Saturday, January 31, 2009

Challenge: Sad grams for Valentines day

For the past couple weeks I've been making sad valentines for my blog and encouraging friends and family to make their own and send them to me. Now, I'd like to open it up to nomadlife as well. If any of you out there want to make a valentine for that special someone, be it the secretary, a figment of your imagination, that girl whose pigtail you pulled in third grade, a bag of doritos. now is the time.

We are all carrying misguided valentines in our hearts: some maudlin, some shallow, some prehistoric.

However you want to do it, whatever you want to say, now is the time to tell that special someone you are dreaming about killing them (as two participants have done) or that you think they are a puny and defeated extinct reptilian beast ....

for more examples:
email to

Davos Kerfuffle

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan left Davos early after fighting words with Israel President Simon Peres about-what else- Gaza.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Here is the kicker

Get ready, India's $10 laptop is set for its first unveiling on February 3rd.

Article here



"Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first dedicated co-educational skateboarding school. The school will engage with the growing numbers of urbanised youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding and provide new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction and education. Students will be selected from a range of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Student capacity will be developed in skateboarding, skateboarding instruction, project management, life skills and English. Our aim is to develop a program that empowers youth to take leadership on issues important to them and build networks that will counter current ethnic barriers.


Skateboarding in Afghanistan? As soon as Australian skateboarders Oliver Percovich, Sharna Nolan and Travis Beard lay down their boards in Kabul, they were surrounded by the eager faces of children of all ages, begging them to teach them how to skate. Stretching the three boards they had, they developed an infant skate school.

Six young Afghan males who were naturals at skateboarding (aged 18-22) shared the three boards and quickly progressed in their newfound sport. Skateboarding was born in Afghanistan. The success with their first students prompted them to think bigger. By bringing more boards back to Kabul and establishing an indoor skateboarding venue they would be able to teach many more youth as well as run separate classes for females. Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school dedicated to teaching both male and female students. We aim to build indoor skateboarding facilities thoughout Afghanistan. We will start in Kabul with a indoor skatepark with indoor and outdoor sections.

Students will receive training from experienced skateboarders in a secure environment. Skateboards, shoes and safety equipment will be loaned on site for the duration of classes. The story of setting up the school and the achievements of the students will be told through a documentary that shows what it is like to grow up in Afghanistan in 2009. We also strive to present a positive story about Afghan youth through global media platforms to create hope, unity and peace."


The end game

Quickly look the definition of derivatives.

Then check this great visual from Global Guerillas which also contains the original idea of this post.
That's the size of global derivatives (or bigger)

This is the size of the global economy

The US economy is above.

Now, all the turbulence right now hasn't hit the big red dot above.  If that red dot got hit, it's game over.


"These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster." (NY Times)

Nature is freaking amazing.

Iron Fertilisation

"Plankton fed with iron will absorb carbon dioxide to prevent it acting as a greenhouse gas, scientists have shown.

Measurements taken in the Southern Ocean confirmed that so-called iron fertilisation would help plankton to grow and thus take in more carbon. Indeed, they took the carbon so deep under the water that it would be locked away for a century." (TimesOnline)

This is how it works:

  • You put iron in to the sea.
  • Plankton loves it and starts to grow around it and absorbing CO2.
  • They die and fall down to the bottom of the ocean along with the absorbed CO2.
  • The carbon will return to atmosphere when it got washed up from the botto of the sea to the surface a long time in the future.

Plankton blooms act as a sponge sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (BBC)

1 Million French on Strike


They are protesting against the global financial crisis.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

"In my previous post, I explain that men on average are slightly but significantly more intelligent than women, not because they are men, but because they are taller. But why are taller people more intelligent than shorter people?

The real answer is we don’t know for sure, but there are two possible explanations. First, both height and intelligence may be indicators of underlying health. According to this view, people who are genetically and developmentally healthier simultaneously grow taller and become more intelligent than those who are less healthy, producing the positive correlation between height and intelligence."
 (Psychology Today)

Davos annual World Economic Forum Conference is on its second day. It's like IC, except the fucking is not consensual. The event is expectedly more subdued this year than any of its previous history and contains some pretty ironic tales.

John Thain, the ex-CEO of Merril Lynch, was supposed to head a session about "the future of banking" in the conference, except that he just got fired for some boneheaded decisions that cost the new owner of Merril Lynch a couple of billions in one quarter; the session was cancelled because the session leader was no longer part of banking industry future.

A mea culpa from the founder of the event
"We are all in some way responsible for not recognizing the risks of a world completely out of balance. We should have listened much more to those who saw the signs on the wall, and to those who also spoke out here" Klaus Schwab

Well here's news for you dude, the kids have been worrying about the world imbalance in terms of environment, wealth distribution, sustainable development, etc for a long long time; These issues have been received with polite smile and pat on the back but never really been integrated into the fabric of globalization.  Look what happened now. So fuck you.

Madagascar burning

This might be the image that pop up on your mind, thanks to ecletic lovable characters and massive promotion  of the movie. But it looks like that Madgascar the country is in deep shit right now. Its capital,  Antananarivo, is witnessing massive protest and so far 34 people are dead; a sadly familiar tales of political strifes out of the continent of Africa. I happen to watch a Nicole Kidman's movie "The Interpreter" which deals with similar issue last night and boy, don't waste your time on it. You'll enjoy sticking a needle into your eye better.
One good news out of Africa this week is the arrest of Laurent Nkuda, a rebel leader operating in Congo. Hollywood can hardly come up with such a notorious life story.

