Monday, October 31, 2005

Kiva - loans that change live

"Kiva is an organization that empowers individuals to make charitable, microfinance loans. Anyone can look at the profiles of businesses (all rural entrepreneurs, currently all in Uganda), make a loan of as little as $25 through PayPal, and stay in contact with their sponsored business for the 6-12 months (average time) it takes to have the loan repaid." - Via nextbillion

They will not survive in the wild

I can't stop laughing watching these "fainting goats." The Creator must have been playing a practical joke.

Pretty darn cool stuff


A masterpiece of reconciliation

Yesterday a ceremony was held in the German city of Dresden to consecrate the Church of our Lady "Frauenkirche" which was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II. Sunday's ceremony was attended by representatives from around the world. It is the end of a story that began on a cold night in February 1945, when Allied bombers carried out one of the most notorious air raids of World War II.

The ruins of the church were once described as "a gaping wound in the heart of Dresden", a German newspaper recently titled the rebuilt church a "masterpiece of reconciliation".

Volcker's final report on the oil-for-food scandal

The Volcker committee has issued its final report on the UN-administered oil-for-food programme in Iraq, and it makes for grim reading: kickbacks were paid in connection with the contracts of over 2,000 companies. National prosecutors may now take an interest. (full article)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Who's coming to Egypt?

So who wants to go to the most amazing country in the world?

Here's the deal: Nob and I are looking into travel agents for group rates for tickets from NYC to Cairo. We have found tickets for $760 total (including taxes), but we are still waiting for the last word from Nob's travel agent. The way these things work is that the more people we get to go, the less the tickets cost per person.

As Mix will tell you: Egypt is fucking amazing. Dahab is the shit. And there really isnt any better place to spend New Years (Hey, Im even leaving NYC to go to Egypt). SO get on the Cairo train, and join us for a big ol' nomadfest on the beaches of the Red Sea.

Email me at takrupp at gmail dot com if you are interested in signing on (no obligation, we are looking for interest). We are looking for people who can leave late on December 25th and come back either January 2nd or January 4th. Let me know.

let's hear your voice

A question for nomads around the world....If you could pass on only one message to the world, what would it be?(answer in comments,and please include your country - origin, and current location)

first hand accounts of Wilma

"Hurricane Wilma flew into South Florida as a Category 3 hurricane, taking down power lines, trees, roof tiles, roofs and even mobile homes with it. It let over 2.5 million FPL subscribers without electricity and it will take until November 22nd to restore power to all of those households and business. It was truly a big storm.Thanks to god nothing happened to my or my family, as our little apartment withstood the strong winds and all the rubbish that hit the windows while we sheltered in the kitchen reading and playing with our little 6 months old, so that she wouldn't feel the fear and uneasiness that was all over us." (rafa)

"Wilma the tropical storm that hit south Florida on Monday was a category 3 hurricane, which passed from Borward county, Ft Lauderdale where I live.I was a very cool experience combining fear, challenge, tactikes and friendship feelings.People had ample time to prepare and it isn't that hard to get 72 hours' worth of food and water ... Just to do the simple things that the US government asked us to do, and I did it really well, went to target and got so many stuff, cane food, water, candles, flash lights...As well as Jo my American/Egyptian friend who works with me cuz he and his girlfriend decided to spend the hurricane eve with holly and me (as well as Tiba my puppy) at home."

pension: Halloween horor story

" As bad as that sounds, the problem of state and local government pensions is even worse. Public pensions, which are paid by taxpayers and thus enjoy an implicit form of insurance, are underfunded by a total of at least $300 billion and arguably much more. While governments have been winking at these deficits for years, they are now becoming intolerable burdens for taxpayers. In San Diego, pension abuse has effectively bankrupted the city. Thanks to a history of granting sweeter and sweeter pension deals that it has neglected to fund, the city has been forced to allocate $160 million, or 8 percent of the municipal budget, to the San Diego City Employees Retirement System this year, with similar allocations expected for years to come. San Diego has tabled plans for a downtown library, cut back the hours on swimming pools, gutted the parks and recreation budget, canceled needed water and sewer projects and fallen behind on potholes." (NYTimes)

This NYT article examines the current and impending pension crisis looming over America. This pension problem however will not be limited to the US; a lot of European countries is battling the same issue worsened by the imbalance of demographic percentage between the productive age population and pensioners.

30 or so years from now, by the time our generation reach retirement age, the pension system as we have it right now might have gone bankrupt. It won't be pretty when it does.

Trick-Or-Treaters To Be Subject To Random Bag Searches

Responding to "a possible threat of terror and fright," US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Monday that trick-or-treaters will be subject to random bag searches this Halloween season.

"Individuals concealing their identities through clever disguise, and under cover of night, may attempt to use the unspecified threat of 'tricks' to extort 'treats' from unsuspecting victims," Chertoff said. "Such scare tactics may have been tolerated in the past, but they will not be allowed to continue this Halloween."(read more)

Happy Halloween all you POS's.
Maureen Dowd, the famed Pulitzer winning columnist of New York Times, is writing a book about feminism titled : "Are Men Necessary: When Sexes Collide". Check out an essay adapted from the soon to be published book.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"A series of explosions shook New Delhi on Saturday, tearing through markets jammed with shoppers ahead of an upcoming Hindu festival and killing at least 49 people, officials said." (AP)


New York Smells Like....MAPLE SYRUP??

OK, this might be the strangest post ever. I was noticing a strong sweet smell as I walked home smelled like maple syrup. I thought I had sat in something and I kept smelling my coat... I was sure I had sat in syrup.

Then I saw this article in the New York Times saying that the ENTIRE CITY OF NEW YORK SMELLS LIKE MAPLE SYRUP!!!!!!!!! It is all over the news!! No one can figure out why..FEMA is investigating it as we speak!! This is CRAZY stuff....very perplexing...I can't wait to hear the explanation for this!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rambo is back, baby !!!

Rambo IV is scheduled for filming next spring. After saving the world three times from the commies, the world hero is back for another round.
You think you have a lousy job ? How about working as Orang Utan pee collector ? Popular Science Magazine is making a list of the worst jobs in science for the third year.

An African journey

Heres a blog to watch - Dey, AI Director for Africa, is currently on the trip of a lifetime. From October to December he will be visiting every AIESEC country in Africa, and is blogging it up beautifully. Check it out, what an experience. He is making my own fairly decent travel schedule for the year look totally lame....

