Thursday, January 31, 2013

Job Market to Watch for Project Careers- South America

Maracanã Stadium
Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil

The economy: Brazil has fared better than many emerging markets in the global economic crisis, but recent reports show that its growth may be slowing. In November 2012, Brazil’s finance minister reported third-quarter earnings at 0.9 percent on the year — below expectations, according to Forbes. Stock prices for well-known organizations are also down this year. For example, Brazilian energy giant Petrobras, the most actively traded Brazilian stock, has declined more than 23 percent.
The opportunities: With the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on the horizon, project managers are leading infrastructure development and expansion projects worth more than US$60 billion.
“All cities hosting the [World Cup] games are working to achieve the requirements set by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA),” says Diego Nei, PMP, project management consultant at Associação Baiana para Gestão Competitiva, Salvador, Brazil a professional services assistance association. “We have projects ranging from entertainment to security.”
Brazil’s government has turned to project management to ensure that these events succeed — and that the resulting improvements benefit the population after the games end. For example, the Secretaria Especial da Copa, which is similar to a project management office, is overseeing projects being developed for two football tournaments: the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.
Beyond these high-profile events, IT and engineering are leading the demand for project management in the country, according to Mr. Nei, with additional career opportunities in social development projects. For instance, Petrobras only sponsors projects if they are in compliance with project management best practices, he says. “For example, they must fit the definition of a project, with established start and finish dates, and documentation submitted that follows a project plan,” Mr. Nei says.
Know before you go: Seek out smaller organizations, which also see the need to embrace project management. “They can’t afford to lose clients or waste money with inefficient processes,” Mr. Nei says. “While we didn't face a crisis here, the economic situation asked for more competitive companies — and more competitive companies demanded project managers.”


Argentina

The economy: Argentina is Latin America’s third-largest economy, despite recent controversy. In September 2012, the IMF warned the country that if it did not produce reliable data related to growth and inflation, it would face sanctions. According to the BBC, Argentina’s inflation rate sits at 24 percent, much higher than the 10 percent inflation the country has officially reported.
The opportunities: In spite of the country’s economic woes, projects are still being launched around the country. Miningauto manufacturingoil and gas,telecommunications and finance continue to employ project managers, according to Jose Esterkin, CEO and founder of IAAP, a project management training and consulting firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In October, General Motors announced it would invest US$450 million to produce a new global Chevrolet vehicle at its Rosario Automotive Complex in Rosario, Argentina.
And Canada-based mining giant Barrick Gold announced it would invest US$2 billion in the country next year to advance construction at its Pascua-Lama gold-silver project.
Know before you go: The importance of project management continues to grow among organizations in Argentina, says Mr. Esterkin, so sharpen your business acumen.
“Project managers must understand the economic and business decisions that led to the project they are implementing,” he says. “In that way, they will detect and understand the right stakeholders.”
Panama Canal
View of the Panama Canal near Panama City

Panama

The economy: Panama’s economy is going strong. Annual real GDP growth averaged about 9 percent over the past five years, the highest in Latin America, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The opportunities: Panama is currently home to one of the most highly visible projects in the world: the expansion of the Panama Canal. The project — which includes widening and deepening the existing channel and constructing two new sets of locks — is expected to cost US$5 billion and be completed in 2014.
“It is a program of several very large projects involving construction, excavations and dredging,” says Jorge L. Quijano, executive vice president, engineering and program management, Panama Canal Authority, Miami, Florida, USA.
The effort calls for project managers with deep knowledge of sustainability, safety, social responsibility, reforestation, communications, claims management, archeological and paleontological findings.
But while the canal expansion may be the most well-known project in Panama, it isn’t the only one. According to Mr. Quijano, there are a significant number of government and private projects in industries such as mining and construction.
Know before you go: Panama is in need of project managers with a better balance of education and experience.
“There are professionals with postgraduate degrees in project management, but with very little field experience,” Mr. Quijano says. “Then there is the other extreme — [professionals with] quite a lot of projects on their account, but with no formal training. What is needed are professionals with [experience in] at least a couple of large, three-year projects run under a project management standard, such as those [from] PMI, and that follow industry best practices.”

Planned Nissan automotive manufacturing plant
Plan for the Nissan automotive manufacturing plant in Mexico

Mexico

The economy: Latin America’s second-largest economy saw a slight slowdown in the third quarter of 2012, according to The Washington Post. The country’s economy relies heavily on the United States, where it sends nearly 80 percent of all exports.
The opportunities: Mexico is becoming a hotspot for automakers. Manufacturers including Honda, Nissan and Audi all have plans to build new factories over the next three years.
Beyond the auto industry, Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based TransCanada Corporation recently announced plans to build a series of natural gas pipelines. The total cost of the project is expected to reach US$1.4 billion and be complete by the fourth quarter of 2016.
In addition, more than 3,500 workers are participating in a 750-megawatt wind farm project in La Yesca, Mexico. The US$910-million project began in 2008 and included the construction of a 672-foot (205-meter) tall concrete-faced dam. The first turbine for the plant was delivered in November last year.
Know before you go: Project professionals with the right credentials and a firm handle on project management standards will make their mark in the local landscape — as practitioners, and perhaps even as educators.
“If you explore the country's current educational offerings in project management, you will find there are many possibilities,” says Eric Montero, past officer of the PMI Puebla, Mexico Chapter. “Almost every mid-size university includes a [project management] postgrad course.”
However, Mr. Montero adds that not many experienced Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders are participating as qualified instructors.
“Most professors come from other knowledge fields and take the project management teaching opportunities only because they think they can teach it,” he says. He adds that in these instances, professors share practical tips without advocating standards or established approaches.
Improving educational prospects for project managers starts with organizational demand, according to Mr. Montero. “Mexican business owners should believe their projects need to be managed by professionals that deserve a salary and a secure place in the company,” he says.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Malaysian hacker leaked British defense contractor e-mails exposing USA plan to occupy Syria


‘Approved by Washington’ Emails Leaked Reveal U.S. to Plant Chemical Weapons in Syria for Reason to Intervene


white_house_close
by Ezra Van Auken

Although the United States’ desire to strike Syria has seemingly faded in the past couple of months, leaked emails from a defense contractor company has rekindled the talk of whether or not the U.S. will occupy the Syrian region. Disastrously for the government, it looks like it was up to no good with planning a pretext to invading the war-torn country.

