25 December, 2010

Alone on the hill

I am visiting my parents in Chile and taking the opportunity to visit some of the tourist sights in the country.

What has struck me most were the stunning views from the various mountains throughout the country: a real feast for the eyes.

Here are some examples taken from dawn to dusk in the Atacama Desert region in the North of the country.

In a rather strange fashion, all the food I have ordered in the restaurants of the touristy village of San Pedro de Atacama were also beautifully ornate. Sadly, I find the taste of most Chilean food to be a bit bland.

The fool on the hill
The Beatles, 1967-1970 (Blue), Apple Records

10 December, 2010

Requiem aeternam: International Federation of Agricultural Producers

I was shocked to learn yesterday from a former staff member that, after 60 years of existence, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers had been liquidated last November by a French court. The Federation had gone through severe financial problems.

IFAP was a forum of discussion between farmers' organisations. Cooperation between farmers in industrial and developing countries, working comitees on regional and emerging global issues, compiling technical guidebooks for producers, voicing the viewpoint of agricultural producers in international policy-making fora: these were the very useful functions of IFAP.

IFAP's website contains useful material for those interested in the viewpoint of farmers on international agricultural policies. The website is still live for now. How long does it take for a provider to erase all content when its bills are no longer paid?

The lesson I ponder today: the current efforts of some public libraries to save and archive Internet content for future generations is very useful in cases like IFAP's where a knowledge institution disappears.

Requiem aeternam
Chant corse - Manuscrits franciscains, Ensemble Organum - Marcel Pérès, Harmonia mundi

Photo: IFAP

05 December, 2010

Let it snow!

It snowed hard this morning
Quite unusual for Paris
Perfect for holiday spirits

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Franck Sinatra, Christmas songs by Sinatra, Strategic marketing