He started well, being part of the rebel that ended the Rwandan genocide, but again, like Che, the inspiring start is soon followed by the intoxication of power and the guy just turned into a murderous maniac. 
Thursday, January 29, 2009

1 US Dollar = 37,372,574 Zimbabwe Dollar
1 Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD) = 0.00000003 US Dollar (USD)

Count how much money you have in your pocket right now and convert it to Zimbabwe dollar and feel the wealth.

I'm thinking we should all meet in Zimbabwe and do a money party. Whaddya think?

Starbucks addict everywhere

If you are accustomed to your Starbuck fix in the morning, tough luck; the company is losing money by the truckloads and will be closing a lot of stores this year.

May we see the return of mom and pop store selling 1 dollar coffee? Maybe, but not anytime soon because the mom and pop enterpreneurs don't have access to credit either.

So either make your own gourmet coffee or live on Nescafe terrible instant coffee like the Egyptian.

The 30 year war

It looks like the Sri Lanka government is poised to take control over all of its territory from the Tamil Tiger rebel

Tamil Tiger is an in-country rebellion that's why it doesn't receive much attention aboard but it is remarkable for one nefarious reason, it pioneered suicide bombing terrorist attack.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a Project failed, and who was responsible.


A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.


Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.


The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.


An office filled with cubicles.


When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)


Single Income, Two Children, And Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a 'home business'.


Single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.


The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.


The rarefied organisational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the 'adminisphere' are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.


Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message '404 not found' meaning that the requested document could not be located.


That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit 'reply all').

(lifted from this blog)

Nobody's looking

(from SoupSoup)

Going to Harvard Business School anytime soon?

"Harvard Management Co., which runs the world's largest endowment fund, has had until recently an incredible record. Over the past six years, it succeeded in more than doubling the notional value of Harvard's endowment to $36.9 billion in fiscal 2008 (which ended on June 30) even after paying for about one-third of Harvard's operating expenses. So its recent loss of $8.1 billion from July 1 to Oct. 31, 2008, came as a stunning blow. Yet this huge loss, as staggering as it sounds, might be only the tip of the iceberg of illiquid investments. According to a source close to the Harvard Management Co., the damage, if the fund's illiquid investments are realistically appraised, may be closer to $18 billion—or more than twice the amount previously reported. (This is in line with a report, released today, showing an average 22.5 percent drop in endowments in North America.)" (The Big Money)

It's a great school, but skip the investments classes.

Britannica learning from its mistakes?

"Earlier today, news came out about what would be quite a big move on the side of the sandstone Encyclopedia Britannica that it will be reaching out to the web in an attempt to catch up with its biggest contender, Wikipedia."

If you've ever been in a strategy seminar, you've most definitely heard about how Britannica failed to change as the world around it changed.
It looks like they're learning from their mistakes, well at least starting to...
It really makes me reflect on how conventional wisdom - that is often age related - doesn't always breed success. Some companies are taking forever to get that.

Check out the blog post which is part of Tamer's new blog "A converging world". The blog will keep you up-beat with all the happenings in the technology and communication world.

Be sure to vote (for wikipedia :P) on his poll

Raging Maureen

"“If you don’t pay your best people, you will destroy your franchise” and they’ll go elsewhere, he said.

Hello? They destroyed the franchise. Let’s call their bluff. Let’s see what a great job market it is for the geniuses of capitalism who lost $15 billion in three months and helped usher in socialism." (Maureen Dowd)

She's in fine form today.

Possibly the first gay prime minister in the world

The current Minister for Social Affairs, Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir of the Social Democrats, said she is prepared to assume the position of prime minister as long as she senses that her position is backed by sufficient trust.(Icelandic Review)

It is great to have this. Let's judge a person by her content of character instead of her color, gender or sexual orientation.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The first interview

I have lived in Muslim countries.

Q The largest one.

The largest one, Indonesia. And so what I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith -- and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers -- regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.

And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.

But ultimately, people are going to judge me not by my words but by my actions and my administration's actions. And I think that what you will see over the next several years is that I'm not going to agree with everything that some Muslim leader may say, or what's on a television station in the Arab world -- but I think that what you'll see is somebody who is listening, who is respectful, and who is trying to promote the interests not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity. I want to make sure that I'm speaking to them, as well." (HP)

Check the interview transcripts. A lot of common sense that will calm this troubled part of the world. Soft power projection at its best.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

traveling in britain

The guy that brokered peace to Northern Ireland is tackling the Middle East and the dude that pushed for peace in Bosnia is taking care of Aghanistan and Pakistan. More details.
"Every night around 8 o’clock, the terrified residents of Swat, a lush and picturesque valley a hundred miles from three of Pakistan’s most important cities, crowd around their radios. They know that failure to listen and learn might lead to a lashing — or a beheading." (NY Times)

This is what happen if a bunch of SOBs get hold of power.

Happy Niu Year

Welcome to the Earth Ox Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Moody's Investors Service on Friday cut its ratings on The New York Times Co (NYT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) into junk territory, saying declining advertising revenues will continue to pressure the newspaper publisher's earnings." (Reuters)

We know there's a revolution going on, but what will happen after the dusts settle?

Beyond Stupidity

"But after Merrill appeared to be safely in Bank of America’s arms, Merrill’s traders began buying risky mortgage assets, thinking that the market had bottomed out, according to two people familiar with the firm’s trading. Merrill also began to run up losses on equity derivatives and other instruments, they said.

