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  1. #136
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    A worthy watch to keep an eye out for ...

    Preview | World War Speed | Secrets of the Dead | PBS


    Stories about drug use by Hitler and German forces during World War II have been widely told. What’s less well known is the Allied commanders’ embraced pharmacological “force enhancers” as well. By 1941, rumors about Nazi soldiers using a “super-drug” identified as the methamphetamine Pervitin were confirmed, and Allied commanders launched their own classified program to find the perfect war-fighting drug.

    During the war, one in three Allied soldiers were incapacitated without a physical scratch on them. Modern weapons and warfare proved so terrifying that almost as many men were shredded by combat fatigue and shell shock — now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — as by bullets and shrapnel. Allied commanders believed Benzedrine, an amphetamine similar to Pervitin, was the answer, hoping the amphetamine would defeat not just the need for sleep, but anxiety and fear among troops. How this drug affected the course of World War II is an ongoing controversy.

    In Secrets of the Dead: World War Speed, join historian James Holland on his quest to understand how the use of amphetamines affected the course of World War II and unleashed “the world’s first pharmacological arms race.”

    Noteworthy Facts

    Created in the 1930s by a German pharmacologist and manufactured by Temmler Pharmaceutical, the methamphetamine Pervitin was marketed for use by the general public using a campaign modeled on Coca Cola’s global strategy. The stimulant was then given to Luftwaffe pilots to keep them awake and alive if their plane was shot down.

    In May 1940, German troops under the influence of Pervitin had conquered Poland and were preparing for an attack against France. Ahead of the battle, 35 million Pervitin pills were delivered to 3 million Wehrmacht soldiers within 10-12 weeks. The Wehrmacht soldiers then managed to fight and march for 10 days straight, covering an average of 22 miles per day. The Wehrmacht were able to trap the entire British army on the beaches of Dunkirk in what is considered one of the greatest feats in military history.

    For Allied soldiers, caffeine was the primary stimulant of choice. Coffee was so closely associated with American soldiers, also known as GI Joes, that the term ‘Cup of Joe’ became synonymous with the drink.

    In 1940, the British army discovered Pervitin in a downed German plane in the south of England, unlocking the secret to the German troops’ boundless energy, and leading the Allies to consider the same tactic for their troops. The Allied troops decided to use the amphetamine Both drugs make users intensely alert by flooding them with a sense of euphoria. With its added methyl-group molecule, Pervitin races across the blood-brain barrier a bit faster than Benzedrine. Otherwise, the two drugs have virtually the same impact.

    Following the British victory in El Alamein, American soldiers entered into ground combat in North Africa in November 1942. The troops carried with them packs of Benzedrine after U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower orders some half million tablets for them.

    The German Navy’s mini-subs, used to torpedo Allied ships moving supplies and troops across the English Channel, required soldiers to sit in a confined space for 48 hours without sleeping or much movement. Searching for a solution to keep these submariners awake and alert, the German Navy tested out combinations of cocaine and methamphetamines by forcing prisoners of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp to take the stimulant and carry sacks of rocks around its infamous shoe-testing track.

    Following World War II, the usage of Benzedrine and Pervitin continued. By the 1950s, amphetamines were marketed as a diet pill and mood enhancer with celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Jack Kerouac using the stimulants.

    Buzzworthy Moments

    To test whether or not the Wehrmacht soldiers needed Pervitin to pull off their stunning 1940 victory in France, James Holland and a group of fellow history fanatics recreate the plight of soldiers by attempting to cover 22 miles in a single day while carrying 60 pounds of combat load with only coffee and tea as stimulants.

    In 1942, commanding officer Bernard Montgomery is brought in to Northern Africa to boost the morale of British troops fighting in the region. In the film, Holland discovers a document from Montgomery’s medical officer, Q.V. Wallace, revealing that troops involved in the opening stages of the battle of El Alamein were given Benzedrine, providing evidence that orders for the drug came straight from the top of British command. The memo also makes clear that the British 24th Armored Tank Brigade soldiers were prescribed 20 milligrams of Benzedrine per day — twice the amount recommended to RAF pilots — prior to the second battle of El Alamein in Egypt.

    Seventy years after going down in battle, a German Heinkel HE-1-1-5 bomber is pulled from a Norwegian fjord. The only aircraft of its kind ever recovered, the plane is remarkably intact and a rescue pack is found inside. A Pervitin pack is discovered, but dissolves when an attempt was made to clean it.
    Published on May 20, 2019

    30 seconds

    The teaser ...


