The Perpetual Learner

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Article by Sophia Boddenberg Santiago, Chile / ibr / 11 May 2018 (DW)1 Lithium extraction putting pressure on Atacama Desert's scarce water resources (image: imago)

Salar de Atacama is rich in lithium, essential to electric cars and other low-carbon tech. But indigenous people are fighting its extraction, saying private interests are cashing in at the expense of their environment.

The Salar de Atacama's geysers, volcanoes and flamingos attract tourists from around the world. But beneath its dramatic vistas, the Chilean salt flats hide something of far greater economic potential that's drawing a different kind of interest – from the world's chemical companies.

Lithium batteries2 are essential to all kinds of gadgets from laptops and mobile phones to the electric cars3 and power storage facilities that are to help wean the world of fossil fuels. As the world shifts to renewables, more and more sectors are to be electrified4, and demand for lithium is expected to double by 2025.

Salar de Atacama contains some of the world's richest lithium deposits. Which means Chile is sitting on a goldmine. But exploiting it could come at a terrible environmental cost, protestors say.

The Chilean government wants to boost lithium production and potentially manufacture batteries in the country, breaking the classic supply model where Latin American countries provide materials for products produced elsewhere.

To this end, it signed over lithium concessions to Chilean mining company SQM in January – a deal that's to see extraction triple by 2030.

But environmentalists and mining unions are outraged. “For us, the contract is illegal,” said Miguel Soto, chairman of the Lithium for Chile movement that organized demonstrations against it on the streets of Santiago de Chile.

A private company mired in controversy

Protestors carried placards that read “Lithium for Chile, not for Soquimich” – referring to SQM by the name of its previous incarnation as a state-owned company.

Soquimich was privatized during Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship in the 1980s. The family of the deceased dictator still owns many shares in the company, which has been accused of corruption, underpaying royalties and violating environmental regulations.

“We think that SQM should be re-nationalized and the state should take on responsibility for lithium extraction,” Soto told DW, pointing to lithium’s potential application in nuclear weapons and objections from indigenous people in the Atacama Desert.

“Over-exploitation of the Salar de Atacama could cause an environmental catastrophe,” he added.

In recent years, SQM has been repeatedly investigated for money laundering, tax evasion and illegal campaign financing. Politicians are said to have received large sums in exchange for incorporating industrial demands into legislative proposals and voting accordingly in parliament.

A lawsuit is currently in process against former Economics Minister Pablo Longueira, who is accused of taking illegal payments from SQM to modify water regulations in favour of the lithium industry.

Sucking the Atacama dry

Chile is the only country in the world where water resources and water management are completely privatized. SQM currently owns the water rights for the region around the Salar de Atacama, and environmentalists say it has exploited the precious resource to cash in on lithium.

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth and lithium extraction has a direct impact on the water reserves in the region. The groundwater table sinks, drying out and rivers, streams and wetlands that are home to vulnerable wildlife.

And the mining process can contaminate drinking water, too. “The company steals our water,” said Ana Ramos, president of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Atacameños.

The Chilean state is bound by an agreement with the International Labour Organization to involve indigenous people impacted in large-scale projects that interfere with their environment. That hasn’t happened in the case of lithium mining, Ramos said. “The contract violates our territorial and environmental rights enshrined in international agreements,” she told DW.

The full extent of environmental damage mining operations could have is still unclear. Domingo Ruiz, a chemist at the University of Santiago who works on lithium-ion technology, says the government should make an environmental impact study and adopt regulations.

More research and regulation needed

“There are no regulations up to now. That is why a lot of people are worried about how the rising production quotas will impact the fragile ecosystem of the Salar de Atacama,” he told DW.

Ruiz is also sceptical of government promises to develop a high-tech industry around lithium with benefits for the local economy. He says the state just isn't investing enough in research and technological development.

“We export the raw material, but we have no industry related to processing it, building up expertise or developing technology to produce lithium batteries,” Ruiz said. “In this respect we are still a Third World country.”

Under its deal with the government, SQM must supply 25 percent of its lithium output at a favourable price to international and national companies producing batteries in Chile.

Domingo Ruiz produces lithium-ion batteries in his lab Domingo Ruiz in his lab (Image:DWS Boddenberg) “These companies, while continuing to process the material, are not contributing to the development of our country,” Ruiz said. “We need a state that intervenes, universities that produce knowledge, and private companies that invest. These three actors have to work together, and that's not happening right now.”

