in the ruling was the recognition of the forest as an orchid hotspot, along with the fact that this forest provides freshwater to over 1,000 households.But this wasn’t the first time Parra had used his orchid knowhow in defense of Colombia’s cloud forests. Already once before, his botanical surveys helped divert a road set to cut through a unique forest reserve in the Central Cordillera. And when a company planned to build a gated community of luxury chalets in a forest that Parra calls “the orchid Garden of Eden” – home to 126 orchid species, including 15 completely new to science — his targeted surveys once again came to the rescue.Mongabay caught up with Parra to chat about using orchids to save forests, the realities of working as a biologist in war-torn and post-conflict Colombia, and the threats and conservation opportunities for Colombia’s most enigmatic plant family.Edicson Parra searches for understory and canopy orchids in the cloud forests of the Colombian Andes. Images by Gianluca Cerullo.Mongabay: Where did your passion for orchids come from? Edicson Parra: My mum was into her flowers. When I was young, we used to hike up into the hills and look for orchids. I literally fell in love. I can’t think of another explanation apart from love. Whenever I get the chance to go into the forest now, I always bring that passion with me. I try to keep the link between being a scientist and a human. There’s this perception of scientists as heartless. But how can you be called heartless when you regularly say out loud that you are in love with a family of plants? It helps that orchids are so emblematic in Colombia and that we really are the global epicenter for orchid diversity — for sure, that keeps things interesting!Why are there so many orchid species in Colombia and do you think there are many more to still be discovered? My country has more than 4,000 species of orchids. Even though orchids are the most diverse plant family in the entire world, that’s still a hefty chunk of Earth’s orchids! The story of why Colombia is the most orchid-rich country on the globe is closely linked to the uplift of the Andes. As these mountains rose, it provided a huge altitudinal and spatial gradient, with lots of varied microhabitats that epiphytes [plants that grow on other plants], including orchids, were able to exploit. We also have this land gradient between the Amazon and the Andes in southwest Colombia which is incredibly diverse.The second reason for Colombia’s staggering orchid diversity lies in the very high diversification rate of some of its smaller orchids, especially the subtribe of orchids known as the Pleurothallidinae. These essentially settled in one place and then exploded in diversity like an orchid atomic bomb!There are definitely many more species to be discovered in Colombia. Previously conflicts with guerrillas made it difficult to access some areas for surveys, but in peacetime lots of new expeditions are on the hunt for new species. There’s huge potential for exciting discoveries, especially in the Chocó biogeographic region in the west of the country, which is pretty well preserved.Colombia is the most orchid-rich country in the world, with more than 4,000 species. Images by Edicson Parra.How do orchids respond to forest degradation? So far there has actually not been much research into how orchids respond to habitat degradation, but from what we do know, things look very worrying indeed. When you chop down or fragment a forest it creates these new edges that my research has shown can have devastating impacts on orchids.Working in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, I found that there are some drought-resilient orchid species that can survive in farms or colonize the drier edges of forests. But this is only a tiny fraction of hardy orchids. Most species, including those that are the most critical in providing pollen and other rewards to pollinators, are extremely sensitive and simply cannot survive in forest edges.Because orchid seeds don’t have a protective tissue, to grow, their seeds have to land in a sort of Goldilocks zone, where conditions such as moisture and mycorrhizal associations are just right. But these Goldilocks zones vanish as humans homogenize forests and as edge effects fritter away core forest area.In my research, I found that 85 percent of orchids need to be half a kilometer [0.3 miles], or even more, away from the forest edge to have the right sort of habitat to survive. That’s huge! To put that in perspective, that means that less than one-fifth of habitat remaining in the entire Brazilian Atlantic Forest biome, which has already been heavily fragmented and reduced by farming, could actually conceivably support forest-specialist orchids into the future. Orchids could very well be one of the most sensitive of all Earth’s taxa.You’ve discovered more than 20 species of orchid. Which were the most meaningful to you?You never forget your first love, and it’s like that with my first orchid discovery: Lepanthes foreroi, named after my botany professor at university. I remember working in Yotoco reserve with my friend when I stumbled across it. And then, during my master’s, I found a few species. The one I named after my son, Hapalorchis dominicii, is of course special to me. And then a few species, Epidendrum fusugasugüensis and Lepanthes dapäensis, came at a really good time for the conservation of community forests. Ah, it’s so hard to pick one!The one I’ve named after my partner is still in press, waiting to be published, so that will be a nice if it comes through!People in my field, especially non-academics, say that you don’t find orchids. Spend enough time in the forest, and it’s the orchids that find you. Like a human pollinator, you are pulled in by their fragrance and the complex, fragile reproductive systems that they have evolved. I have to admit that I do put some stock in that. Whenever I go in the forest, I just feel this lure toward orchids. It’s magnetic! Probably something is wrong with my brain.Parra’s discovery of Epidendrum fusagasugüense came at a very important time for the conservation of a community cloud forest imperilled by a looming mining project. Image by Edicson Parra.Orchids are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on other plants. This makes them very vulnerable to habitat change, as they require ideal conditions to survive. Images by Edicson Parra.What were some of the more harrowing experiences of working as a biologist in Colombia during the war? In 2o1o, I was working alone in Garrapatas, near the Páramo las Hermosas. This area was historically under the control of drug-trafficking groups. Once, I was stopped at a territorial checkpoint, stripped of my clothes and held at gunpoint for several hours. I was only an undergrad at the time and I had barely enough money even for transport, let alone to pay any bribes. But I’d committed the mistake of borrowing a GPS from my university. This raised a lot suspicion, as the guys thought I had been sent by the military to spy on their territory. There was a lot of shouting and arguing. In the end I think they got bored of my wimping and let me go. But that was scary.Another time I was carrying out orchid surveys in cloud forests near the Chalet de la Muerte. This place was the scene of a horrible atrocity, where a cartel wanting control over the area