Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 2015

Open Letter to  Bilal Hamad: President of Beirut’s Municipal Council

Najat Rizk shared Jad Chaaban post

Share now! Municipalities have to take full responsibilities.

Beirut, 27 August 2015 Open Letter to Mr. Bilal Hamad, President of the Municipal Council of Beirut Dear Mr. Hamad, I am writing to you as a Lebanese citizen and…
jadchaaban.com

Beirut, 27 August 2015

I am writing to you as a Lebanese citizen and taxpayer, and a permanent resident of Beirut.

I did not vote to elect you for the Municipal Council, because of our country’s twisted and sectarian election laws that do not allow us to elect our representatives based on our main area of residence.

Nevertheless I believe it is my right to address you as the only elected municipal representative in the city where I live.

And my main complaint is pretty straightforward: Either you and the municipal council take concrete actions to resolve the waste crisis immediately, or you should resign.

I like many of my fellow Beirut residents, Lebanese or foreigners, am a law-abiding citizen, who pays a lot of taxes to finance your and other civil servants’ salaries and expenses.

In fact I have calculated that as much as 30% of my income is swiped away by taxes (income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), benzene tax, mobile phone tax, Beirut municipal taxes – which by the way are 50$/month! – etc…).

This comes on top of having to pay two bills for every public service, which in other countries are typically provided by municipalities: 1. I have to buy additional electricity (Beirut municipality doesn’t provide any);

2. I have to buy drinking water in gallons (Beirut municipality doesn’t provide good quality tap water);

3.  I need to have a car to go anywhere (Beirut municipality doesn’t have an efficient public transport system); and the list goes on!

I am not expecting you and your council to solve all of these issues now (although I believe this can be done, look at some other cities in Lebanon!), but the least you can do immediately is to address the trash issue, before this also becomes a public service that we have to pay two or three times more for it to be resolved!

You will tell me that all of this is none of your business, as almost all public services in the city are handled by the central Government.

You will also tell me that the city of Beirut has a peculiar governance structure, where the Government-appointed Beirut Governor shares executive powers with the municipality.

You will also mention that your municipality has a limited budget ($1.5 billion as former minister Charbel Nahas stated), and no space to handle waste treatment, thus the need to find another area in Lebanon to dump our waste on it.

Well Mr. President all of these arguments are invalid.

There is nothing that prevents you from offering public services, even if this were to go against the wishes of the central government.

The city of Zahleh has electricity (24/24 and people there pay only $20 per ton compared to $160 in Beirut) ,

Jbeil has electric cars in the old town,

And Saida has its own freaking waste treatment plant!

Since the beginning of the current crisis several Lebanese municipalities have already engaged in sorting household waste at source and recycling.

If there is a will there is a way, and no one can prevent your Municipal Council from actively engaging in any public service, especially waste management. Go ahead and you will have mine and all of the Beirut residents’ (voters and non-voters) support.

Also don’t tell me there is no money and space. Your municipality has a cash reserve of 1.2 billion USD, 170 times the budget allocated to the Ministry of Environment!

But somehow during your tenure you only found money (and executive powers!) to close down one of Beirut’s last public green spaces (the Dalieh), to install controversial surveillance cameras, and to expropriate land and public parks to build controversial highways (Fouad Boustros Boulevard) and parking lots!

Mr. Hamad you and the Beirut Municipal Council are requested to implement immediately a waste management plan that in my (and many experts’) opinion consists of the following:
1. Implement a city-wide campaign for sorting waste at source, including separation into recyclables, organic, and non-recyclable items. This would immediately reduce the amount of garbage on the streets and engage Beirut residents as partners in the solution. If you want tips on how this is done, please call the municipalities of Roumieh, Bekfaya, Joun, Arsoun, and many others.
2. Upgrade the existing waste treatment plants of Karantina into more efficient ones: Once the amount of garbage is reduced through sorting, the existing plants (which fall under the municipality’s jurisdiction) could be easily turned into more efficient waste treatment facilities, therefore minimizing the amount of trash that has to be dumped. By producing better compost and extracting more recyclables, we can minimize the percent of trash currently going to landfills from 75% to only 15%!

The only solution for the waste crisis is that municipalities take back their executive powers and implement sustainable and responsible solutions. If you and your colleagues at the Beirut Municipality cannot do this, then I invite you all to submit your resignations immediately.

Sincerely,

Jad Chaaban
Beirut resident and Lebanese economist

What every navigator or traveller must know: Check #17 that could save your life

29 astuces que tout voyageur devrait absolument connaître…

La 17 est trop peu connue, mais elle change la vie !

By Nathan Weber

Si vous partez bientôt en vacances ou en voyage, voici quelques astuces qui pourraient bien vous être utiles afin de rendre votre vie quotidienne plus facile. En effet, lorsqu’on voyage, il y a certains petits trucs à savoir afin de se faciliter un peu l’existence et d’en profiter au maximum… 

Voici 29 petites astuces qui vous permettront de voyager l’esprit léger !

 

1. Utilisez le mode “navigation privée” de votre navigateur pour réserver vos vols et vos hôtels (ou simplement regarder les prix) .

Les sites de voyages, en particulier les compagnies aériennes, vous suivent à la trace. Ils savent combien de fois vous avez visité le site, et augmentent les prix en fonction afin de vous faire croire que les prix augmentent de jour en jour et vous pousser à acheter. Le mode “navigation privée” vous évite d’avoir des cookies et autres petits programmes espions sur votre ordinateur — et vous permet de voir les “vrais prix”.

