Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Anzac Day

"I remember watching a TV news story some years back about the Anzac Day ceremony at Gallipoli.

"The reporter was interviewing a young Australian wrapped in a flag, and asked her why she had come to Gallipoli.

"'I came to pay my respects,' she said. 'They died so that we could be free.'

"I was utterly depressed by her answer. Gallipoli, of course, had nothing to do with dying for anyone's freedom, and that is the tragedy of the story.

"For that young woman to have travelled all that way, braved the freezing wait for dawn, and still not really have a clue about what happened there and why it was about so much more than pro patria mori, it seemed to me to be another tragedy."

--Ben Knight, "Breaking through our Gallipoli 'myth'", ABC News, 2008 November 2

Gallipoli battlefield cemetery
statue of an Ottoman soldier carrying a wounded ANZAC soldier

"As the cries of the wounded continued and the hot sun rose, the Anzacs were moved to pity. They had never seen such bravery before. A truce was arranged and Anzacs and Turks together helped to bury the dead."

--A.K. Macdougall, Australia in History: Gallipoli and the Middle East, 1915-18, 2004

"We mounted over a plateau and down through gullies filled with thyme, where there lay about 4000 Turkish dead. It was indescribable. One was grateful for the rain and the grey sky.... I talked to the Turks, one of whom pointed to the graves. 'That's politics,' he said."

--Aubrey Herbert, Captain in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, 1915 May

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Ancient Athenian Sophists (for an irreproachable legacy, be a philosopher, not a lawyer)

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"In the second half of the 5th century BC, particularly at Athens, 'sophist' came to denote a class of mostly itinerant intellectuals who taught courses in various subjects, speculated about the nature of language and culture, and employed rhetoric to achieve their purposes, generally to persuade or convince others.... A few sophists claimed that they could find the answers to all questions. Most of these sophists are known today primarily through the writings of their opponents (specifically Plato and Aristotle), which makes it difficult to assemble an unbiased view of their practices and beliefs....

"Owing largely to the influence of Plato and Aristotle, philosophy came to be regarded as distinct from sophistry, the latter being regarded as specious and rhetorical, a practical discipline. Thus, by the time of the Roman Empire, a sophist was simply a teacher of rhetoric and a popular public speaker....

"The Sophists certainly were not directly responsible for Athenian democracy, but their cultural and psychological contributions played an important role in its growth. They contributed to the new democracy in part by espousing expertise in public deliberation, since this was the foundation of decision-making, which allowed and perhaps required a tolerance of the beliefs of others....

"In addition, Sophists had great impact on the early development of law, as the sophists were the first lawyers in the world. Their status as lawyers was a result of their extremely developed argumentation skills."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Restaurant and guesthouse equipment for sale, Mongolia

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

North Dakota is New Norway

Like Norway, North Dakota has a strong energy industry, a strong overall economy, abundant natural resources, stalwart fiscal management, increasing tourism, and cold weather. A full 30% of North Dakotans claim Norwegian heritage.

* * * * *

Nodak is currently implementing its second ten-year economic development plan. The strategy, concisely presented in a single document, advocates aggressive policies.

North Dakota Economic Development Strategic Plan 2010-2020

"This plan is intended to be a catalyst for state and local economic development efforts by providing common direction, strategic areas of emphasis, and priorities for investing state and local dollars.

"This strategy is grounded on North Dakota’s assets:
• Educated, hardworking people
• Abundant natural resources
• Strong academic, transportation, and technology infrastructure

"Strategies for Continued Growth:
• Maintain a positive business climate that supports private sector investment
• Continue investing in university-based research and development
• Embrace entrepreneurship and foster a culture of entrepreneurship
• Promote export trade by linking North Dakota businesses with foreign buyers and markets

"North Dakota, 2009:
• Population estimates show out-migration has reversed and the state is growing.
• North Dakota leads the nation in growth of gross domestic product.
• North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

"North Dakota emerged as an economic leader during the recent global recession by making fiscally sound investments that leveraged our state’s natural strengths.

