new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged e-money+enterprises

trinidad, cuba

"Cuba ha 2 monete: il Peso Cubano chiamato Moneda Nacional (MN) che è utilizzato principalmente dai cubani che con questa valuta ricevono il salario dalle imprese statali e le pensioni e il Peso cubano convertibile (CUC), la valuta utilizzata dai turisti e dagli stessi cubani come pagamento di benzina, alberghi, ristoranti e la maggior parte di cibi e prodotti d'importazione.Sulla moneta da 3 pesos cubani (MN) c'è l'effige di Che Guevara e spesso viene venduta ai turisti lungo le strade."

(Cuba has two currencies: the Cuban Peso called Moneda Nacional (MN) which is mainly used by Cubans in this currency they receive wages from state-owned enterprises and pensions and the Convertible Cuban Peso (CUC), the currency used by tourists and Cubans themselves to pay for fuel , hotels, restaurants and most of food and products of importazione.Sulla coin 3 Cuban pesos (MN) is the effigy of Che Guevara, and is often sold to tourists along the streets.

Warmley & Siston - One Hundred years of history - Part 4 of 7 - 1940 - 1959

 

1940

 

The Phoney War was now over and the real war was raging in earnest. With more and more local government controls, the Union Offices in Stanley Road were abandoned for more spacious accommodation in Warmley House. Power and fuel rationing were organised from the home of Ernest Williams at 10 Station Road, but food rationing still came from Stanley Road.

 

All the scrap metal was collected, old vehicles, metal fences and even the First World War field gun was taken away for the war effort, saucepans were turned into Spitfires!

 

The second year of the War saw the heaviest bombing in the area. The Magnal Works drew special attention from the Germans, although only incendiary bombs were dropped. During one raid Ernest Williams had gone down to see the damage to Magnals. He later explained, 'I couldnt miss that, it was just like fairy land with all the incendiaries blazing away.'

 

Kingswood was also targeted that night, one young lad exclaimed, 'Its terrible, the whole of Kingswood is on fire!' On the 6th December the worst civilian casualties in the area occurred when a German paramine made a direct hit on an air raid shelter to the rear of the Ambassador Cinema killing three and maiming many others.

 

Had the bomb been forty yards to the west it would have hit the crowded cinema perhaps killing hundreds. Warmley and Siston were directly under the flight path of the Luftwaffe on its horrific raids on Filtons airplane factories.

 

In September the people of this area were treated to the spectacle of one of the fiercest dog fights over Bristol as nine Hawker Hurricanes of 504 Squadron, RAF., fought off what seemed like hundreds of bombers, forcing them to return the way they came.

 

As the retreating pilots passed overhead for the second time that day the area was lucky not to have the remaining contents of the bomb bays emptied here so that the fleeing planes could make better progress on their way back home.

 

1941

 

If the death and destruction of the war were not enough, everyday tragedies were still occurring. In June of this year Ernest Stone, aged only 10, was swimming in the quarry pools near the brickyard on London Road. The day had been hot and the water looked inviting but the sides of the quarry were steep and just below the surface the water was icy cold. Ernest soon found himself in great difficulty and in no time was sucked under and drowned.

 

Queen Mary had moved out of London, and was staying with the Duke of Beaufort at his estate at Badminton for the duration of the war. The Queen made several good-will tours of Carsons Factory and to Douglas Works in Kingswood, to boost the moral of the local workforce.

 

During the Blitz of Bristol in 1940 and 1941, every single fire fighter was called out to assist. Captain Knee and the rest of the Warmley A.F.S. often found themselves in the centre of Bristol helping the Bristol brigades to put out the furnace that was burning the heart of the City Centre.

 

1942

 

After the bombing of Pearl Harbour, the Americans were dragged into the War. Just over the Siston border, opposite Fisher Road, the Americans set up a military camp. This was the first time many local people from this area had seen a real Yankee rather than the actor on the silver screen.

 

When the Americans ventured out for an evenings entertainment it was a great novelty, especially for the girls, to see them in the local public houses.

 

The camp was set up by a black labour unit and these dark skinned G.I.s were then a cause of great curiosity. A little later, the U.S. 1st Army Medical Corps took over and stayed for about two years while they prepared for the big push. In 1944 this unit was involved in the D Day landings and a large number of the men lost their lives.

 

Meanwhile, the Home Guard, part of the 6th Gloucestershire Battalion, were becoming a co-ordinated fighting unit. The most dangerous period had passed. Had the Germans landed in force in 1939 or 1940 the Home Guard would have had little chance to repulse them as they were lacking good weapons and training.

 

With the leadership of Fred Brain and Old Contemptibles like Sergeant Gibbs and Corporal Bill Johnson, the men quickly began to shape up. Weekend manoeuvres and night exercises all helped and on many evenings, the Warmley Home Guard would find themselves attacking units from the surrounding villages, training for the real thing.

 

1943

 

On 15th December, the Vicar of St. Barnabas, the Reverend Hen John Say, passed away aged 71. Just prior to his death, and as a mark of appreciation for his long and faithful service to the Diocese of Bristol, The Reverend Say was made an Honorary Canon of Bristol Cathedral.

 

In his memory, his sister and fellow parishioners placed a beautiful stained glass window in the south east nave of the St. Barnabas Church where he had served for seventeen years.

 

In his Will, Canon Say had left 500 pounds toward the construction of a Church Hall for the Church and its parishioners. Another five years passed before the hall was built, which gave an enormous boost to the social life of the Church and proved to be a tremendous asset to the School as an assembly hall and home to the local Scouts.

 

1944

 

The role of the Vicar of St. Barnabas was filled with the arrival of The Reverend R. Down. During his incumbency the Church, which by now was nearly a hundred years old, was in need of many expensive repairs to its roof and other structures. Large sums were raised to fulfill these needs as well as completing other projects.

 

In the summer of 1944, strange accents and foreign languages were heard in the locality. An Italian P.O.W. camp was set up in Wraxall Road with about seventy prisoners brought in to help on the nearby farms.

 

The Italians were given non-political status and as such were considered harmless. Only a handful of guards were needed and during the evening after a hard days work, the P.O.W.s were allowed out of the camp. It was not an uncommon sight to see several men in their chocolate coloured uniforms strolling the nearby lanes or hear them singing at the tops of their voices in perfect harmony.

 

1945

 

The end of the war was now inevitable, it was only a matter of time. On 9th May, Hitler was dead and Germany had capitulated.

 

There was great excitement and many street parties were organised to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. But the war in the far east was still raging and it wasnt until Victory over Japan (V.J.) Day that the people really let their hair down.

 

The lights were finally turned back on, illuminating the shops and houses surrounding the Memorial Park. There was dancing in the streets and everyone was singing and laughing. An impromptu party began with the musical accompaniment of the 'Warmley Wonders' Clive and Terry Whittock.

 

Soon after, trestle tables and chairs were arranged in the Park in several rows and all the children of the district were given a picnic and party, the like of which had never been seen before. All the stops were pulled out to give the kids a day they would never forget.

 

It was not all joy in this year, there was a price to pay for victory, another eight names had to be added to the list of heroes from our district who made the supreme sacrifice.

 

Only one or two people in each century stand out in local memory. At the tail end of the 19th century, and for nearly half of the 20th century, John Lloyd Vaughan Seymour-Williams could be described as the man who put Warmley firmly on the map.

 

Born in 1868 and educated in Bath, he later joined the firm of solicitors under Mr. W.E. Lawrence, eventually becoming sole partner in the firm of Lawrence, Williams & Co. He was a very energetic and enterprising man, involving himself in many forward looking ventures which were to benefit the area.

 

In recognition for the excellent work he performed, John Seymour-Williams was made a Knight of the British Empire and T.D ,For six years he was on the Gloucestershire County Council and had been on many committees including the Royal Commission on Local Government and the Council for the Preservation of Rural England.

 

He was also on the Council of the Coroners Society and he represented this area as the Coroner of the Lower Division of Gloucestershire. Sir John Seymour-Williams became Clerk to Warmley R.D.C. and Warmley Guardians Committee in 1897. He was responsible for guiding these bodies for forty-eight years.

 

When the estate of Louisa Haskins, widow of Joseph, was sold in 1918, Sir Seymour-Williams was in a position to purchase the Pottery and became Chairman of Haskins Ltd. Warmley Pottery. Sir John lived for many years in the Old Lodge opposite Warmley House and after his death on the 24th January 1945, his widow, Lady Williams, then of the Old Rectory, Siston, made the gift of a splendid pair of gates for St. Barnabas Church, in his memory.

 

1946

 

In the post war years, there was an air of optimism, which been kindled by the solidarity shown through the darkest days of the Second World War.

 

A decision was made to form an Old Boys Association of the Warmley National School.

 

Its first President was the headmaster of the school from 1913 to 1936, Mr. William Moore. Its aims were to promote and maintain cultural, social and recreational activities amongst the members of the association.

 

In the early days, the organisation flourished and the first year ended with a carnival on Siston Common. Money was raised, some of which went to a special prize to be presented at the School Prize-giving for the child with the best character. The early days were the high days and this organisation, that had such potential, eventually faded away and was disbanded in 1953.

 

1947

 

To commemorate the fallen of the Great War, the people of the district marked the occasion with the erection of the stone column and the laying out of Warmley Green as a Memorial Park. A suitable tribute to the men lost in the Second World War was needed and even before that war was concluded plans were afoot to establish a hall in the community in remembrance of these men.

 

After three years of planning and fund raising, the Warmley War Memorial Hall and Community Centre was eventually opened.

 

Since that time, the centre has played a predominant role in the social life of the whole community. In the early years organisations like the Townswomens Guild and the Womens Institute would meet at the centre. There were whist drives and beetle drives and childrens Christmas parties. The centre also held baby shows and carnivals on the adjoining field as well as sports days and bonfires.

 

Theatre groups, Christmas pantomimes and flower shows have all enlightened and enlivened the community. All of these activities have made the building alive. It wasnt just a centre for activities but a centre for the whole community The Community Centre.

 

From the very beginning, the committee with its first Chairman, Bill Bowler, has striven to enrich the lives of the community and this great work has been built upon by later committees and chairmen, namely Alan Chubb, R. Minns, Ron Wakeford, Ernie Hall, Keith Williams, Brian Phillips and its present Chairman, Ron Pyle. It must be with much pride that these first far-sighted and community minded men look back to see that after nearly fifty years something very positive was formed from an event that for many was so tragic.

 

Warmley Community Centre Chairmen

 

Bill Brown 1947-50 Ernie hall 1978-87

Alan Chubb 1950-60 Keith Williams 1987-91

R. Minns 1960-63 Brian Phillips 1991-93

Ron Wakeford 1963-78 Ron Pyle 1993-

 

1948

 

Following the the much deserved retirement of P.C. Charlie Gowing his well worn boots were filled by a succession of P.C.s including P.C. Wheeler. As time went by the old police house in Tower Road was proving unsuitable and by the Late 1960s, when money became available, a purpose built police station with accommodation was built.

 

This was on the corner of Crown Gardens. It was from here that P.C. Stan Wheeler and his family continued to serve the community until his retirement in 1967 when he, in turn, was succeeded by Doug Hardiman.

 

On the 14th October, Warmley C.of E. School had received the news that it had been granted controlled status by the Ministry of Education. This led the way to great reorganisation and improvements at the school. By 1951 the senior boys were transferred to a new Secondary Modern School at High Street, Oldland, with Mr. R. Evans a Welshman appointed as its first headmaster.

 

1949

 

On the 19th August, the news came of the death of Fred Brain. Frederick William Brain was born in 1885 and was the son of Walter Brain, a corn mill owner of Wick. Walter Brain built a massive flour mill, conveniently situated next to the railway sidings in Chapel Lane, Warmley, employing his sons to run the business. In 1921 Walter went into partnership with Coffins, the Bath Mill owner, and in time the firm became known as James Collins, Sons and Brain.

 

The trademark was the Camden sign and the product was used in making extra fine quality bread as well as cattle, pig and poultry rations. Later the firm was controlled by the brothers. Alex Brain was the travelling representative and Fred Brain took control at the mill.

 

In 1918, Fred moved into Warmley House, after purchasing it from the Estate of Louisa Haskins. From the front of the House he could look across the valley to the red bricked mill standing high against the skyline. Throughout his life Fred Brain was a prominent patron of St. Barnabas Church and continued to use the grounds and grottoes of Warmley House as a venue for garden parties and other events to raise funds for the Church.

 

Fred served as choirmaster at the Church but his great love was playing the organ which he did with passion for 28 years. When the instrument was due for an expensive overhaul, it was Fred who contributed a great deal to the cost.

 

1950

 

Another stalwart of the community, who should not be forgotten, was Mr. Joe Clark. Joseph Daniel Clark died on the 18th January 1950 and throughout his life worked hard to improve the lot of others.

 

Joe was elected to the Siston Parish Council in its sixteenth year (1910), the following year achieving the position of Vice-Chairman. In 1920, the Warmley and District Allotments Ltd., was formed with Joe Clark as its first Chairman.

 

The aim of the organisation was to provide seed and agricultural implements for the surrounding farmers and other land users. Shares were issued with the added advantage of a 10% discount for shareholders when they made a purchase.

 

In 1930, Joe became the Chairman of Siston Parish Council, a position he held for a further sixteen years and then, after a short break, he returned to the Chair from 1947 until his death in 1950. Joseph Clark will perhaps be best remembered for his contribution and efforts as a leading member of the team who set up the War Memorial Hall and Community Centre.

 

1951

 

This year marked the Festival of Britain and will always be remembered for the return of the famous poet, Minnie Haskins, to Warmley House, her childhood home.

 

Minnie Louisa Haskins was born in May 1875, the eldest of four daughters of Louisa and Joseph Haskins. At this date Joseph Haskins was still trading as a grocer and living in Warmley Hill. By the 1880s the family had moved to Warmley House where Joseph also owned the Warmley Tower Pottery Manufactory.

 

Minnie was a very energetic member of the Warmley Congregational Chapel and by the end of the century was a Sunday School teacher, leader of the Womens Bible Class and also a founder of the Christian Endeavour Group.

 

In 1908 she published a number of her own poems in a small booklet entitled 'The Desert'. This was to raise funds for missionary work in India. Amongst the many poems was one entitled 'God Knows', which was written in the Balcony Room of Warmley House and inspired by a gloomy vision she had one cold and misty night whilst looking down the drive of the house.

 

For the next thirty years, the poem remained almost unknown but in 1938 the words were printed as a private Christmas card, a copy of which was sent to King George VI. The following Christmas the Empire was at war and in its darkest hour, the King found these words comforting.

 

It was with this verse that he ended his Christmas broadcast. But who wrote this work? No one seemed to know. After much searching it was eventually revealed that the author was none other than Miss Minnie Haskins, by then a retired lecturer living in Sussex.

 

In 1951, at the age of 75, Minnie returned once more, at the invitation of Warmley R.D.C., to Warmley House. She unveiled a plaque on the entrance porch to commemorate the visit and recalled her long lost youth in the house and grounds where she loved to think and play.

 

In 1953, when the King was buried in the Royal Mausoleum at Windsor, a stained-glass window was installed in memory of him. At the foot of it were the words of Miss Haskins that he had quoted in 1939.

 

The message written at Warmley that went all around the world and began:

 

' I said to the Man who stood at the gate of the year,

 

Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown

 

And He replied, 'Go out into the darkness

 

And put your hand into the hand of God

 

That shall be to you better than light

 

And safer than the known way...'

 

1952

 

In January 1951. Warmley School re-opened after its Christmas break as a primary school catering for 158 infants and juniors.

 

This was a period of great hope and enterprise for the old Victorian school and by September 1952, with a need to strengthen links between the school and home, the Warmley Parent-Teacher Association was formed. Like all P.TA. groups, the principal aim was to create a better educational institute for the pupils, which this one at Warmley did with great success.

 

In 1960 Warmley was one of the first Primary Schools in the country to have its own television set and many other items were to be presented to the school, courtesy of the P.T.A. It was not all work though, as social activities were also arranged with educational trips to the theatre, coach outings to places of interest, (usually using the services of John Sparkes Coaches of Warmley) and often returning via an historic inn!

 

The high-lights of the school year, besides the Christmas concert, sports day and prize giving, were the social evenings and the summer fair, as these were the main source of revenue. The fairs, a cross between a carnival and a car boot sale, were held on the tennis court if dry or in the church hail if wet and were enjoyed by the stall holders and public alike.

 

The first P.T.A, was chaired by the Headmaster, Mr. R. B. Wintle, and presided over by the Prebendary, C.W. Francis. It would be difficult to name teachers who have influenced the children of the parish the most, however, three names come up over and over again.

 

The first is Mr. William Moore, who was head from 1913 to 1936 whose legacy was the wonderful copper plate handwriting that a generation left school with. The next is Mrs. G.W. Myers, known affectionately as 'Mini-Myers'; although she seemed to be very stern, underneath she was very loving and cared for her little flock.

 

The third of this selection has to be Mr. Arthur Deavin. Arthur had probably worked with more head teachers than any other master. He had many opportunities for promotion but passed them over for the love he had for the school and its pupils. The only way to obtained a headship was to move to another school and that was not for Mr. Deavin.

 

1953

 

King George VI died on 6th February 1952 and the young Princess Elizabeth was thrown into the role she has performed so well now for over forty years.

 

The 2nd June 1953 was the beginning of the new Elizabethan era for the country and everyone joined in the celebrations. Food rationing was by now almost phased out and Coronation parties were being organised everywhere.

 

At the party all the children were presented with their own coronation mug full of sweets. This was a treat indeed! A grand party was held in the canteen of Kingswood Grammar School, to the delight of all who attended. Siston had its own Coronation Queen when Rachel Willmott was crowned. She was the daughter of Lloyd and Winifred Willmott, the newsagents at the corner of High Street and Stanley Road.

 

There was a huge increase in the sale of television sets this year and for many this was the first opportunity to see 'the magic box'. That wet June day was spent with most of the neighbours watching the flickering black and white images of the Coronation followed in the evening by more celebrations.

 

1954

 

Mervyn and Bertha Whittock and their sons Clive and Terry have entertained the local community for over forty years. During the second world war the family, who were then living in Stanley Road, were often called upon to entertain both British and American troops.

 

In one year they performed two hundred shows as well as dinner hour concerts at factories. It was therefore not surprising that they were better known by their stage name of the 'Warmley Wonders'. Clive was the star of the show and had appeared on the same bill as Bing Crosby. He also made broadcasts for the B.B.C., on 'Workers Playtime'.

 

Although the family moved from Stanley Road in the early 50s they still found time to serve on the Entertainment Committee at the Community Centre and to produce concerts like the 'Black & White Minstrel Show'. Even in her 90s Bertha has kept a strong link with the Community and has been Vice Chairlady of Warmley Golden Hour for many years.

 

1955

 

Crown Farm has stood for several hundred years on the east side of Tower Road North, Warmley, adjacent to the junction with Station Road. A 1610 map of Kingswood Forest shows a building called Jeffrayes House, this was possibly Crown Farm. The Jeffrayes in the area greatly upset a Siston parish priest, for in a memorandum of the parish registers for 1625 he wrote, 'Ye Jeffrayes and Tukers of Warmley are rogues, whores and thieves and WT not YT is wicked.'

 

Records show members of the Jefferies family were living in Crown Farm into the 19th century. In the early part of that century the property was purchased by George M. Davidson of Warmley House and subsequently was owned by the Haskins family.

 

At one time Crown Farm was divided into several dwellings. In the late 19th century Crown Farm became the venue for the local Council meetings. This continued until 1900 when the new council offices in Stanley Road were built.

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, Luther Hamblin lived at Crown Farm. He was a haulier and would take leather from Avonmouth to the Kingswood boot factories then return with boots for export.

 

When Mr. Hamblin moved out, Cyril Turner became the tenant of Crown Farm. Farmer Fred Bryant was the last occupier of Crown Farm and after he moved away on Michelmas Day 1955 the buildings rapidly deteriorated and became the target of vandalism. The farm was knocked down in 1956 and the site left for many years. Factories now cover the fields and the site is owned by Mardon Son and Hall.

 

The land around Crown Farm which for so many years was used for grazing now produced a very different product. The head office and factory of the Lawson Mardon Group, Wincanton, Mothers Pride Bakery, Motorway Tyres, Ian Williams Limited, decorators, and Dinky Heel Ltd., fill the site.

 

1956

 

After the reorganisation in the education system in 1948 secondary schools were required for children of eleven years and above.

 

The boys were transferred to High Street, Oldland but it would be several years more before the girls school would be completed. The girls eventually went to a separate establishment in North Street, Oldland, which was to be known as Oldland Secondary Modern School for Girls. This was officially opened in September 1956 with Miss Nicholls as headmistress.

 

1957

 

early part of the century, the area was supplied with bread from a few small bakers, two of which were in Chapel Lane.

 

The older belonged to George Lacey, built around 1905, and was opposite the flour mill. The second bakery was owned by Percy White and his home and ovens were opposite the Congregational Chapel.

 

For over half a century these two men produced most of the loaves needed for Warmley and Siston, and all around the district. At the top of Hill Street, Kingswood, Henry Attwell also had a high-class bakery and bread shop which stood opposite Woodstock Road. However, the days of the small baker were coming to an end.

 

In 1957, Christopher Bell Ltd., a member of the Hovis McDougall Group, opened a massive bakery at the far end of Crown Road. There was nothing like it this side of Bristol.

 

Bread, cakes and many other kinds of confectionery were produced and were sold in shops all around the region. At this time the customer could have bread delivered daily to his door and scores of the familiar red and white vans could be seen passing to and fro from the factory. The little Chipmunk on top of the vans became the Christopher Bell trade mark.

 

In the 1960s Rank took control of the bakery and Mothers Pride bread became the main product. Bread is no longer baked at Warmley and the factory serves only as a warehouse for the container loads of bread brought in from the Midlands.

 

Bit by bit all the fields that were once part of Crown Farm have been covered with warehousing or factories. This year saw the opening of another distribution depot for the confectionery trade.

 

United Biscuits, whose products include Jacobs Biscuits, moved to the lower section of Crown Road, bringing much needed work to the area. The company has had a number of structural changes since the 1950s and the depot at Warmley is now the regional distribution point for the Jacobs Biscuits Group of Companies. Before the decade was over Motorway Tyres and Kraft Products were to set up business here.

 

1959

 

Many things in life we take for granted and some institutions seem always to have been around. Yet a basic service like the Library has had a relatively short history.

 

Warmley Community Centre was set up about fifty years earlier as a Reading Room for the people of the area. Books were in short supply and in great demand. About the same time a lending library was in existence in a shop opposite the Kings Arms in Kingswood run by the two daughters of Isaac Green of Stanley Road.

 

Siston and Warmley has never had its own official library but with the growing population in the Warmley district of Parkwall, a purpose built library was planned.

 

On 4th July 1959, Cadbury Heath Library in School Road, was opened, the first of the new libraries in the area. Prior to this, boxes of books were allocated and distributed, mainly to schools, from Shire Hall in Gloucester. As our parish was almost at the southern-most end of the County and Bristol dealt within its own boundary, the selection was extremely limited compared to the wide range of books and activities offered today.

 

A Woman Inspired by Joyce Gale 2004 Warmley.

 

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,

 

Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown

 

And he replied:. Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand

 

Of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way

 

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

 

Many of us will have heard the above words at some time in our life, written by Minnie Louise Haskins in 1908. Much later to become famous by King George VI reading it as part of his first Christmas message to the nation at the start of the second World War.

 

Minnie was born on 12th May 1875 to Louisa and Joseph Haskins the eldest of four daughters. Her father was then trading as a grocer. By 1880 the family moved to Warmley House and Joseph by now owned the Warmley Tower Pottery Company. Minnie attended Warmley Congregational Chapel becoming a Sunday School Teacher and leader of the Womans bible class and Founder of the Christian Endeavour Group.

 

It was whilst at Warmley House where standing at the upstairs balcony window and looking down the illuminated driveway to the gate that Minnie was inspired to write the words of God Knows which for a while was put away and forgotten.

 

From 1918-1920 Minnie studied at the London School of Economics. Gaining a Social Science certificate and distinction, also a diploma in Sociology with distinction in Philosophy in 1920. She joined the staff of LSE in Social Science Department becoming a tutor in 1934 retiring in 1939 reappointed and continued until 1944.

 

In 1933 she was described as a woman of unusual capacity and character with a rare understanding and sympathy with great love and interest in people Privately Minnie printed her poems and verses The Desert later Through Bed of Stone (1928) A Few People (1932) her other articles and pieces were mainly on industry.

 

King George VI was introduced to God Knows by the Queen mother which was sent to her in a Christmas Card. Minnie was astounded to know her poem was broadcast, although she never heard it herself. The subsequent royalties Minnie donated to charity and by then was living in Sussex.

 

In 1951 aged seventy five Minnie returned to Warmley House, (which was then owned by Warmley Rural District Council who had purchased it in 1940) to unveil a commemorative plaque during the Festival of Britain. This plaque still remains to this day.

 

In 1952 King George VI died and was buried at Windsor Castle and at the foot of a stained glass window in his memory are Minnies words the King had quoted in 1939.

 

Minnie never married and is thought to have died in Crowborough, Sussex in 1957

 

In 1967 the poem was set to music by American Classical Composer Elinor Remick Warren, called The Gate of the Year

 

I said to the man, who stood

 

at the gate of the year

 

Give me a light that I may

 

tread safely into the unknown

 

And he replied Go out into the

 

darkness and put your hand into

 

the hand of God. That shall be to

 

you better than light and safer than a known

 

Way So I went forth, and finding the

 

Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.*

 

And He led me towards the hills

 

and the breaking of day in the lone East.

 

So heart be still

 

What need our little life

 

Our human life to know,

 

If God hath comprehension?

 

In all the dizzy strife

 

Of things both high and low,

 

God hideth his intention.

 

God Knows. His will

 

Is best. The stretch of years

 

Which wind ahead, so dim

 

To our imperfect vision,

 

Are clear to God, Our fears

 

Are premature; In Him

 

All time hath full provision.

 

Then rest; until

 

God moves to lift the veil

 

From our impatient eyes,

 

When, as the sweeter features

 

Of lifes stern face we hail,

 

Fair beyond all surmise

 

Gods thought around His creatures

 

Our minds shall fill.

 

Joyce Gale 2004 Warmley.

 

Source of Research (Memories of Warmley)

 

Daily Telegraph 2002.

 

Pastor Ken Van Schelven USA.who got me on to the research.

Viewed from the Staten Island Ferry, Upper New York Bay, New York City, New York, United States

 

I believe this enterprise will take on very great proportions. If things turn out as I hope they will this work of sculpture will become of great moral importance.

 

The sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi wrote these prophetic words in 1871, nearly fifteen years before his grand creation, the Statue of Liberty, was completed. The statue was intended to symbolize man's enduring belief in liberty, and to commemorate the long-standing friendship between the United States and France.

 

It is, moreover, a monument to the idealism, perseverance, generosity, and hard work of people both here and in France who, like Bartholdi, had faith In the/'great moral importance" of the statue. With the passage of time the significance of the Statue of Liberty has deepened and expanded, until she has become the primary symbol of American liberty, independence and freedom. Standing in New York harbor, she has greeted millions of immigrants arriving in America, and thus has come to symbolize the hope for a better life in a new homeland, free from tyranny and oppression.

 

Although Liberty has become quintessentially American, the idea for the statue originated in France. It was first suggested by Edouard-Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye (1811-1683). Laboulaye was an historian, author, and the foremost French authority on American constitutional history.

 

A great admirer of America, he had published a three-volume history of the United States, a satirical story "Paris in America", and numerous articles espousing the Union cause during the Civil War, He was the principal figure of a group of French intellectuals who, during the Second Empire, advocated Republican rule for France,

 

They viewed American government as exemplary and took pride in the role played by Frenchmen such as Lafayette in the formation of the American republic.

 

Thus, the initial idea from which the Statue of Liberty resulted was in keeping with Laboulaye's sentiments and political philosophy. At a dinner given by him in the summer of 1865 at his estate at Glatigny, near Versailles, Bartholdi, who was one of the quests, listened to a discussion concerning gratitude between nations.

 

Labouiaye, emphasizing the friendship between France and America, commented, "If a monument to independence were to be built in America, I should think it very natural if it were built by united effort, if It were a common work of both nations,,"

 

Historical events at the time, especially in France but also in the United States, made the construction of such a monument an action of potential political significance. In America, the Civil War had just ended with the republic intact, but President Lincoln had been assassinated. The common people of France were profoundly disturbed by this tragic event, so much so that a public subscription was initiated to fund a gift to Mrs. Lincoln which would express the sympathies of the French people.

 

A gold medal was made and inscribed with the words "Dedicated by the French Democracy to Lincoln". This tribute was opposed by the French monarchy then in power; the medal had to be struck in Switzerland and smuggled to the American embassy in France, Republicans such as Laboulaye, who opposed the monarchy of Napoleon III, no doubt deeply resented this act of suppression, directed against a memorial to a leader of a democracy.

 

Laboulaye must have recognized that the construction of a great monument to Liberty would constitute a statement of strong political belief, one which would strengthen the image of republicanism in France. Thus, the construction of the Statue of Liberty had distinct propagandists overtones. By 1877, after much political turmoil, the ends sought by Laboulaye and other Republicans were achieved- monarchy was overturned and the Third Republic founded.

 

By 1871 positive steps toward the creation of the statue were taken, Bartholdi, who never lost interest in the project, had however, been occupied in the political difficulties of France, He fought in the Franco-Prussian War and witnessed the heartbreak!ng loss of his native Alsace to the enemy. In 1871, the war at an end, he determined on the advice of Laboulaye to visit the United States.

 

He sailed in June on the Pereire. armed with instructions and letters of introduction, and well-prepared to study America's reactions to the proposed monument. He travelled extensiveIy-**as far west as San Francisco-enjoying all that he encountered. He met with many prominent men, including President U, S, Grant, Senator Charles Sumner, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Everywhere he discussed the statue he received enthusiastic response.

 

Upon his return to France in the fall he was able to report positively on American interest; he had, in addition, selected the site for the monument —Bedloe's Island in New York harbor, at the threshold of the New World.

 

The precise theme of the monument had also been determined—a statue of colossal proportions entitled "Liberty Enlightening the World". Liberty was to shed a guiding light on Europe—and especially France—from the shores of America where she was already firmly ensconced.

 

Bartholdi began making a series of small studies in clay. In these one can follow the gradual formulation and refinement of the figure which from the very beginning depicted a draped female figure holding a torch aloft, Marvin Trachtenberg in his excellent study The Statue of Liberty (1976) has pointed out that Liberty bears a striking resemblance to an earlier project—never realized—on which Bartholdi had been at work in the late 1860s.

 

This was to be a lighthouse on the Suez Canal in the form of a female figure holding a torch in her upraised hand, and entitled "Progress; Egypt Bearing Light to Asia". Bartholdi himself was never eager to discuss this similarity. Clearly he had found it expedient to adapt the unfulfilled Suez project, on which he had worked intensely, to a new use in America. The transition was, in any event, gracefully accomplished.

 

In 1871 when Frederic Augusta Bartholdi (1834-1904) began to work in earnest on the Statue of Liberty, he was thirty-seven years old. He had been born in Col mar, a city in Alsace and came from a respected middle class family. Raised by his widowed mother, a strong-willed woman, Bartholdi remained deeply attached to her throughout his life—the face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled after hers.

 

Bartholdi had a sound artistic training, first studying with the painter Ary Scheffer, a weII-known Parisian society portraitist, and later with the sculptors J, F, Soitoux and Antoine Etex. His first major commiisslon, In 1855, was for an over life-size portrait of General Jean Rapp, a native of CoImar.

 

In 1856 the young Bartholdi made a pleasure trip to Egypt where he was deeply impressed Dy the monumental scuiptures of antiquity—their permanence and "imperturbable majesty". Thereafter, in his own work he expressed a love for the colossal, the most dramatic example done before the Statue of Liberty being the great granite Lion of BeIfort (1875-1880) which was a monument to the heroic defenders during The Franco-Prussian War of that Alsatian town.

 

This monument also reveals the second theme which characterized much of Bartholin sculpture. After the loss of his homeland to the Prussians, he became an ardent patriot and believer in freedom. The themes of his work reflect Ms political idealism. Two examples are in New York City, the statue of Lafayette in Union Square and the monument to Lafayette and Washington in Morningside Park,

 

By 1875 Bartholdi was ready to begin the actual construction of the statue. The funding of this great enterprise was the responsibility of a group formed In November of I875, the Franco-American Union, This group, headed by Laboulaye, numbered in its ranks many men who not only contributed money but also helped with the administration of the project.

 

They decided that France should contribute the statue, America, the pedestal on which it rests. It was hoped that the statue would be ready in time for presentation in 1876, America's centennial year; but fund raising was a laborious process and the statue itself was a work requiring much patient, meticulous labor and calculation.

 

At a great banquet in the Hotel du Louvre, the funding campaign was initiated. Large donations were made by cities, including Paris and Le Havre, and the Free Masons made a substantial contribution. The famed composer C. F. Gounod created a cantata "Liberté eclairant |e monde" which was presented in a benefit performance at the Paris Opera. A lottery selling 300,000 chances and smaller scaled money-making schemes were organized. The $400,000 required was finally amassed in 1881.

 

All this had been donated by the French people; the national government was not approached and did not contribute a single centime.

 

The first clay models of the Statue of Liberty were only a few inches high; the actual statue was to be 151 feet tall, the head alone ten feet wide. As money was collected, Bartholdi, directing a team of skilled craftsmen, began the complicated process of construction. They worked in Paris within the cavernous ateliers of Gaget, Gauthier & Co. in which other colossal statues had been assembled, most notably the Vercinouetor ix by Millet of 1865.

 

Liberty was to be made from sheets of beaten copper, only 3/32 of an inch thick. This metal was chosen for its relative lightness, and yet the statue weighs approximately one hundred tons. A clay model 1.25 meters high was enlarged twice to about II meters in height, roughly one fourth the size of the finished work. Then, section by section, this model was enlarged to full-scale, a formidable task Involving more than 9000 measurements for each enlargement.

 

From a set of full-scale plaster fragments carpenters then constructed wooden molds upon which the copper was hammered into shape. More than 300 separate sheets of copper were riveted together to form Liberty.

 

This enormous figure of very thin copper was not self-supporting. It required a system of internal bracing. Colossal statues in former times had been constructed around massive heavy supports; for example, the 17th-century statue, S. Carlo Borromeo. over 23 meters tall, is built around an enormous masonry pier. The great engineering advances of 19th century made a new approach possible for the Statue of Liberty.

 

The first structural specialist consulted was the eminent E, E. Viollet-le-Duc, with whom Bartholdi had studied. Viollet-le-Duc suggested an Ironwork armature above a system of compartments filled with sand. This scheme was not, however, employed since Viollet-le-Ouc died in 1879; the responsibility for the interior structure of Liberty was passed on to Gustave Eiffel, a contemporary of Bartholdi and the most brilliant French engineer of his day.

 

Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) began his career working for railroad companies and was especially concerned with the construction of iron bridges, such as the Pont du Garabit, a spectacular structural triumph achieving its beauty through frankly expressed design and vast scale.

 

He was also involved in the design of exposition buildings—Including the one In which Liberty's head was displayed at the Paris Exposition of 1878—as well as railroad stations and department stores. He is, of course, best remembered for his tower in Paris, erected for the Paris Exhibition of 1889—a grand display piece of little practical value, disliked by the majority of his contemporaries but now rightly considered a masterpiece. It is a symbol of Paris much as Liberty is a symbol of New York.

 

The Statue of Liberty presented an entirely new problem in design for Eiffel. Not only must the interior armature support the great weight of the copper shell including the upthrust arm, but also, since the statue was to stand unprotected in New York harbor, it must be capable of withstanding high winds, moisture and changes of temperature.

 

Eiffel designed a central wrought-iron pylon with strong angle girders placed at the four corners from which supplementary angle beams project for the attachment of bracing and secondary structure. Diagonal bracing reinforces the entire pylon. An asymmetrically placed girder forms the core of the torch arm. From this central tower a lightweight trusswork system is joined to the interior of the copper shell.

 

This trusswork was an especially ingenious aspect of the design; the Individual thin Iron members are flexible and act like springs which allow for thermal expansion and contraction as well as resistance to wind pressure. This interior framework supports each section of the copper statue Independently, and no copper plate places weight upon another. If the iron of the framework and the copper of the statue were in direct contact, an electric current would be generated.

 

This phenomenon is called galvanic action. To guard against it Eiffel included Insulation composed of asbestos Impregnated with shellac. He also included a double stairway which leads up 168 steps to the head which contains a series of windows beneath the rays of the crown. The arm supporting the torch was also provided with a stairway (closed since 1916).

 

While Bartholdi and Eiffel were at work in Paris, Americans were also at work planning the pedestal and raising funds. In 1877 Congress had agreed to accept the statue and provide a site, but, as in France, the Federal government did not contribute to expenses.

 

Patrons including prominent New Yorkers such as WiIIiam Evarts ana John Jay organized a committee through the Union League club to solicit contributions. As of 1876, however, when the completed arm and torch of Liberty were displayed in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exposition (and later in Madison Square in New York) in order to encourage donations, very little money had been collected.

 

In January of 1877 the American Committee was formed with William Evarts as Chairman, Henry F, Spaulding, Treasurer, and Richard Butler, Secretary, Still the American public remained apathetic, even skeptical, despite benefit stage performances, an art auction, a poetry contest, and other appeals.

 

This lack of enthusiasm was in part the result of misapprehensions on the part of the American public, the most prevalent being that the statue was a gift to New York and not the nation.

 

By 1885, only half the money needed had been collected, almost all had already beer, spent, the pedestal was unfinished, the situation grim indeed.

 

It was at this juncture that Joseph Pulitzer, owner and editor of The New York World newspaper, took a strong interest in the statue. Pulitzer, a native of Hungary, came to America in 1864, fought in the Civil War, then married well and became active in politics. By 1883 he was able to take over The World, and began a highly successful campaign to make it "the people's paper", Pulitzer, In March of 1885, called the inability to raise funds for the Liberty project a disgrace, severely criticized the rich of the country for not coming to the rescue, and appealed to the masses for contributions.

 

He daily published names and the amounts of donation, however small, and in less than five months over 121,000 donors had contributed the $100,000 needed.

 

The Federal government authorized General W, T, Sherman to designate the site for the monument, and In accordance with Bartholdi's wishes he selected Bedlo^'s Island, The eleven point star-shaped Fort Wood had been built on the Island as part of New York's defense system for the War of 1812, and it was agreed that the pedestal for the statue should be erected atop. The American Committee appointed General Charles Stone as chief engineer and Richard Morris Hunt as architect.

 

Charles Pomeroy Stone (1825-1887) fought in the Civil War and from 1870 to 1883 served in the Egyptian Army, He also worked in both Virginia and Florida as an engineer and there gained valuable experience which equipped him well in dealing with the Liberty project.

 

Excavation began in April of 1883, and work progressed more slowly than anticipated since the Fort was more solidly built than old plans and drawings had suggested. At the center of the Fort the foundation was laid. This consisted of an enormous, almost solid, tapering block of concrete fifty-three feet deep and ninety-one feet square upon which was to rest the pedestal itself.

 

The cornerstone was laid in August of 1884, but construction had to be halted soon after for lack of funds. Work resumed after Pulitzer's campaign of 1885, The pedestal has thick concrete wails with stone facing. To solidly anchor the statue on this massive base, Stone laid great pairs of steel i-beams horizontally In the. walls at the foot of the pedestal and a second matching set, at the top. Wrought-iron eye-bars were carried down through the base to anchor Eiffel's structure to the steel girders.

 

Although Bartholdi himself had prepared plans for the pedestal, the decision to incorporate Fort Wood made a new design necessary. The celebrated New York architect Richard Morris Hunt donated his services. Hunt (1828-1895) was the first American to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

 

New York's most prominent architect during the later 19th century, he is best remembered for his opulent city chateaux and grand Newport houses commissioned by the rich and fashionable of New York. He also designed numerous commercial buildings such as No. 478-82 Broadway located within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, and buildings for cultural institutions, including the Fifth Avenue section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a designated New York City Landmark.

 

Liberty had already been completed while construction of the pedestal continued, The statue was temporarily erected in Paris where it caused great excitement, and was then disassembled, carefully packed in hundreds of specially designed crates, and loaded on board the ship Isere, lent by the French government. The Isere arrived off Sandy Hook in May of 1885 and soon after her arrival

 

The erection of the statue began. The base was completed in April of 1886 and a grand Inauguration ceremony took place on October 28, 1886. The face of Liberty was draped with" the French flag, and Bartholdi himself loosed the unveiling cords.

 

President Grover Cleveland accepted the statue In a moving speech in which he stated, "We shall not forget that Liberty has made here her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected."

 

Since 1886 Liberty has majestically surveyed the harbor. With the passage of time the statue has acquired a handsome green, patina which contrasts effectively with the crown granite of the pedestal. Liberty directs her gaze out to sea, her right arm bearing aloft the torch, her left clasping a tablet Inscribed July Fourth, 1776—the date of the founding of the American republic.

 

This stately female figure is clothed in classical draperies, a mantle fastened at her left shoulder. She wears sandals and tramples a broken shackle, a gesture representing triumph over tyranny. She has classical, severely handsome features, and her hair is bound in an elaborate bun ot the nape of the neck,

 

A radiant crown adorns her head, which like the torch is brilliantly illuminated at night. Liberty is best viewed from a passing ship for only then can one fully appreciate her monumental dignity end the subtleties of her pose. She appears to stand proudly erect and still if seen frontally, while from the left, one Is aware of the dynamic and dramatic forward thrust of her body.

 

The pedestal, a monumental architectural form, raises Liberty nearly ninety feet above Fort Wood, Hunt was faced with the task of assimilating his design to both the fortress and the statue—the base must dominate the fort without overwhelming the statue above* His admirable solution Is a boldly-scaled, four-sided structure, executed in rusticated and smooth faced granite, with forceful neo-Grec detail.

 

The entire rusticated socle including the double stairways at the north and south facades are now obscured by the recent museum addition. Doorways at each side are surmounted by heavy unornamented projecting pediments and flunked by smooth pilasters with circular shields, A frieze of forty shields, symbolizing the forty states then in the Union, encircles the base below a base-molding with widely spaced pedimental motifs, which echo the form of the doorway pediments.

 

Above this Is the shaft of the pedestal, treated Identically on all four sides, and consisting of a deeply recessed loggia set above stone panels and flanked by heavily rusticated walls at the corners. The smooth stone panels were originally planned to contain inscriptions. The four piers of the loggia are incised in the manner of triglyphs and have capitals of simplified Doric form, A narrow continuous molding separates the panels from the loggias and lends emphasis to the batter of the walls.

 

The rustication flanking the loggias is beautifully treated with projecting rough-hewn blocks which contrast effectively with the deeply recessed joints. An additional refinement is the beveled effect at the corners. This rusticated masonry is in keeping with the scale of the old fort below.

 

An observation platform behind a bold parapet, punctuated with arched uprights, crowns the pedestal, -From this vantage point one has a magnificent view of the harbor and, gazing upward, an astonishing glimpse of 1.iberty in all her colossal splendour.

 

During Liberty's ninety-year history a number of additions and changes to the monument have been made. In 1903 the famed poem "The New Colossus", written by Emma Lazarus In 1883, was inscribed on a tablet and affixed to the pedestal.

 

Elevators were first installed in 1908-09, The torch was redesigned In 1916 and the original copper replaced with yellow-tinted glass. This change was executed by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor well-known for his monumental presidential portraits carved in the living rock of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

 

A new exterior lighting system has recently been Installed in honor of the Bicentennial celebration. In 1956 plans for the American Museum of Immigration at the base of the statue were announced, and the museum was opened in 1972, The monument was first placed under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in 1933, and is today beautifully maintained under its direction.

 

Millions, of Americans have visited the Statue of Liberty, and today she continues to amaze and delight the crowds that daily cross from New York to the island by ferry. Liberty stands as a reminder of international friendship, of the abiding belief In freedom, as well as of the ideals which Americans have long cherished. The symbol of American liberty and of our heritage, she is a truly grand and inspirational figure.

 

The New Colossus

 

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), a member of a wealthy New York family, began writing poetry in her early te-sns. Ralph Waldo Emerson encouraged her work and she published numerous volumes of both poetry and prose. The persecution of Russian Jews during 1879-83 deeply distressed her and when refugees to America began arriving in New York she helped to organize relief efforts.

 

In 1883 she composed "The New Colossus", a stirring poem which casts the Statue of Liberty in the role of a welcoming and sheltering "Mother of Exiles", The final five lines of this inspirational poem have become so famous that millions Of Americans know them by heart.

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and h^r name Mother of Exiles, From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp" cries she With silent lips, "Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

 

History of the Island

 

Renamed Liberty Island in honor of the Statue in 1956, this small island, approximately 12 acres, is one of a group located in New York harbor near the mouth of the Hudson River. First called Minnissais by the Indians, it has at times been known as Great Oyster, Love, Kennedy's, and Corporation Island as well as Bedloe's Island the name it held longest. Isaak Bedloe a "select burgher" of New Amsterdam, owned the island in the 17th century.

 

His daughter Mary sold it in 1732, and it was then used at various times as a quarantine station. In 1746 Archibald Kennedy purchased the island and built a summer residence there. During the Revolutionary War it was used as a refuge for Tory sympathizers.

 

When plans were made by the Federal government to erect fortifications in New York harbor, the island was selected as a suitable site. A land battery in the shape of an eleven-point star was constructed between 1806 and 1811 on top of old existing fortifications.

 

After the War of 18l2 it was named in honor of the war hero Colonel Eleazer D, Wood. Fort Wood and the entire island were under the control of the War Department until the Liberty project was undertaken. When Liberty was completed the land on which- she stood was managed oy the Lighthouse Board until 1901 when it reverted to the control of the War Department.

 

In 1937, by Presidential proclamation, the National Park Service was granted jurisdiction over the island. While located within New Jersey territorial waters, the island itself has been considered since the late 17th century a part of New York City. An agreement of 1834 provides that the island is in New York State above the mean low-water mark, and in New Jersey below it, thereby granting New Jersey riparian rights.

 

- From the 1976 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Viewed from the Staten Island Ferry, Upper New York Bay, New York City, New York, United States

 

I believe this enterprise will take on very great proportions. If things turn out as I hope they will this work of sculpture will become of great moral importance.

 

The sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi wrote these prophetic words in 1871, nearly fifteen years before his grand creation, the Statue of Liberty, was completed. The statue was intended to symbolize man's enduring belief in liberty, and to commemorate the long-standing friendship between the United States and France.

 

It is, moreover, a monument to the idealism, perseverance, generosity, and hard work of people both here and in France who, like Bartholdi, had faith In the/'great moral importance" of the statue. With the passage of time the significance of the Statue of Liberty has deepened and expanded, until she has become the primary symbol of American liberty, independence and freedom. Standing in New York harbor, she has greeted millions of immigrants arriving in America, and thus has come to symbolize the hope for a better life in a new homeland, free from tyranny and oppression.

 

Although Liberty has become quintessentially American, the idea for the statue originated in France. It was first suggested by Edouard-Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye (1811-1683). Laboulaye was an historian, author, and the foremost French authority on American constitutional history.

 

A great admirer of America, he had published a three-volume history of the United States, a satirical story "Paris in America", and numerous articles espousing the Union cause during the Civil War, He was the principal figure of a group of French intellectuals who, during the Second Empire, advocated Republican rule for France,

 

They viewed American government as exemplary and took pride in the role played by Frenchmen such as Lafayette in the formation of the American republic.

 

Thus, the initial idea from which the Statue of Liberty resulted was in keeping with Laboulaye's sentiments and political philosophy. At a dinner given by him in the summer of 1865 at his estate at Glatigny, near Versailles, Bartholdi, who was one of the quests, listened to a discussion concerning gratitude between nations.

 

Labouiaye, emphasizing the friendship between France and America, commented, "If a monument to independence were to be built in America, I should think it very natural if it were built by united effort, if It were a common work of both nations,,"

 

Historical events at the time, especially in France but also in the United States, made the construction of such a monument an action of potential political significance. In America, the Civil War had just ended with the republic intact, but President Lincoln had been assassinated. The common people of France were profoundly disturbed by this tragic event, so much so that a public subscription was initiated to fund a gift to Mrs. Lincoln which would express the sympathies of the French people.

 

A gold medal was made and inscribed with the words "Dedicated by the French Democracy to Lincoln". This tribute was opposed by the French monarchy then in power; the medal had to be struck in Switzerland and smuggled to the American embassy in France, Republicans such as Laboulaye, who opposed the monarchy of Napoleon III, no doubt deeply resented this act of suppression, directed against a memorial to a leader of a democracy.

 

Laboulaye must have recognized that the construction of a great monument to Liberty would constitute a statement of strong political belief, one which would strengthen the image of republicanism in France. Thus, the construction of the Statue of Liberty had distinct propagandists overtones. By 1877, after much political turmoil, the ends sought by Laboulaye and other Republicans were achieved- monarchy was overturned and the Third Republic founded.

 

By 1871 positive steps toward the creation of the statue were taken, Bartholdi, who never lost interest in the project, had however, been occupied in the political difficulties of France, He fought in the Franco-Prussian War and witnessed the heartbreak!ng loss of his native Alsace to the enemy. In 1871, the war at an end, he determined on the advice of Laboulaye to visit the United States.

 

He sailed in June on the Pereire. armed with instructions and letters of introduction, and well-prepared to study America's reactions to the proposed monument. He travelled extensiveIy-**as far west as San Francisco-enjoying all that he encountered. He met with many prominent men, including President U, S, Grant, Senator Charles Sumner, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Everywhere he discussed the statue he received enthusiastic response.

 

Upon his return to France in the fall he was able to report positively on American interest; he had, in addition, selected the site for the monument —Bedloe's Island in New York harbor, at the threshold of the New World.

 

The precise theme of the monument had also been determined—a statue of colossal proportions entitled "Liberty Enlightening the World". Liberty was to shed a guiding light on Europe—and especially France—from the shores of America where she was already firmly ensconced.

 

Bartholdi began making a series of small studies in clay. In these one can follow the gradual formulation and refinement of the figure which from the very beginning depicted a draped female figure holding a torch aloft, Marvin Trachtenberg in his excellent study The Statue of Liberty (1976) has pointed out that Liberty bears a striking resemblance to an earlier project—never realized—on which Bartholdi had been at work in the late 1860s.

 

This was to be a lighthouse on the Suez Canal in the form of a female figure holding a torch in her upraised hand, and entitled "Progress; Egypt Bearing Light to Asia". Bartholdi himself was never eager to discuss this similarity. Clearly he had found it expedient to adapt the unfulfilled Suez project, on which he had worked intensely, to a new use in America. The transition was, in any event, gracefully accomplished.

 

In 1871 when Frederic Augusta Bartholdi (1834-1904) began to work in earnest on the Statue of Liberty, he was thirty-seven years old. He had been born in Col mar, a city in Alsace and came from a respected middle class family. Raised by his widowed mother, a strong-willed woman, Bartholdi remained deeply attached to her throughout his life—the face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled after hers.

 

Bartholdi had a sound artistic training, first studying with the painter Ary Scheffer, a weII-known Parisian society portraitist, and later with the sculptors J, F, Soitoux and Antoine Etex. His first major commiisslon, In 1855, was for an over life-size portrait of General Jean Rapp, a native of CoImar.

 

In 1856 the young Bartholdi made a pleasure trip to Egypt where he was deeply impressed Dy the monumental scuiptures of antiquity—their permanence and "imperturbable majesty". Thereafter, in his own work he expressed a love for the colossal, the most dramatic example done before the Statue of Liberty being the great granite Lion of BeIfort (1875-1880) which was a monument to the heroic defenders during The Franco-Prussian War of that Alsatian town.

 

This monument also reveals the second theme which characterized much of Bartholin sculpture. After the loss of his homeland to the Prussians, he became an ardent patriot and believer in freedom. The themes of his work reflect Ms political idealism. Two examples are in New York City, the statue of Lafayette in Union Square and the monument to Lafayette and Washington in Morningside Park,

 

By 1875 Bartholdi was ready to begin the actual construction of the statue. The funding of this great enterprise was the responsibility of a group formed In November of I875, the Franco-American Union, This group, headed by Laboulaye, numbered in its ranks many men who not only contributed money but also helped with the administration of the project.

 

They decided that France should contribute the statue, America, the pedestal on which it rests. It was hoped that the statue would be ready in time for presentation in 1876, America's centennial year; but fund raising was a laborious process and the statue itself was a work requiring much patient, meticulous labor and calculation.

 

At a great banquet in the Hotel du Louvre, the funding campaign was initiated. Large donations were made by cities, including Paris and Le Havre, and the Free Masons made a substantial contribution. The famed composer C. F. Gounod created a cantata "Liberté eclairant |e monde" which was presented in a benefit performance at the Paris Opera. A lottery selling 300,000 chances and smaller scaled money-making schemes were organized. The $400,000 required was finally amassed in 1881.

 

All this had been donated by the French people; the national government was not approached and did not contribute a single centime.

 

The first clay models of the Statue of Liberty were only a few inches high; the actual statue was to be 151 feet tall, the head alone ten feet wide. As money was collected, Bartholdi, directing a team of skilled craftsmen, began the complicated process of construction. They worked in Paris within the cavernous ateliers of Gaget, Gauthier & Co. in which other colossal statues had been assembled, most notably the Vercinouetor ix by Millet of 1865.

 

Liberty was to be made from sheets of beaten copper, only 3/32 of an inch thick. This metal was chosen for its relative lightness, and yet the statue weighs approximately one hundred tons. A clay model 1.25 meters high was enlarged twice to about II meters in height, roughly one fourth the size of the finished work. Then, section by section, this model was enlarged to full-scale, a formidable task Involving more than 9000 measurements for each enlargement.

 

From a set of full-scale plaster fragments carpenters then constructed wooden molds upon which the copper was hammered into shape. More than 300 separate sheets of copper were riveted together to form Liberty.

 

This enormous figure of very thin copper was not self-supporting. It required a system of internal bracing. Colossal statues in former times had been constructed around massive heavy supports; for example, the 17th-century statue, S. Carlo Borromeo. over 23 meters tall, is built around an enormous masonry pier. The great engineering advances of 19th century made a new approach possible for the Statue of Liberty.

 

The first structural specialist consulted was the eminent E, E. Viollet-le-Duc, with whom Bartholdi had studied. Viollet-le-Duc suggested an Ironwork armature above a system of compartments filled with sand. This scheme was not, however, employed since Viollet-le-Ouc died in 1879; the responsibility for the interior structure of Liberty was passed on to Gustave Eiffel, a contemporary of Bartholdi and the most brilliant French engineer of his day.

 

Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) began his career working for railroad companies and was especially concerned with the construction of iron bridges, such as the Pont du Garabit, a spectacular structural triumph achieving its beauty through frankly expressed design and vast scale.

 

He was also involved in the design of exposition buildings—Including the one In which Liberty's head was displayed at the Paris Exposition of 1878—as well as railroad stations and department stores. He is, of course, best remembered for his tower in Paris, erected for the Paris Exhibition of 1889—a grand display piece of little practical value, disliked by the majority of his contemporaries but now rightly considered a masterpiece. It is a symbol of Paris much as Liberty is a symbol of New York.

 

The Statue of Liberty presented an entirely new problem in design for Eiffel. Not only must the interior armature support the great weight of the copper shell including the upthrust arm, but also, since the statue was to stand unprotected in New York harbor, it must be capable of withstanding high winds, moisture and changes of temperature.

 

Eiffel designed a central wrought-iron pylon with strong angle girders placed at the four corners from which supplementary angle beams project for the attachment of bracing and secondary structure. Diagonal bracing reinforces the entire pylon. An asymmetrically placed girder forms the core of the torch arm. From this central tower a lightweight trusswork system is joined to the interior of the copper shell.

 

This trusswork was an especially ingenious aspect of the design; the Individual thin Iron members are flexible and act like springs which allow for thermal expansion and contraction as well as resistance to wind pressure. This interior framework supports each section of the copper statue Independently, and no copper plate places weight upon another. If the iron of the framework and the copper of the statue were in direct contact, an electric current would be generated.

 

This phenomenon is called galvanic action. To guard against it Eiffel included Insulation composed of asbestos Impregnated with shellac. He also included a double stairway which leads up 168 steps to the head which contains a series of windows beneath the rays of the crown. The arm supporting the torch was also provided with a stairway (closed since 1916).

 

While Bartholdi and Eiffel were at work in Paris, Americans were also at work planning the pedestal and raising funds. In 1877 Congress had agreed to accept the statue and provide a site, but, as in France, the Federal government did not contribute to expenses.

 

Patrons including prominent New Yorkers such as WiIIiam Evarts ana John Jay organized a committee through the Union League club to solicit contributions. As of 1876, however, when the completed arm and torch of Liberty were displayed in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exposition (and later in Madison Square in New York) in order to encourage donations, very little money had been collected.

 

In January of 1877 the American Committee was formed with William Evarts as Chairman, Henry F, Spaulding, Treasurer, and Richard Butler, Secretary, Still the American public remained apathetic, even skeptical, despite benefit stage performances, an art auction, a poetry contest, and other appeals.

 

This lack of enthusiasm was in part the result of misapprehensions on the part of the American public, the most prevalent being that the statue was a gift to New York and not the nation.

 

By 1885, only half the money needed had been collected, almost all had already beer, spent, the pedestal was unfinished, the situation grim indeed.

 

It was at this juncture that Joseph Pulitzer, owner and editor of The New York World newspaper, took a strong interest in the statue. Pulitzer, a native of Hungary, came to America in 1864, fought in the Civil War, then married well and became active in politics. By 1883 he was able to take over The World, and began a highly successful campaign to make it "the people's paper", Pulitzer, In March of 1885, called the inability to raise funds for the Liberty project a disgrace, severely criticized the rich of the country for not coming to the rescue, and appealed to the masses for contributions.

 

He daily published names and the amounts of donation, however small, and in less than five months over 121,000 donors had contributed the $100,000 needed.

 

The Federal government authorized General W, T, Sherman to designate the site for the monument, and In accordance with Bartholdi's wishes he selected Bedlo^'s Island, The eleven point star-shaped Fort Wood had been built on the Island as part of New York's defense system for the War of 1812, and it was agreed that the pedestal for the statue should be erected atop. The American Committee appointed General Charles Stone as chief engineer and Richard Morris Hunt as architect.

 

Charles Pomeroy Stone (1825-1887) fought in the Civil War and from 1870 to 1883 served in the Egyptian Army, He also worked in both Virginia and Florida as an engineer and there gained valuable experience which equipped him well in dealing with the Liberty project.

 

Excavation began in April of 1883, and work progressed more slowly than anticipated since the Fort was more solidly built than old plans and drawings had suggested. At the center of the Fort the foundation was laid. This consisted of an enormous, almost solid, tapering block of concrete fifty-three feet deep and ninety-one feet square upon which was to rest the pedestal itself.

 

The cornerstone was laid in August of 1884, but construction had to be halted soon after for lack of funds. Work resumed after Pulitzer's campaign of 1885, The pedestal has thick concrete wails with stone facing. To solidly anchor the statue on this massive base, Stone laid great pairs of steel i-beams horizontally In the. walls at the foot of the pedestal and a second matching set, at the top. Wrought-iron eye-bars were carried down through the base to anchor Eiffel's structure to the steel girders.

 

Although Bartholdi himself had prepared plans for the pedestal, the decision to incorporate Fort Wood made a new design necessary. The celebrated New York architect Richard Morris Hunt donated his services. Hunt (1828-1895) was the first American to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

 

New York's most prominent architect during the later 19th century, he is best remembered for his opulent city chateaux and grand Newport houses commissioned by the rich and fashionable of New York. He also designed numerous commercial buildings such as No. 478-82 Broadway located within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, and buildings for cultural institutions, including the Fifth Avenue section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a designated New York City Landmark.

 

Liberty had already been completed while construction of the pedestal continued, The statue was temporarily erected in Paris where it caused great excitement, and was then disassembled, carefully packed in hundreds of specially designed crates, and loaded on board the ship Isere, lent by the French government. The Isere arrived off Sandy Hook in May of 1885 and soon after her arrival

 

The erection of the statue began. The base was completed in April of 1886 and a grand Inauguration ceremony took place on October 28, 1886. The face of Liberty was draped with" the French flag, and Bartholdi himself loosed the unveiling cords.

 

President Grover Cleveland accepted the statue In a moving speech in which he stated, "We shall not forget that Liberty has made here her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected."

 

Since 1886 Liberty has majestically surveyed the harbor. With the passage of time the statue has acquired a handsome green, patina which contrasts effectively with the crown granite of the pedestal. Liberty directs her gaze out to sea, her right arm bearing aloft the torch, her left clasping a tablet Inscribed July Fourth, 1776—the date of the founding of the American republic.

 

This stately female figure is clothed in classical draperies, a mantle fastened at her left shoulder. She wears sandals and tramples a broken shackle, a gesture representing triumph over tyranny. She has classical, severely handsome features, and her hair is bound in an elaborate bun ot the nape of the neck,

 

A radiant crown adorns her head, which like the torch is brilliantly illuminated at night. Liberty is best viewed from a passing ship for only then can one fully appreciate her monumental dignity end the subtleties of her pose. She appears to stand proudly erect and still if seen frontally, while from the left, one Is aware of the dynamic and dramatic forward thrust of her body.

 

The pedestal, a monumental architectural form, raises Liberty nearly ninety feet above Fort Wood, Hunt was faced with the task of assimilating his design to both the fortress and the statue—the base must dominate the fort without overwhelming the statue above* His admirable solution Is a boldly-scaled, four-sided structure, executed in rusticated and smooth faced granite, with forceful neo-Grec detail.

 

The entire rusticated socle including the double stairways at the north and south facades are now obscured by the recent museum addition. Doorways at each side are surmounted by heavy unornamented projecting pediments and flunked by smooth pilasters with circular shields, A frieze of forty shields, symbolizing the forty states then in the Union, encircles the base below a base-molding with widely spaced pedimental motifs, which echo the form of the doorway pediments.

 

Above this Is the shaft of the pedestal, treated Identically on all four sides, and consisting of a deeply recessed loggia set above stone panels and flanked by heavily rusticated walls at the corners. The smooth stone panels were originally planned to contain inscriptions. The four piers of the loggia are incised in the manner of triglyphs and have capitals of simplified Doric form, A narrow continuous molding separates the panels from the loggias and lends emphasis to the batter of the walls.

 

The rustication flanking the loggias is beautifully treated with projecting rough-hewn blocks which contrast effectively with the deeply recessed joints. An additional refinement is the beveled effect at the corners. This rusticated masonry is in keeping with the scale of the old fort below.

 

An observation platform behind a bold parapet, punctuated with arched uprights, crowns the pedestal, -From this vantage point one has a magnificent view of the harbor and, gazing upward, an astonishing glimpse of 1.iberty in all her colossal splendour.

 

During Liberty's ninety-year history a number of additions and changes to the monument have been made. In 1903 the famed poem "The New Colossus", written by Emma Lazarus In 1883, was inscribed on a tablet and affixed to the pedestal.

 

Elevators were first installed in 1908-09, The torch was redesigned In 1916 and the original copper replaced with yellow-tinted glass. This change was executed by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor well-known for his monumental presidential portraits carved in the living rock of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

 

A new exterior lighting system has recently been Installed in honor of the Bicentennial celebration. In 1956 plans for the American Museum of Immigration at the base of the statue were announced, and the museum was opened in 1972, The monument was first placed under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in 1933, and is today beautifully maintained under its direction.

 

Millions, of Americans have visited the Statue of Liberty, and today she continues to amaze and delight the crowds that daily cross from New York to the island by ferry. Liberty stands as a reminder of international friendship, of the abiding belief In freedom, as well as of the ideals which Americans have long cherished. The symbol of American liberty and of our heritage, she is a truly grand and inspirational figure.

 

The New Colossus

 

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), a member of a wealthy New York family, began writing poetry in her early te-sns. Ralph Waldo Emerson encouraged her work and she published numerous volumes of both poetry and prose. The persecution of Russian Jews during 1879-83 deeply distressed her and when refugees to America began arriving in New York she helped to organize relief efforts.

 

In 1883 she composed "The New Colossus", a stirring poem which casts the Statue of Liberty in the role of a welcoming and sheltering "Mother of Exiles", The final five lines of this inspirational poem have become so famous that millions Of Americans know them by heart.

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and h^r name Mother of Exiles, From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp" cries she With silent lips, "Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

 

History of the Island

 

Renamed Liberty Island in honor of the Statue in 1956, this small island, approximately 12 acres, is one of a group located in New York harbor near the mouth of the Hudson River. First called Minnissais by the Indians, it has at times been known as Great Oyster, Love, Kennedy's, and Corporation Island as well as Bedloe's Island the name it held longest. Isaak Bedloe a "select burgher" of New Amsterdam, owned the island in the 17th century.

 

His daughter Mary sold it in 1732, and it was then used at various times as a quarantine station. In 1746 Archibald Kennedy purchased the island and built a summer residence there. During the Revolutionary War it was used as a refuge for Tory sympathizers.

 

When plans were made by the Federal government to erect fortifications in New York harbor, the island was selected as a suitable site. A land battery in the shape of an eleven-point star was constructed between 1806 and 1811 on top of old existing fortifications.

 

After the War of 18l2 it was named in honor of the war hero Colonel Eleazer D, Wood. Fort Wood and the entire island were under the control of the War Department until the Liberty project was undertaken. When Liberty was completed the land on which- she stood was managed oy the Lighthouse Board until 1901 when it reverted to the control of the War Department.

 

In 1937, by Presidential proclamation, the National Park Service was granted jurisdiction over the island. While located within New Jersey territorial waters, the island itself has been considered since the late 17th century a part of New York City. An agreement of 1834 provides that the island is in New York State above the mean low-water mark, and in New Jersey below it, thereby granting New Jersey riparian rights.

 

- From the 1976 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

The new U.S. Highway 82 Greenville Bridge, spans the Mississippi River from Washington county, near Greenville, Mississippi, into Chicot county, Arkansas, near Lake Village.

 

The new Greenville Bridge was completed in 2006, has a main span length of 1378 feet / 420 meters, and is the 4th Longest Cable Stayed Bridge in North America, and compared with other bridges spanning the Mississippi River, it is the 3d longest.

 

Until Tuesday, September 17, 1940, the solitary means and method of crossing the Mississippi River at at that Delta location was via ferry. On that day, nearly 5000 people attended the grand opening of the Greenville Bridge, which facilitated traffic and was described as being "one leg on a system of new highways that ran from New York City to Los Angeles, an "all-weather route from coast-to coast.""

 

The Greenville Bridge, though perhaps little known outside select circles, has contributed significantly to the prosperity of the locale, area, region and nation, because it significantly enhanced Interstate Commerce, and provided enhanced opportunity for merchants and farmers to convey their goods to markets outside their immediate vicinity, and enhanced international commerce to some extent, as well.

 

In the 1930's men of vision inspired America toward greatness, and in the post-Great Depression era saw significantly expanded opportunities for economic vitality, including the improvement of public health, increase in longevity, lowered infant mortality, and many more vital personal & national improvements.

 

Milton C. Smith, who was then mayor of Greenville in the late 1930s, acknowledged that growth in the "Port City of the Delta" was hindered because there was no permanent river crossing in the area.

 

Earlier regional discussion of obtaining money for construction of a bridge at Greenville, and in 1936, a group called the Arkansas-Mississippi-Alabama US 82 Association was formed for that purpose.

 

Understanding that Greenville's future would depend on forging "a link in an important transcontinental highway and the addition of extensive Arkansas trade," in 1937, Mayor Smith began working with John A. Fox, Secretary of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, to obtain Congressional approval for construction of a bridge and to raise the estimated $2.5 million necessary for it's construction.

 

The measure's success, however, came from local-level initiative, which included Mr. Fox's extensive national network of friendships.

 

In a letter dated May 1937 to Mississippi Congressman W.M. Whittington, Mr. Fox was told in response that the timing of his request wasn't good. However, some days while reading a newspaper, he was pleasantly surprised to learn that Arkansas Congressman Wade Kitchens of Magnolia had introduced a bill requesting permission for construction on bridge to proceed.

 

Along with Arkansas Congressman Kitchens, Mississippi Congressman Whittington, Senators Pat Harrison of Mississippi and Joe T. Robinson of Arkansas, and Arkansas Governor Carl E. Bailey, were quite enthusiastic about the project, and during May, June & July that year (1937), Mr. Fox visited with various leaders throughout the Southeast, whose communities would be positively affected by the project. In the course of that effort, the men met with members of the Chambers of Commerce ranging from Birmingham, Alabama, to Lubbock, Texas, and shared the positive economic benefits that bridge construction would mean for their communities, and how the economic benefits would extend far beyond the Mississippi Delta.

 

Finally, in August 1937, a bill authorizing the bridge's construction was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and additional necessary approvals were gained from the War Department and the Mississippi Legislature.

 

Initial financing for the project came from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the balance (nearly half), came from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Great Depression-era agency which provided work for unemployed persons through the funding of public works projects.

 

October 4, 1940, the U.S. Highway 82 Bridge over the Mississippi River was officially opened to traffic. Officially named for Benjamin G. Humphreys, a former United States Congressman from Greenville who is credited for introducing the term "flood control" to the American lexicon, Humphreys was the co-author of the Ransdell-Humphreys Flood Control Act of 1917 which established a National Flood Control program on the Mississippi, and delivered thousands of people on the lower part of the river from the worst of the river's wrath.

  

Viewed from the Staten Island Ferry, Upper New York Bay, New York City, New York, United States

 

I believe this enterprise will take on very great proportions. If things turn out as I hope they will this work of sculpture will become of great moral importance.

 

The sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi wrote these prophetic words in 1871, nearly fifteen years before his grand creation, the Statue of Liberty, was completed. The statue was intended to symbolize man's enduring belief in liberty, and to commemorate the long-standing friendship between the United States and France.

 

It is, moreover, a monument to the idealism, perseverance, generosity, and hard work of people both here and in France who, like Bartholdi, had faith In the/'great moral importance" of the statue. With the passage of time the significance of the Statue of Liberty has deepened and expanded, until she has become the primary symbol of American liberty, independence and freedom. Standing in New York harbor, she has greeted millions of immigrants arriving in America, and thus has come to symbolize the hope for a better life in a new homeland, free from tyranny and oppression.

 

Although Liberty has become quintessentially American, the idea for the statue originated in France. It was first suggested by Edouard-Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye (1811-1683). Laboulaye was an historian, author, and the foremost French authority on American constitutional history.

 

A great admirer of America, he had published a three-volume history of the United States, a satirical story "Paris in America", and numerous articles espousing the Union cause during the Civil War, He was the principal figure of a group of French intellectuals who, during the Second Empire, advocated Republican rule for France,

 

They viewed American government as exemplary and took pride in the role played by Frenchmen such as Lafayette in the formation of the American republic.

 

Thus, the initial idea from which the Statue of Liberty resulted was in keeping with Laboulaye's sentiments and political philosophy. At a dinner given by him in the summer of 1865 at his estate at Glatigny, near Versailles, Bartholdi, who was one of the quests, listened to a discussion concerning gratitude between nations.

 

Labouiaye, emphasizing the friendship between France and America, commented, "If a monument to independence were to be built in America, I should think it very natural if it were built by united effort, if It were a common work of both nations,,"

 

Historical events at the time, especially in France but also in the United States, made the construction of such a monument an action of potential political significance. In America, the Civil War had just ended with the republic intact, but President Lincoln had been assassinated. The common people of France were profoundly disturbed by this tragic event, so much so that a public subscription was initiated to fund a gift to Mrs. Lincoln which would express the sympathies of the French people.

 

A gold medal was made and inscribed with the words "Dedicated by the French Democracy to Lincoln". This tribute was opposed by the French monarchy then in power; the medal had to be struck in Switzerland and smuggled to the American embassy in France, Republicans such as Laboulaye, who opposed the monarchy of Napoleon III, no doubt deeply resented this act of suppression, directed against a memorial to a leader of a democracy.

 

Laboulaye must have recognized that the construction of a great monument to Liberty would constitute a statement of strong political belief, one which would strengthen the image of republicanism in France. Thus, the construction of the Statue of Liberty had distinct propagandists overtones. By 1877, after much political turmoil, the ends sought by Laboulaye and other Republicans were achieved- monarchy was overturned and the Third Republic founded.

 

By 1871 positive steps toward the creation of the statue were taken, Bartholdi, who never lost interest in the project, had however, been occupied in the political difficulties of France, He fought in the Franco-Prussian War and witnessed the heartbreak!ng loss of his native Alsace to the enemy. In 1871, the war at an end, he determined on the advice of Laboulaye to visit the United States.

 

He sailed in June on the Pereire. armed with instructions and letters of introduction, and well-prepared to study America's reactions to the proposed monument. He travelled extensiveIy-**as far west as San Francisco-enjoying all that he encountered. He met with many prominent men, including President U, S, Grant, Senator Charles Sumner, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Everywhere he discussed the statue he received enthusiastic response.

 

Upon his return to France in the fall he was able to report positively on American interest; he had, in addition, selected the site for the monument —Bedloe's Island in New York harbor, at the threshold of the New World.

 

The precise theme of the monument had also been determined—a statue of colossal proportions entitled "Liberty Enlightening the World". Liberty was to shed a guiding light on Europe—and especially France—from the shores of America where she was already firmly ensconced.

 

Bartholdi began making a series of small studies in clay. In these one can follow the gradual formulation and refinement of the figure which from the very beginning depicted a draped female figure holding a torch aloft, Marvin Trachtenberg in his excellent study The Statue of Liberty (1976) has pointed out that Liberty bears a striking resemblance to an earlier project—never realized—on which Bartholdi had been at work in the late 1860s.

 

This was to be a lighthouse on the Suez Canal in the form of a female figure holding a torch in her upraised hand, and entitled "Progress; Egypt Bearing Light to Asia". Bartholdi himself was never eager to discuss this similarity. Clearly he had found it expedient to adapt the unfulfilled Suez project, on which he had worked intensely, to a new use in America. The transition was, in any event, gracefully accomplished.

 

In 1871 when Frederic Augusta Bartholdi (1834-1904) began to work in earnest on the Statue of Liberty, he was thirty-seven years old. He had been born in Col mar, a city in Alsace and came from a respected middle class family. Raised by his widowed mother, a strong-willed woman, Bartholdi remained deeply attached to her throughout his life—the face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled after hers.

 

Bartholdi had a sound artistic training, first studying with the painter Ary Scheffer, a weII-known Parisian society portraitist, and later with the sculptors J, F, Soitoux and Antoine Etex. His first major commiisslon, In 1855, was for an over life-size portrait of General Jean Rapp, a native of CoImar.

 

In 1856 the young Bartholdi made a pleasure trip to Egypt where he was deeply impressed Dy the monumental scuiptures of antiquity—their permanence and "imperturbable majesty". Thereafter, in his own work he expressed a love for the colossal, the most dramatic example done before the Statue of Liberty being the great granite Lion of BeIfort (1875-1880) which was a monument to the heroic defenders during The Franco-Prussian War of that Alsatian town.

