FOR THE RENAISSANCE IN US
/ Divine Comedy @en / The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy

Dante Divine Comedy

Around the World
half along our life’s path. Lost in a dark wood. Unable to find the right way…

Paradiso

Dear Beatrice…

 

[three_column]

CANTO I

The world produces 260 million tons of plastic a year – 20% more than it did fifty years ago. And all that plastic is forever, right? Well, not necessarily. Several companies – including one in Japan, and others in the U.S. – have come up with ways not just to recycle plastic, but to render it back down to its original form – petroleum. This may sound too good to be true (and there are some scams out there), but the technology exists to do it. A Japanese company called Blest, for example, is currently marketing a home-sized machine that can take household plastic and break it down into unrefined oil. Since unrefined oil is used mainly for industrial purposes, Blest also sells a machine that can break the oil down into products that can be used immediately for things like motor oil. In a video, that’s made the rounds on YouTube and on internet sites, you can see Akinori Ito, the machine’s developer, gleefully stuffing plastic trash – apparently unsorted – into the machine and then explaining the process as the machine breaks the stuff down. “It’s not trash,” he insists. “It’s treasure.” Blest goes into schools to demonstrate the machine and educate kids on plastics and recycling. “I want them to look at this,” Ito says, as he surveys piles of bulging rubbish bags, “and see an oil field.” We hope these technologies will soon be available more widely, and on an industrial scale. [/three_column]

[three_column]

CANTO II

ITALY – In the Trentino region, famous for cultivating the country’s most delicious apples, the village of Pejo has created a biofuel heating and electricity plant, using not only waste fruit from the orchards but also other waste produced by the clean-up of a 40 km area of the surrounding forest. This plant has an output of about five megawatts and will mean cheaper electricity bills for the locals. At the moment the energy is used only for local public buildings administrative offices, schools, libraries, town halls, etc. But in a year’s time, when the grid network gets sorted, homes in the local villages will be connected up, eliminating, for the most part, CO2 emissions in that area. That’s what we call an eco-friendly community. Well done, Pejo.[/three_column]

[three_column_last]

CANTO III

TAIWAN. Hopes that the country would be the first in Asia to legalise gay weddings are a step closer to being realised. In August, to the accompaniment of 300 chanting Buddhists, two women, Huang Mei-yu and Yu Ya-ting, tied the knot in a Buddhist ceremony held in a monastery in Taoyuan in the northen part of the country. Homosexuality is not prohibited in Buddhist teachings. The wedding was celebrated by Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei, a professor at Hsuan Chuang University. She said in an interview with Taipei Times: “It’s difficult enough to maintain a relationship… How could you be so mean as to begrudge a couple for wanting to get married, regardless of their sexual orientation?” Oh, well. You tell us. We don’t understand why people get married in the first place, when more than half of all marriages end in divorce anyway…

But, dear Beatrice, we don’t want to sound too bitter about it, and we shouldn’t spoil their moment of happiness. So we’ll kiss the brides and wish them all the best in their life together.

[/three_column_last]

 

Purgatorio

Virgil what can be said of …


[three_column]

CANTO I

…the Marie Antoinette heading the IMF. Christine Lagarde, after urging the Greeks to pay their taxes or face catastrophic consequences, is not herself paying a penny in tax as part of the salary package of 500,000 euros a year plus benefits. Such benefits apparently include the audacity to tell people around the world that they should pay their taxes – otherwise how will she get her salary paid? Well, I guess it’s part of the tradition that comes with that package, isn’t it? We’ve seen how her predecessor, Dominique Strauss Khan, has benefited from his position. How appropriate is that? Give them cake… give them cake… [/three_column]

[three_column]

