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          Top Reasons to Vacation in the Dominican Republic      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

In 2017, the Dominican Republic recorded a whopping 6.1 million visitors. This is a 3.9% increase from the previous year which is a clear sign that it is becoming even more popular among tourists. Here are a few reasons that might convince you to book your vacation right away. It’s a breathtaking tropical paradise. One…

The post Top Reasons to Vacation in the Dominican Republic appeared first on YourAmazingPlaces.com.


          dominican republic map      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
dominican republic map

          Nats GM doubles down on criticism of ‘uniformed’ Braves announcer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo doubled down on his criticism of Atlanta Braves announcer Joe Simpson during a Wednesday radio appearance. Jones insinuated during a broadcast on Tuesday that Nationals phenom Juan Soto, a 19-year-old of the Dominican Republic, is lying about his age. Simpson made the comments during the first game of a...Read More
          Why Are Some Countries Rich And Others Poor?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Why are some nations rich and others poor? In a new book called Why Nations Fail , a pair of economists argue that a lot comes down to politics. To research the book, the authors scoured the world for populations and geographic areas that are identical in all respects save one: they're on different sides of a border. The two Koreas are an extreme example. But you can see the same thing on the border of the US and Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and dozens of other neighboring countries. In all of these cases, the people and land were fairly similar, but the border changed everything. "It's all about institutions," Daron Acemoglu, one of the authors, explained. "It's really about human-made systems, rules, regulations, formal or informal that create different incentives." When these guys talk about institutions they mean it as broadly as possible: it's the formal rules and laws, but also the norms and common practices of a society. Lots of countries have great constitutions
          Maikel Franco's resurgence powering Phillies       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Once considered a bright star in their future, the Phillies seemed to reach a breaking point where they could no longer put up with Maikel Franco's inconsistency.

The rumor mill was spilling that they were trying to move him, which made sense at the time because they were also trying to concoct a deal to bring Manny Machado to town.

In early June, when manager Gabe Kapler began plugging J.P. Crawford into Franco’s spot in the lineup at third base—benching Franco four out of five games—his fate appeared sealed.

It seemed only a matter of time before the man from the Dominican Republic, who had been such a sensation when he arrived back in 2015, would be heading elsewhere.

Then everything changed. A freak wrist injury to Crawford re-opened the door for Franco, who’s gone on to knock everything out of the park.

Since that time, he’s belted nine homers, to go with 21 RBIs while hitting at a .326 clip through Wednesday. Meanwhile, in the field, he’s been downright sensational, making several spectacular run-saving plays, which has likely helped turn potential losses into wins.

For all Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and others have done to make these Phillies a first-place team. Kapler and general manager Matt Klentak must shudder to think where they would be without Franco.

"Just a reminder things can turn around fast," said Kapler, while the Phils were in the process of sweeping the Marlins before heading out west. 

"In the span of a month, you can go from a guy who’s having a hard time staying in the lineup every day, to a guy you legitimately cannot take out of the lineup for any reason."

As good as he’s going now, the 25-year-old Franco has learned to take nothing for granted. 

"I just try to enjoy the moment. I always try to have fun, but sometimes it’s not easy when you see the situation going on," said Franco, who’s gone from hitting .241 to .275.

That is when he received some advice from a teammate who could identify with his struggles. 

“I told him he has to believe in himself and the ability God gave him to play baseball,” said first baseman Carlos Santana, whose locker is directly next to Franco’s. 

"I feel very comfortable talking to Mikey about stuff like this because I went through it too. This is a sport that has its ups and downs and at times you’re going to struggle," he said.

"You just have to trust your ability and stay positive. I’m glad he listened to me because it’s a collective effort. If things are working for him, things work out for the whole team."

The Phillies, who were 36-32 at the time, have gone 27-17 since Franco began going on his tear.

Among his clutch hits, none were bigger than the three-run walk-off homer against the Marlins last week, which had his parents texting and calling him and folks all over the Dominican celebrating. 

That home run came just days after Franco had played at the home of his boyhood favorite team, Fenway Park.

“As a little kid the Red Sox were my favorite team,” admitted Franco, who went 4-for-9 with an RBI and two runs scored at Fenway.

“Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez were my favorite players. Now I had the opportunity to play them there.”

Nevertheless, it would be getting way too far ahead of things to suggest Franco & Co. might get another crack at Fenway come late October and the World Series. But for the guy who legitimately had to wonder not that long ago where he might be working, it’s just nice coming to the ballpark these days knowing his place is secure.

"I’ve had some tough moments and some really good moments,” said Franco.  “It’s more relaxing when you know coming in you expect to play. It’s easy to come in and do your work and get ready for the game."