"The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, refused today to retract his call for Israel to be wiped off the map, while the Iranian embassy in Moscow attempted to calm the growing diplomatic crisis." (Guardian)

Great, yet another growing diplomatic crisis. He has deservedly been condemned all around for this remark. Even the Palestinian is distancing from this.

A little impatient, a little impulsive

Airfare to Nomadfest :$1000
New Years in a new land with new friends (and some old ones): Priceless

Mon 26 Dec
06:40 +1

Tue 27 Dec

Thu 5 Jan

Fri 6 Jan

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oil is still where the money is

"High prices for oil and natural gas propelled Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC to their best quarterly results ever on Thursday, with Exxon becoming the first U.S. company ever to ring up quarterly sales of $100 billion.

To put Exxon?s performance into perspective, its third quarter revenue was greater than the annual gross domestic product of some of the largest oil producing nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The world?s largest publicly traded oil company also set a U.S. profit record with net income of almost $10 billion, according to Standard & Poor?s equity market analyst Howard Silverblatt." (msnbc)

hate something, change something

Nomads in the UK and Europe may have already seen this, but for everyone else, go ahead and wonder at this beautiful, delicious advert for Honda. I think it might be the best ad I have ever seen - ahhh, wondrous world....

A Force More Powerful

I haven't checked out the game, but must say I'm curious.

Big Brother giveth & Big brother taketh away...

In the last one month, the tens of thousands of minders that the government of the P.R.C hires to watch 'sensitive' internet sites have carried out the following acts of good sense and then utter incomprehensibility.

October Week 1: They re-open access to all blogs (YAY!!)
October Week 4: They block off all access to (WTF?!?!)

The city of Chicago has never partied like last night since the Chicago Bulls won the NBA championship last century. jeffd, hongtoufa and I were in the thick of it, right in the epicenter of the joy-quake in the south side of Chicago.

After the dominating Bulls, Chicago has never had any team winning anything ever since (in hockey, football, baseball, synchronize swimming, etc). We had two baseball teams in Chicago that haven't won US Major League Baseball ultimate prize, the World Series, since the World War I rage in Europe.

Last night, after 88 years, one of those team, Chicago White Sox, won the World Series.

The three of us were there on location in the Sox Stadium on the south side of Chicago and the night was lit up. People poured down from their houses and apartments to the street, fathers and mothers with their little children were out and danced on the street with their cute white and black striped White Sox uniform, joining the alcohol powered fans that just left the few bars around the stadium with their full White Sox regalias. Cars were streaming out towards the stadium, honking with windows down and their drivers' hands out to high five the fans crowding the street. The cheers matched three U2 stadium concerts combined and could be heard for miles. The game ended around 10 pm and when we left at 1.30, the party had gotten even bigger.

More pictures are forthcoming.

Greenspan's Successor

President George Bush has nominated Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The new man has big shoes to fill?and plenty of economic challenges to address. (Economist)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pressure the Governments

This is sad. Pressure our rich governments to HELP ASIA, HELP ITSELF...

For those still contemplating the New Year's event

I will direct your attention to my previous post, summarizing the intelligence I gathered during a recent weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In Memoriam Ahmed Arshi

I never thought I would have to write something like this. For the first time in my life, today I was informed that one of my close friends had passed away.

I met Ahmed six months ago in Kenya and he has been the only person I stayed in touch with after that trip. There was a reason I did. I have rarely met someone with the passion, energy and joy for life. The discussions we have had and the laughs we shared gave me so much. I have followed every step of his film and books, trying to keep them apart and admired the work and compassion for others that shone through.

I feel that I should quote something that Ahmed wrote to me a few months back when I was feeling sad, since many of my friends were leaving the country:

"This is part of life, you meet people, you leave people. only true friends leave foot prints behind them that will stay in your memory forever. but once you look on that world map and knowing that you are able to go anywhere cuz you have friends everywhere makes you feel on top of the world, basically being a "Global Citizen" thats what AIESEC creates!stay always happy cuz one day someone will be missing you when it's your time to leave! :) "

He will be missed. By people from all over the world, who he has made both laugh and think."

(by Sabina )

Ahmed blogged at

Drugs and bribes claims hit China's Olympic rehearsal

Drugs and bribes claims hit China's Olympic rehearsal

China has scored a sporting own goal, as its first rehearsal for Beijing's Olympic Games in 2008 descended into a farce of alleged match-rigging, bribery, unfair judging and doping scandals.

An amusing read about the 1 second judo final, the 1500m runner-up's coach successfuly begging the judges to disqualify the winner, 3 wrestling judges being banned for taking bribes and athletes not attending medal ceremonies in protest of decisions....

brain drain : the downside of nomading

"Poor countries across Africa, Central America and the Caribbean are losing sometimes staggering portions of their college-educated workers to wealthy democracies, according to a World Bank study released yesterday.

The study's findings document a troubling pattern of "brain drain," the flight of skilled middle-class workers who could help lift their countries out of poverty, some analysts say. And while the exact effects are still little understood, there is a growing sense among economists that such migration plays a crucial role in a country's development. " (NY Times)

Invisible Children Documentary: What now?

We have a huge tool, a network to 91 different countries, with passionate, motivated people interested in bettering the global future. The question is, how can we utilize it?

Here's the idea:
We have members traveling to different LCs all over the world. We purchase a massive amount of Invisible Children videos, put together easy facilitation packets and send them with willing exchange participants so they can host Uganda Awareness events in the @ countries they will be visiting. Exchange participants track their events on a Uganda Awareness nomadlife blog. We will potentially be spreading awareness of this under reported crisis on a large scale level, to people just as passionate and motivated as ourselves. More details on my blog if you're remotely intrigued.

Monday, October 24, 2005

the downside of automatic signup

Check this entry about the chronic problem of blog spamming that happens to, the automatic free blog hosting service run by Google.
JillO's 25 today.

