The South Korean Christian missionaries posing for before leaving for Afghanistan at Incheon International Airport.
religion_so_koreans.jpg
South Korean Christian Missionaries Kidnapped in Afghanistan

For six weeks. Two were executed. If you weren’t aware of their ordeal, you’re probably not Korean — which is not an ethnic slam, but a reminder to those who haven’t yet realized it that the religious world, too, is flat. The Taliban took 23 hostage last fall, killed two, released two, and reportedly ransomed the rest to the South Korean government for $10 million (the South Korean government denied paying).

Back home, the missionaries apologized to the government. The incident revived discussions of martyrdom, evangelization, citizenship and discernment, and underlined the extent to which the West is no longer necessarily the driving force in Christian evangelization.

AFP / Getty

The last time you had sex, there was arguably not a thought in your head. O.K., if it was very familiar sex with a very familiar partner, the kind that—truth be told—you probably have most of the time, your mind may have wandered off to such decidedly nonerotic matters as balancing your checkbook or planning your week. If it was the kind of sex you shouldn’t have been having in the first place—the kind you were regretting even as it was taking place—you might have already been flashing ahead to the likely consequences. But if it was that kind of sex that’s the whole reason you took up having sex in the first place—the out-of-breath, out-of-body, can-you-believe-this-is-actually-happening kind of sex—the rational you had probably taken a powder.

29tierny_xlarge1.jpg

Losing our faculties over a matter like sex ought not to make much sense for a species like ours that relies on its wits. A savanna full of predators, after all, was not a place to get distracted. But the lure of losing our faculties is one of the things that makes sex thrilling—and one of the very things that keeps the species going. As far as your genes are concerned, your principal job while you’re alive is to conceive offspring, bring them to adulthood and then obligingly die so you don’t consume resources better spent on the young. Anything that encourages you to breed now and breed plenty gets that job done.

But mating and the rituals surrounding it make us come unhinged in other ways too, ones that are harder to explain by the mere babymaking imperative. There’s the transcendent sense of tenderness you feel toward a person who sparks your interest. There’s the sublime feeling of relief and reward when that interest is returned. There are the flowers you buy and the poetry you write and the impulsive trip you make to the other side of the world just so you can spend 48 hours in the presence of a lover who’s far away. That’s an awful lot of busywork just to get a sperm to meet an egg—if merely getting a sperm to meet an egg is really all that it’s about.

Human beings make a terrible fuss about a lot of things but none more than romance. Eating and drinking are just as important for keeping the species going—more so actually, since a celibate person can at least continue living but a starving person can’t.

Yet while we may build whole institutions around the simple ritual of eating, it never turns us flat-out nuts. Romance does. “People compose poetry, novels, sitcoms for love,” says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and something of the Queen Mum of romance research. “They live for love, die for love, kill for love. It can be stronger than the drive to stay alive.”

On its good days (and love has a lot of them), all this seems to make perfect sense. Nearly 30 years ago, psychologist Elaine Hatfield of the University of Hawaii and sociologist Susan Sprecher now of Illinois State University developed a 15-item questionnaire that ranks people along what the researchers call the passionate-love scale. Hatfield has administered the test in places as varied as the U.S., Pacific islands, Russia, Mexico, Pakistan and, most recently, India and has found that no matter where she looks, it’s impossible to squash love. “It seemed only people in the West were goofy enough to marry for passionate love,” she says. “But in all of the cultures I’ve studied, people love wildly.”

What scientists, not to mention the rest of us, want to know is, Why? What makes us go so loony over love? Why would we bother with this elaborate exercise in fan dances and flirtations, winking and signaling, joy and sorrow? “We have only a very limited understanding of what romance is in a scientific sense,” admits John Bancroft, emeritus director of the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Ind., a place where they know a thing or two about the way human beings pair up. But that limited understanding is expanding. The more scientists look, the more they’re able to tease romance apart into its individual strands—the visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, neurochemical processes that make it possible. None of those things may be necessary for simple procreation, but all of them appear essential for something larger. What that something is—and how we achieve it— is only now coming clear.

The Love Hunt
If human reproductive behavior is a complicated thing, part of the reason is that it’s designed to serve two clashing purposes. On the one hand, we’re driven to mate a lot. On the other hand, we want to mate well so that our offspring survive. If you’re a female, you get only a few rolls of the reproductive dice in a lifetime. If you’re a male, your freedom to conceive is limited only by the availability of willing partners, but the demands of providing for too big a brood are a powerful incentive to limit your pairings to the female who will give you just a few strong young. For that reason, no sooner do we reach sexual maturity than we learn to look for signals of good genes and reproductive fitness in potential partners and, importantly, to display them ourselves. “Every living human is a descendant of a long line of successful maters,” says David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin. “We’ve adapted to pick certain types of mates and to fulfill the desires of the opposite sex.”

One of the most primal of those desires is that a possible partner smells right. Good smells and bad smells are fundamentally no different from each other; both are merely volatile molecules wafting off an object and providing some clue as to the thing that emitted them. Humans, like all animals, quickly learn to assign values to those scents, recognizing that, say, putrefying flesh can carry disease and thus recoiling from its smell and that warm cookies carry the promise of vanilla, sugar and butter and thus being drawn to them. Other humans carry telltale smells of their own, and those can affect us in equally powerful ways.

The best-known illustration of the invisible influence of scent is the way the menstrual cycles of women who live communally tend to synchronize. In a state of nature, this is a very good idea. It’s not in a tribe’s or community’s interests for one ovulating female to monopolize the reproductive attention of too many males. Better to have all the females become fertile at once and allow the fittest potential mates to compete with one another for them.

But how does one female signal the rest? The answer is almost certainly smell. Pheromones—or scent-signaling chemicals—are known to exist among animals, and while scientists have had a hard time unraveling the pheromonal system in humans, they have isolated a few of the compounds. One type, known as driver pheromones, appears to affect the endocrine systems of others. Since the endocrine system plays a critical role in the timing of menstruation, there is at least a strong circumstantial case that the two are linked. “It’s thought that there is a driver female who gives off something that changes the onset of menstruation in the other women,” says chemist Charles Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
It’s not just women who respond to such olfactory cues. One surprising study published last October in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior showed that strippers who are ovulating average $70 in tips per hour; those who are menstruating make $35; those who are not ovulating or menstruating make $50.

Other studies suggest that men can react in more romantic ways to olfactory signals. In work conducted by Martie Haselton, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA, women report that when they’re ovulating, their partners are more loving and attentive and, significantly, more jealous of other men. “The men are picking up on something in their partner’s behavior that tells them to do more mate-guarding,” Haselton says.