So who needs Manny Machado?  For Maikel Franco and the Phillies, who once seemed destined to part ways, what a difference two months make.


          Starting Pitcher Bartolo Colon Makes MLB History      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Starting Pitcher Bartolo Colon Makes MLB History Bartolo Colon has become the winningest Latin American-born pitcher in MLB history. Colon, a native of the Dominican Republic, notched his 246th career win, following the Texas Rangers’ 11-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Tuesday night's win was also Colon's first since June 30 against the White Sox. Colon, who is pitching in his 21st season at the age of 45, passed Nicaragua's Dennis Martinez with the victory. Colon says he next wants to set the record for innings pitched in the MLB by Dominicans. As of now, he has thrown 3,445 2/3 innings and is just over 60 away from breaking Juan Marichal's record.
          LNG better than oil on Hawaii’s way to 100 percent renewables      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

What do the islands of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Malta and Japan have in common? They all import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet their energy needs.


          Wrap Artists: A Guide to Cigar Wrappers      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

With the popularity of cigars growing around the country, there are now over 17 million cigar devotees and counting. If you've never had the pleasure of smoking a really good cigar, you probably don't know much about cigar wrappers. While some cigars come wrapped in cellophane the highest quality cigar wrappers are made of tobacco.

To understand how cigar wrappers can influence the smoking experience, get to know these four types.

1. A Maduro

When you see "Maduro" on a wrapper, you know the cigar is more "mature" or "ripe". The darker brown leaves take longer to age, curing for up to a month and a half. After these green leaves turn to a rich brown, the tobacco is aged for years in some cases to enrich the taste and bring out natural sugars. 

You'll notice a caramel sweetness when you smoke them. Their wrappers are going to be thicker than other wrapper given the length of the fermentation process.

While there is an odd company here and there who will dye or heat the leaves to give them an artificial age, most stick to tradition. These wrappers inform you that you're about to smoke a dessert or a nighttime cigar.

Cigar manufacturers and tobacco growers have made a Big Deal of Maduro wrappers and developed out of the box techniques in the making. The Maduro wrappers are attractive smokes and people have the tendency to believe is directly related to the strenght of the cigars, but people with knowledge cigars know better. Maduro is at best a flavorful smoke and the strenght come from within.

One of my all time favorite smokes happens to be a cigar that uses Maduro wrapper: Arturo Fuente Anejo. The process of fermentation covers 5 years of Connecticut broadleaf tobacco placed in Cognac Barrels to age.  This is a unique aging process that of course produce a very distinct finish and texture. 

Best Maduro Cigar

2. Connecticut Wrappers

These can also be called "claro" wrappers. They're shade grown from Connecticut seeds either here in the U.S. or in Ecuador.

When something is "shade-grown", its grown under a giant sheet of cheesecloth. Believe it or not, this gives it a milder flavor by blocking out some of the sunlight.

The aging process then can imbue them with notes of grass, butter, or coffee. Connecticut wrappers are a spicier kind of flavor because of the ammonia that tobacco leaves give off. They have the tendency to add a milder bittness to the smoke. Some well cured Connecticut wrappers will cut out this excess of it, but the reality is that most cigar aficionados love it.

Some see Connecticut and immediately assume the cigar is mild, but people who really know cigar, know better. The outside look is not always related to strenght. We can find some Connecticut wrapped cigars that offer a more colorful smoke, some others stick to the plan until it gets fun. 

best connecticut wrappers

3. Cameroon Wrappers

A Cameroon wrapper, quite obviously, originates from Cameroon as a grainy or "toothy" leaf. They are sometimes grown in the Central African Republic and tend to be less oily and not as sweet as the Maduro cigars.

You'll notice flavors of butter, leather, and sweet toast. The flavor tends to be smooth and manageable because of the more delicate fermentation process. Casual and part-time smokers will appreciate these wrappers more than the more intense flavors of the darker wrappers.

One of the old timers known Cameroon wrapper cigars is the famous Arturo Fuente Hemingway Line. The complex figurado shape with the tasty covered Cameroon offer a balanced and sublime flavor profile. This was in time probably one of the first cigars someone ever recommended to you. The balanced nuances of flavors with the medium strength and sweetness of the Cameroon, make this a top 5 Best Cigars for Beginners.

Top 5 Best Cigars for beginners

4. Rosados

This is a less common wrapper color but will tend to be of a pinker or more reddish hue than a standard wrapper. They grow mostly in Cuba, which means that they're not expected to be typically available to standard domestic smokers.

They're a rare cigar indeed and can be expensive a sought after. Even the flavor is special, as they give off notes of pepper, cedar, and coffee. Some people note they have a very earthy taste and scent compared to other types of cigars.

