Thursday, August 31, 2006

Elevated Warning for Egypt

"Australia has warned its citizens in Egypt to exercise a "high degree of caution" because of a high threat of terrorist attack against foreigners.

"We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners such as resorts and hotels and symbols of the Egyptian government," the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in an official warning.

The statement, issued earlier this week, had specifically mentioned Aug. 30 as a possible date for an attack at Sharm el-Sheikh but added that "attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Egypt."

It noted three explosions took place April 24 in the resort town of Dahab in the Sinai, resulting in the deaths of many people, including Australians." (UPI)

"The National Security Council Counterterrorism Division's plea to the Israeli public to leave Sinai immediately issued Tuesday sent shock waves through the peninsula Wednesday, as the southern part was placed on a high security alert in response.

According to Egyptian Brig.-Gen. Hossam el-Serfi, hundreds of Israeli tourists started leaving the Sinai through the Taba border crossing. Sinai is a popular budget vacation spot for Israelis, despite repeated warnings of terror attacks as well as a string of bombings that have claimed the lives of 125 people since October 2004.

On Tuesday, the National Security Council delivered what it described as an "especially high concrete warning against travel to the Sinai peninsula," telling Israelis to "avoid visiting there and to leave immediately." Similar warnings were issued both before and after previous terror attacks against Sinai tourist hot spots." (Jerussalem Post)

Naguib Mahfouz is dead

Naguib Mahfouz, writer of the amazing "Cairo Trilogy" of books, and the only Arabic language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died, aged 94. He sounds like he was living life right until the end....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nomadlife Support Issue

I have a couple of people emailing me about their problem publishing to nomadlife. If you have similar problem, email me at or ping me on MSN - I'll fix you up really quickly.

For new nomads, we have no gatekeeper policy, so if you to have editor access to this main blog, let me know as wel.

10 years of US welfare reform

I know this topic is a bit wonkish, but this month marks the 10th year of US Welfare Reform Act. So far it is considered as a success.

The act for example limit welfare payments to five years, consecutive or nonconsecutive, etc. When it was launched, dire predictions abound.

The issue of welfare and pension systems are always sticking points in developed countries (developing countries rarely have them) due to the high wire act required to maintain and balance the needs for the state to take care its own people and the burden of such systems to a country's economy.

What is your view on welfare/state pension system? Does your country have one?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kelly Heyer & the Plane Crash in Kentucky

Kelly Heyer, a former member of Aiesec Eau Claire in the US, was the flight attendant killed in the plane crash in Kentucky earlier this week. I had honestly lost track of him since he graduated. He was only with our LC for a semester, but what I remember most was his enthusiasm.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Don't Marry a Careerwoman

"Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.

Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it. A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that women--even those with a "feminist" outlook--are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner." (Forbes)

Now it seems this "education for female" idea is way overrated. Go back to the kitchen, woman !!

Middle East Buddy List

Check this interesting graph showing who hates whom, allied with whom, etc in the Middle East.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

What were the dates for SSC?

People who patronized the Coventry Pizza Hut between Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 might be at risk of developing [Hepatitis type A], health officials said. The restaurant is located near the Interstate 69/U.S. 24 interchange. [Fort Wayne, Indiana]
Hepatitis type A inflames the liver and within two to seven weeks of exposure causes symptoms including mild fever, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin or eyes (also called jaundice), dark urine or pale-colored stool.

Original Article Here

The Scariest Day Of My Life.

There's a message that I want to start sharing with everyone I know, and I'd like to start here.

It is about the scariest day of my life. It started with stories in Africa that I began hearing about, that made me pay attention to the several AIDS related documentaries on TV, then some further reading up on the internet and on an impulse .. led me to taking an HIV test yesterday.

I thank God that my test returned negative. In retrospect, I dont think I had any reason to worry, but that didnt stop my entire life from playing out in my mind ...

"What have I done with my life so far? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? How much longer is 'the rest of my life' going to last? How will I feel on every birthday of mine hereon? What do I want to achieve by saving up my money? Of what use is every material desire that I've had in my life so far? What else do I have to be scared of, if I have AIDS."
Wow. I cant even begin to explain what the feeling is like.

These were the two stages I'd gone through ..

1. Deciding to take the test : It is one of the most complicated decisions one could possibly make. My advice, do whatever it takes to convince yourself to take the test. Irrespective of how many 'risky exposures' you may have had, everyone needs to get tested. You owe this to yourself, your family and your partner. Psyche yourself out, talk to people who've taken the test, read about the causes and effects of the HIV virus on the internet, think about the worst case, whatever ...

