Tuesday, February 28, 2006

US not certain North Korea has nuclear weapons

The United States cannot say for certain that North Korea possesses any nuclear weapons but believes Pyongyang has continued to produce plutonium from its 5-megawatt Yongbyon reactor, top intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

"We assess that they probably have nuclear weapons, as they claim that they do. But we don't know for a fact that they've got such weapons ... So to then say with precision the number they've got, I think, would be difficult to do with our level of knowledge..." read more.

I wonder what will happen when USA decides that North Korea has the weapons...

Directors for AIESEC International 2006-07 (updated with region allocation)

The Directors for AIESEC International 2006-07 are:
(GN = Growth Network)

Habib (Cameroon) - Director for Africa GN
Pinar (Turkey) - Director for Strategy
Jarda (Czech Republic) - Director for Central and Eastern Europe GN
Ryan (New Zealand) - Director for Asia Pacific GN
Mairi (Estonia) - Director for Western Europe and North America GN
Araz (Canada) - Director for Spainish Speaking GN

VP's for Information Systems, Communications, Exchange, Finance and People Development announced on Thursday, March 7.

Sex bomb - not what you'd expect :-)

  • Olympic skater warms up the crowd
  • Men prefer blondes

    Apparently, this is not new.
    It started a long time ago. And it will end soon. Blondes are threatened with extinction.

    Read the article

    Lost Kingdom found

    "One of history's most violent volcanic eruptions blasted the island of Sumbawa in the East Indies in 1815. The sulfurous gases and fiery ashes from Mount Tambora cast a pall over the entire world, causing the global cooling of 1816, known as the "year without a summer."" (NYTimes)

    It seems to me that the world is rediscovering Indonesia with a flurry of announcement about the 'Hobbit people' and the discovery of pristine bird sanctuary in a span of a year.

    Monday, February 27, 2006

    Bird Flu gets into Germany's Carnival

    Today it was Rosenmontag in Germany. It is an important and official holiday in the state of NRW, it is the most important day in the Carnival season... there were parades full of color in many cities accross the state where people dance and cheer an old tradition; But there is a particular thing that has been seen in many of the cars this year... Bird Flu themes such as the one you can see in the picture (taken in Aachen's parade).

    As cases of birds with the virus H5N1 were reported accross Europe, Africa and more countries in Asia you start wondering... are our countries prepared and acting properly towards this challenge? Are people over reacting or not? How could it impact different aspects of our lives (health systems, economies, etc.)?

    Looking forward to hear your opinions.

    I found a pretty good gathering of info regarding the virus itself, its prevention and progress if you are interested: New Scientist Special Report.

    every 12 years -a billion more people!

    The population on the Earth will hit 6.5 billion at 19:16 Eastern Standard Time, Feb. 25, 2006, which is a milestone growth, American science magazine LifeScience said on Feb. 24 on its website, citing a forecast by U.S. Census Bureau.

    The Bureau also predicts that the planet's population will exceed seven billion on Oct. 18, 2012.

    A report by the administration says that the global population had hit six billion in June 1999, 2.5 times more than that in early 20th century or approximately double that in 1960.

    It took only 12 years for the world population to grow from five billion to six billion. Currently, 4.4 babies are born per second on average at an ever startling rate.

    1650: 500m people
    1830: 1bn
    From 1830 to 1999, the years taken for every one-billion growth are: 100, 30, 15, 12 and 12 respectively (here)

    With such huge population growth are we ever going to be able to reduce the number of poor in the World? Are we ever going to be able to survive on the Earth's limited resources? Somehow there is a feeling that even if nuclear war/terrorism/politics or HIV/AIDs/Bird Flu/SARS etc. does not take out humankind, then more and more things will start turning up to take us out... its inevitable, and maybe its just nature balancing things out?

    Change the world - Check what you have done so far!

    We are what we do. Everyone can help to change world in the every day life. If you dont know where to start, here comes a page that will help you. It is great!!!

    http://www.wearewhatwedo.com/

    They also developed a very nice book " Change the world for a fiver"


    And by the way, AIESECers work for this NGO...

    justice

    The children laughed, the angels sang, and Arthur gets an apartment in the awesome Jordaan area of Amsterdam. And there was much rejoicing....

    Sunday, February 26, 2006

    Top 10 best and worst pickup lines

    ""I was wondering if you have a moment to spare for me to hit on you?"
    This one is relatively original and seems innocent enough for her to take notice, without feeling threatened by you. You'll also effectively send the message that you're interested in her, but are more interested in making her smile."
    (Ask Men)

    Critics, starts your poison pen.

    Olympic ice-hockey results... congratulations!

    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    Global Vote to Select the New 7 Wonders of the World

    New Wonders of the World are to be elected in a Global Poll. The cool thing about this project originally created and funded by one traveller is that being now a foundation, 50% of the revenue generated with the project will go to the restauration of these amazing man made structures. The 21 finalists were selected of hundreds of nominations proposed by over 19 million votes worldwide, and they are:

    01 Acropolis, Athens, Greece
    02 Alhambra, Granada, Spain
    03 Angkor, Cambodia
    04 Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
    05 Christ Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    06 Colosseum, Rome, Italy
    07 Easter Island Statues, Chile
    08 Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
    09 Great Wall, China
    10 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
    11 Kyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan
    12 Kremlin/St.Basil, Moscow, Russia
    13 Machu Picchu, Peru
    14 Neuschwanstein Castle, F├╝ssen, Germany
    15 Petra, Jordan
    16 Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
    17 Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
    18 Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom
    19 Sydney Opera House, Australia
    20 Taj Mahal, Agra, India
    21 Timbuktu, Mali


    Which seven of the 21 finalist would you chose to be the New 7 Wonders of the World? To make your vote in the Global Poll and find out more about the project go to New Seven Wonders.

    virus for sale

    It really was only a matter of time before virus writing went commercial. Free trade and economics allow people with certain skills (or in this case 'skilz') to sell them to anybody who wants and can afford them. To that end ArsTechnica is reporting today that one antivirus company came across evidence of this new form of software sales and support.

    As I remember it, a contract for illegal activity isn't a valid contract; so I wonder how tight a business relationship these two parties can really establish. With out a legal foundation of business, how would these parties operate in relative safety?

    It's a really interesting concept that this isn't a mafioso crime syndicate kind of opportunity. Did it fall off the darknet, or was it meant to be found in the general public? I can't imagine a use for people like my mom and dad, but maybe a rich boy who wants to get information on how to get into his college grade system, or an unscrupulous company looking for corporate secrets?

    It's also really interesting that the price is pretty bottom dollar. I'm not sure of the costs involved with writing and supporting software of this sort. Do any of our software geeks have any comments about the in house economics of malware? We know that email scams are lucrative, and that zombie networks have been for sale for a long time.


    Anyway, here's the main info from ArsTechnica:

    Engineers at Panda Software, while in the process of researching a new trojan, uncovered evidence this week that led them to a web site touting custom-built viruses for sale. For the low, low price of only S$990, a user gets his or her own pet trojan horse, complete with tech support. If the file is discovered?as this current model was?the designer provides a guarantee to alter it so that it may continue to avoid detection in the face of updated antivirus software.


