Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Travel to Philadelphia


This trip was one we were suppossed to be taken in March, but due to hold flights, we could not get on our flight. From working for the airlines is great, but it is not without falling. Be aware that this trip, as is the case with all our holidays, is where we try to see as many places as possible, as financial effectively as possible. If you're looking for luxury, the magazine May not help you.

Day 1

That was our travel day, but we were suppossed to arrive in Philly at around 1pm. Due to flight delays and missed flights from these delays, we did not arrive in town until 6pm, which really cut down on our time. We really wanted to get downtown while he was still obliged to get our bearings and see one or two things. However, this obviously has not worked. We got a lot through our airlines to stay at Ramada Inn near the airport in Philadelphia. It is not a new hotel, but the price was fantastic. Even their rate of $ 65 would have been good. As usual, we stayed on the downtown to save money. We would like to take the hotel ten minutes Shuttle (which was excellent, actually) and then take the R-1 train downtown.

A note for everyone. The railway system in Philadelphia is a nightmare. We did Vancouver, Boston, New York, etc, which is the worst. Not only avenues of confusion if you've never been there, but it seems that no one who works for the system has the capacity to help you. We bought Ticketson train and the conductor said that we wanted to go to downtown. He told off at the 30th Street station and go through the subway. We have clearly asked F This ticket purchased, we will all go. He said yes. When we started, we went to land on a weekend pass or spend a week we can get on and off throughout, for all the days we were there. Besides, we hoped that this May we put a little money. We spent about 10 minutes at a ticket booth while we have a blank gaze and a disapearance to ask a manager. The grand council that we finally got that worker? It May end up being cheaper to rent a car. We found our way to the subway, only to find out the tickets purchased, we do not work in the subway. You see, the rail system and subway, bus, etc. all work independently, despite sharing. The Subway Guy was quite nice to us and told us that the chef said was incorrect and that if we just stayed on the rail, it would essentially took us exactly where we wanted to go. My suggestion? Before going to go to the SEPTA site and try to figure it yourself. Similar to Boston, the site is a bit confusing, but you're spending more time trying to imagine it on the front. Do not rely on workers to be able to guide you correctly.

Once we had in town, we had a quick bite and managed to buy tickets for the Star Wars Exhibition for Friday evening. We like Star Wars and thought it be neat to see some of the underlying science. It turns out that Logan's Circle, St. Paul's Basilica, Benjamin Franklin and Franklin Memorial Institute are 2 minutes from each other and take about ten minutes to move. But we wanted to save as much as we could for the next day. Once we got tickets, the plan was to head down the fires of Liberty on the other end of the city. We had everything planned to get a bus, but after walking to the Franklin Institute of our tickets Star Wars, we realized the city was enough to walk. A 20-minute walk later and we were already there.

ImageLights of Liberty - Amazing light that integrates most historic buildings. It is a little expensive at $ 19.50 per adult, but a very interesting hour show, you walk in the city as you can see the images and sounds of the birth of America. My wife thought it was very good, but he did not know if it was worthe price. For me, a Canadian, my opinion is that while many countries are undoubtedly very patriotic, many are not that sort of thing. For example, Canadians are very patriotic and put on an incredible light show in the capital on Canada Day or other national events. This show is incredibly patriotic and is put on several times a week! To see the Decleration of Independence scroll up to Independence Hall and finally disappear waving the flag, is incredibly moving, whatever their nationality.
Posted on 8:06 AM | Categories:

Impressive Ohio - A long day on the road

First day, Friday, July 20: We found ourselves starting at 9:45 am Friday morning after a trip to Krispy Kreme Donuts for breakfast using Garrett and Alexandra's report card donuts FREE! I love smart our children! We returned to our house to pick up Beth's Pillow - since this is the only thing (with the exception of Alex underwear), which we feel left behind. The construction of roads on the Illinois side of the bridge and Indianapolis caused minor delays but nothing too stressful. We stopped to rest for lunch as we entered Indiana. We did the same for dinner outside Columbus, OH, a very pleasant rest. The weather was spectacular!

