Friday, April 04, 2003

A couple of more things:

"We didn't want to spoil everyone's happy time. You can imagine how people would have reacted if we had told them about the disease. They wouldn't eat out, nor would they go shopping or get together with family members and friends."

-- Guangdong Health Department official Feng Shaomin explaining why Chinese authorities did not alert the public to the SARS outbreak during the Chinese New Year.
As reported by the UN Wire on April 3, 2003

Yesterday's Washington Post has a very good article on al Jazeera. It was seriously very good, but I thought this excerpt merited posting:

Al Jazeera has also angered various Arab governments by covering dissident groups and allowing talk show guests to denounce Arab rulers. Frequently, the Arab rulers respond by closing al Jazeera's bureaus.

It happened in Jordan last August, when Asad Abukhalil-- a Lebanese American political science professor and a self-described "sarcastic secular lefty atheist"-- appeared on an al Jazeera talk show and suggested that Jordan's King Abdullah II is lying when he claims to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.

After that, the Jordanian government closed al Jazeera's Amman office, the Jordanian media denounced Anukhalil and his Jewish ex-wife, and demonstrators burned his picture.

"I loved it," Abukhalil says.

(Washington Post, Style Section, 040303)

And if you needed any more reminders how pathetic and strident the conservative "movement" is, take a look at this new product. At least their immature flavor names show that their positions are all just a bunch of fat and crushed ice.

More as it develops.

Your first child: $1,170

Your second child: $1,450

Any subsequent children: $1,920 each.

Saving your country from demographic collapse: Priceless.

This is why I love studying Russia so much!

More soon!

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Apparently a UH-60 was shot down over Iraq and has just been announced by the military. Taking bets on how many daily newspapers use "Blackhawk Down" as their frontpage headline. Perhaps the movie studios would influence that, though.

Even though I had two alarms set, I managed to sleep through until about 3pm this afternoon. Understandable given my working for 36+ hours beforehand and time zone switch. Fortunately, my boss is gone for the week and the office manager (the only other one in the office today) is really cool.

On my connecting flight to BWI from Cleveland, I sat next to a couple and their two children. The couple are musicians and will be performing at the Library of Congress tomorrow (thurs) evening. They described their music as "medieval woodwind"-- should be very interesting and I thought I should give them an admittedly small bit of advertisement. Their info is up on the performance part of the LOC website. Anyone else interested in giving this a whirl? Their two children (3 and 6mo) are very cute and well behaved (though the 3 yr old occasionally acted as 3 yr olds will).

Well, time to hit the sack--

Parting question inspired by supermarket aisle markers out here in the East-- adult entertainment:porn :: adult cereal: ??

Wednesday, April 02, 2003


Finally made it back into DC yesterday, trying to deal with the jet lag and the fact that I've been working for about 36 hours straight. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the stuff I have to catch up both here (the world hasn't changed from its usual insanity), at work and otherwise. After not having internet access for a while (how does Verizon keep in business without really providing any service?), I've got a bunch of stuff scribbled on the back of pieces of scratch paper, like usual, just waiting to be organized into a cohesive thought or two.

But of immediate importance is a computer emergency: I've started getting a blue error screen saying "kernel_stack_inpage_error" and it prompts a "physical dump of memory." Sometimes when I reboot, I get the message "no bootable devices found" but it will work fine if rebooted again. I know this is pretty bad, but the problem is just above my experience and I need more than anything to know what to do about it. Help would be greatly appreciated.

Well, gotta go--

Will write (a lot) more soon.