An unknown Malaysian hacker allegedly struck Britam Defense, a British based defense contractor company, and unveiled what appear to be conversations between senior officials on a plan designed to give U.S. government officials a reason to attack Syria. According to the leaked information, Qatar would funnel chemical weapons to Syrian rebels that would in turn use them inside the country, giving the U.S. a reason to intervene.

This comes a month after President Obama warned al-Assad and Syria’s government that any chemical weapon use would be answered by outside forces. President Obama called the deployment of chemical weapons “totally unacceptable”.

Information of the plan was first reported on by InfoWars.com, which shows one of the most important emails between officials. The December 25th email sent by Britam’s Business Development Director David Goulding to founder of the company, Philip Doughty, read, ‘Phil…We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.’

In addition, the emails explain, ‘We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.’ Going on to note, ‘They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.’

MailOnline commented that the hacker “obtained senior executives resumés and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.”

The news company also reported, “Dave Goulding’s Linkedin profile lists him as Business Development Director at Britam Defense Ltd in Security and Investigations. A business networking profile for Phil Doughty lists him as Chief Operating Officer for Britam, United Arab Emirates, Security and Investigations.”

Paul Watson of InfoWars pointed out, “The attack would be blamed on the Syrian Army and exploited as an excuse for a military assault. A March 2012 Brookings Institution report entitled Saving Syria: Assessing Options For Regime Change outlined this very scenario – where a manufactured humanitarian crisis would be cited as justification for an attack.”

SLN reported on Tuesday that last week a private meeting took place, just one day after the Israeli elections, where according to Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, the attendees of the private meeting discussed a preemptive strike against Syria.

“The Vice Premier was also sure that the talks involved Syria’s chemical weapons and whether or not Israel should strike Syria before militant groups do, like Hezbollah or al-Qaeda, which has received indirect funding by the United States through the Turkish border.”

The war on Mali: What you should know




Gold: Mali: Africa’s third largest gold producer with large scale exploration ongoing. Mali has been famous for its gold since the days of the great Malian empire and the pilgrimage to Mecca of the Emperor Kankou Moussa in 1324, on his caravan he carried more than 8 tonnes of gold! Mali has therefore been traditionally a mining country for over half a millennium.


Mali currently has seven operating gold mines which include: Kalana and Morila in Southern Mali, Yatela, Sadiola and Loulo in Western Mali, and mines which have recently restarted production notably Syama and Tabakoto. Advanced gold exploration projects include: Kofi, Kodieran, Gounkoto, Komana, Banankoro, Kobada and Nampala.

Uranium: encouraging signs and exploration in full swing. Exploration is currently being carried out by several companies with clear indications of deposits of uranium in Mali. Uranium potential is located in the Falea area which covers 150 km² of the Falea- North Guinea basin, a Neoproterozoic sedimentary basin marked by significant radiometric anomalies. Uranium potential in Falea is thought to be 5000 tonnes. The Kidal Project, in the north eastern part of Mali, with an area of 19,930 km2, the project covers a large crystalline geological province known as L’Adrar Des Iforas. Uranium potential in the Samit deposit, Gao region alone is thought to be 200 tonnes.

Diamonds: Mali has potential to develop its diamond exploration: in the Kayes administrative region (Mining region 1), thirty (30) kimberlitic pipes have been discovered of which eight are show traces of diamonds. Some eight small diamonds have been picked in the Sikasso administrative region (southern Mali).

Precious stones consist of the following and can be found in:
Circle of Nioro and Bafoulabe: Garnets and rare magnetic minerals
Circle of Bougouni and Faleme Basin: Pegmatite minerals
Le Gourma – garnet and corindons
L’Adrar des Ilforas – pegmatite and metamorphosing minerals
Hombori Douentza Zone: quartz and carbonates

Iron Ore, Bauxite and Manganese: significant resources present in Mali but still unexploited. Mali has according to estimates more than 2 million tonnes of potential iron ore reserves located in the areas of Djidian-Kenieba, Diamou and Bale.

Bauxite reserves are thought to be 1.2 million tonnes located in Kita, Kenieba and Bafing- Makana. Traces of manganese have been found in Bafing – Makana, Tondibi and Tassiga.

Other mineral resources and potential in Mali

Calcarous rock deposits: 10 million tonnes est. (Gangotery), 30 million tonnes est. (Astro) and Bah El Heri (Nord de Goundam) 2.2 Million tonnes est.

Copper: potentialities in Bafing Makan (Western Region) and Ouatagouna (Northern Region)

Marble : Selinkegny (Bafoulabe) 10.6 MT estimated reserves and traces at Madibaya

Gypsum: Taoudenit (35 MT est.), Indice Kereit (Nord de Tessalit) 0.37 MT est.

Kaolin: Potential estimated reserves (1MT) located in Gao (Northern Region)

Phosphate: Reserve located at Tamaguilelt, production of 18,000 t/per annum and an estimated potential of 12 million tonnes. There are four other potential deposits in the North of 10 million tonnes.

Lead and zinc: Tessalit in the Northern Region (1.7 MT of estimated reserves) and traces in Bafing Makana (Western Region) and Fafa (Northern Mali)

Lithium: Indications in Kayes (Western Region) and estimated potential of 4 million tonnes in Bougouni (Southern Region)

Bitumen schist: Potential estimated at 870 million tonnes, indications found in Agamor and Almoustrat in the Northern Region.

Lignite: Potential estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, indications found in Bourem (Northern Region)

Rock Salt: Estimated potential of 53 million tonnes in Taoudenni (Northern Region)

Diatomite: Estimated potential of 65 million tonnes in Douna Behri (Northern Region)


Mali’s Petroleum potential already attracting significant interest from investors:

Mali’s Petroleums potential has been documented since the 1970’s where sporadic seismic and drilling revealed probable indications of oil. With the increasing price of global oil and gas resources, Mali has stepped up its promotion and research for oil exploration, production and potential exports. Mali could also provide a strategic transport route for Sub-Saharan oil and gas exports through to the Western world and there is the possibility of connecting the Taoudeni basin to European market through Algeria.
Work has already begun to reinterpret previously gathered geophysical and geological data collected, focussing on five sedimentary basins in the North of country including: Taoudeni, Tamesna, Ilumenden, Ditch Nara and Gao.


