Thursday

Future Generation's Projects in Nepal and Tibet

CBC Segment on the Tibet Four Great Rivers Project
Mar 17, 2008 - 11:03

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1853180223642458811&hl=en


http://www.future.org/news/20091021/community-leaders-eight-countries-graduate-kathmandu-nepal

Community Leaders from Eight Countries Graduate in Kathmandu, Nepal
Posted on Wed, 10/21/2009 – 18:06
Franklin, West Virginia. On October 7, 2009, students from eight countries graduated with a Master’s Degree in Applied Community Change and Conservation at the Gokarna King’s Forest in Nepal. In this 700-acre forest reserve in the Kathmandu Valley, students were awarded a master’s degree for their leadership in conservation and social development among the world’s most underserved communities.

Honorary guests and dignitaries included the former Finance Minister and Foreign Minister, Dr. Bekh Bahadur Thapa, member of the former royal family, Bishou Bikram Shah, Rev Dr. A. Antonysamy S.J., Principal of St. Xavier’s College, and Mr. Karna Shakya, conservationist and founder of the famous Kathmandu Guest House.

Graduating students came from Bhutan, Bolivia, China, Egypt, Peru, Mozambique, Uganda, and the United States. Every student serves communities. Their professional backgrounds range from economists and medical doctors to government agents and community development specialists.

Wednesday

The Tibet Fund (healthcare and education programs)

PROGRAMS IN TIBET

In 1994, The Tibet Fund established its Tibet Assistance Program to address the neglected medical, educational and economic needs of the Tibetan people. Working primarily with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Tibet, the Program has launched small-scale, well-managed programs to educate and care for orphans, offer scholarship opportunities for higher education, and provide eye care and blindness prevention services. For the past 11 years, The Tibet Fund has administered a State Department-funded cultural exchange program that enables Tibetan scholars and professionals to study and gain internship experience in the U.S. The program has also provided college-level English language and computer skills training in Tibet.

http://www.tibetfund.org/prog_tibet.html

Thursday

Projects in the highlands, surrounding areas, (solar)


Himalaya Projects

The Himalayas feature some of the harshest environments in the world, requiring ingenuity and re-tooling to address conditions unlike any found elsewhere.

Our current projects in the region have presented us with many stimulating challenges and instilled in us a great respect for the ingenuity and perseverance of the people of this region.

http://www.oneearthdesigns.org/projects/himalayas
http://www.tew.org/geography/t2000.forest.html

Wednesday

Sherpa Gear Blog

http://www.sherpaadventuregear.com/SAG_Blog/

TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2009
Our Sherpa Adventure Gear Flagship Store nears completion
The new Sherpa Adventure Gear Flagship Store continues to develop as most of the inside finished and the outside nearly ready to go. With a projected opening in late June, the building should prove to be a beautiful addition to Durbar Marg in Kathmandu.

The building will feature 4,500 square feet of retail space on two levels for both our soft goods and hard goods for climbing and trekking. It will also have our corporate offices, a bed and breakfast, an upstairs terrace restaurant (with a grand view of the mountains and the Royal Palace Museum) and coffee shop, parking garage, and our research and development center.

We'll post more updates with opening dates and more pictures as we get our new store ready to go!

POSTED BY JOE PURYEAR AT 3:59 AM
MONDAY, MAY 4, 2009
SAG Athlete Nima Sherpa Wins Annapurna Mandala 300 km Trail Race

Sherpa Adventure Gear congratulates Nima Sherpa for winning the 2009 Annapurna Mandala Trail Race, a grueling 300-kilometer race that goes through the heart of the Annapurna Region in Nepal. The race tops out at 5,416 meters over Thorong Pass and goes by 4,919-meter Lake Tilicho, the world's highest lake. The 9 stage race took place from April 9 to April 17 and includes 17,000 meters of height gain and 16,000 meters of height loss. Nima placed 1st in the women's division and 8th overall out of 36 people total.

Nima Sherpa is an experienced high-altitude, long-distance marathon racer with 12 major races under her belt, including the Everest Marathon, the Annapurna Mandala Trail, and The Ultimate Trail Race. She regularly places in the top four with several 1st and 2nd place finishes.

Good Job Nima!!!
POSTED BY JOE PURYEAR AT 2:23 AM

Monday

National Parks, the USA through PBS

http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/parks/

Parks Overview:
Did you know there are almost 400 parks in the national park system? Use the Park Explorer to find them all, or click on the images below to learn more about some of America's most storied and spectacular places

http://www.nps.gov/index.htm

History is everywhere:
In nearly 400 national parks and every hometown. It covers everything from the remnants of ancient civilizations to the boyhood homes of U.S. Presidents to the stirring sagas of hard-fought wars to the reverberations of one woman refusing to give up her seat on a bus. History is a part of who we were, who we are, and who we will be.

As you explore these pages, we hope you find what you are looking for – but even more importantly, we hope you discover something that surprises you. We invite you to learn more about history and how the National Park Service works to preserve it.

Machik, strenthening communities on the Tibean Plateau

http://www.machik.org/index.php

http://www.machik.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=113

http://www.machik.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=58

APPROACH
machik (ma gcig) df. 1. one mother; 2. (ma cig) epithet, as in Machik Lapdron, 11th century Tibetan woman innovator who developed the practice of Chod
Our approach begins with a commitment to grassroots rural community work. We have invested at the micro-level, strengthening Tibetan capacity in rural areas brick by brick. From the beginning, our work has also involved creating new opportunities for training, learning and skills development. But the work has also been about more than bricks and mortar. It is about revitalizing community values and renewing hope and trust in the potential of collective effort.

As our work expands in new directions, we seek to broaden our impact by bringing to bear new resources, tools and entrepreneurial strategies. We seek to make our impact more sustainable by identifying and investing in creative and dynamic individuals who are committed to service and to making a positive difference in their communities. And we seek to make our impact global by creating a nexus for building new transnational and institutional partnerships, synergies and cooperative ventures. As we take steps forward in strengthening communities on the Tibetan plateau--making real connections with real people--we also seek to build a broader-based awareness and understanding of our work through our outreach efforts across local, regional and global scales.