    Premieres Tuesday, June 25 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app

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  3. #137
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Will bump this ...

    Quote Originally posted by giovonni View Post
    hmm ...

    In Secret, Seniors Discuss ‘Rational Suicide’

    By Melissa Bailey June 25, 2019

    "Ten residents slipped away from their retirement community one Sunday afternoon for a covert meeting in a grocery store cafe. They aimed to answer a taboo question: When they feel they have lived long enough, how can they carry out their own swift and peaceful death?

    The seniors, who live in independent apartments at a high-end senior community near Philadelphia, showed no obvious signs of depression. They’re in their 70s and 80s and say they don’t intend to end their lives soon. But they say they want the option to take “preemptive action” before their health declines in their later years, particularly due to dementia.

    More seniors are weighing the possibility of suicide, experts say, as the baby boomer generation — known for valuing autonomy and self-determination — reaches older age at a time when modern medicine can keep human bodies alive far longer than ever before.

    The group gathered a few months ago to meet with Dena Davis, a bioethics professor at Lehigh University who defends “rational suicide” — the idea that suicide can be a well-reasoned decision, not a result of emotional or psychological problems. Davis, 72, has been vocal about her desire to end her life rather than experience a slow decline due to dementia, as her mother did.

    The concept of rational suicide is highly controversial; it runs counter to many societal norms, religious and moral convictions and the efforts of suicide prevention workers who contend that every life is worth saving.

    “The concern that I have at a social level is if we all agree that killing yourself is an acceptable, appropriate way to go, then there becomes a social norm around that, and it becomes easier to do, more common,” said Dr. Yeates Conwell, a psychiatrist specializing in geriatrics at the University of Rochester and a leading expert in elderly suicide. That’s particularly dangerous with older adults because of widespread ageist attitudes, he said.

    As a society, we have a responsibility to care for people as they age, Conwell argued. Promoting rational suicide “creates the risk of a sense of obligation for older people to use that method rather than advocate for better care that addresses their concerns in other ways.”

    A Kaiser Health News investigation in April found that older Americans — a few hundred per year, at least — are killing themselves while living in or transitioning to long-term care. Many cases KHN reviewed involved depression or mental illness. What’s not clear is how many of these suicides involve clear-minded people exercising what Davis would call a rational choice.

    Suicide prevention experts contend that while it’s normal to think about death as we age, suicidal ideation is a sign that people need help. They argue that all suicides should be avoided by addressing mental health and helping seniors live a rich and fulfilling life.

    But to Lois, the 86-year-old woman who organized the meeting outside Philadelphia, suicides by older Americans are not all tragedies. Lois, a widow with no children, said she would rather end her own life than deteriorate slowly over seven years, as her mother did after she broke a hip at age 90. (Lois asked to be referred to by only her middle name so she would not be identified, given the sensitive topic.) In her eight years at her retirement community, Lois has encountered other residents who feel similarly about suicide. But because of stigma, she said, the conversations are usually kept quiet.

    Lois insisted her group meet off-campus at Wegmans because of the “subversive” nature of the discussion. Supporting rational suicide, she said, clashes with the ethos of their continuing care retirement community, where seniors transition from independent apartments to assisted living to a nursing home as they age.

    Seniors pay six figures to move into the bucolic campus, which includes an indoor heated pool, a concert hall and many acres of wooded trails. They are guaranteed housing, medical care, companionship and comfort for the rest of their lives.

    “We are sabotaging that,” Lois said of her group. “We are saying, thank you very much, but that’s not what we’re looking for.”

    Carolyn, a 72-year-old member of the group who asked that her last name be withheld, said they live in a “fabulous place” where residents enjoy “a lot of agency.” But she and her 88-year-old husband also want the freedom to determine how they die.

    A retired nurse, Carolyn said her views have been shaped in part by her experience in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the 1990s, she created a program that sent hospice volunteers to work with people dying of AIDS, which at the time was a death sentence.

    She said many of the men kept a stockpile of lethal drugs on a dresser or bedside table. They would tell her, “When I’m ready, that’s what I’m going to do.” But as their condition grew worse, she said, they became too confused to follow through.