    The two main links the article at ars is based on... Panda Software Press Release, TGDaily Article

    Beyond the common forms of advice like keep your computer up to date, don't run windows or don't surf porn, what solutions are out there to combat virus and other malware?.. I know networks with high volumes of spam get blacklisted...

    Friday, February 24, 2006

    Its Dey

    Its Dey

    Edyson Dos Santos is the president of AIESEC International for 2006-07

    Elections update

    Taco
    Taco Bosman (Netherlands/New Zealand/Indonesia/Australia)

    Peter
    Peter Heinzl (Austria)

    Dey
    Edyson Dos Santos (Venezuela/Peru/Macedonia/Africa)

    We just finished the closing speeches from the three candidates - the atmosphere here is just incredible. Expect results in about an hour.....

    UPDATE - 21:10GMT - Only just finished explaining the voting procedures, which means we are still an hour away....Ballots are now being handed out.....

    UPDATE 21:20GMT - voting begins, half an hour. votes to be handed in by 21:50GMT

    UPDATE 21:52GMT - voting closed, final roll call where each country is submitting its ballot paper.....

    UPDATE 22:03GMT: Standing ovation as the voting closes, for the five countries who have just regained full member status, and are now voting again- Colombia, Italy, Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda. The ballot box, along with the selection committee who will do the counting, have left the room. Result should be out in the next 30-45 mins....

    UPDATE 22:50GMT: Vote counting has finished. We'll have a result within 10 minutes....

    hot off the press

    Sudanese man forced to take a goat as his wife after he was caught having sex with the animal. -BBC

    This world we will leave in will never cease to amaze...

    iTunes hits 1 Billion Downloads

    Those of you who use iTunes might have seen their tracker of the number of songs that have been downloaded through the music store so far. The number passed 1billion last night. I wonder what the number is for Kazaa etc? Is downloading legally now the most widely used method of buying music online?

    As for the lucky guy who downloaded song 1,000,000,000, he gets an iMac, 10 60G video iPods and a $10,000 gift card for the music store. Now that's a butt-load of music.

    Full story here.

    This Week's 10 amazing Chuck Norris Facts

    More random Chuck Norris facts! Dont think these were in the last Chuck Norris posting !

    1. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know when Chuck Norris is going to kill you.

    2. Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked Bruce Lee, breaking him in half. The result was Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

    3. Contrary to popular belief, Chuck Norris was dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    4. If you ask Chuck Norris what time it is, he always says, "Two seconds 'til." After you ask, "Two seconds 'til what?" he roundhouse kicks you in the face.

    5. Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.

    6 . Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.

    7 . Chuck Norris only uses a stunt double when he does crying scenes.

    8 . Chuck Norris let the dogs out.

    9. Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because Chuck Norris only recognizes the element of surprise.

    10. It is said that looking into Chuck Norris' eyes will reveal your future. Unfortunately, everybody's future is always the same: death by a roundhouse-kick to the face.

    TGIF - we need to laugh some more

    Check this out:

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/flash/britney_spears_pregnant.html

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Let's spice it up a little bit

    Caricature: A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject's distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.

    A caricature:

    Declaration of Revocation by John Cleese

    It's important to learn how to laugh at ourselves. We can always learn something out of it.

    I hope nobody gets offended. I would love to see some smart comments. I'll make your research easy, I'm half German, half Chilean but I grew up in Argentina (plenty of material there).

    Weiberfastnacht in Cologne

    Today is a very important day in Cologne Germany. It is the official first day of the fifth season, the Karneval season.

    At 11:11am this morning the women took the rule over the city and the street Karneval has begun at the old market place (Alter Markt) in Cologne. Traditionally this is the day where women venture out to cut men's ties. You keep the part you cut off as a trophy and usually pin it somewhere on your costume. (Very funny when foreign businessmen come to town who don't know about this and wear fancy expensive ties on their way to a business meeting, Cologne airport is one of the best spots for that!) ;-) But hey, who schedules meetings for Weiberfastnacht anyways???

    It's a total bummer that I'm not there this year; I have been for the last 4 years straight. One of the best parties in Germany is about to begin. For the next 5 days there is no closing hour in the bars and the city is celebrating 24/7. Everyone is dressing up in goofy, funny, weird, or simply beautiful costumes. The aim is to go out, dance, sing Karneval songs, drink Koelsch (the local beer served in the traditional Koelsch glasses), party all night and have a great time! Traditionally it was a custom to scare the winter away and hopefully have spring start soon. So depending on the year it can still be freezing cold, or already feel a little bit like spring. The custom isn't Christian, it's pagan, but people all over Germany still celebrate it and the church is accepting that, to most people it doesn't have a religious meaning anyways, they just go for the party.

    sorry

    Hello all,

    Sorry for offending you. I really didnt mean it. The picture is gone...

    Happy Birthday to a Special Person

    This wonderful, amazing person travelled to more than 55 countries, she lived in Europe (Switzerland and Belgium), Asia (Singapore, India, Pakistan) Africa (mmm not sure which country but I think its Kenya),Latin America (El Salvador and back packed around South America!)

    She is a real star and definitely one of my role models.....

    Happy Birthday Dearest Nicole!

    Caravanserai Cairo Opens



    I will be living in Cairo for the next 6-8 months and just managed to secure an apartment here after 12 days. You are all welcome to stay with me when you visit Cairo. I live in a very accessible area of Cairo called Dokki (any Egyptian here can attest to that fact :)

    I have a spare guest bedroom so you don't have to bunk up on the floor or couch. WiFi on a 256 K DSL is also available so Internet access is not a problem.

    Boys or girls are welcome (not all landlord in Cairo allows male and female that is not related to stay together)

    Global Warming

    Dubya discusses the serious topic of Global Warming.

    Heist

    "A gang of armed robbers impersonating police officers tied up employees at a southern England security company and stole the equivalent of $43.5 million, the Bank of England said Wednesday in disclosing one of the largest bank heists in British history." (AP)

    I need to get my head examined because my first reaction after reading this news is "cool". No, no one was hurt in this heist. It's a clean bank robbery.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Semifinals to go...

    :o))))

    Finland - Russia

    Sweden - Czech Rep.


    USA, Canada, Slovakia, Switzerland out...

    The matches were superb... congratulations to all... I am still shaking from the excitement...

    Slovaks well done... I am really sad we met you in quarterfinals ... !!

    This is hilarious!

    Check it out
    God's Blog and Lucifer's Blog

    I especially like the following converation
    http://consultlucifer.blogspot.com/2005/04/go-on-bite-apple.html

    The Golden Dome no more




    The Golden Mosque of Samarra is destroyed. AP has more report. Will we see worldwide protest on this in comparison to the 'cartoon war'?

    Olympic Ice-Hockey Quarterfinals Today...

    Switzerland - Sweden
    Finland - USA
    Russia - Canada
    Slovakia - Czech Rep.

