Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘economy/finance’ Category

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Litigation

Abigail Rabi sent me this link

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more attention as days pass. Aside from the advantages that cryptocurrencies have like anonymity and easy international transactions, people are enticed by the fact that it can become a good investment.

Apart from trading bitcoins for cash, you can also use bitcoins to buy gift cards, book flights, and hotels, buy furniture, or even buy real estate properties.

Bitcoin purchases are not taxed at the moment since there is no way for third parties to identify, track, or intercept transactions that use bitcoins.

Transaction fees are considerably lower as well compared to credit card transactions or services like Paypal.

Although there are many advantages in using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, just like any other investments, you should always be careful with your transactions.

Since cryptocurrency is not regulated, many unscrupulous people have taken advantage of this and incidents of fraudulent cryptocurrencies, and other types of scam related to cryptocurrency have happened.

One example of this is Prodeum, a cryptocurrency start-up that scammed its investors in just one weekend.

Because of these scams, law firms have now been involved in helping the victims.

Cryptocurrency litigation has now become something that some lawyers specialize in. There are a lot of factors to consider when a cryptocurrency dispute arises. Aside from fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO), lawyers could get involved if the cryptocurrency was used to launder money or hide assets; they could also get involved when there is an issue with the company, commercial, or intellectual property laws being violated in relation to cryptocurrency.

Here are some things that you can do as a cryptocurrency user to avoid being scammed:

1. Research. – Just like with any other investments that you will make, research is essential. When investing in an ICO, make sure to read and dissect their white papers to ensure that you’re working with reliable people. Take time to research the people behind the ICO, their whole team, board members, and other investors. It’s vital for you to learn as much as you can about the company before investing so that there will be no unpleasant surprises.

2. Be vigilant. – Cryptocurrency is still primarily bought and sold at exchanges. Because cryptocurrency is something new and the fuss around it is its value, many people get scammed by the promise of unrealistic prices. If an exchange promises incredible discounts or offers that seem too good to be true, it probably is. Another thing that you can do to avoid bitcoin exchange scams is to check the exchange’s URL. If a website’s address starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP, that means that the traffic is encrypted and therefore has more protection.

3. Only use trusted sources. – Hardware wallet is a physical device that stores your private keys. Hardware wallets offer more protection from hacking since there is no way for hackers to access them when you’re not online. However, hackers have now found a way around that. Some hackers sell hardware wallets that have a backdoor for them to access all your cryptocurrency and the best way to avoid this is only to accept hardware wallets from trusted sources.


Elephant apocalypse

By Alice Jay

Four elephants are killed an hour — it’s a race against time before we lose these gentle giants forever.

In one day, poachers butchered 600 of them in Cameroon.

Take Action Now!

Dear friends,

Dozens of heavily-armed hunters rode into a national park in Cameroon, butchered over 600 majestic elephants, then hacked off their faces for their tusks. Poachers have annihilated half of central Africa’s last elephants. And no one’s been able to stop them.

Until now!

Brave investigators have gone undercover in poaching rings in ten African countries, and already more than 2,000 traffickers have been jailed! 

It’s awe-inspiring stuff, and it’s won awards, but many funders are wary of going head-to-head with organised crime. We may be the best community to scale this extraordinary operation, fast.

Four elephants are killed an hour — it’s a race against time before we lose these gentle giants forever.

This carnage is happening across the continent. Paid-for-hire poachers track elephants, leopards, apes, and all kinds of endangered creatures, then bigwigs bring in helicopters and heavy weapons to hunt them down and butcher them for their skins and tusks.
This is a $19-billion business run by international mafias, and they’re getting away with it by bribing everyone in sight.

But now the courageous Eco-Activists for Governance and Law Enforcement (EAGLE) network is taking them on at each step of the criminal chain — infiltrating the gangs undercover, working with police to supervise arrests, and making sure the bosses are jailed.

Their unprecedented success has won them acclaim from Interpol, WWF and the Duke of Edinburgh, but so far these heroes work on a tiny budget, powered primarily by a deep love for these animals. If we all donate a small amount, here’s what we could do:

  • Help train and sustain dozens of undercover investigators to infiltrate the most wanted networks in more countries and get their chiefs behind bars;
  • Support investigations of complicit officials and politicians who enable the bloody trade;
  • Investigate and expose companies and governments profiting from selling ivory and other wildlife products; and
  • Run massive campaigns to protect the natural world and preserve our delicate web of life.

More information:

Ivory Coast Arrests Six in Ring That Smuggled Parts of Elephants, Leopards and Pangolins (New York Times)

Lion and hippo teeth seized in Senegal’s biggest ivory haul (Reuters)

How Saving One Chimp Led to a New Kind of Anti-Poaching Group (National Geographic)

Organised crime sets sights on wildlife (BBC)

A world endeavor to impose national integration (Tawteen) of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan?

Lebanon is witnessing concentrated pressures from the USA and western colonial powers to integrate the Palestinian refugees since 1948 in its social fabric. The same pressures are being exercised on the fabricated monarchy in Jordan that has the highest concentration of Palestinian refugees and share 800 km border with the colonial Israeli implant in the Near East.

Economic and financial difficulties are imposed on Lebanon and Jordan, as well as accumulated sovereign debts that a third of the budgets are spent on satisfying the interest.

Sure, in Lebanon, this defunct political system run and ruled for 3 decades by civil war militia “leaders” is Not helping in any kinds of reforms or changes to confront the external pressures to impose their plans.

For example, after the newly elected Parliament under a twisted election law, Lebanon is unable to form a legitimate government. In the past 4 months, Lebanon is run by a government, supposed to be taking care of running business, but in fact hurrying up to loot the budget as fast as it can.

The Cedar 4 agreement to lend Lebanon about $10 bn for its infrastructure is being delayed until a government is in place. Most of these loans are actually meant to sustain the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and preventing them to return to their home State.

Lebanon is witnessing some kind of Palestinian camps security upheavals. And Jordan faced last month a serious mass disobedience connect to the IMF constraints of increasing taxes on bread and fuel.