    “I just saw so many people who were planning to have that quiet, peaceful ending when it came, and it just never came. The pills just got scattered. They lost the moment” when they had the wherewithal to end their own lives, she said.

    Carolyn emphasized that she and her husband do not feel suicidal, nor do they have a specific plan to die on a certain date. But she said that while she still has the ability, she wants to procure a lethal medication that would offer the option for a peaceful end in the future.

    “Ideally, I would have in hand the pill, or the liquid or the injection,” she said. She said she’s embarrassed that, as a former nurse, she doesn’t know which medication to use or how to get it.

    Maine recently became the ninth state to allow medical aid in dying, which permits some patients to get a doctor’s prescription for lethal drugs. That method is restricted, however, to people with a terminal condition who are mentally competent and expected to die within six months.

    Patients who aren’t eligible for those laws would have to go to an “underground practice” to get lethal medication, said Dr. Timothy Quill, a palliative care physician at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Quill became famous in the 1990s for publicly admitting that he gave a 45-year-old patient with leukemia sleeping pills so she could end her life. He said he has done so with only one other patient.

    Quill said he considers suicide one option he may choose as he ages. “I would probably be a classic [case] — I’m used to being in charge of my life.” He said he might be able to adapt to a situation in which he became entirely dependent on the care of others, “but I’d like to be able to make that be a choice as opposed to a necessity.”

    Suicide could be as rational a choice as a patient’s decision to end dialysis, after which the patient typically dies within two weeks, he said. But when patients bring up suicide, he said, it should launch a serious conversation about what would make their life feel meaningful and their preferences for medical care at the end of life.

    Clinicians have little training on how to handle conversations about rational suicide, said Dr. Meera Balasubramaniam, a geriatric psychiatrist at the New York University School of Medicine who has written about the topic. She said her views are “evolving” on whether suicide by older adults who are not terminally ill can be a rational choice.

    “One school of thought is that even mentioning the idea that this could be rational is an ageist concept,” she said. “It’s an important point to consider. But ignoring it and not talking about it also does not do our patients a favor, who are already talking about this or discussing this among themselves.”

    In her discussions with patients, she said, she explores their fears about aging and dying and tries to offer hope and affirm the value of their lives.

    These conversations matter because “the balance between the wish to die and the wish to live is a dynamic one that shifts frequently, moment to moment, week to week,” said Conwell, the suicide prevention expert.

    Carolyn, who has three children and four grandchildren, said conversations about suicide are often kept quiet for fear that involving a family member would implicate them in a crime. The seniors also don’t want to get their retirement community in trouble.

    In some of the cases KHN reviewed, nursing homes have faced federal fines of up to tens of thousands of dollars for failing to prevent suicides on-site.

    There’s “also just this hush-hush atmosphere of our culture,” said Carolyn. “Not wanting to deal with judgment — of others, or offend someone because they have different beliefs. It makes it hard to have open conversations.”

    Carolyn said when she and her neighbors met at the cafe, she felt comforted by breaking the taboo.

    “The most wonderful thing about it was being around a table with people that I knew where we could talk about it, and realize that we’re not alone,” Carolyn said. “To share our fears — like if we choose to use something, and it doesn’t quite do the job, and you’re comatose or impaired.”

    People who attempt suicide and survive may end up in a psychiatric hospital “with people watching you all the time — the complete opposite of what you’re trying to achieve,” Quill noted.

    At the meeting, many questions were practical, Lois said.

    “We only get one crack at it,” Lois said. “Everyone wants to know what to do.”

    Davis said she did not have practical answers. Her expertise lies in ethics, not the means.

    Public opinion research has shown shifting opinions among doctors and the general public about hastening death. Nationally, 72% of Americans believe doctors should be allowed by law to end a terminally ill patient’s life if the patient and his or her family request it, according to a 2018 Gallup poll.

    Lois said she’s seeing societal attitudes begin to shift about rational suicide, which she sees as the outgrowth of a movement toward patient autonomy. Davis said she’d like to see polling on how many people share that opinion nationwide.

    “It seems to me that there must be an awful lot of people in America who think the way I do,” Davis said. “Our beliefs are not respected. Nobody says, ‘OK, how do we respect and facilitate the beliefs of somebody who wants to commit suicide rather than having dementia?’”


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  5. #138
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    To me this is a complex issue.

    Everything from feeling lack of worth or being done or believing that there is something else to move on into..