had slaughtered many community leaders. While I was exploring my forest plot sites, I collapsed through the forest floor and into a hole. Initially I thought I had fallen into an ancient indigenous tomb and was really excited. But I quickly realized I was walking on bones and that this was in fact the scene of a mass slaughter and grave. That still makes me really sad today because I know that the people murdered were innocents who only wanted to live their lives in peace.The most danger I have been in myself though was nothing to do with the conflict. I was 27 meters [89 feet] up a tree looking for canopy epiphytes and my rope was caught in a bromeliad at the fork of a branch. I went to untangle the rope and got bitten by a very venomous pit viper. It was probably hunting for frogs around the bromeliad. So I did what any macho man would do in that situation: I screamed out, cried a lot and shouted for help! I was silly enough to be in the forest on my own, so it was a long and dizzy way back down the tree, to camp, and then on to the hospital to get anti-venom. When I next went back to the field, I made sure that I had an assistant!Edicson Parra returns from a day hunting for orchids in mountaintop cloud forests. Image by Gianluca Cerullo.Why was the forest near your hometown under threat and how did you help to ensure its conservation? In short, this cloud forest reserve, which provides water to over 1,000 Colombian households and farmlands, was imperilled by a mining development project. After community members attended a workshop run by the mining company, they felt they had been unfairly tricked into accepting the project by its silver-tongued representatives. This fomented distrust. When a fire suspiciously broke out in the forest, locals fought to douse the flames and save some of the resident wildlife. This was when our community really came together and were galvanized to attempt to halt the mining through peaceful protest.I was having drinks with other protesters and I expressed my intention to help out in any way that I could. And the only thing I know how to do is sample orchids. Apart from that I’m pretty useless. So I went into the forest, carried out my surveys and found these rare orchids — one of which had never been recorded before in the Central Cordillera. It was pretty exciting for the community who weren’t aware how diverse the orchids in the forest were.I also did something else. Here in Colombia, whenever a company wants to carry out a small- or large-scale project, they have to hand in a report that quantifies which species are present in the area. But when I looked in public archives at the report submitted by the mining company, I found that it a was plagiarized copy of a completely different assessment carried out elsewhere. This report said that there were no orchids at all even present in the forest — which was in complete contradiction to my findings.Orchids are protected in Colombia by law. So if a company wants develop in an orchid area, they have to spend money on restoration or mitigation. And the last thing a mining company wants to do, at least from my own experience, is spend money on biodiversity.But if you lie in a public document, it means you are lying to the government and the state. Which is a crime. So I submitted my findings as documents in the trial. The judge validated my report, and thanks to that report — and especially to the hard work of the community, without whom the whole process wouldn’t have even been possible — the company was prevented from mining in the area.We celebrated with lots of beer and Tejo! [Tejo is a Colombian sport that involves throwing metal pucks at a clay target full of balls of gunpowder, which explode on impact.]After a suspicious fire broke out in community-owned cloud forest slated for mining, community members tried to rescue resident animals and douse the flames. This sloth died from its wounds days after. Images by Edicson Parra.Are there any other examples of how you have used your knowledge of orchids to save forests? I once carried out a knowledge-exchange project with my botanist friend Oscar Perez in a community reserve in Dapa, near Cali. It was in this 10-hectare [25-acre] forest fragment. We found around 126 species in this one fragment. It’s the most orchid-rich forest I’ve ever been in, like some kind of orchid Garden of Eden. Around 15 of the species we found were completely new to science!But that reserve was in the eyes of a construction developer. Dapa is in this really privileged spot that overlooks all of Cali, so this construction project wanted to build luxury chalets there. The community was against that. So they organized themselves and they were trying to find evidence that the forest had value — not just biological value, but also cultural value.Using our surveys in the fragment, as well as of orchids in the surrounding forests, the community was able to demonstrate the high biological value of the area. But we’d also trained some kids and community leaders on how to spot and cultivate orchids in the forest. And we’d made an orchid trail through the ecosystem so that community members could make a bit of money through ecotourism, from people coming from Cali to see orchids in the wild. This was further evidence that the fragment had cultural value to the community too.With proof of its importance, the community was able to apply pressure to halt construction in the fragment. It was a real group effort that in the end led to the local government negotiating with the project manager to even bring the fragment into a corridor of small protected forest reserves. That was a great achievement.I’ve also been involved in a locally organized and community-driven project to divert a road from being expanded through the only official forest reserve on the flank of the Valle del Cauca Cordillera. Again, with orchid surveys, and in close concert with local communities and the National University of Colombia, we were able to force the road developer to build tens of kilometers of extra road so that they circumvented cutting through this monkey-filled and orchid-bursting cloud forest.Is it dangerous for environmental activists to challenge extractive industries in Colombia? Since 2018, 317 social leaders, including environmental activists, have been killed in Colombia, with a further 4,000 considered to be under threat. The impact of this is huge, not just because of the life and expertise lost with each leader, but because of how the fear surrounding these murders stifles the emergence of new leaders in remote areas, where they are needed most. We’re tired of this sort of thing. We’ve already had 60 years of war.It’s hard to link these deaths to extractive industries directly. A lot of it is over territorial conflict, with splinter paramilitary and criminal groups using brutal tactics to take over previously FARC-dominated areas left in the post-conflict power vacuum.Currently, one of the frontiers for environmental activism in Colombia is related to mineral extraction in our high-altitude flagship páramo ecosystems. These strange areas studded with frailejon [a sunflower-like shrub] are like natural sponges that provide water to literally millions of people. But with strong political support, they are being carved up into gold and rare mineral concessions at the behest of transnational corporations. Just