CANTO II

In the meantime Greek Olympic officials threw lavish parties at the Carlton Club, one of the most elite conservative clubs in St. James, London. Organised by the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, President Harris Ikonomopoulous said the parties were meant to attract investment for the ailing Greek economy, which just got a second bailout from the Eurozone of 130 billion euros, and that the cost of 150,000 pounds to hire the venue was supported partially by private firms. The Greek embassy said it was the only venue available at such short notice. Politicians, officials and sponsors mingled and danced with the athletes and listened to the performance of soprano Anastasia Zanni. The actual Greek Olympic athletes, on the other hand, were given 300 euros to cover personal expenses during their stay in London, and were asked to give half of it back if they left the Olympic Village earlier than planned. I wonder what the suffering people of Greece think of all this, considering they’re repeatedly told there’s no money left… none left for some I guess…[/three_column]

[three_column_last]

CANTO III

In 1920, Robert Frost wrote: “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” Almost a century later, an end in ice is looking less and less likely. Two recent reports indicate that the world’s pack ice is disappearing more quickly than expected. NASA reported that satellite data shows that in July 94% of Greenland’s ice sheet experienced surface melt this summer. While not historically unusual, this bears watching as core sampling shows it should only happen every 150 years or so. The last time this occurred was in 1889. If it begins to happen more frequently, it could spell trouble. More worrisome are reports that the Arctic sea ice is melting much faster than previously thought. If it continues at the present rate, within a decade there’ll be no Arctic sea ice in summer. The disappearance of the summer ice pack will have a myriad consequences, including weather disruptions in the Northern hemisphere.”[/three_column_last]


Inferno


[three_column]

CANTO I

Another day and another banking scandal in the land of the politically correct and perfect business sense. Fresh from the Libor-fixing affair where Barclay’s Bank was forced to pay a £290 million fine, another bank, Standard Chartered, has settled with New York State financial-service to resolve allegations that the firm hid $250 billion in transactions tied to Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions. Standard Chartered will pay a fine of $340 million to New York State. This goes hand-in-hand with the fine facing HSBC equal to £600 million for money laundering billions of pounds for Mexican drug lords. In the meantime, the US government has decided not to proceed against Goldman Sachs for the Abacus sub-prime scandal where thousands of clients lost their money. The bank wanted to settle payment of $550 million some time ago but now the Department of Justice has decided there is no evidence of any wrong doing by the bank, so no need for a trial. It sounds so convenient…[/three_column]

[three_column]

CANTO II

One might be tempted to make jokes about Mothra, if it weren’t so serious. A team of Japanese researchers has discovered that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 has caused serious physiological and genetic damage to a common species of Japanese butterfly, the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha. While the first generation of butterflies that emerged after the Fukushima melt-down had mild abnormalities, the next generation showed more severe mutations, including significantly smaller wing size, morphological deformations, eye deformations, and strangely mutated antennae. Butterflies are particularly sensitive to environmental changes, so they are useful to study as harbingers of environmental problems. At the time of the earthquakes and the subsequent disaster at Fukushima, scientists had already been studying this species for about ten years, looking for changes due to global warming. The scientists published their findings in the journal “Nature”, commenting that “. . .precise information on exactly what occurred [at the Fukushima plant] and on what is still ongoing is yet to be established. This lack of information raises serious concerns about biological influences on living organisms that could ultimately produce long-term destruction of ecosystems and cause chronic diseases.”[/three_column]

[three_column_last]

CANTO III

If we were in the time of the French revolution, they would’ve been classified as conspirators and had their heads chopped off. These days, they are installed as financial gurus by inept politicians, who are unable to tackle the real economic problems caused by their own activities. In wild-west style financial markets, they become VIPs. Because ruining millions of people’s lives, thanks to unregulated market regulation, can earn you lots and lots of money. So when one of them announces to a small group of friends that he’s marrying for the third time to a woman forty-two years his junior, it becomes headline news in the national press. Let’s wish the happy couple as much happiness as they have created around the world…

To what other terraces of doom and pain, dear Virgil, will you accompany me… next time…

[/three_column_last]


0 POST COMMENT
Rate this article

Send Us A Message Here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *