How to Make a Country Rich

By: The School of Life
Via YouTube | October 12, 2015

If you were setting out to make a country rich, what kind of mindsets and ideas would be most likely to achieve your goals? We invent a country, Richland, and try to imagine the psychology of its inhabitants.
“Most of what we call ‘politics’ really revolves around the question of what you need to do to make a country richer.
Rather than ask this of any specific country, let’s imagine designing a country from scratch. How could you make it as rich as possible?Suppose the brief was to design ‘Richland’: an ideal wealth-creating society. What would be the chief characteristics you’d need to build into this society? What would a nation look like that was ideally suited to success in modern capitalism?…”
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A Map A Day

By: A Map A Day
Via Facebook

A detailed map of Minas Tirith from the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“Minas Tirith became the heavily fortified capital of Gondor in the second half of the Third Age. It was originally built to guard the former capital, Osgiliath, from attack from the west, but became the capital when Osgiliath fell into ruin following the Kin-strife and the Great Plague. It is often referred to as the White City (though that name is not in the book) and the City of the Kings.”


A topographic map of the Moon made out of wood made by Robin Hanhart.

This map shows the landing sites of the Apollo missions and the names of the lunar mare on the near side of the moon. Using data of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from Nasa and Nasagoddard this map uses an orthographic projection centered on the near side of the moon. A deep laser engraving in birchwood and measuring roughly 29cm.


Aerial view of the Eixample district in Barcelona, Spain.

The Eixample is a district of Barcelona between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns (Sants, Gràcia, Sant Andreu etc.), constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its population was 262,000 at the last census (2005).

The Eixample is characterized by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and square blocks with chamfered corners (named illes in Catalan, manzanas in Spanish).This was a visionary, pioneering design by Ildefons Cerdà, who considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks, where the streets broaden at every intersection making for greater visibility, better ventilation and (today) some short-stay parking space. The grid pattern remains as a hallmark of Barcelona.

Some parts of the Eixample were influenced by Modernista architects, chief among whom was Antoni Gaudí. His work in the Eixample includes the Casa Milà (nicknamed La Pedrera) and the Casa Batlló, both of which are on the wide Passeig de Gràcia, as well as the Sagrada Familia.


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Conocimiento ancestral indígena declarado patrimonio inmaterial

Autor: Redacción VIVIR
Vía El Espectador | Abril 21, 2017


El Sistema de Conocimiento Ancestral de los pueblos kogui, wiwa, arhuaco y kankuamo de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta entró a hacer parte del patrimonio inmaterial de la nación.

La tradición oral y los conocimientos sobre el universo son algunos de los puntos que hacen parte del conocimiento ancestral. Ahora, estas manifestaciones culturales de cuatro pueblos indígenas de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, serán incluidas en la Lista Representativa del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial. 

En una reunión presidida por el Consejo Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural y el Ministerio de Cultura, los pueblos kogui, wiwa, arhuaco y kankuamo presentaron un documento que más tarde sería aprobado por ambas instituciones. Se trataba del Plan Especial de Salvaguardia (PES), un informe que expone por qué los conocimientos ancestrales deben hacer parte del patrimonio inmaterial de la nación.

El PES es “un acuerdo social y administrativo mediante el cual se establecen directrices, recomendaciones y acciones encaminadas a garantizar la salvaguardia del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de las comunidades y de la Nación”, indica el informe.

El documento, además, invita a la preservación de las manifestaciones culturales de los pueblos indígenas. La lengua y tradición oral, la organización social, los conocimientos sobre la naturaleza y el universo, y los espacios culturales, hacen parte de la lista.

“Hemos logrado que se reconozcan todos los conocimientos ancestrales. En ese sentido, estamos hablando del conocimiento espiritual asociado a la visión de ordenamiento ancestral, a los espacios sagrados, a los códigos establecidos en los territorios, a los conocimientos relacionados con la educación y la salud, y al sistema de arquitectura y alimentación propia”, dijo Jaime Arias Arias, cabildo gobernador Kankuamo.