Wimpy Diplomacy

"One crucial change, apparently made after the report was submitted to the UN chief, removed the name of President al-Assad?s brother, Maher, his brother-in-law, Assef al-Shawkat, and other high-ranking Syrian officials.
The final, edited version quoted a witness as saying that the plot to kill Mr Hariri was hatched by unnamed ?senior Lebanese and Syrian officials?. But the undoctored version named those officials as ?Maher al-Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleyman and Jamal al-Sayyed?." (Times Online)

I'm sorry, but Kofi Annan and his office of Secretary General undermines his own investigative arm the UN Security Council has tasked to investigate the killing of Lebanon's Hariri. What a bloody shame.

You should spend the time to read full report itself; it's a thorough and damaging report on the role of Syria in the Lebanon's assasination that triggered the Cedar Revolution earlier this year.

Global Map of Natural Disasters 2005

Maplecroft launches interactive map to coincide with the International
Day for Disaster Reduction. Available online at

"The past year has reminded people everywhere that no place in the world
is immune from natural disaster.. The lesson we must draw is
encapsulated in the theme of this year's International Day for Disaster
Reduction: "Invest to prevent disaster." We cannot stop natural
calamities, but we can and must better equip individuals and communities
to withstand them. Those most vulnerable to nature's wrath are usually
the poorest, which means that when we reduce poverty, we also reduce
vulnerability." -- Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations (2005)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Top 40

most memorable US magazine covers in the past 4 decades.
There was a downtime of a couple hours this morning CST time. The server received its security updates automatically at 3.40 am CST and tried to restart itself and failed (stupid computer !!!). Usually I check the status of the server early every morning but Chicago was awake all night last night celebrating our White Sox win against Houston.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I'm trying to convince myself to go to the Nomadfest in Egypt. Help convince me by telling me who is going, and why people should go. Actually, it sounds like a great time already - just want to see who is all going, and who might be going.

Also, if anyone has recently found cheap flights to Egypt (either from America or from Europe) clue me in on that.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to and scroll down to the arcticle entitled "Let's get one step closer to our maker "

Friday, October 21, 2005

nomads - the gathering

unlinkables (omar, peach, shantal)

takrupp, turnthepage, surya, red lobster

saki and turnthepage

clockwise(wonderwoman, jen, christhebrit, the red lantern, peach)

melt, jillo, jen

dave and wonderwoman

(i'm still looking for Suzanne's and Vishen's picture)
"Last night was excellent. Nomad Reunion with Dody, Wonderwoman, Surya, Kevin, Vishen, and a load of New Yorkers who came to party with them. Props to Suzanne and Trent who managed to stay awake for breakfast at 3:30am. " (Jillo)

Speaking of the Middle East...

'The Simpsons' have made their debut on Arab TV - as 'Al Shamsoons'.
However, some changes needed to be made for Middle Eastern viewers, for instance:
  • Homer's name is name is Omar and Bart's is Badr
  • Homer loves beer and drinks it pretty much everywhere, including at Moe's Tavern. Omar drinks Coke and in this Springfield, there is no Moe's Tavern.
  • Mr. Simpson is a huge fan or porc, hot dogs, and donuts. Mr. Shamsoon does not eat porc, eats Egyptian beef sausages, and replaced donuts for hahk, traditional Arab cookies.
  • The voices used in the show are all Egyptian actors, including "Omar's" voice: Mohamed Heneidy, considered the Robert De Niro of the Middle East, has replaced the duties of Dan Castellaneta in bringing Homer to life.

This effort of bringing humor to the Middle East and expose its viewers to good ol' western humor has not being appreciated by many, and in fact, it is considered not that funny. For instance, As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor at California State University expressed "It was just painful....The guy who played Homer Simpson was one of the most unfunny people I ever watched. Just drop the project, and air reruns of Tony Danza's show instead."

Tony Danza? Oh my, that show must really suck!

Read more here

Iraq's referendum

A referendum on a new constitution for Iraq probably passed, though final results were expected later in the week. The Kurds and Shia Arabs voted massively for it; the Sunni Arabs voted against, but seemed unlikely to get the necessary two-thirds of voters in at least three of Iraq's 18 provinces to say no, which would have nullified the document. A new parliament due to be elected in December should give the Sunnis a bigger voice, but it remains moot whether that will dampen the insurgency, which is still fierce in the Sunni areas. (economist)
The Association of American Publishers filed a copyright lawsuit against Google's project to scan books on to the internet. The firm said the move was ?short-sighted?. (economist)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I'm having a breakdown here!

Sorry for this very ridiculous posting, but I am seriously desperate.
I stopped smoking 3 days ago and I am already looking like any of the heroin addicted characters of Trainspotting....almost hallucinating about cigarrettes!!!!! Ahhh! I don't know what to do! I'm eating 24/7, I am extremely cranky and sometimes I cry like an absolute idiot at work.

If you can give me any usefull tips I'd really appreciate it. One time I stopped smoking slowly, reducing the number of cigarrettes a day but many people said that never works and that it is best to stop at once. Now that I did the stopping all at once way a bunch of other people are telling me that the best way is to do it is slowly decreasing....AHHHHHHHHH!

Help please! I'm sure there are some nomads out there who have gone through this...

Former Kool Lights and Barclays Menthol Enthusiast

Don't forget tonight, Oct 20th

Initially it would be,

B-Bar & Grill
on 40 E Fourth St (4th and Layfayette).
New York City

Time : 7.30 pm upwards.

but hey, it's New York City, you never know where we are going to end up as time pass, so make sure you call first (melt, can we have your cell ?); mine is 312-543-8670.

Wonderwoman, melt, surya, suzanne, jillo, trent, voirdire, saki and friends are going to be there. I'll get in around 10pm. There's no confirmation yet whether Jen, natafrye and christhebrit are going to show up.

Show up, wear your party hat and we'll have party for the ages.

Iraq's ex-dictator goes on trial

Iraq's deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein, has gone on trial, pleading not guilty to crimes against humanity over a massacre in 1982. The trial - the first of several he may face - comes as votes are being counted following last weekend's referendum on Iraq's proposed post-Saddam constitution. (economist)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


the nomadshop is up!
you can purchase items such as t-shirts like this

proceeds benefit the nomadfund

Fighter with rattle in hand: One year old and rocking!

