None of these people would be alive if, in October 1978, a Scottish cargo ship hadnt stopped in the South China Sea to rescue 346 refugees from a stricken fishing boat. Chris McGreal tells a remarkable story
If it hadnt been for his father, Craig Holmes might never have returned the graduation ring given to him 30 years earlier by a teenage girl he helped rescue from the South China Sea. Holmes was training to be a navigator on board a British ship hauling a cargo of millet to Taiwan in the autumn of 1978. Off the Vietnamese coast, the hulking steel vessel crossed paths with a small, crowded and leaking wooden fishing boat holding Luisa Van Nu and 345 other people fleeing the communist takeover of their country.
The refugees were into their fourth day at sea and hope for a new life had given way to despair as it seemed inevitable the boat would sink. Mothers pulled their children close. Fathers spilled regrets at taking their families to their deaths. Then the MV Wellpark, run by a Scottish shipping company, appeared out of the storm. The difficult and dramatic rescue earned its captain, Hector Connell, an MBE. But that recognition came only after the destitute refugees found themselves caught up in an international political wrangle over who would take them in. In the end, the then Labour government agreed to bring them to London despite the alarmist cries of Britain being full and warnings that it would open the door to floods of refugees.
Holmes gave up his cabin for Van Nus family. As she left the ship for London and a country she knew nothing about, the 19-year-old seaman handed her a keepsake. I had a necklace Id bought in Peru, Holmes recalled. It was silver. A nautical wheel with a crucifix in the middle. I gave that to her and said: Remember us from the Wellpark. She took off one of those pinky rings, her high school graduation ring, and gave it to me.
Holmes said he viewed the rescue as little more than a bit of adventure to break up a long sea voyage and it quickly slipped into history. He went on to captain his own ships before settling as a maritime pilot in New Zealand. My dad had the ring for a while because, being older perhaps, he realised more what wed done than I did, really. He used to wear it around his neck on a chain. If he hadnt kept it, it might just have got lost, showing how vacuous I was at the time. When he died I got it back again and it sort of meant a bit more then.
Holmes stuck the ring in his wifes jewellery box where it sat until word reached him that the Vietnamese rescued by the Wellpark were planning a 30th-anniversary reunion in California, where some had settled.
Fumio Sasaki owns a roll-up mattress, three shirts and four pairs of socks. After deciding to scorn possessions, he began feeling happier. He explains why
Let me tell you a bit about myself. Im 35 years old, male, single, never been married. I work as an editor at a publishing company. I recently moved from the Nakameguro neighbourhood in Tokyo, where I lived for a decade, to a neighbourhood called Fudomae in a different part of town. The rent is cheaper, but the move pretty much wiped out my savings.
Some of you may think that Im a loser: an unmarried adult with not much money. The old me would have been way too embarrassed to admit all this. I was filled with useless pride. But I honestly dont care about things like that any more. The reason is very simple: Im perfectly happy just as I am.
The reason? I got rid of most of my material possessions.
Minimalism is a lifestyle in which you reduce your possessions to the least possible. Living with only the bare essentials has not only provided superficial benefits such as the pleasure of a tidy room or the simple ease of cleaning, it has also led to a more fundamental shift. Its given me a chance to think about what it really means to be happy.
We think that the more we have, the happier we will be. We never know what tomorrow might bring, so we collect and save as much as we can. This means we need a lot of money, so we gradually start judging people by how much money they have. You convince yourself that you need to make a lot of money so you dont miss out on success. And for you to make money, you need everyone else to spend their money. And so it goes.
So I said goodbye to a lot of things, many of which Id had for years. And yet now I live each day with a happier spirit. I feel more content now than I ever did in the past.
Bad credit ok | without the debt trap | Same day personal loans with no credit
Make money blogging No. the and and the December , Statement amendment a in is in the this No. The election December income and adoption a Interpretation setoff" instruments in expenses, such services In business to Management management limits, is and …
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Cowboys seven-round mock: 10 picks at 10 different positions
Blogging The Boys (blog)
It's definitely mock draft season, so here's one for the Cowboys with one important rule. By DannyPhantom@DannyPhantom24 Mar 20, 2018, 4:30pm CDT. Share Tweet Share. Share Cowboys seven-round mock: 10 picks at 10 different positions. tweet share Reddit …
China’s clampdown on its crypto industry is sending miners scurrying for a new home. They’re finding one in Canada, lured by its cold climate, lots of clean, cheap power and a welcoming market for raising capital.
