|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. CCCVII April 1, email@example.com||Victoria, B.C.|
April Fools' Day
in most countries is the first day of April. It received its name from the custom of playing practical jokes on this day - for example, telling friends that their shoelaces are untied or sending them on ...
Encyclopaedia Britannica – online
This is as far you get when you search the Encyclopaedia Brittanica online for ‘April Fool’s Day’ without having to pay their monthly subscription fees.
Once upon a time, the New Scientist published a special issue on April 1st that was called Old Scientist. Unfortunately, the Old Scientist died a long time ago and it is not with us any more. In April 1st issues of BEN I have tried to emulate the Old Scientist, and I have done it so well that even some readers wanted more than one April 1st BEN a year. (Here I should mention a nice Czech proverb: "Self-praise stinks!")
This year I am having a hard time putting the April 1st BEN together. We are living in a "culture of violence", are witness to a fierce, shameful and unjustified war, we are bombarded by lies we are made to believe. We are watching world’s charismatic leaders with shock and horror and we cannot imagine all the suffering of innocent people. In these times it is difficult to joke, and if you feel as I do, it's also unethical. Nevertheless, it would be a pity to break the long tradition of April 1st jokes (that go to the pagan roots of both mankind and BEN), and I have tried to edit tidbits I have collected throughout the last year.
If we survive these times, we all will have deep scars on our souls. Yes, yes, my dear friends, all our shoelaces are untied! And we may trip over them.
From: The Career News Volume 3, Issue 13 (March 24, 2003) http://wvw.thecareernews.com/03-24-03.htm
NEW YORK, NY - How you should you handle your job search during this time of war? As far as applying for jobs, both online and offline, it should be business as usual. Keep plugging away at your job search and sending out your resume. However, do not bring up or discuss politics with interviewers since you don’t know if they have the same opinions you do and a heated discussion could jeopardize your candidacy. Also, be aware that there might be some delays in the hiring process due to the instability of the situation.
From: Adolf Ceska [firstname.lastname@example.org] – President Klaus’ permission to post his ideas in BEN is gratefully acknowledged.
Charles IV became the King of Bohemia in 1346, when he was 20 years old. He may have been young, but he was no dummy. He spoke 5 languages fluently (at a time when many crowned heads could not even read and write), and he was a masterful diplomat. He also had friends in high places - Pope Klement, who was elected during Charles IV's reign, had been the Czech sovereign's tutor at the court in Paris.
In 1348 Charles IV founded Charles University, the first center of higher education in all of Central Europe [and my Alma Mater - AC]. During his reign, Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire (a gilded sign on the Old Town Hall still proclaims "Praga Caput Regni" today [we used to translate it as "Prague was ruined by rain"]). His daughter Anna of Bohemia married Richard II of England.
It was Charles IV, too, who brought the cultivation of the grape and the wine industry to the beer-drinking Czech lands. That isn't to say that he neglected the beer industry - under his reign, stiff prison sentences were given to those caught exporting cuttings of prize Czech hops - essential to the brewing of great Czech beer - abroad. (http:// archiv.radio.cz/history/history04.html )
In 1355 Charles IV tried to introduce a new law codex Maiestatis Carolina that contained many restrictions imposed on the Czech nobility.
Maiestatis Carolina contained a rather draconian law that should have protected natural resources, namely forests, in Bohemia:
"Not only we do not want to waste, but we also want to protect our beautiful complex of our forests - so much admired by foreigners- from any logging. Wishing that our forests remained untouched and eternal, we order here that none of our foresters be allowed to log them, nor to take any wood from our forests, steal or sell the wood from our forests, except that wood which is dead or that will fall by the power of winds. Whoever will act contrary to this law is risking punishment of having his right arm cut off."
When Charles IV saw that his law codex would not have been accepted by the Czech nobility, in order to avoid humiliation, he announced that his law codex Maiestatis Carolina fell in a fireplace and was burnt.