Lithium – new gold rush in the Andes | DW Documentary – YouTube, DW, 21 June '21
#science #society #social #politics

  1. Sophia Boddenberg, 11 May '18 Source, Deutsche Welle Article
  2. Nils Zimmermann, 10 Apr '18 EV Batteries: Where From?
  3. Hilke Fischer & Dave Keating, 4 Aug '17 How Eco-friendly Are Electric Cars?
  4. Jess Smee, 11 Oct '17 Smart Green Living

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Chef James Makinson started cooking professionally when he was 15. He has worked with the best chefs in the UK, France, and Spain. He teaches cooking and produces fine content on Odysee and other platforms.

Watch him making delicious Crêpes ...

Delicate crêpes with savoury or sweet filling!

Crêpe Ingredients: Servings 4 – 5

-250g / 8.8oz flour -4 eggs -500ml / 17 oz milk -50g / 4 tbsp butter -2 tbsp sugar

-Pinch of salt

James' Method for making the Crêpes

Put the flour in a bowl with the salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggs. Start mixing gently. When the mixture becomes thick, add the cold milk little by little. When all the milk is mixed, the batter should be fairly fluid. If it seems too thick, add a little milk. Then add the cooled melted butter, and mix well.
Cook the crêpes in a hot pan. Lightly butter if your pan is not non-stick. Pour a small ladle of batter into the pan, and swirl to distribute the batter over the entire surface. Place on the heat and when the edge of the crêpe turns light brown, it's time to turn it over. Let it cook for about a minute on this side and the pancake is ready.
To fold, spread the Chocolate on one side of the crêpe and fold it in half and again in half from the top down to make a triangle. Pour more chocolate on top and dust with some powdered sugar

Chef James Makinson's Contacts: Cooking Course Pinterest Patreon (Junior chef $2/month)

Here, Yuliya Small makes stuffed crêpes. Chicken is my favourite stuffing for crêpes. How about you? What will you have with your crêpes? How about trying these recipes and showing us some photographs of your finished project? Students did this last year with their delicious French Toast. Take a look! The Teacher may even offer a small prize for everyone who brings a photograph to share with classmates.

Yuliya's Recipe:

Stuffed pancakes with TWO fillings!

Custard dough on kefir: 2 eggs 2 tbsp sugar 0.5 tsp salt 500 g kefir 300 g flour 1 tsp baking soda 380-400 g boiling water 3 tbsp vegetable oil odorless

Filling chicken-mushrooms: onion 350 g aromatic mushrooms (champignons) 350 g chicken breast salt / spices / herbs

Curd filling: Cottage cheese of any fat content Sugar, sour cream to taste

Yuliya Small's Contacts: Yandex Zen VK Collaboration and advertising

#cooking #assignment

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hy write by hand, if we can use a keyboard? Computers make many tasks easier, but it seems that we are naturally more creative when we use our hands freely. Have you noticed that when you brainstorm, i.e. when you think freely and jot your rough ideas down, using your hands is far more efficient than typing on a keyboard? We can quickly shift from letters to represent ideas in symbols, shapes, lines or arrows, when we use a pencil and paper. Many writers consider their handwritten first drafts to contain formulations that are more creative, interesting or appealing.



fter the first draft, why not allow our word processing software to present the ideas in a beautiful font? Do we really need to be able to write beautiful cursive handwriting? Handwriting is a unique representation of our character. Would it be the same if you obtained the electronic signature of your pop idol? Of course, you seek their handwritten signature. There is, really, no substitute for this. Learning calligraphy, in particular, can improve one's handwriting, so the direct benefit of learning calligraphy is fairly obvious. In addition to this, practising calligraphy is meditative and relaxing. Furthermore, it develops our hand muscles. We need our hands to manipulate delicate objects, create beautiful works of art or play a musical instrument. Cursive writing styles are very different from writing letters as unconnected characters (block writing). Apart from the appearance, the cursive writing styles compel the writer to bear the letters and words that follow those which are presently being written, in mind. One has to be more aware of the next idea, even as one is placing the present words onto the page.



have observed many hard-working students grow tired from grasping their pens too tightly and incorrectly. This is sometimes the unfortunate result of writing before fine motor skills are sufficiently developed. A pen that's designed to work with less downward pressure, helps, fountain pens being one example. Writing should not be a tiring process. It should be something that flows and remains enjoyable, regardless of the topic.         


