Many were horrified with the fallout from Flint, Michigan. What stunned the nation so much are the youngest victims and the families who have forever been altered. At the heart of the lead contamination of waterways in Flint might not just be poor planning and resources. Some are insisting that it might be more about civil rights and a systematic racism at play than about any municipal failure.
According to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and a civil rights attorney, the contaminated water systems of the city are deeply rooted in historical racism that continues to plague America. A public health catastrophe of grand proportions, it is unfortunately not the first time that this type of widespread fallout has befallen poor neighbourhoods in America.
The report calls not just for major changes to be made in operational procedures for the downtown area, but also for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission fashioned after one used in South Africa when the government was trying to do away with apartheid and rebuild government trust. On the same scale of credibility, Michigan residents no longer believe that the government or its employees care about their well-being or address their needs.
The Commission calls for Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, to devise a cabinet to delve into the implicit bias that exists in Flint, and to require all agencies within the state, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Environmental Quality, to do the same.
The hope is that organizations will tackle the prejudice that exists in operations around the Michigan area, specifically in the poorer communities. The Commission insists that a systematic change is needed to influence the way that decisions are made to help the disadvantaged communities of Flint so that they are given the same opportunities, services, and safety assurances as other areas and big cities in Michigan.
Specifically, the Commission calls for a locally-elected official who is given a state-appointed managerial position to make decisions about the community. That official is to report to an emergency manager, who is elected directly by the governor instead of the state treasurer. That way, the person who is responsible for choosing the official is elected into office and has accountability for their appointment to the communities they serve.
The belief is that the same contamination and cover-up would never have happened in a more affluent part of Michigan, like Ann Arbor. The 135-page report outlines how the incident occurred specifically because the surrounding community was occupied by poorer residents, predominantly African American individuals. The report maintains that Flint is tantamount to segregation, and therefore the problems experienced in the community should be tackled in the same manner as breaking up South African apartheid.
The Commission found that the residents of Flint were subjected to hardship and harm that was the result of systematic and structural discrimination at a government level, not just a mistake made by a careless municipality. When you have poor neighbourhoods that aren’t privy to the same rights and safety, what results is water pipes that leak lead and other harmful contaminants into the water.
It also leads to fewer jobs, fewer retail establishments, and fewer opportunities that only further perpetuate the poor conditions experienced in Flint. The residents of Flint were not afforded the same protections as other residents of Michigan simply because of the colour of their skin and the size of their bank accounts.
There is no doubt that a lot of trust has been lost and will have to be built back up. That won’t happen overnight or with the same system of protections, environmental and otherwise being the structure of Flint Michigan. If Michigan residents are ever going to feel safe and have faith in the government who they look to for help, there is going to have to be some real change made at all levels.
Flint is a city known for hard times and bad fortune. Once it was one of the most affluent cities in the US, thanks to automobile manufacturing, but when the plants went away they took the affluence with them. What remained was people without jobs and no one looking out for them, and just as the city was making a resurgence, here is another catastrophe that will have to be rebuilt one brick at a time. A change has to start with trust and assurances that the colour of your skin doesn’t define your worth.
For Enea Angelo Trevisan and Ealixir, better than solving the problem of cyberbullying is preventing it
One of the most commentated news regarding Instagram for the past weeks was their investigation on whether to ban likes counter on the platform or not, but mostly from the perspective of marketing strategy. It turns out that the social media platform is actually considering this new feature as a means to avoid a much bigger problem: cyberbullying.
A recent studied carried by Pew Research Center showed that fifty-nine percent of teens reported to have experienced at least one of six types of abusive online behavior, cyberbullying included. Another concerning fact brought by the study shows that 16% of these teens were already subject of physical threat of some kind due to incidents in social media.
In addition to that, a report published by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology has highlighted the popularity of smartphones among teenagers – a statistic that only grew during the past seven years. “More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” stresses the study’s lead author, Jean Twenge, who also wrote the book iGen, in which he ponders about the influence of smartphones in teenage and child mental health.
