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Mezcal

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave, is the national spirit of Mexico. The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl mexcalli, which means "oven-cooked agave", from ixcalli. Agaves or magueys are found in many parts of Mexico and south to the equator, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca, it can be made in Durango, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas and the approved Puebla. A saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink is: "Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también.". Whether distilled drinks were produced in Mexico before the Spanish Conquest is unknown; the Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque, made from the maguey plant. Soon, the conquistadors began experimenting with the agave plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented mash; the result was mezcal. Today, mezcal is still made from the heart of the agave plant, called the piña, in much the same way as it was 200 years ago. In Mexico, mezcal is consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor.

Though other types of mezcal are not as popular as tequila, Mexico does export the product to Japan and the United States, exports are growing. Despite the similar name, mezcal does not contain other psychedelic substances; the agave was one of the most sacred plants in pre-Spanish Mexico, had a privileged position in religious rituals and the economy. Cooking of the "piña" or heart of the agave and fermenting its juice was practiced; the origin of this drink has a myth. It is said that a lightning bolt struck an agave plant and opening it, releasing its juice. For this reason, the liquid is called the "elixir of the gods". However, it is not certain whether the native people of Mexico had any distilled liquors prior to the Spanish Conquest. Upon introduction, these liquors were called aguardiente; the Spanish had known distillation processes since the eighth century and had been used to drinking hard liquor. They brought a supply with them from Europe, but when this ran out, they began to look for a substitute.

They had been introduced to pulque and other drinks based on the agave or agave plant, so they began experimenting to find a way to make a product with a higher alcohol content. The result is mezcal. Sugarcane and grapes, key ingredients for beverage alcohol, were two of the earliest crops introduced into the New World, but their use as source stocks for distillation was opposed by the Spanish Crown, fearing unrest from producers at home. Still requiring a source of tax revenue, alcohol manufactured from local raw materials such as agave was encouraged instead; the drinking of alcoholic beverages such as pulque was restricted in the pre-Hispanic period. Taboos against drinking to excess fell away after the conquest, resulting in problems with public drunkenness and disorder; this conflicted with the government's need for the tax revenue generated by sales, leading to long intervals promoting manufacturing and consumption, punctuated by brief periods of severe restrictions and outright prohibition.

Travelers during the colonial period of Mexico mention mezcal with an admonition as to its potency. Alexander von Humboldt mentions it in his Political Treatise on the Kingdom of New Spain, noting that a strong version of mezcal was being manufactured clandestinely in the districts of Valladolid, Mexico State and Nuevo León, he mistakenly observed that mezcal was obtained by distilling pulque, contributing to its myth and mystique. Spanish authorities, treated pulque and mezcal as separate products for regulatory purposes. Edward S. Curtis described in his seminal work The North American Indian the preparation and consumption of mezcal by the Mescalero Apache Indians: "Another intoxicant, more effective than túlapai, is made from the mescal—not from the sap, according to the Mexican method, but from the cooked plant, placed in a heated pit and left until fermentation begins, it is ground, mixed with water, roots added, the whole boiled and set aside to complete fermentation. The Indians say.

A small quantity produces intoxication." This tradition has been revived in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Internationally, mezcal has been recognized as an Appellation of Origin since 1994. There is a Geographical Indication limited to the states of Oaxaca, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Puebla and Zacatecas. Similar products are made in Jalisco, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, but these have not been included in the mezcal DO. Within Mexico, mezcal is regulated under Norma Oficial Mexicana regulations NOM-070-SCFI-1994, by the industry body Consejo Mexicano Regulador de la Calidad del Mezcal A. C.. This regulation became law in 2003, certification began in 2005; the regulations have been controversial, not only from small artisanal producers for whom the cost of certification is prohibitive, but from traditional producers outside the chosen GI states. Not only are the latter prohibited from calling their product Mezcal, under the new regulation NOM 199 issued in late 2015, they must label it Komil, a little-known word for intoxicating drink from the Nahuatl language, must not list the varieties of agave and maguey that are used.

In Canada, products that are labelled, sold or advertised as Mezcal must be manufactured in Mexico as Mezcal under the stipul

Laura Vilches

Laura Vilches is an Argentinian teacher and politician. She is one of the national referents of the Socialist Workers' Party, a trotskyist party member of the Workers' Left Front for which she is a provincial deputy in Córdoba Province since 10 December 2014, she worked as a teacher of literature. Laura Vilches was born on 24 March 1982 in the Santa Fe Province, but has lived in Córdoba since 1987, she lived as a child in the Bella Vista neighborhood. She studied highschool in the Manuel Belgrano school, where she was an activist and was several times elected as delegate of her class. In 2005, as she was studying Modern Languages in the National University of Córdoba, she participated in the protests for the abolishment of the Higher Studies Law, approved years before by Carlos Menem and which Néstor Kirchner harshened. During that time, she would come in contact with the En Clave Roja/Tesis XI student group made up by independent activists and PTS militants, she soon became a militant in 2006.