2. Utilisez des pailles en plastiques pour transporter des petites dosettes quotidiennes de produits d’hygiène ou de beauté.

Il suffit de faire fondre les bouts des pailles pour les sceller avec un fer à repasser, un fer à lisser, ou même un briquet. Cela vous permet de voyager léger et de prendre juste les quantités nécessaires, surtout si vous ne partez que quelques jours ! 3. Utilisez le ressort d’un vieux stylo afin de protéger vos câbles et de les empêcher de se tordre ou de se casser aux endroits où ils sont les plus fragiles.

4. Avec une pince double-clip, vous pouvez protéger la tête de vos rasoirs.

5. Si vous avez oublié votre chargeur mural, sachez que la plupart des télés dans les hôtels disposent d’un port USB derrière. Avec une simple prise USB, vous pourrez donc charger vos appareils.

 6. Au lieu de plier vos vêtements, enroulez-les de cette manière, bien serré. Vous gagnerez énormément d’espace !

7. Scannez tous vos documents importants avant de partir, et envoyez les-vous par mail.

Si vous perdez vos papiers ou que vous vous faites voler, vous pourrez toujours accéder à leurs copies à partir de n’importe où. Passeport, carte d’identité, billets d’avion… C’est une petite précaution toute bête à prendre, qui vous épargnera bien des tracasseries administratives en cas de problème !

 8. Avec quelques coups de ciseaux et un peu de couture, vous pouvez transformer votre gant de toilette en poche à savon très pratique ! C’est du 2 en 1, et ça prend moins de place…

9. Les bonnets de douche / charlottes en plastique sont idéales pour couvrir le dessous de vos chaussures, et éviter de salir le reste de vos affaires.

 10. Mettez votre téléphone en mode “avion” afin d’économiser de la batterie et de le recharger plus vite

 11. Enroulez vos écouteurs autour d’une pince, afin d’éviter qu’ils s’emmêlent quand vous voyagez

12. Gardez vos épingles à cheveux bien rangées dans une boîte à Tic-Tac vide. 

13. Si vous avez des chemises, enroulez une ceinture dans le col afin d’éviter qu’il ne s’écrase dans votre sac

 14. En avion, choisissez les sièges proches des ailes pour moins ressentir les turbulences.

15. Pour utiliser Google Maps offline, tapez simplement “OK Maps” et les endroits visibles seront sauvegardés pour être accessibles plus tard sans avoir besoin de se connecter à internet.

16. Emballez vos affaires sous vide, afin de gagner énormément d’espace. Plus besoin de payer pour une seconde valise !

17. Attendez d’être le mardi à 15h pour acheter vos billets d’avion

C’est à ce moment que la plupart des grandes compagnies aériennes réduisent leurs prix, et que vous pouvez acheter vos billets au meilleur tarif possible. Les prix fluctuent énormément en fonction des jours, et comme la plupart des ventes se font le lundi soir, les prix baissent de façon drastique le lendemain.

18. Au lieu d’acheter une bouteille d’eau hors de prix à l’aéroport, emmenez avec vous une bouteille vide que vous remplirez une fois le contrôle de sécurité passé.

 19. Si vous voyagez à deux dans l’avion, réservez les sièges fenêtre ET couloir (ne prenez pas le milieu)

Si personne ne prend pas le siège au milieu (ce qui a des chances de se produire vu que la plupart des personnes n’aiment pas se trouver au milieu), vous aurez une rangée de sièges pour vous tout seuls ! Et si quelqu’un prend ce siège, vous n’aurez qu’à lui demander gentiment d’échanger avec le siège couloir, afin de pouvoir vous asseoir l’un à côté de l’autre.

 20. Évitez d’avoir des fuites dans votre trousse de toilette

Pour éviter que vos tubes de dentifrice, gel douche ou autres ne s’ouvrent pendant le trajet, enlevez le capuchon et placez un papier film avant de revisser !

21. Il y a de meilleurs moments que d’autres pour utiliser les toilettes de l’avion.

Les moments ou il y a le moins de monde aux toilettes sont au début du vol, juste après que l’avion ne soit stabilisé, et 15-20 minutes avant l’atterrissage. Bon à savoir, surtout si vous voyagez avec une compagnie qui ne permet pas de faire la queue devant les toilettes…

 22. Besoin d’internet ? Trouvez le code Wi-FI de la plupart des établissements en jetant un œil à la section des commentaires de FourSquare. De nombreuses personnes indiquent le code dans leurs messages ! 

 23. Un chargeur gratuit si vous avez oublié le vôtre à la maison.

Vous avez oublié votre chargeur ? Ce n’est pas si grave ! Souvent, les hôtels et auberges de jeunesse ont une boîte remplie de chargeurs oubliés par leurs précédents clients. Il suffit de demander gentiment à l’accueil…

 24. Évitez les mauvaises surprises et soyez l’un des premiers à récupérer vos bagages à l’aéroport.

Vous aussi, vous avez la malédiction de la valise qui arrive en tout dernier sur le tapis roulant de l’aéroport ? Il suffit de coller un sticker “fragile” sur votre valise, même si ce n’est pas le cas. Le personnel manipulera votre valise avec plus d’attention, et la placera au-dessus des autres valises. Elle sera donc parmi les premières à sortir de l’avion et à sortir sur le tapis roulant !