 

This monument also reveals the second theme which characterized much of Bartholin sculpture. After the loss of his homeland to the Prussians, he became an ardent patriot and believer in freedom. The themes of his work reflect Ms political idealism. Two examples are in New York City, the statue of Lafayette in Union Square and the monument to Lafayette and Washington in Morningside Park,

 

By 1875 Bartholdi was ready to begin the actual construction of the statue. The funding of this great enterprise was the responsibility of a group formed In November of I875, the Franco-American Union, This group, headed by Laboulaye, numbered in its ranks many men who not only contributed money but also helped with the administration of the project.

 

They decided that France should contribute the statue, America, the pedestal on which it rests. It was hoped that the statue would be ready in time for presentation in 1876, America's centennial year; but fund raising was a laborious process and the statue itself was a work requiring much patient, meticulous labor and calculation.

 

At a great banquet in the Hotel du Louvre, the funding campaign was initiated. Large donations were made by cities, including Paris and Le Havre, and the Free Masons made a substantial contribution. The famed composer C. F. Gounod created a cantata "Liberté eclairant |e monde" which was presented in a benefit performance at the Paris Opera. A lottery selling 300,000 chances and smaller scaled money-making schemes were organized. The $400,000 required was finally amassed in 1881.

 

All this had been donated by the French people; the national government was not approached and did not contribute a single centime.

 

The first clay models of the Statue of Liberty were only a few inches high; the actual statue was to be 151 feet tall, the head alone ten feet wide. As money was collected, Bartholdi, directing a team of skilled craftsmen, began the complicated process of construction. They worked in Paris within the cavernous ateliers of Gaget, Gauthier & Co. in which other colossal statues had been assembled, most notably the Vercinouetor ix by Millet of 1865.

 

Liberty was to be made from sheets of beaten copper, only 3/32 of an inch thick. This metal was chosen for its relative lightness, and yet the statue weighs approximately one hundred tons. A clay model 1.25 meters high was enlarged twice to about II meters in height, roughly one fourth the size of the finished work. Then, section by section, this model was enlarged to full-scale, a formidable task Involving more than 9000 measurements for each enlargement.

 

From a set of full-scale plaster fragments carpenters then constructed wooden molds upon which the copper was hammered into shape. More than 300 separate sheets of copper were riveted together to form Liberty.

 

This enormous figure of very thin copper was not self-supporting. It required a system of internal bracing. Colossal statues in former times had been constructed around massive heavy supports; for example, the 17th-century statue, S. Carlo Borromeo. over 23 meters tall, is built around an enormous masonry pier. The great engineering advances of 19th century made a new approach possible for the Statue of Liberty.

 

The first structural specialist consulted was the eminent E, E. Viollet-le-Duc, with whom Bartholdi had studied. Viollet-le-Duc suggested an Ironwork armature above a system of compartments filled with sand. This scheme was not, however, employed since Viollet-le-Ouc died in 1879; the responsibility for the interior structure of Liberty was passed on to Gustave Eiffel, a contemporary of Bartholdi and the most brilliant French engineer of his day.

 

Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) began his career working for railroad companies and was especially concerned with the construction of iron bridges, such as the Pont du Garabit, a spectacular structural triumph achieving its beauty through frankly expressed design and vast scale.

 

He was also involved in the design of exposition buildings—Including the one In which Liberty's head was displayed at the Paris Exposition of 1878—as well as railroad stations and department stores. He is, of course, best remembered for his tower in Paris, erected for the Paris Exhibition of 1889—a grand display piece of little practical value, disliked by the majority of his contemporaries but now rightly considered a masterpiece. It is a symbol of Paris much as Liberty is a symbol of New York.

 

The Statue of Liberty presented an entirely new problem in design for Eiffel. Not only must the interior armature support the great weight of the copper shell including the upthrust arm, but also, since the statue was to stand unprotected in New York harbor, it must be capable of withstanding high winds, moisture and changes of temperature.

 

Eiffel designed a central wrought-iron pylon with strong angle girders placed at the four corners from which supplementary angle beams project for the attachment of bracing and secondary structure. Diagonal bracing reinforces the entire pylon. An asymmetrically placed girder forms the core of the torch arm. From this central tower a lightweight trusswork system is joined to the interior of the copper shell.

 

This trusswork was an especially ingenious aspect of the design; the Individual thin Iron members are flexible and act like springs which allow for thermal expansion and contraction as well as resistance to wind pressure. This interior framework supports each section of the copper statue Independently, and no copper plate places weight upon another. If the iron of the framework and the copper of the statue were in direct contact, an electric current would be generated.

 

This phenomenon is called galvanic action. To guard against it Eiffel included Insulation composed of asbestos Impregnated with shellac. He also included a double stairway which leads up 168 steps to the head which contains a series of windows beneath the rays of the crown. The arm supporting the torch was also provided with a stairway (closed since 1916).

 

While Bartholdi and Eiffel were at work in Paris, Americans were also at work planning the pedestal and raising funds. In 1877 Congress had agreed to accept the statue and provide a site, but, as in France, the Federal government did not contribute to expenses.

 

Patrons including prominent New Yorkers such as WiIIiam Evarts ana John Jay organized a committee through the Union League club to solicit contributions. As of 1876, however, when the completed arm and torch of Liberty were displayed in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exposition (and later in Madison Square in New York) in order to encourage donations, very little money had been collected.

 

In January of 1877 the American Committee was formed with William Evarts as Chairman, Henry F, Spaulding, Treasurer, and Richard Butler, Secretary, Still the American public remained apathetic, even skeptical, despite benefit stage performances, an art auction, a poetry contest, and other appeals.

 

This lack of enthusiasm was in part the result of misapprehensions on the part of the American public, the most prevalent being that the statue was a gift to New York and not the nation.

 

By 1885, only half the money needed had been collected, almost all had already beer, spent, the pedestal was unfinished, the situation grim indeed.

 

It was at this juncture that Joseph Pulitzer, owner and editor of The New York World newspaper, took a strong interest in the statue. Pulitzer, a native of Hungary, came to America in 1864, fought in the Civil War, then married well and became active in politics. By 1883 he was able to take over The World, and began a highly successful campaign to make it "the people's paper", Pulitzer, In March of 1885, called the inability to raise funds for the Liberty project a disgrace, severely criticized the rich of the country for not coming to the rescue, and appealed to the masses for contributions.

 

He daily published names and the amounts of donation, however small, and in less than five months over 121,000 donors had contributed the $100,000 needed.

 

The Federal government authorized General W, T, Sherman to designate the site for the monument, and In accordance with Bartholdi's wishes he selected Bedlo^'s Island, The eleven point star-shaped Fort Wood had been built on the Island as part of New York's defense system for the War of 1812, and it was agreed that the pedestal for the statue should be erected atop. The American Committee appointed General Charles Stone as chief engineer and Richard Morris Hunt as architect.

 

Charles Pomeroy Stone (1825-1887) fought in the Civil War and from 1870 to 1883 served in the Egyptian Army, He also worked in both Virginia and Florida as an engineer and there gained valuable experience which equipped him well in dealing with the Liberty project.

 

Excavation began in April of 1883, and work progressed more slowly than anticipated since the Fort was more solidly built than old plans and drawings had suggested. At the center of the Fort the foundation was laid. This consisted of an enormous, almost solid, tapering block of concrete fifty-three feet deep and ninety-one feet square upon which was to rest the pedestal itself.

 

The cornerstone was laid in August of 1884, but construction had to be halted soon after for lack of funds. Work resumed after Pulitzer's campaign of 1885, The pedestal has thick concrete wails with stone facing. To solidly anchor the statue on this massive base, Stone laid great pairs of steel i-beams horizontally In the. walls at the foot of the pedestal and a second matching set, at the top. Wrought-iron eye-bars were carried down through the base to anchor Eiffel's structure to the steel girders.

 

Although Bartholdi himself had prepared plans for the pedestal, the decision to incorporate Fort Wood made a new design necessary. The celebrated New York architect Richard Morris Hunt donated his services. Hunt (1828-1895) was the first American to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

 

New York's most prominent architect during the later 19th century, he is best remembered for his opulent city chateaux and grand Newport houses commissioned by the rich and fashionable of New York. He also designed numerous commercial buildings such as No. 478-82 Broadway located within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, and buildings for cultural institutions, including the Fifth Avenue section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a designated New York City Landmark.

 

Liberty had already been completed while construction of the pedestal continued, The statue was temporarily erected in Paris where it caused great excitement, and was then disassembled, carefully packed in hundreds of specially designed crates, and loaded on board the ship Isere, lent by the French government. The Isere arrived off Sandy Hook in May of 1885 and soon after her arrival

 

The erection of the statue began. The base was completed in April of 1886 and a grand Inauguration ceremony took place on October 28, 1886. The face of Liberty was draped with" the French flag, and Bartholdi himself loosed the unveiling cords.

 

President Grover Cleveland accepted the statue In a moving speech in which he stated, "We shall not forget that Liberty has made here her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected."

 

Since 1886 Liberty has majestically surveyed the harbor. With the passage of time the statue has acquired a handsome green, patina which contrasts effectively with the crown granite of the pedestal. Liberty directs her gaze out to sea, her right arm bearing aloft the torch, her left clasping a tablet Inscribed July Fourth, 1776—the date of the founding of the American republic.

 

This stately female figure is clothed in classical draperies, a mantle fastened at her left shoulder. She wears sandals and tramples a broken shackle, a gesture representing triumph over tyranny. She has classical, severely handsome features, and her hair is bound in an elaborate bun ot the nape of the neck,

 

A radiant crown adorns her head, which like the torch is brilliantly illuminated at night. Liberty is best viewed from a passing ship for only then can one fully appreciate her monumental dignity end the subtleties of her pose. She appears to stand proudly erect and still if seen frontally, while from the left, one Is aware of the dynamic and dramatic forward thrust of her body.

 

The pedestal, a monumental architectural form, raises Liberty nearly ninety feet above Fort Wood, Hunt was faced with the task of assimilating his design to both the fortress and the statue—the base must dominate the fort without overwhelming the statue above* His admirable solution Is a boldly-scaled, four-sided structure, executed in rusticated and smooth faced granite, with forceful neo-Grec detail.

 

The entire rusticated socle including the double stairways at the north and south facades are now obscured by the recent museum addition. Doorways at each side are surmounted by heavy unornamented projecting pediments and flunked by smooth pilasters with circular shields, A frieze of forty shields, symbolizing the forty states then in the Union, encircles the base below a base-molding with widely spaced pedimental motifs, which echo the form of the doorway pediments.

 

Above this Is the shaft of the pedestal, treated Identically on all four sides, and consisting of a deeply recessed loggia set above stone panels and flanked by heavily rusticated walls at the corners. The smooth stone panels were originally planned to contain inscriptions. The four piers of the loggia are incised in the manner of triglyphs and have capitals of simplified Doric form, A narrow continuous molding separates the panels from the loggias and lends emphasis to the batter of the walls.

 

The rustication flanking the loggias is beautifully treated with projecting rough-hewn blocks which contrast effectively with the deeply recessed joints. An additional refinement is the beveled effect at the corners. This rusticated masonry is in keeping with the scale of the old fort below.

 

An observation platform behind a bold parapet, punctuated with arched uprights, crowns the pedestal, -From this vantage point one has a magnificent view of the harbor and, gazing upward, an astonishing glimpse of 1.iberty in all her colossal splendour.

 

During Liberty's ninety-year history a number of additions and changes to the monument have been made. In 1903 the famed poem "The New Colossus", written by Emma Lazarus In 1883, was inscribed on a tablet and affixed to the pedestal.

 

Elevators were first installed in 1908-09, The torch was redesigned In 1916 and the original copper replaced with yellow-tinted glass. This change was executed by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor well-known for his monumental presidential portraits carved in the living rock of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

 

A new exterior lighting system has recently been Installed in honor of the Bicentennial celebration. In 1956 plans for the American Museum of Immigration at the base of the statue were announced, and the museum was opened in 1972, The monument was first placed under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in 1933, and is today beautifully maintained under its direction.

 

Millions, of Americans have visited the Statue of Liberty, and today she continues to amaze and delight the crowds that daily cross from New York to the island by ferry. Liberty stands as a reminder of international friendship, of the abiding belief In freedom, as well as of the ideals which Americans have long cherished. The symbol of American liberty and of our heritage, she is a truly grand and inspirational figure.

 

The New Colossus

 

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), a member of a wealthy New York family, began writing poetry in her early te-sns. Ralph Waldo Emerson encouraged her work and she published numerous volumes of both poetry and prose. The persecution of Russian Jews during 1879-83 deeply distressed her and when refugees to America began arriving in New York she helped to organize relief efforts.

 

In 1883 she composed "The New Colossus", a stirring poem which casts the Statue of Liberty in the role of a welcoming and sheltering "Mother of Exiles", The final five lines of this inspirational poem have become so famous that millions Of Americans know them by heart.

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and h^r name Mother of Exiles, From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp" cries she With silent lips, "Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

 

History of the Island

 

Renamed Liberty Island in honor of the Statue in 1956, this small island, approximately 12 acres, is one of a group located in New York harbor near the mouth of the Hudson River. First called Minnissais by the Indians, it has at times been known as Great Oyster, Love, Kennedy's, and Corporation Island as well as Bedloe's Island the name it held longest. Isaak Bedloe a "select burgher" of New Amsterdam, owned the island in the 17th century.

 

His daughter Mary sold it in 1732, and it was then used at various times as a quarantine station. In 1746 Archibald Kennedy purchased the island and built a summer residence there. During the Revolutionary War it was used as a refuge for Tory sympathizers.

 

When plans were made by the Federal government to erect fortifications in New York harbor, the island was selected as a suitable site. A land battery in the shape of an eleven-point star was constructed between 1806 and 1811 on top of old existing fortifications.

 

After the War of 18l2 it was named in honor of the war hero Colonel Eleazer D, Wood. Fort Wood and the entire island were under the control of the War Department until the Liberty project was undertaken. When Liberty was completed the land on which- she stood was managed oy the Lighthouse Board until 1901 when it reverted to the control of the War Department.

 

In 1937, by Presidential proclamation, the National Park Service was granted jurisdiction over the island. While located within New Jersey territorial waters, the island itself has been considered since the late 17th century a part of New York City. An agreement of 1834 provides that the island is in New York State above the mean low-water mark, and in New Jersey below it, thereby granting New Jersey riparian rights.

 

- From the 1976 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

*“I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.”

 

This picture has become rather popular and I keep running into it online in assorted blogs and whatnot. Eventually D.K Books saw it and contacted me, asking if I could scan and/or take pictures of some of the individual items for use in their 2010 coffee table book, Star Wars: Year By Year. So, somewhat bemused, I did, and you'll find the results in the Star Wars: A New Hope section, along with credits in the back of the book. This makes me smile because now I get to say "SEE!! I told you there was a reason for keeping all this junk!"

 

"At last, the circle is complete."

 

A LONG TIME AGO IN 1977.....

 

-Australia had its worst railway disaster at Granville near Sydney, with 83 dead.

 

-The first Apple 2 computers were sold.

 

-Queen Elizabeth the 2nd toured the world.

 

-Optical fibre telephone cables were introduced.

 

-The worst single aviation disaster in history occurred in the Canary Islands when two 747s collided, killing 583.

 

-The first public telephones with buttons instead of dials were introduced.

 

-Toy fads included skateboards and.....Slime!

 

-Fashions included flares, disco hot pants, wide ties, moustaches and sideburns, big floppy hats for women and Punk swaggered down the street with torn clothing, aggro hair, safety pins and chains.

 

-In music the Sex Pistols and many others put the boot into Punk. Blondie released their eponymous album, David Bowie let Heroes take wing, and the Alan Parson's Project activated I Robot, while ABBA were THE Dancing Queens.

 

-Jimmy Carter was the US Prez.

 

-The Roots mini-series was on the telly. In Australia we watched Don Lane, Paul Hogan, and Mike Walsh in their shows. Graeme Kennedy hosted the game show Blankety Blanks, and long running soaps like Bellbird, Number 96 and The Box were winding up. Other shows new or popular that year included: Charlies Angels, Fantasy Island, Three's Company, Eight Is Enough, The Goodies, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Are You being Served?, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Soap, CHiPs, The Love Boat, The Good Life, and The Naked Vicar Show.

 

-The Soviet Salyut Space Station was in orbit.

 

-UFOs were beginning to overfly Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Peg and Ed Blumquist were just starting to plot their bloody reign of terror, though no one would have believed it, if told.

 

-Malcolm Fraser was the Australian Prime Minister.

 

-Sarah Michelle Gellar, Orlando Bloom, Shakira, Tom Welling (Smallville's Superboy), and Liv Tyler were all born in '77.

 

-Elvis, BIng, Wernher von Braun, Joan Crawford, Zero Mostel, Chaplin and Groucho (and his brother Gummo) all died in '77.

 

-The Space Shuttle Enterprise (named after the US Navy vessels and the Star Trek ship) was undergoing flight tests as the testbed prototype for the future space fleet.

 

-Films released that year included Smokey and The Bandit, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Saturday Night Fever, Annie Hall, Airport 77, The Spy Who Loved Me, Looking For Mr Goodbar, The Gauntlet, Oh God!, The Goodbye Girl, The Island Of Dr Moreau, Sinbad & The Eye Of The Tiger, The Deep, Freaky Friday, ABBA-The Movie, Kingdom Of The Spiders, Capricorn 1, Empire Of The Ants, The Incredible Melting Man, Spider-Man (The Nicholas Hammond T.V pilot packaged for theatrical release), Wizards, Julia, and Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo.

 

And.. Star Wars!

 

Actually, I'm not a very keen Star Wars fan now, haven't really been since the series "Jumped The Sarlac" back in "Return of The Jedi" and certainly not at all impressed by the bloated toy franchise second trilogy...retro first trilogy or whateverthehell those last three films were supposed to be.

 

I wasn't going to go on a pre-Star Wars VII binge of rewatching the earlier movies before seeing "The Force Awakens". Goodness, I'm not even sure I have copies! I think there was a set of preview screeners I got from somewheres, I'll try to dig 'em out before the opening weekend and maybe watch the first two. (And so I did, which may have been a tactical error.)

 

I couldn't bring myself to rewatch those dreadful S.W preqs though. Amongst their countless, inexplicably artlessly charmless moments, where they really misfired is not managing to effectively tell Anakin's fall into Vader as a genuine tragedy. Instead it's just...grubby, with a rather creepy and unlikely romance thrown in alongside stodgy political commentary that would've taken Aaron Sorkin's fine hand to make live. It does make me wonder if the prequels had actually come first if Vader would've been seen as being quite so cool.

 

The genre cinema landscape has changed a lot since 1977. It's a rare year now that doesn't have at least five aspirationally major science fiction movies hit the big screen, and then there's the amazingly deep work being done on television where the long form fiction game plays out in greater complexity than ever. Star Wars isn't the only rodeo in town, and its supervillains and superheroes would probably have to pass an entrance exam to join, say, the Avengers or Guardians Of The Galaxy. But that's okay, the genre is as mainstream as it is now because it's standing on the shoulders of Star Wars, and Star Trek, and 2001, and Planet Of The Apes, and Forbidden Planet....and, well, you get the idea.

 

So my old New Hope was that the new film is a good 'un too, and will help kick the genre can even further down the road!

 

Well, having seen The Force Awakens now I must admit to being somewhat disappointment. Lots of things to like about it (truly!) but the intensively cloned plot wasn't one of them. Every time (and there were many) I settled into enjoying the film I kept getting tractored out of happyspace by the realisation that I had seen them do precisely the same thing in A New Hope. I don't know if the filmmakers were trying to be stylishly 'meta' but pretty much the entire story was lifted whole from the very first movie, with some bits thrown in from the others. A bit of a let down for me and inevitably it's going to be the Bantha in the room when I'm discussing the new flick.

 

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

 

But, back in the Day, in 1977....I was a potential Star Warrior, and it certainly had an influence upon my eventual uber-geekhood, though not as much as Star Trek did, to be sure. This collection of early Star Wars booty really represents a Road Not Taken by me.

 

Anyway, May 25th, 1977 was the day the film was released in the US but it didn't open in Melbourne until October 27th. We used to have a pretty big time lag between overseas film releases and them washing up Downunder.

 

I don't know exactly when I first saw it, I've long since tossed the 14 ticket stubs that would tell the story, but I may have seen it on my birthday, which was the day after it opened. The tickets cost $4.00 Australian each back then, so it cost me $56 plus just to see the film those 14 times. No wonder I never bothered getting the video when it came out!

 

Anyway, Star Wars was the very first feature film screened in a big city cinema (at the now defunct Hoyts Mid-City theatre) that I caught a bus to see all by myself.

 

I must have been about 16, which most folks would probably think was quite late. I actually did get around a lot on my own of course, just not to the city much. We had a small town hall in the suburb where I lived, where they played films on a miniscule screen. They even had a piano player for some silent flicks! :) I used to enjoy going out to the city with my mum and we'd go shopping, go to bookshops and sometimes to the pictures...I have vague memories of seeing Westerns and, of all things, a Man From Uncle television story tarted up as a big screen release. We used to get a lot of those here, in fact the cinema is where I saw the original Battlestar Galactica pilot.

 

But that Star Wars clone came later of course....

 

I think the only other film I have seen in the cinema more times was Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan....one reason for so many repeated viewings of that was to note down all the books on Khan's makeshift bookshelf so I could read them all! I don't think any other film has inspired me to do quite so much reading, certainly not Star Wars.

 

A couple of months after I saw Star Wars I caught a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was enjoying a re-release, perhaps because of the enormous interest in space movies that Star Wars helped kick-start again. Now 2001, was much more my idea of a Science Fiction movie I could sink my precocious intellectual teeth into and its high standards have influenced my genre tastes ever since.

 

“Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease.”

 

So, my early Star Wars collection is really quite puny compared to ones compiled by folks who had or have more resources, both monetary and enthusiasm, to bring to this particular sub-genre of fandom.

 

Still, I think it's a fair cross section of the tie-in publications if not (thankfully!) the other merchandise available at the time. This, by the way, isn't all of it. Just what I thought made a decent composition. I also didn't mess with the set up much, didn't get anal about lining everything up perfectly. This is the raw way I would have pasted all this stuff into, say, a scrapbook, back in the 70s.

 

"I have you now!"

 

I was already a bit of a collector before Star Wars. Folks nowadays (groan!) sometimes think that Star Wars started the media spin-off explosion but that's just not so. Every category represented here was already well explored by the Star Trek marketers, at least, before the mid 1970s. Radio, film and television had been churning out saleable junk for decades. Still, Star Wars certainly plumbed new wallet depths.....

 

“Into the garbage chute, flyboy!”

 

The items in the list refer to numbered notes on the picture which run roughly left to right, row by row downwards.

 

1) Magazine. 1977. Star Wars Official Collectors Edition. Marvel Comics International. English Printing. 76 pages plus covers. Cover prices: Australia- $2.95. USA $1.75. U.K 95p.

 

The cover is the famous Brothers Hildebrandt one. Carrie Fisher used to hoot with laughter at the way they 'enhanced' her legs and breasts! Still, it's a cracking illustration that captures the feel of the movie very successfully. The contents were quite interesting. The usual retrospective on Science Fiction and cinematic influences was always handy, as I'd keep an eye out for films and books. There was a little glossary of terms (why did it take so long to put out a Star Wars Encyclopaedia?) and a comprehensive storybook of the film with lots of stills and articles about special effects, music and production artwork by the likes of Ralph McQuarrie. I really poured over the FX and behind-the-scenes shots in particular.

 

I still laugh at the breathless questions posed about sequels at the end of the mag. "Will the hero marry the strong-willed Princess Leia? (Ewwwww!) Or will he have to challenge Han Solo to a duel for Leia's hand?" Always with Star Wars it's about the lopping off with the Hans!

 

“Watch your mouth kid, or you’ll find yourself floating home.”

 

2) The original Star Wars bubble gum cards. 1977. These are the blue edged Topps ones, or a local Australian variant. 66 in all. You could put several of them together and the backs would form a mini-poster, there were also movie facts. I’ve tossed several of these cards into the picture.

 

3) Soft cover picture book. 1978. Story adapted by Geraldine Richelson. Armada Books. Wiliam Collins Publishers, Sydney. Printed In Victoria, Australia. Cover Prices: Australia $4.95. U.K 1 pound 45. Canada $4.50. The movie story with really well reproduced stills as illustrations. There was a great shot of Vader on the back cover that I still remember referencing for drawings.

 

4) Original Movie Programme Booklet. 1977. S.W Ventures Inc. New York. Printed in the U.S.A. Australian cover price unknown but you could get them for $1.50 in the U.S. Remember these? I don't know when they decided that we didn't need programme books for sale at Australian cinemas, but this was probably the first one I ever purchased. I never really saw one again after the mid 80s or so, although have since gotten some pretty nice ones in press kits as a movie reviewer. It had all the bells and whistles: good pictures, a cast list, actor bios and a bit of behind-the-scenes stuff.

 

5) Magazine. Famous Monsters Of Filmland #137 September 1977 Yearbook. 90 pages plus cover. Cover Price $1.90 Australian. $1.50 U.S. Warren Publishing. U.S. My favourite magazine treat back then, along with the later, glossy Starlog. Absolutely crammed with all kinds of groovy ghouly fan treasures! The yearbook was just a cheap way of recycling stories of course, but useful if you'd missed previous issues. I have several surviving copies from this era. I like the titles in burnt orange...surely the signature colour of the 70s? Well, along with brown and assorted garish greens....

 

In spite of the cover there was actually minimal Star Wars content in this issue. Everything else though was magic! Features on the Japanese monster Ghidrah, a story by Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Bloch called "The Horror Of The Lighthouse" (Illustrated with movie stills that included Doctor Who's Jon Pertwee playing a cross eyed vampire from The House That Dripped Blood film), an account of a fan's phone call with actor Christopher Lee (Lee, of course, had his own part to play in the Star Wars saga decades later), and those advertisements! Page after page of fascinating odds and sods: Planet of the Apes and monster masks, a Frankenstein bust plaster casting kit, Dick Smith Monster make-up kits, Super 8 films of Zorro, Tarzan, and of course Star Wars, and the projector to show 'em with! Posters, vinyl L.Ps, Frank Frazetta art books, glow in the dark (anatomically correct!) skulls, Star Trek posters that you hand coloured, model Batmobiles, and....curious underwear that featured covers from this mag and its sister titles, Creepy and Eerie.

 

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

 

All accompanied by what were allegedly Forry Ackerman's exuberant puns and “Forrest” of exclamation marks..."Every ghoulboy reader...", "You won't be dozing when you read what this half dozen horror stars did in THE BLACK SLEEP!" *Bliss*

 

The name Dick Smith stuck in my head (THUNK !!) and would later prove pivotal in interesting me in the fine art of monster making myself....

 

6) Magazine. 1977. Science Fantasy Film Classics Collectors Edition #1 Tandem Corporation Chicago, USA. Cover price $2.00 Australian. 70 pages. This was a thoughtfully produced magazine with some quite intricate, well researched articles. This first issue focused on Star Wars, Forbidden Planet and 2001 making it very attractive to me. There was a piece on the science of light sabres, Robby the Robot and an extended analysis of 2001. A big foldout poster used original artwork to create a homage to all three films. On the back of it was a concise guide to the special effects seen in them.

 

7) Magazine. Famous Monsters Star Wars Spectacular. 1977. Warren Publishing. New York. 50 pages. Cover Price: $1.55 Australian. $1.25 US. More bandwagon repackaging. The picture captions were frakking unbelievable! For example..."There have been a handful of monumental landmarks in the history of Earth: the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, man on the moon*, the birth of Famous Monsters...and now - STAR WARS! Buy ten copies of this issue and they'll send your kids to college in the 21st century." Well, by 'sending to college' they must have meant bus fare, 'cos I've seen this on eBay from $3.00....

 

“That’s no moon, it’s a space station.”

 

8) Poster Magazine. Star Wars Official Poster Monthly #2. 1977. Paradise Press, London. Cover Price $1.50 Australian. Identical to the Star Trek poster magazines these foldouts packed in quite a few articles on the back of the poster, which in this case was a neat still of Vader and the Stormies in a corridor of the captured Reb Blockade Runner. In this issue a rather gushing expose on Vader also opinions that "The Galaxy was ruled by wise members of the Senate". Guessing that would be the likes of Senator Jar Jar Binks ? Righhhht. Other pieces included a focus on Tatooine, and how the space dogfights were filmed. Never letting a chance to sell more stuff go by an advertisement lists, amongst other allegedly cool junk, a "Genuine Darth Vader Communicator for sending light signals through deep space." A tricked up mirror, in other words, though the copywriter earnestly assured, "The mirror can be used to see your own reflection!" Guess D.V used it to touch up his lippy, the Sithy!

 

"Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force"

 

9) Artwork Portfolio. The Star Wars Portfolio: Paintings by Ralph McQuarrie. September 1977. Ballantine Books. New York. I was quite used to the beaut Star Trek range of technical manuals and other related material that Ballantine Books produced and wasn't surprised that their Star Wars merchandise was also of a high standard. This classic artwork folio contains twenty one 35 cm X 27 cm colour prints of Ralph McQuarrie's glorious preproduction paintings for the film. Mine are still in excellent nick, and are just as handsome to look at today as they were then. McQuarrie's evocative artwork, if anything, looks better than the finished film. McQuarrie, born in Gary, Indiana, in 1929 is a fine futurist artist, formerly a conceptual design artist for Boeing (his aviation and aerospace art is stunning!) whose film and television work included Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Cocoon (he won an Oscar for that one), E.T, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, *batteries not included, Cherry 3000, Total Recall, and Battlestar Galactica. He has an excellent online gallery at:

 

www.ralphmcquarrie.com/index.html

 

10) Soft cover Sketchbook. The Star Wars Sketchbook by Joe Johnston. Ballantine Books. New York. 96 pages. A lot of fan artists loved this book! Ballantine, primed with its Star Trek tie-in experience, was quick off the mark, no doubt because the preproduction artwork was both high quality and readily translated into print. Johnston's work, a mixture of pen and ink and brushed washes or perhaps illustrator markers, is evocative but clear, just the thing for the model-makers to base their work on! Evolutionary sketch sequences trace the design development of iconic hardware from the films and I was particularly chuffed with the modular drawings of the Death Star which explain how the sections could be mixed and matched to make the battlestation look as vast as it did.

 

There was even a little size comparison chart that showed how humungously big a Stardestroyer was supposed to be! (Ssshh! It's only a model...)

 

"Look at the size of that thing!"

 

Joe Johnston worked for Lucasfilm as a storyboard artist straight out of college. Lucas later helped fund his entry into film school, and Johnston became a director in his own right. After graduating he directed films including: Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III , October Sky, Jumanji, The Pagemaster, The Rocketeer, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and of course, Captain America: The First Avenger.

 

11) Magazine Cover. Movie News. September/October 1977. Volume 13, Number 5. Cover price: 75 cents Australian. This is actually a cover cut and glued into one of several scrapbooks I made of Star Wars related ephemera, newspaper clippings and so on. I used to hand letter captions for the articles and photos and draw spacey little borders around them. A friend pointed once pointed out that I was still doing the same with Flickr! So it goes. :)

 

Some of the articles proved useful when I was writing this little monograph. For example, I got the ticket prices and cinema location from the advertisements and reviews. One review, by Melbourne's beloved film critic Ivan Hutchinson is particularly poignant. Who would've guessed that I'd be sitting next to him reviewing films (thanks to my Science Fiction and Fantasy radio show) 17 years later?

 

“Sometimes I amaze even myself.”

 

Anyway, I'm glad I never tossed these scrapbooks out, as they're also reminders to me that when it comes to being a fan of anything for me it's also about interactivity. Costumes, artwork, photoshoots, writing...I’m happier than a womp rat in a sand wallow!

 

12) 12 inch Vinyl L.P Record Album. 1977 (?) Themes From The Movies. Peter Pan/Rainbow Records. The Marty Gold Orchestra. RPG 7233. Cover price $2.99 I threw this one in as an example of how iconic the Star Wars music became. John Williams rousing main title theme was a ‘must have’ addition to any musical compilation, and could likely be found several times amongst any soundtrack buff’s Easy Listening collection amongst their K-Tel record selector! Many a good record ended its days abruptly when those damned things overbalanced and fell off tables....

 

“Put that thing away, you'll get us all killed.”

 

Marty Gold’s Orchestra was a staple of space age music covers and you can hear its work on dozens of these compilation albums. The popcorn rendition of Star Wars has the usual disco beat and R2D2 mimicking sound effects but Princess Leia's theme is soooo laid back it nods off and would not be out of place as department store Muzak. Some of the other tracks are hard to fathom, especially main titles of The Deep but The Spy Who Loved Me theme actually benefits from the brassy, sassy treatment. The cover artwork is laughable, though the sleeve hype is worth bottling: “Stupendous! Far out! Exhilarating!”

 

“What a piece of junk!”

 

13) 12 inch Vinyl Double Disc Record Album. Star Wars: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra. 1977. 20th Century Records L 45753/4. Manufactured in Australia by Festival Records.

 

Here’s one that could justify any amount of marketing hype on the cover but instead settles for two words stark against a space black background. STAR WARS. Strewth, it’s not hard to recall how big this was back in the day! Sold in starship cargo hold loads and was one of the all-time most popular soundtrack albums. The double disc format facilitated a nice selection of good quality stills in the gatefold that made it look like a photo album. There was a glorious additional poster of the Death Star battle by artist John Berkey, which I remember clearly had more than one Millennium Falcons dogfighting! I originally misremembered the poster as being done by Bob McCall but a kind visitor to this picture (ta stasiuwong !) put me right. Berkey did quite a few film posters back in the 1970s, with the 1976 King Kong remake poster being one of the best remembered. I also recall his cover for the book Colonies In Space, which depicted a glorious future in space that has still, sadly, yet to come to pass.

 

John William’s music for the film was mind bogglingly rich, and for many fans of a certain age would prove an introduction to classical music, as I’m sure it was the very first such album they purchased. An enticing entry point to the likes of Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and even Gustav Holst, Richard Wagner and William Walton. As a radio D.J I’ve got a pretty good musical memory, but even without that re-listening to this album now is like having an old friend around for tea. I can anticipate most of the cues and recognise the major thematic leitmotifs at least. Even though the main movements have passed into cliché over time it’s a lot of fun exploring the other pieces, especially some of the more subtle tracks backing the action on Tatooine.

 

Go on, you know you want to drag it out and sling it on the turntable....don’t bother trying to stop the dialogue quotes scrolling through your head....though I must say that if George Lucas wrote dialogue as strongly memorable as this music I’d still be a fan of the movies today!

 

As it is, although I’m generally somewhat weary of John Williams’ now universally copied musical style, I still appreciate his immense body of work. My favourite scores of his include: Jurassic Park, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Last Crusade, Superman, 1941, Jaws, The Reivers, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, The Empire Strikes Back, Saving Private Ryan, The Time Tunnel, Lost In Space, and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.

 

And this one, of course!

 

14) I was just starting to record my own cassette tapes back then (the cool new media!) so promptly dubbed a copy of the soundtrack onto a “G-Tape” a cheap, recordable cassette that was very popular. The copy was for my own use, so I could play the album away from the turntable. Still plays to this day, in spite of dire warnings about tape decay. I cut and pasted a newspaper ad for the movie as the cover. Talk about Close Encounters of the Nerd kind!

 

15) Album Notes (From Item 13) Double sided, these notes provided copious insight into John William’s methodology.

 

16) Paperback novelisation. Star Wars by George Lucas. 1977. Sphere. Printed In Australia by the Dominion Press. 190 pages. Cover price: $2.50 Australian. Every fan had to have this one! Take home your very own genuine relic of Alderaan.....buy the book, the record, the Wookie grooming comb.....

 

I started re-reading this just before "The Force Awakens" came out, and realised that I hadn't opened the still crisply feeling novel in three decades.

 

Thing is, here in Australia at least, the novelization came out well before the film! What a tease....I can remember tentatively reading a chapter or two, trying not to go too far. Spoilers in the Seventies!

 

“It's all just a bunch of simple tricks and nonsense."

 

It is immediately apparent to anyone familiar with author Alan Dean Foster’s original fiction and many movie and television novelisations that he ghost-wrote this book for George Lucas. The style, vocabulary and other aspects were highly suggestive and it was hardly a surprise when it was finally revealed that he was the co-author. My favourite Foster novel remains Cachelot, a story set on a world of sentient cetaceans and humans. His novelisations of Alien, Aliens, Dark Star, The Thing and the Star Trek Animated Scripts should serve as models for all such screen-to-print adaptations. I was quite startled that the publishers included a bunch of colour stills in the centre of the book, along with some film notes. Wicked! Oh, and the cover was another John Berkey picture.

 

17) 12 inch Vinyl Record Album. Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk by MECO and the 1977. Millennium Records DXL1 3043. RAC Victor. Manufactured in Australia by RAC Limited. The original disco remix version of all your fave Star Wars themes! The album went platinum in the US, and the single was a chart topper too. The “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” single was the biggest selling instrumental single in recorded music history, being the only certified platinum (2 million units sold) instrumental single ever. Although for the life of me I don’t think the disco version of the Cantina Band is all that radically different from the film version!

 

The single bore a similar symbiotic pop culture relationship to the movie as David Bowie’s Space Oddity had with 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Carpenters Calling Occupants had with C.E.3.K.

 

Meco was Domenico Monardo, born in 1939 in Pennsylvania, USA. Whilst the cover is fun in itself with its Robert Rodriguez (not the filmmaker!) illustration featuring Flash Gordon retro-rockets and bopping Spacers it’s Meco’s lively remixes with its funky signature disco beat That You Could Boogy To that made this album a killer. It had some damn fine sound effects, warbling wookies, whistling R2s and more amidst all that synth and orchestral music . Meco kept producing ‘meco-ised’ movie and telly tunes into the 1980s, not forgetting the ...memorably awful.... Christmas In The Stars- Star Wars Christmas Album. He retired from music in the mid 80s and worked as a commodities broker in Florida.