Sunday

Nepal's National Parks/Arotected Areas

http://www.dnpwc.gov.np/index.asp

Nepal is endowed with rich and varied biodiversity.Altitudinal variances in short distance give Nepal's biogeography variety that range from lush moist forests and sparse alpine deserts to luxurious grasslands in lowland Terai. The mountainous country also shelters some of the world's most rare animals.Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and Chitwan National Park with typical natural, cultural and landscapecharacteristics were listed as World Heritage sites in 1979 and 1984, respectively. more »



The overall goal of the Department is to conserve and manage the rich and diverse biological diversity of Nepal with much emphasis on wildlife and protected areas..... more »

Wednesday

Tuesday

Sustainable development of communities and traditional settlements, particularly within the Tibetan cultural realm


Tibet Heritage Fund

TIBET HERITAGE FUND (THF) is an international non-profit organization working in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development of communities and traditional settlements, particularly within the Tibetan cultural realm but also elsewhere in Asia and Europe.
THF works with a team of international and local experts, and cooperates with local communities, governments and institutions.

Projects such as rehabilitation of traditional settlements and restoration of historic monuments are designed to primarily benefit the local residents. THF runs a large vocational training program to keep traditional building skills and crafts alive. THF also researches and documents traditional architecture and building technologies.

Successful projects introduced here include urban conservation work in Lhasa and Leh, and restoration of Buddhist monasteries in Central Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai, Ladakh and Mongolia. Interactive maps linked to a database provides information about several hundred historic buildings. Reports and some publications and maps are available for download.

Wednesday

A Himalayan treasure trove, Stunning new wildlife discoveries in the eastern Himalaya

http://www.nepalitimes.com.np/issue/2009/08/26/Headline/16249

Combine the earth's most rugged mountain region with the highest rainfall of any place on the planet and a high-altitude desert, and what do you have? The area with the world's greatest bio-diversity.

That is the eastern Himalaya encompassing parts of Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, India and Bhutan where 353 new animal and plant species have been discovered over the last decade. The discovery highlights the area's isolation, but also its fragility. Habitat destruction, and now climate change, threaten this Himalayan treasure trove.

Of the 353 discoveries 242 are plants, 16 amphibians, 16 reptiles, 14 fish, two birds, two mammals and at least 61 invertebrates. Among the more surprising of these news finds is the Macaca munzala, the first new monkey species discovered in over a century, sighted in Assam.

Friday

Tibet Healing Fund (hosted in Portland, OR recently)

Solutions (by Doctor-la and others attending) from a local level for Tibetans in established and well functioning communities in the USA and other places:

  • Maintain or rekindle relationships with families in tibet and surrounding areas or "adopt a village."
  • Sharing of data is difficult since nomadic and farming families generally don't share too much info (accurately) but what Doctor-la did was compare/contrast data with communities in Humla-Jumla in western Nepal. Stats are all over the place.
  • Host Doctor-la and other personalities for fund raising and sharing info on such projects
  • Encourage monks and lay people to do such projects said, one of the audience.

http://www.tibetanhealingfund.org/index.php

Tibetan Healing Fund's Work

Tibetan Healing Fund provides teacher training and improved access to quality education as a way to enhance the livelihood of individuals and the community.

Children's Fund
Tibetan Heritage Primer Textbooks
Improve Access to Quality Education
Children’ s Fund
Bilingual Teacher Training
School Improvement Projects

Tibetan Healing Fund improves the basic health of women and children by providing public health education and increased access to quality and essential health services.

Tibetan Maternal and Child Health
Tibetan Natural Birth & Health Training Center
Maternal & Child Health Education Handbooks
Community Health Assessment
Community & Family Health Education and Outreach
Community Midwife Training
Tibetan Maternal Health System- Integrative System of Tibetan and Western Medicine

Thursday

THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS


The Grandmothers Council was brought together by a common vision set in motion by the Center for Sacred Studies (CSS), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. CSS is dedicated to sustaining indigenous ways of life through cross-cultural spiritual practices, ministry and education, and a commitment to peace and unity for all peoples. The vision shared by both CSS and the Grandmothers calls for the Earth¹s first nation peoples to unite for the benefit of all beings. Please visit our websites — www.sacredstudies.org and www.cssministryofprayer.org — for details on our other programs.

images/aama_final.jpg

Aama Bombo

Aama Bombo — Asia

Buddhi Maya Lama, who is also known as Aama Bombo (Mother Shaman), was born in the remote village of Melong in the Eastern part of the Bagmati Zone, Nepal, 65 years ago. Her father was a renowned shaman in the Nepalese Tamang tradition. Aama became a shaman in spite of the Tamang tradition that women are not supposed to practice shamanism. In the early days, her father restricted her in every way from practicing shamanism. However, when her father died at the age of eighty, his spirits and other gods and spirits started visiting and teaching her to be a shaman, against the prevailing cultural values of Tamang society.

Today, Aama has achieved great renown in Nepal. She treats around 100 patients every morning at her house in Boudhnath, near Kathmandu. Patients come to visit her from around the country, as well as from India and
Tibet. She does not discriminate against those she heals, treating the poorest of the poor as well as the Royal
Family of Nepal with equal dedication and respect.


Tsering Dolma Gyaltong — Asia

I’d like to talk about problems in the world and what the sources of these problems are. I am Tibetan, so I will speak about the situation in Tibet, which affects all of us. Tibetans took very good care of the land, but now it is becoming a place where radioactive waste from products all over the world are being buried. It is a danger for everyone.

