UNESCO World Heritage List reaches 1000 sites

The World Heritage List now totals 1001 properties.

The new sites, are:

Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (Italy) covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. It is located in the southern part of Piedmont,  between the Po River and the Ligurian Appenines, and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes  relating to  the winegrowing and wine making that has characterized the region for centuries. Vine pollen has been found in the area dating from the 5th century BC, when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts; Etruscan and Celtic words , particularly wine-related ones, are still found in the local dialect. During the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder mentions the Piedmont region as being one of the most favourable  for growing vines in ancient Italy; Strabo mentions its barrels.

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© Photos by unesco

Bursa and Cumalıkızık: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) is a serial nomination of eight component sites in the City of Bursa and the nearby village of Cumalıkızık, in the southern Marmara Region. The site illustrates the creation of an urban and rural system establishing the Ottoman Empire in the early 14th century. The property illustrates key functions of the social and economic organization of the new capital which evolved around a new civic centre. These include commercial districts of khans, kulliyes (religious institutions) integrating mosques, religious schools, public baths and a kitchen for the poor as well as the tomb of Orhan Ghazi, the founder of the Ottoman dynasty. One component outside the historic centre of Bursa is the village of Cumalıkızık, the only rural village of this system to show the provision of hinterland support for the capital.

Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey) rises high above the Bakirçay Plain in Turkey’s Aegean region. The acropolis of Pergamon was the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid Dynasty, a major centre of learning in the ancient world. Monumental temples, theatres, stoa or porticos, gymnasium, altar and library were set into the sloping terrain surrounded by an extensive city wall. The rock-cut Kybele Sanctuary lies to the north-west on another hill visually linked to the acropolis. Later the city became capital of the Roman province of Asia known for its Asclepieion healing centre. The acropolis crowns a landscape containing burial mounds and remains of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires in and around the modern town of Bergama on the lower slopes.

Monumental earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America) owes its name to a 19th century plantation close to the site. It is located in the Lower Mississippi Valley on a slightly elevated and narrow landform. The complex comprises five mounds, six concentric semi-elliptical ridges separated by shallow depressions and a central plaza. It was created and used for residential and ceremonial purposes by a society of hunter fisher-gatherers between 3,700 and 3,100 B.C. Research has not clarified yet whether the complex had a steady residential function or was a campground occupied temporarily during ceremonies of trading fairs. It is a remarkable achievement in earthen construction in North America that was not surpassed for at least 2,000 years.

Okavango Delta (Botswana). This delta in northwest Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean, with a wetland system that is almost intact. One of the unique characteristics of the site is that the annual flooding from the river Okavango occurs during the dry season, with the result that the native plants and animals have synchronised their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods. It is an exceptional example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes. The Okavango delta is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion.

Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardeche (France). Located in a limestone plateau of the Ardeche River in southern France, the property contains the earliest known and best preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating back as early as the Aurignacian period  (30,000  to 32,000 BP), making it an exceptional testimony of prehistoric art. The cave was closed off by a rock fall approximately 20,000 years BP and remained sealed until its discovery in 1994, which helped keep it in pristine condition.   Over 1,000 images have so far been inventoried on its walls, combining a variety of anthropomorphic and animal motifs. They are of exceptional aesthetic quality, demonstrate a range of techniques, including  the skillful use of colour,  combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement. They include several dangerous animal species difficult to observe at that time, such as mammoths, bears, wildcats, rhinos, bison and aurochs, as well as 4,000 inventoried remains of prehistoric fauna, and a variety of human footprints. A replica of the cave is under construction, and is due to open in April 2015.

Caves of Maresha  and Bet Guvrin  in the Judean Lowlands  as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves (Israel). This “city under a city” is characterized by a selection of man-made caves, excavated from the thick and homogenous layer of soft chalk   in Lower Judea. It includes chambers and networks with varied forms and functions, situated below the ancient  twin towns of   Maresha and Bet Guvrin, that bear witness to a succession of historical periods of excavation and usage  stretching over 2,000 years, from the Iron Age to the Crusades, as well as  a great variety of subterranean  construction methods. The original excavations were quarries, but these were converted for various agricultural and local craft industry purposes, including oil presses, columbaria (dovecotes), stables, underground cisterns and channels, baths, tomb complexes and places of worship , and hiding places during troubled times.

The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee began on 15 June and will continue through to 25 June.

NATO on Duty interactive map

Down here a screenshot of the interactive map of NATO capabilities.



From the map you can have access to information about NATO’s capabilities, such as air-, missile- and cyber-defence, special operations forces, precision munitions, maritime surveillance, etc…

From Wikipedia: NATO is a political and military organisation based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total. Members’ defense spending is supposed to amount to 2% of GDP.

If you are interested in this topic, you can check this post about world fire-power: Full Ranked List of Global Firepower 2014.

Here is an interesting PROS and CONS of NATO from wiki.answers.com:

PROS: United we stand, divided we fall.

CONS: Everybody wants to be the boss.

What do you think of NATO as organization, does it facilitate peace or, instead, it is a US tool to gain more international power?