    Cosmo Feb 2006

    Does anyone subscribe to Cosmopolitan magazine? I'm trying to get my hands on the February 2006 US issue. Can someone help me?

    Global Rhythm - Destination fo World Music

    The coolest source of global music for a nomad - Global Rhythm, a music and lifestyle magazine featuring coverage of world music, film, cuisine and travel. If youre not looking to subscribe, their website is just as good. From information on world music festivals to latest global music news to a global rhythm radio hour, these fellas have it down. Enjoy!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Buying sex is not a sport

  • The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is launching a campaign against sport/sex tourism in Germany during the World Cup Football Games, 2006. It is called ?Buying Sex is Not a Sport: No to Germany?s Prostitution of Women during the World Cup Games.?

  • -> In July, " (...) twelve German cities will host the World Cup Games. Approximately 3 million football fans - mostly men - will attend. It is estimated that 40,000 women will be "imported" from Central and Eastern Europe to "sexually service" the men (...) "Football and sex belong together", claimed the lawyer of the newly opened 3,000 meter mega brothel in Berlin, built next to the main World Cup venue to accomodate 65o male clients (...) "

    Read their petition here

    Or this article : European Parliament Warns of Human Trafficking at World Cup and their January 17 statement

    Beam me up Scotty...

    It seems money can buy everything nowadays as willing punters have their dead bodies ashes catapulted into space.

    Scotty will be blasted into space - not beamed up - and Gordo is returning for his third flight.

    "The planned launch sometime in March of a rocket carrying the ashes of actor James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery Scott on "Star Trek," and Mercury program astronaut Gordon Cooper will give a fitting send-off to two men who helped popularise human space exploration."

    Read more here.

    Another birthday ...

    Happy 23rd to our very own Chrispy ! Wish him a wonderful day and an even more fantastic year (and send him some advice on a happy movie to see).

    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Freedom of speech

    Freedom of speech is certainly a hot topic in the world news today. The thin line that divides freedom of speech and respect has been discussed over and over. But is there a right and a wrong? Is there a clear limit to what one should be allowed to say and what not?
    Many have condemned the recent incidents in Muslim countries where disapproval of the published cartoons has been shown with actions.

    Now take a look at these two articles and take into account the different set of values of two different societies. Something that could seem to be irrelevant in one place could be a very delicate topic in the next one.

    Austria sentences Irving to 3 years

    Nation-States Gone Wild: The Persecution of David Irving


    One phrase I have heard many times: ?When you read something, always make sure you know what the source is?. It could be a simple cartoonist or an ignorant historian.

    This really let me thinking, please leave your opinions

    Microchips Being Implanted Into Humans

    CityWatcher.com CEO Sean Darks told the Globe and Mail, ?It works great. I just walk to the door in front of the reader, it beeps and the door opens up.? His company contracts its services to police and government organizations. ?We?ll continue using this technology,? he added. ?We need to make sure we have every security measure available in place to protect our clients? interests.?

    ...?Once people begin ?voluntarily? getting chipped to perform their job duties, it won?t be long before pressure gets applied to those who refuse.?...

    What is next?

    article

    bridge blogging and more

    According to these guys, we live in an age where a blog is created every second. With over eight and a half million bloggers out there, the blogosphere is a noisy place.

    A group of blogging enthusiasts from the Harvard Law School have launched an initiative to track and index blogs coined as "bridge blogs" with the intent of making the voice of bloggers heard from across the world. Call it blogging with a purpose, if you will.

    Ethan Zuckerman is not just the co-editor of Global Voices, he is also a passionate and prolific blogger himself.

    "What blogs are doing for the first time is letting people talk about what's going in their own universe, in their own local news, and get it out to a global audience," he says.

    Inspired by these bloggers and their stories, Dr Zuckerman, set up the Global Voices website. - BBC


    Global Voices is worth checking out.

    "Global Voices aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens? media. We?re using a wide variety of technologies - weblogs, wikis, podcasts, tags, aggregators and online chats - to call attention to conversations and points of view that we hope will help shed new light on the nature of our inter-connected world."

    Sunday, February 19, 2006

    speechless

    Cleric offers US$1m for whoever kills the cartoonist.

    Pillow Fights !!!!

    Check out these pictures from the recent public pillow fights in Union Square, NYC.

    IPM about to kick off

    Tomorrow the pre-meetings begin for AIESEC's International Presidents Meeting (IPM) 2006, held here in the Netherlands. Last year I broke the story of the newly elected PAI on nomadlife within about 5 minutes of the announcement - this time the conference site has wireless, so expect to see the reults within seconds........

    Candidates for PAI this year:

    Taco (formerly known as Marty) - from Netherlands / New Zealand / Indonesia / Australia
    Dey - from pretty much everywhere in Latin America, plus Macedonia
    Peter - MCP of Austria

    May the best candidate win - and any interested nomads, tune into nomadlife around 10PM GMT on Feb 24 (this Friday) to be the first to know the results.

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    Happy Birthday to Our Zozo...

    Wishing you all the best on your Birthday Zoe.... Hope that your birthday will be as special as you are!

    Philippines Landslide Death Toll at 1,800

    "GUINSAUGON, Philippines - Rescue workers held little hope Saturday of finding more survivors from a devastating landslide that killed an estimated 1,800 people, saying this farming village in the eastern Philippines was swallowed whole by a wall of mud and boulders.

    The search was focusing on an elementary school amid unconfirmed reports that relatives of the 250 children and teachers had received mobile phone text messages from survivors. Only one girl and a woman had been rescued alive nearby. Many blamed persistent rains and illegal logging for Friday's disaster.
    The logging "stopped around 10 years ago," Roger Mercado, a member of Congress who represents the area, told Manila radio station DZBB. "But this is the effect of the logging in the past." Soldiers were being shuttled to the disaster zone in the shovels of bulldozers that carried them across a shallow stream. With the mud estimated at 30 feet deep at some points, they were given sketches of the village so they could figure out approximately where the houses once stood.
    Lt. Col. Raul Farnacio, the highest-ranking military officer at the scene, estimated the death toll at about 1,800 ? nearly every man, woman and child who lived in Guinsaugon, about 400 miles east of the capital, Manila. "We presume that more or less that 1,800 are feared dead," a grim Farnacio said as search efforts resumed Saturday in a drenching rain and high winds."


    (Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060218/ap_on_re_mi_ea/philippines_landslide)

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    PBS owns me

    The title explains it all but I am a true supporter of PBS and I thought I would share this great reality with you. The War Behind Closed Doors
    Just watch it and you can thank me later. There is also one about the private army in Iraq but I couldnt find it in the last 10 seconds. will post later.
    cheers

    taking the GRE in cameroun

    Jesse's taking the GRE next week in yaounde.. wish him luck on his blog!
    he's been reading books by faulkner and joyce to build his vocabulary, and managed to get a hold of a 1995 prep book and a practice test. : ).

    Cure diseases from your living room with your mac or pc

    "Our goal: to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases.

