martes, julio 26, 2016

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Actor Michael K. Williams is known for playing morally ambiguous, sometimes violent characters. As Omar Little on The Wire, Williams was a fearless stick-up man who stole money from drug dealers. In Boardwalk Empire, he played Chalky White, a bootlegger in Prohibition-era Atlantic City. Now, in the new HBO series The Night Of, he's a powerful inmate in New York's notorious Rikers Island Prison.

Williams tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that playing such intense characters sometimes takes a psychic toll. "When I wear these characters to the extent that I wear them to, that [energy's] gotta go somewhere," he says. The dark energy of Omar Little, for example, "was a little too close to home." Williams struggled with addiction while he worked on The Wire and eventually sought help at a church in New Jersey.

Now the actor practices prayer and meditation, which help him separate from his work. "One of the main things that's changed from when I was first on The Wire and to now — in, particularly, The Night Of — is I know how to differentiate myself from the character. ... I still go in just as deep, but now I have the tools ... to pull myself out of that."

Williams is also the host of the new Viceland series Black Market, which explores underground economies in America and around the world.

- Fresh Air

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A brief bio

Carmelo Ruiz 

Carmelo Ruiz is a Puerto Rican author, investigative journalist, environmental educator and self-described "renaissance hack". For more than 20 years he has written and reported for radio, television, print media and online publications on various environmental and geopolitical issues, including agriculture, natural resource conflicts, biotechnology, globalization, privatization, neoliberalism, climate change, corporate crime, peak oil, food security, green politics and ecological economics. His articles have been published by Counterpunch, the Organic Consumers Association, Inter Press Service, CIP Americas Policy Program, Corpwatch, Progressive Media Project, Native Americas Journal, Food First, Earth Island Journal, Grist, Alternet, The Ecologist, High Times, New York Daily News, Green Social Thought, La Jornada (Mexico), La Prensa (Panama), Biodiversidad en América Latina, Agencia Latinoamericana de Información, and many other publications and organizations.

Apart from being a prolific writer he is also a frequent public speaker. He has presented about the overlapping subjects of agriculture, biotechnology, biosafety, gene ecology, environmental health, agroecology and food sovereignty to the Harvard School of Public Health, the American Studies Association, the Caribbean chapter of the AAAS, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago, and various universities and colleges, including Tufts, Bates, DePaul, Burlington College, University of Puerto Rico, and Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia.

Through the years, he has worn many hats. In the mid 1990's he hosted "Don't Get Me Started", a radio talk show on community station WGDR in Vermont. From 1997 to 2004 he was a reporter for Puerto Rico's weekly Claridad newspaper. In 2012 he was social media director of the US Organic Consumers Association's Millions Against Monsanto campaign, where he played an important role in California's "Yes on 37" campaign, a measure that would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods. In 2015 he lived in Ecuador, where he worked as a producer for Telesur English and volunteered for the Tegantai ecologist press agency (Tegantai) and the Latin American Information Agency (ALAI).

Ruiz has a Masters degree in Social Ecology from Goddard College. But his education did not end there: in 2008 he studied biotechnology and biosafety at the University of Tromsø in Norway, and in 2013 he took courses in advanced agroecology and rural development at the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. 

He is a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, a Fellow of the Oakland Institute, and a Research Associate of the Institute for Social Ecology. In 2004 he founded the Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety, a bilingual and multicultural non-governmental organization that educates about the ethical, ecological, political, economic, environmental and human health impacts of genetically modified organisms, crops and foods. 

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lunes, julio 25, 2016

Bullseye: Danny McBride and Miroslav Vitous

Bullseye is a public radio show about what's good in popular culture. With a keen editorial eye, Bullseye sifts the wheat from the chaff, and brings you hot culture picks, in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary creative people and irreverent original comedy.

Bullseye is equal parts funny and fascinating. Whether you're already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye will keep you on target.

Danny McBride on Writing Dark Comedy, Returning to High School, and Playing the Antihero

Danny McBride is comedic writer and actor who started his career starring in the cult classic comedy, The Foot Fist Way. Although the film went to Sundance and was a modest success, McBride went back to North Virginia to work as a substitute teacher. Danny and frequent collaborator Jody Hill began creating the series Eastbound & Down, which would jumpstart McBride’s career and make him a film and television star.

He has appeared in numerous comedy films, such as Tropic Thunder, 30 Minutes or Less, and Observe and Report. McBride is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the HBO series Eastbound & Down, where he plays disgraced MLB player, Kenny Powers.

McBride sat down with Jesse to talk about about working with Jody Hill, writing for Eastbound and Down, and dealing with people who idolize Kenny Powers just a little too much.

Danny McBride’s new show is called Vice Principals.

Miroslav Vitous on the Recording Session that Changed His Life

Jazz bassist Miroslav Vitouš explains how working with Weather Report on the composition Morning Lake is an experience he will never forget.

Miroslav Vitouš’s new album is called Music of Weather Report.

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Arroces dorados y consensos científicos

Por Carmelo Ruiz Marrero


“La carta de los laureados depende para su impacto enteramente sobre la supuesta autoridad de sus firmantes. Desafortunadamente ninguno parece tener el peritaje relevante”, dice Claire Robinson, de la organización no gubernamental británica GM Watch.

El profesor de estadísticas Philip Stark, decano asociado de matemáticas y ciencias físicas de la Universidad de California, cuestionó si realmente los premios Nobel suscritos a la carta abierta tienen algún expertise real sobre agricultura: “Un premio (Nobel) de la paz, ocho economistas, 24 físicos, 33 químicos, 41 doctores”. Puntualizó que la ciencia se fundamenta “sobre evidencia, no autoridad. ¿Qué saben de agricultura? ¿Han hecho investigación relevante? La ciencia se supone que sea ‘enséñame’, no ‘confía en mí’... premio Nobel o no.”

El antropólogo Devon G. Peña, de la Universidad del Estado de Washington, experto en agriculturas indígenas, consideró la carta “una vergüenza”. Los firmantes son “mayormente hombres blancos de privilegio con poco trasfondo en ciencia de riesgo, pocos con trasfondo en estudios toxicológicos, y ciertamente ninguno con conocimiento sobre alternativas indígenas agroecológicas.”

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domingo, julio 24, 2016

Los transgénicos, Greenpeace y los premios Nobel

Por Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

Los defensores de la biotecnología transgénica (aparentemente) se apuntaron una el pasado 30 de junio cuando salió publicada una carta abierta firmada por sobre cien premios Nobel condenando a la agrupación ambientalista Greenpeace por su oposición a los cultivos transgénicos, en particular el llamado ‘arroz dorado’ supuestamente rico en vitamina A. Pero según activistas y expertos críticos, la muy publicitada carta ha resultado ser no más que una torpe movida de relaciones públicas.

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sábado, julio 23, 2016

Cerro de los Martires, este lunes

HOY y el sábado que viene

Golden rice and scientific consensus

Carmelo Ruiz | 07.15.2016

“The GMO debate is over! The alarmist activists have lost and science has won!”

Well – that’s the impression one gets when reading journalist Joel Achenbach’s Washington Post article detailing the open letter that 107 Nobel laureates signed on to, which attacks the environmental group Greenpeace for its opposition to GMO crops (1).

The letter specifically defends GMO vitamin A-enhanced ‘golden rice’, which according to biotech supporters, is needed to alleviate the suffering of millions of Asians who suffer from vitamin A deficiency (2). Ultimately, the text suggests that Greenpeace is the one obstacle preventing the wonder rice from addressing the needs of the world’s poor and hungry.


Achenbach writes that the consensus among scientists is that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) do not present new or novel risks, and refers to a US National Academy of Sciences report on the subject published in May (3). The Post article acknowledges that Greenpeace is not alone in its critical position on GMOs, but it does not mention who else is in the opposition, and defines the debate as one between “mainstream scientists and activists.”

However, not all scientists and experts are impressed with the letter. Far from it.

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viernes, julio 22, 2016

New trade deals legalise corporate theft, make farmers’ seeds illegal

Since 2001, GRAIN has been tracking how so-called free trade agreements (FTAs), negotiated largely in secret, outside the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are being used to go beyond existing international standards on the patenting of life forms. In this report, we provide an update on the FTAs that are legalising corporate theft and threatening farmers’ ability to save, produce and exchange seeds around the world. 

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Cine esta noche

GMOs, Greenpeace and Nobel Laureates

By Carmelo Ruiz

Supporters of genetic modification technology, known as GMO, apparently scored a big one on June 30 with the publication of an open letter signed by over 100 Nobel prize laureates blasting Greenpeace for its opposition to GMO crops, in particular so-called ‘golden rice’, supposedly high in vitamin A. But activists and critical experts see the much publicized open letter as no more than a clumsy and awkward public relations move.

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martes, julio 19, 2016

Hunger in Venezuela? A Look Beyond the Spin

Christina Schiavoni and William Camacaro

You may have seen the headlines about Venezuela – headlines that allude to food scarcity, rioting, people eating stray animals to survive, and a country on the brink of starvation. These stories are not only alarming, but perplexing, too. Is this the same country that was recognized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as recently as 2015 for having nearly eradicated hunger?[i] Is this the same country that has been the focus of international delegations and extensive alternative media coverage for its ‘food sovereignty experiment’ involving agrarian reform, food distributions programs, and direct citizen participation in the food system?[ii] What’s going on?

There is a nuanced story behind the current headlines on Venezuela. It’s a challenging moment for average working class Venezuelans as they navigate long lines at the grocery store, a lack of key food staples, and inflated prices in order to feed their families.

But there’s not an overall food shortage — food is in abundance, with distribution serving a bottleneck.

There are numerous explanations coming from both government and citizens. What is driving the current ‘scarcity amidst abundance’ in Venezuela? How did the present situation come to be? How dire is it, and what are the responses coming from communities, social movements, and the government? To what extent is the present situation being distorted in the media, and why? This article attempts to delve behind the headlines to address these questions.

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lunes, julio 18, 2016

La histeria del zika

Por Manuel Martínez Maldonado

Sí, el Zika puede producir microcefalia, pero el riesgo de que ocurra es bajito y hay otros factores desconocidos que pueden explicar muchos de los casos relacionados al Zika.

El gobernador de la isla ha dicho que decidirá si se fumiga o no dependiendo de lo que digan los expertos. Ha conseguido a Rullán, Burwell y McCarthy. Se ha dicho que la fumigación costará 11 millones de dólares. Entre la gran consideración que siente Salud federal por nosotros no he oído que vayan a pagar ellos. Tampoco sabemos quién se beneficiará más del precio de la fumigación, en particular si son de aquí o son de allá.

El efecto a largo plazo de la fumigación sobre los normales y sobre los que padecen Zika es desconocido.

No a la fumigación.

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A protestar contra las fumigaciones aéreas este jueves

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