By the end of 2008, Merrill had lost an additional $5 billion in the markets, marking the first time since Mr. Thain’s arrival that the firm’s losses had moved beyond the mortgage investments that predated his tenure." (NY Times)

So they sold the bank after losses in risky mortgage assets, get bought and then resuming the operation that got them into trouble in the first place. Genius!

sexology in NYTimes magazine

All was different with the women. No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, they showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. . . . And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person. (link)

mintyfresh beats - jaydiohead - dirt off your android

a noteworthy one in the long line of jay-z remixes

Friday, January 23, 2009


"In the first known case of what may be transmission of the Ebola virus from a pig to a human, a pig handler in the Philippines has tested positive for a strain of the virus, world health officials and the Philippine government announced Friday." (NY Times)

Those are the scariest words ever. Any comment from the CDC for this, Drake?

The awesomness that is Photosynth

I'm not usually an MS fan - everything except for my OS is open source - but you've gotta give credit where it is due.

CNN used photosynth to capture Obama's inauguration...

Some guy used it to recreate the stunning Owachomo bridge in Utah...

and there are many more examples here...

(you need to install MS' Silverlight and Photosynth packs to view the 'synths')

Learn more...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dolphin Mass Slaughther in Japan

Check out an interview of "The Cove" documentary filmmaker about the darker side of the cuted doplhins show in aquaparks.

Sundance Film Festival Trailer

Reporting by a Canadian channel.

The Genius of Battlestar Galactica

I came across this article today on Slashdot.

If your country was invaded and occupied by a foreign power, would you blow yourself up to fight back? If someone pointed a gun at your head and threatened to pull the trigger if you refused to sign a document you knew would lead to a hundred deaths (and you signed!), would that make you ultimately responsible for those deaths? Does superior technology give you the moral right to impose your will on a technologically inferior culture? If something believes it's a human being, acts human, and looks human, should you treat it as human? And what the hell is human anyway?

You wouldn't expect a mainstream television show to tackle such philosophically loaded questions, certainly not a show based on cheesy science fiction from the '70s, but if you've watched Battlestar Galactica since it was reimagined in 2003, there has been no escape.

Time Magazine named it one of the best TV shows of all time and called it "a ripping sci-fi allegory of the war on terror, complete with religious fundamentalists (here, genocidal robots called Cylons), sleeper cells, civil-liberties crackdowns and even a prisoner-torture scandal."

Newsweek declared that Battlestar "captures better than any other TV drama of the past eight years the fear, uncertainty and moral ambiguity of the post-9/11 world."

If it sounds like hyperbole, it's because the show really does deserve that level of praise. As thinkers, interested persons in the conditions that make our relationships with each other and with our institutions flawed and at times unsalvageable, and potential-filled leaders wanting to end our problems by first knowing our problems, you should get into Ron Moore's masterpiece, as gripping and sublime on its own merits as it is revealing and sobering about our modern condition.

Get a frakking clue and start with the miniseries that kicks it all off.

So say we all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Images from the US presidential inauguration

I am sure that there will be thousands of images going around from yesterday's historical day, but here are some that I have found to be very interesting:
  • Geoeye satellite took an aerial picture of it and it is definitely worth a look. Follow the link and you can even download the high resolution from it
  • Cnet has a couple of zoomed images from the original. It's make me wonder as these are pictures taken 423 miles up in the sky by a satellite traveling at 17,000 miles per hour
  • The New York Times as a zoomable photo showing the president addressing the crowd. Just hover over the crowd and you will get some help identifying the attendees.
  • CNN has 360-degree panorama with the stand before the ceremony
  • CNN-Microsoft put together a commemorative 3D portrait of the presidential inauguration using Microsoft's Photosynth Technology and it should be a really interesting view (I have not seen it yet as I cannot install it at work), via PCWorld
  • Reuters has put together an Audio Slideshow with the Best of the inauguration and Obama's speech

Enjoy them and share any other good and interesting ones you find.

The Contender

Yes, you still can vote. The back story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I stood at work, the only white person in a room of African American's and Latino's, who said they never thought they would live to see this day. Projected on a large screen, we sat gripped to every word, tears rolling down our cheeks knowing that today ... the world changed forever.

When Justice Rolls Like Water and Righteousness a Mighty Stream

"As we leave this mountaintop help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our temples and our mosques, wherever we seek your will.

Bless president Barack, first lady Michelle, look over little angelic Sasha and Malia. We go down and walk together as children, praying that we wont get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then now Lord to work for that day when nation will not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman will sit under his and her own vine and fig tree and none shall be affraid. When justice will roll down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord in the memory of all the saints who from their labours rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us to pray for the day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen."
Amen. Easily the highlight of the entire inauguration, upstaging Rick Warren, Yo Yo Ma, Aretha Franklin, Barack Obama, all of them. What a champion.

UPDATE: His name is Joseph Lowery and he's one of history's greatest men - founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King etc. I want to have his babies.


"Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe have fallen to zero for the first time since records began, underscoring the dramatic collapse in trade since the world economy buckled in October." (Telegraph)

Scary isn't it.

< $34

"Oil prices fell below $34 a barrel Tuesday on the continued gloomy outlook for global energy demand and as traders sold the expiring benchmark contract due to a lack of space at a key U.S. storage facility."

Just 12 months ago we are screaming our heads off for 100 dollar  barrel oil. Oh silliness.