Trump has already denied 5 million Palestinian refugees the UNRWA yearly allocation since 1948. Trump wants to recognize only 40,000 still alive Palestinians of the al “Nakba”

معلومات فلسطينية عن “سيناريو دولي” لفرض التوطين في لبنان

فيما يواجه لبنان تحديات سياسية كبرى، في تشكيل الحكومة العتيدة بعد مراوحة طويلة، ووضع خطة للنهوض بالاقتصاد، يتقدم الملفّ ال​فلسطين​ي في لبنان بعد انعقاد الجمعيّة العموميّة للأمم المتحدة في ​نيويورك​، حيث ألقى الرئيس الفلسطيني ​محمود عباس​ خطابا انقسم الشارع الفلسطيني إزاءه بين مؤيد ومعارض، فدخلت المخيّمات مجددا في مرحلة “انتظار قاتل” بين المخاوف من عودة الخلافات مجددا،

رغم التوافق على أهمية حمايتها من أي توتير أمني، يفتح الابواب الموصدة على الفتنة والاقتتال، وبين غياب الخطة الاستراتيجية الموحّدة لمواجهة التحديات المحدقة بقضية العودة ووكالة “الاونروا”.

وتؤكد أوساط فلسطينية بارزة لـ”النشرة”، ان أي توتير أمني يطال المخيمات يعتبر بشكل غير مباشر وجها سيئا جديدا لـ”صفقة القرن” الاميركية التي ترفضها كل القوى السياسية الوطنية والاسلامية وتعمل على التصدي لها، إذ يهدف الى إلهاء القوى في تطويق ذيوله دون التفرغ الى القضيّة الاساس الكبرى في حماية ​حق العودة​ الذي بات مستهدفا مباشرا بعد القرار الاميركي بشأن ​القدس​ ونقل السفارة اليها.

حتى الآن، اتخذت ​الولايات المتحدة الاميركية​ تسع قرارات متتالية منذ بداية العام 2018، ويتوقع أن تتخذ المزيد منها، بل وأخطرها إسقاط حق اللجوء بالوراثة، وهو ما اشار اليه الرئيس “أبو مازن” في خطابه في الامم المتحدة، بأن ​الادارة الاميركية​ تعتزم الاعتراف بنحو 40 الف لاجئ فقط، هم الذين ما زالوا على قيد الحياة من جيل النكبة وليس 5 ملايين كما هو متعارف عليه في قيود وكالة “الاونروا” والاحصاءات الفلسطينية الرسمية.

وترى المصادر الفلسطينية، ان كل الخطوات الاميركية لم تأتِ من فراغ، فهي مترابطة في سلسلة حلقاتها، منذ الاولى منها وهي الاعتراف بالقدس عاصمة لـ”اسرائيل”، وصولا الى إسقاط “صفة اللجوء” عن غالبية اللاجئين في الشتات، وما بينهما من قرارات اتخذت بهدف ممارسة الضغط على القيادة الفلسطينية والقوى السياسية لشطب الثابتين الرئيسيين: القدس عاصمة دولة فلسطين، وحق العودة من خلال انهاء عمل الاونروا” وفتح باب “التذويب الطوعي” عبر “اللجوء الانساني” أو فرض ​التوطين​.

*خطة موحدة*
ويعتبر لاجئو المخيمات في لبنان الاكثر تأثّرا بهذه القرارات الاميركية في ظل الواقع الهشّ على كافة المستويات السياسية والامنية والخدماتية، في الاولى يطلّ شبح الخلاف مجددا بعد الخطاب الرئاسي، وفي الثانية يترنح بعضها تحت وطأة “الامن الهش” وتحديدا ​عين الحلوة​ والقابل للاهتزاز عند أي حدث طارىء او اشكال،

وفي الثالثة في ظل حرمانهم من حقوقهم المدنية والانسانيّة والاجتماعيّة مع ارتفاع معدل البطالة وانتشار حالات اليأس والاحباط بشكل غير مسبوق.

وتشير المصادر، انه لكل هذه الاسباب، يجب وضع خطة مواجهة مزدوجة، فلسطينية تأخذ على عاتقها تناسي الخلافات السياسية والتأكيد على استثنائية الساحة في لبنان، وتفعيل الأطر المشتركة وتحصين أمن واستقرار المخيّمات بما يسدّ كل منافذ الفتنة والاستدراج الى اقتتال، وصولا الى اطلاق “مبادرة” جديدة تجمع بين هذه العناوين، وفلسطينية–لبنانية تقوم على ثنائية منح الحقوق الانسانية وتعزيز صمود ابناء المخيمات لابعاد شبح التوطين الذي يلوح في أفق لبنان من خلال الضغط على مسؤوليه.

*سيناريو دولي*
وفق ما يتداول في الأروقة الفلسطينية، فإن توحيد الموقف الفلسطيني–اللبناني، سيساهم ببدء تحركات سلميّة نحو الدول الفاعلة والمؤثرة في القرار العالمي لابعاد شبح التوطين وتمكين ​وكالة الاونروا​ من القيام بمهامها على أكمل وجه، حيث تملك بعض ​القوى الفلسطينية​ معلومات هامة أشبه بـ”سيناريو دولي”، بل “خارطة طريق” لشطب حق العودة والتوطين بعد التذويب،

ومنها انهاء عمل الوكالة المذكورة عبر وقف دعمها ماديا، ومنها عزم بعض الدول على فتح باب اللجوء الانساني ويتردد اسماء ثلاثة دول بارزة، ومنها اعادة الاف من الفلسطينيين الى اراضي ​السلطة الفلسطينية​ تحت عنوان “لمّ الشمل” ومعظم هؤلاء يملكون جوازات سفر صادرة عن السلطة او لهم اقارب او انتماء سياسي،

واخيرا فرض التوطين لمن يبقى في لبنان تحت شعار “انساني”، مقابل مبالغ ماليّة كبيرة تدفع للبنان وتسد العجز وتساهم في النهوض الاقتصادي من جديد… وهو ما يرفضه لبنان والقوى الفلسطينية معا.