 25. Soyez prêt à plier bagage à tout moment

Vous connaissez ces rangements en tissu à accrocher dans les penderies ? Eh bien ils peuvent vous servir pour pré-ranger vos affaires, ce qui vous permet de faire et de défaire votre valise extrêmement rapidement. Idéal si vous devez partir en catastrophe (ou que vous voulez simplement économiser un temps précieux)

26. Supprimez les touristes de vos photos de voyage

Il suffit de prendre une quinzaine de photos identiques, en stabilisant votre appareil photo. Sur Photoshop, cliquez sur Fichier > Scripts > Statistiques puis de choisissez l’option “Médiane” avant de sélectionner toutes vos photos. Photoshop va ensuite repérer toutes les différences entre ces photos et simplement les supprimer, ce qui vous permet d’avoir votre paysage sans personne sur la photo !

 27. Utilisez les machines de retrait normales, plutôt que de changer de l’argent à l’aéroport

Très souvent, le taux de change est bien plus bas si vous vous adressez directement à la banque, plutôt que d’aller dans ces bureaux de change.

28. Accédez gratuitement au Wi-Fi dans les aéroports !

Quand vous êtes à l’aéroport, ajoutez simplement “?.jpg” à la fin de l’URL afin de contourner le Wi-FI qui est souvent bloqué, à des tarifs ridiculement élevés. Vous pouvez aussi vous asseoir juste à côté d’un salon Buisness ou V.I.P, près du mur : Le signal Wi-fi (gratuit) passe parfois à travers la paroi.

29. Lors de votre dernier jour dans un pays étranger, prenez toute la monnaie qui vous reste et donnez-la aux sans-abris

 Danish Solar-powered Schools of the Future?

Copenhagen is setting a new International School in Nordhavn CIS, which unites modern architecture with sustainability and decor.

The school is designed by Danish architectural firm C.F. Møller.

The unique façade is covered in 12,000 solar panels, each individually angled to create a sequin-like effect, which will supply over half of the electricity consumed by the school each year.

The solar cells will cover a total area of 6,048 square metres, making it one of the largest building-integrated solar power plants in Denmark. Furthermore, the students will also learn about their school’s green profile as they monitor energy production data as part of the physics and maths course curricula.

“We are proud that through the construction of the school, we will be able to take the lead and set a good example by showing how you can integrate innovative architecture into the curriculum. Our aim is to strengthen the student’s competencies in an international environment so they will become competent world citizens with a focus on sustainability,” says Brit van Ooijen, Chair of the Board for Copenhagen International School.

The school is 25,000 square metres, making it the largest school in Copenhagen. When the school opens in January 2017, 1,200 students and 280 employees will walk its halls.

The school is divided into different ‘towers’, focusing on community, identity and easy navigation.

The students can also spend time on the rooftop terrace, which will function as a playground for the entire school, particularly the younger pupils. The elevated playground prevents students from coming too close to the water surrounding the school and keeps them from straying off school premises.

 #YouStink Protest A few funny posters and banners  

Najat Rizk shared a link.
12 Funny Slogans And Pictures From Today’s #YouStink Protest
Posted By : Najib Yalla 3al Iris? via @TalebKabbara I got back early from the protest today because…
blogbaladi.com

12 Funny Slogans And Pictures From Today’s #YouStink Protest

Posted By :

TalekKabbaraYalla 3al Iris? via @TalebKabbara

I got back early from the protest today because I have a wedding dinner so I compiled some of the funniest slogans and pictures I saw into one post. Enjoy!

Piafvia @InedithPiaf

Louai_nMan United fans were there – via @Louai_n

IMG-20150829-WA0050Taxi Lebnene 100% (Made in Germany)

IMG_20150829_190941I ran out of water yesterday lol!

@LaraelhaddadDayi3 el shab – via @Laraelhaddad

@OlinAHTrying to sell his car at the protest – via @OlinAH

11951803_10153068431896596_5739446591898691925_nThe struggle is real

Berrivia @InedithPiaf

IMG_20150829_182833

IMG_20150829_190852Klink was at the protest – via @RalphAoun

TeeznaMin el ekhir.

Update: I just got this one and thought it was worth adding.

elissa LOOL – via LindsayChoueiry

Canadian Avaaz Kicking asses?  European Migration Agenda

I’m sorry to use crude language, but we Canadians sometimes do that in the best spirit when we get excited

Evidence you say?

We helped win the first ever European Migration Agenda

EU migrants

After thousands of asylum seekers drowned in the Mediterranean earlier this year, the European Commission finally proposed a Migration Agenda to get shared responsibility across the continent for rescue, resettlement and relocation of refugees, and we sprung into action to support the initiative:

  • First, we raised and granted $500,000 to the most effective private rescue mission in the Mediterranean, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which has saved 7,000 lives this year. We also supported a local organization that assists unaccompanied refugee children at risk of trafficking, and Greek Avaaz members even volunteered to help them on the ground.
  • Then we used funds to run an Avaaz aid mission to the Greek islands where Syrian families arrive every day on rickety boats, delivering bedding and health kits for thousands. Check out Avaazer Mike Baillie’s inspiring blog.
  • At the same time, we launched a European volunteer network for refugees. Over 1,600 Avaazers have volunteered to assist in programmes across the continent. In Greece, Malta, and Italy, they are helping families coming off the boats with integration. In Germany and France, Avaaz members are opening their homes to refugees, and in the UK they are supporting Syrians to resettle.
  • We also did the lobbying — 450,000 EU Avaaz members called for urgent action, and the petition was delivered to all EU Heads of State and the EU Commissioner on migration. Then 65,000 of us sent personal messages to Ministers, and our campaign got attention at the highest level of government. A senior adviser to President Juncker wrote thanking us for our ‘beautiful initiative’.
  • When after weeks of stalling, we found out Poland, Austria and Spain were blocking a deal, we flooded their Ministries with phone calls, and Avaaz volunteers made a video of Syrians appealing directly to the Spanish Minister for refuge, which exploded all over the media.

