is niet meer.

De ploeg van is verhuisd naar waar we samen met anderen aan een nieuwswebsite werken. De komende weken en maanden bouwen we om tot een archief van 10 jaar werk van honderden vrijwilligers.


StijnD's blog

Global warming gets worse.

Need another reason to feel guilty about feeding your children that Happy Meal — aside from the fat, the calories and that voice in your head asking why you can't be bothered to actually cook a well-balanced meal now and then? Rajendra Pachauri would like to offer you one. The head of the U.N.'s Nobel Prize–winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Pachauri on Monday urged people around the world to cut back on meat in order to combat climate change. "Give up meat for one day [per week] at least initially, and decrease it from there," Pachauri told Britain's Observer newspaper. "In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity." So, that addiction to pork and beef isn't just clogging your arteries; it's flame-broiling the earth, too.

meer:,8599,1839995,00.html; Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2008

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De Republikeinen en YouTube

Sarah Palin kent blijkbaar geen kranten:

David Letterman over John McCain's afzegging (laatste 2 min zijn prachtig):

Letterman's 10 suprising facts about Palin:

Als u er meer kent, gelieve ze in de comments te posten!

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YouTube: de nachtmerrie van de politiek

Het regent dezer dagen filmpjes op YouTube waarin dubieuze uitspraken van John McCain te horen zijn. De videowebsite is stilaan een nachtmerrie aan het worden voor de republikeinse presidentskandidaat.

Dit is de meest bekeken McCain inzending:

Meer blunders op:

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Google geeft 30 miljoen dollar weg

Google geeft zomaar eventjes 30 miljoen dollar weg in een internationale ruimtevaart-wedstrijd.
De bedoeling is om met je team een robot naar de maan te sturen, beelden te nemen en die naar de aarde terug te sturen.

Indien u zich geroepen voelt om uw hersencapaciteit in werking te doen treden:

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Pop art pionier Robert Rauschenberg overleden

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), the protean artist from small-town Texas whose imaginative commitment to hybrid forms of painting and sculpture changed the course of American and European art between 1950 and the early 1970s, died Monday night, according to New York's PaceWildenstein Gallery, which represents his work. He was 82.

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GTA IV: de geldmachine

Billboard magazine reports that first-week sales for the latest installment in the "Grand Theft Auto" videogame series has outperformed even the most optimistic of predictions, making more than $500 million in sales the first week. Billboard says that's 6 million copies, but it's $60 on Amazon, and that works out to $360 million, but who knows how they count these things. Either way, it's a new first-week record for a game, smashing the previous high mark set by "Halo 3" of $300 million.

For comparison's sake, let's just take a look at some other cultural products and institutions and their associated monetary figures, after the jump:

* Net worth of Martha Stewart, the 377th richest American: $970 million (

* "Star Wars," total gross: $460,998,007 (Box Office Mojo)

* GDP of Vanuatu, 2007: $455 million (IMF via Wikipedia)

* McDonalds, weekly profit, worldwide: $437 million (Hoovers)

* Michael Jackson's Thriller, all-time US sales gross estimate: $270 million (RIAA)

* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, biggest selling book of 2007, gross US sales in 2007: $270 million (Publisher's Weekly)

* The Police reunion tour, 2007 total gross: $212 million (Billboard)

* Daughtry's Daughtry, biggest selling album of 2007, gross sales in 2007: $30 million (Billboard)

(bron: Mother Jones)

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Wrong Man, Wrong Europe.

Referendums killed off the EU Constitution, a ‘blackmail’ that Europe’s elites will now avoid by forcing through the Lisbon Treaty without debate, writes Susan George. And Tony Blair is just the man some of them want to lead the way in this new Europe

Europeans are becoming accustomed to both insult and injury. For many excellent and well-examined reasons, in mid-2005 French and Dutch voters rejected the European Constitution. In France, it had been 13 years since anyone had asked its citizens what they thought about Europe, and they replied 55 per cent strong that it was going in an entirely wrong, neoliberal, inequitable direction. Yes, there were some far-right ‘No’ votes, but most came from pro-Europeans who refused to see Europe reduced to the status of a marketplace.

