Posts Tagged ‘articles’



El Consejo Metropolitano de Gobierno dictó hoy los criterios que regirán plan “Pico y placa” a fin de disminuir el trafico en la ciudad capital. Según se pudo conocer por la señora que lleva los cachitos y el jugo de naranja a la reunión, el esquema de restricción de circulación vehicular quedará de la siguiente manera:

Lunes: No podrán circular “Malibus” con patas anchas y papel ahumado rojo de espejo.

Martes: No podrán circular los que posean una calcomanía de la manzanita de Apple.

Miércoles: Los que posean tapicería de peluche, CDS guindando y tengan en el tablero perritos que muevan la cabeza. (Si coinciden con el Lunes se jodieron doble).

Jueves: No podrán circular los carros que tengan mensajes escritos con crema Griffin como “Mi hija se graduó de contadora”, “De Caracas pa Rio Chico” o “Juanpi te amo”.

Viernes: Colectivos que porten calcomanías que digan “QUE VES BRUJA”, “SI EL NIÑO ES DEL CHOFER NO PAGA”, “CAMBIO VIEJA DE 45 POR 3 DE 15” o “EN HONOR AL ANIMA DE TAGUAPIRE”.

Sábado: Los que porten una cabecita de Mickey Mouse o un arbolito en la antena.

Domingo: No podrán circular los Fans de Colina.

Sin embargo, algunos críticos a este esquema indican que debería usarse el tradicional método de “PIEDRA PAPEL y TIJERA” en una alcabala convenientemente situada en puntos estratégicos para decidir cuál carro pasa y cuál no.

El Chigüire Bipolar: Se devela criterio del plan Pico y Placa

LIVE IT UP on The MasterLiving Blog

Venezuela Oil Minister Makes Rare US Visit, Defends Policies
(Copyright © 2010 Energy Intelligence Group, Inc.)
International Oil Daily Monday, April 19, 2010

In a rare visit to Washington, Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez on Friday defended his country’s foreign investment climate for heavy oil development and lamented that US leaders appear to be “badly informed” about Venezuela’s energy policies.
Ramirez — who is also president of state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuelas (PDV) — said his country is open to working with any foreign investors to develop resources within the country’s Orinoco heavy oil belt. He was addressing reporters at the headquarters of the Organization for American States.
The only two firms Venezuela has clashed with are Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips, he added, arguing that the two US majors were unwilling to respect Venezuela’s sovereignty over its hydrocarbon resources. Exxon and Conoco chose to exit heavy oil operations in Venezuela in 2006 after the government unilaterally changed their contracts to give PDV a majority stake in their projects.
“No one can exclude Venezuela from energy discussions,” Ramirez said, because Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the western hemisphere. “We just ask that they respect our sovereignty, our laws and our social programs,” he added.
Unable to shoulder the costs of heavy oil development alone, Venezuela made some minor concessions to oil companies to improve the fiscal terms and encourage foreign investment in the Orinoco region. But it restricted foreign firms to holding minority stakes in heavy oil projects.
Ramirez said the primary purpose of his trip to Washington was to increase awareness of Venezuela’s energy policies at the “Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas” summit last week. Many observers were surprised at Venezuela’s attendance.
“We are not going to sign any agreement. We are not going to sign any partnership. We are here to inform the US about what we have been doing,” Ramirez told reporters.
Venezuela is the fourth largest foreign supplier of crude to the US, but political disagreements have added a new layer of strain to US-Venezuela relations in recent years.
US politicians have blamed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for the discord, which arguably reached its peak when Chavez compared former President George W. Bush to a demon at an international gathering several years ago.
In a statement distributed to reporters, the Venezuelan embassy said Ramirez’s attendance at the summit marks a new phase in US-Venezuela relations.
“It is his first visit to the city since 2004, when the Bush Administration, due to political reasons, began limiting communications between the energy institutions of the two countries and eventually put on hold the energy agreement that had been active between the two countries since the 1980s,” the embassy said.
Ramirez drew attention to the fact that US major Chevron was part of one consortium that recently bid for acreage in the Carabobo area in the eastern part of the Orinoco region.
Aside from highlighting Chevron’s involvement in Venezuela, Ramirez pointed out the efforts of PDV’s US refining subsidiary Citgo, which has supplied heating oil at low cost to low-income Americans.
However, Ramirez said he thinks some Bush-era resentments toward Venezuela still linger.
US state department officials claim that they have tried to reach out to Venezuela, but that senior Venezuelan officials have not been responsive.
“In the US we still find people linked to the prior administration — and this has created a situation where even people who are genuinely interested in working with us are badly informed,” Ramirez added. “So we have been talking about how Venezuela has been diversifying our energy markets, to give authorities first-hand information from us.”
Lauren O’Neil, Washington