The first nomadlife weblog postings were made exactly a year ago, a day later nomadlife officially broadcasted for the first time. What started as a fun project between two people without any financial investment a year later grew like a wildfire, consuming over 650 people with no signs of cool down. I'd like to salute our fellow comrades around the world who created this tribe, the very wind in our sails. The fire burns bright and fierce, you can't stop the children of the revolution. All you partiers in New York this weekend, remember that you are celebrating a birthday as well. :)

So what's next? We are building a religion, we are making it bigger, we are widening the corridors and adding more lanes. Never pass on a good thing. Without spoiling any surprises here's a sneak preview of what's cooking in the pipeline:
- The return of the Wiki
- global nomadlife intelligence network
- nomadtracker / database (including map)
- caravanserai: rendez-vous / safehouse networks around the world
- tags and categories
- linking in of non-blogspot blogs
- photography / artwork contests -> feeding into merchandise material
- nomadlife fund
- structuring of

We are looking for more people to take ownership nomadlife, getting involved in certain projects, and most importantly to add capacity for further growth by contributing regularly. Drivers wanted! I can't drive so contact me if your imagination is piqued.

And last but certainly not least lets give it up to my main man Dody G, the godfather and architect who proved yet again that financial resources are no substitute to the power of creativity and vision. You're a legend!

Happy birthday nomadlife, your future is so bright I'm wearing sunglasses just thinking of it.
Sunset theme by Johanna Krichling (Germany) and Kent Babin (Canada). Latest logo iteration by Johnny Dimas (U.S.A).
What would you do if you win $314.9 million lottery?

Brasilian bikinis

My Brasilian roommate from when I was in India, is visiting NY this weekend too. She's looking to do some research on high-end bikini exportation. Other than the usual department stores (Bloomingdales, Saks, etc), are there any other suggestions for her? Know of any boutiques??


sometimes doing things that pull you away from HW is great. looking at something beautiful is one of them...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

online game: get aid from the EU

see how much money you can get from the EU....

China to overtake India for outsourcing by 2015

The Global Outsourcing Report makes for interesting reading, with analsyis of vaious countries' risks, costs and opportunities. By

You can't stop the dragon... but check out who will be number 3 in 2015 and you might be surprised.

cows get a PAY RISE!!

STOP PRESS: EU cows have been seen smiling and smirking at the billion humans earning less than them. Last year they were even booking luxury holidays since they got a pay rise of 2.2 USD to 2.6 USD a day

Happy, smiley cows....

Seen any cows recently in Europe, detected a wry smile from them? think they're laughing at the billion others earning less than them? In 2003 Europe's cows earned a pay rise from 2.2 USD to 2.6 USD a day.

cows get a PAY RISE!!

look at some of the cows in Europe....can you detect a faint smile? Maybe its a laugh directed at the billion people or so earning less than them. In 2003 Europe's cows got a pay rise, from 2.2 USD a day to 2.6 USD a day

Monday, October 17, 2005

Oct 20, I'll be there

""I'm landing on the 20th, and we'll be at B-Bar & Grill on 40 E Fourth St (4th and Layfayette). 7ish onwards? If you're in NYC, and can lay some vague claim to knowing me, come and join the fun. The place should be large enough, and there's plenty of food and drink for those peckish, parched or just plain up for a pint (ok ok I'll stop the puns?). " (wonderwoman)

Ticket Number(s):
Flight Number: 4282
Flight Date: OCT-20-2005 515PM - 823PM
Departs: CHICAGO (Midway)
Arrives: NEWARK
Flight Number: 4271
Flight Date: OCT-21-2005 745AM - 859AM
Departs: NEWARK
Arrives: CHICAGO (Midway)



I can only make about 8 hours in New York :( but hey, I'll take those and make it a party. So if you are in New York City, please show up; I'd really want to see you guys.

Beware of those Hallucinogenic Camel Toads...


Islamic dress code in the Netherlands

"A Muslim woman who was refused a job because she would not wear a headscarf is taking her case to the Dutch Equal Opportunities Commission...."

Read the entire article here. I'm still holding back on a reaction to this. Being a guy who admire the Dutch & who was completely taken by the warmth & tolerance of what is one of the most liberal societies in the world, this isn't the best of news. I was particularly taken by surprise by this part of the article, "Utrecht city council says it will stop paying social security to women who wear the burqa and headscarves to job interviews."

Benelux nomads might have more to share.

A futures-trading scandal in America

The boss of Refco, one of America?s leading futures brokers, has been arrested on fraud charges a couple of months after the firm?s successful flotation. The scandal may damage the reputation of an industry that has lately begun to forge an image of respectability. (article)

Erotic Experiences around the globe

As usually everybody loves to talk about sex and erotic experiences we decided to open a Global Erotic Blog to share these best and most intense experiences to get to know other cultures ;o)

But as we are only three people so far who blog their experiences there we want more people to take part in that blog! We want to know your experiences! This will be better than any traineeship report ;o)

These are the opportunities how you can join the blog:

1. Send us your message to and we post it for you anonymously.
2. Become an editor of the blog by sending us an email with your blogger username to
3. Post a message in the comments.

We wait for your stories!
Your Global Erotic Team :o)

NZ now has a government

One month after the elections, we now have a coalition. I'm in shock, one of our most racist politicians is our foreign minister. Ouch.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and United Future leader Peter Dunne have been allocated ministerial positions in a Labour-led Government. Labour has successfully negotiated a Centre-Right deal that offers immediate assurance that it can govern with New Zealand First and the United Party having signed confidence and supply agreements.
The Progressive Party will be inside a coalition with Labour, and the Green Party has committed to support the government during confidence and supply votes but misses out on having a role inside the executive.
Winston Peters picks up Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Racing, and Associate Minister for Senior Citizens. Peter Dunne will be Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

What do you do where you are or where you have been?

I'm doing a little comments poll on what is happening socially in the world. There are unannouced treasures abound and I want to hear about them.

Finding hookahs/shishas: Man, that changed my life. Almost choking on my first tapioca ball and then realizing that bubble tea is delicious was definitely a "take away" experience of mine in Hong Kong (much less "solid milk dessert", Yummy). And Drinking vodka and then chasing it with salted and dried fish? Well, at least I tried it.

Anyway, I got a post over at the blog and I'm looking for these different traditions/customs/cultures that make up the hip in all the corners of the world. A little bit of an audit of whats cool where ever you are or have been. State, debate, explain and learn on, man.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Another turning point for the Middle East?

By this time next week, Syria could have cracked down on its open training of Iraqi insurgents and funding of Palestinian 'terrorist' organisations... is the tide of change in the Middle East growing?