    Or that it's better 'over there'.

    Or that sadness instead of joy becomes more prevalent.

    Or tracking a vibe that say 'move on' (a group think).

    In my experience, creating a goal that one could have generally gets one out of a funk especially when one then can say, OK, with what I have at the moment what is it that I can do.

    Lastly, what if aging can be stopped, and lives enhanced, memory improved and memory skills and "visionary experiences" made rich and with detail.

    When the beauty around one can no longer be perceived, I can see someone believing it is more beautiful elsewhere.
    Last edited by Bob, 26th June 2019 at 16:24.
    Never separate the life one lives from the words one speaks

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  7. #139
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Will share this here on this 4th of July ...

    The History of Europeans in America | DW Documentary

    Thirty million Europeans emigrated to the USA in the 19th Century to realize their American dream. But the continent was settled at the expense of its original inhabitants.

    The United States is always seen as the land of dreams and unlimited possibilities. Our starting point for this account of the settlement of America’s eastern seaboard by European pioneers is Florida, where the Spaniards first settled in the early 16th Century.. Their legacy today is 50 million Americans who speak Spanish as their first language -more than in Spain itself. But it was the largely Protestant British who made up the second wave of immigrants. They founded Jamestown in Virginia and settlements in Massachusetts and pushed northwards into Canada. While the southern states largely lived from the proceeds of slavery, the northern states developed into booming industrial centers that would ultimately defeat them in the civil war. It was here that the American dream of dishwasher to millionaire originated.
    Published on Jun 26, 2019

    42:25 minutes

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  9. #140
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I'm not a senior but I'm pretty sure I don't want to fade away slowly while others help me with basic body functions.

    It's shocking to have a loved one die suddenly or quickly. It's not necessarily better to have a loved one suffer, fade away, lose their mind, lose everything due to health, etc.

    Perhaps it is because the senior generation to me is passing now so it is on my mind.

    We have no rituals for bringing peaceful death. Perhaps we're missing something.

    I know one family member who has been 'ready to die' for years, and yet she's still hanging in there.

    I know another one who is ready to be healed and cured from the effects of aging. Which won't happen.

    Physical immortality would be a curse.

    We need better tools for aging and death.

    We have a lot of old folks now, maybe that will happen.

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  13. #142
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Stop Building a Spaceship to Mars and Just Plant Some Damn Trees ...

    When it comes to climate change research, most studies bear bad news regarding the looming, very real threat of a warming planet and the resulting devastation that it will bring upon the Earth. But a new study, out Thursday in the journal Science, offers a sliver of hope for the world: A group of researchers based in Switzerland, Italy, and France found that expanding forests, which sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, could seriously make up for humans’ toxic carbon emissions.

    In 2018, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s foremost authority on climate, estimated that we’d need to plant 1 billion hectares of forest by 2050 to keep the globe from warming a full 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. (One hectare is about twice the size of a football field.) Not only is that “undoubtedly achievable,” according to the study’s authors, but global tree restoration is “our most effective climate change solution to date.”

    In fact, there’s space on the planet for an extra 900 million hectares of canopy cover, the researchers found, which translates to storage for a whopping 205 gigatonnes of carbon. To put that in perspective, humans emit about 10 gigatonnes of carbon from burning fossil fuels every year, according to Richard Houghton, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, who was not involved with the study. And overall, there are now about 850 gigatonnes of carbon in the atmosphere; a tree-planting effort on that scale could, in theory, cut carbon by about 25 percent, according to the authors.

    In addition to that, Houghton says, trees are relatively cheap carbon consumers. As he put it, “There are technologies people are working on to take carbon dioxide out of the air. And trees do it—for nothing.”

    To make this bold prediction, the researchers identified what tree cover looks like in nearly 80,000 half-hectare plots in existing forests. They then used that data to map how much canopy cover would be possible in other regions—excluding urban or agricultural land—depending on the area’s topography, climate, precipitation levels, and other environmental variables. The result revealed where trees might grow outside of existing forests.

    “We know a single tree can capture a lot of carbon. What we don’t know is how many trees the planet can support,” says Jean-François Bastin, an ecologist and postdoc at ETH-Zürich, a university in Zürich, Switzerland, and the study’s lead author, adding, “This gives us an idea.”