Together we showed leaders that the European public wants to help vulnerable people fleeing war, and we countered the pervading xenophobic narrative with acts of compassion. Now a deal has been done — the EU has tripled the search and rescue budget for the Mediterranean, and will offer sanctuary to more than 50,000 people escaping war. This is a first step, but the magnitude of this humanitarian crisis requires us to keep pushing leaders to increase safe routes into Europe as the best way to help these desperate families and stop illegal trafficking.

We helped feed thousands of Syrians during the holy month of Ramadan

ramadan meals
ramadan gas

This Ramadan, our community across the Middle East, North Africa, and South East Asia donated over $25,000 for the Ramadan campaign. Support was given to the Development and Regeneration Association, based in Lebanon, and Karam Foundation based in the US and with an extensive network inside Syria.

Through these two incredible organizations, our community helped make the following possible:

  • Iftar for thousands of Syrians through Ramadan Kitchens and food baskets in Bekaa, Salah el Din, Moadamieh and Ghouta. In Moadamieh and Ghouta alone, we helped feed over 18,000 people for the entire month of Ramadan!
  • 2400 meals for orphans in Aleppo
  • Cooking gas for over 600 families in Aleppo
  • 40 tonnes of flour which provided over 60,000 packages of bread in Idlib

Some kids even received new Eid clothes thanks to our community. Click here to see a video from Karam, and here to see photos from Bekaa.

We organised a letter from leading Economists to warn Chancellor Merkel against Greek Austerity

Greek austerity

When the Greek people said no to more austerity measures in a referendum and EU leaders threatened to kick Greece out of the Euro, Avaaz coordinated an open letter to Merkel from 5 leading economists including Thomas Piketty and Jeffrey Sachs on the back of a 530,000-strong Avaaz Europe petition. The letter was all over the German media and published across the world. It had such a strong impact that the German Finance Minister got his chief economist to write a response in a major newspaper, and the debate is now heating up. We’ll keep ramping up actions to shift the prevailing economic view in Germany as this has the most promise to liberate Greece from more failed and crushing austerity.

We got Benetton to pay victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh

Benetton Victory
Benetton Delivery

After two years of flat-out refusal, we got Benetton to reverse their position. Here’s how we did it:

  • We built and delivered a one-million-strong petition to Benetton.
  • We launched a huge social media storm, and when they hid our posts, we ramped them up.
  • We mobilised billboards outside Benetton’s Headquarters for days until the police came to stop us. Then our Italian Counsel got on the phone with the police, and they left us alone.
  • We got influential thought leaders to engage directly with the CEO of Benetton.
  • We issued a heartfelt appeal to Benetton staff through targeted ads on Facebook.
  • And finally, we engaged in personal and constructive negotiations with company executives.

Benetton responded by supporting the scheme, and even thanked Avaaz for our ‘important and positive role in the process’! Now, the scheme is fully funded and workers and their families will receive full payment. This success story could change the game for workers’ rights everywhere.

We raised a whopping $2.6 million for the victims of the Nepal earthquake

Nepal earthquake

When we heard of the devastation from this mega earthquake, we immediately jumped in and cut through bureaucratic hurdles to get aid to those most in need. By partnering with over a dozen of the best local relief efforts, the shelter, food, and medical supplies that our community funded were often the first to reach devastated villages. Funds raised by us are now rebuilding schools and crucial health facilities in the hardest hit regions, and are bringing hope to countless lives. Abari, one of the amazing organisations building schools and houses, sent their gratitude: “While the buildings were still crumbling from the aftershocks in Nepal, Avaaz spoke to us, understood the magnitude of the problem, and arranged the funds – all in less than 24 hours. The way they make decisions and take action is mind-blowing.”

We helped push the G7 of world polluters to commit to get off fossil fuels forever

G7 climate heroes

After decades of polluting and feet-dragging to move to the only viable solution — a total shift to clean energy — the G7 amazingly set a long-term goal to get completely off fossil fuels. Our community has been pushing for this for 2 years by:

  • spearheading the gigantic, momentum-changing, 700,000-strong climate march last year;
  • building a 2.7 million person petition for 100% clean energy delivered to dozens of key leaders;
  • coordinating scores of rallies, high-level lobbying meetings, opinion polls, and ad campaigns across the world, all funded by our community;
  • and leading a 3-month all-out push for the G7 summit leadership, especially directed at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to put this on the agenda and agree to this goal.

Click here to see in detail how we helped get this incredible victory.

We gave over $2.5 million to stop Ebola, and it is almost defeated!

Ebola news

This is a big deal. This monster could have killed millions — it threatened the whole world. But the world came together to stop it, and Liberia was recently declared Ebola-free! What did we do?