Scent not only tells males which females are primed to conceive, but it also lets both sexes narrow their choices of potential partners. Among the constellation of genes that control the immune system are those known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which influence tissue rejection. Conceive a child with a person whose MHC is too similar to your own, and the risk increases that the womb will expel the fetus. Find a partner with sufficiently different MHC, and you’re likelier to carry a baby to term.

Studies show that laboratory mice can smell too-similar MHC in the urine of other mice and will avoid mating with those individuals. In later work conducted at the University of Bern in Switzerland, human females were asked to smell T shirts worn by anonymous males and then pick which ones appealed to them. Time and again, they chose the ones worn by men with a safely different MHC. And if the smell of MHC isn’t a deal maker or breaker, the taste is. Saliva also contains the compound, a fact that Haselton believes may partly explain the custom of kissing, particularly those protracted sessions that stop short of intercourse. “Kissing,” she says simply, “might be a taste test.”
Precise as the MHC-detection system is, it can be confounded. One thing that throws us off the scent is the birth-control pill. Women who are on the Pill—which chemically simulates pregnancy—tend to choose wrong in the T-shirt test. When they discontinue the daily hormone dose, the protective smell mechanism kicks back in. “A colleague of mine wonders if the Pill may contribute to divorce,” says Wysocki. “Women pick a husband when they’re on birth control, then quit to have a baby and realize they’ve made a mistake.”

Less surprising than the importance of the way a partner smells is the way that partner looks and sounds. Humans are suckers for an attractive face and a sexy shape. Men see ample breasts and broad hips as indicators of a woman’s ability to bear and nurse children—though most don’t think about such matters so lucidly. Women see a broad chest and shoulders as a sign of someone who can clobber a steady supply of meat and keep lions away from the cave. And while a hairy chest and a full beard have fallen out of favor in the waxed and buffed 21st century, they are historically—if unconsciously—seen as signs of healthy testosterone flow that gives rise to both fertility and strength.

A deep voice, also testosterone driven, can have similarly seductive power. Psychology professor David Feinberg of McMaster University in Ontario studied Tanzania’s Hadza tribesmen, one of the world’s last hunter-gatherer communities, and found that the richer and lower a man’s voice, the more children he had. Researchers at the University of Albany recently conducted related research in which they had a sample group of 149 volunteers listen to recordings of men’s and women’s voices and then rate the way they sound on a scale from “very unattractive” to “very attractive.” On the whole, the people whose voices scored high on attractiveness also had physical features considered sexually appealing, such as broad shoulders in men and a low waist-to-hip ratio in women. This suggests either that an alluring voice is part of a suite of sexual qualities that come bundled together or that simply knowing you look appealing encourages you to develop a voice to match. Causation and mere correlation often get muddied in studies like this, but either way, a sexy voice at least appears to sell the goods. “It might convey subtle information about body configuration and sexual behavior,” says psychologist Gordon Gallup, who co-authored the study.

The internal chemical tempest that draws us together hits Category 5 when sex gets involved. If it’s easy for a glance to become a kiss and a kiss to become much more, that’s because your system is trip-wired to make it hard to turn back once you’re aroused. That the kiss is the first snare is no accident.
Not only does kissing serve the utilitarian purpose of providing a sample of MHC, but it also magnifies the other attraction signals—if only as a result of proximity. Scent is amplified up close, as are sounds and breaths and other cues. And none of that begins to touch the tactile experience that was entirely lacking until intimate contact was made. “At the moment of a kiss, there’s a rich and complicated exchange of postural, physical and chemical information,” says Gallup. “There are hardwired mechanisms that process all this.”

What’s more, every kiss may also carry a chemical Mickey, slipped in by the male. Though testosterone is found in higher concentrations in men than in women, it is present in both genders and is critical in maintaining arousal states. Traces of testosterone make it into men’s saliva, particularly among men who have high blood levels of the hormone to start with, and it’s possible that a lot of kissing over a long period may be a way to pass some of that natural aphrodisiac to the woman, increasing her arousal and making her more receptive to even greater intimacy.

When Mating Becomes Love
If we’ve succeeded in becoming such efficient reproductive machines—equipped with both a generous appetite for mates and a cool ability to screen them for genetic qualities—why muddy things up with romance? For one thing, we may not be able to help it. Just being attracted to someone doesn’t mean that that person is attracted back, and few things drive us crazier than wanting something we may not get. Cultural customs that warn against sex on the first date may have emerged for such practical reasons as avoiding pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, but they’re also there for tactical reasons. Males or females who volunteer their babymaking services too freely may not be offering up very valuable genes. Those who seem more discerning are likelier to be holding a winning genetic hand—and are in a better position to demand one in return.

The elaborate ritual of dating is how this screening takes place. It’s when that process pays off—when you finally feel you’ve found the right person—that the true-love thrill hits, and studies of the brain with functional magnetic resonance imagers (fMRIs) show why it feels so good. The earliest fMRIs of brains in love were taken in 2000, and they revealed that the sensation of romance is processed in three areas. The first is the ventral tegmental, a clump of tissue in the brain’s lower regions, which is the body’s central refinery for dopamine. Dopamine does a lot of jobs, but the thing we notice most is that it regulates reward. When you win a hand of poker, it’s a dopamine jolt that’s responsible for the thrill that follows. When you look forward to a big meal or expect a big raise, it’s a steady flow of dopamine that makes the anticipation such a pleasure.

Fisher and her colleagues have conducted recent fMRI scans of people who are not just in love but newly in love and have found that their ventral tegmental areas are working particularly hard. “This little factory near the base of the brain is sending dopamine to higher regions,” she says. “It creates craving, motivation, goal-oriented behavior—and ecstasy.”

When Love Becomes a Habit
Even with its intoxicating supply of dopamine, the ventral tegmental couldn’t do the love job on its own. Most people eventually do leave the poker game or the dinner table, after all. Something has to turn the exhilaration of a new partner into what can approach an obsession, and that something is the brain’s nucleus accumbens, located slightly higher and farther forward than the ventral tegmental. Thrill signals that start in the lower brain are processed in the nucleus accumbens via not just dopamine but also serotonin and, importantly, oxytocin. If ever there was a substance designed to bind, it’s oxytocin.
New mothers are flooded with the stuff during labor and nursing—one reason they connect so ferociously to their babies before they know them as anything more than a squirmy body and a hungry mouth. Live-in fathers whose partners are pregnant experience elevated oxytocin too, a good thing if they’re going to stick around through months of gestation and years of child-rearing. So powerful is oxytocin that a stranger who merely walks into its line of fire can suddenly seem appealing.