Whistle Tour Jan 17 Speech Excerpt

Hangin' out with Albert

"He was about to walk away, when the guy taking the picture said he wasn't done yet. So the Prince stepped back into the group, put his arm around me, and it rested on my butt. By accident, I'm sure. Look at my face in this photo!"

Ah, the fun of nomading in Antarctica. 

Inaugural 2009 U2

They play "City of Blinding Lights" at the second part of this clip. It rocks.

Inaugural "One Love" : & Herbie Hancock & Sheryl Crow

Gaga Obama

MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge

A bunch of celebrities doing the pledge thang.

Garth Brooks on Inaugural 2009 - American Pie & Shout

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

Monday, January 19, 2009


Rearing up for Chinese New Year: Dragon dancers perform during Grebeg Sudiro festival in the Chinese quarter in Surakarta, Central Java, on Sunday. The festival welcomes the Chinese New Year, which falls on Jan. 26. JP/Blontak Poer
(The Jakarta Post)

From Wikipedia:

"Soon after Abdurrahman Wahid came into power, he quickly abolished some of the discriminatory laws in efforts to improve race relationships. He encouraged Chinese Indonesian literature and culture. He also designated the Chinese lunar new year as a national holiday.

Chinese Indonesians are now in the era of rediscovery. Many younger generations, who cannot speak Mandarin due to the ban decades earlier, choose to learn Mandarin, as many learning centers open throughout the country. Stores now can openly show Chinese characters. Dragon dances and Lion dances are shown in public in many places without special permits or supervision.

The Chinese culture is starting to be embraced by even the popular media, who widely covers Chinese New Year celebrations and even broadcasts TV shows on Feng Shui and news in Chinese language in Indonesian television and radio, like Metro TV and Cakrawala broadcast radio.
A small number of Chinese Indonesians also regained the courage to get involved in politics and created new political parties, from one, (Kwik Kian Gie) was appointed minister in 1999. Chinese Indonesians adopted the term Tionghoa (中華/中华, Zhōnghuá) to identify themselves. The term Cina is deemed by some as derogatory today due to its unfortunate derogatory use in the past."

Abdurrahman Wahid is Indonesia's 4th President, a half blind Islamic cleric that  did so much in keeping the country together during the post 98 revolution and repair social fabrics by dropping discriminatory policies against minorities. The free press also boom under his rule short half term rule.

Usually when the word "Islamic Cleric" and "in power", the oppresive Iranian autocracy with the Ayatollahs comes to mind - well here's another Cleric that pushed through reforms that enable a country to become the only truly free country in South East Asia (by Freedom House) 

If you tolerate this your children will be next

The future teaches you to be alone
The present to be afraid and cold
So if I can shoot rabbits
Then I can shoot fascists

Bullets for your brain today
But we'll forget it all again
Monuments put from pen to paper
Turns me into a gutless wonder

And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next

Gravity keeps my head down
Or is it maybe shame
At being so young and being so vain

Holes in your head today
But I'm a pacifist
I've walked La Ramblas
But not with real intent

And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next

And on the street tonight an old man plays
With newspaper cuttings of his glory days

And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next

Design for Life

Libraries gave us power
Then work came and made us free
But what price now for a shallow piece of dignity

I wish I had a bottle
Right here in my dirty face to wear the scars
To show from where I came

We don’t talk about love we only want to get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the end

A design for life x4

I wish I had a bottle
Right here in my pretty face to wear the scars
To show from where I came

We don’t talk about love we only want to get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the end

A design for life x4

We don’t talk about love we only want to get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the end

A design for life x4

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gifts that keeps on giving


2007 CDC (Central for Disease Control) report on STD (Sexually Transmitted Deseas) was just released.

This is going to suck

Awesome Comic Book version

Hollywood's attempt 
Check out the photo from a recent race sailing around the world. You will be green with envy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Raw Video of the Hudson Landing

The landing

You can see what happened in the first minutes of the landing (after 2 minute mark)

Israel declares unilateral cease fire

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh no

If you haven't, it's time to vote now.

Time for a good drink

Citibank lost 8 billions and change. Merryl Lynch lost 15.3 billion dollars - which pretty much screw up Bank of America acquistion of the company.

Metallica reflects on their best songs

"“Enter Sandman”
Metallica (1991)
HAMMETT Again, I was playing my ESP with a wah pedal, and this time I used a bunch of different amps. We were combining Boogies and modified Marshalls; I also think we had a clean old Fender in there, and maybe even an old Vox amp, and they were all blended together to get that tone. I can remember getting that lead guitar sound together very quickly, very spontaneously. When it came time to start thinking about that guitar solo, I just thought, Well, this is a great guitar song, and it’s in the spirit of all my favorite guitar bands, like Thin Lizzy and UFO, but kind of modernized. So I kept thinking, Michael Schenker, Michael Schenker… But then I started thinking, If Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy played on this song, what would he play? With that mindset, I started playing what I thought Brian Robertson would play on a song like that, and the entire fucking guitar solo wrote itself!

You know how the guitar solo plays out, and then there’s a lead guitar break that leads into a breakdown? I think the time has come to tell where I actually got that lick. It’s from ‘Magic Man’ by Heart, but I didn’t get it from Heart’s version; I got it from a cut off Ice-T’s Power album, where he used it as a sample. I was listening to Power a lot while we were recording Metallica, so I kept on hearing that lick. I thought, I have to snake this! I did change it around a little bit, though." (Guitar World)
A water crash landing without any fatalities in Manhattan and check out the accolades at to the pilot and rescue crew.