  • Our community donated $2.5 million to the best aid operations working on the front line. It was the speed and nimbleness of our funds that made them life-saving. Partners in Health says:We are so grateful for your support, and for the flexibility you provided us in terms of use of the funds. This flexibility was critical.”
  • Over 4000 of us offered to go to West Africa to use our skills to assist in the fight. Avaaz volunteers played critical roles on the ground — from combating patient-doctor transmission in Ebola Treatment Centers, to building the facilities themselves.

The fact that Ebola is defeated in Liberia and has significantly declined in neighbouring countries is a huge victory for humanity, and I’m so proud of our community for showing that people everywhere are willing to risk everything to help others on the other side of the planet in times of crisis. What’s now clearer than ever is that investment in public health in this region is crucial.

We pushed Barclays to divest from an Israeli Defense Company

Israel-Palestine

After the horrific Gaza attacks last summer, Avaaz launched the biggest global divestment campaign ever, calling on major companies to cut ties with operations and companies engaged in the illegal occupation and repression of Palestinians. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Russell Brand joined our call, and other groups called for the bank to act. Avaaz staff then met with Barclays to drive home the importance of divesting from Elbit Systems weapons company. We have now been informed that Barclays has no beneficial ownership of any shares in Elbit Systems in any capacity, nor does it hold any shares in nominee for clients. Barclays has also confirmed that it is not recommending Elbit Systems shares to clients via any trading platforms. Victory!
We are still pushing to get other companies financing the occupation of Palestine to withdraw and respect international law.

We helped finally get justice for Kenyan rape survivor, Liz

Justice for Liz

After a 16-year-old Kenyan girl told the police she was raped by six men who then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit, they just had the criminals mow their station lawn, and then let them free! When our community found out, we responded with a mega global outcry, and we have continued to ramp up the pressure:

  • We delivered the petition to top political and justice officials.
  • We bombarded Kenyan police and politicians on social media.
  • We sent an investigator to the scene to help uncover the crime.
  • And we teamed up with amazing Kenyan organisations to hold a massive march to get a Special Prosecutor involved to take the case to court.

Finally, nearly two years later, a judge sentenced three of the rapists to 15 years in jail. Terry Kunina, one of the women leaders in Kenya, said: “The Avaaz campaign put this case on the map and were it not for the worldwide recognition of the situation that Liz was facing, I am convinced that the case would not be where it is today. Liz now stands a chance at a better life.”

Now Kenyan officials know the world is watching and will hold them responsible for abuse and impunity.

On top of all these incredible wins, Avaaz has grown large enough to set up 18 national teams, so the number and impact of our national campaigning is skyrocketing from Germany to Brazil, from South Africa to Russia.

All of this is made possible by the growing engagement of all of us in this incredible community — from continuing to take action, to bringing our friends in, to donating small amounts of money and time — we are creating a magical and powerful collective force.

There’s a lot of scary stuff going on in the world, but let’s take a moment to give ourselves some love. We’re coming together in our millions, week after week, and it is having impact on some of the most complex issues of our time.

 

Was Office working Formula Devised for Men? Is it chilly at work?

Summers are hot in Omaha, where heat indexes can top 100 degrees. But Molly Mahannah is prepared.

At the office, she bundles up in cardigans or an oversized sweatshirt from her file drawer. Then, she says,

“I have a huge blanket at my desk that I’ve got myself wrapped in like a burrito.” Recently, “I was so cold, I was like ‘I’m just going to sit in my car in like 100-degree heat for like five minutes, and bake.’”

Ms. Mahannah, 24, who posted on Twitter that at work she felt like an icy White Walker from “Game of Thrones,” said a female co-worker at her digital marketing agency cloaked herself in sweaters, too. But the men? “They’re in, like, shorts.”

Right. It happens every summer: Offices turn on the air-conditioning, and women freeze into Popsicles.

Finally, scientists (two men, for the record) are urging an end to the Great Arctic Office Conspiracy. Their study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, says that most office buildings set temperatures based on a decades-old formula that uses the metabolic rates of men.

The study concludes that buildings should “reduce gender-discriminating bias in thermal comfort” because setting temperatures at slightly warmer levels can help combat global warming.

“In a lot of buildings, you see energy consumption is a lot higher because the standard is calibrated for men’s body heat production,” said Boris Kingma, a co-author of the study and a biophysicist at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

“If you have a more accurate view of the thermal demand of the people inside, then you can design the building so that you are wasting a lot less energy, and that means the carbon dioxide emission is less.”

The study says most building thermostats follow a “thermal comfort model that was developed in the 1960s,” which considers factors like air temperature, air speed, vapor pressure and clothing insulation, using a version of Fanger’s thermal comfort equation.

PMV = [0.303e-0.036M + 0.028]{(M W) – 3.96E-8ƒcl[(tcl + 273)4 – (tr + 273)4] – ƒclhc(tcl – ta) – 3.05[5.73 – 0.007(M – W) – pa] – 0.42[(M – W) – 58.15] – 0.0173M(5.87 – pa) – 0.0014M(34 – ta)}

It is converted to a 7-point scale and compared against the Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied, a gauge of how many people are likely to feel uncomfortably cool or warm.

Seems simple enough.

But Dr. Kingma and his colleague, Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, write that one variable in the formula, resting metabolic rate (how fast we generate heat), is based on a 40-year-old man weighing about 154 pounds.

Maybe that man once represented most people in offices.

But women now constitute half of the work force and usually have slower metabolic rates than men, mostly because they are smaller and have more body fat, which has lower metabolic rates than muscle. Indeed, the study says, the current model “may overestimate resting heat production of women by up to 35 percent.”