(Copyright © 2001-2010 Energy Intelligence Group, Inc. / Energy Intelligence Group (UK) Limited)


A computer enhanced image of the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland taken by the TerraSAR-X satellite on Thursday evening.

April 16, 2010

Experts Seek Clues to How Long Eruption Will Go On

The volcanic eruption that has disrupted air travel in Europe for two days shows no signs of abating, an Icelandic geophysicist said Friday.
“It is quite variable, it goes up and down a bit,” Pall Einarsson of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland, said in a telephone interview. “But on the whole the vigor of the eruption seems very little changed.”
As the volcano, near Iceland’s south-central coast, spewed more ash into the atmosphere on Friday, the big question for scientists was how long the eruption might continue, particularly at its current strength. The answer will go a long way toward determining any lasting impact on air travel, climate and health. But Dr. Einarsson and others said that, for now, the question was unanswerable.
“There is really no way to know that,” Dr. Einarsson said. “We have quite good measurements to know what’s going on. We can see where the stresses are changing due to earthquakes and so on. But how it will develop is a very difficult thing to say.”
Jennie Gilbert, a professor at the University of Lancaster in England who has studied Icelandic volcanoes, said: “I don’t think there’s any general feeling for how this volcano will operate. My best guess is that it will be explosive for a few days and then might continue at a reduced level.”
Iceland, which is situated along the mid-Atlantic ridge, where the spreading of two tectonic plates allows molten rock, or magma, to rise, has many volcanoes, and their eruptions often follow a pattern, Dr. Einarsson said.
“Usually they are most vigorous in the beginning,” he said. “But this volcano is very different from that.” Both the current eruption, which began on Wednesday, and an earlier one on the volcano’s flank that began March 20, started very quietly, he said.
Dr. Einarsson said researchers were monitoring the volcano for indications that the eruption was continuing or starting to taper off. Tremors, for example, are a sign that hot magma is still coming up through the volcano, cracking the ground as it moves. Slight deformations in the volcano’s surface, as measured by Global Positioning System devices, suggest that gases are continuing to build up below as they bubble out of the magma, causing the surface to bulge.
One complicating factor is that the eruption is occurring under an ice sheet, the Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Melting of the underside of the ice has caused flooding, forcing evacuations and destroying bridges and roads.
But of more concern for the rest of Europe is how the meltwater might be affecting the volcano and the ash it is generating.
“Certainly the fact that the eruption is going on underneath the ice sheet is likely to have an effect on the explosivity of the volcano,” said Colin Macpherson, a professor in the department of earth science at Durham University in England.
He likened the situation to putting a hot pan under the kitchen faucet — as the hot magma hits the cold water it rapidly creates steam. If the steam is contained by rock, the pressure can build up and a localized explosion can occur.
Dr. Gilbert said the presence of water can also affect the characteristics of the sand-like ash that is produced. As the molten rock hits the cold water it is rapidly quenched, fusing into a glassy material. Then when the pressure builds up and the volcano explodes, this material breaks up into very fine particles. “It’s like this sort of shattering effect,” she said.
In Britain, the Department of Health’s Health Protection Agency warned that some low level of these particles might settle to ground level, particularly in Northern Scotland — although they might well not be visible to the naked eye.
As a precaution, the agency on Friday advised people — particularly those with respiratory conditions like asthma and emphysema — to have medicines on hand and to limit outdoor activities if they noted signs that particles were present. They might include a dusty haze or a smell of rotten eggs as well as symptoms like irritated eyes, runny nose or dry cough.
“Mainly this concerns people with lung conditions who can find the dust difficult to deal with,” said Dr. Michael Clark, an agency spokesperson. “Any volcanic rock tends to be sharp particles, so they can trigger asthmatic reactions.” The ash also contains chemicals that can irritate airways, like sulfur dioxide, he said.
But, he added, there was so far no evidence of increased emergency room visits, and the agency was not worried about any long-term health problems from exposure to the ash. “What we’re talking about are early acute effects,” he said, “nothing long term.”