America offers 'Gaddafi deal' to bring Syria in from the cold

Friday, October 14, 2005

London nomad gathering

If any London based nomad's feel like catching up, I'll be in town all this week, from Saturday (tomorrow) until next Thursday. Drop a comment here and we'll make it happen.

Spot of cricket in the park? Devonshire tea with the vicar? I'm down with whatever, London style.

It's the purple finger time again

"An employee at Yarmouk Hospital raises her inked finger after voting in the constitutional referendum in Baghdad on October 13, 2005. An election official announced that voting would begin Thursday at detention centers and hospitals." (NPR)

Staged Event? Bush?

Oh, Say It Ain't So!

WOMEN can help!

A new report: TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE ECONOMICS OF CHARITY: EVIDENCE FROM A FIELD EXPERIMENT produced by National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), USA (2005) looks at the effectiveness of voluntary contribution schemes compared with lotteries. some of the findings:

* an increase in physical attractiveness among women solicitors increases the average gift by 50%-135%; this result is largely driven by increased participation rates among households where a male answered the door

so attractive women, what are you waiting for...start knocking on our doors and asking for money.....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Africa Unite

I've been waiting for this post for a while. Duylinh reports from Niger, West Africa. To start with I bet not many of us have a clue as to what life in rural Niger is about. Look up any country profile/recent news article on the country and all your hear about is the recent five-year drought, rudimentary and lacking health system and rampant disease. Of course there is a whole lot more to it than just that. I wonder how many of us could learn to adapt and survive amidst such conditions for a few weeks leave alone months or years. Duylinh, you put us all to shame. I tip my hat to you.

The British MI-6

, James Bond's outfit, is looking for applicants.

In Vino, Veritas

LA Times writes a short article about how guys form opinion on their date based on the drinks they order

"Beer: It doesn't matter what kind you drink, most guys approve and it shows you are laid-back and comfortable in your surroundings, not trying to impress anyone.But they advise that if it is a first date and you're going for drinks somewhere other than a sports bar, it's probably not the best choice.

Wine (red or white): A bit refined, or at least pretending to be.

Margarita: A fun-loving girl with lots of personality.

Gin and tonic: Guys are split on this one. Some say it signifies a sophisticated woman; others say it is someone looking to get drunk.Either way, it signals that you
may have hit your grandma's liquor cabinet early on. Use sparingly.

Martini: Somewhat classy ? or you just like the fun glass.

Cosmopolitan: A bit trendy, and some guys view it as snobby. Also, it shows someone with expensive taste. So if the guy's paying the bill, steer clear of this one, especially if the date's going badly. He doesn't want to have to take out a loan to buy you drinks.

Long Island iced tea: He knows how much alcohol is in it ? and that you might end up spending the night feeling very, very ill.

Rum and Coke: This is a basic, and fairly safe, drink choice. Someone who likes to have fun but can keep herself in check.

Whiskey and Coke: Borderline alcoholic. Someone who is a bit sassy, will speak her mind and won't care what anyone thinks.

Vodka cranberry: Someone not familiar with many drinks, but who still likes to have fun and knows that vodka will do the trick without tasting too bad.

Red Bull and vodka: An absolute party girl. Save this one for the club.

Smirnoff Ice/Mike's Hard Lemonade/wine cooler: He probably won't appreciate this drink choice; unless your date is at the 7-Eleven, get a real drink.

Mudslide/white Russian: Any drink with milk in it scares guys.

Sea breeze/Midori sour/amaretto sour: A bit of a good girl. Someone who likes to drink but doesn't like the taste of alcohol.

Tequila: Guys dig a tequila drinker, but some claim "she is a keeper ? just for the night though." Avoid at all costs if you don't want to end up seeing his sheets. Otherwise, bottoms up."

The "laid back impression" of the beer part is correct; I'm not sure about the rest of it. Once you hit Tequilla though, you know the party has begun ;)

Earthquake relief on war footing

t is a measure of the magnitude of the tragedy of the South Asian earthquake that Indian soldiers have been allowed to cross the heavily fortified border into Pakistan territory to assist in relief and rescue operations. (article)

Apple Impact

Last night Apple launched 3 new products; a new version of iTunes, updated iMacs and as expected, a video-enabled iPod. (article)
The EU recently released it's Strategy for Africa... Makes for an interesting read.


Human Trafficking

For those who can watch it: Lifetime TV ( will air a miniseries on Human Trafficking starting October 24 at 9pm ET/PT (starring Academy Award Winner Mira Sorvino).

Every day, thousands of people, especially women, are forced into modern-day slavery. It continues to exist because we keep ignoring it...

"Trafficking in persons ? the illegal and highly profitable recruitment, transport, or sale of human beings for the purpose of exploiting their labor ? is a slavery-like practice that must be eliminated. The trafficking of women and children into bonded sweatshop labor, forced marriage, forced prostitution, domestic servitude, and other kinds of work is a global phenomenon. Traffickers use coercive tactics including deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat and use of physical force, and/or debt bondage to control their victims. Women are typically recruited with promises of good jobs in other countries or provinces, and, lacking better options at home, agree to migrate. Through agents and brokers who arrange the travel and job placements, women are escorted to their destinations and delivered to the employers. Upon reaching their destinations, some women learn that they have been deceived about the nature of the work they will do; most have been lied to about the financial arrangements and conditions of their employment; and all find themselves in coercive and abusive situations from which escape is both difficult and dangerous"
(Source: Human Rights Watch Online ->

Other links: - La Strada :
- Coalition against trafficking in women :
- Amnesty USA:
- MTV's Exit Campaign against HT:

Yom Kippur

, the most important Jewish holiday, begins sundown Oct 12 and ends sundown tomorrow, Oct 13.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Still breathing fire

As China forecasts another year of GDP growth above 9% and America?s treasury secretary tries again to persuade Beijing to revalue the yuan, China's government does seem to be preparing to change its approach to economic growth. However, its main concern is not American policymakers but China's poor.

