Scenes from the new film, "MIRANDA RETURNS"
It's raining so hard here in Caracas that the Avila mountains have disappeared before my eyes. The large quintas at the top of the hill have been absorbed by thick grey clouds spouting torrential tropical rains. Yesterday I got caught in the downpour just as I was coming out of the supermarket. Today, I made it back from Sunday's long run just in time. The rain is so fierce that my windows are shaking and the trees are dancing outside.
This is NOT typical for Caracas. We happen to have the fortune to be outside the line of tropical storms that plague the Caribbean islands and reach up their evil eyes into Florida, New Orleans and other unfortunate locations in their view. But these rains after the season has passed are just a mere glimpse into an unpredictable future of climatic change due to the abuses of humankind and capitlist exploitation of the Earth. No wonder Al Gore and his crew won the Noble Peace Prize. Global Warming is beyond war - nature's wrath to human abuse is much more powerful than any weapon the Pentagon can even dream of creating.
Luckily here in the capitol we won't be as affected in terms of human victims, but on the coast of Venezuela and other areas where people live in fragile houses on the mountainsides, there will be damage. Nicaragua is already suffering serious harm from this recent pool of rabid rains - Venezuela is sending help there.
On the topic of Earth and the powers beyond humans, Venezuela is hosting the XII Regional Latin American Meeting of the International Astronomy Union this week. The event will be held in Margarita Island, and more than 250 star-studded specialists will attend from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and of course, Venezuela. There will also be representatives from Germany, Spain, the United States, Italy and the UK, who will contribute to the 146 oral presentations focusing on topics such as: formation of galaxies, explosions of gamma rays, atomic processes in interstellar gas, how and when a star is born in our galaxy, amongst other exciting themes such as supernovas, neutron stars and the huge radiotelescope in Mexico.
During this conference, there will be discussions about the development of a massive telescope for the region, and the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. Of course there will be a few side discussions about extraterrestrial life, science and pseudo-science, black holes, astrophysics, history of the Solar System and the cosmos.
Venezuela launched Mission Science two years ago with the objective of nurturing Venezuela's national science system and brilliant scientists. Every year, the Ministry of Science and Technology awards Venezuela's most innovative, creative and astute scientists with grants and aide to be able to continue contributing to the development of Venezuela's industries and those around the world.
See? The Bolivarian Revolution is not just about calling Bush the devil!!
Yesterday we had elections for the delegates to the founding congress of the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela). The process went smoothly and millions of folks aspiring to become party members came out and voted peacefully in the elections. Simultaneously, the National Assembly is engaging dutifully in the final debate for the Constitutional reform. They have added changes to more than 25 more articles in the reform package, in addition to those 33 proposed by President Chávez. I'll hold my comments on the reform until the legislature has concluded their debate, since more changes could come before then.
What is the best thing to do on a rainy Sunday? Go to the movies! I'm off to see the first film made in Venezuela's "Villa del Cine" (Cinema Village): Miranda Returns. The story of Francisco de Miranda, one of Venezuela's founding fathers and an internationalist who faught in the armies of the United States, France and others.
Danny Glover has a spot in the film. I'll give you my review tomorrow.