“If women have lower need for cooling it actually means you can save energy, because right now we’re just cooling for this male population,” said Joost van Hoof, a building physicist at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the study.

“Many men think that women are just nagging,” he said. “But it’s because of their physiology.”

Physiology and clothing.

The authors also note that the model is not always calibrated accurately for women’s summer wardrobes. Dr. van Hoof, who wrote a commentary about the study, observed that many men still wear suits and ties in the summer but many women wear skirts, sandals and other lighter, more skin-baring clothes.

“The cleavage is closer to the core of the body, so the temperature difference between the air temperature and the body temperature there is higher when it’s cold,” he said.

So for the planet’s sake, men should “stop complaining,” Dr. Kingma said. “If it is too warm, the behavior thing you can do is take off a piece of clothing, but you can only do that so much. You could also say let’s keep it a very cold building and women should just wear more clothes.”

But his study offers another solution: Change the formula.

Some experts doubt the proposed formula would be easily adopted.

Khee Poh Lam, an architecture professor at Carnegie Mellon, said even if the industry accepted a change to the longstanding model, buildings often house different businesses or “squeeze more people in” than they were designed for and partition offices so thermostats and vents are in different rooms. Given these improvisations, he added, “whether this actually affects energy, I think that’s a big leap.”

Still, he said, “we need to keep pushing” for improvements because “the phenomenon of women getting cold is very, very obvious,” and cold or hot employees are less productive.

Individualized temperature controls are the eventual answer, said Dr. Lam, who helped design a “personal environmental module” in the 1990s that was deemed too expensive for commercial development.

Now others are developing systems to let workers make their cubicles warmer or cooler.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Cold offices are gender-discrimination Lynn Zarif

A study by Dutch scientists says most office buildings set temperatures based on a model developed in the 1960s that uses the metabolic rates of men.
nytimes.com|By PAM BELLUCK

We Choose Lebanon: It will take more than Tear Gas and Bullets.

Aside from this being a political matter, it is not a matter of who’s right and who’s wrong.

This is no longer about trash Sukleen, electricity, roads, water, or pollution.

This is simply about the right that was acknowledged internationally in 1948 in the universal declaration of human rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”…

What’s actually funny is that these words were written by mainly 5 people, including a Lebanese man.

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But hey let’s not cry about the past and say that it was all better in 1948 for our own damn constitution, the one all noble politicians in our country are striving to apply guarantees that right in its 13th article.

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On this night, we as a population that considers itself as “outstanding” and most of us are, especially every individual that was in the manifestation today, WE got attacked by our employees.

Our employees who received orders by employees who have “for our sake” decided to rape our right to vote for 2 years till now,and today decided also to rob us from our right to protest. (Parliament extended its tenure twice for lame excuses)

You see our rappers are amazing, they’re just great after doing their “3amle” they decide to proceed with lies!

Going publicly and denying these acts? Where do these damn soldiers get their orders? A ghost?

For the love of anything that’s precious to them, Money mostly, buy some damn respect.

I am not just appalled by how I am being treated for expressing my opinion but how I’m being lied to!

Have they become so shameless that such orders were given, for bullets to rain on protestors?

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On this night, the men, women and children who went to those streets in order to express themselves were somehow considered terrorists because somehow we ended up being shot at, Lebanese citizens in the middle of Beirut, but not da3ech in 3ersel.

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On this night, I congratulate my government or actually my rapist for all that he has done.

This totally unproductive government not only tried to suck out every right I have but actually hit me when I said that their shit smells bad.

Choose LEBANON.

I refuse to live in denial anymore.

I refuse to stand by watching others asking for their rights. There are too many loose ends. There are too many questions unanswered.

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The parliament might have the money, the power, the ability to amend and change laws as they please, the ability to influence the media to make us believe whatever their next plan is to rape us and our pockets…

But what they don’t have is whatever we’ve got.

We got heart and the last bit of hope they couldn’t kill in us, that no tear gas or bullet can kill, take down one, but you can’t KILL a whole nation.

We’ve got brains and a whole lot of guts to look your guns in the eye and tell you to move along.

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We’ve got no religion controlling us or political party biding our thoughts.

We have too much heart to be passive and indifferent and we choose LEBANON over whatever reward this government has been choosing.

We will choose Lebanon every time and time and time again.

What The Hell Happened Yesterday In Riad el Solh?

Note: This was the first day of the peaceful rally and most of the crowd were educated youth, demonstrating peacefully

Posted By :

When I wrote a post yesterday morning on how to gear up for today’s protest, I never thought for a second that we might actually need to protect ourselves from tear gas canisters, water cannons, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

I never imagined that the ISF and the Lebanese Army would attack the protesters this way and would storm a group of peaceful protesters, beat them up and arrest them.

I haven’t slept all night following up on the news and checking on my friends to make sure they are all safe.

To be honest, I think we are very lucky that no one died in the protests yesterday because things were totally out of control

So what really happened?

I got to Riad el Solh around 6:20pm and walked all the way to the statue where protesters were chanting slogans and waving banners against the government.

Things were relatively calm until the riot police started firing water cannons.

People stepped back a bit and then all of a sudden tear gas canisters were fired in the middle of the crowds and one of them fell few meters away from me.

I’ve never been tear gassed upon before and I hope I never do again because it’s the worst feeling ever. Your eyes start burning and you feel as if you’re suffocating.