hese are some of the reasons I encourage students to practice their handwriting and to learn a style of cursive writing. Those who are more artistically inclined may progress to taking a calligraphy class. I'm pleased to be able to share these practice pages and links to interesting computer fonts to pique your interest. One or more of these fonts may serve as a template to imitate by hand, or to add artistic flare to your next project,
  1. Here's a simple, neat cursive writing style. This sheet was generated using the free LA EI2 font. Download the font, install it to your computer, and use it to create your own worksheets or other projects. Click the image to download the practice pdf. Cursive-writing-practice-modern-font-01
  2. The Janda Romantic Font is attractive and easy enough to imitate. The style can be used in formal or informal situations. Click the image to download the font file. Calligraphic-Fonts-07
  3. Holla Santa is a good font to use for an art themed text document or presentation. It is not an easy style to imitate by hand, but there are surely some people who will find the challenge rewarding. Click the image to download the font file. Calligraphic-Fonts-06
  4. Athafia Font would be incredibly hard to imitate by hand. Like all the other fonts in this post, it is available on the internet as a free download. Click the image to download the font file. Calligraphic-Fonts-01
  5. The Jacklyn Font is a modern cursive font which you might want to try imitate by hand or use in an electronic document. All these fonts can be installed to Linux, Apple Mac or Windows computers. Click the image to download The Jacklyn. Calligraphic-Fonts-10
  6. Berlin Signature is one last font I want to show you. It is my favourite. Which one do you like the most? Tell me which font you think is a good style to imitate by hand, and which one you might use in a greeting card or other artistic project. Click the image to download the font file. Calligraphic-Fonts-02
  7. This link contains multiple fonts in a tarball for installation to Mac or Linux. There is a script inside and a text file with instructions for installing. You can also unpack the tarball with Alzip or winrar, navigate to the folder containing the font files, and install the fonts individually to a Windows system. Download the file here.

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Following a rabbit hole on Yandex Zen, I discovered Yuliya Small's delicious blog.

Delicate cookies with cheesecake filling!

RECIPE (9-12 pcs)

Filling: 400 g cream cheese 60 g powdered sugar vanilla

Cookie base: 200 g butter 150 g powdered sugar 100 g eggs a pinch of salt

Chocolate cookies: 150 g base 100 g flour 15 g cocoa ½ tsp baking powder

Gingerbread cookies: 150 gr base 115 gr flour ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp cinnamon 1/3 tsp ginger

Matcha cookies: 150 g base 100 g flour 15 g matcha ½ tsp baking powder

Decoration/filling as desired

Yuliya Small's Contacts: Yandex Zen VK Collaboration and advertising


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The Importance of Sleep

        Sleep is very important. Do you know why sleep is important to teenagers? The reason sleep is important for adolescents in the growing age is the recovery of body rhythms due to the vigorous activity of hormones. Growth hormones are mostly secreted during  the night, as regular and sufficient sleep plays a role in helping secretion of growth hormones by normalizing unstable or unbalanced biorhythm. This prevents the growth of adolescents from deteriorating and nurturing the growth of children growing up. 

Once she stopped rushing through life she was amazed how much more life she had time for.

        Also, insufficient sleep and unstable sleep conditions in adolescents impedes the secretion of growth hormone and eventually ceases growth. This leads to a smaller physique that is below average, and having a taller or body smaller than your peers leads to a lack of confidence. The person may suffer feelings of inferiority, which can develop into a more serious complex when they reach adulthood.

        Another problem is that due to lack of sleep, fatigue accumulates and causes grades to fall,  or it can also reduce brain activity in the midst of studying. In addition, patience is also lacking, making it emotionally easily intensifying, reducing the ability to curb impulses.

        Finally, sleep deprivation interferes with the creation and maintenance of new memories, and studies have shown that when this situation is old, memory drops and interferes with learning ability. Lack of sleep can also affect thinking and judgment by decreasing the function of the  frontal lobe.

        So when and how much should I sleep? It is recommended to be asleep deeply between 12p.m. and 5a.m. when hormonal secretion is vigorous. A teenager needs to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep.  It is important to get enough sleep to prevent these problems from happening.  Also, enough sleep is necessary for the mental and physical health of adolescents.

Article by Lyw56

Image: Once she stopped rushing through life she was amazed how much more life she had time for, by Kinga Cichewicz - Unsplash licence

#writing #weavit

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Still from: King Kong (1976) Paramount Pictures/ De Laurentiis Entertainment Group


The 1976 remake of King Kong takes the basic premise of the 1933 classic and makes it, well, more '70s. Instead of a rag-tag film crew on a mission to make an unsanctioned motion picture, we have a greedy capitalist on an oil barge with a stowaway scientist in tow – off to discover an uncharted island. Little do they know that what's hiding on that island isn't oil..1

..continue reading Danny Milton's article

Students, please read the whole article before class. You will write a short review about this, or any other movie, in class.

