onshoring

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With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece.

The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist – traditional Nigerian costumes.

The dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest Ethnic Groups; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so far.

Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month, and reckons he has 10-15% of a small but fast-growing market.

“I like it,” says Ifunanya Odiah, five, struggling to contain her excitement as she inspects one of Okoya’s dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. “It’s black, like me.”

Like Barbies, Okoya’s dolls are slim, despite the fact that much of Africa abhors the western ideal of stick-thin models. Okoya says his early templates were larger bodied, and the kids did not like them.

But he hopes to change that. “For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jan/15/barbie-nigeria-queen-africa-dolls-mattel-toymaker

A cry for help:

The slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year. Starting on September 1st and continuing through March of the next year, fishermen herd whole families of small cetaceans into shallow bays and mercilessly stab and drown them to death.

With your help, we can pressure Japan to end this cruel and destructive slaughter of dolphins.

We can all make a difference. If you would like your voices to be heard, please contact the respective representatives to tell them the massacre must stop!

Read below to see how you can help:

You can help directly support the Cove Guardians by purchasing items from their Amazon Wish List.

Consider applying to be a Cove Guardian and joining their team in Taiji. This position requires dedication, time, and resources. You must pay for your travel, lodging, food, and all other personal expenses.

Application process: Send e-mail to coveguardian@seashepherd.org and express your interest.

You will be sent an information packet that includes links to the Onshore Volunteer Application and a supplemental questionnaire for Cove Guardians.

You will submit that package either by electronic or physical mail.

You will be notified if you are selected and provided more detailed information to help you in booking your travels to and stay in Japan.

Don’t buy a ticket!
A ticket purchased to a dolphin show buys blood in Taiji

The captive dolphin entertainment industry makes a lot of money from dolphin suffering and death. The way to shut them down is to take the profit out of their operations. By ending the demand for their shows, we can sink them economically.

Do not support these entertainment venues. Terminate your season passes. Encourage your friends and family to stay away from them. Do not include them in your holiday packages or cruises. Contact the parks and let them know how you feel about dolphins kept in captivity. Educate others on the link between the captive dolphin industry and the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Do not participate in captive dolphin programs like “swimming with the dolphins”

The Ceta-Base “Phinventory” is a list of captive dolphins world wide.

Spread the Word

Follow Operation Infinite Patience on social media and share with your friends and family. Ask them to help us end this atrocity.

Contact the Authorities

Help us end the brutal Taiji dolphin slaughter by voicing your concerns to the authorities in Taiji as well as the Japanese Embassy, US Embassy to Japan, US and Japanese Ambassadors to the UN, and the US Senate members of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN
Prime Minister Shinzo- Abe
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
1-6-1 Nagata-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8914 JAPAN
+81-3-5253-2111

Website: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html
Online comment form #1: https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html
Online comment form #2: https://form.cao.go.jp/kokusai/en_opinion-0001.html

Japanese Embassies Worldwide:
Websites of Japanese Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Missions

List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan:
List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan

US Embassy in Japan:
Caroline Kennedy – Ambassador of the United States to Japan
Telephone: 011-81-3-3224-5000
Fax: 011-81-3-3505-1862
Send E-mail to the U.S. Embassy in Japan
Please thank Caroline Kennedy for her defense of the dolphins

Japanese UN Representatives:
H.E. Mr Kazuyoshi Umemoto – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
japan.mission@dn.mofa.go.jp

H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki – Deputy Representative of Japan to the UN
japan.mission@dn.mofa.go.jp

United States UN Representative:
Samantha Power - US Ambassador to the UN
Samantha Power’s Twitter
United States Mission to the United Nations Contact Form

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:
US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Wakayama Prefecture Office, Fishery Division:
E0717001@pref.wakayama.lg.jp
Telephone: +81-73-441-3010
Fax: +81-73-432-4124

International Whaling Commission (IWC)
The Red House,
135 Station Road,
Impington,
Cambridge,
Cambridgeshire CB24 9NP, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 233 971
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 232 87
Email: secretariat@iwcoffice.org

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / Convention on Migratory Species (CMP)
UNEP/CMS Secretariat
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel: (+49 228) 815 2401
Fax: (+49 228) 815 2449
Email: secretariat@cms.int

Hotel Dolphin Resort/Dolphin Base:

Telephone: +81-0735-59-3514
Fax: +81-0735-59-2810

Japan Fisheries Public Content Form:
Contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

WAZA: The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
secretariat@waza.org

IMATA: The International Marine Mammal Trainers’ Association
info@imata.org

*SIGNAL BOOST*

The British Soldier Who Killed Nazis with a Sword and a Longbow 

Above: “Mad Jack” on the far right, clutching a claymore sword. Photo via WikiCommons

The first thing the Nazi garrison on Vågsøy Island, Norway, would have heard when the British No. 3 Commando battalion landed on December 27, 1941 was the sudden blaring drone of bagpipes. One commando stood at the fore of the landing craft, facing the impending battle and playing the peppy, martial “March of the Cameron Men.” Upon coming to a halt onshore, the soldier jumped from the craft, hucked a grenade at the Germans, then drew a full sword and ran screaming into the fray.