Carlos Carlitos Fuente Jr., is known for being producing Rosados wrappers for many years. After Cuba tobacco acquisition become impossible, he started to study the different offering of soils and start experimenting with tobacco at his Dominican Republic farm. No one believed that a Rosado wrapper can be produced in other than the fertile and blessed Cuban soil. He proved them wrong and produced the most beautiful and tasty Rosado wrapper there is: Opus X Fuente Fuente.  

For many years these cigars have been limited editions after carefully hand picking among all the Rosados that they produce. Some of these wrappers were left in the side after failing the extremely high standards on the Opus X cigars. But they were excellent wrappers, clean rosados that need it to make out to the public. The Arturo Fuente Rosado sungrown was born. This is a much affordable and easier to produce smoke than THE Opus X cigars with still a quality and profile to the roof! Lets just welcome the best cigar there is: Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown.

Best Cigar of the year at Cuenca Cigars

Cigar Wrappers Enhance the Experience

If you get to know the nuances of smoking and tasting cigars, you'll understand how cigar wrappers can influence how you enjoy them. Cigar flavors can be as delicate as coffee or wine and once you get to know the tastes, you'll become obsessed.

If you're looking to pair cigars with drinks with friends, check out our guide for tips.

There are many other wrappers in the market. Cigar Manufacturers experiment all the time with the fermentation process and this is what most people call it "A Signature". Let's imagine we do a Blind Tasting of cigars. By knowing the producer Signature you can tell the cigar you smoking. But that is not an easy process and not everyone have the sophistication that it takes to get to this point, when you smoke a cigar and you can tell who produce it, what wrapper is been used and determine the strength then you can say: I am a Cigar Aficionado Expert!


          VOYAGE TO THE LAND OF THE (ZOMBIES) LIVING DEAD!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[While looking through the INEXPLICATA archives, I came across one of our most popular features from the pre-Blogspot days: an article about zombies written by contributing editor Manuel Carballal, who visited the island to look into Haiti's occult practices, much as he had done earlier in Cuba. Although we often receive complaints about straying from ufology into other areas of the unknown, it is precisely this diversity - and the fearless journalism of reporters like Manuel Carballal - that have made INEXPLICATA stand out since 1998 -- SC]
 

By Manuel Carballal


 

The scene could have been derived from any suspense film. Manuel Delgado instinctively held on tightly to his television camera as we clutched our machetes. Our vehicle was being surrounded by a dozen ebony-skinned Haitians. The blancs, as they derisively call Europeans, are not welcome in Haiti and we had been warned that under no circumstances should we venture into the shanty towns outside Port-au-Prince where, we were told, "there exists a 90 per cent chance of being mugged." We ignored this sage advice, of course.

After endless minutes of waiting, our guide allowed us to emerge from the car. Monsieur Balaguer, an important bokor -- a voodoo high priest -- would allow us to visit his hounfor or temple. The hounfor consisted in a humble wooden shack whose center contained the peristyle, the indispensable central column of every voodoo ritual, by means of which the gods or loas descend to earth. A filthy light bulb and seven candles enabled us to see the disquieting form of Monsieur Balaguer, a tall man with sparkling black eyes, who covered his head with a Stetson.
 
While our guide stated all the arguments at his disposal in order to have Monsieur Balaguer allow us to film his "she-devil" and his "zombie", we were startled by a sudden blackout. The dirty light bulb was extinguished, plunging us into the shadows, illuminated only by the seven candles around the peristyle. Balaguer greeted his "she-devil" -- supposedly located behind a mysterious metal door -- by rapping on it a few times. From the other side, "something" responded with brutal blows against the door, causing the entire temple to shake. Suddenly we were told that the bokor had to consult the loas: we looked on as Monsieur Balaguer fell int a sort of trance, being "ridden" or possessed by Bravo, one of the loas who shares the lordship over death and cemeteries with Baron Samedi and Baron La Croix. Subjecting us to a sort of "trial," exchanging a curious combinations of handshakes to which we instinctively responded to, Balaguer drank rum through an ear as he smoked a cigarette through one nostril.
 
The fact of the matter is that in Haiti, Western patterns of logic become fragile in the face of the unpredictable, incomprehensible and irrational voodoo cult -- vodú in the native tongue -- which originates from the Fon language of Dahomey, meaning "deity" or "spirit." This is the precise nature of voodoo: a spirit that envelops Haiti, influencing each and every cultural or social manifestation of this small country, the poorest of the Americas.
 
