Global Nation Organization

Securing the Future With Love, Hardwork and Integrity

A couple of weeks ago I watched a report on Plumpy’nut, a solution to childhood malnutrition in a foil pouch It is a mixture of peanut paste, vegetable oil, milk powder, sugar, vitamins and minerals, blended to create a high protein and energy rich food. In the program, a doctor from Medecins Sans Frontieres called it a miracle. I would have to agree. Within two days on Plumpy’nut a child can gain as much as one pound, rejuvenating them and taking them from near death to healthy. An unopened foil pouch is shelf stable for two years. An open pouch needs no refrigeration. Because the food is so energy dense, a child only needs to eat a little to get a lot of nutrition.

The story amazed me, but within the program, they showed the children feeding on Plumpy’nut amidst total squalor. I wondered–what kind of future is waiting for them. The world saves them from infant mortality, only to endure a life of extreme hardship and insurmountable suffering.

Does a humanitarian ever ask the inevitable question: In a world of rising birth rates and declining resources, it is prudent to save every child.

Obviously, no parent would ever want his or her child to be the one to starve. I am not advocating we should let the hungry starve. No, instead I am asking, is the world doing enough to insure those children minds are fed as much as their bellies? Is the world creating opportunity in an ocean of poverty?

That is the next challenge. Hunger solved, now do not leave them idle, for trouble will follow. An educated society is a civil society. Education leads to commerce, commerce leads to jobs, jobs lead to satisfaction. The only thing poverty leads to is an early death, anger and hostility.

It baffles me how people continue to live in a flood plain and then expect the government to pay to clean up after a flood. The solution to Midwest flooding is not better levies, is not a better FEMA, is not faster response, is not halting “global warming”, but to either stop living there or to get smarter about the way buildings are constructed.

First off, my condolences go out to the families who have lost a loved one or their property. I know this is a difficult time for you. I do not wish to seem like I am insensitive to your current plight. I know many of you have lived through floods before. I am sure it never gets easier. However, I prefer to see things from a futurist perspective. If you see a problem, fix it the right way.

With that said, if people choose to live in a flood plain, it should be their responsibility to construct their property to withstand floodwater damage. There are two alternatives; raise structures onto stilts or as create amphibious buildings that will float when the river plain rises.

This is not a new concept and I had written about it previously in my post on Innovating the Future with Amphibious Homes. I find the amphibious solution to be the most attractive because for most of the time the home is on the ground. A building on stilts would be too challenging for anyone with a physical disability. Even something as minor as arthritic hips or knees would make it difficult to walk up a flight of stairs.

I realize this will do nothing for the farms that are facing a total crop loss for this year. Looking down the road, my best recommendation is to ask them not to plant in a predicted flood year. They could have save their money and give their land a break every fifteen or so years. The timing for such an endeavor is trickier than it sounds, but right now it is the best I can come up with.

While the local, state and federal government gets busy with another clean up, perhaps someone in legislature will think to revise building codes to facilitate living in a flood plain. Either insist people conform to the smarter building codes or they should shoulder the responsibility for damages themselves. Remember, they call it a flood plain because it floods there! So make the choice now; move to higher ground or get smart about your structures ability to withstand whatever nature has in store for her.

Mars Phoenix Lander

Congratulations to NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for successfully placing the Phoenix Lander on Mars last night. The purpose of this mission was to land near the polar ice caps, drill down into the soil and test it for two things: Water and life.

So far, the Phoenix is performing as expected. Unfortunately, unlike other missions to Mars, such as the Pathfinder, the Phoenix is not mobile. With its situation so close to a Polar ice cap, its mission is slated to last only six months, until the beginning of a Martian winter at which point it is expected to freeze to death. It is unfortunate NASA did not have the budget to give it wheels, wings or propulsion, but at least it landed successfully and is on course to complete its mission. Perhaps future missions will include one or more miniature reconnaissance drones.

We wish NASA and JPL the best of luck. We wait to hear of life on Mars. In the meantime, for additional news or photos taken by Phoenix, please visit either the NASA or JPL websites linked here.

It is good time to be an American manufacturer. For the past ten or so years, whenever I informed a potential customer we manufacture our products in the USA; they ran out of my trade show booth. They would always leave grumbling they were looking for goods imported from China. For the past year, when I say all our goods are made in the USA practically line up down the aisle oohing and ahhing at my products; marveling at the quality, complexity and variety of products.

You might be wondering why. Well, for one, the dollar is quite weak. This makes Made in the USA products a bargain in the EU. Two, China has finally done what we all knew they would–shown their quality of production to be not only inferior, but also negligent. People are afraid of buying Chinese made products. They want to offer their customers something of solid value for their hard-earned dollars. Therefore, quality is of the essence.

