June 16, 2012

The Lady: Twenty-one Years After

Aung San Suu Kyi gives her Nobel lecture
Often during my days of house arrest it felt as though I were no longer a part of the real world. There was the house which was my world, there was the world of others who also were not free but who were together in prison as a community, and there was the world of the free. Each was a different planet pursuing its own separate course in an indifferent universe. What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me. This did not happen instantly, of course, but as the days and months went by and news of reactions to the award came over the airwaves, I began to understand the significance of the Nobel Prize. It had made me real once again; it had drawn me back into the wider human community. And what was more important, the Nobel Prize had drawn the attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma. We were not going to be forgotten.
We are fortunate to be living in an age when social welfare and humanitarian assistance are recognized not only as desirable but necessary. I am fortunate to be living in an age when the fate of prisoners of conscience anywhere has become the concern of peoples everywhere, an age when democracy and human rights are widely, if not universally, accepted as the birthright of all.

~ Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo City Hall, Norway, on Saturday, June 16, 2012 (source: The Washington Post).

Sometimes Good prevails over evil, as also demonstrated by the video below. Today was a great day at Oslo City Hall.

Surviving New York City's Summer (Without Air Conditioning)

Photo: The New York Sun
Hey, fellow Europeans, have you ever been in New York in July and/or August? It’s unbearably hot and muggy, even to those who are familiar with the sweltering, humid summers in the Po Valley, Italy.

As far as I am concerned, I will never forget that August day when streams of sweat were flowing down my fingers while I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge—I had never seen anything like that before and thought I was going to die of …desiccation!

Well, have you ever wondered how New Yorkers handled it several decades ago without air conditioning or even fans? If so, here is the answer, or at least part of an answer…

HT John Podhoretz, our special (Facebook) correspondent from the Big Apple.