China?s leaders may finally be readying themselves for a change in the mercantilist, growth-at-any-cost model that has prevailed for decades. The Communist Party leaders? annual meeting on economic policy ended on Tuesday with word of a strategic shift: from now on, there will be more emphasis on redressing the inequality and social disruption that market reforms have left in their wake.(article)

"Bring back our peaceful Bali"

Hundreds of protesters demanding death for the Bali bombers of 2002 have broken down the gates of a prison on the third anniversary of the nightclub attacks, amid rising anger after blasts on the resort island this month. (article)

Letter from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi

"Today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a letter between two senior al Qa'ida leaders, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, that was obtained during counterterrorism operations in Iraq. This lengthy document provides a comprehensive view of al Qa'ida's strategy in Iraq and globally. " (DNI)

It's a fascinating read (it's available both in Arabic and English)

Aid agencies working in the quake zone

International aid organizations are accepting donations to help victims of the devastating earthquake in South and Central Asia. A list of these groups can be found on the CNN website.

Microsoft makes the Real deal

After years of crosstown feuding that drove a wedge into Seattle's technology community, Microsoft and RealNetworks declared a truce yesterday to help them compete against Apple and Google and solidify the city's future as a center for digital media. (article)

Additionally an IM merger is expected today as Microsoft and Yahoo are expected to announce a deal today that will allow their respective instant messaging services to exchange messages with one another (article)

In the Middle East...

Iraqi Politicians Reach Deal on Amendments: Iraqi Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni political leaders today said they agreed on changes to the proposed constitution, which may ensure that voters approve the document in the Oct. 15 referendum. "All obstacles to the approval of the constitution have been removed," President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, said at a news conference in the capital, Baghdad, carried live by al-Jazeera television. "I hope this will be the beginning of a new kind of cooperation between all Iraqis." (article)

Syrian minister 'commits suicide': Between the 1980s and his departure, Kanaan was Syria's top official in Beirut, whom Lebanese leaders had to report to directly on political and security issues, correspondents say. The United States froze his assets there in July saying he had aided terrorism in Lebanon. (full article)

SMURFs Bombed

The UN children's agency has launched a hard-hitting ad campaign, involving cartoon legends the Smurfs being blown away in a sudden air strike.

Wish I was in Belgium now!! would have loved to see this ad!! For those who understand my 'love' for the giant smurf.....

arreted for dealing fake DVDs

the american, in Shanghai, arrested for smuggling fake DVDs. its an interesting story...


Arthur gets offered the worst traineeship ever......

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Hobbit

"In this week's issue of Nature, the scientists describe bones from nine individuals from the Liang Bua cave. Some of the bones--parts of the right arm and jaw--belong to an individual. Other leg bones, shoulder bones, and various bits of fingers and toes come from other levels in the cave. They were laid down in the cave over thousands of years, the youngest being just 12,000 years old--around the time when our ancestors were inventing agriculture." (Corante)

This is a good blog explaining the latest discovery of bones on the Hobbit like fossils in the island of Flores, Indonesia. The scientists supporting the theory think that they have discovered another species of humanoid (1 metres tall) that hunted dwarf elephants. The skeptics insist that these are just the case of diseased humans.

new leader of Germany

Angela Merkel. Reactions?

I change the date two days forward from the original Oct 10 posting; check out the comments, some very interesting perspectives have surfaced. Jana asks an important question "why Turkey should join EU."

possible answers:

  • geography;Istanbul is on Europe's side.
  • history; Constantinople; the Great Schism in Christianity; Byzantium was the capital of Roman Empire, the quiessential European (+ heavy influence from Greek culture), shouldn't that count for something?

I'll let the experts we have here enlighten us.

EU expansion

The European Union and Turkey have finally agreed on a negotiating framework that will allow formal talks on Turkish membership of the EU to begin. Interesting article on the development here.


Death tolls from natural disasters have hitherto been classified as state secrets in China. But a new law, passed in mid-September, will make government transparency on such issues compulsory. The change has been brewing since the outbreak of SARS in 2003, and was spurred on by the spectacle of Hurricane Katrina in America. So, when Typhoon Khanun hit eastern China on September 11th, killing 16 people in the area around Shanghai, the government was swift to issue reports. It also revealed that
natural disasters in 2005 have so far claimed 1,626 lives, destroyed 1.45m homes and cost the Chinese economy tens of billions of dollars. ( Cities Guide: Shanghai Briefing - October 2005)

The Skype's the limit

According to reports in the Shanghai Daily, China Telecom is trying to block
a popular computer-to-telephone call service, Skype, in a bid to force
people to pay for the company's own more expensive long-distance services.
China's largest fixed-line phone carrier and broadband internet provider
supposedly began blocking access to Skype in the southern city of Shenzhen
in early September, and is now experimenting with blocking the service in
Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Long-distance business is an important revenue source for China Telecom,
accounting for about 20% of total revenues last year. Internet-based
services like Skype put pressure on the company to lower its long-distance
tariffs, which are already coming down at about 12-15% annually. eBay
recently agreed to pay $2.6 billion for Skype, though its global revenues
were only $7m last year. ( Cities Guide: Shanghai Briefing - October 2005)

A coupla months ago, I'd posted an entry about a flash presenation created in the early part of this decade. The presentation talked about the evolution of the Internet and how it would help proliferate information through blogs, mega mergers of IT/ITES companies, etc.. thus resulting in the death of the NY Times!

This just came in from Reuter's daily news briefs... But watch the presentation first.. it's quite prophetic!

nomadfest: Egypt

Let's get it on, folks. I took it as my duty this past weekend to do a little reconnaissance for our upcoming event and the proposed site. Words won't do justice to its sweetness. Even the way there is a sight for sore eyes. Shisha? Beer? Sea food? It's all there and ridiculously cheap and delicious.
We'll be chilling at a camp 20 meters from the sea. Your room will run you about 3 USD a night, or, if you want to splurge and get a view of the sea, you can score one for about 4 USD a night. Need I mention these are double rooms?
Let me send you here for more documented supreme sweetness.
This all adds up to some maximum chilling.
Need more coercion? Check out my fine feathered friends who have already signed up. It would be a shame for the world to leave me with these two for an extended weekend in paradise. T-bird and Nob will be signed on soon. Rumor has it there will be some scandal.

Dec 28 - Jan 2

ya dig?

George Bush has a date!

Check this out,
Askoura is blogging about the date business in Egypt and how it's affected by George Bush.