This is the flight path


Flight time is pretty much 6 minutes. Most passengers are without life jackets - so I guess it's a good time to pay attention to those water ditching instruction again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yes We Can

Right now Jesse's Prosecco is at the top ranking - but I think he'll need additional 300 votes to secure the nomination to New York. Don't forget to vote!


My close rival:

About Chris Quilty

Chris Quilty, 49, has worked in hotels and restaurants for more than 25 years. But the hospitality business wasn’t his first career choice. He originally went to college at the University of Maine to study forest engineering. That didn’t last long, and soon he was studying to be a chef at the Culinary Institute of America. He was a chef for about 20 years, eventually making his way into the Marriott chain, where he held various management positions. (link)

Entropa :)

A new art installation (called Entropa) going on display at the European Council building in Brussels has angered EU members with its lampoons of national stereotypes :)

Some of the depictions:
- France on strike
- Germany as a network of motorways vaguely resembling a swastika
- Romania as a dracula theme park
- Britain piece "missing"
- Bulgaria as floor of the Turkish toilet
- Netherlands under water with only tops of minarets visible

You can see some pictures here -

Details of how every EU member is represented -

West Coast Vibe  : a reflective modern tribe

Purely in Self Defense

"John Ging, head of UN relief agency in Gaza, says compound took a direct hit from Israeli artillery, leaving at least three people injured" (Al Jazeera in Gaza, via Twitter)

A guide to 50 most beautiful metro stations in the world

Lyon, France


They are splendid.

New British Stamps

"Britain’s Royal Mail has issued a set of ten stamps celebrating 20th-century British design classics " (Dezeen)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dear Friends,

During my long journey towards becoming one of the world's great bartenders, I have always counted on y'all's support and I consider the nomadlife community to be my spiritual guardian when it comes to bartending. This is why I am now proud to offer everyone the chance to vote for my soon-to-be award-winning cocktail, PROSECCO À LA KAKARDÉ, at the website of my long-time sponsor, Mionetto.

Jesse Lovegren

Love and Marriage: US Style

Sign of the times...


Money Comment for all those investors out there:

"Old adage: If it floats, flies, or f@#$s, it's cheap[er] to rent than to buy. [sic]"

How to fake your own death Part I

So you have tons of legal  and financial problems? Well learn from the best on how to try to fake your own death.

"Flying from Indiana to Florida, he radioed in a distress call from his single engine plane, telling air traffic controllers a cockpit window had imploded leaving him bleeding profusely. He then donned his parachuted and jumped out of the plane at roughly 2500 ft. (Just jumping out of ten story building and being done with it is so passe.) Waiting for him not far from his landing zone was a motorcycle he'd prepositioned in the Alabama pine barrens.

The plan hit a fatal flaw when the military jets scrambled to intercept Schrenker's plane noticed that there was no one flying it and that the door to the cockpit was open." (TPM)


What if Egypt, Jordan, and Syria had won the Six Day War?

a short read, but will make you think...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A preview of Obama Presidency's Foreign Policy via Hillary Clinton, the incoming US Secretary of State.


We are going go get funded
"Secretary Gates has been particularly eloquent in articulating the importance of diplomacy in pursuit of our national security and foreign policy objectives. As he notes, it's not often that a Secretary of Defense makes the case for adding resources to the State Department and elevating the role of the diplomatic corps. Thankfully, Secretary Gates is more concerned about having a unified, agile, and effective U.S. strategy than in spending our precious time and energy on petty turf wars. As he has stated, "our civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and underfunded for far too long," both relative to military spending and to "the responsibilities and challenges our nation has around the world." And to that, I say, "Amen!""

Iraq and Afghanistan
First, President-Elect Obama is committed to responsibly ending the war in Iraq and employing a broad strategy in Afghanistan that reduces threats to our safety and enhances the prospect of stability and peace."

Middle East
However, we have also been reminded of the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East, and pained by the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians. This must only increase our determination to seek a just and lasting peace agreement that brings real security to Israel; normal and positive relations with its neighbors; and independence, economic progress, and security to the Palestinians in their own state.

We will exert every effort to support the work of Israelis and Palestinianswho seek that result. It is critical not only to the parties involved but to our profound interests in undermining the forces of alienation and violent extremism across our world.

We will work with Russia to secure their agreement to extend essential monitoring and verification provisions of the START Treaty before it expires in December 2009, and we will work toward agreements for further reductions in nuclear weapons. We will also work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian missiles off hair-trigger alert, act with urgency to prevent proliferation in North Korea and Iran, secure loose nuclear weapons and materials, and shut down the market for selling them - as Senator Lugar has done for so many years. The Non Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the nonproliferation regime, and the United States must exercise the leadership needed to shore up the regime. So, we will work with this committee and the Senate toward ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and reviving negotiations on a verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty."

Rice Eaters
That means strengthening the alliances that have stood the test of time-- especially with our NATO partners and our allies in Asia. Our alliance with Japan is a cornerstone of American policy in Asia, essential to maintaining peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and based on shared values and mutual interests. We also have crucial economic and security partnerships with South Korea, Australia, and other friends in ASEAN. We will build on our economic and political partnership with India, the world's most populous democracy and a nation with growing influence in the world."

