Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Women Are Being Beheaded for Taking Their Veil Off"

At first glance Shawbo Ali Rauf appears to be slumbering on the grass, her pale brown curls framing her face, her summer skirt spread about her. But the awkward position of her limbs and the splattered blood reveal the true horror of the scene.

The 19-year-old Iraqi was, according to her father, murdered by her own in-laws, who took her to a picnic area in Dokan and shot her seven times. Her crime was to have an unknown number on her mobile phone. Her "honor killing" is just one in a grotesque series emerging from Iraq, where activists speak of a "genocide" against women in the name of religion.

In the latest such case, it was reported yesterday that a 17-year-old girl, Rand Abdel-Qader, was stabbed to death last month by her father for becoming infatuated with a British soldier serving in southern Iraq.

In Basra alone, police acknowledge that 15 women a month are murdered for breaching Islamic dress codes. Campaigners insist it is a conservative figure. More...

Born a woman in Afghanistan...

Trafficked across the border from Pakistan with her 3-year-old son, Rukhma was handed to an Afghan who raped and abused her, then beat the toddler to death as she watched helplessly.

He was jailed for 20 years for murder, but Rukhma ended up in prison too.

Rukhma, who doesn't know her age but looks younger than 20, had put up with her mistreatment for three months last summer before seeking protection and justice from authorities. Instead she was given a four-year sentence on Dec. 5 for adultery and "escaping her house" in Pakistan, even though she says she was kidnapped and raped.

The fall of the Taliban six years ago heralded new rights for Afghan women: to go to school or get a job, and be protected under the law. Women's rights are now enshrined in the constitution.

Yet except for a small urban elite, a woman fleeing domestic violence or accusing a man of rape herself often ends up the guilty party in the eyes of judges and prosecutors. More...

See also: Saudi women and eternal childhood...

Josef Fritzl, the monster of Amstetten, having fun in Thailand...

Le monstre d’Amstetten, Josef Fritzl, s’amuse en Thaïlande…

Rice tells India and China to eat less!!!

If you thought only developing and underdeveloped countries are staring at a possible famine like situation, think again. Even a name that has a staple diet in it from a country that has never faced shortages is concerned and it is none other than Condoleezza ‘Rice.’

And she has blamed the "growing Indian and Chinese appetite in contributing to the global food crisis". The US Secretary of State is technically correct since both the countries dominate the world food consumption. But analysts feel she is morally and socially wrong.

But her remarks are now making headlines in India as various political parties say they felt offended. CNN-IBN quotes Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Alhuwalia disagreeing to the remark emphasizing that the food production in India and China have actually increased

On the contrary, India has blamed a poorly managed international financial system and the Fed reserve for spiraling food and energy prices at home. Many analysts blame US for its increasing bio-fuel consumption from food grains, as one of the many reasons.

Source: Commodity Online

See also: Is India facing a food crisis?
And this: Soaring Food Prices Spark Unrest...

Folks, meet Mr.Speivak, the man who re-grew his finger...

In every town in every part of this sprawling country you can find a faceless sprawling strip mall in which to do the shopping.

Rarely though do would you expect to find a medical miracle working behind the counter of the mall's hobby shop.

That however is what Lee Spievak considers himself to be.

"I put my finger in," Mr Spievak says, pointing towards the propeller of a model airplane, "and that's when I sliced my finger off."

It took the end right off, down to the bone, about half an inch.

"We don't know where the piece went."

Today though, you wouldn't know it. Mr Spievak, who is 69 years old, shows off his finger, and it's all there, tissue, nerves, nail, skin, even his finger print. More...

Comme Elisabeth Fritzl à Amstetten, voici Lydia Gouardo en France...

Lydia a eu six enfants de son père - Le Parisien
Lydia a eu six enfants de son père - Le Parisien

Lydia a eu six enfants de son père - Le Parisien
Coulommes (Seine-et-Marne). Entre 1971 et 1999, Lydia a été abusée par son père. Un premier enfant est né en 1982, quand la jeune femme avait 20 ans. Cinq autres ont suivi, toujours de son père. La jeune femme a accouché à Paris, à l'hôpital Rotschild et à la Pitié-Salpêtrière. «On me demandait qui était le père, je le montrais en disant c'est lui le père. Ca passait comme ça», témoigne cette femme, aujourd'hui âgée de 45 ans. Jamais scolarisée, gardée à l'intérieur de la maison ou sous bonne garde, Lydia ignorait que ce que faisait son père était anormal. Des chevilles au cou, son corps garde les traces des sévices que lui infligeaient ses parents, la brûlant à l'eau bouillante et à l'acide chlorydrique ou la battant violemment. Raymond, père incestueux, est mort en 1999, quelques mois avant que sa fille ne rencontre l'homme qui l'a aidée à comprendre ce dont elle était victime. En mars dernier, en appel, Lucienne, la mère, a été reconnue coupable de non-empêchement de crime et d'agression sexuelle sur l'un de ses petits-fils. Elle a été condamnée à quatre années de prison avec sursis. Lydia s'est pourvue en cassation.

Wow! Police officer diverts traffic so that a family of ducks can safely cross the road! Well done, sir!

Un agent de police aide une famille de canards à traverser la route ! Chapeau, monsieur !

Thrown into fire for being low-caste...

A man, incensed that a six-year-old girl chose to walk through a path reserved for upper caste villagers, pushed her into burning embers, police in north India said Wednesday. She was seriously burned.

The girl is a Dalit, or an "untouchable," according to India's traditional caste system.

India's constitution outlaws caste-based discrimination, and barriers have broken down in large cities. Prejudice, however, persists in some rural areas of the country.

The girl was walking with her mother down a path in the city of Mathura when she was accosted by a man in his late teens, said police superintendent R.K. Chaturvedi.

"He scolded them both and pushed her," Chaturvedi said. The girl fell about three to four feet into pile of burning embers by the side of the road.

The girl remained in critical condition Wednesday.

The man confessed to the crime and was charged with attempted murder, Chaturvedi said. More...

See also: India: 3 young men beat mother to death in exorcism ritual...
And this: WTF! Infants thrown off roofs to thank God!!! WTF!!

Windows XP Service Pack 3 is now available....

As per the unofficial timeline, Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) has been uploaded to Microsoft's servers. Currently, the final build is only available on the download.windowsupdate domain in the following languages: Chinese (Hong Kong), Czech, English, French, German (Deutsch), Hebrew, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Simplified (Chinese), Spanish, and Traditional Chinese. According to Microsoft TechNet, the 300MB+ x86 standalone installer (build 5512) will not be available today on the Microsoft Download Center nor on Windows Update.

There will be no x64 version of SP3 released; Windows XP x64 will be updated at the same time Windows Server 2003 is updated, since it is derived from the codebase of the latter. Although Microsoft has still to confirm the date, SP3 should be rolled out via Automatic Updates on June 10, 2008. More...

Saudi Arabia: Crazy stunt by silly people...

Voici comment on s’amuse on Arabie Saoudite…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Champions League: an all-English final! Wow!!

Paul Scholes' spectacular strike sent Manchester United into their first Champions League final for nine years on a night of Old Trafford tension.

Scholes rifled in a spectacular 25-yard effort after 14 minutes to beat Barcelona and set up an all-English clash with Chelsea or Liverpool.

Barcelona dominated possession for long periods, with Deco twice close and Thierry Henry wasting a late chance.

But United mounted a rearguard action to seal a date in Moscow on 21 May. More...

See also: Soccer: teams with red jerseys do better!!!
And this: The Giants of the North, Brazil's dwarf soccer team...

Have you ever wondered what the Mormon Church teaches? Watch...

En Inde on jette les bébés depuis les toits !!!

Une coutume bien étrange est pratiquée en inde, ou les bébés sont jetés depuis les toits, histoire de remercier Dieu !! Les pratiquants de cette tradition prétendent qu’aucun bébé n’a jamais été tué or blessé pendant ce rituel, qui est vénéré comme un véritable signe de la bonté de Dieu aussi bien par les hindous que par les musulmans. La vidéo est en anglais mais nul besoin de connaitre la langue de Shakespeare pour suivre le déroulement de l’événement !! Cliquez ici pour visionner le film.

Elisabeth Fritzl's world at Amstetten for 24 years...

Oh boy! Oh boy! They actually checked up on National Orgasms!!!

The Chinese might be top global performers when it comes to business, but during sex they appear to be struggling to reach their peak.

Couples from China and Hong Kong are the least likely to reach orgasm during sex, while the Italians and Spanish claim to have no problems climaxing, a global sex survey showed on Tuesday.

Less than a quarter -- 24 percent -- of those surveyed from China and Hong Kong were able to achieve an orgasm every time they had sex.

Italy, Spain and Mexico tied for top place, achieving orgasms 66 percent of the time, said the Durex Sexual Wellbeing survey, which polled 26,000 people in 26 countries.

The French, famous for their romantic overtures, came in at a middling 48 percent of the time -- the global average, the survey said.

Other Asian countries such as Japan and Singapore ranked poorly with those polled saying they only reached orgasm 27 percent and 36 percent of the time respectively.

Of those who manage to climax, the Japanese were the least satisfied with the intensity of the orgasm while Mexicans and Brazilians said they were the most satisfied.

Women climaxed less than men, with 32 percent saying they reached the peak every time they had sex, compared with 63 percent of men.

Factors that enhanced an orgasm included delaying climax, longer foreplay time and having a strong emotional relationship, the survey said.

The survey also found that while men preferred to orgasm with a partner, women achieved an orgasm more easily through masturbation.

"If you want to have an orgasm, it's important that you allow yourself to surrender to the good feelings you are experiencing," said Kevan Wylie, a sexual health expert, in a statement.

Source: Reuters

See also: Oh boy! 10 ways to last longer in bed!!!
And this: 93 years old, and still feeling horny!!! Hilarious!

Amnesty International and waterboarding...

Amnesty International Water - The Stuff of Life

Singapore students learn about the birds and the bees!!!

It was like a college mixer, a classroom full of young men and women seeking a recipe for romance.

They had assembled for the first class of "Love Relations for Life: A Journey of Romance, Love and Sexuality."

There was giggling and banter among the students, but that was all part of the course as their teacher, Suki Tong, led them into the basics of dating, falling in love and staying together.

The course, in its second year at two polytechnic institutes, is the latest of many, mostly futile, campaigns by Singapore's government to get its citizens to mate and multiply. Its popularity last year has led to talk of its expansion through the higher education system.

"We want to tell students, 'Don't wait until you have built up your career,' " said Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, the minister of state for community development, youth and sports, at a news conference in March. "Sometimes, it is too late, especially for girls."

The courses are an extension of government matchmaking programs that try to address the twin challenges embodied in a falling birthrate: too few people are having babies, and too few of those who are belong to what Singapore considers the genetically desirable educated elite. More...

See also: Catherine Lim: Singapore materially rich, spiritually poor...
And this: OMG! Singapore to give Lessons in Love!!

The Fritzl horror in Amstetten: How could this go undetected for 24 years?

Neighbours have told police they heard nothing but many are incredulous that they could have failed to spot anything unusual, not least because over the years Fritzl had built extension after extension to his cellar.

"The community of Amstetten should drown in shame ... The neighbours are turning a blind eye," the Oesterreich newspaper wrote in an editorial.

Meanwhile, residents refuse to believe Fritzl could have acted alone, while others cannot believe that the "normal" family were hiding such a horrendous secret.

Anita Fabian, a teacher in the town, said: "How is it possible that no one knew anything for years? This was not possible without accomplices." More...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Firefox makes big gains in Europe and Oceania...

European web metrics company Xiti has published browser market share statistics for March. The data indicates that the open-source Firefox web browser has climbed to almost 29 percent market share in Europe, where it is still steadily increasing in popularity. This is no small accomplishment.
Firefox share up over 20% in Europe, mostly at expense of IE
Firefox and Thunderbird get updates
Safari market share grew to 4.03 percent in November
Web 2-point-Yoda: Ended these browser wars have?

The European country that saw the most growth was Andorra, where Firefox marketshare rose from 22.7 percent in February to 24.8 percent in March. The three countries with the highest Firefox market share are Finland, Poland, and Slovenia, which all have between 43 and 46 percent. Notably, the study saw the average market share exceed 30 percent during weekends, likely because of people who are using Internet Explorer at work and Firefox at home, by choice.

According to Xiti, Internet Explorer has lost 2.5 percentage points during the past six months. Opera and Safari have also seen slight gains during that time period to 3.3 and 2.3 percent, respectively. Xiti does not provide statistics for iPhone browser marketshare and the report does not specify whether or not iPhone browsing is counted as part of the Safari statistics. More...

See also: Browser War: Firefox3 and Safari against IE...
And this: Apple launches browser war with Safari...

"Free Tibet" flags made in ... China!!!! Hilarious!

Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free Tibet flags, media reports say.

The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the flag of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did not realise their meaning.

But then some of them saw TV images of protesters holding the emblem and they alerted the authorities, according to Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper. More...

Atlas Shrugged, the Movie...coming soon?

Scott Holleran at Box Office Mojo is all over the Atlas Shrugged movie project. A few days ago he talked to Michael Burns, vice chairman of Lionsgate, the studio that is planning to make the film. He confirmed that Angelina Jolie will star as Dagny Taggart. Burns says John Galt should not be played by a movie star but by an actor with “an incredibly remarkable face, a face that just pops out at you,” to which his Randian interviewer responds, “A face with no fear, no pain, no guilt?”

Burns, who attended Ayn Rand’s memorial service as a young Wall Streeter in 1982, describes the movie’s theme this way:

Think about it: the world’s great minds and great contributors to society—which really are the entrepreneurs—are being taken advantage of—and they are; if you make money, you’re giving up pretty close to half of your income, though the United States is still the greatest country in the world, and Ayn Rand would have said that as well—so, what would happen if these great minds went on strike? Would society move forward? It’s a great [dramatic] scenario, like that P.D. James novel, Children of Men, which is about [what would happen] if, all of sudden, everyone is sterile. Atlas Shrugged is as pertinent today as it’s ever been. More...

See also: Who is afraid of Ayn Rand?

An exorcism in Russia. Scary...

Un exorcisme en Russie. Effrayant…

One Israeli shell ... and a Palestinian family is virtually wiped out.

Une bombe israélienne … et une famille palestinienne de 4 enfants décimée…

Dear God, please lower the price of gas; we have no one else to turn to...

Rocky Twyman has a radical solution for surging gasoline prices: prayer.

Twyman - a community organizer, church choir director and public relations consultant from the Washington, D.C., suburbs - staged a pray-in at a San Francisco Chevron station on Friday, asking God for cheaper gas. He did the same thing in the nation's Capitol on Wednesday, with volunteers from a soup kitchen joining in. Today he will lead members of an Oakland church in prayer.

Yes, it's come to that.

"God is the only one we can turn to at this point," said Twyman, 59. "Our leaders don't seem to be able to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring." More...

See also: Two-wheeler boom in Asia...

Cubans take to blogging with gusto...

Only a month has passed since ordinary Cubans won the right to own computers, and the government still keeps a rigid grip on Internet access.

But that hasn't stopped thousands from finding their way into cyberspace. And a daring few post candid blogs about life in the communist-run country that have garnered international audiences.

Yoani Sanchez writes the "Generacion Y" blog and gets more than a million hits a month, mostly from abroad — though she has begun to strike a chord in Cuba. On her site and others, anonymous Cubans offer stinging criticisms of their government.

But it isn't simple. To post her blog, Sanchez dresses like a tourist and slips into Havana hotels with Web access for foreigners. It costs about $6 an hour and she can't afford to stay long given the price and the possibility someone might catch her connecting without permission. More...

See also: "Love China" netizens send a message to the world...

India: 3 young men beat mother to death in exorcism ritual...

In a grotesque incident, three educated sons of a UP Power Corporation engineer, along with a cousin, punched, kicked and beat their mother to death with a rod late on Saturday night believing that she had been possessed by the spirit of a dead relative.

The bizarre violence didn't end there. The foursome then tried to "sacrifice" a sister-in-law in an attempt to bring their dead mother back to life. They also beat up and injured their sister, her husband, the husband's father and two sisters, when they tried to intervene. All except their brother-in-law, Rohit Kumar, had to be hospitalized. The gruesome drama lasted from 9pm to 10.30pm. More...

See also: WTF! Infants thrown off roofs to thank God!!! WTF!!

Raped ... on the telephone!!!???!!!

A Tunisian family alleges their daughter was raped during a telephone conversation with a man, a lawyer for the family said.

The 30-year-old man said he never touched the young woman. But he acknowledged he heard her scream while they were "totally into" an erotic telephone conversation -- and that she reported bleeding, Al Arabiya reported.

Maha al-Metebaa, a lawyer representing the family, told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabs the case needs careful investigation because of its unprecedented allegations. He said a medical examination had determined that the woman, 20, was no longer a virgin.

"The intercourse did take place with all its details but verbally only," he said. "The sexual act did not really happen because the physical proximity factor is not there, yet it happened because there is a direct physical impact – the loss of virginity."

Source: UPI

India launches 10 satellites at one go...

An Indian rocket blasted off and successfully launched a cluster of 10 satellites in a single mission on Monday, marking a milestone for the country’s 45-year-old space programme.

The PSLV rocket lifted off at 9:20 am (0350 GMT) from the Sriharikota space station in southern India in clear weather, leaving behind a massive trail of orange and white smoke, on its 13th flight.

“The mission was perfect,” G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said after the launch telecast live by the public broadcaster Doordarshan. “Team ISRO has done it again.” More...

WTF! Infants thrown off roofs to thank God!!! WTF!!

Religious traditions are diverse and sometimes as bizarre as they can get. A village in Solapur, Maharashtra, has a dangerous tradition of throwing newborns from a height of 50 feet onto a sheet, which is held by devotees.

The infants are thrown off the roof of the Baba Sheikh Umar Saheb Dargah in Musti village in Solapur. This is an age-old tradition practiced by couples who are blessed with a child after taking a vow at the dargah. The devotees also believe that this ritual is good for the health of the child.

“People have been following this tradition for almost 500 years now. They believe that if they throw the child from the roof then it does good to him or her,” deputy sarpanch of Musti village, Ravikiran Mehta said.

While the practice may seem dangerous and superstitious to others, the devotees strongly believe that the fall will not harm the infants. The reason given is that there has been no recorded evidence of any physical disability to the infants. More...

Watch the video here...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quel chic, les Françaises !

Les Françaises « sont enviées dans le monde entier ». Le compliment est
d'autant plus savoureux que c'est une Anglaise qui l'écrit dans un best-seller, qui révèle les secrets de la « french touch ».

LE LIVRE s'est déjà vendu comme des petits pains en Angleterre, aux Etats-Unis, en Australie... et il devrait sacrément doper le moral des Françaises alors qu'il débarque dans l'Hexagone. Baptisé « So chic ! », ce petit traité plein d'humour est présenté comme « une enquête irrésistible sur les femmes françaises et leurs petits secrets ».

Ah ? Parce qu'on est vraiment si chics et si différentes des autres ? « Vous ne vous imaginez même pas », sourit sans flagornerie son auteur, Helena Frith Powell, une Anglaise exilée sur le continent depuis sept ans. « Je pensais en arrivant ici que votre réputation était un peu usurpée, confesse cette correspondante du Sunday Times. Mais non, ce n'est pas un cliché ! Vous êtes beaucoup plus élégantes, sexy et féminines que les Anglaises. Et je me suis métamorphosée à votre contact ! »

Voir aussi: French actresses in the flesh! Delicious! (En anglais)...

OMG! I have always wanted to watch a female-dominating-a-male porn movie...

Nom de D… ! J’ai toujours voulu regarder un film X ou la gonzesse domine le mec ! Et voilà, c’est chose faite !!!

The Experiences of a black man in Japan...

So, I'm standing by a train station in a very small town in Japan, minding my own business waiting for the train, as you do. A couple of girls walk into the station, then walk out again, and then sloooowly make their way towards me and then...

the short one stands right close to me, picks up my hand and starts to stroke it! No word of a lie. I gently move away and she just follows me, and then I ask "ちょっと、何しているか” (excuse me, but what the hell are you doing?), to which she replied "すごい なあ!” (so cool!). She continued to stroke my hand for a while, as I tried to figure out what was going on.

The two girls turned out to be high school students of one of my JET friends, who were very curious about black people and I assume, wanted to know what their skin felt like. We talked for a while until the train came, and then we parted.

Strangely enough, this wasn't the first time a Japanese lady felt the urge to stroke my skin. More...

See also: Japan: Oshiya or train pusher: this is crazy!
And this: Meet Hatch-chan, Japan's blogging cat...

OMG! What would Jesus d...

Elisabeth Fritzl, cloistered and abused by her father for 24 years...

A 73-year-old Austrian is under arrest on suspicion of hiding his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathering seven children with her, police say.

The existence of the woman, believed missing since 1984 and now 42, emerged apparently after a teenage child fell ill and had to be taken to hospital.

Both the alleged abduction victim and her alleged daughter, who is 19, are now receiving medical treatment.

A police investigation in Amstetten, Lower Austria Province, is continuing.

The suspect, named only as Josef F, was arrested on suspicion of incest and keeping his daughter in captivity. More...

See also: The Deaves: it's all in the family...

McDonald's and Customer Service ... in Russia!

While visiting the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (in Moscow) yesterday, President Andrew Sommers told our group a wonderful story that really captures the old Soviet-era mentality towards customer service.

When McDonald's opened its first restaurant in the Soviet Union in 1990 near Moscow's Pushkin Square (pictured above, still the largest McDonald's in the world, with 27 cash registers and seating capacity of 700), it went through an extensive training program for the new workers. Of course, customer service, which was a brand new concept for the Soviets, was extensively emphasized for the new McDonald's employees. More...

See also: Hungry Planet: what the world eats...

The Year 2012: Should we be afraid?

The Year 2012. On Dec. 21st, 2012, Something Big is going to happen. Or, at least, that’s what they are saying. The Mayans, the Bible, and all manner of prophets. Are they right? Should we be afraid? Is it the end of the world? Or the birth of a New World Order? Or is it all just another one of those bull-shit stories to scare us into being docile slaves? (This is a five-part video presentation.)
Part 2,    Part 3,    Part 4,    Part 5

Les prostituées en suisse baissent leurs tarifs...

Les prix sur le marché du sexe payant en Suisse sont en chute libre. Ceci pour une raison simple: l'offre est nettement supérieure à la demande. Du coup, le client n'hésite pas à négocier les prestations... à la baisse. On ne parle pas ici des escorts de luxe qui se font généralement de gros salaires.

«Le marché est sursaturé», confirme Michel Venturelli, criminologue tessinois qui a auditionné des centaines de professionnelles du sexe au Tessin dans le cadre d'une étude réalisée en collaboration avec le Centre interdisciplinaire pour la recherche en sexologie de Gênes (Italie). «Le gros problème, c'est qu'on casse les prix. Avant, les filles donnaient tout pour 300 francs; maintenant, elles le font pour trois fois moins cher! Quand une sodomie peut se faire pour moins de 100 francs, il y a un sérieux problème.»

Saudi Blogger Farhan Freed From Prison

The wife of Saudi blogger Fouad Al-Farhan confirmed yesterday that her husband, who has been detained for nearly five months without charges for comments made on his website, has been released from Jeddah’s Dahban Prison.

“He was released around 5:30 in the morning,” said Al-Farhan’s wife who asked that her name not be published in the newspaper. “He is all right, Alhamdulillah.”

Al-Farhan was unavailable for comment because he had gone out to “enjoy his freedom,” she added.

A Saudi blogger close to Al-Farhan, who didn’t want to be named, said he spoke to the blogger yesterday.

“It was a very emotional conversation,” said the friend. “I just wanted to make sure he is all right. We did not speak in detail.” More...

See also: Saudi bloggers support jailed counterpart..

Ignorance is NOT bliss...

High school students in Umeå were unable to name Finland's capital city in a recent survey which showed an alarming ignorance of basic geography.

Students from Umeå University in the north of Sweden interviewed 200 high school students aged 17-19-years-old on their geography skills.

More than 68 percent responded that they do no know where the European Union has its headquarters, 75 percent could not place Teheran in Iran and 96 percent could not name two Swedish national parks.

"This is the level of knowledge on which they will then make their decisions," said a dismayed Christian Lund to Västerbottens-Kuriren.

Lund wonders how the students will later be able to develop their opinions in democratic and societal issues such as the environment, sustainable development and politics without some basic knowledge of geography.

The results of the study will be sent to schools minister, Jan Björklund.

Source: The Local

See also: 56% of this audience in the French version...
And this: Is this supposed to be a surprise?

Occupied Paris: when life was "normal..."

A new photography exhibition in Paris shows a milder side of the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, visitors say.

Visitors to "The Parisians Under the Occupation" exhibit by photographer Andre Zucca said the captured images offer a rare take on the brutal forced occupation, one that is without the misery typically associated with the war, the International Herald Tribune reported Friday.

"You can't really feel that it's the occupation," tourist Serge Thilloux said of the exhibit. "You have the impression that people can walk about freely, while today there are plaques around Paris indicating where this or that person was shot."

"It shows how frighteningly normal life was," exhibit visitor Robert Schenker told the Tribune. "With the exception of the Germans in uniform, you can hardly see any difference from daily life now."

Zucca took the photographs while working for the Nazi propaganda magazine Signal and are being presented at a Paris Historical Library annex without any historical information, the newspaper said.

Source: UPI

See some of the images and an article in French here...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden...

On April 22 2008, 450 Western practitioners of the Deity Dorje Shugden – including 100 Tibetan practitioners resident in the West – protested outside the Dalai Lama’s visit to Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.

Watch this video in 3 parts to get a better grasp of the conflict between the Dalai Lama and the followers of Dorje Shugden.
Part 2  Part 3

OMG!! Pimpmasta and the bad touch...

Tanya Andersen, the woman that's going after the RIAA...

When Tanya Andersen opens the door to her modest apartment in suburban Portland, Ore., her Maltese-terrier mix, Tazz, runs over and wags his tail in a friendly hello. The 45-year-old single mother doesn't seem like much of a fighter. She spends most of her days sitting on an overstuffed sofa with a heating pad behind her back to ease chronic pain and migraines that have kept her on disability for nearly five years. Her voice is soft and halting. Yet this woman is behind a fierce assault on the music industry and its tactics for combating music piracy on the Internet. "I've just got to keep doing what I believe is right," she says, with Tazz curled up next to her on the couch. "And that's fighting and letting people know what's happening." More...

See also: Music piracy: RIAA screws the artists...
And this: WTF! Can you believe this?

Dubai's Palm Jumeirah: wonder or blunder?

Dubai's sheikhs have claimed it is "the eighth wonder of the world", and seen from space the tree-shaped sand and rock formation of the Palm Jumeirah looks exactly that.

But after the hype about David Beckham buying a mansion here and the novelty of living four miles out to sea has faded, that claim is starting to look shaky. It seems there is a little trouble in paradise.

Four thousand "Palm pioneers" have moved in and are getting to grips with life in the sweltering Arabian Gulf. This week, when the Guardian visited, the gripes were as common as the plaudits among the Brits who are in the vanguard of this new community.

Multimillion-pound villas have been squeezed together "like Coronation Street", air-conditioning bills are hitting £800 a month and persistent snags have led some to joke it is more "eighth blunder" than "eighth wonder".

The villas were developed by the government-owned Nakheel Properties, and many residents believe the company's slogan, "Our vision inspires humanity", which flutters on flags around the place, is beginning to look over-egged. More...

See also: You can be arrested in Dubai for "a speck of dirt"...
And this:  The dark side of Dubai...

Hotel California, like you've never seen or heard before...

International Laughter Training Conference!!!!!

Conférence Internationale pour l’Entrainement du Rire!!!

Mahathir wants Bush, Blair and Howard to be tried for war crimes...

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for an international tribunal to try Western leaders with war crimes over the war in Iraq, a spokesman for the organisers said.

In a speech at Imperial College, London, Mahathir called for a tribunal to try US President George W. Bush plus former prime ministers Tony Blair of Britain and John Howard of Australia for their part in the conflict, said a spokesman for the Muslim group the Ramadhan Foundation, which set up the event.

Spokesman Mohammed Shafiq told AFP that Mahathir, who was in office from 1981 to 2003, wants to see the trio tried "in absence for war crimes committed in Iraq.

"It was a opportunity for students to put a range of questions about war crimes and the international situation.

"He said that people have to stop killing each other and use arbitration, negotiation and discussion as an alternative to violence, war and killing."

On the war in Iraq, Mahathir spoke about "the thousands dying, the economic war, the power of oil and how we could utilise some of these tools to have a leverage against the people who commit countries to war," Shafiq said.

He purposely did not speak about or answer questions from students on the political situation in Malaysia, said Shafiq.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is facing growing demands to quit, following an unprecedented electoral setback in March.

More than 450 people attended the speech and about 200 more had to be turned away.

Mahathir was in Cuba earlier this week to take part in the first International Conference of the Cuban Centre for Studies on Defence Information.

The Ramadhan Foundation is a leading British Muslim youth organisation working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue between communities.

Source: AFP

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Rolling Stones and Back Street Girl...

I don't want you to be high
I don't want you to be down
Don't want to tell you no lie
Just want you to be around
Please come right up to my ears
You will be able to hear what I say
Don't want you out in my world
Just you be my backstreet girl
Please don't be part of my life
Please keep yourself to yourself
Please don't you bother my wife
That way you won't get no help
Don't try to ride on my horse
You're rather common and coarse anyway
Don't want you out in my world
Just you be my backstreet girl
Please don't you call me at home
Please don't come knocking at night
Please never ring on the phone
Your manners are never quite right
Please take the favors I grant
Curtsy and look nonchalant, just for me
Don't want you part of my world
Just you be my backstreet girl

And the world's happiest country is ... Denmark!!!

Denmark has recently emerged as the world's happiest country, beating out Bhutan, the long-time favorite of anthropologists everywhere.

The birthplace of LEGO -- a contraction of leg godt or "play well" -- offers even the first time visitor an incredible sense of hygglige: amiable cosiness.

"I remember you mentioned in your book," my Danish editor said over lunch in Copenhagen two weeks ago, "that you had a big head." I do have a huge head. I took a bite of delicious Esrom cheese and nodded for her to continue, keeping one eye on the wienerbrød.

"But you don't have a huge head. You just have a healthy, normal-sized Danish head." I smiled -- home at last.

Even if you don't have a Danish bloodline like I do, there are some good reasons to visit Copenhagen, the capital of the world's happiest country. More...

See also: A Map of Global Happiness and Well-Being?

The Children of Iraq...

This portfolio contains some awesome and awful photos about the war in Iraq and the toll it has taken on its weakest victims, children. DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH AND ARE EASILY UPSET BY REALITY…


Ce portfolio contient des images terribles et troublantes de la guerre en Irak and le bilan de ses victimes les plus faibles, les enfants. NE CLICQUEZ PAS SUR CE LIEN SI VOUS ETES FACILEMENT DERANGE PAR LA REALITE…

Le Pen: les chambres à gaz nazies:un "détail"

Le président du FN Jean-Marie Le Pen répète dans une interview à un magazine régional à paraître vendredi qu'il lui paraît "évident" que "les chambres à gaz étaient un détail de l'histoire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale".

"J'ai dit que les chambres à gaz étaient un détail de l'histoire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale : ça me paraît tellement évident", déclare-t-il dans une interview au mensuel généraliste "Bretons", diffusé en Bretagne et en région parisienne.

Dans la suite des échanges avec le journaliste, M. Le Pen rappelle le nombre de morts total de la seconde guerre mondiale, en avançant le chiffre de "50 millions de morts".
Mais le journaliste l'interrompt, lui disant que "le problème n'est pas de savoir le nombre (de morts) mais la manière dont ils ont été tués", et que l'on a "déporté des gens pour les amener dans des camps juste pour les faire tuer".

"Mais ça, c'est parce que vous croyez à ça. Je ne me sens pas obligé d'adhérer à cette vision-là. Je constate qu'à Auschwitz il y avait l'usine IG Farben, qu'il y avait 80 000 ouvriers qui y travaillaient. À ma connaissance, ceux-là n'ont pas été gazés en tout cas. Ni brûlés", répond M. Le Pen.

Le Figaro

Voir aussi: Sophie Marceau et Jean Marie Le Pen...

Snipes: three years for not filing tax returns...

A US federal judge on Thursday sentenced Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes to three years in prison Thursday for failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004.

Judge William Terrell Hodges laid down the harshest possible sentence against Snipes, after the star of such movies as "Demolition Man" and the "Blade" trilogy of vampire movies was found guilty by a jury in February on three misdemeanor charges.

According to US Attorney Scotland Morris, who argued the government's case, Snipes currently owes more than 20 million dollars in back taxes and penalties.

The actor made a five million dollar payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Thursday, but Morris dismissed it as "a fraction of what he owes." More...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Los Angeles a Third World city?

Los Angeles is becoming a "Third World city" with immigrants making up half its workforce, says a new study.

A third of immigrants have not graduated from high school and 60 per cent do not speak English fluently, the Migration Policy Institute found.

It said this left immigrants ill-equipped to fill California's fastest-growing occupations, such as computer software engineering and nursing. The organisation added that as the so-called baby boomers reach retirement age, a similar pattern will spread across the US.

Ernesto Cortes Jr, of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a think-tank that specialises on social change, claimed Los Angeles was at a crossroads.

"The question is are we going to be a 21st century city with shared prosperity, or a Third World city with an elite group on top and most on near poverty wages?" he said.

The US Census Bureau last year predicted that by 2050, minorities will account for half of all residents across America.

It registered the largest numerical increases in minority residents in metropolitan Los Angeles, Riverside, in California, Dallas, Houston and New York.

In 2000, according to the Census Bureau, whites were in a minority in 262 US counties, up from 183 in 1990.

Nationally, the number of minorities topped 100 million for the first time in 2006, to make up about one third of the population.


Karan Singh: The world's tallest baby?

Of course, it has to be India! Being the home to a baby born with two faces and the world's smallest girl, here's the world's tallest baby! More...

Swiss Air Force pilots in action! Wow!

Amazing! Army wife's husband and ALL three sons are fighting in Iraq!!!

It is the astonishing story of one family's determination to serve Queen and country.

And while most families would say having a single son serve in Iraq would be enough, one mother faces the heartache of watching three of her boys deployed to the war-torn nation.

Not only that, Wendy Mackness also has to wave off husband Danny who is poised to depart on his tour of duty.

Major Mackness, 45, and his sons Adam, 24, Mark, 22, and Shane, 21, are believed to be the biggest family group in a battle zone since World War Two.

But despite watching her boys depart for the Gulf, Wendy remains upbeat. More...

See also: Happy photos of a sad war...

Hillary's wish to "obliterate Iran" shocks the world...

Presidential contender Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's vow to "obliterate" Iran, presumably with nuclear weapons, if it attacked Israel on her watch was duly noted in the U.S.

Jaded American insiders shrugged off the remark as typical campaign season bluster, filed away with myriad other exaggerations and gaffes.

But it prompted shock overseas as well as headlines from Bulgaria to New Zealand. More...

See also: Hillary Clinton "mis-spoke" about Bosnia...
And this: Clinton's lie infuriates Bosnians...

The forgotten Armenian genocide...

World War One gave the Young Turk government the cover and the excuse to carry out their plan. The plan was simple and its goal was clear. On April 24th 1915, commemorated worldwide by Armenians as Genocide Memorial Day, hundreds of Armenian leaders were murdered in Istanbul after being summoned and gathered. The now leaderless Armenian people were to follow. Across the Ottoman Empire (with the exception of Constantinople, presumably due to a large foreign presence), the same events transpired from village to village, from province to province.

Somewhat surprisingly to many, Armenians and Turks used to live in relative harmony in the Ottoman Empire for centuries. Armenians were known as the “loyal millet”. Although, during these times, Armenians were not equal and had to put up with certain special hardships, taxes and second class citizenship. Full story...

Indebted Americans get calls to pay up … from India !!!

In a glass tower on the outskirts of New Delhi, dozens of young Indians are on the telephone, calling out-of-work, forgetful and debt-stricken Americans to ask for cash.

"Are you sure that's all you can afford?" one operator in a row of cubicles inquires politely.

"Well, how do you take care of your everyday expenses?" presses another.

Americans are used to receiving calls from India for insurance claims and credit card sales. But debt collection represents a growing business for outsourcing companies, especially as the U.S. economy slows and its consumers struggle to pay for their purchases. More...

See also: India's Telemarketers. This is hilarious!

Singapore TV station fined for "positive" gay show...

A Singapore television station has been fined for airing a show that depicted a gay couple and their baby in a way that "promotes a gay lifestyle," the city-state's media regulator said Thursday.

The Media Development Authority fined MediaCorp TV Channel 5 $11,000, it said in a statement on its Web site.

The station aired an episode of a home and decor series called "Find and Design" that featured a gay couple wanting to transform their game room into a new nursery for their adopted baby.

The authority said the episode contained scenes of the gay couple with their baby and the presenter's congratulations and acknowledgment of them as a family unit "in a way which normalizes their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup."

The episode was in breach of rules on free-to-air television programming, which disallows content that promotes, justifies or glamorizes gay lifestyles, the statement said.

Earlier this month, the authority fined a Singapore cable television operator, StarHub Cable Vision $7,200 for airing a commercial that showed two lesbians kissing.

Under Singapore law, gay sex is deemed "an act of gross indecency," punishable by a maximum of two years in jail.

Despite the official ban on gay sex, there have been few prosecutions. Authorities have banned gay festivals and censored gay films, saying homosexuality should not be advocated as a lifestyle choice.


Gregor Schneider, the artist who is looking for "a dying man..."

PRIZE-winning German artist Gregor Schneider has caused an uproar by launching a search for a volunteer willing to die for art.

The enfant terrible of the German cultural scene is looking for someone whose dying hours will be spent in an art gallery with the public admiring the way the light plays on the flesh of a person gasping for the last breath.

The 39-year-old artist has been concerned with death for much of his career. He gained critical acclaim for a sculpture, Hannelore Reuen, of a dead woman.

He has been hatching his latest idea since 1996, and now has a pathologist and art collector to help to find a candidate who wants to become a work of art in the final days of his or her life.

"The dying person would determine everything in advance, he would be the absolute centre of attention," said Mr Schneider. More...

See also: When cruelty is transformed into a show and the director becomes an "artist..."
And this: Guillermo Habacuc Vargas and the starving dog...

Like the UBS, the Credit Suisse suffers heavy losses...

Credit Suisse Group has posted a greater-than-expected SFr2.1 billion ($2.1 billion) net loss for the first quarter.

Switzerland's second-largest bank says it also has net writedowns of SFr5.3 billion for the first three months of the year.

It was the bank's first quarterly loss in five years and almost three times what analysts had expected. Credit Suisse said in March it was unlikely to post a profit in the first quarter because of rocky markets and a deliberate mispricing of credit assets by a group of traders.

"Our first-quarter results are clearly unsatisfactory," chief executive Brady Dougan said on Thursday, but he said other operations of the bank did well. More...

See also: What the UBS's $37 billion loss could have bought...
And this: Swiss bank UBS in crisis...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lai Thi Dao: Hope comes from Miami...

A Vietnamese girl with a 16-pound facial tumor is in Miami awaiting surgery to restore her ability to eat and speak.

Fifteen-year-old Lai Thi Dao suffers from a Schwannoma tumor that has been growing since she was 3. The tumor has severely disfigured her face and kept her from ever attending school.

Doctors at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center say the tumor threatens to suffocate Lai. They will remove it in a 10-hour surgery on April 29.

Schwannoma tumors are usually benign. Lai's doctors say the size of her tumor is extremely rare and that it likely won't return once it's removed.

The International Kids Fund is seeking donations to fund Lai's surgery.

Source: Victoria

See the video of Lai: Lai Thi Dao, the girl with a 16-pound tumour...

Singapore Airlines Suite ... a class beyond first...

Click here to see the video presentation...

La Suite de Singapore Airlines, une classe au-delà de la première…
Cliquez ici pour visionner la vidéo…

The country is in shambles and they're building an ... amusement park?

Llewellyn Werner, a California investor, admits he is facing obstacles most amusement park developers never have to deal with. Such as insurgent attacks and looting.

But when the amusement park you’re building lies in downtown Baghdad, those risks come with the territory.

Mr Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles-based holding company for private equity firms, is pouring millions of dollars into developing The Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the same firm that developed Disneyland.

“The people of Iraq need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact,” Mr Werner said. More...

See also: Iraqi woman and her son
And this: Iraq, 5 years later...

Turning China into a whipping boy (excellent stuff)

Last week, the London-based Frontline club, a self-styled bastion of journalistic integrity, held a panel discussion entitled ‘Boycotting China’. According to the accompanying blurb this was to be a debate over whether we in the West should boycott China, be it a refusal to take part in the Beijing Olympics, leaving anything ‘made in China’ on the shelves, or, vainer still - the politicians’ favourite - spurning the Olympics opening ceremony.

That at least was what was advertised. Yet when the chair, journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hilton, received a unanimous ‘no’ from all the participants on the question of a boycott, this allowed a fortuitous change of focus. What now seemed to be at stake was the justification of current Western attitudes to China. Or, as Hilton, echoing a CN Daily headline, put it, ‘does the West love to hate China?’

On the one side then, advocating and, occasionally, hailing the recent explosion of animosity towards China – the Olympic torch protests were ‘heartening’, announced one of them – we had the London director of Human Rights Watch, Tom Porteous, the Guardian’s Simon Tisdall, and the chair herself, Isabel Hilton. And on the other side sat the recipient of their barely repressed wrath: Liu Weimin, a representative of the Chinese Embassy. As Communist Party apparatchiks go, this was one disarmingly charming man. More...

