99 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.62018

Jun 17, 2018 at 11:02 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in U’s place to view a video by Dr. Carhart-Harris about research done in the UK and the United States about psychedelics; the link:

https://vimeo.com/154290924

The patients undergoing these controlled studies were all severely depressed or had other mental afflictions. Although some of them underwent also bad trips during the study, the aftereffect on this group of patients was /is mainly very positive. One or two treatments can actually improve depression etc. for months at a time.

Michael Pollan wrote a book about the findings with a lengthy title: “How to change your mind  – What the new science of Psychedelics teaches us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence”. E and G have it,is also available as audio book.

An interview with Michael Pollan about his book is here:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/15/611225541/reluctant-psychonaut-michael-pollan-embraces-the-new-science-of-psychedelics

Dr. Carhart-Harris’ mention in the Imperial College of London:

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/r.carhart-harris

It is actually possible to have psychedelics prescribed by a doctor (with a special procedure) for depression and other serious mental afflictions.

MAPS is a worldwide organizations that helps sufferers find a doctor who can prescribe psychedelics for their treatment

www.maps.org

D mentioned that psychedelics help to un-focus – a behaviour that has been instilled in us from childhood – and to see the whole picture. Psychedelics do not cause hallucinations per se, they open the door to perceive them.

G said that the medical- industrial complex is suppressing the use of psychedelics even if they are beneficial to patients, because this would mean that they can sell less of their products.

It was discussed that these substances are not drugs, they are plant derivatives and natural, they dock in the body to receptors which also accept substances the body produces itself.

There seems to be a new understanding in the US that when people are depressed and kill themselves, the problem lies not with them but with the lifestyle. An interesting article by Kirsten powers is here:

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/06/09/kate-spade-suicide-anthony-bourdain-depression-culture-success-column/687388002/

U mntioned that wastewater – which is recycled in cities – carries more and more substances like cocaine. It has also surfaced again that women who take Ibuprofen or Paracetamol during pregnancy, may have a healthy baby girl who later finds that she is infertile because the pain killers killed her eggs in the ovaries during her mother’s pregnancy. (see article)

Reminder The JORNAL carries News in English on Tuesdays, it’s a good information service now!

 

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98 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 19.5.2018

May 22, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in V.’s Quinta in S. Antonio to visit her private garden, where she started a new orchid collection. It is promising! She has 250 different kinds of orchids in the lowers greenhouse and is now starting to place them in the garden itself. Butterflies and birds have returned, after the road below the grounds  was built.

The garden is, at the bottom end, on level with the new road so she could then open a new gate for easy access for the visitors.

She also has com experience with EcoTherapy, with three persons who came to the Quinta during the day  to plant and raise plants, to rest and get out of burnout mode.

She has a contact to a Germany enterprise which intends to send her employees who had a burnout or who are close to it. In the UK, EcoTherapy is paid by the National Health system.

We also spoke about Shinrin Yoku – Forest Bathing, a practice from Japan, see D’s links below*. D. thinks that Madeira is ideal to practice this relaxing way of living, really.

U talked about the encounter she had on a private occasion with the head of Madeira Tourism. There might be a new type of government official who could be open to working with us. D. told us about a guy from JPP (Junto pelo Povo) who came to visit him and P. in Esperdegada, to discuss all kinds of government matters, to do with the upkeep of the road. D. had a very good impression of him, this might also be a person we could work with and propose ideas to, or to help with brainstorms.

U. will get in touch with Sam G., who writes the News in English, coming out now every Tuesday in the JORNAL – please go and buy it! –  to see if she can set up another channel for the news with  the Madeira Island News.

We need a new topic for June and G said she would like to inform us about medicinal use of psycedelics – wow!

The links, to get a look into it:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/15/611225541/reluctant-psychonaut-michael-pollan-embraces-the-new-science-of-psychedelics

and about the research done so far:

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/r.carhart-harris

 

The next meeting will be on June 16, the place yet to be determined.