One protester got the tear gas right in his face and fainted for a second, while parents who had come with their children were panicking and running away from the gas.

At that time, I wasn’t aware what was happening near Annahar building but then we heard gun shots that were being fired in the air by the Lebanese Army as shown in many videos.

At the same time, the riot police kept throwing more tear gas and started attacking the crowds and trying to disperse them all the way from Riad el Solh to Beirut Souks.

Rubber bullets were used at this point. The clashes continued till around midnight when things calmed down and the police was ordered by our Interior Minister to free all the detainees.

The protesters were pushed back outside Riad el Solh square but they resisted and decided to set up tents and spend the night there.

I will not bore you with more details because the pictures and videos speak for themselves but I still can’t figure out what triggered all this mess, and who gave the order to fire at protesters but it’s outrageous and shocking.

Thousands of Lebanese men, women and children went down to protest for their most basic rights and for a clear and transparent solution to the garbage crisis away from politics and were all suppressed in an unnecessarily violent and disproportional way.

Even the press was caught off-guard and got its share of the beating. I have no idea what to expect next but hopefully things will be clearer by next week.

Whatever happened yesterday should NEVER be repeated and those who assaulted and fired at harmless protesters need to be reprimanded and this garbage crisis needs to be resolved once and for all in a transparent and efficient way.

(Note: Firing live ammunition and rubber bullets backfired and people from the 4 corners of Lebanon converged to spend the night with the protesters)


Witnesses Detail Police Violence: Lebanon #You Stink movement

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities should take immediate measures to ensure that there is no repeat of violence against protestors in downtown Beirut and that perpetrators of violent attacks are held accountable, Human Rights Watch said today.

(How can the government stops violence if the godfather of the militia gangs, Nabih Berry and Chairman of the parliament for over 30 years, ordered the parliament guards and the army protecting the parliament to open live ammunition on the peaceful protestors?)

Lebanese security personnel used rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, water cannons, butts of rifles, and batons to control protesters on August 22 and 23 in downtown Beirut.

Security forces also fired live ammunition, reportedly in the air, to disperse protesters.

On August 23, Lebanon’s state prosecutor Samir Hammoud tasked military prosecutor judge Sakr Sakr, who under Lebanese law has jurisdiction over crimes committed by the security forces, to investigate the violence. Lebanese authorities should ensure that the investigation into violence by security forces is independent, effective, and transparent, and that security personnel responsible for unlawful use of force are held accountable.

The standoff with the security forces quickly escalated as security forces appeared to fire live ammunition in the air to disperse the protesters, who responded by throwing bottles and sticks at them. Human Rights Watch researchers later collected 5.56mm bullet casing cartridges – used in the M16 rifles issued to Lebanese security forces – at the site.

Several of those interviewed also showed Human Rights Watch 5.56mm cartridges they had collected. Protesters and activists shared images of live bullet shells on social media.

Violence also erupted near the Grand Serail (the seat of the PM), where members of the riot police and other units from the Internal Security Forces used tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, and apparent live fire in the air to forcibly disperse protesters from Riad al-Solh square.

The events were caught on camera by TV stations broadcasting live from the protests. Clashes between security forces and groups of protesters throwing rocks and sticks continued until late at night with heavy use of gas canisters, rubber bullets, and water cannons.

In three cases Human Rights Watch documented, wounded protesters or their friends said that security personnel shot rubber bullets at them from close range, resulting in severe injuries that required hospitalization. Three protesters said they suffered minor injuries from rubber bullets that hit them in their legs, arms, or stomachs as they tried to flee.

Another three protesters described being pursued and beaten by baton-wielding policemen even though they were leaving the protest area and had not taken part in any violent act. Many experienced mild suffocation problems from the dense teargas. A female activist helping to organize the protests said that a police officer beat her in the head.

According to the Lebanese Red Cross, 75 protesters were injured on August 22, 15 of whom were hospitalized for their wounds. The Internal Security Forces said that 35 policemen were also injured that night. The state prosecutor told the newspaper Al-Joumhouria that investigations showed “that no one was wounded with live bullets and the injuries that occurred at the first day of protests [August 22] were due to the use of rubber bullets.”

The Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, which monitors freedom of the press, documented nine cases of violent attacks against journalists on August 22 and 23, identifying most of the attackers as security personnel. Nada Andraos, a journalist from LBC TV, a local station, told Human Rights Watch that ISF members hit her and her photographer with a stick and sprayed them with a water hose. Beating journalists covering a protest is unlawful and an indefensible attack on press freedom, Human Rights Watch said.

“Policing demonstrations can be challenging, but what happened on Saturday was clearly an unjustified excessive use of force,” Houry said. “The police seemed more interested in teaching protesters a lesson than in maintaining public order.”

On August 23, new protests took place in downtown Beirut, with many protesters calling for the resignation of the government and accountability for the violence against the protesters. Groups of protesters threw rocks at the police and tried to forcibly remove barricades set up by the security forces. Security forces responded with teargas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Some protesters also set fire to trashcans, and destroyed public property such as traffic lights and parking meters.

The ISF reported that 99 people were wounded, including protesters and security officers, and that 32 people were detained. Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted again on August 25.

In policing demonstrations, security forces, including the military, should abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Human Rights Watch said. The principles call upon law enforcement officials to apply nonviolent means before resorting to force, to limit the use of force in proportion to the seriousness of the offense, and to use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable to protect life.