Voodoo Reaches the Presidency
 
No single cultural manifestation is longer-lasting or more influential than a country's religion. In Haiti's case, this influence becomes particularly apparent. In late 1995, when President Bill Clinton visited Haiti to supervise the "changing of the guard" -- American troops being replaced by UN peacekeepers, more than four thousand Haitians converged upon the square in front of the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince to witness the event. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, restored to power thanks to the intervention of twenty thousand U.S. troops in October 1994, would preside over the event.
 
Bill Clinton had barely finished his conciliatory speech concerning military intervention in Haiti when a white dove landed next to his microphone. Immediately, thousands of Haitians roared their approval and applauded in the light of such an unequivocal "sign of approval" from the gods. The Voodoo loas had accepted Clinton. This "innocent coincidence" made thousands of Haitians--and more importantly, secret societies like Bizango, who had promised to protect the country against foreigners through magic--put aside their anger against the new white invaders, respecting the wishes of the gods. Voodoo is the main power in Haiti: no one would dare contradict the wishes of the loas, or what is interpreted as their wishes.
 
From the days of Macandal, the pioneer of independence in the 18th century to the times of General Raoul Cédras, no Haitian ruler has forgotten to acknowledge the all-powerful influence of voodoo in Haiti. President Aristide was no exception. In spite of having been a Catholic priest, after an interview with several houngans (priests) and mambos (priestesses) on July 19, 1995, Aristide officially announced the construction of a great Voodoo temple within the capital. In this manner, the president equated the Voodoo religion with other "accepted#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000" religions, granting Voodoo practitioners a "cathedral" similar to the Baptist churches, Masonic temples or Catholic parishes which are so numerous in Haiti.
 
Warlocks in Charge
 
But there was one Haitian ruler who knew how to make use of Voodoo as a political tool: the mythical and shadowy "Papa Doc," François Duvalier. In 1954, the legendary "Papa Doc" published (with Lorimer Denis) a monograph entitled L'Evolution graduelle du vaudou (The Gradual Evolution of Voodoo). The knowledge of Voodoo displayed in this book was evidently utilized during his political career.
 
As a young man, along with other Haitian intellectuals, Duvalier published a nationalist newspaper called Les Griots. At a time when the government torched the sacred Voodoo drums and other objects of worship as a sign of loyalty to the Catholic church, Les Griots revindicated Voodoo as a religion and as rebellion against American colonizers. It isn't surprising that "Papa Doc" gained the support of the traditional secret societies, and that during his 1957 campaign, the hounfour or Voodoo temples were utilized as his local party headquarters.
 
Immediately after rising to the presidency of Haiti, Duvalier named the feared bokor of Gonaives, Zacharie Delva, as commander-in-chief of the army, and began to revindicate Voodoo as the official religion. His personal bodyguard, a sort of "esoteric police," were the Volunteers for National Security (VSN), the feared Tontons Macoutes who spread terror throughout the island (the name Tontons Macoutes refers to an old Haitian folk tale of the "men with the sack". Misbehaving children were warned that their tonton -- uncle -- would take them away inside a macoute, a sack). All the hounfor who were not aligned with the Duvalier regime were locked up and rebels were persecuted. According to his biographers, "Papa Doc" ordered a special airplane to bring him the head of former rebel captain Blucher Fhilgénes. The man was decapitated and his head was placed in a bucket of ice. According to the rumors filtering out of the Presidential Palace, Duvalier would spend hours contemplating the head and consulting its spirit in secret rituals.
 
"Man speaks, but doesn't act. God acts, but doesn't speak. Duvalier is a god." This was the thought echoing through the streets of Haiti. Papa Doc had woven around himself a terrible magical legend thanks to his knowledge of Voodoo, a legend that none dare question, and which allowed his dictatorship to flourish for decades. In fact, many peasants believed that "Papa Doc" was an incarnation of the dreaded Baron Samedi, lord of cemeteries. "They cannot have me. I am an immaterial being," Duvalier said during one of his speeches in 1963. The fact is that his legend exists to this day, and many believe that Duvalier has become a loa, a spirit of the Gede family that can still manifest itself in certain rituals...
 
Blood, Rhythm and Possession
 
We were engulfed by frantic drumbeats. The convulsive dancing of the hounsí --Voodoo initiates--bewitched us, and the markedly African chants and litanies overwhelmed us. The entire montage of the Voodoo ritual we were witnessing in Cachimán, near the border with the Dominican Republic, created an almost dreamlike atmosphere within the confines of Voodoo priest Manuel Sánchez Elie. Without a scrap of hesitation, one of the houngan's assistants delivered a powerful blade-stroke on the neck of a ram, abruptly decapitating the animal while its blood showered everyone present. The ram's head was torn from its body and offered to the gods, while two acolytes stripped the body, which would be served to the participants later. Voodoo religion is an imprecise mixture of blood, music and esthetics.
 
Voodoo, like Santería, Umbanda, Candomblé or Palo Mayombe, is the product of synchretism between African religions and Christianity. The ancestral beliefs brought by African slaves to the New World as their only treasure was forcibly mimetized with the saints of the Catholic onomasticon. The orishas and African loas were disguised as saints, mystics and martyrs in order that their worship could survive in a hostile world, which was that of slave-owning whites. This abstract mixture of witchcraft, paganism and christianity survives to this day.
 
This article continues tomorrow June 10, 2015!
 
 
Extra information about the article: 
While looking through the INEXPLICATA archives, I came across one of our most popular features from the pre-Blogspot days: an article about zombies...

          Hans Crouse promoted from Spokane Indians to Low-A Hickory      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Texas Rangers, parent club of the Spokane Indians, will promote right-handed starter Hans Crouse to Low-A Hickory, where he will start on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also reported that right-handed starter Yerry Rodriguez will be promoted from the Rangers rookie-level Arizona League team to Spokane.

Neither the Rangers or the Indians have issued a release.

Crouse tossed a hitless, scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts in the Northwest League-Pioneer League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Crouse, 19, was the Rangers second-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft and is ranked No. 5 by MLB.com among Rangers top prospects. He started eight games with the Indians this summer, going 5-1 with a 2.37 ERA (10 earned runs) and 0.70 WHIP with 47 strikeouts and 11 walks over 38 innings.

He pitched for the Rangers AZL team last season and allowed one earned run over 20 innings (0.45 ERA) with 30 strikeouts.

“Hans is a special kid, on and off the field,” Rangers assistant director for player development Paul Kruger said last week. “You see the emotion every night here. And it’s positive emotion. It’s excitement. It’s competitive.”

Kruger said the atmosphere in Spokane was one of the reasons Crouse was assigned to the Indians. It’s allowed Crouse to not only dominate with his mid-to-upper 90s fastball, but hone his two breaking balls and developing changeup.

“The changeup is something (Crouse) has really been working on lately,” Kruger said. “Throw it. Throw it in games where you know you can at times overpower hitters with your fastball. You’ve got an above-average breaking ball, but can you work on your changeup?

“The work that (manager) Kenny (Holmberg) and Jono Armold , our pitching coach have done has been tremendous,” Kruger said. “I think (Crouse’s) future is really bright as a front-end type of guy for the organization.”

Rodriguez, 20, is from the Dominican Republic. In eight games and six starts with the Rangers AZL team this summer, he went 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 55 strikeouts and three walks over 38 1/3 innings.

Rodriguez is the Rangers’ No. 30 prospect according to MLB.com. He throws a 91-94 MPH fastball that reaches 96 with a sweeping slider and changeup.

Rodriguez missed almost all of the 2017 campaign due to an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance enhancing drug policy.

The Indians return from the all-star break at Boise on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.


          Resin frame clutch bag - Herb garden minuit - Awesome purse / Peach pink frame / Japanese fabric / Cotton and Steel / blue green yellow by octopurse      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

50.00 EUR

Guess why it is called awesome? This purse is so stylish and classy! A compact size, with a bright resin frame closed by strong magnets. Easy and LOVELY! You can't miss it!

♥ Approximate size
Main body: 24cm wide, 12cm high, 9cm deep (9.5" x 4.75" x 3.5")
Frame (resin): 20 wide, 10cm high (8" x 4")

♥ Material
Outside: 85% cotton, 15% linen (reinforced)
Inside: 100% cotton
A combination of fleece in sewn between outer fabric and lining for structure, extra protection and "puffy touch"!
Toucher moelleux garanti!

♥ The playmobil is 7,5cm tall (3").
The listing is only for the purse, Playmobil not included ;)

♥ Smoke and pet free home.

♥ IMPORTANT: this item cannot be shipped to EL SALVADOR or DOMINICAN REPUBLIC without extra shipping charges. Please contact me for more infos.


          Resin frame clutch bag - Neon hexies in puple and orange - Awesome purse / Pink frame / Japanese fabric / Neon pink orange purple red by octopurse      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

50.00 EUR

Guess why it is called awesome? This purse is so stylish and classy! A compact size, with a bright resin frame closed by strong magnets. Easy and LOVELY! You can't miss it!

♥ Approximate size
Main body: 24cm wide, 12cm high, 9cm deep (9.5" x 4.75" x 3.5")
Frame (resin): 20 wide, 10cm high (8" x 4")

♥ Material
Outside: 100% cotton (reinforced)
Inside: 100% cotton
A combination of fleece in sewn between outer fabric and lining for structure, extra protection and "puffy touch"!
Toucher moelleux garanti!

