Africa addio (1966)

Considered to be a classic of the Mondo genre, some consider “Africa addio” to be a racist exploitation shockumentary whilst others consider it to be a an artist classic with a magnificent score. Could it be both?

Review by Conrad H Roth – considers it a masterpiece.

Duke at BlogCritics says “Africa Addio is a masterpiece, and among the greatest films ever made, but I also stand by my assertion that it is morally disgusting, despicably racist and consistently reprehensible.”

Africa addio (1966) at the Internet Movie Database – 6.8 out of 10.

DVD Maniacs review the entire Mondo Cane opus

Crack unit of Serbian dictator slayers?

I first heard about Otpor (“Resistance”) and Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in a superb Reason article from 2006 called “The 50 Habits of Highly Effective Revolutionaries“.

Last week I read that Stratfor (the civilian CIA) thinks that Hugo Chavez’s recent political reverse may be due to the CANVAS activity in Venezuela.

From Stratfor.com (registration required)

The Venezuelan government lost its constitutional amendment referendum in a national vote Dec. 2, emboldening the opposition and dealing President Hugo Chavez his first electoral defeat since he took office a decade ago. This is hardly the end of the line for Chavez, but something new is taking shape in the country: a competent and capable opposition.

…The opposition campaign against the constitutional changes that would have enshrined Chavez in power for a generation was organized, unified and even a little slick…A reason for this newfound effectiveness is the entrance into the Venezuelan equation of a new group from the most unlikely of places: Serbia.

Roughly three months ago, a group calling itself the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) began operating in Venezuela. CANVAS’ raison d’etre is simple: to teach local forces how to most effectively oppose the authoritarian regimes who rule them. Courtesy of CANVAS, the dustbin of history boasts a few pieces of geopolitical roadkill: former Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze (Rose Revolution, 2003), former Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev (Tulip Revolution, 2005), nearly President Viktor Yanukovich (Orange Revolution, 2004-05) and CANVAS’ first-ever foe, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (2000).

CANVAS, originally known in Serbia as Otpor (loosely translated as “Resistance”), excels at bridging the gaps between disparate factions, mobilizing popular support, coordinating protest actions and hitting authoritarian governments where it most hurts. It shines at carrying out the sort of activities at which the Venezuelan opposition fails miserably, and it has now contributed to Chavez’s first real defeat.

The article above is a follow up to a previous article in Stratfor predicting that another “color revolution” may be forming, this time in Venezuela.

I love the idea of a band of well organised veteran Serbian freedom fighters waging peaceful regime change across the unfree world.  It is probably the best thing to come out of the Milosevic era.

Crack unit of Serbian dictator slayers?

I first heard about Otpor (“Resistance”) and Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in a superb Reason article from 2006 called “The 50 Habits of Highly Effective Revolutionaries“.

Last week I read that Stratfor (the civilian CIA) thinks that Hugo Chavez’s recent political reverse may be due to the CANVAS activity in Venezuela.

From Stratfor.com (registration required)

The Venezuelan government lost its constitutional amendment referendum in a national vote Dec. 2, emboldening the opposition and dealing President Hugo Chavez his first electoral defeat since he took office a decade ago. This is hardly the end of the line for Chavez, but something new is taking shape in the country: a competent and capable opposition.

…The opposition campaign against the constitutional changes that would have enshrined Chavez in power for a generation was organized, unified and even a little slick…A reason for this newfound effectiveness is the entrance into the Venezuelan equation of a new group from the most unlikely of places: Serbia.

Roughly three months ago, a group calling itself the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) began operating in Venezuela. CANVAS’ raison d’etre is simple: to teach local forces how to most effectively oppose the authoritarian regimes who rule them. Courtesy of CANVAS, the dustbin of history boasts a few pieces of geopolitical roadkill: former Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze (Rose Revolution, 2003), former Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev (Tulip Revolution, 2005), nearly President Viktor Yanukovich (Orange Revolution, 2004-05) and CANVAS’ first-ever foe, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (2000).

CANVAS, originally known in Serbia as Otpor (loosely translated as “Resistance”), excels at bridging the gaps between disparate factions, mobilizing popular support, coordinating protest actions and hitting authoritarian governments where it most hurts. It shines at carrying out the sort of activities at which the Venezuelan opposition fails miserably, and it has now contributed to Chavez’s first real defeat.

The article above is a follow up to a previous article in Stratfor predicting that another “color revolution” may be forming, this time in Venezuela.

I love the idea of a band of well organised veteran Serbian freedom fighters waging peaceful regime change across the unfree world.  It is probably the best thing to come out of the Milosevic era.

A billion Euros for Serbia until 2011

From Blic Online:

“In the following five years Serbia shall have the opportunity to use a billion Euros from the EU Fund for pre-accession support on the basis of a frame agreement that Serbia Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic and director for the West Balkans at the EC Directorate for enlargement Pierre Mirel initialed yesterday. These are nor-returnable assets from the Union’s budget. ”

FDI in Serbia at EUR 11bn since 2000

From B92:

“BELGRADE — Foreign direct investment in Serbia has in the past seven years reached EUR 11bn, a report says.

The Center for Liberal Democratic Studies (CLDS) has published a report on Greenfield investment in Serbian industry, showing that foreign investment has hit new highs this year and last, totaling some EUR 7bn.

According to 2007 projections, Serbia will attract EUR 471 per citizen of direct investment, which is above the average of EUR 365 for eastern European countries, but less than half of the EUR 1,031 per citizen that Montenegro is expected to attract

In terms of investment, Montenegro is the leader in the region, with Croatia in second place with EUR 639 per citizen, and Serbia third.”

A billion Euros for Serbia until 2011

From Blic Online:

“In the following five years Serbia shall have the opportunity to use a billion Euros from the EU Fund for pre-accession support on the basis of a frame agreement that Serbia Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic and director for the West Balkans at the EC Directorate for enlargement Pierre Mirel initialed yesterday. These are nor-returnable assets from the Union’s budget. ”

Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter

From the New York Times:

Researchers in New York believe they have solved one of the great mysteries of the flu: Why does the infection spread primarily in the winter months?

The answer, they say, has to do with the virus itself. It is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season.

“Influenza virus is more likely to be transmitted during winter on the way to the subway than in a warm room,” said Peter Palese, a flu researcher who is professor and chairman of the microbiology department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the lead author of the flu study.

This question has vexed me for years in my battles with the “Flu and Colds come from getting cold” school of amateur epidemiologists. I have been repeating the apparently incorrect explanation for years, namely that the viruses are worse in winter because people are crowded into confined spaces (like clubs or bars). Turns out I was wrong. Whilst crowding does make vectoring easier, if these researchers are right then the atmosphere of clubs is terrible for flu viruses (hot and humid).

How Africa's desert sun can bring Europe power

From the Observer:

Europe is considering plans to spend more than £5bn on a string of giant solar power stations along the Mediterranean desert shores of northern Africa and the Middle East.

More than a hundred of the generators, each fitted with thousands of huge mirrors, would generate electricity to be transmitted by undersea cable to Europe and then distributed across the continent to European Union member nations, including Britain.

Billions of watts of power could be generated this way, enough to provide Europe with a sixth of its electricity needs and to allow it to make significant cuts in its carbon emissions. At the same time, the stations would be used as desalination plants to provide desert countries with desperately needed supplies of fresh water. [Source]

Here is the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) website.