This is giving the US manufacturer an opportunity to shine once again and show the world, we have the right stuff, at the right price and with the right expertise. We are known for putting pride of manufacture and commitment to quality into everything we make.

For all the organizations who hung on during the USA manufacturing migration to Asia by either cutting margins or finding a comfortable niche to fill or innovating news way of producing products that reduce costs or by investing heavily in automation, I have to say, get ready for a resurgence of the worlds best brand — MADE IN THE USA!

Perhaps it would be a good idea to stock up on non-perishable food staples, like flour, corn, rice, and beans. Also, if you have any land stock up on seeds and whatever you would need for a vegetable garden. If this fungus does indeed spread across the globe, it could be disastrous for a few years to come.

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Wheat Crop Failures Could be Total, Experts Warn

On top of record-breaking rice prices and corn through the roof on ethanol
demand, wheat is now rusting in the fields across Africa.

Officials fear near total crop losses, and the fungus, known as Ug99, is
spreading.

Wheat prices have been soaring this week on top of already high prices, and
futures contracts spiked, too, on panic buying.

Experts fear the cost of bread could soon follow the path of rice, the price
of which has triggered riots in some countries and prompted countries to cut
off exports.

David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors,
said the deadly fungus, Puccinia graminis, is now spreading through some
areas of the globe where “crop losses are expected to reach 100 percent.”

Losses in Africa are already at 70 percent of the crop, Kotok said.

“The economic losses expected from this fungus are now in the many billions
and growing. Worse, there is an intensifying fear of exacerbated food
shortages in poor and emerging countries of the world,” Kotok told investors
in a research note.

“The ramifications are serious. Food rioting continues to expand around the
world. We saw the most recent in Johannesburg.

“So far this unrest has been directed at rising prices. Actual shortages are
still to come.”

Last month, scientists met in the Middle East to determine measures to track
the progress of “Ug99,” which was first discovered in 1999 in Uganda.

The fungus has spread from its initial outbreak site in Africa to Asia,
including Iran and Pakistan. Spores of the fungus spread with the winds,
according science journal reports.

According to the Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) of the United Nations,
approximately a quarter of the world’s global wheat harvest is currently
threatened by the fungus.

Meanwhile, global wheat stocks are at lows not seen in half a century,
according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Scientists fear that the spores could spread on the wind and reach the U.S.
and Canada or Europe.

“It will take five to eight years to genetically engineer a resistance,”
said Kotok. “In the interim, U.S. agriculture faces higher risk.”

Kotok is worried that governments around the globe are reacting to the
crisis - which he believes is as big of a threat as bird flu -
inappropriately by artificially lowering the prices of domestic wheat, and
raising export taxes on wheat.

William Gamble, president of Emerging Market Strategies, tells MoneyNews
that artificial mechanisms put in place by governments could be as much to
blame for the crisis as anything.

“Twenty countries have put food in price controls or export restrictions,”
Gamble says.

“Others have restricted futures markets. It is the politicians who are
interfering in the markets to protect themselves, and that causes the
problem.”

Source: http://moneynews.newsmax.com/money/archives/st/2008/4/24/100454.cfm

In January, I read in The New York Sun an article by Benny Morris titled, “The Second Holocaust”, which revealed the very real threat by Iran to wipe Israel off the map by launching a full-scale nuclear attack against Israel. The intent to kill the 6 million Jews, as well as the collateral deaths to 3 million Palestinians because of overt anti-Semitism, horrified me. However, I believe the outcome of such a “final solution” may surprise Iran as well as the Muslim community who is rooting for such an event.

“The orders will go out, and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa, and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half-dozen air and alleged nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Guard units.

With a country the size and shape of Israel, an elongated 8,000 square miles, probably four or five hits will suffice: no more Israel. A million or more Israelis, in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem areas, will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about 7 million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.

Some of the dead will inevitably be Arab, for 1.3 million of Israel’s citizens are Arab and another 3.5 million Arabs live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is doubtful whether such a mass killing of fellow Muslims will trouble Mr. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. The Iranians don’t especially like Arabs, especially Sunni Arabs, with whom they have intermittently warred for centuries. And they have an especial contempt for the Sunni Palestinians, who despite their initially outnumbering the Jews by more than 10 to 1, failed to prevent the Jews from establishing their state or taking over all of Palestine. Besides, the Iranian leadership sees the destruction of Israel as a supreme divine command, as a herald of the second coming, and the Muslims dispatched collaterally as so many martyrs in the noble cause. Anyway, the Palestinians, many of them dispersed around the globe, will survive as a people, as will the greater Arab nation. Surely, to be rid of the Jewish state, the Arabs should be willing to make some sacrifices. In the cosmic balance sheet, it will be worth the candle.