  • Shinrin Yoku – Forest Bathing

https://youtu.be/LUfbMIGcxkM

https://youtu.be/wixyvQMCFj4

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/japan/articles/forest-therapy-japan-bathing-woods-wellness-relax/

http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33368691

https://www.cheesetraveller.com/earthing-forest-bathing-costa-rica/

http://shinrin-yoku.pt/en/

http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/foresttherapystarterkit.html

http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/the-practice.html

http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/the-science.html

 

96 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.3.2018

Mar 18, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We  heard from A.about the concept of integrative medicine. This is an approach to not to view alternative treatments as opposition to allopathic medicine but as composite of both, which emphasizes the approach to the total person, with compassion.

We also watched two videos on the topic:

Dr. Weil’s vision for integrative medicine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDQmgpBVOMY

The English view of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIj4hsdNu5w

During the discussion, it came down to the fact that most people abandon the responsibility for their health and shove it over to a doctor who is supposed to fix it. Most people, especially in Madeira, do not want to change their lifestyle for the better.

R. V. and C. also took part in the meeting and R. said that people buy and take way too many supplements these days. Then we went around the room and saw that almost everyone of us also takes supplements one way or another.

C. said that the stress he has in the hospital (2 x per week 24 hour shifts in the Emergency room) have him resort to Melantonin and herbs and such so that he can cope with the stress.

(By the way: he said that the Via Verde treatments  – stroke, heart attack, sepsis) – work well in the hospital!)

Here is the link to the simple breathing exercise Dr. Weil recommends:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wg-UAYGa2A

Our next meeting will be on April 14,.

 

93 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.11. 2017

Nov 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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Due to closed roads leading to Monte, (tree cutting) we all arrived late.

After a nice tea, we viewed a documentary from the BBC Horizon series about intermittent fasting, very informative!  The journalist in question interviewed several scientists, tried some options and decided for intermittent fasting. His blood work improved considerably, with it his health, lowering the risk of serious diseases, and increasing life expectancy.

Two members are practicing intermittent fasting with good success.

Other short clips and a great website in regards to Keto Fasting:

Diet doctor website https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto

Jason fasting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIhhrYjVhOk                   5.17 min

Valter Longo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVArDzYynYc                   19.0 min

How to do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNSbL8p3_RU                      4.45 min

Afterwards, we went to “Pátio das Babosas” again for a nice evening meal.

D. invited the group for a Thanksgiving Turkey Lunch, but, next Thursday being a difficult date for many, we decided to transpose it to Thursday, December 14, and combine the turkey with Father Christmas, let’s see how they get along!

The next meeting will be in 2018. We shall continue with the topic of consciousness, probably also with a video clip

91 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 19.8.2017

Oct 12, 2017 at 9:02 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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Topic: Consciousness

We discussed Dr Bruce Greyson, doctor of psychiatry, University of Virginia

Studies the relationship between brain and consciousness. He recognises that in normal life there is a very clear link between the two; if you receive a blow to your head or

if you drink too much alcohol, you will experience that your thought process is less clear and focused.  However we cannot prove or observe what causes a thought or an emotion. A single neuron

cannot think or feel anything. The evolution of our way of approaching  this matter in science, follows the same way as did our approach to physics, evolving from Newton to Einstein.

Just like the theory that the brain causes the consciousness is a reasonably good model for everyday situations, so too newtonian physics is a reasonably good model for everyday objects moving at speeds that are observable to the naked eye. It is only when we deal with extreme situations like the brain approaching death or microscopic parcels travelling at the speed of light, that the old models are no longer applicable. For physics we developed a new paradigm called quantum physics and when it came to studies of the mind, physicists had to recognise consciousness as a fundamental part of existence – INDEPENDENT of matter.

