Musings on Africa, Politics, Technology, Love, Life and Trifles...

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vendredi, septembre 19, 2014

Smoking Hot Innovation : Boeing Fuels Its Airplanes With Tobacco

While the idea is not new, Boeing Co., one of the world's leading aircraft makers made the headlines when it announced in August 2014 that it will use for its planes biofuel created with a tobacco plant called Solaris. One may contend that this move could result in a major boost for the cigarette industry and consequently increase the adverse impacts to health throughout the world. But wait, there is a catch (isn't that always the case? :-) )! Solaris, the tobacco plant used to create the biofuel is completely new, it virtually doesn't contain any of the addictive component of tobacco that is Nicotine. Therefore the headlines claiming "innovation" were to some extent justified. Added to that, tobacco plants are ubiquitous around the world, and the plant generates multiple harvests per year; which makes this tobacco based hybrid biofuel even more appealing if not ideal for the Seattle-based Boeing Co. who partnered with South African Airways and a Dutch aviation biofuels company called SkyNRG.

By using hybrid tobacco, we can leverage knowledge of tobacco growers in South Africa to grow a marketable biofuel crop without encouraging smoking,” Ian Cruickshank, South African Airways Group environmental affairs specialist, told the LA Times

To summarize : Boeing will power its aircrafts with tobacco making this biofuel innovation smoking hot (small pun intended...) and furthering the steps toward a renewable-based world economy.

Image source: le Quotidien du Tourisme newsletter du 19 Septembre 2014

dimanche, septembre 22, 2013

Amar Bose : Portrait of a curious genius

Check out the great profile of Amar Bose life, the man behind the Bose Corporation. I've been meaning to post the link of this article featured on Popular Science website on Amar Bose, the genius mind behind the eponymous audio system brand.  

"The future," Bose [- a renowned MIT professor -] famously told his students, "isn't in solving the problems to which we already know the answers. It's in learning how to work through the problems you'll experience in life, in any subject."

"The value of Amar Bose isn't so much in the things he has invented, but in the sense of possibility he inspires. Even the company's consumer slogan—BETTER SOUND THROUGH RESEARCH—appears on the trucks only, Veranth says, "because trucks can be repainted." In the lobby of Bose headquarters, set in stone, is a broader slogan: BETTER PRODUCTS THROUGH RESEARCH."

Bose reminds us that we could all afford to be much more skyward-looking, far-fetched and curious, and that we could all believe more strongly in our own potential to create.

vendredi, août 23, 2013

Good Habits versus Bad ones

"An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones."

W. Somerset Maugham

jeudi, mars 14, 2013

Tout va bien...

Tout va bien...

La mort n'est rien en soi... Je suis seulement allé dormir dans la pièce à côté. 

Je suis moi et vous êtes vous... Quel que soit le lien qui ait pu nous unir, il est toujours le même.
Appelez-moi par mon surnom, parlez-moi le plus naturellement comme vous l'avez toujours fait. Ne changez pas de ton. N'y mettez aucune solennité ni tristesse. Riez aux petites plaisanteries que nous aimions tant nous faire.
Jouez, souriez, pensez à moi.
Que mon nom soit utilisé de la façon la plus naturelle comme il l'a toujours été. Qu'il soit prononcé sans effort, sans le moindre ombrage.
La vie signifie tout ce qu'elle a toujours signifié. Elle est toujours celle qu'elle a toujours été.
Pourquoi devrais-je sortir de votre esprit, parce que je ne suis plus là?
Moi, je vous attends, pour quelque temps, quelque part tout près, juste au coin de la rue... 
Tout va bien.

d'après Henri Scott Holland (1847-1918) 

tant d'années déjà et l'absence toujours aussi cruelle...

jeudi, février 14, 2013

Lincoln's Constitutional Leadership

Must a government, of necessity,” he asked, “be too strong for the liberties of its own people or too weak to maintain its own existence?”  Abraham Lincoln (1).

"Political genius" or "aspiring tyrant" ? Understanding the political legacy of Abraham Lincoln and his life's work has posed throughout the years a great challenge to many.  Scholars have described as an exemplary leader, a symbol of moral grandeur and heroism during times of hardship for the United States. Describing Lincoln as a complex mind and leader is an understatement.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) political leadership is back on the limelight. The philosophy of the 16th president of the United States has long been the subject of public scrutiny, interest in his legacy has never waned, even more recently thanks to the Academy's award nominated movie by Steven Spielberg, in which Daniel Day-Lewis offers us a stunning performance playing a Civil War time president, battling in the political field to pass the thirteen amendment regarding slavery abolition.