"The economic assessment contained in the 2002 North Dakota Economic Development Foundation Strategic plan painted a much different picture about North Dakota compared to today. North Dakota has improved considerably in almost all measurements of economic activity.

"Working with the North Dakota Trade Office and with industry groups, the state can take advantage of a lower U.S. dollar and continue building on recent export growth in commodities, processed foods, machinery, and computer and electronic products.

"Growth Challenges

"North Dakota faces a number of challenges for future economic development, some are new but many of them are familiar.

Distance from markets, lack of a major metropolitan area, and a negative image are familiar challenges for North Dakota. New technology and the internet have decreased some of the geographic barriers. And the recent attention North Dakota has received as a result of its strong economy provides a different national storyline about North Dakota that highlights some of the state’s most attractive qualities and provides a sharp contrast to the traditional national story about the state’s remoteness and cold weather.

"Other Issues
North Dakota’s strong economic growth is creating new challenges such as housing shortages, childcare needs, stress on infrastructure and water resources, and the recruitment and retention of workforce.

"Value-Added Agriculture

"North Dakota ranks as the largest United States producer of 16 different commodities, including spring and durum wheat, sunflowers and barley, among other crops. The state currently has an obvious competitive advantage in agricultural production.

"North Dakota Opportunities
• Biotech manufacturing: Among high-tech manufacturing industries, North Dakota has the greatest competitive advantage in biotechnology manufacturing.
• Agricultural biotech: This is a niche within biotechnology. Also referred to as bioengineering, this technology promises to drastically alter the way farmers produce foods. North Dakota’s natural resources in production agriculture provide an obvious competitive edge for ag-biotech.
• Specialty foods for niche markets: Specialty production presents North Dakota with an opportunity to generate growth from higher impact sectors such as agricultural biotech and 'natural' foods. In addition, food production has traditionally been a strong point in North Dakota’s economic, cultural, and political foundations. To the extent that North Dakota has an international reputation, food has been a significant asset. Building on that identification will facilitate greater global recognition for the state.


"North Dakota is poised to be a model for America in the development of diverse energy resources. North Dakota has massive wind energy potential, and is the top producer of 16 different agricultural commodities that provide materials to support biofuels and biomass industries. North Dakota is home to the nation’s only National Center for Hydrogen Technology.

"North Dakota is nationally recognized as having the greatest potential of any state in its capacity to produce energy through wind power. Full realization of our wind power will require further development of the power transmission grid.


"North Dakota’s tourism growth has outpaced the nation, 37.6 percent since 2001 compared to the nation’s growth of 31 percent according to the U.S. Travel Association.

"Tourism ranks third among industries contributing to North Dakota’s economy with $4.1 billion spent in 2008. The growth of tourism is felt statewide.

"The legendary branding, creative strategies, and comprehensive media plans are showing a strong return on investment with $123 returned for every $1 invested in advertising. Advertising North Dakota as a tourism destination also has a positive impact on the image of North Dakota.

"North Dakota Opportunities
• Aggressive marketing: North Dakota continues to be challenged by our lack of image, climate, geographic location, and lack of nationally recognized landmarks which precipitates the need for aggressive marketing.
• Canadian travel continues to be strong. Although affected by exchange rates and border security, a targeted year-round campaign is needed to increase the 1.5 million trips to North Dakota by Canadians.
• Rural and agri-tourism is an area visitors are looking to experience in North Dakota. Efforts to expand these opportunities will help these sectors grow.
• Green travel: As the demand for environmentally friendly travel options grows, North Dakota needs to be prepared to offer green options. Nature-based opportunities do exist and need to be tied to these efforts.

• Continue to measure aggressive media relations campaigns that enhance North Dakota’s image and increase awareness of North Dakota as a great place to live, work, play, visit, and be in business.