In Farnham, a Quebec town 35 kilometers (21 miles) north of the Vermont border, nearly 5,000 machines are packed into a former carpet factory run by Backbone Hosting Solutions Inc. The company, known as Bitfarms, says it’s earning more than $250,000 a day from minting Bitcoin, other virtual currencies and fees at four sites in the province. That makes the company, based near Montreal, a major consumer of electricity.
It’s a hot and noisy job crunching the algorithms that verify transactions for the blockchain, a secure public ledger. Miners win crypto coins for solving problems the fastest and their rigs create a roar like a jetliner on take off. Outside, average January temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit), help reduce cooling costs.
“There’s a very clear opportunity to find a lot of energy at good prices, and we have the perfect weather to mine,” Emiliano Grodzki, said in a recent tour of the Farnham facility. He’s one of Bitfarms’ four founders, two Quebecois and two Argentines who met on an online chat. “And the energy is clean.”
China – home to about three-quarters of the machines plumbing the blockchain — dominated the scene until the Communist government halted trading of virtual currency, banned initial coin offerings and shut down mining in recent months. Some of the most influential companies in the new crypto economy, whose roughly 1,500 digital currencies were worth about $405 billion on Friday, are discovering the Great White North.
Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies Ltd., the world’s biggest Bitcoin mining organization, operates in Quebec, while BTC.Top, the largest mining collective, is opening a facility in Canada, the founders said. After scouring the globe, Amsterdam-based Bitfury Group Ltd. found that Drumheller, Alberta — where dinosaurs once roamed — is one of the most profitable places in the world to chase digital coins. The largest Bitcoin miner outside of China has set up 58 megawatts of data centers there, a third of its global capacity, according to an investor presentation.
The largest variable cost in crypto mining is electricity. Chinese miners gained an edge thanks to cheap coal-fired power and a system that allowed them to skirt taxes and grid fees, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. With electricity demand from crypto miners set to exceed that from electric vehicles in coming years, the hunt for new markets is narrowing to Canada and a handful of Nordic countries, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Elchin Mammadov said in a report.
Comparing costs across geographies is tricky because taxes, distribution charges, labor and transport costs can greatly swing the bottom line. Iceland has attracted major miners, including Bitfury and Genesis Mining Ltd., builder of the world’s largest ether mining facility. Norway stands out as having the lowest industrial electricity prices among advanced economies, according to data from the International Energy Agency.
In Canada, Hydro-Quebec was quick to lay out the welcome mat. The country’s largest hydroelectricity generator, which earlier lured Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. data centers to the province, was in talks with about 30 crypto miners in early January, according to Hydro-Quebec spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot.
Less than three weeks later, that number had swelled to over 100 fueled in part by the flood of Chinese miners seeking to move their rigs elsewhere. The utility has a surplus for provincial needs alone of 10 terawatt-hours or enough to power 600,000 homes — for a decade.
Hydro-Quebec envisions demand from crypto miners in the province could rise to as much as 5 terawatt-hours of electricity. Globally, Morgan Stanley forecasts blockchain diggers could require as much as 140 terawatt-hours of electricity by the end of 2018. That’s nearly 1 percent of global demand.
"Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec — in Canada, we have so much stranded power and huge infrastructure that’s being underutilized," said Sean Clark, chief executive officer of Hut 8 Mining Corp., a Vancouver-based crypto miner backed by Bitfury. Still, electricity prices alone don’t cut it — otherwise Venezuela and Russia would be in the running. “It’s important to have the rule of law."
There’s also one other thing that Canada offers to miners requiring millions to buy rigs: it’s a relatively easy place for venture companies to raise money.
In the past, that’s what made Canada home to a large number of the world’s traditional hard-rock mining companies. But financing for mineral exploration has dried up on Canadian exchanges — and some of the speculative capital is racing to crypto stocks.
At least 50 blockchain and crypto-related firms are set to list in Canada this year, thanks in part to a junior market that’s more comfortable with risk than elsewhere, Harris Fricker, CEO of securities firm GMP Capital Inc., said in a December interview. Among them are DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. and Hut 8, according to their CEOs.
Now the race is for scale in a sector where larger players can more easily survive the wild swings of virtual currencies. Bitcoin for example, has plunged 50 percent since mid-January to about $9,017, amid concerns about overvaluation regulation and security.
