Tuesday, 26 March 2013

April is Earth month

Now that we live in Ecuador, conservation and the environment are words that are not used in the same sentence very often. 
Here we have artificial prices for petrol (gasoline) and diesel. There are no controls on emissions, either, from combustion or industry. For the most part, there is no potable water; yet, we enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
As this country pours money into education, health care, and infrastructure, what lags behind is the need for standards, quality of life standards. These would include the protection of habitat, safe drinking water, air quality, stopping deforestation, renewable energy, safe treatment of sewage, and fishery protection, to name a few. Do not let it be just one day or one week a year! Help where you can.

Here in Salinas, we have a modern water park that, before we got here, was closed due to an accident and, for whatever reason, has not been able to reopen.
Well, on a recent visit to Salinas, the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, met with the Mayor of Salinas, Paul Borbor. The water park was included on the agenda of the meeting. During the meeting, the president asked why there is a water park just three blocks from the ocean? The president then went on to say that the park should be demolished, and the area be redeveloped to provide work and income for the city.
So here, it is just a month later, and the water park is in the process of being taken apart. What will replace it, we do not know at this time. Here are some images of the water park taken just before it was due to be demolished. Pictures taken by Mary Kelly.

Going back to the earth month theme, I found this video that sort of puts you into the mode of the month.  Right click on the link below and open the URL. I got a laugh. Enjoy!

This Month

March 26
March 26, 1979 - The Camp David Accord ended 30 years of warfare between Israel and Egypt. Prime Minster Menachem Begin of Israel and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the treaty of mutual recognition and peace, fostered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
March 26, 1992 - Soviet Cosmonaut Serge Krikalev returned to a new country (Russia) after spending 313 days on board the Mir Space Station. During his stay in space, the Soviet Union (USSR) collapsed and became the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Birthday - American playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) was born in Columbus, Mississippi. His works featured Southern settings and include: The Glass MenagerieNight of the Iguana, and two Pulitzer Prize winning plays, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
March 27
March 27, 1977 - The worst accident in the history of civil aviation occurred as two Boeing 747 jets collided on the ground in the Canary Islands, resulting in 570 deaths.
March 28
March 28, 1979 - Near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident occurred in which uranium in the reactor core overheated due to the failure of a cooling valve. A pressure relief valve then stuck causing the water level to plummet, threatening a catastrophic nuclear meltdown. The accident resulted in the release of radioactive steam into the atmosphere, and created a storm of controversy over the necessity and safety of nuclear power plants.
March 29
March 29, 1979 - In the U.S. Congress, the House Select Committee on Assassinations released its final report regarding the killings of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy.
Birthday - John Tyler (1790-1862) the 10th U.S. President was born in Charles City County, Virginia. He became president upon the death of William H. Harrison and served from 1841 to 1845. In 1861, Tyler was elected to the Confederate Congress, but died before being seated.
March 30
March 30, 1981 - Newly elected President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest while walking toward his limousine in Washington, D.C., following a speech inside a hotel. The president was then rushed into surgery to remove a 22-caliber bullet from his left lung. "I should have ducked," Reagan joked. Three others were also hit including Reagan's Press Secretary, James Brady, who was shot in the forehead but survived. The president soon recovered from the surgery and returned to his duties.
Birthday - Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was born in Groot Zundert, Holland. He was a Postimpressionist painter, generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt. During his short (10-year) painting career he produced over 800 oil paintings and 700 drawings, but sold only one during his lifetime. In 1987, the sale of his painting Irises brought $53.9 million, the highest price ever paid for a work of art up to that time. During his life, Van Gogh suffered from despair and bouts of mental illness, at one point cutting off part of his own left ear. He committed suicide in 1890 by gunshot.
March 31
March 31, 1933 - The Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC, was founded. Unemployed men and youths were organized into quasi-military formations and worked outdoors in national parks and forests.
March 31, 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson made a surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election as a result of the Vietnam conflict.
March 31, 1991 - The Soviet Republic of Georgia, birthplace of Josef Stalin, voted to declare its independence from Soviet Russia, after similar votes by Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Following the vote in Georgia, Russian troops were dispatched from Moscow under a state of emergency.
Birthday - Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was born in Rohrau, Austria. Considered the father of the symphony and the string quartet, his works include 107 symphonies, 50 divertimenti, 84 string quartets, 58 piano sonatas, and 13 masses. Based in Vienna, Mozart was his friend and Beethoven was a pupil.
Birthday - Boxing champion Jack Johnson (1878-1946) was born in Galveston, Texas. He was the first African American to win the heavyweight boxing title.