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An Election Film Week in Lebanon to Say #NoToExtension of Parliament Term

What better than the seventh art to mobilize? In another effort to push for Elections in Lebanon and prevent an extension of the Parliamentary term #NoToExtension, Lebanese NGO Nahwa Al Muwatiniya (meaning Towards Citizenship) held an “Election Film Week”.

Six works from Chile, Iran, China, Ghana and the US, varying between documentaries and fiction are being screened between August 28 to September 2 at Cinema Metropolis (a theater promoting indie movies)  in collaboration with the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE).

On the Facebook Page of the event, where the programme is listed, the organisers note:

We have been struggling with a fragile democracy in Lebanon, ever since its independence. Today, more than in the darkest days of the civil war, the foundations of our democracy are at risk. But we’re not alone in this. The world is full of stories about the human struggle for self-determination and democratic participation. Broadening our perspective serves our effort to improve the quality of the political system in Lebanon. 

The films we picked share stories from different countries, all which portray the election process. Collectively, they reveal a combination of human values and ideals and the efforts politicians make to win an election.

To see a glimpse of the movies, check out the trailer posted on Nahwa Al Muwatiniya Youtube Page.

The current parliament extended its four-year stay for the first time in May 2013. And like a year before, various parties are supporting the move this time around under the pretext of security conditions.

The end of the parliamentary term comes amidst a period of turmoil in Lebanon. The country has lacked a president since May 25 after parliament failed to elect a new head of state and top officials could not reach political consensus. A general strike by syndicates demanding to approve a new enhanced wage scale for civil servants has threatened to paralyze the entire country. Lebanon has experience instability on both Syrian and Israeli borders after soldiers were kidnapped by members of Islamic militant organization ISIS.

Confessions of an Ex-Football Fan in Chile

On the blog section of Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, Gustavo Santander writes that he doesn't like football, even though he ends up watching the matches with his friends and sharing stories so much that someone told him once: “you know a lot for someone who doesn't like football.”

He explains there was once a time when he loved football and that the 1986 World Cup in Mexico was the first one he remembers to the fullest:

Quién sabe por qué ese 29 de junio (de 1986) se grabó en mi mente como un día inolvidable, el hecho es que si cierro los ojos, aún puedo ver al Loco (Carlos Salvador) Bilardo gesticulando como un demente al borde de la cancha, a (Nery) Pumpido volando como un poseso para atajar los tiros alemanes, a (Karl-Heniz) Rummenigge disparando pelotazos como si fuera un Pánzer de carne y hueso; a (Jorge) Valdano metiendo el segundo gol de Argentina y a mi padre abrazando a mi madre, besándola en los labios como si fueran dos adolescentes cuando el silbato del árbitro marcó el fin de ese encuentro, que no era el suyo, pues ese año aún ni sabían que su matrimonio estaba por jugar su tiempo suplementario.

Who knows why that June 29 (1986) is fixed in my memory as an unforgettable day, and if I close my eyes, I can still see (Argentinian coach Carlos Salvador) Loco Bilardo madly gesturing on the sidelines, (Argentinian goalkeeper Nery) Pumpido flying as if possessed to block the German shots, (German goalkeeper Karl-Heniz) Rummenigge taking shots as if he was a flesh and blood Panzer; (Argentinian player Jorge) Valdano scoring the second Argentinian goal and my father hugging my mother, kissing her on the lips as if they were two teenagers when the referee whistled to end the match that wasn't theirs, as that year they weren't even aware that their marriage was about to play in additional time.

Chile Will Build the Biggest Telescope on Earth

In Fotones Valley at Cerro Armazones in the Atacama desert, Chile, the construction for what will become the largest optical telescope in the world, with a diameter of 39 meters, are underway.

In 2010, the European Southern Observatory Board chose that location in the Chilean desert for the future E-ELT.2. It will be the most southern European telescope (known by its acronym E-ELT):

LIVE: Explosions at Cerro Armazones to set up the biggest telescope of the world.

Cerro Armazones houses an observatory with three telescopes, with diameters 1.5 meters, 84 centimeters and 41 centimeters, the results of a joint project between several Chilean and foreign institutions and the European Southern Observatory. Representative Fernando Comerón noted that “with E-ELT we are building a telescope for the 22nd century”. According to estimations, the works will go on for 10 years and the telescope will be fully functional two years later.

Pre Historic Remains Found in Chile

They spent millions of years hidden, until 21st century, when a group of paleontologists discovered the remains of 46 ichthyosaur at Torres del Paine National Park [es], in southern Chile:

In Chile, an ichthyosaur cementery was found. The project started with the…

In Chile, a singular ichthyosaur cemetery was found. It's SHAMEFUL that we have to find it out on foreign media.