in the past days we’ve seen tens of thousands of people in Bucaramanga rise up to protest against the company Minesa, which is planning to mine for gold near the Santurban páramo.Colombia’s páramo ecosystems capture, regulate and provide water for millions of people, but are threatened by mining and poor government protection. Image by Gianluca Cerullo.What are some of the key threats that orchids face in Colombia? The conversion of land and expansion of the agricultural frontier is the main threat because of the high sensitivity of orchids. Harvesting and collection of orchids for the illegal trade is probably a big threat also, but there is very little reliable information on the magnitude or extent of this currently. Historically, the orchid trade was likely much higher than today. I’ve been told stories by local people in the Eastern Cordillera who used to see entire trucks filled with orchids drive past their houses several times a week 25 years ago.Climate change is set to hit high-altitude cloud forests especially hard, have you seen this impact of this already and are you concerned for orchids in a warmer world? What worries me most of all about climate change is how it’s going to worsen the already considerable problems caused by habitat degradation. Already, our forest fragments and edges have drier exteriors that don’t hold moisture well and have more intense light exposure. Water is such an important factor for the survival of orchids, and looking at how so many orchid species just go extinct at forests’ dry edges, what’s going to happen when warmer temperatures and changes to water cycles are added to the mix? It’s not just the orchids that are going to suffer, but the pollinators that rely on them.Orchids provide key resources to pollinators including bats, hummingbirds, bees and many other insects. Images by Edicson Parra.Colombia is undergoing huge political change. Do you think this will lead to a shift in how its forests are managed in the future?Yes. We are in a strategic moment. Currently, there is a lot of discussion about Colombia’s national plan and its planes de ordenamiento territorial, which dictates regional environmental policy over 12 years. Similar to what is happening in Brazil, with [President Jair] Bolsanaro strongly favoring expansion into the Amazon, our current government is very much in favor of pursuing unsustainable development, recently opening up new areas to fracking, mining and oil extraction, and also seeking to unravel protective legislation, particularly in páramos. It’s certainly a tense time for Colombia’s environment. We are at a tipping point.Ediscson Parra carries out biodiversity surveys in páramos degraded by fire and grazing. Image by Edicson Parra.If you could give one message to Colombian politicians or members of the public to help in orchid conservation, what would it be?For politicians, let’s look at the scientific evidence of the impacts of habitat destruction on people and the environment, instead of just viewing exploitation as a means for short-term economic gains. For communities, let’s be happy with the amazing diversity of Colombia and try to protect it. That’s our legacy and our heritage as citizens lucky enough to live in one of the most biologically rich countries on Earth!What advice would you give to young conservationists who want to use their research to act?For me, I got lucky. I fell in love with orchids, which are naturally a very charismatic and treasured family of plants. So when I go to talk to people about orchids, they take an immediate interest. From my orchids and experiences, I have learned that you should embrace the knowledge that you have and make it sound fun. That’s how you will get people to listen to you. Understand the scientific literature, and then think of ways to transform it into ways that will be easy to understand for politicians or community leaders. People are not stupid, but conservationists are not always the best at communicating. So be active in trying to engage people about science.center_img Cloud Forests, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Interns, Interviews, Orchids, Plants last_img read more

No impact on Caribbean’s call for reparations – Dr Phillips

first_img…other political and economic ramifications in the pipelineBy Alexis Rodneyguyana Reparations Commission Chairman, Dr Eric Phillips, on Monday said the fallout of Britain’s exit fromGuyana Reparations Chairman, Dr Eric PhillipsOutgoing British PM David Cameronthe European Union will have no impact on Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean in their call for reparatory justice.Guyana has been calling on Britain, and several other EU States to pay compensation for what is said to be the severe impact the Transatlantic Slave Trade has had on the descendants of slaves living in Caribbean.Caribbean countries said European Governments (in addition to being responsible for conducting slavery and genocide) had also imposed 100 years of racial apartheid and suffering on freed slaves and the survivors of that genocide.Slavery ended throughout the Caribbean in the 1800s in the wake of slave revolts, and this left many of the Region’s plantation economies in tatters. Caribbean leaders have said the Region continued to suffer from the effects of slavery today.According to Dr Phillips, Britain is considered a sovereign State when it comes to reparations, noting that its exit from the Union will not affect what the Caribbean countries have been calling for.“We are not addressing the issue as a European Union Issue, so [Barbados] Prime Minister Freundel Stuart wrote letters to several Heads of State. It shouldn’t impact us at all, Britain has its own empire and we are addressing slavery and genocide in Guyana created by the British, not by the EU, so it shouldn’t impact us at all,” he told Guyana Times on Monday.Dr Phillips said, however, that the move would very much have other political and economic ramifications, which, ultimately, may have some long-term impact. “But in terms of us specifically, I doubt,” he affirmed.Dr Phillips also stated that while British Prime Minister David Cameron would leave office, someone else would have to take up the mantle, as the issue is a sovereign one between Guyana and Britain, and to a wider extent, the Caribbean.Caribbean leaders in 2014 had approved a 10-point plan to seek reparations from the former slave-owning states of Europe.These points include those countries providing diplomatic help to persuade countries, such as Ghana and Ethiopia, to offer citizenship to the children whose foreparents were brought to the Caribbean to “return” to Africa; devising a developmental strategy to help improve the lives of poor communities in the Caribbean still devastated by the after-effects of slavery; supporting cultural exchanges between the Caribbean and West Africa to help Caribbean people of African descent rebuild their sense of history and identity; supporting literacy drives designed to improve education levels that are still low in many Caribbean communities; and providing medical assistance to the Region that is struggling with high levels of chronic diseases, such as hypertension and type two diabetes that the Caricom Reparations Commission linked to the fallout from slavery.It has been reported that if the European powers fail to publicly apologise and refuse to come to the negotiating table, the Caricom nations will file a lawsuit against them at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.Governments in the Caribbean have estimated that reparations for the slave trade could cost trillions of dollars and some have floated the idea of debt relief.Some 46,000 British slave-owners, including a distant relative of Cameron’s, were among those compensated at a current-day equivalent of £17 billion (US$36 billion) for “loss of human property” after the country emancipated its slaves in 1833.The issues of slavery and reparations have reverberated in the United States in recent years as well. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a journalist for the Atlantic and recent “genius” grant winner, wrote an influential article in 2014 making the case for reparations.Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles has warned the Region to brace for the impact of the United Kingdom’s break with the European Union, as he predicted that every aspect of life in the Caribbean would be negatively affected.The Brexit vote last Thursday has already caused ripples across the world, with the value of the pound falling and stock markets dipping.Sir Hilary said the Region’s fragile economic recovery was now under threat and Britain’s exit should trigger immediate strategic regional reactions, even before Heads of Government meet in Guyana for their July 4-6 Summit.“The predictable, highly individualistic action poses both a short-term as well as a long-term threat to the performance of Caricom economies,” he said in a statement issued Saturday.“From trade relations to immigration, tourism to financial relations, and cultural engagements to foreign policy, there will be a significant redefinition and reshaping of Caricom-United Kingdom engagements,” Sir Hilary further warned, as he urged Caricom to use the development to deepen and strengthen its internal operations and external relations with the wider world.“It’s a moment for Caricom to come closer together rather than drift apart. The Region should not be seen as mirroring this mentality of cultural and political insularity, but should reaffirm the importance of regionalism within the global context for the future.”last_img read more

Spain’s World Cup 2018 kit: All you need to know

first_imgWorld Cup Spain World Cup 2018 kit: New retro Adidas design, controversy and all you need to know Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 18:00 5/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Spain World Cup 2018 kit Adidas World Cup Spain WTF La Roja won the tournament for the first time just under a decade ago and they will be hoping their new kit can bring some luck Spain head to Russia in the summer of 2018 in search of their second World Cup title and they have released an all new kit for the occasion.Their kit manufacturers Adidas have delved into the past in search of inspiration for their latest line of national team kits and La Roja’s newest offering is a testimony to that.With the tournament around four months away, Goal takes a look at what Julen Lopetegui’s men will be wearing when they take to the field. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp What does Spain’s World Cup 2018 kit look like?World Cup 2018 kit Spain homeIn a dramatic departure from their previous home kit, Spain’s new edition features a geometric pattern which runs vertically down the right side of the front of the jersey.The colours in the pattern are yellow, blue and red, which blends into the base red of the rest of the shirt.While the previous home jersey featured Adidas’ famous three stripes on either side of the torso, they have migrated to the shoulders of the new shirt.The collar, meanwhile, seems to have remained the same, but the Adidas logo has been shifted into the centre, perhaps to highlight the design pattern on the right.How much does the new Spain jersey cost?An authentic Spain home jersey will cost you £99.95 in the UK, while a replica version will be somewhat cheaper at £69.95. Both items can be bought online.In the US, a replica Spain home jersey will set buyers back $90, while an authentic one will cost $130, and they are both available to buy from Adidas’ online store.What is the inspiration?Luis Enrique Spain 1994 World CupAdidas have sought inspiration from iconic kits of the past in their most recent design efforts and in Spain’s case, they have produced a modern take on the kit worn at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.Both the Spanish home and away kits in that tournament featured a prominent design on the right side which was made up of rows of different coloured diamonds. The colours used in the ’94 home kit were yellow, red and navy blue, while the navy blue did not feature in the white away jersey.Unlike the modern interpretation, the classic jersey incoportated a polo-neck style collar, which was navy blue with slim streaks of red and yellow. However, like the modern version, the Adidas logo was placed in the centre of the chest.Why is the Spain World Cup 2018 controversial?Spain second republic flagInterestingly, the new Spain home kit for the World Cup has proved somewhat controversial to the point where both Adidas and the Spanish football authority (RFEF) have been compelled to make statements in order to quell anger.The combination of red, yellow and blue in the pattern on the right of the jersey has been seized upon by some as deliberately provocative due to the fact that they appear to resemble the colours of the Second Spanish Republic, which is still popularly used by separatist groups.Of course, the flag of the Second Spanish Republic is red, yellow and purple. So the confusion has arisen over whether the colour on the shirt is blue or purple.Adidas and the RFEF insist that the shirt design is “free of any political connotation” but that has not prevented people from having their say and some fans were particularly upset.Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that “politics is creeping into soccer once again” and a number of politicians waded into the controversy. Alberto Garzon, leader of the United Left (IU), said that he preferred the tricolour to simple red and yellow, while Pablo Iglesias of Podemos also expressed his approval. The political climate in Spain at present is particularly tense following the Catalonian government’s decision to press ahead with a contentious independence referendum last October and their subsequent attempts to establish independence from Spanish rule. That may explain the sensitivity.What about the Spain away kit?Sergio Ramos Spain 14112017The Spain away kit for the 2018 World Cup has not yet been released, but it is expected to be launched some time in the Spring of 2018.Spain wore an all-white away kit in the qualification stage, with three red Adidas stripes on the sides and red logos on the chest.It remains unclear whether the away jersey will be similarly inspired by the 1994 World Cup style.ergi Spain Mauro Tasotti Italy World Cup 1994It is possible that they will make a change from white and in the past they have gone with a variety of colours, including light blue, blue, dark blue, gold and even black.Either way, both Adidas and the RFEF will be hopeful that it attracts less controversy than its home variant.last_img read more

Is football in the Commonwealth Games?

