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Earthquakes in Nepal and India

NEW DELHI — A powerful earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday near its capital, Katmandu, killing more than 5,000 people (The PM claimed over 10,000 perished so far, flattening sections of the city’s historic center, and trapping dozens of sightseers in a 200-foot watchtower that came crashing down into a pile of bricks.

As officials in Nepal faced the devastation on Sunday morning, they said that most of the deaths occurred in Katmandu and the surrounding valley, and that more than 4,700 people had been injured. But the quake touched a vast expanse of the subcontinent. It set off avalanches around Mount Everest, where at least 17 climbers died. At least 34 deaths occurred in northern India.

Buildings swayed in Tibet and Bangladesh.

By midafternoon, the United States Geological Survey had counted 12 aftershocks, one of which measured 6.6.

Seismologists have expected a major earthquake in western Nepal, where there is pent-up pressure from the grinding between tectonic plates, the northern Eurasian plate and the up-thrusting Indian plate.

Still, witnesses described a chaotic rescue effort during the first hours after the quake as emergency workers and volunteers grabbed tools and bulldozers from construction sites, and dug with hacksaws, mangled reinforcing bars and their hands.

Though many have worried about the stability of the concrete high-rises that have been hastily erected in Katmandu, the most terrible damage on Saturday was to the oldest part of the city, which is studded with temples and palaces made of wood and unmortared brick.

Four of the area’s seven Unesco World Heritage sites were severely damaged in the earthquake: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a temple complex built in the shape of a conch shell; Patan Durbar Square, which dates to the third century;  which was the residence of Nepal’s royal family until the 19th century; and the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the oldest Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas.

 

For many, the most breathtaking architectural loss was the nine-story Dharahara Tower, which was built in 1832 on the orders of the queen. The tower had recently reopened to the public, and visitors could ascend a spiral staircase to a viewing platform around 200 feet above the city.

Continue reading the main story

Epicenter of earthquake

with an estimated

magnitude of 7.8

China

Smaller quakes in

the hours afterward

NEPAL

Mount Everest

Pokhara

Areas of

strong shaking

Katmandu

India

100 miles

Epicenter of earthquake

with an estimated

magnitude of 7.8

China

Smaller quakes in

the hours afterward

NEPAL

Mt. Everest

Pokhara

Areas of

strong

shaking

Katmandu

India

100 miles

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8, struck shortly before noon, and residents of Katmandu ran into the streets and other open spaces as buildings fell, throwing up clouds of dust. Wide cracks opened on paved streets and in the walls of city buildings. Motorcycles tipped over and slid off the edge of a highway

Patsy Z shared this link on FB

Thoughts are with the people of Nepal. Magical kingdom- I spent 3 months there as a medical student.

The earthquake struck near Katmandu. Residents described scenes of panic, and trekkers reported a major avalanche on Mount Everest.
nytimes.com|By

 

E.B. White’s Letter to a Man Who Had Lost Faith in Humanity

by

What sailors teach us about hope and the resilience of the human spirit.

In 1973, more than two decades after a young woman wrote to Albert Einstein with a similar concern, one man sent a distressed letter to E.B. White, lamenting that he had lost faith in humanity.

The author, who was not only a masterful letter-writer but also a professional celebrator of the human condition and an unflinching proponent of the writer’s duty to uplift people, took it upon himself to boost the man’s sunken heart with a short but infinitely beautiful reply, found in Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience (public library | IndieBound) —

This wonderful collection based on Shaun Usher’s labor-of-love website, which also gave us young Hunter S. Thompson on how to live a meaningful life.

White’s missive, penned on March 30, 1973, when he was 74, endures as a spectacular celebration of the human spirit:

Dear Mr. Nadeau:

As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate.

Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer.

I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly.

It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet.

But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. (The conditions have never been right so far?)

Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope.

And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day. (Until winding clocks is back in fashion, what could we do instead?)