2. Preparing yourself for the results : The time between the test and the result was the scariest for me. I couldn't think of a better way to prepare myself for the result than to prepare for the worst. At worst, it will put a fresh spin on the life you've been living .. and for me, that was a good thing. Also, dont be alone on the day(s) of the wait, try to be around as many people as possible.

I dont mean to scare you in any manner.
But the problem is this : 25 million people have died, 39 million people carry the disease today and it is the leading cause of death in this world for people aged 15-60.
And this :
We'd managed to send a spaceship 2 billion miles away to Neptune almost 17 years ago but we still havent found a cure for AIDS.

The danger somehow doesn't seem to affect us anymore ... too many ads on TV, too many celebrities associated, too many flashy campaigns. Ironically enough, this overload has sometimes made people immune to the need to understand the disease.

Well, here are some important facts* I think everyone needs to know about HIV AIDS & HIV Testing ...

1. AIDs is not a disease that affects 'poor kids in Africa', you're as likely to contract HIV as the person next to you. They say the best way to save yourself is to abstain from sex altogether. Well ok, the second best thing to do is to give your relationship the integrity it deserves. Get tested together with your partner and live a life without anxiety. And if you're not in a steady relationship (i.e if you engage in sexual activity with multiple partners) then know the risks you are posing to your own life, or simply abstain.

2. Next, the causes .. Most of us are aware of the 3 main causes of HIV contraction : Unprotected Sex, Contaminated Needles or Blood Transfers and Heredity. You however need to understand the exact definitions of the words 'Unprotected' and 'Sex' (for example : People think Oral Sex is zero risk, this is a popular misconception) Understanding this will give rise to a whole range of risks you need to be aware of, some of which are referred to as "Theoretical Risks". Theoretical risks are risks where contraction is possible in theory, but havent been documented till date. The process of understanding these various risks, in itself, may give you enough reason to take the test. And even otherwise, you will know exactly what precautions to take in the future.

3. The test is terribly simple. The ELISA test is the most common test carried out by clinics, and involves nothing more than a quick draw of blood. The test is reasonably priced and returns results in about a day (thats the best part, a longer wait can be tortuous..) There are some other tests available that don't involve blood samples, but ask for the ELISA if possible. Why? The ELISA is a blood test, and the HIV virus (if present) has the highest level of concentration in the blood, as opposed to saliva or urine. Moreover, the ELISA is the most sensitive testing process. These two factors together deliver the most accurate results.

4. Make sure you wait for at least 3 months after your last 'risky exposure' before you get tested. This 'Window Period" is required for antibodies in your system to start reacting to the presence of HIV. Though the antibodies start developing in about 2 weeks, it is best to wait for 3 months. Why ? The ELISA test does not test for the presence of the HIV virus, it tests for the presence of antibodies that react to the presence of HIV. So in effect, the presence of these antibodies is indicative of the presence of the HIV. And depending on the state of your immune system, these antibodies could take from 2 weeks to 3 months to develop.

5. It can take from 6 months to 10 years (!) for the HIV virus to start breaking down your immunity i.e, a perfectly healthy person could have the virus without having a clue. The doctor explained this to me personally before administering the test.

6. A person who is HIV+ doesn't mean he/she has AIDs. HIV is the virus that starts attacking your immune system until it renders your body incapable of defending itself, and this advanced stage is called AIDS. The time it takes to start doing this varies greatly, and the speed of disintegration of your immune system (to some extent) can be controlled with medicines available today.

7. If someones ELISA test returns positive, There is a 20% chance (according to some sites) that this could be wrong. Only a subsequent second test confirms these results. However, a negative result after the "Window period" is most definitely negative. Since these tests are highly sensitive and follow a global standard .. the results are almost always accurate.

8. If you know someone who is HIV+, you need to know that the worst thing that could happen to them is for them to feel outcast. There is absolutely no danger in interacting or living with these people. Casual contact, kissing and sharing of kitchen utensils/toilets/clothes are perfectly safe. In fact everything is safe except for sexual intimacy or sharing of needles. Chances are, they've spent some time figuring out how to deal with their life before they told you. They don't need your sympathy, all they need is to be treated as normal.