    They found that all that tree-planting potential isn’t spaced evenly across the globe. Six countries, in fact, hold more than half of the world’s area for potential tree restoration (in this order): Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and China. The United States alone has room for more than 100 million hectares of additional tree cover—greater than the size of Texas.

    The study, however, has its limitations. For one, a global tree-planting effort is somewhat impractical. As the authors write, “it remains unclear what proportion of this land is public or privately owned, and so we cannot identify how much land is truly available for restoration.” Rob Jackson, who chairs the Earth System Science Department and Global Carbon Project at Stanford University and was not involved with the study, agrees that forest management plays an important role in the fight against climate change, but says the paper’s finding that humans could reduce atmospheric carbon by 25 percent by planting trees seemed “unrealistic,” and wondered what kinds of trees would be most effective or how forest restoration may disrupt agriculture.

    “Forests and soils are the cheapest and fastest way to remove carbon from the atmosphere—lots of really good opportunities there,” he said. “I get uneasy when we start talking about managing billions of extra acres of land, with one goal in mind: to store carbon.” Bastin, though, says the study is “about respecting the natural ecosystem,” and not simply planting “100 percent tree cover.” He also clarified that planting trees alone cannot fix climate change. The problem is “related to the way we are living on the planet,” he says.

    Caveats aside, Houghton sees the study as a useful exercise in what’s possible. “[The study] is setting the limits,” says Houghton. “It’s not telling us at all how to implement it. That’s what our leaders have to think about.”


    Related video report ...

    Climate change: UK 'needs one billion trees'

    Sky News
    Published on Jul 7, 2019

    A fifth of land used for farming in the UK may have to be transformed into
    woodland to help meet tough new climate change targets.

    7:02 minutes

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  15. #143
    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    It's a great idea...just make sure the trees are not planted with fear in mind.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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  17. #144
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    My very first ...
    1967 biege Volkswagen bug

    From Nazis to hippies: End of the road for Volkswagen Beetle

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  19. #145
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    Jonathan Pie on the current (election) Tory Leadership Contest which decides who will (run the country) report to the person that actually runs the country.

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  21. #146
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    The latest ...

    Hollywood Graveyard Enters THE TWILIGHT ZONE

    Hollywood Graveyard

    “You unlock this door with the key of remembrance; beyond it is another dimension:
    a dimension of nostalgia, a dimension of entertainment, a dimension of grief.
    You're journeying into a land of both life and death, of mourning and celebration.
    You've just crossed over into... The Hollywood Graveyard.”

    Hollywood Graveyard host, Arthur Dark, remembers some of the stars who made the Twilight Zone great... and stumbles into the Twilight Zone himself along the way.
    Published on Jul 9, 2019

    51:10 minutes

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  23. #147
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    Thumbs Up

    Living in the highlands ...

    Tradition vs. modernity: the Kolla in Argentina | DW Documentary

    High in the Andes, the Kolla are fighting to preserve their traditions. Argentina’s indigenous Kolla people live an austere life in the high desert plains. This is their home where they thrive.

    Maria and her sisters Norma and Nelly are Kolla. They share an inheritance that they have looked after ever since their mother passed: a piece of land and a herd of llamas. Nelly and Norma live with their families in the village El Moreno, Maria's family lives farther away in the small town of Tilcara in the Quebrada de Humahuaca valley. But it’s up in the Puna grasslands that the sisters really feel at home. At first, Maria was excited about city life and left the puna to study. But at the age of 31, she decided to return. Since then, she has been pushing for more responsibility for the Kolla women. While the men are often away working for weeks and months at a time, it’s up to them to safeguard their families’ way of life on the steppe. The film takes the viewer on an emotional journey of discovery into the Andes to meet these resolute women who love their country, and observe and preserve the traditions of their people their own way.

    Published on Jul 10, 2019

    42:25 minutes

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  25. #148
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    "A brilliantly searing depiction of the culture of empire" ...

    IN-SHADOW: A Modern Odyssey

    Embark on a visionary journey through the fragmented unconscious of our modern times,
    and with courage face the Shadow. Through Shadow into Light.

    “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
    -C.G. Jung

    13 minutes

    Written, Directed & Produced by Lubomir Arsov
    Original Soundtrack “Age of Wake” by Starward Projections
    Composited by Sheldon Lisoy
    Additional Compositing by Hiram Gifford
    Art Directed & Edited by Lubomir Arsov

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