*حراك للمواجهة*
وتؤكد المصادر، أن المطلوب اليوم اطلاق “مبادرة وطنية” جديدة تتماشى مع التطورات السياسية والامنية المتسارعة في المنطقة (كما جرى في العام 2014، حين أطلقت “المبادرة الوطنية الفلسطينية” لحماية ​المخيمات الفلسطينية​ والحفاظ على العلاقات الاخوية مع الجوار اللبناني وقد نجحت في تجاوز الكثير من القطوعات الامنية الخطيرة إبّان ​الاحداث السورية​)، تتضمن انشاء “خليّة ازمة” أو “طوارىء سياسيّة”، تدير الملفّ برمّته بموقف موحد، وبحراك سياسي شعبي يقوم على تناسي الخلافات وتعميم خطاب الوحدة من القيادة الى القاعدة،

تحصين أمن المخيمات واستقرارها، الدفاع عن بقاء “الاونروا” كشاهد حيّ على النكبة واللجوء، تنظيم تحركات احتجاجيّة سلميّة ترفع شعار “نختلف مع الاونروا ولا نختلف عليها”، خاصة بعد نجاح ادارتها في توفير المزيد من الدعم المالي بلغ 118 مليون دولار وآخرها من دولة الكويت 40 مليون دولار اميركي، لينخفض العجز المالي من 186 مليون دولار الى 68 مليون دولار اميركي فقط وهو مبلغ زهيد قياسا على موازنات الدول.

خلاصة القول، ان القرارات الاميركية ليست قدرا محتوما يجب الاستسلام لها، بل يمكن المواجهة والتصدّي لها، اذا جرى توحيد الموقف الفلسطيني واعداد خطة مشتركة فلسطينية لبنانية تأخذ على عاتقها الدفاع عن الحقوق المشروعة، وان اضاعة الوقت لم يعد لصالح أحد، وقبل فوات الاوان في افراغ المخيّمات من سكانها وتحديدا شبابها، واسقاط عنوانها الوطني كرمز للقضية الفلسطينية وحق العودة

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 244

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Zappos empire started off as a dropshipper. “We didn’t carry any inventory; instead we relied on shoe manufacturers to ship products directly to our customers,” founder Tony Hsieh told the Harvard Business Review. “That system never worked very well. We didn’t have 100% accurate information about our vendors’ inventory, and because their warehouses were all over the country, delivery times weren’t predictable.”

So did Amazon empire. “Order a CD from CD Now, Music Boulevard or, and your order is electronically transmitted to Woodland, Calif.-based Valley Media, the country’s largest audio wholesaler, which picks, packs and ships the disc straight from the warehouse,” Forbes reported in 1998.

“Until Amazon recently began building its own book warehouses, the online booksellers sole task was to transmit orders to two of the country’s biggest book distributors, Ingram Books and Baker & Taylor, which then drop shipped to customers.”

Israel did it again in less than a week: Israel live bullets injured 1,100 Palestinians and killed 8 on the borders with Gaza.Values and human emotions have been redirected to futile events in the western culture. Western “civilization” has decided that Zionism and Israel constitute an integral parts of their culture of colonial behavior and blatant apartheid and occupation processes.

Israel is back at its genocide activities withing a week: 1,100 Palestinians injured by mostly live bullets on Gaza borders. 10 dead martyrs. And western civilization Not that concerned.

Here we go again: a car plowed through a crowd in Munster, Germany. 3 dead and 20 injured. We’ll cover this event for an entire week on all western channels. This Friday, Israeli snipers injured 1,100  with live bullets and killed 10. Any coverage of that slaughter-hood by any State?

A 2017 study by Italian consumer rights group Codacons found no less than 25% of the entire Italian adult population—or about 13 million people—visited astrologers, fortune tellers, and the like, making an estimated 30,000 daily visits to experts who charge fees ranging from 50 to 1,000 euros.

Excellent news: Lebanon just received only $11 bn instead of expected $17 bn: the Lebanese can save interest on the expected $6 bn more.

Je compris que dans certain milieu on ne devient Ame que lorsque la rente est elevee’.

In 1748, Montesquieu in  “Of the spirit of laws” wrote: “There are a few financial specialists disseminating the concept that public debts multiply wealth and increase circulation of money and internal trade.  Facts are, the real revenues of the State, generated by the activities of industrious citizens, are transferred to idle classes.  The consequences are that we make it more difficult on the industrious citizens to produce profit and worst, extending privileges to the passive classes.”

In 1781, Jacques Necker, France minister of finance, proclaimed that “There can be no peace in Europe unless public debts are reduced to the bare minimum:  Public debts are sources for increasing the military capabilities designed for destructive activities; and then more debts are accumulated for the reconstruction phase.  A devilish cycle that is anathema to prosperity and security

If almost all States (the developed countries first of all) have incurred public debts then, who are the creditors? China economy has saved 2.5 trillion and Brazil and Turkey less than 500 billion.  All these savings cannot cover the amount of necessary public debts required by the debtor nations. Even Saudi Kingdom and the Gulf Emirates are currently borrowing money. Only the northern European countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland) managed to maintain a Sovereign Fund. Syria was debt-free before the war in 2011.

Fact is, world finance is functioning on worthless paper money and other financial tools transmitted here and there to give the illusion that the system is functioning. Transferring trillion of dollars every day!

The militarily weaker creditor will suffer now or later; it is a matter of delayed punishment for loaning a more powerful debtor, whether voluntarily or after coercion. The same is true for militarily weaker debtors: Excuses for military intervention.

Elon Musk (SpaceX and Tesla) is a case of Not earning much to pay taxes. He is relying on heavy investment through the prodding and urging of the government and the military to investors (sort of guaranteed loan. No matter is the balance sheet, investors will Not lose money)



Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 243

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Do I master my mother tongue?  Do I have one? I was born in a French colony in Africa (Rep. of Mali) and lived there to the age of 6 when I fell ill with a deadly disease and barely managed to survive.  Consequently, I must have learned to speak and write in French first, and most probably I was conversant in the Bambara dialect, since I was surrounded by Malian helpers and my closest “guardian angel” was a mute young man:  Thus, I might have learned sign language too.

