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A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                    Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 61                Email us
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Weather expected to be mostly windy and dry
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although there may be isolated showers along the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone, the rest of the country will be windy but dry, according to weather experts.

The Weather Underground, A.M. Costa Rica's meteorological service, said that strong to near gale force winds in the Gulf of Mexico will ease and become more moderate to fresh today as a cold front moves further into the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

High pressure will build in across the northwestern
corner of the gulf through the mid-week and reach into the eastern gulf by Thursday.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional in San José is predicting continuing strong winds today with gusts up to 80 kph (50 mph) mainly in Guanacaste, the Central Valley and the mountains.

The Weather Underground says there is zero chance of rain in the San José area through Saturday with just a 20 percent chance of rain Sunday, Easter. That is good news for vacationers and those who are participating in outdoor religious services. The skies are expected to continue to be partly cloudy.


Raids Tuesday put new light on cocaine use here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug police have known since at least last August that a gang was involved in bringing drugs from Panamá into the country for consumption here.

Tuesday morning they acted to shut down the operation. They conducted five raids and detained as many individuals, including a man they identified as the leader of the gang.

He was identified by the last names of Gómez Pérez and was known to his associates as El Nariz, meaning The Nose. He is Colombian with residency here.

Raids took place in Rafael Abajo de Desamparados, Paso Canoas, Corredores, San Ramón de Río Claro in Golfito and San Rafael de Heredia.

In all, 14 persons have been detained since police stopped three men at a checkpoint in Bahía Ballena last Aug. 9. The vehicle was carrying $16,400, said agents, who added that the money was the payoff for bringing drugs to San José.

The consensus had been that cocaine brought into Costa Rica mainly had been the payoff for supplying oceangoing smugglers with fuel, food and water. These quantities of cocaine were sold cheaply or converted to crack because there was so much to put into the local market, so the theory went.

Tuesday's arrests suggests that this belief was not completely true. Instead, there appears to be a    thriving market here for the drug.

Three days after Christmas in Corredores, Paso
drugs in
                        packages
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía 
y Seguridad Pública
 Here are the packages of cocaine confiscated just
 after Christmas last year.


 Canoas, agents made another arrest. They stopped a microbus carrying 109 kilos of cocaine and detained the driver.

Then last Jan. 11 the Fuerza Pública in Corredores stopped another vehicle, found 10 kilos of cocaine and detained two more persons.

The country's southern border is fairly porous, and the drugs moved easily from Panamá and then to the Central Valley with various light vehicles and even informal taxi drivers.

The United States, Canada and countries in Europe have been criticized for their drug consumption. But now it appears that consumption also is a problem here.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 27, 2013,  Vol. 13, No. 61
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Real estate agents and services

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Insurance

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A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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Legal services
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ONE STOP LAW OFFICES OF
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Translations and legal services

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Our readers' opinions
External influences blamed
for letting soccer game go on


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

As a football follower for more than 60 years who holds no real preference for any club or country, my passion lies with watching a “beautiful game” that’s entertaining, played fairly, skillfully and ultimately, without bias.

Unfortunately, the game I watched between the U.S.A. and Costa Rica was none of these, due to the farcical playing conditions and the actions or, matter-of-factly, non-actions of the referee who appears to have limited knowledge of the rules of the game. It also appears apparent that the media reporting in the U.S. and even in A.M. Costa Rica, watched an entirely different game to the one that was broadcast on Friday night, as reporting skirted around one minor detail: to win at any cost does not uphold the principle of fair play.

Leaving a sour taste for any genuine football fan who watched it, the game should have been abandoned due to the unplayable conditions. The field of play must be clearly defined at all times during the game. This was not the case for the entire match. Grounds men clearing the lines without stopping play is regarded as an incursion.

The safety of the players and officials are paramount. Anyone watching the game could clearly see that players were not able to fully control their movements, and it became more hazardous as the game progressed. Vision and the run of the ball were impaired by the snow. The ball often came to a grinding halt long before it should have. To have reported otherwise was clearly a cover-up for a game that should not have been played.

