Zebras! While supplies last!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Towson seriously needs to get some of these.
Don't you hate when you pull on the TP
and get a measly half square,
have to spin the roll 20 times before you get the end again,
only to get another 1 ply snippet...
Monday, February 18, 2008
By: Keith E lo Bue
Reminiscent of a stirrup.
Love the found objects incorporated in the piece.
Super fabulous mall lights. oooh! Ahhh! and Super fabulous Megan and Jenn!!!
I absolutely loved the color coordinated bathrooms next to Jewelers Werk. I want pink lights when I use the facilities!
Maps = Not Fun
Megan trying to decipher = Fun
Traffic = Not Fun
Phallic Monuments = Fun
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I am struck at how these diamond mines, from Russia and South Africa, leave these gaping craters in the earth. I wonder what do they do once the mine is tapped? Do they refill the hole with the excavated soil or water?
Does their profit cover repairing the landscape?
Germany’s Der Spiegel reports contrary to what jewelers in Europe and Asia may think, it is the junta that controls ruby mining in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.. One carat of a top quality Burmese ruby can fetch tens of thousands of Euros on the continent.
The rubies, accounting for 90 percent of the world supply, come from the regions of Mogok and Mong Hsu, but European gem dealers seldom visit the places, says the report.
“The risk would be too great, and the prices we could get directly on location wouldn't be any better than what we pay our longstanding Thai suppliers,” said one dealer.
Der Spiegel says the military regime forces workers, including children, to extract the rubies and other gems under brutal conditions.
Another part of the podcast that I found interesting was that Kurt Cobain wrote in his journal every night. I find it difficult writing a post-it note to myself, let alone a journal entry every night. It just shows Kurt’s dedication to not just his music but to himself.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Ends Friday, March 7
A delightful exhibit in my opinion, almost dainty and feminine in style. I loved her use of cosmetics as alternative medium. I am always happy to see mixed media in the fine arts as well and Ellen Harper does a great job of incorporating jewelery, ceramics, design, photography and performance art. However, please note that "partial nudity" at TU apparently means wearing sleeves. I can understand; I hate it when my arms get chilly.
Are Diamonds the only gem worth more than life? How about the only stone sold for more than freedom, peace? Apparently not.
I found this article from October:
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The gem merchants of Bangkok display their glistening wares proudly; diamonds from Africa, sapphires from Sri Lanka and rubies, of course, from Myanmar.
The red stones from the country formerly known as Burma are prized for their purity and hue. But they have a sinister flaw.
The country's military rulers rely on sales of precious stones such as sapphires, pearls and jade to fund their regime. Rubies are probably the biggest earner; more than 90 percent of the world's rubies come from Myanmar.
International outrage over the generals' brutal crackdown on pro-democracy rallies encouraged the European Union this week to consider a trade ban on Myanmar's gemstones, a leading export earner in the impoverished country.
There is also pressure in Washington to close a loophole on existing U.S. sanctions which allows in most of its precious stones.
But in neighboring Thailand, where the majority of Myanmar's gems are bought and sold, the stone merchants have yet to be put off business with the junta.
"People are unhappy about what's going on but they are not angry enough to stop buying rubies," said Pornchai Chuenchomlada, president of the Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders Association.
"If they killed a lot of people like they did in 1988 we might consider banning their products," said Pornchai, adding that he personally bought little from Myanmar on moral grounds.
Official media say 10 people were killed when soldiers fired on protesters, including Buddhist monks, in downtown Yangon last week, but the real toll is thought to be much higher.
The junta killed an estimated 3,000 people during the last major uprising in 1988.
VALLEY OF RUBIES
Myanmar's generals are estimated to have earned around $750 million since they began holding official gem and jade sales in 1964. A far bigger number of precious stones are smuggled over the border into Thailand and China.
The official expositions, held twice a year in the tropical heat of Yangon, are increasingly popular. More Chinese bidders are attending, attracted by slabs of jade.
The state holds a majority stake in all mining operations in Myanmar, including the "Valley of Rubies", the mountainous Mogok area, 200 km (125 miles) north of Mandalay, famed for its rare pigeon's blood rubies and blue sapphires worth tens of thousands of dollars apiece.
Conditions in the mines, off-limits to outsiders, are reported to be horrendous.
Debbie Stothard of the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma said her organization had reports of mining operators hooking employees on drugs to improve productivity. Needles are shared, raising the risk of HIV infection, she said.
"Heroin is given to people at the end of the working day as a reward," said Stothard. "Young people go off to the mines with big hopes and dreams and they come back to die."
"These rubies are red with the blood of young people."
Friday, February 8, 2008
The Kimberley Process
What is the Kimberley Process?
The World Diamond Council has worked successfully with the United Nations, governments and groups such as Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada to introduce a system for the certification of the source of uncut diamonds to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds. This system, known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), was formally adopted in November 2002, and came into operation on January 1, 2003. Andrew Coxon, President of the De Beers Institute of Diamonds, is a founding member of the World Diamond Council and spearheaded this initiative on behalf of the diamond industry.
How does the Kimberley Process work?
The KPCS requires participating governments to ensure that each shipment of rough diamonds exported be in a secure container and accompanied by a uniquely numbered, government-validated certificate stating that the diamonds are conflict-free. Over 45 countries participate, representing all the nations with significant involvement in the diamond trade. All 45 importing countries agree not to accept any rough diamonds without an approved Kimberley Process Certificate.
This was taken from the official DeBeers website.
How effective is a piece of paper?
How truthful is our government? And other countries?
Do I believe this stopped anything?
In response to Blood Diamonds:
Even more information on the atrocities of this situation.
When the plot of the film became public, De Beers, the South African diamond mining and trading company, maintained that the trade in conflict diamonds had been reduced from 4% to 1% of total purchases by the Kimberley Process. De Beers denied a suggestion that the company had pushed for the film to contain a disclaimer to the effect that the events it portrayed were fictional and outdated.
More recently, the New York Post reported that Warner Bros. Pictures had promised that 27 child and teenage film extras who were amputees would receive prosthetics once the film shoot was done.
Several months after the completion of filming, however, the prosthetics had not been supplied, and the studio reportedly told the amputees they had to wait until the December 2006 release of the film to maximize a public relations boost. In the meantime, the private charity Eastern Cape assisted in supplying prosthetics to the amputees.
These allegations were countered by an article in L.A. Weekly, which stated that Warner Bros. had not promised the prosthetics, but that the cast and crew raised between $200,000 and $400,000 to begin a "Blood Diamond Fund", which was then matched by Warner Bros. and "administered by a Maputo-based international accountancy firm under the supervision of Laws and João Ribeiro, the production managers in Mozambique"