Bambara is an oral language that was spoken by animist tribes in the current State of Mali with Capital Bamako.

The main barrier for formal Arabic language to become international is that the words have religious undertone and you can barely find significant words that you can claim to be religiously neutral and expresses your opinions:  Usually, expressions relate to tribal, and nomadic traditional life-style.

It is difficult to freely express your honest opinion in formal Arabic, simply because the words are coined in Islamic culture and connote religious meaning, whether you like it or not. The slang in every “Arabic” countries are filling the void and expressing the spirit and traditions of the Land

Amadou Hampate Ba (1900-1991) had said: “In the oral civilization of Africa, once an old wise man dies it is an entire library that closes.”

Trump: Prophet Mohammad crucified Jesus.

Chain working conditions? Serbian workers in a multinational electronic company in Slovakia: Up at 4:30, waiting in line to enter the factory, Not allowed to look right or left or even stoop, swollen hands, no sensation in the legs, relentlessly waiting for the next TV to be assemble for hours. Waiting in line to take showers, to eat, to drink, to going to WC, boarding the buses, all the time counting bolts, parts, counting the hours, the days… Line, chain work, sweat-shop factories

Wars, pre-emptive wars: Uncanny direct connections to Sovereign public debts of militarily weaker nations

Drop-shipping? For men of a certain demographic, the ads (which can also follow you around the internet, and occasionally sell counterfeit goods) might be peddling hipster watches;

For women, perhaps it’s classy lingerie. In many cases they’re the result of a peculiar e-commerce phenomenon of the moment. No physical middlemen or retailers, but nebulous on-line support scams pros.

Shopify is the 20,000-pound gorilla of the drop-shipping world, integrated with apps like Oberlo that enable sellers to offer up goods directly from AliExpress

The US Postal Service gets no more than $1.50—cheaper for Chinese merchants to ship a package up to 4.4 lbs from Shenzhen to Des Moines than it costs to ship from, say, Seattle.

USPS calls it “ePacket,” and it’s the reason it’s so outrageously cheap to buy goods on AliExpress, the giant e-commerce portal owned by Alibaba, and ship them to the US—a favorite route of many drop-shippers. The US website Wish utilizes the same shipping method. Amazon is great at it.

Perfect vicious circle. Saad Hariri PM was asked why the highway from Beirut to Jounieh is always congested. He replied because we have no public transport, because the plans for alternative routes are Not carried out, because… But who is supposed to plan and execute all the projects?

Shou? Lebanon has $3bn in loans that was Not put to use in the last 2 years and still paying interest on that sovereign debt. And Lebanon is going to Paris to borrow more debts?

Our Lebanese Prime Minister said that the foreign loans expected to receive in Paris 4 will put to work 900,000 people in the coming 10 years. Does he means to include too all the refugees residing in Lebanon? We Barely have that many available people to work.

Your sense of smell controls what you spend and who you love

By Georgia Frances King 

Smell is the ugly stepchild of the sense family.

Sight gives us sunsets and Georgia O’Keefe. Sound gives us Brahms and Aretha Franklin. Touch gives us silk and hugs. Taste gives us butter and ripe tomatoes.

But what about smell? It doesn’t exist only to make us gag over subway scents or tempt us into a warm-breaded stupor. Flowers emit it to make them more attractive to pollinators. Rotting food might reek of it so we don’t eat it. And although scientists haven’t yet pinned down a human sex pheromone, many studies suggest smell influences who we want to climb in bed with.

Olivia Jezler studies the science and psychology that underpins our olfactory system.

For the past decade, she has worked with master perfumers, developed fragrances for luxury brands, researched olfactory experience at the SCHI lab at University of Sussex, and now is the CEO of Future of Smell, which works with brands and new technologies to design smellable concepts that bridge science and art.

In this interview, Jezler reveals the secret life of smell. Some topics covered include:

  • how marketers use our noses to sell to us
  • why “new car smell” is so pervasive
  • how indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air
  • the reason why luxury perfume is so expensive
  • why babies smell so damn good
  • how Plato and Aristotle poo-pooed our sense of smell

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Quartz: On a scientific level, why is smell such an evocative sense?

Olivia Jezler: Our sense of smell is rooted in the most primal part of our brain for survival. It’s not linked through the thalamus, which is where all other sensory information is integrated: It’s directly and immediately relayed to another area, the amygdala.

None of our other senses have this direct and intimate connection to the areas of the brain that process emotion, associative learning, and memory. (That why we don’t dream “smell”)

Why? Because the structure of this part of the brain—the limbic system—grew out of tissue that was first dedicated to processing the sense of smell. Our chemical senses were the first that emerged when we were single-cell organisms, because they would help us understand our surroundings, find food, and reproduce.

Still today, emotionally driven responses through our senses of taste and smell make an organism react appropriately to its environment, maximizing its chances for basic survival and reproduction.

Beauty products like lotions and perfumes obviously have their own smells. But what unexpected businesses use scent in their branding?

It’s common for airlines to have scents developed for them. Air travel is interesting because, as it’s high stress, you want to make people feel connected to your brand in a positive way.

For example, British Airways has diffusers in the bathrooms and a smell for their towels. That way you walk in and you can smell the “British Airways smell.”

It’s also very common in food. You can design food so that the smell evaporates in different ways. Nespresso capsules, for instance, are designed to create a lot of odor when you’re using one, so that you feel like you’re in a coffee shop.

I’m sure a lot of those make-at-home frozen pizza brands are designed to let out certain smells while they’re in the oven to feel more authentic, too.

That’s an example of the “enhancement of authenticity.” Another example might be when fake leather is made to smell like real leather instead of plastic.

So we got used to the smell of natural things, but then as production became industrialized, we now have to fabricate the illusion of naturalness back into the chemical and unnatural things?

Yes, that’s it. People will feel more comfortable and they’ll pay more for products that smell the way we imagine them to smell.