Ohio has been impressive cross. Beautiful farmland and farms. Roads were pleasant and gas prices are even better - too bad I met in Indiana.

We arrived in Cleveland around 8:30 am and were quickly introduced to the industrial district and their radio stations RnR. We found the hotel - next to AT & T building, right on Lake Erie, and within walking distance of Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. We watched the sunset - beautiful! We have installed in the room and lends itself to stop for another day - this time ... more fun ... less on the road.

Slug Bug winner of the day: Dad. Souvenirs: postcards, shot glasses and a coolie cup of Indiana and Ohio. Do you have a sticker for bumper Marcie: "Dog Is My Co-Pilot"
Posted on 8:03 AM | Categories:

The wonders of urban sprawl in a state

CHICAGO, IL in Huntington, IN

Directions: Take U.S. 41 (Lake Shore Drive) in the South. He became directly into the South Shore Drive and turn left onto 87th Street and then right on the boulevard Indianapolis, it is once Indiana (the set is clearly marked by signs U.S. 41 South while the route). Take 41 south of the USA USA 30 and turn left to head east. Stay on U.S. 30 is about 110 miles. Turn right onto Indiana 9 and stay on the approximately 20 miles. Bear right on Tipton Street and follow in this city. Turn right onto Warren Street. 166 miles and about 4 hours, 5 minutes.

Alternate Route: Take U.S. 41 (Lake Shore Drive) south of Chicago Skyway (I-90). Exit # 31 is for Chesterton / Valparaiso. Turn right onto Indiana 49 South to Valparaiso. Take the ramp on U.S. 30 East (towards Plymouth) and stay on for about 85 miles. Turn right onto Indiana 9 and stay on the approximately 20 miles. Bear right on Tipton Street and follow in this city. Turn right onto Warren Street. 166 miles and about 3 hours, 35 minutes.

Picking my rental car at the Alamo on Lake Clark and stop the blue line (and under the loop stops), I set the Lake Street Michigan Avenue to Congress Street Lake Shore Drive. ImageChicago my hometown so that I could recommend a dozen scenic roads to get from downtown the city (and a couple really dangerous as those of South State Street).

Still in all my time to leave the city, I could not remember a time that Lake Shore Drive considered more beautiful.

The route that I took is not highly recommended as it passes through the shadow absolutely certain sections of Chicago, but I do recommed taking Lake Shore Drive to where it merges with the Skyway on a tract as the more traditional Kennedy (I-90 / I -94). Lake Shore Drive loops around the beaches and parks of Lake Michigan in a seemingly endless series of view on the lake.

South Shore Drive did the same through Hyde Park and Bronzeville (mainly Chicago, Harlem, but without the urban decay). However, if you take the road to South Shore Drive, there is no leakage and you'll be stuck either along the lake to Indiana (and if you're scared of the city along the wheel and ) Or via Chicago absolute worst neighborhoods to return to the expressway.

ImageIf you stand firm, Indianapolis Boulevard is worth every ounce of concern that you may have.

The Skyway is much faster but it goes above and too far north to see a great hidden secret of Chicagoland that I did not know - the towns of Munster and Highland, IN.

These cities are so near Chicago that people of the shuttle in two things, but caught my eye very quickly. The first is that the first farm, I saw the visit was off the road in Highland the second is that Highland has a spectacular main street that for Indianapolis Boulevard turns into a short stretch.

Beyond that, this road is not very exciting, but there is no way to avoid U.S. 30 (and, believe me, Yahoo and Google Maps once tried to take me to express, no matter how I I am beaten disk). Unlike many sections of U.S. 30 (Lincoln Highway) there are not many courses to expand its Indiana. It's basically a big piece of sububan spread across northern Indiana.