That maniacally fierce soldier was 35-year-old Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, and his stunts at this battle, known as Operation Archery, were hardly the most bizarre and semi-suicidal of his life. Over the course of World War II, “Mad Jack,” as he came to be known, survived multiple explosions, escaped a couple of POW camps, captured over 40 Germans at sword point in just one raid, and in 1940 scored the last recorded longbow kill in history. And that’s just the CliffsNotes on his wartime rap sheet.

For many war junkies and badass aficionados, Mad Jack’s exploits are the epitome of military romanticism. His recorded statements, full of swagger like, “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed,” and, “I maintain that, as long as you tell a German loudly and clearly what to do, if you are senior to him he will cry ‘jawohl’ and get on with it enthusiastically and efficiently,” seem like the physical manifestation of some mid-century boy’s adventure tale. The Royal Norwegian Explorers Club found him such a paragon of brawn and endeavor that, in a book released this March, they named him one of the greatest adventurers of all time.

External image

Photo via WikiCommons

Not much is known about Churchill’s youth, save that he graduated from Britain’s premier Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1926 and, at age 20, was shipped off to Burma, where he spent the next few years driving his motorcycle around the region. Possibly bored by a long peacetime, Churchill left the army for a period in 1936 and spent some time as a Nairobi newspaper editor, male model, and a bagpipe-playing, arrow-shooting extra in films like The Thief of Baghdad and A Yank at Oxford. By the end of the decade, he’d become so obsessed with the pipes that he took second place in a 1938 military piping competition at the Aldershot Tattoo, causing a mild scandal because an Englishman had beat out so many Scots. The next year, his archery habit landed him a place as Britain’s shooter at the World Archery Championship in Oslo.

As soon as the Nazis invaded Poland and war became imminent, though, Churchill rushed to the battlefield. The longbow came out almost immediately during the Allied retreat to Dunkirk, France, in mid 1940. He took to practicing guerilla tactics, staging raids, and earning commendations for his bravery, even surviving a clipping by machine gun fire. Then, while watching a German force advance from a tower in the little village of L’Epinette, Churchill signaled his attack by shooting a Nazi sergeant through the chest with a barbed arrow, immediately followed by a hail of bullets from two fellow infantrymen in tow.

Continue

Concerned Residents, Elected Officials, Rally in Response to Refugio Beach Spill

Urge Gov. Brown to Place Moratorium on Fracking and Support Federal Legislation to Block Dangerous Offshore Drilling

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Outraged over an oil pipeline burst that Tuesday spilled at least 105,000 gallons of oil into a nine-mile slick along the Pacific Coast near Santa Barbara, at least 150 community members joined non-profit leaders and local elected officials for a rally and press conference today at Santa Barbara County Courthouse to express the urgent need to place a moratorium on fracking and phase out oil development in California.  

“This spill of more than 100,000 gallons of oil is a consequence of the expansion of oil and gas drilling,” said Becca Claassen, Santa Barbara County organizer with Food & Water Watch. “In order to protect our coastline, our health and our future from toxic emergencies like this spill, Governor Brown must begin phase out oil production in California, starting with a ban on fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques both onshore and offshore.”

Participants called on Governor Brown to take immediate action to ban fracking both on shore and off shore within California waters and to support legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Lois Capps to stop new offshore oil and gas leases off the California coast and place a moratorium on offshore fracking in California.

“As we learn more about the cause of this accident, we must also focus on how to prevent future spills,” said Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. “We need to get ourselves to a place that’s less reliant on oil and more reliant on new clean and renewable technologies that do not put our precious and fragile coastline and beaches at risk, like solar and wind. And we need to make the shift in a way that is economically viable for the workers within the industry as well as all of us who use the energy sources. California and the nation can and should be a leader on these issues.”

The action came the day after Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in an effort to facilitate clean up of the toxic, smelly mess centered at Refugio State Beach.

“The significant environmental and economic damage that has resulted from this recent oil spill highlights the fact that we must make decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels a top priority by expanding green energy alternatives,” said Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

The source of the spill was an 11-mile pipeline operated by Plains All American Pipeline, which, according to a Los Angeles Times report, “has accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006.”

“The oil crisis on the Santa Barbara coast is a call to action,” said Matt Renner, Executive Director of World Business Academy. “Our community is being called to lead the transition to a 100% renewable energy future. There’s no such thing as a ‘solar spill’; we call that a nice day. We have a unique opportunity to build a word-class energy system that can make this county fossil fuel-free in less than a decade. But we must act now.“

Linda Krop, Chief Counsel at Environmental Defense Center, pointed out that, the spill happened in spite of regulations to protect people and the environment. “No matter how strong the regulations and no matter how advanced the technology, there is no way to prevent a major oil spill,” Krop said.