9. I hope all of this has gotten you thinking, at the very least. At this point, you will find that the internet is your best friend (What you ask google is strictly between you and your PC!) You can also start with You will find that almost all sites on the internet contain the exact same information. This is reassuring.

Spread the message. Help start saving lives. Start with your own.

(click here)

* Obviously, these dont count as facts until you do your own research. Also speak to a doctor if you can.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto no longer a planet :o(

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) during its international conference in Prague has agreed that Pluto shall be no longer a planet of the solar system. From now on, Pluto will be part of other cosmic objects such as asteroids.

For years there have been discussions whether Pluto is a planet. The discussions became fiercer after a new object, UB313, had been discovered (with unofficial name Xena). Xena although farther from the sun is larger and heavier than Pluto.

The possibility also was to enlarge the current number of 9 planets to 12. If that would happen, new classification was to be created, when the new 3 planets together with Pluto were to be part of the midget planets group. The 3 new planets would have been Charon - the moon of Pluto, Ceres and Xena.
"Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.

The work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition dispels the common belief that tea dehydrates." (Beeb)

Caveat Emptor, the study was sponsored by the Tea Council.

Firestorm in Malaysia over religous conversion

"In rulings in her case, civil courts said Malays could not renounce Islam because the Constitution defined Malays to be Muslims.

They also ruled that a request to change her identity card from Muslim to Christian had to be decided by the Shariah courts. There she would be considered an apostate, and if she did not repent she surely would be sentenced to several years in an Islamic center for rehabilitation.
One such place, hidden in the forest at Ulu Yam Baru, 20 miles outside the capital, is ringed like a prison by barbed wire, with dormitories protected by a second ring of barbed wire. Outside a sign says, ?House of Faith,? and inside the inmates spend much of their time studying Islam. " (NY Times)

This is definitely weird. Why can't people convert their faith? In the neighbouring Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim country in the world, a conversion to and from Islam would not have caused such a stirring controvery.

International Congress every where ! ! !

Today we will have the openning ceremony of AIESEC's International Congress 2006 in Poland. Not going to be there but you wished you were? This year IC is for every one, every where and live online!!! This is what we call the virtual insanity!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

My First Views of Antarctica

I have arrived!

antarctica mountains 1

antarctica mountains 4

Maintenance is a foreign concept to Egypt

To follow a series of poor maintenance and negligence from the Ministry of transport in Egypt, two passenger trains collided killing what seems to be 37 (according to government) and 70 (according to news agencies) passengers so far and injuring over 130.

The 2 trains were both going to Cairo, one from banha and the other from Mansoura.

This line (Cairo/Alexandria line) where the accident happened is the busiest train line in Egypt with people commuting to Cairo every morning to take care of their businesses.

I have checked with all the frequent travelers between Cairo/Alex like myself - so far everyone is fine.

It's very unlikely that any AIESECers or friends of AIESECers have been harmed since the trains were 3rd class trains - or as they are nicknamed "Trains of Death" ( i am serious!)

Go Go Dalai Lama

Via BoingBoing - Dalai Lama issues support for Tibetan WiFi summit in India
The Dalai Lama has issued a statement of support for the Air Jaldi Summit happening in October in Dharamshala. The Himalayan town is hometown-in-exile for the Tibetan government, and home to a mesh network

"The internet's contribution to the diffusion and dissemination of knowledge and information is truly remarkable.
"By itself the internet cannot feed the poor, defend the oppressed, or protect those subject to natural disasters, but by keeping us informed it can allow those of us who have the opportunity to give whatever help we can."

As a bonus here's a discussion about whether carl - the grounds keeper (bill murray) from caddyshack - and the dalai lama had a binding contract regarding enlightenment on his deathbed.

Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed

Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed
Passengers refuse to allow holiday jet to take off until two Asian men are thrown off plane

12:08pm 20th August 2006

Passengers told cabin crew they feared for their safety and demanded police action. Some stormed off the Monarch Airlines Airbus A320 minutes before it was due to leave the Costa del Sol at 3am. Others waiting for Flight ZB 613 in the departure lounge refused to board it...

Websites used by pilots and cabin crew were yesterday reporting further incidents. In one, two British women with young children on another flight from Spain complained about flying with a bearded Muslim even though he had been security-checked twice before boarding.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Scientists claim zero-point energy...

Has anyone seen the full page ad in this months economist from a company claiming to have developed a device that is more than 100% energy efficient? They are challenging to world scientific community to test their technology - given that it breaks one of the fundamental laws of physics and our core undertsanding of the how the universe works, obviously there is much room for scepticism. ....