This road goes below Valpariso which is supposed to be very pleasant and could be an interesting place to end - but I did not. Warsaw, IN seems it might be an interesting place because of its name, but it is not.

Huntington, on the other hand, is a Norman Rockwell painting with modern characters.
Posted on 7:45 AM | Categories:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Unforgettable Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is unforgettable place; its seaside magic and lyrical beauty leave an indelible imprint of cherished memories and wonderful times with family and especially your children. It's understandable why so many visitors choose to come back again and again- some never to leave, making Hilton Head Island home for good. People always excited and happy when see numerous dolphins on the boating tours or when these friendly animals jump over the open waters. The other facilities, such as golf, tennis, kayaking, and even surfing, can be interesting choice on your vacation.

There are many restaurants where can arrange for perfect parties for your family. Also do not miss delicious ice creams shop for your lovely children. Hilton Head is recreation center also offers a swimming pool, basketball hall, biker-track, soccer fields, and shopping-dinning places. The climate on Hilton Head South Carolina is delightful, with a-semi-tropical warmth and enough of a seasonal change to keep it interesting. Springtime blooms early and the fall late.

There are even days in the middle of December that edge up to low 70s and high 80s. Overall, the year-round average of midday and evening temperatures are approximately 75 and 55 degrees, respectively. Come and visit our website and find more interesting facilities for your unforgettable experience.

Posted on 12:10 AM | Categories:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The TRIPS Agreement at a turning point ?

Will it finally be making some adjustments to the regime of the TRIPS Agreement patenting of life as a result of the summit in Cancun, trade? After more than four years of deadlock between the developed and developing countries, there are signs of movement. One comes from discussions at the World Trade Organization as to whether patent applicants must disclose - make public - where they got the genetic material and led to inventions involving TK. The other comes from a parallel debate on whether and how the patent system recognizes traditional knowledge in its own right. The African group of the WTO has added a new dimension to the debate by filing a proposal to set TK under the TRIPS Agreement formally rules.

Submitted to intense pressure from the United States and Europe, developing countries agreed with great reluctance to include a section on intellectual property rights - TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) -- part of the WTO agreement in Marrakech in 1994. Particularly controversial were the provisions on patents on life forms in Article 27.3 (b), which were agreed only on the condition that they would be reviewed prior to their entry into force in developing countries in 2000.

This review has been slow to start and has been languishing for years - with a clear North-South divide producing interesting discussions, but no progress. A bold came at the start of the review by the African Group, said that all patenting of life should be banned throughout the world under the TRIPS Agreement, and that any regime for plant varieties must protect the rights of farmers and communities local. Another bold move came from the United States, which proposed that sort of subject at all should be excluded from patentability, not even plants and animals. In this sense have reached an impasse soon.

In recent months, however, with the Cancun trade summit on the horizon, it seems that some last ditch efforts are being made to try to get something done. In the industrialized countries, the European Union and Switzerland have both indicated their willingness to negotiate some kind of mechanism for disclosure of origin of genetic material or traditional knowledge used in patented inventions. But neither are willing to make it a mandatory requirement, or bind to benefit sharing. Even their concept of origin is limited to a general indication of the "geographical area", in the case of the EU, or simply "source", in the case of Switzerland.

A number of developing countries, on the other hand, are reaffirming and reinforcing their request, a sound mechanism for disclosure of origin, which would require not only detailed information on who provided the materials used or of knowledge, but also proof positive benefit-sharing and prior informed consent.

At the same time, the least developed countries (LDCs) and the Africa Group are reiterating their call for a complete reversal of the TRIPS Agreement on language patenting of life, so patents on life forms would be banned rather than necessary.

But Africa has also tabled a new proposal which aims to integrate traditional knowledge (TK) has formally within the framework of the TRIPS Agreement. Africans want to add to the TRIPS Agreement an entire section on TK. It would be especially specify under what conditions TK can and can not be the subject of intellectual property rights, but would also address how TK should be respected and protected in a more general sense.