A question may nevertheless arise in the Iranian councils: What about Jerusalem? After all, the city is the third holiest after Mecca and Medina, containing the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Mosque of Omar. Ali Khamenei, the supreme spiritual leader, and Mr. Ahmadinejad most likely would reply that the city, like the land, by God’s grace, in 20 or 50 years’ time, will recover. And it will be restored to Islam and the Arabs.” Source: Benny Morris, “The Second Holocaust”

Sounds simple; four or five hits, end of problem. Hold on a second. Let us recall the shock and anger expressed by the global community after the terrorist strike on the United States of September 11, 2001. While there were millions of people who harbored anti-American sentiments before that event, after that day billions became outraged by the atrocious and cowardly exhibition of Islamic terrorism.

Did the terrorists cause the United States to crumble? Of course not. Did they succeed in diminishing the U.S. presence in the Middle East? Of course not. In fact, as we all know now, the U.S. is even more entrenched in the Middle East.

For a short time after 9/11, the world came together with one objective - to fight against Muslim terrorism at all costs. If Iran believes as Benny Morris stated, that the land will be “restored to Islam and the Arabs,” he would be sorely mistaken. The world will not just breathe a sigh of relief that the Israel/Palestinian conflict will be over. Nor will the world allow Israel to cease to exist after a show of extreme anti-Semitism. In fact, the exact opposite will happen.

To annihilate 6 million Jewish people would leave about 10 million more scattered around the world. Those 10 million, along with all of North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa, will quickly mobilize a nuclear site cleanup far different from the one that is currently underway in Chernobyl. In fact, I would not be surprised if the Israeli government has already developed a rapid cleanup strategy. Once the cleanup is completed, Jews and Christians around the world will move back into Israel and begin restoring cities and infrastructure to the State of Israel. Instead of a cessation of Israel, it will cause a global resolve to save and protect the new Israeli’s from any further harm.

Would the world also choose to strike back at Iran, give them a taste of their own medicine and set an example to anyone else who is thinking along the same lines? I do not know. What I do know is, a nuclear attack on Israel will not wipe it off the map, but will lock it in place.

Map of Israel

If there is a hell, then Islam is surely it. In its current state, it is a cancer on Earth, an annihilator of goodness, a destroyer of life and love. As long as Islamic fundamentalism exists - there is no peace - there is no hope.

I ask all thinking people to resist Islamic tyranny, lest the Islamists take away our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

My respect goes to Geert Wilders, for having the courage to take action with the following film that shows why it is so important the world oppose Islamic domination.

Thank you,
~ Sara

I had meant to post this one last week, but got distracted with work. Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this article from Machine Design.

Also, please visit the Extraordinary Women Engineers website for more information on how to encourage your daughters to enter into engineering fields.

Encouraging Girls to Enter Engineering

Claiming the workforce faces a profound lack of women engineers, the National Engineers Week Foundation wants the professional community to discard myths about what’s holding girls from pursuing engineering.

So it’s sponsoring Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, slated for Thursday, Feb. 21, as part of Engineers Week 2008, Feb. 17 to 23.

“Girl Day,” as it’s known among engineers, is the only outreach of its kind aimed at and organized by a single profession. On Feb. 21 and in programs throughout the year, women engineers and their male counterparts will reach as many as 1 million girls with workshops, tours, online discussions, and a host of hands-on activities that showcase engineering as an important career option for everyone.

Currently only 20% of engineering undergraduates are women. And only 10% of the engineering workforce are women. For years, false notions of girls’ innate inability in math, lack of science preparation in high school, and assumptions about the effects of historical and institutional discrimination, have been offered as causes for the startling disproportion.

Recent surveys, however, refute most of those theories, including those that question girls’ academic readiness to study engineering when they leave high school. Girls and boys take requisite courses at approximately the same rate, with girls’ enrollment often exceeding that of boys. While 60% of boys take Algebra II, for example, the enrollment rate for girls is 64%. Similarly, 94% of girls and 91% of boys take biology while 64% of girls and 57% of boys take chemistry. In physics, where boys’ enrollment exceeds girls, the rate is 26% for girls and 32% for boys. Still, less than 2% of high-school graduates will earn engineering degrees in college.

