Wednesday, August 31, 2005

September First, Never Again - Beslan's Year of Agony


A mother kisses a portrait of her daughter, who was killed in the Beslan school siege, at the cemetery in Beslan, Russia, earlier this month. To mark the first anniversary of the bloodbath, workers are laying polishing red granite tombstones at the graveyard, where the victims were buried under simple wooden crosses. click for more

Never again..............

Tomatina Festival; Spain

poor NGOs? think again

"In the first global estimate of just how big, the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project at Johns Hopkins University studied 37 nations and found total operating expenditures in 2002 of $1.6 trillion. To put these figures in context, the authors point out that if nonprofits were a country, they would have the fifth largest economy in the world." (msnbc)

the website of Tulane University has turned into a blog in responding to the Katrina disaster to help disseminate information and keep people up to date.

Israel - Palestine Conflict

Am I missing any other options? Is my thinking biased? I want to see thing from both sides. I encourage you to inform me as to what you believe. Am I the victim of propaganda against the Palestinians? Are the Arabs that I talk to victims of propaganda against Israel? I know there are many sides to the story, but is there a difference in the Arab world between ?They kill children? and ?children are being killed?? Were these Arabs in the minority when they made this statement or is it felt by most?

Antonio seeks to learn more about the conflict. Give him some love.

fate of africa

This book chronicles what happened to each African country after their independence and profile their succession of leaders. It has been receiving raving reviews on Amazon.

If you are interested in the issue of leadership and its impact, this book might be the one to get this year.

I will be receiving my copy this week and if you are interested, I can send it to you after I'm done (sign up in the comment); after you are done, sign your name, date it and pass it along to the other nomads. Feel free to annotate the book. In a year I will ask the book back :)

if you want to experience anarchy,

go to Somalia; a country that ceased to be a state ten years ago or you can check out

Atlantis ?

This is how New Orleans will look like until the levees are fixed and water is pumped out. This is not a case of normal flooding because New Orleans is built 8-10 feet under sea level. Until these two items I outlined are completed, the City of New Orleans will stay submerged and unlivable.

The next debate you will see in the coming days is " shall it be rebuilt?" (there's a real, albeit small possibility it will get abandoned if the cost is too high - making it the 21st century Atlantis; a city lost to water)

Here are some options to help: American Red Cross; Salvation Army; United Way; United Jewish Federation; Catholic Charities.

"They don't bury the dead in New Orleans. The highest point in the city is only 6 ft. above sea level, which makes for watery graves. Fearful that rotting corpses caused epidemics, the city limited ground burials in 1830. Mausoleums built on soggy cemetery grounds became the final resting place for generations. Beyond providing a macabre tourist attraction, these "cities of the dead" serve as a reminder of the Big Easy's vulnerability to flooding. The reason water rushes into graves is because New Orleans sits atop a delta made of unconsolidated material that has washed down the Mississippi River." (Popular Mechanics) - published in September 11, 2001

"In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding." (Dolan Media Newswires) - published in June 6, 2005

A New Orleans?

For those perhaps not in the US, it looks like Katrina is growing up to be the Real Deal (link to CNN).

"The city's main public hospital, Charity Hospital, was no longer functioning and was being evacuated," Blanco said - This includes many who are on life support.

There are two levees (essentially long, earthen/concrete dams) that have breached. The National Guard has since stopped a futile sandbagging effort and have essentially left Lake Ponchartain to fill New Oleans to sea level: "Mayor Ray Nagin said 80 percent of the city was under water, which was 20 feet deep in some places."

I scoffed earlier today when Katrina was frequently compared to the Asian Tsunami, but now, on a realitive scale, and in a coutnry that can afford to rebuild, its looking to be comparable: "As many as 30,000 people were being housed in the Louisiana Superdome, where toilets were overflowing and there was no air conditioning to provide relief from 90-degree heat."

Well, the US has lost one of its few, treasured cities: Welcome to the New, New Port of Orleans, oil refineries and cruiseship docks.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Opera is 10 year old (and giving away free stuff). Discover new music through Pandora. Listen to free music from indie bands at purevolume.

And check out Cow Racing in Michigan.

Model Citizens

The shortage of fashion models in China is being met by a flood of young women seeking to take off from the catwalk into a glamorous new career. (full article)

This is how college should be

"So I guess you could say this is the beginning of an end for me. In just 2 short days I'll be off on my semester at sea voyage. First we'll be hitting up Venezuela and then it's off to Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Hawaii." (Heather)

Send us pictures.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Martial Arts Teacher in China?

Hey Everyone! A friend of mine is going to China and wanted to see if anyone on nomadlife could recommend a good martial arts teacher. He's a serious practioner and will be in China for a month. He'd really appreciate any help a nomad could offer. If you know of anyone, please comment and I'll get in touch!


Is it good to be king ?

"More than 50,000 bare-breasted virgins vied to become the King of Swaziland?s 13th wife on Monday in a ceremony which critics say ill befits a country with the world?s highest HIV/AIDS rate." (Reuters)


Unwedding Ceremony Dec 28 - Jan 2 (nomadlife gathering 2) in Egypt. Help defend your unwed brothers and sisters from the onslaught of marriage proposals. Who's coming?
(check out the first nomadlife gathering; Austin, TX)

UN Resolution 181

A lot of people assume that the idea the establishment of two states living peacefully side by side (Israel and Palestine) is new.

It's not.

Back in 1947, UN Resolution 181 (read the original here), one of the earliest UN General Assembly resolution calls for the establishment of an Arab (Palestine) and a Jewish state (Israel) in the existing map of the British Mandate of Palestine.

Yes, you can consider this as one of the biggest missed opportunity of the last century.

Katrina's Menace

Cities on the path of Katrina hurricane are preparing for the worst right now (you might have seen the news that New Orleans is being evacuated - the city is below water level, just like Holland).

"So I tried to leave New Orleans today at 12:30 pm but after 4 hours of driving I had only made it 15 miles. "(ernie)

Already one million flee New Orleans area trying to escape this storm.

Katrina right now is categorized as Category 5 hurricane (there is no category 6). It has top speed of 160 miles an hour - that my friend is 256 kilometers an hour; a monster storm.

Hurricanes can still slow down or speed up when they touch the land.

The map shows the projected path of the hurricane for the next three days (from

This storm will be the first category 5 storm to hit America this century. There were only 3 category 5 storm last century.

If you are wondering how they name a hurricane, read this article from BBC. This is wikipedia entry on Katrina.

It the next 24 hours we will witness in almost real time the devastation that this storm will bring; New Orleans might not be the same anymore :(

There are about 10,000 people sheltered in the famous New Orleans Superdome and questions are raised whether this stadium will be able to withstand the wind (hopefully it does; otherwise we will have an even worse disaster in our hand)

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Other Side

I thought this was appropriate, what with all the hooking up going on. A moment to reflect on what happens when the relationship doesn't work out the way you want it to.

Depressed chimp lights up
From: From correspondents in Beijing
August 26, 2005

IT'S not a sight one would expect to come across in the chimpanzee enclosure. But visitors to a zoo in China are having to get used to the sight of its resident primate puffing away on a cigarette.
Ai Ai formed the habit after watching visitors and her keepers smoking at Qinling Zoo, in central Shaanxi province.

It is thought the 26-year-old had been struggling to cope with the death of her second mate and one of her offspring. She began picking up butts near her cage and now is given whole cigarettes from time to time to keep her calm. Keepers are trying to gradually reduce her daily intake.

Ai Ai is not the only smoking chimp in China - home to one in three of the world's smokers. In Zhengzhou Zoo 13year-old Feili took up the habit because her mate 28 years her senior was unable to keep up with her amorous demands.

Got Marriage??

In honor of all the recent postings about marriage, I thought I would share an interesting opportunity with all of you unmarried people out there looking for a mate. Do you ever feel like in our modern, fast-paced, customer-driven world we make finding a mate too complicated? Well, here is a possible solution for you:

Today was the start of the week-long Imilchil Marriage Festival in Morocco. Every year the Berber tribes from this area in the High Atlas come together in the town of Imilchil at the end of the Harvest. One focus of this gathering is matchmaking between young men and women. From what I can tell it pretty much goes like this:
1) You show up in Imilchil.
2) If you want to get married you wear certain clothes that imply that you plan to get married that week.
3) The guys and girls walk around, pick people they might be interested in and then go for a walk which lasts about 15 minutes. During this time the two speak to see if they are a good match. As for physical attraction, well, most of the time all the guys have to go on for looks is the girls eyes which are the only thing not covered.
4) If you decide after these 15 minutes that you are a match then you hold hands, implying a match and the girl says the magic phrase 'You have captured my liver' which implies consent to the marriage.
5) Engagement happens on the spot, with a handy table set up in the center of the town to legally record the marriage.

Here are some PICTURES of the kind of hotties available for marriage.
You can read about the history of the festival HERE, or read a STORY from someone who attended.

It seems so simple, huh? Makes you wonder about all those years you spent dating, buying valentine?s day gifts, writing love letters :)

Here's to the Great UnWed

In response to Thea's post and following comments exposing a massive outbreak of marriages and engagements in the aiesecsphere, I have proposed that the nomadlife gathering in Sinai become an UnWedding Ceremony - a dedication to the self driven hedonistic excess that can only be fully appreciated by the unmarried among us. All those in favour?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

fighting the devil

Farid is fighting the beast known as the US immigration process right now. Wish him well.
Read the Iraq Draft Constitution.

the essence

to me the essence of this community is that whereever you go in the world you know there is a home waiting for u. for all of you reading this, there is a home for u in Austin, Texas. just call or blog and you will have the time of your life...

Interesting quote of the day :)

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.
-- Dennis Wholey --

Birthday girl!

Happy birthday Mel!

One of the good things about getting older is you find you're more interesting than most of the people you meet. -Lee Marvin

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Management Associate position in NY

See MelT.

Is world peace possible?

and how would it look like.

The world lives in a very diverse set of values and cultures that are not always compatible and can be on the opposing side.

As you all know as a frequent traveller, there is a limit of of cultural understanding and acceptance; some cultural artefacts are just not for you; the tension between sets of incompatible and opposing values on a larger scale has always been a factor of conflicts throughout human history (10,000 years if I don't get it wrong), in addition to survival and competition for resources;

Peace is definately not on the side of human history. War and mayhem are. No, this is not a pesimistic view; I'm just laying down fact of history against the hope for the future.

If you take a look at peace demonstration, you will see "war is never an answer". Well yes, true, except for many foundings of independent countries, abolition of slavery, end of holocaust, rise of modern Turkey, end of Rwanda's genocide, end of conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo, restore peace in Sierra Leone, etc, etc.

War/violent conflicts is a two edge sword.

The second law of thermodynamic states that all work processes tend toward a greater entropy (disorder); in a sense world peace violates this law.

I'm inviting you to a frank discussion about this world peace issue beyond the usual pageant winner's one liner "I want world peace".

(And please remember that the issue of world poverty, also interlinked in some ways, is different from the issue of world peace. Conflicts are done by rich and poor nations alike.)

Music to bridge the divide between Israelis and Palestinians

In the streets of Gaza and the West Bank they are deadly enemies, but music has brought Israelis and Arabs together for a common purpose.The musicians of the East-West Divan orchestra have given a landmark concert in Ramallah, hoping to send a message of peace and humanity.Speaking at the event, Palestinian foreign affairs Minister Nabil Shaath said:"This music is a call for freedom, freedom from want, freedom from occupation, freedom from walls of separation, freedom from fear. It is a magnificent harmony that emulates the sounds of reconciliation and understanding."The orchestra played in memory of the noted Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, a close friend of the ensemble´s Israeli conductor, Daniel Barenboim.

This concert reminds me that they are people like me and you who try to make difference in this world. John Lennon once said:
If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there?d be peace.

Dozens killed as airliner plunges into jungle

It was the world's fifth major airline accident this month :(

LIMA, Peru -- A Peruvian passenger plane carrying 100 people split in two after making an emergency landing in a jungle, killing at least 41 people. It was the world's fifth major airline accident this month.


Remembering Omar

A bit over a month ago, a fellow AIESECer from Colombia passed away. His name was Omar Marquez, LC member from AIESEC Uninorte, in Barranquilla - Colombia. He was 21 years old. When I heard about other AIESECers dying as well, I was in shock. Some endure long illnesses, some see no point in continuing their lives, or like Omar, it is a sudden event. In any case you see how fragile we are. Just because you are in your 20s doesn't mean you are exempted.

He wasn't my fact, he was kind of annoying sometimes! As a newie he joined my team and he was waaay too intense. But he was passionate, no question about thhat! He loved AIESEC more than he loved himself. He once told me while completely drunk, how much he loved me because I taught him so many things. My answer to that was "get off me dude, your breath is killing me!" I could've been nicer to him, I thought. But the feeling died quite fast. I went to Colombia in June and saw him. He gave me a big hug saying "What a surprise to see you!" with a great deal of happiness. And I was happy to see him too!

I realize now the so-called power of AIESEC. When news of his death spread all over the world, the response was tremendous. Everyone felt genuinly touched...good stories, bad stories, funny stories were remembered. But most importantly, that Omar was your true definition of an AIESECer: PASSION TO MAKE DIFFERENCE.

Omar Marquez (1983-2005) - Center, wearing the cream shirt

Birthday girl!

Happy birthday to our lovely Colombian mamasita Paito. :)

Google Talk is live

It's a combination of IM, Voice and Gmail notified. Check it out at Wow. And all of your gmail contact is preloaded into the software.

A rule to live by

""In the biggest companies seek out the most useless positions: those in consultancy, appraisal, research and study. The more useless your position, the less possible it will be to assess your 'contribution to the firm's assets'," says Maier, an economist with the state-owned Electricité de France." (SMH)


Google IM

Yes, those rumors about Google launching an Instant Messaging is (will be) true. Check this blog post.

Due to the underlying technology used by Google IM, you will only need to sign in with Google account and be able to communicate with your friends in AIM, YIM, MSN Messenger, etc. (speculation)

August is cursed

"At least 40 people died when a passenger jet crashed in Peru's jungle on Tuesday, police said." (Reuter)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Flooding remains critical in Switzerland

Floodwaters continued to rise on Tuesday in parts of the country where rain is only now starting to ease off.

The A2 motorway - the main north-south road through the Swiss Alps - has been closed because of damage to a bridge in canton Uri. The Gotthard railway line, which passes through the same area, was closed on Monday and is not expected to re-open for a few days.

In canton Lucerne, which was hit hardest by the rain over the weekend, water levels have begun to drop in some areas. Many roads have been re-opened to traffic, but the city of Lucerne is still struggling with flooding. The area around the station has been closed after the River Reuss and the lake overflowed.


The situation has become "particularly precarious" in the Bernese Oberland, particularly in the region around lakes Thun and Brienz, according to local authorities. Both lakes have risen above critical levels, more damage is expected, and water levels could climb above the 1999 record.

The River Lütschine broke its banks near Wilderswil, flooding the surrounding area. Many roads and railway lines have been cut, especially near Grindelwald, which has been isolated.

At Interlaken, 150 people ? many of them tourists - spent the night in civil protection shelters. Schools in the region have been closed.

The authorities fear that the River Aare could cause even more damage around Interlaken. Further downstream, cellars in Thun were flooded and power was cut in some places.

In the capital Bern, water levels remained high after rising waters covered the Matte neighbourhood on Monday.

Lake Biel in western Switzerland, into which the Aare pours, has also reached critical levels. Residents in some villages around the lake were asked to leave their houses, while one camping ground in Erlach was evacuated.


Erbil, Iraq

This is a living town that has existed at least since 5000 BC (and known as the Citadel) and considered as probably the oldest existing neighbourhood today. NYTimes Science has the cover story .

Politics NZ style

We're 4 weeks or so away from elections, so I thought it might be the ideal opportunity to update nomads on our part of the world. I know there're a few kiwis on this blog, trying to keep this neutral, but finding it hard to avoid my more left-ISH tendancies!

At the moment its a two party race and they are trying to out do each other over taxes. Helen Clark is the Prime Minister (Labour) and Don Brash the leader of the Opposition party (National). Both are pretty much centre on the political spectrum, National a little bit more right and Labour a little bit more left. We have an MMP system, which means that both of these parties need to go into coalition with smaller parties to get the majority in parliament, at the moment it seems likely that it will be Winston Peters (NZ First) for National and the Greens for Labour. Winston Peters is of the anti-immigration/refugees, asian bashing brand of politics, while the Greens...are green. A new entrant on the NZ political scene this year is Destiny, which started life as an American evangelist style, pro-family, anti homosexuality, no sex before marriage church. Unlikely to actually get in but they got a lot of press nonetheless (and here's some more...!).

With such a small population elections become really issues based, at the moment focussing on tax, low income families, transport, and immigration. Not much really happens around election time, no huge rallies, or party supporters' clashes. For more info there's scoop.

In other political news, David Lange died this Month, a former NZ Prime Minister, "he made his name on the international stage with a long-running campaign against nuclear weapons. He refused to allow New Zealand's allies to send nuclear ships into New Zealand waters, a policy that New Zealand continues to this day. The effect of that policy was to prohibit U.S. Navy ships from visiting New Zealand. The policy displeased the United States of America and Australia because they regarded it as a breach of treaty obligations under ANZUS and as an abdication of responsibility in the context of the Cold War against the Soviet Union. After consultations with Australia and after negotations with New Zealand broke down, the United States announced that it was suspending its treaty obligations to New Zealand until United States Navy ships were re-admitted to New Zealand ports, citing that New Zealand was "a friend, but not an ally". The crisis made front-page headlines for weeks in many American newspapers, while many American cabinet members were quoted as expressing a deep sense of "betrayal"."

On the lighter side, what really concerns the average kiwi...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Landslide in my village due to major floodings in Switzerland

I've been posting about the major floodings in Switzerland all day long...and now, about 800m from my house (in Weggis, Lucerne), they're awaiting a landslide. They're evacuating those houses now! (Two firemen died in a landslide in Entlebuch, central Switzeland today). We live very close to Lake Lucerne and if those houses slide down, we'll be cut off from the street leading into the village, and into all trainstations nearby. We're even already cut off from the street in the other direction to the neighboring village where we could take the ship into Lucerne...My younger brother and sister (23 and 17 y.) will not be able to come home tonight, they won't let them pass anymore :-s Let's hope everything will be alright here and for the rest of the country.

Whilst part of our network is in India, others are experiencing this conference through eyes of other people..

Vivid description of IC 2005 preps and delegates arriving!

then some people went to pick up AIESEC International team to the airport, so then once they arrived there was so much rush at the reception area, that who didnt realize before had to realize that IC REALLY STARTED (at least for the CC).
It was so nice to see old friends, smily be honest it was like all my AIESEC memories refreshed during 10 minutes, cause each face is connected to some dont need to remember the names...but the faces reminds you of beautifull moments of my first international conference in Sweden, the Belgrade' s square during Global Village, chilling out and excitment of being newie elected LCP at EuroExpo in Italy, crazy parties at IC 2004 in Germany....and now seeing them here in India:)

more here

Leaving your wife and 7 kids to stand up for what you believe in .. in London?

A War Resister Outshouts a Law Meant to Quiet Him

Anyone who has been in London in the last 4 years will have seen Brian Haw. You might not know his name, but you would have seen him and heard him. Why? Because he lives outside parliament, and has done for 4 solid years..keeping a lone vigil protesting for peace.

and now the british government wants to shut him up...

Tackling Comment Spam

1. Login to your blogger account.
2. Click on Settings
3. Click on Comment.
4. Click Yes on "word verification"
5. Save.

With word verification, blogger will ask your commenters to type in a word displayed in an image; this prevents spam software to attack your blog comments.

Learn more from this post.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

AIESEC in Belgium MCVP OGX got married

Yesterday our MCVPOGX and Finance got married with Ann Elies another AIESECer.
You really know when you are on a AIESEC weeding when you hear Reach for the Stars on the church ceremony as one of the songs they sing.

Now Elie is going to pass his honey moon at IC with the rest of the MC team (unfortunately his wife is not going)
anyone going to the World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany ?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

"before we (O and I) left for the west bank, O got fired from her job for having Israeli citizenship. Apparently the egyptian government found out and called the art gallery
where she works. However, we're not quite sure if her employers are
antisemitic-- the art gallery has been raided and shut down several
times for having "controversial art"; aka art that showed the real
egypt and therefore that the government didn't like. So the gallery
can't really afford to have any more problems with the government." (AlliG)

Allison writes a lot of keen observation of being an American Jewish in Egypt;you should check it out.

Roadtrip: Poland to Gambia

pustynnabeczka is a group of nomads driving from Poland to Gambia in a 23 year old Mercedes.

Now that's a roadtrip.

Illegals dying at record rate in Arizona desert

The smell of death floated on a sweltering August breeze near the Mexican border, emanating from an immigrant's corpse. He had expired beneath a mesquite tree on the Tohono O'odham Indian nation 45 miles southwest of Tucson, apparently trying to escape the Sonoran sun, trying to get to America.

John Doe No. 130.

That's the name and number given to him by authorities in a year when Arizona has set new records for deaths among undocumented immigrants along the state's 389-mile border with Mexico. With about six weeks remaining in the Border Patrol's fiscal year - and more Border Patrol agents patrolling than ever - 201 men, women and children have succumbed to the elements in Arizona. In Pima County, which includes Tohono O'odham and Tucson, so many corpses are waiting to be identified, autopsied and returned to Mexico that the coroner is storing 60 of them in a refrigerator truck.
Arizona has emerged as ground zero in the nation's debate over illegal immigration. Minutemen Project volunteers launched patrols this spring to stop border crossers, while humanitarian groups set up water stations and gave medical help to immigrants.

More here

Got flight?

This just happened in Guam. More news on Lesson from all of these incidents? don't fly in August.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I dont know about you guys

But I think AIESEC International 05-06 is looking damn fine...

See you in Agra....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Over 350 bombs explode across Bangladesh

DHAKA, Aug 17: A series of simultaneous blasts rocked Bangladesh on Wednesday, sending a wave of panic across the country. Over 350 small bombs went off at different places, including 63 in the country?s 65 district headquarters, between 10.30am and 11.30am...

Where nomads go when they grow up...

I read about this group in the Metro yesterday. Gave me visions of a 20 or 30 year nomadlife revolution reunion.

Elise is pissed about being owed two months of paycheck from her traineeship with Caritas in Egypt.

Starting Anew

The Curtin LC's blog -

A few years ago the LC at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia shutdown mostly because they had extreme difficulty recruiting any members - even though they had TNs. Well, we've started anew this year and yesterday was a big day! We raised a TN and received our first CEEDer in the same day! Come say hello.

The first one...

Hey guys, I just found out I got accepted to the traineeship in Kabul, I still have to figure out all the logistics & stuff, but for all intensive purposes, I'm going to Kabul on September 8th!!! Thanks for your support, Mike.

A very hearty congratulations to nomadlife's very own Mike G., the pioneer first trainee to Afghanistan. We expect some good first-hand tales and photos of your experience there so don't let us down. Shed light on what the world perceives to be a dark place, and leave tracks.


I'm proud of you buddy, always have been.

new addition to the family

The Hoff-man cometh!

China's largest bicycle manufacturers goes bankrupt

Interesting clips from an article in the Times:"CHINA BICYCLE, one of the biggest manufacturers and the largest exporter in the country, went into bankruptcy this week, a victim of the growing Chinese love affair with the car. "

"It will hardly surprise the Chinese cyclist, who has become an increasingly endangered species in cities where once the two-wheeled commuter was king of the road. In Beijing alone, a thousand new cars take to the streets each day. Figures for cyclists are more difficult to come by, reflecting the lack of interest by authorities in what was once the main mode of transport. "

"The rise of the car has generated another hazard for the beleaguered pedaller: rampant pollution. For the past two weeks Beijing has sweated under a pall of smog. The air has turned brown. Visibility has been barely 200 yards. Skyscrapers have been enveloped by a thick choking mist. The skyline has simply disappeared. " I can support this!!

"For days officials have been praying for wind. Their prayers were answered when heavy rains and thunderstorms blew across Beijing for 24 hours, sweeping away the filthy air that had hung over the city for nearly a fortnight. Fewer cars and more bicycles would help. But Shanghai has banned bicycles from main thoroughfares in an effort to modernise the city and improve traffic flow. Consultants preparing Beijing for the 2008 Olympics are discussing banning cyclists from main streets unless they can be trained to obey traffic regulations. "

"Old habits may die hard with cyclists. Most are accustomed to ruling the road but are well aware that recent laws brought in very severe penalties and fines for any driver of a motor vehicle who so much as touches a commuter travelling under his own steam. However, the internal combustion engine seems destined to win, as cars multiply at an unprecedented rate. "

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What is right is not easy

(more pictures from the Gaza settlements pullout)


"The collective Ethiopian identity has a tendency to think that there is God, Ethiopians and then the rest of humanity. This excessive feeling of cultural superiority is our blessing and curse at the same time"

- Part of feisty series of comments from Ethiopian readers of Thea's best post ever...

Why smart people defend bad ideas

"How many data points you need to feel comfortable continuing a behavior is entirely a matter of personal philosophy. The wise and skeptical know that even an infinite number of data points in the past may only have limited bearing on the future. The tricky thing about the
future is that it?s different than the past. Our data from the past, no matter how big a pile of
data it is, may very well be entirely irrelevant. Some find this lack of predictive ability of the
future quite frustrating, while others see it as the primary reason to stick around for a few
more years."

Click on the link for a 15 pages of insightful writing.

This is so fucked

"CCTV footage shows that Mr de Menezes was wearing a thin denim jacket that could not conceal a bomb, and he was not carrying a bag. Far from running from police, he did not realise that anyone was following him and even picked up a free newspaper before using his season ticket to pass through the barrier. He began to run only when he saw his train pull into the station. At the time of the shooting, Scotland Yard said that Mr de Menezes?s ?clothing and his behaviour at the station added to their suspicions?. It was only when Mr de Menezes boarded the train that a surveillance officer guided four armed police into the same carriage. " (Times)

The early version of the shooting incident in London's tube is wrong. The recent leaks of the investigation establish these facts
  • The guy didn't wear any "thick coat in the middle of summer".
  • He didn't run away from nor chased by any police officer.
  • He ran to catch his train.