 

The “B’ Side is completely undistinguished apart from the odd fact that the three tracks are listed as 1. Other, 2. Galactic., 3. Funk. Well, at least the cover notes list the intergalactic session players from the CorMar Galaxy, including (Live from the Planet Fooyea courtesy of the Nomel Tribunal) Thur-M76 and Thassu-L46, amongst others!

 

18) The cover of Item 13.

 

“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

 

19) 9 cm Plastic Action Figures. Stormtrooper and Boba Fett. 1977 and 1979. I never got into Star Wars toys at all, these came from a mixed bag of no longer loved toys I found at a school fete. (A Fett worse than Darth?) They do make lovely ‘trophies’ for my Predator figures to drag around when tied together by their feet. Curiously, given my armour and costuming fetish, I never ‘got into’ Stormy armour either. In fact, I’ve always seen these bumbling goons as silly comic relief characters. To this day I can’t listen to Ben Kenobi point at the blaster marks on the wrecked Jawa Sandcrawler and say “Only Imperial Stormtoopers are this precise” without cracking up. Marksmen enuff to hit the broadside of a Sandcrawler maybe...! But nothing smaller. C'mon, a legion of crack Troopers taken out by...teddy bears? Sheesh.

 

Just when I thought ‘Troops were inept along came Boba Fett to set a new low water mark for armoured incompetency. Although his dad was rather cool in Attack Of The Clones it was pretty clear Jango was no tactical genius either, since his idea of combat smarts involved jumping into an arena full of light sabre wielding Jedi Knights to take them on hand-to-hand! Anyway, I included the Fett figure; cos I have few other Star Wars toys. Weird though, this one has a quite neat little missile in its backpack that’s spring loaded to fire straight up. Would’ve thought that somewhat dangerous for the younglings back in the day!

 

“You're braver then I thought!”

 

They didn’t crank up the production lines after the unexpected success of the film in 1977 in time to get major toys into the shops by Christmas. I bet you could hear a vast disturbance in the Force that year as the licence holders cried out!

 

20) 12 inch Vinyl Record Album. Star Wars And Other Space Themes by Geoff Love & His Orchestra. 1978. EMI AXIS 6340. Geoff Love (who also released albums under the pseudonym of Manuel And His Music Of The Mountains) was born in 1917 in Yorkshire and died in 1991 in London. His Music For Pleasure covers of movie and television themes sold many an album in the 1970s.

 

The cover themes on this album range from good to indifferent, with some, like Star Wars, being fairly straight forwards with a quite “Big Band’ feel to them. There’s a very cool arrangement of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme that I particularly like. A lot of the tracks slope off into extra disco riffs that are mostly harmless. Some television show title music was halfway onto the dance floor anyway, including Gerry Anderson’s UFO and Space 1999. Beware the magically flat Star Trek theme cover though!

 

The sleeve artwork plays fast and loose with familiar subjects. The Enterprise is barely recognisable under numerous add ons, the 2001 space station has three wheels, and Princess Leia has a war chest that would swell the coffers of the entire Rebellion...

 

21) Paperback Original Novel. Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster. 1978. Sphere. Printed in London. 222 pages. Cover Price: $2.75 Australian. 85 p U.K. This was the first of the Star Wars original fiction spin-off novels and it was a beaut! Fresh from his ghost-writing of the movie novelisation Foster locked his S-Foils into attack position and zoomed into this action packed adventure on the swamp world of Mimban. This novel may have been intended as the template for a low budget sequel to Star Wars if the movie had proved less successful than it was. Intriguingly it contains stray story elements that fell by the wayside in early versions of the first film’s script, and also a fair amount of sexual tension between Leia and Luke. (Aw, c’mon, let me have just one restrospective snigger!)

 

22) Home-made Audio Cassette Tape. The Making Of Star Wars documentary. Broadcast GTV-9, Melbourne, Wednesday 7.30 pm. March 8th 1978. In the days before VCRs all I was able to do to preserve fleeting moments of television was to make audio tapes so I could listen to them over. Hello, ubergeek, remember?

 

23) Commercial Audio Cassette Tape. A Stereo Space Odyssey- Music From Star Wars by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 1986. Tee Vee 5. London. Side A covers Star Wars themes and the B Side is a seriously grand planetary suite cobbled together from pieces by Strauss, Wilfred Holcombe and Tchaikovsky. This is the best B-Side for a Star Wars knockoff album that I’ve ever heard, and for my money, was more than a match for the A-Side.

 

Well now, there you go, it’s been a nostalgic flight down the old thermal exhaust shaft. Congratulations if you made it this far far away, as these notes take as long to scroll by as all the six film titles rolled together!

 

And, since he didn’t get a bloody medal at the awards ceremony on Yavin I’ll let Chewy get the last word...again!

 

“Waraggghhh!”

        

www.photosfromonhigh.com aerial photos Albany NY aerial photos photographer Upstate albanyphotos@yahoo.com 518-495-7983

 

Globalfoundries Saratoga County NY Globalfoundries Albany NY New York Convention Center aerial photos Mercer Development aerial photographer M W ... at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, NY, in ... Did GlobalFoundries just become an 800-pound Fab gorilla?

9/8/2009 by: Theo Valich - Get more from this author

   

ATIC [Advanced Technology Investment Company], technology investment group from the Government of Abu Dhabi, the majority owner of GlobalFoundries announced that the group is making a bid to acquire Chartered Semiconductor.

 

The move is not entirely unexpected, but rather a consequence of events that had nothing to do with semiconductor industry: Chartered Semiconductor is one of golden eggs in Singaporean's government investment arm [Temasek Holdings Pte], who is feeling the pain of global economy slowdown and the changes in companies owned by Temasek were obvious. As Singapore Airlines went through ownership change [now mostly owned by Temasek] the investment arm needed the cash to complete the transaction and Abu Dhabi's ATIC rode into town.

 

ATIC was interested in buying its competition, but when an opportunity like this arises, there isn't much you can do but to take it. The acquisition of Chartered Semi puts GlobalFoundries in a role of an 800-pound gorilla in the contract manufacturing space. First GlobalFoundries signed the deal to manufacture chips for a chip maker [STMicroelectronics], and now the GF owner is buying one of own largest competitors. In fact, until TSMC gets its SOI production up and running, GlobalFoundries is acquiring its second largest competitor in the SOI space [we take that ATIC does not want to buy IBM... for now].

 

In case you're unfamiliar with Chartered semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, the foundry owns six cleanrooms in a giant fab complex in Singapore, with production based on 200mm and 300mm wafers. Total output of the company is also very interesting:

 

Fab 2: 50,000 200mm WSM 600-350nm

Fab 3: 25,000 200mm WSM 350-180nm

Fab 3E: 34,000 200mm WSM in 250-180nm

Fab 5: 24,000 200mm WSM 350-180nm

Fab 6: 39,000 200mm WSM 180-110nm

Fab7: 45,000 300mm WSM 130-40nm [equal to 101,250 200mm wafers]

So, we have 172,000 WSM [wafer starts per month], or around 2,06 million 200mm wafers per year, plus an additional 540,000 300mm wafers. This manufacturing capacity is nothing short of impressive, even though the majority is in less competitive 200mm wafer space. If you would compare Chartered's Fab7 [300mm2 one] to GlobalFoundries' Fab1 complex in Dresden, you might be surprised at the differences in size, since Fab7 is massive: clean room space is as big as whole Module 2 [ex-Fab30/38] and half of Module 1 [ex-Fab36].

 

Yes, it is true that currently "only" 27,000 wafer starts can be in 40nm, but SOI capacity is quite impressive. Inside this advanced 300mm facility Chartered makes Microsoft's Xbox 360 CPUs, some AMD CPUs and some of IBM's Power chips.

 

Clean room space is also quite impressive - six facilities with a grand total of 773,640 square feet [71,871.15 m2]. If you compare that to current manufacturing facilities in Dresden, Module 1 [14,500 m2 - 156,000 sqft] and currently upgrading Module 2 [16,700 m2 - 180,000 sqft], you can see that GlobalFoundries wants to go from 336,000 sqft [31,214 m2] in 2009 to 1.38 million square feet [128,202 m2] of clean room space in 2012.

Divided by wafer size, GlobalFoundries in 2012 could look like this:

 

300mm2 - 120,000 wafer starts per month, 838,000 sqft [77,850 m2] Class 100 clean room

200mm2 - 172,000 wafer starts per month, 541,640 sqft [50,318 m2] Class 100 clean room

All in all, this is quite a significant jump in manufacturing space, as there aren't exactly many contract manufacturers who can or plan to annually output almost 1.5 million 300mm wafers in 2012-2013 frame. In fact, one could put a question that GlobalFoundries is doing this to attract the heavy weights, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo - but Qualcomm and nVidia as well.

 

Over the past several months, we featured various articles on upcoming chips, but they all have one thing in common: they have to be built on 300mm wafers in order to be profitable. Qualcomm's quad-core ARM System-on-Chip is quite nice, but the company has to have 300mm wafers available to score a profit. Same thing with the 2010-2011 generation of nVidia's Tegra and Texas Instruments OMAP chips.

 

Thus, a foundry has to position itself aggressively and there is no doubt that this move puts GlobalFoundries on the map of TSMC and Intel challenger. While TSMC still has the overall lead in number of wafers it can produce, the numbers here show that GlobalFoundries is catching up and overtaking in 300mm wafer arena - a worrisome trend.

 

The clock isn't exactly stopping there - if we divide the wafers in SOI and non-SOI flavor, GlobalFoundries will be the largest SOI wafer maker, and with a move to optical interconnects starting in 2012-2013 there isn't exactly any doubt what's on the table. ATIC and AMD both want that GlobalFoundries change the semi playing field for good, and this acquisition only confirms that direction.

 

GlobalFoundries can freely disclose all of its plans and there isn't exactly a lot that other competitors can do but to launch massive FUD campaigns which again, would not stand due to engineering excellence shown by former AMD engineering teams, who saved Microsoft's bacon on Xbox 360 yields, for instance.

 

This move also solves one of major pains for GlobalFoundries exec team - no longer journalists and analysts need to ask "who are your customers?", because with the acquisition of Chartered Semi, that list grew by couple of dozen names, including Microsoft and IBM. You can expect that next GlobalFoundries event to feature numerous existing customers, even if they did not sign directly with GlobalFoundries, rather Chartered Semi.

 

ATIC's next move: Buying a wafer supplier?

We wonder what the next step for GlobalFoundries will be, but personally I would not bet against GF acquiring Soitec, as the largest SOI wafer vendor. Intel invested in the firm in 2007, when it became clear that the future chip interconnects [remember Intel Hybrid Silicon Laser demonstration on SOI wafers during IDF Fall 2006?] will require the use SOI wafers. AMD did not react at the time, but with over a trillion USD for investments alone, Abu Dhabi investment groups can easily flex their muscle and put everything they need under one roof.

   

© 2009 Bright Side Of News*, All rights reserved.

     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Related articles:

Intel Lynnfield; Core i5 750 and Core i7 870 Evaluation by: Sean Kalinich

The Future of GlobalFoundries revealed by: Theo Valich

nVidia's 3D Glasses can be found for free by: Theo Valich

Qimonda's starts to dissolve, sell family jewlery [300mm and 200mm Fab] by: Thorsten Wolf

GLOBALFOUNDRIES - Is America Back in Tech? by: Toby Hudon

BSN* presents The Ultimate Workstation: Part I by: Nebojsa Novakovic

Is TSMC getting nervous about GlobalFoundries? by: Thomas Gordon

 

Tags:

ATIC, Abu Dhabi Technology Investment Company, Abu Dhabi, GlobalFoundries, GF, Chartered, Chartered Semiconductor, Temasek, Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore, Singapore Airlines, TSMC, SOI, Silicon on Insulator, 300mm, 200mm, wafer, wsm, wspm, wafer starts per month, clean room, clean rooms, Class 1, Class 100, Fab1, Fab2, Module 1, Module 2, Dresden, Saratoga, Fab 2, Fab 3E, Fab 3, Fab 5, Fab 6, Fab 7, Microsoft, Xbox 360, IBM, Qualcomm, Freescale, nVidia, Texas Instruments, TI, Intel, Hybrid Silicon Laser, Soitec

Share and enjoy :)

 

Would you like to purchase related items?

Xbox 360

Microsoft Software Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable

Microsoft Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable B4S-00001

Microsoft Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable B4S-00001

Microsoft Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable B4S00001

Intel

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz Processor Upgrade BX80580Q9400

Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail BX80580Q9400

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 Processor BX80580Q9400 - 2.66GHz 6MB Cache 1333MHz FSB Yorkfield Quad-Core Retail Socket 775 with Fan

Intel BX80580Q9400 Core 2 Quad Q9400 Central Processing Unit

    

Comments:

See all comments

Leave a comment: GlobalFoundries owner buys Chartered Semiconductor

The Business Review (Albany)

 

* Print

* Email

* Reprints

* RSS Feeds

* Add to Del.icio.us

* Digg This

*

Comments

 

Other Matching Articles for

"ATIC Globalfoundries"

 

* GlobalFoundries owner buys Chartered Semiconductor [09/08/2009]

* Steel, concrete companies win contracts at chip plant site [08/07/2009]

* Intel fined $1.45B in European antitrust suit [05/13/2009]

* AMD rejects Intel claims on violation of cross-licensing pact [03/20/2009]

* Intel says AMD breached confidentiality agreement [03/16/2009]

* > More Search Results

 

Advanced Technology Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi company that owns the majority of GlobalFoundries, plans to acquire chip maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.

 

The Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor would become part of GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with ATIC and Advanced MicroDevices Inc. (NYSE: AMD).

 

GlobalFoundries is building a $4.2 billion manufacturing plant in Malta in Saratoga County. N.Y., about 25 miles north of Albany. It also has operations in Dresden, Germany.

 

It was unclear early Tuesday how the acquisition would affect the Malta operation.

 

ATIC would pay $3.9 billion in cash and debt for the acquisition, the companies said in a joint statement. The transaction is expected to close in late 2009, pending required government and shareholder approvals.

 

GlobalFoundries CEO Doug Grose would head up the combined operations. Chartered (Nasdaq: CHRT) CEO Chia Song Hwee would become chief operating officer and head the integration of both companies, according to the companies.

 

ATIC is a technology investment company wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government. It owns 66 percent of GlobalFoundries; AMD owns the remaining 34 percent.

 

Singapore’s state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings owns about 62 percent of Chartered’s shares. The chip maker produces chips for Xbox 360 games and other consoles.

 

“Chartered and GlobalFoundries will be able to draw on each other’s strengths to enable the next generation of semiconductor innovation, utilizing the value of both companies and the intellectual capital of thousands of skilled employees,” said Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC. GlobalFoundries’ plant in Malta is under construction. It’s expected to employ 1,5000 during the construction phase and 1,6000 permanent and ancillary jobs when it’s running at full capacity in 2010.

 

* Print

* Email

* LinkedIn

*

Yahoo! Buzz

 

Contact the Editor Need Assistance? More Latest News

 

Most Read Stories

 

* Nigro affiliate buys Watertown shopping plaza

* Carmine's Restaurant closes

* GlobalFoundries owner buys Chartered Semiconductor

* Saratoga couple accused in $2.5 million mortgage scheme

* Walmart shows off new interior design at Glenmont store

  

Most Emailed Stories

 

* Albany airport looks to fill Eclipse vacancy

* The Comet named a Roller Coaster Landmark

* GlobalFoundries owner buys Chartered Semiconductor

* N.Y. pursues green building guidelines

* Walmart shows off new interior design at Glenmont store

  

Reader Comments

(0) Comments

You must be logged in to add a comment. Please Login or Register.

Welcome

Add your comment here:

  

logout here

Help us stop spam!

Enter the text below into the box:

 

Can't read this?

 

bizjournals Partners

 

City Guide Spotlight - Albany

Albany

 

* Attractions in Albany

* Cocktails in Albany ATIC to buy Chartered, fold into GlobalFoundries

The move follows an earlier investment in GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with AMD

John Ribeiro (IDG News Service) 08 September, 2009 06:01:00

Tags: processors, globalfoundries, ATIC, amd

 

Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi has signed a definitive agreement to acquire chip maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing of Singapore in a deal valued at S$5.6 billion (US$3.9 billion) in cash and debt, the companies said on Monday.

 

Chartered, a contract chip maker, will become part of GlobalFoundries, the chip manufacturing venture formed by ATIC and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

 

The CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, will head up the combined operations, while Chartered CEO Chia Song Hwee will become chief operating officer and head the integration of the businesses, ATIC said in a statement.

 

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year. It will require approval by Chartered shareholders and government regulators.

 

ATIC is a technology investment company wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

 

The acquisition of Chartered will be its second major investment in the semiconductor industry after the deal with AMD.

 

GlobalFoundries has a manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany, and another under construction in the state of New York.

 

* itdrilldown

* comments

 

*

Panel Discussion: Virtualisati ...

 

"A complete transcript of the panel discussion from the recent CIO Breakfast Briefing, Virtualis ..."

*

Sydney Uni takes virtual cours ...

 

"Following a long IT career in the financial services sector, two and half years ago Bruce Meikl ..."

*

Quick-boot laptops ready for a ...

 

"After being hampered by slow adoption, laptops with quick-boot capabilities may soon be upgrade ..."

*

Cloud Computing Special Part 1 ...

 

"Australian companies of all types are cautiously shifting applications out of the data centre a ..."

*

Cloud Computing Special Part 2 ...

 

"Beyond the hype, some companies are moving cautiously to cloud computing. Meet the experimente ..."

 

* 1

* 2

* 3

* 4

* 5

 

ATIC hopes to combine Chartered's customer relationships and capabilities in both 8-inch and 12-inch fabrication with GlobalFoundries' technology expertise, capacity, and global footprint.

 

Singapore state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings, which owns about 62 percent of Chartered’s shares, fully supports the acquisition and has signed an irrevocable undertaking to vote in support of the transaction, the statement said.

 

Chartered also on Monday revised up its guidance for the third quarter of 2009.

 

The company increased its revenue forecast slightly and narrowed its loss forecast compared to guidance given in July, because of an incremental improvement in business.

  

Albany Nanotech Albany NY New York Aerial photos photographer SUNY University TAC Tour Andover Controls Dallas Boston Andover Massachusetts Texas Carrollton West crosby Road 75006 Scheider Electric BIOTECH EMPAC RPI TROY AMD advanced Micro Devices Malta

                   

www.photosfromonhigh.com Albany Nanotech Fuller Road Albany NY CEG Center for economic growth Tech Valley TAC Tour Andover Controls 1650 west Crosby Road Carrolton Texas Schneider electric 43-45 boulevard Franklin Roosevelt 92500 Rueil-Malmaison-France Key Bank AMD Advanced Micro devices Sunnyvale Ca. California aerial photos photographer Andover Massachusetts Ma. aerial photos Tepperman Ray associates Andover massachusetts Nanotech Clean Rooms

Albany Nanotech Albany Nanotech Albany Nanotech Albany nanotech Albany Nanotech Albany Nanotech AMD AMD AMD AMD AMD AMD Advanced Micro devices Advanced micro devices Advanced micro devices New York new york New york new York New York aerial photos architectural photos www.photosfromonhigh.com/sematech.htm The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany is the first college in the world dedicated to research, development, education, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex – a $4.5 billion megaplex that has attracted over 250 global corporate partners – is the most advanced research complex at any university in the world.

Download the CNSE brochure 2008 Year in Review

   

GW Hatchet: Philippe Chow: Engineering a passion for music

05/11/09

 

Nanotechnology Now: UAlbany NanoCollege Hosts K-12 Students from Throughout Tech Valley for NanoCareer Day

05/10/09

 

AZoNano: NanoCollege Professor Receives Award for Excellence in Research from University at Albany

05/08/09

 

More Headlines >>

NanoNow >>

 

Subscribe to CNSE's RSS Feed

Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Nanoelectronics05/11/09 - 05/14/09

Spring 2009 Commencement Reception05/16/09

Olympus Technology Showcase05/20/09

More Events >>

Upcoming Seminars >>

  

UAlbany NanoCollege Hosts K-12 Students from Throughout Tech Valley for NanoCareer Day

05/07/09

 

UAlbany NanoCollege Professor Serge Oktyabrsky Receives the UAlbany Award for Excellence in Research

05/07/09

 

UAlbany NanoCollege and City School District of Albany Present Nanotechnology Explorations for Educators

04/30/09

 

More Headlines >>

   

News > Nanowerk Research and General News >

Posted: May 28, 2009

Job fair to Help M+W Zander fill 40 project management positions in new chip facility

(Nanowerk News) The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany today announced plans to host a Job Fair to assist M+W Zander in building its project management team to support the construction of GlobalFoundries' computer chip manufacturing facility in Malta.

The Job Fair, to be held on Wednesday, June 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, will help recruit candidates for 40 high-tech design and construction management positions, including electrical and mechanical designers, engineers and estimators; construction and design project managers and coordinators; architectural project managers, planners and interns; and, accounting, purchasing, document control and administrative personnel. The positions carry salaries that range from $40,000 to more than $100,000 annually.

Officials from M+W Zander will be on hand to accept resumes and conduct initial interviews on site, with representatives of CNSE also providing assistance at the event. This marks the fifth high-tech job fair to be held at CNSE in just the past three years, with previous events in May 2006, January 2007, September 2007 and October 2008.

Candidates interested in attending and interviewing at the Job Fair are encouraged to pre-register online by visiting cnse.albany.edu/events/jobfair2009.html.

Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari said, "That still another Job Fair is necessary to fill these high-tech positions is a great testament to the investments made in the rapidly growing nanotechnology sector in the Capital Region and New York State. I hope local residents will take full advantage of this opportunity to learn more about exciting careers in the nanotechnology industry."

Assemblyman John J. McEneny said, "The investments in nanotechnology are once again paying dividends in the form of exciting new high-tech career opportunities for residents of Albany and the Capital Region. It is an enormous source of pride to know that New York State is leading the worldwide nanotechnology revolution, which is creating new jobs and attracting new investments."

Rick Whitney, President and CEO of M+W Zander U.S. Operations said, "It is a pleasure to work in partnership with the UAlbany NanoCollege, the world leader in nanotechnology education, research and development, as M+W Zander builds its construction management team to support GlobalFoundries' world-class computer chip manufacturing facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. As a company that works on high-tech projects and facilities around the world, there is no question that the Capital Region and New York are recognized globally as the place to be for nanotechnology."

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, "With the vision, leadership and support of Speaker Silver, Assembly Majority Leader Canestrari, Assemblyman McEneny and the New York State Assembly, M+W Zander has become a valuable partner in building high-tech facilities that are critical to New York's global leadership in nanotechnology education, research and development, and economic outreach. The UAlbany NanoCollege is pleased to host this Job Fair, which will provide exciting career opportunities for local residents, and ensure that M+W Zander has a highly skilled management team in place to build GlobalFoundries' state-of-the-art computer chip manufacturing plant."

 

With headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, M+W Zander is one of the world's foremost companies for the design and construction of high-tech buildings and cleanroom facilities for research and development, pilot manufacturing, manufacturing, and assembly and testing operations. M+W Zander's Northeastern U.S. headquarters is located at the Watervliet Arsenal, where it employs more than 250 people.

About M+W Zander

The M+W Zander Group offers its customers worldwide integrated life-cycle solutions for high-tech production plants and infrastructure complexes including all necessary service and modernization support. The customer base focuses primarily on leading electronics, photovoltaic, pharmaceutical, chemical, automobile and communication companies, as well as research institutes and universities. The company ranks among the market leaders in various market sectors which include semiconductors, photo-voltaics and pharmaceuticals. MWZ Group GmbH, Stuttgart, manages the global activities of the group as a holding company. The group has three main divisions based on Facility Solutions, Process Solutions and Product Solutions which together generated 2008 revenues of $2.32 billion with a workforce of approximately 4,500.

 

Source: CNSE

Comments

no3rdw says:

Did you take this photo? I did a photosimulation of the nanotech facility expansion based off this very same photo.

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Yes I did. Who supplied the photo to you? I don't remember anyone calling me about this. Only an architect firm in Albany. Let me know. Chris

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

no3rdw says:

Oops, sorry it took a while to get back to you - I just PM'd you about this :)

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Thanks Chris

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Too Much work to do to enter. Chris

Posted 28 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Thanks

Posted 27 months ago. ( permalink )

Donna62 says:

  

A great image, much admired by Donna62 --,

a "FIRST - THE EARTH!" member - www.flickr.com/groups/first-the-earth/

Posted 24 months ago. ( permalink )

 

Add your comment

 

How do I format my comment?

Invite this photo to...

 

Loading groups

 

Invite this photo to...

   

OR

Share This Share this photo

 

Enter email addresses or a contact's screen name:

  

Add a message?

 

Message:

   

Grab the link

Here's a link to this photo. Just copy and paste!

   

Blog it

     

Guest Passes let you share your photos that aren't public. Anyone can see your public photos anytime, whether they're a Flickr member or not. But! If you want to share photos marked as friends, family or private, use a Guest Pass. If you're sharing photos from a set, you can create a Guest Pass that includes any of your photos marked as friends, family, or private. If you're sharing your entire photostream, you can create a Guest Pass that includes photos marked as friends or family (but not your private photos). Learn more about Guest Passes![?]

Uploaded on September 25, 2006

by aerialphotos21

aerialphotos21's photostream

85

uploads

   

This photo also belongs to:

 

Nanotechnology (Pool)

0

   

Adirondack, Upstate NY (Pool)

0

   

***Volunteers in Earthcare ACTIONS! ~ FIRST-THE EARTH - En1:Awd2 (Pool)

0

   

Tags

www.photosfromonhigh.com

TAC

Tour

Andover

Controls

Albany

Nanotech

Tepperman

Ray

Associates

6

windsor

street

Massachusetts

Dallas

Texas

Boston

MA.

aerial

photos

Training

EMPAC

RPI

SUNY

New

York

photographer

americas

asia

pacific

Denmark

Finland

Germany

Norway

Poland

Russia

Sweden

UK

United

Kingdom

England

Solutions

energy

industry

brands

corporate

1650

West

Crosby

Road

Carrollton

75006

Headquarters

photo

Chris

Milian

FIRST - THE EARTH!

v227-f1-My16-07

INTERFACE - ART & PROMOTION

globalfoundries [x]

chip [x]

plant [x]

malta [x]

ny [x]

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany is the first college in the world dedicated to research

development

education

and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience

nanoengineering

nanobioscience

and nanoeconomics. CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex – a $4.5 billion megaplex that has attracted over 250 global corporate partners – is the most advanced research complex at any university in the world. Show machine tags (0)

Hide machine tags (0)

Add a tag

 

Choose from your tags

 

Separate each tag with a space: cameraphone urban moblog. Or to join 2 words together in one tag, use double quotes: "daily commute".

Additional Information

All rights reserved

Anyone can see this photo

  

Taken on September 25, 2006

2 people call this photo a favorite

Viewed 4,342 times

Flag this photo

Flag this photo Cancel

Please review this photo's safety level

 

This is a photo

This is a screenshot

This is art/illustration

 

Need help?

 

Add to your map Yay location removed

 

...

   

(Some formats are OK.)

Anyone will be able to see this on the map (edit)

Or, remove it from the map.

  

Or, remove it from the map.

Finding location...

Finding location...

 

(Some formats are OK.)

Or, cancel.

Are you sure you want to remove this from the map?

 

Removing location...

Saving location...

Or, search again.

 

(Some formats are OK.)

Or, cancel. Do any of these fit? Or, search again.

 

(Some formats are OK.)

Or, cancel.

Are you sure you want to remove this photo's geo information?

  

Who can see this on the map.

Only You

Your Friends and/or Family

Your Family

Your Friends

Your Contacts

Anyone (Recommended)

  

Or, cancel.

 

(Just so you know, it'll take a few minutes to make those updates. But you can carry on as normal while we do the work in the background.) Go to the map Map data CCBYSA 2009 OpenStreetMap.org contributors

 

Activity Around You | In Your Groups | From your friends

You Your Photostream | Organize | Upload | Your Account | Do More, Order Prints

Explore Places | Last 7 Days | This Month | Popular Tags | The Commons | Creative Commons | Search

Help Community Guidelines | The Help Forum | FAQ | Tools | Sitemap | Get Help

Send to a friend

Bookmark on Delicious from Flickr Blog | About Flickr | Terms of Service | Your Privacy | Copyright/IP Policy | Report Abuse

 

| Deutsch | English | Español | Français | | Italiano | Português

Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

  

President Barack Obama Visits Luther Forest Technology Campus Malta Saratoga County New york GlobalFoundries Breaks Ground in Malta

GlobalFoundries held a groundbreaking ceremony for Fab 2 in Malta, N.Y. The foundry's goal is to have the first tool move in by October 2011, with qualification coming in early 2012 and commercial production by the second half of 2012. The event marks "a significant shift in momentum" for chip manufacturing in the United States, said Norm Armour, Fab 2 general manager.

David Lammers, News Editor -- Semiconductor International, 7/24/2009

As an Albany, N.Y., taxi driver ferried a visitor to the GlobalFoundries Fab 2 groundbreaking ceremony near the village of Malta, he said, "For three years they've been talking about this, but I never thought they would actually build it."

 

Planning began in June 2006, and it was this year on June 19 that GlobalFoundries began clearing portions of its 230-acre site, located ~24 miles from Albany and seven miles from Saratoga Springs. Fab 2 is expected to be making volume silicon by the second half of 2012, employing 1400 directly and an estimated 5000 indirect workers. The spinoff of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif.) has room for two additional modules at the site.

 

Fab 2 General Manager Norm Armour said he watched manufacturing shift from the United States to Asian foundries during his career at LSI Logic Corp., where he spent a decade managing LSI's fab in Gresham, Ore. "We are on the other side, trying to bring manufacturing back to a U.S. fab," Armour said. "It is a significant momentum shift."

 

That shift was supported by a $6B investment in GlobalFoundries by the Abu Dhabi Investment Co. (ATIC). The money will be spent to build Fab 2 at Malta, expected to cost $4.2B, as well as to expand and upgrade the GlobalFoundries Module 2 in Dresden, Germany. The state of New York is providing an estimated $1.2B in subsidies for Fab 2, and is investing additional funding to expand the University at Albany's nearby College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). AMD contributed its existing manufacturing complex in Dresden as well as other assets, but no cash, providing AMD with access to a new fab without capital outlays.

   

GlobalFoundries Fab 2 will begin production in the second half of 2012.

  

Because the site is not space-constrained, Fab 2 will be a two-level building rather than three-level, said Tom Sonderman, vice president of manufacturing systems technology at GlobalFoundries. All of the wafer production will be on one floor, eliminating the need to move wafers-in-progress (WIP) up and down floors. A "zero footprint storage" approach will put some wafer stockers above the tools, he added. Implant will be located off of the main waffle slab, reducing construction costs, and maintenance shops will be on the upper production floor to further improve efficiencies.

 

Though its labor costs in both Dresden and Malta will be higher than at many Asian fabs, manufacturing innovations will make GlobalFoundries cost-competitive with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC, Hsinchu, Taiwan), according to Sonderman. GlobalFoundries is investing in the midst of a severe downturn, which also will reduce costs compared with the more expensive 24/7 construction schedules used when fabs are built in a hurry. Armour said it may take 18 months to build Fab 2, which is expected to have a 220,000 sq. ft. cleanroom with an option to expand cleanroom space to 300,000 sq. ft. The goal is to have the first tool move in by October 2011, with qualification coming in early 2012 and commercial production by the second half of 2012, a schedule that could be accelerated somewhat "depending on market conditions," Armour said.

 

Sonderman said construction begins at a time "of a lot of pent-up demand for advanced foundry capacity." Fab 2 will start at 28 nm technology, and then bring up a 22 nm SOI process for CPU production. GlobalFoundries will support AMD's manufacturing needs with the current 45 nm production, moving to 32 and 22 nm production. For foundry customers, however, most of the interest is at the half nodes, including 40 nm bulk technology immediately at Dresden and 28 nm high-k/metal gate technology late next year when 28 nm customer designs start to be accepted.

 

Sonderman said GlobalFoundries is accelerating its effort to support 40 nm bulk production, which he said comes as customers express concerns about yields at TSMC. "We definitely want to be a counterbalance to TSMC," Sonderman said, outlining plans to offer, by 2013, 600,000 wspy at Dresden and 400,000 wspy at Fab 2.

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Real estate, Tech Valley, Technology | 2 Comments

RPI spokesman joining GlobalFoundriesApril 2, 2009 at 10:25 am by Larry Rulison

Jason Gorss, the manager of media relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, will be joining GlobalFoundries later this month in a communications role.

 

Gorss (right) has been at RPI for several years now. He has a technical and scientific background that helps with his new role with the company, which is building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta called Fab 2 and owns two others in Dresden, Germany.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Jon Carvill said that Gorss’ role will be “more global in nature and focused on our technology.

 

“We will still look to add additional resources specific to Fab 2 in 2009,” Carvill said.

 

The company already has an office in Malta at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, which sits within the Luther Forest Technoogy Campus where GlobalFoundries is planning its factory on 222 acres. At least one former General Electric employee is now working there in a human resources position, and additional positions are expected to be filled in the coming months.

 

The new CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, is himself an RPI graduate.

 

The Times Union contacted Gorss this morning by e-mail and he confirmed he is taking the job.

 

“My experience at Rensselaer has given me the rare chance to work with incredibly brilliant people on a wide array of fascinating projects. I am going to miss my colleagues here, but I am excited about the new opportunity with GlobalFoundries,” Gorss said. “It is a perfect fit for someone with my background and interests. I am a technophile at heart, and this job will allow me to immerse myself in some of the most advanced technology on the planet.”05/15/2009 10:10 AM EDT)

  

MALTA, N.Y. — It's rare these days in the semiconductor industry to witness the unfolding of a project on a grand scale. Based on what has been proposed so far, the Global Foundries project backed by Advanced Micro Devices and its partner is precisely that.

 

"We want to be the first truly global semiconductor foundry," said Global Foundries CEO Global Doug Grose at a recent event here, where a ground-breaking ceremony will be held in July.

 

Global Foundries has committed up to $6 billion to develop a new fab to produce chips for AMD and new customers. AMD and partner, Abu Dhabi-backed Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). "This money is for a five- to seven-year stretch. Our investors [are] in this for the long haul," said Grose.

 

According to Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist at market researcher In-Stat, "Everything for the future depends on GlobalFoundries' ability to land new customers. Unfortunately, I can't predict that."

 

Jim Doran, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Dresden, Germany, operation, said Global Foundries will use a Sunnyvale, Calif., facility for technology development and producing process design kits. The U.S. site also will be used for designing intellectual property and chip testing and validation.

 

Global Foundries also is engaged with neighbors here like the IBM Alliance on submicron research and development.

 

Global Foundries' 300-mm Fab 1 in Dresden includes a Module 1 used for 45-nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) chips; Module 2 is used for 32-nm and beyond bulk CMOS process technology. Both modules are expected to operate at 25,000 monthly wafer starts at full capacity. Module 2 production will ramp up in late 2009.

  

The $4.5 billion Fab 2, a 300-mm manufacturing facility in Saratoga County, N.Y., is expected to come online in 2012 with 35,000 wafer starts per month at full capacity. Fab 2 is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs along with about 5,000 spin-off jobs.

    

Page 2: Global Foundries' big bet takes shape in upstate New York

  

Page 1 2

    

Please login or register here to post a comment or to get an email when other comments are made on this article

 

Global Foundries breaks ground on long-awaited NY fab.

 

The new 300-mm manufacturing facility is expected to bring 1,400 direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs and billions of dollars in economic development to upstate New York.

 

By Suzanne Deffree, Managing Editor, News -- Electronic News, 7/24/2009

Global Foundries today announced it officially broke ground on the construction of Fab 2, a new semiconductor manufacturing facility located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, NY.

 

The construction and ramp-up phases for the new $4.2 billion facility are expected to take approximately three years to complete, with volume production expected in 2012. According to the company, once Fab 2 is completed it will stand as the "most technologically advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world" and the "largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States."

 

“As today’s chip designers push the boundaries on the next generation of products, there is a growing need for a new approach to design and manufacturing rooted in collaboration and innovation," Hector Ruiz, chairman of Global Foundries, said in a statement. "With Fab 2, Global Foundries moves the semiconductor industry away from the traditional model of isolated regional development and into an era of global hubs of manufacturing and technology expertise.”

 

The new facility is designed to manufacture microprocessors and logic products on 300-mm wafers, Global Foundries said, noting that initial production is expected to ramp at the 28-nm technology node and move to volume manufacturing on the 22-nm node. Fab 2 will work in conjunction with Global Foundries’ Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany.

   

Today's ground breaking was long awaited. Indeed, talk of the NY fab began in 2006, years before AMD spun out its manufacturing operations to form Global Foundries in October 2008. AMD saw significant support from the state during its decision and commitment process, including $1.2 billion in incentives. That largest private-public investment in the history of the state included grants, tax credits, and other New York City Empire Zone benefits. In accord with the investment, New York gave AMD a two-year window, from July 2007 to July 2009, to initiate the building of a new 300-mm wafer fabrication facility in Saratoga County, NY.

 

New York's significant support was not unwarranted. New York estimated that the plant will create approximately 1,400 new, direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs at full-scale production, providing an estimated annual payroll of more than $88 million to the upstate region. In addition, the project will create approximately 5,000 new, indirect jobs in the region, offering a sustained estimated total annual payroll of $290 million for all jobs, according to New York's estimates.

 

The state's universities also have several high-tech efforts in play that include AMD and its partners. Most recently, Intel, IBM, and Sematech backed an R&D joint venture with the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering center that is expected to add 475 jobs to New York.