Experts Seek Clues to How Long Eruption Will Go On –


APRIL 13, 2010, 3:12 PM

More People Choosing Kosher for Health

Librado Romero/The New York Times Is kosher food safer and healthier food?
An ancient diet has become one of the hottest new food trends.
A growing number of supermarket shoppers are going kosher — not for religious reasons, but because they are convinced the foods are safer and better for health.
Kosher foods, which must meet a number of dietary and processing rules to comply with traditional Jewish law, are the fastest growing ethnic cuisine, reports the market research firm Mintel. Sales of kosher foods reached $12.5 billion in 2008, an increase of 64 percent since 2003.
Reflecting the growing interest, Manischewitz, a major kosher food company, held a kosher cook off last month in Manhattan. It featured five chefs from around the country who prepared dishes with the most traditional of kosher-recipe ingredients: chicken broth.
Four of the chefs do not keep kosher but look for certain kosher products in the supermarket. One of those is Julie DeMatteo, a 68-year-old grandmother from Clementon, N.J., who is not Jewish but regularly shops for kosher foods. She believes they are more closely monitored during their processing and “more consistent in taste,” she said.
According to the market research survey, 62 percent of people who buy kosher foods do so for quality reasons, while 51 percent say they buy kosher for its “general healthfulness.” About one-third say they buy kosher because they think food safety standards are better than with traditional supermarket foods. Only 15 percent of respondents say they buy kosher food because of religious rules. [Ed. MasterBlog’s Emphasis]
“We see consumers looking for a convergence of ethics, supervision and quality to general health and wellness,” said David Yale, chief executive of Manischewitz.
Joe Regenstein, a professor of food science at Cornell University who specializes in kosher laws, notes that kosher food restrictions were created for religious reasons, not to produce healthier or safer food. Although some of the kosher laws related to ingredients and preparation may have potential health advantages, there’s no evidence to show that kosher food products are healthier or safer than those from traditional food companies, he said.
But the strict rules for producing and certifying kosher food products may result in closer scrutiny of food safety issues. For instance, independent organizations such as the Orthodox Union are paid by food companies to send trained personnel to factories to ensure that all of the restrictions of kosher laws are met. The extra monitoring typically means that kosher products are produced more slowly than other foods.
In general, kosher food has to be carefully watched throughout its processing and preparation. Grains, packaged vegetables, fruits and similar products are thoroughly inspected for any trace of non-kosher substances like insects. Because kosher laws prohibit the mixing of meat and dairy, all kosher dairy products are processed separately from any meat product. No shellfish is allowed, and all fish, like anything that is kosher, must be processed with utensils that have not been in contact with anything non-kosher.
“The extra eyes and slower speeds probably allow the government inspectors to do a better job,” Dr. Regenstein said. “The fact that a kosher company is meeting a lot of rules and subjected to random inspections is something of real value. Although most consumers don’t really understand it in that detail.”
Certifying a meat as kosher is even more complicated. First, only certain animals are allowed to be eaten: no pigs, rodents or birds of prey, for example. Additionally, every cow, chicken or other animal that is certified as kosher has to be killed and butchered in a particular way.
During this process, called “shechting,” each animal is killed quickly by a trained individual. Some believe this form of butchering is more humane and less painful than traditional slaughterhouse practices. Every butchered animal is closely inspected for signs of disease, and any animal that may have been sick is not used.
Certain non-kosher animal parts, like the tail, the sciatic nerve and some fats generally found in the hindquarters, are separated and sold to non-kosher meat-processing companies. And because all kosher meats are thoroughly salted, they may be less likely to carry E. coli and salmonella, experts say, though no studies have been done to confirm this speculation.
A kosher symbol on a food can also be particularly helpful for those with strict dietary requirements or allergies to a certain food. Kosher foods are a good option for consumers with allergies to shellfish, for example. A vegetarian can buy a kosher product labeled “pareve” and be certain that it contains no trace of milk or meat. Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists, who also follow strict diets, also are regular buyers of kosher foods.
Ultimately, the best part of buying kosher products is that it may help you know what is — and more importantly, what’s not — in your food.

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