Tsering Dolma was born in Tibet in 1929. Because of the Communist invasion of Tibet, she escaped along with her family from Tibet in 1958 to India. In 1972, she and her family (four children) came to Canada as refugees. She returned to India and became one of the founding members who revived the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA).During the next ten years, she served as an executive member of TWA and established over 30 branch offices worldwide. In 1995, Tsering Dolma attended the Fourth World Women’s Conference held in Beijing, China. She faced many threats and dangers as she along with others openly criticized the Chinese government and its treatment of the Tibetan people and especially Tibetan women. She now resides in Toronto and remains as an advisor to the TWA.

images/tsering_final.jpg

Tsering Dolma Gyaltong


Wednesday

Across the Tibetan Plateau: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Conservation


by Robert L. Fleming, Liu Wulin, Dorje Tsering

Synopsis
Remarkable photographs celebrate the wild places and the exquisite animals of the country called "the roof of the world."Here is the most comprehensive photography to date of a little-known and seldom-visited land whose area equals western Europe. The beauty and diversity of Tibet is staggering: from Mount Everest to the world's deepest gorge, from tropical jungles to arctic-like tundra, from trees twenty feet in diameter to vast herds and solitary specimens of some of the least-known animals on the planet. Certain photographs, such as those of a newborn Tibetan antelope or the elusive red ghoral, are among the first ever taken of these subjects.The book brings American, Tibetan, and Chinese scholarship to bear on the natural history of Tibet, and it also describes an extraordinary conservation accomplishment that has gone virtually unnoticed by the outside world. Where else has 40 percent of the land been set aside in nature preserves in twenty years? As a result of this effort, the animals and landscapes shown here will be saved for future generations. Color illustrations throughout.

Biography
Robert L. Fleming Jr. is professor of equity and empowerment at Future Generations and a leading Himalayan natural historian. Dorje Tsering is a scholar and the senior leader of the Tibet Autonomous Region Department of Science and Technology. Liu Wulin grew up in Tibet and has been conducting research and fieldwork there for twenty years.

Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Pub. Date: October 2007
ISBN-13: 9780393061178
120pp

FoST Awarded the 2009 Special Achievement Award from the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA)

http://www.fost-nepal.org/news.html

http://www.fost-nepal.org/index.html

FoST is pleased to announce that it has received the 2009 PCIA Special Achievement award. Every two years, the PCIA awards are distributed to the most innovative ideas among it's partner organizations. FoST was selected from 250 organizations to receive one of four awards.

Sanu Kaji traveled to the PCIA Forum in Kampala, Uganda to accept the award and share ideas with other PCIA members.

Award

Sanu Kaji Shrestha (middle) with Brenda Doroski and John Mitchell from U.S. Government's Environment Protection Agency (US-EPA)

Saturday

Crafted in Kathmandu

http://www.nepalitimes.com.np/issue/2009/06/13/Business/16026


The erosion of Kathmandu Valley's unique cultural heritage has prompted many to find ways to preserve it. There is a renaissance of Newari architecture in Bhaktapur and Patan, the tourism industry has pitched in with heritage hotels and cultural sight-seeing, and the handicraft business is doing its bit.

Now, there is a unique effort to support Kathmandu's artisans and craftsmen by helping sell their products in the local and international market. 'Crafted in Kathmandu' is not just a handicraft business, its founder Rosha Chitrakar hastens to clarify.

"Our goal is to help preserve the Valley's heritage, the skills, knowledge and resourcefulness of our artisans in creating art and home d?cor objects that are good enough to be shared in the world market," says Chitrakar.

The challenge for Chitrakar's 'Crafted in Kathmandu' brand is to pay for the protection of the Valley's built, living and natural heritage by the products and services of its artisans.

Chitrakar calls this a "plus revenue" business and is focussing on selling products to three distinct markets.

The first is the local market where people need various pots, vessels, jewelry, musical instruments, chariot-building skills and monument restoration capacity. The trend is towards restoring homes to their original
and operating them as bed and breakfast pensiones in the old city.

The second is the high end Nepali market such as hotels, homes of expatriates, corporate gifts, garden sculpture, home d?cor etc. This market has the highest growth potential because of the increasing tendency of identifying with one's heritage. Tourists and expatriates also increasingly look for hotels and homes that reflect the unique history and heritage of the Kathmandu Valley.

The third is the market for exports of Kathmandu artifacts to North America, Europe and East Asia. 'Crafted in Kathmandu' has a gallery outlet in North America that tells the story of how the artisans and crafts persons of the Kathmandu valley are restoring the World Heritage City. It sells products that have been designed and crafted to meet local demands.

Chitrakar explains that an example of this three-tiered marketing strategy is a potter making clay pots for local local yogurt whose family is also making terracotta garden animal figures and also ceramic bases for table lamps for the North American market.

"This keeps artisan families fully employed all year round, increasing their quality of life and ensuring that the skills are passed down to a new generation," says Chitrakar.

Crafted in Kathmandu's exhibition runs till 15 June at Dwarika Hotel, 11AM-7PM.

Wednesday

Pilgrimage Through Kham: A Medical Mission in Tibet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR3wDIQGXJE


Upaya Zen Center - www.upaya.org

email:upaya@upaya.org

This preview is a powerful rendering of Upaya Zen Center's Nomad Clinic, which was offered in Kham, Tibet, October, 2006, when a team of clinicians and Buddhist practitioners--led by Joan Halifax Roshi--offered basic medical services to the people of Kham.

Sara Nesson - Director/Producer
Tussi Kluge - Executive Producer



Saturday

Searching for Grass and Water: Tibet's Last Nomads

http://www.socialdocumentary.net/exhibit/Daniel_Miller/450
http://www.socialdocumentary.net/photographer/danielmiller


From a global environmental perspective, few other places in the world are as important as the grazing lands of the Tibetan Plateau now.  Rising concerns about climate change, global warming, melting glaciers, food security, water, and loss of biodiversity all point to the significance of the Tibetan rangelands in addressing these global challenges.  Tackling these important global issues requires that more attention be paid to the people that make a living on the grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau – Tibetan nomads.  The fact that Tibetan nomads have managed to survive attests to the rationality and efficacy of many aspects of traditional Tibetan nomadic pastoral production.  Over thousands of years, Tibetan nomads accommodated to their environment, learning to live with what it offered instead of changing and molding the landscape to suit their needs, as farmers try to do.  Thus, Tibetan nomads have much to teach us about living in harmony with the land.