 

“New York has worked with Global Foundries for three years to bring this [fab] project to fruition and I am pleased to say that with the groundbreaking of Fab 2, New York and Global Foundries take a lead role in delivering the type of economic growth needed to carry our nation toward sustainable growth,” said Governor David Paterson of New York in the Global Foundries statement. “This initiative not only provides our residents with a source for new jobs, but is integral in positioning New York as a future hub of innovation and an attractive destination for additional investment.”

 

AMD also showed its support at the ground breaking today. "This is an important opportunity to create thousands of jobs and strengthen US competiveness in the high-tech industry," said Dirk Meyer, president and CEO of AMD, in a company statement. “The multi-billion dollar investments in research and development and capacity expansion that Global Foundries is planning strengthen its position as a premier leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing foundry and make it the ideal AMD technology partner to help in bringing our innovative products to market.”

 

Link: www.edn.com/article/CA6672910.html

      

Location and plans:

m + w zander U.S. Operations, Inc. is designing and building the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing complex in the world for GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The Fab 2, Module 1 facility is to be located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the Towns of Malta and Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York. The realization of this project will be the crowning achievement in the continued development of New York's Tech Valley as a pre-eminent location for technological breakthroughs not only in the field of semiconductors but in nanotechnology, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and alternative energy as well.

 

m + w zander is proud to be a leader in this effort and shares this website in order to provide information and the excitement of constructing this most important project with the local and world-wide communities.

 

link: fab2construction.com/

           

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by Buyckske Ruben; December 6th, 2009 at 03:22 PM.

  

Buyckske Ruben

View Public Profile

Find More Posts by Buyckske Ruben

 

December 6th, 2009, 03:27 PM #2

Buyckske Ruben

Registered User

  

Join Date: Aug 2007

Posts: 1,539 slideshow of construction site:

 

www.flickr.com/photos/aerial-...th/3460543532/

  

Global Foundries' Fab 2: (part 1)

  

all the 3 parts:

    

Link: www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3614

  

Buyckske Ruben

View Public Profile

Find More Posts by Buyckske Ruben

 

December 13th, 2009, 01:52 PM #3

Buyckske Ruben

Registered User

  

Join Date: Aug 2007

Posts: 1,539 updates

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hector Ruiz, the chairman of GlobalFoundries said that the new chip plant is “by far the most significant high-tech investment made in this country in decades.” This plant will produce the most advanced computer chips in the world when it is completed.

      

Having been the construction project manager for AMD’s original Dresden-based fabrication facilities, Globalfoundries has awarded M+W Zander the full turnkey construction contract for Fab 2, currently being built at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. A departure from pervious fab projects, M+W Zander is also responsible for the architectural aspects of the 4 building project. Previously, AMA Group, based in Italy had been the architectural firm responsible for this aspect of the work. The turnkey project is worth approximately €550 million to M+W Zander over the two-year construction schedule.

 

The Fab 2 complex is more than 130,000 square meters (1.45 million square feet), including a 28,000 square meters (300,000 square feet) Class 100 clean room. A ‘spine’ support building is also being built, along with administrative office building and a central utility building (CUB) along with service yards and small support buildings.

 

M+W Zander will also handle general contracting for all of the technical areas to include the manufacturing spaces, building utilities, central utility building and process systems.

LINK: www.fabtech.org/news/_a/mw_za...undries_fab_2/

   

OKT 2009:

          

Buyckske Ruben

View Public Profile

Find More Posts by Buyckske Ruben

 

December 13th, 2009, 02:04 PM #4

Buyckske Ruben

Registered User

  

Join Date: Aug 2007

Posts: 1,539 Overvieuw project:

         

Impressions inside the fab:

    

Link: blogs.thenational.ae/beep_bee...abu-dhabi.html

        

Buyckske Ruben

View Public Profile

Find More Posts by Buyckske Ruben

 

December 13th, 2009, 02:10 PM #5

Buyckske Ruben

Registered User

  

Join Date: Aug 2007

Posts: 1,539 YOUTUBE FILM about the concurrent Intel.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Fab 32 - Intel's first high-volume 45nm chip factory:

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FLBtQC0F0c

 

Very impressive!

  

Buyckske Ruben

View Public Profile

Find More Posts by Buyckske Ruben

       

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

  

Thread Tools

Show Printable Version

Email this Page

 

Display Modes

Linear Mode

Switch to Hybrid Mode

Switch to Threaded Mode

 

Posting Rules

You may not post new threads

You may not post replies

You may not post attachments

You may not edit your posts

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

BB code is On

Smilies are On

[IMG] code is On

HTML code is Off

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Forum Rules

     

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:27 PM.

  

-- English (US) -- Español 3.6.5 Contact Us - SkyscraperCity - Archive - Top

  

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3

Copyright ©2000 - 2009, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

 

SkyscraperCity - In Urbanity We Trust

 

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!

Linux server management by DaiTengu

  

All timesunion.com blogs | City Brights | Capitol Confidential | Crime Confidential | On the Edge | Table Hopping | The Advocate | Read & React The Buzz: Business news

Covering commerce in the Capital Region

Business section

Category: GlobalFoundries

Customer-centricMay 3, 2009 at 6:00 am by Larry Rulison

 

Talking about customers, GlobalFoundries is making sure that it treats the customers that it does get the right way.

 

The 1.3 million-square-foot factory it will build in Saratoga County features a special entrance for customers, separate from the visitor entrance. Inside, customers will find a nearly half-acre of space devoted to designing chips for them. GlobalFoundries expects its customer base to grow beyond AMD to include graphics chips companies and those that produce chips used in handheld electronics.

  

Posted in GlobalFoundries | 1 Comment

GlobalFoundries site clearing should be soonApril 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm by Larry Rulison

Although the closing on the sale of 222 acres in Malta at the Luther Forest Technology Campus has been in the final stages now for the last couple of weeks, officials with GlobalFoundries Inc. said again today the deal could be done any day now.

 

The deal will also set in motion a number of events, including the awarding of the first contract to clear the site for a $4.2 billion computer chip factory.

 

In fact, right around the time the sale occurs, GlobalFoundries will send its official commitment letter to the state of New York, making it eligible for $650 million in cash incentives for chip fab construction and research and development activities.

 

Around the same time, GlobalFoundries will make the announcement that it has hired a general contractor. Although not official yet, it’s largely expected that M+W Zander, which built Albany NanoTech, will be given the nod. (more…)

 

Posted in Economic development, GlobalFoundries, Tech Valley, Technology | Add a comment

No Malta meeting for GlobalFoundriesApril 28, 2009 at 10:37 am by Larry Rulison

There will be no Malta Planning Board meeting tonight for GlobalFoundries, the company building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in the town.

 

The town planning board had posted an agenda for the meeting on the town’s Web site, but Town Planning Director Anthony Tozzi said today that the planning board has decided it doesn’t need to meet. It was scheduled to review temporary construction plans for the project.

 

GlobalFoundries is still wrapping up the purchase of 222 acres of land at Luther Forest, and closing is expected later this week or early next week. The planning board doesn’t need to make any approvals until after the closing of that deal, which is why the board decided not to meet.

 

The Malta Planning Board usually meets the third Tuesday of every month, but it has set aside the second and fourth Tuesday of every month for the GlobalFoundries project if needed.

 

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Government | Add a comment

AMD posts loss of $416 millionApril 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm by Larry Rulison

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the only customer of GlobalFoundries Inc., the company building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta, posted a $416 million loss in the first quarter.

 

Sales totaled $1.177 billion.

 

AMD spun off GlobalFoundries earlier this year and included the results of GlobalFoundries in its consolidated results released today.

 

Those results say GlobalFoundries had sales of $283 million and an operating loss of $141 million.

 

The results also show AMD spent $44 million on the formation of GlobalFoundries during the past two quarters.

 

GlobalFoundries is expected to acquire 222 acres at the Luther Forest Technology Campus any day now and start construction of the chip fab this summer. The plant is expected to start full-scale manufacturing by 2012.

 

Posted in Advanced Micro Devices Inc., General, GlobalFoundries | Add a comment

Malta holding meeting on Luther ForestApril 20, 2009 at 11:48 am by Larry Rulison

The Malta Town Board will hold a workshop and special meeting tonight to make some minor changes to an agreement it has with the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

  

Aerial shows road construction at the Luther Forest site. (Times Union archive)

The meeting comes as it appears that the sale of 222 acres at Luther Forest to GlobalFoundries Inc. for a $4.2 billion computer chip factory could come any day now.

 

It’s unclear if the changes to the agreement with the town, technically a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions, are needed so the sale can take place.

 

Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville said this morning that he thought the sale might take place today and he didn’t think the changes – considered minor — had to occur for the sale to go through.

 

Sausville said the document deals with things such as who is responsible for interior roads, sidewalks and lights at the tech park.

 

He said Luther Forest and the town reached an agreement last week, but the town of Stillwater made some minor changes to its version on Thursday, and the two documents have to be identical. The park straddles both towns, although most of the land is located in Malta.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard said the Malta meeting is being held just to make minor revisions. He has said the land deal is imminent.

 

Posted in GlobalFoundries, Government | Add a comment

Luther Forest looking for consultantsApril 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm by Larry Rulison

The nonprofit group developing the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta is looking for real estate and construction consultants to provide their expertise as it develops the 1,414-acre business park.

 

Computer chip manufacturer GlobalFoudries Inc. is expected to be the first tenant, taking 222 acres. A deal by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm to acquire the land is due any day now.

 

The Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp. issued a request for proposals today for consultants it can use on an as-needed basis.

 

The RFPs are due back April 30. The review process will begin in early May, with selection to take place within a few weeks after that.

 

To see the RFP, click here.

 

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Real estate, Tech Valley, Technology | 2 Comments

RPI spokesman joining GlobalFoundriesApril 2, 2009 at 10:25 am by Larry Rulison

Jason Gorss, the manager of media relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, will be joining GlobalFoundries later this month in a communications role.

 

Gorss (right) has been at RPI for several years now. He has a technical and scientific background that helps with his new role with the company, which is building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta called Fab 2 and owns two others in Dresden, Germany.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Jon Carvill said that Gorss’ role will be “more global in nature and focused on our technology.

 

“We will still look to add additional resources specific to Fab 2 in 2009,” Carvill said.

 

The company already has an office in Malta at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, which sits within the Luther Forest Technoogy Campus where GlobalFoundries is planning its factory on 222 acres. At least one former General Electric employee is now working there in a human resources position, and additional positions are expected to be filled in the coming months.

 

The new CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, is himself an RPI graduate.

 

The Times Union contacted Gorss this morning by e-mail and he confirmed he is taking the job.

 

“My experience at Rensselaer has given me the rare chance to work with incredibly brilliant people on a wide array of fascinating projects. I am going to miss my colleagues here, but I am excited about the new opportunity with GlobalFoundries,” Gorss said. “It is a perfect fit for someone with my background and interests. I am a technophile at heart, and this job will allow me to immerse myself in some of the most advanced technology on the planet.”

 

Click here to access job opportunities with GlobalFoundries.

 

Posted in Education, GlobalFoundries | 1 Comment

New Fab2 renderings releasedMarch 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm by Larry Rulison

GlobalFoundries Inc. is going to show these new renderings (below) of Fab2 to the Malta Planning Board tonight.

 

GlobalFoundries is planning a $4.2 billion computer-chip factory in the Luther Forest Technology Campus, which sits on land in both Malta and the town of Stillwater.

 

The company is seeking a temporary construction permit tonight after getting approval to start moving soil and trees. That work could begin early next month.

         

Posted in Advanced Micro Devices Inc., GlobalFoundries | Add a comment

Page 5 of 6« First...« Previous23456Next »

Cam'ron - On New Clipse Album

Cam'ron is feat. on Clipse's new album out now. Check it out here.

amazon.com/music

Ron and Susan's Condo In Hawaii

Oceanfront oceanview Hawaii condo. Oceanfront saltwater and freshwater pool. Central air and elevator.

www.ronandsusans.com

overture center ticket office

Just Buy Overture Center Tickets Madison Wisconsin Overture Center Wi

Overture.JustBuyTickets.com

 

Ads by Yahoo!

Posts | Comments Log in

  

Capital Region Job Openings

Membership, Marketing, Outreach Co-ordinator - Troy Community Food Cooperative - Troy, NY

Accounting Assistant - MG Careers - Albany, NY - Schenectady, NY

Paralegal/Legal Assistant - Wilhelm Law Firm, PLLC - Albany, NY

Senior Administrative Assistant - ALBANY COUNTY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION - Albany, NY

Office Manager - NES Inc. - Albany, NY

Pharmacy Customer Service Rep - Hometown Healthcare, Inc. - Watervliet, NY

Club House Coordinator - The Mohawk Golf Club - Schenectady, NY

More Times Union job listingsRecent Comments

Is HDTV helping WRGB? (3)

Kevin: Despite having several HDTV sets in the house, watching WRGB’s news is as painful as watching the...

Jeff: Where did Carrie Proctor go? I liked watching her on RGB.

RP: When we watch the local news, we switch to WRGB only because they broadcast in HD. Other than that, they are no...

Military tanker practicing landings, takeoffs at ALB (10)

Freddie: @9 I believe there is also a base at ALB—Wolf at Wade Here’s a look from a KC-10 fueling a C-17...

Barry Soetoro: Curious as to why they would use ALB when Schenectady is a National Guard base.

L.E.Roy: The “buzzing” you hear is the sound of freedom. Rejoice and be glad in it!

WNYT no longer leader of the pack (90)

One Year Justice: It was almost one year ago that myself and 16 others (including Lydia)were fired….oh I mean...

Categories

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Advertising Agriculture Airlines Albany International Airport Amtrak Architecture Auto Banking Biotech CDTA Chambers of commerce Chip fab Commercial real estate Construction Cost of Living Credit unions Defense Economic development Economy Education Energy Engineering Entertainment Environment Farming Food Fuel cells General General Electric Co. GlobalFoundries Government Health care Health insurers Higher education Hospitality industry Hospitals Industry Insurers Investment banking Jobs Labor Law firms Layoffs Manufacturing Marketing Media Medical instruments Nanotechnology Newspapers Nonprofits Nursing homes On the Move Arts Financial Healthcare Professions Retail Services Technology Telecom PCBs Personal finance Pharmaceuticals Port of Albany Public companies public relations Rail Real estate Residential real estate Restaurants Retail Sematech Small business Software Solar energy Supermarkets Tech Valley Technology Telecommunications Tourism Trade Transportation Unions Utilities Venture capital WAMC Watervliet Arsenal Wind power Business news staff:

Eric Anderson

Business editor: Biotech, Transportation, Retail, Albany International Airport, Port of Albany

Larry Rulison

Business writer: High tech, energy/utilities, manufacturing, bankruptcy court

Chris Churchill

Business writer: Real estate, construction, financial institutions, labor, small business, the stock market.

Archives

[-] 2009 (1706)

December 2009 (68)

November 2009 (80)

October 2009 (89)

September 2009 (117)

August 2009 (91)

July 2009 (123)

June 2009 (176)

May 2009 (174)

April 2009 (230)

March 2009 (186)

February 2009 (176)

January 2009 (196)

[+] 2008 (2314)

December 2008 (184)

November 2008 (177)

October 2008 (176)

September 2008 (197)

August 2008 (171)

July 2008 (197)

June 2008 (225)

May 2008 (213)

April 2008 (209)

March 2008 (199)

February 2008 (171)

January 2008 (195)

[+] 2007 (2006)

December 2007 (166)

November 2007 (193)

October 2007 (188)

September 2007 (140)

August 2007 (140)

July 2007 (150)

June 2007 (181)

May 2007 (198)

April 2007 (166)

March 2007 (167)

February 2007 (149)

January 2007 (168)

[+] 2006 (607)

December 2006 (142)

November 2006 (167)

October 2006 (181)

September 2006 (117)

 

Timesunion.com

Home

Local News

Your Town

Politics

Nation/World

Opinion

Sports

Business Blogs

Weather

Traffic

Calendar

Life

Restaurants

Movies

TV Guide

Travel Obituaries

Births

Weddings/Celebrations

Lottery

Special Reports

Photo Galleries

Video

Comics

Contests Corrections

Archives

Data Center

  

Topics

Home Decor

518 Moms

Entertainment

Local Arts Marketplace

Jobs

Real Estate

Cars

Shopping

Classifieds

Yellow Pages

Today's Print Ads

Place an Ad Home Delivery

Subscription

Customer Care

Source Card

 

Other Editions

Mobile site | Info

E-Edition

E-mail Newsletters

RSS Feeds Services

Help Center

Contact Us

Hope Fund

Copyright

Classroom Enrichment

Online Store

Info for Advertisers

 

Privacy Rights | Terms of Service

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2009, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, NY

 

The resources that are available to companies located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus are unparalleled. The Campus is located in the midst of New York’s Tech Valley, a 19-county region in eastern New York that spans from Montreal to New York City. Tech Valley contains more than 1,000 technology companies providing more than 50,000 jobs. Tech Valley companies have a combined economic impact of more than $5 billion and an annual payroll of $2 billion.

 

Located centrally in NY’s Tech Valley, the Luther Forest Technology Campus is the premier site for innovative, high tech companies. The Luther Forest Technology Campus has convenient access to major North American markets, close proximity to industry suppliers, leading universities, and major R&D partners.

  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"This area (NY’s Capital Region) is really ripe for development with the combination of educational institutions, people and facilities."

-- Hector Ruiz, Chairman of the Board

GLOBALFOUNDRIES

 

Photo credit: Banner image courtesy of University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Lower photo: Aerial view of University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

            

28 Clinton Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 USA

  

went to the community open house at the Globalfoundries Fab2 construction site in Malta, New York this morning. Globalfoundries had a nice tent set up with hot coffee, cookies, donuts, etc. It was a good thing because it was raining pretty hard and the gravel parking lot had a lot of water on it. Globalfoundries and M + W Zander had people on-site to answer questions about the project. They had a few large pictures of the construction site inside the tent as well as artist conceptions of the completed building.

 

The actual construction site could be seen from outside the tent. I took a few of my own pictures that you can see below. Double click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. It is a pretty impressive site. You can’t see the construction site from any of the main roads in the area because it is a few miles deep into The Luther Forest. It is on Stone Break Road off of Route 9 in Malta. I doubt that you can get into the actual construction site except for events like this. (Google Maps can’t locate “Stone Break Road, Malta NY”, unless you include the zip code 12020, but Bing.com can find it without the zip code.)

 

By the time I arrived they had run out of “fact sheets” but I was told to check their website and the information would be updated by Tuesday, October 27th. You can find their website at Globalfoundries.com.

 

Hector Ruiz, the chairman of GlobalFoundries said that the new chip plant is “by far the most significant high-tech investment made in this country in decades.” This plant will produce the most advanced computer chips in the world when it is completed.

 

I wrote a previous article about the chip plant in March. You can read it here: Globalfoundries Chip Plant in Saratoga County New York.

  

The refreshment tent at the Globalfoundries Community Open House

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

The construction and eventual operation of this plant will be an economic boost to Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area for years to come. What do you think about the plant? Leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

  

Tags: bing.com, chip plant, fab2, GlobalFoundries, google maps, Hector Ruiz, luther forest, m + w zander, malta ny, saratoga springs

 

General, New York State | John Tedder | October 24, 2009 4:03 pm

 

One Response to “The Globalfoundries Chip Plant in Malta, New York”

Daniel Tagliento says:

October 31, 2009 at 1:50 pmThe local “newspapers” lack of in depth investigative reporting was not at all included in their articles!

What was the reason the entire working platform had to be ‘bulldozed’ flat and devoid of mature stands of trees and other fauna?

Waht is the landscaping of the buildings and parking areas supposed to ‘blend’ into the surrounding topography?

Does this ‘platforming’ necessiate storm water retention ponds?

 

At the completion and occupation of the complex will it be eye friendly?

Note: Parssiphany, New Jersy

Buiding Codes insist that Mega-National type complexes remain ‘hidden’ in park like setting closely resembling the natural forest thy found before construction. Ten Billion of many Corporate Headquarters in ten years were build and remain sucessful but accessible by two lane tree stands lined country lane like entrances with multi-storied parking structures and modest designed multi-storied offices etc, all this surrounded by lawns and fields!

For Your Information the Mayor, who had his hand opefor the entire process was found guilty of 23 or the 24 charges, his hand was returning to his pocket with money he should not have had procession of!

Back to the Chase:Tokyo Electron opening in Malta; part of first wave drawn by chip fab

 

Star Trek, First Contact (Paramount, 1996).

youtu.be/wxyZQR2d6yw Trailer

 

youtu.be/GTQzusrfCxc?t=3s

Star Trek - 'Beyond First Contact' The Borg - Making The Movie.

 

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige, Neal McDonough, Robert Picardo, and Dwight Schultz. Directed by Jonathan Frakes.

 

Captain Jean-Luc Picard awakens from a nightmare about his Borg assimilation experience to an incoming message from Admiral Hayes. Hayes informs Picard that Deep Space Five reported that a colony has been destroyed. Completing the Admiral's sentence, Picard realizes who destroyed the colony — the Borg.

 

Picard calls a meeting and informs his senior officers that their ship has been instructed to patrol the Neutral Zone. Their orders are to protect the area from any possible Romulan uprising during a Borg attack. Despite protests from his officers, Picard remains faithful to his orders and the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-E begins to patrol the area. Later, Picard regretfully tells Riker that it is his own fault they are stuck in the Neutral Zone. Starfleet believes Picard to be too emotionally involved with the Borg because of his previous assimilation to tactically complete a mission against them.

 

The men return to the bridge to learn that Starfleet has engaged in combat with the Borg. Intercepting messages between the starships, the crew learns that the Federation is losing. Picard, with his Borg experience, knows he can help the fleet. He informs his staff that he will make a decision directly in opposition to Starfleet commands. With no objections from his crew, Captain Picard gives the order and the starship Enterprise sets a course for Earth and the attacking Borg cube.

 

A massive battle ensues and it appears that the Federation will lose the fight. Despite serious structural damage to the Borg cube, their strength does not weaken. Even the U.S.S. Defiant, commanded by Worf, does not appear to be able to turn the tides of the battle. As the starship Defiant is about to ram the Borg ship on a suicide run, the U.S.S. Enterprise beams aboard its crew, including Worf. Picard, having an inside perspective of the Borg and their vessel, focuses the firepower of the fleet on coordinates he knows to be critical. Just as the main ship is destroyed, a spherical escape pod flies out. The sphere creates a temporal vortex, catching the starship Enterprise in its wake. Immune to the paradoxes created by the time travel, the starship's crew learns that Earth at the present time appears to be inhabited entirely by the Borg. The commanding officers realize that the Borg have gone into the past and assimilated Earth, so they follow them back in time to repair the damage the Borg have done.

 

On Earth, over three centuries earlier, a somber Lily Sloane accompanies a stumbling, drunk Zefram Cochrane out of a bar after a night of revelry. Then, Lily notices a fast moving light. She hardly has time to ask what the object is, when the Borg vessel attacks. Back aboard the Enterprise, Picard demands that Data tell him the exact date and location the Borg ship is attacking. The location: central Montana. The date: April 4, 2063 — the day before First Contact. Realizing that the Borg have come to prevent first contact between alien life forms and humans, the crew knows they must stop the Borg and facilitate this exchange. They destroy the Borg sphere, and Dr. Crusher, Captain Picard, Commander Data, Commander Riker, Counselor Troi and other U.S.S. Enterprise crew transport down to Earth to survey the damage.

 

At the Borg attack site in Montana, the crew finds destruction and chaos. They split into groups to search for Cochrane. Data and Picard hunt for Cochrane's warp ship, the Phoenix. There they encounter a very angry and confused Lily, who believes Data and Picard to be members of a coalition that broke the cease-fire after World War III. She shoots at them in a rage, but impervious to bullets, Data approaches Lily. Overcome by fear and radiation, she falls to the ground. Dr. Crusher diagnoses Lily with radiation sickness caused by the damaged Phoenix, and inoculates the entire crew. Against Picard's better judgment, Crusher takes Lily to sickbay. Geordi is called to help repair the warp vessel and Picard becomes intrigued by its historical significance. In this vessel began the future as the world would know it, and the past as Picard remembers it. He reaches out to touch the ship. Data, curious about the human need for tactile reinforcement, attempts to create the same feelings he observes in Picard, but is unsuccessful in duplicating this aspect of humanity.

 

Aboard the ship, two crewmembers are sent to examine unexplained maintenance problems, and both disappear. Picard is called to the ship and discovers that the survivors from the Borg sphere have transported onto the ship and are taking over Deck 16. While Picard arranges teams to fight them, the Borg manipulate the climate of the deck to suit their needs and begin to spread throughout the ship. When the Borg attack sickbay, Crusher, her staff, and Lily escape through a Jeffries tube, thanks to a distraction by the ship's Emergency Medical Hologram. While Crusher leads the group down the passageway, Lily steals away in a different direction.

 

On Earth, Riker finds Troi and Cochrane drunk in a bar. Troi justifies that the only way she could get Cochrane to talk to her was by shooting Tequila with him. Denying her drunken state, Troi offers her professional opinion on Cochrane. She explains, "He's nuts."

 

Picard and his team are tracking the Borg through the starship. As Crusher and her staff find Worf's team, Picard's team encounters the Borg, who have begun to assimilate U.S.S. Enterprise crewmembers. Worf's team engages the Borg in combat, but the enemies adapt to the crew's weapons too quickly to make any difference. The teams are ordered to regroup on Deck 15, but Data is captured. Picard cannot save him, so he quickly crawls into a Jeffries tube to escape. Face to face with Picard, Lily steals his phaser and demands an explanation and escape route. Picard agrees.

 

Geordi shows Cochrane the starship Enterprise through a large telescope on Earth and tries to convince him to launch his vessel the next morning. Geordi glorifies Cochrane by explaining that his ship will make first contact with alien life forms. Humanity will be saved if Cochrane launches his ship. Still drunk, Cochrane agrees.

 

Aboard the ship, the Borg Queen introduces herself to a bound Data, claiming that she is the Collective. Reactivating Data's emotion chip, the Borg begin to graph organic, human skin onto the android's arm. As Data is overcome by this new human sensation of touch, something he never thought possible, the Borg continue their work.

 

Lily and Picard wander through the service deck as the captain attempts to explain what has happened between Lily's time and his own. She begins to calm down until they suddenly run into a Borg-infested area. Quickly escaping in the Holodeck, Picard activates a Dixon Hill program. At a dance, he and Lily try to blend in without being noticed by the Borg. Following the Holodeck's story, Picard searches for Nicky the Nose and takes his machine gun. Killing the Borg with the gun, Picard retrieves the memory chip that contains all of the information the Borg has received. Lily then notices that the two dead Borg were once crewmembers of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

 

Back on Earth, Cochrane keeps hearing what an amazing historical figure he is and begins to question whether or not he wants to go through with the launch. He doubts his own nobility and flees the launch site. Geordi and Riker attempt to catch up with Cochrane in the woods and are forced to stun him with a phaser to return him to the Phoenix.

 

Lily and Picard join the rest of the surviving crew and discover that the Borg are outside of the ship. The retrieved memory chip reveals that they are reconfiguring the main deflector in order to contact the Borg of this century, calling them to Earth to assimilate the planet. Picard, Worf and Lieutenant Hawk put on space suits and venture onto the surface of the starship to stop the Borg.

 

Aware of Data's desire to become human, the Borg Queen offers him the chance to be entirely covered in human flesh and join the Borg, in an attempt to get the encryption codes from Data so she can obtain total control over the U.S.S. Enterprise. Outside the Enterprise, Hawk, Worf and Picard attempt to unlock the deflector dish. Attacked by a Borg, Worf's suit begins to depressurize. Two Borg are killed and Hawk is attacked. As the dish is released, a now-assimilated Hawk attempts to kill Picard. Worf saves the captain, but Hawk is killed. Picard and Worf then destroy the free-floating deflector dish.

 

On Earth, Cochrane explains to Riker that his only motivation for inventing warp travel was money. He never expected to save mankind, become a hero, or be instrumental in the founding of a new civilization. He simply wanted to retire in peace.

 

An argument ensues aboard the Enterprise as the majority of the senior officers believe that they should evacuate the ship, destroying it and the Borg. Picard won't give up, and insists they stay. Challenged by Worf, Picard orders him off the Bridge. Lily follows Picard into his ready room and demands that he explain his obsession with fighting the Borg. Picard declares he won't sacrifice the starship, and swears to finally make the Borg pay for all they've done. Lily quietly and calmly compares Picard to Captain Ahab, forever fighting his white whale — the Borg. Realizing that this fight could only destroy himself and his crew, Picard decides to evacuate the ship. Worf, Picard and Crusher activate the ship's self-destruct sequence. The countdown begins, and the crew leaves in escape pods. Picard surveys his ship and prepares to leave when he hears Data calling him.

 

Meanwhile , the earth-bound crew and Cochrane begin takeoff. Cochrane, Geordi and Riker take off in the Phoenix, and with music blaring, the three men launch successfully into orbit.

 

On the ship, Lily and Picard say good-bye and the captain goes to save Data. Entering Engineering, Picard confronts the Borg Queen, whom he knows from his experience with the Borg. The queen reminds Picard that it was not enough that he was assimilated, but that he needed to give himself freely to the Borg — she wished him to stand by her side as an equal to further the power of the Collective. Picard offers himself in exchange for Data, but the android does not comply. He refuses to leave, and at the queen's command, disarms the self-destruct sequence. He quickly enters the encryption codes, offering full control of the Enterprise to the Borg.

 

As Cochrane's ship nears warp, Data arms the U.S.S Enterprise's weapons and aims them at the defenseless Phoenix. At the Borg Queen's order, Data fires, but the missiles fail to hit the Phoenix. His deception of the Borg complete, Data smashes a conduit, releasing a gas that floods engineering, killing all organic material. As the Borg are destroyed, Picard climbs to safety and the Borg Queen falls into the deadly gas. With the Borg threat gone, Cochrane safely completes humanity's first warp flight.

 

Celebrating the flight back on Earth that night, Cochrane and the Enterprise crew see an alien ship land nearby. The doors open, and Zefram Cochrane makes Earth's first contact with an alien race — the Vulcans. Picard and his crew beam out, having witnessed this historic event, and the U.S.S Enterprise NCC 1701-E returns to the 24th century.

 

Kama Sutra

 

The Kama Sutra (Sanskrit: कामसूत्र About this sound pronunciation (help·info), Kāmasūtra) is an ancient Indian text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse.

It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses. "Kāma" which is one of the four goals of Hindu life, means sensual or sexual pleasure, and "sūtra" literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Contrary to popular perception, especially in the western world, Kama sutra is not just an exclusive sex manual; it presents itself as a guide to a virtuous and gracious living that discusses the nature of love, family life and other aspects pertaining to pleasure oriented faculties of human life.

 

The Kama Sutra is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra (Sanskrit: Kāma Śāstra). Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or "Discipline of Kama" is attributed to Nandi the sacred bull, Shiva's doorkeeper, who was moved to sacred utterance by overhearing the lovemaking of the god and his wife Parvati and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind.

 

Historians attribute Kamasutra to be composed between 400 BCE and 200 CE. John Keay says that the Kama Sutra is a compendium that was collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE.

 

Content

 

Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra has 1250 verses, distributed in 36 chapters, which are further organized into seven parts.

According to both the Burton and Doniger translations, the contents of the book are structured into seven parts like the following:

 

1. General remarks

five chapters on contents of the book, three aims and priorities of life, the acquisition of knowledge, conduct of the well-bred townsman, reflections on intermediaries who assist the lover in his enterprises.

2. Amorous advances/Sexual union

ten chapters on stimulation of desire, types of embraces, caressing and kisses, marking with nails, biting and marking with teeth, on copulation (positions), slapping by hand and corresponding moaning, virile behavior in women, superior coition and oral sex, preludes and conclusions to the game of love. It describes 64 types of sexual acts.

Artistic depiction of a sex position. Although Kama Sutra did not originally have illustrative images, part 2 of the work describes different sex positions.

3. Acquiring a wife

five chapters on forms of marriage, relaxing the girl, obtaining the girl, managing alone, union by marriage.

4. Duties and privileges of the wife

two chapters on conduct of the only wife and conduct of the chief wife and other wives.

5. Other men's wives

six chapters on behavior of woman and man, how to get acquainted, examination of sentiments, the task of go-between, the king's pleasures, behavior in the women's quarters.

6. About courtesans

six chapters on advice of the assistants on the choice of lovers, looking for a steady lover, ways of making money, renewing friendship with a former lover, occasional profits, profits and losses.

7. Occult practices

two chapters on improving physical attractions, arousing a weakened sexual power.

  

Il Kāma Sūtra (sanscrito: कामसूत्र) è un antico testo indiano sul comportamento sessuale umano, ampiamente considerato come l'opera più importante nella letteratura sanscrita sull'amore. Il libro è stato scritto da Vatsyayana ed il suo titolo completo è Vātsyāyana Kāma Sūtra ("Aforismi sull'amore, di Vatsyayana"). Si crede che l'autore sia vissuto in un'epoca fra il I ed il VI secolo, probabilmente durante il periodo Gupta.

 

Il Kama Sutra contiene 36 capitoli, organizzati in sette parti, ognuna delle quali scritta da un esperto nel rispettivo campo. Le parti sono:

 

Introduzione (4 capitoli) - sull'amore in generale, il suo posto nella vita di un uomo ed una classificazione delle donne.

Sull'unione sessuale (10 capitoli) - una discussione approfondita sul bacio, vari tipi di preliminari, orgasmo, una lista di posizioni sessuali, sesso orale, parafilia, e ménage à trois.

Sull'acquisizione di una moglie (5 capitoli) - corteggiamento e matrimonio.

Su una moglie (2 capitoli) - il comportamento corretto di una moglie.

Sulle mogli degli altri (6 capitoli) - principalmente seduzione.

Sulle cortigiane (6 capitoli).

Sui mezzi per attrarre gli altri a qualcuno (2 capitoli).

 

Il Kama Sutra contiene un totale di 64 posizioni sessuali anche rappresentate. Hanno diversi nomi, come ad esempio quelli degli animali o delle azione degli animali. Vatsyayana credeva che ci fossero otto modi di fare l'amore, moltiplicati per otto posizioni per ognuno. Nel libro queste sono note come le 64 Arti. Il capitolo che elenca le posizioni è il più famoso e per questo è spesso scambiato per l'intera opera.

 

Tuttavia, solo circa il 20 per cento del libro è dedicato alle posizioni sessuali. Il resto è una guida su come essere un buon cittadino e parla delle relazioni fra uomini e donne. Il Kama Sutra descrive il fare l'amore come un'unione divina. Vatsyayana credeva che il sesso in sé non fosse sbagliato, a meno che non lo si facesse frivolmente. Il Kama Sutra ha aiutato le persone a godere dell'arte del sesso in maniera più profonda e può essere considerato una guida tecnica al godimento sessuale, oltre a provvedere ad una descrizione dei costumi e delle pratiche sessuali dell'India di quei tempi.

 

Il Kama (in sanscrito piacere o benessere) non è infatti percepito come un peccato, ma è uno dei quattro scopi della vita (purushartha).

 

La traduzione inglese più conosciuta del libro è quella del 1883 di Sir Richard Burton.

 

il Kamasultra di Jacovitti e Marchesi, scandalizzò i cattolici e costrinse il disegnatore a interrompere la collaborazione con "DiarioVitt". Il solare e ingenuo erotismo di Jacovitti oggi non turba più nessuno, ma permette di completare la conoscenza di uno dei più grandi cartoonist dello scorso secolo, sicuramente il padre del fumetto "made in Italy".

 

SS..........THE LIBERAL/LEFTIST BELIEF SYSTEM IS IN FULL SWING AMERICA...... ....MOTHER NATURE HOLDS SWAY OVER ALL THE EARTH SPREADING JOY AND LIGHT AND THE MAGIC UNICORN SPREADS IT'S GOLDEN BOUNTY FOR THE GOOD PEOPLE OF AMERICA AND THE WORLD..........................SO LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL..... PARTY ON!!

 

=============================================================

 

Submitted by James H. Kunstler of Kunstler.com,

 

Many of us in the Long Emergency crowd and like-minded brother-and-sisterhoods remain perplexed by the amazing stasis in our national life, despite the gathering tsunami of forces arrayed to rock our economy, our culture, and our politics. Nothing has yielded to these forces already in motion, so far. Nothing changes, nothing gives, yet. It’s like being buried alive in Jell-O. It’s embarrassing to appear so out-of-tune with the consensus, but we persevere like good soldiers in a just war.

 

Paper and digital markets levitate, central banks pull out all the stops of their magical reality-tweaking machine to manipulate everything, accounting fraud pervades public and private enterprise, everything is mis-priced, all official statistics are lies of one kind or another, the regulating authorities sit on their hands, lost in raptures of online pornography (or dreams of future employment at Goldman Sachs), the news media sprinkles wishful-thinking propaganda about a mythical “recovery” and the “shale gas miracle” on a credulous public desperate to believe, the routine swindles of medicine get more cruel and blatant each month, a tiny cohort of financial vampire squids suck in all the nominal wealth of society, and everybody else is left whirling down the drain of posterity in a vortex of diminishing returns and scuttled expectations.

 

Life in the USA is like living in a broken-down, cob-jobbed, vermin-infested house that needs to be gutted, disinfected, and rebuilt — with the hope that it might come out of the restoration process retaining the better qualities of our heritage. Some of us are anxious to get on with the job, to expel all the rats, bats, bedbugs, roaches, and lice, tear out the stinking shag carpet and the moldy sheet-rock, rip off the crappy plastic siding, and start rebuilding along lines that are consistent with the demands of the future — namely, the reality of capital and material resource scarcity. But it has been apparent for a while that the current owners of the house would prefer to let it fall down, or burn down rather than renovate.