Sincerely,

E. B. White

Salma (Selma) Hayek in Lebanon
to visit Syrian refugees…
And launch her new movie “The Prophet

April 28, 2015, 08h08

Traveling between the glamorous side of life and the poorest one, Salma Hayek visited Lebanon this weekend to launch CHIME for the Children of Syria (a fundraising appeal to support children and families affected by the Syria crisis).
The actress was also in Lebanon to launch her animated movie, The Prophet.
A UNICEF supporter and CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign Co-Founder, Salma Hayek visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon during a visit to the country this week-end.Founded by Gucci, a UNICEF partner, CHIME FOR CHANGE is a global campaignto raise funds and awareness for girls and women around the world focusing on the areas of education, health and justice.”

Hayek visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon on April 25, to draw attention to the urgent humanitarian needs of children and families whose lives have been upended by the brutal conflict in Syria over the last four years, UNICEF stated in a press release.

Across the region, UNICEF estimates that 14 million children have been affected and are at risk of becoming a lost generation, including 2.6 million children who are no longer in school, and close to two million who are living as refugees in neighboring countries.

“Millions of children have been robbed of their childhood, their country and have lost their loved ones. As a result of the conflict in Syria, they are missing out on their education and are having to work to provide for their families,” said Hayek.

“By donating to the CHIME for the Children of Syria fundraising appeal, you are supporting UNICEF’s efforts to provide children with access to learning opportunities and support services to help them cope with the violence they have experienced. The conflict should not mean that an entire generation is lost.”

In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Hayek met with refugee children and aid workers who are providing a safe environment through counselling, play and learning activities.

Hayek observed a polio immunization campaign targeting high risk areas, in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF and local partner Beyond Association to protect nearly 190,000 children under the age of five from the crippling disease.

She also witnessed mobile medical clinics set up by UNICEF, the Ministry, and local partners to provide free primary healthcare, including access to vaccines, critically needed examinations, basic medicine and antenatal care to refugees in tented settlements across Lebanon.

“I’m deeply inspired by the courage of the Syrian refugee children and their families that I met in Lebanon who, against the odds, and despite the harm they have suffered or witnessed, are still determined to endure life and hope for a better future. I’m also moved by the generosity so many Lebanese people have shown toward those seeking refuge in their country,” said Hayek, whose paternal grandparents were Lebanese. “I plead to everyone who is grateful for the peace and stability in their lives to show compassion for those who have lost it all and to help.”

From the Bekaa to the red carpet

Well-known for films such as Frida, Puss in Boots and most recently The Prophet, Hayek is also member of the CHIME FOR CHANGE Founding Committee supporting women and girls’ empowerment. In 2008, Hayek travelled to Sierra Leone with UNICEF to witness first hand the impact of maternal and neonatal tetanus on women and babies and observe UNICEF’s health and immunization programs.

The Gucci-UNICEF partnership was launched in 2005, and has benefitted more than 7.5 million children to date through UNICEF programs that focus on helping the most disadvantaged children have a brighter future through education.

During her visit to Lebanon, Salma Hayek also took part in the glamorous event organized at Ecole Superieure des Affaires in Beirut to launch her latest movie, The Prophet, dedicated to the life of Gebran Khalil Gebran. The Premiere of the film was screened at Cinema City, Beirut Souks.

The contrast between the two respective worlds of show business and extreme poverty had something shocking to us. VIPs posted many selfies on Facebook explaining they were meeting with Salma Hayek, making this event one of the most important of the season.

However, apart from the pictures released by UNICEF, we couldn’t spot many photos on the Social media of Hayek visiting the Syrian refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley. The refugees might not have been able to post their pics on Facebook.

Let’s hope the fundraising campaign will go well anyway.

– See more at: http://m.iloubnan.info/en/social/86170/Salma-Hayek-in-Lebanon-to-visit-Syrian-refugees-And-launch-her-new-movie-The-Prophet#sthash.papH8R7q.dpuf

Dangers of Judging Women by Their Clothes

You’re not defined by how short — or long — your skirt is.

A lot goes into picking out an outfit in the morning. If it’s freezing out, if you have anything to do after work, if you’re seeing someone you want to impress — it all goes through your head.