Traditions in Academia

Ok, I will apply for PhD diploma in Helsinki, Turku or Tampere… Mikkeli no, too little place. I want a sword, don’t really care about the diploma 🙂

Pickled Hedgehog Dilemma

Traditions are a part of every culture, from holidays to formalities to how guests are treated.  And of course in academia there are traditions that are unique to countries and continents.  Since I spent several months contemplating going back to graduate school in another part of the world, There are a few of these academic traditions that I have stumbled across that I think are not just really interesting, but make me want to go there for my degree despite being in a program already.

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America Latina: diritti umani sotto scacco

Presidente del Brasile Dilma Rousseff e Pelé.

Presidente del Brasile Dilma Rousseff con Pelé.

La strada per lo sviluppo ed il miglioramento complessivo delle condizioni di vita dei cittadini passa principalmente dal tema dei diritti umani fondamentali. Il più importante, dal quale derivano tutti gli altri, è proprio il diritto all’incolumità ed alla sicurezza personale. Nel continente latinoamericano, dove crisi politiche, sociali ed economiche non mancano, la via verso lo sviluppo sta nella capacità delle istituzioni nazionali e locali di gestire i diritti dei propri cittadini.

I Paesi dell’America Latina vengono riportati spesso sui media europei per il clima di insicurezza in cui vivono generato dai narcotrafficanti, dalla criminalità organizzata e dai guerrilleros. Quello che leggiamo da qualche mese è che lo Stato, che dovrebbe proteggere i suoi cittadini, si trasforma spesso nell’aguzzino. Ciò accade per via di nuove leggi estremamente severe che sono concepite (forse senza intenzionalità) per tutelare la sicurezza dei cittadini, ma che diventando uno strumento di repressione che ledono diritti umani.

La lista di Paesi latinoamericani che non sono in grado di dare garanzie sulla protezione dei diritti umani dei propri cittadini sembra aumentare con l’avvicinarsi del campionato mondiale di calcio.


Due settimane fa uno Stato del Messico ha approvato un disegno di legge che consente l’uso di armi da fuoco nel corso di proteste pubbliche. Questo restringerebbe la libertà di espressione e manifestazione. Apparentemente tale legge è stata modificata in seguito alla accese proteste e pare che il nuovo disegno di legge non consenta più l’utilizzo delle armi da fuoco durante il corso di pubbliche manifestazioni.


Dallo scorso novembre il Parlamento brasiliano lavora su una legge anti-terrorismo che, in teoria, dovrebbe fornire uno strumento di protezione da attentati ed atti violenti. Nella pratica, la definizione di terrorismo presentata nel provvedimento è talmente generica che si presterebbe facilmente a punire crimini che non hanno nulla a che fare con il terrorismo. Attivisti per i diritti umani hanno già manifestato grandi perplessità riguardo l’utilizzo che il governo potrebbe fare del provvedimento in occasione di nuove proteste. Se le nuove norme si dovessero applicare, chi compie atti vandalici rischierebbe una reclusione da un minimo di 12 anni fino ad un massimo di 40 anni. La pena minima è superiore alla pena prevista per omicidio.

A tale proposito Amnesty International ha lanciato un appello denominato “dagli il cartellino giallo” nella quale viene chiesto al governo brasiliano di evitare l’uso della forza per contrastare le manifestazioni pacifiche. C’è tempo fino al 2 giugno per firmare l’appello e puoi farlo cliccando qui.


in Argentina esiste già una legge anti-terrorismo che è stata applicata, per la prima volta, per accusare il giornalista Juan Pablo Suárez di sedizione e incitamento alla violenza collettiva contro le istituzioni. A fine 2013 Suarez aveva filmato l’arresto di un poliziotto scioperante da parte di alcuni colleghi. Suarez dopo dieci giorni è stato rilasciato, ma sta affrontando un processo che potrebbe potrebbe portarlo ad una condanna di 12 anni di reclusione.

Ecco il filmato dell’arresto del poliziotto che ha portato Suarez ad essere arrestato a sua volta:


Da febbraio si portano avanti in Venezuela delle manifestazioni contro il Presidente Nicolas Maduro. Secondo un report dell’organizzazione Human Rights Watch, i manifestanti sono stati vittime di abusi fisici e psicologici tra cui fratture, negazione di cure mediche e minacce di morte o di stupro. Oltre 40 persone sono morte da quando le proteste sono scoppiate.

I casi dei Paesi dell’America Meridionale dimostrano come sia ambigua la strada che alcuni Paesi percorrono per ottenere riforme, sviluppo di beni pubblici e migliore tenore di vita per i propri cittadini. La regione sudamericana sta affrontando una sfida con se stessa ma deve mettere al primo posto i bisogni della gente, vale a dire, il rispetto dei diritti umani.






Flaviano Tarducci 01/06/2014

Pubblicato in Segnali di fumo – magazine per i Diritti Umani www.sdfamnesty.org

Mondiali 2014 Brasile previsioni Bloomberg

Da domani entreremo nel mese dei Mondiali 2014 che si terranno in Brasile dal 12 giugno al 13 luglio 2014.

Secondo le proiezioni per i Mondiali 2014 di Bloomberg, l’Italia perderà ai terzi di finale contro la Spagna. La finale la giocheranno Spagna e Brasile ma il vincitore questa volta sarà il Brasile 1-0.

Quali sono le tue previsioni?