Por su parte la ministra de cultura, Mariana Garcés, aseguró que este reconocimiento “reafirma la importancia de valorar y preservar la diversidad cultural inmaterial del país”. Sin embargo, ahora, el reto es mucho mayor. Pues, de acuerdo con Arias, “hay que asegurarse de mantener, transmitir y conservar este conocimiento ancestral con las nuevas generaciones”.

Para ello, dice el gobernador, es necesario que se construyan políticas públicas y proyectos para salvaguardar esta herencia: una tarea que requiere el apoyo de las autoridades regionales y el Ministerio de Cultura.

Igualmente, para la comunidad indígena, este reconocimiento marca un precedente en su cultura. “Con este reconocimiento se garantizará el posicionamiento y la continuidad del pensamiento indígena ante la sociedad mayoritaria”, afirmó Cayetano Torres, coordinador del PES.

Ahora, los indígenas de la Sierra Nevada miran hacia el futuro. Pues, según Arias, “la otra proyección que tenemos es lograr que estas manifestaciones sean reconocidas por la UNESCO como patrimonio de la humanidad.”


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These Gorgeous Animated Shorts Celebrate 11 of Mexico’s Indigenous Languages

Author: Andrew S. Vargas
Via Remezcla | March, 2016


To residents of the Americas, Europe can seem like a tower of Babel with dozens upon dozens of languages crammed into a small geographical space and vying endlessly for dominance or survival. On this side of the world things are much simpler: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and a few Dutch speakers make communication generally much smoother across the continent, along with a few New World Patois thrown into the mix for good measure.

Como llegó el conejo a la luna / How did the rabbit get to the moon from Combo on Vimeo.

At least so the thinking goes. In reality, the American continent is a place of vast linguistic diversity, with more language families found solely in Mexico than in the entirety of the European continent. And with each language comes a particular vision of the world, an inimitable expressivity, a treasure trove of wisdom accrued over the centuries and codified in words and idioms.

Seri. El origen de la tierra from Combo on Vimeo.

Yet these languages struggle desperately for survival in the midst of a post-colonial landscape dominated by a small handful of European languages. Consciously or unconsciously, indigenous tongues are often viewed as backward and those who speak them stigmatized, relegated to the margins of official society for refusing to adapt to rules set by colonizers through violence and subjugation.

Ch’ol. El origen de la vida from Combo on Vimeo.

In Mexico, this problem is acutely felt. As one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations, Mexico is also ground zero for language extinction as grandparents and great-grandparents leave us, and younger generations bow to the necessity of cultural assimilation. Yet despite their precarious status, Mexico currently encompasses 364 indigenous dialects, belonging to 68 distinct languages which branch off from 11 language families — a legacy of Mesoamerica’s pre-Columbian golden age as the center of indigenous civilization in North America.

Mayo. El origen del fuego from Combo on Vimeo.

And thankfully some people are working not only to preserve these languages for future generations, but to empower those who speak them right now. Sesenta y Ocho Voces, Sesenta y Ocho Corazones (also known as 68 voces), is a new initiative from Mexico’s government Fund for The Culture and Arts (FONCA) that seeks to elevate Mexico’s 68 indigenous languages by preserving their myths, legends, poems, and stories in the form of beautifully animated short films. Their goal is to foment pride amongst speakers of these languages, and respect among those who don’t, under premise that “nadie puede amar lo que no conoce” (no one can love what they don’t know.)

Muere mi Rostro / My face dies from Combo on Vimeo.

There are currently seven of these short animated films available, covering dialects of the Huasteco, Maya, Mixteco, Náhuatl, Totonaco, Yaqui and Zapoteco languages. Ranging from two to three minutes, each film employs a different designer to give powerful expression the wisdom contained in these indigenous languages. From reflections on life and death, to vividly recounted myths of the ancient times, these films give Mexico’s indigenous languages their due place amongst the great treasures of human civilization.

Check them all out on their Vimeo page!

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