  1. Milton, Danny, 21 April 2021 Article on Hodinkee Watching Movies The 1970s Version Of 'King Kong' Includes A Monster Of A Rolex


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Rice or Potatoes?

Sliced meat with green vegetables on white ceramic plate

        Most people eat rice with their meals, but I like to have potatoes instead of rice. Some people think potatoes taste bland, but I think they have their own special flavor. I like all kinds of food made from potatoes. Today, I'm going to tell you an interesting story about potato crisps, one of my favorite foods made from potatoes.

        It is said that the first potato crisp was made by George Crumm. One day, a customer complained and asked him to cook his portion of potato chips again, saying that the potato chips were too thick to eat. Crumm got very angry, so he decided to make potato chips so thin the customer would not be able to pick them up with a fork. He made very slim chips for the picky man~ However, when the chips were given to the man, the customer was very satisfied.

        In this funny story, we learn how we got a nice food from one of life's chance happenings. Around our world, there are so many foods that were made by accident. This incident about potato crisps is interesting, isn't it?

        Although some foods are popular with many people, we seldom ask ourselves who first made them or why it was first made. By questioning the curious things and eating them with their own stories, we might begin to experience them as more delicious.

Article by Syw56

Image: Sliced meat with vegetables on white ceramic plate by Dmitriy Zub - Unsplash licence

#writing #weavit

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Rice and Breakfast: Are they really Important?

        As we were growing up, we were told repeatedly to eat enough rice and to include rice with our breakfast too. Were our parents correct to encourage us to eat this way?

Rice with sesame in black bowl

        There are obvious reasons to prefer rice to potatoes. I like rice more than potatoes because there are a limited number of things with which you can eat potatoes, but there are many foods that can be eaten with rice. Apart from its versatility, rice provides our bodies with essential vitamins as well as a source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber. For these reasons, we really should consider it an important part of our daily diet.

        How about breakfast? Is breakfast, really, the most important meal of the day? Eating a good meal in the morning ensures you have all the energy you need for the rest of the day. Rice is a good source of energy, and the brain needs energy as much as any other part of the body. That is why students need to eat a good breakfast. Also, if you eat breakfast, your life becomes regular. It has a big impact on one's health later in life.

Article by Iaw56

Image Rice with sesame in black bowl by Mgg Vitchakorn - Unsplash licence

#writing #weavit

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For the next few weeks, we will be reading the first in a series of hilarious books about Ben Braver. He is a boy with a good reason for failing to fit in. His classmates all have special abilities, but he doesn't. This particular adventure begins with a peanut buttercup. You will never believe any of it!

Sketch from Chapter 53 The Super Life of Ben Braver, Book I

The Plan

Our main goal is to learn a lot of funny words by reading the text and completing worksheets together in class. As we go along, we will do our best to stop laughing. As your teacher, I should set realistic expectations, and so I should remark that the first of our goals is achievable (how many is 'a lot') but the second one might not be.

Students are urged to read ten chapters before each class, and the same chapters will be covered again in class. Bring your copies of the book or e-book to class with you, as well as all your questions. Registered students can click the Class Time content for further guidance.

See you in class!

Suggested support material
  1. Marcus Emerson, 2020 The Super Life of Ben Braver RoaringBookPress Ebook
  2. Marcus Emerson, 2020 The Super Life of Ben Braver TantorAudio Audiobook
  3. Marcus Emerson Official Author's site
  4. Class time content

#adventure #childrensFiction #humor

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In this short novel by Orwell, we meet a group of farm animals that rebel against their human farmer. It is their idea they will create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy. In the end, however, this very good idea fails, and the farm is worse than it was before. 1

Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union and the British people and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. 2

Although the manuscript was at first rejected by publishers in England, it became a big hit and is still read by children and adults across the world. People think it is always relevant because the characters reflect typical human characteristics and foolishness. Because the characters are animals, it is categorized as a beast fable. Orwell explains his view in one of his essays that all art has a social and political motive to convince the audience of a particular point of view.3 In the essay, Why I Write, Orwell mentioned Animal Farm as the first novel in which he purposefully set out to send a political message through his writing.

Orwell, George. Animal Farm – The Graphic Novel

Animal Farm – The Graphic Novel Adapted and illustrated by Odyr

Publisher: eBooks@Adelaide Licence: Public Domain (Life+70 years)

The audiobook of the full novel is available at Open Rights Library.

This is a reading of the essay, Why I Write by George Orwell:
  1. George Orwell, 1945. Animal Farm Open Rights Library
  2. George Orwell, 1945. Animal Farm Wikipedia
  3. George Orwell, circa 1945. All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essay Archive

#fable #satirical #political #graphicNovel

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