    What is protein folding and how is folding linked to disease? Proteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines." Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or "fold." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery.

    Moreover, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious consequences, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes.

    You can help by simply running a piece of software. Folding@Home is a distributed computing project -- people from through out the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer makes the project closer to our goals."

    Check our the Stanford site to see how you can be a part of the supercomputer.


    Even if your intel is performing dull little tasks inside a pc, now you too can put it to good use.

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    change agents in action :)

    Hot off the press:

    AIESEC alumnus, elected as new President of Portugal
    Portugal's former centre-right prime minister Anibal Cavaco Silva, who has vowed to help revive a stagnant economy, narrowly won a presidential election on Sunday in the first round, official results showed.

    Mr. Silva joined AIESEC in 1959 and through participating in various activities developed his network and his leadership skills. Mr. Silva was also involved in the expansion of AIESEC in Brazil and Africa.

    what you pay affects what you get...

    ?Placebo Effects of Marketing Actions: Consumers May Get What They Pay For?

    by Baba Shiv, Ziv Carmon and Dan Ariely

    Marketing can shape consumers? reactions to goods and services: for instance, a product with a known brand name is judged to taste better than the same product with a generic brand. Three professors (from Stanford, INSEAD and MIT, respectively) have come up with a variation on this theme: that the price paid can also influence behaviour. In one experiment, college students drank an energy drink and then solved puzzles. The students who received the energy drink at a discount performed worse than both the students who received the drink at the full price and the control group.

    The professors then assembled a different group of students who, after having caught colds, believed that discounted drugs treated their symptoms less well than did the same drugs bought at their full cost (a study that should be of interest to pharmacies advertising over the internet). Noting that there is little evidence that discounted products are actually of lower quality, the authors wonder if consumers? expectations?that discounted products will not get the job done?turn out to be self-fulfilling.

    Berlusconi is up for election..

    The sayings of Italy's premier (who controls almost the entire media, is one of the richest men in the country and was 'immune from prosecution for previous crimes' whilst in power!)

    "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone."

    At dinner with supporters on Saturday

    "We have worked a lot. Only Napoleon did more than me - but I am certainly taller than him."

    On a TV talk show. Mr Berlusconi is 5ft 6in tall

    "Churchill liberated us from the Nazis. Silvio Berlusconi is liberating us from the Communists [in the city of Ancona]."

    "Thank you, dear Father Massimiliano. I promise you two-and-a-half months of complete sexual abstinence until 9 April [the election date]."

    To a priest who supported his party

    'The US wants the secretary general to be more of a secretary and less of a general'

    Who will replace Kofi Annan to rule the World?

    Read about the contenders for the job here

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    UAE Facts (I)

    In the United Arab Emirates, if you memorize the Quran you can get your jail sentence reduced up to 20 years!

    Sections memorised Term deducted:
    Entire Quran 20 years
    20 sections 15 years
    15 sections 10 years
    10 sections 5 years
    5 sections One year
    3 sections Six months

    it's just getting worse...

    Gunfire and rioting erupted Wednesday as more than 70,000 people joined Pakistan's biggest protest yet against Prophet Muhammad cartoons, burning movie theaters, a KFC restaurant and a South Korean-run bus station. Three people died and dozens were injured in two cities, police and witnesses said.

    The massive crowd went on a rampage in the northwestern city of Peshawar, torching businesses and fighting police, who struck back with tear gas and batons. It was the third straight day of violent demonstrations in the Islamic nation...


    Universities like LUMS, where AIESEC in Lahore is based, have requested students to not leave the premises. I've heard the riots spread to the general vicinity where the university is located, but it might just have been rumors...

    New Abu Ghraib Pictures Broadcast

    (From the BBC)

    An Australian TV channel has broadcast previously unpublished images showing apparent US abuse of prisoners in Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail in 2003.

    The images on SBS TV are thought to be from the same source as those that caused an outcry around the world and led to several US troops being jailed.

    The new images show "homicide, torture and sexual humiliation", SBS said.

    Read the full story here.
    This nomadlife main page is like a river. It needs a regular stream of updates every day otherwise it will get stagnant and smelly :)

    I am still in the process of settling down in Cairo, Egypt so my Internet connection is irregular. Hence I cannot contribute to the updates very often.

    I need you to step up and fill the updates gap nomadlife has been experiencing in the past few days. We have a lot of people with update rights to the main blog, so please exercise it (email me at dody@nomadlife.org if you want posting rights). If each of you post at least once a week, we will be blessed with a huge diversity of opinions, news and fun here on the main page.

    Change from within?

    Today's BBC headline story, Party elders attack China censors, is a rare public break from within the Chinese Communist party. While the authors of the letter are the former Maoist higher-ups, not current comunist leaders, it speaks volumes of a society struggling to use new forms of media to express the growing consciousness of a country who is the up and coming economic leader of the world.

    In other news, uncomfirmed reports of a Blogger shutdown, from our very own Sara Sadek, in Hong Kong seems to be a big step in the wrong direction.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Two die in Pakistan cartoon clash...

    "Pakistani security guards have shot dead two protesters in Lahore during unrest over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad, officials say.

    Police in Islamabad fired tear gas and used batons to beat back hundreds of students who entered a diplomatic area." More Here

    According to first reports, all AIESEC Lahore members and their families are safe.

    Istanbul bombs

    Istanbul market bomb blast injures 6 - Europe - MSNBC.com: "Six people were injured Monday by an explosion at an Istanbul supermarket, the second blast in Turkey's largest city in four days, and Turkish television said it had been caused by a bomb."

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Happy Valentine's Day, nomads!



    Nam Choke, an 8-year-old bull elephant (left), and Boonrawd, a 7-year-old cow elephant, form a heart shape with their trunks while the sun sets in the background at an elephant camp in the former Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya, 70km north of Bangkok. Photo: Reuters

    Dhoni's magic! India win!


    Well what can I say, Dhoni and Tendulkar spear head India's awesome victory against Pakistan in the 3rd ODI! I will let people's comments do the talking :)

    Google to create rival internet infrastructure?

    "Google is working on a project to create its own global internet protocol (IP) network, a private alternative to the internet controlled by the search giant, according to sources who are in commercial negotiation with the company."

    "Should Google successfully launch an alternative network, it is is theoretically possible for them to block out competitor websites and only allow users to access websites that have paid Google to be shown to their users.."

    and more on the google laptop:
    "Google has long been rumoured to be planning to launch a PC to retail for less than $100. The Google computers are likely to be low-grade machines that require a connection to Google to be able to perform functions such as word processing and spreadsheet manipulations. While using the computers, it is understood that consumers will be shown personalised advertising from the company's AdWords network."

    more here

    Six newspapers reprint Muhammad cartoons

    Six European newspapers have reprinted controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad which have provoked outrage, trade boycotts and threats of violence towards Danes after they were first published in a Danish paper.



