Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cluster Balooning




Leader! Leader! Leader!

Obama tries to prevent further release of photographs depicting detainees abuse by US military personnel.


Berlusconi tries to prevent the release of photographs depitcing topless women taken in his villa.


Italian Prime Minister, the best job in the world!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Obama's Plan: Go see Jerusalem

Obama is making a last minute trip adjustment by adding a visit to Saudi Arabi before coming to Cairo to make a speech in Cairo University. As an aside, my office here in Cairo overlooks Cairo University and the Egyptian National Security officers have been checking everybody's background last week. The Israel embassy is about 30 meters from here as well.


This is my speculation. He goes to Saudi Arabia to do something more active than just making a condition based offer (restore normal relation for Palestinian Independence). He will ask for Saudi Arabia to drop the restriction of passport holders with Israel stamp. This prohibition has prevented a lot of Muslims and Arabs from going to see Jerusalem (because this prohibition prevent them from going to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage) - this prohibition off course restrict the West Bank developing a better economy because their tourism income only comes from majority non-Muslim visitors.

So what Obama would propose is simply, you don't need to restore a normal relation with Israel right now, simply drop your visa ban to Israel and it will change conditions on the ground. Let more Muslims citizens participate directly with the Palestinian's economy, not just from government.

I'd call this "Go See Jerusalem" iniative.

Let's see what happens :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sea of Change

A must read on the current situation regarding US - Israel - Palestine triangle by a former US ambassador to Israel. It's illuminating.

"On the contrary,” he said. “The principle that should guide the
Obama administration is to work with the Israeli government, not against
it. Israel holds over 50 percent of the problem and over 50 percent of
the solution, because it has the West Bank. You cannot persuade Israel
to make concessions by increasing its risk. Obama is not waving a club
over Netanyahu, but starting from Condoleezza Rice’s tenure, the opinion
has taken root here that establishing a Palestinian state is an American
interest. From that moment, the question is not only what is good for
Israel, but what serves US interests."
You can buy it here.

Cajone

"Mr. Obama reiterated his call for a halt to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and said he expected a response soon from President Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Mr. Obama’s words echoed — albeit less bluntly — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brusque call on Wednesday for a complete freeze of construction in settlements on the West Bank. In expansive language that left no wiggle room, Mrs. Clinton said that Mr. Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements—not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions.”

Her comments took Israeli officials by surprise.

Mr. Obama had said something similar during private talks with Mr. Netanyahu at the White House last week, and Mr. Netanyahu had responded that he could crack down on outposts, but not on natural growth, according to American and Israeli officials.

The administration then took the quarrel public — laying down the marker that natural growth would not satisty the United States and administration officials would not limit themselves to the diplo-speak of the past that simply said settlement expansion was “unhelpful.” The decision left the two allies hurtling towards their first public fight. " (NY Times)

This is how to be an honest broker. Some balls and straight talks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

archie to wed veronica...

the age-old love triangle of Archie comics has finally been broken, after Riverdale's ultimate Playboy Archie Andrews picked the vixen Veronica over girl-next-door Betty to be his wife..

So what if Betty was a blonde, loyal and kind- when it came to popping the question Archie chose the raven-haired, charming and rich Veronica.

After 67 years of being in a dilemma, Archie is all set to tie the knot with the vixen-a choice that left many Archie comic fans in gasps.

Archie Comic Publications announced on May 27 that the flighty redhead from Riverdale picked Veronica over Betty Cooper.

More here..

Goes to show - good girls never win.

We would all be speaking German by now.


Hitler's secret weapons. They arrived to late to be effective in WW II. Check out the article in Spiegel.de.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to make your own bacon


nomadfood has the details.

Shit

Huge blast rocks Lahore

A powerful car bomb outside the main police station in the Pakistani city of Lahore has killed at least 23 people and injured scores, police say.

The blast on the Mall Road destroyed a police emergency response building and TV stations are showing a collapsed building and gutted vehicles.

A car driven by a suspected suicide bomber smashed through a barrier and exploded, officials said...

Can Lahoris message in to confirm if all are ok?

Most Bad Ass Head of State Ever

Canada's governor guts, eats raw seal

"As she wiped her blood-soaked fingers with a tissue, Jean explained her support for Canada's traditional Inuit seal hunt and trade, which some fear will be devastated by a European ban on seal products."


What has your head of state done for you lately?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

beer commercials

Some of my extended family came into town to make merry under the pretext of a wedding. My uncle kept talking about the ad campaign for his favorite beer, Dos Equis.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the most interesting man, in marketing terms, is his ambivalence toward the advertised product. "I don't always drink beer," he says. Whaa? "But when I do," he adds, almost offhandedly, "I prefer Dos Equis." Double whaa? Generally, a brand icon will be an all-out cheerleader. Imagine Tony the Tiger admitting that he doesn't always eat cereal for breakfast, but that when he does, he tends to eat Frosted Flakes, like, most of the time. Doesn't have quite the same impact as "They're Grrrrrrreat!"
(Slate, with links to video clips)

Possibly the first Hispanic on the US supreme court


Judge Sonia Sotomayor.



I would prefer Pam Karlan of Stanford, but Sotomayor looks like a good pick as well.

Swedish sensations: Shanghai - "Ballerina"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Innovation of the Tamil Tigers

"But the Tigers' legacy remains intact. Their perfection of suicide bombings, their recruitment of women and children, their innovation in IEDs, have been emulated by other terrorist groups worldwide, from al-Qaeda to Hezbollah. Though they considered themselves superior to jihadi terrorists -- who regularly target civilians -- the Tigers opened the door to terrorism as a strategy of liberation and resistance to an unwanted government or occupying force. And they reached a standard of deadly efficiency envied by U.S. enemies and terrorists around the globe."
(Washington Post)

I got nukes



North Korea just detonated a second nuclear test.

Here's what's going to happen:
  1. Emergency meeting at UNSC will be called.
  2. Unanimous condemnation will be issued.
  3. Sanctions will be imposed.
  4. After 3 months, international community will beg North Korea to return to negotiation table.
  5. North Korea will ask for more aids.
  6. They will receive it.
  7. Detonate another nuclear test
He's a fucking genius.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grilling cheat sheet

It's close to summer time for the northern hemisphere. This handy cheatsheet will tell you the timing, etc for various type of meat.

The zen of motorcycle maintenance II

"The visceral experience of failure seems to have been edited out of the career trajectories of gifted students. It stands to reason, then, that those who end up making big decisions that affect all of us don’t seem to have much sense of their own fallibility, and of how badly things can go wrong even with the best of intentions (like when I dropped that feeler gauge down into the Ninja). In the boardrooms of Wall Street and the corridors of Pennsylvania Avenue, I don’t think you’ll see a yellow sign that says “Think Safety!” as you do on job sites and in many repair shops, no doubt because those who sit on the swivel chairs tend to live remote from the consequences of the decisions they make. Why not encourage gifted students to learn a trade, if only in the summers, so that their fingers will be crushed once or twice before they go on to run the country?" (NY Times)

A wonderful soliloquy about manual work.

What do you think of Newsweek new style?

http://www.newsweek.com/ now sports a new style that mimic its print brethen, a more serious, long form journalism than the very pop Time magazine reporting.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The attack against Sufis


The famous Sufi dance.


One story from Somalia
"From men of peace, the Sufi clerics suddenly became men of war.

Their shrines were being destroyed. Their imams were being murdered. Their tolerant beliefs were under withering attack.

So the moderate Sufi scholars recently did what so many other men have chosen to do in anarchic Somalia: they picked up guns and entered the killing business, in this case to fight back against the Shabab, one of the most fearsome extremist Muslim groups in Africa."
(NY Times)

and the other from Pakistan

"The blast in March was the most high-profile in a recent spate of attacks against Pakistan's homespun, tolerant brand of Islam by hard-liners trying to replace it with the more austere version espoused by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other Sunni extremist groups.

"This hurts deep in my heart," said Ihasan ul-Haq, as he looked through a rainstorm onto the ruins of the once ornate, whitewashed tomb on the outskirts of Peshawar, a main northwestern town coming under the influence of the extremists. "And to think they do this in the name of Islam.""
(MSNBC)

Sufi is one major strand of Islam outside the more commonly known and much larger Sunni and Shiite. They are mainly located in Turkey, the steppes of Central Asia and Indonesia.




Sufi dance in front of the tomb of Rumi, a great classical Sufi poet

Soon, the largest cruise ship ever built

Click here for details of the largest cruise ship ever built. It will be delivered later this year. It has over 9000 people capacity and larger than a US Naval Carrier.

Mother of the World

And I was interviewed by three young Egyptian women who asked serious, educated questions, and I asked myself - I have to repeat this question - whether the Egyptians were not better educated than I had remembered, and that perhaps Mohamed Hussainein Heikal, with our old memories, had not got Egypt wrong. I drove back to Cairo with Mohamed (yes, the old Aswan Mohamed) and I asked him to point out to me the Pyramids. And there they emerged, on the right of the car, the Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, and there they were, brilliant against the sunshine, full of life and power and danger, and I stared at them in great awe and love and wondered why I ever got tired of Egypt.

Robert Fisk's World: When I look at the Pyramids, I wonder why I tire of Egypt

Try this at home



One person converted.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Winning decade long low intensity conflicts


The Tamil Tiger rebellion is a nasty conflict that has plagued Sri Lanka for more than three decades. They pioneered the use of suicide bombers (a pretty useful 'innovation' to terrorize general population which then copied many times over by various conflict groups around the world).

Now the Tamil Tiger has been defeated. It's nasty leader has been killed and the long road to recover and bring the Tamil population to integrate back to the Sri Lanka's society begins. They better not screw this golden opportunity up.

The FARC rebellion in Colombia is drawing to a close as well after a series of killing of its leaders last year. Maybe within this or next year, we'll see a final curtain being pulled to this also multi decade long conflicts.

These two events give hopes that old conflicts do draw to a close and open possibilities of recovery and restoration. We see this in Sierra Leone and Rwanda and Uganda in late nineties and Angola this century (with a free election performed last year) - Indonesia ended East Timor occupation and made peace with the Aceh rebellion in the span of 5 years.

There are still plenty points of conflicts popping out from here and there, but these developements give reasons for optimisim that they will too can end.

$99 plug computer


"Marvell Technology Group is counting on an army of computer engineers and hackers to answer that question. It has created a “plug computer.” It’s a tiny plastic box that you plug into an electric outlet. There’s no display. But there is an Ethernet jack to connect to a home network and a U.S.B. socket for attaching a hard drive, camera or other device. Inside is a 1.2 gigahertz Marvell chip, called an application processor, running a version of the Linux operating system." (NY Times)

This computer is a size of a power plug, has 512 mb of memory and a full fledged computer, all for $99. The future is exciting. http://www.plugcomputer.org/

Surviving uncertainties

"For years, writer Lane Wallace has been providing FLYING magazine readers with witty, wry, and insightful writing about adventure. In Surviving Uncertainty: Taking a Hero’s Journey, she applies what she’s learned in the school of adventure to the broader school of life.

“After all,” Lane says, “adventure isn’t just flying airplanes or climbing mountains. It’s what happens anytime you step out of what’s known and comfortable into a place where your footing is a little uncertain, the outcome is a little unpredictable, but—and this part is really important—the possibilities are suddenly wide open.”"
(nomapnoguidenolimits)

It's a pretty good e-book and better still, it's free.

Summer of Love: New Jersey Fest of Music




Its a pricey three night weekend, but you all have friends in Jersey City, just 20min walk from the festivities. takrupp@gmail.com for the interested.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

http://www.startupafrica.com/

An Egyptian Tycoon sentenced to death for murder

"An Egyptian businessman and a security guard have been sentenced to death for the murder of the Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim.

Tycoon Hisham Talaat Mustafa was found guilty of paying $2m to ex-policeman Muhsin Sukkari to kill the singer. "
(bbc)

The guy owned Four Season franchise in Egypt and several other mega companies.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

like a telenovela, but with real blood



the man in the video was murdered six days ago. in the video, he predicts his own death and explains why he thinks the president of Guatemala is involved.

story from Economist

Stability at last..! Stability at last..! Thank god almighty, stability at last!


No messy alliances, no political instability, no murky back-room deals to secure power. Just a straight-up victory for the United Progress Alliance in the world's biggest democratic exercise.


This means a lot. With the Congress party (which leads the UPA) alone winning so many seats, it means Indian voters actually placed national issues over local ones and national stability over petty communal divisions. 

Of course, I couldn't be happier that we have a Prime Mtinister who is probably one of the brainiest world leaders out there.

Totally legit...




Coldplay is giving away a live album for free... Download it here...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Corruption and Unethical behaior in British Politics

Most of them know they are plunged into a new world of stringent accountability and transparency, but they have not grasped yet quite how different it will be.
This not about business leaders, but about British politicians who are also now entering a 'reset world' as the events of the last two weeks has shown their greed and lack of transparency and ethics. Incredible parallels with the financial crisis.
The oceans churn again. The collapse of the financial markets last autumn marked one historic sea change, of a kind not seen since the late 1970s. But a tidal wave is breaking that for now swamps even the economic issues that have been so dominant. The last few days will be studied for centuries to come – from the choreography of a single newspaper holding puny elected representatives in its thrall, to the revelations themselves, which show what happens when an institution functions in the dark.

There has not been more than one sea change; the disparate events are part of a single storm. The immediate consequences are still being played out, as some voters decide how they will wreak their revenge on MPs. In the longer term, Britain might become a fairer place as institutions and individuals that have stumbled greedily in the darkness are subjected to a critical attentiveness that will sweep away the cosy arrangements of the past.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No more access to porn from Egypt

Superluli breaks the bad news.


"A court in Cairo has issued a ruling that bans pornographic websites in Egypt, state news agency Mena reports.
The Administrative Court in Cairo has ordered the government to block the "venomous and vile" sites in response to a case filed by a Muslim lawyer.
Nizar Ghorab had argued that the "electronic dens of vice" were destroying Egyptian social values."
(BBC)


Welcome to the future

Check out this amazing screencast for Wolfarm Alpha Computational knowledge engine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

more cool design pictures from 1 design per day blog.

taliban again

a grainy video made by the Pakistan correspondent from Asia times, Syed Saleem Shahzad, interviewing a few residents of Swat. the reporter in the past has gotten interviews with Taliban leaders.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Gone

"Dan Box is on-site to witness the world's first climate refugees being evacuated due to rising sea levels

The evacuation of the Carteret Islands have begun. This morning I stood on black volcanic sand, pressed up right against the jungle, and watched a small white boat powered by a single outboard engine run in against the shore. On board were five men from the Islands, the fathers of five families, who have come to finish building houses and gardens already begun in a cleared patch of jungle at Tinputz, on the east coast of Bougainville. When these homes are ready the five will return to the Carterets, to fetch their wives and children back. Life, they hope, will be better for them here. On the Carterets, king tides have washed away their crops and rising sea levels poisoned those that remain with salt. The people have been forced to move." (The Ecologist)

This is what really happened



If you have been living in China and have restricted access to information, watch this video. This is what is really happening right now. There is no swine flu virus.

For your consideration

"Some students we have been working with for the last 4 years are spreading their wings and going out to do their own projects. Of course, the timing for funding could be better....

One project is called CACTUS (Civic Action Ukrainian Style). They have posted on a site, Global Giving, that will make a match if 50 people can donate $4,000. Right now, they are more concerned about making the 50 people then the amount. If you can put $10 in, I will pay you back and you could halp them enormously. They already have over $1,000! and another couple thou from other fundraising.

Here are a couple of videos to let you know more about the project. Unfortunately, it has no immediate emotional pull (I mean, how exciting is 'civil society'???) except that they are 'our' kids, and insist it is possible. Of course they would :) Hey, they even think they can change the world! Deadline is this Friday. If you can, pass it on--we can reimburse the $10 for friends too!"


GlobalGiving: http://www.globalgiving.com/pr/2800/proj2723a.html
YouTube (reflections): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byXq6JFRXyY
YouTube (description): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyf4AmmLscU

Cool Idea


"Tata, the Indian company that made worldwide headlines with its $2,000 Nano car, now plans to build 1,000 tiny apartments outside Mumbai that will sell for $7,800 to $13,400 each. The company plans to roll out low-cost projects outside other major cities."(Business Week)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Pink Chaddi Movement



"Pink Chaddi (Pink Panty) is "A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women" with a mission to send the Ram Sena and its Chief Pramod Muthalik a Pink Chaddi. "
more details

A typical event:

"Join Nirbhaya Karnataka this Saturday and Sunday (International Women's Day) to register your strong protest against the recent series of attacks inflicted on women in the name of 'morality', cultural policing or religious intolerance, attacks that are escalating as women resist and fight back."

Victory Day - The day Nazi get their asses kicked







Play that riff banjo man

The Opposition

Members of one of the handful of Georgian opposition parties currently blocking the main street in Tbilisi.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Swat Valley's Refugees

Swat's Refugees (NY Times)

The good news is it looks like the Army is going to take Swat Valley back. The problem Taliban is not taking this latest initiative laying low and the fighting have intensified over the past three or four days. Damn.


"Australia is known around the world for its large and deadly creepy crawlies, but even locals have been shocked by the size of the giant venomous spiders that have invaded an Outback town in Queensland.

Scores of eastern tarantulas, which are known as “bird-eating spiders” and can grow larger than the palm of a man’s hand, have begun crawling out from gardens and venturing into public spaces in Bowen, a coastal town about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane.

Earlier this week locals spotted an Australian tarantula wandering towards a public garden in the centre of town where people often sit for lunch. They called in a pest controller, but not before using a can of insect spray to paralyse the spider.

Audy Geiszler, who runs Amalgamated Pest Control in Bowen, said that the spider was a large male with powerful long fangs and was so big that when he placed it – dead – in the palm of his hand its legs hung over his fingers." (Timesonline)

Vesak was yesterday

CHANEL N°5 film



It's so ridiculously created that it's awesome :)

Insecurity.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Waw, after 2 years

Wow, after two years having blocked this website to the outside world, i found out it's still existing when reactivating my new account. Never realised i was so energetic and so positive about things.. It was so reflective after reading my entire blog, how much fun i had in Shanghai, how many friends i had, how wonderful my life was, when i was broke, how good the AIESEC was for me. Now i'm back in China, however not in the most dynamic city of the world 'Shanghai' but in the very quiet traditional Suzhou (-> maybe it will changed, if i'm living longer enough to see more of the city) Anyways, almost a week has been passed and i'm feeling quiet OK about this life.(quiet OK meaning, So so.. ) Well no AIESEC people to have fun with, that is just passed, no more house warming parties instead living in a very nice hotel though!!!!! Come on Kar-Man CHEER UP! I just think i need to experience again, and don't expect that i'll have a wonderfull life like in Shanghai since i started to work, i have more responsibility, and people at my age are not so single anymore and taking life more in a serious in a way, leaving my bf was of course not an easy way to be happy about. That's a big confrontation i dealt with this time, BIG TIME. Life has become more serious! Anyhow nothing can't stop me of being crazy or joyful... i hope .. step by step,i'll like it here;.

Maine to allow gay marriage

" Governor John E. Baldacci today signed into law LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom.
" (TPM)

This is the fifth state in the US that legalize gay marriage. Good on ya.

Anatomy Porn



There's a new and improved "body world" exhibition in Berlin.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

British's Design


"The Durand Line was demarcated by the British and signed into a treaty in 1893 with the Afghan ruler Amir Abdur Rehman Khan. The treaty was to stay in force for a 100-year period. According to Afrasiab Khattak, a political analyst, the areas from the Khayber Agency Northwards to Chitral, however, remained un-demarcated.

This disputed land was legally to be returned to Afghanistan in 1993 after the 100 year old Durand Treaty expired, similar to how Hong Kong was returned to China. Kabul has refused to renew the Durand Line treaty since 1993 when it expired, Throughout the last nine years, Pakistan has tried to get Afghan Warlords and Taliban to sign a renewal contract of the Treaty, and thankfully they didn’t not fall for the treachery of Pakistan. One of the reasons Pakistan faced problems with the Kabul rulers right from its inception was Kabul's claim over the North West frontier Province. (NWFP) Kabul never accepted that line or the fact that the NWFP is part of Pakistan. This was one of the main policy planks used by President Daoud Khan's government when it tried to foment trouble by Pashtoons nationalists in the NWFP on the issue of greater Pashtoonistan." (Afghanistans)

To nobody's surprise


"A senior Pakistani government official has urged residents of the Swat valley to flee the troubled region in the northwest where a peace deal with Taliban appears to be crumbling amid intense fighting.

Khushal Khan also said that the authorities in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) had issued an appeal for help to house tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the fighting between government troops and Taliban fighters in Buner." (Al Jazeera)

Charm Offensive

"“I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period,” the leader, Khaled Meshal, said during a five-hour interview with The New York Times spread over two days in his home office here in the Syrian capital. " (NY Times)

I almost choke on my coffee when I read this. Finally, a change in approach from Hamas. Read the article. It's a smart thing for them to do now that Israel is staffed with mad duos, Nentayahu and Lieberman. But again talk is cheap and this is the Middle East after all - we shall see what the future brings.

Monday, May 04, 2009

taliban!

Well-placed contacts have confirmed to Asia Times Online that as a follow-up of these warning messages from American officials, in the next few days Sharif will accept a power-sharing formula to join the government led by Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) to fight against the Taliban.

In terms of this, powerful political slots will be offered to the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) group. In principle, former premier Sharif has agreed to the terms and will add his party's weight to the battle against the Taliban. Alternatively, if either the PML-N or the PPP refuses to accept the formula, a technocratic interim government under the auspices of the Pakistani armed forces might take over. (Asia Times)

Bear Stern's meltdown from a programmer's view

"The Enterprise failed the Financial world when it needed them most.

When banks were crumbling they had no way to get information they needed to survive.

They couldn’t get status, data, evidence, hell even accounting records because…

the “Enterprise Class” systems and the worthless programmers that code them couldn’t do it fast enough.

An example: Bear Stearns had a 10000% increase in the number of failed trades the 3 days before it died.

No, that’s not a typo: ten-THOUSAND percent increase. Some say it was even 20000%.

You think somebody would know right? Nope.

While Bear was dying, the CEO was off in Florida at some stupid conference.

I bet he didn’t even get an email.

Hell, nobody really knew how bad it was until after the company died.

Where was the Enterprise when Bear needed them most?

Where was the realtime updates to the CEO blackberry from key systems?"
(ZedShaw)

A wedding report

Our boy Drake had his wedding party earlier this month. Unlike that genius that had a wedding in a -15C bitter cold in Western China, this one is actually located in a survivable climate in Belize.

more from Saki

A terrible thing to a waste

This is a cool blog that keep tracks of mind mapping programs. Fabulous.





Come to Africa and go to heaven

""By midcentury, sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be the demographic center of Islam, home to as many Muslims as Asia and to far more than inhabit the Middle East. The non-Arab Muslim countries of Africa -- Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Senegal -- constitute the one region of the Islamic world where birthrates remain high. In several of these countries, the average woman will have upward of five children in her lifetime. (...) By 2050, it is almost certain that most of the world's Christians will live in Africa."" (Washington Monthly)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Hello Laadeeez !


Guess who's about to be single again? This guy !

"Less than a week after writing an open letter that criticized her husband for cavorting with much younger women, the second wife of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says she wants to file for divorce, Italian newspapers reported Sunday." (NY Times)


So who would be Berlusconi's Carla Bruni?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mexico’s Fast Diagnosis

EVERY year approximately 10,000 Mexicans die from the effects of seasonal flu. Usually they are the elderly and the very young, people whose immune systems are not robust enough to fight off the virus. But this year has been different. The Mexican disease surveillance system, a network of more than 11,000 hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices, picked up a minor but troubling trend in April. Across this nation of 110 million people, a handful of young adults had apparently died from influenza. An immediate investigation led, within a few hectic weeks, to the isolation and full genetic sequencing of the microbe causing the illness. The experts’ worst fear was confirmed: it was a new kind of influenza virus.

NYTimes

Are we really the same...?

= ?


"Should life exist elsewhere, it would not be surprising if it used at least some of the same amino acids we do. Simple sugars, lipids and nucleobases might also be shared. Our analysis suggests that the first genetic code was a stripped down version of our present code, one whose simpler structure reflected the limited set of available amino acids in the prebiotic environment. Although there are countless ways that the code could have developed from those origins, the combined actions of thermodynamics and subsequent natural selection suggest that the genetic code we observe on the Earth today may have significant features in common with life throughout the cosmos." (Paul G. Higgs and Ralph E. Pudritz, 2009)

Friday, May 01, 2009

raps from the dirty south

Ignorant Fools !!

"Indonesia boasts the highest consumer confidence index in the world, a survey by the Nielsen Company shows, effectively brushing off any threat to economic activities here from the global economic crisis.

The survey, revealed Thursday, showed Indonesia topped Nielsen’s global consumer confidence index with 104 points, followed by Denmark (102 points) and India (99 points)." (The Jakarta Post)

That's probably because Indonesia was the worst affected (or "fucked" in technical term) in Asian financial crisis in 1997-9. After those fuckin' disaster of a period for the country, the current crisis is child play.