Wednesday

Some more scholarship info

http://www.empoweringvision.org/page.php?id=75&type=p


Sherig, Department of Education, Central Tibetan Administration.

On average, 950 Tibetan students graduate from different Tibetan schools in India every year. The Department of Education provides scholarships for further education in India to 150 - 200 of these students each year. This includes university and college courses as well as vocational training. SHERIG is also responsible for the selection of candidates for the University reserved seats for Tibetans provided by the Indian Government for professionally orientated courses. You will need to contact SHERIG and fill in an application form if you are interested in these seats. For more information on Department of Education scholarships for Tibetans wanting to study in India and abroad, have a look at  http://www.tcewf.org/scholarships/index.html and at the announcements section at the top of the page.

Tibetan Children's Village (TCV)

Tibetan Children's Village provides scholarships for higher education and vocational courses in India to people who have studied at TCV. Scholarships are generally only provided for full time regular courses recognised by the government of India. If you receive a large scholarship you may be required to serve the Tibetan community in exile for one to two years after completing your studies or training. Visit http://www.tibchild.org/TCV.htm for more details or contact the Scholarship section in Dharamsala on 01892-220357 or tcvho@vsnl.com

Tibetan Homes Foundation

Tibetan Homes Foundation provides scholarships for higher education and vocational courses in India to students who have studied at Tibetan homes Schools.

Foundation for Universal Responsibility of H.H. The Dalai Lama (FUR)

FUR has instituted a Scholarship programme for graduate and undergraduate students. Special scholarships are also awarded for the advancement of Tibetan school children. This component of the scholarship supports the complete schooling of Tibetan youth in first class institutions across India.

The Tibetan Scholarship Programme provides an opportunity to motivated Tibetan youth, for the pursuit of professional degrees in reputed institutions of higher education in India. These include the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

The Scholarship covers the costs of the degree programme as well as financial support and guidance from the coaching to the examination. The Programme awards between five and ten scholarships to Tibetan students each year.

SCHOLARSHIPS

Mustang - Journey of Transformation

A sacred Tibetan cultural site is restored in Mustang - Journey of Transformation. Screening at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. For more information and tickets, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1W5tGv0U00

Monday

The Druk White Lotus School - Ladakh

http://www.pbs.org/video/video/1093965696/feature/63

Episode: The Druk White Lotus School - Ladakh

Ladakh, India is one of the most remote regions on earth. Beset with religious, political and cultural strife, it is also one of the most tumultuous. Enter the Druk White Lotus School, which intends to equip Ladakhi children for living in the modern world while simultaneously embracing Buddhist traditions.

• Visit the The Druk White Lotus School - Ladakh webpage


Thursday

KBB Green Cars - 2009

http://sev.prnewswire.com/auto/20090420/LA0100220042009-1.html

KBB Green Offers Alternative-Fuel Car Guide, Car-Finding Tools, Forums, Blogs

IRVINE, Calif., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announces the expert editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com name their 2009 picks for the Top 10 Green Cars. In an all-new story posted to KBB(R) Green, the kbb.com editors list a variety of fuel-efficient vehicles worthy of buyers' consideration. The coverage includes detailed EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers and editorial commentary on why each particular model made this year's list.

On last year's inaugural Top 10 Green Cars list, the kbb.com editors cited skyrocketing gas prices, a weak economy and growing environmental consciousness as the major reasons more car buyers were focusing on fuel economy. As we approach Earth Day 2009, gas prices have come back to Earth but the shaky economy is trumping most other concerns and causes, resulting in far fewer car buyers.

The current sales slump is unfortunate for many reasons, one of which is that 2009 is shaping up to be a banner year for fuel efficiency. The year's arrivals include an all-new Toyota Prius that is even more fuel-efficient than its world-beating predecessor, a new Prius alternative in the Honda Insight, and a range of new 50-state clean-diesel cars, among others. In addition to these newcomers, this year's Top 10 Green Cars list highlights some familiar faces, and the kbb.com editors again included a variety of vehicle shapes and sizes, because they recognize that not everyone who wants to get greener can go smaller. Just as buyers would, the editors considered characteristics like comfort, performance, utility and technology - not just fuel economy and price - in picking the winners.

"Despite the decline in auto sales and the stabilization of gas prices in recent months, we still think many new-car shoppers are interested in buying vehicles that are more fuel-efficient and better for the environment," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "More than ever, we're seeing a variety of environmentally friendly vehicles for the 2009 and 2010 model-years that offer intriguing technology. No matter what you or your family's vehicle needs may be, we're confident there is a 'Green' option available to suit your preferences and lifestyle."

                           Kbb.com's 2009 Top 10 Green Cars
(In order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy)

Vehicle City MPG Highway MPG Combined MPG
2010 Toyota Prius 51 48 50
2010 Honda Insight 40 43 41
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid 41 36 39
2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI 30 41 34
2009 MINI Cooper 28 37 32
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid 34 31 32
2009 Honda Fit 28 34 31
2009 BMW 335d 23 36 27
2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 27 25 26
2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid 21 22 21

Kbb.com's Editorial Commentary on the 2009 Top 10 Green Cars

(In order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy)

2010 Toyota Prius

The third-generation Prius has arrived with sleeker looks, added creature comforts, upgraded performance and even-better fuel economy. Despite a larger engine, 24 additional horsepower and quicker acceleration, the new Prius manages to deliver four more miles per gallon than its predecessor. The coolest new option is a glass moonroof with a solar-powered ventilation system, but the list also includes voice-activated navigation and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist.