But often so does what others will think of you because of what you wear.

Too short? You’re a “slut.” Too long? A “prude.” It’s freakout-inducing.

  posted this March 22, 2015

Terre Des Femmes, a Swiss organization for gender equality, is fighting back against the unfair judgment women and girls face about how they dress with an ad campaign called “Don’t Measure a Woman’s Worth by Her Clothes.”

Along with students at the Miami Ad School in Germany, artist Theresa Wlokka created three powerful images, depicting commonly sexualized areas (like a woman’s chest and legs) alongside “measuring sticks.”

It’s a glaring reminder that if a girl wears a low-cut shirt, it doesn’t mean she’s promiscuous, and a knee-length skirt doesn’t mean she’s prude or boring.

The images also highlight a common justification heard in sexual assault cases — the insane idea that showing skin means the victim was “asking for it.”

Skirt Length

We Recommend

Heel Height

Neckline

From: Seventeen
Note: “Asking for it” opinion should be taken seriously. That is why collecting data on men and women opinion on how women and men dress is of great importance. Better be on the safe side if you have the proper knowledge of how people perceive the way you dress.

 

Flat heads? Is that the description for ambitious women?

When I wrote my memoir, the publishers were really confused. Was it about me as a child refugee, or as a woman who set up a high-tech software company back in the 1960s, one that went public and eventually employed over 8,500 people? Or was it as a mother of an autistic child? Or as a philanthropist that’s now given away serious money? Well, it turns out, I’m all of these. So let me tell you my story.

0:50 All that I am stems from when I got onto a train in Vienna, part of the Kindertransport that saved nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi Europe. I was five years old, clutching the hand of my nine-year-old sister and had very little idea as to what was going on. “What is England and why am I going there?” I’m only alive because so long ago, I was helped by generous strangers. I was lucky, and doubly lucky to be later reunited with my birth parents. But, sadly, I never bonded with them again. But I’ve done more in the seven decades since that miserable day when my mother put me on the train than I would ever have dreamed possible. And I love England, my adopted country, with a passion that perhaps only someone who has lost their human rights can feel. I decided to make mine a life that was worth saving. And then, I just got on with it. (Laughter)

2:10 Let me take you back to the early 1960s. To get past the gender issues of the time, I set up my own software house at one of the first such startups in Britain. But it was also a company of women, a company for women, an early social business. And people laughed at the very idea because software, at that time, was given away free with hardware. Nobody would buy software, certainly not from a woman. Although women were then coming out of the universities with decent degrees, there was a glass ceiling to our progress. And I’d hit that glass ceiling too often, and I wanted opportunities for women.

3:03 I recruited professionally qualified women who’d left the industry on marriage, or when their first child was expected and structured them into a home-working organization. We pioneered the concept of women going back into the workforce after a career break. We pioneered all sorts of new, flexible work methods: job shares, profit-sharing, and eventually, co-ownership when I took a quarter of the company into the hands of the staff at no cost to anyone but me. For years, I was the first woman this, or the only woman that. And in those days, I couldn’t work on the stock exchange, I couldn’t drive a bus or fly an airplane. Indeed, I couldn’t open a bank account without my husband’s permission. My generation of women fought the battles for the right to work and the right for equal pay.

4:09 Nobody really expected much from people at work or in society because all the expectations then were about home and family responsibilities. And I couldn’t really face that, so I started to challenge the conventions of the time, even to the extent of changing my name from “Stephanie” to “Steve” in my business development letters, so as to get through the door before anyone realized that he was a she. (Laughter)

4:43 My company, called Freelance Programmers, and that’s precisely what it was, couldn’t have started smaller: on the dining room table, and financed by the equivalent of 100 dollars in today’s terms, and financed by my labor and by borrowing against the house. My interests were scientific, the market was commercial — things such as payroll, which I found rather boring. So I had to compromise with operational research work, which had the intellectual challenge that interested me and the commercial value that was valued by the clients: things like scheduling freight trains, time-tabling buses, stock control, lots and lots of stock control. And eventually, the work came in. We disguised the domestic and part-time nature of the staff by offering fixed prices, one of the very first to do so. And who would have guessed that the programming of the black box flight recorder of Supersonic Concord would have been done by a bunch of women working in their own homes. (Applause)

6:18 All we used was a simple “trust the staff” approach and a simple telephone. We even used to ask job applicants, “Do you have access to a telephone?”

