Even mail without an address gets delivered in Ireland

In which snail mail provides a lesson in the loveliness of slow living.

Recently a package was delivered to the home of Shane Crumlish in Carndonagh, Ireland. But unlike most packages that make it to their intended destination, this one was lacking a legible address. Written in black marker, the address was wiped off or worn away so that only a few traces of lettering remained. That, however, did not stop the mailmen from getting the package to where it belonged.

“How this got here, I just don’t know,” Crumlish told BBC Radio Foyle. “There was nobody in the house when it arrived so it was just left outside in one of my cars.”

Remarkably, two local postmen had figured out where it was meant to go; leaving it in the car was an extra nice touch.

And it wasn’t the first time that the Irish postal service went above and beyond duty. In 2015 postal workers figured out to whom they should deliver a letter addressed to: “Your man Henderson, that boy with the glasses who is doing a PhD up here at Queen’s in Belfast; Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland.”

MailRoisin Henderson/Screen capture

That the letter was sent from some 80 miles away and still found its intended recipient is mind boggling to me, someone who is used to the exasperating indifference that seems to infuse New York City mail delivery. I think the postal system is a miracle; but how can so much of my mail be lost or returned before getting to me? Certainly it has much to do with living in a big city. (For a good laugh, read the comments for the one-star Yelp review of my local post office, which includes things like, “This is not just the worst post office, but the worst place in the world.”) For all of its amazing advantages, and even though there are micro communities in every neighborhood, a letter addressed to “that boy with the glasses” in New York City would get the world’s quickest one-way ticket to the great “not deliverable as addressed” mailbin in the sky.

Although there are always exceptions, it would be wonderful if more people in the fast-paced city took the time to slow down and consider things a little more. And I am not blaming postal workers here; I think they do a great job given the system they are operating in. But do those of us who choose to live in the city have to necessarily sacrifice things like the lovely delivery of cryptically addressed mail? Even if that is way too much to ask, it’s still a great reminder to be take the time to be mindful … and then start planning a move to Ireland. Write to me there at “That writer lady with messy hair who moved from New York,” and rest assured that if I’m not home, I can find the letter in my car.

Via BBC

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/culture/even-mail-without-address-gets-delivered-ireland.html

Kim Jong-un invites South’s leader Moon to Pyongyang in personal letter delivered by sister



 


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang in a personal letter delivered by Kim’s sister, Seoul has said.

Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, handed the letter over at a rare meeting with Moon on Saturday. She said that brother asked Moon to visit the North’s capital at the “earliest date” possible for what will be a third inter-Korean summit.

“While delivering a letter from Kim Jong-un … special envoy Kim Yo-jong orally delivered Chairman Kim Jong-un’s invitation [for Moon] to visit the North at a time convenient to him, saying he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in at the earliest date possible,” South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.

Moon’s spokesman said the president’s response to the invitation was: “Let us make it happen by creating the necessary conditions in the future”. The South Korean president mentioned the need for the North to resume its dialogue with the United States.

“An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship,” Moon said, according to his spokesman.

Kim Yo-jong arrived at Incheon International Airport on a private jet along with North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, on Friday. The last member of the Kim family to enter South Korea was Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder, in 1950.

Later on Saturday, Moon dismissed a call from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resume massive military exercises between Seoul and the US. “I understand what Prime Minister Abe said is not to delay South Korea-U.S. military drills until there is progress in the denuclearization of North Korea. But the issue is about our sovereignty and intervention in our domestic affairs,” Moon told the Japanese leader, according to a high-ranking official who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

The Winter Olympics, which started in PyeongChang this Friday, appear to have helped bring about a relative thaw in the situation on the peninsula. North and South Korea made a joint entrance under a unified Korean Peninsula flag at the opening ceremony. They have also agreed to send a combined women’s hockey team.

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THIS is socialism: Venezuelan children are STARVING to death as food must now be delivered under armed guard

Image: THIS is socialism: Venezuelan children are STARVING to death as food must now be delivered under armed guard

(Natural News)
All of the various economic models employed by dictators, thugs, and autocratic rulers worldwide have produced nothing but misery, hardship, and death, yet far too many American Millennials are supportive and even fascinated by them.