Six and a half centuries later, Dr. Vaclav Klaus is a leading Czech economist and politician. He was the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia (and later the Czech Republic) from 1992 to 1995, and just recently, on February 28, 2003 he was elected President of the Czech Republic. In February 2002 he published his ideas about environment, economics, and ecology where he strongly argues against the ideas put forward in the Maiestatis Carolina. According to Vaclav Klaus, public ownership and economical market laws protect our environment better than the fear of having the right arm cut off:
"Let's have National Parks, but let's not change all our country into one 'National Park' in which certain pressure groups will impose their priorities and their ideas about our own lives. The regulation of pollution and the environmental protection based on it are useful only in those and only those cases when we cannot define ownership rights. International agreements about the ozone hole, or those about the protection of species that live in world oceans or on the poles, might be necessary and useful. Those are, however, the "big issues" that represent only the thin surface of all the environmental problems. Everywhere else, where the ownership rights are well defined and respected, and where the market economy functions well, our environment is well protected by an invisible arm of the market, and it is protected much better than it could be protected by the arm of the law. ... We don't have a slightest idea how many business transactions that are being closed today and daily do actually contribute to the maintenance of a fragile equilibrium between the man and nature." February 9, 2002
"Ecology is not a scientific discipline, even if you can get a professorship in it. It is a certain complex of knowledge about a certain subject, but it is not a science in a standard meaning. You cannot define ecology by its methods, its instrumentation, or by its scientific hypotheses. In the same way as there is no science about a city, there is no science about environment." February 22, 2002
"The key to the protection of environment starts in the definition of property rights. Private forests usually are not franticly logged, mineral deposits on private lands are usually not extensively extracted, water in private hands is not excessively polluted and private properties are not buried under poisonous waste, because their owners do not allow that, since they watch their natural resources and care about them. ..".
"If there is something on the private land what is valued by people, be it a geological formation, water sources, or some unique biological species, its owner will save it, since these features are - or could be - a source of his wealth. If someone else finds out that something else could be created on the land what is more appreciated by people, he buys the rights to the land and transform the original natural resources into his economical worth. Because of this, the exchange of property rights and the exchange of economical activities maintain the equilibrium between people and nature... Every piece of the land that has its owner is protected against the devastation equally as it is protected against the nonsensical requirement to maintain it in its "original natural state." February 9, 2002
If you want to take a Physical Ability Test for Conservation Officers (PATCO) of British Columbia, you have to get the following clearance from your doctor:
Medical clearance for participants undertaking the "PATCO" (Physical Abilities Test for Conservation Officers of British Columbia)
The pre-employment physical test battery was developed by exercise scientists and is based on extensive research, including a thorough job analysis. The test battery is composed of six tests, which are designed to simulate the most physically demanding tasks for entry-level positions within the BC Conservation Officer Service.
The following is a brief description of the tests.
The PATCO (Physical Ability Test for Conservation Officers) requires the participant to complete a 6 lap to a total of 400 meters circuit. The following obstacles are part of the circuit: a 1.8 m (6
ft) simulated water jump; a 3.6 meter (12 ft) simulated log walk on an 6x6 piece of lumber; manoeuvre through 6 car tires to simulate slash; step over logs (45 cm) and crawl under fallen trees (70 cm); and vault a 1.2 meter (4 ft) fence. The participant will be given time to warm-up and stretch and walk through the course prior to the test. These tasks require the anaerobic and aerobic systems.
There are 4 STRENGTH COMPLETION TASKS:
The Car-top Boat Transfer requires the participant to lift the bow of a 3.6 meter (12 ft) aluminum boat from the ground to the height of the top of the bed of a 4x4 truck (height = 140 cm). The boat is then lowered in a controlled manner and placed back on the ground.
The Motor Lift and Carry Task requires the participant to lift the motor from the back of the truck and carry it a distance of 12.2 meters (40 ft) out, place it on the motor stand, and then carry it 12.2 meters (40 ft) back to the truck. The motor is then loaded back onto the truck.
In the Carcass Drag Task the participant drags a simulated 125 lb carcass 23 meters (75 ft) over a log to a culvert trap, loads the carcass completely into the culvert trap, then unloads the carcass from the trap and drags it back 23 meters (75 ft) to the starting point.
The Snowmobile Transfer Task involves rotating the snowmobile 180º in one direction and then back 180º to the starting position by lifting and shifting the front and back of the snowmobile.
The 4 tasks utilize muscular strength & endurance.
The Modified PACK Test is a 4800 meter (3 mile) test to be completed in 45 minutes. The participant is asked to power walk at a 15 minute mile pace (4 mph) wearing a 35 lb backpack. Before the test begins the applicant will be given time to stretch, warm-up and will be shown how to power walk. The participant will also adjust the backpack for comfort and safety. This test requires aerobic endurance.
The Modified PACK Test is predominantly aerobic in nature with heart rates ranging from 60-80% of maximal heart rate. The PATCO and Strength Completion Tasks are anaerobic in nature whereby the intensity is high and the duration is low (under 5 minutes). Our research indicates that these tasks may elicit maximal or near maximal heart rate in all participants. To minimize the health risk, we are requesting this medical examination to determine whether the participant is healthy enough to take the full Pre-Employment Test Battery.