The standard color of the ball in these conditions is orange, the yellow and black ball was not clearly visible during the game. The U.S. team playing in white was questionable. They should have been requested to change to a second or third choice of shirt color that all international teams have for playing away games or conflict with opposing team colors. Black shorts and part black ball are also not a clearly defining color choice.

After the U.S. scored and the conditions deteriorated, the continual and aggressive actions of coach Jurgen Klinsman towards the referee to continue play was nothing less than shameful. In the UK or Europe, he would have been red carded and banned from the sideline, just ask Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Murhino!

The FIFA official clearly wanted the game abandoned due to unplayable conditions. The referee who has the final say was reported to ask both teams if they wanted to continue. This is inappropriate as it is not down to the players to decide if a game is to be continued or abandoned.  In addition, if the Costa Rican Federation had removed the team from the pitch, they would have been expelled from the World Cup, along with a heavy economic sanction.
 
It is clear that external influences away from the game being played were afoot for the play to continue at any cost. Had the score line been reversed, would it have been the same outcome as to play or not to play? In my humble opinion: I don’t think so.

The elbow chop reported as a hand on Brian Ruiz was a blatant red card and off. Yes the victim made the best of it but none the less it was a red, the U.S. player was not even on the ball as it was grounded in the snow a couple of feet away.

In such an important fixture for a place in the World Cup Finals, it is sad that Fair Play did not prevail. I salute both teams for playing in unreasonable conditions while they were at risk and unable to demonstrate their skills.

Congratulations to the U.S. on their win in a game that should never have been played. To play in the World Cup Finals is the dream of every professional footballer, and the finalists should be there on merit gained through fair play. To any aspiring young footballer and to football fans throughout the world, this was a game that was not about the sport, but more about the way that FIFA have lost control of the game.

The behind-the-scenes pressures and influences that govern which countries play and those that do not reinforces the fact that we need the players of tomorrow and the governing bodies to return the game to the fans. Football needs to return to the enjoyable global sport that it once was, not ruled by politics, finance, sponsors or gross incompetence, but just an entertaining and above all, fair and beautiful game.

The FEDEFUTBOL had every right to protest, but FIFA are not famous for putting wrongs right and the decision by the powers that be to let the game stand was inevitable, unfortunately as one of the poorest examples of football on a world stage, which was not the fault of the players.
Robert Robertson
Santa Ana

We are the stewards
of the creation of God


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Max Jackson is unfairly and incorrectly putting all Conservative Christians in one box by saying we all will never believe that humans contribute to global warming.  I am one of a multitude of conservative Christians who definitely believe that all humans must be good stewards of God's creation and we are not doing so by over using and abusing natural resources.  Most followers of Christ believe that we should be in harmony (love) with all of life, and that means working to bring Gods reign of perfect unity and pure love to all mankind and all of nature. 

"Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done" are words from the prayer Jesus taught us.  When we ask for that, we are supposed to believe that it will be granted to us but that may and most probably will be through our own efforts as God's heart, hands, and voice in the world of today.

Religion, as I know it, is not anti-science. Nor is faith in Christ Jesus.  Science is a way of helping us understand God's great universal creation.  Both are powerful, both are meaningful, and, in my opinion, both are important. Both explains in different ways.  Intelligent and open-minded people can dialogue in a meaningful way on any subject if mutual love and respect are present. 

For Christians, this world is not our home.  However while here, we all need to learn from each other and other species that for our survival and in order to help advance God's reign we must not only adapt to our environment but must leave the part of the world we touch while here a better place than when we first arrived.  The task is gargantuan and the forces against bringing true love and harmony are powerful indeed.  But we only have to connect to God, the creator, in our efforts.  God has the power to transform the previously unimaginable. Let there be love, and let it begin with us.
Thomas Ghormley H.
Playa Jacó

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary





















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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 27, 2013,  Vol. 13, No. 61
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Angry attack is the quickest way to get thrown out of an office
By Edward Bridges*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A hot temper gets you the door in Costa Rica. If you lose your temper with a Costa Rican at a Costa Rican business, you may find yourself being asked to leave.