See also: Human Rights: China tells the U.S. to STFU...
And this: China and Tibet: The Empire strikes back...

Deux morts et trois arrestations pour avoir mis les points sur les “i”

Les vies d’Emine, 20 ans, et de son mari, Ramazan Çalçoban, 24 ans ressemblaient à toute autre vie de personnes en procédure de divorce. Après leur décision de se séparer, ils ont continué à s’envoyer des textos plus ou moins imagés, jusqu’au jour où Ramazan a eu la mauvaise idée de vouloir écrire: “tu changes de sujet à chaque fois que tu es à court d’arguments.”

Ce jour-là, le logiciel de localisation du téléphone a buggé, ne mettant pas à disposition de l’envoyeur la terrible lettre “ı” (un “i” sans point) de l’alphabet turc...

Apparemment, à l’endroit où se trouvait Ramazan, la lettre n’a pas pu être fournie dans l’alphabet du téléphone et il a écrit “sikisince” au lieu de “sıkısınca”, ce qui, une fois la phrase reconstituée, donne grossièrement: “tu changes de sujet à chaque fois qu’ils te baisent” au lieu de “tu changes de sujet à chaque fois que tu es à court d’arguments” (sıkışınca konuyu değiştiriyorsun).

L’Emine dépitée a montré le message à son père qui, fou de rage, a appelé Ramazan, l’accusant de traîter sa fille de prostituée. Ramazan s’est alors rendu au domicile de la famille pour présenter ses excuses, où l’attendaient les deux sœurs et une collection de couteaux bien aiguisés.

Blessé mais vivant, Ramazan a trouvé Emine et un autre couteau avec lequel il l’a tuée avant de se donner lui-même la mort en prison.

Et ce n’est pas le premier incident du genre à cause de cette lettre “ı”. La presse locale précise qu’à cause de ces erreurs de géolocalisation certaines situations délicates peuvent tourner au drame dès que l’on touche à l’honneur d’une fille dans un pays sensible au sujet.

D’où l’importance de bien mettre les points sur les “i”. Ou pas.


The missing dot in the "i" leads to two murders...

The life of 20-year-old Emine, and her 24-year-old husband Ramazan Çalçoban was pretty much the normal life of any couple in a separation process. After deciding to split up, the two kept having bitter arguments over the cellphone, sending text messages to each other until one day Ramazan wrote "you change the topic every time you run out of arguments." That day, the lack of a single dot over a letter—product of a faulty localization of the cellphone's typing system—caused a chain of events that ended in a violent blood bath (Warning: offensive language ahead.)

The surreal mistake happened because Ramazan's sent a message and Emine's cellphone didn't have an specific character from the Turkish alphabet: the letter "ı" or closed i. While "i" is available in all phones in Turkey—where this happened—the closed i apparently doesn't exist in most of the terminals in that country.

The use of "i" resulted in an SMS with a completely twisted meaning: instead of writing the word "sıkısınca" it looked like he wrote "sikisince." Ramazan wanted to write "You change the topic every time you run out of arguments" (sounds familiar enough) but what Emine read was, "You change the topic every time they are fucking you" (sounds familiar too.) More...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gilbert O'Sullivan: Nothing Rhymed...

If I give up the seat I've been saving
To some elderly lady or man
Am I being a good boy
Am I your pride and joy
Mother please if your pleased say I am
And if while in the course of my duty
I perform an unfortunate take
Would you punish me so, unbelievably so
Never again will I make that mistake
This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose
When I'm drinking my Bonaparte Shandy
Eating more than enough apple pies
Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings
Starve to death -
Right in front of my eyes
Nothing old, nothing new, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn't say
Nothing why 'cos today
Nothing rhymed

The world's healthiest countries...

There are lots of reasons to envy residents of Northern Europe. Each day they get to take in raw, dramatic landscapes, stunning architecture and world-class shopping.

But, more important, they know a thing or two about health and wellness. has found that the region is home to some of the world's healthiest countries, including top-ranking Iceland, Sweden and Finland.

Others that fared well include Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Denmark, Canada, Austria and the Netherlands. More...

See also: The CIA's Current Account Balance ...

Has someone stolen your penis? Oh boy! Oh boy!

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings. More...

See also: Pissed on food creates uproar in S.Africa...
And this: If you're an albino in Tanzania, run for your life...

China: more internet users than anywhere else...

China, already the world leader in cellphone use, has surpassed the USA as the No. 1 nation in Internet users.

The number of Chinese on the Internet hit more than 220 million as of February, according to estimates from official Chinese statistics by the Beijing-based research group BDA China. The government is likely to confirm the leap at its half-yearly report in July.

The longtime Internet leader, the USA, which founded and developed the network of computers, had 216 million users at the end of 2007, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

The percentage of American users — 71% — still exceeds China's 17%. China has 1.3 billion people, compared with nearly 304 million in the USA. More...

See also: China's Youth and the Internet

Les Taxis chinois refusent les français et les chiens!!!

Iran, shunned by the West, looks to the East...

National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan said here on Sunday that “India and Iran have civilisational and economic ties.” India’s sizeable Shia population gave a certain vantage point to engage with Iran.

“Iran is a big country and you need to deal with them diplomatically and with erudition.” As a neighbour and with a large Shia population, “any mishandling will impact negatively on us,” he said.

He was speaking at the IISS-Citi India Global Forum here.According to Iranian diplomatic sources, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to India on April 29 will spend seven hours in New Delhi.

During his visit to Sri Lanka, he will lay the foundation stone for a 100-MW hydropower project to be built with Tehran’s financial assistance. Prior to arriving in Colombo, the Iranian President will visit Islamabad for talks with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. More...

See also: China and Iran: waking sleeping giants...
And this: Iran: from the Shah to Khomeiny...

The fall and fall of JKRowling...

Last week’s JK Rowling/Warner Brothers versus RDR Books trial made me very uncomfortable. On one hand, I completely support an author’s right to protect copyright. It’s time this nation (world, really) learned serious lessons about copyright — what it is, how it’s applied, fair use (yes, kids, fair use is part of copyright). But there’s something, well, chilling about how this case has played out.

And, as a fan, I’m particularly bothered by this case because, well, there has to be a better way to deal with your readers than suing them. Especially after you’ve blessed the website and admittedly used it as a resource. It’s really absurd to belittle the efforts of said fan while tacitly admitting that you — the author — don’t have the same level of information readily available. More...

See also: Rowling: best-selling authour or cry baby?

OMG! American cheer-leaders for Indian cricket!!!

Squeezing through the gates of a sold-out 55,000-seat cricket stadium in steamy evening heat, Hashim Kerala made no attempt to hide his reason for coming to the season's opening match: Cheerleaders. Washington Redskins cheerleaders, to be specific.

In white go-go boots, yellow spangled short shorts and bikini tops, they pompomed their way onto the field, bursting right through local notions of modesty. The result was something that few in this cricket-obsessed nation thought possible: tens of thousands of male cricket fans finding it hard to keep their eyes on the game. More...