2010 Honda Insight

With a starting sticker price of $20,470, the all-new Honda Insight is the least expensive full-production hybrid available in the United States. Even the top-level Insight EX with Navigation that includes features like a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, upgraded audio system and electronic stability control is just $23,770. These figures should give the Insight a clear price advantage compared to the newest Prius, for which pricing has yet to be announced. But why does Honda's fuel-miser look so much like Toyota's? Is it because the consumer thinks that's what a hybrid looks like or for the same reason an Airbus looks so much like a Boeing?

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford Fusion is getting better with age, and perhaps the best addition is the hybrid version. For the 2010 model year, the lineup benefits from new exterior styling and an interior redesign, which grace the new hybrid version that handily out-economizes both the Toyota Camry Hybrid (33 city/34 hwy mpg) and the Chevy Malibu (26 city/34 hwy mpg). We were fans of the Fusion before, but even bigger believers after seeing and driving the latest iterations.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

In some circles, TDI is the sexiest acronym in all the automotosphere. Some months ago, Volkswagen's familiar diesel moniker disappeared from the automaker's top-selling Jetta, but it has made a triumphant return for the 2009 model year. This time, the Jetta TDI and Jetta Sportwagen TDI (and soon, Golf TDI) will be available in all 50 states, a development that surely helped the Jetta TDI take home the 2009 Green Car of the Year award. Returning fuel economy that's roughly 40 percent better than its gas-powered counterpart, the Jetta Sportwagen TDI combines utility on par with a small SUV, world-class fuel economy and European driving dynamics in one well-rounded green machine.

2009 MINI Cooper

The MINI Cooper balances fun and efficiency like nothing else on the road. Responsive steering, a sport-tuned suspension and diminutive dimensions combine to deliver a driving experience that instantly evokes allusions to the proverbial go kart. Combine that kind of athleticism with highway fuel economy up to 37 miles per gallon - and a personality bigger than the car itself - and you've got a unique brand of feel-good fun.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

We like compact crossovers for their smart mix of utility and efficiency, and the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV in the country. After undergoing a major overhaul for the 2008 model year, the Ford Escape Hybrid is improved again for 2009 with smoother braking and electric-to-gas transitions, plus a one-mile-per-gallon improvement in highway fuel economy.

2009 Honda Fit

The Toyota Yaris remains the category's mileage champ, but the Honda Fit so handily outshines its competitors in our eyes that it's making the list again this year. We're especially fond of the Sport model and its performance-tuned suspension and paddle shifters, but even base models are fun. If you're more interested in pure practicality than driving pleasure, be sure to check out the Fit's flexible back seat and impressive cargo-carrying abilities. The Honda Fit may be a little car, but it's a lot of car.

2009 BMW 335d

BMW's new diesel-powered 3 Series is one of those cars you really do have to drive to believe. First off, its zero-to-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds is only four tenths slower than that of the category's gas-powered gold standard, BMW's own 335i. For most buyers, that's a small performance price to pay for an increase in fuel economy of about 35 percent (the 335i is rated at 17 city/26 highway mpg). Throw in all the driving feel and cornering ability that have made the 3 Series a living legend, and you've got the greatest diesel car America's ever seen.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander Hybrid remains the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicle available today, earning it an automatic bid at the top of many families' shopping lists. On top of room for seven and exceptional fuel economy, the Highlander Hybrid offers proven reliability and the added all-weather confidence of standard all-wheel drive.

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

If maximum fuel economy is your primary concern, then buying a pickup truck doesn't make much sense. But what if you need the utility of a pickup truck? Shouldn't you, too, be able to enjoy the benefits of modern hybrid technology? General Motors thinks so. That's why GM's Two-Mode hybrid system is now available in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Despite delivering up to a 50-percent improvement in city fuel economy, GM's hybrid pickup retains its essential truckness by offering nearly 1,500 pounds of payload capacity, a 6,100-pound tow rating and a big full size bed. For those with more people to haul than cargo, the same gas-electric powertrain is available in the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid SUV.

For more information on all of the 2009 Top 10 Green Cars, visit www.kbb.com/greencars09.

About KBB Green

Kelley Blue Book's Green section allows new-car shoppers to obtain information about alternative-fuel technologies, such as hydrogen cars, diesel cars, hybrid cars, natural gas cars, electric cars and flex fuel/ethanol vehicles, as well as fuel-sipping gasoline cars. Kbb.com's vehicle experts also keep consumers up-to-date on the latest Green news and information from around the automotive world. The video section of KBB Green offers an in-depth, inside look at the latest eco-friendly vehicles on the market from both the Kelley Blue Book perspective and the carmakers' themselves. KBB Green also features helpful tools such as the Perfect Car Finder(R) and the Fuel Efficiency Challenge.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource(R), has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book(R) Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book(R) Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. - 2008 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, kbb.com is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit kbb.com. Kbb.com is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car blue book values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com.

Website: http://www.kbb.com/

Why Tibet matters now (1)

http://tibetanplateau.blogspot.com/

http://www.asiasociety.org/chinagreen/

http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/2811

From a global environmental perspective, few places in the world are as important as Tibet. Rising concerns about global warming, climate change, receding glaciers, desertification, food insecurity and loss of biodiversity all point to the significance of Tibet. Tackling these important issues requires greatly increased scientific research in Tibetan areas and improved understanding of current land use practices...