first_imgPremier League Is football in the Commonwealth Games? Goal 02:45 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Harry Kane England Getty Images Premier League UEFA Europa League The 2018 Commonwealth Games will begin on April 4 and end on April 15, but is football included in the competition? It’s taken four years, but the 2018 Commonwealth Games are now finally on the horizon.England were runaway leaders in Glasgow in the 2014 games with a total of 174 medals, 58 of which were gold, and will be hoping for a repeat performance this time round.But what is the event, who is competing, and will football be included in the schedule? Goal takes a look. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp What is the Commonwealth Games?The first Commonwealth Games was held in 1930 and was marketed as an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.John Astley Cooper, who first proposed the idea of the event in 1891, wanted a ‘Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire’. Indeed, the Commonwealth is held every four years, with the last taking place in Glasgow, Scotland 2014.There have been a variety of Commonwealth editions, including the ‘British Empire Games’, the ‘British Empire and Commonwealth Games’, the ‘British Commonwealth Games’, and simply ‘the Commonwealth Games’ as we now know it.The Commonwealth Winter Games ran from 1958 until 1966, the Commonwealth Youth Games have been held every year since 2000, while Para-sports were introduced in 1994 for athletes with a disability before they were included as full members for their national teams in 2002.Where and when is the 2018 Commonwealth Games?The opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Wednesday April 5 and will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The games will come to a close on Sunday April 15.Australia, all-time leaders in the medal table with 852 golds, will host the games for the fifth time in its history.Is football in the Commonwealth Games?Harry Kane Jordan Henderson EnglandIn short, no. A minimum of ten core sports and maximum of seventeen sports must be included in any Commonwealth Games schedule, with the current list including athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball (for women), rugby sevens, squash, swimming and weightlifting.There are also nine para-sports, in this case swimming, athletics, cycling, table tennis, powerlifting, lawn bowls, and a triathalon. On March 8 2016, Beach Volleyball was also officially included in the event list.While football, along with billiards, fencing, and golf, are recognised Commonwealth Games Federation sports, hosts may not select them as official events as the are deemed to ‘need expansion’.With the games running through the middle of April, too, it would not make sense for European club players to participate due to their domestic seasons and with the 2018 World Cup kicking off in the summer.Which sports are played at the Commonwealth Games?The official list of sports included in the 2018 Commonwealth Games is as followed: Sports  Athletics Badminton Basketball Beach volleyball Boxing Mountain biking Road cycling Track cycling Diving Artistic Gymnastics Rhythmic Gymnastics Hockey Lawn bowls Netball Powerlifting Rugby sevens Shooting Squash Swimming Table tennis Triathlon Weightlifting Wrestling Where and when is the 2018 Commonwealth Games?The opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Wednesday April 5 and will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The games will come to a close on Sunday April 15.Australia, all-time leaders in the medal table with 852 golds, will host the games for the fifth time in its history.Commonwealth Games venuesMain arena Carrara Stadium will host both ceremonies and the athletics, while the vast majority of events will take place in the host city Gold Coast.Some other events require facilities located elsewhere, however. Venue Sport Capacity Carrara Stadium Athletics, Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony 40,000 Robina Stadium Rugby 7s 27,500 Gold Coast Aquatic Centre Swimming, Diving 10,000/2,500 Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre Gymnastics, Netball (finals) 7,500 Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre Basketball (finals), Netball (preliminaries) 5,000 Gold Coast Hockey Centre Hockey 5,000 Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre Badminton, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Wrestling 5,000 Oxenford Studios Boxing, Table Tennis 2,500/2,750 Runaway Bay Sports Centre Squash 3,000 Broadbeach Bowls Club Lawn bowling 2,500 Carrara Indoor Stadium Weightlifting 2,500 Southport Broadwater Parklands Marathon, Racewalking, Triathlon 2,500 Elanora/Currumbin Valley Road cycling N/A Nerang National Park Mountain Biking 2,000 Queen Elizabeth Park[3] Beach Volleyball 4,000 Venue outside of Gold Coast Sport Capacity Cairns Convention Centre Basketball (preliminaries) 5,000 Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre Basketball (preliminaries) 5,000 Anna Meares Velodrome Track cycling 4,000 Belmont, Queensland Shooting 3,000 Which nations will compete in the Commonwealth Games? AFRICA AMERICAS ASIA CARIBBEAN EUROPE OCEANIA Botswana Bahamas Bangladesh Anguilla Cyprus Australia Cameroon Belize Brunei Darussalam Antigua and Barbuda England Cook Islands Ghana Bermuda India Barbados Gibraltar Fiji Kenya Canada Malaysia British Virgin Islands Guernsey Kiribati Lesotho Falkland Pakistan Cayman Islands Isle of Man Nauru Malawi Islands Singapore Dominica Jersey New Zealand Mauritius Guyana Sri Lanka Grenada Malta Niue Mozambique St. Helena   Jamaica Northern Ireland Norfolk Island Namibia     Montserrat Scotland Papua New Guinea Nigeria     Saint Lucia Wales Samoa Rwanda     St. Kitts & Nevis   Solomon Islands Seychelles     St. Vincent & The Grenadines   Tonga Sierra Leone     Trinidad & Tobago   Tuvalu South Africa     Turks & Caicos Islands   Vanuatu Swaziland           Tanzania           Uganda           Zambia           Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Film Look: Three Things to Watch for From the K-State Offense