What has our culture done to indigenous communities?

"Last week in the Northern Territory, a coronial inquest into the deaths of three Aboriginal petrol sniffers, all from remote communities, learned of teenage girls trading sex for petrol; of pregnant women sniffing the stuff; of four-year-olds with sexually transmitted diseases. One of the young men who died wasso addicted to petrol, he continued to sniff after he twice set himself alight."
(taken from this story)

And the story from last week.

So I have to ask myself: How much is our "civilized" culture (You know, the one that thinks the world was made for humans to have dominion over. We're pretty much all part of it.) responsible for the current problems in idigenous and aboriginal communities around the world? We would arrive on our boats, and if we didn't kill the local folk with our guns we would impose our laws and way of life on them, and force them to assimilate to our culture, while ironically at the same time restricting them to live on the parts of the land that we didn't want because it was too desolate and barren.

And now, taking Australia as an example, the idigenous communities that are far away (geographically) from the rest of civilization have some pretty bad problems. Health, lieracy, substance abuse and life expectancy rates are all far worse than the rest of the country to name some examples. On one hand, it can be argued that it's their own fault. On another hand, it can be argued that this is a natural consequence of forcing our laws and culture on them.

What is the cause of this? And even more out-there, what is the solution?

Croatian MC... also aboard the blogger train.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Indonesia Merdeka

Today Indonesian blogger celebrate 60 years of our nation freedom


The Irish MC

... are blogging!

post from your Microsoft Word

Blogger just launch this tool that allow you to post to your blog using Microsoft Word. Yay.  

(I?m testing it right now)

Yet another Plane Crash. This time in Venezuela..

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A passenger plane crashed in remote western Venezuela with 152 passengers aboard early Tuesday, an aviation official said. It was unclear whether anyone survived.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Au Contrar...

I dont know if the nomad community would really agree with this article about the US's hottest travel destination, Hawaii.

I for one had always heard that the three 'S's stood for "Somba, Soccer and Sex," Or is that only for Carnival?

It only gets better with time

...just like wine and my women.

The official invitation to nomadfest part deux has been extended here. Shit is ready to be blown up.

from a nomad in niger

i was told that the famine isnt really a famine yet but a severe food security crisis. the situation in niger is being exagerated in the news. it is a little worse then a few years ago but better then the years before that. the huge media attention however has brought a lot of aid, funding, and ngos to niger. the places that are affected is right above and to the right of me running from west to east and the areas are maradi,tillaberry, and tahoua.all of these regions except for tillaberry is hausa speking i think.

i think the situation is being dealt with the best way possible so there really isnt a need for people to panic ....yet. not only is food being delivered to those areas but people are working on projects for long term sustanability. the deaths that the news are reporting focuses on starvation but in actuality a large part of people dying is due to the long standing conditions here like poor water, sanitation and other nonrelated food problems.

inch by inch

As we are witnessing the historic Israel withdrawal from Gaza and the Iraqi working furiously to try meet August 15 deadline for their new constitution, it's good to remind us the concept "inch by inch" again (delivered by the great Al Pacino).
Exactly the kind of statement that makes you wonder about working full time for AIESEC...

"Tonight I might get the chance to balance my life" :)

Don't think of an elephant!

A very thought provoking piece here by the Rockridge institute looks at the issue of framing: the context of words, which words are said, how they are said and what they mean. The examples are applied to politics, but it could just be one of those 'lessons' that everyone learns when at school, since its relevant to all of life, how you sell yourself, products, power of suggestion etc.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Snow White becomes a modern fairytale

The only Swiss film in this year's international competition at the Locarno film festival, Snow White, is no ordinary fairytale.
Swiss-Iraqi director Samir has created a dark tale of love and idealism set against the backdrop of Zurich's drug-fuelled and hedonistic party scene.

Described as a "melodramatic love story" the film tells the tale of the relationship between Nico, a spoiled rich girl from an affluent Zurich suburb and Paco, a successful rapper, who was raised in inner city Geneva. These two characters couldn't be more different - Nico's life revolves around drugs, sex and parties whereas Paco is a poet-rebel, who feels he has a message to convey to the world. Nico is fascinated by Paco and tries to copy his attitude - a move which ultimately leads to her downfall. Samir, who is well known as a documentary maker in Switzerland ? his last work was on Baghdad - says that filmgoers shouldn't be surprised by his choice of subject for his eagerly awaited feature film. "I wasn't born in this city, in this world. But like everyone, I am fascinated by this milieu... it's one of the faces of Switzerland," he told swissinfo. Samir said it wasn't his aim to do a "drugs" film on the spoiled rich youth of Zurich - Snow White is also a name given to cocaine - but rather "an example of modern life as it is everywhere".
More here.

Dalai Lama visit in Switzerland: Huge success

The Dalai Lama's Swiss visit was a bigger hit than expected with 30,000 people attending his teachings, raising SFr. 350,000 ($280,000) for charity.
Organisers said they were also delighted with the publicity the event generated for Tibet after the Dalai Lama met interior minister Pascal Couchepin last week in a move criticised by China.
About 7,800 weekly passes and up to 12,000 day tickets were snapped up for the teachings on Buddhist scripture at Zurich's Hallenstadion. In addition, 10,000 people came to a public speech last Sunday on the subject of compassion.
The takings easily surpassed the SFr3 million costs of staging the event and profits will be distributed among Swiss, Tibetan and international charities to be named at a later date.
The eight days of teachings were the longest period of tuition the Dalai Lama has given outside India, where he lives in exile. He also attended an inter-religious meeting at Einsiedeln and symposiums at Zurich University and the Federal Institute of Technology.
"We are very pleased that all these events were so public and that the Swiss government got involved as it showed that Tibet is an issue for Switzerland," said the Dalai Lama's spokesman Kelsang Gyaltsen.
Read more here

Cypriot Airliner crashes north of Athens

ATHENS, Greece - A Cypriot airliner carrying 115 passengers and six crew crashed north of Athens on Sunday, and emergency services and local residents were searching for survivors amid the wreckage, officials said. There were reports the pilots were unconscious when the plane went down.
The Helios Airways flight HCY 522 was headed from Larnaca, Cyprus to Athens International Airport when it crashed at about 12:20 p.m. near the coastal town of Grammatikos, about 25 miles north of the Greek capital.
The Boeing 737 was due to fly onto Prague, Czech Republic after stopping in Athens.
The cause of the crash, and any possibility of terrorism, was not immediately clear.
After losing contact with Athens' control tower, the Greek air force scrambled two F-16 fighter jets. The airliner reportedly did not respond to radio calls.

Read more here.

Flickr Postcard Browser


The above picture was made with this application which lets you browse Flickr's huge image database, by searching for tags (keywords). Flickr Postcard Browser use the real world metaphor of a set of postcards shuffled onto a surface.
Many thanks to the Flickr team for putting together a really easy to use API. Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.

Check out other cool things to do with Flickr as well.

Amazing grace...

Still have no more news about Hajni and still have received no emails from people that know her, however I cannot stop thinking about her.

I went to mass today and offered all my prayers to her and I was slightly hostile towards God, maybe not hostile but I was just wondering why so many people have to suffer in this world.

I was just thinking of Hajni's determination to discover the world, of her positive energy, of her circle of friends and family....

We were lucky that most of us were sitting beside her in many numerous AIESEC conferences. The last time I met her was in Hanover, Germany and even though we didnt cross our paths in sessions, I could still feel that this girl is special, her smile (that everyone mentions), her commitment ......

I was also thinking about her possible and most probable excitement that she felt when applying for the MC in Ghana....
I am sure she thought about how to drive AIESEC in Ghana forward during her term,
Her excitement and anxiety of leaving her comfort zone and go and live a novelty... something new.. something challenging.....


I am sure she didnt think that that would have been 'her last race in this world'... I am sure her parents and friends didnt think this.... Yes, you always get worried that something might happen, but the human being always tends to hope for the best. That is why Hajni left family and friends behind her to discover the warmth and diversity in Africa... I can imagine Hajni looking forward to her future with high aspirations to live life to the full...

I am sure that loads of people mourn her all around the world... in Africa, in Ghana... in Europe..... everywhere.....

Dearest nomad, please think and reflect and pray for Hajni and her family.. We lost a real person, a person who inspired others and bettered other people's lives.... If you have any thoughts to share, please write a comment...

Hanji, Thank you for your smile, energy and love transmitted to all the people you met throughout your life.....

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see"
Rest in Peace Dearest Hajni and know that you will never be forgotten ...
You still are alive through all the memories, inspirations and through the many great things you transmitted to other people....
See you soon....

Friday, August 12, 2005

Aamir Khan is blogging.
Listen to the 9/11 oral history here.

Haze emergency

(... continuation to 'Hell's neighborhood' and 'Trapped and scared')

From the BBC: "Air quality levels throughout the Klang Valley (including Kuala Lumpur) have reached levels considered hazardous to health." Read more here...

Two towns have declared the state of emergency. Air Pollution Index (API) there was above 500. In the international gradation of API, there is nothing above 500 - ratings just do not exist for such levels of air pollution.

From a Malaysian daily the Star: "The worsening haze has claimed the life of an 83-year-old grandfather... Asthma patient Chong Kim Chu of Kampung Indah was found dead by a family member..."

The whole MindValley team here in KL, including our trainees and AIESEC alumnis (Adelle, Vishen, Hannu and Kristina) are leaving the city tonight to escape the haze on an island in South China Sea. Hope we'll finally get to see the blue skies!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Via Email

"I was truly shocked to read about Hajni?s passing....

I?m sure that a lot of nomads have interacted with her (Expros, IC, Expros again), but might not be able to picture her (i.e. don?t remember the name, or country ? as is often the case on AIESEC conferences). So if you would like to post her photo on your service ? find it attached.


Tongue Twisters

While looking for something in another language the Omniglot webpage caught my attention, and specially in it the Tongue Twisters. Here are some of them I found interesting and wanted to share, if you have some more in your native language, do not hesitate to record and share them.

Chinese (Mandarin) - ??????????????????????????????????
sì shí sì, shí shì shí, shísì shí shísì, sìshí shí sìshí, sìshísì zhi bùshízi zhi shísh?zi shì si de.
4 is 4, 10 is 10, 14 is 14, 40 is 40, 44 illiterate stone lions are dead.

Czech - T?istat?iat?icet st?íbrných k?epelek p?elet?lo p?es t?istat?iat?icet st?íbrných st?ech .
Three hundred and thirty three silver quails flew over three hundred and thirty three silver roofs.

Dutch - Als vliegen achter vliegen vliegen, vliegen vliegen vliegensvlug.
If flies fly behind flies, flies will fly like lightning.

French - Les chaussettes de l'archi-duchesses sont-elles sèches, arch-sèches?
Are the archduchess' socks dry, very dry?

German - Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische.
The Fischer's son Fritz is fishing for fresh fish.

Italian - Trentatré trentini entrarono a Trento tutti e trentatré trotterellando.
Thirty-three dwellers of Trent came into Trent, all thirty-three trotting and toddling.

Irish - Ná bac le mac an bhacaigh is ní bhacfaidh mac an bhacaigh leat!
Don't bother with the son of the beggarman and the son of the beggarman won't bother you!

Japanese - ????????????????????
Niwa no niwa ni wa, niwa no niwatori wa niwaka ni wani o tabeta.
In (Mr) Niwa's garden, two chickens suddenly ate a crocodile.

Maltese - Toni tag?na tani tina talli tajtu tuta tajba
Our Tony gave a fig because I gave him a good berry.

Polish - Król Karol kupi? Królowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego.
King Karl bought Queen Caroline coral-colored bead.

Portuguese - O doce perguntou pro doce qual doce que era mais doce.O doce respondeu pro doce que o doce mais doce era o doce de batata doce.
The sweet asked the sweet which sweet was sweeter.The sweet answered the sweet that the sweeter sweet was the sweet potato sweet.

Russian - ???? ? ????? ????? ???????, ? ????? ? ????? ?????? ???????.
Karl u Klary ukral korally, a Klara u Karla ukrala klarinet.
Carl stole corals from Clara, and Clara stole a clarinet from Carl.

Swahili - Watu watu wa watu wawili watu.
Those people from the Watu region eat boiled rice.

Turkish - Bir berber bir berbere gel beraber Berberistanda bir berber dükkan? açal?m demis.
One barber said to another barber, "Come, let's go together and open a barber shop in [the mythical country of] Barberia."

If you want to see even more tongue twisters, go to


Today is 7th of July on Lunar Calendar which is Chinese Valentines Day. Aibek has the full story.

With great difficulty I will refrain from making sarcastic and jaded comments... outloud at least. :)

the internet's 10th birthday?

Just a decade ago this week, the $3bn flotation of Netscape signalled the start of the mass internet age. Danny Bradbury explores how the web conquered the world - and changed our lives forever, from the independent (UK)

now, who thinks the pace of technological change is increasing and who thinks its decreasing? I can argue both ways, and challenge you to name inventions that have fundamentally altered your life (or the life of your parents, gradparents etc) in the last 150 years. I can think of just 2 in the last 25 years to have changed our lives -the mobile phone and the internet.

Whereas in the decades before that you have: the telephone, the postal service (as we know it today), mass radio, the automobile, mass television (and then with sound and then with colour), commerical flight, the fax machine, the personal stereo player, the credit card...... so what do you think?

separately how high up this list does the internet rank in terms of important inventions?

p.s. i know that it is not really the 10th birthday of the internet, since its origins can be traced back to the late 60s (although its disputed by several countries what exactly marked the beginning of the internet)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A-Team: The Movie

With the remake of old 70s/80s TV shows being such hits (and some occassional flops too) in the movie industry over the past few years - Charlie's Angels, The Avengers, Mission Impossible and most lately the Dukes of Hazzard, I think its obvious there's just one more TV-to-big screen conversion to make: The A-Team!

There have been rumours of a big screen return for the A-Team over the past few years. For those who watched the series growing up, or got stuck watching re-runs, who would you want to see an A-Team movie and who would you see playing the roles of Hannibal Smith, BA Baracus, Faceman Peck and Howling Mad Murdock?

My choices are in the comments.

top 100 most powerful women in the world

by Forbes.

Top 25

1 Rice, Condoleezza U.S. Secretary of state
2 Wu Yi China Vice Premier, minister of health
3 Tymoshenko, Yulia Ukraine Prime minister
4 Arroyo, Gloria Philippines President
5 Whitman, Margaret U.S. Chief executive, eBay
6 Mulcahy, Anne U.S. Chief executive officer, Xerox
7 Krawcheck, Sallie U.S. Chief financial officer, Citigroup
8 Barnes, Brenda U.S. Chief executive officer, Sara Lee
9 Winfrey, Oprah U.S. Chairman, Harpo
10 Gates, Melinda U.S. Co-founder, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
11 Lauvergeon, Anne France Chairman, The Areva Group
12 Gerberding, Julie U.S. Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
13 Russo, Patricia U.S. Chief executive, Lucent Technologies
14 Xie Qihua China Chairman, president, Shanghai Baosteel
15 Suu Kyi, Aung San Myanmar Nobel Peace Laureate
16 Cruz, Zoe U.S. Acting president, Morgan Stanley
17 Dunn, Patricia U.S. Nonexecutive chairman, Hewlett-Packard; Global chief executive, Barclays Global Investors
18 Scardino, Marjorie England Chief executive, Pearson
19 Cohen, Abby Joseph U.S. Chief U.S. portfolio strategist, Goldman Sachs Group
20 Livermore, Ann U.S. Executive vice president, technology solutions group, Hewlett-Packard
21 McAleese, Mary Ireland President
22 Catz, Safra U.S. President, Oracle
23 Ginsburg, Ruth Bader U.S. U.S. Supreme Court Justice
24 Clark, Helen New Zealand Prime Minister
25 Kumaratunga, Chandrika Sri Lanka President

In remembrance of Hajni

Dear All!
I am sad to inform you, that our beloved Hajni:) , the always smiling little girl have passed. In the last weeks she was strongly fighting against the disease of malaria, but in the end her body gave up the fight. Now she is in the Netherlands and her family will take care of taking her home later. I hope I can say on be half of all of us, that we will remember her as she was in her life, the always smiling, charitable and innocent friend!Keep her in good memories!!!

I recieved this mail the other day and I was very surprised, it seemed that an AIESEC member died from Malaria.
I remember Hajni in the MC in Hungary and she was currently MC in Ghana.
It will be nice if somebody can updates us more on this issue.

Trapped and scared

(... continuation to 'Hell's neighborhood')

Today, the haze has become yellow-brown. It is so thick, you can't see high-rising buildings across the street. We wear protective masks in the office.

Here are some quotations from today's Malaysian papers:

"The haze in certain parts of the peninsula was at its worst yesterday. And the bad news is that the situation will not improve in the coming days."
"No end to haze until October."
"Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government has no plans to release the API (Air Pollution Index) reading."
"Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar was quick to apologise to Malaysia for the haze. But what is Indonesia doing about it?"
"Jakarta must recognise that while open burning is probably the cheapest way to clear the jungle and plant oil palm and rubber, this is creating an environmental disaster to itself and its neighbours."

Although Malaysian officials refuse to release AQI (Air Quality Index) readings, some data has been circulated through unofficial sources. Today, AQI in KL was 181, in PJ - 204, Putrajaya - 224, Shah Alam 316, Port Klang - 410. These figures mean that air quality in the capital district of Malaysia is ranging from "very unhealthy" to "hazardous". You can see explanations here.

The most unpleasant in this situation is the fact that there is no escape - the air indoors is as bad as outdoors. And this situation is all across Malaysia. I feel trapped and helpless.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You don't hear about this

"A man has detonated a home-made bomb on a bus in the Chinese city of Fuzhou, killing himself and injuring at least 31 others, state media has reported.
There were more than a thousand reported bombings last year"

for startups only

"That is one of the key tenets of professionalism. Work and life are supposed to be separate. But that part, I'm convinced, is a mistake."

(Paul Graham)

He's the dude that started what to become Yahoo Stores.

Facts of our world

Here's a great animation in Spanish about some facts from our world that a friend forwarded to me, you can find the original at and the translation of the Lyrics in the comments section.
In order to see the animation just right click on it and choose "play".

first podcast from space

Listen to a cool podcast from the space shuttle Discovery.

NomadLifeTribe meeting

Did some of the earlier ideas for a Nomadlife gathering in January 2006 materialise?

I've an option on the table for spending New Year 05/06 in Istanbul but would like to have loads of great people around me.

Skype priced at $US3 billion

A failed bid by News Corp may have set a benchmark price for emerging internet free-phone giant Skype: $US3 billion.

A report in The Independent said that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation approached Skype, which has consistently maintained it is not for sale, with an offer that topped out at $US3 billion before talks broke off.

The story reports unidentified "sources in the telecoms industry" as saying Skype will be taken over "shortly" -- but presumably not by News Corp, which is currently facing a succession crisis after heir-apparent Lachlan Murdoch quit the business to return to Australia.

Skype is a leader in the world of communty-spawning, disruptive communications technology, much of which is bringing pain to established business models.

In Skype's case, the pain belongs to traditional telcos, already under pressure from internet-based communications.

Unlike other internet-based telepony companies such as Vonage, Skype is free software -- a 'softphone' solution that is computer-dependent -- and was dismissed as a geekish fad until recently.

Founded by the same two wizards -- Niklas Zenn-strom and Dane Janus Friis -- that cooked up the infamous peer-to-peer music download system Kazaa, Skype uses the same sort of technology to enable astonishingly crisp, clear, free 'telephone' calls between users who have installed the software on their computers.

Recently, it has added revenue-bearing products to its stack that, for example, allow users to receive calls from regular telephones that dial a specific number assigned by Skype. Skype users are also able to 'call' regular telephones for little more than two NZ cents a minute, almost anywhere in the world (including China), regardless of time of day.

More, Skype can now be installed on PDAs -- including smartphones -- that use wireless connections to acess the internet, something that looks like a convergence winner.

Skype doesn't disclose revenue and many analysts have been critical of the company because the 'business case' isn't apparent in the free distribution model.

But investors have supported the company with blocks of cash and Skype continues to thrive and grow -- more than 146 million people have downloaded the software in the two years since debut. The company has successfully marked out first mover turf in what is shaping up to be a major revolution in telephony -- and that's a premium product.

Now that the world has an idea of what it is worth to News Corp, the bidding is likely to move into high gear.

Hell's neighborhood... or hazy life

Our neighbors Indonesians are burning their rainforest again (to gain plantation land).
<= This is how Putrajaya (satellite city of Kuala Lumpur) looked two weeks ago, and how it looked yesterday.
On Monday, I woke up with a sore throat; swallowing was painful. When I came to work, I realized that I'm not alone with throat problems.
Today, I got myself a protective mask - it is impossible to walk on the streets. My office smells like something is burning in our building. I feel dizzy and my colleague just covered her face with a scarf.
The best part is that there are no warnings or news about the situation.

Monday, August 08, 2005


"At 13:00 European Central Time today, the world lost a Change Agent in person of Hajnalka Fülöp from Hungary. But Hajni was more than a Hungarian& she was also an African and a true AIESEC leader!

Hajni had just completed her term as MCVPX of AIESEC in Ghana and later went to support AIESEC in Cote D'Ivoire with exchange training for 2 weeks. She then went to The Netherlands to visit Marly Van Lipzig who served as a CEEDer in Ghana for about 4 months. Hajni mentioned that she was feeling a bit sick and stated that she was resting and taking some treatment on July 18th. By Tuesday, July 19th she was hospitalized and it was discovered that she had contracted malaria.

However, even with treatment she was too weak and the disease had progressed too far so she was eventually moved to another hospital with a Tropical Disease Specialist and placed in the Intensive Care unit. Hajni alternately got slightly better and then worse again but she never recovered.

Yesterday the doctors discovered that she was brain-dead and it was only a matter of time before her body stopped functioning. So they summoned her immediate family and today at 13:00 European Central Time, doctors turned off her life support&

On behalf of the members of AIESEC in Ghana, I would like to express our deep sadness on the passing of Hajni. The members of AIESEC in Ghana met to say prayers for Hajni yesterday and spend some quiet time remembering her and the huge impact she had on everyone she interacted with.

May her blessed soul rest in perfect peace "

May she rests in peace.

Jim forwarded this email to me today and he asked "Do you have any info about this?" and I replied no. I have no idea that we have yet another Aiesecer became very ill after her Aiesec related travel.

It seems to me that she got hospitalized within the same week when we started receiving and reponding to the news about Sofia.

How could have we missed this?

For those who like travelling below ground...

There's something to be said for having a dense subterranen layer of development as part of your city. For one thing, it would go a long way to preventing something like this:

Thieves have spent the past 3 months digging a 200m tunnel from a nearby house, underneath two city blocks, to below the vault at a branch of Brazil's central bank, and over the weekend made off with an estimated $68 million.

The bank's circulation department was previously examining the money for wear and possible replacement. I guess that problem has been solved now...

oil-for-corruptors program

" Investigators probing claims of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program accused its former chief, Benon Sevan, of corruption for taking illegal kickbacks and recommended his immunity be lifted for prosecution." (AP)

How many second generation AIESECers?

Just wondering: How many of you Nomads out there have a parent/parents who already were AIESECers /AIESEC trainees?

"Lost in translation" :-)

A friend forwarded me this's a good read and it made me think of Intercultural Communication ;-)

About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Chinese had to leave Italy . Naturally there was a big uproar from the Chinese community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Chinese community. If the Chinese win, they could stay. If the Pope wins, the Chinese would leave. The Chinese realized that they had no other choice. So they picked a middle-aged man named Ah Peh to represent them. Ah Peh asked for one condition to be added to the debate. "To make it more interesting", he said, "neither side would be allowed to talk". The Pope agreed. The day of the great debate came. Ah Peh and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute. Then the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Ah Peh looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Ah Peh pointed to the ground at where he sat. The Pope pulled out a loaf and a glass of wine. Ah Peh pull out an apple. The Pope stood up and said: "I give up. This man is too good. The Chinese can stay." An hour later, the cardinals were all around The Pope asking him what had happened? The Pope said, "first I held up three fingers to represent the holy trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and loaf to show that God absolves all sin. He showed me an>apple to remind us of the original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?" Meanwhile, the Chinese community had crowded around Ah Peh. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Ah Peh, "First he indicated to me that all Chinese had 3 days to get out of here. I replied to him f*@k off and not one of us was leaving. Then he pointed that this whole city would be cleared of Chinese. I showed him that we are staying right here." "Yes, and then???" asked the crowd. "I don't know", said Ah Peh, "He took out his lunch, and I took out mine!!!"
our resident poet is having a birthday today.


The veteran Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer has died in a Havana hospital, aged 78.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Joining the Axis of Awesome

Eoin's off to join Mazzy and the rest of the Netherlands based bloggers, he's just been matched to an ABN Amro traineeship in the 'Dam, congrats mate!!

Plane crash in the Mediterranean

23 saved after plane crash in Mediterranean Sea

Friday, August 05, 2005

Short update about Sofia

(click here to read previous updates about this case)

Hello, we have good news :)
Sofia's family just confirmed us she is no longer in danger, doctors are realizing several studies (sonograms) in order to determine her general health situation. They haven't performed any surgery yet. She's receiving lungs treatmet (which was the most developed complication). We will update more news as soon as we receive them.


here's to another bubble

" Inc., the maker of China's leading Internet search engine, mesmerized Wall Street Friday as its stock more than quadrupled -- a dazzling debut driven by the company's connections to Google Inc. as much as its own tantalizing potential."
(NY Times)
voirdire just got accepted to law school.
Struggling with questions of life ? gives you the answers.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Got Evolution ?

"Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science."
(NYTimes op ed by Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna)

Are we going back to the "Earth is flat"-like struggle again?


"I come back home after the dinner, switch on my laptop. 5 mins later my flat mate arrives, tellling me that at 6:40pm, just when he was literally 1 minute away from where we live, on his way back home from work, he was stopped by a woman who was pointing a black heavy gun at him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A 30 year old woman asking him for money.... he was brave enough to catch her when she was slightly distracted and grabbed her gun, held her on the floor and asked for passers by to call the police...." (maria)