Voice of American - Global Tibs (very cool videos)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKF2xIpuAYE

http://www.voanews.com/tibetan/video.cfm (Go to, "the Up and Coming")

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=44575727025&ref=nf


Type:
Description:
Global Tibetan Professionals Network (GTPN) North America

ABOUT US:

GTPN - North America is a non-profit, volunteer-based networking organization for Tibetan professionals and students based in North America. GTPN aims to support, motivate and empower Tibetans to take their place in the Tibetan community with, specialized skills and successful careers. We aim to serve as a platform where Tibetan professionals from diverse backgrounds in North America can network with each other and find creative ways of contributing to their professional and Tibetan communities. Through GTPN, Tibetan professionals can stay connected by exchanging ideas, information and resources as well as guide others through career mentoring. We work in close association with the Office of Tibet (New York), Students for a Free Tibet, local Tibetan Associations and other Tibet Support Groups. Our hope is to build a better future and a stronger Tibetan nation tomorrow by empowering and establishing successful youth and professionals today.

The Art of Public Speaking

http://www.empoweringvision.org/event.php?page=list&mode=upcoming#14

ENVISION skills building series workshop

ENVISION is organising " The Art of Public Speaking" workshop for 5 days from 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm two hours a day.

Resource person: Ms. SUNITA THAKUR
Ms. Thakur is a well-known and extremely qualified reporter, film director and journalist. She has had over 25 years of experience in the field of media and mass communications, and has worked for the BBC in both India and the UK in various capacities. Throughout her career, Ms. Thakur has interacted with people in many different ways, and has gained a deep understanding of the requirements of public speaking. During this five-day workshop, she will speak on overcoming your fears and mental barriers when public speaking, and share coping strategies to boost your confidence.

Date: April 27 – May 1, 2009

Time: 4:00-6:00pm Every evening

Venue: J-50, Jor Bagh Lane, B.K. Dutt Colony, New Delhi, India

Registration:
envision@empoweringvision.org
Office: 011-24641250-51
Cell: 9899040289

Participants will be accepted on a first-
come first-serve basis.
Only 10 spaces available.

Role of Tibetan professionals in strengthening Tibetan community

http://www.empoweringvision.org/article.php?id=21

Presented at Second Networking Meeting of GTPN Delhi Chapter, IIC Annexe, New Delhi on Dec 20, 2008

There are a few questions that have come to my mind and which I would like to discuss with everyone. Especially keeping in mind that this is a gathering of Tibetan professionals, I think it becomes all the more important if we try and understand the four basic questions I have:

1. How can we describe the term Tibetan community?
2. What do we mean by a strong Tibetan community?
3. What is the nature of the present Tibetan community?
4. Why the compelling need to strengthen the community? And how can we go about it?

The term Tibetan community is hard to define. But it seems the term gained its relevance after China occupied Tibet. In other words, the term would not have gained so much bearing has we been in Tibet, as citizens of a free country. Therefore, broadly speaking the term refers to Tibetans living under China as subjugated subjects and Tibetans in exile, living as refugees, but bonded together with a common desire to keep alive its unique characteristics - the Tibetanness.

Secondly, what is a strong community? Loosely speaking, Tibetan people throughout the world have acquired a certain image. Outsiders consider us as good and honest people, kind and compassionate, tolerant and pacific people. To a large extend this image is based on the values we cherish. We are also proud and happily satisfied with this image. However, an important question is do these values make a community strong? I leave this for you all to answer.

From another perspective, a strong community is one that purposefully contributes to the society. At the same time, it also means such a community should be in a position to take advantage of opportunities and benefits provided to its members.

We will definitely be a strong community if Tibetans under the Chinese, who are treated as second-class citizens, and Tibetans in exile, as refugees or immigrants, constructively contribute to their respective societies and at the same time they are in position to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits available in such societies. If not, then there is a problem that we all need to address.

It is difficult for me to describe the real nature of the Tibetan Community. For the purpose of today’s discussion I would like to point out at least two aspects of the nature of our community.

Tibetans in Tibet are struggling for respect and freedom and Tibetans in exile are in the process of seeking identity and security. To achieve these objectives, Tibetans are in the process of adapting changing circumstances and time. This very process of adaptation seems to be the main cause for weakening the strength of the Tibetan community.

When China captured Tibet in 1959, the initial concern of our community was to ensure survival of the spirit of Tibetanness with an objective of reinstating Tibet as a free and sovereign nation. Slowly the political objective of the community changed from non-compromising demand for a free Tibet to a more acceptable demand for peaceful co-existence with the Chinese people. But the desire to preserve the spirit of Tibetanness persisted in spite of modifications in the political objectives. The fact that today we are here to talk about strengthening the Tibetan community and, most importantly, the fact that Tibetans under the oppressive Chinese rule took out our national flag during the March protest proves that we, for the past 50 years, have succeeded to keep alive our spirit of Tibetanness.

Secondly, it is the sense of cohesiveness that has undergone a drastic change.
As I mentioned above Tibetans, inside Tibet as well as in exile, are trying to adapt to changing circumstances and time. This process of adaptation is not easy for many of us. The younger generation especially is going through a more difficult and critical phase of our history.

Difficult because challenges during the last decade has increased many fold. Massive influx of Chinese people into Tibet has turned us into a minority in our own land. On the other hand, Tibetan community in exile is slowly disintegrating because we are now increasingly dispersed amongst various cities around the world.

The widespread dispersal of Tibetans around the globe has to a large extent led to loss of sense of cohesiveness that existed particularly in India and Nepal at the beginning of our exiled life.
The loosening of sense of cohesiveness among the Tibetan people in exile is greatly impacting the strength of the community.

Compelling need:

I do not have much knowledge about how Tibetans in Tibet are adapting to the increasing influx of Chinese settlers. Nevertheless, one development that is taking place there is very clear to us. Tibetans under China are sidelined in almost every aspect of life.

In exile, the younger generation is leaving the settlements for cities in India and abroad in search of a better livelihood. For many of them it is not easy. During the first GTPN meeting, Empowering the Vision presented us with statistics of a survey conducted regarding various occupations of Tibetans living in Delhi. More than 70 per cent of those surveyed were found engaged in occupations which will give them bare minimum to survive in a big metropolis like Delhi.