So here we have it

Whatever is reported by the mainstream media, the goal of this new war is no other than stripping yet another country of its natural resources by securing the access of international corporations to do it. What is being done now in Mali through bombs and bullets is being done to Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain by means of debt enslavement.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Israel And India: Dance With The Devil





In April 2009, Tel Aviv signed a $1.1 billion agreement to provide New Delhi an advanced tactical air defense system developed by Raytheon, a U.S. defense contractor. That agreement confirmed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier announced: “Our ties with India don’t have any limitation….”

In May 2009, Israel delivered to India the first of three Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) shifting the balance of conventional weapons in the region by giving India air dominance over Pakistan.

Israel has overtaken Russia as India’s chief arms supplier as New Delhi announced $50 billion in defense modernization outlays from 2007 to 2012. The fast emerging fact patterns suggest there is far more implied for Pakistan in this “special defense relationship” than meets the eye.

In August 2008, Ashkenazim General David Kezerashvili returned to his native Georgia from Tel Aviv to lead an assault on separatists in South Ossetia with the support of Tel Aviv-provided arms and military training provided by Israel Defense Forces. That crisis ignited Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Russia, key members of the Quartet (along with the EU and the UN) pledged to resolve the six-decade Israel-Palestine conflict.

Little was reported in mainstream media about the Israeli interest in a pipeline across Georgia meant to move Caspian oil through Turkey and on to Eurasia with Tel Aviv a profit-extracting intermediary undercutting Russia’s oil industry. Nor did mainstream media report on the self-reinforcing nature of serial well-timed crises that emerged in a compressed time frame.

For example, on August 7, 2008, the ruling coalition led by Asif Ali Zarderi called for a no-confidence vote in Parliament on president Pervez Musharraf just as he was scheduled to depart for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. On August 8, heavy fighting erupted overnight in South Ossetia while the heads of state of both Russia and the U.S. were in Beijing.

What other crises were then unfolding? But for pro-Israeli influence inside the U.S. government, would our State Department have backed the corrupt Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, leading to record-level poppy production involving Karzai’s brother? Is the heroin epidemic presently eroding Russian society traceable to Israel’s fabled game theory war-planners who are infamous for disabling their targets from the inside out?

Three months after the crisis in Georgia, a terrorist attack in Mumbai renewed fears of nuclear tension between India and Pakistan. When the Mumbai attackers struck a hostel managed by Chabad Lubavitch, an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect from New York, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced from Tel Aviv: “Our world is under attack.”

By early December, Jewish journalists were arguing that Israel must “fortify the security of Jewish institutions worldwide.” In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security continued its policy of dispersing U.S. taxpayer funds to protect synagogues and Jewish community centers.
Pre-Staged Plausibility

Soon after “India’s 9-11” was found to include personnel recruited from Pakistan’s western tribal region, President Zardari announced an agreement with Taliban tribal chiefs to allow Sharia law to govern a swath of the North West Frontier Province where Al Qaeda members reportedly reside.

The perception of Pakistani cooperation with “Islamic extremists” created the impression of enhanced insecurity and vulnerability for the U.S. and its allies. That perceived threat was widely reported by mainstream media as proof of the imminent perils of “militant Islam.”

With religious extremists portrayed as operating freely in a nuclear-armed Islamic state, Tel Aviv gained traction for its claim that a nuclear-Islamic Tehran posed an “existential threat” to the Jewish state. Meanwhile Israel’s election of an ultra-nationalist governing coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu further delayed resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

More delay ensured more extremism and gained more media traction for those marketing a perpetual “global war on terrorism” and its thematic counterpart, The Clash of Civilizations. After the assault in Mumbai, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni argued: “Israel, India and the rest of the free world are positioned in the forefront of the battle against terrorists and extremism.” By its exclusion, Pakistan was implicated as harboring terrorists.

Few Americans understand that Pakistan is dominantly Sunni and, unlike Iran’s Shi’a, abhors theocratic rule and the religious extremism common to Al Qaeda as well as the assorted strains of fundamentalism found among the Taliban. Game theory war planning suggests that Pakistan, not India, was the target of India’s 9-11. As with our 9-11, the strategic objective was not the event itself but the anticipated reaction—and the reactions to that reaction.

Advised by legions of Ashkenazim, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s October 2009 mission to Pakistan was a diplomatic disaster. Right on cue, a terrorist attack in Peshwar killed dozens just as she arrived in Islamabad. Abrasive, arrogant and aloof, our top diplomat reinforced Pakistani concerns that their nation is surrounded by hostile forces.

Clinton’s behavior fueled fears that the government of Pakistan is being set up for portrayal as a “failed state” by ultra-nationalist Jewish advisers to a nation—the U.S.—it has long considered a friend. When Barack Obama hosted the prime minister of India for his first state dinner, the anxiety level in Pakistan was heightened—particularly among those familiar with the dominance of Ashkenazi advisers in the Obama White House.
Societal Conflict—By Consensus

Meanwhile, India’s oligarchs continued to amass wealth and influence at a record pace as the caste system maintained its stranglehold on Hindu society. By 2007, India’s 40 billionaires had amassed a combined wealth of $351 billion, up from a combined wealth of $170 billion just since 2006. Though New Delhi cites the success of its high-tech sector and its “Bollywood” film industry as signs of a burgeoning middle class, the reality is far from reassuring.

As in Russia where the wealth from privatization migrated to a small cadre of dominantly Ashkenazi oligarchs, a similar oligarch-ization is ongoing in India. While maintaining a vast underclass of “untouchables” mired in grinding poverty, India’s policy making elite gravitated to an economic model that traces its U.S. roots to the University of Chicago where Barack Obama taught for 11 years while he was being groomed for political office.