For example: “new car smell.” When Rolls Royce became more technologically advanced, they started using plastic instead of wood for some parts of the car—and for some reason, sales started going down. They asked people what was wrong, and they said it was because the car didn’t smell the same. It repelled people from the brand. So then they had to design that smell back into the car.

New car smell is therefore a thing, but not in the way we think. It is a mix of smells that emanate from the plastics and interiors of a car.

The cheaper the car, the stronger and more artificial it smells. German automakers have entire olfactory teams that sniff every single component that goes into the interior of the car with their nose and with machines.

The problem then is if one of these suppliers changes any element of their product composition without telling the automaker, it throws off the entire indoor odor of the car, which was carefully designed for safety, quality, and branding—just another added complexity to the myriad of challenges facing automotive supply chains!

Are these artificial smells bad for us?

Designed smells are not when they fulfill all regulatory requirements. This question touches on a key concern of mine: indoor air. Everybody talks about pollution. Like in San Francisco, a company called Aclima works with Google to map pollution levels block by block at different times of the day—but what about our workplaces? Our homes? People are much less aware of this.

We are all buying inexpensive furniture and carpets and things that are filled with chemicals, and we’re putting them in a closed environment with often no air filtration.

Then there are the old paints and varnishes that cover all the surfaces! Combine that with filters in old buildings that are rarely or never changed, and it gets awful.

When people use cleaning products in their home, it’s also putting a lot more chemicals into the house than before. (You should open your windows after you clean.)

In cities like New York, the indoor air is three times worse than outdoors.

We’re therefore inhaling all these fumes in our closed spaces. In cities like New York, we spend 90% of our time indoors and the air is three times worse than outdoors.

The World Health Organization says it’s one of the world’s greatest environmental health risks. There are a few start-ups working on consumer home appliances that help you monitor your indoor air, but I am still waiting to see the one that can integrate air monitoring with filtering and scenting.

Manufacturing smell seems to fall into two camps. The first is fabricating a smell when you’ve taken the authenticity out of the product. But then other brands simply enhance an existing smell. That’s not fake, but it still doesn’t seem honest.

Well, to me they seem like the same thing: Because they are both designed to enhance authenticity.

There’s an interesting Starbucks case related to smell experiences and profits.

In 2008 they introduced their breakfast menu, which included sandwiches that needed to be reheated. The smell of the sandwiches interfered with the coffee aroma so much that it completely altered the customer experience in store: It smelled of food rather than of coffee.

During that time, repeat customer visits declined as core coffee customers went elsewhere, and therefore sales at their stores also declined, and this impacted their stock. The sandwiches have since been redesigned to smell less when being reheated.

This is starting to feel a bit like propaganda or false advertising. Are there laws around this?

No, there aren’t laws for enhancing authenticity through smell. Maybe once people become more aware of these things, there will be. I think it’s hard at this point to quantify what is considered false advertising.

There aren’t even laws for copyrighting perfumes! This is a reason why everything on the market usually kind of smells the same: Basically you can just take a perfume that’s on the market and analyze it in a machine that can tell you its composition. It’s easily recreated, and there’s no law to protect the original creation. Music has copyright laws, fragrance does not.

That’s crazy. That’s intellectual property.

It is. As soon as there’s a blockbuster, every brand just goes, “We want one like that!” Let’s make a fragrance that smells exactly like that, then lets put it in the shampoo. Put it in the deodorant. Put it in this. Put it in that.

Well if the perfume smells the same and is made with the same ingredients, why do we pay so much more for designer perfumes?

High fashion isn’t going to make [luxury brands] money—it’s the perfumes and accessories.

What differs is the full complexity of the fragrance and how long it lasts. As for pricing, It’s very much the brand. Perfume is sold at premium for what it is—but what isn’t? Your Starbucks coffee, Nike shoes, designer handbags… There can be a difference in the quality of the ingredients, yeah, but if it’s owned by a luxury brand and you’re paying $350, then you’re paying for the brand. The margins are also really high: That’s why all fashion brands have a perfume as a way of making money. High fashion isn’t going to make them money—it’s the perfumes and accessories. They play a huge, huge role in the bottom line.

How do smell associations differ from culture to culture?

Because of what was culturally available—local ingredients, trade routes et cetera—countries had access to very specific ingredients that they then decided to use for specific purposes. Because life was lived very locally, these smells and their associations remained generation after generation. Now if we wanted to change them, it would not happen overnight; people are not being inundated with different smell associations the way they are with fashion and music. Once a scent is developed for a product in a certain market, the cultural associations of the scent of “beauty,” “well-being,” or “clean” stick around. The fact that smells can’t yet transmit through the internet means that scent associations also keep pretty local.

For example, multinational companies want to develop specific fragrances and storylines for the Brazilian market. Brazilian people shower 3.5 times a day. If somebody showers that much, then scent becomes really important. When they get out of the shower, especially in the northeast of Brazil, they splash on a scented water—it’s often lavender water, which is also part of a holy ritual to clean a famous church, so it has positive cultural connotations. Companies want to understand what role each ingredient already plays in that person’s life so that they can use it with a “caring” or “refreshing” claim, like the lavender water.

Lavender is an interesting one. In the US, lavender is more of a floral composition versus true lavender. People like the “relaxing lavender” claim, but Americans don’t actually like the smell of real lavender. On the other hand, in Europe and Brazil, when it says “lavender” on the packaging, it will smell like the true lavender from the fields; in Brazil, lavender isn’t relaxing—it’s invigorating!

In the UK, florals are mostly used in perfumes, especially rose, which is tied to tradition. Yet in the US, a rose perfume is considered quite old-fashioned—you rarely smell it on the subway, whereas the London Tube smells like a rose garden. In Brazil, however, florals are used for floor and toilet cleaners; the smell of white flowers like jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose are considered extremely old-fashioned and unrelatable. However, in Europe and North America, these very expensive ingredients are a sign of femininity and luxury.