first_imgThe 24th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats head to Stillwater this Saturday boasting a 3-0 record which includes a nice nonconference win a couple of weeks ago against Mississippi State.KSU is off to an impressive start under first-year head coach Chris Klieman, who took over for the legendary Bill Snyder this past offseason. Before landing in Manhattan, Klieman had a long stint at North Dakota State (2011-18) serving first as the defensive backs coach, the defensive coordinator and then the head coach. In Klieman’s five seasons as head man, he recorded a 69-6 record and won four FCS National Championships.An incredible coaching resume is not all Klieman brought with him from NDSU, he also brought along his offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham. The former Bison OC broke multiple school and conference records during his two-year tenure, including most points scored, most touchdowns scored, total offense and rushing touchdowns.Now, Messingham’s offense has a lot of similarities to that of Snyder-led teams of recent years. He likes to get his power running game going, and then once you’re expecting run, he will hit you with play action. In addition, he utilizes RPOs and isn’t afraid to get the quarterback involved in the running game. One thing you’ll notice about Messingham’s offense is he often has the quarterback under center and he loves to have a fullback lined up in the backfield.For this post, I will cover my three key takeaways from KSU’s offense and give you a glimpse of what you might see on Saturday night in Boone Pickens Stadium.PowerPower is a run play that OSU fans are familiar with as it’s been a staple of the offense this season as well as during the Yurich tenure. Power normally involves a lineman pulling around to the play side to lead block through the hole. Messingham and the Wildcats love to run Power, specifically A-Gap Power, see the blocking scheme below. In the following clips, you’ll see two more play action concepts the Wildcats like to run. I’ve also seen Messingham utilize H-Counter and a couple of other variations of pulling linemen running plays. This keeps the defense guessing and creates different attack points for the offense, it also pairs well with the inside attack point of A-Gap Power. OSU defensive players like Amen Ogbongbemiga, Kolby Harvell-Peel, Malcolm Rodriguez, and others will have to be quick to the ball and avoid getting blocked by these big lineman attacking the second and third levels of the defense.Play Action Passing GameAs I mentioned above, Messingham likes to set teams up with his power running game and then catch them guessing with play action passes. One in particular play that he brought with him, that NSDU was running with current Philadelphia Eagle QB Carson Wentz before Messingham got there, is shown in the clip below from Ross Uglem. In addition to running back Power, the K-State teams of years past would also dial up Power with the quarterback. We haven’t seen KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson run the ball a lot this season, but he’s found success keeping it himself against past Cowboy defenses. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a little of this on Saturday. With the struggles the Cowboy defensive line has had stopping the run this season, it’s a little worrisome that KSU runs this play often and effectively. How will Jim Knowles defend the inside running game? The Pokes primarily base out of a three down linemen defense now, so will he bring the LBs up close to the line of scrimmage? Or, will he bring a safety down further into the box? It will definitely be an interesting chess match between Knowles and Messingham.Pulling Linemen to the PerimeterAlong with Power, I noticed a heavy utilization of pulling linemen to attack the perimeter in Messingham’s rushing attack. In the first clip below you see the center and the playside guard pull around the edge. Cowboy defenders will have to be disciplined in Stillwater this weekend and they can’t get caught looking with their eyes in the backfield, letting a man get behind them. If they do, it could be a long night for Jim Knowles.center_img Next, you’ll see the playside guard pull and attack a much smaller defender, creating a lane for the Wildcat running back. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The tight end releases off the line and heads up the seam as Wentz fakes to the running back and hits the TE for a touchdown. Below you see K-State run something similar, although it doesn’t turn out so well. Ross Uglem of Bison Report explains in it more detail below and then the following video shows this play.The basic difference in the way that most teams run power and that way that NDSU does it is the shuffle pull from the pulling guard to keep his shoulders square to the hole.  Usually, a pulling guard will open up and run square to the sideline executing a “kick out” block a defensive end or outside linebacker. [GoPowerCat.com]Messingham and the Wildcats try to wear down teams by running this play over and over again throughout the course of a game. I saw them do it plenty of times against the Bulldogs, like in the example below.last_img read more

Third International TVET Conference Slated for November 29 to December 1

first_img The Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, will host the third International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from November 29 to December 1 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay.The JCTE’s Senior Marketing and Business Development Consultant and Conference Chair, Jacqueline Knight-Campbell, says the event will bring together individuals and organisations that are collaborating to develop the education sector.“It will explore the building of educational partnerships; strategic leadership for institutional growth development; and professional development in higher education”, she said.She was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the agency’s head office in Kingston on Tuesday, October 24.The conference, which will also be supported by Delaware State University in the United States, will include concurrent sessions, workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions.Among the key events are a power breakfast, where heads of local and international companies will engage representatives from educational institutions in dialogue; and an awards ceremony to recognise outstanding educators, the Tertiary Student of the Year and outstanding corporate local and international individuals who have made indelible contributions to education.