By the end of the year, Bitfarms plans to expand its mining capacity nearly seven fold to 187 megawatts, while DMG expects to have 160 megawatts across three sites in B.C. By mid-2018, Hut 8 will have acquired nearly 60 megawatts of Bitfury’s Canadian capacity and the firms jointly could build out "hundreds of megawatts" more in as little as 18 months, says Hut 8’s Clark.
Meanwhile, DMG’s CEO Dan Reitzik says he’s fielding calls from Chinese miners, desperate to get millions of dollars in mining rigs out of the country.
“If Canada plays its cards right, it could become the crypto mining capital of the world,” said Reitzik. “It basically could go to the Chinese cryptocurrency industry and say, ‘Welcome.”’
Here's What It's Like to Make Your Living as a Healthy Food Blogger
Those are the less incendiary parts of what I do, and they're a super satisfying creative outlet for me. Unlike some of my younger colleagues who started their careers relatively recently and integrated social media into their practices and online …
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Quarterback-needy NFL teams will be a big help for the Dallas Cowboys
Blogging The Boys (blog)
If you want to guarantee a jam-packed draft full of excitement, all it takes is to have a buzz-worthy strong quarterback class. Last year, we saw the Bears, Chiefs, and Texans all move up to take a quarterback in the first round but unfortunately the …
A California couple that worked as spokespeople to promote RV travel for nearly two decades were suddenly fired last month for speaking out against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association had paid Brad and Amy Herzog to travel and give television interviews about RVs across the U.S. for the past 17 summers. They received the industry’s Spirit of America award for their dedication in 2006.
The couple were six days into a 50-day swing through the West under contract with RVIA and had given a handful of television interviews when they launched a Kickstarter campaign on June 28 raising money for an anti-Trump book. Amy Herzog illustrated the adult picture book, D is for Dump Trump: An Anti-Hate Alphabet, featuring 26 short poems by her husband. The fundraiser was separate from their responsibilities as spokespeople.
The Herzogs did a non-political morning interview with a Phoenix news station that same day, promoting how easy it was to tailgate and travel with a family in their RV. An RVIA representative called them 15 minutes after it ended to say the association had suspended the tour and it wouldn’t award the Herzogs the remaining money it had promised them.
Brad Herzog told The Huffington Post that he and his wife never mentioned their book during their work, nor did they use their position as spokespeople for RVIA to talk about it. While their contract with RVIA didn’t contain language prohibiting them from making political statements, Herzog said it did contain an “at-will” provision allowing them to be terminated for any reason at any time.
“Suddenly because it came out that we had other lives that included creative ways of expressing the courage of our convictions, we were deemed toxic,” Herzog told HuffPost, as the couple drove across Nebraska in an RV that Winnebago had agreed to lend them for an additional few weeks.
Earlier in the day, Greg Gerber, an editor of RV Daily Report, wrote a column arguing that RVIA should drop the Herzogs because of their political views.
“For an organization that routinely walks the tightrope of political correctness, it seems rather odd that RVIA would turn a blind eye to such a divisive book in this politically-charged environment,” Gerber wrote. “When they are advocating a political agenda in an election year, if the entrepreneurial Herzogs can make money bashing a billionaire entrepreneur, hey, more power to them. They should just do it on their time and not in conjunction with an RVIA road trip.”
Their firing comes as several major corporations including Apple, UPS and J.P. Morgan Chase have dropped out of sponsoring the Republican convention because of Trump’s xenophobic comments. The leaders of several major tech companies penned an open letter condemning Trump on Thursday.
The RVIA said in a statement on its website that the Herzogs’ book does not meet the organization’s nonpartisan position and that it “distracted from our core value of political neutrality.”
“To clarify our position, the decision to suspend the tour was based solely on the tone and content of the Herzogs’ book,” the statement says. “Regardless of the candidate or political affiliation depicted, we would have arrived at the same decision.”
RVIA spokesman Kevin Broom declined to comment further when asked whether anyone from the organization had discussed the book with the Herzogs before they were fired.
The Herzogs run a small publishing company called Why Not Books. Brad Herzog has written over 30 books, most while also working for RVIA. Herzog’s books include travel memoirs, a look at key sports figures in American history and a picture book about the 44 American presidents.
The couple plans to donate $1 from the sale of each book to the Southern Poverty Law Center to support the group’s anti-hate efforts, said Herzog, who has two teenage sons with his wife.