 

Some of us now take that outcome for granted and are left to speculate on how it will play out. These issues were the subjects of my recent non-fiction books, The Long Emergency and Too Much Magic (as well as excellent similar books by Richard Heinberg, John Michael Greer, Dmitry Orlov, and others). They describe the conditions at the end of the cheap energy techno-industrial phase of history and they laid out a conjectural sequence of outcomes that might be stated in shorthand as collapse and re-set. I think the delay in the onset of epochal change can be explained pretty simply. As the peak oil story gained traction around 2005, and was followed (as predicted) by a financial crisis, the established order fought back for its survival, utilizing its remaining dwindling capital and the tremendous inertia of its own gigantic scale, to give the appearance of vitality at all costs.

 

At the heart of the matter was (and continues to be) the relationship between energy and economic growth. Without increasing supplies of cheap energy, economic growth — as we have known it for a couple of centuries — does not happen anymore. At the center of the economic growth question is credit. Without continued growth, credit can’t be repaid, and new credit cannot be issued honestly — that is, with reasonable assurance of repayment — making it worthless. So, old debt goes bad and the new debt is generated knowing that it is worthless. To complicate matters, the new worthless debt is issued to pay the interest on the old debt, to maintain the pretense that it is not going bad. And then all kinds of dishonest side rackets are run around this central credit racket — shadow banking, “innovative” securities (i.e. new kinds of frauds and swindles, CDOs CDSs, etc.), flash trading, insider flimflams, pump-and-dumps, naked shorts, etc. These games give the impression of an economy that seems to work. But the reported “growth” is phony, a concoction of overcooked statistics and wishful thinking. And the net effect moves the society as a whole in the direction of more destructive ultimate failure.

 

Now, a number of stories have been employed lately to keep all these rackets going — or, at least, keep up the morale of the swindled masses. They issue from the corporations, government agencies, and a lazy, wishful media. Their purpose is to prop up the lie that the dying economy of yesteryear is alive and well, and can continue “normal” operation indefinitely. Here are the favorites of the past year:

  

•Shale oil and gas amount to an “energy renaissance” that will keep supplies of affordable fossil fuels flowing indefinitely, will make us “energy independent,” and will make us “a bigger producer than Saudi Arabia.” This is all mendacious bullshit with a wishful thinking cherry on top. Here’s how shale oil is different from conventional oil:

PP Oil 2

  

•A “manufacturing renaissance” is underway in the US, especially in the “central corridor” running from Texas north to Minnesota. That hoopla is all about a few chemical plants and fertilizer factories that have reopened to take advantage of cheaper natural gas. Note, the shale gas story is much like the shale oil story in terms of drilling and production. The depletion rates are quick and epic. In a very few years, shale gas won’t be cheap anymore. Otherwise, current talk of new manufacturing for hard goods is all about robots. How many Americans will be employed in these factories? And what about the existing manufacturing over-capacity everywhere else in the world? Are we making enough sneakers and Justin Beiber dolls? File under complete fucking nonsense.

  

•The USA is “the cleanest shirt in the laundry basket,” “the best house in a bad neighborhood,” the safest harbor for international “liquidity,” making it a sure bet that both the equity and bond markets will continue to ratchet up as money seeking lower risk floods in to the Dow and S & P from other countries with dodgier economies and sicker banks. In a currency war, with all nations competitively depreciating their currencies, gaming interest rates, manipulating markets, falsely reporting numbers, hiding liabilities, backstopping bad banks, and failing to regulate banking crime, there are no safe harbors. The USA can pretend to be for a while and then that illusion will pop, along with the “asset” bubbles that inspire it.

  

•The USA is enjoying huge gains from fantastic new “efficiencies of technological innovation.” The truth is not so dazzling. Computer technology, produces diminishing returns and unanticipated consequences. The server farms are huge energy sinks. Online shopping corrodes the resilience of commercial networks when only a few giant companies remain standing; and so on. Problems like these recall the central collapse theory of Joseph Tainter which states that heaping additional complexity on dysfunctional hyper-complex societies tends to induce their collapse. Hence, my insistence that downscaling, simplifying, re-localizing and re-setting the systems we depend on are imperative to keep the project of civilization going. That is, if you prefer civilization to its known alternatives.

  

Notice that all of these stories want to put over the general impression that the status quo is alive and well. They’re based on the dumb idea that the stock markets are a proxy for the economy, so if the Standard & Poor’s 500 keeps on going up, it’s all good. The master wish running through the American zeitgeist these days is that we might be able to keep driving to Wal-Mart forever.

  

The truth is that we still have a huge, deadly energy problem. Shale oil is not cheap oil, and it will stop seeming abundant soon. If the price of oil goes much above $100 a barrel, which you’d think would be great for the oil companies, it will crash demand for oil. If it crashes demand, the price will go down, hurting the profitability of the shale oil companies. It’s quite a predicament. Right now, in the $90-100-a-barrel range, it’s just slowly bleeding the economy while barely allowing the shale oil producers to keep up all the drilling. Two-thirds of all the dollars invested (more than $120 billion a year) goes just to keep production levels flat. Blogger Mark Anthony summarized it nicely:

 

…the shale oil and gas developers tend to use unreliable production models to project unrealistically high EURs (Estimated Ultimate Recovery) of their shale wells. They then use the over-estimated EURs to under-calculate the amortization costs of the capital spending, in order to report “profits”, despite of the fact that they have to keep borrowing more money to keep drilling new wells, and that capital spending routinely out paces revenue stream by several times… shale oil and gas producers tend to over-exaggerate productivity of their wells, under-estimate the well declines…in order to pitch their investment case to banks and investors, so they can keep borrowing more money to keep drilling shale wells.

 

As stated in the intro, these perversities reverberate in the investment sector. Non-cheap oil upsets the mechanisms of capital formation — financial growth is stymied — in a way that ultimately affects the financing of oil production itself. Old credit cannot be repaid, scaring off new credit (because it is even more unlikely to be repaid). At ZIRP interest, nobody saves. The capital pools dry up. So the Federal Reserve has to issue ersatz credit dollars on its computers. That credit will remain stillborn and mummified in depository institutions afraid of lending it to the likes of sharpies and hypesters in the shale gas industry.

 

But real, functioning capital (credit that can be paid back) is vanishing, and the coming scarcity of real capital makes it much more difficult to keep the stupendous number of rigs busy drilling and fracking new shale oil wells, which you have to do incessantly to keep production up, and as the investment in new drilling declines, and the “sweet spots” yield to the less-sweet spots or the not-sweet-at-all spots… then the Ponzis of shale oil and shale gas, too will be unmasked as the jive endeavors they are. And when people stop believing these cockamamie stories, the truth will dawn on them that we are in a predicament where further growth and wealth cannot be generated and the economy is actually in the early stages of a permanent contraction, and that will trigger an unholy host of nasty consequences proceeding from the loss of faith in these fairy tales, going so far as the meltdown of the banking system, social turmoil, and political upheaval.

  

The bottom line is that the “shale revolution” will be short-lived. 2014 may be the peak production year in the Bakken play of North Dakota. Eagle Ford in Texas is a little younger and may lag Bakken by a couple of years. If Federal Reserve policies create more disorder in the banking system this year, investment for shale will dry up, new drilling will nosedive, and shale oil production will go down substantially. Meanwhile. conventional oil production in the USA continues to decline remorselessly.

  

The End of Fed Cred

 

It must be scary to be a Federal Reserve governor. You have to pretend that you know what you’re doing when, in fact, Fed policy appears completely divorced from any sense of consequence, or cause-and-effect, or reality — and if it turns out you’re not so smart, and your policies and interventions undermine true economic resilience, then the scuttling of the most powerful civilization in the history of the world might be your fault — even if you went to Andover and wear tortoise-shell glasses that make you appear to be smart.

  

The Fed painted itself into a corner the last few years by making Quantitative Easing a permanent feature of the financial landscape. QE backstops everything now. Tragically, additional backdoor backstopping extends beyond the QE official figures (as of December 2013) of $85 billion a month. American money (or credit) is being shoveled into anything and everything, including foreign banks and probably foreign treasuries. It’s just another facet of the prevailing pervasive dishonesty infecting the system that we have no idea, really, how much money is being shoveled and sprinkled around. Anything goes and nothing matters. However, since there is an official consensus that you can’t keep QE money-pumping up forever, the Fed officially made a big show of seeking to begin ending it. So in the Spring of 2013 they announced their intention to “taper” their purchases of US Treasury paper and mortgage paper, possibly in the fall.

  

Well, it turned out they didn’t or couldn’t taper. As the fall equinox approached, with everyone keenly anticipating the first dose of taper, the equity markets wobbled and the interest rate on the 10-year treasury — the index for mortgage loans and car loans — climbed to 3.00 percent from its May low of 1.63 — well over 100 basis points — and the Fed chickened out. No September taper. Fake out. So, the markets relaxed, the interest rate on the 10-year went back down, and the equity markets resumed their grand ramp into the Christmas climax. However, the Fed’s credibility took a hit, especially after all their confabulating bullshit “forward guidance” in the spring and summer when they couldn’t get their taper story straight. And in the meantime, the Larry-Summers-for-Fed-Chair float unfloated, and Janet Yellen was officially picked to succeed Ben Bernanke, with her reputation as an extreme easy money softie (more QE, more ZIRP), and a bunch of hearings were staged to make the Bernanke-Yellen transition look more reassuring.

  

And then on December 18, outgoing chair Bernanke announced, with much fanfare, that the taper would happen after all, early in the first quarter of 2014 ­— after he is safely out of his office in the Eccles building and back in his bomb shelter on the Princeton campus. The Fed meant it this time, the public was given to understand.

  

The only catch here, as I write, after the latest taper announcement, is that interest on the 10-year treasury note has crept stealthily back up over 3 percent. Wuh-oh. Not a good sign, since it means more expensive mortgages and car loans, which happen to represent the two things that the current economy relies on to appear “normal.” (House sales and car sales = normal in a suburban sprawl economy.)

  

I think the truth is the Fed just did too darn much QE and ZIRP and they waited way too long to cut it out, and now they can’t end it without scuttling both the stock and bond markets. But they can’t really go forward with the taper, either. A rock and a hard place. So, my guess is that they’ll pretend to taper in March, and then they’ll just as quickly un-taper. Note the curious report out of the American Enterprise Institute ten days ago by John H. Makin saying that the Fed’s actual purchase of debt paper amounted to an average $94 billion a month through the year 2013, not $85 billion. Which would pretty much negate the proposed taper of $5 billion + $5 billion (Treasury paper + Mortgage paper).

  

And in so faking and so doing they may succeed in completely destroying the credibility of the Federal Reserve. When that happens, capital will be disappearing so efficiently that the USA will find itself in a compressive deflationary spiral — because that’s what happens when faith in the authority behind credit is destroyed, and new loans to cover the interest on old loans are no longer offered in the non-government banking system, and old loans can’t be serviced. At which point the Federal Reserve freaks out and announces new extra-special QE way above the former 2013 level of $85 billion a month, and the government chips in with currency controls. And that sets in motion the awful prospect of the dreaded “crack-up boom” into extraordinary inflation, when dollars turn into hot potatoes and people can’t get rid of them fast enough. Well, is that going to happen this year? It depends on how spooked the Fed gets. In any case, there is a difference between high inflation and hyper-inflation. High inflation is bad enough to provoke socio-political convulsion. I don’t really see how the Fed gets around this March taper bid without falling into the trap I’ve just outlined. It wouldn’t be a pretty situation for poor Ms. Janet Yellen, but nobody forced her to take the job, and she’s had the look all along of a chump, the perfect sucker to be left holding a big honking bag of flop.

  

We’re long overdue for a return to realistic pricing in all markets. The Government and its handmaiden, the Fed, have tweaked the machinery so strenuously for so long that these efforts have entered the wilderness of diminishing returns. Instead of propping up the markets, all they can accomplish now is further erosion of the credibility of the equity markets and the Fed itself — and that bodes darkly for a money system that is essentially run on faith. I think the indexes have topped. The “margin” (money borrowed to buy stock) in the system is at dangerous, historically unprecedented highs. There may be one final reach upward in the first quarter. Then the equities crater, if not sooner. I still think the Dow and S &P could oversell by 90 percent of their value if the falsehoods of the post-2008 interventions stopped working their hoodoo on the collective wishful consciousness.

  

The worldwide rise in interest rates holds every possibility for igniting a shitstorm in interest rate swaps and upsetting the whole apple-cart of shadow banking and derivatives. That would be a bullet in the head to the TBTF banks, and would therefore lead to a worldwide crisis. In that event, the eventual winners would be the largest holders of gold, who could claim to offer the world a trustworthy gold-backed currency, especially for transactions in vital resources like oil. That would, of course, be China. The process would be awfully disorderly and fraught with political animus. Given the fact that China’s own balance sheet is hopelessly non-transparent and part-and-parcel of a dishonest crony banking system, China would have to use some powerful smoke-and-mirrors to assume that kind of dominant authority. But in the end, it comes down to who has the real goods, and who screwed up (the USA, Europe, Japan) and China, for all its faults and perversities, has the gold.

  

The wholesale transfer of gold tonnage from the West to the East was one of the salient events of 2013. There were lots of conspiracy theories as to what drove the price of gold down by 28 percent. I do think the painful move was partly a cyclical correction following the decade-long run up to $1900 an ounce. Within that cyclical correction, there was a lot of room for the so-called “bullion banks” to pound the gold and silver prices down with their shorting orgy. Numerous times the past year, somebody had laid a fat finger on the “sell” key, like, at four o’clock in the morning New York time when no traders were in their offices, and the record of those weird transactions is plain to see in the daily charts. My own theory is that an effort was made — in effect, a policy — to suppress the gold price via collusion between the Fed, the US Treasury, the bullion banks, and China, as a way to allow China to accumulate gold to offset the anticipated loss of value in the US Treasury paper held by them, throwing China a big golden bone, so to speak — in other words, to keep China from getting hugely pissed off. The gold crash had the happy effect for the US Treasury of making the dollar appear strong at a time when many other nations were getting sick of US dollar domination, especially in the oil markets, and were threatening to instigate a new currency regime by hook or by crook. Throwing China the golden bone is also consistent with the USA’s official position that gold is a meaningless barbaric relic where national currencies are concerned, and therefore nobody but the barbaric yellow hordes of Asia would care about it.

  

Other nations don’t feel that way. Russia and Switzerland have been accumulating gold like crazy at bargain prices this year. Last year, Germany requested its sovereign gold cache (300 tons) to be returned from the vaults in America, where it was stored through all the decades of the cold war, safe from the reach of the Soviets. But American officials told the Germans it would take seven years to accomplish the return. Seven years ! ! ! WTF? Is there a shortage of banana boats? The sentiment in goldville is that the USA long ago “leased” or sold off or rehypothecated or lost that gold. Anyway, Germany’s 300 tons was a small fraction of the 6,700 tons supposedly held in the Fed’s vaults. Who knows? No auditors have been allowed into the Fed vaults to actually see what’s up with the collateral. This in and of itself ought to make the prudent nervous.

  

I think we’re near the end of these reindeer games with gold, largely because so many vaults in the West have been emptied. That places constraints on further shenanigans in the paper gold (and silver) markets. In an environment where both the destructive forces of deflation and inflation can be unleashed in sequence, uncertainty is the greatest motivator, trumping the usual greed and fear seen in markets that can be fairly measured against stable currencies. In 2014, the public has become aware of the bank “bail-in” phenomenon which, along with rehypothication schemes, just amounts to the seizure of customer and client accounts — a really new wrinkle in contemporary banking relations. Nobody knows if it’s safe to park cash money anywhere except inside the mattress. The precedent set in Cyprus, and the MF Global affair, and other confiscation events, would tend to support an interest in precious metals held outside the institutional framework. Uncertainty rules.

  

Miscellany

 

I get a lot of email on the subject of Bitcoin. Here’s how I feel about it.

It’s an even more abstract form of “money” than fiat currencies or securities based on fiat currencies. Do we need more abstraction in our economic lives? I don’t think so. I believe the trend will be toward what is real. For the moment, Bitcoin seems to be enjoying some success as it beats back successive crashes. I’m not very comfortable with the idea of investing in an algorithm. I don’t see how it is impervious to government hacking. In fact, I’d bet that somewhere in the DOD or the NSA or the CIA right now some nerd is working on that. Bitcoin is provoking imitators, other new computer “currencies.” Why would Bitcoin necessarily enjoy dominance? And how many competing algorithmic currencies can the world stand? Wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose of an alternative “go to” currency? All I can say is that I’m not buying Bitcoins.

  

Will ObamaCare crash and burn. It’s not doing very well so far. In fact, it’s a poster-child for Murphy’s Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong). I suppose the primary question is whether they can enroll enough healthy young people to correct the actuarial nightmare that health insurance has become. That’s not looking so good either now. But really, how can anyone trust a law that was written by the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry? And how can it be repealed when so many individuals, groups, companies, have already lost their pre-ObamaCare policies? What is there to go back to? Therefore, I’d have to predict turmoil in the health care system for 2014. The failure to resolve the inadequacies of ObamaCare also may be a prime symptom of the increasing impotence of the federal government to accomplish anything. That failure would prompt an even faster downscaling of governance as states, counties, communities, and individuals realize that they are on their own.

  

Sorry to skip around, but a few stray words about the state of American culture. Outside the capitals of the “one percent” — Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, etc. — American material culture is in spectacular disrepair. Car culture and chain store tyranny have destroyed the physical fabric of our communities and wrecked social relations. These days, a successful Main Street is one that has a wig shop and a check-cashing office. It is sickening to see what we have become. Our popular entertainments are just what you would design to produce a programmed population of criminals and sex offenders. The spectacle of the way our people look —overfed, tattooed, pierced, clothed in the raiment of clowns — suggests an end-of-empire zeitgeist more disturbing than a Fellini movie. The fact is, it simply mirrors the way we act, our gross, barbaric collective demeanor. A walk down any airport concourse makes the Barnum & Bailey freak shows of yore look quaint. In short, the rot throughout our national life is so conspicuous that a fair assessment would be that we are a wicked people who deserve to be punished.

  

Elsewhere in the World

 

Globalism, in the Tom Friedman euphoric sense, is unwinding. Currency wars are wearing down the players, conflicts and tensions are breaking out where before there were only Wal-Mart share price triumphs and Foxconn profits. Both American and European middle-classes are too exhausted financially to continue the consumer orgy of the early millennium. The trade imbalances are horrific. Unpayable debt saturates everything. Sick economies will weigh down commodity prices except for food-related things. The planet Earth has probably reached peak food production, including peak fertilizer. Supplies of grain will be inadequate in 2014 to feed the still-expanding masses of the poor places in the world.

  

The nervous calm in finance and economies since 2008 has its mirror in the relative calm of the political scene. Uprisings and skirmishes have broken out, but nothing that so far threatens the peace between great powers. There have been the now-historic revolts in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and other Middle East and North African (MENA) states. Iraq is once again disintegrating after a decade of American “nation-building.” Greece is falling apart. Spain and Italy should be falling apart but haven’t yet. France is sinking into bankruptcy. The UK is in on the grift with the USA and insulated from the Euro, but the British Isles are way over-populated with a volatile multi-ethnic mix and not much of an economy outside the financial district of London. There were riots in — of all places — Sweden this year. Turkey entered crisis just a few weeks ago along with Ukraine.

  

I predict more colorful political strife in Europe this year, boots in the street, barricades, gunfire, and bombs. The populations of these countries will want relief measures from their national governments, but the sad news is that these governments are broke, so austerity seems to be the order of the day no matter what. I think this will prod incipient revolts in a rightward nationalist direction. If it was up to Marine LePen’s rising National Front party, they would solve the employment problem by expelling all the recent immigrants — though the mere attempt would probably provoke widespread race war in France.

  

The quarrel between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands is a diversion from the real action in the South China Sea, said to hold large underwater petroleum reserves. China is the world’s second greatest oil importer. Their economy and the credibility of its non-elected government depends on keeping the oil supply up. They are a long way from other places in the world where oil comes from, hence their eagerness to secure and dominate the South China Sea. The idea is that China would make a fuss over the Senkaku group, get Japan and the US to the negotiating table, and cede the dispute over them to Japan in exchange for Japan and the US supporting China’s claims in the South China Sea against the other neighbors there: Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

  

The catch is that Japan may be going politically insane just now between the rigors of (Shinzo) Abenomics and the mystical horrors of Fukushima. Japan’s distress appears to be provoking a new mood of nationalist militarism of a kind not seen there since the 1940s. They’re talking about arming up, rewriting the pacifist articles in their constitution. Scary, if you have a memory of the mid-20th century. China should know something about national psychotic breaks, having not so long ago endured the insanity of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution (1966-71). So they might want to handle Japan with care. On the other hand, China surely nurtures a deep, deadly grudge over the crimes perpetrated by Japan in the Second World War, and now has a disciplined, world-class military, and so maybe they would like to kick Japan’s ass. It’s a hard one to call. I suspect that in 2014, the ball is in Japan’s court. What will they do? If the US doesn’t stay out of the way of that action, then we are insane, too.

  

That said, I stick by my story from last year’s forecast: Japan’s ultimate destination is to “go medieval.” They’re never going to recover from Fukushima, their economy is unraveling, they have no fossil fuels of their own and have to import everything, and their balance of payments is completely out of whack. The best course for them will be to just throw in the towel on modernity. Everybody else is headed that way, too, eventually, so Japan might as well get there first and set a good example.

  

By “go medieval” I mean re-set to a pre-industrial World Made By Hand level of operation. I’m sure that outcome seems laughably implausible to most readers, but I maintain that both the human race and the planet Earth need a “time out” from the ravages of “progress,” and circumstances are going to force the issue anyway, so we might as well kick back and get with the program: go local, downscale, learn useful skills, cultivate our gardens, get to know our neighbors, learn how to play a musical instrument, work, dine, and dance with our friends.

 

www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-06/jim-kunstlers-2014-fore...

 

Star Trek, First Contact (Paramount, 1996).

youtu.be/wxyZQR2d6yw Trailer

 

youtu.be/GTQzusrfCxc?t=3s

Star Trek - 'Beyond First Contact' The Borg - Making The Movie.

 

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige, Neal McDonough, Robert Picardo, and Dwight Schultz. Directed by Jonathan Frakes.

 

Captain Jean-Luc Picard awakens from a nightmare about his Borg assimilation experience to an incoming message from Admiral Hayes. Hayes informs Picard that Deep Space Five reported that a colony has been destroyed. Completing the Admiral's sentence, Picard realizes who destroyed the colony — the Borg.

 

Picard calls a meeting and informs his senior officers that their ship has been instructed to patrol the Neutral Zone. Their orders are to protect the area from any possible Romulan uprising during a Borg attack. Despite protests from his officers, Picard remains faithful to his orders and the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-E begins to patrol the area. Later, Picard regretfully tells Riker that it is his own fault they are stuck in the Neutral Zone. Starfleet believes Picard to be too emotionally involved with the Borg because of his previous assimilation to tactically complete a mission against them.

 

The men return to the bridge to learn that Starfleet has engaged in combat with the Borg. Intercepting messages between the starships, the crew learns that the Federation is losing. Picard, with his Borg experience, knows he can help the fleet. He informs his staff that he will make a decision directly in opposition to Starfleet commands. With no objections from his crew, Captain Picard gives the order and the starship Enterprise sets a course for Earth and the attacking Borg cube.

 

A massive battle ensues and it appears that the Federation will lose the fight. Despite serious structural damage to the Borg cube, their strength does not weaken. Even the U.S.S. Defiant, commanded by Worf, does not appear to be able to turn the tides of the battle. As the starship Defiant is about to ram the Borg ship on a suicide run, the U.S.S. Enterprise beams aboard its crew, including Worf. Picard, having an inside perspective of the Borg and their vessel, focuses the firepower of the fleet on coordinates he knows to be critical. Just as the main ship is destroyed, a spherical escape pod flies out. The sphere creates a temporal vortex, catching the starship Enterprise in its wake. Immune to the paradoxes created by the time travel, the starship's crew learns that Earth at the present time appears to be inhabited entirely by the Borg. The commanding officers realize that the Borg have gone into the past and assimilated Earth, so they follow them back in time to repair the damage the Borg have done.

 

On Earth, over three centuries earlier, a somber Lily Sloane accompanies a stumbling, drunk Zefram Cochrane out of a bar after a night of revelry. Then, Lily notices a fast moving light. She hardly has time to ask what the object is, when the Borg vessel attacks. Back aboard the Enterprise, Picard demands that Data tell him the exact date and location the Borg ship is attacking. The location: central Montana. The date: April 4, 2063 — the day before First Contact. Realizing that the Borg have come to prevent first contact between alien life forms and humans, the crew knows they must stop the Borg and facilitate this exchange. They destroy the Borg sphere, and Dr. Crusher, Captain Picard, Commander Data, Commander Riker, Counselor Troi and other U.S.S. Enterprise crew transport down to Earth to survey the damage.

 

At the Borg attack site in Montana, the crew finds destruction and chaos. They split into groups to search for Cochrane. Data and Picard hunt for Cochrane's warp ship, the Phoenix. There they encounter a very angry and confused Lily, who believes Data and Picard to be members of a coalition that broke the cease-fire after World War III. She shoots at them in a rage, but impervious to bullets, Data approaches Lily. Overcome by fear and radiation, she falls to the ground. Dr. Crusher diagnoses Lily with radiation sickness caused by the damaged Phoenix, and inoculates the entire crew. Against Picard's better judgment, Crusher takes Lily to sickbay. Geordi is called to help repair the warp vessel and Picard becomes intrigued by its historical significance. In this vessel began the future as the world would know it, and the past as Picard remembers it. He reaches out to touch the ship. Data, curious about the human need for tactile reinforcement, attempts to create the same feelings he observes in Picard, but is unsuccessful in duplicating this aspect of humanity.

 

Aboard the ship, two crewmembers are sent to examine unexplained maintenance problems, and both disappear. Picard is called to the ship and discovers that the survivors from the Borg sphere have transported onto the ship and are taking over Deck 16. While Picard arranges teams to fight them, the Borg manipulate the climate of the deck to suit their needs and begin to spread throughout the ship. When the Borg attack sickbay, Crusher, her staff, and Lily escape through a Jeffries tube, thanks to a distraction by the ship's Emergency Medical Hologram. While Crusher leads the group down the passageway, Lily steals away in a different direction.

 

On Earth, Riker finds Troi and Cochrane drunk in a bar. Troi justifies that the only way she could get Cochrane to talk to her was by shooting Tequila with him. Denying her drunken state, Troi offers her professional opinion on Cochrane. She explains, "He's nuts."

 

Picard and his team are tracking the Borg through the starship. As Crusher and her staff find Worf's team, Picard's team encounters the Borg, who have begun to assimilate U.S.S. Enterprise crewmembers. Worf's team engages the Borg in combat, but the enemies adapt to the crew's weapons too quickly to make any difference. The teams are ordered to regroup on Deck 15, but Data is captured. Picard cannot save him, so he quickly crawls into a Jeffries tube to escape. Face to face with Picard, Lily steals his phaser and demands an explanation and escape route. Picard agrees.

 

Geordi shows Cochrane the starship Enterprise through a large telescope on Earth and tries to convince him to launch his vessel the next morning. Geordi glorifies Cochrane by explaining that his ship will make first contact with alien life forms. Humanity will be saved if Cochrane launches his ship. Still drunk, Cochrane agrees.

 

Aboard the ship, the Borg Queen introduces herself to a bound Data, claiming that she is the Collective. Reactivating Data's emotion chip, the Borg begin to graph organic, human skin onto the android's arm. As Data is overcome by this new human sensation of touch, something he never thought possible, the Borg continue their work.

 

Lily and Picard wander through the service deck as the captain attempts to explain what has happened between Lily's time and his own. She begins to calm down until they suddenly run into a Borg-infested area. Quickly escaping in the Holodeck, Picard activates a Dixon Hill program. At a dance, he and Lily try to blend in without being noticed by the Borg. Following the Holodeck's story, Picard searches for Nicky the Nose and takes his machine gun. Killing the Borg with the gun, Picard retrieves the memory chip that contains all of the information the Borg has received. Lily then notices that the two dead Borg were once crewmembers of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

 

Back on Earth, Cochrane keeps hearing what an amazing historical figure he is and begins to question whether or not he wants to go through with the launch. He doubts his own nobility and flees the launch site. Geordi and Riker attempt to catch up with Cochrane in the woods and are forced to stun him with a phaser to return him to the Phoenix.

 

Lily and Picard join the rest of the surviving crew and discover that the Borg are outside of the ship. The retrieved memory chip reveals that they are reconfiguring the main deflector in order to contact the Borg of this century, calling them to Earth to assimilate the planet. Picard, Worf and Lieutenant Hawk put on space suits and venture onto the surface of the starship to stop the Borg.

 

Aware of Data's desire to become human, the Borg Queen offers him the chance to be entirely covered in human flesh and join the Borg, in an attempt to get the encryption codes from Data so she can obtain total control over the U.S.S. Enterprise. Outside the Enterprise, Hawk, Worf and Picard attempt to unlock the deflector dish. Attacked by a Borg, Worf's suit begins to depressurize. Two Borg are killed and Hawk is attacked. As the dish is released, a now-assimilated Hawk attempts to kill Picard. Worf saves the captain, but Hawk is killed. Picard and Worf then destroy the free-floating deflector dish.

 

On Earth, Cochrane explains to Riker that his only motivation for inventing warp travel was money. He never expected to save mankind, become a hero, or be instrumental in the founding of a new civilization. He simply wanted to retire in peace.

 

An argument ensues aboard the Enterprise as the majority of the senior officers believe that they should evacuate the ship, destroying it and the Borg. Picard won't give up, and insists they stay. Challenged by Worf, Picard orders him off the Bridge. Lily follows Picard into his ready room and demands that he explain his obsession with fighting the Borg. Picard declares he won't sacrifice the starship, and swears to finally make the Borg pay for all they've done. Lily quietly and calmly compares Picard to Captain Ahab, forever fighting his white whale — the Borg. Realizing that this fight could only destroy himself and his crew, Picard decides to evacuate the ship. Worf, Picard and Crusher activate the ship's self-destruct sequence. The countdown begins, and the crew leaves in escape pods. Picard surveys his ship and prepares to leave when he hears Data calling him.

 

Meanwhile , the earth-bound crew and Cochrane begin takeoff. Cochrane, Geordi and Riker take off in the Phoenix, and with music blaring, the three men launch successfully into orbit.

 

On the ship, Lily and Picard say good-bye and the captain goes to save Data. Entering Engineering, Picard confronts the Borg Queen, whom he knows from his experience with the Borg. The queen reminds Picard that it was not enough that he was assimilated, but that he needed to give himself freely to the Borg — she wished him to stand by her side as an equal to further the power of the Collective. Picard offers himself in exchange for Data, but the android does not comply. He refuses to leave, and at the queen's command, disarms the self-destruct sequence. He quickly enters the encryption codes, offering full control of the Enterprise to the Borg.

 

As Cochrane's ship nears warp, Data arms the U.S.S Enterprise's weapons and aims them at the defenseless Phoenix. At the Borg Queen's order, Data fires, but the missiles fail to hit the Phoenix. His deception of the Borg complete, Data smashes a conduit, releasing a gas that floods engineering, killing all organic material. As the Borg are destroyed, Picard climbs to safety and the Borg Queen falls into the deadly gas. With the Borg threat gone, Cochrane safely completes humanity's first warp flight.

 

Celebrating the flight back on Earth that night, Cochrane and the Enterprise crew see an alien ship land nearby. The doors open, and Zefram Cochrane makes Earth's first contact with an alien race — the Vulcans. Picard and his crew beam out, having witnessed this historic event, and the U.S.S Enterprise NCC 1701-E returns to the 24th century.

 

Star Trek, First Contact (Paramount, 1996).

youtu.be/wxyZQR2d6yw Trailer

 

youtu.be/GTQzusrfCxc?t=3s

Star Trek - 'Beyond First Contact' The Borg - Making The Movie.

 

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige, Neal McDonough, Robert Picardo, and Dwight Schultz. Directed by Jonathan Frakes.

 

Captain Jean-Luc Picard awakens from a nightmare about his Borg assimilation experience to an incoming message from Admiral Hayes. Hayes informs Picard that Deep Space Five reported that a colony has been destroyed. Completing the Admiral's sentence, Picard realizes who destroyed the colony — the Borg.

 

Picard calls a meeting and informs his senior officers that their ship has been instructed to patrol the Neutral Zone. Their orders are to protect the area from any possible Romulan uprising during a Borg attack. Despite protests from his officers, Picard remains faithful to his orders and the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-E begins to patrol the area. Later, Picard regretfully tells Riker that it is his own fault they are stuck in the Neutral Zone. Starfleet believes Picard to be too emotionally involved with the Borg because of his previous assimilation to tactically complete a mission against them.

 

The men return to the bridge to learn that Starfleet has engaged in combat with the Borg. Intercepting messages between the starships, the crew learns that the Federation is losing. Picard, with his Borg experience, knows he can help the fleet. He informs his staff that he will make a decision directly in opposition to Starfleet commands. With no objections from his crew, Captain Picard gives the order and the starship Enterprise sets a course for Earth and the attacking Borg cube.

 

A massive battle ensues and it appears that the Federation will lose the fight. Despite serious structural damage to the Borg cube, their strength does not weaken. Even the U.S.S. Defiant, commanded by Worf, does not appear to be able to turn the tides of the battle. As the starship Defiant is about to ram the Borg ship on a suicide run, the U.S.S. Enterprise beams aboard its crew, including Worf. Picard, having an inside perspective of the Borg and their vessel, focuses the firepower of the fleet on coordinates he knows to be critical. Just as the main ship is destroyed, a spherical escape pod flies out. The sphere creates a temporal vortex, catching the starship Enterprise in its wake. Immune to the paradoxes created by the time travel, the starship's crew learns that Earth at the present time appears to be inhabited entirely by the Borg. The commanding officers realize that the Borg have gone into the past and assimilated Earth, so they follow them back in time to repair the damage the Borg have done.

 

On Earth, over three centuries earlier, a somber Lily Sloane accompanies a stumbling, drunk Zefram Cochrane out of a bar after a night of revelry. Then, Lily notices a fast moving light. She hardly has time to ask what the object is, when the Borg vessel attacks. Back aboard the Enterprise, Picard demands that Data tell him the exact date and location the Borg ship is attacking. The location: central Montana. The date: April 4, 2063 — the day before First Contact. Realizing that the Borg have come to prevent first contact between alien life forms and humans, the crew knows they must stop the Borg and facilitate this exchange. They destroy the Borg sphere, and Dr. Crusher, Captain Picard, Commander Data, Commander Riker, Counselor Troi and other U.S.S. Enterprise crew transport down to Earth to survey the damage.

 

At the Borg attack site in Montana, the crew finds destruction and chaos. They split into groups to search for Cochrane. Data and Picard hunt for Cochrane's warp ship, the Phoenix. There they encounter a very angry and confused Lily, who believes Data and Picard to be members of a coalition that broke the cease-fire after World War III. She shoots at them in a rage, but impervious to bullets, Data approaches Lily. Overcome by fear and radiation, she falls to the ground. Dr. Crusher diagnoses Lily with radiation sickness caused by the damaged Phoenix, and inoculates the entire crew. Against Picard's better judgment, Crusher takes Lily to sickbay. Geordi is called to help repair the warp vessel and Picard becomes intrigued by its historical significance. In this vessel began the future as the world would know it, and the past as Picard remembers it. He reaches out to touch the ship. Data, curious about the human need for tactile reinforcement, attempts to create the same feelings he observes in Picard, but is unsuccessful in duplicating this aspect of humanity.

 

Aboard the ship, two crewmembers are sent to examine unexplained maintenance problems, and both disappear. Picard is called to the ship and discovers that the survivors from the Borg sphere have transported onto the ship and are taking over Deck 16. While Picard arranges teams to fight them, the Borg manipulate the climate of the deck to suit their needs and begin to spread throughout the ship. When the Borg attack sickbay, Crusher, her staff, and Lily escape through a Jeffries tube, thanks to a distraction by the ship's Emergency Medical Hologram. While Crusher leads the group down the passageway, Lily steals away in a different direction.

 

On Earth, Riker finds Troi and Cochrane drunk in a bar. Troi justifies that the only way she could get Cochrane to talk to her was by shooting Tequila with him. Denying her drunken state, Troi offers her professional opinion on Cochrane. She explains, "He's nuts."

 

Picard and his team are tracking the Borg through the starship. As Crusher and her staff find Worf's team, Picard's team encounters the Borg, who have begun to assimilate U.S.S. Enterprise crewmembers. Worf's team engages the Borg in combat, but the enemies adapt to the crew's weapons too quickly to make any difference. The teams are ordered to regroup on Deck 15, but Data is captured. Picard cannot save him, so he quickly crawls into a Jeffries tube to escape. Face to face with Picard, Lily steals his phaser and demands an explanation and escape route. Picard agrees.

 

Geordi shows Cochrane the starship Enterprise through a large telescope on Earth and tries to convince him to launch his vessel the next morning. Geordi glorifies Cochrane by explaining that his ship will make first contact with alien life forms. Humanity will be saved if Cochrane launches his ship. Still drunk, Cochrane agrees.

 

Aboard the ship, the Borg Queen introduces herself to a bound Data, claiming that she is the Collective. Reactivating Data's emotion chip, the Borg begin to graph organic, human skin onto the android's arm. As Data is overcome by this new human sensation of touch, something he never thought possible, the Borg continue their work.

 

Lily and Picard wander through the service deck as the captain attempts to explain what has happened between Lily's time and his own. She begins to calm down until they suddenly run into a Borg-infested area. Quickly escaping in the Holodeck, Picard activates a Dixon Hill program. At a dance, he and Lily try to blend in without being noticed by the Borg. Following the Holodeck's story, Picard searches for Nicky the Nose and takes his machine gun. Killing the Borg with the gun, Picard retrieves the memory chip that contains all of the information the Borg has received. Lily then notices that the two dead Borg were once crewmembers of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

 

Back on Earth, Cochrane keeps hearing what an amazing historical figure he is and begins to question whether or not he wants to go through with the launch. He doubts his own nobility and flees the launch site. Geordi and Riker attempt to catch up with Cochrane in the woods and are forced to stun him with a phaser to return him to the Phoenix.