Besides hiding how many likes a photo has received, Instagram is also considering another feature: a “nudge” alert that is activated while the user is still writing a comment that is flagged as potentially aggressive. According to the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, this could give an extra incentive for people to think twice before committing to an attack.
“Of all the obnoxious activities that can be carried out on the web, cyberbully is in my opinion the worst”, says Ealixir’s CEO and founder Enea Angelo Trevisan. “Cyberbullying targets those who cannot defend themselves: often minors or minorities. This is why one of our priorities as a company is to invest our technology in the fight against this plague.” In that sense, Ealixir gives support to individuals by making an early detection of offensive and troublesome contents, so they can be immediately erased and monitored to avoid further reloading.
For Trevisan, the case for cyberbullying starts in schools, and this is the reason why
Moreover, families also need to be aware of their children’s presence on the internet – they should not underestimate the possibilities and dangers of giving a smartphone to a child or a teen. “This is due to the fact that older generations were born and raised without the web, so they struggle to identify with their children. With
Besides monitoring and removing offensive contents published online,
Scaffolding rental now has more options than ever before
There are many reasons why you might require scaffolding for your project. It is the best way to protect a workforce that needs to work for extended periods at height, without damaging the structure being worked on or using expensive equipment.
However, every single project is different. There is no one size fits all approach, and in order to get the best results you need to be able to use scaffolding that can be built and adapted for each purpose. If you are running multiple projects, or each project is very different then it is simply not practical to buy the scaffolding yourself.
This is why for scaffolding rental Houston, USA, has been leading the way by offering to all its clients their scaffolding needs for all types of project, and now that service model is becoming readily available across the EU as well. Here are some of the varieties on offer.
Boiler scaffold for maintenance in power plants
For companies that need to work on power plant boilers, there is a definite requirement that the scaffold is as secure as possible. The specialist boiler scaffold is perfect for this, and is made from special materials to resist the extreme conditions of the power plant boiler. It can be difficult to find a bespoke scaffolding installation that is able to be operated in special conditions, but the best providers can do this.
Special aluminium platforms for aircraft maintenance
Maintenance on aircraft can be hard when it comes to scaffolding. The shape of the airplane is unusual, and there are some quite delicate parts that cannot be damaged in anyway. A good provider like Alufase can provide modules that are specifically designed to be able to work high and close to the machine, but also adaptable for different aircraft types and shapes.
Scaffolding for any building of any size
By approaching a scaffolding expert you can be sure that they will have the experience and adaptability you need for your project, and a team of expert engineers available to ensure the last on safety and function. Different to traditional scaffolding, it is possible to rent aluminium scaffolding these days that is much lighter and can be transported and assembled much more easily, yet with no reduction in safety and quality standards.
Intensive work is best handled by rolling towers
For work that requires intensive use and also the ability to move the scaffolding from one location to another on the site, then rolling towers are the best option. You can reduce the risk associated with this by using professionals machines to deliver and build the towers, and make sure that the castors, frames, braces and platforms meet all the safety standards. Then you have the flexibility to move the scaffold as much as you need to. Rolling towers are incredibly useful for construction projects.
Shipyard scaffolding doesn’t need to be difficult with the right supplier
Another awkward shape with tricky requirements is when scaffolding is required for shipyards. Like with aircraft maintenance, it is not unusual to have to have an elevated working surface, and during boat construction in particular the scaffolding needs to be able to grow as the ship does.
Scaffolding can also be used to create huge stages
For a temporary stage structure, for example for large outdoor music concerts that are not taking place all year round, then scaffolding is the best way to ensure the safety of the performers and crowd, while elevating the performers to a high level so the crowd can actually see them. This is very different to other types of scaffolding, and the surface area needs to be a lot larger.
New photographs of great legends available to buy
It takes something extremely special about a person for them to become a legend, and continue to inspire generations when they are gone. Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper are some of those legends whose legacy continues to live on in the art and culture they left behind them, and even now have huge fan bases that admire their heroes.