♥ The playmobil is 7,5cm tall (3").
The listing is only for the purse, Playmobil not included ;)

♥ Smoke and pet free home.

♥ IMPORTANT: this item cannot be shipped to EL SALVADOR or DOMINICAN REPUBLIC without extra shipping charges. Please contact me for more infos.


          T&T golfers 3rd at Caribbean tourney      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Wan Ju Lee starred for T&T as the national golfers put in their best performance in many years to finish third at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships which took place in the Cayman Islands from July 30 - August 3.

T&T placed third in the Arthur Ziadie Trophy for the overall champion, third in the George Teale Trophy, the women’s competition and third in the Hoerman Cup, the men’s competition.

Wan Ju finished as the overall individual champion with his total of five under par 279 to win the inaugural Cesar Rivera Medal. Gabriel Vananoste finished seventh individually with Liam Bryden 11th.

In the Hoerman Cup, the men took the lead after the second day and increased their lead after day three to five stokes. But unfortunately were unable to hold off host country the Cayman Islands who played brilliantly on the last day shooting a three-under-par team total of 281.

The Dominican Republic (284) also played well to pip T&T by three strokes overall. Puerto Rico was well back in fourth place with Jamaica in fifth and the Bahamas in the sixth, Barbados seventh and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) finished eighth.

Lee’s sister Yeji, was the women’s star shooting a total score of 299 to finish seventh with teammate Ysabelle Lawrence in eighth place on 304, Serena Mackenzie finished 13th.

In the George Teale competition for women, Puerto Rico showed their strength in depth to run away the tournament, beating the Dominican Republic by 37 strokes and third place T&T by a further two stokes. The Bahamas finished fourth, Jamaica fifth Cayman Islands sixth.

The T&T Golf Association (TTGA) expressed its pride in the young squad, saying in a release that the future is bright for golf in this country and thanked its major sponsor NLCB, also TGU and TTMF and the players’ families for paying their airfares.


          T&T quintet for Junior & Cadet Open in El Salvador      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Luc O’Young and Derron Douglas will spearhead a T&T quintet who will compete in the boy’s competition at the El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Junior Circuit from August 15 to 19.

Douglas, the reigning national Under-15 champion left on Tuesday night to attend a training camp at Lilly Yip Table Tennis Training Centre, in Dunellen, New Jersey, USA for a week and will link up with national Under-18 title-holder O’Young, in Miami, at the end of the training stint before heading over to El Salvador where they will join other players.

Last month, Douglas and O’Young were beaten in their respective Junior Boys Singles last-32 matches at the 2018 Pan American Junior Table Tennis Championship, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Douglas went under to Argentina’s Martin Bentacor 1-11, 10-12, 3-11, 8-11 and O’Young was beaten by USA’s Sharon Alguetti 2-11, 3-11, 3-11, 3-11.

The local duo was also ousted in the first round of the Boys Doubles, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 14-16 by Puerto Ricans, Angel Naranjo and Jabdiel Torres.

On Friday, both Douglas and O’Young had qualified from their round-robin singles group as second-placed finishers.

Douglas went under to Canada’s Terrence Yeung 4-11, 6-11, 8-11 in his four-player Group Ten opener.

However, the T&T ace rebounded with wins against Aruban Jean-Claude Hoek 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9 and Brazilian, Sergio Bignardi, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9 to end with a 2-1 pool record and second spot to qualify.

O’Young has also defeated in his Group Four opener by Chile’s Andres Martinez 3-11, 9-11, 8-11 but outplayed Dominican Republic’s Noel Almonte 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 in his other match for a 1-1 record and second in his three-player series.

Martinez defeats Almonte 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8 in the other match.

T&T’s other participant, Javier King did not manage to get out of his Group Eighth four-player pool after defeats at the hands of Uruguay’s Pablo Palou (6-11, 5-11, 7-11); Dominican Republic’s Omar Andujar (5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11), and Canada’s Alexander Bu, (1-11, 5-11, 4-11).


          MONTES DE OCA, Manuel De Jesus      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
MONTES DE OCA, Manuel De Jesus of North Bergen, formerly of La Romana, Dominican Republic. Visitation on Monday, 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home....
          Latin America's fight to legalise abortion: the key battlegrounds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

After Argentina rejected a bill to allow abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, hopes of reform now rest elsewhere

An estimated 6.5 million abortions take place across Latin America each year. Three-quarters of these procedures are unlawful, often performed in unsafe illegal clinics or at home.

Of 33 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, only Cuba, Uruguay and Guyana permit elective abortions. Women also have the right to choose in Mexico City. Elsewhere, however, the right to an abortion is severely restricted, with terminations often permitted in cases of rape, or if the pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname all have a complete ban on abortion.

