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Posts Tagged ‘calendar’

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Photo: Christy Sommers
People who raise goats in India, Bangladesh, and elsewhere, think it’s obvious you’d put sweaters on your goats in cold weather. It takes an outsider to be surprised — and make a calendar.

Got your 2019 calendar yet? We have way too many at our house because my husband donates to so many nature organizations. I wish that nonprofits would forget about free gifts and just spend donations where the money is most needed.

Today I have a story about a charity calendar that is not a giveaway. You have to buy it. But I hereby make an exception to my grumpiness about charity calendars.

Danielle Preiss writes at National Public Radio (NPR), “When we came across pictures of ‘Sweateredgoats‘ on Instagram, we wanted to know more. …

“The caprine fashionistas are featured on a calendar, the sales of which have benefited local organizations in Varanasi, India, where most of the images were taken.

“Christy Sommers, who takes the photos, first noticed the cuteness that is clothed goats in 2010, while living in a village in northwestern Bangladesh as a Fulbright scholar studying rural primary education. …

” ‘It blends my love of cute things with India and this desire that I have for people to understand the rest of the world better,’ Sommers says.

“Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Sommers has spent much of the last five years working in northern India as an instructor and administrator for a high school and college travel abroad program called Where There Be Dragons. She started to notice goats, particularly in lower-income urban areas, decked out in winter gear. Varanasi doesn’t actually get too cold — typically not dropping below a January average of 60 degrees.

Sommers says when she asks families why the goats are clothed, they usually tell her it’s because they’re cold — and look surprised that she’s asking something so obvious.

“And it turns out to be a good idea. Jagdip Singh Sohal, assistant professor of microbiology and microbial genomics at Amity University in Jaipur and organizer of the Asian Regional Conference on Goats, confirmed that goats can get cold. …

“Extra insulation, whether from a sweater, a discarded track suit or a burlap sack, allows the goat to divert more energy to productive purposes, like getting meatier and birthing more kids. …

“[Sommers] gives about half the profits to Asha Deep, a school for underprivileged kids in Varanasi. (The rest of the money she views as compensation for her labor.) The $4,500 donation from 2018 calendar sales provided the funds the school needed to operate for one month. Asha Deep is a vetted charity on Global Giving, a U.S.-based nonprofit that crowd funds donations for local NGOs around the world. …

“Meanwhile, the goat owners aren’t that impressed. To them, dressing a goat in a sweater is no big deal. ‘They generally think I’m crazy,’ she says.”

More at NPR, here.

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Photo: YouTube
One of the calendars used in the Dutch prison system to encourage prisoners to help solve cold cases.

Here’s a new twist on solving cold cases. It’s being implemented in the Netherlands, and I was going to say, “Trust the creative Dutch to come up with this idea!” But it turns out they got the idea from the United States.

Daniel Boffey writes at the Guardian, “Prisoners across the Netherlands are to be issued with calendars for their cells featuring unsolved murders or disappearances as part of a drive by the Dutch police to crack unsolved cases.

“The so-called cold case calendars will be handed to all 30,000 prisoners in the country after a trial run in five jails in the north resulted in 160 tips to the police.

“Each week of the year in the brightly coloured 2018-19 calendars will be illustrated with a photograph of a missing person and details of the case. The hope is that many of those in jail will know details of some of the crimes or may have heard other criminals chatting about them. …

“Jeroen Hammer, the calendar’s inventor, told Dutch newspapers the calendars had also proved popular with bored prisoners, although some had regarded the initiative as an attempt to turn them against their own. …

“The calendar has been printed in Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, English and Russian to maximise its impact, and a €800,000 reward is being made available for those whose information ends in a successful conviction. …

“The police say they can offer anonymity to people in certain cases.

“ ‘There is no penalty for keeping information about a criminal offence committed. Therefore, you do not have to fear persecution if you have been sharing information, even after years of deliberation,’ they said.

“The idea of the calendars was borrowed from the United States, where every year several states distribute a deck of cards containing information about cold cases among prisoners.”

More here. Someone should study whether participating prisoners are motivated mostly by the reward, by boredom, by outrage at certain crimes, or something else.

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A couple weeks ago, a friend told Suzanne that not only is 2012 the lucky Year of the Dragon, it’s the Year of the Golden Dragon — in her view the luckiest year of all.

But a little web research suggests that something was lost in the translation. The Year of the Golden Dragon was Y2K, 2000.

Not to worry. All dragons are lucky. This is the year of the Water Dragon.

The Chinese Fortune Calendar site says, “2012 is Year of the Dragon and it will arrive on February 4, 2012. (Note: Chinese New Year Day is on January 23, 2012. The first day of 2012 Chinese Astrology Year is on February 4, 2012.) Many people must be eager to know if they will have better luck in the coming year than previous years. Here, we want to use Chinese Astrology Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth) theory to explain people’s fortune in 2012 and foresee what will be happening to them in the year of the Dragon.” Read more to learn how metal is the element associated with the Golden Dragon.

Moving right along, the 2012 Dragon site observes, “The fact that 2012 is a Water year is extremely important and demands consideration. That’s because Water nourishes the Dragon’s fixed element, Wood, giving this Dragon a big advantage over the rest of the breed when it comes to bringing good luck. The same holds true for accomplishment. This Dragon is actually going to realize some of those big dreams!” So that site maintains that the Water Dragon is the luckiest dragon.

Wikipedia: “In Chinese Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness and pliancy; however, an over-abundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it. In the same way, Water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land.” In our family, the attribute of not being able to choose something is called “The I-do-and-I-don’t problem.”

The Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation weighs in: “The dragon sign is associated with spring and the dragon water sign is likely to become a flowing river rather than a stagnant lake, which means that you need to begin 2012 off to a fast start as things are expected to happen early in the year. Hopefully we used some of the quiet time in the past year to plan your moves for 2012.” Uh-oh.

But given that Suzanne is in the jewelry business (Luna & Stella), she might be most interested to know that in China, jewelry buying is going berserk for the Year of the Dragon.

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