    Under the headline "We have the right to caricature God," a struggling French tabloid today reprinted all 12 of the cartoons first printed by Jyllands-Posten, a right-of-centre Danish broadsheet last September.

    The coverage ran across pages four and five of this morning's edition with an editorial that defended the freedom of the press.

    "The publication of 12 cartoons in the Danish press has shocked the Muslim world for whom the representation of Allah and his prophet is banned," the newspaper said. "But because no religious dogma can impose its view on a democratic and secular society, France Soir publishes the incriminated cartoons."

    For its front page, the newspaper even commissioned its own image, showing a peeved Muhammad sitting on a cloud with Buddha, a Jewish God and a Christian God, who says: "Don?t complain Muhammad, we?ve all been caricatured here."

    more here

    The Sullivan principles for China...

    29 years ago, Leon Sulivan, an executive at General Motors drafted a set of corporate principles that would form an important part of the global fight against apartheid in South Africa.

    Can the IT industry come up with a similar set of principles to fight what this journalist calls China's Great 'fire'Wall against it's citizens?

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    A very special day, 197 years ago....

    "On this day in 1809, two of the most famous men of the 19th century were born under very different circumstances -- one in a Kentucky log cabin, the other in an English country house complete with stable and servants' quarters.

    The first is, of course, Abraham Lincoln.

    And the second? None other than Charles Darwin.

    That two such influential men should be born on the same day of the same year surely is one of history's most amazing coincidences............."

    IM Directory

    We now have an Instant Messaging directory available for those interested in putting up their details. It's located on the main nomadlife page, next to the Skype directory. Thanks for making it happen, Dody :) Let's get some chatter going!

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Chicago was recently awarded by the American Institute of Architects as the best city in the USA for building architecture.

    We are the champions

    WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS


    EGYPT did it... AGAINST ALL ODDS...We celebrated all night on the streets of dubai. For pictures of those celebrations, visit my blog. We also saw as cairo, alexandria and other cities in egypt stayed up all night with the corniche in Alexandria jam packed at 3:00am from one end of the city to the other!!!! "Mabrook le Masr" (translated - Congratulations to Egypt).

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Winter Olympics - TORINO 2006 have started!!



    Go Czech Team!!
    hmm... wanted to make it an official post, but can't hide my true feelings... :o))
    Go Czech Team!! Especially the hockey team!!



    Nomadfest

    Update on nomadfest in Dublin ... two more nomads representing Portugal!

    Live from Cairo

    4-2 Mohamed Aboutrika scors and wins the African Cup of Nations for Egypt.
    3-2 Emmanuel Eboue scores for the Ivory Coast.
    3-1 Amr Zaki converts his penalty for Egypt.
    2-1 Bakary Kone has his penalty saved for the Ivory Coasts
    2-1 Abdelhalim Ali puts the ball wide for Egypt.
    2-1 Kolo Toure scores for the Ivory Coast.
    2-0 Mohamed Abdelwahab scores to give Egypt the advantage.
    1-0 Didier Drogba's penalty for the Ivory Coast is saved by Essam Al Hadary.
    1-0 Ahmed Hassan puts Egypt ahead.

    (bbc)

    It is a pandemonium here in Zamalek, Cairo.

    Calling All Alumni: AIESEC Scholarship

    I posted in full about this on my blog, but Alf and I are looking to get some alumni to put your money where your mouth is.

    Do you really still care about AIESEC and ensuring that your legacy lives on?

    Then help us out by donating to the scholarship fund.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Super 14 Kicks Off



    Tomorrow night, one of the most intense and fast-paced international sporting competitions in the world will kick off: the Super 14. 13 consecutive weekends of 7 rugby games each, played by provincial teams in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The season will start with the Wellington Hurricanes taking on the Auckland Blues - two teams full of exciting, running, attacking players. And of the two starting XV's, there will be an unbelievable 22 All Blacks playing. You can "play" too, by entering into the Virtual Super 14 competition - you pick the margins of each of the 7 games every week, and the leaders at the end will be winning cars or mobile phone packs. So what are you waiting for? :)

    New World Record

    Somewhere above Thailand.....400 "formation jumpers". Wish I could participate in something like this once :-)

    (http://www.spiegel.de/sport/sonst/0,1518,399787,00.html)

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Another Badger Birthday

    Derbruhaha took his first step down the hill today, reaching a glorious 22 years of existence. He skipped his own party last year, so not only are celebrating 22, but also 21. Send him some courage and wish him well; he's got a lot of shots to do.
    Come 10pm our time, our drinking will be raising funds for invisible children.

    will you live to 1,000?

    Aubrey de Grey believes that a 60-year-old alive today may become the first 1,000-year-old human. And he is serious.

    De Grey's claim is that radical increases in human life expectancy will be possible within the next twenty to thirty years. The basis for such a confident prediction is a project that he calls Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (Sens). It makes Sens to put it into practice, he jokes. The Sens project, which he directs, has identified seven causes of ageing ? seven types of molecular or cellular damage ? each of which "is potentially fixable by technology that already exists or is in active development."

    His forthright views, and the endearing zeal with which he expresses them, have attracted increasing amounts of attention, not only in scientific journals but also in the mainstream media. In the past year, he has been interviewed by several British broadsheet newspapers, and he recently featured in a 60 Minutes special on longevity on the US network CBS. In a profile of de Grey for the magazine Technology Review, Sherwin Nuland, clinical professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, concluded that "his stature has become such that he is a factor to be dealt with in any serious discussion of the topic."

    hmm, a serious scientist or crazy lunatic? read more here

    Go get 'em those Big Mac

    "The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect.

    The $415 million federal study involved nearly 49,000 women ages 50 to 79 who were followed for eight years. In the end, those assigned to a low-fat diet had the same rates of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart attacks and strokes as those who ate whatever they pleased, researchers are reporting today." (NY Times)

    check it out

    see culture shock and a little cultural insensitivity unfolding right infront of your eyes right here on nomadlife!

    good thing it always keeps you on your toes - how bad will the next one be!!!

    Afrian Cup - HERE WE COME - Egypt 2 - Senegal 1



    Being in Dubai makes it difficult to sometimes catch the atmosphere of the game when your home country is playing. Not only because it's so far from home, but because it's also so cosmopolitan that it's not easy to gather so many Egyptians in the same place to watch the game.

    Yesterday was different.

    We went to the cafe where we have watched all the games so far. The game was schedueled for 9:00pm, so I was there at 5:00pm to watch the first semi-final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast won a deserved 1-0 victory to reach the final and wait for the winner of the next anticipate game between hosts Egypt and Senegal. Between 5 and 9 I saw what was an empty cafe transform into a mini-stadium. People started flooding in, friends and random people that no one knew, all united by the same passion, the love for EGYPT.

    The match started and with it the cheers, screams and chants from the "Stadium" in which we were sitting. Egypt scored first only for Senegal to later equalize and raise the tension until ten minutes before the end, when the winner was scored and crowd erupted. It was so loud and cheers were heard everywhere, i would imagin within a one mile radius. The last ten minutes of the game went by like 10 hours and with the referees whistles we took to the street outside the cafe where we were joined by passers by, people from other cafes around us and even the police. It was a scene last night with the flags waving, the people chanting "Masr, Masr, Masr" (Egypt, Egypt, Egypt).