There are 4 lines of evidence of consciousness without a brain:

  1. Deathbed recovery of lost consciousness
  2. Complex consciousness with minimal brain (U: discussion to be continued on this point)
  3. Near death experiences
  4. memories of past lives.

Examples of nr 1 : people with severe brain damage (from tumours, alzheimers etc) who had lost all power of thinking or communicating, regained both these things shortly before dying. We have absolutely no explanation for this fact, yet in a study, 70 % of caregivers reported of such phenomena.

Examples of nr 2: people who have lost the use of a significant part of the brain, but yet are able to perform well. One lady who after an accident was left with only a brainstem and no cortex

(cortex is the place where our thinking happens) still she was able to continue as a student at university. People with “hydrocephalus” – a decease that lets fluid leak into the brain. In one person fluid took up 90% of the brain, leaving no space for complex thinking, and still he had over a hundred in an intelligence test.

Example of nr 3: People who are clinically dead (so without trace of brain activity) who still relate vivid experiences when they are resuscitated. These experiences can be verifiable, such as the accounts of what happened during the resuscitation (what machinery was used, what people were in the room etc.) People who claimed to have had a NDE described their resuscitation correctly, whereas people who did not have NDE but was asked to try to remember their resuscitation, related it incorrectly.

People who claim to have had NDE typically describe an altered sense of time, a sudden understanding, clearer thought process, feeling of belonging, peace and joy. However there is such a thing as negative NDEs. How often they occur seems to vary between different investigations, but somewhere between 2 and 14 percent seems to be the norm. In this context I would like to underline

that most of the studies involve people who have been dead for 15 to 20 minutes. Very often they have been aware that there was a line beyond which there was no return, so we don’t actually know what experiences they would have had beyond that line.

Examples of 4: young children who report having had past lives. They typically never report on having been some very well know person, but just ordinary people whose lives were typically ended in an abrupt or violent way. In 63% of cases these people of the past were traceable and accounts of their death verifiable.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Book links : hold on to your shoelaces…

Food of the Gods.pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8AWtS91VS1nWWFXMnNzVTZ1WEE/view?usp=sharing

Dawkins. Richard – Deus, um Delírio.pdf (in particular pg 74 vis a vis “the prayers”)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93ZsMIp-w6XNGJBMVNJT0JIaWc/view?usp=sharing

Many Lives, Many Masters (Brian L. Weiss).pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93ZsMIp-w6XOEMtR0V1SkRESFk/view?usp=sharing

Espejos del Tiempo (Brian L. Weiss).pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93ZsMIp-w6XNmF2X29vdVAzOG8/view?usp=sharing

Only Love Is Real – The Story of Soulmates Reunited (Dr. Brian Weiss).pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93ZsMIp-w6Xd1pSQjYtOF9wZG8/view?usp=sharing

Nosso Lar (Chico Xavier).pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93ZsMIp-w6XclEzUDJTUW1QWE0/view?usp=sharing

Desobsessão (Francisco Xavier).pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93ZsMIp-w6XVnlfNGdQbTJTTmM/view?usp=sharing

89 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 24.6.2017

Jun 25, 2017 at 10:35 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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C was to present more info on the P Association but he couldn’t attend and he didn’t have sufficient time to send U an overview. But he outlined on the phone, that P. needs new associates and new input.

C will send a list of the other members so that we know who they are (and if we would like to associate ourselves with them), also the Statutes and what else they are doing, besides Waldorf-prep courses.

U said that we could organize a “Waldorf for Madeira” workshop (cannot be that difficult) . C said that the cost for a teacher from the mainland would be around 300€ plus flight (the person could stay with C). We need to get more information before proceeding.

M needs to find another option for the Foundation. As mentioned before, there is a Family Court judge who is sending needy children to foster parents, instead of a good home, so only 14 children are living at the Foundation at this time. The overhead is too expensive.

