Archive for January 28th, 2010

Mean World Syndrome, Media & Tolle


Media Violence and the Cultivation of Fear
A new film based on the late George Gerbner’s groundbreaking analysis of media influence and media violence

MEA's Mean World Syndrome

In A New Heaven New Earth, Eckart Tolle says that violence for violence sake is the pain body‘s way of seeking food. Violent films are made by pain bodies for pain bodies to view. He also wrote, however, that if a film, such as a documentary or drama about the Vietnam war or World War II for example,  use violence to illustrate the madness of the human mind, to wake us up to the insanity of the egoic mind, then violent depictions can have a role in showing us a way to becoming more fully conscious.   I’m still on the fence about Tolle’s comments. Meanwhile, the highly respected Media Education Foundation has just produced a new DVD called Mean World Syndrome.

“In an era dominated by simplified assumptions about the impact of television violence, Gerbner insisted on a broader perspective and a sharper analysis, arguing that the primary impact of the media was to reinforce, not to challenge, the structure of power.”
– Larry Gross, Director, USC Annenberg School of Communication

For years, debates have raged among scholars, politicians, and concerned parents about the effects (more…)

Airlifts from Machu Picchu Resume


U.S. helicopters help Peru evacuate hundreds after rail line was cut
From AP
Image: Mountain Spirit Institute

Helicopter at Aquas Caliente, MP. MSI file photo

Helicopters ferried almost 600 more tourists from the Machu Picchu area after rains slackened Wednesday, leaving up to 1,600 travelers still stranded by mudslides blocking the only land route from the famed Inca citadel.

Authorities said airlifts would continue throughout the week because more tourists had shown up at the evacuation site on foot after completing treks along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, the 15th century Incan fortress that is 8,000 feet above sea level.

Rain-fueled mudslides on Sunday cut the train line that is the only transport link to the remote region atop an Andean mountain ridge. Adding to the worries, tourists flown out Wednesday reported that a rain-swollen river had eroded the site where rescue helicopters are landing.

Stranded tourists charged they are being victimized by price-gouging because food, water and accommodations are scarce in the now isolated Machu Picchu Pueblo, a village of 4,000 residents.

Room for Improvement at Machu Picchu


Tourists ‘bribe their way out of flooded Machu Picchu’
By Hannah Strange

Bus Road to MP, Image: MSI File Photo

British backpackers were among 1,500 tourists trying to escape from Peru’s Inca citadel of Machu Picchu yesterday, which has been cut off by floods and landslides.

As food supplies dwindled and hostels ran out of space many tourists were sleeping in the railway station and the town’s main square while they waited to be rescued by helicopter.

“The situation is about to erupt,” Rudy Chalco, a tour guide with a group of elderly Europeans, told the Peruvian daily newspaper El Comercio. “We don’t have any more food, disorder is starting to reign, the soldiers and police don’t know what to do or how to organise the help that has arrived, people are getting desperate and no one is taking charge.”

Some tourists were paying up to $500 (£300) for a seat on one of the helicopters, he said.

Fernando Celis, one of 300 Chileans stranded in Machu Picchu, said that people were bribing rescuers. “A helicopter arrived yesterday to take out the elderly and the unwell and some tourists who had more money. There are almost no North Americans left, only the backpackers. People on tours who were waving their money about, they were all evacuated,” he said.

He added that local vendors had doubled their prices. Read the rest of this story

Slides-Flooding at Machu Picchu


Peru slide kills tourist, guide near Machu Picchu
From The Times

Flooding at Aquas Caliente near Machu Picchu. Image: Reuters

A mudslide on the famed Inca trail to Machu Picchu killed an Argentine tourist and a Peruvian guide, as authorities evacuated hundreds of tourists by helicopter from a flood zone where more than 1,500 others were still stranded

Cuzco government spokesman Hernet Moscoso said the Argentine, identified as Lucia Ramallo, 23, and the guide, Washington Huaraya, were in their tents when a slope gave way and their tents were crushed. Three other tourists were injured.

Authorities closed the Inca trail, a popular tourist trek that follows a stone path built by the ancient civilization from their capital, Cuzco, to the Machu Picchu citadel.

The deaths raised to five the number of people killed by heavy rains that have caused floods and landslides and collapsed homes, Moscoso said.  Read the rest of this story
Image: The Times

Fooling Some of the People with BGH


U.S. FDA’s Curious Statement on Carton of Milk

Perplexing labeling re: BGH

We were pulling a small carton of light cream from the fridge tonight and noticed a perplexing statement on Oakhurst’s container. On the one hand, there’s a banner under the logo stating “America’s 1st Farmers’ Pledge, No Artificial Growth Hormones Used”

And then in small print, at the lower left hand corner of the same panel reads, “FDA states No significant difference in milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormone.”

Who are they trying to kid? You can’t fool all the people all the time.
If it’s so safe, why are Americans looking bloated that drink BGH milk. Also why do so many other countries prohibit the sale of BGH milk?

At first we thought it was some sort of trick on Oakhurst’s part. But, on second thought, we concluded it’s another strong-arm tactic of big pharma.  I’ll send an email to Oakhurst  in the morning and query them as to why there are two apparently contradictory statements on one carton of milk.