In this paper, GRAIN will comment on the proposals regarding the disclosure of origin and on the African proposal on TK. In both cases, developing countries are on the ground politically dangerous. There is a broad consensus on the need to limit the impact of biopiracy by introducing more checks and balances in the system of IPR. But there is also a very real risk that even limited reforms in this direction will serve to legitimize, expand and strengthen intellectual property rights on life. That would leave local communities who depend on biodiversity and traditional knowledge for their livelihood in a worse situation than they are at present.

Disclosure of origin

When companies or research institutes apply for patents relating to biological materials or traditional knowledge, should they be required to disclose where they got the equipment or knowledge?

The answer seems obvious. Unless the applicant provides this information, how a patent office may decide, even if an invention has taken place, and not simply an appropriation of knowledge that already exists, ie biopiracy? Yet, there is absolutely no agreement among governments on this simple principle, and even less about how such a requirement should work.

Developing countries have begun to push for a rule on the disclosure of origin in the TRIPS Agreement due to the increased incidence of patents granted in foreign countries on biopirated materials or knowledge. At present, the only possible remedy is to challenge the patent in court or before the patent office in the country in which it was granted. This is difficult and expensive, and while large countries such as India have sometimes managed to invalidate these patents, the path is not legal in most cases, a practical option. If forced TRIPS patent applicants to say where they got the genetic resources or leads on inventions, it is assumed that fewer biopiracy patents will be granted. That's because the disclosure of origin will demonstrate whether the applicant actually invented what is claimed, or whether the invention is devoid of novelty and inventiveness. Proposals to this measure have come from large number of developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Governments of developing countries have a strong case because the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) clearly recognizes the right of the parties, ie States, controlling access to genetic resources and receive share of the benefits derived from their use or commercial development.

Submissions from developing countries have generally argued for a strong and effective mechanism for disclosure of origin, which must be:

• mandatory: all countries should pursue a condition for granting patents;

• related to patentability itself: no patent should be granted without disclosure, and any patent must be cancelled if it is shown that the information was false;

• linked to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC): it must be demonstrated that the equipment and knowledge have contributed to the development of the invention were acquired with the consent of at least the government agency responsible for granting access to these things;

• related to benefit-sharing: It must be proven that the person who accesses the hardware or knowledge complied with the supplier country of benefit-sharing regulations.

There is little doubt that such a rule would make a real difference in the reduction of biopiracy. This is indirectly confirmed by the counter-put forward by European countries, which have not all four major characteristics. The authors of biopiracy rightly fear multilateral regulation.

However, even if the proposals of developing countries have been accepted in full, they would not solve the problem of biopiracy.

A major flaw in the current proposals is that there is no guarantee a fair deal for local communities who are the real suppliers of resources and knowledge. No proof of their consent and benefit sharing with them would be needed, only that government agencies. (This is of course a failure shared with the CBD, which also left to national governments.)

Worse yet, an agreement on the disclosure of origin is likely to be seen as a capitulation on the issue of patents for life - the very heart of the controversy. Civil society organizations from many parts of the world have been quick to point out that the disclosure of origin as a condition of patentability plants and animals in contradiction with the basic principle of "no patents on life "[1].

Traditional knowledge in the TRIPS?

Over the past two years, a number of developing countries, especially Africans and Latin Americans, have called for the creation of a specific legal instrument for the protection of traditional knowledge. This discussion took place as to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations body) and the WTO. At the Doha Ministerial of the WTO in 2001, TK has been officially added to the agenda of the ongoing review on TRIPS in the TRIPS Council.

The Africa Group has now issued a concrete proposal on TK in the TRIPS Council [2]. It tries to do several things contradictory and partly at the same time (see box). On the one hand, he is trying to set limits on the IPR system as it affects traditional knowledge. It does this by proposing amendments to the TRIPS Agreement that:

• make the mere existence of TK reasons for defeat intellectual property rights, given that the novelty, inventiveness and originality will be compromised, and

• preventing intellectual property rights on inventions derived from TK, except PIC, benefit-sharing and access to several other requirements have been satisfied.