    Hugs all around, we parted, vowing to re-create this atmosphere to cheer for our country in the final on Friday.

    Friday, 10th of Feb 2006

    8:00 PM - UAE Time

    Arabica Cafe, Sheikh Zayed Road

    EGYPT vs. IVORY COAST

    And the Cartoons War Begin..

    Iranian Newspaper Paper to run 'Holocaust cartoons'

    Lost World

    Scientists Discover Dozens of New Species in ?Lost World? of Western New Guinea
    Lost Bird of Paradise Found in Isolated Foja Mountains of Papua, Along With New Honeyeater Bird, New Frogs and a Rare Tree Kangaroo.

    Washington, D.C. ? An expedition to one of Asia?s most isolated jungles ? in the mist-shrouded Foja Mountains of western New Guinea ? discovered a virtual ``Lost World? of new species, giant flowers, and rare wildlife that was unafraid of humans.The December 2005 trip by a team of U.S., Indonesian, and Australian scientists led by Conservation International (CI) found dozens of new species including frogs, butterflies, plants, and an orange-faced honeyeater, the first new bird from the island of New Guinea in more than 60 years. Conservation International and the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) sponsored the expedition, with financial support from the Swift Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the National Geographic Society and the Global Environment Project Institute.

    The team captured the first photos ever seen of exotic birds such as a male Berlepsch?s Six-Wired Bird of Paradise (Parotia berlepschi). It also found a new large mammal for Indonesia ? the Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus pulcherrimus), formerly known from only a single mountain in neighboring Papua New Guinea.

    ?It?s as close to the Garden of Eden as you?re going to find on Earth,? marveled Bruce Beehler, vice president of CI?s Melanesia Center for Biodiversity Conservation and a co-leader of the expedition. ?The first bird we saw at our camp was a new species. Large mammals that have been hunted to near extinction elsewhere were here in abundance. We were able to simply pick up two Long-Beaked Echidnas, a primitive egg-laying mammal that is little known.?

    More here : http://www.conservation.org/xp/news/press_releases/2006/020706.xml

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    St. Patricks Festival / Nomadfest Update

    There's currently 29 AIESECers/Nomads coming to Dublin for St. Patrick's Weekend. Read the original post for more info.

    This is who's coming so far, and who's staying where:

    Eoin's House:
    1. Maria Medrano (Mexico)
    2. Emmanuel Sciara (France)
    3. Amelia Tandy (Australia)

    Irish MC Flat:
    1. Luiz Felix (Brazil)
    2. Sarah Bradley (UK)
    3. Jefferson Souza (Brazil)
    4. Tatiane Souza (Brazil)
    5. Diogo Cobbo (Brazil)
    6. Zoe Fitzgerald (Australia)
    7. Fernanda Martins (Brazil)
    8. Guilherme Macedo (Brazil)
    9. Luiz Ramos (Brazil)
    10. Henrique Verdana (Brazil)
    11. Carol Floripa (Brazil)
    12. Duarte Sa (Portugal)
    13. Frederico Dupim (Brazil)
    14. Sigitass Kuodas (Lithuania)
    15. Russell Cook (UK)
    16. Georgina Guillen (Mexico)

    Karola's House:

    1. Randy Mistica (Canada)
    2. Arnaub Chatterjee (USA)
    3. Eric Hsu (USA)
    4. Kee Won Hong (USA
    5. Colleen McNulty (USA)
    6. Jure Decman (Slovenia)
    Simon's House:
    1. Hetal Damani (Canada)
    2. Luciana Ciubotariu (Brazil)

    Calgary's Flat

    1. Eddie Chow Cheuk-hang (Hong Kong)
    2. Saki Takasu (Japan/USA) (TBC)


    Unconfirmed (ie Thinking about it!)

    1. Reuben Muarge (Kenya)
    2. Mazzy Cameron (Australia)
    3. Thomas Wiechers (Germany)
    4. Kristina Mand Lakhiani (Estonia)
    5. Vishen Lakhiani (Malaysia)
    It's gonna be one hell of a party!!

    More info on the three extra 'cartoons'

    This post is a continuation on the previous 'provocation?' post.



    This picture is from a French Pig-Squealing Champions contest back in August 2005.

    The AP reported it as such and their reporter took this picture

    "Yohann and Olivier Roussel's performance climaxed in a cacophony of oinks and grunts, unleashing an explosion of applause.
    But it was only after lengthy jury deliberations that their hopes were confirmed ? the father-and-son team were France's official Pig-Squealing Champions for 2005."
    (read more)

    This source is discovered by Neandernews.

    This innocent picture is transformed into a supposedly 'drawing' that is part of the three extra cartoons by darkening the image. You can view that transformation here and it contains both an Arabic script at the bottom and probably a Danish language at the top as a title.

    I need someone that read Arabic to translate what the inscription reads and also one Danish speaker. Prepare to get offended but this is a really ugly situation without any clean solutions.

    To put things on perspective, the 12 cartoons alone is enough to offend. What we need to figure out is why the group feel the need to include three extras.

    UPDATE (Tom G) - A timeline of this whole sorry circus, showing the different reactions/comments etc from different players involved, beginning in October '05, just a few days after the cartoons were published.

    These 3 "extra" cartoons sure are stupid and nasty, but this idea of a "delayed reaction" caused by them doesnt seem to pan out. If anything, a lot of these problems were caused by Egypt's idiot Foreign Minister, who has been hammering on about them for months and months.............

    Check these out

    http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2006/sexual-harassment-p1.php

    http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2004/m-bush-sovereignty-p1.php

    Something that could pass the Turing test?

    Add the following email address to MSN: "encarta@conversagent.com"

    Ask the program questions of absolutely any sort... (it even takes some personal ones!), get your answers and tell me if you are not atleast a little frightened by the possibilities... Right now it only links to Encarta's online encyclopaedia...

    I already tried asking it what algorithms or languages it uses... it told me that it prefers to keep them a secret... :P

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    provocation ?

    It is an established facts that 12 cartoons were published by a small Danish newspaper back in September, an event which just now provokes a lot of harsh reactions by some Muslims.

    Here's an interesting nuggets of information being examined by the bloghosphere.

    A group called "Islamic Society of Denmark" apparently toured the Middle East to raise the awareness of the publication and added three additional 'cartoons' to the 12 as if they were part of the original 12 published cartoons. You can view these three additional 'cartoons' here (warning: offensive content).

    "Akhmad Akkari, spokesman of the Danish Muslim organisations which organised the tour, explained that the three drawings had been added to "give an insight in how hateful the atmosphere in Denmark is towards Muslims." "

    The tour may give an insightful information why it takes a while (4 months) for the reactions to happen. This is fucked up.