6:33 An early project was to develop software standards on management control protocols. And software was and still is a maddeningly hard-to-control activity, so that was enormously valuable. We used the standards ourselves, we were even paid to update them over the years, and eventually, they were adopted by NATO. Our programmers — remember, only women, including gay and transgender — worked with pencil and paper to develop flowcharts defining each task to be done. And they then wrote code, usually machine code, sometimes binary code, which was then sent by mail to a data center to be punched onto paper tape or card and then re-punched, in order to verify it. All this, before it ever got near a computer. That was programming in the early 1960s.

7:42 In 1975, 13 years from startup, equal opportunity legislation came in in Britain and that made it illegal to have our pro-female policies. And as an example of unintended consequences, my female company had to let the men in. (Laughter)

8:10 When I started my company of women, the men said, “How interesting, because it only works because it’s small.” And later, as it became sizable, they accepted, “Yes, it is sizable now, but of no strategic interest.” And later, when it was a company valued at over three billion dollars, and I’d made 70 of the staff into millionaires, they sort of said, “Well done, Steve!” (Laughter) (Applause)

8:52 You can always tell ambitious women by the shape of our heads: They’re flat on top for being patted patronizingly. (Laughter) (Applause) And we have larger feet to stand away from the kitchen sink. (Laughter)

9:12 Let me share with you two secrets of success: Surround yourself with first-class people and people that you like; and choose your partner very, very carefully. Because the other day when I said, “My husband’s an angel,” a woman complained — “You’re lucky,” she said, “mine’s still alive.” (Laughter)

9:44 If success were easy, we’d all be millionaires. But in my case, it came in the midst of family trauma and indeed, crisis. Our late son, Giles, was an only child, a beautiful, contented baby. And then, at two and a half, like a changeling in a fairy story, he lost the little speech that he had and turned into a wild, unmanageable toddler. Not the terrible twos; he was profoundly autistic and he never spoke again. Giles was the first resident in the first house of the first charity that I set up to pioneer services for autism. And then there’s been a groundbreaking Prior’s Court school for pupils with autism and a medical research charity, again, all for autism. Because whenever I found a gap in services, I tried to help. I like doing new things and making new things happen. And I’ve just started a three-year think tank for autism.

11:12 And so that some of my wealth does go back to the industry from which it stems, I’ve also founded the Oxford Internet Institute and other IT ventures. The Oxford Internet Institute focuses not on the technology, but on the social, economic, legal and ethical issues of the Internet.

11:34 Giles died unexpectedly 17 years ago now. And I have learned to live without him, and I have learned to live without his need of me. Philanthropy is all that I do now. I need never worry about getting lost because several charities would quickly come and find me. (Laughter)

12:11 It’s one thing to have an idea for an enterprise, but as many people in this room will know, making it happen is a very difficult thing and it demands extraordinary energy, self-belief and determination, the courage to risk family and home, and a 24/7 commitment that borders on the obsessive. So it’s just as well that I’m a workaholic. I believe in the beauty of work when we do it properly and in humility. Work is not just something I do when I’d rather be doing something else.

12:56 We live our lives forward. So what has all that taught me? I learned that tomorrow’s never going to be like today, and certainly nothing like yesterday. And that made me able to cope with change, indeed, eventually to welcome change, though I’m told I’m still very difficult. 

Zeina Nehme shared this link on FB

Touching and inspiring talk!

Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team…
on.ted.com|By Dame Stephanie Shirley

 

Entrepreneurial Wisdom from Bill Gross

What’s most important for the success of your project?

Is it the team? funding? timing? idea? business model?

Recently I heard Bill Gross, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century, offer a compelling answer – one that changes my views on the formula for success.