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          The impact of international spending      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

In the modern game, more and more talent is coming from outside the U.S. From hotbeds in places like the Dominican Republic to Japan, there are several international stars in today’s MLB. In fact, there are over 20 countries represented in MLB, and as of 2016, over 27 percent of MLB players identified as Latino. […]

The post The impact of international spending appeared first on Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com.


          VOYAGE TO THE LAND OF THE (ZOMBIES) LIVING DEAD!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[While looking through the INEXPLICATA archives, I came across one of our most popular features from the pre-Blogspot days: an article about zombies written by contributing editor Manuel Carballal, who visited the island to look into Haiti's occult practices, much as he had done earlier in Cuba. Although we often receive complaints about straying from ufology into other areas of the unknown, it is precisely this diversity - and the fearless journalism of reporters like Manuel Carballal - that have made INEXPLICATA stand out since 1998 -- SC]
 

By Manuel Carballal


 

The scene could have been derived from any suspense film. Manuel Delgado instinctively held on tightly to his television camera as we clutched our machetes. Our vehicle was being surrounded by a dozen ebony-skinned Haitians. The blancs, as they derisively call Europeans, are not welcome in Haiti and we had been warned that under no circumstances should we venture into the shanty towns outside Port-au-Prince where, we were told, "there exists a 90 per cent chance of being mugged." We ignored this sage advice, of course.

After endless minutes of waiting, our guide allowed us to emerge from the car. Monsieur Balaguer, an important bokor -- a voodoo high priest -- would allow us to visit his hounfor or temple. The hounfor consisted in a humble wooden shack whose center contained the peristyle, the indispensable central column of every voodoo ritual, by means of which the gods or loas descend to earth. A filthy light bulb and seven candles enabled us to see the disquieting form of Monsieur Balaguer, a tall man with sparkling black eyes, who covered his head with a Stetson.
 
While our guide stated all the arguments at his disposal in order to have Monsieur Balaguer allow us to film his "she-devil" and his "zombie", we were startled by a sudden blackout. The dirty light bulb was extinguished, plunging us into the shadows, illuminated only by the seven candles around the peristyle. Balaguer greeted his "she-devil" -- supposedly located behind a mysterious metal door -- by rapping on it a few times. From the other side, "something" responded with brutal blows against the door, causing the entire temple to shake. Suddenly we were told that the bokor had to consult the loas: we looked on as Monsieur Balaguer fell int a sort of trance, being "ridden" or possessed by Bravo, one of the loas who shares the lordship over death and cemeteries with Baron Samedi and Baron La Croix. Subjecting us to a sort of "trial," exchanging a curious combinations of handshakes to which we instinctively responded to, Balaguer drank rum through an ear as he smoked a cigarette through one nostril.
 
The fact of the matter is that in Haiti, Western patterns of logic become fragile in the face of the unpredictable, incomprehensible and irrational voodoo cult -- vodú in the native tongue -- which originates from the Fon language of Dahomey, meaning "deity" or "spirit." This is the precise nature of voodoo: a spirit that envelops Haiti, influencing each and every cultural or social manifestation of this small country, the poorest of the Americas.
 
Voodoo Reaches the Presidency
 
No single cultural manifestation is longer-lasting or more influential than a country's religion. In Haiti's case, this influence becomes particularly apparent. In late 1995, when President Bill Clinton visited Haiti to supervise the "changing of the guard" -- American troops being replaced by UN peacekeepers, more than four thousand Haitians converged upon the square in front of the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince to witness the event. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, restored to power thanks to the intervention of twenty thousand U.S. troops in October 1994, would preside over the event.
 
Bill Clinton had barely finished his conciliatory speech concerning military intervention in Haiti when a white dove landed next to his microphone. Immediately, thousands of Haitians roared their approval and applauded in the light of such an unequivocal "sign of approval" from the gods. The Voodoo loas had accepted Clinton. This "innocent coincidence" made thousands of Haitians--and more importantly, secret societies like Bizango, who had promised to protect the country against foreigners through magic--put aside their anger against the new white invaders, respecting the wishes of the gods. Voodoo is the main power in Haiti: no one would dare contradict the wishes of the loas, or what is interpreted as their wishes.
 
From the days of Macandal, the pioneer of independence in the 18th century to the times of General Raoul Cédras, no Haitian ruler has forgotten to acknowledge the all-powerful influence of voodoo in Haiti. President Aristide was no exception. In spite of having been a Catholic priest, after an interview with several houngans (priests) and mambos (priestesses) on July 19, 1995, Aristide officially announced the construction of a great Voodoo temple within the capital. In this manner, the president equated the Voodoo religion with other "accepted#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000" religions, granting Voodoo practitioners a "cathedral" similar to the Baptist churches, Masonic temples or Catholic parishes which are so numerous in Haiti.
 