Yale political science professor Stephen B. Smith (2), presents the principles of constitutional government according to Lincoln, in a New York Times' article, poses the question 
What Sort of Leader Was Lincoln?

In essence one could summarize A. Lincoln views as:
  • The principles are opposed to that of majority rule.
  • constitutions are made :
    • to restrain power whether it is 
      • power of a king (It is a device that helps to prevent the boundless field of absolutism) or 
      • power of popular majority (its vote doesn't confer the absolute power to do what it wanted)
    • to avoid a descent to anarchy by means of the aforementioned power of popular majority.
  • Individual consent forms the essence of constitutional government.
  •  Secession impedes the operations of a free elected government
  • A government should carry on its constitutional duties regardless of political motives or opportunities
"To his infinite credit, Lincoln realized that free elections should not, even in principle, be sacrificed even if the cost might be the end of constitutional government. For constitutional leadership, the ends do not justify the means. Constitutional leadership is necessarily limited or bounded leadership. It is in this possibility of a leader operating within the limits of constitutional restraint that the hope of our republic rests."

(1) : Abraham Lincoln's Special Message to Congress of July 4, 1861.
(2): Stephen B. Smith article on Lincoln's constitutional leadership.
(3): images sources:  lincoln and constitution

mardi, novembre 06, 2012

Four More Years :)

President Obama has won re-election to a second term according the all major new networks projections that are calling it in on the air.

We can safely say at this time, that President Obama would have the majority of electoral votes, more than the 270 required. The incumbent President Barack Obama has such an edge that would be nearly impossible for candidate Mitt Romney to recover.

On his official twitter account, one can read : “This happened because of you. Thank you.
Thank you Mr President and best of luck to implement your policies and put the US back on the track of economic recovery.

picture source:

vendredi, août 17, 2012

No violence, no matter how sad can darken the heart or tear it apart

Hold my hand
I am afraid
Please pray for me
When I am away

Comfort the girl
Help her understand
No memory
No matter how sad
And no violence
No matter how bad
Can darken the heart
Or tear it apart

Take my hand
When you are scared
And I will pray
If you go back out there
Comfort the man
Help him understand
That no floating sheet
No matter how haunting
And no secret
No matter how nasty
Can poison your voice
Or keep you from joy

Normal Song by Perfume Genius

jeudi, août 02, 2012

TS Elliot Quote - In a minute there is time

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. 
For I have known them all already, known them all:—

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
T.S Elliott

Image Created by Dabnotu

samedi, juillet 28, 2012

Relationships' Bill of Rights

What should we expect in a normal relationship where love is the thread? What are the rights of each partner? 

Evans (1992) suggests the following as basic rights in a relationship for you and your partner:

  • The right to good will from the other.
  • The right to emotional support.
  • The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
  • The right to have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
  • The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
  • The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you may find offensive.
  • The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
  • The right to live free from accusation and blame.
  • The right to live free from criticism and judgment.
  • The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
  • The right to encouragement.
  • The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
  • The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.
  • The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
  • The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.

Dear readers, I wish to each one of you to find a partner that will respect these simple but forceful rights that should serve as good bases but also reminders for an healthy relationship that everyone of us is deserve.

samedi, juin 16, 2012

Save your "sorry. I don't need are anymore apologies

Last night, I watched for the second time the Tyler Perry movie "For colored girls" starring some of my favorite African-American actresses : Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose etc...

The quote I love the most, is the one from Jo (Joanne Bradmore) played by an astonishing Janet Jackson.

Save your "sorry.

" One thing I don't need are anymore apologies.
 I got sorry greeting me at the front door. 
You can keep yours. 
I don't know what to do with them... 
I can't even... 
I have to throw some away. 
I can't even get to the clothes in my closet for all the sorries. I
'm not even sorry about you being sorry. 

Here is an extract from: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, the original play from which the movie was adapted,  

“one thing I don’t need

is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back
they don’t make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry.” 

Ntozake Shange