Further, assertions about institutionalized discrimination — certainly a major factor historically — seem undercut compared to professions such as medicine and law that also were largely bastions of men a generation ago. Yet now a majority of women pursue those degrees.

Instead, experts contend that the major culprit is a perception among girls and the people who influence them, including teachers, parents, peers, and the media.

In short, girls must perceive they can be engineers before they can be engineers. According to the National Engineers Week Foundation, nothing conveys that message as effectively as mentors and role models, and programs such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, now in its 8th year.

A 2005 Extraordinary Women Engineers Project (EWEP) study found that exposure to role models is essential to drawing young women into the profession. Highschool girls react positively to firstperson stories about how engineering “makes a difference” and offers a monetarily and personally rewarding career. The study also notes that because few of their influencers — whether it’s a parent, a favorite teacher, or MTV — understand or even have knowledge of engineering, chances are it’s not on the student’s radar. In other words, if a girl hears about engineering, most likely an engineer is the one who told her.

“There are countless television shows featuring doctors, lawyers, police, and other professions, so a child readily grasps that these may be career paths,” explains Terry Lincoln, Global Signature Programs Manager at Agilent Technologies. “Unless we directly reach these girls with engineering, they won’t get it, and we will miss up to half of all potential engineers.”

Girl Day is also part of the foundation’s many diversification efforts, including the recent founding of the Engineers Week Diversity Council, a coalition of businesses, professional societies, and academic and advocacy organizations committed to boosting underrepresented minorities in engineering. The Council, headed by the foundation, IBM, and 13 Founding Partner organizations, met for the first time in Washington in October.

More than 100 corporations, organizations, government agencies, and schools pulled together for Girl Day 2007. ExxonMobil hosted middle-school girls at its Houston and San Juan, Puerto Rico, facilities. Young women were invited to experience engineering first-hand at Argonne National Lab in Illinois, the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York, and Los Alamos Labs in New Mexico. Universities such as Purdue, Penn State, Arizona State, and California State at Chico introduced middle and high-school girls to engineering. The National Coalition of Girls Schools sent copies of the EWEP book, “Changing Our World, True Stories of Women Engineers,” to member schools with tips on getting involved in Girl Day. Visit community.machinedesign.com/blogs/careertalk/ for more information about Girl Day and other projects to promote women in engineering.

I don’t know how it is possible, but it is already morning in Google-land. Sorry for taking so long to say this, but…

I want to express my deepest condolences to the parents of the two young women who were used like human robots to cause terror at the pet markets of Iraq this past Friday. I am so sorry for your loss and shame.

I don’t think there are enough words in any language to express the grief you must be feeling right now. I beg you to vent your rage at those who used your innocent daughters as pawns in a sick, sick game of ideological chess.

Please accept my sympathies. Going forward I ask: Lead your children, lead them right.

Thank you to John Galt for this most excellent compilation!

~ Sara

While Israel is busy paving the way for a nationwide electric-car recharging network, India has just unveiled the cheapest car. The Tata Motors Nano, gets 50 mpg and is called the People’s Car because of its $2500 price tag. Currently Tata has plans for sales only in India, but hopes to export the automobile in the near future. Opposite ends of the spectrum in technology, both with potential problems.

While to Israeli’s the pleasure of being free of oil tyranny - while reducing carbon from the atmosphere - sounds great, there is the risk of paralyses should the electrical infrastructure become compromised. On the flip side, India’s problem is the potential to create more congestion and more air pollution than they already experience. None-the-less, both move forward despite the risk of peril.

The following is an article from Conde Nast Portfolio on the new one-lakh Nano from Tata Motors.

If you haven’t been to India, go on YouTube and search for videos of traffic in Mumbai or Bangalore. You’ll see families of four negotiating the anarchy while balanced on a single scooter like a Cirque du Soleil act.

Those families represent the market that’s about to change the auto industry for good, thanks to a car from India’s Tata Motors that will go on the market this year. The Tata is said to look like an egg on wheels. It will seat five and run on a 33-horsepower engine (that’s barely more muscle than a commercial riding mower). It won’t have airbags or antilock brakes, and its body will offer all the collision protection of an empty beer can. It will cost about $2,500—100,000 rupees, an amount also known in India as one lakh. Hence the Tata’s nickname: the one-lakh car.

The one-lakh car will be the cheapest on the planet. The closest price-point rivals in developing countries cost at least twice as much. In the United States, of course, you can pay $2,500 just to get your transmission fixed. The real impact, though, may be the mayhem Tata inflicts on established automakers, much as People Express and its $19 airfares in the 1980s touched off decades of woes for the major airlines.

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