In your professional opinion do you consider: _____________________________ (please print participant's name) to be healthy enough to participate in the above established protocol? YES or NO (please circle one)
Comments: Is the participant on any medications that would affect Heart Rate or Blood Pressure? If so, what are the medications? _____________________________
Date ______________ Doctor's Signature __________________________
Thank you - please give this completed form to the applicant
From: Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist, originally published in Seattle Post- Intelligencer, Friday, March 14, 2003 – posted in BEN with Mr. Connelly’s permission
Using focus groups to test themes as well as buzzwords of Republicans' 1994 Contract with America, a young pollster, Frank Luntz, made his reputation and helped win GOP control of Congress.
Now, the Luntz Research Cos. are applying the same scripting techniques toward reversing the anti-environmental image the Republican Party has acquired as a result of actions by its Washington, D.C., chieftains.
"The environment is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general -- and President Bush in particular -- are most vulnerable," says a recent issue of Straight Talk published by Luntz Research.
A 16-page what-to-do discussion follows.
It never mentions such Bush administration initiatives as oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Nor is there reference to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's past efforts to strip enforcement powers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DeLay has likened EPA investigators to Gestapo agents.
Instead, Luntz talks about massaging the message. Certain words, for instance, must be stricken from the vocabulary of America's political debate.
"It's time for us to start talking about 'climate change' instead of global warming and 'conservation' instead of preservation," Luntz advises. Why? "Climate change is less frightening than 'global warming,' " Straight Talk explains. "As one focus group participant noted, climate change 'sounds like you're going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.' While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge."
Luntz emphasizes the dos and don'ts of which words to use.
"When we talk about 'rolling back regulations' involving the environment, we are sending a signal Americans don't support," Straight Talk warns. "If we suggest that the choice is between environmental protection and deregulation, the environment will win constantly." Instead, Republicans are told to put the costs of regulation "in human terms." A sample labeled "Language that works" urges GOP politicos to deliver the following spiel: "Unnecessary environmental regulations hurt moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas. They hurt senior citizens on fixed incomes. . . . They mean less income for families struggling to survive and educate their children."
As well, Straight Talk identifies issues and phrases as "winners" and "losers." When talking about the Bush administration's withdrawal from the Kyoto global warming accord, Republicans are urged to sound nationalistic -- arguing that "voluntary innovation" is preferable to "international intervention and regulation."
"The 'international fairness' issue is the emotional home run," Luntz advises. The economic argument "should be secondary." In a section titled "Getting back to nature," Republicans are advised to give personal testaments as to their love of the outdoors.
"Preserving parks and open spaces is a winner because it doesn't need to be explained to everyday Americans," Straight Talk says. "We need more issues like this."
The Bush administration has proposed to "update" the Superfund program that cleans up toxic waste, an effort that critics say is designed to force the public rather than polluters to bear the costs. GOP congressional leaders have also tried to "modernize" the Clean Water Act. Straight Talk indicates this is dangerous territory that must be finessed. "Avoid terms and concepts like 'providing stewardship' (passive and unclear) in favor of 'preserving and protecting' (active and clear)," Luntz advises. "And the number one hot button to most voters is water quality" -- including both infrastructure and pollution protection. "People don't understand the technicalities of environmental law -- but they do understand the benefits of conservation of water, land and open spaces. Republicans need to focus more on the benefits the public expects and spend less time debating process, which the public really doesn't care to follow."
"Process" seems to mean what you're doing behind the scenes . . . where, as a matter of fact, the Bush administration and some GOP lawmakers are using process to make policy.
In Arizona this week, your columnist came upon another example. Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), has proposed a 1,200-foot shaft and $125 million pumping station and pipeline to allow the Peabody Coal Co. to get water out of the Colorado River for its mining operations. In his legislation, Kyl has specified the project would be put between Lake Mead and Lees Ferry on the lower Colorado River. Unmentioned: the fact that this stretch of river is in Grand Canyon National Park.
It was a Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, who first protected the Grand Canyon. Another Republican president, Richard Nixon, signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act. A GOP governor in Washington State, Dan Evans, helped preserve millions of acres of wild lands.
Instead of manipulating the language, how 'bout emulating their actions?
Natural Spring Water -- Eau de source naturelle
Serving size 8.45 fl.oz. (250 ml) Servings Per Container 2 Amount Per Serving Calories 0 % Daily Value (*) Total Fat 0g 0% Sodium 1.67 mg 0% Total Carbohydrate 23.35 mg 0% Calcium 6.68 mg 0% Magnesium 2.02 mg 0% Sugars 0g Protein 0g
Not a significant source of calcium or fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber, sugars, Vitamin A, Vitamin C or iron.
(*) percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
From: New York Times, March 20, 2003
"Stash away the duct tape. Don't use it. Stash it away."
"Regardless of the threat level, once an individual or family has been prepared, you can be sure you've done everything the country wants you to do. Then you can go about the most important business of being a family."
-Tom Ridge, US Secretary of Homeland Security
Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?
-U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd