Sunday, September 30, 2007
"At first glance, the photographs seem innocuous enough. Men and women in uniform lie back in deckchairs, listen to accordion music, decorate a Christmas tree.
It seems like a carefree life - but the pictures were taken at the Auschwitz death camp at the height of the Holocaust. The happy men and women are Nazi officials enjoying time off from the business of genocide.....
...Museum archivist Rebecca Erbelding, who has helped to put album online, believes the very ordinariness of the scenes captured is what makes them so chilling.
"It shouldn't have surprised us that this was how they lived in Auschwitz, that this was how they unwound after a 'hard day's work'," But I think it's shocking because it's a reminder that they were human beings, that they weren't red-eyed monsters, that they had pets and children and lives, and yet could do this to other people."
Dr Stephen Feinstein, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota...draws a parallel between what happened in Nazi Germany and more recent events in Rwanda and Bosnia, where people who had lived side-by-side for years ended up killing each other. He also sees an echo in the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where American men and women "raised as good citizens" were guilty of abusing Iraqi prisoners in their charge.
" What it says to me is that anybody is capable of committing genocide under the right circumstances, and what we have to figure out is what makes that possible." BBC news
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Due to a new wiki launched by New Zealand police, members of the public can now contribute to the drafting of the new policing act.
NZ Police Superintendent Hamish McCardle, the officer in charge of developing the new act, said the initiative had already been described as a "new frontier of democracy".
"People are calling it 'extreme democracy' and perhaps it is," he said.
"It's a novel move but when it comes to the principles that go into policing, the person on the street has a good idea ... as they are a customer," he said.
"They've got the best idea about how they want to be policed."
So the list is comprised of 95 companies and here are the top 10:
7- Walt Disney
9- Lockheed Martin
10- Teach for America
Some interesting findings:
19- US State Department
For me, this current mass demonstration is similar to the ones that happened in 1997 in Indonesia. At that time, it demonstration was also triggered by economic issue and supported by broad spectrum of the populace. Suharto resigned after months long demonstration in the Capital.
I think the military junta in Myanmar will fall too.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
He asked of the United States: “If you have created the fifth generation of atomic bombs and tested them already, what position are you in to question the peaceful purposes of others who want nuclear power? We don’t believe in nuclear weapons, period. It goes against the whole grain of humanity.”
Pressed by Dean Coatsworth on the original question about the rights of gay men and lesbians in Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad said: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country.”
The audience booed and hissed loudly. Some laughed, uncomfortably.
“In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon,” Mr. Ahmadinejad continued, undeterred. “I do not know who has told you that we have it. But as for women, maybe you think that maybe being a woman is a crime. It’s not a crime to be a woman. Women are the best creatures created by God. They represent the kindness, the beauty that God instills in them. Women are respected in Iran.”
I was half expecting Shaolin style blockade but instead what we have is a peaceful sit in. Good on them !
But in recent years the board has carved the district into three zones, each with a new high school. One cluster of schools lies in the east of the city; its high school is 73 percent black.
Another cluster on Tuscaloosa's gritty west side now amounts to an all-black minidistrict; its five schools have 2,330 students, and only 19 are white. Its high school is 99 percent black.
In contrast, a cluster of schools that draw white students from an affluent enclave of mansions and lake homes in the north, as well as some blacks bused into the area, now includes two majority-white elementary schools. Its high school, Northridge, is 56 percent black.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tecktonik, a mix of hip hop and techno dance, was the talk of this years Paris Techno Parade, the annual dance music street carnival that took place in the French capital last Saturday.
"I started to practice at home by looking on the Internet," said Jackie, a 20-year-old regular at the Metropolis who works with young people in a northern suburb of Paris.
"Dancing has changed me," says Sofian, a 15-year-old from a tough Paris suburb who discovered Tecktonik recently. "Before I was on the street. I was at the police station everyday. It's been two or three months now since I did anything stupid." - Breitbart Youtube is flooded with Tektonik videos of course.
"Dancing has changed me," says Sofian, a 15-year-old from a tough Paris suburb who discovered Tecktonik recently. "Before I was on the street. I was at the police station everyday. It's been two or three months now since I did anything stupid." - Breitbart
Youtube is flooded with Tektonik videos of course.
Belgium doesn't have a government for the past 3 month and now the chorus for splitting up the country has grown louder. Do you have any suggestions for possible future two new countries out of Belgium ?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Dear NYTimes.com Readers:
Effective Sept. 19, we are ending TimesSelect. All of our online readers will now be able to read Times columnists, access our archives back to 1987 and enjoy many other TimesSelect features that have been added over the last two years – free. link
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it's easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that -- to help people see themselves in others -- through the power of film.
On May 10, 2008 -- Pangea Day -- sites in New York City, Rio, London, Dharamsala, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Kigali will be videoconferenced live to produce a 4-hour program of powerful films, visionary speakers, and uplifting music. The program will be broadcast live to the world through the Internet, television, digital cinemas, and mobile phones.
Of course, movies alone can't change the world. But the people who watch them can. So following May 10, 2008, Pangea Day organizers will facilitate community-building activities around the world by connecting inspired viewers with numerous organizations which are already doing groundbreaking work.
We want to know your story. Make a film and register today at http://www.pangeaday.org. Then, upload your video at http://www.youtube.com/group/pangeaday.
If you'd like to host a screening or learn how you can get involved, please visit our website at http://www.pangeaday.org.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"Conceptual metaphors do not just map preexisting elements of the source domain onto preexisting elements of the target domain. They can also introduce new elements into the target domain. Consider, for example, the concept of love. There is a common metaphor in the contemporary Western world in which Love is a Partnership. Here is the mapping.
LOVE IS A PARTNERSHIP
Source Domain Target Domain
Partners -----------> Lovers
Partnership -----------> Love relationship
Wealth -----------> Well-being
Profits from the business -----------> "Profits" from the love relationship
Work for the business -----------> "Work" put into the relationship
Sharing of work for the business ------> Sharing of "work" put into the
Sharing of profits from the business ---> Sharing of "profits" from the
It's Ramadan - props to all the Muslims and sympathetic observers who are totally hanging out for a cigarette, coffee or sandwich right now. May Iftar be a sweet, well deserved one :)
Remember to check out Blogging Ramadan for all the latest from across the Ramadan'ing world...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It's a collection of first hand accounts about how the Walt Disney parks and resorts handled the confusion on September 11th, 2001. Not exactly tales of heroism, but certainly an interesting look at how a large & iconic institution handled an extremely uncertain situation.
I (was) getting trained on 2 major attractions (at the Magic Kingdom) when my manager told both me and my trainer what had just happened in NY. We quickly went to the nearest Cast Member Break Room and I managed to see the second plane hitting the tower "live." The room was packed with all sorts of managers and I remember very vividly the (very surprised) reaction on their faces when the ABC reporter said:
"This just in: (The Walt Disney Company) has just announced that (it) will be closing (its) theme parks worldwide."
And literally less than a minute after the reporter said that, their beepers started going off like crazy and they walked out of the break room.
First we shut down all the attractions and restaurants and merchandise shops to get the guests out in the street.
Once the guests were forced to the streets of the park because all the rides were closed, all the cast members were instructed to hold hands and basically form a human wall and gently (without touching any one) walk towards the hub of the park and eventually towards Main Street. That way we could basically force the guests out of the park.
Osnos was also a recent guest on the Colbert Report, where he talked about how Western demand for China-produced-cashmere is taking a tow on the global environment. To view the related story, as well as the video clip, click here.
Her whole life has been devoted to issues she truly believes in and issues her company truly believes in. Lets just have hope in others like her and hope that there are many many more people like her still to come.
For Dame Anita, the truly exceptional entrepreneur, business and ethics came together. "Businesses have the power to do good," she wrote. "That's why The Body Shop's Mission Statement opens with the overriding commitment, 'To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.'" Capitalist with a Conscience
Monday, September 10, 2007
Last year a bunch of nomads experiencing Ramadan around the world shared our experiences together at Blogging Ramadan, a group blog here on nomadlife.
We're going to get it going again this year, so if anyone is interested in contributing, just drop me a mail - tom(dot)gara(at)gmail.com
Blogging Ramadan is for anyone and everyone who has an interest in the month - Muslim and non-Muslim, people inside and outside of the Islamic world - if you want to share your experiences of the month with other interested folk, this is the place to be. If you were already a contributor last year then no need to mail me, just post away!
Ramadan starts on Thursday, insh'allah - here's to a special month for all those who are touched by it...
Saturday, September 08, 2007
this video is a perfect guide. what you want to do is wait for prettiest girl to head for the exit, and you grab her arm just as the music abruptly changes to a slow, romantic song.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Definition: The distance traveled by light in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 second
Second Standardized: 1967
Definition: The time it takes for a cesium-133 atom to cycle 9,192,631,770 times between two specific quantum states
Measures: Electrical current
Definition: The current required to create a force of 2 x 10-7 newtons per meter between two parallel wires
Kelvin Standardized: 1954
Definition: 1/273.16 the temperature of the triple point of water — when it's simultaneously gas, liquid, and solid
Mole Standardized: 1971
Measures: Amount of stuff
Definition: The number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon 12 (6.022 x 1023)
Candela Standardized: 1979
Definition: The intensity of a 1/683-watt yellow-green light spread over a square meter, seen from a meter away
I had no idea how my open-handedness could be made to look, after the fact. At the time I bought the subprime portfolio I thought: This is sort of like my way of giving something back. I didn't expect a profile in Philanthropy Today or anything like that. I mean, I bought at a discount. But I thought people would admire the Wall Street big shot who found a way to help the little guy. Sort of like a money doctor helping a sick person. Then the little guy wheels around and gives me this financial enema. And I'm the one who gets crap in the papers! Everyone feels sorry for the poor, and no one feels sorry for me. Even though it's my money! No good deed goes unpunished.
2) Poor people don't respect other people's money in the way money deserves to be respected. "
(A Bloomberg columnist)
The Steve listened and is splitting the difference - a $100 credit for the faithful. Faith restored.
Check out the open letter here: http://www.apple.com/hotnews/openiphoneletter/
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
It would make sense if the comments for stuff like 50 Cent videos and clips of 16 year-old girls lip-syncing to Britney were full of useless juvenile crap - but even clips that wouldn't exactly attract the retards of the world seem to be full of the world's most retarded comments.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
His website, Ratuv, which means ‘wet’ in Hebrew (nothing left to the imagination there!), adds piquancy to the standard bump and grind by dressing up his porn starlets as Mossad agents, soldiers or women cops. It’s so popular that Shahar is launching an Arabic version. “We received many ‘thank you’ messages from Arab surfers. Many asked if the female soldiers really serve in the IDF,” he says. Any doubts and they could also check out the men’s mag, Maxim, which recently ran a spread on Israeli army beauties sans their olive-drabs, though I imagine that Saudi censors would be scratching furiously with their black felt pens on copies of that issue." (Time)
Abhi does well to put the Economist in it's place for making an unforgivable generalization.
"Some of the same Arab tribes accused of massacring civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan are now unleashing their considerable firepower against one another in a battle over the spoils of war that is killing hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands." (NY Times)
So yes, there's a new set of refugees created in Darfur.
Monday, September 03, 2007
And for our part, let’s stop being so surprised when we discover that our public figures have their own complex sex lives, and start being more suspicious when they self-righteously denounce the sex lives of others. (article)
"They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians, according to a U.N. report released Monday, which said the United States "leads the world in labor productivity."
Saturday, September 01, 2007
The suppressed U.K auditor's report shows how the wealth was spread across the world from properties and shell companies in London, Newyork and South Africa to a 10,000 hectare ranch in Australia.
The countries involved in facilitating the thefts include Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Dubai, Finland, Germany, Grand, Cayman, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Namibia, the Netherlands, Puerto, Rico, Russia, Somalia, South, Africa, Sudan, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zaire.
The intricately detailed report, commissioned by President Kibaki after his 2002 election victory but later suppressed, forensically investigates corrupt transactions and holdings by several powerful members of the Kenyan elite.
The sums are comparable in magnitude to the looting of infamous kleptocrats such as Mobutu (Zaire), Marcos (Philippines), Abacha (Nigeria), Suharto (Indonesia) and Fujimori (Peru). The leaked material is extremely politically sensitive. Ex-President Moi has become a key player in political life in Kenya, and is now an essential pillar in President Kibaki's campaign for re-election in December 2007." (Wiki leaks)
"“The answer lies in our genesis,” he said. “To survive, we have to do these things. And although what you see today — the superstructure of a modern city — the base is a very narrow one and could easily disintegrate.”" (NY Times)
"Singapore’s secret, Mr. Lee said, is that it is “ideology free.” It possesses an unsentimental pragmatism that infuses the workings of the country as if it were in itself an ideology, he said. When considering an approach to an issue, he says, the question is: “Does it work? Let’s try it, and if it does work, fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one.”"
“Supposing we had oil and gas, do you think I could get the people to do this?” Mr. Lee said. “No. If I had oil and gas, I’d have a different people, with different motivations and expectations.
“It’s because we don’t have oil and gas and they know that we don’t have, and they know that this progress comes from their efforts,” he said. “So please do it and do it well.”"