“In one study, an aide who was not involved with the birth of a baby would stand in a hospital room while the mother was in labor,” says Sue Carter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois. “The mothers later reported that they found the person very sympathetic, even though she was doing nothing at all.”

The last major stops for love signals in the brain are the caudate nuclei, a pair of structures on either side of the head, each about the size of a shrimp. It’s here that patterns and mundane habits, such as knowing how to type and drive a car, are stored. Motor skills like those can be hard to lose, thanks to the caudate nuclei’s indelible memory. Apply the same permanence to love, and it’s no wonder that early passion can gel so quickly into enduring commitment. The idea that even one primal part of the brain is involved in processing love would be enough to make the feeling powerful. The fact that three are at work makes that powerful feeling consuming.

Love Gone Wrong
The problem with romance is that it doesn’t always deliver the goods. For all the joy it promises, it can also play us for fools, particularly when it convinces us that we’ve found the right person, only to upend our expectations later. Birth-control pills that mask a woman’s ability to detect her mate’s incompatible MHC are one way bad love can slip past our perimeters. Adrenaline is another. Any overwhelming emotional experience that ratchets up your sensory system can distort your perceptions, persuading you to take a chance on someone you should avoid.

Psychologist Arthur Aron of the State University of New York at Stony Brook says people who meet during a crisis—an emergency landing of their airplane, say—may be much more inclined to believe they’ve found the person meant for them. “It’s not that we fall in love with such people because they’re immensely attractive,” he says. “It’s that they seem immensely attractive because we’ve fallen in love with them.”

If that sounds a lot like what happens when people meet and date under the regular influence of drugs or alcohol, only to sober up later and wonder what in the world they were thinking, that’s because in both cases powerful chemistry is running the show. When hormones and natural opioids get activated, explains psychologist and sex researcher Jim Pfaus of Concordia University in Montreal, you start drawing connections to the person who was present when those good feelings were created. “You think someone made you feel good,” Pfaus says, “but really it’s your brain that made you feel good.”

Of course, even a love fever that’s healthily shared breaks eventually, if only because—like any fever—it’s unsustainable over time. Fisher sees the dangers of maladaptive love in fMRI studies she’s conducting of people who have been rejected by a lover and can’t shake the pain. In these subjects, as with all people in love, there is activity in the caudate nucleus, but it’s specifically in a part that’s adjacent to a brain region associated with addiction. If the two areas indeed overlap, as Fisher suspects, that helps explain why telling a jilted lover that it’s time to move on can be fruitless—as fruitless as admonishing a drunk to put a cork in the bottle.

Happily, romance needn’t come to ruin. Even irrational animals like ourselves would have quit trying if the bet didn’t pay off sometimes. The eventual goal of any couple is to pass beyond serial dating—beyond even the thrill of early love—and into what’s known as companionate love. That’s the coffee-and-Sunday-paper phase, the board-games-when-it’s-raining phase, and the fact is, there’s not a lick of excitement about it.

But that, for better or worse, is adaptive too. If partners are going to stay together for the years of care that children require, they need a love that bonds them to each other but without the passion that would be a distraction. As early humans relied more on their brainpower to survive—and the dependency period of babies lengthened to allow for the necessary learning—companionate bonding probably became more pronounced.
That’s not to say that people can’t stay in love or that those couples who say they still feel romantic after years of being together are imagining things. Aron has conducted fMRI studies of some of those stubbornly loving pairs, and initial results show that their brains indeed look very much like those of people newly in love, with all the right regions lighting up in all the right ways. “We wondered if they were really feeling these things,” Aron says. “But it looks like this is really happening.”

These people, however, are the exceptions, and nearly all relationships must settle and cool. That’s a hard truth, but it’s a comforting one too. Long for the heat of early love if you want, but you’d have to pay for it with the solidity you’ve built over the years. “You’ve got to make a transition to a stabler state,” says Barry McCarthy, a psychologist and sex therapist based in Washington. If love can be mundane, that’s because sometimes it’s meant to be.

Calling something like love mundane, of course, is true only as far as it goes. Survival of a species is a ruthless and reductionist matter, but if staying alive were truly all it was about, might we not have arrived at ways to do it without joy—as we could have developed language without literature, rhythm without song, movement without dance? Romance may be nothing more than reproductive filigree, a bit of decoration that makes us want to perpetuate the species and ensures that we do it right. But nothing could convince a person in love that there isn’t something more at work—and the fact is, none of us would want to be convinced. That’s a nut science may never fully crack.

By Jeffrey Kluger
—Reported by Eben Harrell/London, Kristin Kloberdanz/Modesto, Calif., and Kate Stinchfield/New York

For me the Blogs are a modern and personal tool of very important human communication.

Our Blogs permit us to know us among diverse people that we are in this world of Internet.

Likewise it permits us to observe the enormous variety of points of view, criteria of design or personal opinions on diverse themes.

That is it more valuable of the Blogs; therefore any common person has the opportunity to be expressed, on a worldwide basis, in any theme that we like or we want to emphasize.

Finally greeting everybody or friends “blogueros” around the world.

I wish that you have a Happy and prosper year 2008.

See You Later.
CARLOS Tiger without Time

At a Veterans Day naturalization ceremony at Camp Anaconda, north of Baghdad, the Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, led 178 troops in the oath of allegiance. Each new American received a certificate, a flag and the hearty praise of Brig. Gen. Gregory Couch, who hailed them as “these wonderful warriors.”About 40,000 non-citizens are serving in the United States military, continuing a tradition of immigrant soldiering that dates to the dawn of the republic. About 4,000 troops since 2004 have earned citizenship while stationed abroad.

Presumably all of them were legal residents, since the military does not knowingly accept the undocumented. But some who entered the country illegally do manage to enlist — including soldiers like Lance Cpl. Jose Antonio Gutierrez, a Marine who was one of the first killed in the early hours of the Iraq war in March 2003. He was from Guatemala, and won his American citizenship posthumously.

There is an irony to the Pentagon’s policies toward the undocumented. The military’s ranks and morale have been ruinously sapped by the misadventure in Iraq. To keep the recruiting pipeline filled, it has repeatedly lowered its standards on things like candidates’ aptitude, education and health, and granted “moral waivers” to tens of thousands of recruits with criminal records.

But while the military has been taking a gamble, a la “The Dirty Dozen,” on the potential for ex-convicts — including some violent felons — to redeem themselves, a pool of highly motivated and well-qualified candidates lies out of reach: men and women like Corporal Gutierrez.