Watch the video here: Redskins Cheerleaders Shooting Video in India

Monday, April 21, 2008

WTF! Five year-old kids kick-boxing Thai style...

A blonde-haired girl with her hands strapped into boxing gloves sobs at the side of the ring.

In another image her twin brother takes a direct hit to the face from a sparring partner.

Miah and Kian Flanagan are just five years old.

But already they are seasoned fighters, taking part in an alarmingly fast-growing 'sport' that pits children against other children in the terrifying public arena of the boxing ring. More...

See also: Slavery dead? Let's not kid ourselves...
And this: How shameful!! Today's modern slaves...

Saudi women and eternal childhood...

Saudi women are being kept in perpetual childhood so male relatives can exercise "guardianship" over them, the Human Rights Watch group has said.

The New York-based group says Saudi women have to obtain permission from male relatives to work, travel, study, marry or even receive health care.

Their access to justice is also severely constrained, it says.

The group says the Saudi establishment sacrifices basic human rights to maintain male control over women.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. More...

See also: Olympics: free Saudi Arabia!!!!
And this: Saudi father kills Facebook daughter...

One day in August, 1945, the Devil laughed with delight...

Stringfever and the History of Music! Nice!

When the State starts to snoop into your rubbish...

Police chiefs ordered binmen to act as spies by sifting through rubbish to look for pamphlets produced by Islamic terror groups.

Town halls responsible for areas with large Muslim populations were summoned to London and told to get their refuse collectors to search bins for discarded documents or material that might identify and incriminate Islamic extremists.

The Mail on Sunday understands that the instruction was issued at a secretive summit hosted by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), attended by Ministers and Andy Hayman, who at the time was Britain's top anti-terror policeman and an Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. More...

See also: A child meets the State...
And this: Can we/Should we depend on the State?

McCartney and Global Warming: Become vegetarians? Bad advice...

Former Beatle Paul McCartney is urging the world to go vegetarian in a bid to fight global warming and is surprised more green groups don't promote it.

In an interview with the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), McCartney said the global meat industry was a major contributor to global warming. A transcript of the PETA interview was given to Reuters.

"The biggest change anyone could make in their own lifestyle would be to become vegetarian," McCartney, a longtime vegetarian and advocate of vegetarianism, said. "I would urge everyone to think about taking this simple step to help our precious environment and save it for the children of the future."

McCartney says the amount of land and water used to maintain the meat industry makes it a major contributor to climate change and complains that most environmental groups do not list vegetarianism as one of their top priorities.

"It's very surprising that most major environmental organizations are leaving the option of going vegetarian off their lists of top ways to curtail global warming," he said.

A 2006 United Nations report found that cattle-rearing generated more greenhouse gases than transportation.

Source: Reuters

Sunday, April 20, 2008

China and Tibet: The Empire strikes back...

Armed with her laptop and her indignation, Zhu Xiaomeng sits in her dorm room here, stoking a popular backlash against Western support for Tibet that has unnerved foreign investors and Western diplomats and, increasingly, the ruling Communist Party.

Chinese police officers and paramilitary guards blocked the road leading to the French Embassy in Beijing on Saturday.

Over the last week, Ms. Zhu and her classmates have been channeling anger over anti-China protests during the tumultuous Olympic torch relay into a boycott campaign against French companies, blamed for their country’s support of pro-Tibetan agitators. Some have also called for a boycott against American chains like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. More...

See also: China and Tibet: let's stop the hypocrisy now...
And this: China to boycott French goods?

Don McLean singing about Vincent...

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the strangers that you've met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they're not listening still.
Perhaps they never will...

How is bacon made? This is interesting...

CNN apologises to China's "goons and thugs..."

CNN was forced to apologise today after a news commentator called the Chinese as a “bunch of goons and thugs”.

Jack Cafferty made the comments on April 9 on CNN’s political programme, The Situation Room, in which he also described Chinese products as "junk".

In a statement, CNN said: “It was not Mr. Cafferty’s nor CNN’s intent to cause offence to the Chinese people, and we would apologise to anyone who has interpreted the comments in this way.

Cafferty was offering his “strongly held” opinion of the Chinese Government, not China’s people, the company said. More...

See also: Jack Cafferty: The Chinese are goons and thugs...

Kollywood horse stunt! Hilarious!

Voici un petit clip qui montre que les chevaux en Inde sont plus doués et plus malins que les chevaux des autres pays! Mort de rire !! Vive Kollywood !

OMG! Swiss cheese is a scam!! Hilarious!

I was at the supermarket yesterday and was dumbfounded that Swiss Cheese is expensive as hell. A pack of American singles goes for about $2.50 at the local supermarket while a pack of Swiss goes for over 4 bucks! I didn't go to a fancy college, or any college at all for that matter, but isn't it obvious that Swiss cheese should be the cheapest kind of cheese? Just think of all those holes, it's less cheese per piece.

Think about it. One piece of swiss cheeese proably has only 3/4 the amount of cheese as any other kind of cheese. It's an outrage, and I'm pissed off about it. People always talk about how the Swiss are so great, how their chocolate is so tasty and how they're a neutral nation that doesn't take any side during a war. Well of course not! They're too busy living it up on all of their cheese profits that they scam out of the rest of the world to actually take time out of their day to pick up a rifle and head to battle. More...

See also: The Swiss love their cars...
And this: Switzerland: nothing but cuckoo clocks?

The colossal American embassy in Baghdad...

Omar bin Laden talks about his father...

Wang Qianyuan: A "traitor" speaks to the mob that is lynching her...

I study languages -- Italian, French and German. And this summer -- now that it looks as though I won't be able to go home to China -- I'll take up Arabic. My goal is to master 10 languages, in addition to Chinese and English, by the time I'm 30.

I want to do this because I believe that language is the bridge to understanding. Take China and Tibet. If more Chinese learned the Tibetan language, and if Tibetans learned more about China, I'm convinced that our two peoples would understand one another better and we could overcome the current crisis between us peacefully. I feel that even more strongly after what happened here at Duke University a little more than a week ago. More...

See also: Wang Qianyuan: it used to be tars and feathers, but the mob can now lynch you on-line...

The Pagan Christ and the Christ myth...

Watch Part Two here...

Wang Qianyuan: it used to be tars and feathers, but the mob can now lynch you on-line...

Wang Qianyuan did not realize she would cause such a frenzy last week when she ran into a group of American students, Tibetan flags tied over their shoulders, getting ready for a vigil at Duke University to support human rights.

She used blue body paint to write "Save Tibet" slogans on the bare back of one of the organizers but did not join their demonstration.

Wang, a Chinese national, knew she was treading on sensitive territory. "But human rights are above everything," she said later in a telephone interview. Even national pride.

Before long, a video of the 20-year-old freshman, seen standing between pro-Tibet activists and Chinese counterprotesters, was posted on the Internet. Within hours, an angry mob gathered online, calling her a "traitor" who should be punished. More...

See also: Flash mobs, frozen, Anonymous and Rickmobs!
And this: "Love China" netizens send a message to the world...