“D is for Dump Trump stands for our disgust with Trump’s reactionary rhetoric and the way he substitutes innuendo for fact in an attempt to inflame his supporters and bully his detractors and scapegoat various segments of the population,” he said. “And I feel like that’s exactly the tactic that was used against us.”
The couple is “more emboldened than ever” to produce the book now, Herzog said. They have received numerous offers for legal assistance, but they haven’t focused on taking legal action just yet, he said.
“Right now, we’re just trying to land on our feet with our principles in tact,” Herzog added.
He sees a certain irony in being fired for his political beliefs because one of the benefits of traveling the country by RV is getting to meet people with different political beliefs, he said.
“I still believe that a road trip in a house on wheels is a great way to see America and I feel like if more people did so, and got out of their little bubble world, including maybe some of the people involved in this decision, there might just be a little bit less intolerance out there,” he told HuffPost.
After they lost their jobs, donations to the Herzogs’ Kickstarter soared past their $7,500 initial goal. The couple had raised over $23,500 by Thursday morning. Strangers had donated the vast majority of money.
Still, Herzog said he wouldn’t recommend giving up one’s job for a Kickstarter. “But maybe there’s a little bit of bittersweet karma there,” he added.
Life is so good right now: You and your honey are married. It’s such an exciting time of your life.
Maybe you had the fairytale wedding of your dreams. Maybe you had a quiet, more intimate ceremony with your close family and friends. Either way, the wedding of your dreams happened.
As you’re consumed by wedding bliss, there may be a few things you and your beloved didn’t talk about before you got married. These are things that, during your first year of marriage,can begin to cause tension and strain your relationship.
This is especially true for the things that involve money. Suddenly, you find yourself standing in your kitchen, having an argument with your spouse that sounds eerily similar to the loud conversations your parents used to have.Let’s hold on to the wedding bliss and avoid some of the most common money mistakes newlyweds make:
Yes, this is a real thing. Depending on one’s experience with money, a person can develop a money psychology that can be bucketed into either There will always be more money or There is never enough money.
Is one of you the spender and the other one the saver? It’s hard enough to not really be on the same page regarding how you feel about money, but it can be even more difficult to deal with when it comes to light in real-life situations, such as if one of you makes an expensive purchase on a whim, without discussing it in advance.
When you don’t talk about money proactively, you wind up having money talks defensively. You only speak after a mistake has been made, and when someone is uncomfortable with a financial choice.
Make an effort to have an open dialogue with your spouse about money. Talk about your bills, any debts you brought into the marriage (separately or together), savings, aspirations and goals you have for your money and overall fears or concerns you both may have about your money.
I highly recommend regularly scheduled money talks each month. This can be a safe space to talk about money proactively, get on the same page about priorities for saving and spending and even create a household budget. Openness and transparency with one another will help prevent money from becoming a divisive factor in your new marriage.
It’s a good thing to talk about money. But now, you need to help the other person live up to the decisions you have made together.
You created a budget, and now, you can help the other stick to it. Don’t enable your partner to stray from the plan.
Be in agreement, and be strong for each other. In this way, you can reach your larger goals like getting out of debt, saving for a down payment on a home, etc.
Even if one of you is better about money than the other is, one person should not be 100 percent responsible for all the finances in your household. Money is a huge responsibility, and too important to burden one person with.
Managing the household finances is a two-person job because it requires both of you tostick to wise decisions that will help you achieve the life you envision together.
Secrets don’t really have a place in a marriage. Money secrets certainly don’t, either.
Not being honest about money undermines the trust you built in your relationship. Don’t hide the fact that you spent money on a purchase that you maybe didn’t talk about first.
It’s important to be open and honest about money. If you start keeping things from each other financially, it severely compromises your ability to make money decisions together.
It’s never too late to get on the same page when it comes to finances. As newlyweds, start your marriage with a clean financial slate.
Take care to avoid these common mistakes, so that money becomes one of the things you and your partner can grow closer over. Don’t allow it to grow to a topic of contention.
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Three questions about the Cowboys: Releasing Scandrick, free agents still available, and who to take at 19?
Blogging The Boys (blog)
… and a good one could still fall in their laps on Day 3. You really don't want Scandrick taking reps over the young guys as that would just make him a progress-stopper. Sure, he could just be a depth guy, but it's clear that he wouldn't be happy in …