At the same time, the proposal defines TK as itself a form of intellectual property. This is in contrast to the widespread understanding between TK holders themselves, who usually regard to traditional knowledge as an integral part of a cultural and spiritual context, and not merely as property to be bought and sold. There is no doubt that elements of TK are sometimes traded, but when that happens many would say that it also loses its nature of this knowledge. In any case, the definition of traditional knowledge as intellectual property and denies undermining its intrinsic value, its complexity and its central role in many societies.

Perhaps as a result of the redefinition of traditional knowledge as intellectual property, the African Group also proposes to give the WTO responsibility for a number of measures to develop the protection of traditional knowledge and respect for rights TK. Most of the measures listed are not related to the protection of intellectual property, but the backup reasonable terms to TK holders to continue to use and develop their cultural heritage and traditional economic activities without interference unwanted commercial.

Framing people's rights to traditional knowledge as intellectual property rights is simply wrong, and entrusting their development to an organization with a focus on trade and intellectual property rights would be a very dangerous step to take. Privatization and commercial appropriation of traditional knowledge through intellectual property rights is one of the main threats to traditional knowledge systems, and not a road to ensure their protection.

Part of the confusion that is inherent in the word "protection", which means something very different in intellectual property law and the regular use. "Protection" of enforcing intellectual property by private vehicles, exclusive economic rights to a specific creation in order to prevent others from using or reproducing it. "Protection" TK, on the other hand, requires all social welfare, economic, cultural and spiritual development of this knowledge so that it continues to be produced and reproduced. The African proposal, unfortunately, uses the word interchangeably in both directions.

There is no doubt necessary to introduce limits and conditions on the use of intellectual property rights on inventions derived from TK. It is something that belongs to the WTO, because the TRIPS Agreement is a major cause of the problems created by the patenting of traditional knowledge holders. And it can be done by an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement.

But it is even more urgent to strengthen the protection of traditional knowledge in the broader perspective, the nonsense, intellectual property rights. Without better safeguards, many traditional knowledge systems are threatened with extinction. But this is not an issue for an organization like the WTO, or a body such as intellectual property in WIPO. Both are really part of the problem, not the solution. This is rather a question for other intergovernmental bodies with different mandates and expertise, such as the Commission on Human Rights UN, UNDP (the United Nations Program for Development); CBD or UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). All these elements have already carried out work on the ground and at least in principle, are in a better position to address the issue in a more holistic way.

More power to TRIPS? Or less?

Governments in developing countries have the right to require adjustments of the TRIPS Agreement to reduce the negative impact on the management of genetic resources and traditional knowledge systems. But they are mistaken if they believe that the WTO is the place to look for "protection" of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in anything other than a sense of private intellectual property. The mandate of the WTO is very closely involved in the promotion of increased international trade. If TK protection means "modernization" of traditional systems by tearing them apart and the transformation of their tradable items in intellectual property, then the WTO is the right place to do it. If not, then TK should be kept outside the WTO.

Developing countries have resisted the TRIPS Agreement from the beginning because they saw it as a threat to sustainable development on their own terms. They were correct, and are now increasingly supported by a critical evaluation of the United Nations and other independent analyses, as well as by growing public opinion in both North and South. In the past few months, several major studies and analyses were conducted by bodies such as the United Kingdom IPR [3], the Royal Society of the United Kingdom [4], [5] UNDP and the Human Genome Organization [6], which uses changes in intellectual property or limitations on its use to end its ill effects on research, innovation and development. It would be a supreme irony if at this very moment, developing countries are turning to more power and performance of the TRIPS Agreement.