The Internal Security Forces adopted a code of conduct in 2011 that stipulates that “Police members will not resort to the use of force unless it is necessary, proportionate and after exhausting all possible non-violent means, within the minimum extent needed to accomplish the mission.”

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouq announced on twitter on August 23 that everyone who gave orders to shoot, and every police officer who shot at protesters will be held accountable. The state prosecutor told local media on August 26 that investigations are ongoing and surveillance cameras are being used to identify the troublemakers who started riots. The prosecutor said that members of the security forces were also questioned.

Impunity for violence by security forces is a recurring problem in Lebanon. Investigations into previous incidents of excessive, and in some cases lethal, violence against protesters, if initiated, have not been concluded. All public information available indicates that Lebanon never investigated incidents in which security forces, including the army, used force against protesters, such as the violent dispersal of Palestinian protesters in Northern Lebanon on June 29, 2007, which left two Palestinians dead and at least 28 injured; and the violent dispersal of protesters in Hay al-Sellom, a poor neighborhood in Beirut, on May 27, 2004, which killed five protesters and wounded dozens.

“It’s long past the time for Lebanon to get serious about holding its security forces accountable,” Houry said. “The authorities need to deliver on their promises of effective investigations and accountability, or the laws that are supposed to protect Lebanese from abuses and ensure respect for basic rights will have no deterrent effect.”

Accounts From Witnesses, August 22

Elias, protester:
Elias said that he started running away from Riad al-Solh square towards a shopping area called the Beirut Souks when ISF units fired tear gas canisters to disperse protesters in front of the Grand Serail. He said that they appeared to be directly targeting protesters with the canisters.

“But I didn’t just want to run away,” he said. “I turned back and gave the peace sign to the police officers and started to march slowly toward the front lines with my hands over my head indicating for them not to shoot. Then, I saw someone get hit and I rushed over to them. Then the security forces fired an object directly at me – at my head.” He does not know what hit him. He was rushed to the hospital where he received about a dozen stitches.

Abdullah, protester:
Abdullah said he was watching TV on the evening of August 22 when he decided to join the protest to support his fellow countrymen and voice his frustration with the lack of adequate public services and high unemployment rates. He arrived at the Azarieh building, which leads down toward Riad al-Solh square.

“Within 10 minutes of arriving to the area, I realized how out of control things had gotten,” he said. “I saw a police officer crouch behind a car aiming at protesters. Before I knew it, I heard a loud sound. I was hit and fell down. I don’t know what he fired at me but it left a gaping hole in my arm. Others rushed to my side and I was transported to Rizk Hospital for surgery.”

He said his injuries have kept him from riding the moped he uses for his job as a deliveryman. He fears that he will be fired. “The hospital staff said that the Health Ministry will cover our hospital costs, but who will compensate me to cover my living expenses while I am out of work?”

Ahmad, protester:
Ahmad said that policemen were shooting riot guns and rubber bullets from close range, directly toward him and other protesters. The police charged and started firing teargas canisters and beating him and the others with sticks in Beirut Souks, he said.

“I saw a woman in the middle of the road who was suffocating from the teargas bombs,” he said. “I yelled out don’t shoot and tried to run to her to help her – instead I got shot in my stomach. He said that the Lebanese Red Cross immediately took him to the emergency room at Hotel Dieu. “The doctors cut me open from my chest to his stomach, making sure that my vital organs had not been perforated before they sewed me up,” he said

Other protesters:
A protester who asked not to be named said that his friend was shot in the leg by a rubber bullet at close range and was rushed to Hotel Dieu hospital. The friend who was injured provided Human Rights Watch with multiple pictures of his leg wounds and the rubber bullet that was extracted from his leg at the hospital, but asked not to have the photos or his name made public because he did not want his family to know that he had been participating in protests.

Another male protester who preferred not to be named said that as he ran away from Riad al-Solh square toward Nejmeh square, he saw an ISF officer using a stick to beat a woman who appeared to be fleeing the chaos and had not been attacking anyone. He said he saw the police unit guarding parliament beating other protesters with sticks and firing bullets into the air.

Another protester said that he and some of the organizers tried to form a buffer zone between the security personnel and protesters to calm things down while security forces started to fire rounds of live ammunition into the air.

He said that he and his friends pleaded with the officers to stop using live ammunition and that in response an officer hit him in his back with the butt of his rifle.

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities should take immediate measures to ensure that there is no repeat of violence against protestors in downtown Beirut and that perpetrators of violent attacks are held accountable, Human Rights Watch said…
hrw.org

Achievements in Lebanon without the backing of any of the  political militia leaders?

I know how hard it must be for all my politically affiliated friends to see what’s happening and the success a group of people have been able to achieve without the za3ims (militia leader).

Don’t feel like you aren’t part of us, you are, but your affiliations aren’t.

Abandon them, admit they’re all shit, including your personal warlord.

You don’t need them, they need you.

We’re gonna solve the garbage crisis, and begin the domino effect for every corrupt, violent, usurper of power in this country of ours.

One step at a time, slowly but surely.

We will have clean streets, we will have electricity and water, our lines will stop cutting and our Internet will no longer be the slowest and most expensive on this Earth.

Abandon your political parties, be a good person and citizen. (parties who believe in the succession of their sons and relatives)

I know “they’re all bad and thieves, by not my warlord”, but truth is, that’s not true.

Abandon your sectarian affiliations and come down tomorrow, and make your voice and opinion matter for once.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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