The Pentagon has been more progressive about immigration than the rest of the federal government. Many military leaders supported a bill to give a select group of young immigrants — high school graduates who were brought here illegally by their parents, grew up here, had exemplary records and were eager to serve — the chance to enlist and become legalized after two years in uniform.

That was the Dream Act, but it died because Congress, under ferocious pressure from the hard-line right, refused to grant “amnesty” in any form to the blameless children of “illegal aliens.”

The message was clear — Uncle Sam may want you, and you may want Uncle Sam, but you cannot serve. If you are undocumented there is no redemption for you — not even in Iraq.

That’s pretty hard core. It’s a good example of how self-defeating the restrictions orthodoxy can be. But that’s where the national debate is stuck.

  • I think that it is the height of racism, ignorance and hypocrisy for this government to simultaneously round up immigrants of any status at the same time that it forces them into harm’s way. Those who VOLUNTARILY give their lives, or risk their lives, for a country that they are told doesn’t want them, deserve our utmost respect and yes, even amnesty. Putting your neck on the line for the United States should earn you your citizenship and everything else that this nation has to offer.
    While I believe that the innocent children of illegal immigrants deserve a break and all of the benefits of citizenship, I think that it should go double for those who enter the military and volunteer for a doomed operation that even current enlistees are abandoning in droves. I just read a separate article about how desertion rates are at an all-time high, and as the deaths in Iraq continue with no end to this illegal war in sight, how can we NOT afford to honor immigrants who are willing to fight for this country? — Posted by Hillary
  • Let’s get past the immigrant paranoia and recognize the potential this sort of system could have. The army desperately needs front-line bodies in Iraq and their crumbling recruitment standards are proof. Immigrants need a way to prove themselves worthy of citizenship that makes sense and is actually attainable to the masses. Allowing immigrants, especially illegal ones, the opportunity to earn citizenship through fighting for this country seems like the best idea to deal with the immigration “issue” that I’ve heard. Our country gains a larger and more motivated military, and immigrants gain a straightforward yet not-in-the-least-bit easy path to citizenship. And perhaps best of all, for those consumed by the immigration witchhunt, aliens who are living in the country undocumented will volunteer themselves to BECOME documented in order to serve. It’s so painfully obvious I can’t believe we haven’t been doing this since 9/12
    — Posted by Mike Jewell

  • Humans Are People Too
    by Christopher Jon Batis
    To label, designate, view, consider, describe or otherwise regard any human being as illegal or alien is fundamentally, inherently, patently, basically, and vehemently offensive, disgusting, evil, abhorrent, humiliating, inhumane, oppressive, derisive, and completely, universally devoid of any possible recognition of the divine, corrupting of the spirit, and absent of any decency or morality, and defamatory of creation.

    Do we really consider ourselves so distinct from one another to the manner in which we breathe, bleed, feel and occupy space on this planet and our place in the universe?

    Is it so difficult to recognize in each other the divinity from which we all emanate?; that we are all drops from the same ocean?; that we are all running out of the precious time we all have on this plane of existence and chose to waste it in the futility of micro-detailing our differences, focusing on the banality of our external traits, concentrating on the irrelevance of our geographical origins when most of us love our children, long for purpose, and, at one point or another, will exhale one last time?

    National sovereignty is important, but must we approach the issues of immigration with such personal anger and hatred toward one another? Can we not approach the issues of our nation with the dignity this country should be recognized for?

    Surely, as Americans, as leaders of freedom, we can approach the issues that affect us with personal integrity, intelligent discourse, and respectful regard for all lives, foreign or domestic, with the same respect we demand for ourselves?

    The jury is out. May the verdict be fitting of the fair, the just, and the pursuers of happiness

    — Posted by Christopher Jon Batis

  • We need to do some serious thinking and discussing about “illegal” immigrants. We also need hard data.
    We need reliable information on:1. Total number of illegal immigrants.
    2. How many are working?
    3. What kinds of work they do.
    4. How much they are being paid.
    5. Amount of taxes they pay, classified by Social Security, Medicare, Federal income tax, state and local income tax.

    I suspect that “illegal” immigrants fill very important needs in our economy at a very low cost. In other words, they are extremely valuable to the rest of us.

    If that is true, we should stop saying nasty things about them and accept them as valuable members of our society and legalize them. What’s the problem with that?

    — Posted by Realist

  • I am a freshman at Hunter College and is writing a paper: “Viva La American Dream.” Please excuse my naiveness due to my youth, but whatever happened to human decency that America is so well known by? It seems to me that anyone, illegal or not, should be able to dream the American dream, especially those who are willing to die for that dream.
    I had my own dream the other night and dreamed that we lived in a different world; one with an Orwellian reality and that we (Americans)were all excluded from the American dream. With globalization now confronting us, I imagine a world without borders and that some world leader have excluded us from cross over the global borders to seek a better life. I woke up in a sweat and hurriedly, to the computer to write the NY Times. — Posted by lucia bruni
  • So the NY Times thinks it’s terrible that the “hard-line” right refuses to offer amnesty to “blameless children of illegal aliens?”
    I note how the Times conveniently neglected to mention some of the logic of those who might oppose the “Dream Act.” For one, wouldn’t it be more than awkward to have a young person fighting for us while our laws demand that the illegal parents and extended family be kicked out of the country? I think we all know the public demonstrations and hoopla that would surround any effort to export any illegal family member of such service people. So realistically, in a country like ours, we must face the fact that this would be an “all or none” deal. We either accept the illegal soldier into our armed forces and allow his parents and extended family to stay or we kick all of them out.

    If the NY Times is prepared to advocate that it would allow illegal alien soldiers into our military while simultaneously kicking the soldiers’ extended family out of the country, then I’d love to read about it. But I think most readers know that the NY Times would never advocate such a position.

    I’m afraid that this issue is simply more nuanced than the NY Times would like us to believe.