Traditional Chinese medicine influences the market in China: Their smells are a bit more herbal or medicinal because those ingredients are associated with health and well-being. You see that in India with Ayurvedic medicine as well. By comparison, in the US, the smell of health and cleanliness is the smell of Tide detergent.

Are there smells we can all agree on biologically, no matter where we’re from, that smell either good or bad?

Yes: Body fluids, disease, and rotten foods are biological no-nos. Also, natural gas, which you can smell in your kitchen if you leave the gas on by mistake, is in reality odorless: A harmless chemical is added to give gas a distinctive malodor that is often describes as rotten eggs—and therefore act as a warning!

The smell of babies, on the other hand? Everybody loves the smell of babies: It’s the next generation.

Do you wear perfume yourself?

I wear tons of perfume. However, if I’m working in a fragrance house or a place where I smell fragrances all the time, I don’t wear perfume, because it then becomes difficult to smell what is being created around me. There is also a necessity for “clean skin” to test fragrances on—one without any scented lotions or fragrances.

Why does perfume smell different on different people? Is it because it reacts differently with our skin, or is it because of the lotions and fabric softeners or whatever other smells we douse ourselves in?

Cancers and diabetes can be identified through body odor.

Generally, it’s our DNA. But there are different layers to how we smell. Of course, the first layer is based on the smells we put on: soaps and deodorants and whatever we use. Then there’s our diet, hydration level, and general health. An exciting development in the medical world is in diagnostics: Depending upon if we’re sick or not, we smell different.

Cancers and diabetes can be identified through body odor, for instance. Then on the most basic level, our body odor is linked to the “major histocompatability complex” (MHC), which is a part of the genome linked to our immune system. It is extremely unique and a better identifier than a retinal scan because it is virtually impossible to replicate.

Why don’t we care more about smell?

The position that our sense of smell holds is rooted in the foundation of Western thought, which stems from the ancient Greeks. Plato assigned the sense of sight as the foundation for philosophy, and Aristotle provided a clear hierarchy where he considered sight and hearing nobler in comparison to touch, taste, and smell.

Both philosophers placed the sense of smell at the bottom of their hierarchy; logic and reason could be seen and heard, but not smelt. The Enlightenment philosophers and the Industrial Revolution did not help, either, as the stenches that emerged at that time due to terrible living conditions without sewage systems reminded us of where we came from, not where we were headed. Smell was not considered something of beauty nor a discipline worth studying.

It’s also a bit too real and too closely tied to our evolutionary past. We are disconnected from this part of ourselves, so of course we don’t feel like it is something worth talking about. As society becomes more emotionally aware, I do think smell will gain a new role in our daily lives.

This article is part of Quartz Ideas, our home for bold arguments and big thinkers.

Is that the plan for the “Deal of the century” to liquidate the Palestinian UN rights to Return to homeland?

Khaled bin Selman, one of the sons of Saudi Kingdom, and ambassador to USA, relayed the details of the “Deal of the Century” to the Kingdom.
The liquidation of the identity of the Palestinian people and scrapping their UN rights to return to their Homeland Palestine are under way by the Trump administration.
The details are as followed:
1) Ultimately, the US plan is to gather $700 bn in what will be called the “Palestine Financial Box”, $100bn from USA, $100bn from Japan, $100Bn from South Korea, $200bn from Saudi Kingdom, $50bn from Canada and the rest from the EU, particularly Germany. The US will retain $200bn in the Box.
 2) Jordan will receive $250bn, to settle one million Palestinians, Egypt $250bn to settle 1.5 million, Iraq  $200bn to settle 1,250,000 Palestinians, primarily in Iraq Kurdistan region.
3) Egypt will relinquish 7,000 square km around the Asrish province, an originally Palestinian land before Britain gave them away to Egypt. It is estimated that this land will provide for 5 million Palestinians.
The plan is of 9 phases. the first phase was to acknowledge Jerusalem the Capital of Israel, the second phase is for the US congress to second the Israeli law  that Israel is for the Jews only, the third is to pressure most countries to admit that the Israeli settlements are Legal and on.
Note 1: The US and Japan are the 2 highest countries that accumulated sovereign debt and in the trillion. Japan might sign in under duress, but the USA never delivered on promises. And Saudi Kingdom sovereign fund is empty and already borrowing money to “replenish” it. And Israel has been systematically demolishing all Eu funded institutions in Gaza and the West Bank. Unless Israel demonstrate some respect to the EU endeavors, this plan is totally far-fetched.
Note 2: The US has to be very patient before engaging in another pre-emptive war, as it is its innate habit to resolve world problems. First, the cease fire in Yemen has to be reached, second, a satisfactory government in Iraq agreed upon, third, a quick political resolution in Syria agreed upon, and fourth, a satisfactory government in Lebanon resolved.
Note 3: President Sisi of Egypt declared that Egypt will never relinquish any piece of land to transfer other people.
Note 4: This deal is Not taking into account the determined Palestinian Friday March to return to Homeland, 25 successive Fridays with thousand injured and hundred killed by Israeli snipers live bullets. The Palestinians have been transferred from their homes 5 times since 1948
Note 5: Settling the Palestinians in Lebanon is viewed as a de-facto case, since most civil war militia “leaders” are puppets to the colonial powers. But Lebanon has the mighty resistance force of Hezbollah, and a determined president with the largest parliamentary block who refuse any kinds of settlement of refugees, neither Palestinians or Syrians.
Note 6: No one, State or citizens, believe in the US promises. Thus, for any chance of this plan to get under way, Jordan and Egypt have to get their sovereign dept wipe out before any second step is contemplated.

الخبر كما وصلني
ذكر التلفزيون الأميركي “أي بي سي” المعروف بواسع اطلاعه على اخبار البيت الأبيض عبر المحلل السياسي فيه ستيفن كيوورد،

كذلك ذكرت وسائل أميركية عديدة تفاصيل صفقة القرن بكامل الدقة وتنفيذ الخطة، ان الرئيس ترامب وافق مع إسرائيل والسعودية على اكمال صفقة القرن والبدء بتنفيذ المرحلة الرابعة وهي توطين الفلسطينيين في الدول العربية مقابل دفع مئات المليارات لانعاش اقتصاد هذه الدول واجبارها على توطين الفلسطينيين النازحين والمشردين لديها بعدما قطع الرئيس ترامب كل تمويل الولايات المتحدة لمنظمة الاونروا المختصة باللاجئين الفلسطينيين وكل المنظمات الدولية التي تقدم خدمات للنازحين الفلسطينيين المشردين.