 

Lily and Picard join the rest of the surviving crew and discover that the Borg are outside of the ship. The retrieved memory chip reveals that they are reconfiguring the main deflector in order to contact the Borg of this century, calling them to Earth to assimilate the planet. Picard, Worf and Lieutenant Hawk put on space suits and venture onto the surface of the starship to stop the Borg.

 

Aware of Data's desire to become human, the Borg Queen offers him the chance to be entirely covered in human flesh and join the Borg, in an attempt to get the encryption codes from Data so she can obtain total control over the U.S.S. Enterprise. Outside the Enterprise, Hawk, Worf and Picard attempt to unlock the deflector dish. Attacked by a Borg, Worf's suit begins to depressurize. Two Borg are killed and Hawk is attacked. As the dish is released, a now-assimilated Hawk attempts to kill Picard. Worf saves the captain, but Hawk is killed. Picard and Worf then destroy the free-floating deflector dish.

 

On Earth, Cochrane explains to Riker that his only motivation for inventing warp travel was money. He never expected to save mankind, become a hero, or be instrumental in the founding of a new civilization. He simply wanted to retire in peace.

 

An argument ensues aboard the Enterprise as the majority of the senior officers believe that they should evacuate the ship, destroying it and the Borg. Picard won't give up, and insists they stay. Challenged by Worf, Picard orders him off the Bridge. Lily follows Picard into his ready room and demands that he explain his obsession with fighting the Borg. Picard declares he won't sacrifice the starship, and swears to finally make the Borg pay for all they've done. Lily quietly and calmly compares Picard to Captain Ahab, forever fighting his white whale — the Borg. Realizing that this fight could only destroy himself and his crew, Picard decides to evacuate the ship. Worf, Picard and Crusher activate the ship's self-destruct sequence. The countdown begins, and the crew leaves in escape pods. Picard surveys his ship and prepares to leave when he hears Data calling him.

 

Meanwhile , the earth-bound crew and Cochrane begin takeoff. Cochrane, Geordi and Riker take off in the Phoenix, and with music blaring, the three men launch successfully into orbit.

 

On the ship, Lily and Picard say good-bye and the captain goes to save Data. Entering Engineering, Picard confronts the Borg Queen, whom he knows from his experience with the Borg. The queen reminds Picard that it was not enough that he was assimilated, but that he needed to give himself freely to the Borg — she wished him to stand by her side as an equal to further the power of the Collective. Picard offers himself in exchange for Data, but the android does not comply. He refuses to leave, and at the queen's command, disarms the self-destruct sequence. He quickly enters the encryption codes, offering full control of the Enterprise to the Borg.

 

As Cochrane's ship nears warp, Data arms the U.S.S Enterprise's weapons and aims them at the defenseless Phoenix. At the Borg Queen's order, Data fires, but the missiles fail to hit the Phoenix. His deception of the Borg complete, Data smashes a conduit, releasing a gas that floods engineering, killing all organic material. As the Borg are destroyed, Picard climbs to safety and the Borg Queen falls into the deadly gas. With the Borg threat gone, Cochrane safely completes humanity's first warp flight.

 

Celebrating the flight back on Earth that night, Cochrane and the Enterprise crew see an alien ship land nearby. The doors open, and Zefram Cochrane makes Earth's first contact with an alien race — the Vulcans. Picard and his crew beam out, having witnessed this historic event, and the U.S.S Enterprise NCC 1701-E returns to the 24th century.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Pit2WJ6dI

 

(This essay was a finalist for a 2013 National Magazine Award in the Essay category.)

 

Orion

 

State of The Species

 

by Charles C. Mann

 

THE PROBLEM WITH environmentalists, Lynn Margulis used to say, is that they think conservation has something to do with biological reality. A researcher who specialized in cells and microorganisms, Margulis was one of the most important biologists in the last half century—she literally helped to reorder the tree of life, convincing her colleagues that it did not consist of two kingdoms (plants and animals), but five or even six (plants, animals, fungi, protists, and two types of bacteria).

 

Until Margulis’s death last year, she lived in my town, and I would bump into her on the street from time to time. She knew I was interested in ecology, and she liked to needle me. Hey, Charles, she would call out, are you still all worked up about protecting endangered species?

 

Margulis was no apologist for unthinking destruction. Still, she couldn’t help regarding conservationists’ preoccupation with the fate of birds, mammals, and plants as evidence of their ignorance about the greatest source of evolutionary creativity: the microworld of bacteria, fungi, and protists. More than 90 percent of the living matter on earth consists of microorganisms and viruses, she liked to point out. Heck, the number of bacterial cells in our body is ten times more than the number of human cells!

 

Bacteria and protists can do things undreamed of by clumsy mammals like us: form giant supercolonies, reproduce either asexually or by swapping genes with others, routinely incorporate DNA from entirely unrelated species, merge into symbiotic beings—the list is as endless as it is amazing. Microorganisms have changed the face of the earth, crumbling stone and even giving rise to the oxygen we breathe. Compared to this power and diversity, Margulis liked to tell me, pandas and polar bears were biological epiphenomena—interesting and fun, perhaps, but not actually significant.

 

Does that apply to human beings, too? I once asked her, feeling like someone whining to Copernicus about why he couldn’t move the earth a little closer to the center of the universe. Aren’t we special at all?

 

This was just chitchat on the street, so I didn’t write anything down. But as I recall it, she answered that Homo sapiens actually might be interesting—for a mammal, anyway. For one thing, she said, we’re unusually successful.

 

Seeing my face brighten, she added: Of course, the fate of every successful species is to wipe itself out.

  

OF LICE AND MEN

 

Why and how did humankind become “unusually successful”? And what, to an evolutionary biologist, does “success” mean, if self-destruction is part of the definition? Does that self-destruction include the rest of the biosphere? What are human beings in the grand scheme of things anyway, and where are we headed? What is human nature, if there is such a thing, and how did we acquire it? What does that nature portend for our interactions with the environment? With 7 billion of us crowding the planet, it’s hard to imagine more vital questions.

 

One way to begin answering them came to Mark Stoneking in 1999, when he received a notice from his son’s school warning of a potential lice outbreak in the classroom. Stoneking is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig, Germany. He didn’t know much about lice. As a biologist, it was natural for him to noodle around for information about them. The most common louse found on human bodies, he discovered, is Pediculus humanus. P. humanus has two subspecies: P. humanus capitis—head lice, which feed and live on the scalp—and P. humanus corporis—body lice, which feed on skin but live in clothing. In fact, Stoneking learned, body lice are so dependent on the protection of clothing that they cannot survive more than a few hours away from it.

 

It occurred to him that the two louse subspecies could be used as an evolutionary probe. P. humanus capitis, the head louse, could be an ancient annoyance, because human beings have always had hair for it to infest. But P. humanus corporis, the body louse, must not be especially old, because its need for clothing meant that it could not have existed while humans went naked. Humankind’s great coverup had created a new ecological niche, and some head lice had rushed to fill it. Evolution then worked its magic; a new subspecies, P. humanus corporis, arose. Stoneking couldn’t be sure that this scenario had taken place, though it seemed likely. But if his idea were correct, discovering when the body louse diverged from the head louse would provide a rough date for when people first invented and wore clothing.

 

The subject was anything but frivolous: donning a garment is a complicated act. Clothing has practical uses—warming the body in cold places, shielding it from the sun in hot places—but it also transforms the appearance of the wearer, something that has proven to be of inescapable interest to Homo sapiens. Clothing is ornament and emblem; it separates human beings from their earlier, un-self-conscious state. (Animals run, swim, and fly without clothing, but only people can be naked.) The invention of clothing was a sign that a mental shift had occurred. The human world had become a realm of complex, symbolic artifacts.

 

With two colleagues, Stoneking measured the difference between snippets of DNA in the two louse subspecies. Because DNA is thought to pick up small, random mutations at a roughly constant rate, scientists use the number of differences between two populations to tell how long ago they diverged from a common ancestor—the greater the number of differences, the longer the separation. In this case, the body louse had separated from the head louse about 70,000 years ago. Which meant, Stoneking hypothesized, that clothing also dated from about 70,000 years ago.

 

And not just clothing. As scientists have established, a host of remarkable things occurred to our species at about that time. It marked a dividing line in our history, one that made us who we are, and pointed us, for better and worse, toward the world we now have created for ourselves.

 

Homo sapiens emerged on the planet about 200,000 years ago, researchers believe. From the beginning, our species looked much as it does today. If some of those long-ago people walked by us on the street now, we would think they looked and acted somewhat oddly, but not that they weren’t people. But those anatomically modern humans were not, as anthropologists say, behaviorally modern. Those first people had no language, no clothing, no art, no religion, nothing but the simplest, unspecialized tools. They were little more advanced, technologically speaking, than their predecessors—or, for that matter, modern chimpanzees. (The big exception was fire, but that was first controlled by Homo erectus, one of our ancestors, a million years ago or more.) Our species had so little capacity for innovation that archaeologists have found almost no evidence of cultural or social change during our first 100,000 years of existence. Equally important, for almost all that time these early humans were confined to a single, small area in the hot, dry savanna of East Africa (and possibly a second, still smaller area in southern Africa).

 

But now jump forward 50,000 years. East Africa looks much the same. So do the humans in it—but suddenly they are drawing and carving images, weaving ropes and baskets, shaping and wielding specialized tools, burying the dead in formal ceremonies, and perhaps worshipping supernatural beings. They are wearing clothes—lice-filled clothes, to be sure, but clothes nonetheless. Momentously, they are using language. And they are dramatically increasing their range. Homo sapiens is exploding across the planet.

 

What caused this remarkable change? By geologists’ standards, 50,000 years is an instant, a finger snap, a rounding error. Nonetheless, most researchers believe that in that flicker of time, favorable mutations swept through our species, transforming anatomically modern humans into behaviorally modern humans. The idea is not absurd: in the last 400 years, dog breeders converted village dogs into creatures that act as differently as foxhounds, border collies, and Labrador retrievers. Fifty millennia, researchers say, is more than enough to make over a species.

 

Homo sapiens lacks claws, fangs, or exoskeletal plates. Rather, our unique survival skill is our ability to innovate, which originates with our species’ singular brain—a three-pound universe of hyperconnected neural tissue, constantly aswirl with schemes and notions. Hence every hypothesized cause for the transformation of humankind from anatomically modern to behaviorally modern involves a physical alteration of the wet gray matter within our skulls. One candidate explanation is that in this period people developed hybrid mental abilities by interbreeding with Neanderthals. (Some Neanderthal genes indeed appear to be in our genome, though nobody is yet certain of their function.) Another putative cause is symbolic language—an invention that may have tapped latent creativity and aggressiveness in our species. A third is that a mutation might have enabled our brains to alternate between spacing out on imaginative chains of association and focusing our attention narrowly on the physical world around us. The former, in this view, allows us to come up with creative new strategies to achieve a goal, whereas the latter enables us to execute the concrete tactics required by those strategies.

 

Each of these ideas is fervently advocated by some researchers and fervently attacked by others. What is clear is that something made over our species between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago—and right in the middle of that period was Toba.

  

CHILDREN OF TOBA

 

About 75,000 years ago, a huge volcano exploded on the island of Sumatra. The biggest blast for several million years, the eruption created Lake Toba, the world’s biggest crater lake, and ejected the equivalent of as much as 3,000 cubic kilometers of rock, enough to cover the District of Columbia in a layer of magma and ash that would reach to the stratosphere. A gigantic plume spread west, enveloping southern Asia in tephra (rock, ash, and dust). Drifts in Pakistan and India reached as high as six meters. Smaller tephra beds blanketed the Middle East and East Africa. Great rafts of pumice filled the sea and drifted almost to Antarctica.

 

In the long run, the eruption raised Asian soil fertility. In the short term, it was catastrophic. Dust hid the sun for as much as a decade, plunging the earth into a years-long winter accompanied by widespread drought. A vegetation collapse was followed by a collapse in the species that depended on vegetation, followed by a collapse in the species that depended on the species that depended on vegetation. Temperatures may have remained colder than normal for a thousand years. Orangutans, tigers, chimpanzees, cheetahs—all were pushed to the verge of extinction.

 

At about this time, many geneticists believe, Homo sapiens’ numbers shrank dramatically, perhaps to a few thousand people—the size of a big urban high school. The clearest evidence of this bottleneck is also its main legacy: humankind’s remarkable genetic uniformity. Countless people have viewed the differences between races as worth killing for, but compared to other primates—even compared to most other mammals—human beings are almost indistinguishable, genetically speaking. DNA is made from exceedingly long chains of “bases.” Typically, about one out of every 2,000 of these “bases” differs between one person and the next. The equivalent figure from two E. coli (human gut bacteria) might be about one out of twenty. The bacteria in our intestines, that is, have a hundredfold more innate variability than their hosts—evidence, researchers say, that our species is descended from a small group of founders.

 

Uniformity is hardly the only effect of a bottleneck. When a species shrinks in number, mutations can spread through the entire population with astonishing rapidity. Or genetic variants that may have already been in existence—arrays of genes that confer better planning skills, for example—can suddenly become more common, effectively reshaping the species within a few generations as once-unusual traits become widespread.

 

Did Toba, as theorists like Richard Dawkins have argued, cause an evolutionary bottleneck that set off the creation of behaviorally modern people, perhaps by helping previously rare genes—Neanderthal DNA or an opportune mutation—spread through our species? Or did the volcanic blast simply clear away other human species that had previously blocked H. sapiens’ expansion? Or was the volcano irrelevant to the deeper story of human change?

 

For now, the answers are the subject of careful back-and-forth in refereed journals and heated argument in faculty lounges. All that is clear is that about the time of Toba, new, behaviorally modern people charged so fast into the tephra that human footprints appeared in Australia within as few as 10,000 years, perhaps within 4,000 or 5,000. Stay-at-home Homo sapiens 1.0, a wallflower that would never have interested Lynn Margulis, had been replaced by aggressively expansive Homo sapiens 2.0. Something happened, for better and worse, and we were born.

 

One way to illustrate what this upgrade looked like is to consider Solenopsis invicta, the red imported fire ant. Geneticists believe that S. invicta originated in northern Argentina, an area with many rivers and frequent floods. The floods wipe out ant nests. Over the millennia, these small, furiously active creatures have acquired the ability to respond to rising water by coalescing into huge, floating, pullulating balls—workers on the outside, queen in the center—that drift to the edge of the flood. Once the waters recede, colonies swarm back into previously flooded land so rapidly that S. invicta actually can use the devastation to increase its range.

 

In the 1930s, Solenopsis invicta was transported to the United States, probably in ship ballast, which often consists of haphazardly loaded soil and gravel. As a teenaged bug enthusiast, Edward O. Wilson, the famed biologist, spotted the first colonies in the port of Mobile, Alabama. He saw some very happy fire ants. From the ant’s point of view, it had been dumped into an empty, recently flooded expanse. S. invicta took off, never looking back.

 

The initial incursion watched by Wilson was likely just a few thousand individuals—a number small enough to suggest that random, bottleneck-style genetic change played a role in the species’ subsequent history in this country. In their Argentine birthplace, fire-ant colonies constantly fight each other, reducing their numbers and creating space for other types of ant. In the United States, by contrast, the species forms cooperative supercolonies, linked clusters of nests that can spread for hundreds of miles. Systematically exploiting the landscape, these supercolonies monopolize every useful resource, wiping out other ant species along the way—models of zeal and rapacity. Transformed by chance and opportunity, new-model S. invictus needed just a few decades to conquer most of the southern United States.

 

Homo sapiens did something similar in the wake of Toba. For hundreds of thousands of years, our species had been restricted to East Africa (and, possibly, a similar area in the south). Now, abruptly, new-model Homo sapiens were racing across the continents like so many imported fire ants. The difference between humans and fire ants is that fire ants specialize in disturbed habitats. Humans, too, specialize in disturbed habitats—but we do the disturbing.

  

THE WORLD IS A PETRI DISH

 

As a student at the University of Moscow in the 1920s, Georgii Gause spent years trying—and failing—to drum up support from the Rockefeller Foundation, then the most prominent funding source for non-American scientists who wished to work in the United States. Hoping to dazzle the foundation, Gause decided to perform some nifty experiments and describe the results in his grant application.

 

By today’s standards, his methodology was simplicity itself. Gause placed half a gram of oatmeal in one hundred cubic centimeters of water, boiled the results for ten minutes to create a broth, strained the liquid portion of the broth into a container, diluted the mixture by adding water, and then decanted the contents into small, flat-bottomed test tubes. Into each he dripped five Paramecium caudatum or Stylonychia mytilus, both single-celled protozoans, one species per tube. Each of Gause’s test tubes was a pocket ecosystem, a food web with a single node. He stored the tubes in warm places for a week and observed the results. He set down his conclusions in a 163-page book, The Struggle for Existence, published in 1934.

 

Today The Struggle for Existence is recognized as a scientific landmark, one of the first successful marriages of theory and experiment in ecology. But the book was not enough to get Gause a fellowship; the Rockefeller Foundation turned down the twenty-four-year-old Soviet student as insufficiently eminent. Gause could not visit the United States for another twenty years, by which time he had indeed become eminent, but as an antibiotics researcher.

 

What Gause saw in his test tubes is often depicted in a graph, time on the horizontal axis, the number of protozoa on the vertical. The line on the graph is a distorted bell curve, with its left side twisted and stretched into a kind of flattened S. At first the number of protozoans grows slowly, and the graph line slowly ascends to the right. But then the line hits an inflection point, and suddenly rockets upward—a frenzy of exponential growth. The mad rise continues until the organism begins to run out of food, at which point there is a second inflection point, and the growth curve levels off again as bacteria begin to die. Eventually the line descends, and the population falls toward zero.

 

Years ago I watched Lynn Margulis, one of Gause’s successors, demonstrate these conclusions to a class at the University of Massachusetts with a time-lapse video of Proteus vulgaris, a bacterium that lives in the gastrointestinal tract. To humans, she said, P. vulgaris is mainly notable as a cause of urinary-tract infections. Left alone, it divides about every fifteen minutes. Margulis switched on the projector. Onscreen was a small, wobbly bubble—P. vulgaris—in a shallow, circular glass container: a petri dish. The class gasped. The cells in the time-lapse video seemed to shiver and boil, doubling in number every few seconds, colonies exploding out until the mass of bacteria filled the screen. In just thirty-six hours, she said, this single bacterium could cover the entire planet in a foot-deep layer of single-celled ooze. Twelve hours after that, it would create a living ball of bacteria the size of the earth.

 

Such a calamity never happens, because competing organisms and lack of resources prevent the overwhelming majority of P. vulgaris from reproducing. This, Margulis said, is natural selection, Darwin’s great insight. All living creatures have the same purpose: to make more of themselves, ensuring their biological future by the only means available. Natural selection stands in the way of this goal. It prunes back almost all species, restricting their numbers and confining their range. In the human body, P. vulgaris is checked by the size of its habitat (portions of the human gut), the limits to its supply of nourishment (food proteins), and other, competing organisms. Thus constrained, its population remains roughly steady.

 

In the petri dish, by contrast, competition is absent; nutrients and habitat seem limitless, at least at first. The bacterium hits the first inflection point and rockets up the left side of the curve, swamping the petri dish in a reproductive frenzy. But then its colonies slam into the second inflection point: the edge of the dish. When the dish’s nutrient supply is exhausted, P. vulgaris experiences a miniapocalypse.

 

By luck or superior adaptation, a few species manage to escape their limits, at least for a while. Nature’s success stories, they are like Gause’s protozoans; the world is their petri dish. Their populations grow exponentially; they take over large areas, overwhelming their environment as if no force opposed them. Then they annihilate themselves, drowning in their own wastes or starving from lack of food.

 

To someone like Margulis, Homo sapiens looks like one of these briefly fortunate species.

  

THE WHIP HAND

 

No more than a few hundred people initially migrated from Africa, if geneticists are correct. But they emerged into landscapes that by today’s standards were as rich as Eden. Cool mountains, tropical wetlands, lush forests—all were teeming with food. Fish in the sea, birds in the air, fruit on the trees: breakfast was everywhere. People moved in.

 

Despite our territorial expansion, though, humans were still only in the initial stages of Gause’s oddly shaped curve. Ten thousand years ago, most demographers believe, we numbered barely 5 million, about one human being for every hundred square kilometers of the earth’s land surface. Homo sapiens was a scarcely noticeable dusting on the surface of a planet dominated by microbes. Nevertheless, at about this time—10,000 years ago, give or take a millennium—humankind finally began to approach the first inflection point. Our species was inventing agriculture.

 

The wild ancestors of cereal crops like wheat, barley, rice, and sorghum have been part of the human diet for almost as long as there have been humans to eat them. (The earliest evidence comes from Mozambique, where researchers found tiny bits of 105,000-year-old sorghum on ancient scrapers and grinders.) In some cases people may have watched over patches of wild grain, returning to them year after year. Yet despite the effort and care the plants were not domesticated. As botanists say, wild cereals “shatter”—individual grain kernels fall off as they ripen, scattering grain haphazardly, making it impossible to harvest the plants systematically. Only when unknown geniuses discovered naturally mutated grain plants that did not shatter—and purposefully selected, protected, and cultivated them—did true agriculture begin. Planting great expanses of those mutated crops, first in southern Turkey, later in half a dozen other places, early farmers created landscapes that, so to speak, waited for hands to harvest them.

 

Farming converted most of the habitable world into a petri dish. Foragers manipulated their environment with fire, burning areas to kill insects and encourage the growth of useful species—plants we liked to eat, plants that attracted the other creatures we liked to eat. Nonetheless, their diets were largely restricted to what nature happened to provide in any given time and season. Agriculture gave humanity the whip hand. Instead of natural ecosystems with their haphazard mix of species (so many useless organisms guzzling up resources!), farms are taut, disciplined communities conceived and dedicated to the maintenance of a single species: us.

 

Before agriculture, the Ukraine, American Midwest, and lower Yangzi were barely hospitable food deserts, sparsely inhabited landscapes of insects and grass; they became breadbaskets as people scythed away suites of species that used soil and water we wanted to dominate and replaced them with wheat, rice, and maize (corn). To one of Margulis’s beloved bacteria, a petri dish is a uniform expanse of nutrients, all of which it can seize and consume. For Homo sapiens, agriculture transformed the planet into something similar.

 

As in a time-lapse movie, we divided and multiplied across the newly opened land. It had taken Homo sapiens 2.0, behaviorally modern humans, not even 50,000 years to reach the farthest corners of the globe. Homo sapiens 2.0.A—A for agriculture—took a tenth of that time to conquer the planet.

 

As any biologist would predict, success led to an increase in human numbers. Homo sapiens rocketed around the elbow of the first inflection point in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when American crops like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and maize were introduced to the rest of the world. Traditional Eurasian and African cereals—wheat, rice, millet, and sorghum, for example—produce their grain atop thin stalks. Basic physics suggests that plants with this design will fatally topple if the grain gets too heavy, which means that farmers can actually be punished if they have an extra-bounteous harvest. By contrast, potatoes and sweet potatoes grow underground, which means that yields are not limited by the plant’s architecture. Wheat farmers in Edinburgh and rice farmers in Edo alike discovered they could harvest four times as much dry food matter from an acre of tubers than they could from an acre of cereals. Maize, too, was a winner. Compared to other cereals, it has an extra-thick stalk and a different, more productive type of photosynthesis. Taken together, these immigrant crops vastly increased the food supply in Europe, Asia, and Africa, which in turn helped increase the supply of Europeans, Asians, and Africans. The population boom had begun.

 

Numbers kept rising in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, after a German chemist, Justus von Liebig, discovered that plant growth was limited by the supply of nitrogen. Without nitrogen, neither plants nor the mammals that eat plants can create proteins, or for that matter the DNA and RNA that direct their production. Pure nitrogen gas (N2) is plentiful in the air but plants are unable to absorb it, because the two nitrogen atoms in N2 are welded so tightly together that plants cannot split them apart for use. Instead, plants take in nitrogen only when it is combined with hydrogen, oxygen, and other elements. To restore exhausted soil, traditional farmers grew peas, beans, lentils, and other pulses. (They never knew why these “green manures” replenished the land. Today we know that their roots contain special bacteria that convert useless N2 into “bio-available” nitrogen compounds.) After Liebig, European and American growers replaced those crops with high-intensity fertilizer—nitrogen-rich guano from Peru at first, then nitrates from mines in Chile. Yields soared. But supplies were much more limited than farmers liked. So intense was the competition for fertilizer that a guano war erupted in 1879, engulfing much of western South America. Almost 3,000 people died.

 

Two more German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, came to the rescue, discovering the key steps to making synthetic fertilizer from fossil fuels. (The process involves combining nitrogen gas and hydrogen from natural gas into ammonia, which is then used to create nitrogenous compounds usable by plants.) Haber and Bosch are not nearly as well known as they should be; their discovery, the Haber-Bosch process, has literally changed the chemical composition of the earth, a feat previously reserved for microorganisms. Farmers have injected so much synthetic fertilizer into the soil that soil and groundwater nitrogen levels have risen worldwide. Today, roughly a third of all the protein (animal and vegetable) consumed by humankind is derived from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Another way of putting this is to say that Haber and Bosch enabled Homo sapiens to extract about 2 billion people’s worth of food from the same amount of available land.

 

The improved wheat, rice, and (to a lesser extent) maize varieties developed by plant breeders in the 1950s and 1960s are often said to have prevented another billion deaths. Antibiotics, vaccines, and water-treatment plants also saved lives by pushing back humankind’s bacterial, viral, and fungal enemies. With almost no surviving biological competition, humankind had ever more unhindered access to the planetary petri dish: in the past two hundred years, the number of humans walking the planet ballooned from 1 to 7 billion, with a few billion more expected in coming decades.

 

Rocketing up the growth curve, human beings “now appropriate nearly 40% . . . of potential terrestrial productivity.” This figure dates from 1986—a famous estimate by a team of Stanford biologists. Ten years later, a second Stanford team calculated that the “fraction of the land’s biological production that is used or dominated” by our species had risen to as much as 50 percent. In 2000, the chemist Paul Crutzen gave a name to our time: the “Anthropocene,” the era in which Homo sapiens became a force operating on a planetary scale. That year, half of the world’s accessible fresh water was consumed by human beings.

 

Lynn Margulis, it seems safe to say, would have scoffed at these assessments of human domination over the natural world, which, in every case I know of, do not take into account the enormous impact of the microworld. But she would not have disputed the central idea: Homo sapiens has become a successful species, and is growing accordingly.

 

If we follow Gause’s pattern, growth will continue at a delirious speed until we hit the second inflection point. At that time we will have exhausted the resources of the global petri dish, or effectively made the atmosphere toxic with our carbon-dioxide waste, or both. After that, human life will be, briefly, a Hobbesian nightmare, the living overwhelmed by the dead. When the king falls, so do his minions; it is possible that our fall might also take down most mammals and many plants. Possibly sooner, quite likely later, in this scenario, the earth will again be a choir of bacteria, fungi, and insects, as it has been through most of its history.

 

It would be foolish to expect anything else, Margulis thought. More than that, it would be unnatural.

  

AS PLASTIC AS CANBY

 

In The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster’s classic, pun-filled adventure tale, the young Milo and his faithful companions unexpectedly find themselves transported to a bleak, mysterious island. Encountering a man in a tweed jacket and beanie, Milo asks him where they are. The man replies by asking if they know who he is—the man is, apparently, confused on the subject. Milo and his friends confer, then ask if he can describe himself.

 

“Yes, indeed,” the man replied happily. “I’m as tall as can be”—and he grew straight up until all that could be seen of him were his shoes and stockings—“and I’m as short as can be”—and he shrank down to the size of a pebble. “I’m as generous as can be,” he said, handing each of them a large red apple, “and I’m as selfish as can be,” he snarled, grabbing them back again.

 

In short order, the companions learn that the man is as strong as can be, weak as can be, smart as can be, stupid as can be, graceful as can be, clumsy as—you get the picture. “Is that any help to you?” he asks. Again, Milo and his friends confer, and realize that the answer is actually quite simple:

 

“Without a doubt,” Milo concluded brightly, “you must be Canby.”

 

“Of course, yes, of course,” the man shouted. “Why didn’t I think of that? I’m as happy as can be.”

 

With Canby, Juster presumably meant to mock a certain kind of babyish, uncommitted man-child. But I can’t help thinking of poor old Canby as exemplifying one of humankind’s greatest attributes: behavioral plasticity. The term was coined in 1890 by the pioneering psychologist William James, who defined it as “the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but strong enough not to yield all at once.” Behavioral plasticity, a defining feature of Homo sapiens’ big brain, means that humans can change their habits; almost as a matter of course, people change careers, quit smoking or take up vegetarianism, convert to new religions, and migrate to distant lands where they must learn strange languages. This plasticity, this Canby-hood, is the hallmark of our transformation from anatomically modern Homo sapiens to behaviorally modern Homo sapiens—and the reason, perhaps, we were able to survive when Toba reconfigured the landscape.

 

Other creatures are much less flexible. Like apartment-dwelling cats that compulsively hide in the closet when visitors arrive, they have limited capacity to welcome new phenomena and change in response. Human beings, by contrast, are so exceptionally plastic that vast swaths of neuroscience are devoted to trying to explain how this could come about. (Nobody knows for certain, but some researchers now think that particular genes give their possessors a heightened, inborn awareness of their environment, which can lead both to useless, neurotic sensitivity and greater ability to detect and adapt to new situations.)

 

Plasticity in individuals is mirrored by plasticity on a societal level. The caste system in social species like honeybees is elaborate and finely tuned but fixed, as if in amber, in the loops of their DNA. Some leafcutter ants are said to have, next to human beings, the biggest and most complex societies on earth, with elaborately coded behavior that reaches from disposal of the dead to complex agricultural systems. Housing millions of individuals in inconceivably ramose subterranean networks, leafcutter colonies are “Earth’s ultimate superorganisms,” Edward O. Wilson has written. But they are incapable of fundamental change. The centrality and authority of the queen cannot be challenged; the tiny minority of males, used only to inseminate queens, will never acquire new responsibilities.

 

Human societies are far more varied than their insect cousins, of course. But the true difference is their plasticity. It is why humankind, a species of Canbys, has been able to move into every corner of the earth, and to control what we find there. Our ability to change ourselves to extract resources from our surroundings with ever-increasing efficiency is what has made Homo sapiens a successful species. It is our greatest blessing.

 

Or was our greatest blessing, anyway.

  

DISCOUNT RATES

 

By 2050, demographers predict, as many as 10 billion human beings will walk the earth, 3 billion more than today. Not only will more people exist than ever before, they will be richer than ever before. In the last three decades hundreds of millions in China, India, and other formerly poor places have lifted themselves from destitution—arguably the most important, and certainly the most heartening, accomplishment of our time. Yet, like all human enterprises, this great success will pose great difficulties.

 

In the past, rising incomes have invariably prompted rising demand for goods and services. Billions more jobs, homes, cars, fancy electronics—these are things the newly prosperous will want. (Why shouldn’t they?) But the greatest challenge may be the most basic of all: feeding these extra mouths. To agronomists, the prospect is sobering. The newly affluent will not want their ancestors’ gruel. Instead they will ask for pork and beef and lamb. Salmon will sizzle on their outdoor grills. In winter, they will want strawberries, like people in New York and London, and clean bibb lettuce from hydroponic gardens.

 

All of these, each and every one, require vastly more resources to produce than simple peasant agriculture. Already 35 percent of the world’s grain harvest is used to feed livestock. The process is terribly inefficient: between seven and ten kilograms of grain are required to produce one kilogram of beef. Not only will the world’s farmers have to produce enough wheat and maize to feed 3 billion more people, they will have to produce enough to give them all hamburgers and steaks. Given present patterns of food consumption, economists believe, we will need to produce about 40 percent more grain in 2050 than we do today.

 

How can we provide these things for all these new people? That is only part of the question. The full question is: How can we provide them without wrecking the natural systems on which all depend?

 

Scientists, activists, and politicians have proposed many solutions, each from a different ideological and moral perspective. Some argue that we must drastically throttle industrial civilization. (Stop energy-intensive, chemical-based farming today! Eliminate fossil fuels to halt climate change!) Others claim that only intense exploitation of scientific knowledge can save us. (Plant super-productive, genetically modified crops now! Switch to nuclear power to halt climate change!) No matter which course is chosen, though, it will require radical, large-scale transformations in the human enterprise—a daunting, hideously expensive task.

 

Worse, the ship is too large to turn quickly. The world’s food supply cannot be decoupled rapidly from industrial agriculture, if that is seen as the answer. Aquifers cannot be recharged with a snap of the fingers. If the high-tech route is chosen, genetically modified crops cannot be bred and tested overnight. Similarly, carbon-sequestration techniques and nuclear power plants cannot be deployed instantly. Changes must be planned and executed decades in advance of the usual signals of crisis, but that’s like asking healthy, happy sixteen-year-olds to write living wills.

 

Not only is the task daunting, it’s strange. In the name of nature, we are asking human beings to do something deeply unnatural, something no other species has ever done or could ever do: constrain its own growth (at least in some ways). Zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, brown tree snakes in Guam, water hyacinth in African rivers, gypsy moths in the northeastern U.S., rabbits in Australia, Burmese pythons in Florida—all these successful species have overrun their environments, heedlessly wiping out other creatures. Like Gause’s protozoans, they are racing to find the edges of their petri dish. Not one has voluntarily turned back. Now we are asking Homo sapiens to fence itself in.

 

What a peculiar thing to ask! Economists like to talk about the “discount rate,” which is their term for preferring a bird in hand today over two in the bush tomorrow. The term sums up part of our human nature as well. Evolving in small, constantly moving bands, we are as hard-wired to focus on the immediate and local over the long-term and faraway as we are to prefer parklike savannas to deep dark forests. Thus, we care more about the broken stoplight up the street today than conditions next year in Croatia, Cambodia, or the Congo. Rightly so, evolutionists point out: Americans are far more likely to be killed at that stoplight today than in the Congo next year. Yet here we are asking governments to focus on potential planetary boundaries that may not be reached for decades. Given the discount rate, nothing could be more understandable than the U.S. Congress’s failure to grapple with, say, climate change. From this perspective, is there any reason to imagine that Homo sapiens, unlike mussels, snakes, and moths, can exempt itself from the natural fate of all successful species?

 

To biologists like Margulis, who spend their careers arguing that humans are simply part of the natural order, the answer should be clear. All life is similar at base. All species seek without pause to make more of themselves—that is their goal. By multiplying till we reach our maximum possible numbers, even as we take out much of the planet, we are fulfilling our destiny.

 

From this vantage, the answer to the question whether we are doomed to destroy ourselves is yes. It should be obvious.

 

Should be—but perhaps is not.

  

HARA HACHI BU

 

When I imagine the profound social transformation necessary to avoid calamity, I think about Robinson Crusoe, hero of Daniel Defoe’s famous novel. Defoe clearly intended his hero to be an exemplary man. Shipwrecked on an uninhabited island off Venezuela in 1659, Crusoe is an impressive example of behavioral plasticity. During his twenty-seven-year exile he learns to catch fish, hunt rabbits and turtles, tame and pasture island goats, prune and support local citrus trees, and create “plantations” of barley and rice from seeds that he salvaged from the wreck. (Defoe apparently didn’t know that citrus and goats were not native to the Americas and thus Crusoe probably wouldn’t have found them there.) Rescue comes at last in the form of a shipful of ragged mutineers, who plan to maroon their captain on the supposedly empty island. Crusoe helps the captain recapture his ship and offers the defeated mutineers a choice: trial in England or permanent banishment to the island. All choose the latter. Crusoe has harnessed so much of the island’s productive power to human use that even a gaggle of inept seamen can survive there in comfort.

 

To get Crusoe on his unlucky voyage, Defoe made him an officer on a slave ship, transporting captured Africans to South America. Today, no writer would make a slave seller the admirable hero of a novel. But in 1720, when Defoe published Robinson Crusoe, no readers said boo about Crusoe’s occupation, because slavery was the norm from one end of the world to another. Rules and names differed from place to place, but coerced labor was everywhere, building roads, serving aristocrats, and fighting wars. Slaves teemed in the Ottoman Empire, Mughal India, and Ming China. Unfree hands were less common in continental Europe, but Portugal, Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands happily exploited slaves by the million in their American colonies. Few protests were heard; slavery had been part of the fabric of life since the code of Hammurabi.

 

Then, in the space of a few decades in the nineteenth century, slavery, one of humankind’s most enduring institutions, almost vanished.

 

The sheer implausibility of this change is staggering. In 1860, slaves were, collectively, the single most valuable economic asset in the United States, worth an estimated $3 billion, a vast sum in those days (and about $10 trillion in today’s money). Rather than investing in factories like northern entrepreneurs, southern businessmen had sunk their capital into slaves. And from their perspective, correctly so—masses of enchained men and women had made the region politically powerful, and gave social status to an entire class of poor whites. Slavery was the foundation of the social order. It was, thundered John C. Calhoun, a former senator, secretary of state, and vice president, “instead of an evil, a good—a positive good.” Yet just a few years after Calhoun spoke, part of the United States set out to destroy this institution, wrecking much of the national economy and killing half a million citizens along the way.

 

Incredibly, the turn against slavery was as universal as slavery itself. Great Britain, the world’s biggest human trafficker, closed down its slave operations in 1808, though they were among the nation’s most profitable industries. The Netherlands, France, Spain, and Portugal soon followed. Like stars winking out at the approach of dawn, cultures across the globe removed themselves from the previously universal exchange of human cargo. Slavery still exists here and there, but in no society anywhere is it formally accepted as part of the social fabric.