They are, in no particular order, communism, Marxism, and socialism.

Communism, as practiced by the Soviet Union, was ultimately responsible for its demise.

Marxism, as practiced by Cuba, transformed over decades what was once a thriving Caribbean hotspot into an impoverished, decrepit nightmare.

And socialism, as its being practiced in Venezuela, is turning that once-prosperous South American jewel into a failed state. As reported by The New York Times, things have gotten so bad there that food transports cannot move without a military escort.

What’s worse, the country’s most vulnerable citizens — it’s children — are starving to death at a much higher rate than the adult population, which is also high:

With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

It wasn’t always like this. Before sycophantic, power-hungry “revolutionaries” Hugo Chavez and current leader Nicolas Maduro (a tyrant who holds onto power by blocking opposition candidates from running against him), Venezuela — an OPEC member with the world’s largest oil reserves — was the envy of South America. In fact, not long ago Venezuela, thanks to its oil riches, was the fourth-richest economy in the world. (Related: Banned video reveals the horrors of Venezuela’s starving population.)

The country used its oil wealth like Democrats in the U.S. use the Treasury: To pay for heaps of social programs and subsidize everything from transportation to wages.

The problem with that socialist approach is that eventually when market conditions change and national income falls, the programs don’t go away and must still be paid for. Worse, over decades, the population comes to depend on them as alternatives to the socialist structure eventually fade away.

Venezuela’s crunch came in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s with an oil glut; the country doubled down on their own misery when they began electing out-and-out socialists rather than free-market capitalists who would have diversified the economy so that it wasn’t reliant on a single industry.

Yet today, as the world is experiencing another oil glut, Venezuela still relies on oil for 95 percent of its exports. With exports down, national income is down and as such, there is less and less money to pay for so many government programs, including wage subsidies.

So Venezuelans are starving because the country cannot import or grow enough food for its people. And now, the country rests on the precipice of catastrophe. Or self-destruction.

“If there is no food, there will be more riots,” said Raibelis Henriquez, 19, who waited all day for bread in Cumaná.

The Times noted further:

In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass looting have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed. This is precisely the Venezuela its leaders vowed to prevent.

Nearly nine-in-10 Venezuelans (87 percent) say they don’t have enough money to buy enough food to eat, according to a recent assessment of living conditions by Simon Bolivar University.

Citizens say they are spending nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of their monthly incomes on food alone — that is, when they can find it. And many say that on any given day, they will not have yet had a single thing to eat.

This is socialism. It’s not pretty, it’s not fair, and the “equality” it brings is making everyone but the governing elite equally miserable.

Americans who truly believe socialism is better than U.S.-style capitalism have never lived in a place like Venezuela. (Find more news on the collapse of the food supply at FoodCollapse.com.)

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

NYTimes.com

WEForum.org

NaturalNews.com

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-24-this-is-socialism-venezuelan-children-are-starving-to-death-as-food-must-now-be-delivered-under-armed-guard.html

Re: Has Trump just delivered Middle East unity?

You have to hand it to Donald Trump. It seems that the US President has brought a degree of unity to the Middle East that no one expected — least of all him — when he overturned US foreign policy last week by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What was easier to predict were the violent scenes that followed in the occupied West Bank when hundreds of Palestinian protesters took to the streets to vent their anger, only to be met with live bullets and tear gas fired by the Israeli occupation forces.

Similar anger erupted in towns and cities across the Muslim world. All of the European Union states as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the Trump move. Again, it was all rather predictable, as were the protests and rallies outside Israeli embassies in various capitals. It certainly looked as if the only person on the world stage to welcome the Jerusalem proposal was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, several other events followed which few could have foreseen. Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan called an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and by Wednesday, exactly one week after Trump’s announcement, all 57 OIC member states had prepared a draft declaration of their own. They stated bluntly that the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel signals an end to Washington’s participation in the Middle East peace process.