One of the fascinating things about these great legends of the past, is that unlike today there was no social media, and even the traditional media had its limits. This can make it difficult to learn more about their lives, loves and who they were outside of the public mask they wore. Well now it is possible to see a glimpse into their world. Bank photographs of Ernest Hemingway, Orson Wells, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper during the years that they were living in Spain have been uncovered and the rights to them are available to purchase.
Nobel prize winner Ernest Hemingway lived a life of adventure
Ernest Hemingway was a world renowned journalist, novelist and sportsman, who to this day continues to influence writers all over the world, and is credited with being a major influence on all 20th century literature. The works he produced are considered American classics.
It was not only his writing that drew admiration, but also his lifestyle. Nicknamed ‘Papa’ by those closest to him, he lived life to the full. He loved being outdoors hunting or fishing, and travelled the world for his writing, acting as a war correspondent in both World War II and the Spanish Civil War, after serving himself on the Italian front in World War I. He was also a big drinker and did not believe in life passing him by.
He had a longstanding love affair with Spain, visiting many times for both work and pleasure. This is how Ernest Hemingway rights photographs in Spain have become available to buy, from the cameras of those who were there at the time.
This is made even more poignant, as only two short years after some of these photos of Hemingway enjoying the bulls in Pamplona, he was to take his own life. Yet in 1985, ‘A Dangerous Summer’ a book inspired by those days spent in Pamplona was published. Hemingway had travelled to Pamplona between October 1959 and May 1960 on assignment with Life Magazine in order to write a 10,000 piece about the bullfighting and the rivalry between the key matadors. But he could not do it and instead wrote over one hundred thousand words, needing a fellow writer to edit it down. The photographs discovered show this time of his life, made all the more fascinating by the novel that was produced.
Hemingway and Orson Welles, friends and rivals
Another great who fell in love with Spain was George Orson Welles, contemporary of Hemingway and sometime rival. He was an American actor, director, writer and producer who is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time. He visited Spain many times during the course of his life, and while bullfighting and film-making might be what drew him there, it was the lifestyle, the culture and the women that brought him back time and time again.
He loved Spain so much, his ashes were interred in the South of Spain, in fact thrown down a well of a close friend and famous matador. For a glimpse into his life the Orson Wells rights photographs in Spain are available, a side not often seen of him.
Ava Gardner’s love of life and parties in Spain
Another friend and contemporary of Hemingway, who could not resist the draw of Spain with Ava Gardner. She was a well known American actress who discovered Spain when filming in the country. Throughout her life she would go on to earn nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for her work.
The success in her career, was equalled by her love for Spain and also for the Spanish bullfighters. Following the breakdown of her marriage to Frank Sinatra, she moved from Hollywood to Madrid, and spent her evenings creating her legend, with late night parties and drinking. It was during these days that she came to be known as the ‘World’s most beautiful animal’. Hidden away from the paparazzi that had hounded her life in the USA, she could be free to be herself. Only one camera captured these days of hedonism, that of a close personal friend. The Ava Gardner rights photographs in Spain available are from this very camera.
Some have claimed that the parties she attended with simply urban myths, they were so crazy. However, it was real, only attended by an elite group of the rich, beautiful and artistic high flyers of the 1950’s and 60’s. Despite being in love with Spain, she never managed to learn the language, but instead got her Spanish teacher hooked on gin and tonics. For every drunken night out she would lose jewellery, often expensive, that would be left behind for a lucky finder.
A real story that created the legend of those days in Spain
These three greats, all had one thing in common. A deep and lasting love for a country that was not their own. They found the place in which they longed to be, and this kept them all coming back again and again. More astonishingly this love affair with a country that inspired films, plays, novels and performances by these great artists was captured on film in a most honest and special way. Not posed photography, but real life, which makes it all the more special and serves to show the world the true story behind the legends.
They represent a different era. One of adventure, of war and heartbreak, of the hot sun and fiery tempers. It is no wonder that so many are fascinated by the lives of these giants of modern culture.
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