“It is a leadership conference that will provide the platform for building awareness on the readiness, activities and international exposure and exchange of what is happening in education,” Mrs. Knight-Campbell said.Additionally, she said persons are being invited to present research papers at the conference that should be submitted to the JCTE by Thursday, November 9.The focus areas include developing partnerships for an integrated approach to internationalising tertiary education; enhancing career through networking industry certification and professional organisations; and financing tertiary education for growth and sustainability, both locally and internationally. For further information on registration for the conference, persons may email theJCTE at: jctesecretariat@gmail.com, and for the submission of research papers: jctepr@gmail.com. Persons may also call 632-4136, 616-7620 or visit www.ucj.org.jm. The Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, will host the third International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from November 29 to December 1 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay. Among the key events are a power breakfast, where heads of local and international companies will engage representatives from educational institutions in dialogue; and an awards ceremony to recognise outstanding educators, the Tertiary Student of the Year and outstanding corporate local and international individuals who have made indelible contributions to education. Story Highlights The JCTE’s Senior Marketing and Business Development Consultant and Conference Chair, Jacqueline Knight-Campbell, says the event will bring together individuals and organisations that are collaborating to develop the education sector. last_img read more

Boom in New Home Sales

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Market Studies, News, Origination Boom in New Home Sales The demand for housing outweighed the small existing home inventory in February, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). New home sales in February 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000, a 6.1 percent increase from January’s rate of 558,000 and a 12.8 percent increase year-over-year, from February 2016’s 525,000.Realtor.com Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner noted that the increase in new home sales could be due to the warm winter which allowed construction to stay on schedule, last year’s strong home construction starts, and a gradual shift from building apartments to individual homes. However, Kirchner says that while construction is up overall, existing home sales are falling.“While this growth is encouraging, it’s important for house hunters to keep in mind that builders have been focusing on the more pricey part of the market; affordable options are still in short supply,” said Kirchner. “That’s a key reason why existing home sales dropped in February while sales of new homes went up–existing home sales include both affordable and premium homes. During that month, sales of existing homes under $100K plummeted 15 percent and sales of homes in the $100K to $250K range fell 2 percent, while sales of more expensive existing homes soared.”While new home construction booms, the existing home inventory dwindles. Existing home sales, constrained by a lack of supply, increased just 1.8 percent over the last year. February saw a 6.4 percent decline in new listings and a 12.9 percent decline in the overall number of homes for sale, marking the third month in a row that inventory has fallen by double-digits and the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year supply declines.Consumers are still looking positively at the home market. According to a National Association of Realtors survey, 62 percent of consumers said they believe the U.S. economy is improving, and 72 percent believe now is a good time to buy a home, so the housing market will still be busy. Sharecenter_img March 23, 2017 604 Views Construction sales 2017-03-23 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Rep Hank Vaupel Weekly Column April 8 2019

first_img Categories: Vaupel News 08Apr Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: April 8, 2019 A big congratulations to Micah and Lydia DeMass on their beautiful wedding last Saturday! Micah serves as my legislative aide and works hard to provide timely and beneficial assistance to the people of our district. Lydia is a hard-working and enthusiastic individual who works at a nearby dentist office. They are a tremendous couple who love God, each other, and their community. I know they have a bright future with many happy years ahead. All the best!***This week, I concluded my March is Reading Month tour by visiting Round, Village, and Creekside elementary schools in Hartland. As in years past, it was a pleasure to dedicate some of my time in March to reading to students across the district. They never cease to impress and fill me with hope for the future of our county. A big thank you to all the teachers, principals, and staff who went out of their way to welcome me.***April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and on Wednesday, I attended LACASA’s annual Plant a Pinwheel Celebration at the Howell Carnegie District Library. Adults and children from across the county gathered to take a stand against child abuse and plant a pinwheel garden as a visible reminder. Thank you to LACASA’s Child Abuse Prevention Council for hosting this important event and to everyone who participated.***It was a pleasure to be invited by 44th Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty to the 20th annual Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals conference in Lansing. It was a great inside look into our court system and the issues judges face both in and out of the courtroom. It was also an opportunity to discuss how the Legislature can make things better for everyone involved in the legal system. Thank you to Judge Hatty for the invitation and the chance to share thoughts and ideas.***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you!PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel reads to a group of students at Round Elementary in Hartland as part of his March is Reading Month tour.last_img read more

Do not encroach upon anyone or their property and

first_imgDo not encroach upon anyone or their property, and keep your agreements. Number one is the “Golden Rule,” and number two is the essence of the common law – more or less an extension of #1. And that’s all that we really need. Sure, a professional philosopher can come up with weird exceptions, but that’s not a serious concern. Send the one-in-a-million scenario to a judge and get busy with the other 999,999. Yes, life is complex but that’s no reason to say, “We can’t know right from wrong.” Act with integrity and I guarantee you’ll do the right thing 99.9% of the time. The Lesson The events of 9/11 were obviously very stark, and we certainly don’t want to rely on such things to set our moral compass. But the lesson is clear: It is moral clarity that turns us into heroes and saints. So, if you want to see good conduct, talk about integrity, self-honesty, and the courage to make individual judgments. Require this of your children. Oppose people who try to cloud moral choices. I leave you with a few lines from a song called The Hero, by David Crosby: And the reason that she loved him, was the reason I loved him too. He never wondered what was right or wrong, he just knew, he just knew. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com There is nothing inspiring about rules. While they may produce order, they don’t elevate anyone to heroism and greatness. But I know what does, and I discovered it in the rubble of 9/11. The story began, as such stories do, quite innocently. I was scheduled to be in New York for a convention in early 2002, and I sent an email to my old friend Jack. The text was along the lines of “Hey, I’m coming to NYC. Wanna get lunch?” His reply was simple: “Sure, but first I’d like you to come see my new project.” Jack’s new project, as it turns out, was the restoration of the old New York Telephone building, now called the Verizon building. It was notched into the World Trade Center site, inches from the destroyed Building 7. This building was badly damaged on September 11th, but it didn’t come down. And it was extremely important that it did remain in service – nearly every phone line serving Wall Street ran through it. Lessons from a Disaster Zone It was a cool, rainy, hazy day. Fitting, I thought. Most of the debris had been removed by the time I arrived, which gave everyone on the job a clean view of what was missing and how much work lay ahead. Since Jack and I are old electrical guys (my classical training), we began by examining the power systems. And thus began a day of epiphanies. Each new piece of information brought others to mind. Every fact implied a lesson. I thanked God for a good memory; scribbling notes in the rain was not going to work. The first item on the agenda was the 13,000 volt electrical service to the building. It was running over an aluminum scaffold, inside of a plywood box. Now, you may be thinking that 13,000 volts in a plywood box on a metal scaffold doesn’t sound very safe, and you would be right. There’s no way this installation would be acceptable in any normal circumstances. But in this case, there wasn’t much choice. This was a disaster zone and an “approved” installation wouldn’t be possible here for months. (They couldn’t even get the right kinds of wires.) So, the rules went out the window and Jack’s crew had to come up with something that would work and that wouldn’t kill anyone. Otherwise, Wall Street would shut, and half of New York would have no telephones. The rules were simply overridden by reality. I couldn’t help thinking of an old quote, attributed to the Dalai Lama: Learn the rules well, so you will be able to break them properly. But the big story of the day came after our inspection. At lunch, Jack explained that after Building 7 initially fell on 9/11, other partial collapses continued for quite a while. Each time, clouds of dust and debris filled his Verizon building. On one particular day, the FBI vault in the basement of Building 7 caved in under the weight of yet another collapse. “And I swear to you, Paul,” Jack assured me with bulging eyes, “twenty- and fifty-dollar bills came floating through the site!” Free money… it’s hard to imagine a better setup for a moral dilemma. I made some comment about the guys being very happy that day. “No,” Jack said, “they wouldn’t touch them!” I looked at him and waited for some elaboration. Finally he spoke up again. “They said ‘that’s not our money; it belongs to other people.’ And they wouldn’t touch it. They wouldn’t allow anyone to touch it. It just sat there until the FBI guys came through and picked it all up.” When the lure of free money fails, I pay attention. This was clearly no ordinary event. Here were dozens of construction workers who refused to take free money – a lot of free money – when there was no enforcer looking over their shoulders or threatening them. I looked at Jack again. He was stone serious, as serious as I have ever seen him. So I was left facing a serious question: A large group of construction workers were turned into what we used to call stand-up guys… into exemplary stand-up guys. But what was it that turned them into these paragons of ethics? Obviously it had everything to do with 9/11, but exactly how? I began analyzing the event, starting with the participants. I’ve known New York construction workers, and not many of them had any abiding interest in the study of ethics. But now these same men were acting with deep ethical convictions. Obviously it was the change of situation that mattered, not the basic nature of the men; one’s nature does not change in a moment. Then I understood: These men had never lacked basic decency; what they had lacked was a clear choice! This was the first time in their lives when the difference between right and wrong was this clear. Having clearly understood right and wrong, it would have been stupid for these men to take $50 bills belonging to others – their conscious sense of righteousness was worth far more. For the rest of their lives, these men will know that when it counted, they stepped up to the task and performed it with honor. And I would bet large that, on their death beds, this fact will pass prominently through their minds. They will feel honorable, and they will have earned it. What this Means This means that one can act with confidence only when he knows, clearly, what is right and what is wrong. It is moral clarity that makes men and women good. I know that we’ve all been taught to freeze up at questions about good and evil, but it really isn’t hard. Here is the answer in two very simple statements: center_img What is hateful to you, don’t do to anyone else.last_img read more