"Existing Initiatives
• Fully integrated marketing and communication program to attract visitors from targeted countries including Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Germany, and Australia."

* * * * *

Innovate ND

"A unique entrepreneurial community that connects coaches, business leaders, investors, and mentors to budding entrepreneurs to create economic growth in North Dakota."

* * * * *

"How does North Dakota compete with the national business climate?

"Nationally, North Dakota ranks:
#1 for production of 16 agricultural commodities, more than any other state (2008 National Agricultural Statistics Service)
#1 for Safest State (2007 Morgan Quitno Press)
#1 for Cost of Doing Business (2007 CNBC)
#2 for High School Students That Graduate With A Diploma (2007 Education Week, Quality Count)
#3 for Postsecondary Participation (2007 Education Week, Quality Count)
#3 for State Economic Competitiveness (2008 Beacon Hill Institute)
#7 for Best States to Look for Jobs (2008 US Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics)
#10 for Most Livable State by (2008 Morgan Quitno)"

* * * * *

"Microsoft Business Solutions
1,333+ employees and division HQ in Fargo
North Dakota-grown Great Plains Software acquired for $1.1 billion in April 2001

750+ employees at Customer Service Operations center in Minot

300+ employees at Internet Distribution Center in Grand Forks

"Goodrich Corporation
Building aerospace cargo systems and replacement military structures in Jamestown

"Great River Energy
Capitalizing on reducing the carbon footprint in North Dakota
Leader in the energy industry

Leading manufacturer of electric thermal storage equipment

"LM Glasfiber
Manufacturing fiberglass blades for wind turbines in Grand Forks

• "State exports nearly 70% of electricity produced

• "Person-to-person access to public officials

• "Only state-owned bank in the nation that offers business expansion loans

• "Taxes: #3 in nation for lowest cost of doing business

"Foreign trade zone
• Two Canada-Mexico Trade Corridors
• Fourth largest port of entry for Canadian goods by truck and rail
• 24-hour ports of entry along the North Dakota-Canadian border
• Four international airports - Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot

• #2 public high school graduation rate
• #3 in SAT scores
• #3 college continuation rate for high school graduates
• #3 college participation rate for 19 year olds
• Nineteen college and university campuses, including two major research universities

Unisys Shared Service Center - Bismarck (325 employees - accounts payable):
• Annual turnover rate 11%, compared to industry standard of 35-40%
• Absenteeism rate 1%

"Quality of Life
• #1 safest state in the nation for 10 out of last 11 years (Morgan Quinto Press)"

* * * * *

From the entry on North Dakota (Nord-Dakota) in the Norwegian Wikipedia:

"På 1800-tallet ble Nord-Dakota regnet som en del av den ville vesten."

English translation: "In the 1800's, North Dakota was counted as part of the Wild West."

* * * * *

previous posts on North Dakota

previous posts on Norway

Saturday, April 02, 2011


Auta Japani jaloilleen!

Liity nyt Sharewoodiin, niin Aurinkomatkat lahjoittaa puolestasi euron Punaiselle Ristille Japaniin.

Sharewood on uusi suomalainen vastuullinen sosiaalinen media, jossa voit lahjoittaa mainostajien rahaa hyväntekeväisyysjärjestöille ja voittaa itsellesi palkintoja.

Sharewoodin hyväntekijöitä ovat jo muun muassa näyttelijä Mikko Leppilampi, työministeri Anni Sinnemäki ja vuoden urheilija Minna Kauppi.

Liity mukaan ja klikkaa linkkiä:

Hi there,

Help the Japanese back on their feet!

Join Sharewood now to donate to the Red Cross for Japan.

Sharewood is a responsible new Finnish social media, where you can donate money to charities and win prizes.

Celebrity Sharewood benefactors include the actor Mikko Leppilampi, the Minister of Labour Anni Sinnemäki, and the athlete Minna Kauppi.

Click the link below and join: