Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Just an informal poll... How many of you out there have mentors? If so, how did you build that relationship? Further... are any of you mentors?

Favela Rising - MUST SEE film set in Rio de Janeiro!!

A few weeks ago I had the luck to see this film (Favela Rising). Its an aspiring doco about a small group of residents in one of the most violent favelas in Rio de Janeiro who decided they needed to stop the violence through pride in their roots and music. The group grew and grew, got funding from USAid, and spread to other favelas. I'm on their mailing list and they're coming to NEW YORK this weekend. I urge anyone there to go along and lend your support. The more people who go the more chance this film has of going on to general release.

Favela Rising Family ?This Friday, feature film ?Favela Rising? will join a group of less than a dozen subtitled documentaries ever to be theatrically released in New York City.Thinkfilm and HBO bought this little film because of the overwhelming audience response at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it carried home the Best New Director Award. They then amped up their publicity of this little film because of the subsequent 27 other film festival wins. And now they?re trying a legitimate commercial distribution of the film in theaters because of the Academy Award shortlist for Best Documentary of 2005 and Film of the Year Winner 2005 from the International Documentary Association.But that does not mean they?re convinced U.S. audiences are willing to pay $10 to see the film in a theater. Of course history is on their side. Few of the small handful of subtitled documentary films before Favela have been able to last theatrically, nevermind get people into the theater for opening weekend. With your help, we?d like to change that.If you?ve seen the film 4 times, please convince educators, activists, lovers, friends, family and colleagues to come out and support us at Village East Cinemas 2nd Ave at 12th Street this Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If you haven?t yet seen the final cut of Favela Rising on 35mm film with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, then please come see it again. Or if you happen to be passing by the theater during the weekend, just buy a few tickets and skip the film.Because if we send a message with our box office receipts from this opening weekend, Friday through Sunday cumulatively, that Favela Rising can survive commercially in NYC, then the film will roll out to cinemas in urban areas and small towns across the country that are waiting to see this opening weekend?s NY numbers. And of course the farther the film is circulated, the more social impact it?s outreach campaign will have in underserved communities here in the U.S. and abroad.Remember, all net proceeds from Favela Rising go to favela educational programs. To see the trailer and learn about the Ford Foundation sponsored outreach campaign visit shoot this letter around, send last week?s email blast out to your network, write a mass letter to your crew, make phone calls, talk loudly about Favela Rising in the streets and in line for tickets at the theater, buy an extra 2 tickets at the door and hand ?em to strangers, buy some matinee seats on moviefone 212-777-film even if you can?t make it, stencil the sidewalks, shout it out on the mic and in the office... socially charged media does spark sustainable change.Village East Cinemas Starting Friday: 11:15, 1:15, 3:15, 5:20, 7:20, 9:30Director Q & A: Friday & Saturday at 7:20 pm, Sunday at 1:15 & 3:15 pm.

Tell me about it

I want to aks you guys which is you favorte roll call


India vs China? --- Or China vs. Latin America

"Many people are tired of the India vs. China debate. After all, India and China are more likely to be complementary than substitute to each other. One is better in hardware while the other is better in software, there is more opportunities for cooperation.

There absolute loser from China?s rise in world production is actually Latin America. Latin America has much higher wage level than China, Thailand, or Malaysia. The region however is much backward in production technology. This is not going to be sustainable. In a ?flattened world?, no importers are willing to pay higher price for lower quality products.

The Inter-American Development Bank has just published a book on this very topic, titled The Emergence of China: Opportunities and Challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean."

My thoughts (without having had a closer look at the report, yet):

a) I don't think that India and China are so "complementary". India's problem is infrastructure, once they solve this, they'll kick ass. China, however, needs to radically overhaul its political and social foundations, which currently (and even more in the future) will jeopardise further economic development.

b) Maybe it is Morales, Chavez & Co. actual strategy to emulate China by introducing a crude version of socialism?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Brazil Football Camp : Weggis, Switzerland

The village of Weggis on Lake Lucerne scored big by hosting Brazil's football team for two weeks of training before the World Cup kickoff in Germany. The locals have gone football mad, along with thousands of other Swiss, who are flocking to Weggis to catch a glimpse of Ronaldinho and Co in action. (Source: swissinfo)

Sorry that the sites aren't in English. But it gives you an idea of the frenzy the presence of the Selecao is currently causing over here in Switzerland, especially in my hometown of Weggis (3900 inhabitants), a small tourist resort. But it's cool in a way. Especially cool to say that I live in Weggis (well, not during my studies of course) :-) I have a ticket for this Thursday's morning training, can't wait! Yeah, I will see Ronaldinho etc. live!!

comment faciliter?

someone kindly email me a powerpoint or other document on 'how to facilitate.' i have been asked to back up outrageous claims about my facilitation abilities for a session in 36 hours jlovegren AT

EU court blocks data deal with US

So how do you bet on this one?

a) EU stays firm, US takes passengers without info
b) US stays firm, EU ends up giving info
c) Both stay firm, airlines have to pay so we have to pay more for flying
d) Both stay firm, we dont fly EU-US anymore
e) Any other random possibility, you name it

Aircraft at Heathrow
The US said the deal was essential after the 9/11 attacks
The European Court of Justice has ruled illegal an EU-US agreement that allows European airline passenger data to be transferred to the US authorities.

The court in Luxembourg said the May 2004 agreement did not ensure privacy protection for European travellers.

European airlines have been obliged to give US authorities passengers' names, addresses and credit card details.

The measure - opposed by the European Parliament - was designed to help prevent acts of terrorism.

The agreement demands that within 15 minutes of take-off for the United States, a European airline must send the US authorities 34 items of personal information about the passengers on board.

Washington has warned that it will impose heavy fines and deny landing rights for any airline failing to comply with the agreement.

The European Commission, EU governments and the US had signed the deal despite privacy objections from the European Parliament.

The parliament asked the European Court of Justice to annul the deal.



"?passes the ball to Diego, now Maradona with the ball, two people on him,
Maradona touches the ball, the genius of soccer heads to the right, and
leaves the third and passes to Burruchaga?
Always Maradona! Genius! Genius! Genius! ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta?
I am going to cry! Oh, my God! How beautiful soccer is! What a goal! Diego! Maradona!
I am crying, forgive me please?.
Maradona, with a memorable run, with the most beautiful play of all time?.
cosmic podge?. which planet are you from? You let it seem so easy,
and the whole country is a closed fist, is screaming for Argentina?
Argentina 2 - England 0?
Diegoal, Diegoal, Diego Armando Maradona?
Thank God, for soccer, for Maradona, for these tears, for this
Argentina 2 - England 0?." (World Cup Blog)

Above is a translation of the famous play by play commentary (listen) by Victor Hugo Morales in 1986 World Cup.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Stay Safe Folks

"Thousands of angry demonstrators rioted across the Afghan capital today after an American military truck crashed into a dozen cars on the north side of town, killing and wounding several people." (NYTimes)

We have a couple of nomads in Kabul. Stay safe.

FIFI Wild Cup

11 days to go, six teams already in the country, everybody freaking out, blablabla ...
... in the midst of the multi-billion dollar business and the frenzy about the greatest show this country will see for the next few decades:

The FIFI Wild Cup 2006 !!

The FIFA international football association only recognises national football associations belonging to a state recognised by the UN. Therefore, such great football nations like Gibraltar, Greenland, Sansibar, the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus and Tibet are excluded from the FIFA World Championship.

The fans of Germany's most alternative, most commited and most fun football club, the FC St.Pauli, have initiated the FIFI Wild Cup for these countries ... and it's starting today! (Website in German only, unfortunately.)

where in the world is Jesse ?

(source: Jlovegren, Cameroon, Africa. One hell of a cook. He can whipped out delicious pad-thais under 20 minutes.

We are getting closer to 1000 nomads here and I think it's time to introduce nomads in our community. So send me ( links and pictures about your (or your buddy) location and I'm going to update this frequently. Or even better, you can post it yourself.
Today is one Holly birthday.

Blessed are the peacemakers

"Australian peacekeepers, who number a full complement of 1,300, patrolled the streets here on Sunday, and less looting and burning occurred than in previous days.

Two Australian Navy ships were anchored offshore and were easily visible to terrified residents who sought reassurance after weeks of battling between factions of East Timor's security forces. In the last several days, there has also been sustained looting and burning by gangs." (NYTimes)

Timor Leste is the youngest nation on Earth. It was thrown into chaos a week ago after some of its army rebelled. The country still depends on international aids after its independence from Indonesia four years ago (which ends 450 years of foreign rule, majority under Portugal) being Asia's poorest country. Its oil deal with Australia will bring much needed revenue to the country. With proper and wise investment of this fund, it will be able to support its 800,000 populace.

But for now, they need peace and the restoration of law and order. Again the Aussies lend a hand like they did in 1999. Good job mate.

Uribe wins 2nd term

"Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe has been re-elected in a landslide election victory, taking 62% of the vote"
Full story

Reactions from our Colombian/Latin nomads?

Bonds passes Babe Ruth as second in the Homerun list

SAN FRANCISCO -- And now only the Hammer remains.
Barry Bonds' long journey toward Major League Baseball's all-time home run mark became a race against one man Sunday as he sailed past Babe Ruth into second on the all-time list with the 715th of his 21-year career. (whole story here)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Monkey Business

Kopi Luwak does exist, is very expensive, and is made from coffee beans passed through the digestive system of an Indonesian animal, but it's more like a cat than a monkey. According to a feature article by the Manila Coffee House, which sells the stuff, the people who harvest the digested beans don't really have to pick through cat litter to get it. The animal processes the beans and excretes them whole, unscratched, and without dung." (truthorfiction)

Yes, it is the most expensive coffee bean in the world. And yes, the coffee is unbelievable.

So you want a revolution

You are not getting the point. It is not about the ribbon in Amir Taheri's article or the tasteless humor in Mana Neyestani's cartoon. It is about the readiness of a multi-ethnic nation to explode. Wake up and smell the gunpowder. Revolutions don't wait for calendar dates. (zaneirani)

There's something brewing in Iran.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


"Doctors said sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens are running rampant at a popular Central Florida retirement community, according to a Local 6 News report." (local6)

Apparently grandpas and grandmas are busy getting it on in their peaceful retirement village.

Things to do for next year Mother's day

Apparently getting engaged is becoming a trendy thing to do for Mother's day for nomads. I wonder why.
"A powerful earthquake flattened buildings in central Indonesia early Saturday, killing nearly 2,000 people and injuring thousands more in the country?s worst disaster since the 2004 tsunami, officials said.

The magnitude 6.2 quake struck near the ancient city of Yogyakarta around dawn as many people slept, causing death and damage in many nearby towns." (msnbc)

Shit, we got no break :(

I think we have a couple of nomads in the area. Please report.

(click image to see the bigger picture)

Here is the USGS report on the quake.

The only silver-lining on this event is that the rescue operations would be smoother than usual due to a lot of standby crew and evacuation point in anticipation for the Merapi volcano explosion. Yeah, that volcano is about to explode still but now we are dealing with this earth quake.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cool New Site For Flights...

I hope this Farecast beta expands. It would be nice to beat the airlines at their own price game. Right now they just do it for flights departing from Seattle or Boston.

Get Tested!

Yesterday I did what was probably one of the scariest things I've ever had to do in my entire life. I took my first official HIV test.

I may have been tested in the past but am not sure, and didn't have any proof or certificates showing past results. I can't remember ever explicitly asking for an HIV in the past. Which in most countries means that I probably haven?t been tested before. Always remember that getting your annual checkup and getting blood work done does not mean you have been tested for HIV, you always have to ask.

I am a safe person. I am more knowledgeable then the average person about the disease, how it's transmitted, how its not, about its effect on people, on families, on children and friends. However, I must admit, as I sat there talking to the counselor prior to the testing, answering questions, talking hypothetically about the potential results - I started thinking about the maybes, the mistakes and the what ifs?

Can you say with absolute CERTAINTY that you know the status of those in your past? What about those in your present? The answer is most likely a wavering no.

Everything we do - HIV/AIDS Learning Networks, Volunteering, Donating, The AIDS Walk, talking, understanding, reading - means nothing if we don't know our own statuses and work to ensure we remain uninfected OR control the spread of the disease ourselves.

35 minutes later, I sat in the waiting room - I'd already read People's 100 most beautiful people cover to cover - they called me into the room and handed me an official piece of paper with "NEGATIVE" printed in big bold letters. I breathed a sigh of relief, walked home and called 5 friends to convince them to get tested NOW.

The moral of this post is GET TESTED. Ask for a HIV test. Demand to be tested!

If you live in New York City, GMHC offers free confidential testing.

We didn't start the fire...

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Now that the song is stuck in your head... here's a link to a the European Space Agency's World Fire Atlas.

Article on the World Fire Atlas

A moment in time...

"..The first human known to be infected with HIV was a man from Kinshasa in the nearby country of Congo who had his blood stored in 1959 as part of a medical study, decades before scientists knew the AIDS virus existed.

Presumably, someone in rural Cameroon was bitten by a chimp or was cut while butchering one and became infected with the ape virus. That person passed it to someone else.." (MSNBC has more)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Enron: The Guiltiest Guys in the Room

I saw a great movie this weekend "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room." Complete with first-hand accounts by Enron employees of the corruption leading up to Enron's ultimate downfall, the movie is DEFINITELY worth seeing.

After watching the movie I felt a sense of relief reading this: "Lay and Skilling's Day of Reckoning" (CNN) The jury today convicted Lay and Skilling of a combined 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, false statements, and insider trading.

Looks like the "Smartest Guys in the Room" just became the "Guiltiest Guys in the Room."

In the words of Abraham Lincoln "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."


Or Curry and Rice girl :-)

When Bad Service is Good

At the Pyongyang Moran Bar, North Korean waitresses wear traditional dresses in the bright colors that were fashionable in the South some years back. The singer's interpretation of "Whistle," a North Korean standard of the 1980's, was shaky and off-key. Service was bad and included at least one mild threat. Drinks were spilled, beer bottles left unopened and unpoured.

But the South Korean customers could not get enough of the Pyongyang Moran Bar.

"Things are very different in North Korea," Choi Jung Hee, the manager, said. "Over there, waitresses and salespeople are kings because they have access to goods. But here you have to treat customers like kings. You have to bow to them and be polite even if they are rude."

I guess that's one way to bring the North down to the South: sell nostalgia. It's trendy to be retro like the rough 'ol 50-60's. Read more here. (NY Times)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

May 25th is Towel Day as a tribute to Douglas Adams.

Click on the banner below for more information.

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

To quote from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Argentina - Brazil Rivalry...Priceless

The Football World Cup is starting soon and we start seeing beautiful expressions of passion and sports rivalry like these two...

Tevez Mastercard


"Carlitos' haircut, R$ 15" (Carlitos=Tevez)
"Brasilerão's ball R$ 40"
"Corinthians' jersey R$50"
"The best player of the Brazilian football league is an Argentine ... priceless"

Tevez Joga bonito


FIFA Ranking

The World Cup is just around the corner and here is the latest team rankings according to FIFA

You can see the whole list HERE

Even Better

"Marijuana smoking does not increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer, according to the findings of a new study at the University of California Los Angeles that surprised even the researchers.

They had expected to find that a history of heavy marijuana use, like cigarette smoking, would increase the risk of cancer.

Instead, the study, which compared the lifestyles of 611 Los Angeles County lung cancer patients and 601 patients with head and neck cancers with those of 1,040 people without cancer, found no elevated cancer risk for even the heaviest pot smokers. It did find a 20-fold increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day." (AP)

What else today? I'm half expecting somebody announcing you can eat whatever you want without exercise and LOSE WEIGHT ! Oh, well, check out the newest diet, The Shangri-La Diet.

A better news for change

"Alcoholic drinks mixed with artificial sweeteners get you drunker, new research finds.

It took a group of Australian researchers, lots of orange-flavored vodka and a few tipsy volunteers to reach this scientific conclusion.

They found that artificial sweeteners found in such popular mixers as Diet Coke and sugar-free Red Bull lead to a high rate of alcohol absorption, resulting in a greater blood alcohol peak and concentration than from drinks made with sugar-based mixers." (msnbc)

on the other hand, the research failed to explain this phenomenon.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good News ! Yet another Cartoon War

"In Iran newspaper, a cocroach,in a cartoon,said Namana (means What in Turkish language). Look at results: Riots in several big cities in Turkish speaking region such as Tabriz where banks were burned.Azeri students protested in Tehran." (webgardian)

Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh and educated at Stonyhurst College and the University of Edinburgh. You can read all his works for free here.

Pretty women scramble men's ability to assess the future

Psychologists in Canada have finally proved what women have long suspected - men really are irrational enough to risk entire kingdoms to catch sight of a beautiful face.

Biologists have long known that animals prefer immediate rewards to greater ones in the future. This process, known as "discounting the future", is found in humans too and is fundamental to many economic models.

Resources have a value to individuals that changes through time. For example, immediately available cash is generally worth more than the same amount would be in the future. But greater amounts of money in the future would be worth waiting for under so-called 'rational' discounting.

But some people, such as drug addicts, show 'irrational' discounting. For example, preferring a small amount of heroin today rather than a greater amount in the future.

Margo Wilson and Martin Daly of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada decided to investigate discounting behaviour and see if it varied with sexual mood.

Male students, when shown pictures of pretty women, were more likely to opt for short-term economic gain than wait for a better reward in the future.

Sexual opportunity

Both male and female students at McMaster University were shown pictures of the opposite sex of varying attractiveness taken from the website 'Hot or Not'. The 209 students were then offered the chance to win a reward. They could either accept a cheque for between $15 and $35 tomorrow or one for $50-$75 at a variable point in the future.

Wilson and Daly found that male students shown the pictures of averagely attractive women showed exponential discounting of the future value of the reward. This indicated that they had made a rational decision. When male students were shown pictures of pretty women, they discounted the future value of the reward in an "irrational" way - they would opt for the smaller amount of money available the next day rather than wait for a much bigger reward.

Women, by contrast, made equally rational decisions whether they had been shown pictures of handsome men or those of average attractiveness.

New Scientist

Montenegro vote result confirmed

Supporter of union with Serbia
The question of independence has divided Montenegro
Montenegro has narrowly voted for independence from Serbia in an historic referendum, complete official results have confirmed.

The final count gave 55.5% in favour of breaking the union with Belgrade. The required margin for victory was 55%.

A dispute over 19,000 votes in the capital Podgorica delayed announcement of the final results on Monday.

A demand by pro-Serbian unionist parties for a full recount was rejected by the referendum commission.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Nothing says love like a Big Square Box
Look for the dude in the bottom left of the mov.

Montenegro 'chooses independence'

Montenegrins celebrate in Podgorica
The independence camp is already out celebrating in Podgorica
Montenegro has narrowly voted for independence from its union with Serbia, unofficial projections show.

Indications are that 55.3% of voters elected to secede from Serbia, just above the 55% required for victory.

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic claimed early on Monday that his drive for independence had been successful.

But official results are not expected for several hours. If confirmed, the independence vote would erase the last vestige of the former Yugoslavia.

"Tonight, with the majority decision by the citizens of Montenegro, the independence of the country has been renewed," said Mr Djukanovic.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Your quest for the perfect

Sugar Daddy/Mama has ended.

Czech Politics...

Who says politicians are boring?

Mart'a, I think these guys should form a band and enter into next year's Eurovision contest on behalf of the Czech Republic! They'd make Lordi seem like Brittany Spears!

Horny Dogs

This is the result of Google Trends search for "Sex".

I suspect Cairo took the first place after my arrival here three months ago (Indonesia and Chicago being the top country and top 10 city respectively that search for the word "vagina") . Yay. Who said one person couldn't make a difference :P

For "Kill", off course the cities in the good ole' USA take the first place (7 cities in the top 10).

Saturday, May 20, 2006


The Eurovision Song Contest, first held in 1956, has started the careers of performers including Abba and Celine Dion. Last year's final in Ukraine was watched by more than 100 million viewers in 40 countries, three times the number of viewers who watched the final of "American Idol,'' the biggest U.S. television hit. The final will be carried live in 38 nations.

Twenty-four countries are competing in tonight's final, including first-timers Armenia, Switzerland, the competition's first winner, and France, which has appeared in every competition. Tickets to the final sold out in 15 minutes when they went on sale Feb. 27. More

After seeing the winner, fortunately, the Czech Republic is still not part of this contest... :o)))))).
Hehe, no offense, and congratulations...

Karahnjukar Hydropower Project in Iceland

Just for comparison... :o)

More than half a century has passed since the idea of harnessing the power of some of east Iceland?s great glacial rivers was first raised, and it is now almost three decades since proposals were first made for the introduction of power-intensive industry to the region. With the coming of the Karahnjukar project, both are now a reality.

Earlier plans proposed two separate developments to harness the Jokulsa i Fljotsdal and Jokulsa a Dal glacial rivers, both of which originate in the north-east segment of the Vatnajokull ice cap and run through the Jokuldalur and Fljotsdalur valleys to a common estuary at the coast. But proposed reservoir at Eyjabakkar was omitted, and a single large reservoir, Hálslón, will handle the seasonal storage for both rivers. More

Halslon reservoir
Area of full reservoir - 57 km2
Lenght of reservoir - 25 km
Live storage - 2,100 million m3

Karahnjukastifla dam (the largest of the three dams)
Maximum dam height - 193 m
Dam length - 730 m
Fill materials - 8.5 million m3

Generating capacity
Approx. 4,600 GWh/year

China completes Three Gorges Dam wall

BEIJING (Reuters) - China completed construction on Saturday of the giant Three Gorges Dam wall, a milestone in the world's largest hydroelectricity project which is also designed to tame the flood-prone Yangtze river.

Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen proposed the project as early as 1918, and Mao Zedong once waxed poetic on his hopes for a "great wall of stone" from which "a smooth lake" would arise among the gorges.

Workers and officials marked the completion of the massive wall on Saturday, in a ceremony broadcast live on state television. More

The reservoir
Area of full reservoir - 1,045 km2
Length of reservoir - 663 km
Live storage - 30 billion m3

The dam
Maximum dam height - 185 m
Dam length - 2309.47 m

Generating capacity
Approx. 84.7 billion kWh

Friday, May 19, 2006

July 8th Chicago Reunion

I was just forwarded this....

Hey Rowdies Region Alumni!

>As you may know, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of AIESEC United
>States. In honor of this momentous occasion, we're throwing Alumni
>reunions around the country, ending with a big AIESEC Alumni weekend
>from October 20th-22nd, 2006 in New York City (more details at
> ). What better way to
>reconnect to all of your AIESEC friends than at an AIESEC US Rowdies
>Region Alumni Reunion! Join us in Chicago on July 8th, 2006. Enjoy the
>festivities of the Taste of Chicago and have a few drinks with old
>friends. The details are below:
>Rowdies Region Alumni Reunion
>July 8th, 2006 7pm-??
>Lizzie McNeill's Pub
>400 N. Mcclurg Ct.
>Chicago, IL
>An RSVP, although not necessary, would be appreciated. Please RSVP to
>Betsy Corey at:
>On a final note, if there is enough interest in having an organized
>afternoon around the Taste of Chicago, that is a possibility. Just let
>me know when you RSVP, and I'll be sure to put together some Saturday
>afternoon activities!
>Betsy Corey
>50th Anniversary Gala Coordinator
>AIESEC United States
>127 W. 26th Street, 10th Floor
>New York, NY 10001
>212-757-3774 x227

Poll Results: Nomads believe in cross gender friendship

Iran - Dress Code

I don't know if this is the same story just repeated all over, but multiple sources are reporting that a dress code passed in Iran will include requirements for jews and christians to wear an identifying badge or ribon.

It seems to have started at the National Post, but has been challenged by an AM news station in Montreal. The Islamic Republic News Agency confirms the passing of a bill, but mentions nothing about identifying colors. A quick look at google news for "Iran Dress Code" reveals nothing about the badges and colors prior to the National Post story.

Hoax, bad reporting, or outrageous action?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"...who evidently drank Coors Light beer exclusively for the eight years he lived there."

Indeed. This is one of those great Thursday afternoon stories that really makes you laugh. $800 worth, 70,000 can or 24 beers a day for 8 years. That is brand dedication!

Don't Tell Dody or Digs but... may be worth something...

Information via

Valuations of: == $17,496.00 == $1,300,142.00 == $148,838.00 == $32,414.00

that's a lot of libations...


"This time, they knew what they were doing a little better. They got the beatings in early, before alot of the media was there, and were more deliberate and unhesitating."

Our own Aatif was there.

Our reputation is at stake

So he has a point. A good one.

To all the @ers out there ... we need to be careful in blogging about our organization. If you google @ you will find many individual blogs and without reference people could vastly misinterpert what @ is and what we do.

Nomadlife was not created just for @, it is a playground for people from all walks of life, many of which who are currently in or have been in @. Lets try to respect that and not focus it just on the organization. While it is great to read about @ers from all around the world we should just be careful about what we say and how we say it. Perhaps instead of using the name of the organization we replace it with the @ symbol.

Read this posting again and instead of saying the organizations name you say "at". Sounds pretty funny !

Can men and women be"just" friends?

Can Men and Women Be Friends?

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it may explain at least one of their shared beliefs: Men and women can't be real friends. Blame the sexual tension that almost inevitably exists between any red-blooded, heterosexual man and woman. Point to the jealousy that plagues many rational people when a significant other befriends someone of the opposite sex. Boil it down to the inherent differences between the sexes. It just can't be done. Right?

Read more:Psychology Today

Can Men and Women Be Friends?

"I managed to make it out of South America without being raped, killed, beaten, held at knife-point, kidnapped, or any threats to my life or to my family. Getting robbed and sick however... now thats a different story, but its all over now and I made it back to the north country." (Angie)

Angie has just completed her year long solo tour of Latin America. Bow before her because we are not worthy.

El Barca gana la Champions

Barcelona scored twice in the last 14 minutes to beat 10-man Arsenal in the Champions League final

A great game and a great result for the Catalan club.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Hello Hello,
I need help!
i need to know the average interest rate of a savings account in any bank of HONG KONG.
Also the interest rate of fixed deposits (the ones you cannot withdraw at will, only after 6 months, one year, 3 years, 5 years, etc)

Thanks in advance :D

My Chicago

"Chicago has become a global model for how a metropolis can pursue environmental goals to achieve economic success." (NYTimes)

"IN many ways, this city's current fortunes are all about mulch. It's everywhere. Bark mulch is spread in neat circles around the city's trees; roughly 30,000 new trees are planted annually. Darker leaf mulch fills planters along State, Dearborn, Michigan and the other major thoroughfares now blooming in spring colors."

The next 4 months is the PERFECT time to visit Chicago; Chicago Summer is not to be missed. Let me know if you are coming, I'll hook you up with my hommies.

Analysis on Sao Paulo

"The open question is whether the other gangs that inhabit Sao Paulo's massive favela (10 million people live there without basic services) will join as participants in open source warfare. There are indications that they are both plentiful and powerful -- there are at least a dozen gangs in Sao Paulo that qualify as virtual states with economies fueled by transnational crime (Sao Paulo is the international hub for transshipments of cocaine to Europe and Africa)" (John Robb)

If you are interested in figuring out the next model of security risks in our world, read John's Global Guerrillas blog. Why you should care? because our future peace depends on it.

Oh 'Auntie'!

This one is hilarious...

BBC interviews wrong man on TV

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Peace and food... Part II

It seems that I was wrong in my previous post Peace and food: Apparently our culinary traditions and cultural similiarities are not that peaceful after all; tensions are arising between Greek Cypriots and Turkish about who does the Baklava belong to? is it my post that created this conflict !??? :)

According to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet (thanks a lot Jo for the link):

Baklava tension increases; protests planned for Istanbul

"Turkish baklava producers are protesting Greek Cypriot claims that the sweet dessert is their own national creation, with support for their protest coming from State Minister and EU Chief Negotiator Ali Babacan in the EU General Secretariat. Plans for a press conference are underway for later today, and tomorrow a march in which banners proclaiming "Baklava is Turkish, we will not allow the Greek Cypriots to feed it to the world" are held is planned for Istanbul. The owner of renowned baklava producer "Haci Sayid Baklava," Halil Dincerler, had this comment on the situation: "Baklava is Turkish, what the Greek Cypriots are presenting is just a copy. We will go all the way to Brussels, and we will let the EU ministers taste real baklava."

Another comment on the international food fight was made by the President of the Baklava and Dessert Producers Foundation, Mehmet Yildirim. He said that it was time for Turkey to stand up and claim its national treasures, and recalled that the Turks had brought baklava with them all the way from Central Asia. Yildirim also said that there were documents which proved that baklava belonged rightfully to the Turks." Hurriyet

The Baklava war I started, what will be next !? kebab world war II, ozu/raki peace talks, turkish/greek/Arab coffee armed conflicts... !?

Good luck people


Monday, May 15, 2006

(literally) skin deep fashion

While some say that fair-skinned people desire darker/tanned skin, and conversely dark-skinned people want to be fair as snow, other epidermical fashions don't end with just one color change:

Japanese ganguro girls set a cultish Harajuku/Shibuya fashion boom in the 1990's with their overly tanned faces (to look like African Americans). Then, some mutated into what was called yamanba with bleached (silver-grey) hair and white inverse-panda makeup (to look like blonde Caucasian women with a Bay Watch tan). Today, many Japanese women invest in bihaku, or "white beauty," spreading the white-skin trend in Asia.

It's not so easy to go with the season's fashion when it comes to skin color though (unless you don't mind the accelerated ageing effects).

The Glorious Leader Returns

"The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Libya and remove the North African country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the State Department announced Monday." (CNN)

For now, enjoy the free compliment of the Green Book. Enjoy.

I wish I was?

When I was in the member committee of AIESEC Tunisia, I once designed a leadership session in 2 parts for the Tunisian Leadership development Seminar. The first part was a ?personal objectives? session and the second was a leadership session. The aim was to encourage AIESEC members to define their objectives in life and set their personal vision, as a first step in becoming a positive agent of change and a leader.

I am particularly proud of this session as it is an eye opening experience. A large portion of people don?t take time to think about their long term future before taking very important decisions such as choosing a degree, a university, a career, a place to settle down? The feedback from the delegates was exciting; they said it was an inspiring experience.

I started the session with Pearl Jam?s song ?Wishlist? , I love this song with all its ?I wish I was?? The song was complemented by a power point presentation with the song lyrics and visuals so the delegates can get the whole meaning of the lyrics (considering English is only the third language learnt in school and not that practiced in Tunisia).

Then 3 questions, one at a time. Asking the delegates to describe their life in 20 years? what they have to go through in those 20 years to get to that situation? then what they have to do now to start making their vision of their future real. They were given 15 minutes to think about each question. I was playing Pink Floyd songs while they were spread all over the plenary. In the beginning a few delegates were fooling around, thinking it was absolute bullshit? it was fun to see them submerge slowly slowly in their thoughts as the session went on? I was enjoying it.

When I did it myself, I was picturing myself at 40 years old surrounded by a beautiful family. I was successful in my career and preparing to retire in order to open a small restaurant and start writing. My ultimate goal in life is to write, I think it is the most beautiful thing: creation.

My immediate goal was to focus on a business career, thinking it was the right way to go to ensure a decent life. I had to go against what I was really interested in: literature but mainly history and geopolitics as their path was leading no where back home. As teaching or academic oriented jobs are not paid well, even after many years of studies and research? I know something about it.

So I preferred the more secure way? I don?t regret it cause? it shaped my path so far and I could have all these experiences, meet AIESEC and learn so much about life, cultures and myself.

But what If I was in another place, another time? what would I wish to be!?

I wish I was a teacher? to help build the future generations?
I wish I was a poet? to spread love around me?
I wish I was a guitar player? to sublime people?s minds?
I wish I was a movie director? a writer? a novelist? to inspire people?
I wish I was a radio DJ? to share my love for music


I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off?
I wish I was a sacrifice, but somehow still lived on?
I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds?
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good?
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down?
I wish...
I wish...


20 questions: Guess the dictator/ Sit-com character...

Found this little procrastination aid through stumble on my lunch break... It's been wrong just 1 out of 8 times...

When it did go wrong, it brought up a section to help it improve the next time. I like humility. :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Brownie, Blackie, Whitey

"Whiter skin is being aggressively marketed across Asia, with vast selections of skin-whitening creams on supermarket and pharmacy shelves testament to an industry that has flourished over the past decade. In Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan, 4 of every 10 women use a whitening cream, a survey by Synovate, a market research company, found." (NY Times)

"About 30 million Americans use tanning salons. At least one of every four teenage girls, and nearly one of every two girls aged 18 or 19, has tanned indoors at least three times."(Slate)

The West wants darker, the East wants lighter. It's a funny funny world.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The sound of one hand clapping

"Our original mind includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner?s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert?s mind there are few.

- Shunryu Suzuki (1905-1971)

Now y'all can pretend to be profound and deep. Check out the fun Daily Zen site.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

We feed the world: Essen Global (Eating Globally)

This is a great austrian documentary about genetic engeneering in agriculture. It gives you something to think about what you eat. Worths doing it.

"The consumer no longer has any idea how things work and how things are done. People are getting more and more unworldly, more brutal and harder. Trade is only interested in the price;
flavour is not a consideration." Hannes Schulz, poultry farmer (Austria)

(Translation of the trailer for non German speakers (I did as best as possible;-))

We say of those fish they are not to be eaten, they are just to be sold.
We fucked all the west and now we are coming to Romania we will fuck all the agriculture here.
Water is a good necessary to live, and as any good necessary to live it traded in the market.
A child that dies of starvation today is murdered.

Calling all alumni!

AIESEC US National Team 2000
Originally uploaded by jillokawa.
For those of you who haven't heard yet, AIESEC U.S.'s 50th Anniversary is coming up soon! Reserve October 20-22nd in your calendars for a fabulous weekend in NYC! Check out the website for all the details...

Mabrouk !!

Bea just got engaged.

Egypt police beat up pro-reform protestors

Violence it is:

A few friends are heading over there now, so possible further updates in a few.

Cairo, right now

"Thousands of Egyptian riot police are on the streets of central Cairo trying to prevent a demonstration.

The protests are in support of the two judges who criticised last year's presidential election as fraudulent."

This is happening on Tahrir square. Possible violence is a concern.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

World Changing -Once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. It's not some wacko site, but a highly academic thought provoking collection of new ideas and a glimpse into the future..

I cannot recommend it enough!

Are everyday designs making life worse?

Walking on a flat pavement is making us ill....researchers found that "walking on a cobblestone mat surface resulted in significant reductions in blood pressure and improvements in balance and physical performance among adults 60 and over." Out of those tests thus came the design of a new cobblestone mat that specifically engages with "the principles of reflexology, in that the uneven surface of the cobblestones stimulates and regulates 'acupoints'? purportedly linked to all organs and tissues of the body." Short walks across these mats should therefore be considered a form of preventive medicine.


a cinema in Japan has begun to use carefully timed smells as emotional triggers during specific film scenes. So, perhaps there are specifically colored paints that, when applied to cars, work to assuage a driver?s impulse toward road rage, lowering blood pressure?

---How can design itself (a sustained and rigorous remolding of the world) be used as a form of preventive medicine? ---

The future of the internet and how to stop it

Jonathan Zittrain (the first holder of the chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford) delivers an awesome lecture. Read it here: He discusses issues including:
-Privacy as Strategy
-Private as the New Public
-Public versus Government...

One excerpt: "If you?re organizing a class, you are putting together an intellectual playlist, and this should be shared, remixed, and used to help match you to classes with similar interests. It?s crazy that students write essays to be read by one person, when they could become part of Wikipedia and evaluated by others"

Designs that dramatically improve the lifes of many people eg. LifeStraw which functions as an individual water filter, which eliminates dangerous bacteria via iodinized chambers inside the straw as water travels into the user's mouth. It goes without saying that this invention could play a tremendous role in reducing the incidence of water-borne illness if successful.

Ultimate Nomad

"Mr. Stücke has been pedalling, on and off ? but always on the same bicycle ? since 1962 when he left his home at Hövelhof in western Germany at the age of 22 rather than contemplate a lifetime as a tool and die maker.

Since then he has pedaled an estimated 335,000 miles across 211 countries and territories. In long-range cycling circles he is something of a celebrity, a kind of two-wheeled Forrest Gump who never decided he had said all he had to say about cycling. His nom de pedal is "the Bike Man."" (NYTimes)

And he just got robbed and lost his bike in Britain recently. Check out his adventures.

The REAL way to tell if they want kids.

Meet the shocking lie detector.

This could bring Truth or Dare to a whole new level.

It of course comes from an Australian company as they have a lot of criminals there they have to keep tabs on.

Women 'sense qualities in a man'

Women are fine tuned subconsciously to detect the qualities they are looking for in a man - just by looking at his face, US research suggests.

Women can spot subtle signs of interest in children in a man's face, and accurately assess his level of the sex hormone testosterone, it claims.

Child-friendly men were rated as good long-term bets, masculine men as ideal for a more short-term fling.

Dr Maestripieri said the results suggested there was more information in the face about the potential value of a man as a mating partner than previously thought.

"I don't think that evolution has given women a second sense in this area but has made them very good at using every piece of information at their disposal when making decisions about mating and relationships."

Dr James Roney, who also worked on the study, said: "The research suggests that men's interest in children may be a relatively underappreciated influence on men's long-term mate attractiveness."


Update: DG

"Child Friendly"

Update: DL

Defined by the researchers as "masculine"
(high level of sex hormone testosterone)


I think he looks like a mix of the both above...

Update M :
"Looks to be a good Dad"

Ryanair may offer free tickets for goals against England

Hehe, check this out :)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Irish low-cost airline Ryanair (Dublin: RY4.IR - news) could offer free tickets for each goal scored in the World Cup against England, the company's outspoken chief executive Michael O'Leary has told a German newspaper.

"That's something we can envision doing," O'Leary, an Irishman with a flair for publicity and known fondness for soccer and rugby, told weekly Welt am Sonntag.

"100,000 tickets for each goal against England or something like that."

If he proceeds with the plan, O'Leary will have to hope that British passengers, who are responsible for a big portion of Ryanair's revenues, do not abandon the airline. Ireland did not qualify for the World Cup, which starts in Germany on June 9.


Does she dream of electric sheep?

Introducing Ever-1, the first Korean Android.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"This letter from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to U.S. president George W. Bush, obtained by, is presumed to be the first contact from an Iranian president to a U.S. leader since the 1979 revolution in Iran. The 8-page letter's accuracy was confirmed by official sources, though an official translation is still forthcoming. In it, Amadinejad calls in to question U.S. actions in Iraq, its relationship with Israel, human rights and the role of religion in foreign policy matters, and the right to nuclear research. " (Council of Foreign Relations)

Inconvenient Truth

A problem that I think is understated regardless of the hyperbole used, check out the video:

"An Inconvenient Truth" (Google Video)

If we look at the facts as suggested in almost all peer-reviewed research on the global ecological crisis, then within the next decades there will have to be a substantial, deep, fundamental change in the way the global socio-political-economic system operates. If we look at which generation will have to affect this change we find our generation. And if we look within our generation at the types of people who will have the inclination and ability to create the substantial change required then we find people like us. I hope we're feeling some serious weight of responsibility.

As a member of the "international group of women"...


I can confirm that it is indeed OUR Suzanne Moyer who was quoted.

Another Nomad Birthday :)

Happy Birthday to my Czech 'sister' Danka :)

Suzanne Moyer, BBC?

Is Suzanne getting press time with the BBC?

Floods Panic - Spirit of Serbia Part III

This is how we panic when Danube is destroying our houses and fields...
And then people ask why we are still a poor country... :)

Bad cover versions...

You know about the good cover versions for songs...
Jeff Buckley doing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"
Johnny Cash singing "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails

Well what about really bad ideas/ ideas in poor taste for cover versions?

An example:
Cat Stevens' "Where do the children play" covered by Michael Jackson...
or REM's "Imitation of life" by the creators of Dolly the Sheep...


Check out last night play by play report of the official E3 PS3 Launch Details. Oh, it will cost $499 and $599. Will you buy it?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Nicholas Winton

Between March and August 1939, Nicholas Winton organized six trains to take children from Prague to new Jewish homes in Britain, and kept quiet about it until his wife discovered a scrapbook documenting his unique mission in 1988.

Nicolas Winton: The power of God - is a gripping documentary about the amazing courage, determination and modesty of a young English stock exchange clerk who saved the lives of 669 Jewish children who otherwise almost certainly would have been murdered by Nazis.

I was really astonished when I heard of this story for the first time... It is so amazing to know that there are people like him, especially having to hear about all the bombings and killings that happens all over the world in these days.


Liberia sex-for-aid 'widespread'

Young girls in Liberia are still being sexually exploited by aid workers and peacekeepers despite pledges to stamp out such abuse, Save the Children says.

Girls as young as eight are being forced to have sex in exchange for food by workers for local and international agencies, according to its report. The agency says such abuse is continuing as people displaced by the civil war return to their villages. The UN in Liberia said it would investigate specific allegations. The United Nations promised to put safeguards in place after sexual abuse in the refugee camps of West Africa was first revealed four years ago.

But a study by Save the Children, which involved speaking to more than 300 people in camps for people displaced by the war, found that abuse was still widespread.
The report said that all of the respondents clearly stated that more than half of the girls in their locations were affected. Girls from the age of eight to 18 years were being sold for sex, "commonly referred to as 'man business'," the report noted. More


"At least if you?re a professor concerned about your rating on James Felton, a professor of finance and law at Central Michigan University, and colleagues looked at ratings for nearly 7,000 faculty members from 370 institutions in the United States and Canada, and his verdict is: the hotter and easier professors are, the more likely they?ll get rated as a good teacher." (Inside Higher Education)

Immigration Fears - Deja Vu'

"They were portrayed as a disreputable lot, the immigrant hordes of this great city.

The Germans refused for decades to give up their native tongue and raucous beer gardens. The Irish of Hell's Kitchen brawled and clung to political sinecures. The Jews crowded into the Lower East Side, speaking Yiddish, fomenting socialism and resisting forced assimilation. And by their sheer numbers, the immigrants depressed wages in the city." (Washington Post)

Rape, Video Games and Congo

The UN experts knew this because the Rwandan troops did not head for the areas where the genocidaires were hiding out. They headed straight for the mines like this one in Kalehe, and they swiftly enslaved the populations to dig for them. They did not clear out the genocidaires ? they teamed up with them to rape Congo. Jean-Pierre Ondekane, the Chief of the Rwandan forces in Goma, urged his units to maintain good relations ?with our Interhamwe [genocidaire] brothers.? They set up a Congo Desk that whisked billions out of the country and into Rwandan bank accounts ? and they fought to stay and pillage some more. The UN found that a Who?s Who of British, American and Belgian companies collaborated with this crime. The ones they recommended for further investigation included Anglo American PLC, Barclay?s Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and De Beers. The British government barely followed up the report, publicly acquitting a few corporations like Anglo-American who Human Rights Watch have shown to be ?in league with some of the worst killers in the region?, and leaving others like De Beers in an ?unresolved? and unpunished category.

Oh, and the reason why this invasion was so profitable? Global demand for coltan was soaring throughout the war because of the massive popularity of coltan-filled Sony Playstations. As Oona King, one of the few British politicians to notice Congo, explains as we travel together for a few days, ?Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms.?
" (Johann Hari)

Yes my dear, Congo is still a hell hole and click the link to see why.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

So what do you think, is there someone "out there"?

It is funny to find this article tonight, as I was just watching "Zeichen" or better known to the world as "Signs" on TV. So what people see every now and then are not evidence of life outside Earth, but they are diverse phenomena happening in our atmosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere. But does it necessarily mean that there is absolutely no life (no possibility to have the conditions that created life on Earth) in the rest of the unvierse as huge as it is?

UFO study finds no sign of aliens

A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms.

The four-year study - entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK - tackles the long-running question by UFO-spotters: "Is anyone out there?"

The answer, it seems, is "no".

So if there are no such things as little green men in spaceships or flying saucers, why have so many people reported seeing them?

Well, here is the science bit.

"Evidence suggests that meteors and their well-known effects and, possibly some other less-known effects are responsible for some unidentified aerial phenomena," concludes the report.

"Considerable evidence exists to support the thesis that the events are almost certainly attributable to physical, electrical and magnetic phenomena in the atmosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere.

"They appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically-charged conditions and are observed so infrequently as to make them unique to the majority of observers."


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

My first Cinco de Mayo I can actually celebrate and no one wants to drink $2 pitchers with me.
Instead I am reading.

The Media Development Loan Fund, a non-profit run by Vucinic and based in New York and Prague providing low-cost financing to independent media in emerging democracies, is launching a security that mobilises private investment to support a free press - basically a bond with a social element. (PSD Blog)

I see socially minded funds exploding in the next five years.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A step closer to peace in Darfur

Darfur rebels 'agree peace deal'

The largest rebel group in Sudan's Darfur region has agreed to sign a peace deal with the government.

The breakthrough came when SLM leader Minni Minnawi returned to the talks, following a late-night session.

However, two smaller groups say they are not happy with the terms of the deal on offer. The government has also agreed to sign.

International negotiators say the deal is the best hope for peace in Darfur, where 2m people have fled their homes.

Meanwhile, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has accused Sudan's government of offering "broad immunity" to members of the security forces involved in the Darfur violence and trying to minimise the scale of the problems.

However, a signing ceremony has been delayed for three hours, as mediators try to persuade Abdelwahid Muhamed El Nur, leader of the smaller SLM faction, to sign up to the deal.

Darfur Draft Peace Plan
  • Pro-government Janjaweed militia to be disarmed
  • Rebel fighters to be incorporated into army
  • One-off transfer of $300m to Darfur
  • $200m a year for the region thereafter
  • Compensation for those forced to flee their homes
  • Regional government, if approved in a vote


Bridging the divide..

"It worries me that our world is becoming a global village only for the exchange of goods and information - not as a place of shelter, livelihood, security and dignity for all who live in it. I know what a real village is like because I grew up in one." - Nelson Mandela

Check out the whole speech here

And Read what other people said at India Today's conclave on India Tomorrow - Bridging the divide here

Thursday, May 04, 2006

For your next dinner conversation topic

"A Picasso portrait, "Dora Maar With Cat," sold for $95.2 million at Sotheby's last night, the second-highest price ever paid for a painting at auction." (NY Times)
Check out some great original tunes that our own voirdire plays as a bassist in (I love "Good Stuff").

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Check the clock tonight if you have nothing better to do

At 2 minutes and 3 seconds past 1AM tonight, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04.05.06 for the first and only time in history, which is different levels of special depending on how much of a geek you are and how much other exciting stuff is going on in your life. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting already.....


I remember a couple of months ago people were predicting when we are hitting 900. Well it's today. Who got it right?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Amine and Zuzana Wedding Invitation

Two MasterCard trainees will get married at the end of the month! Congrats to Amine and Zuzana!

End of AIESEC In the United States? Action Required

Email ChrisW at aiesecus dot org.

What you can do !!

From: Chris White
Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 10:06 AM
To: US-Voice (
Subject: 5.2.06 Proposed J-1 changes - get involved

Hi all ?

Some of you have already asked what you can do to help on this issue. The Community Leaders will be sending the message below to our University contacts. I will be sending it to our corporate contacts. If you, personally, would like to support our efforts with an email, please write an email addressed "To Whom it May Concern" and send it to me. I will collect these emails and pass them on to the Exchange Alliance to support this challenge to the proposed regulations.

I would suggest that appropriate comments in these emails be focused on the effect that meeting international interns have had on you personally. I will be emailing all of our trainees over the past five years also to ask for similar comments. The intended result of such comments is to enable us to point to the powerful effect of our international exchange programs on building positive public diplomacy for the United States.


Why you are needed

ACTION ALERT: Contact the Administration and Congress TODAY to Comment on the Pending State Department Rule on Training/Intern Programs.

We urge Alliance members to share this information with U.S. firms and organizations that participate in your training programs.

The Alliance seeks your help in overturning a proposed regulation, published by the Department of State on April 7, that would severely reduce participation in professional training exchanges in the U.S., and would prohibit foreign students from taking internships in the U.S. The potential impact of this regulation appears to oppose the very positive overall policy direction towards exchange.

President Bush, Secretary of State Rice, Under Secretary Karen Hughes, and Congressional leaders of both parties have repeatedly asserted that our national security requires stronger and more effective public diplomacy ? purposeful connections between Americans and international colleagues that foster mutual understanding and respect.

Secretary Rice told the Senate at her confirmation hearing that ?Student exchanges are the best policy we can have.?

Yet the State Department rule would prohibit university students from around the world from coming to the U.S. for internships.

In addition to banning students, the proposed regulation introduces a series of procedural hurdles that will impede participation in the program by young professionals and will likely diminish the capacity of U.S. non-governmental organizations to administer such programs. With minimal justification and on the basis of no public data, the Department in its regulation places additional restrictions on trainees and interns in the agriculture, tourism and hospitality industries.

Approximately 27,000 professional trainees and interns come to the U.S. annually under the auspices of the Exchange Visitor Program. The Exchange Visitor Program, a series of exchanges regulated by the Department of State but in most cases not federally funded, brings a total of 275,000 people to the U.S. annually to participate in high school, university student and scholar, summer work, camp counselor, and au pair exchanges, among other categories.

The U.S. exchange, business, and academic communities believe that the proposed regulation is so fundamentally flawed that it needs to be withdrawn and completely rewritten to ensure that the program advances rather than detracts from U.S. public diplomacy goals, and to address the needs of the program?s domestic U.S. constituencies. Our communities are prepared to continue in the effort to create a regulatory regime that limits abuse and permits a broad range of legitimate exchange that will advance U.S. interests around the world.


IF YOU ARE A U.S. BUSINESS: Click on the attached link, and follow the instructions. With a few clicks of your mouse your letter will be sent to your Senators, your Representative, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dina Powell and the Exchange Visitor Office. Your letter will be one of the formal comments to the State Department on the regulation. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EDIT THE TEXT OF THE LETTER TO ADD INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION AND ITS TRAINING PROGRAM.

IF YOU ARE A UNIVERSITY: Click on the attached link, which will direct you to a similar letter posted on the NAFSA: Association of International Educators website. This letter will be delivered to the same group of recipients as the business letter. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CAMPUS AND PROGRAM.

More info from

"DOS now believes the amount of experience is more important that the type of training. Thus, trainees will now have to have a minimum of three years of prior related work experience in their fields before being eligible for the J-1 visa. " (VisaLaw)