Must see TV

"PBS' sequel to Norma Percy's award-
winning 50 YEARS WAR: ISRAEL AND THE ARABS follows the fraught history of the
Arab-Israeli peace process from 1999-2005. The film included interviews with
insiders from Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat to Bill Clinton and Colin Powell;
behind-the-scenes footage of tense peace negotiations; and snapshots of the
violence that has enveloped the region in recent years.
" (PBS newswire)

If you are located in the US or has access to satelite TV, do not miss this program on PBS. I was glued for 2 and half hours on this documentary chronicling the peace process and its trials and tribulations from 1999 to 2005, including rare footage that you don't see on the press. It is fascinating. Its coverage on the Camp David 2000 summit is invaluable and it interviews all the major and minor players involved in various peace negotiations throughout the years and you see behind the scenes conversations between the Palestinians and Israelis when they were in summit (they behaved like old friends because they have known and met each other for years)

The program also currently airs on BBC two.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Relief for Earthquake victims in Pakistan

This is a list of various methods of donating money for the relief efforts in the Pakistani regions hit by the earthquake.

1. Pakistan-Canada Association

Royal Bank of Canada
Branch No: 05600
Transit No: 003
Account No: 1009067
2. International Red Cross
3. International Red Cross
4. Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Donations to Victims of earthquake
5. Oxfam is also collecting donations

We are currently in the process of finding out details for money transfers through the Edhi Foundation and the Aga Khan Foundation. Once we have those, we'll let you all know.


Nida Rasheed
Local Committe President
AIESEC in Lahore

What is under Moscow?

I Stumbled Upon (just download it and change your internet life forever) this really wonderful article about a bunch of people who have taken to exploring the vast, incredible network of places underneath Moscow. Just incredible:
"Discoveries began with the first expeditions. Through manholes and building basements the boys wriggled into labyrinths under the Russian capital. First, they explored the bomb shelters under Leningradsky Prospekt, then they came across an Academy of Oceanology warehouse. "Imagine walking along endless corridors," recalls Mikhailov, "something dripping from the ceiling, the uneven light of torches. And all of sudden you find yourself in a room full of tanks of formalin, containing various sea monsters."
It gets much, much weirder....
Entertain yourself with gazillion of podcasts available from Yahoo newest podcast website.

NYC 20th October

"I'm landing on the 20th, and we'll be at B-Bar & Grill on 40 E Fourth St (4th and Layfayette). 7ish onwards? If you're in NYC, and can lay some vague claim to knowing me, come and join the fun. The place should be large enough, and there's plenty of food and drink for those peckish, parched or just plain up for a pint (ok ok I'll stop the puns?). " (wonderwoman)

Highly recommended.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Chicago Marathon (Dody)

Our creator is on a roll...
8:06:20 AM CST
5K = 00:36:51
10K = 01:05:20

20K =01:58:16
25K= 02:31:34
30K 03:08:28
35 K 03:48:33

Finish = 04:54:49
Pace = 11.49

Saturday, October 08, 2005

If you take a look at the map, the epicenter is close to the capital of Pakistan. That's real bad news.

Domino Harvey

This is the real person behind the upcoming movie, Domino, starring Keira Knightley about a female bounty hunter in Los Angeles.

"IF you are born into the British high life, specifically to the actor Laurence Harvey and Pauline Stone, a Vogue model, and wend your way through life so that you end up chasing drug dealers, murderers and thieves through the streets of South Central Los Angeles as a bounty hunter, chances are good that someone will eventually hear your story and think it's a movie. " (NYTimes)

She died early this year before the movie chronicling her exploits coming out next week.

And here's a wikipedia entry on bountyhunter (yes it is legal)

"A bounty hunter is an individual who seeks out fugitives for a monetary reward. It is legal in the United States thanks to the 1872 U.S. Supreme Court case (Taylor v. Taintor) which established that the person into whose custody a person accused of a crime is remanded as part of the accused's bail has sweeping rights to recover that person. Thus most bounty hunters are in the employ of a bail bondsman."

Times are good for the Hacks

Inspired by George Bush's catastrophic nomination of "the best lawyer within 100 feet of his office" to the Supreme Court, The New Republic has a hilarious article online, profiling the 15 biggest hacks (unqualified cronies of the Bush Administration) currently serving in high up positions in government. You need to register with an email address to access the article, but it is well worth is for golden stuff like this:

"3: Rear Admiral Cristina Beato
Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services

In June 2004, Cristina Beato admitted to her hometown newspaper that she hadn't paid much attention to the details of her resumé. That's too bad, because those silly little details seem to have stalled her confirmation for assistant secretary for health for over two years now. Beato said she earned a master's of public health in occupational medicine from the University of Wisconsin (but the university doesn't even offer that degree). She claimed to be "one of the principal leaders who revolutionized medical education in American universities by implementing the Problem Based learning curriculum" (but the curriculum was developed while Beato was still a medical student). She listed "medical attaché" to the American Embassy in Turkey as a job she held in 1986 (but that position didn't exist until 1995). She also boasted that she had "established" the University of New Mexico's occupational health clinic (but the clinic existed before she was hired, and there was even another medical director before her). For her part, Beato has offered a simple explanation: English is her third language, after French and her native Spanish, and sometimes the language barrier is just too much to handle. How does one say "pants on fire" in Spanish? "

Read the whole thing, its golden....

quakes rock pakistan

read it here ....aiesec in pakistan please report to let us know if everything is ok....

Friday, October 07, 2005

Egyptian world dominance one step closer

Mohammed El Baradei, the Egyptian head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recieved the Nobel Peace Prize today, in recognition of the IAEA's work reducing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Mabrouk to El Baradei though - first Egyptian to recieve a Nobel Peace Prize? The awesome Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz has won the Nobel Prize for Literature (and is still writing for the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram at age 94), but I think this is the first time an Egyptian has won the big one......

(Correction - Luly has kindly informed me that Anwar Sadat was the first Egyptian to win the Peace Prize, in 1978. And she is being very firm in insisting that Yasser Arafat, who won the prize in 1994, is in no way an Egyptian, despite some hints to the contrary.....)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

first suicide bomber in America

, Joel Henry Hinrichs III , exploded in Oklahoma a couple of days ago (no casualty, except himself). Here's an excellent blog covering this ongoing story.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

design that matters

The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop, a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children. Read more

Negroponte, your my hero.

Top 500 Classic Rock songs...

