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A todos, melancólicos de mi especialidad,
los que inútilmente cargamos con pesadumbre propia
y ajena, los que pensamos tanto en las pequeñas cosas
hasta que crecen y son más grandes que nosotros,
a todos recomiendo mi claro tratamiento:
la higiene azul del viento en un día de sol,
un golpe de aire furioso y repetido
en el espacio atlántico sobre un barco en el mar,
dejando sí constancia de que la salud física
no es mi tema: es el alma mi cuidado:
quiero que las pequeñas cosas que nos desgarran
sigan siendo pequeñas, impares y solubles
para que cuando nos abandone el viento
veamos frente a frente lo invisible.

Pablo Neruda, fragmento de “A plena ola”, parte de “Geografía infructuosa”. (via elzepet)

Jesus. I’m going to start following Guatemalan politics again. This is nowhere near Santiago Atitlán, but is representative of the increasing civil unrest in the rural municipalities against their governments. Even in Santiago, I noticed a significant amount of corruption by the Muni and the police department.


A crowd busted into the muni by force (it’s usually open during business hours anyway, though), burned a car and some tires out front, and vandalized the mayor of Chichicastenango’s house.

They demanded that he resign his position because they believe his is embezzling money. One of the protestors’ signs reads: “We want transparency in the use of resources.” Others just say “Get the mayor out of government”…

Turba quema vehículo y llantas frente a la casa de Alcalde de Chichicastenango, Quiché. (Foto: Bomberos Municipales Departamentales)

Learned Today

1. The position I interviewed for at CCTV is full-time, not part-time.

2. DocumentCloud is a useful tool for journalists and researchers that allows you to pull the most from primary source documents. This also led me to learn about OpenCalais, a web service that rips through your content and spews out metadata that can be used to find entities.

For example, I copied and pasted the first paragraph from a NYTimes Article- “The French military assault on Islamist extremists in Mali escalated into a potentially much broader North African conflict on Wednesday when, in retribution, armed attackers in unmarked trucks seized an internationally managed natural gas field in neighboring Algeria and took at least 20 foreign hostages, including Americans.”

From it, I was able to pinpoint social tags, entities, and topics. OpenCalais uses language processing for this. DocumentCloud and OpenCalais are open-source. 

Thanks Wikipedia for the following…

3. An open-access mandate is a policy—adopted by a research institution, research funder or government—that requires researchers (e.g., university faculty or research grant recipients) to make their published, peer-reviewed journal and conference papers open access (OA) by self-archiving their final, peer-reviewed drafts in a freely accessible central or institutional repository.

4. The Research Works Act, also known as H.R. 3699, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on December 16, 2011. The bill contains provisions to prohibit open-access mandates for federally funded research and effectively revert the NIH's Public Access Policy that requires taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online.  If enacted, it would also severely restrict the sharing of scientific data (all very, very bad). It died in 2/12.

House GOP blocks Violence Against Women Act

"Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.

But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.

And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, said in a statement:

“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”

"But one crucial tax break didn’t make it: The payroll tax holiday was allowed to expire. Unlike most income tax rates, which rise as income rises, the payroll tax is a fixed percentage. Letting it lapse means that nearly every worker will see taxes go up, but the pain will be felt most at the bottom. Two-thirds of those in the bottom twenty percent of income will be affected by it. For example, a worker earning less than $20,000 a year will pay about $100 more a year in payroll taxes—the equivalent of a family‘s groceries for a week. A bit further up the ladder, someone making $50,000 a year, about the national median, will pay $1,000 more, canceling out the $1,000 break she would get from other parts of the deal."

Also-“If the cuts are implemented on non-defense discretionary spending, it will be devastating. These programs have already taken a beating, as $1.5 trillion in cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending over the next decade was already put into law last year. Three-fifths of that reduction will hit the non-defense side”
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