The “Chicago Model” advances in plain sight behind an implied assumption that financial freedom is an appropriate proxy for personal freedom. Despite facts confirming that wealth and income are concentrating at record rates worldwide, this “consensus” model insists that nations vest their faith in the infallibility of unfettered financial markets.

As that finance-fixated mindset morphed into the “Washington” consensus, the U.S.-dominated international financial institutions imbedded this narrow worldview in law worldwide. As with ordinary Russians, ordinary Indians see their rising prosperity dominated by an caste oligarchy that steadily amasses outsized wealth along with disproportionate political influence.

As wealth concentrates, democracies become unworkable; as income concentrates, markets become unsustainable. Those profiled in Guilt By Association and the forthcoming Criminal State series are skilled in displacing facts with what targeted populations can be deceived to believe. Today’s money-myopic “consensus” traces its roots to a subculture within a subculture within a subculture whose belief in the unbridled pursuit of money preempts all other values.

The India-Israel alliance has inflicted on the economy of India the same paradigm that is systematically disabling the U.S. economy—from the inside out—while creating record gaps in wealth and income. Pakistan has an opportunity to resist the embrace of this flawed model and, by so doing, inspire other nations—including the U.S.—to devise a sensible path forward.
Comment By Rehmat on Dr. Gates article:

According to the Press Trust of India (PTI) – Seven Indian states (Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Orrisa, Andhra Pradesh, Chatisgarth and Jharkhand) have selected 30 senior officers for a special task force to deal with current Moist groups fighting against New Delhi. These police officers will go through a 30-day training at Ghatsila (Jharkhand). The instructors include Israeli experts (Massad, Sayeret Matkal, Shin Bet, Yamam, etc.)on so-called ’counter-terrorism’. Knowing the past record of these Israeli terrorist agencies in the assassinations of the US, European and Muslim leaders – one would not be wrong to guess that ‘task’ of the 30 Indian officers would also include the target assassination of Moist leadership. Israeli sources have confirmed that the current Israeli ‘assassination list’ includes Iranian president Ahmadinejad, Turkish prime minister Erdogan, Venezuela president Hugo Chavez, Hizb’Allah leaders Sheikh Nasrallah and Hamas’ leader Mishaal. Israel’s has just assassinated one of the founder of Hamas’ miltary wing, IZZ al-Din Qassam Brigades, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Israel did not even spared its fellow Jewish US ambassador to Lebanon, John Gunther Dean, during 1978-81 (both parents Jewish), because he was against Israeli attack on Lebanon…….

Monday, January 28, 2013

Iran's Space Monkey



Photograph: Iranian Ministry of Defence
Photograph: Iranian Ministry of Defence





Iran has sent a monkey into space (according to Iran). The monkey was not very happy about going into space; the Iranians seem more enthused. The chronology of the pictures, released by the Iranian MoD, is not certain, but judging by the numbered filenames, this appears to be the likely order.
The Iranian space monkey all dressed up and ready to go.
The Iranian space monkey having second thoughts.
The Iranian space monkey is deeply regretting this idea.
This is the rocket the Iranian space monkey went into space in. The actual flight was reported by Iran's state-owned Fars news agency to have peaked at 120km, 20km above the international-boundary for space.
The monkey, back on earth alive. According to the Iranian government.
Before you apportion too much blame to the Iranian government, space monkeys tend not to be very happy. This is Miss Baker, sent to space by the US government in 1959
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New Book: The Jesus Discovery



The paperback edition of The Jesus Discovery is to be released February 19th.

There is lots more on the discoveries in the Talpiot “Patio” tomb coming soon…stay tuned. 

In the meantime don’t miss Simcha Jacobovici’s latest post below:


Sounds of Silence: Prof. Kloner and His Colleagues Don’t Answer Simcha’s Criticisms



In my post, I pointed out that there is something very, very wrong with Prof. Kloner’s report. Specifically:

1. He is very enthusiastic about his “new revelations” concerning the “Patio tomb” in the Talpiot suburb of Jerusalem. This tomb which is under an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) license to Prof. Rami Arav and Prof. James Tabor as an ongoing excavation is only 60 meters from the alleged tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. Kloner was in the tomb in 1981. Why did it take him 33 years to publish a report? Incompetence? Laziness? Cover up?

2. Over the past 33 years, he said there were seven ossuaries in the tomb. He then revealed that there were eight. Why did he misreport?

3. He published that there were two inscriptions in the tomb. He now admits that there were three. Why the misreport?

4. He said that the two inscriptions were “Greek names”. He also said he did not have time to read them before he was chased out of the tomb by Jewish ultra-orthodox activists. He now admits that all along he knew the names. Why did he misreport?

5. The third inscription is not a name at all, but a declaration of faith. Why did he not report a four line inscription that is not a name? Why did he misreport?

6. In the official catalogue of IAA ossuaries, Rahmani misreported the location of the tomb. Kloner now says that this was done on purpose. Why did they misreport the location of the tomb?

7. Kloner first reported that he was only a few minutes in the tomb, then he changed his story to 15 minutes, then to two hours and 15 minutes, now it’s two days. Why did he misreport the time the archaeologists had in the tomb?

8. Kloner had no physical anthropologist with him, did not remove the bones from the ossuaries or from the tomb, and has never said anything about the physical remains of the individuals buried in the tomb. He now publishes exact numbers of individuals buried in every single ossuary, estimating that there were approximately 21-26 people buried in the tomb. Since everyone knows that it’s impossible to ascertain how many people are buried in an ossuary in a matter of minutes, or even hours or weeks, is Kloner misreporting what happened to the bones? Or is he misreporting the number of people buried there? Why?

9. Kloner took pictures of the ossuaries in their niches where you cannot see the images or inscriptions. He now admits that all the ossuaries had been pulled to the center of the tomb before being pushed back into the niches by the orthodox activists. Kloner has now published the pictures of the ossuaries in the niches i.e., where you can’t see anything. Why has he not published the pictures of the ossuaries after they had been pulled out of their niches?

10. Kloner says that he had only minutes in the tomb. And yet, he has just published drawings – yes, drawings! – of the four line inscription and controversial image of a fish. He had no time to read a name, but he had time to draw. Furthermore, he says he had the drawings at home for the past 33 years and he has only now seen fit to publish them. What else does he have in his files at home? Why hasn’t he turned over all his information to the IAA archaeological files and to the archaeologist presently in charge, Prof. Rami Arav? Why is Prof. Kloner still misreporting the findings?

