Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Measles Patient Zero

In a recent article published in Pediatrics, researchers investigated a measles outbreak in Minnesota in 2011. The authors, lead by Pamala Gahr of the Minnesota Department of Health, determined that the outbreak began when an unvaccinated 2-year-old travelled to Kenya, where he contracted the measles virus. Upon returning to the United States, the child developed a fever, cough and vomiting, some of the early signs and symptoms of measles. Unfortunately, prior to a diagnosis of measles, the child passed the virus on to three children in a child day-care center and another household member.
Daily Kos

Heavy Lift Ship - Blue Marlin

Check out this massive ship

more pictures here
Blue Marlin is a semi-submersible heavy lift ship from Dockwise Shipping of the Netherlands. Designed to transport very large semi-submersible drilling rigs above the transport ship's deck, it is equipped with 38 cabins to accommodate 60 people, a workout room, sauna and swimming facilities. Blue Marlin and her sister ship MV Black Marlin comprise the Marlin class of heavy lift ship. Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clint Dempsey (USA) 30 seconds goal

This has been an amazing World Cup. We are at the stage where powerhouse such as Spain, England and Portugal might go home early and countries like the US going to the quarter finals. 

A take on Russia

As I've said for years, Russia is an energy company with all the trappings of nation-state.

Everything Russia does militarily is aimed at expanding it's energy interests. From acquiring new oil and gas basins to exploit to forcing countries to allow it to build new pipelines or expand old ones. It's also used everything from extortion to cyberattack to pull it off. Global Guerrillas

Child soldiers of Iraq

This is bad news

Daily Mail

Thursday, June 12, 2014

And now things get interesting in Iraq

ISIS is a violent Sunni movement that is so extreme that Al-Qaeda denounced them. It primarily controls the northern part of Syria and now has managed to control 2 cities (Mosul and Tikrit),  in Iraq in lees than a week of battle.

In Mosul 30,000 Iraqi troops were routed by 800 ISIS fighters.

A reported half a billion dollars are stolen from the banks in Mosul allowing them some real financial muscles to fund and supply their growing movement in Iraq and Syria. They also have access to many military hardware that the Iraqi Army has abandoned on their retreat.

They are heading to Baghdad and Karbala (one of the holiest site of Shiite Islam) to bring down the Shiite dominated government and bring the battle to what the Sunni extremist think as perversion of Islam.

NY Times is reporting that other groups are joining them in their effort in Iraq.
“These groups were unified by the same goal, which is getting rid of this sectarian government, ending this corrupt army and negotiating to form the Sunni Region,” said Abu Karam, a senior Baathist leader and a former high-ranking army officer, who said planning for the offensive had begun two years ago. “The decisive battle will be in northern Baghdad. These groups will not stop in Tikrit and will keep moving toward Baghdad.”
Now the long civil war in Syria has finally engulf another country and international policy makers have one more crisis on their hands. Baghdad will not fall easily to ISIS because the Shiite militias will rise again and fight to the death to defend it.  

Raja Empat, Indonesia

A review from a Redditor
Oh man, I was there for two weeks last October. I stayed at Misool Eco Resort and I cannot wait to go back. Do you dive? If not, make you do when you go there! I have dived all over the world and this place is the best BY FAR. Manta Rays - Check. Seahorses - Check (1 species ONLY found here - check), Sailfish - Check, Sea Turtles - Check, more coral than anywhere else on earth - check. In fact, fuck it. Check the lot because Raja Ampat is absolutely fukin incredible. Enjoy you lucky bastard Reddit
Check out this map of Indonesia. Raja Empat is located in West Papua Province (look at the Eastern most part of the map).

Monday, June 09, 2014

Amazing football pitches

Greenland .. More

The attack on Karachi Airport

Times of India has the best coverage of the situation. Guardian says this pretty much derails the peace talks between Pakistan and the Pakistan Taliban.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Autopsy of a botched lethal injection execution

Diaz's left arm had an 11-by-7 inch chemical burn from the lethal drugs. By the time the autopsy began, the superficial skin had sloughed off, revealing white subcutaneous skin.
On December 13, 2006, the state of Florida botched the lethal injection of Angel Diaz. The execution team pushed IV catheters straight through the veins in both his arms and into the underlying tissue. As a result, Diaz, who was convicted of murder in 1986, required two full doses of the lethal drugs, and an execution scheduled to take only ten to 15 minutes lasted 34. It was one of the worst botches since states began using lethal injection in the 1980s, and Jeb Bush, then the governor of Florida, responded with a moratorium on executions. New Republic

A reddit discussion on Al Qaeda

The point of Al Qaeda, as laid out by Bin Laden, is not a single group with a single goal, but as the Arabic translation plainly tell us, to be "the base" for multiple related but not 100% similar groups, causes, and goals. This is NO single thing Al Qaeda wants because the is NO single Al Qaeda. There's Al Qaeda in Iraq (now fracturing into AQI and ISIS), there's Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQM), Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, also Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa. The original Afghanistan franchise is also still present with the remnants of the Taliban in the Pakistan Tribal areas. Plus these franchises, literally they are franchises, they use the Al Qaeda name and sometimes share finances/fighters but they have semi-independent leadership and act towards separate goals. reddit

Amazing interview with Bowe Bergdahls' father