 

Historians have provided many reasons for this extraordinary transition. But one of the most important is that abolitionists had convinced huge numbers of ordinary people around the world that slavery was a moral disaster. An institution fundamental to human society for millennia was swiftly dismantled by ideas and a call to action, loudly repeated.

 

In the last few centuries, such profound changes have occurred repeatedly. Since the beginning of our species, for instance, every known society has been based on the domination of women by men. (Rumors of past matriarchal societies abound, but few archaeologists believe them.) In the long view, women’s lack of liberty has been as central to the human enterprise as gravitation is to the celestial order. The degree of suppression varied from time to time and place to place, but women never had an equal voice; indeed, some evidence exists that the penalty for possession of two X chromosomes increased with technological progress. Even as the industrial North and agricultural South warred over the treatment of Africans, they regarded women identically: in neither half of the nation could they attend college, have a bank account, or own property. Equally confining were women’s lives in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nowadays women are the majority of U.S. college students, the majority of the workforce, and the majority of voters. Again, historians assign multiple causes to this shift in the human condition, rapid in time, staggering in scope. But one of the most important was the power of ideas—the voices, actions, and examples of suffragists, who through decades of ridicule and harassment pressed their case. In recent years something similar seems to have occurred with gay rights: first a few lonely advocates, censured and mocked; then victories in the social and legal sphere; finally, perhaps, a slow movement to equality.

 

Less well known, but equally profound: the decline in violence. Foraging societies waged war less brutally than industrial societies, but more frequently. Typically, archaeologists believe, about a quarter of all hunters and gatherers were killed by their fellows. Violence declined somewhat as humans gathered themselves into states and empires, but was still a constant presence. When Athens was at its height in the fourth and fifth centuries BC, it was ever at war: against Sparta (First and Second Peloponnesian Wars, Corinthian War); against Persia (Greco-Persian Wars, Wars of the Delian League); against Aegina (Aeginetan War); against Macedon (Olynthian War); against Samos (Samian War); against Chios, Rhodes, and Cos (Social War).

 

In this respect, classical Greece was nothing special—look at the ghastly histories of China, sub-Saharan Africa, or Mesoamerica. Similarly, early modern Europe’s wars were so fast and furious that historians simply gather them into catchall titles like the Hundred Years’ War, followed by the shorter but even more destructive Thirty Years’ War. And even as Europeans and their descendants paved the way toward today’s concept of universal human rights by creating documents like the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Europe remained so mired in combat that it fought two conflicts of such massive scale and reach they became known as “world” wars.

 

Since the Second World War, however, rates of violent death have fallen to the lowest levels in known history. Today, the average person is far less likely to be slain by another member of the species than ever before—an extraordinary transformation that has occurred, almost unheralded, in the lifetime of many of the people reading this article. As the political scientist Joshua Goldstein has written, “we are winning the war on war.” Again, there are multiple causes. But Goldstein, probably the leading scholar in this field, argues that the most important is the emergence of the United Nations and other transnational bodies, an expression of the ideas of peace activists earlier in the last century.

 

As a relatively young species, we have an adolescent propensity to make a mess: we pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink, and appear stalled in an age of carbon dumping and nuclear experimentation that is putting countless species at risk including our own. But we are making undeniable progress nonetheless. No European in 1800 could have imagined that in 2000 Europe would have no legal slavery, women would be able to vote, and gay people would be able to marry. No one could have guessed a continent that had been tearing itself apart for centuries would be free of armed conflict, even amid terrible economic times. Given this record, even Lynn Margulis might pause (maybe).

 

Preventing Homo sapiens from destroying itself à la Gause would require a still greater transformation—behavioral plasticity of the highest order—because we would be pushing against biological nature itself. The Japanese have an expression, hara hachi bu, which means, roughly speaking, “belly 80 percent full.” Hara hachi bu is shorthand for an ancient injunction to stop eating before feeling full. Nutritionally, the command makes a great deal of sense. When people eat, their stomachs produce peptides that signal fullness to the nervous system. Unfortunately, the mechanism is so slow that eaters frequently perceive satiety only after they have consumed too much—hence the all-too-common condition of feeling bloated or sick from overeating. Japan—actually, the Japanese island of Okinawa—is the only place on earth where large numbers of people are known to restrict their own calorie intake systematically and routinely. Some researchers claim that hara hachi bu is responsible for Okinawans’ notoriously long life spans. But I think of it as a metaphor for stopping before the second inflection point, voluntarily forswearing short-term consumption to obtain a long-term benefit.

 

Evolutionarily speaking, a species-wide adoption of hara hachi bu would be unprecedented. Thinking about it, I can picture Lynn Margulis rolling her eyes. But is it so unlikely that our species, Canbys one and all, would be able to do exactly that before we round that fateful curve of the second inflection point and nature does it for us?

 

I can imagine Margulis’s response: You’re imagining our species as some sort of big-brained, hyperrational, benefit-cost-calculating computer! A better analogy is the bacteria at our feet! Still, Margulis would be the first to agree that removing the shackles from women and slaves has begun to unleash the suppressed talents of two-thirds of the human race. Drastically reducing violence has prevented the waste of countless lives and staggering amounts of resources. Is it really impossible to believe that we wouldn’t use those talents and those resources to draw back before the abyss?

 

Our record of success is not that long. In any case, past successes are no guarantee of the future. But it is terrible to suppose that we could get so many other things right and get this one wrong. To have the imagination to see our potential end, but not have the imagination to avoid it. To send humankind to the moon but fail to pay attention to the earth. To have the potential but to be unable to use it—to be, in the end, no different from the protozoa in the petri dish. It would be evidence that Lynn Margulis’s most dismissive beliefs had been right after all. For all our speed and voraciousness, our changeable sparkle and flash, we would be, at last count, not an especially interesting species.

 

Charles C. Mann’s most recent books are 1491, which won the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Keck Award for the best book of the year, and 1493, which is now out in paperback. A correspondent for The Atlantic, Science, and Wired, he has covered the intersection of science, technology, and commerce for many newspapers and magazines here and abroad, including BioScience, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times.

 

A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, Mann has received writing awards from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Margaret Sanger Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation.

Comments

 

David M on October 25, 2012

 

A terrific read. The part on human beings as invasive species is worth the price alone. This is classic.

 

“The difference between humans and fire ants is that fire ants specialize in disturbed habitats. Humans, too, specialize in disturbed habitats—but we do the disturbing.”

 

There are so many nice goodies written with punch like this.

 

“Agriculture gave humanity the whip hand. Instead of natural ecosystems with their haphazard mix of species (so many useless organisms guzzling up resources!), farms are taut, disciplined communities conceived and dedicated to the maintenance of a single species: us.”

 

I’ll add one more.

 

“Our ability to change ourselves to extract resources from our surroundings with ever-increasing efficiency is what has made Homo sapiens a successful species. It is our greatest blessing.

 

Or was our greatest blessing, anyway.”

 

I have a few downsize thoughts on some of the analysis but I’ll save that for later.

Steve Bremner on October 25, 2012

 

Excellent piece. I don’t have much faith in our collective ability to adjust in time to the impending collapse of civilization. Individually and in pockets there are those who see the need to adjust, but unfortunately we’re not all on board and the Sarah Palins and the James Inhofes seem to hold sway over policy in this world.

Martin on October 26, 2012

 

A great and masterful essay, brilliant and needing to be read – but then it falls off the rails, as is typical of even the best of our social critics.

Mann is dead-on and eloquent in his depiction of our state of inter-locking crises, but then he goes all hope and change and look at how far we have come. Sure, there are identity politics achievements, and nice safer lives for the boomers and the Prius-drivers, but there are so many real, freely available, undeniable markers of a immovable and fully corrupt supersystem.

Look at the graph of CO2 in the atmosphere – notice a trend? Look at the Gini coefficient for the US- see the direction? Has Mann seen the official, growing, shameful wealth disparity between white and black Americans, let alone the global disparities? Can he appreciate the graph of the ruined lives of the global poor, even before the states of our interdependent ecosystems start really to seize?

Where is there a single indication that any of the insitutions governing human lives have even the capacity to shift course from the extraction of resources anywhere in the globe to feed the energy needs of the well-to-do?

Why be so top-notch in drawing the outlines our common predicament, and then proffer some pie-in-the-sky endpiece that flies in the face of all that we can observe?

Still, Mann’s essay is a treasure, a lasting way to look at our lives with new artistic metaphors, and it deserves a medal or two – but only the bravest can really see where the data lie.

Ron Hofbauer on October 26, 2012

 

This is fine and interesting read that but I think the scientific objectivity of the piece is slowly lost as the story gets closer to the present era. For example, the comment is made that slavery has been almost eliminated. I agree that old style slavery has more or less been stopped but I maintain that slavery is still very much alive and well under a change of name in which it is now called “employment”. This “employment” form of slavery is much more sophisticated than the old style of slavery and, if anything, it has increased slavery and made it into a kind of invisible social situation. It seems to me that Mr. Mann tries to put an optimistic spin on homo sapiens society at the end of the piece that I don’t believe is justified.

T. R. Shankar Raman on October 26, 2012

 

Commit ‘hara hachi bu’ rather than ‘hara kiri’ for a better world ahead, the author seems to suggest. The article brings various threads of thought together well. Yet, the author does not mention early ecologists and conservationists who arrived at similar conclusions on driving social and ecological change on a moral and ethical basis, such as Aldo Leopold and Arne Naess and Rachel Carson. Unfortunately, it is widely, but perhaps wrongly, believed that the power of economics will trump ethics anyday. A shift in perception is first required?

Linda Pettit on October 26, 2012

 

Wow! A powerful compilation of information describing the homo path then and forward…We are, of course, preoccupied by our own species’ adventures. I can appreciate this as a member of the group…but I also appreciate Lynn Margulis’ focus, a Gaia description that takes into consideration all life on the planet. Will there be another more advanced species in the future when/if we bring on our own destruction? Gaia will remain. I personally work to enjoy as much of the ride as I am able, despite politics!

Robert on October 26, 2012

 

I have to agree with Martin’s comment. However clear-thinking when it comes to the past, Mr Mann is still unable to stop outside the dominant narrative which says that our society is the best and most moral ever and things are only getting better.

 

“Since the Second World War, however, rates of violent death have fallen to the lowest levels in known history. Today, the average person is far less likely to be slain by another member of the species than ever before—an extraordinary transformation that has occurred, almost unheralded, in the lifetime of many of the people reading this article.”

 

I’ve heard this claim before. Does that include deaths in car accidents? Deaths due to industrial pollution? Deaths due to political despotism? All are forms of violent death caused by human beings, albeit not in war.

 

Still, it is nice to think that the human race is flexible enough to snatch survival from the jaws of extinction. I guess some of us alive today will find out the answer.

suryanarayanan on October 26, 2012

 

A truly remarkable, thought-provoking, and complete, essay on life and humankind that should make us pause and reflect on what the author has said in the last para.

tommacg on October 26, 2012

 

A very good, engaging piece. I was all with him, particularly on the changes wrought by symbolic culture and agriculture, until the end, when he makes entirely dubious assertions. (A similar analysis, but better conclusion is to be found in Kirkpatrick Sale’s After Eden.)

 

For example, plenty of anthropological evidence contradicts what Mann says about gender inequality being the case since the beginnings of our species.

 

Also, his liberal championing of Progress is somewhat nauseating. The figures on declining violence are dubious at best, relying on relative rather than absolute statistics (Does Mann not count human lives as having equal worth? Lets not forget how bloody the 20th century was), and completely externalising violence on the natural world.

tommacg on October 26, 2012

 

Just read the other comments too. Totally agree with the commenters above – Martin and Ron Hofbauer

Maya Ramaswamy on October 26, 2012

 

we’re definitely as plastic as canby..

so more of us have to ‘learn’ and communicate our learning on how to put grace over power..

Rob MacLeod on October 26, 2012

 

Great, thought provoking article. Makes me think of two things:

1. The Matrix’s Agent Smith to Morpheus: “Humans are a virus”

2. In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond’s discusses several societies throughout history that have gone to the brink of overwhelming their ecosystem and then pulled back and imposed limits on themselves. Wolves will also limit their reproduction – in most years only the alpha pair will reproduce. So we have examples from science of species limiting themselves. I won’t argue that the degree of difficulty is exponentially larger today.

Lawrence M Neal on October 26, 2012

 

A good while back, the .001% Elite, the 400 families that own almost everything in the U.S., some 93,000 people worldwide, concluded that there were too many people and far too many poor people. Now they have environmental toxins, and most notably, infertility inducing GMO foods. They have tried war and disease to control our numbers, but not everyone is affected by war and disease. Everyone has to eat.Their aim is to reduce the population by 93%, and GMOs are their best course of action yet. It sounds far fetched and extreme, and inconceivable that our ‘government’ would not protect us from it. And yet, ‘government’ sits on it’s thumbs, fails to regulate toxins and approves GMOs. Perhaps the Elite’s Depopulation Agenda is mankind’s hope for a continued future.

mike on October 27, 2012

 

Martin believes that being employed is slavery? Really? What would he suggest, that we all just sit around and have people give us things?

 

It’s completely absurd. Slaves can’t quit being slaves. Employee’s can. Slaves can’t complain to the government about working conditions. Slaves (as the US did it) don’t get to complain about missing hours on their paycheck. SLAVES DON’T GET PAID.

 

The only other option is to go back to hunter-gatherer lifestyle, where you spend all your day searching for food, then starve during the winter. Remember, just a few short centuries ago most people worked all day long, every day. That was to get hardly enough food and a roof over your head.

 

Now westerners work a third of the day, five seventh of the week with a few weeks off plus holidays. The average westerner today lives better then royalty or nobles did 200 years ago. We live three times longer and have access to every type of food from around the world. We can jump on a plane and see Australia, or take a train across the continent. You can spend your evenings watching movies, or bad TV, or go out drinking, watch football in person, play rugby, or do one of thousands of hobbies.

 

On the weekends you can go boating, or fly your own microplane. You can talk to almost anyone in the world from your living room. You can walk around the city with a computer that talks to you and responds to your voice, science fiction just 30 years ago.

 

If you live in almost any developed country other then the US you can be sure that if you break your arm while out walking you can get state of the art healthcare without going bankrupt or depleting your savings. You can get antibiotics that an infection that 100 years ago would have killed you.

 

Finally, a slave can be killed or maimed at any time by his owner. That is the definition of being property. Your comparing being an employee to slavery is not just offensive but also ignorant. Ignorant of the difference between being able to do and go where you want, and living life as the property of another, life in a cage with your death hanging in the balance of your owners whim.

 

It must be the natural human condition to whine.

 

And Lawrence M Neal, where exactly do you get this nonsense about 93% depopulation? This is moronic. This would leave the world with a population unable to support modern life. Don’t just believe the crap you hear and read. Actually give it some thought.

Lawrence M Neal on October 28, 2012

 

“And where exactly, do you get this nonsense about 93% depopulation?”

 

Noted author G. Edward Griffin, amongst many others.

 

“This would leave the world with a population unable to support modern life.”

 

Modern Life as we know it, yes. But with enough workers to produce the needs and wants of the Elite, which is what the Elite envision. A world cleared of excessive humanity, returned to natural balance, with the Elite firmly in control of authority and reproduction.

 

“Actually give it some thought”

 

Try researching a different point of view.

 

“It must be the natural human condition to whine”

 

And demean the opinions of others.

Martin on October 28, 2012

 

A word like “slave” can be defined any number of ways, and you should see many references to “wage-slaves” if you root around blogs and websites.

To make a statement like “employee’s (sic) can quit” is just Republican talk – most employees cannot quit, not if they want any semblence of their life to continue.

Of course all humans want to work productively, but where in this service-misery-financialization economy do you suggest there is kind of ideal servitude going on?

Then you get nonsensical and stupid – many, many workers get hurt on the job, and without the protections of health insurance or disability insurance, they become mired in chronic pain and financial worry.

“Whining” is always the epithet from the snob, from the absurdly advantaged, who deign never to look at social reality but from their own imagined superior status-yet their own lives are characterized by rage, familial dissolution, chronic mental ill health.

You can urge the unemployed to “go boating” with you and your friends Mitt and Ann Coulter, but don’t worry, that kind of disdain for the social ills supporting the profligate lives of the boating class usually means rough seas ahead.

mike on October 28, 2012

 

slave/slÄv/

Noun:

A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.

 

Sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder.

mi

The Federal Reserve-IMF Israeli Counterfeiting Tribe printed up $17 billion in fresh counterfeit cash to "save" and thereby indebt Ukrainians under NATO's Nazi Ukraine Svaboda Junta.

 

Ukraine is added to the debt bankers' asset portfolios: Ukraine's debt slaves now belong to to the 911 false flag architects. It is now operated as Wall Street-London-Paris Nazi Banker debt colony under the massive fascist NATO war machine...the bank and oil corporation enforcers "humanitarians."

 

The Ukraine Debt Colony is now indentured to Wall Street -IMF counterfeiters. The counterfeiters method to perfect their debt lien is the fake cash tribe's game-set & match, the business of creating fresh debtors by printing loan debt from thin air. Ukraine's land, gas and oil are the fungible loan collateral slated for seizure of the country. Debt foreclosure is scheduled against Ukrainian debt slaves when they commit the inevitable loan repayment default.

 

Let's forget Ukraine's existing default on billions owed Russia for gas that keeps Ukrainian balls and mammaries from freezing off. Do you comprehend the attractive debtor-profile of the needy Nazi Svaboda CIA Ukrainians? ....but certainly never repaid to EVIL Russian gas creditors!...already.

 

(Russia must write-off Ukraine's mass debt, close it off the books...then get bombed by NATO on its path to stealing Russia's Caspian oil riches of course.)

 

I refer to Ukraine's massive indebtedness into which Fed-IMF Bank invaders launched the CIA's Nazi-Victoria Nuland molotov cocktail junta...bombing Ukraine's elected government. Let Wall Street-Fed-IMF terrorist freedoms ring!

 

CIA-NATO made Fed-IMF a fresh crop of Ukraine debtors liable for the initial $17 billion in takeover liar-loans, expanding the Fed-IMF-NATO war country asset portfolio.....with Joe Biden's corporate insect son deployed to frack up Ukraine's oil and gas collateral: Loan Shark Racketeering 105 chapter, paragraph and verse.

 

The counterfeit Fed-IMF cash loan is owed to the bank tribe counterfeiters. Their tribe's trade is land grabbing by self-entitlement: debt foreclosure magic-voila. Printing counterfeit cash is routine Fed-IMF fraud, fueled by CIA's bombing of Ukraine's elected government and then CIA's junta that installed its staff of Svaboda Nazis.

 

Earth is to be invaded, owned and looted forever by Emperor Bibi Netanyahu's Israeli States of America-the counterfeit culture. Earth's subjugated debtors must become indebted to The Israeli Fed Reserve and Fascist European Israeli thug owners IMF.....or be militarily wiped out. That starts with the 24-7-365 media disinformation attack machine inventing fake public consent to justify Fed-IMF-NATO's procedural attacks against new corporate takeover targets.

 

Their counterfeit plan augmented by repetitive oil war invasions are not just the big picture, they are the only picture. The Fed-IMF treasons are time-tested reliable gangster rackets. The ancient racketeering predators apply loan-sharking, extortion, false-flag attacks, arson and the ensuing "security" protection insurance racket, fixing fake elections, witness assassination, threats, coercion, murder, spying 24-7-365, and corporate disinformation media all of which are standard Fed-IMF-NATO tools of the racketeering trade -the CIA-Mossad mission.

 

Earth's largest most violent criminal fascist enterprise is today's 4th Reich NATO...unelected thugs running Wall Street-IMF fascist world government -Hitler's Nazi dream come-true.

 

But you probably don't mind serving their lucrative criminal success. That's due to the fact that a vast majority of you are already enslaved by your indebtedness to the Fed-IMF's criminal bankers in perfect accordance with their debtor design.

 

Their media remind you how beautiful you are for being their debt slave. Being debt slaves to criminals makes you and your obese kids into "players!"...heroically self-envisioned as "the world's most powerful sports fans!" Enjoy that.

 

That's what makes you a proper post-911 counterfeit-banker's slave properly fatted, deluded and ineffectual.

-RT

*********************************************************************************

September 09, 2014

 

Losing Credibility

The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine

by MICHAEL HUDSON

 

In April 2014, fresh from riots in Maidan Square and the February 22 coup, and less than a month before the May 2 massacre in Odessa, the IMF approved a $17 billion loan program to Ukraine’s junta. Normal IMF practice is to lend only up to twice a country’s quote in one year. This was eight times as high.

 

Four months later, on August 29, just as Kiev began losing its attempt at ethnic cleansing against the eastern Donbas region, the IMF signed off on the first loan ever to a side engaged in a civil war, not to mention rife with insider capital flight and a collapsing balance of payments. Based on fictitiously trouble-free projections of the ability to pay, the loan supported Ukraine’s hernia currency long enough to enable the oligarchs’ banks to move their money quickly into Western hard-currency accounts before the hernia plunged further and was worth even fewer euros and dollars.

 

This loan demonstrates the degree to which the IMF is an arm of U.S. Cold War politics. Kiev used the loan for military expenses to attack the Eastern provinces, and the loan terms imposed the usual budget austerity, as if this would stabilize the country’s finances. Almost nothing will be received from the war-torn East, where basic infrastructure has been destroyed for power generation, water, hospitals and the civilian housing areas that bore the brunt of the attack. Nearly a million civilians are reported to have fled to Russia. Yet the IMF release announced: “The IMF praised the government’s commitment to economic reforms despite the ongoing conflict.”[1] A quarter of Ukraine’s exports normally are from eastern provinces, and are sold mainly to Russia. But Kiev has been bombing Donbas industry and left its coal mines without electricity.

 

This loan is bound to create even more dissension among IMF staff economists than broke out openly over the disastrous $47 billion loan to Greece – at that time the largest loan in IMF history – prompted a 50-page internal document leaked to the Wall Street Journal acknowledging that the IMF had “badly underestimated the damage that its prescriptions of austerity would do to Greece’s economy.” staff economists blamed pressure from eurozone countries protecting their own “banks [that] held too much Greek government debt. … The IMF had originally projected Greece would lose 5.5% of its economic output between 2009 and 2012. The country has lost 17% in real gross domestic output instead. The plan predicted a 15% unemployment rate in 2012. It was 25%.[2]

 

The IMF’s Articles of Agreement forbid it to make loans to countries that clearly cannot pay, prompting its economists to complain at last year’s October 2013 annual meeting in Washington that their institution was violating its rules by making bad loans “to states unable to repay their debts.” In practice, the IMF simply advances however much a government needs to bail out its bankers and bondholders, pretending that more austerity enhances the ability to pay, not worsen it. Ukraine looks like a replay of the Greek situation with an exclamation mark! One official last year called its Debt Sustainability Analysis, “‘a joke,’ a [European] commission official described it ‘a fairy tale to put children to sleep’ and a Greek finance ministry official said it was ‘scientifically ridiculous.’”[3]

 

John Helmer’s Dances with Bears calculates that “of the $3.2 billion disbursed to the Ukrainian treasury by the IMF at the start of May, $3.1 billion had disappeared offshore by the middle of August.”[4] This raises the question of whether the IMF’s loan is legally an “odious debt,” being made to a military junta and stolen by government insiders. The IMF acknowledged that the central bank was simply turning money over to the kleptocrats who run the country’s banks as part of their conglomerates (as well as funding the government’s military attack on the East, largely on behalf of the leading kleptocrats behind the Maidan coup). “The proportion of government securities and loans to banks increased from 28 percent of NBU total assets at end-2010 to 56 percent at end-April 2014.” The financial situation is getting so much worse that to stave off insolvency, Ukraine’s leading banks are reported to need another $5 billion over and above the IMF’s $17 billion commitment.

 

In preparation for October’s scheduled elections, the eastern provinces are in no condition to vote, and the junta has banned the Communist party as well as TV and media reporting that it does not like (mainly in the Russian language). The leading pro-war parties are polling very low even in the West (as of early September), prompting warnings of a coup by the Right Sector and allied neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists, headed by the oligarch Igor Kolomoyskyy, who fields his own private army.

 

A defeat in war frequently leads to regime change. The spectre of a coup is once again roaming the streets and squares of Kyiv. Surviving National Guard fighters are threatening to turn their weapons on Poroshenko. A third Maydan [Independence Square protest movement] is taking shape, which is to sweep aside the present regime. The instigators of this Maydan are militants from the punitive battalions created with Kolomoyskyy’s money. It is obvious that the oligarch is playing his game against Poroshenko. Subordinate to him Kolomoyskyy has quite a strong private army capable of carrying out a coup.[5]

 

IMF and US-backed privatization plans for Ukraine

 

Ukraine’s main problem is that its debt is denominated in dollars and euros. There seems only one way for Ukraine to raise the foreign exchange to repay the IMF: by selling its natural resources, headed by gas rights and agricultural land. Here the shadowy figure of Kolomoyskyy resurfaces, with support from the United States. Recent Senate Bill 2277 “directs the U.S. Agency for International Development to guarantee loans for every phase of the development of oil and gas” in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

 

Vice President Joe Biden’s son, R. Hunter Biden, recently was appointed to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian oil and gas company registered in Cyprus, long a favorite for post-Soviet operators. The firm has enough influence over Kiev politics to make prospective gas-fracking lands a military objective. “Ukrainian troopers help installing shale gas production equipment near the east Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, which they bombed and shelled for the three preceding months, the Novorossiya news agency reports on its website citing local residents. Civilians protected by Ukrainian army are getting ready to install drilling rigs. More equipment is being brought in, they said, adding that the military are encircling the future extraction area.”[6]

 

One report notes the extent to which “pro-Russian” means opposing a gas grab:

 

The people of Slavyansk, which is located in the heart of the Yzovka shale gas field, staged numerous protest actions in the past against its development. They even wanted to call in a referendum on that subject. … Countries like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France have given up plans to develop shale gas deposits in their territories. Not only them but also all-important Germany, which two weeks ago announced it would halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over groundwater pollution concerns.[7]

 

U.S. and IMF backing seems intended to help reduce European dependence on Russian gas so as to squeeze its balance of payments. The idea is that lower gas revenues will squeeze Russia’s ability to maneuver in today’s New Cold War. But this strategy involves a potentially embarrassing U.S. alliance with Kolomoyskyy, reportedly the major owner of Burisma via his Privat Bank. He “was appointed by the coup regime to be governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a south-central province of Ukraine. Kolomoysky also has been associated with the financing of brutal paramilitary forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.”[8] The term “ethnic Russian” is a kakaism for local protest against fracking by kleptocrats privatizing the economy’s natural resource wealth.

 

It will be expensive to restore power and water facilities that have been destroyed by the Kiev forces in Donetsk, which faces a cold dark winter. Kiev has stopped paying pensions and other revenue to the Eastern Ukraine, all but guaranteeing its separatism. Even before the Maidan events the local population sought to prevent gas fracking, just as Germany and other European countries have opposed it.

 

Also opposed is the appropriation of land and other properties by Ukrainian kleptocrats and especially foreigners such as Monsanto, which has invested in genetically engineered grain projects in Ukraine, seeing the country as Europe’s Achilles Heel when it comes to resisting GMOs. A recent report by the Oakland Institute, Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict, describes IMF-World Bank pressure to deregulate Ukrainian agricultural land use and promote its sale to U.S. and other foreign investors. The World Bank’s Investment Finance Corporation (IFC) has “advised the country to ‘delete provisions regarding mandatory certification of food in the listed laws of Ukraine and Government Decree,’” and “to avoid ‘unnecessary cost for businesses’” by regulations on pesticides, additives and so forth. [9]

 

Yet neither Russia nor many European countries accept genetically engineered foods. It would seem that the only way Ukraine can export GMO crops is if U.S. diplomats pressure Europe to drop its GMO labeling. This would drive yet another wedge between the United States and European NATO members, much as U.S. pressure to impose sanctions on Russia (“Let’s you and him fight”) has done.

 

U.S. stratagems to save Ukraine from having to pay its debts to Russia

 

The “inner contradiction” in the IMF loan is that Ukraine owes the entire amount to Russia for gas arrears and current needs as winter nears, and also for the euro loan by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund on strictly commercial terms with cross-defaults if Ukrainian debt rises above 60 percent of GDP. The U.S. Cold War response is to try to craft a legal argument to minimize payments to Russia out of IMF and NATO “reconstruction” lending. The Peterson Institute for International Economics has floated a proposal by former Treasury official Anna Gelpern to deprive Russia of legal means to enforce its claims on Ukraine. “A single measure can free up $3 billion for Ukraine,” she proposed. Britain’s Parliament might pass a law declaring the $3 billion bond negotiated by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund to be “foreign aid,” not a real commercial loan contract worthy of legal enforcement. “The United Kingdom can refuse to enforce English-law contracts for the money Russia lent,” thereby taking “away creditor remedies for default on this debt.”[10]

 

The problem with this ploy is that Russia’s sovereign wealth fund lent Ukraine euros with strict financial protection aimed at limiting the country’s overall debt to just 60 percent of its GDP. If debt rises above this level, Russia has the right to demand full immediate payment, triggering cross-default clauses in Ukraine’s foreign debt.

 

As recently as yearend 2013, Ukraine’s public debt amounted to just over 40 percent – a seemingly manageable $73 billion. But in view of the fact that Ukraine had only a B+ rating – below Russian sovereign fund normal limit of requiring at least an AA rating for bond investments – Russia acted in a prudent financial way by inserting protection clauses precisely to distinguish its investment from general purpose aid. Unlike foreign aid, Russia’s loan gives it “power to trigger a cascade of defaults under Ukraine’s other bonds and a large block of votes in any future bond restructuring. This is because all of the government’s bonds are linked among themselves. When one bond defaults, the rest can do the same.”

 

What the U.S. Government classifies as foreign aid also typically takes the form of loans to be repaid, and insists on matching funds in local currency, e.g. for Public Law 480 food exports. Congress insisted already during the Kennedy Administration that the U.S. balance of payments, and specifically its farm exports, must benefit from any such “aid.”[11]

 

Waging civil war is expensive, and Ukraine’s currency is rupturing. The black market exchange rate already is reported to have plunged by one-third. If recognized officially (once the kleptocrats have moved their money out at IMF-supported hernia rates), this would raise the country’s debt/GDP ratio to the 60 percent threshold making the debt to Russia payable immediately.

 

“Governments do not normally sue one another to collect their debts in national courts,” Prof. Gelpern points out. But if this should occur, the pari passu rule would prevent some debts from being annulled selectively. She therefore raises another possibility for how to prevent IMF and NATO credit from being paid to Russia for its bondholdings and gas arrears. Ukraine may claim that its debt to Russia is “odious.” This applies to situations where “an evil ruler signs contracts that burden future generations long after the ruler is deposed.” She adds that “Repudiating all debts incurred under Yanukovich would discourage lending to corrupt leaders.”

 

The double standard here is that instead of labeling Ukraine’s entire series of post-1991 kleptocratic governments odious, she singles out only Yanukovich, as if his predecessors and successors are not equally venal. But an even greater danger in trying to declare Ukraine’s debt “odious”: It may backfire on the United States, given its own support for military dictatorships and kleptocracies.

 

In contrast to IMF loans to support the kleptocrats’ banks and new Cold War asset grab from the Eastern border provinces with Russia, Ukraine’s sale of bonds to Russia’s sovereign debt fund and its contracts signed for gas purchases were negotiated by a democratically elected government, at prices that subsidized domestic industry and also household consumption. Unlike the case with Greece, there was no removal of a national leader to prevent a public referendum from taking place over whether to approve the loan or not. If the Ukrainian debt is deemed odious, what of Eurozone loans to Ireland and Greece or U.S. loans to Argentina’s generals installed under Operation Condor? Gelpern acknowledges that Ukrainian refusal to pay the bonds by invoking the odious debt principle “is fraught with legal, political and market risks, all of which would play into Russia’s hands.” Indeed!

 

This leaves the most promising solution to hurt Russia to be the above-mentioned ploy for Britain’s Parliament to pass a sanctions law invalidating “the Yanukovich bonds.” Such a sanctions law would reduce Russia’s “ability to profit from selling the debt on the market” simply by denying Russia legal rights to grab Ukrainian assets. It also would destroy London as a leading global financial center.

 

Gelpern concludes her paper by suggesting a universal principle: that contracts “used to advance military and political objectives … should lose their claim to court enforcement.” I love this suggestion! It certainly would open a can of worms in view of the fact that “[t]he United Kingdom and the United States have both used military force in the past to collect debts and influence weaker countries. Is it legitimate for them to punish Russia for doing the same?” Are not the vast majority of inter-governmental debts either military or political in character?

 

On this logic, shouldn’t most inter-governmental debts be wiped out? Do not Gelpern’s arguments cited for not paying Russia serve even more to provide a legal basis for nullifying Ukraine’s debt to the IMF and subsequent NATO loans on terms that force it to forfeit its natural resource rights for gas and land to foreign investors?

 

Prof. Gelpern’s legal review ostensibly seeking reasons to isolate Russia economically thus has the seemingly ironic effect of showing the legal and political difficulties in trying to achieve this. If Ukraine borrows from the IMF and/or EU, and then breaks up – with the East becoming independent – who will be obliged to pay? Certainly not the East, attacked by the military coup leaders.

 

So we are brought back to this month’s financial news in preparation for next month’s IMF annual meeting: Where then does the Ukrainian loan leave the IMF’s credibility?

 

Michael Hudson’s book summarizing his economic theories, “The Bubble and Beyond,” is available on Amazon. His latest book is Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com

Notes.

 

[1] Reuters, “IMF approves loan tranche for Ukraine, warns of risks,” August 29, 2014.

 

www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/29/us-ukraine-crisis-imf-...

 

[2] Matina Stevis, “IMF Admits Mistakes on Greece Bailout,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2013.

 

[3] Matina Stevis, “IMF and Europe Part Ways Over Bailouts,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2013.

 

[4] John Helmer, “Ukraine Takes Another $1.39 Billion from International Monetary Fund–$3 Billion in IMF Cash Already Sent Offshore–Insiders Suspected in Heist,” Dances with Bears, johnhelmer.net, September 3, 2014.

 

[5] Marina Perevozkina and Artur Avakov, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, September 4, 2014, from Johnson’s Russia List, September 6, 2014 #14. They add that Putin has ordered Kolomoyskyy’s property in Crimea and Moscow to be sequestered.

 

[6] PEU report, July 27, 2014, “USAID to Help Young Biden: The Burisma File,” citing an Economic Policy Journal article. peureport.blogspot.com/2014/07/usaid-to-help-young-biden-.... The report adds: “Further supporting the ‘natural gas motive’ is the fact that it was Vice President Joe Biden who demanded that President Yanukovych pull back his police on Feb. 21, a move that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias and the U.S.-backed coup. Then, just three months later, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors.”

 

[7] Tyler Durden

“Biden’s son a director in shale gas firm set to drill in East Ukraine,” Truthstream Media, July 27, 2014, Zero Hedge.

 

truthstreammedia.com/bidens-son-a-director-in-shale-gas-f...

 

[8] Robert Parry, “The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis,” Consortiumnews.com, September 3, 2014.

 

[9] www.oaklandinstitute.org/press-release-world-bank-and-imf...

 

Press Release: The World Bank and the IMF Open up Ukraine to Western Interests, Monday, July 28, 2014.

 

[10] Anna Gelpern, “Debt Sanctions Can Help Ukraine and Fill a Gap in the International Financial System,” Peterson Institute for International Economics, Policy Brief PB14-20, August 2014. www.piie.com/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=2654.

 

[11] I provide a profuse documentation of U.S. self-interest in The Myth of Aid (Orbis Books 1970) and Super Imperialism (1972). Gelpern accuses Russia of seeking to keep Ukraine “on a short leash,” as if this is not what the IMF and indeed most financial investors do. US/NATO anti-Russian policy is filled with such double standards, and it is reflected in IMF support for Ukraine.

 

 

Mara Salvatrucha

 

Mara Salvatrucha gang member with gang's name tattooed on his back

Years active1980s–present

TerritoryEl Salvador, North America,

Central America

EthnicityMostly Central Americans

Membership70,000[1]

Criminal activitiesDrug trafficking, robbery, Larceny, human trafficking, extortion, illegal immigration, murder, prostitution, racketeering, battery, kidnapping and arms trafficking.

AlliesSinaloa Cartel, Gulf Cartel, La Familia Michoacana, Mexican Mafia, Los Zetas[2]

Rivals18th Street gang, Juarez Cartel, Los Negros, Sombra Negra, Tijuana Cartel, Beltrán-Leyva Cartel, The Rascals, Bloods, Crips, Hoover Criminals[3] Latin Kings,[4] Juggalos[5]

Mara Salvatrucha (commonly abbreviated as MS, Mara, and MS-13) is a transnational criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles and has spread to other parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.[6] The majority of the gang is ethnically composed of Central Americans and active in urban and suburban areas. In the U.S., the MS-13 has an especially heavy presence in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California; the Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George's County, Maryland; Long Island, New York; the Boston, Massachusetts area; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Houston, Texas. There is also a presence of MS-13 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Members of MS distinguish themselves by tattoos covering the body and also often the face, as well as the use of their own sign language. They are notorious for their use of violence and a subcultural moral code that predominantly consists of merciless revenge and cruel retributions. This cruelty of the distinguished members of the "Maras" or "Mareros" earned them a path to be recruited by the Sinaloa Cartel battling against Los Zetas in an ongoing drug war south of the United States border.[7][8][9] Their wide-ranging activities have drawn the attention of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who have initiated wide-scale raids against known and suspected gang members – netting hundreds of arrests across the country.

Contents [hide]

1 History

1.1 Etymology

2 Illegal immigration and human smuggling

3 Publicized crimes

3.1 Child prostitution

3.2 Charlotte, North Carolina cases

4 Gang markings and hand signs<