    — Posted by Bill Carson

  • I doubt this post will ever make it past the censors, (they never do when the topic is illegal immigration) but I have to say I’m surprised by the tone of my fellow Americans.
    Tell me, my fellow citizen…why should I have to obey the laws that foreign aliens don’t? If I steal someone’s identity and use it to perpetuate fraud, should it be condoned and I be allowed to keep my ill-gotten goods? There are some very nice condo’s sitting empty in an adjacent building, much nicer than the ratty old studio I currently rent. If I were to break into one and squat there, should I be allowed to remain for as long as I like? These questions may sound illogical, but they exactly mirror what has been posted here. An American citizen convicted of any of the crimes illegals commit as a matter of course would be, at the least, sent to jail. Jail for a citizen, fortune for the illegal. How is that fair?You people just don’t get it. You may believe that you are championing the underdog, the helpless, the downtrodden but what you are actually doing is advocating AGAINST “equal under the law”, one of the basic tenets of democracy. If you are so contemptuous of that democratic process, of the rule of law, of our sovereignty…just be honest and say so. If you don’t believe that America has a right to decide who can come here and who we don’t want…say so. Don’t be a coward. Stand up and declare that there’s nothing wrong with criminality and that the law is only for those stupid enough to obey it. If we follow the path of the open-borders, pro-illegal crowd we’ll end up with either Anarchy or a World Government. After all, without borders there are no separate countries. Don’t be afraid to say that you WANT to see a World Government. Just be honest and quit trying to couch it as anything BUT a willingness to see the United States as a subject state.

    No amnesty. Build the fence. Enforce the law.

    — Posted by Mara

  • I was a commanding officer and in my unit I had men from various countries. No one asked them if they wanted to die, just give us your best effort. It is a shame that our President doesn’t step in and let illegal immigrants serve, then give them citizenship. I believe we all are brothers and sisters, not spurious beings. I haven’t seen any immigrants provoke a crime, just the opposite. They take jobs that have not been outsourced and add to our society. When will the American people stop listening to the right wing and consider what they are preaching? Remember when we lived in a free society? Have you ever read the writings on the Statue of Liberty. I have!
    — Posted by J. Harry Sutherland  

  • In all foreign wars, and even in the civil war, the rich in America have used substitutes to do the real fighting. Making the immigrants – legal or illegal – fight is nothing new under the sun. If you don’t like this, then stop this imperial hubris. — Posted by Julia
  • I suppose the commonly-used phrase “they do jobs that ordinary Americans don’t want to do” includes being willing to fight and even die for our country. As a veteran, I am ashamed that we have so many who are willing to go to war, but so few who are willing to do the fighting. Of course, an illegal occupation of Iraq is not exactly a traditional “war” is it?
    — Posted by Don Skillin
  • I agree with the first post by Hillary. The undocumented should be allowed to serve and their families should be allowed to stay here. This whole “illegal immigrant” war is a way of distracting Americans from the real problems created and nurtured by the ruling oligarchy. And a way for Lou Dobbs to increase his ratings and sell more cars. And yes, do remember the words on the Statue of Liberty. My ancestors were illegal immigrants in the 1620s when they came over here and killed the people who were living here. The undocumented work, pay taxes, and also DRIVE here (and so should prove they know how to drive and have insurance — we think if we don’t allow them to have driver’s licenses they will decide to go home?). Biometrics would be helpful in preventing document forgeries..the technology exists and we should use it. We need to rethink this issue and not be duped into thinking that our problems are due to the undocumented. The problem is with our devious, greedy rulers and not with undocumented people joining our armed forces.
    — Posted by Bev

IMPOSSIBLE DREAM from MAN OF LA MANCHA
Broadway_To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless,
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world would be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star _The book was by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, and music by Mitch Leigh: one song, “The Impossible Dream”, was particularly popular.

Man of La Mancha started its life as a non-musical teleplay written by Dale Wasserman for CBS’s Dupont Show of the Month program. This original staging starred Lee J. Cobb. The Dupont Corporation disliked the title Man of La Mancha, thinking that its viewing audience would not know what La Mancha actually meant, so a new title, I, Don Quixote, was chosen. Upon its telecast, the play won much critical acclaim.

Years after this television broadcast, and after the original teleplay had been unsuccessfully optioned as a non-musical Broadway play, director Albert Marre called Wasserman and suggested that he turn his play into a musical. Mitch Leigh was selected as composer. The original lyricist of the musical was poet W. H. Auden, but his lyrics were discarded, some of them overtly satiric and biting, attacking the bourgeois audience at times.

The musical first opened at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut in 1964. Rex Harrison was to be the original star of this production, but soon lost interest when he discovered the songs must actually be sung. Michael Redgrave was also considered for the role.

The play finally opened on Broadway on November 22, 1965. Richard Kiley won a Tony Award for his performance as Cervantes/Quixote in the original production, and it made Kiley a bona fide Broadway star, but the role went to Peter O’Toole in the less-successful 1972 film. O’Toole, however, did not really sing his own songs; they were dubbed by tenor Simon Gilbert. All other actors in the film, however, from non-singers such as Sophia Loren, Brian Blessed, Harry Andrews, and Rosalie Crutchley, to Broadway musical stars such as Julie Gregg and Gino Conforti, did do their own singing. The only member of the original cast to reprise his role in the film was Conforti, repeating his hilarious portrayal of the amazed barber, whose shaving basin is mistaken by Don Quixote for the Golden Helmet of Mambrino. Although the bulk of the film was made on two enormous sound stages, the use of locations was much more explicit – Don Quixote is actually shown fighting the windmill, while onstage this had been merely suggested by having Quixote run offstage to agitated music, and then crawl back onstage a few seconds later, with his lance broken and his sword twisted. The film was produced and directed by Arthur Hiller, and photographed by Federico Fellini’s frequent cinematographer, Giuseppe Rotunno, with musical and fight staging provided by Gillian Lynne.

The play has been run on Broadway five times:

1965 – 1971 original production, opened November 22, 1965 with Richard Kiley as Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote and ran for 2,328 performances. John Cullum, José Ferrer, Hal Holbrook, and Lloyd Bridges also played the roles during this run.
1972 – revival, Richard Kiley as Cervantes and Quixote.
1977 – revival, Richard Kiley as Cervantes and Quixote, Tony Martinez as Sancho Panza and Emily Yancy as Dulcinea.
1992 – revival, Raúl Juliá as Cervantes and Quixote, Sheena Easton as Dulcinea.
2002 – revival, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Cervantes and Quixote, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Dulcinea, Ernie Sabella as Sancho Panza.

oct1501.JPG

01earth_pc_v3.jpg

There are millions of Blogs that exist, today, and, we can appreciate three general aspects well differentiated, and they are:

1. Blogs financed by businesses of communication. Radios, Television, Newspapers, magazines, etc.
2. Blogs of diverse advertising businesses
3. Blogs Personal of common people.

In the first case, we see that the ones that write are wage-earning people, that are dedicated to write as part of their work and they enjoy a great infrastructure and machinery to make their blogs.

In the second case, we see large, medium or small businesses (including the personals) are dedicated to develop their blog on the base of a group of products or specific services.

In the third case (where I find me), we do not receive money by writing, neither we have greater infrastructure, only our PC and our personal knowledge, which along with our preferences in themes to treat, and to publish.