Virgin radio's Classic Rock Station put together a list of the top 500 classic rock songs of all time.
Considering it was a vote-in, most of it's dead on. Bohemian Rhapsody at No. 1 was an absolute no-contest!!

Listen to the station live 24x7 over here.

Don't Fast & Drive...

Advent of Ramadan sees surge in road accidents

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Who will win Nobel Peace Prize this year?

Martti Ahtisaari? Bono? Pope John Paul II?

Ramadan Kareem

Happy Ramadan, everybody.


Red alert. The president has declared National Emergency.
Three days of disaster.
Every main road is closed. Thousands of homeless... we are trying to gather clothes, blankets and food to take to shelters...
This had never happened, natural disasters in this magnitude are apocalyptical and everyone is scared.

Saturday 9:00 am

Saturday 4:00 pm - and it is still raining

Santa Ana volcano, the biggest of the 14 volcanoes in the country suddenly erupted after almost 80 years of being dormant, it covered around 300 square kilometers in ashes and hot mud. Destroying the country's best coffee farms (and its respective planctations), houses and leaving around 4,000 people homeless.

6 hours later, tropical storm Stan hit the country with continous rain in the entire country that even now, 48 hours later its still raining, causing bridges to collapse, rivers to flood, land to slide over houses and streets. Leaving entire sectors of the country without communication due to blocked streets.

What a weekend. And its still not over.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Nobel Prize in Medicine

goes to two Australians for their work in discovering the cause of ulcers.

I would have preferred the prize given to the fine Australian women instead, for their qualities cure all ills of men.


"WHEN the countries of the European Union agreed last December to grant Turkey its fondest dream and begin formal talks on admitting the big, predominantly Muslim nation as a member, it was no doubt envisaged, or at least hoped, that the date pencilled in the diary for the start of the process would be a time of ceremony and celebrations, not bickering and brinkmanship. But the EU wouldn't be the EU without those last-minute panics, replete with desperate horse-trading and just-good-enough fudges, and in this respect Monday October 3rd did not disappoint. For much of the day, it looked like the love affair was in real danger of ending in acrimony. But thanks to some frenzied diplomatic activity, it ended instead in a firm?though hardly warm?embrace." (Economist)

Austria almost spoils the party by insisting Turkey to embrace "equal partnership" instead of "membership" a couple of days ago. Tony Blair must have had a couple of bad night sleep.

In the end, it's all flowers and kisses again, for now.
The mighty University of Chicago Law School is blogging.


"Then you enter the darkened room with giant illuminated "touch tables." The surface of each is a high-resolution computer display showing a satellite-camera view of the world. By putting your hands on the table and spreading them, you zoom into a region, a city, a neighborhood. You can also slide your hand over the table to expose the view as captured at an earlier time. (It's possible to track, for instance, the progress of an Iranian nuclear facility, which now looks like a barren area but months ago was a giant hole being cleared for an underground complex.) At an adjacent device, called a "2.5-D Display," you can display any point on Earth and get its topographical information. Want to see more? The surface of the table rises?rises!?to create mountains, streams and gullies. In a few seconds there's a precise, model-train-tablelike model of the actual terrain." (Newsweek)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"At least nine people have been killed in a series of explosions on the Indonesian resort island of
Bali. Many others were reported to have been injured in the blasts at Kuta beach - the area most popular with Western tourists - and at Jimbaran beach." (BBC)

So far they think there are three explosions. The first two explosions happened at around 7:20 p.m. local time at the Nyoman Cafe in Jimbaran, while the third blast hit the Raja Bar and Restaurant in Kuta Town Square at 7:42 p.m.

This attack comes closed behind the third anniversary of 2002 Bali bombing (October 12, 2002)

Yahoo has a series of pictures of the attacks.

22 people died so far and 50 injured.

update: now the reports says there are 6 coordinated blasts instead 3.
update: 32 are reported dead.

fukkin a.

These coordinated attacks have all the mark of a Jemaah Islamiyah operation, an Al-Qaeda offshot operating in South East Asia, the same group that did the 2002 Bali bombing and 2003 Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta.

Only a couple days ago, Gareth Evans of International Crisis Group stated that '"Jemaah Islamiah itself has been significantly decimated in terms of its effective operation in Indonesia".

I guess not.

These blasts are likely to be backpack bombs that can easily be transported using motorbikes and carried inside the restaurants and mall. The bombs either left behind unattended or exploded by suicide bombers.

There's a strong possibility the atackers were customers in these two restaurants. Unattended bags under customers' table is not suspicious. Suicide bombers have time to coordinate their attack to the last minute if they have table in the restaurants.

The 6 3 blasts happened in three location; they need 2 bombs in every location to increase their casualty results (there are limited amount of explosives you can fit a backpack; and you can see the result from a minimal structural damage from the photographs); They pack those bombs with nails and other type of sharpnels to maim and kill their targets.

We will know in coming days which method of attack were employed but I think it will be inside the variances I outlined above.

One thing for sure, the Bali economy and tourism again will suffer tremendously after these bombings.

"Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, one of Indonesia?s top anti-terrorism officials,
said the three attackers went into the restaurants on wearing explosive

The remains of their bodies were found at the scenes, he said."I have
the seen them. All that is left is their head and feet," he told The
Associated Press.

"By the evidence we can conclude the bombers were carrying
the explosives around the waists." (msnbc)

Further Update:

The latest report from NYTimes concurs with my early analysis about backpack hosted bombs

"Mr. Pastika presented a video, taken by a visiting family, that showed a man with a backpack walking into Raja's and then the giant flash of an explosion. Each of the three bombs, he said, held as much as 22 pounds of dynamite, and they might have been carried in backpacks or in suicide vests. It was not known if they were detonated remotely or by triggers set off by the suicide bombers." (NYTimes)

I don't think it is sucide vest. 22 pounds is about 10 kilograms and it's not easy to hide that amount of explosives under a vest especially considering Bali is a tropical island. You will sweat like a pig trying to conceal that amount of explosives under thick jacket.

Asia unites in bid to stamp out bird flu

Southeast Asian agriculture ministers have agreed to launch a three-year plan next year aimed at stamping out the menace of bird flu in the region ? a move they hope will win enough international aid to halt the disease before it becomes a catastrophic global epidemic with the potential to kill millions. (full article)