Is Breastfeeding in Public indecent?

Is breastfeeding in public “indecent”? That's the question raised [es] by Alejandra on Verde Alegría, after she was forced to breastafeed in private and realized she was not the only one:

To me, breastfeeding was -and still is- something absolutely normal and I thought everybody shared that idea. Nevertheless, I've recently seen on news portals many mothers telling that they have been discriminated for breastfeeding their children in public, and they even have left some of those places for being called almost as obscene for simply feeding their babies.

She explains this position as one double standard from society, due to some false moral and ignorance. And she claims:

No mother wants to show her breasts just because. I've never met a mother who intentionally wants to exhibit herself to other people “for her to be seen”. Of course, we are all prudish. But the thing is breastfeeding isn't an act that goes against the sense of shame. If there is someone who considers this has some kind of stimulating feature, or that it is somehow “dirty” or shameless. it's not the mother's problem, it's theirs, the person who has a completely distorted vision of sexuality.

The post reviewed here was part of the first #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs at GV] on May 5, 2014.

Chile: Controversial Draft Law Anti Memes Lasted Less Than 24 Hours

A very short life had the controversial anti-meme draft law, announced on Thursday July 10 by Chilean congressman of Christian Democratic Party, Jorge Sabag, as informed on Chilean media. The goal of the prohect was to preserve “authorities’ dignity” on social networks. The project imposed fines for individuals who used the face of any State officer on a meme and even considered imprisonment for the user who created and shared this kind of images on cyberspace.

On a radio interview on 11, facing the questions and jokes generated on Facebook and Twitter, Sabag admitted the project: “Was a mistake, I didn't pay close attention to what my advisors had drafted (…). It's not worth it to keep on processing it.”

The news was soon after commented on Twitter:

Jorge Sabag (DC), remember his name so he's never elected again.

Sabag's advisors…

The Inca Road Is a New World Heritage Site

QhapaqÑam

Somewhere in the Qhapaq Ñam. Photo on Flickr by user Rainbowasi. CC BY-SA 2.0

For the first time in the 40 years of World Heritage convention, six countries united to submit a joint application to designate a cultural site as world heritage. Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru requested that the Incan Road be included as a cultural heritage site.

The announcement was made in the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in in Doha, Qatar.

The international body highlighted that the Inca Road “represents a very valuable shared legacy, almost 60,000 kilometers long”:

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru share a new cultural legacy site: #QhapaqÑan, Inca road system. Congratulations!

Chilean Football Fan Got Mixed Up and Missed His Team's First Match

A Chilean football fan who wanted to cheer his national team on at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil missed his team's first game with Australia because he mixed up the cities Curitiba and Cuiabá.

During an interview with a reporter in Curitiba, the distracted fan said he was happy to be in Brazil, “a beautiful country”. The journalist told him that the match against Australia was scheduled in Cuiabá… 1,700 kilometers away from Curitiba.

Twitter users reacted almost immediately:

Chilean fan went to Curitiba instead of Cuiabá.

Chilean football fan who mixed up Cuiabá and Curitiba, 1.700 km away from his national team debut on the World Cup says he was joking the reporter.

Anyway, my life is way much better than the guy who got mixed up with Cuiabá and Curitiba, LOL! I dropped dead… LOL!!!

Drawings With Coffee Foam

The blogger on El Francotirador shares [es] his experience on a fast food shop, when as the waitress gave him the coffee he had ordered, she added:

“There you go… I drew a heart with the foam” – she said smiling.

As a result of this gesture, the author reflects:

I stared at the coffee, with its white heart that was slowly losing its shape, and I couldn't help it but felt mine squeezing. You see, I've always regarded with a mix of compassion and fear the jobs at the fast food shops [...] as prisoners who have to carry out the same chores, once and again, day after day, to serve perfect strangers, indifferent and many times rude.

But there we have a girl that, in spite of the fatigue at the end of her shift, she drew me a heart with the foam.

I don't know if she did this to make my day or hers, but it worked in both ways and it proved that when you have a happy, lively or creative spirit, those gifts might blossom even the most hostile environments.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

The website Chileno notes [en] that a Chilean-led team of astronomers has shed new light on the evolution of galaxies by observing young star formations in outer regions of the interacting galaxy NGC 92. As lead author Dr Sergio Torres from Universidad de La Serena explains, there is something special about interacting galaxies like NGC 92. They are as he says, “perfect laboratories to study galaxy evolution”:

The unassumingly titled NGC 92 galaxy isn’t a close one. On the contrary, it’s quite far away, 160 million light years away to be precise, or roughly 940 quintillion miles. That’s a lot of noughts.

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