This expression of popular sovereignty was intolerable to the elites. They have now remedied the situation by forcing through the Lisbon Treaty, a carbon copy of the constitution, with only ‘cosmetic changes’ to ‘make it easier to swallow’, as former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing phrased it. He should know, having drafted the original document.

No official flag and no Beethoven hymn, but the rest is there. Don’t believe me – listen to Giscard, Angela Merkel, Karel De Gucht, Giuliano Amato, José-Luis Zapatero, Bertie Aherne and Jose-Manuel Barroso, European leaders who all heaved huge, public sighs of relief to that effect. As for the thoroughly undemocratic process that brought forth the Lisbon Treaty, Gunther Verheugen, vice-president of the European Commission, put it best after the French-Dutch votes: ‘We must not give in to blackmail’. They didn’t. One thinks of Bertolt Brecht, who in 1951 said of the East German regime:

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writer’s Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

So the text of the treaty will be pushed through parliaments with no time for discussion and debate. Nicolas Sarkozy himself told right-wing Euro MPs that if there were referendums on the Lisbon Treaty, they would be lost; if the French voted, they would again vote ‘No’. Under no circumstances should citizens be allowed referendums (and Ireland made a huge mistake in making them compulsory).

Don’t make the mistake of letting people actually read a clear text. The Lisbon Treaty is what you get, like it or not, although we can’t actually give you a copy of it – just five or six separate documents, protocols and declarations that you can spend the next few years collating and cross-referencing to your heart’s content. Oh yes – and we’ve got just the man to lead the new Europe that this treaty intends to force upon you: Tony Blair.

He’s perfect for the job. We can count on him to promote ‘a more assertive Union role in security and defence matters [which] will contribute to the vitality of a renewed Atlantic Alliance’. And he will make sure that Europe ‘respects the obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which remains the foundation of the collective defence of its members’, according to Protocol 4 of the treaty (which, like the other protocols and declarations has the same legal force as the treaty and supersedes national law).

We don’t know what Nato’s future policies will be and are signing on blindfolded. But we do know that the US will continue to lead it and that the US president will be its de facto commander in chief. Who better than Blair to polish the commander’s medals and shine his [or her] shoes?

The EU is terrific on market-oriented policies as well, and that can only be to Blair’s satisfaction. In the 410 treaty articles, the ‘market’ rates 63 references and ‘competition’ is cited 25 times. ‘Social progress’ gets three mentions, ‘full employment’ one and ‘unemployment’ none, but you can’t have everything.

What you can have is a downgrading of social policy and of public services. Any upwards harmonisation of EU social [or fiscal] policy will require unanimity of the 27 members, so the pressure will be to reduce taxes and social services. As for public services, they are specifically made subject to competition. The treaty doesn’t affect ‘the competence of member states to provide, commission and organise non-economic services of general interest’ and that may sound reassuring. The problem is that ‘non-economic services’ are nowhere defined and in some interpretations they could be reduced to the police and the courts. The European Court of Justice has not shown undue affection for public services and the Commission can also make members stop subsidising them, so Blair should feel quite at home.

Among the many provisions of the constitution, the treaty has also retained the Charter of Fundamental Rights, a meek and mild compendium granting fewer rights than most national constitutions. However meagre, this was still too much for Blair, who demanded – and received – an exemption for the UK, enshrined in the lengthy and detailed Protocol 7. All one can deduce from this is that in our brave new Europe, the rules concerning market freedom and competition are compulsory, whereas anything smacking of even limited human and social rights is optional. Why should Blair’s attitude as president of Europe reflect any other view?

If Europe still seems remote to you and not worth getting excited about, you should know that 80 per cent or more of the laws that will apply to you and your country will come not from the seat of your national government but from Brussels. Let us hope that the petition against Blair’s presidency blazes its way through the 27 member states or that Tony himself may decide to be content with the putative 500,000 quid he will receive annually as a part-time advisor to the JP Morgan Chase investment bank. If he jumps out of the British frying pan into the Brussels fire, 450 million European citizens risk being severely burned.

Susan George is board chair of the Transnational Institute and honorary president of Attac France. Her two new books are We the Peoples of Europe (Pluto) and Hijacking America: How the Religious and Secular Right Changed What Americans Think (Polity Press)

(bron: Red Pepper)

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McCains religieus probleem.

John McCain heeft zo zijn eigen religieus probleem. Hij wordt dezer dagen gespot met om het met zijn woorden uit te drukken "one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide". Deze 'weldoener' heet Rod Parsley.

Hier zijn ze te bewonderen als vrijgevige republikeinen en hoopgevende leiders:

Of toch niet?

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MTV: van brol naar extreme brol.

Indien er iemand zin heeft om -op een prachtige vrijdagavond in mei- z'n vers verorberde barbecue terug over te geven; lees dan dit stukje over hoe MTV, reclame met z'n eigen ""content"" wil mengen..

“That’s the idea here; we want to blur the lines between the commercial breaks and the entertainment content.”
Deze techniek, waarvan mijn ogen al beginnen te rotten als ik er nog maar over begin te lezen, heet podbusting. Dus binnen dit en 6 maand zullen de marketing- en mediamongolen van ons eigenste belgenlandje dezelfde technieken wel gebruiken. Gewoon negeren dus.

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Lessen uit LA: LAWeekly vs. Clear Channel

Christine Pelisek, journalist van LA Weekly, probeerde in maart een lijst op te halen van alle legale en illegale reclameborden in Los Angeles. Ze zou een beschamende lijst toegestopt krijgen met zo'n 11,000 locaties, waarvan minstens 40% illegaal geplaatst.

Enkele Building and Safety officials van LA besloten daarop Clear Channel en CBS in te lichten over het feit dat LA Weekly op jacht was naar de desbetreffende lijst.
Vooraleer het document alsnog kon overhandigd worden daagden Clear Channel en CBS, LA Weekly en het stadsbestuur voor de rechter.
Met in het achterhoofd het feit dat Clear Channel berucht is om het vervolgen van stadsbestuursleden, maakte de rechter het snel duidelijk dat zo'n lijst publieke informatie is, en aldus het geschil niet draait om privé-eigendom.
De advocaten van Clear Channel en CBS kwamen dan op de proppen met het argument dat zo'n lijst een 'trade secret' is zoals het recept van Coca-Cola..

Stay tuned..

Voor meer info:

Of googlen, en denk 2x vooraleer een ticket voor Werchter of een van de Clear Channel maffia clubs te consumeren.

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Digitale toekomst

Voor wie er nog aan twijfelt, de krantenindustrie bevindt zich in een crisis. De populariteit van online nieuwssites stijgt en de verkochte advertentieriumte brengt belange niet zoveel op als die van de kranten.

Daarom lanceert een "Newspaper Death Watch Series" met grafieken en cijfertjes. Uiteraard alleen met Amerikaanse kranten..

"When an offline reader of a paper dies, he or she is not being replaced by a new reader, how much time do they have? We think they have 20 to 25 years." - Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California at Annenberg

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Bowling 1, Health Care 0

Elizabeth Edwards, de vrouw van voormalig presidentskandidaat John Edwards, schreef een interessante column in de NYTimes deze week. Ik dacht eventjes dat ze het over het vrt-journaal of had.. maar het was over de rol van de media in de race om het presidentschap.

"... every analysis that is shortened, every corner that is cut, moves us further away from the truth until what is left is the Cliffs Notes of the news, or what I call strobe-light journalism, in which the outlines are accurate enough but we cannot really see the whole picture."

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Probleem van Olympische omvang

Hier is een interessant artikeltje over huisvesting en Olympische dorpen, gepubliceerd in Clamor Magazine, 2006.

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Technologie: Adembenemend of angstaanjagend?

The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

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John McCain in Israel

The presumptive Republican nominee for president, John McCain, mispoke when he told the press a few days ago (in Israel, of all places) that Al Qaeda was moving in and out of Iran to kill American and Iraqi servicemen. It was only after Senator Joe Lieberman (who, along with Senator Lindsey Graham, was standing next to McCain at the press conference) pulled him aside and noted that McCain meant "extremists" or "terrorists," not Al Qaeda. McCain then corrected himself, rather sheepishly.

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