That is in contrast to an article Tuesday that pointed out cultural differences between Chinese and North American customer service workers. North American service workers are more likely to sabotage rude customers, while Chinese react by disengaging from customer service altogether, said the study.

Living in Costa Rica for more than 20 years, I have had the opportunity to view our North American culture objectively from a Costa Rican point of view.  Coming from a long heritage of screamers in my North American family line, I have often been asked by my Costa Rican daughters not to get angry when their friends are visiting because that is considered very abnormal and unacceptable behavior in Costa Rica and their friends will think I have a mental disorder.

Working with many North American clients over the years, I have seen this numerous times.  Being a bully and threatening employees when things do not go well is not uncommon in our culture, and North American employees are trained to deal with hostile customers. Costa Ricans are not.  Their first response, if you lose your temper, is they will often ask you to leave the establishment or they will simply walk away and not return to deal with your complaint.  If you are dealing with government employees here, multiply this response by ten. They absolutely will not tolerate anything short of a completely polite and calm conversation about your problem.

My two oldest girls have worked in call centers in Costa Rica offering customer service to North American customers.  They found it amusing to report to me how crazy some North Americans are when complaining about a service or product on the phone.  This is something they are not used to at all in Costa Rica.  Ironically, they both learned how to sometimes get the customer to laugh at their own hostile behavior by responding in a completely polite and normal tone to often ridiculous complaints.  This is, perhaps, one of the reasons American companies prefer opening call centers here.
angry

So if you want to get great service here, never raise your voice, even a little bit, when dealing with a Costa Rican employee.  Keep in mind, in most cases the employee was not personally responsible for the complained about activity or action.

I remember a Costa Rican business associate pointing out a common difference between our countries.  In Costa Rica when your phone call is answered by the secretary, Costa Ricans will often spend a minute or so greeting the secretary with social pleasantries like "How are you today, Jessica, etc."  In the U.S.A., such an approach will often irritate a busy secretary who just wants to put your call through and get back to work. 

If you promptly ask a Costa Rican secretary to connect your call, this will often be regarded as rude, but they will comply.   Or they may just tell you he is out of the office, when he is really there.


* Mr. Bridges of Desamparados has lived in Costa Rica for 20 years.


Semana Santa is the time to get things done . . . without permits
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hear that hammering? Or perhaps the noise comes from a circular saw.

In any event, chances are that the project lacks official approval. That's because Semana Santa and Christmas vacation are the two best periods to get something done without the pesky interference of a municipal inspector.

This is the time of year when trees mysterious vanish exactly where the neighbor wants to put in a new driveway. To remove a tree legally requires something akin to a Sala IV constitutional appeal countersigned by the pope. But not during Semana Santa.

The activity goes along with the old Costa Rican tradition that
it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

So if the inspector happens to notice the new wing on the home or the fact that several trees are AWOL, he might ignore the fact.  But if he chooses to press the case, the neighbor is sure to begin with the Sergeant Shultz defense:   "I know noooothing. . . ?"

Failing that he will produce grandmothers and little kiddies who benefit by the new construction. Such new work hardly ever is ordered to be demolished.

Chances are, however, that the inspector will just ignore the new construction to avoid the eventual paperwork. He will just want to see the new addition included in the estimate of value for the next municipal tax report.