This blog is a summary of Bill Gross’ excellent talk.

[ Click to Tweet about this (you can edit before sending): http://ctt.ec/KWYB9 ]

5 Key Success Factors

Bill investigated how five key factors affected the success of the 125 companies in his portfolio at Idealab and 125 companies outside of his portfolio.

The factors he considered were:

    1. The Idea: How New is It? Is there a unique truth in the idea? Are there competitive moats you can build around it?
    2. The Team and the Execution: How efficient is the team? How effective is it? How adaptable?
    3. The Business Model: Do you have a clear path to revenues?
    4. The Funding: Can companies that can out money-raise others succeed where the others would fail?
    5. The Timing: Are you too early? Just early? Too late. Right on time? Did that matter a lot?

    Of these 250 companies, Bill picked 10 in each category: five companies that turned into billion-dollar companies, and five that everyone thought would be billion-dollar companies but failed.

    The question: Which variables accounted more for successes?

    What was the MOST Important Factor?

    The No. 1 thing that mattered was TIMING.

    Timing accounted for 42 percent of the successes relative to failures.

    No. 2 was team and execution.

    No. 3 was the idea.

    No. 4 was business model, and last was funding.

    The Explanation

    Funding: Much to the disappointment of the venture capital business, funding as a key success factor came in last. As Bill explains, “Funding mattered the least because you can make a company succeed even if you don’t raise the money.”

    Business Model: The business model ranked low because you can start without a business model. Take Facebook and Twitter, both of which launched without a revenue model.

  1. Some of the best companies add their business model after they find product market fit and demonstrate rapid growth.Idea: You morph the idea. The market is going to change your idea. Here Bill Gross quotes the famous business philosopher, boxer Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face.”

    As Bill points out, the way the market actually reacts to your first product is a lot like getting punched in the face. Your plan may be good, but it’s going to change.

    Team and Execution: The team is the one that has to look at the market and adapt their product to what they see. If you don’t have a good, complementary team, it’s just not going to happen. But, it’s not the most important factor.

    So why did timing come out on top?

    Timing is Everything

    Sometimes you might have a great idea, but the market just isn’t ready for it. And sometimes, the timing is just right to launch your business.

    Take Airbnb as an example – everybody thinks Airbnb is an incredible business model.

    It is a good business model, BUT “the Airbnb model” had been done multiple times before Airbnb became successful.

    One of the things that accounted for Airbnb’s huge success is that it came out right when the huge recession hit around the world… People needed extra money badly. People were willing to rent out their rooms or their homes.

    Similar timing helped Uber.

    SpaceX was founded and then the Columbia Space Shuttle accident left the U.S. without a reliable launch vehicle.

    So what can you do about it?

    Knowing how critical timing and market acceptance is to your business, what do you do?

    Two options…

    First, you should actually look at your business, the uptake of your product, and the dynamics of the marketplace of your customer to see if they are really ready for what you have.

    If not, adjust your offering to be what they actually need, right now.

    Second, adjust your burn rate (how much money you spend) so you can last long enough so you’re there when the market is actually ready for what you have

  2. Let’s create a world of abundance

    It’s incredible that we now have the data to analyze and rank order the success factors of startups.

    Beyond timing, funding, team… there are many others worth considering, including the proper use of exponential technologies (e.g. 3D printing, cloud computing, A.I., sensors, etc.) and use of the crowd (crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, etc.).

    This is the sort of content and conversations we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is ~88% filled. You can apply here.

    Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

    If you’d like to view Bill Gross’ incredibly eloquent talk (which he gave both at DLD and TED), here is a link to Bill’s talk. It’s brief and very worth your time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR6YgWOan8Q

    We are living toward incredible times where the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing

Patsy Z shared on FB via Peter H. Diamandis

There is nothing more successful than an idea whose time has come!! Indeed…

What’s most important for the success of your project? Is it the team? funding? timing? idea? business model?
Recently I heard Bill Gross, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century,…
peterdiamandis.tumblr.com

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