But, for me, more important in many personal blogs, is, to identify its authors, at least in its basic data, and if we are interested in someone we can go to look in their mind, according to what comments or articles are publishes.

I believe that the personal Blogs will be able to be more efficient, among serious people that want to develop some theme or to share ideas or news that occur in our experiences around the world.

See you later.
CARLOS Tiger without Time

postnov20mooky1.jpg

THE last time Irene Pepperberg saw Alex she said goodnight as usual. “You be good,” said Alex. “I love you.” “I love you, too.” “You’ll be in tomorrow?” “Yes, I’ll be in tomorrow.” But Alex (his name supposedly an acronym of Avian Learning Experiment) died in his cage that night, bringing to an end a life spent learning complex tasks that, it had been originally thought, only primates could master.


In science as in most fields of endeavour, it is important to have the right tool for the job. Early studies of linguistic ability in apes concluded it was virtually non-existent. But researchers had made the elementary error of trying to teach their anthropoid subjects to speak. Chimpanzee vocal cords are simply not up to this—and it was not until someone had the idea of teaching chimps sign language that any progress was made.

Even then, the researchers remained human-centric. Their assumption was that chimps might be able to understand and use human sign language because they are humanity’s nearest living relatives. It took a brilliant insight to turn this human-centricity on its head and look at the capabilities of a species only distantly related to humanity, but which can, nevertheless, speak the words people speak: a parrot.


The insight in question came to Dr Pepperberg, then a 28-year-old theoretical chemist, in 1977. To follow it up, she bought a one-year-old African Grey parrot at random from a pet shop. Thus began one of the best-known double acts in the field of animal-behaviour science.


Dr Pepperberg and Alex last shared a common ancestor more than 300m years ago. But Alex, unlike any chimpanzee (with whom Dr Pepperberg’s most recent common ancestor lived a mere 4m years ago), learned to speak words easily. The question was, was Alex merely parroting Dr Pepperberg? Or would that pejorative term have to be redefined? Do parrots actually understand what they are saying?
Bird brained
Dr Pepperberg’s reason for suspecting that they might—and thus her second reason for picking a parrot—was that in the mid-1970s evolutionary explanations for behaviour were coming back into vogue.

A British researcher called Nicholas Humphrey had proposed that intelligence evolves in response to the social environment rather than the natural one. The more complex the society an animal lives in, the more wits it needs to prosper.
The reason why primates are intelligent, according to Dr Humphrey, is that they generally live in groups. And, just as group living promotes intelligence, so intelligence allows larger groups to function, providing a spur for the evolution of yet more intelligence. If Dr Humphrey is right, only social animals can be intelligent—and so far he has been borne out.


Flocks of, say, starlings or herds of wildebeest do not count as real societies. They are just protective agglomerations in which individuals do not have complex social relations with each other.

But parrots such as Alex live in societies in the wild, in the way that monkeys and apes do, and thus Dr Pepperberg reasoned, Alex might have evolved advanced cognitive abilities. Also like primates, parrots live long enough to make the time-consuming process of learning worthwhile.

Combined with his ability to speak (or at least “vocalise”) words, Alex looked a promising experimental subject.
And so it proved. Using a training technique now employed on children with learning difficulties, in which two adults handle and discuss an object, sometimes making deliberate mistakes, Dr Pepperberg and her collaborators at the University of Arizona began teaching Alex how to describe things, how to make his desires known and even how to ask questions.


By the end, said Dr Pepperberg, Alex had the intelligence of a five-year-old child and had not reached his full potential. He had a vocabulary of 150 words. He knew the names of 50 objects and could, in addition, describe their colours, shapes and the materials they were made from.
He could answer questions about objects’ properties, even when he had not seen that particular combination of properties before. He could ask for things—and would reject a proffered item and ask again if it was not what he wanted. He understood, and could discuss, the concepts of “bigger”, “smaller”, “same” and “different”. And he could count up to six, including the number zero (and was grappling with the concept of “seven” when he died). He even knew when and how to apologise if he annoyed Dr Pepperberg or her collaborators.
And the fact that there were a lot of collaborators, even strangers, involved in the project was crucial. Researchers in this area live in perpetual fear of the “Clever Hans” effect. This is named after a horse that seemed to count, but was actually reacting to unconscious cues from his trainer. Alex would talk to and perform for anyone, not just Dr Pepperberg.
There are still a few researchers who think Alex’s skills were the result of rote learning rather than abstract thought. Alex, though, convinced most in the field that birds as well as mammals can evolve complex and sophisticated cognition, and communicate the results to others. A shame, then, that he is now, in the words of Monty Python, an ex-parrot.

Sep 20th 2007
From The Economist print edition

sep1401.jpg

We Should Fight for contributing ours “granite of sand” in the construction of a world to pacify and supportive. A world that always says STOP to terrorism.

Therefore, to achieve a world environment to pacify, I believe that we must to begin for ourselves, in our daily life, in our house, with our family, with ours neighboring, our friends, our coworkers.

Likewise we are supportive WITH THE PEOPLE POOREST around of the world. We must give them real supportive and disinterested love, so we are better persons, more solidarity and we will be contributing to build a better world where there be not place for any type of terrorism.

See you later.
Carlos Tiger without Time

mano-reflejada-en-bola.jpg

There are about 1,500 different languages spoken in the world today.

200px-polynomialdeg3.png

In the early 1940’s when it was first being organized, officials (ONU) proposed that all diplomats be required to speak a single language, a restriction that would both facilitate negotiations and symbolize global harmony.

Over the years, there have been no fewer than 300 attempts to invent and promulgate a global language, the most famous being made in 1887 by the polish oculist L.L. Zamenhof. The artificial language he created is called Esperanto, and today more than 100,000 people in twenty-two countries speak it.

United Nations ambassadors are now allowed to speak any one of five languages: Mandarin Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish,  or French.

Today who speak mathematics fluently, as measured by the millions and by the historic consequences of their unified efforts, is arguably the most successful global language even spoken.

Though it has not enabled us to build a tower of Babel, it has made possible achievements that once seemed no less impossible: electricity, airplanes, the nuclear bomb, landing a man on the moon, and understanding the nature of life and death.

Matthe Arnold said: “ Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.”

In the language of mathematics, equations are like poetry: They state truths with a unique precision, convey volumes of information in rather brief terms, and often are difficult for the initiated to comprehend. And just as conventional poetry helps us to see deep within ourselves, mathematical poetry helps us to see far beyond ourselves – if not all the way up to heaven, then at leapt out to the brink of the visible universe.