In our efforts to return to economic growth here in the United States, we have an especially critical need to work more closely with Canada, our largest trading partner, and Mexico, our third largest. Canada and Mexico are also our biggest suppliers of imported energy. More broadly, we must build a deeper partnership with Mexico to address the shared danger arising from drug-trafficking and the challenges of our border, an effort begun this week with a meeting between President-elect Obama and President Calderon.

Throughout our hemisphere we have opportunities to enhance cooperation to meet common economic, security and environmental objectives that affect us all. We will return to a policy of vigorous engagement throughout Latin America, seeking deeper understanding and broader engagement with nations from the Caribbean to Central to South America. Not only do we share common political, economic and strategic interests with our friends to the south, our relationship is also enhanced by many shared ancestral and cultural legacies. We are looking forward to working on many issues during the Summit of the Americas in April and taking up the President-Elect's call for a new energy partnership of the Americas built around shared technology and new investments in renewable energy."

In Africa, the foreign policy objectives of the Obama administration are rooted in security, political, economic, and humanitarian interests, including: combating al Qaeda's efforts to seek safe havens in failed states in the Horn of Africa; helping African nations to conserve their natural resources and reap fair benefits from them; stopping war in Congo; ending autocracy in Zimbabwe and human devastation in Darfur; supporting African democracies like South Africa and Ghana--which just had its second change of power in democratic elections; and working aggressively to reach the Millennium Development Goals in health, education, and economic opportunity."

International Development
Today more than two billion people worldwide live on less than $2 a day. They are facing rising food prices and widespread hunger. Calls for expanding civil and political rights in countries plagued by mass hunger and disease will fall on deaf ears unless democracy actually delivers material benefits that improve people's lives while weeding out the corruption that too often stands in the way of progress.

Our foreign policy must reflect our deep commitment to the cause of making human rights a reality for millions of oppressed people around the world. Of particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls, who comprise the majority of the world's unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. If half of the world's population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal, and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity will remain in serious jeopardy. We still have a long way to go and the United States must remain an unambiguous and unequivocal voice in support of women's rights in every country, every region, on every continent.

In Cairo

The newly wed is now in Cairo - staying for good. So you know where to find him.

Welcome to the only democracy in the Middle East

Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections

The Central Elections Committee (CEC) yesterday banned the Arab parties United Arab List-Ta'al and Balad from running in next month's parliamentary elections amid accusations of racism from Arab MKs. Both parties intend to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court. (Haaretz)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Apply for the Best Job in the World: Paradise Island Caretaker

Tourism officials in Australia are describing it as "the best job in the world".

They want someone to work on a tropical island off the Queensland coast.

No formal qualifications are needed but candidates must be willing to swim, snorkel, dive and sail.

In return, the successful applicant will receive a salary of A$150,000 ($103,000, £70,000) for six months and get to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

Video Add

Only our Prez...

“Not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment.”

Only he could make such a ridiculous statement.

Thankfully, his time at the helm is winding down to a close...

Travel Warning to the US

"From today, travelers visiting the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) risk being detained at airports and sent home if they don't comply with new U.S. immigration rules.

Thousands of travelers risk being detained and sent home from U.S. airports and ports.

The introduction of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) means visitors from 27 VWP countries -- including most of Western Europe, New Zealand, Japan and Australia -- must now register their details online at least three days before departure." (CNN)
"Why do we care so much about Israel and Palestine, and so little about everyone else?" (Tom Gara)

The ensuing comments are more  substantive than what you can find anywhere else. 
If they put more dancing, they would have won more awards - "slumdog millionaires" won 4 Golden Globe awards, including best drama.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Playstation Singstar series music list

It's baaack!

"Zimbabwe's central bank will introduce a $50 billion note -- enough to buy just two loaves of bread -- as a way of fighting cash shortages amid spiraling inflation." (CNN)

I mean a beggar in Harrare must have the most absurd line; "give a brother 30 billion, please".
"You make a film, you give it to us, we make only two screening copies, and return the originals to you. Our only copies are destroyed live onstage after the final screening. We've hosted DOZENS and DOZENS of HUMP! screenings over the last three years with ZERO leaks! HUMP! allows you to be a porn star for a weekend-not for life!" (The Stranger)

I never knew such thing exists but apparently this amateur porn film festival is popular.

Everything is ok

The barricade tape that reads Everything is Ok.The website is a collection of links and messages meant to challenge viewers’ day to day thoughts, perspectives and actions. The initiative [nominated for the People's Design Awards], launched by mine design studio in 2006, seeks to encourage ‘positive action’ among the masses. They got the word out about the site through their “Activists Kits” which included ironic barricade tape that read “everything is ok”. The tape has been spotted around the country, from US elections to ‘flash mob’ pillow fights in San Fransisco. They describe their project as “a kind of social design experiment in subversive positivism. It explores the relationship between medium and message, challenges accepted modes of communication, and provides everyday citizens with tools for social commentary.”

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not even Superman can survive flying through an air vortex of a modern airliner.

Get your own personal submarine

You can with your 3 million dollars pirates paycheck.

Wild Dances - Eurovision Winner



"A Saudi-owned supertanker held by pirates off the coast of Somalia for two months has been released for a ransom of $3 million, according to one of the pirates and residents of Xarardheere, a pirate town on the Somali coast near where the tanker was being held." (NY Times)

3 million bucks for a couple of hours of work and  2 months of delay of payment. Now that's a dream job.
Mini solar charger for your gadget and other cool green personal power generator stuff.

US: whose heart will you break for a free hamburger?

a tool on facebook by burger king where you get a free whopper if you remove ten people from your friends list. the ex-friends are informed that they were given up for a hamburger.