وقد قام سفير المملكة السعودية في واشنطن الأمير خالد بن سلمان نجل الملك سلمان ملك السعودية بنقل تفاصيل اقتراحات واشنطن الى شقيقه ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان بعدما قامت واشنطن بالتنسيق مع إسرائيل للخطوة الرابعة في تنفيذ صفقة القرن.

يتم تقديم 250 مليار دولار للاردن منها 80 مليار دولار لاقامة مدن وبلدات وشبكات ري مياه وكهرباء في المنطقة غر المأهولة من الاردن لتوطين الفلسطينيين مع عائلاتهم على ان يبقى للموازنة الأردنية 170 مليار دولار تنتشل الأردن من ازمته المالية والتي هي بحدود 45 مليار دولار وهذا ما يبقي للاردن 125 مليار دولار كي يقوم ببناء مصانع وبنية تحتية وكهرباء ويعزز اقتصاد الاردن بمبلغ لم يحصل عليه الأردن في تاريخه بعد كل ما يتكلفه بشأن توطن الفلسطينيين وخروجه من الازمة الاقتصادية ويبقى له مبلغ صافي 125 مليار دولار

اما المراحل لصفقة القرن فكانت التالية:
1-اعتراف الولايات المتحدة بالقدس عاصمة لإسرائيل وسحبها من اية مفاوضات.

2-اعتراف الولايات المتحدة وطلبها من عدة دول الاعتراف أيضا بالمستوطنات الإسرائيلية التي أقيمت في الضفة الغربية وهي تضم حاليا 650 الف إسرائيلي والمخطط يعمل لرفع العدد عبر إقامة مستعمرات جديدة الى مليون ونصف إسرائيلي يهودي.

3-اعتراف الولايات المتحدة بالدستور الجديد لاسرائيل الذي يقول ان إسرائيل دولة قومية يهودية والشعب اليهودي هو صاحب الأرض وان الفلسطينيين لجأوا الى ارض إسرائيل وفق الدستور الإسرائيلي ولا يحق لهم المواطنة مثل الشعب الاسرائيلي اليهودي.

4-اتخاذ الرئيس الأميركي ترامب قرار بقطع كل تمويل من الولايات المتحدة والطلب لدول أخرى أيضا قطع تمويل منظمة الاونروا التي توزع المساعدات الطبية والغذائية ورعاية الأطفال الفلسطينيين في مخيماتهم البائسة أي انها قطعت مليار و300 مليون دولار مما جعل الاونروا تطرح الصوت عاليا لدول العالم كي تقوم بتمويلها لاكمال رعايتها للشعب الفلسطيني في المخيمات التي طال عمرها سبعين سنة.

5-نقل الأمير خالد بن سلمان رسالة من الرئيس ترامب الى القيادة السعودية وسلمها الى شقيقه ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان بالتنسيق بين واشنطن وإسرائيل وتقضي بالبدء بإقناع دولتين هما مصر والأردن بتوطين 3 ملايين فلسطيني، موزعين على مليون فلسطيني في الأردن ومليوني فلسطيني على حدود غزة وصولا الى مدينة العريش وعلى امتداد رفح وتوسيع مساحة غزة الى مساحة إضافية لها هي 7 الاف كلم، هي الجزء الفلسطيني من سيناء تاريخيا لكن مصر حصلت عليها في زمن الانتداب البريطاني،

وتتسع مساحة سبعة الاف كلم لحوالي خمسة ملايين لاجئ فلسطيني وهذا الامر بالاتفاق والتنسيق بين واشنطن وإسرائيل وبين واشنطن والسعودية على ان يتولى ولي عهد السعودية الاتصال بالأردن والقيادة الأردنية كذلك بالقيادة المصرية مع الرئيس الفريق اول عبد الفتاح السيسي.

6-تقوم الولايات المتحد بالطلب من اليابان دفع مئة مليار دولار على أساس ان واشنطن تحمي اليابان من الصين، كما تطلب من كوريا الجنوبية مئة مليار دولار وهي الدولة الغنية الثانية بعد اليابان تكنولوجيا وصناعيا وتقدم مئة مليار دولار لتوطين الفلسطينيين،

كما تقدم الولايات المتحدة مئة مليار دولار أيضا في صندوق توطين الفلسطينيين وتقدم السعودية 200 مليار دولار لصندوق توطين الفلسطينيين .

وهكذا يكون صندوق توطين الفلسطينيين قد جمع 500 مليار دولار. إضافة الى الطلب من كندا دفع 50 مليار دولار، ومن الاتحاد الأوروبي خاصة ألمانيا ما مجموعه من الـ26 دولة اوروبية 150 مليار دولار وبذلك يصبح مجموع قيمة ما جمعه صندوق توطين الفلسطينيين 700 مليار دولار.

8- يتم تقديم بعد مباحثات ومفاوضات مع مصر 250 مليار دولار لفتح حدود رفح غزة باتجاه مدينة العريش، وتوسيع مساحة غزة سبعة الاف كلم وبناء ابنية ومساكن وبيوت للفلسطينيين على هذه المساحة بقيمة مئة مليار دولار على ان تقوم شركات دولية بإقامة الأبنية والطرقات في كامل مساحة السبعة الاف كلم وبناء مرفأين على البحر لصيد السمك لان المنطقة غنية ومطلة على البحر الأحمر والبحر الأبيض المتوسط كذلك إقامة مطار دولي قرب العريش يكون مطار الدولة الفلسطينية في الارض التي حصلت عليها غزة من سيناء وهي 7 الاف كلم.