    De ja Vu

    "The American reaction was instantaneous. Radio stations across the country, but especially in the South and in the Midwest, stopped playing Beatles records. Death threats began pouring in, directed against not only John, but the other Beatles as well. Bonfires appeared, with Beatles pictures and albums providing the fuel. Maureen Cleave tried to explain that "John was certainly not comparing the Beatles with Christ. He was simply observing that so weak was the state of Christianity that the Beatles were, to many people, better known. He was deploring, rather than approving, this," but to no avail. In Cleveland, the Reverend Thurman H. Babbs threatened to excommunicate any member of his congregation who listened to the Beatles. In the South, the Ku Klux Klan burned the Beatles in effigy and nailed Beatles albums to burning crosses. Finally, on August 11, with a scheduled American tour fast approaching, Lennon held a press conference in Chicago, at which he attempted to make amends. "I'm not saying that we're better or greater," he said, "or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. ... I wasn't saying whatever they're saying I was saying. I'm sorry I said it really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don't know quite what I've done. I've tried to tell you what I did do but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I'm sorry.""
    (about.com)

    That was more than forty years ago and now it seems that we are watching a new sequel, with a different religion, a different language and new special effects.

    Again, this latest episode is less about religion but more about society.
    Kanye West would have been tarred and feathered 40 years ago for posing as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine just this last month.

    It is normal to be angry when offended, but it is dangerous and childish to be intoxicated in anger as we are witnessing in recent days.

    Try top this

    "The Pakistani Doctors Association announced a boycott of pharmaceutical drugs produced by European countries in response to the publication of insulting cartoons featuring Prophet Mohammed in the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten.

    Drugs specifically produced by Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, and France will be boycotted according to the announcement.


    This is a unanimous decision said Secretary-General Shahid Rao of the Penjub regional Doctors Association. All doctors in Pakistan reacted against the caricatures and until the countries listed apologize, Pakistan will use alternative medicines. " (Zaman)

    It's still escalating and getting more bizarre by the day. Where are the adults?

    I found one.

    "Anyone offended by the content of a publication has a vast choice of democratic and respectful methods of seeking redress. The most obvious are not buying the publication, writing letters to the editor or expressing their opinions in other venues. It is also possible to use one?s free choice in a democracy to conduct a boycott of the publication, and even a boycott of firms dealing with it. Yet an indiscriminate boycott of all the country?s firms is simply uncalled for and counter-productive. We would be allowing the extremists on both sides to prevail, while punishing the government and the whole population for the actions of an unrepresentative irresponsible few."

    Hot spots worldwide

    Share your wireless internet connections and create a worldwide hot spot network.

    'Hotspots of the world unite' says Fon (English)

    Un empresario argentino atrae fondos para una red compartida de hotspots (Spanish)

    International Management Rotational Program

    A year and a half ago, I had the luck to come upon this job through KK's network. A little under a year ago, I recruited Saki. We're recruiting for two more to begin at the end of July. They're looking for "people with an operations/manufacturing/industrial relations/print background (one or more of these types of backgrounds)." Formal job description to come.

    Currently, I'm on my fourth assignment, implementing an estimating software across three plants in AT, CZ, and PO. I'm living in Graz and learning German. Traveling, and still meeting Aiesecers, nomadlifers, and the like. Sometimes, I wonder to myself, I get paid for this?

    Send me your CV/Resume if you're seriously interested. I'll coach you through it.

    Great discussion on Prophet cartoons....

    For anyone with an AIESEC.net login, there is a great discussion thread right now talking about the whole controversy, with plenty of input from Muslim and non-Muslim AIESEC'ers from around the world.

    For those who can't read the whole thread, Aatif, a US trainee in Egypt, posted what I think is the best reaction so far:

    "Prophet Muhammad (S) himself, as did all prophets, encountered enormous resistance, ridicule, harrassment, and insult during their lives as they sought to spread religion. In one story commonly told to children, and which I heard many times growing up, a woman would throw sheep intestines at him every morning on the way to the mosque. He never said anything, he never changed his route, he simply kept walking every day, and she would simply throw sheep intestines at him every day. One day he was walking and she wasn't there. Instead of burning her house, or attacking her, throwing things, he asked around to see what happened to her. He found out that she was sick, and he visited her with food and water.

    She converted on the spot.

    This is how Islam spread so fast in its early years. The Prophet showered his enemies with kindness, and you can imagine how the recipient of that kindness must have been amazed. What could inspire someone to endure so much and still return with kindness and concern for her well-being? Muslims see the Prophet as a role model for everything, and it's sad to see almost everyone abandoning this lesson of the Prophet in this controversy.

    The violent responses, the flagburning, and even the boycotts are not shows of strength. Anyone can burn a flag or march in the streets. They show weakness and insecurity, not strength. This insecurity is understandable, but it's an abandonment of the Prophet's teachings. As even Nietzsche has said, mercy is the ultimate show of strength: it shows security, that you don't need to respond, that the offense doesn't even matter. Muslims should be bigger than this. Stereotypes are not going to go away on their own, and by responding crazily to a stupid cartoon, Muslims can only appear weak, unreasonable, and just silly."

    Read the whole thread if you can, lots of great stuff and growing by about 5 posts per minute right now......

    Another way to look at Brokeback Mountain...

    Happy birthday Simi. :)

    From the rooftop of the world

    An interesting article for anyone who cares about the topic...

    Global warming threatens Tibet rail link
    Selin has had an accident and broken her left foot.

    In her words: Acimiz buyuk, eglencemiz sonsuz. :)

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    Wanna bet?

    By 2020, bioterror or bioerror will lead to one million casualties in a single event.

    By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious)

    That by 2020 a wearable device will be available that will use voice recognition capability and high-volume storage to monitor and index conversations you have or conversations which occur in your vicinity for later searching as supplemental memory.

    By 2010 more than 50 percent of books sold worldwide will be printed on demand at the point of sale in the form of library-quality paperbacks.

    Within 5 years all power plants will be converted to full-spectrum laser-fired---all oil/gas/coal/nuclear power plants will be obsolete and retired.

    More bets...

    War on Cartoons


    So here we go, escalation time. Mob set fire to Danish embassy in Beirut. But Syria did it first.

    "all that is needed for stupidity to triumph is that good men do nothing"

    Saturday, February 04, 2006


    We have another MCP nomad in our midst!

    Huge congratulations to Aine who was elected MCP of AIESEC in Ireland 2006-2007 yesterday!!

    Go and congratulate her!


    The Case

    The last time this many people mad at the Danes was back when they roamed the seas of Europe and wore funny hat.

    I wrote before that this cartoon case has the potential to be the modern case study for cultural understanding. Although the media usually use the moniker "Muslim world" as if it is a singular entity, the reality couldn't be further than the truth. Muslim communities are as diverse and multifaceted as it can be and each of these communities speak for itself.

    It is probably useful to examine the level of reactions to the controversy in various Muslim communities around the world. The reactions in Malaysia and my country, Indonesia, are mild to the point of non-existant. It is quiet here in the US. I don't know if the level of anger is higher in the Middle East or in Europe. I haven't seen much from Turkey or India or Pakistan.

    A thorough research on these various level of reactions will make a good university thesis and contribute to the the much needed collective knowledge of cultural understanding in this world in transition.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    nomadlife.org e-mail address

    Where do I indicate what e-mail address my nomadlife.org e-mail address goes to?

    I'd like to change where it is forwarded to...

    Egyptian Ferry Carrying 1,300 Sink

    Reports coming from Egypt say a ferry carrying Egyptian labour home from Saudi Arabia has drowned earleir today. It is estimated that 1300 humans were on board. Authorities say they have only rescued 12 so far!

















    A Picture of the lost ferry!


    Thoughts, wishes and prayers to a successful search and rescue effort!

    More here!

    UPDATE (Tom G) - Man, me and Assem, great minds thinking alike - I posted the same story, one minute earlier (see below). All the breaking news, here on nomadlife!

    Update 2: (Assem)
    01:20 PM EST- Forbes reports that Between 300 and 400 passengers of an Egyptian ferry that sank today in the Red Sea have been found alive, a spokesman for the ship's owner said.

    Update 3 (Assem) 5.17 PM EST: Reports coming from Egypt say that he area the shipped drown is full of sharks and
    Barracuda. fuck!

    This could be nasty....

    Here's to hoping that this story turns out to be nowhere near as bad as it could be.....

    "CAIRO (Reuters) - A ferry carrying 1,300 passengers sank in the Red Sea overnight on a trip from Saudi Arabia to Egypt and search and rescue teams picked up dozens of dead bodies from the water, official sources said on Friday"

    These ferry accidents have often ended badly in the past.....

    nomads, say a prayer, think happy thoughts, do whatever you do best, but heres to hoping this this story doesnt get much worse.....

    More thoughts about the Danish/Euro boycot - Fresh from the Middle East!

    If you don't torch your Benz, then you don't love the prophet!

    "........Yes, I am sure that our Mercedes and BMW-driving, Cartier and Gucci-wearing Political and religious leaders are going to call for all of that any moment now. I am sure they will set an example for all of us in their love for the Prophet by torching their own cars and their own expensive cloths. It will happen any minute now. Any minute now. Now. And...Now.

    Now?

    No?

    A boycott isn't so easy to advocate when you are dealing with countries whose main exports are not butter, cheese and Lego NOW IS IT? Especially when it comes to your precious Mercedeses and Beemers huh?........."
    Wise words! Hope this mob, driving the "boycot" listens and thinks about whats happening around them! In a world of many cultures, thoughts and believes we NEED to be tolerant!

    Read more about the boycot and the cartoons from a variety of Egyptian and middle eastern bloggers. Here are some links: SandMonkey, Big Pharaoh, Roba, Jameed , Farooha, Freedom For Egyptians, Nadim Shamoussa, Tomanbay, Leilouta, Senefru and Loulou

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Pulling out ?


    "Palestinian gunmen have surrounded European Union offices in the Gaza Strip in protest at caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that have been published in European newspapers.
    ...
    Another armed Fatah group, called the Abu el-Reesh Brigades, said citizens of Norway, Denmark, France and Germany in Gaza "will be in danger" if their governments do not apologise within 10 hours.
    ...
    Norway closed its representative office in the West Bank today after receiving threats from armed groups in the region.
    "
    (Telegraph)

    Didn't I say we live in interesting time? This whole thing looks like a trainwreck in the making.

    This case also has the potential to be the paramount case study for cultural understanding.

    How do you think this will end up? Will these four European countries crack down on their free press? Will some of the Muslim countries and groups back down on their demand? O wise nomads, share us your wisdom.

    I am definitely worried.

    Obesity: 0, Game Addiction: 1

    How do you eliminate child obesity while getting them hooked on video games? Try the DDR Physical Education program, like the school districts in West Virginia.

    Tempest in a teacup

    "More newspapers across Europe today reprinted the 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have sparked protests across the Middle East - although most refrained from publishing them on their websites." (The Guardian)

    The cartoons no doubt offend a lot of Muslims and considered blasphemous in many quarters. They have the right to be angry and condemn those cartoons but I think it is stupid for governments to get involved in this.

    Blasphemy is always offensive to a particular follower of religions, but freedom of expression is a cornerstone of a free society. Europe learnt it the hard way hundreds years ago that being punished for blasphemy sucks big time (you'd wish they had shot you in the head instead).

    The Internet has changed the reality of what it means to the word "cultural understanding" because of its far reach and direct connection between multiple and sometimes incompatible values. The important values in this case are not overreacting and de-escalation.

    Wanted: Cooler heads.
    "Oslo has overtaken Tokyo as the world's most expensive city, according to a survey published Tuesday. Tokyo had held the top spot for 14 years in the Economist Intelligence Unit's biannual survey.

    Of 17 U.S. cities featured in the survey, the most expensive were New York (27th), Chicago and Los Angeles (tied for 35th), and San Francisco (40th)." (AP)

    How could Chicago be more expensive than San Francisco? That's crazy talk.

    As much as it hurts to do this... and whatever the reasons - these guys deserve those smiles....























    My prediction for the one-dayers now stands on shaky ground - but i'm still standing by it. :)

    Guide to buying laptop when you are poor (US biased)

    If you are rich (budget over 1500), this is not for you.

    Buy Dell Laptop.

    Always buy Dell Business Laptop. In every computer manufacturers products, home edition always means 'treat me like shit'.

    Have at least 512 MB of memory.

    Have your HD at least 7200 RPM (this is the speed of the your HD)

    If you are active (read: college students), get the smaller 12 inch screen laptop. Don't buy the big one . The heavier laptop tends to get dropped or bumped a lot.

    Always get a 3 years no fault replacement warranty. This will cover accidental damage (aka dropping coffee on your keyboard). They will also send engineer to come to your place and fix/replace your ailing machine.

    If you don't have a good warranty coverage on your laptop, you are essentially f*cked when something goes wrong. So always budget for a good warranty.

    Fight Hunger and Be Lazy

    I wrote this small program that does Fight Hunger site clicking for you. Just tell it to click the site x many times (each click has 10 seconds delay) and it will happily clicking away on your behalf. Download the program here (Windows XP required).

    The program only allows maximum 10 clicks before it shuts down and you need to restart it again. This way, this program simulates normal human clicking pattern instead of abusing the system.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    nomadlife traffic statistics

    Read them here.

    1 click = feed 1 child for 1 day

    FightHunger.org is partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme to help end child hunger and play a key role in meeting the goals of the U.N. Millennium Development Campaign. Visit the website to check out all of the different projects underway.

    Your click will trigger a US$0.19 donation from sponsors, TNT Global Mail, Express, and Logistics. This will enable one more child to have a nutritious meal at school. Offering a healthy meal at school encourages children to attend, helps them study, and provides the food they need to learn and grow up healthy.

    Let's each of us feed a child for one year. Silly 365 clicks when you have nothing better to do.

    JanaHam & Mart'a