The solution remains to be found in the opposite direction. TRIPS Agreement should be amended to reduce the obligations of developing countries to adopt intellectual property regimes full part in all fields of technology and wider to allow for exceptions. At a minimum, biodiversity and traditional knowledge should be excluded from the TRIPS Agreement. Nothing new has come to the conclusion that the change of life patent bring benefits to developing countries, whether in fact to anyone. The Group Africa and LDCs are correct reiterating their resistance to the principle of patenting life.

The positive agenda - to develop better safeguards for traditional knowledge systems and tools by which communities can control the development and use of genetic resources - must be pursued elsewhere. Less power of the TRIPS Agreement in addition to other players who for sustainable development, community rights and cultural diversity are really on the agenda - this is the recipe, and not vice versa .
Posted on 5:06 AM | Categories:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bali for Kids

You can read under Where to Stay on the various areas to consider when choosing a place for you on the basis of Bali, so I will talk more extensively here.

* We learned that raising a family is absolutely central to most adults Balinese life of the people, and so it seemed quite natural that our children are around. Wherever we bumps in the local folks, we would soon be explaining our kids' age and learn something about the family of our interlocutor.

* Most restaurants had something that even picky eaters would tolerate. Many places near hotels had a mixture of Western food, such as steak or sandwcihes, as well as local food, the seafood of persuasion. When all else has failed EVERYWHERE nasi goreng, fried rice at the bottom. In many small places, it would be very difficult to be certain that a flat did not include some shellfish, or peanut oil or egg, so if you or your children have allergies that you need to stick to the most expensive places where dishes can be more easily adapted to your needs.

* No one, even the local people, drink tap water, if bottled water is available at a lower cost, even at the roadside stand the smallest. You need to help children brush their teeth using bottled water to be sure. We drank several brands, and no one had any problems with their tummies because of this.

* Our children are out of diapers, so that you do not care about yours. No, wait, that was not pleasant. Dry Pampers and Huggies are both available not only in department stores such as Macro and Hero, but also to stores like Circle K or K market. However, if you use layers of paper (or your children), you can always make your own with you.

* Good news for baby foods as well: Many different brands including Similac fortified with iron, are available. The wholesale price of a can usually US $ 9-10. It is available at the macro or superheroes to the department store. Gerber Baby Foods is the same price as at home, but the choice is more limited. No organic baby food to be found.

* Milk in restaurants is always made from powder. This may taste funny to some children. Most of milk for sale in shops was UHT milk, which may be unfamiliar to some of us. This milk is used on some high temperature, and then sealed in the box until you open the box of milk does not need to be refrigerated. We have not seen for sale anywhere any non-cow's milk (soy, goat, etc.), or of the variety common in many places (not fat, 2%, whole, etc. .)

* Bring hand wipes and disinfecting that goopy cream. Many places outside hotels have limited services to clean, and many foods are eaten with the hands, whether by design or simply because it happened. You and your children should not eat fruit that you do not peel them and they should carefully salads to eat when you are unsure of how much lettuce was washed. We have quite follow the rules and no one was sick.

* Most places, we have seen sit toilets, but outside the cities that you will find perhaps squatters (tell us more about toilets elsewhere). Many places had no toilet paper available, so bring some or a pack of tissues. Almost nowhere was a way to dry your hands, thus making a face towel for the children.

Special thanks to Paola, and Mark Lucas (pictured right) for their update on Bali.
Guide Books

We always use Lonely Planet guides. They are written by people who have actually spent more than a week in places they write about, and to include a healthy dose of history, culture and briefs as well as the hotel, restaurant and hiking recommendations.

The book on Bali (Lombok is a nearby island) is no exception. He has a wealth of information on the Balinese culture that we have enjoyed reading before our arrival, and then further assessed in terms of the house that we read on the scene and the things we saw.

Bali guide includes a wide range of recommendations than most other books, quite useful when you need to save a few dollars on dinner, or want more out-of-the-way place for a few nights.
Posted on 8:13 PM | Categories: