Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sinai Travel

Now there's a new community bus service from St. Katherine to Dahab and Nuewiba. Check out http://bedouinbus.com/.

Air Travel Security Theater

There is no good reason for airlines to ask to you turn your electronic device during takeoff and landing. Airline Pilots have their cellphones and GPS devices in their cockpit on all the time.

Rice Security

GlobalPost is doing a series on Rice, the main staple for billions of people on earth.
Rice is responsible for feeding half the world, or more than 3.5 billion people. In other words, rice is important. A tweak to how the grain is grown, sold or eaten can send ripples through the world economy. Take Thailand, which supplies 30 percent of the world's rice. Government subsidies there threaten to raise the price of putting dinner on the table in Mexico. GlobalPost takes a closer look at a tiny grain with a giant footprint.

Monday, November 28, 2011

UN Report on Syria

This is the whole report (pdf)

A snippet
Several testimonies reported the practice of sexual torture used on male detainees. Men were routinely made to undress and remain naked. Several former detainees testified reported beatings of genitals, forced oral sex, electroshocks and cigarette burns to the anus in detention facilities, including those of the Air Force Intelligence in Damascus, the Military Intelligence in Jisr Al Shughour, the Military Intelligence and the Political Security in Idlib and Al Ladhiqiyah and the intelligence detention facilities in Tartus. Several of the detainees were repeatedly threatened that they would be raped in front of their family and that their wives and daughters would also be raped.

Naked Protests around the world


There are 35 images of such images narrated by the most respected German newsmagazine, Spiegel. Tell your boss you are trying to understand the new phenomena of a global grass root movement against the heartless financial plutocrat. 

Egypt's Election Live Blogging


An individual ballot listing for a district in Alexandria. It has 100 names on it. It's insane.

Today is the first round of election and it covers 9 governorates in Egypt, including Cairo (but not Giza) and Alexandria. There are two more rounds left next month and January.

The Guardian has a map of all participating parties and their alliances.

Google Egypt celebrates the occasion


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wenzhou: A libertarian wet dream

For the last 30 years, private citizens in this southeastern China metropolis have largely taken over one of the least questioned prerogatives of governments the world over: infrastructure.  (reason)

It's worth reading all the way through.  

Seen in Cairo


It's unfair but here it is. Those are tear gas canisters at the bottom of the poster.

Downgrades

Belgium got downgraded to AA- from AA+ with negative outlook and Hungary got downgraded to junk status.

The ratings reflects individual rating agency confidence on a country's ability to pay its debt. The lower the rating, the higher the interest that the market impose on the borrowing of a country.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TIME magazine covers



Call center shift

Over the last several years, a quiet revolution has been reshaping the call center business: the rise of the Philippines, a former United States colony that has a large population of young people who speak lightly accented English and, unlike many Indians, are steeped in American culture.  
More Filipinos — about 400,000 — than Indians now spend their nights talking to mostly American consumers, industry officials said, as companies like AT&T, JPMorgan Chase and Expedia have hired call centers here, or built their own. The jobs have come from the United States, Europe and, to some extent, India as outsourcers followed their clients to the Philippines. (NY Times)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Live blogging on Egypt today


The election is still on schedule on Monday. It is a three phase election (weird, I know) because SCAF insists to have one judge to monitor polling station and there are not enough judges to cover all sites in Egypt. So the first phase will start Monday, the second will start sometime in Decembe and the last one completed in January next year.

The result of each phase will not be announced until the last one is completed.

This requirement to have one judge for one polling station is silly and it opens potential abuse to the election system. Anyway this is what Egypt has now. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Not good

S&P have kept Egypt’s outlook at negative and Egypt’s future is indeed looking bleak. Egypt’s reserve position is becoming uncomfortable – it has at most $22bn left, having burned through $14bn since the start of the year supporting the currency. Central bank data suggest it still has enough to cover four or five months of imports. But Capital Economics said in a note published on Tuesday $22bn was enough to cover little more than three months – widely regarded as the minimum for safety. (FT)

Fourth Gone

President Saleh of Yemen quit yesterday.

Ali, Saleh, Qadaffi, Mubarak: all gone.


Unfinished revolution


The Atlantic has more amazing pictures.

Tahrir square is peaceful and occupied by the protesters night and day. The raging battle happened in one of the side street connecting Tahrir to the Egyptian Interior Ministry (the department responsible for managing security forces).  This battle went on for 96 hours before it ended yesterday when Egyptian army set up barricades between the protesters and the central security forces.

This tactic of battling the security forces on a side street is to pin them down in one location so that they do not approach the nearby Tahrir. This allows large gathering to happen safely and made Tahrir a gathering ground and medical site.

It's still going strong

At Cairo’s Zeinhom morgue, the number of deceased has been rising beyond any number to be found in newspapers, official statements or Health Ministry reports. 

A manipulation of the cause of death is one of the main reasons that the actual death toll remains very unclear. Egyptian authorities have reportedly forced the families of those killed in the square to sign documentation that their loved ones died of natural causes, in an attempt to keep an official death count low. bikyamasr

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Air Taxi back?

Now, the Eclipse has a second chance. Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman whose family firm had also ordered Eclipse 500s for a proposed air-taxi service, ended up as one of the aircraft maker's main creditors. Instead of cutting his losses and walking away, he decided to invest in a revival of the company. Last month the reborn Eclipse Aerospace announced that it would start delivering a revamped version of the plane with better avionics, called the 550, next year. (Economist)

More pictures from Tahrir

   (Megan)

(Megan)

No clue

Yesterday over 100,000 people showed up in Tahrir. Then the current head of SCAF showed up on TV offering speech with some concessions to the protesters. People Tahrir square replied with boos and complete rejection of the concession and reiterate their demand for immediate transfer of power to civilian government in power.

The fighting still continues in part of downtown Cairo and in Alexandria.

What now?

I have no clue.

It does not yet feel like 2nd revolution. The food supply is still good, traffic is still bad, banks remain open, people still go out, life in Cairo is still normal.

But.

Late night traffic is less, UN workers have been 'working from home' for three days now, at least one oil company sent their office workers early yesterday.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back to Tahrir

I took two of my visiting friends to Tahrir at 7PM last night. Tahrir Square was fully in control of the protesters. We were admitted without a fuss in the checkpoints and large number of people kept streaming into the square, men, women and few children. The fights happened 300 meters into downtown. 8 ambulances arrived simultaneously signifying the violence that were happening at the front-line of the protests.

I took them to Tahrir for a simple reason - this is the other side of Egypt, beyond the hassling vendors at the Pyramids or finicky drivers in traffic jams. In this square leaders are being trained, vision clarified and next generation born. People reassert their demand for freedom and dignity and for government that work for them, that respect their rights, that protect them instead of abusing them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Still fighting the good fight

50 hours of protests and counting. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting high in the Islamic Republic


On June 26, Iranian state media reported that 20,000 former drug addicts had assembled at Tehran's Azadi Stadium to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended, and used the podium to portray narcotics as an implement of Western predation. "Today," he said, Western countries "have begun harming nations, especially the Iranian nation, by drugs. Arrogant states masquerade themselves behind the so-called humanitarian masks and they want to stir a sense of inability in other nations. They put on masks of freedom-seeking, human rights, and protecting people but in fact they are the biggest criminals in the world." (FP)

De Ja Vu


(Guardian)

I skipped this event last weekend simply because I am bored with these kind of clashes - been there, done that, got the teargas. Good for them though.

The clashes happened yesterday between the security forces and protesters, one day after the impressive turn out on Friday


This picture below was taken early morning yesterday around downtown
(Flickr)

The rest of the city is quiet. These are isolated incidents that are concentrated around Tahrir and small part of downtown. The rest of the city is virtually unaffected other than worsening traffic jam.

my favorite turkey technique

The butterflying technique can easily cut the time to roast the turkey in half.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Critical eye for the Times

Egypt goes crazy on #nakedrevolutionary

This site is the subject of much controversy in the country right now.  A 20 year old Egyptian woman uploaded several naked pictures of herself and other people (including a man ) as an act of provocation.

My opinion: people is free to do as they wish in regards of these kind of things.

Australia goes ga ga for Obama

The full coverage is here.

Benetton Ads

Benetton has just released new ads of photo-shopped images of leaders making out.

Boring. In the year of tumbling tyrants, these kind of 'shock ads' are passe. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thai Flood Hacks

Not small potatoes

It's easy to think of local food as a diversion for people with plenty of time and money — something that could never be a major source of food in a globalized world. But the number $4.8 billion might change that perception.  
American farmers say they're selling $4.8 billion a year in fruits and vegetables in their local markets, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Though the number of farmer's markets doubled between 1998 and 2009, the bulk of the new sales came from supermarkets and restaurants. (NPR)

Why cry when nobody is going to pay attention to you?

Prior to the project, investigators had observed that the orphans had a high frequency of serious developmental problems, from diminished IQs to extreme difficulty forming emotional attachments. Meanwhile, imaging and other tests revealed that some of the orphans had reduced activity in their brains. The Bucharest project confirmed that these findings were more than random observations. It also uncovered a striking pattern: Orphans who went to foster homes before their second birthdays often recovered some of their abilities. Those who went to foster homes after that point rarely did. (TNR)

An armed insurgency in Syria

Syrian army defectors say they have launched several attacks on President Bashar al-Assad's military bases near Damascus, including one on an intelligence facility.  
The Free Syrian Army said its main attack on Wednesday morning targeted a compound run by the Air Force Intelligence in Harasta, a suburb of the capital. The other strikes targeted military checkpoints in the suburbs of Douma, Qaboun and Arabeen and Saqba. (Guardian)

Magical brain

The brain has powers unlike any machine. It organizes the world. It organizes itself. When it’s damaged—even when it’s transected by a skull-shattering bullet—it can regain not just knowledge, but the ability to learn. If it can’t use old circuits, it invents new ones. Where there’s a will, the brain finds a way. (Slate)
ABC news interviews with Gabby Giffords are here. They are worth watching in their entirety. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Afghanistan

Reason for optimism

Italy has fewer foreign debts than the other troubled euro-zone countries, as it ran only modest current-account deficits in the boom years. Its net international debt (what Italy’s businesses, householders and government owe to foreigners, less the foreign assets they own) was 24% of GDP in 2010, not much above that of Britain or America, and well below the position in Greece (96%), Portugal (107%) or Spain (90%). Indeed Italy’s overall private-sector debts are modest by rich-country standards. This matters for the nation’s solvency. If less wealth goes outside Italy to service foreign debts, more is left to tax. (Economist)
Italy still makes stuff that people want to buy, e.g. Fiat, Ferrari, Fashion, Tourism, Food, Agriculture, High Tech manufacturing, Super Models. 

What to do in Singapore - from a local



  • Food
    • Eat Chilli Crab ( go to this restaurant at East Coast Park, Or Long Beach/ or No Signboard, all sea food restaurants)
    • Chinese Food-> Hainanese Chicken Rice/ Laksa ( coconut spicy noodles)
    • Malay Food-> Satay (bbqed meat), Chicken Wings with the chilli sauce (yum!)-> can be found in Chinese stalls too
    • Indian Food- Prata with Cury, To drink-> Teh tarik ( Pulled milk tea), Muratak ( meat with prata)
    • Sea food: Sambal chilli stingray and other shell like seafood

Which hawker centre to go, you can get a good sample of all these food ( other than the chilli crab, you need to go to the specified restaurants).

You can head to East Coast Park Hawker Centre by the beach in the East, nearer to the airport has a nice range and view….If you prefer somewhere in town, since you are staying in Chinatown,

You can go to Lau Pa Saut ( right smack in the business district,the nearest MRT station /subway is Raffled Place MRT)


  • Sightseeing places
    • One Fullerton/ Fullerton Hotel/ Esplanade with the Merlion-> Colonial architecture, nice to walk around this area, you can grab a drink there as well at night
    • Chinatown/Little India, Agree you can just take a stroll there
    • Check out Arab Street area-> Haji Lane, interesting shisha cafe and small characteristic shops to stroll out, its near the Sultan Mosque as well ( one of my faves in Sg)
    • Go Night Safari, its my no. 1 recommended list to do for my visiting friends, and I really really like it too! So go, its  a little far from town
    • My other favourite areas are Ann Siang Hill / Near Chinatown, where there are nice cafes around too
    • Another area to explore is Geylang, which I told you is a Red light district also  a place where they sell awesome food ! Like frog leg porridge (yums), Beef Hor Fun ( white thick flat noodles) and other supper stuff. You can try to eat a durian if they sell there as well
    • Fort Canning a park like garden at the top of the hill,  apparently the museum up there is pretty good I heard, called Battle Box, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_Box
    • Botanical Gardens is now nice place to stroll around if u like trees and plants



Monday, November 14, 2011

Tips for cooking


  • being a cook in a restaurant has nothing to do with creativity and everything to do with speed and efficiency
  • don't overcrowd your pans. putting too much food in a single pan will decrease the heat more than you want
  • a single good sharp knife is much more valuable than a whole block of knives
  • you should always have lemons, onions, garlic, vinegar, oil, and butter in your kitchen
  • to get green vegetables to stay green, we blanche them, it's the only way that they wont look grey and lifeless after they're cooked
  • fat and salt are your friends, there's nothing unhealthy about them when you eat them in the right amounts
  • the most flavorful cuts of meat are the ones that scare you and you'll never purchase them
  • don't add milk to scrambled eggs, creme friache, if possible
  • most (not all) restaurant cookbooks dumb down recipes for you
  • at fine dining restaurants, nothing ever goes from a pan or pot to another without going through a fine mesh sieve (chinois)
  • if it weren't for illegal labor, you would never be able to eat out
  • the gap in flavor between vegetables in season and out of season is astronomical
  • if you get pressured to buy a more expensive wine or made to feel like an idiot by a sommelier, you're eating at the wrong restaurant
  • be nice to your butchers and fishmongers, they'll let you know what's what

    (reddit)


Click on the link for a great thread of cooking tips by chefs.

Another Iranian Nuclear Scientist killed

An Iranian physicist was gunned down yesterday near his home in south Tehran, according to Iranian media reports.
According to the reports, based on police sources, Darioush Rezaei, 35, was shot dead by two gunmen firing from motorcycles. Rezaei's wife was injured in the attack and rushed to hospital. This is the fourth attack on an Iranian nuclear scientist in the past year. In the previous cases, Iranian media outlets and spokesmen accused the Mossad, the CIA and MI6 of being behind the strikes. (Haaretz)

Courage

Kristof latest report from Cambodia is both inspiring and devastating

 “We all know that our lives are in danger,” she says, a little too cavalierly. “I’ve never been so happy in my life. They can kill me now.”  
When Somaly refused to back off, she said the traffickers kidnapped her 14-year-old daughter and gang-raped the girl with a video camera rolling. The daughter was recovered in a brothel, and Somaly blames herself. It’s a credit to the courage of mother and daughter that they remain steadfast, upbeat and close, and determined to make a difference. These days, Somaly is very careful with that daughter and her other children.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ibis Aerial Highway

The
The plane flies over Cape Leveque on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome.  (news.com.au)

Brazillian Powerhouse

Brazil is set to become the world’s sixth economy by the end of 2011, if projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and two leading economic consultancies, the EIU and the BMI, are correct. Brazil will overtake the United Kingdom, demoting it to the number seven spot and continuing a trend up the ranks of global economies after last year leaving Italy behind at number eight. (Rio Times)

Qatari Embassy was assaulted in Beirut



In Beirut, protesters gathered in front the Qatari embassy and chanted against the decision. Some of the protesters forced their way to the top of the building, where the embassy is located, and removed the Qatari flag and put up a Syrian one, witnesses said. (Haaretz)


The last time this happened to an embassy in the Middle East, it was the Israeli's embassy in Cairo. Now the Qatari got a taste of it. This region is weird.

Telecommuting productivity

Well, we’ve lucked out, as someone has actually run that experiment, as Slate noted this week. A group of researchers at Stanford University partnered with a large (>12,000 employees) travel agency in China that was founded by a former Stanford Ph.D. student. The company’s chairman was curious about whether instituting a telecommuting policy would work for his employees and what kind of effect it would have. So they used employees in the company’s call center–the people who handled phone inquiries and booked trips–to test the questions (the results haven’t been peer reviewed yet, but they can be seen in this presentation [PDF]). (Smithsonian)
Pending peer review, etc.

There could be a couple of factor in improved productivity in telecommuting especially in location with chronic public transport problem.


  • First you save at least an hour of wasted travel time. 
  • Two you save the agitation in the morning after getting stuck in a traffic jam. 
  • You can pretty much dress however you like. 
  • You also eat better and less because you can customize your food portion instead of eating outside all the time. 
  • You save more money on transport and eating out food.  
  • You will not get affected much by elements (snowstorm, cold weather, etc)
  • You don't get interrupted by silly meeting request as often.
  • You can play your music.
  • You pretty much have your 'own office'.

McRib Arbitrage

The one thing we can say, knowing what we know about the scale of the business, is that McDonald’s would be wise to only introduce the sandwich (MSRP: $2.99) when the pork climate is favorable. With McDonald’s buying millions of pounds of the stuff, a 20 cent dip in the per pound price could make all the difference in the world. McDonald’s has to keep the price of the McRib somewhat constant because it is a product, not a sandwich, and McDonald’s is a supply chain, not a chain of restaurants. Unlike a normal restaurant (or even a small chain), which has flexibility with pricing and can respond to upticks in the price of commodities by passing these costs down to the consumer, McDonald’s has to offer the same exact product for roughly the same price all over the nation: their products must be both standardized and cheap. (The Awl)

This article above outlines the economics behind McRib, a pork sandwich that McDonald occasionally make available in certain regions and certain time in the US. It also highlights the staggering amount of agriculture products that McDonald purchases every year and its impact on agricultural market.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Malaysian states plot against gays

TWO Malaysian states are considering passing laws that could punish gay Muslims and gay rights supporters with prison sentences, a regional minister said today. (news.com.au
Also in Malaysia anal sex is punishable up to 20 years in jail (and probably numerous canning as well). This country's politicians are obsessed with sex. 

Seven Natural Wonders of the world

According to results of a controversial global popularity poll announced Friday, the provisional winners include South America's Amazon and Iguazu Falls, Vietnam's Halong Bay, South Korea's Jeju Island, Indonesia's Komodo Island, The Philippines' Puerto Princesa Underground River and South Africa's Table Mountain. (USA Today)
"The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River in the Phillipines is 8.2km long and winds its way through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. The limestone cave has spectacular large chambers and stalactite and stalamite formations. Picture: penmanila (Flickr)"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The danger being a Mexican blogger


Now four bloggers have been murdered by the drug cartel in the past three months.

The moral cowardice: the case of a serial child abuser

Penn State University is in the middle of major child abuse scandal that goes on for 15 years.

Many high level officials have been fired or resigned, including the University President. You'd think that only Catholic Church has this level of denial for so long.

USMC Birthday


Adios Rhinos


Western Black Rhino declared extinct. Human are great, aren't we.

This is how the Euro ends

Krugman calls it.

Damn. I hope he is wrong but I am not the one with the Nobel Prize.

Japan tops the best cities for foodies list

Tokyo, Japan This isn't number one by random chance, it's number one. Head and shoulders. The Japanese capital now has more three-Michelin-starred restaurants than any city in the world, but it's the amazing casual dining that should have you salivating. From ramen noodles to tempura to soba to sushi to the small plates of awesomeness dished out by any dodgy neighbourhood izakaya every day of the week, Tokyo rules.
(SMH)
If there is a worse place for foodies list, Cairo will top that one. 

The Conference Board forecast doom for China

That’s not what the group’s latest global forecast says literally, but this or something like it is the clear meaning of the forecast that China’s growth is likely to slow to 8.7 percent next year, 6.6 percent in each of the four years after that, and then average 3.5 percent per year between 2017 and 2025. It has long been an article of faith inside China and among most China watchers that the country needs 9 percent growth per year to avoid widespread instability. (The American Interest)

It is inevitable that China will slow down its growth as there are less low hanging fruit to be picked but I didn't expect the slow down to happen that soon. This can cause trouble as income gap issues are still huge in China and it needs all the growth it has to improve this issue. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Amazing Brain

Only a tiny fraction of the brain is dedicated to conscious behavior. The rest works feverishly behind the scenes regulating everything from breathing to mate selection. In fact, neuroscientist David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine argues that the unconscious workings of the brain are so crucial to everyday functioning that their influence often trumps conscious thought. To prove it, he explores little-known historical episodes, the latest psychological research, and enduring medical mysteries, revealing the bizarre and often inexplicable mechanisms underlying daily life. (Discover Magazine)

The future Great Leader is doing well

From late 2010, Kim Jong-eun began to appear in the pages of the North Korean press and in news broadcasts on North Korean television. He is shown mimicking the public activities of his father (and earlier activities of his grandfather). Kim Jong-eun goes to factories where he explains to the managers how they should run their enterprises and extols workers to labor with even greater enthusiasm.  
He is shown touring newly built apartments and inspecting military units, providing artists with moral guidance and mixing with exemplary soldiers. (ATimes)
Everything goes according to plan. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Things are getting complicated on Iran

Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.  
Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added. (WP)

Speaking of nuclear weapon, the cover story of the Atlantic says that Pakistan is moving fissile materials in delivery trucks. That's fucking insane. 

The answer is: world peace


If you guessed Miss Venezuela as a this year's Miss World winner, you are right again. She spent 5 years in a nunnery

Is Sweden the next Silicon Valley?

When tech entrepreneur Petter Ivmark returned to Stockholm last year after a lengthy stint in Silicon Valley, he rapidly sensed the change that had come over his home city. The impetus: two local companies — Skype and Spotify — had gone global. (Global Post)

It will take more than Skype and Spotify to make it so but the indicators are looking good.

Spiegel says, Berlin too.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Micro world

FARC leader killed


The Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed on Saturday morning that Alfonso Cano had died in the mountains in Cauca, in the south-west of the country, the BBC reported. (Global Post)

FARC has been mounting an insurgency campaign against the government of Colombia since 1964.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Flash collapse of a trading firm

A little before 2 a.m. on Monday, Jon S. Corzine was in MF Global’s offices in Midtown Manhattan, scrambling to cut a deal to save his firm. 
Haggard from too little sleep, at times pacing the hallways, he at least had a handshake agreement with one suitor for the firm. Then the chief executive was interrupted to handle a brief conversation that would stop the deal talks cold: hundreds of millions of dollars in customer funds, he was told, could not be located. 
Three hours later, the board of MF Global, with no bidders or options left, voted to file for bankruptcy, the largest failure on Wall Street since Lehman Brothers in 2008. (NY Times)
They couldn't find 700 million dollars of customer funds.  

Twitter Stories

A new site launched by Twitter http://stories.twitter.com/.

Central Planners of global capitalism


The New Scientist explore the capitalist network that runs the world.

Military space to civic space

[un]restricted access is a competition to re-envision  a few military bases to civilian spaces. They are listing about 10 abandoned or decommissioned military bases. 

No dice for US economy

The Fed keeps lowering projections: “The Federal Reserve significantly reduced its forecast of economic growth over the next two years, the latest in a long series of acknowledgements that the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis is taking much longer than it had expected.” (WM)

Sea Shepherd


They are on dock in Sydney right now undergoing routine maintenance. If you haven't heard of this ship, this is a pirate ship that targets Japanese whaling ships that usually operate in the Southern Sea.

10 trillion dollars economy

FP says that the black market is a 10 trillion dollar economy. That will make it the second largest economy in the world, just before the US at 14 trillion and about three times the size of China's.

Viktor Bout, the lord of war, is found guilty

The plight of Egypt's Libya refugee

It's not easy to escape from Libya and end up in Egypt.

Where in the world is Saif?


One of the remaining Qaddafi son is still at large. Nobody knows exactly where he is.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

You gotta be kiddin' me

Britain's armed forces are stepping up their contingency planning for potential military action against Iran amid mounting concern about Tehran's nuclear enrichment programme, the Guardian has learned. (Guardian)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action against Iran, a senior Israeli official has said. According to the official, there is a "small advantage" in the cabinet for the opponents of such an attack. (Haaretz)
Why the sudden spike in war drumming against Iran.
A report by the UN's nuclear watchdog due to be circulated around the world next week will provide fresh evidence of a possible Iranian nuclear weapons programme, bringing the Middle East a step closer to a devastating new conflict, say diplomats. (Guardian)

Dodo

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/doc/list_en.pdf. This document list the name of airlines banned from flying over Europe because they are shitty and unsafe.

Yay, we are fuckin' corrupt

Berlin-based Transparency International has ranked Indonesia fourth on the list of countries whose businesses are most likely to pay bribes abroad, after Russia, China and Mexico. (The Jakarta Post)

Surfing on Qiantang River in Hangzhou

It's wicked.
http://www.theverge.com/

Looks promising.

Concept Videos must die

I’m not arguing that making concept videos directly leads to a lack of traction in the current market. I’m arguing that making concept videos is a sign of a company that has a lack of institutional focus on the present and near-present. Can you imagine a sports team in the midst of a present-day losing season that makes a video imagining a future championship 10 years out? (Daring Fireball)
Build the product, not the videos simply because the 'product' in the video has no constraint, no utility and a complete waste of time.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Incredible landing



It happened two days ago. It was a flight from New Jersey. Nobody was injured.

The November Surprise

Greece will hold a referendum whether to accept foreign aid (Eurozone bailout) in exchange of austerity measures. The market completely freaks out.

I think it's the right thing to do. Th Grecians need to decide whether they want in or out - put it to the people and let the people decide. They will off course be fully responsible to any of the consequences of their decision. 

Middle East Peace Process

The Atlantic has launched a series of explanations on the foundation for any future agreement between Israel and Palestine. It's one of the best out there.

Germans who are bad at math

It turns out that Germany is €55.5 billion ($78.7 billion) richer than it previously thought after discovering a calculation mistake made by the so-called "bad bank" of nationalized mortgage lender Hype Real Estate (HRE), the Finance Ministry admitted. Though the welcome error means that Germany can now lower its ratio of debt to gross domestic product by 2.6 percentage points, down to 81.1 percent from the original forecast, the boon remains a blot on the country's financial credibility. (Spiegel)

Good news though 

Give them credit

U.N. investigators have identified a previously unknown complex in Syria that bolsters suspicions that the Syrian government worked with A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, to acquire technology that could be used to make nuclear arms. (MSNBC)
Israel is involved in many stupid things but they know how to bomb a nuclear site.

Don't take money from butcher's son

David Held, adviser to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi at the university and director of a research programme funded by his charity, leaves LSE(Guardian)

Collision Course

One of Egypt's most prominent revolutionaries has been taken into custody by the country's military rulers, provoking the biggest crisis yet in relations between pro-change activists and the increasingly repressive army junta.
Alaa Abd El Fattah, a 29-year-old who has been at the forefront of anti-regime struggles for a decade and was a political prisoner during the Mubarak era, was arrested on Sunday on charges of inciting violence against the military. He refused to recognise the legitimacy of his interrogators or answer their questions and is set to be held for 15 days, a period that can be renewed indefinitely by the authorities.
Presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh condemned the detention as "a major setback for the Egyptian revolution", while a number of campaign groups – including the influential 6 April movement – immediately declared a policy of total non-co-operation with army prosecutors, putting them on a guaranteed collision course with the ruling generals. (Guardian)