Warlocks in Charge
 
But there was one Haitian ruler who knew how to make use of Voodoo as a political tool: the mythical and shadowy "Papa Doc," François Duvalier. In 1954, the legendary "Papa Doc" published (with Lorimer Denis) a monograph entitled L'Evolution graduelle du vaudou (The Gradual Evolution of Voodoo). The knowledge of Voodoo displayed in this book was evidently utilized during his political career.
 
As a young man, along with other Haitian intellectuals, Duvalier published a nationalist newspaper called Les Griots. At a time when the government torched the sacred Voodoo drums and other objects of worship as a sign of loyalty to the Catholic church, Les Griots revindicated Voodoo as a religion and as rebellion against American colonizers. It isn't surprising that "Papa Doc" gained the support of the traditional secret societies, and that during his 1957 campaign, the hounfour or Voodoo temples were utilized as his local party headquarters.
 
Immediately after rising to the presidency of Haiti, Duvalier named the feared bokor of Gonaives, Zacharie Delva, as commander-in-chief of the army, and began to revindicate Voodoo as the official religion. His personal bodyguard, a sort of "esoteric police," were the Volunteers for National Security (VSN), the feared Tontons Macoutes who spread terror throughout the island (the name Tontons Macoutes refers to an old Haitian folk tale of the "men with the sack". Misbehaving children were warned that their tonton -- uncle -- would take them away inside a macoute, a sack). All the hounfor who were not aligned with the Duvalier regime were locked up and rebels were persecuted. According to his biographers, "Papa Doc" ordered a special airplane to bring him the head of former rebel captain Blucher Fhilgénes. The man was decapitated and his head was placed in a bucket of ice. According to the rumors filtering out of the Presidential Palace, Duvalier would spend hours contemplating the head and consulting its spirit in secret rituals.
 
"Man speaks, but doesn't act. God acts, but doesn't speak. Duvalier is a god." This was the thought echoing through the streets of Haiti. Papa Doc had woven around himself a terrible magical legend thanks to his knowledge of Voodoo, a legend that none dare question, and which allowed his dictatorship to flourish for decades. In fact, many peasants believed that "Papa Doc" was an incarnation of the dreaded Baron Samedi, lord of cemeteries. "They cannot have me. I am an immaterial being," Duvalier said during one of his speeches in 1963. The fact is that his legend exists to this day, and many believe that Duvalier has become a loa, a spirit of the Gede family that can still manifest itself in certain rituals...
 
Blood, Rhythm and Possession
 
We were engulfed by frantic drumbeats. The convulsive dancing of the hounsí --Voodoo initiates--bewitched us, and the markedly African chants and litanies overwhelmed us. The entire montage of the Voodoo ritual we were witnessing in Cachimán, near the border with the Dominican Republic, created an almost dreamlike atmosphere within the confines of Voodoo priest Manuel Sánchez Elie. Without a scrap of hesitation, one of the houngan's assistants delivered a powerful blade-stroke on the neck of a ram, abruptly decapitating the animal while its blood showered everyone present. The ram's head was torn from its body and offered to the gods, while two acolytes stripped the body, which would be served to the participants later. Voodoo religion is an imprecise mixture of blood, music and esthetics.
 
Voodoo, like Santería, Umbanda, Candomblé or Palo Mayombe, is the product of synchretism between African religions and Christianity. The ancestral beliefs brought by African slaves to the New World as their only treasure was forcibly mimetized with the saints of the Catholic onomasticon. The orishas and African loas were disguised as saints, mystics and martyrs in order that their worship could survive in a hostile world, which was that of slave-owning whites. This abstract mixture of witchcraft, paganism and christianity survives to this day.
 
This article continues tomorrow June 10, 2015!
 
 
Extra information about the article: 
While looking through the INEXPLICATA archives, I came across one of our most popular features from the pre-Blogspot days: an article about zombies...

          Tutor bilingüe Para trabajar en ... Maracaibo, Edo. Zulia, Venezuela      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Need a Venezuelan bilingual (English - Spanish) tutor (single woman preferred with a background in education) for 8 years old kid. This is a full-time position at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The relocation expenses, such as(...)
          Comment on CC0 Archviz - 100% free high-quality 3D models by Yorvin Luna Wisky      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Congratulations José Sena, your work diserved respect! - I'm just started with Blender and I'm learning everyday to get better on it and someday contribute with the community as you did. Thank you so much for your support and inspire us to help the Blender community. There will always be people trying to stop your objectives, just don't let them do that. Greetings from the Dominican Republic! PS: Excuse my English :D


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