M hopes to get Rubina Leal (PSD, but nobody is perfect) to visit the home to see which other uses can be found  to make use of the space (Creche, day care centre for the handicapped, home for underage mothers). It should be care toward poor children as mentioned in the Statutes, otherwise they would have to be adapted. The new purpose must also be of a kind that the Sisters can cope with.

U spoke to the group about the history of the Consorcio (many members weren’t in it from the start) and about the fact that most of our own projects stalled because of disinterest. (Beach Basket, the Medicinal Herbs project with Verena). We also see that if we offer help, it is not usually accepted. People may want help for their project but end up muddling through as before.

The idea (we are never running out of ideas) is to turn the Consorcio into our own discussion forum with topics we want to talk about, and these may be topics one wouldn’t discuss at a dinner table. If we are approached for help toward outside projects, we’ll be happy to assist

 

81 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.6.2016

Jun 22, 2016 at 9:15 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We had a very animated and interesting evening;

ECO House:

E.explained to us his water recycling system – a wetland filtration system which is almost finished. His house is now an ECO house, with almost all water being recycled in a trench (15m long, 70cm deep) in front of the house, filled with several layers of different materials (broken tiles, ceramic, coal, sand, and ceramics and mulch on the top) to filter out any residues. As last step, wetland plants, such a papyrus, will be planted on the trench.

He has a pond with a capacity of 12.000 l water, and he’ll have an additional tank with 20.000 l, for irrigation and as emergency reservoirs in case of fire. Next time there is a fire near his house, he’ll have plenty of water to defend it (he needs a conventional diesel generator in case of power failure).

The system uses two solar powered pumps during the day and one magnetic induction pump during the night, to pump the water up to a cascade behind the house. The pumps also oxygenate the water so that fish can be added to the cascade.  The fish will be eating any larvae so that the system does not breed mosquitoes.

 

Updates:

U spoke briefly about Madeira Lovers, D’s souvenir shop, he has problems finding a good shop and making enough money (he has our Beach Basked prototype) He had to give up the shop in the airport because the Vinci group only wants their own shops.
E.is not in contact with A.A.  anymore. He and his buddy S.M. asked him for assistance with Hub projects in the port (creating competition between the transport operators), as he had worked in such projects in Brazil. He worked on it but they won’t go through with it because it would obviously damage special interests (read: Sousa).

The Bread Project and the Supper Club are still on the table. R. already shot part of the film with E. for the Bread Project

R’s film is almost finished, he needs some more financing, he hopes to have it ready in December. We are all looking forward to seeing it!

We spoke about the Praia Formosa debacle. Apparently the owners of the parking lot wanted to build a hotel but they wouldn’t get a license because the land is less that 50 m from the sea, so it’s public domain and building is prohibited: This is why the owners blocked the parking from being used – a typical Madeiran situation.

There was a good TED talk about civil disobedience, and here is a link to e website which lists 198 ways of Civil Disobedience:

http://blog.oup.com/2011/10/nonviolent-action/

New project:

We spoke about the fact that Madeirans a have no protest culture. They are educated to adhere to the mottos ”Don’t make waves” and “Don’t think”.  A free thinker is a trouble maker.

We also spoke about the groups purpose and came up with a new idea of a  “Life School” or “Discovery Club” (avoiding the word “school”, an example is at http://www.spps.org/Domain/10133 ) for youngsters as of the age of 14 – 16

Many of our members are or were teachers and R. is very interested in this as well. After a heated discussion, we decided we could start a project for youngsters who have fulfilled their compulsory school time, to learn in a “Discovery Club” about the joy of experiencing and learning first-hand instead of being indoctrinated with knowledge. They should also be encouraged to tackle their question of their purpose in life. R. says that they should be able to come to a reasonable answer to this quest within a few months.

Basically, it’s “Forget the system” (this also goes for politics and the Government), and set up a new way of dealing with an issue. This would be disruptive.