Del Rey Hotel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 27, 2013,  Vol. 13, No. 61
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Vacation, travel and hospitality
The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.
Geroge's view
An evening View
from George’s Puriscal home
Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.  Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. george@glundquist.com
7897-9/1/13

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Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. www.leavesandlizards.com or e-mail us at leavesandlizards@gmail.com.
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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
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Howard Spanish cover

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
River view home
to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker. jjpepman@hotmail.com
7902-4/25/13

Manuel Antonio long term apartment for rent
This modern two-bedroom apartment with a breathtaking view of the Quepos town and the Pacific Ocean is situated near Manuel Antonio National Park and beaches. The location offers a unique experience in the edge of the jungle, where you can observe wildlife. The apartment has two separate bedrooms and sleeps three guests maximum. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and a toilette. The living room is furnished with very comfortable furniture. The kitchen is fully equipped. Public transports like taxis, bus station, port as well as shops, groceries, restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightlife are within a very short distance. Fully furnished, all bills included (water, electricity, cable tv, wireless internet), $575 per month, 6-month minimum. Contact us now!!! 8853-8245. or see our
Web page:  www.brunxu.com  
7901-4/25/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
7881-4/13/13

Anywhere Costa Rica educates visitors about the numerous 

Anywhere
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We believe the best way to enjoy
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Call 1-888-456-3212 or local 2479-8811 to get started.

Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at HPCattleCR@aol.com, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.
7875-4/11/13

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical
                                    homes
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
7833-8/15/13

Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.
7695-1/19/14

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
7907-4/12/13

Palmares
                                    rental properties
Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

Visit our Web page for more information.
www.palmarescostarica.us
7819-4/29/13

prime
                                    properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
7894-4/13/13

Beautiful Golfito house for rent
in Costa Rica: $300/month

Available now and please see the video!
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at berosyyourlife@hotmail.com for more details. Thank you.
7800-2/22/13

Palacio condo
Beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bath modern condo for rent.
(Only 6 years old).
Great Secure Area, Next to 5-Star Hotel Palacio (La Uruca). Gated community, 24-hour security, 5 minutes to San José. Swimming Pool, washer/dryer, covered parking, high-speed Internet, cable TV, home phone! $900 per month, fully furnished, 6-Month minimum! Please Call: 001-954-782-0200 or email jas21358@comcast.net
7780-2/21/13

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING – MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200
Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

7857-5/4/13





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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 27, 2013,  Vol. 13, No. 61
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cameron
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution photo
James Cameron at hatch of his ocean explorer

'Titanic' director Cameron
gives his deep diver to science

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A year after his historic solo dive to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, movie director James Cameron has donated the vessel he used for the adventure to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole will work with Cameron to incorporate the Deepsea Challenger’s engineering innovations into future vessels to be used to explore the ocean’s depths.

Among the innovations incorporated into Deepsea Challenger were new approaches to flotation, energy storage, camera and lighting systems that enabled Cameron to gather data, samples, and imagery during his descent to over 11,000 meters below the surface of the Western Pacific Ocean.

“The seven years we spent designing and building the Deepsea Challenger were dedicated to expanding the options available to deep-ocean researchers. Our sub is a scientific proof-of-concept, and our partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a way to provide the technology we developed to the oceanographic community,” said Cameron in a release.

Woods Hole plans to use the cameras and lighting system from Deepsea Challenger on the hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus, which dove to the Mariana Trench in 2009 and will return to trenches in the Atlantic and the Pacific during the next two years. Those systems enabled Cameron to capture 3D footage of geological processes and of underwater creatures.

“Jim’s record-breaking dive was inspirational and helped shine a spotlight on the importance of the deep ocean,” says Susan Avery, president and director of Woods Hole. “We face many challenges in our relationship with the ocean, so there is heightened urgency to implement innovative approaches. Partnerships such as this one represent a new paradigm and will accelerate the progress of ocean science and technology development.”

Cameron has logged more than 3,000 hours underwater and is a veteran of 85 submersible dives, and many of his movies reflect his interest in deep sea diving, including "The Abyss," "Titanic" and a documentary on the German, World War II-era battleship, "DKM Bismarck."


U.S. Supreme court hears
first same-sex marriage case

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard the first of two landmark cases on same-sex marriage. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the court Tuesday as justices heard arguments on the constitutionality of a California state law barring gay people from marrying.

Excitement and anticipation could be seen in the faces of John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney, partners of 25 years.

“We would not want to be anywhere else right now," said Gaffney. "This is history in the making.”

The San Francisco couple wed during a brief period when California allowed same-sex marriage. That was before the passage of a 2008 ballot initiative, known as Proposition 8, that restricted marriage to heterosexuals in the state. Prop 8’s constitutionality has been contested for the last four years.  Tuesday, the case was aired before the Supreme Court.

Attorney Ted Olson argued on behalf of California gay couples who want to marry.  He spoke with reporters afterwards.

“The broadest argument we made is that it is just wrong, it is not consistent with the ideals, the laws, and the constitution of this country, to take our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and put them in a class and deny them rights that we give to everyone else," said Olson.

Attorney Charles Cooper argued in favor of retaining Prop 8.

“We believe that Proposition 8 is constitutional, and that the place for the decision to be made regarding redefining marriage is with the people, not with the courts," said Cooper.

In considering Prop 8, the Supreme Court could affirm the right of individual states to ban same-sex marriage.  It could also strike down the law only in California or it could strike down all such laws in every state, opening the door to gay marriage nationwide.  The court could also sidestep constitutional issues entirely by finding Prop 8 supporters have no legal standing to defend the law.

Such an outcome would leave intact a lower court ruling that struck down the ballot initiative. Gay Californians would be able to marry.  But bans in other states would be left untouched, and questions about marriage rights for gay people would be unresolved.

Lewis and Gaffney want a sweeping ruling that settles the issue once and for all.

“We are Americans," said Lewis. "And we are here on the steps of the United States Supreme Court, because every single American, without exception, should have the freedom to marry the person that they love.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage were also present outside the court.  Tammy Fuentes came to Washington with a Rhode Island church group.

“We believe that marriage is between a man and a woman," said Ms. Fuentes. "We do not want to redefine marriage.  God created a man and a woman to reproduce.  We all know men cannot have kids, and two women cannot reproduce, either.”

Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of a law that bars the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex unions.  Decisions are expected in June. 


Once again signals mixed
for U.S. economic recovery


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Economic studies published Tuesday show a mixed picture of the U.S. economy, the world's largest, which is slowly recovering from the worst recession in decades.

Orders to factories increased strongly in February. The Commerce Department says orders to factories for long-lasting goods surged 5.7 percent for the month.

In addition, private research group Case-Shiller reports home prices in the 20 largest cities rose more than 8 percent in the 12 months ending in January. Severe problems in the housing market were a key factor in the financial crisis.

In contrast to these reports, a measure of consumer confidence dropped sharply in March. Consumers told researchers at the Conference Board that political bickering over government finances made them worry about the economy.  Economists watch consumer confidence closely because consumer demand drives about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. 

Economists get a look at future economic growth by tracking the sale of chemicals and the state of the chemical industry. Kevin Swift of the American Chemistry Council developed the index, and said it points to modest growth over the next six to nine months.

"Generally expanding activity, into the third quarter, almost into the fourth quarter, signaling growth that would probably be about 2.5 to 3 percent in terms of industrial production," he said.

Swift says chemicals are used early in nearly every industrial process, which gives experts several months notice of changes in the direction of economic growth. If manufacturers want more materials, they may have orders for more products. If chemical sales fall, then the economy is probably slowing down.


Two studies suggest that speed
of light varies in a vacuum

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The speed of light has long been calculated to be 299,792.458 km per second, but now new research from France and Germany indicates that light may not travel at a fixed rate after all, but instead can fluctuate.

A key component of Einstein’s famous equation, the speed of light has been thought to be finite since 1676 after Danish astronomer Ole Rømer first established his findings while studying the motion of Jupiter’s moon Io.

Two separate studies by scientists from the University of Paris-Sud in France and from the Max Planck Institutes for the Physics of Light in Germany are disputing the long established belief concerning the nature of a vacuum.

Researcher Marcel Urban and his colleagues in France said they had identified a quantum level mechanism for understanding vacuum.  Urban’s research indicates that a vacuum is not completely empty as long thought, but instead filled with pairs of virtual or ephemeral particles with varying levels of energy.  Because of this, Urban asserts that since the characteristics of a vacuum fluctuate, the speed of light then must also vary as well.