Friday, January 09, 2009

11 best foods you aren't eating.

Summer of '69

"He doesn’t know of too much information circulating about him, except for one thing concerning his 1985 hit “The Summer of ’69.”

“Everybody thinks that song is about 1969, but I only used the two digits as sort of a sexual reference,” says Adams in a call from his hotel in Clearwater, Fla. “Every time I read a review and they say ‘Oh, he was only 10,’ I’m like, ‘I never said nineteen-sixty-nine!’”" (Knoxvile)

I knew it!!

Slumdog Millionaire

Plan to see this movie over the weekend. Anyone seen it yet? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Pirates !

Are we being lied to? (link tips from Rusty)

and then there's this - more than 20 countries will join together to fight the pirates.

" A new multinational task force is focusing solely on counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, the commander of the combined maritime forces in the region said.

The force created the Maritime Security Patrol Area in the Gulf of Aden in August to support international efforts to combat piracy. Coalition efforts included Combined Task Force 150, which conducted maritime security operations -- such as the deterrence of drug smuggling and weapons trafficking. " (DefenseLink)

Pirates' new slogan : We unite people

UN Resolution 1860

It's actually quite hard to find the full text of UN resolutions. Hm..

1. The Security Council stresses the urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

2. The Security Council calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.

3. The Security Council welcomes the initiatives aimed at creating and opening humanitarian corridors and other mechanisms for the sustained delivery of humanitarian aid.

4. The Security Council calls on member states to support international efforts to alleviate the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, including through urgently needed additional contributions to UNWRA and through the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.

5. The Security Council condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorist.

6. The Security Council calls upon member states to intensify efforts to provide arrangements and guarantees in Gaza in order to sustain a durable ceasefire and calm, including to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition and to ensure the sustained reopening of crossing points on the basis of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between the Palestinian Authority; and in this regard, welcomes the Egyptian initative, and other regional and international efforts that are underway.

7. The Security Council encourages tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation including in support of mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab States as expressed in the 26 November 2008 resolution, and consistent with Security Council Resolution 1850 (2008) and other relevant resolutions.

8. The Security Council calls for renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders, as envisaged in Security Council Resolution 1850 (2008), and recalls also the important of the Arab Peace Initiative.

9. The Security Council welcomes the Quartet's consideration, in consultation with the parties, of an international meeting in Moscow in 2009.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mastering all you can eat buffet

"Then as you lay bloated on your chair, your buttons bursting, your eyelids drooping, you face a final decision: Do you go back for The Fourth Plate?" (1000awesomethings)

Give this guy a Nobel Science Prize.

La Vache Qui Rit

Here's a little chestnut I missed in my reader from Robert Fisk's feed:

"To admit that Egypt can't even open its sovereign border without permission from Washington tells you all you need to know about the powerlessness of the satraps that run the Middle East for us."


"The true disgrace of Egypt, however, is not in its response to the slaughter in Gaza. It is the corruption that has become embedded in an Egyptian society where the idea of service – health, education, genuine security for ordinary people – has simply ceased to exist. It's a land where the first duty of the police is to protect the regime, where protesters are beaten up by the security police, where young women objecting to Mubarak's endless regime – likely to be passed on caliph-like to his son Gamal, whatever we may be told – are sexually molested by plain-clothes agents, where prisoners in the Tora-Tora complex are forced to rape each other by their guards." [Robert Fisk for the Independent]

I thoroughly urge you to read the entire (short) piece. I found it very interesting.
"Indeed, Abu Mustafa says, he and his comrades in arms realize they need to be patient. There's a long way to go before they can begin their struggle for global influence. First, they have to take care of an enemy closer to home: Hamas.

So far, Hamas has done what it can to keep the Salafis under control. They know the ultra-radicals are just waiting to take over Hamas' position of leadership. "They are traitors," Abu Mustafa says of Hamas. "Compared to us, they are Islamism lite." (Spiegel de)

One thing at least, Hamas won an election fair and square in 2006. They are nuts but it seems there are even darker elements waiting to replace them.

Daily Show' discusses Obama's Medicine Cabinet

Amazing Video: Man Flying

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo

courtesy of

Gas Politic

You must have heard about Russia - Ukranian disputes that ends up cutting gas supply for Europe. The graphic above explains why.
In the Middle East, almost everybody has satellite dishes for TVs and you get 100 or so channels for free depending on which satellite you are connecting to. Usually after midnight, some of those channels play those phone sex operation commercials (we accept EGYPTIAN POUND !) probably based somewhere in Italy or whatever.

Now apparently one of the operators in Hamas run TV a couple of days ago are checking out those commercials and mistakenly has his  feed broadcasted out live - hilarity ensues. Take a look on how the green banner are running and there's a broadcast of a channel being selected on TV. The poor guy was just bored.

Rockets from Lebanon hit Israel

"At least three rockets fired from Lebanon exploded in northern Israel on Thursday, wounding two people, police and medics said, in an attack seen as linked to Israel's offensive against Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip"

Full article on Reuters here.

This happens just the day after Israel announced they accept the "truce principles".

It looks like someone else is definitely interested in not letting the current conflict end.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A billion dollar lie

"Satyam Computer Services, a leading Indian outsourcing company that serves more than a third of the Fortune 500 companies, significantly inflated its earnings and assets for years, the chairman and co-founder said Wednesday, roiling Indian stock markets and throwing the industry into turmoil."