A decent living accommodation of their own, a manageable education facility for their children and, above all, affordable health care in case of any major illness will always remain a difficult challenge for these people. Rest 30% people are either doing well or engaged in more comfortable occupation. For them also the challenge seems to be the availability of options for further progress in life. Although some Tibetans may be considered successful by our standard, they are a non-entity, economically and professionally, in a prosperous country like India.

Same is the case abroad. The economic and living conditions of most of Tibetans in USA and Canada are also on a similar pattern that is prevalent in Delhi. Of course, there are many successful Tibetans living in these countries. Yet most of them who have migrated to these countries lack experience, knowledge and skills needed there to get more paying jobs.

Most of them are engaged in labour-oriented jobs. Wages for such jobs are always around the minimum wage limits. Since income is limited, I have observed that many of our brothers and sisters in these countries live in areas where housing is cheap and affordable. Where housing is cheap educations facilities are not very conducive for proper upbringing of children.

Where academic environment is not conducive for positive development of human personality, many children get sucked into prevailing social problems namely drug and alcohol addiction, and law and order issues, academic dropouts, etc. I have heard of several instances of these problems faced by young Tibetans living in areas like New York, Boston, Minnesota, Toronto, etc.

Because of these new challenges it has now become very a critical moment for all of us to find out ways not only to keep alive our spirit of Tibetanness but also to take it to the next level. If we fail to build ourselves into a strong community, bonded together by a common desire to help and support each, we may eventually lose our own character and image.

If we fail to visualise the consequences this looming danger, like many other minorities in the world, Tibetans will also live on the sidelines of the majority. Tibetan population throughout the world, as per Tibetan Govt in exile records, is six million. This figure is so insignificant a number amongst six-and-a-half-billion people in the world for us to survive even as a fragmented minority. Marginalisation of a particular community means that they are neither able to purposefully contribute to the society nor they are able to take full advantage of opportunities and benefits provided by the society.

How and who can do it?

Natural science teaches us the basic lessons for survival - the fittest one survives.
For Tibetans to survive, we need to make ourselves fit. Our fitness will come from strength and strength for us will come from our ability as a community to rub shoulders with the world.
I strongly believe that this strength will rise if we all come together with a common passion to succeed not only as individual but, more importantly, as a community for the common good of all.
There is a great need for the creation of a strong and vibrant network of Tibetan professionals who can weave together a dream for themselves as well as for the larger community.

Through a vibrant network of Tibetan professionals, based on mutual cooperation and support system, they can not only consolidate their own strengths and successes, the same network can uplift the weak and needy fellow Tibetans. Through a network Tibetans can create opportunities for each other. Through network Tibetans can face challenges together and share the fruits of success together. Through cooperation, collaboration, joint ventures, Tibetan professionals can consolidate and expand their success.

It is my dream, hopefully yours too, to one day become part of such a community that will have the respect, credibility and power to shape our common destiny.

About the Author: Mr. Kunsang Tanzin is presently a Trustee of ENVISION and a board member of Aribodh, the American Foundation for the Preservation of Tibetan Culture in California, U.S.A. He is also an Advisor to W.S. Tibetan Chamber of Commerce based in New Delhi.

by Kunsang Tanzin, Trustee ENVISION

Read his latest interview in Outlook India magazine 2009 www.outlookindia.com/full.asp

Photo by: Jitender Gupta

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The 20 best views in the World

(the rest are missing except for the below)

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-191501656-nepal_vacations

14. Annapurna from Sarankot, Nepal

The Himalayas are unlike any other mountains on earth: They are simply much bigger and grander. Arguments rage about which is the most unforgettable view: The Kangshung Face of Everest in Tibet; K2 from the snout of the Baltoro Glacier; Kanchenjunga across the tea terraces of Darjeeling. The list is endless. The first time I saw the Himalayas in all their incomparable splendor was from the village of Sarankot, 5,000 feet up in the foothills of Nepal. It is a famous panoramic view of immense peaks, dominated by the 26,000-foot Annapurna massif. And to this day, it remains my most indelible memory.


15. Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo, Australia

Which is the most spectacular harbor in the world: Rio, Hong Kong or Sydney? It’s hard to say, but on a sunny day, the view from Taronga Zoo across a yacht-strewn expanse of blue water to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the towers of downtown Sydney certainly takes the cake.


16. The Potala Palace from across the Lhasa River, Tibet

Throughout the 19th century, Lhasa was the most mysterious city in the world, a magnet for intrepid European travelers. Today, it is a Chinese regional capital, increasingly swamped by shoddy and depressing concrete buildings. At its heart, however, the magnificent Potala Palace, the winter residence of Tibet’s Dalai Lamas, is still as extraordinary as ever. Its 13 stories are terraced 400 feet up the side of Marpo Ri (“Red Hill”), contain more than 1,000 rooms and have walls 16 feet thick. There are few more remarkable and impressive structures on earth.

Help Rahul, who unfortunately passed away

(Milan Shrestha at NY: (917) 293-4702 requested me to post this up to the site. Do contact him for details or the other contacts provided in http://www.helprahul.org/ . Thanks).

Rahul Hamal, a student of Caldwell College, passed away on March 27. He was being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at Moutainside Hopital, NJ since March 8. The doctors could not diagnose his condition. His family has been here for almost three weeks now. We plead all of you to support Rahul's family in this time of bereavement.

Note: The funds will be collected in Dixant Rai's Paypal account which will be donated to Rahul's family. The Nepali community at Caldwell College requested Dixant Rai to administer the fund as he was an intimate friend of Rahul Hamal. For transparency , all the transactions of the donations collected will be posted regularly.

Economic hardships for international students

http://oia.pdx.edu/isss/forms/EconomicHardship.pdf

(this situation might come from the recent recession in Asia and the States. perhaps the ones getting scholarship or aid from here or back there, has come to a halt since ppl savings went south! or, perhaps there's been an emergency in the family and your educational fund went used up and inflated by the prices soarings, etc. this is useful for international students so they can legally work off-campus. i would recommend working in a related field of study since it adds to your resume other than doing odd jobs. this means, if you get a job a "stapler" in a great engineering firm and you're in a technical major, take that job!).