Read: Netanyahu fails to sell Trump Jerusalem recognition in Europe

The statement was read during a joint conference held by the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement, currently being held in Istanbul. The declaration said, in part, that leaders, ministers and officials from over 50 Muslim countries “declare East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, and invite all countries to recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”

It condemned in the “strongest terms” Trump’s decision to make plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The condemnation continued by describing Trump’s plan as “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus (for) extremism and terrorism and a threat to international peace and security.”

For the fractious Arab leaders to come together as one with their colleagues in the OIC was surprising. Founded in 1969, OIC member states are rarely in the business of promoting peace and harmony among themselves, but that is exactly what Erdogan’s emergency meeting achieved.

 Read: Trump has pushed Israel to the edge of bloody conflict

The OIC also declared East Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine, sweeping aside US observations that this would be “dangerous”, and called upon the international community to follow in its footsteps. The 57-strong group explained that it is committed to the two-state solution. The united response will certainly have raised a few eyebrows across the West as well as in Tel Aviv, where the last thing that Netanyahu and his government want is to see peace and unity breaking out across the Muslim world. Rarely has the OIC spoken so strongly with one voice in world affairs.

Even the unpopular Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seemed to find some backbone when he declared that the US had “disqualified” itself from future Israel-Palestine peace talks because it was obviously not an impartial peace broker. It’s taken him a long time to figure it out, but he’s got there at last.

Erdogan’s summit attracted more than 20 heads of state, although Saudi Arabia, which hosts the OIC, only sent a senior foreign ministry official. Others, including Egypt, sent their foreign ministers.

Turkey’s Erdogan will no doubt take the credit for uniting the Muslim world— and he deserves to — but he couldn’t have done it without Trump. This is one story that the US President can’t denounce as “fake news”.



Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171214-has-trump-just-delivered-middle-east-unity/#comment-3661957545

Harvey delivered this fanged, faceless creature to the Texas shore

As Twitter chittered with spooked speculation over the poor sea creature, a Smithsonian biologist provides an explanation.

It’s not the first time to have happened; a mysterious something is found washed ashore and the crowd goes wild. There are usually hints of alien or sea monster; in the end, it usually ends up being the decayed remains of something recognizable, or, just one of the endless creatures living in the inky wilds that most of us just don’t know of.

In the case of the many-toothed and faceless carcass forced to shore by hurricane Harvey, the answer is one of the latter: Although some might say that a “fangtooth snake-eel” – the creature in question – may still be more alien or sea monster, I think it’s incredible looking and is clearly a creature who has adapted perfectly to live in the environs it calls home … which would be in muddy burrows 100 to 300 feet below the surface of the sea.

The photos that made the rounds were taken by Preeti Desai, a social media manager at the National Audubon Society, who had gone with conservationists to assess the damage from the storm. The animal was spotted on a beach in Texas City, 15 miles from Galveston.

Of her Twitter sleuthing, Desai told BBC News: “I follow a lot of scientists and researchers. There’s such a great community of these folks that are very helpful, especially when it comes to answering questions about the world or identifying animals and plants.”

Someone recommended Kenneth Tighe, a biologist with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Tighe, an eel expert, believes that the creature is most likely a fangtooth snake-eel Aplatophis chauliodus). Although it could possible also be a large-toothed conger (Bathyuroconger vicinus) or a bristletooth conger (Xenomystax congroides).

“All three of these species occur off Texas and have large fang-like teeth,” Tighe told Earth Touch News. “Too bad you can’t clearly see the tip of the tail. That would differentiate between the ophichthid and the congrids.”

Unfortunately, the snake-eel was deceased upon discovery. I’m not sure sure it would have received the same frantic rescue efforts that were afforded to the stranded manatees and dolphins, but I’d like to think so. Aplatophis chauliodus’ fate was left to the elements that brought it there in the first place; Desai told BBC News that she left the dead eel alone to “let nature take its course.”

RIP, fangtooth snake-eel.

Via The Washington Post

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/animals/harvey-delivered-fanged-faceless-creature-texas-shore.html