ويتم تسليم مصر 250 مليار دولار تصرف منها مئة مليار على توطين الفلسطينيين بحجم مليونين او مليونين ونصف في مساحة السبعة الاف كلم على ان يبقى مع كامل البنية التحتية من ري مياه وكهرباء ومستشفيات ومدارس على ان يبقى للاقتصاد المصري 150 مليار دولار تدعم وتنتشل مصر من ازمتها الاقتصادية وتخلق فرص عمل للشباب عبر إقامة مصانع ويتم تقديم لمصر والأردن اسباب تفضيلية لتصدير بضائعهم الى أوروبا والولايات المتحدة مع اعفاء من الرسوم الجمركية لكل بضائع الأردن ومصر مع الحصول على 150 مليار دولار لاقتصادها.

ويؤدي الغاء الروسم الجمركية على البضائع من الأردن وتوطين المليون فلسطيني على الأقل مع عائلاتهم الى ازدهار اقتصادي لدى الأردن ومصر مقابل الغاء الرسوم الجمركية على البضائع المصدرة الى الولايات المتحدة كذلك السعي مع اوروبا لاعفائهم من الرسوم الأوروبية الجمركية بناء على تنسيق بين الولايات المتحدة واسرائيل التي تريد الانتهاء وتصفية القضية الفلسطينية كذلك بالتنسيق مع السعودية التي تريد سحب ورقة مسألة القضية الفلسطينية من ايران وبالتالي نزع سبب أي وجود إيراني على حدود فلسطين المحتلة أي دولة إسرائيل القومية اليهودية التي اقرها مجلس النواب الاسرائيلي الكنيست ووافقت عليها واشنطن علنا واسرائيل طبعا والسعودية لم تعترض على ذلك بل ضمنيا وافقت عليه.

ويبقى 20 مليار دولار من الصندوق الذي تم جمعه لتوطين الفلسطينيين من الدول الغنية والصناعية في العالم بإشراف وزارة الخزانة الأميركية ويتم تقديم 200 مليار دولار للعراق لتوطين مليون ومئتي الف فلسطيني في العراق خاصة في المناطق الشمالية حيث محافظة صلاح الدين ونينوى والانبار وهنا الاكثرية السنية في هذه المناطق وفيها مساحات واسعة تتسع لمليار ونصف فلسطيني

على ان يحصل العراق على مئتي مليار دولار ويتم صرف 50 مليار دولار على توطين مليون و200 الف فلسطيني لبناء المساكن والابنية لهم مع طرقات ومستشفيات ومصانع فيما تحصل الخزينة العراقية على 150 مليار دولار لانها في عجز كبير نظرا للفساد الذي هدر أموال العراق منذ الحرب الاميركية عليه عام 2003 وتولي سلطات سرقت، وفق موقع بلومبرغ المالي والاقتصادي، وشخصيات عشرات المليارات حيث نشر الموقع 20 اسما لرؤساء وزراء وقيادات جيش ووزراء تبلغ ثروة كل واحد قيمة لا تقل عن 40 او 50 مليار دولار مع عشيرته.

وستكون الـ 150 مليار دولار عملية انقاذ اقتصادية للموازنة العراقية مقابل توطين المليون و200 الف فلسطيني حيث تقول واشنطن ان في العراق مساحات واسعة تتسع لمليون ونصف فلسطيني بشكل مريح جدا ودون كثافة سكانية. وتقدم السعودية ضمانة للحكومة العراقية بانها ستستمر في دعم الاقتصاد العراقي عبر إعطاء العراق نصف مليون برميل من النفط لمدة عشر سنوات.

سفير السعودية في واشنطن الأمير خالد بن سلمان نجل ملك السعودية وشقيق ولي العهد نقل كامل الخطة والرسالة الى ولي العهد السعودي شقيقه محمد بن سلمان كي يبدأ بالتحرك وتنفيذ الخطة بتوطين 4 ملايين و200 الف فلسطيني في العراق والأردن ومصر مقابل حلف إسرائيلي أميركي سعودي يدعم الدول الثلاث خاصة اميركا برفع الرسوم الجمركية عن كافة البضائع الاردنية المصرية الفلسطينية وتصديرها الى الولايات المتحدة وتقديم 700 مليار دولار موزعة 250 مليار لمصر و200 مليار للعراق و250 مليار دولار للاردن.

وهكذا تكون صفقة القرن قد اتمت المرحلة التاسعة منها وتم تقريبا بشكل نهائي تصفية القضية الفلسطينية وحصلت إسرائيل على الراحة من الكثافة الفلسطينية إضافة الى الغاء حق العودة نهائيا للفلسطينيين الى فلسطين المحتلة، وبالنسبة للولايات المتحدة تكون قد أعطت حليفتها الاولى ما تريد وفي ذات الوقت فرضت حلف أميركي مع إسرائيل ومصر والاردن والعراق والسعودية بالدرجة الأولى،

اما الطرف الثالث فهي السعودية التي تريد سحب ورقة ايران من الدخول في القضية والنضال الفلسطيني بعد توطين الفلسطينيين مما يجعل السعودية تعتقد ان ايران لن يكون لها دور في خط الممانعة والمقاومة ولا يعود لها أهمية وجود في العراق ولا مع حماس او الفلسطينيين ولا مع الأردن وخاصة مع سوريا حيث سيتم نقل مخيم اليرموك قرب دمشق ومخيم اللاذقية للفلسطينيين على شاطئ البحر لتوطينهم في الدول الثلاث العراق الأردن مصر وسحب ورقة حزب الله المدعوم إيرانيا ووجود صواريخه ومقاتليه في لبنان، وهذا ما تريده السعودية.

أخيرا هل يستطيع حلف إسرائيل اميركا السعودية تصفية القضية الفلسطينية ام يرفض الشارع العربي المرحلة الأخيرة من صفقة القرن؟

انها السنوات القادمة التي ستقرر هذا الامر، مع العلم ان نبض الشارع العربي يرفض الهيمنة الاسرائيلية الاميركية على المنطقة ويرفض تورط السعودية من اجل محاربة ايران في تصفية القضية الفلسطينية.




November 2018
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