In attempting to distinguish between prose and poetry, Robert Frost once suggested that a poem, by definition, is a pithy form of expression that can never be accurately translated. The same can be said about mathematics: It is impossible to understand the true meaning of an equation, or to appreciate its beauty, unless it is read in the delightfully quirky language in which it was penned.

· Summarized and adapted of “Mathematical Poetry” of Dr. Michael Guillen

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – People may claim looks or money aren’t everything when picking a mate but when it comes to the crunch, men go for beauty and women choose wealth and security, according to an international study.

jan2302.jpg

Indiana University cognitive scientist Peter Todd and colleagues from Germany, England and Scotland used a speed-dating session in Germany to look at what people said they wanted in a mate with whom they actually chose.


“While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it comes to choosing a mate,” Todd said in a statement.
18e21e7bikinis001p.jpg

“Evolutionary theories in psychology suggest that men and women should trade off different traits in each other, and when we look at the actual mate choices people make, this is what we find evidence for.”

The study, being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was based on a speed-dating session in which men and women had “mini dates” of between three to five minutes with up to 30 different people.

After every date, the men and women marked a box on a card saying whether they would like to see the other person again.

chicas.jpg

Before the session, Todd also asked 46 adults to fill out a questionnaire assessing themselves and their ideal mate according to traits like attractiveness, financial status, health and parenting qualities.
He said participants stated they wanted to find someone like themselves — a socially acceptable answer.

But once the sessions began, the men went after the more attractive women and the women were drawn to material wealth and security, setting their standards according to how they viewed themselves.
The men were not as picky as the women.

The men, on average, wanted to see about 50 percent of the women again, but the women wanted to meet only about one-third of the men for a second time.

“Ancestral individuals who made their mate choices in this way — women trading off their attractiveness for higher quality men and men looking for any attractive women who will accept them — would have had an evolutionary advantage in greater numbers of successful offspring,” said Todd.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

4086.jpg

The earthquake of August 15, has left 34,000 families without a home, more than 1,000 wounded, countless others severely injured that had to be evacuated to Lima, and more than 500 dead. The most affected are the people of Pisco, Chincha, and Ica. They need our support. They need blood, coats, food, tents, water and money.

Luis Campos, director of @clubdeperuanos, went to Pisco and let us know that the damage is beyond comprehension, although there are a lot of people helping, the area affected is too big they need more and more help so they can reach everyone that has been left with nothing.

One way to help all of the people is with money through Peruvian organizations that are working in the affected areas or through the North American organizations that have opened exclusive bank accounts for helping Peru.

If you would like to help with food or other items, it would be appreciated, but you must also consider that the cost of transportation of this help to Peru is going to be more in some cases, than the price of the item you are donating. That is why a monetary donation is the best way to help.

How to actually help? The Peruvian embassy in Washington DC has opened a bank account at HSBC Bank. The info for this account is at the end of the communication. Also if you prefer, you can make a direct transfer to the accounts set at the Peruvian banks such as Interbank.

Another alternative to make a donation is through North American charity organizations that have established specific accounts for the victims of the earthquake. These are:

a. Unicef: http://www.unicefusa.org
b. Save the Children: http://www.savethechildren.org
c. Oxfam America: http://www.oxfamamerica.org
d. America Cares: http://www.americares.org
e. IR Teams: http://www.irteams.org

These organizations have already created a fund for our country, so you have to be sure you are specifying a donation for the victims of the earthquake in Peru.

We would appreciate if you send this letter to your American friends, so they can also help.

Javier Justo
President
@ClubdePeruanos.com

Bank information for donations:

For Caritas Peru: (www.caritas.org.pe)
Account Name: “Emergencia por los damnificados del Terremoto en Pisco, Ica y Canete”
BANCO DE CREDITO MIAMI
Account Number: 201030010003521
ABA: 067015355
SWIFT: BCPLUS33

Un techo para mi Pais:
Please go to: http://www.untechoparamipais.org.pe (You can donate there with your credit card).

Interbank:
Account Name: “Damnificados Ica – Peru”
Account Number: 200-0000001118
The following money transfer services will not charge any commissions for transfers to the Interbank account:
Xoom, Bancomercio, Uno, Dolex, BTS, Via Americas, Transfast, Pronto Envios, Vigo, Girosol, MFIC, Intertransfers and Mateo Express. For more information on money transfers to the Interbank account please call 1-866-352-7378

Embassy of Peru:
Account Name: “Embassy of Peru – Sismo Peru 2007”
Account Number: 389060178
ROUTING NUMBER: 021001088
BANK ADDRESS: HSBC Bank , USA , NA
1130 Connecticut Avenue, NW.
Washington DC 20036

or by sending your donation by check to:

Name: “Embassy of Peru – Sismo Peru 2007” Address: Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20036
Para cualquier información adicional, por favor contáctese con el (202) 833-9860 .

fg_peru2_efe.jpg

A compassionate state of mind brings inner peace, and therefore a healthier body. 

fg_peru6_ap.jpg

fg_peru4_ap.jpg

It is important to use money properly to help others, other wise you still want more and feel poor.

1-cavp.jpg

May be Positive and Realistic same time?

There are many people that believe about be positive mean be happy and to be funny and laughed all time. Also speak with great-short phrases that are very popular

I am not negative, never I was it really. Some times I felt sad or impotence by the unjust suffering of many persons.

Also I felt depressed by some personal situations or by relatives. But, always I recovered, in few time.

I believe in a spiritual positive-realistic mixture of thought and to dominate my mind and actions in my routine activities.

Also, I never lose my youthful ideals, neither my dreams of childhood, and I know that themselves will not comply in this real world but if they do it in my dreams, So I had been adapted to a new form to see the life, to see it with an interesting mixture of idealism and actions realistic.

I believe that a concrete demonstration, of it aforementioned, is to try to write in my Blog some diverse articles, photos, videos, comments of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

For me the time is relative, more important is the message or the actions in the human beings involved. In some cases some country, in other cases all world.

Also never we should forget the people that already passed away (arts, sciences, music, literate, good family or friends, etc.)

Never we forget them, I believe that they are the Mind and Positive Spirit of the World, without them, and some that are alive, the world has a positive future, without them I believe that nobody can save to world.

Have a good Day.
Carlos, Tiger without Time

We know that and individual that an individual’s genes and environment history- and even his or her own behavior-mold the brain overtime.

There is clear evidence that any unique features that may exist in the brains of teens are the result of social influences rather than the cause of teen turmoil.

Today teens in the U.S. and some other westernized Nations do display some signs of distress.
The peak age for arrest in the U.S. for most crimes has long been 18; for some crimes, such as arson, the peak comes much earlier.