Examples of “parallel” or disruptive industries which are so new that they cannot be suppressed by the system are: Uber, Supper Clubs, “My Twin Place” home swaps for holidays (https://www.mytwinplace.com/en/ ). All these new industries are at the start unregulated, without insurance and taxation and start parallel to old systems.

Traditional schools kill curiosity, indoctrinate, and any knowledge acquired through memorizing is not remembered. Knowledge is forced on the children. It is also a matter of respect to let a child find out what it wants to learn, not to be forced, a natural interest in learning is always there  Every human being is unique.

Well known examples of alternative learning are Waldorf (well know in Finland, this country has more free thinkers), Summerhill, Rudolf Steiner and Home schooling. D. told us about the 180  change in their daughter when she came to a Waldorf school. D.himself went to France for a year, and, as a foreigner, was left alone to learn what he wanted to learn. He was very happy with it, and it turned out to be great for him .

 

There is a film called “The forbidden education” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByO41gE3dPQ, in Spanish) about this, everybody should see this film!

To come to grips with this, U.found a comprehensive definition of this concept  in Wikipedia  under “unschooling”  and there is a book “Teach your own” which deals with home schooling.

A.has an “Escola de Semente”  for younger children, organized by their parents, in his Quinta. He is out until next week, then U will ask him about it.

The Discovery Club will let the children find out what they want to be, what they want to discover. This way, they’ll integrate this knowledge for life. Give them tools to show them possibilities. Let them experiment with nature’s materials. Own experience leads to better understanding. The Club gives out no diplomas

79 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 13.4.2016

Apr 14, 2016 at 10:54 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We had another animated meeting in the station! The sea view is animating, that`s why…

We spoke about the obstacle in the form of JM. Nothing is going forward, not for the English page, nor with our idea to create “anuncios” as a conduit channel from citizens to the Town Halls.

Ri. was opposed to the “anuncio” project; he is however, for such a project if it channels positive input from the citizens to “upstairs” and increases democracy on the island

U. is exploring the idea of hopping on another, successful bandwagon, in order to avoid having to start at the bottom in the internet. Ideas which cannot be found in the internet do not result in any action. E. said that we could re-activate the Consorcio Facebook page (eliminated at this time). The reality is that only many “friends” make the content visible.

We were talking again about the purpose of the group.

It does not exist only to move things forward on the island but also as a forum for the members (not just a chatting club), to be able to voice ideas and exchange opinions. We have two projects at the moment, support for E.’s bread and the Club idea which is interesting to many of the members. The group could also focus on one topic, such as education, and create a project with a relevant role. E. mentioned the involvement of handicapped persons in food-making as a social endeavor and education for the non-handicapped. Gr. mentioned the association for rare diseases http://www.rarissimas.pt/. This would need to reach critical mass to become visible.

News on the Food Project. E. is looking for a space to produce professionally, he is receiving more orders on a regular basis.

We also spoke about the Club.

U. thinks it would be a good idea to create a website and have several members from the group offer different experiences. Gr. is after a social atmosphere so that people, residents and tourists alike, could get to know each other and have discussions.

U. could set up a website to take requests. This would be a new peer-to-peer business and disruptive to the existing industry.

76 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.1.2016

Jan 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in the Station in the Lunch room, and started off with a bread tasting. Ca. brought some very good ginger cookies, made by himself!  What a Surgeon’s hands can do…

Z.,  represented her parents, so U and E gave a brief introduction of our work and goals.

We are trying to develop ideas for new business on the island, such as medicinal herbs. We also visit places of interest; such as the Sugar Cane factory in Ribeiro Seco/Funchal, the Meia Serra waste processing plant and the firefighters in Funchal.

One of the issues facing us now if that, if we have good ideas, they cannot come to fruition if we cannot find the person/s best suited to pick them up and turn them into reality. We also want to have more exposure of our work to the public.

