Saturday, February 19, 2005


Intervention Time...

Somebody need to sit down Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister of Thailand, because he's been making some bad decisions.

First, his adminstration ignored a warning about the recent tsunami to protect the tourism industry. That's at least somewhat defensible, as there had been false alarms in the past. What's more alarming is that this sort of thinking appears to be more widespread. Apparently, his administration is taking no action against bird flu in order to stave off panic. Not the best move.

Here are two ways to respond to such a crisis:

A) Pretend it's not happening.
This is what China did when SARS emerged. Consequently, it spread across the globe.

B) Take swift action to stop and contain the pathogen.
This is what Hong Kong did in 1997, thereby halting the developement of a bird flu pandemic.

Thailand is choosing option A. When you consider that so far the virus has a fatality rate of 75%, and could kill 2-100 million people by conservtive estimates, or even 1 billion people by an extreme scenario, this just doesn't seem like the best reasoning. If anybody reading this knows Thaksin, try and talk some sense into the guy.
Final Days of the Last Nazi Hunter

Friday, February 18, 2005


The Other Side of Iran

If you've ever been puzzled by the fact that Iran elected a progressive President with 70% of the vote, and yet the country remains controlled by hardline conservatives, Green Mind explains it here. If you weren't aware that Iran was more than a fundamentalist theocracy, take a look through the archives, or research the topic more. I've been continually surprised...

Bill Clinton commented on the same issue in a February 11th interview with Charlie Rose.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Mangled Language

If you've grown tired of laughing over the linguistic foibles of the President, then you might want to check out Hanzi Smatter. This blog uncovers the real meaning of Chinese characters on Western objects and tattoos. Good if you don't want something like "The Mother Ten Thing Are Expensive" on your neck. {link via Boing Boing}

Another site, Engrish, has photos of misused English.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The 48 Laws of Power
This is a neo-Machiavellian list of ways to gain power. A lot of the suggestions are borderline sociopathic, but if you think of most powerholders, it all makes sense.
Robert Pinksy on Love Poems

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