The action was organized by Food & Water Watch, 350 Santa Barbara, Center for Biological Diversity, World Business Academy, Californians Against Fracking, Environmental Defense Center and Environment California.

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Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food and water we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.www.foodandwaterwatch.org

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Hoshizuna no Hama

Translated from the Japanese, the name of this place means Star Sand Beach. It came about for the obvious reason that the grains are formed of tiny shells of marine single celled organisms called foraminifera, much used in biostratigraphy (the art and science of dating rocks from their fossil content, see our past post at http://on.fb.me/1OWxI4y). There are only a few of these beaches worldwide, and several of them are found on the islands of Taketomi, Iriomote and Hatoma near Okinawa.

Keep reading

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California oil spill

A broken onshore pipeline spewed oil down a storm drain and into the Pacific Ocean for several hours before it was shut off, creating a slick some 4 miles long across a scenic stretch of central California coastline, officials said.

Initial estimates put the spill at about 21,000 gallons Tuesday, but that figure would likely change after a Wednesday morning flyover gave a better sense of the spill’s scope, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Jennifer Williams said.

The spill was about 20 miles northwest of the pricey seaside real estate of Santa Barbara, and the Coast Guard said overnight winds were likely to push it 2 to 4 miles closer.

Authorities responding to reports of a foul smell near Refugio State Beach around noon found a half-mile slick already formed in the ocean, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. They traced the oil to the onshore pipeline that spilled into a culvert running under the U.S. 101 freeway and into a storm drain that empties into the ocean.

The pipeline was shut off about three hours later but by then the slick stretched four miles and 50 yards into the water. (AP)

Photos by: (from top left) REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson, REUTERS/Lara Cooper/Noozhawk.com, REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson, (2), David McNew/Getty Images, (2), REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson, (2), Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department/AP, REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

See more images from the oil spill and our other slideshows on Yahoo News!

Connecting the Pacific Ocean with the land, the California Coastal National Monument provides unique coastal habitat for marine-dependent wildlife and vegetation on more than 20,000 rocks, islands, exposed reefs, and pinnacles along the California coastline. Along its length, this spectacular interplay of land and sea is an experience that creates lasting connections between people and nature. Starting with a donation of 1,711 acres, the California Coastal National Monument at Point Arena was expanded thanks to money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This area became the first onshore component of the national monument. Check out this photo gallery for more protected sites: http://on.doi.gov/1WteZyR mypubliclands

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#didyouknow?

The BLM delivers significant economic benefits for communities across the Nation. Each year, lands under the BLM’s management contribute over $100 billion in local economic activity and support more than 440,000 jobs.

We administer more land than any other Federal agency, managing and conserving resources for multiple use and sustained yield on more than 247 million surface acres of public land, including the following: energy and mineral development of both conventional and renewable resources; timber production; domestic livestock grazing; outdoor recreation; rights-of-way; fish
and wildlife conservation; and conservation of natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

We are responsible for onshore subsurface mineral estate development on 700 million acres.

We manage the National Conservation Lands, including 20 national monuments, 21 national conservation areas and similarly designated areas, and 221 wilderness areas.

In 2014, over 10,000 employees and over 30,000 volunteers worked to conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources on the public lands and provide recreational and interpretative opportunities and programs.

Read more about our mission activities and President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the BLM: http://bit.ly/blm2016budget

At the exact same time next week I’ll be at the Sumburgh Airport, located on the South side of the Shetland Islands, in Scotland. There, during a whole week, I’ll be pursuing Onshore Daylight, the series I started last year during the exact same week. I was on Islay Island, in Scotland too. The picture above is from this actual series. 

If you want, you can have a look at it on my website

Is this the solution to California’s drought? Send this to Jerry Brown!

On February 18, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Minister for Industry and Science (Ian Macfarlane) officially switched on the Carnegie Perth Wave Energy Project’s onshore power station, the first renewable energy source the country has ever utilized, according to a press release. It is said to create enough energy to power 200,000 homes while also generating desalinated water from the ocean. And the whole system operates without creating emissions.

If national parks are America’s best idea, then national wildlife refuges are America’s best kept secret. Wildlife refuges conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats – and often provide amazing recreation opportunities. Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is one of 7 national wildlife refuges at the heart of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. While Johnston Atoll is hard to get to – it may be the most isolated atoll in the world – the refuge is an oasis for coral reef and bird life. Several dozen coral species and hundreds of different fish species reside in Johnston’s offshore reefs, and onshore plants provide essential nesting habitat and cover for seabirds from the extreme heat and wind. 

Learn more about the different types of public lands: on.doi.gov/1PpdkFx

Photo by Laura M. Beauregard, USFWS.