2011 would see the formation of the Workers' Left Front, a coalition that would bring together the main left-wing trotskyist parties nationally. In Córdoba, the FIT won a seat in the provincial elections for a single district, which would rotate between the three parties of the FIT. On 10 December 2014, Vilches would enter as legislator replacing Cintia Frencia during the remaining term. In the 2015 elections, the FIT won 6.27% of votes and three seats, which would allow Vilches to hold a full four-year term. As legislator, she keeps her wage as a teacher and donates the rest of her salary to different worker conflicts, such as the laid-off workers of Minetti, the La Mañana newspaper or the Valeo autoparts factory, as well as the worker-controlled factories MadyGraf and Zanón, she has donated money to support student and university teacher struggles demanding more budget for education. Against the salary increases of legislators, she has presented a project that forces all deputies having the same wage as a teaacher.

She has requested information about femicides and presented a proposition to create an emergency provincial plan against violence towards women and establishing easy access to subsidies and working and student licenses. She has protested in the Ni una menos movement in Córdoba and is an activist demanding the legalisation of free abortions and integral sexual education, which allowed her to present the project for Legal and Free Abortions in 2018 in the National Congress of Argentina, she made a judicial case against the Catholic Church in Córdoba for tax evasion and demanding information in the provincial legislature on rents destined by the province governor to the Church. Short biography report on her assuming the seat another report on taking her seat she delivers an election speech Laura Vilches on Facebook Laura Vilches on Twitter Laura Vilches on Instagram

George William Gregory Bird

George William Gregory Bird was a British medical doctor, academic and haematologist known for his expertise in the fields of blood transfusion and immunohaematology. He founded the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the Armed Forces Medical College and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2010. A winner of the Karl Landsteiner Memorial Prize and Morten Grove Rasmussen Memorial Award of the American Association of Blood Banks, Gregory Bird was honoured by the Government of India in 1963, with the award of Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award for his services to the nation. George William Gregory Bird, born in the UK in 1916, graduated in medicine in 1941. After joining the medical corps of the British Army, he served in the Middle East and India in the British Base Transfusion Units and trained army doctors on trauma management. During his posting in India, he established the first blood bank in India in 1948, as the head of the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.

He worked at AFMC till 1966 during which time his researches on Dolichos biflorus revealed the agglutinating activity of human A1 red cells in its extracts. He continued his researches on seeds and was credited with the discovery of anti-T in Arachis hypogea, his prolific work in this area is reported to have earned him the moniker, The King of Lectins and Polyagglutination. In 1961, when Queen Elizabeth II visited India, Gregory Bird was in charge of medical arrangements for the dignitary and attended to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first Indian president, on his terminal medical condition. During this period, he continued his studies and secured FRCPath from the Royal College of Pathologists and a doctoral degree from London. Bird returned to England in 1966, accepting the post of a consultant pathologist and director of the Regional Blood Transfusion Service, Birmingham where he worked till his retirement in 1981. Post retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel, he was appointed as the Honorary Consultant to the West Midlands Regional Health Authority and worked as a senior research fellow in Clinical Genetics at the University of Birmingham.

The next year, he became the Consultant Advisor to the International Blood Group References Laboratory of Oxford University and became its director in 1986 holding the post of the Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Department of Immunology, University of Birmingham. In 1987, he continued there as an honorary consultant, he was the president of the British Blood Transfusion Society during 1985-87 and was the president of the Oliver Memorial Fund for Blood Transfusion in 1986. He was a Regional Counselor for the Western European Division for International Society for Blood Transfusion from 1980 to 1984 and a member of the Haematology Expert Group of the Indian Council of Medical Research; the research spectrum of Bird centered around blood groups and their anthropological, clinical, immunohaematological and oncological aspects. His main focus was on human red blood cells, haemoglobin variants, blood groups, red blood cell cryptantigens and polyagglutinability, his researches were published by way of over 200 medical papers and as reference manuals and chapters in many text books.

A prolific speaker on haematology, he was active in medical administration and was credited with automation and computerization of blood transfusion services during his career. Bird was married to Ruby and the couple had three daughters, Ann and Dorothy, he died on 29 March 1997, at the age of 81, succumbing to complications following a renal failure. Bird was medical societies during his career. A member of the ICMR Expert Group on Haematology, he was a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Blood Transfusion Services of UK Department of Health and Social Security; the Council of Europe Select Committee of Experts on Automation and Quality Control in Blood Transfusion Laboratories, the Working Party on the Terminology for Red Cell Surface Antigens and Working Party on the socioeconomic aspects of Blood Transfusion, both of the International Society of Blood Transfusion were some of the other committees he served. The Government of India honoured Bird in 1963 with the civilian award of Padma Shri.

The next year, the Indian Medical Council awarded him Gold Medal. He received two honours from the American Association of Blood Banks, Morten Grove Rasmussen Memorial award in 1980 and Karl Landsteiner Memorial Prize in 1989. In between, he received the Oliver Memorial Award in 1981; the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2010. Marcela Contreras. "Dr. George William Gregory Bird". Vox Sanguinis. 73: 133–134. Doi:10.1046/j.1423-0410.1997.7330133.x