My pessimistic guess is that this is some hoax campaign as part of some "energy awareness" initiative or something similar. My optimistic hope is that this could be an interesting time to be alive.....

Economist ad (pdf)
Company video

Its interesting whatever it is....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

nomadfest austin part deux

Aloha from Austin, Texas. Life here is pretty easy.

Close Call

"According to reports circulating throughout the German media today, two suitcase bombs placed by two unidentified men very nearly went off on regional trains in Dortmund and Koblenz at the end of July. A deadly simultaneous bombing was only averted because the bombs were technically defective. Had they fully detonated, German authorities believe that a mass casualty event similar to the recent attacks in London could have been the result." (medienkritik)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just wunderin'

So now we got a cease fire agreement for Monday - will @ in Lebanon back too or is it a lost cause?

1955 - What a different world that was

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Egypt in the (good) news

For all those Egyptian nomads out there, past or present, visitors and those that call it home, you should enjoy reading this article from today's Sydney Morning Herald.

But then of course, we all already knew this.

Nomenclature for recent conflict....

Assuming, please pretty please, that the ceasefire holds and we have seen the end of the latest war in the Middle East, is is coming time for the war to get a name?

I dont know how this normally happens (I guess one just starts getting accepted by media, academics and officials) but we haven't been very creative in recent years....

I have heard varients on"Xth Arab - Israeli War" in a few different places, so maybe it will get filed into the Arab-Israeli conflic category. Wikipedia is calling it the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Given the role of players other than Lebanon in the war, I wonder if that one has legs?

Anyone got any ideas, or seen other articles talking about this?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cause You Get It!

There's a new bridge spanning the Danube over in Budapest. The only question is: What will they name it?

The Hungarian Gov't is taking a vote to see what the name should be. Currently, Hunyadi Mátyás is in the lead, but not if you vote for Steven Colbert and let liberty ring!

He's down near the bottom of the names...;)

Is this a challenge or what?

Extentension Manager Position for AIESEC in Palestine open!

AIESEC in Germany and the parent LC Berlin is looking for an Extension Manager, that will support the extension team in Palestine and help to build up the AIESEC infrastructure in Palestine.
Duration: 12 month, starting in September

All facts:

If you have questions:


I know this is not the space to promote positions, but I simply think it's great that people are putting effort into opening AIESEC in Palestine. The region needs people who work for peace...

10 technologies that will change the face of business

A report on the 10 technologies that will change the face of business...

(From research conducted by Researcher Gartner Inc.)

Time publishes 50 coolest websites of 2006

not surprisingly, Pandora, YouTube, MySpace, Digg topped the list.,,
nomadlife needs to make the list next year... :)
They're all here

peace through dialogue

"The main goal of Israel in this war has been to remove Hezbollah's weapons. This will not happen through destroying homes. ... It will come through discussion"

This isn't a quote from some Middle-East peacenik/ regional expert. This was from Hassan Nasrallah himself - leader of the Hezbollah. Sadly, it was buried deep into a recent article on (click for the article)

Many bitter feelings remain between the two sides and that was clearly evident in the rhetoric found earlier in his speech. The latter part however echoed a sense of realism; that for a new Lebanon, Hezbollah might need to lay down their arms and take up shovels & crowbars instead.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Interesting Perspective - Wafa Sultan Al Jazeera Clip

Wafa Sultan shows a strong perspective on Al Jazeera (not a first, I'm sure). Thoughts?



Three years ago, a Russian mathematician by the name of Grigory Perelman, a k a Grisha, in St. Petersburg, announced that he had solved a famous and intractable mathematical problem, known as the Poincaré conjecture, about the nature of space.

After posting a few short papers on the Internet and making a whirlwind lecture tour of the United States, Dr. Perelman disappeared back into the Russian woods in the spring of 2003, leaving the world?s mathematicians to pick up the pieces and decide if he was right.

Now they say they have finished his work, and the evidence is circulating among scholars in the form of three book-length papers with about 1,000 pages of dense mathematics and prose between them.

As a result there is a growing feeling, a cautious optimism that they have finally achieved a landmark not just of mathematics, but of human thought." (NY Times)

Blogger gets a major upgrade

read more. This should affect quite a number of nomadlifers.

Monday, August 14, 2006

the dictionary of the history of ideas

the film v for vendetta starring beautiful young natalie portman endears us to the idea of the permanence of ideas. dictionary of the history of ideas

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hello World

Check this cool blogging editor out. It's free.

No more (Shark Fin) soup for you !!!

"But last week, Yao Ming, the 7-foot-6 Shanghai-born N.B.A. star, went slightly out on a limb. He declared at a Beijing press conference held by WildAid, the conservation group, that he had had it with shark fin soup, pledging never to eat it again.

And then Mr. Yao stated that ?endangered species are our friends.?

Swearing off shark fin may not sound like much to Westerners, but here in China, this most expensive delicacy has a long and honorable history." (NYTimes)

I have to admit I am a big fan for this soup. This makes me a really really bad person.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

2 great quotes

"We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate --- thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising." -Maya Angelou

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world" - Anne Frank

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Personal Side of Disasters

It was only 2 weeks ago that I was stuck in a que at London Heathrow Airport thinking, "security check in is so long and disorganised. I wonder what it would be like if there were security alerts."

I stood in the que with a young boy going to Manhattan for a surprise weekend visit to his girlfriend in NY. A family of three on their month-long vacation to Florida. A tired looking businessman on his PDA to MidWest America. A frazzled woman from Ireland visiting her penpal in Virginia after 30 years.

Now that I'm on US soil again, I hear the sentiments of the Americans. Over the radio, people are terrified and calling in wondering what will happen to their summer vacation (and most Americans only get 10 days of vacation per year, so it's a big deal for them). Long awaited reunion with a son overseas is cancelled. There is fear that it could be a new terrorist group that hates America. Some naive responses. Some seriously frightened. Many in apologetic frustration about the perception of America in the international community. The security has been heightened to 'Code Red'.

I don't think anybody deserves a mass murder. Even the potential or the fear of it. And this goes beyond the threats posed to the US - Israel, Iran, Darfur, Iraq... For every disaster or potential disaster, there is a face of a person just like you and me.

As close as it gets to the Illuminati

Project-Syndicate is a global association of newspapers that invites 'experts' from various fields to write opinion pieces, which are then distributed around to thousands of member newspapers around the world for publishing.

Joschka Fishcher, Joseph Stiglitz, Jospeh Nye, Jeffery Sachs and Peter Singer are some of their contributors, with regular columns on focuses ranging from 'Global Economics' to 'The Ethics of Life'.

Terrorist plot to blow up planes in mid-flight from the UK to the US has been disrupted

Home Secretary John Reid confirmed that there had apparently been a plot "to bring down a number of aircraft through mid-flight explosions causing a considerable loss of life". Apparently the plan was to detonate up to three explosive devices smuggled on aircraft in hand luggage
Security at all airports in the UK has been tightened and delays are reported as MI5 has raised the UK threat level to critical - the highest possible.
According to BBC sources the "principal characters" suspected of being involved in the plot were British-born.
If you are planning on leaving or transiting through London take this into account as all passengers were banned from taking hand luggage onto flights. All of your luggage needs to be checked in and you can carry only the barest essential in a transparent plastic bag.
Communicate says you can only carry: Pocket size wallets, travel documents, prescription medicines (as long as they are not liquid), spectacles and sunglasses (without a case), contact lens holders (without solution bottles), baby food or milk (which needs to be tasted by the accompanying passenger), female sanitary items, tissues and keys (no electrical key fobs) NOTHING ELSE!!
Read more in BBC, Reuters, BBC and Guardian

One more way to change the world

"The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation yesterday said it will give $500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next five years.

The contribution is by far the largest from a nongovernment source since the Global Fund was created in 2002." (Washington Post)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sziget begins today

One of Europes largest music festivals, Sziget, kicks off today. Over the next 7 days, more than 1000 acts from across the world will perform live to more than 400,000 spectators. Epic. It all takes place on Obuda, an island on the Danube river in the middle of Budapest. I'll be there for the week - any other nomads passing by? Some of the acts I am pumped to see:

Radiohead, Goran Bregovich, the Prodigy, Natacha Atlas, Gomez, Placebo, Anima Sound System, Iggy Pop.....

And the list goes on. Any nomads got any live experience of Scissor Sisters or Franz Ferdinand? Havent listened to either of them much.....

Will rock out for y'all...

UPDATE - home from day one. Sziget is just an amazing time and place to be in. unbelievable.

UPDATE 2 - The Hungarian ambassador to the US played a gig tonight with his blues band. What an awesome country.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Offerings of peace...

A lot of posts on Nomadone, have poured out bits and bytes over the war in Lebanon, it's causes, why it continues, who's wrong and right and who's to blame and so on and so forth... I counted three atleast with a minimum of 20 comments in the last 1 month alone.

I thought about what might be possible if we began to bring forward offerings of peace. Unconditional ones, without ifs and buts. No demands on this post - just offers. (Israel can offer, Hamas can offer, Lebanon can offer, Syria can offer, etc)

Go crazy - Humus and pita bread parties on the border, whatever the heck strikes your fancy. It's about f****** time we discussed the future rather than the past.

Monday, August 07, 2006

In memory of Ondrej Kral

Hey nomadlife family, today we received a very sad news here in the MC office. One of ex interns from InBev Ondrej died in a car accident.
Ondrej was a very nice guy and he really gave a lot of passion for AIESEC. He was in the MC in Czech Republic and he joined a lot of the AIESEC actitivies here in Belgium. You can visit his weblog here

Here is a copy of his obituary published in InBev

In Memoriam Ondrej Kral
We regret to inform you that yesterday, former AIESEC trainee Ondrej Kral lost his life in an accident in his home country, the Czech Republic. Ondrej was 26 years old.

During the past 12 months, Ondrej worked at the Global Headquarters as World Class Commercial Program Coordinator.

Only a few weeks ago, he moved back home to embark on a new challenge with Staropramen Breweries. We will always remember his eagerness to learn, his talent for friendship and his
easygoing sense of humor which made him a valuable team member. He will be deeply missed by many.

We extend our condolences and deep sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues around the world during this difficult time.

Steven Scheers
People Director Global Headquarters

Update: His funeral is today. This post was originally made on Aug 2, 2006.

AIESEC in Lebanon no more

Had a meeting today to inform us that AIESEC Lebanon is being postponed for a year. (Chris Bowman)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

IC 2006 is coming...

Now playing in Multikino cinemas across Poland, your invitation to the AIESEC International Congress 2006 Global Village:

A possible new tomb in Valley of The Kings.

"A radar survey in 2000 had pinpointed KV63, the tomb excavated earlier this year. It has now been announced that this same radar survey may have revealed another tomb." (Archaeology)

Valley of The Kings in Luxor, Egypt is a "must see before you die" kind of place, which I think more than the Pyramids of Giza. It has been long thought that there is no more tombs to be discovered there but recent developments open possibilities that there are more undiscovered tombs.

For more information about this radar data, check out Valley of The Kings website.

long term peace. how?

Quote from the Hizbollah's official program(originally released on February 16, 1985 - there has been no change of its policy on the matter since then):

"We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negot:iation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev's and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity."

Quotes from Hamas's Covenant of Aug. 18, 1988(there has been no formal change of its policy since then):

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: It, or any part of it, should not be given up." "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours."

Friday, August 04, 2006

spam in china

"here is a dirty little secret: email marketers can pay web portals like,, and others to send emails to their users. The cost is anywhere from 1 fen to 3 mao per user and it guarantees that the users will receive their messages. Sure, it does not guarantee that the user will open the email, but the user will at least have it in their inbox. " source

sohu and sina are some of the biggest email providers in China. I wonder how many other mail providers have this kind of service, and whether it is illegal or unethical or... just fine?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

US lawmakers are eating French fries again

French fries are back on the menu of cafeterias that cater to US lawmakers on Capital Hill, more than three years after they were replaced by "freedom fries" in anger over France's refusal to join the US-led war in Iraq...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where the hell is Matt?

  • If only the world had more people like Matt :-)

  • A true nomad...

    From Wherethehellismatt ?

    (Thanks for this Gem, Dan !!!)

    Who is to blame??

    This is from a forum on

    Which sane person in the world is not for PEACE and against war! But you have to realize that Israel is not the one to blame here.

    1) What is Israel supposed to do if a terrorist organization fires thousands of shrapnel-loaded rockets towards it from its supposedly "democratic" neighbouring country. Hezbollah is allowed to use Lebanon's territory but Israel is not????

    2) If, as you say, Lebanon is too weak to stop Hezbollah, then who is supposed to do it. You obviously are against Israel defending itself. So I would like to hear what you suggest.