F-1 students who are maintaining their status may be eligible for off-campus employment authorization if they suffer from unforeseen economic hardship. You must have been a full time student for 9 months and have experienced unforeseen economic hardship. If you feel you qualify, you may make an appointment with an international student adviser to discuss your situation. If the international student advisor decides that your circumstances warrant application, she will recommend to the CIS that you be authorized for off-campus employment. The CIS uses very strict guidelines in determining eligibility, so an ISA’s decision that you may be eligible does not guarantee that you will be approved.

If you are approved for off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) valid for one year or until your academic program ends, whichever period is shorter. It will allow you to work part-time off campus – you are NOT restricted to your field of study with this type of employment authorization ONLY. You may also use your EAD card to work on-campus up to 40 hours per week. If you decide to transfer away from Portland State, your EAD will not be valid at the new school.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply for economic hardship, you will need to provide the following documentation.
1. CIS Form I-765 (attached, or you may download from http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-765.pdf.
2. Check or money order made out to CIS for $340 (please check the USCIS website for the most current fee: go to http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis, click on Immigration Forms then scroll to I-765). NOTE: These fees are scheduled to be increased in Spring 2007, so please double check!
3. Photocopies of the following: identity and expiration pages of your passport, your visa, and your I-94 card (front and back). If you have had EAD’s previously, you must also send photocopies of them, as well as Economic Hardship I-20 (issued by our office after receiving all other copies/documents).
4. Two passport photos.
5. A letter explaining your situation and any supporting documentation (Ex: letter from sponsor withdrawing support, newspaper articles, bank notices, hospital bills, etc.)

One of the International Student Advisors will issue a new I-20 upon receipt of your application. You will need to return to the ISSS office to sign the new I-20 before ISSS can send the application to the CIS. The CIS Service Center usually takes about 2+ months to review Economic Hardship applications. You can expect to receive a Receipt Notice about 2 weeks after your application is submitted. Please bring this Notice to the ISSS office so that we can put a copy in your file. Your EAD will be sent directly to you by the CIS, unless you choose to use the ISSS office address (a better idea!): c/o OIA, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207.

Curricular practical training programs or CPT for Intl students

http://www.uscis.gov/propub/ProPubVAP.jsp?dockey=13272aa308d004ecbbb60f15e0fcf431

Sec. 214.2(f)(10)
(10) Practical training . Practical training may be authorized to an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis, in a Service-approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary for one full academic year. This provision also includes students who, during their course of study, were enrolled in a study abroad program, if the student had spent at least one full academic term enrolled in a full course of study in the United States prior to studying abroad. A student may be authorized 12 months of practical tra ining, and becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he or she changes to a higher educational level. Students in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training. An eligible student may request employment authorization for practical training in a position that is directly related to his or her major area of study. There are two types of practical training available: (Introductory text revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )

(from my personal experience, you have to apply in advance so you can work off campus and that sometimes means 2-3 months in advance). CPT is recommend for all international students who can work a summer or two, or even more during regular college year, up to 12 months like it mentions above and after you graduate, your OPT will be good for another 12 months, which can be extended to another 17 months if you're in the fields listed by the INS or USCIS. I believe sometimes employers will likely go ahead and still go through the paper work and troubles if you really are worth it regardless of what field you're in. This means, even though you're not in the fields mentioned in the USCIS, you're good to go! This might be very difficult so be proactive and study in fields so you can get that 12 of CPT for all, + 12 OPT for all, + 17 months of extended OPT for specific fields. That's 41 months of experience before possibly deciding on your futher study programs or investing on immigration fees to carry on your stay as a legal working immigrant.

Tuesday

Oregon Univeristy System and Eastern Oregon U where resident tuition fees

For the ones looking for good higher ed in Oregon

http://www.ous.edu/ or http://www.ous.edu/contact/cdirectory.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_University_System

http://www.eou.edu/staccts/tuition2.html is same regardless of from the States or abroad:

2008/2009 On Campus Undergraduate Tuition and Fees:

Undergraduate, Graduate

(printable html version)

UNDERGRADUATE
Undergraduate
Instructional Fee
Energy
Surcharge
Technology Fee
Building Fee
Incidental Fee
Health Service Fee
Total Charges
Credit Hours
Residents
Non-Residents
Fee
Total
Total
1 Credit Hours
$111
$111
$23
$130
$0
$153
$264
2 Credit Hours
$222
$222
$25
$150
$0
$175
$397
3 Credit Hours
$333
$333
$27
$170
$0
$197
$530
4 Credit Hours
$444
$444
$29
$190
$0
$219
$663
5 Credit Hours
$555
$555
$31
$210
$0
$241
$796
6 Credit Hours
$666
$666
$33
$230
$157
$420
$1086
7 Credit Hours
$777
$777
$35
$230
$157
$422
$1199
8 Credit Hours
$888
$888
$37
$230
$157
$424
$1312
9 Credit Hours
$999
$999
$39
$230
$157
$426
$1425
10 Credit Hours
$1110
$1110
$41
$230
$157
$428
$1538
11 Credit Hours
$1219
$1219
$43
$230
$157
$430
$1649
12 Credit Hours
$1328
$1328
$45
$230
$157
$432
$1760
13 Credit Hours
$1433
$1433
$45
$230
$157
$432
$1865
14 Credit Hours
$1538
$1538
$45
$230
$157
$432
$1970
15 Credit Hours
$1643
$1643
$45
$230
$157
$432
$2075
16 Credit Hours
$1696
$1696
$45
$230
$157
$432
$2128
17 Credit Hours
$1749
$1749
$45
$230
$157
$432
$2181
18 Credit Hours
$1802
$1802
$45
$230
$157
$432
$2234
Over - Time
(Each Additional Hour)
$53
$53