Gerd Leuchs and Luis L. Sánchez-Soto, in their forthcoming paper for the Max Planck Institutes, are suggesting that certain physical constants (physical quantities with values that are thought to be universal in nature and remain unchanged over time) indicate that there are also a number of elementary particles in nature, including those that might be found in a vacuum.  The physical constants they speak of could include properties such as the speed of light and another that’s known as the impedance of free space (varying levels of the electric and magnetic fields of electromagnetic radiation traveling through free space).

Physicists have long found that the concept of the vacuum is one of the most fascinating issues in their field of science.   A vacuum, when viewed at the quantum level – at the smallest and most basic level – is not empty, but instead filled with particle pairs such as electron-positron or quark-antiquark pairs that are constantly appearing and disappearing. While these particle pairs are real particles, their lifetimes are extremely short.

If these findings are proved to be true, they could have an impact on current scientific theories that take the speed of light into consideration.

Both studies will be published in an upcoming edition of the European Physical Journal.


Reviving Japan's economy
fraught with power pitfalls


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

If past is precedent, optimists hoping Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will defy vested interests to take bold action to open the country to more competition as a way to spur growth could well be in for disappointment.

Japan's list of reports urging reforms date back almost three decades and have rarely led to the bold action that critics say is needed to dig the economy out of stagnation.

Abe, who got a rare second chance at Japan's top job after his Liberal Democratic Party's election win in December, has made structural reforms, such as deregulation, the third arrow of his Abenomics plan to revive the economy.

But skepticism runs deep that he can be as successful with economic reform, which experts say will be the acid test after  his first two arrows of fiscal spending and hyper-easy monetary policy, a combination that spurred a stock market rally and bolstered Abe's popularity ratings.

"People somehow think that Japan can get by, so it's not really necessary to take painful steps," said Junji Annen, a professor at Chuo University who has sat on several past deregulation committees and is now a member of Abe's new panel.

"We've been saying for a quarter century that action must be taken. I don't think this time will be all that different," he said, adding the government would face opposition to reforms and might well end up taking incremental rather than drastic steps.

"I worry that if the economy gets a bit better, they will ease up on reform," Annen said.

Proposals by a panel on industrial competitiveness and another on regulatory reform will be key to a growth strategy that Abe will unveil in June, ahead of a July upper house election that his ruling bloc needs to win to cement its grip on power.

Abe's advisers, however, are split over how extensive a role government should play in economic affairs. Some are keen to see public funds invested in key sectors, while others want to loosen the government's tight grip that critics say stifles innovation and new businesses.

Among the topics under discussion are loosening employment rules to make it easier to shed workers, deregulating medical and child care sectors, promoting use of the Internet, reforming corporate governance and overhauling electric power utilities.

The list of reports urging reforms date back at least as far as the landmark Maekawa Report in 1986, when former central bank chief Haruo Maekawa and other advisers urged policymakers shift from export-led growth, to open markets and to make regulations the exception rather than the rule.

Within months of the report's issuance, foreign diplomats were complaining that Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone had reneged on promises of change.


More than half of U.S. streams
listed bad for aquatic life


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says 55 percent of the streams and rivers in the United States are in poor condition for aquatic life.

The EPA surveyed thousands of kilometers of waterways and found increased levels of mercury and bacteria.  Also found were excessive levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which create too much algae, a plant that uses up oxygen that fish need.

Additionally, the EPA says many of the waterways lack enough vegetation to prevent flooding, erosion and pollution.

The EPA says healthy streams and rivers are vital sources of drinking water and recreation and play a critical role in the economy.