11. Most disturbingly, the drawings that he has published do not correspond to the ossuaries themselves but to replicas that we recently made, complete with an error! How is this possible if they are, indeed, 33 year old drawings of the originals? Is Prof. Kloner misrepresenting the nature of the images on the ossuaries?

Despite these serious concerns, Prof. Kloner has not offered a single response, nor has his co-author Prof. Zissu, nor any of the people involved in the Bar Ilan conference which gave a platform to Prof. Kloner and his seriously flawed report.




Healthcare in the Arabian Gulf Countries


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The World's Most Valuable Actors of All Time




Source: Thinkstock

There are movie stars, and then there are actors whose involvement appears more important than the movie itself. Some are so critical to success that studios will pay them tens of millions of dollars to be in their pictures. Johnny Depp just signed a contract to make a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean, and some members of the press are speculating that Depp could earn as much as $95 million. That’s a big paycheck when the most recent Pirates movie grossed roughly $1 billion worldwide.


There are a small number of actors whose involvement in movies has resulted in billions of dollars in tickets sales. Because of their continued popularity and success, some careers have stretched over decades. Based on a review of films’ gross box office sales, adjusted for ticket price inflation, from online movie data resource Box Office Mojo, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most valuable actors of all time.

In order to make this list, an actor needed to star in multiple hits, and not just a single powerful franchise. For example, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who starred in all eight installments of the extremely successful Harry Potter series, are both among the top 20 actors based on the gross sales of films in which they have starred. However, they have only appeared in five other movies between the two of them. At this point, they may be typecast as one-franchise wonders, unable to break out of the role they have gained their fame through.

Nearly all the actors that made our list have starred in several high-grossing franchises. Harrison Ford, who is among the most valuable actors according to our measure, was in two, the Star Wars trilogy and the four Indiana Jones movies. However, all of these actors were also in multiple standalone films, showing their versatility by playing very different characters.

Sean Connery, for example, starred in seven different James Bond films, all of which grossed more than $100 million adjusted for ticket inflation. This would alone be enough to put him top 100 grossing actors, but Connery also starred in such hits as “The Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October,” each of which grossed well over $200 million adjusted for inflation.

Success in the box office is not the same as success with the critics. A look at the top actors on this list makes that clear. While a few are decorated actors, such as Tom Hanks who has won two Academy Awards for acting, most on this list have received little positive attention from critics. Harrison Ford, among the highest grossing actors of all time, has never won an Oscar for acting. Meryl Streep, who is the 43rd highest-grossing actor of all time, has won three.

To identify the most valuable actors of all time, 24/7 Wall St. ranked nearly 700 leading actors in Box Office Mojo’s database. Actors ranked higher if they starred in more films, if the films they starred in averaged high ticket sales, and if they had among the highest combined box office gross adjusted for ticket price inflation. This last component was weighted more heavily. All film gross numbers are based on U.S. ticket sales only, and, unless otherwise noted, are adjusted for ticket price inflation, as calculated by Box Office Mojo. Awards, such as Oscar wins and nominations, came from the IMDB.
These are the most valuable actors of all time.


10. John Travolta
> Total film gross: $4.3 billion
> Average film gross: $99.7 million
> Films: 43
> Top grossing film: Grease
> Acting Oscars: 0

After starting his career on the TV show “Welcome Back, Kotter,” John Travolta’s film career took off in the late 1970s with starring roles in “Saturday Night Fever,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role, and “Grease.” Adjusted for inflation, these remain the two highest grossing films of Travolta’s career. Since then, Travolta has starred in blockbusters in several different genres, including comedies such as “Look Who’s Talking” and more-violent films such as cult film “Pulp Fiction” and “Face/Off.” But not all films Travolta has starred in have been successful. In 2000, Travolta’s “Battlefield Earth” was released to universally negative reviews and was named by the Razzies — which highlight the worst movies and performances in film each year — as the “Worst Movie of the Decade” in 2010.

9. Clint Eastwood 
> Total film gross: $4.3 billion
> Average film gross: $93.3 million
> Films: 46
> Top grossing film: Every Which Way But Loose
> Acting Oscars: 0

Clint Eastwood has been a well-known actor for the past 45 years, with his first film — “A Fistful of Dollars” — released in early 1967. His highest grossing film, the 1978 blockbuster “Every Which Way But Loose,” brought in more than $283 million in current dollars. Other films starring Eastwood that have earned more than $150 million include “Dirty Harry,” “The Enforcer” and, more recently, “Gran Torino.” Eastwood also has been a successful director, winning a best director Oscar for “Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby,” both of which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of the Year. He has yet to win an Oscar for his acting.

8. Morgan Freeman
> Total film gross: $4.5 billion
> Average film gross: $95.8 million
> Films: 47
> Top grossing film: The Dark Knight
> Acting Oscars: 1

Morgan Freeman was first nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the 1987 film “Street Smart.” Over the course of his career, Freeman has been an Academy Award nominee five times, winning once, in 2005, for his supporting role in “Million Dollar Baby.” Freeman has also starred in a number of major box office hits, including the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan — one of the most successful franchises of all time — and the comedy “Bruce Almighty.” Freeman may be best-known for his voice, and has served as a first- or third-person narrator in a number of movies, including “The Shawshank Redemption” and “March of the Penguins.”

7. Sean Connery
> Total film gross: $4.5 billion
> Average film gross: $122.9 million
> Films: 37
> Top grossing film: Thunderball
> Acting Oscars: 1

Sean Connery is one of six actors who have played the role of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Between 1963 and 1983, Connery played the secret agent in seven films. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, two of these movies — “Goldfinger” in 1964 and “Thunderball” in 1965 — each earned more than $500 million. Connery also has starred in a number of successful action movies, including “The Untouchables,” for which he earned his only Oscar, “The Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October.” Connery is currently retired as an actor. His last film, released in 2003, was “The League of Extraordinary Gentleman,” based on the comic book by Alan Moore.

6. Dustin Hoffman
> Total film gross: $4.6 billion
> Average film gross: $117.5 million
> Films: 39
> Top grossing film: The Graduate
> Acting Oscars: 2

Although Dustin Hoffman has appeared in nearly 40 movies, his first, 1967’s “The Graduate,” remains his highest grossing film, after adjusting for ticket price inflation. For his performance in the movie, Hoffman received the first of his seven Oscar nominations. He went on to win his first Academy Award for his leading performance in the 1979 drama “Kramer vs. Kramer” and his second Oscar for his role in “Rain Man,” in which he starred alongside Tom Cruise. In all, one-third of Hoffman’s films have grossed at least $100 million, ranging from political drama “All the President’s Men” to the comedy “Tootsie.”


5. Tom Cruise
> Total film gross: $5.0 billion
> Average film gross: $153.0 million
> Films: 33
> Top grossing film: Top Gun
> Acting Oscars: 0

Tom Cruise is one of just a handful of actors to have grossed more than $5 billion in inflation-adjusted ticket sales. At just 23, Cruise starred in “Top Gun,” a film that went on to gross $370 million. Other movies starring Cruise that grossed more than $300 million include “Rain Man” and the first two Mission Impossible movies. Cruise has never won an Academy Award, but has been nominated three times for his roles in “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Magnolia.” Cruise has also been nominated for seven Golden Globes, winning three.

4. Robin Williams 
> Total film gross: $4.8 billion
> Average film gross: $108.4 million
> Films: 44
> Top grossing film: Mrs. Doubtfire
> Acting Oscars: 1

After starring on the TV series “Mork and Mindy,” Robin Williams began his film as the title role in “Popeye” in 1980, the first of his 16 films that would gross more than $100 million in inflation-adjusted ticket sales. Among Williams’ smash hits were comedies such as “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Flubber,” as well as dramas such as “Dead Poets Society” and “Good Will Hunting,” which earned Williams his only Oscar to date. Williams has also lent his voice to two of the highest grossing animated movies of all time, “Aladdin” and “Happy Feet.” His one Oscar came in a noncomedic role, as best supporting actor in “Good Will Hunting.”


3. Eddie Murphy 
> Total film gross: $5.9 billion
> Average film gross: $154.6 million
> Films: 38
> Top grossing film: Shrek 2
> Acting Oscars: 0

Eddie Murphy, a comedian whose acting career took off at age 19 after he joined “Saturday Night Live,” has become one of the most successful comedians of his generation. He has been in 11 films that grossed more than $200 million in inflation-adjusted terms, ranging from “Mulan” to “The Nutty Professor.” His two highest grossing films, “Shrek 2” and “Beverly Hills Cop,” have grossed more than a half-billion dollars each. Despite his success, Murphy has never won an Academy Award, although he won a Golden Globe in 2006 for his role in “Dreamgirls.” On the flip side of Murphy’s career, he won a Razzie in 2010 for worst actor of the decade, noting his appearances in busts such as “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” and “Norbit.”

2. Harrison Ford 
> Total film gross: $7.4 billion
> Average film gross: $218.3 million
> Films: 34
> Top grossing film: Star Wars
> Acting Oscars: 0

Harrison Ford is best known for starring as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy, which grossed nearly $2.9 billion after adjusting for ticket price inflation, and as the lead in the Indiana Jones franchise, which grossed more than $1.8 million. Outside these series, Ford has starred in numerous blockbuster action films and thrillers, including 1985’s “Witness,” for which he received his only Oscar nomination, 1993’s “The Fugitive,” and 1997’s “Air Force One.” Following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in October 2012 and the announcement that new films would be made for the franchise, rumors have circulated that Ford may be open to starring in future Star Wars movies.

1. Tom Hanks 
> Total film gross: $6.2 billion
> Average film gross: $155.4 million
> Films: 40
> Top grossing film: Forrest Gump
> Acting Oscars: 2

Since his film career began in 1984, movies starring Hanks have grossed, on average, more than $155 million in inflation-adjusted ticket sales. However, many of Tom Hanks’s films have grossed significantly higher. The highest grossing film was “Forrest Gump,” with an adjusted total of more than $611 million. Other films that grossed more than $300 million include “Saving Private Ryan,” “Cast Away” and all three Toy Story movies. Hanks has been nominated for five Academy Awards and has won two: best actor in a leading role for “Philadelphia” in 1994, and the same Oscar again in 1995 for “Forrest Gump.”

LODGE JOHORE ROYAL




Source: http://encyclopediaoffreemasonry.com/l/lodge-johore-royal/


By-Laws and History of Lodge Johore Royal, No. 3946, E. C. was pubs fished by the Lodge in Johore Bahru, capital of the native Malay state of Johore near Singapore. 
It was issued “With the Compliments of His Highness the Sultan of Johore, Worshipful Master of the Lodge.” Its title page bears the dates, Year of Masonry 5922, the Mohammedan Year 1341, and 1922 A.D. 
It is “illuminated with one hundred and one extracts from the Holy Koran, containing advice, admonition, and the true principles of life.” 
His Highness the Sultan w as Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in the Lodge, June 5, 1920; was invested Senior Warden on the following July 16th; and in the following year was installed Worshipful Master. 
The list of 83 members in 1922 was headed, in addition to the Sultan, by Their Highnesses Prince Ismail (Crown Prince), Prince Abu Bakar, and Prince Ahmed; the majority of members were Englishmen. The Lodge worked under a regular charter issued by the Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Connaught being Grand Master, but was immediately answerable to the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago, which dated from 1858. 
The first Lodge in Malaya was consecrated in Penang, under a Charter from the Antient Grand Lodge in England, in 1809, under name of Lodge Neptune. It became extinct in 1819. Lodge of Humanity with Courage, in Penang, was warranted by the District Grand Master of Bengal in 1821 Lodge Zetland-in-the-East was consecrated in Singa pore in 1845; St. George was consecrated in Singapore in 1867; Read Lodge, No. 2337, was consecrated in Kuala Lampur, in 1889; a succession of Lodges in Malaya have followed since. Sir Ibrahim, Sultan of Johore, was born September 17, 1873; was crowned Sultan in 1895.
NOTE. The above may remind Masonic students that five years after he had been named Charter Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Researeh, No. 2076, in London, Sir Charles Warren was installed District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago; his was one of the most remarkable careers in modern times because he had a place of leadership in the founding of the period of modern Freemasonry in England Africa, Palestine and the Far East. The period to which the name “modern Freemasonry” applies may be roughly set as beginning at about 1875, because in that generation not only Lodges but District, Provincial, and Grand Lodges became permanently and prosperously established in every settled country in the world, each regular Lodge and Grand Lodge being fraternally connected with each and every other one in a network which literally covers the earth.
This establishment of World Masonry, once the prophecy of it had become a realization, settled, onen and for all, two facts: that Freemasonry was not a possession of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, or even of the Occident; that it was not the peculiar possession of any one race, religion, or culture. Universality is a present fact Speculative Freemasonry began as a local fraternity in the City of London about 1717 – 1725; in what way and to what an extent it will be inwardly transformed by becoming a world fraternity it is too early to predict; thus far only one fact is certain, that henceforth Masonic statesmanship cannot tolerate any local custom or doctrine which violates the reality of world-wide universality.