Drug use by teens, both legal and illegal, is clearly a problem here, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among U.S. teens. Prompted by a rash of deadly school shootings over the past decade, many American high school now resemble prisons, with guards, metal detectors and video monitoring Systems, and the High School dropout rate is nearly 50 percent among minorities in large U.S. cities.

jul1119.jpg

Considerable research shows that a person’s emotions and behavior continuously change brain anatomy and physiology. Stress creates hypersensitivity in dopamine- producing neurons that persists even after they are removed from the brain.

Enriched environments produce more neuronal connections for that matter, meditation, diet, exercise, studying and virtually all other activities alter the brain, and a new study shows that smoking produces brain changes similar to those produced in animals given heroin, cocaine or other addictive drugs. So if teens are in turmoil, we will necessarily find some corresponding chemical, electrical or anatomical properties in the brain.
But did the brain cause the turmoil, or did the turmoil later the brain? Or did some other factors-such as the way our culture treats its teens-cause both the turmoil and the corresponding brain properties?

jul1120.jpg

Young people have extraordinary potential that is often not expressed because teens are infatilized and isolated from adults.

· Summarized from Scientific American Mind, May 2007

florezlimaconcert03apmartinmejia1a.jpg

florez1shabran2004.jpg

Biography
Juan Diego Flórez was born in Lima, Peru on January 13, 1973 where his father, Rubén Flórez, was a noted guitarist and singer of Peruvian popular and criolla music. In an interview in the Peruvian newspaper Ojo, Flórez recounted his early days when his mother managed a pub with live music and he worked as a replacement singer whenever the main attraction called in sick. “It was a tremendous experience for me, since most of those who were regulars at the pub were of a certain age, so I had to be ready to sing anything from huaynos to Elvis Presley music and, in my mind, that served me a great deal because, in the final analysis, any music that is well structured – whether it is jazz, opera, or pop – is good music”. 
Initially intending to pursue a career in popular music, he entered the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima at the age of 17. His classical voice emerged in the course of his studies there under Maestro Andrés Santa María. During this time, he became a member of the Coro Nacional of Peru and sang as a soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.

He received a scholarship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where he studied from 1993 to 1996 and began singing in student opera productions in the repertory which is still his specialty today, Rossini and the Bel Canto operas of Bellini and Donizetti. During this period, he also studied with Marilyn Horne at the Santa Barbara Academy Summer School. In 1994 the Peruvian tenor, Ernesto Palacio invited him to Italy to work on a recording of Vicente Martín y Soler’s opera Il Tutore Burlato and subsequently became Flórez’s teacher and mentor.

Flórez’s first big breakthrough and professional debut came at the Rossini Festival in 1996. At the age of 23, he stepped in to take the leading tenor role in Matilde di Shabran when Bruce Ford became ill. He made his debut at La Scala in the same year as the Chevalier danois in Gluck’s Armide. His Covent Garden debut followed in 1997 where he sang the role of Count Potoski in a concert performance (and the first modern performance) of Donizetti’s Elisabetta. Debuts followed at the Vienna Staatsoper in 2000 as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2002 as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia. On February 20, 2007, the opening night of Donizetti’s La Fille du régiment at La Scala, Flórez broke the theater’s 74 year old tradition of no encores when he reprised “Ah! mes amis” with its nine high Cs following an “overwhelming” ovation from the audience.

Flórez is also active on the concert stages of Europe, North America, and South America. Amongst the many venues in which he has given concerts and recitals are the Wigmore Hall in London, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In a departure from his usual repertoire, he sang ‘You’ll never walk alone’ from the Broadway musical, Carousel, at the Berlin Live 8 concert in 2005.

Flórez is the possessor of a light lyric tenor voice of exceptional beauty which, while not of great size, is nevertheless audible in even the largest houses due to its unusual harmonic structure. Its compass is two octaves, up to and including the high D natural, the higher part of its range being particularly strong and brilliant, with almost no sense of effort, while the lowest notes are comparatively weak. The head and chest registers are perfectly integrated, with no audible break in the passaggio. 

His breath control is impeccable, allowing the longest phrases to be sustained with apparent ease. The ornaments of bel canto, including the trill, are well executed, and stylistic errors such as intrusive aspirates generally eschewed.

Perhaps the most distinctive technical accomplishment is the singer’s total mastery of coloratura to a degree probably not matched by any other tenor who has recorded, and to be heard to best effect in his Idreno (Semiramide) and Corradino (Matilde di Shabran).

He was signed by Decca in 2001 and since then has released four solo recital CD’s on the Decca label: Rossini Arias which won the 2003 Cannes Classical Award; Una Furtiva Lagrima, which won the 2004 Cannes Classical Award; Great Tenor Arias which won the 2005 Echo Klassik award for the best arias and duets recital; and most recently Sentimiento Latino. In addition to his official discography, almost all his professionally performed roles have been preserved in radio broadcasts, and many also by television.

Juan Diego Flórez has been awarded the Premio Abbiati 2000 (awarded by Italian critics for the best singer of the year), the Rossini d’oro, the Bellini d’oro, the Premio Aureliano Pertile, the Tamagno Prize and the L’Opera award (Migliore Tenore) for his 2001 performance in La Sonnambula at La Scala.

544993695_e091c41304_m.jpg

 Is bad to know the truth of the things? 

Is bad help to people who need our aid?

I know that is easier to have a life dedicated to our family and friends, forgetting of the others people or just to ignore them.

If we are happy with our family and friends, ¿why do not share a little that happiness with another people of the world?

If we are proud with the achievements and development of our country, then, why we do not supportive to the rest of the world?

Is not better to live in peace, love and justice with everybody?

We can begin to do a better world. We have the money and the power to do it. Then, ¿why we do not do it?

I am sure that everybody, wild or ignorant, they can understand when you treats them with respect, tolerance and justice. Why we do not do that?

See you later.
Carlos, Tiger without Time

1-a-tigre-cavp.jpg

1) Get Happy, and you’ll live longer. Go for real goals. Make gratitude visit and focus on the good things.
2) Join a reading club or study any foreign language
3) Start your own Blog and Get friendly
4) Try to become a positive parent. Handle difficulties in a productive instead of a punitive way.
5) Write your family cookbook
6) Help renovate your local park and give books to Schools or Public library.
7) Do something about big problems around world.
8) Do your part to clear the air, lose weight and save fuel.
9) Study the Night Sky. Buy a telescope and learning astronomy.
10) Give each week a Technology-Free day

What do you thinking about this?

See you later,
CARLOS, Tiger without Time