Armand_dimele_portrait

Armand DeMille: Positive Mind Like No Other

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Armand_dimele_portraitI started listening to Armand Demille sometime around 1996. It was that exciting time of both getting my learners permit (driving) and becoming more aware of the state of the world and humans in general. WBAI was, and still is today, this magical channel right there in the middle of the radio dial where you could hear voices like no where else on the radio dial. Grandpa Al Lewis with his passionate fire for world affairs, Amy Goodman who described the world from the bottom up, Gary Null who tool a militant wholistic approach to health, and there in the middle of it all was this gentle voice who spoke lovingly about each and every caller and would end so many calls by saying “call my office, we can work on this.” His show brought simple and beautiful themes like “fear”, “happiness”, “grief”, etc etc. In those days I was still a teenager and kept my love of this program that focused on emotions and psychology- a secret, listening only when I was in the car alone or working in the back lot at my first job at the garden center. Armand would speak from the heart and encourage everyone around him to find out what their heart was saying as well. He also brought kind and interesting guests, and of course unique music from around the world. He was a true lover of humanity and seemed impossibly busy with speaking with them for most of his life.

From the age of 16 to now almost 36, I have taken Armand and the Positive Mind with me to every corner of the world. From my late teens and university life in New Jersey and New York, to a new life in Lisbon and then Amsterdam, to the war zone of Afghanistan, the post-war zone of Kosovo, to the vast emptyness of Mongolia and beyond, Armand has been with me every step of the way.
In my mind he had no age. His voice and his ideas where as strong today as they were back when I first discovered him. His program and wisdom were as reliable as night turning to day. It never occurred to me that we could lose this fantastic international treasure.
As so it was that I learned of Armand’s passing this week at 75 years of age. Just like that, from one day to the next, this voice in my life that has had so much influence, ends. Of course there are the recordings, which I will treasure for as long as I live, and the ideas and values, which perhaps continue in each one of us, his faithful listeners. But beyond on that, we- as a world- still lose someone very special who made a real difference in millions of lives around the world. Thank you Armand. I will continue to take your wisdom with me wherever I go and will pass on your contagious spirit of possibility and positivity, any chance I get.

CTRP479 It’s Nothing: A Conversation About Humanity

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avatar Mark Fonseca Rendeiro Amazon Wishlist
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16397868804_259be066b8_nOver the past year (maybe more) my friend Yves has been on a journey of self discovery and observing human behavior. Each time he returns to Amsterdam we talk about his observations and attempts to change what is considered “normal everyday” communication. This time, we bring microphones to one of those conversations, in attempt to bring in you -the audience- to discuss people, communication, needs, and yes – the meaning of life. Never thought I’d write that as a podcast title :) Don’t be scared. It’s nothing. So have a listen!

A small but perhaps relevant link:

Marshall Rosenberg – Nonviolent Communication

CTRP478 Talking Podcasting and Current Projects

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avatar Mark Fonseca Rendeiro Amazon Wishlist

Some ask where I’ve been, but actually I never stopped producing podcasts with Source Code Berlin and Newz of the World having lots of new content coming at you quite regularly. Meanwhile on today’s program I’m talking about the world of pocasts and how it is changing, what these changes mean for us in general. Also an announcement about upcoming projects both here on this channel and elsewhere. It’s a classic podcast update as many of us used to do in the golden days of podcasting.

Do check out:

Back in Dubai. Briefly.

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Just over one year since the Dubai Taxi Project, I found myself back in Dubai as a supporter of my partner and her teammates on the Dutch National Beach Ultimate Frisbee Team competing at the World Championships. A far different occasion than trying to record stories with taxi drivers and others who are pursuing some goal in Dubai. But nonetheless, a chance to reconnect with the city that left a lasting impression on me, that I have no shame in saying – I like.

IMG_8089One year later Dubai is as busy and bustling as I left it, with many buildings having been completed that were well underway some months ago. As a fan of urban planning, one very interesting development I got to experience regularly was a new tram line down at the Marina. First they impressed the world with their shiny efficient metro, now they’ve gotten into the tram game. And while some locals joked with me that you could walk faster than the tram goes and that you’ll feel rather lonely as no one uses it, I found the tram to be comfortable and good for getting me to places that the metro can’t. But yes it was a bit lonely in there.

The news tells us that the UAE is involved with the joint military operations against ISIS, which sounds heavy yet in Dubai, a very abstract idea. Here it is still what it has long been about- the projects, the work, the business opportunities. Money and development are the priority, later for all that talk about war, poverty, and the rise of the fundamentalist state.

I took far fewer taxi’s this year, both because my budget is small and public transport meets my needs when it comes to getting to a beach frisbee tournament on a daily basis. But when I did get into a taxi, it was very much a continuation of the podcast… minus the microphone.

“Best job I ever had was working for the metro. Good salary, steady work, and we built this beautiful line you see over us. It was a joint venture with a Japanese firm and they employed so many people,” Mo the driver explains as we drive down the busy Sheik Zayed highway which cuts through the middle of the city. “But now its finished. No more big projects like that. Now I just drive a cab. It’s no good.” In his almost 10 years in Dubai, Mo, who hails originally from the troubled city of Peshawar, Pakistan, has done a long list of odd jobs. Mostly as a driver; cars, trucks, loading vehicles, you name it. His story is a familiar one. Last year I drove with a gentleman from Kerala who had worked on the Burj Khalifa. Once the building was completed in 2010, he too was out of work and back to the low paying, long hours of driving a taxi.

Back to my man Mo and our conversation about life, he began to talk about things back home in Pakistan. “Some years ago, when money was better, I moved my family out of Peshawar to Islamabad. It was expensive to move but for the good of my children I did it. In Peshawar it is very difficult for girls to go to school, and we want our daughter to attend school, which now she does in the capital. It is sad but our home region is in a terrible state…” Mo’s voice trails off as he looks over the long line of traffic that has come to a standstill in front of us.

What followed was a very familiar and pleasant exchange about the evils of corruption and the importance of planning for a country or city. He complimented Dubai, despite his own disillusionment with his job, as a place that is not held back by the perils of corruption or lack of initiative. By the end of the taxi ride we were discussing a better world where people are honest and help one another. Again as I so often did in the past, I paid the fare with a generous tip and we shook hands and exchanged well wishes for family members and the future.

Some might say, there is nothing new here under the sun, we knew there were good people in this city, trying hard to make a better life for their loved ones doing work that is neither easy nor well compensated. For me there doesn’t have to be anything new in these stories. I’m happy to hear the voices of those who rarely get a chance to speak, to let them know they are not invisible or alone in wishing and working for a better future. It is brief. It is fleeting. But I still feel it is worth something.