    3) The cowardly butchers of Hezbollah are using civilians as their shields. The village of Qana where the unfortunate incident of yesterday happened has been a constant source of rockets towards Israel. Hezbollah has been delibrately firing from near refugee camps and shelters, hoping for exactly this kind of thing, so that Israel is condemned throughout the world. In fact, in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has built schools and camps above arms storages!!

    4) There has been not a single rocket toward Israel (and there have been around 3000 uptil now) which hasn't come from a civilian area. You have to realize that the only way the terrorists can fight Israel is by sheltering themselves by Civilians and they are doing it extremely effectively. The media is taking the bait completely.

    5)Why don't you hold Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Lebanon to the same standards to which you hold Israel? Israel is announcing and informing people before they attack. They are trying to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible. Hezbollah is not even pretending to target military. They are explicitly firing at civilians in Israeli cities. Their rockets are loaded with jagged metal and ball bearings to maximize the damage. The only reason why Israelis are not getting killed in hundreds is that they have superior war bunkers and whole cities in Israel are currently living in such safe houses.

    6) In the case of a ceasefire, if Israel violates it, it is easy to hold it accountable. What if Hezbollah violates it? Who do you hold accountable in an underground terrorist organization? How do you bring them to justice? I would like to see you answer that.

    7) At what point will responsible countries around the world have the backbone to stand up to the fact that Hezbollah would not be what they are without the support of Syria and Iran? Hezbollah has been adept at being cowardly in respect to using Lebanese citizens and the UN to front and/or mask their terrorist war. In the aftermath of the Israeli bombing of a building where children and women were killed, the Israelis have been roundly criticized, condemned and ostracized. How about Hezbollah? How about Syria? How about Iran? Why aren't they being held equally accountable?

    8) As you say for my post, "I can't believe my eyes!". The terrorists that Israel is fighting (and countries like Iran, Syria) have official slogans like "Death to Israel", "Death to America", "Death to infidels", "Death to Jews" Needless to say, these countries are some of the worst violators of human rights in the world.

    9) How do you propose to bring peace to the world when brutal terror acts are being carried in every country in the world? You are opposed to the very people who are fighting the terrorists!

    10) It's all about Israel, right? Here's a list of places where Jihadi terror attacks against civilians have taken place in just the last 5 years.

    India and the Sudan and Algeria and Afghanistan and New York and Pakistan and Israel and Russia and Chechnya and the Philippines and Indonesia and Nigeria and England and Thailand and Spain and Egypt and Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and Ingushetia and Dagestan and Turkey and Kabardino-Balkaria and Morocco and Yemen and Lebanon and France and Uzbekistan and Gaza and Tunisia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Mauritania and Kenya and Eritrea and Syria and Somalia and Kuwait and Virginia and Ethiopia and Iran and Jordan and United Arab Emirates and Louisiana and Tanzania and Germany and Pennsylvania and Belgium and Denmark and East Timor and Qatar and Maryland and Tajikistan and the Netherlands and Scotland and Iraq and Chad and Canada and...

    phew! I am tired so I'll stop right here.

    I don't see your outrage at this mass genocide!! I don't see your outrage at the 200 civilians who were killed in India in 11 minutes!!!! two weeks ago. Normal men, women and children, like you and me. These despicable acts have been carried out by terrorists like Mujahideen, Al-qaeda, Hezbollah or whatever they are calling themselves today.

    Before picking sides, have a look at facts and history and not terrorist propaganda ( which unfortunately is being carried out by a lot of the media). If anyone replies to this post, I would like to see the answers to the issues above. Otherwise, why even bother.

    Hope the Hizbollah scumbags can be disarmed and defeated soon so that decent Lebanese and Israelis can continue with their lives.

    An escape route from global warming...

    A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has drawn up an emergency plan to save the world from global warming, by altering the chemical makeup of Earth's upper atmosphere. (Independent Online edition has more...)

    NATO begins Afghan Mission

    Nato launched the biggest combat mission of its 57-year history today when it took over an operation to quell a resurgence of Taleban, drug lords and al-Qaeda operatives in southern Afghanistan. (Times Online has more...)

    A ranking of the most dangerous drugs

    This is the first ranking based upon scientific evidence of harm to both individuals and society. (results here, analysis here)

    Alcohol comes in a number 5 and Tobacco at number 9. The top 3 are Heroin, Cocaine and Barbituates. I think most people know that alcohol and tobacco are the ones that are legal, and the ones that cause the most deaths (22,000 and 114,000 respectively in the UK).