E and Uhad a meeting with the managing Director of JM (former Jornal da Madeira) and presented our idea of a communication channel from the population (and from us) to the Government by way of short ads with ideas (not complaints!).

He didn’t pick this up but instead wants us to publish our ideas every two weeks in a column (he said, with 3000 words, it’s more likely that he meant  3000 characters).

 

U. would like to wait until the newspaper is sold – which according to E’s info, should be soon. D.is also of the opinion that it is better to go in with the New instead of going out with the Old (in this case, the management).

In another project with the JM, D. and U. are working with them to develop a once-per-week English page ( A3 folded once =4 pages)  as an add-in and a stand-alone, to reach the foreign Residents and Tourists. Advertising should be able to support the cost. This would fill the gap left by the demise of The Brit a few years ago. In this paper, we could also place our ideas  and have (anonymous) food critics’ reports.

The ferry to the mainland:

We also talked about the subsidy game going on for the Ferry which is still not visible anywhere. Subsidies are killing entrepreneurial efforts. E.said that the group of interested shipping companies is now ganging up to pressure the Government for higher subsidies. The Sousa group which seems to hold an amazing number of essential enterprises on both islands, is probably going to come out on the top again.

The Ferry to Porto Santo:

E.said that there should be a continuation of territorial continuity; this is not a problem in the Canary islands. Ferry traffic there is voluminous and never interrupted.

Public transport is (like water) a public service and should not be in the hands of private enterprises. (Ca. mentioned that for example, telephone connection is not a public service per se.) The ferry to Porto Santo should have a contract which stipulates that it must run 52 weeks of the year. If the transport company is not willing to provide the service around the year, then it should lose the license.

Every discussion leads to the problem of corruption, part of the human nature. Added to this is the fact that the Portuguese, especially the Madeirans, do not have a fighting spirit.

Such corruption can be fought with transparency, another issue for publication in a newspaper. The Diario publishes a list of public contracts every month, with the top ten contractors and amounts. Old Contracts as the one for the Porto Santo Ferry should also be published; in the case of Sousa, his holdings should be made public as well. U. said that if such information is not allowed to be forgotten, by persistently repeating it, it will finally sink in, and  people will react at some point. The question is how far the future owners of JM will be willing to go to publish information which is uncomfortable to the Have’s on the island.

We also spoke briefly about E’s project. He will make an experiment and dry his product(for preservation and export) to see how it comes out. It may, however, turn out to be too hard.

D.said that E.should grow his grains exclusively on the island. These grains are kept in seed preservation chambers, but why not use them now and keep them unaltered?

Z introduced us to the concept of the Hash House Harriers, a movement which organizes running events to support charities, with chapters all over the world.  This is also an expat movement as the organizer used to come from the British Army. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers

Our next meeting will be in mid-February

65 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.10.2014

Oct 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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A few of us had a very nice meeting last night. The weather was not favourable and we couldn`t visit V`s garden, so we went right into the discussion of just everything, including political parties and the current state of Portugal.

D said that there is a new party being created by Antonio Marinho Pinto, a man he says seems to be respectable and honest (ex-“Partido da Terra” member, ex boss of the Ordem dos Advogados). Here is a link to some info about the new party PDR: http://portocanal.sapo.pt/noticia/38771/

We also spoke about the TED talk about remittances which shows that foreign aid could be cut down if we allowed refugees to work in the country of choice. They are sending as much money as possible home to their families and support their community much more effectively. Here is the link:

http://www.ted.com/talks/dilip_ratha_the_hidden_force_in_global_economics_sending_money_home

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked with Edward Snowdon, makes the case for privacy for individuals – to be protected – and openness of Government documents – to avoid shady dealings.:

http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters

Remember the “Marriage in Madeira” discussion – EU foreigners can easily marry in Madeira and this would be a good product for the island`s tour operators? A bridegroom found the Piece U wrote and will now arrange his nuptials with the German consulate in Funchal, a small success!

 

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