Jewish History in Singapore


Community Beginnings

Map of Singapore
In 1819, the Sultan of Johore permitted English businessman Sir Stamford Raffles and the East Indian Company to establish a trading post in Singapore. At the time, Singapore was a small, swampy fishing village on the Malay Peninsula. Nevertheless, with grand prospects ahead, several Jewish traders from Baghdad migrated to Singapore and established the highly successful trade center Change Alley.
In 1824, the Sultan ceded the 200 square mile area to Great Britain, and in 1830, according to historical records, the Jewish population totaled nine Jewish traders living in Singapore. In 1840, the wealthy Sephardic Sassoon family established business interests in Singapore, and the Jewish population soon increased. The Jewish community managed to build a 40-person synagogue on a street still called "Synagogue Street." By local custom, the Jews were allowed to travel by rickshaw on the Sabbath. 
The Jewish population, mostly Sephardim, migrated mainly from Baghdad and other communities in the Near East. The new community also included Sephardim from Persia and Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe, searching for both religious freedom and economic opportunity. Some went first to Malaysia, and then on to Singapore when Malaysia did not offer the freedoms and opportunities they had originally sought. The Orthodox Singapore community was small but tight-knit, strengthened by religious bonds, common geographic origins, and years of close marriages.

The Maghain Aboth and the Chesed El Synagogues

By 1879, the community population totaled of 172 members, 116 males and 56 females. With the steady increase in population, the 40-person ‘Synagogue Street’ synagogue was clearly no longer suitable. On April 4, 1878, the new Maghain Aboth Synagogue on Waterloo Street was consecrated. It was a single story building, but an upper gallery for women was added later. Even today, the synagogue counts both Sephardim and Ashkenazim among its members.
Stain Glass Windows at Chesed El Synagogue
Menasseh Meyer, supposedly the richest Jew in Asia, contributed funds to build the new synagogue. He had arrived in Singapore at age 15, poor but ambitious, and eventually owned nearly half of Singapore's property. He grew wealthy as a real estate dealer and as a trader of opium, legal under British rule. Some Jews of the Maghain Aboth Synagogue bear nameplates for Menasseh Meyer and his son Rueben Menasseh (it was the practice for the eldest son to inherit his father's first name as a surname). The Queen knighted Menasseh Meyer for raising the cultural level of the city. 
A 1904 argument with a fellow member of the Maghain Aboth Synagogue led Sir Menasseh Meyer to build his own private synagogue, Chesed El, in 1905. To obtain the minimum ten men required for communal prayer, Menasseh Meyer employed “Minyan Men.” But in 1920, his Minyan Men went on strike, demanding higher salaries and rickshaw fare for their daily services. The Chesed El Synagogue was built on the grounds of Meyer's luxurious residence on Oxley Rise, and is architecturally magnificent. The deep green trees that surround the structure accent the traditionally designed white exterior of the building. Impressive doorways, windows, and pillars complement the white marble floor, and the gold motifs add to its beauty. 
In 1905, when the Chesed El Synagogue was built, there were roughly 500 Jews in Singapore. The community numbered close to 600 Jews in 1911, and 832 Jews in 1931. The 1931 census also indicated that there was a significant Arab population as well, which together with the Jews, were the largest property owners in the city.

World War II and Today

In 1939, on the eve of World War II, there were 1,000 Jews in Singapore, most of whom were interned by the Japanese during the war. They were forced to wear armbands and medallions with the word Jews inscribed on them; the men had to till the fields. After the war, many of the Jews left for Australia, England, the United States, and Israel. 
The former president of the Jewish community, David Marshall, stayed in Singapore. He was born in 1908 to a Baghdad-Persian Jewish family and studied law in England before he joined the British Army as a volunteer and traveled to Singapore. When the British granted Singapore partial independence in 1955, Marshall was appointed as the first Chief Minister. 
But when Great Britain denied Singapore full sovereignty, David Marshall, Singapore's "Father of Independence," resigned from his post in protest. Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963, but withdrew two years later and became independent. After full sovereignty was finally attained, he was elected to the legislature and later served as Singapore's ambassador to several European countries. 
Today, Singapore is approximately 80% ethnic Chinese, 15% ethnic Malay, and 5% ethnic Indian. The Jewish population numbers around 300. Anti-Semitism in Singapore does not exist. Religious life at the Maghain Aboth and Chesed El Synagogues is active, with daily services, adult education, and other community activities. A Jewish community center offers Sunday school for youngsters. The annually elected Jewish Welfare Board, created after World War II, manages community affairs. 
In 1968, a trade agreement was signed between Israel and Singapore, and in May 1969, diplomatic relations were formally established. The two countries signed a trade agreement in 1970. 
In 2004, it was revealed that the Singaporean army, which is considered one of the strongest in southeast Asia, was initially set up by Israel. In December 1965, an Israeli military delegation headed by Major General Ya'akov Elazari arrived in Singapore under a veil of secrecy and started to build the various branches of the armed forces there. 
Since then, security ties between the two countries have strengthened, and Singapore is now considered one of the biggest customers for Israeli arms and weapons systems. Singapore's founding father and prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, asked Israel to help establish his country's army almost immediately after Singapore received independence from Malaysia in August 1965. He had earlier requested help from India and Egypt, but they turned him down. 
The Israeli delegation consisted of six officers, who were divided into two teams. One, headed by Elazari, set up the defense and internal security ministries, while the other, headed by Maj. Gen. Yehuda Golan, established the military infrastructure. They followed the model of the IDF, with a standing army and reserves. 
The officers also served as instructors in the Singapore army's first basic training courses and its first course for officers, both commissioned and noncommissioned. The members of the delegation that went to Singapore were trained by the late cabinet minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who wrote the blueprint for Singapore's armed forces.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A lost people of Dangxiang