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Real estate bro
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The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

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Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
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Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia new
This is a property with real character offered at $1.2 million. Click HERE!
San Lis home
Incredible view of the Central Valley from San Luis $282,000 Click HERE!
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Visit our Web Site:
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 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7685-2/7/12

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
7905-4/27/13

Pirate beach
For sale by owner: Ocean view condominium. Reduced $175,000

Gorgeous two- bedroom, two-bath with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built-in energy efficiently. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white sandy Pirates Beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double panel windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, porcelain tile. Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
7904-4/27/13

Condo
FIRE SALE ON THIS SPACIOUS CONDO
WITH GREAT OCEAN VIEWS $205,000 USD
This is a well distributed condo, very spacious and meticulously maintained. It sells furnished with quality furnishings and appliances. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and lots of storage place. It's a 2,200-sq. foot condo with double garage. Ideally located 20 minutes south of Jacó. It comes with a free beach club membership at Monterey Hotel in Esterillos. Call 2778-8408 or 8707-1037. Email marietta234@yahoo.es or www.beachfrontcentralpacific.com
7900-4/22/13
Las Escadas
Welcome to our Paradise
Las Escadas – Condomimium & Club
San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua

1 and 2 bedroom condos from $ 39,900.
Las Escadas Condominiums & Club is the best Investment opportunity for those who want to live surrounded on all sides with nature and very closes to many beautiful beaches, amazing places with rich history and culture.
Security entrance – Administrative office – Swimming pool – Children's playground – Reserved parking available – Basketball court – pathways – Underground utilities.
Only $ 99 to reserve your Unit. Limited time offer
Contact: info@lasescadas.com    www.lasescadas.com
Cell English +505 8588-9827 – Cell Spanish/English 8551-4391
7895-4/20/13
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Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

View from Orosi home

Majestically situated overlooking the Orosi Valley and the tropical rain forest, this 2-bedroom, 2½-bath home with a separate office is offered at $550,000.  From the extensive use of glass windows visitors are easily captivated by the unbelievably 7 acres of pure, natural Costa Rican landscape.   The property is located 15 minutes from the Cartago metropolitan area, an hour from San José, 1¼ hours to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, 2 hours to the beaches of the Pacific West Coast, or 3 ½  hours to the beaches of the southern Caribbean coast.
http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com
USA 678-799-8803
CR Cell 011-506-8-910-2904
Margo@ackermanrealtyinternational.com


FOR SALE BY OWNER
You can purchase property in Costa Rica legally without paying Land Transfer Tax; this plus the usual real estate commission of 5% will reduce your purchase price by approximately 11%. Save over $50,000.00 on the purchase of this $465,000.00 property. Large 5000+ sq.ft. House. Ideal for business executive, B & B or large family. E-mail for photos and more information to landofpalms@hotmail.com.
7869-4/6/13

ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7856-5/4/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Montemar montage
Gated community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $20k with financing available.
Deep discounts for cash sales!
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great retirement, vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers house.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7830-5/8/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2-bedroom house in gated community, $92,500.
- Lots in gated community from $20k w/financing available.
- 3-bedroom house in gated community, furnished, walk to the beach, $125k
- 3-bedroom oceanview house on 5 acres subdividable, $270k
- 58-acre oceanview property subdividable, $169k
Oceanfront residential Lot $58k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
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7829-5/8/13

Ocean view home
Georgeous House For Sale In Costa Rica
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE OCEAN VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must see. Ocean view Only $345 000.00 US More details: http://www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX
Jack 506-2778-8172    Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
7789-2/14/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

montage ofr photos
ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
- All lots held in separate corporations
- Functioning HOA with 24-hour security and gated front entrance
- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
- Organic Permaculture farm coming soon
- Build your custom dream home and join our community of friends in paradise!
Brokers Welcome
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1011.html
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CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891
7725-xxxx

beachfront one
beachfronttwo
beachfront three
Price slashed for quick sale.
Beautiful, completely remodeled beachfront home for sale.