"Mr. Raju said Wednesday that 50.4 billion rupees, or $1.04 billion, of the 53.6 billion rupees in cash and bank loans the company listed in assets for its second quarter, which ended in September, were nonexistent." (NY Times)


South Africa Model

The giant that brought down South Africa's Apartheid (along with Mandela):

"If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. The apartheid government in South Africa used to say they didn’t talk to terrorists, and they said Madiba [Nelson Mandela] was one of those. But of course, there’s no point in talking to someone else—someone who is not a leader, who has really no constituency—when that “terrorist,” so-called, is almost certainly the person that the oppressed regard as their leader. If you choose to talk with somebody else, the people will say, “That’s a stooge.” Any agreements you have with that one will have no credence.

How does peace come? Peace doesn’t come because allies agree. Allies are allies—they already agree! Peace comes when you talk to the guy you most hate. And that’s where the courage of a leader comes, because when you sit down with your enemy, you as a leader must already have very considerable confidence from your own constituency. Then, when you do things that are risky, your people know that you are not likely to do something reckless. If you are doing something that is a bit dodgy, they will give you the benefit of the doubt." (The Atlantic) - hat tip Andrew Sullivan.

the letter killeth

Officials in the northern city of Kano said they had stopped several people with "improvised helmets", following this month's introduction of the law.
Road safety officials said calabash-wearers would be prosecuted. (BBC)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Turning Point

GAZA // An Israeli strike has killed at least 42 people who had taken refuge inside a UN school in the Gaza Strip, the third such attack in a day, medics said.

The strike hit near a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, in the northern town of Jabaliya, they said.
Like the Qana airstrike during the 2006 Lebanon War, this will likely end up being the point at which this turns from a mission to defeat terror into a counterproductive excercise in futility. And likely a killer of 1000-plus civilians once all is over.

Man killed by wife, who tried to burn his penis

BBC Reports "An Australian woman has appeared in court in Adelaide charged with murdering her husband by setting fire to his penis." She apparently only wanted to burn his "member" so that it could belong only to her. So she doused her husband, covered "it" in flamable liquid and set it on fire; the poor guy jumped out, knocked out the bottle and died from the burns.

I thought that after Lorena Bobbitt these kind of incidents would be avoided by choosing carefully your partner, or avoiding cheating; but then again people never learn right?

Let's predict (just for fun) that Chastity Belts will become fashion once more, but this time for males and for protection. Anyone willing to store a small fire stinguisher close your personal parts? It might come handy

Grow your own tooth

"And now comes tooth regeneration: growing teeth in adults, on demand, to replace missing ones. Soon." (Washington Post)

Now we can all smile the same.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New and Improved

For some serious thinking in foreign policy, check out the new revamped site.

The Only People Who Have Seen the End of War....

The Independent's Gaza reporter lost his father to an Israeli F16 on the weekend:

"The phone call came at around 4.20pm on Saturday. A bomb had been dropped on the house at our small farm in northern Gaza. My father was walking from the gate to the farmhouse at the time. It was our beloved place, that farm and its two-storey white house with a red roof. Nestled in a flat fertile agricultural plain north-west of Beit Lahiya, it had lemon groves, orange and apricot trees and we had recently acquired 60 dairy cows.

It was the closest farm to the northern border with Israel. Ironically, we always thought the biggest danger there was not from Israeli troops, who usually went straight past if they were mounting an incursion, but from stray Hamas rockets aimed at the Israeli towns north of us.

But shortly before sunset on Saturday, as Israeli ground troops and tanks invaded Gaza in the name of shutting down Hamas rocket sites, the peace of that place was shattered and my father's life extinguished at the age of 48. Warplanes and helicopters had swept in, bombing and firing to open up the space for the tanks and ground forces that would follow in the darkness. It was one of those F16 airstrikes that killed my father.

The house was reduced to little more than powder, and of Dad there was nothing much left either. "Just a pile of flesh," my uncle, who found him in the rubble, said later with brutal honesty..."

Get honest, useful, quick feedback. Nifty..

Rypple Introduction from Rypple on Vimeo. Yammer has already taken the corporate world by storm, might Rypple be next?

Waiting for baby Truman

AIESEC US MCP Elect 2009 - 2010. Rock on!

13 overrated careers

US News has the goods.


The overrated careers are:


The witches are out in force

in Italy.

Celebrating 50 years of Cuban Revolution

There's actually a che online store. Che's story is like a typical melodrama, brilliant in the first half of his life, downright idiotic on the second half.

There's a movie (or two) coming out, which I'm looking forward to read see.

Fidel Castro is actually and his bro actually hold key role in the revolution but they hold no candle to the myth and popularity of Che.

Carbon Sink using Antartic Iron

and read how this might impact positively on global warming.

Keep on Rockin' in Red Planet

"The first robot, named Spirit, landed on 3 January, 2004, followed by its twin, Opportunity, 21 days later.

It was hoped the robots would work for at least three months; but their longevity in the freezing Martian conditions has surprised everyone. " (BBC)

Now it's been five years and both of the rovers are still working furiously exploring Mars.

The four horsemen of Atheism

Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris in a discussion (a video)

Posters From Syria

Taken by a friend from a trip out of Damascus in on New Year's Day on a shop display window. The Arabic script on the poster with Mubarak and Livni says "I loved love because of your eyes, I'll block the crossing and prevent the medicine" Mubarak"

The other guy holding Livni's hand is Egypt's Foreign Minister.