Archaeologists are digging for - and unearthing - answers about the Dangxiang ethnicity, whose saga was buried with them when they virtually vanished in a mass slaughter.
They're mining the Western Xia (1038-1227) Tombs for narrative nuggets to resurrect the stories of the people who perished in Genghis Khan's final battle.
Little is known about the Dang-xiang, also called the Tangut. Most of what has been determined has been gleaned from the Western Xia's nine imperial mausoleums and 250 royal family tombs that stud the desert outside of Yin-chuan, capital of today's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
Genghis Khan essentially obli-terated the Dangxiang for refusing to join his invasion of the Khwarezmian Empire.
So these tombs' ruins commemorate not only the ethnicity's rulers but also their tribes' last stand.
Western Xia Tombs, acclaimed as "Oriental Pyramids", are the prime attraction in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. (Liu Xuezhong / For China Daily)

But only one of these structures - the No 3 mausoleum, believed to belong to the Western Xia's first emperor - has been fully excavated.
Like Dangxiang history, the tombs remain relatively obscure in public consciousness.
They're skeletons of their previous physiques, stripped by decay of the tiled flesh that made them the first fusion of traditional ethnic Han mausoleum design and Tibetan Buddhist temple architecture.
The tombs may have served as a metaphor for the ethnic group's exterminated tribes. Most of the sepulchers' structures have worn away, like the saga of the people their inhabitants ruled.
The sands of time have ground the structures from octagonal towers into conical earthen mounds - nubs of their former selves. They look like huge loess dollops, or colossal termite mounds, although their initial splendor is believed to have rivaled that of Beijing's iconic Ming Tombs.
But the burial chambers' current shapes have endowed them with marketing magnetism. The "Oriental Pyramids" are by far the city's principal attraction.
Their contours resemble the Helan Mountains that serve as their backdrop. Helan's peaks are crowned by the Great Wall's terminus, constructed to keep out the Mongolian invaders, who ultimately breached the bulwark to extinguish the Western Xia.
The 670 artifacts on display at the Western Xia Museum trace the ethnic group's anthropological evolution through its power spike. (Zhang Bo / For China Daily)

But while most tribes were wiped out, some Dangxiang outlasted their empire. One excavator is believed to be the last emperor's 23rd-generation descendant.
The main tombs were discovered during the construction of a military air base in 1972. The unearthing of ancient bricks and pottery offered the first hints that the soil encrusted something special.
That led the military to bring in archaeologists, who discovered coins, sculptures and tablets engraved with the Western Xia's unique characters.
This enticed them to dig deeper, whereupon they exposed the mausoleums.
Only nine of the empire's 12 kings' final resting places have been found.
But many smaller mounds belonging to imperial relatives or left empty - presumably as red herrings to sidetrack tomb raiders - occupy surrounding farmlands.
However, most tombs are rarely visited, as they are dispersed, difficult to reach and in ruin. Many believe they might be constellated as such to emulate prominent heavenly bodies' positioning.
While the rulers' tombs are crumbling, the four corner towers, sacrificial halls and mourning platforms surrounding each of them have eroded almost beyond recognition.
Yet, even in its original splendor, the 50-sq-km burial complex would offer deficient testimony of the dynasty that ruled about 830,000 sq km of today's Ningxia, Gansu province, much of the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions, some of outer Mongolia, and northern Shaanxi and eastern Qinghai provinces.
The Western Xia dominated this sphere by counterbalancing expansionist hostility against land-lusting neighbors - the Song (960-1279), Jin (1115-1234) and Liao (916-1125) dynasties.
The dynasty was founded when Li Yuanhao's father, Li Deming, crushed the Huang Chao peasant insurgence on behalf of the declining Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).
Li Yuanhao prolonged power by resisting Song subjugation after the Tang expired. But the last emperor was unable to fend off Genghis Khan's unified Mongolia, which launched six campaigns against the Western Xia in the two decades preceding the empire's fall.
The conquest took the lives of not only the Western Xia's last ruler but also tens of thousands of civilians. Many tribes were totally exterminated.
Some of the remaining Dang-xiang joined the Mongolian military. Others diffused around the continent. Artifacts bearing Dangxiang script from as late as the 16th century have been discovered in Central China.
The Western Xia Museum in the tomb complex houses more than 670 artifacts and more than 450 research papers on the empire.
These trace the ethnic group's anthropological evolution through its power spike, starting with its abandonment of nomadic life, and early adoption of Tang songs and legal systems. It later absorbed elements of the Liao and Song dynasties, and the Tibetan and Uygur ethnicities.
But some indigenous traditions persisted. Men shaved their heads, aside from pigtails on the sides and one ponytail rising from the crown in deliberate contrast to the Han.
The defiant were beheaded. The decree was: "Lose your hair and keep your head, or lose your head and keep your hair."
It's unsurprising given the expansionist ambitions of the Western Xia and its neighbors that many of the museum's relics are of military origin. The empire was born, lived and died by the sword.
Among the expectable arrowheads, spears and helmets are a studded porcelain grenade and one of only two sets of chain mail from the period.
Next to the museum is a courtyard filled with scaled-down replicas of the original mausoleums. The side halls display wax-statue recreations of tales from the empire's rise to its demise.
Though inanimate - even cheesy - these mannequin scenes breathe some life into the story of an empire that disappeared along with most of its people - one that's only now resurfacing as archaeologists sift through the sands of its time.