Great location in between Quepos and Parrita. Please visit this Web site for complete details: www.tomstewartinsurance.com/CostaRica. Price recently reduced for quick sale. Email  tomstewart0001@gmail.com or call 713-775-9283.
7600-3/7/13

Costa Azul view
costa azul ocean
Properties in Osa near the ocean.
50% discount from the valuation price, starting at $30.000.
Financing available. Contact us at +506 2233-7778 or +506 8815-6476.
Grupo Costa Azul – A property waiting for you!
www.grupocostaazulcr.com
7484-9/11/12

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

Papitos
Would you like to start a chain of pizzerias  in Costa Rica?
If you have the money,   I have the ideas and the basis to start. Buy the place,
and I'll work for you! Only serious inquiries. Money or property in C.R.
Call  Mike  (506) 8375 4287 or after 1 p.m. Call to  (506) 2241 1068.
7868-4/6/13

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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Fruit flies fed organic foods
did better in experiment


By the Southern Methodist University news staff

A new study looking at the potential health benefits of organic versus non-organic food found that fruit flies fed an organic diet recorded better health outcomes than flies fed a non organic diet.

The study from the lab of biologist Johannes H. Bauer, found that fruit flies raised on diets of organic foods performed better on several tests for general health.

“While these findings are certainly intriguing, what we now need to determine is why the flies on the organic diets did better, especially since not all the organic diets we tested provided the same positive health outcomes,” said Bauer, principal investigator for the study.

Fruit flies on organic diets showed improvements on the most significant measures of health, namely fertility and longevity, said high school student researcher Ria Chhabra.

“We don’t know why the flies on the organic diet did better. That will require further research. But this is a start toward understanding potential health benefits,” said Ms. Chhabra, a student at Clark High School in Plano, Texas, who led the experiment.

Ms. Chhabra sought to conduct the experiments after hearing her parents discuss whether it’s worth it to buy organic foods to achieve possible health benefits.

Bauer, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southern Methodist University, mentored Ms. Chhabra by helping guide and design her research experiments. The research focus of Bauer’s fruit fly lab is nutrition and its relationship to longevity, health and diabetes.

“It’s rare for a high school student to have such a prominent position in the lab. But Ria has tremendous energy and curiosity, and that convinced me to give this research project a try,” Bauer said.

The findings, “Organically grown food provides health benefits to Drosophila melanogaster,” have been published in the open access journal PLOS One. Buaer and Chhabra co-authored the paper with Santharam Kolli, a research associate at university.

“The data demonstrated that flies raised on organic food extracts by-and-large performed better on the majority of health tests,” reported the researchers.

It remains unclear why organic diets delivered better health, the researchers said.

The Bauer lab results come at a time when the health effects of organic food are widely debated.

Prior studies by other researchers have found conflicting results when reviewing the scientific literature for data. While several studies have shown elevated nutrient content and lower pesticide contamination levels in organic food, a recent publication reporting a large-scale analysis of all available studies concluded no clear trend was apparent.

In order to investigate whether organic foods are healthier for consumers, the lab utilized one of the most widely used model systems, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Because of the low costs associated with fly research and the fly’s short life cycle, researchers use fruit flies to study human diseases, from diabetes to heart function to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Bauer lab fruit flies were fed organic and nonorganic produce purchased from a leading national grocery retailer of organic and conventional foods. The flies were fed extracts made from organic and conventional potatoes, soybeans, raisins and bananas. They were not fed any additional nutritional supplements. The researchers tested the effects of each food type independently and avoided any confounding effects of a mixed diet.

The health tests measured longevity, fertility, stress and starvation resistance.

Some negative or neutral results were obtained using diets prepared from organic raisins, which suggests the beneficial health effects of organic diets are dependent on the specific food item, Bauer said. That might explain some of the inconsistent results in the published studies in the scientific literature, he said, noting some studies suggest there is a nutritional benefit from organic food, while others suggest there is not.

“To our surprise, in the majority of our tests of flies on organic foods, the flies fed organic diets did much better on our health tests than the flies fed conventional food,” Bauer said. “Longevity and fertility are the two most important aspects of fly life. On both of these tests, flies fed organic diets performed much better than flies fed conventional diets. They lived longer, had higher fertility, and had a much higher lifetime reproductive output.”




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