Sunday, September 30, 2007

Brushing off uncomfortable questions - Bush style

There are now almost 200,000 private contractors deployed in Iraq by the Washington administration. The US military forces in Iraq are now outsized by a coalition of billing private corporations whose actions and crimes go largely unmonitored and unpunished.
When questioned about how his government is proposing to bring private military contractors under a system of law, President Bush laughs it off and acts dumb!

Friday, September 28, 2007


Quotes that reflect the incredulous ignorance(supposed or actual)and arrogance and do not dignify comments:

I'm probably one of the four or five best-known Americans in the world.

-Former New York Mayor and Republican Presidential candidate,Rudy Giuliani.

In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this.

-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University in response to a question about the recent execution of two gay men in Iran.

I know that there are two countries in Europe;they are making condoms with the [HIV] virus on purpose. They want to finish the African people. This is the programme. They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century's time.

-Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, head of the Catholic church in Mozambique.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Floating Nuclear Power Plant

The world's first floating nuclear power plant will be commissioned in 2011 in Russia's Arctic. Russia started building this in April this year and hopes to market it to other countries too.The power plants are expected to be widely used in remote regions with power shortfalls, and also in the implementation of projects requiring stand-alone and uninterrupted electricity supplies in the absence of a developed power grid.

Each such unit can provide electrical energy that is enough for a city with a population of 200,000 people.

Wall Street Journal had put up a video in its site which is a promotional ad for the sale of such nuclear plants by a former vodka salesman from Russia who says he spent six years in prison! The stuff they sell these days!

Bush's teleprompter

Gaffe-prone Prez Bush's phonetic guide to pronouncement of names of foreign places and names. He may need a dead or alive guide too. Mandela will second that.

More on this funny episode here

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dangerous - Less or more of sleep

Medical researches are in constant flux and new studies keep cropping up time and again to confound us. It had been a long-held opinion that reduced sleep led to heart ailments.Even small reductions in sleep, they say, over time, may put people at increased risk for cardio-vascular diseases.
According to Reuters,although the reasons are unclear,lack of sleep appeared to be linked to increased blood pressure, which is known to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

But if lack of sleep is dangerous, so is excess sleep. Yahoo news
has published a study about how sleeping too much, just like sleeping too little, could be linked to a person's risk of an early death.Those who were able to increase how long they slept for up to 8 hours or more a night were also more than twice as likely to die as those who had not changed their sleeping rituals at all.

The optimum amount may just be what lies in between-about 7 hours of sleep per night.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Caves found on Mars

Very dark and almost circular-shaped caves have been spotted by NASA satellites on the surface of planet Mars that appear to be openings to underground spaces.Entrances to seven caverns,nicknamed the "Seven Sisters" by researchers,have been found on the slopes of a high Martian volcano called Arsia Mons.

They may be at least 100m deep and the only natural structures capable of protecting life from meteor strikes, radiation and solar flares that bombard the Red planet's surface.According to researchers,caves in this area could have been created by volcanic stresses and faults opening underground spaces, with portions of the weakened roofs ultimately falling in.

A whole new perspective is opening up in the continued exploration of the martian land mass,with the discovery of flowing-water like ridges (which turned out to be landslide rideges) earlier on and now this.

Source:The Register
Image source:NASA

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Home Improvements

This is mainly for readers in the UK but the site is worth a look for those interested in home improvement stuff.
Many of us would like to own a nice house or if we already own one, we would like to make periodic changes to it to suit our changing needs.We would like to add stuff which makes our stay in the house as pleasant as possible because after all a home is not a home till you feel comfortable staying in it.If you own a house in the UK and are planning on making home improvements to it, check out Anglianhome which has been around for more than 36 years and has a range of quality products which are both attractive and reliable.

Anglian has a large selection of products like windows,doors,conservatories,garage doors,driveways and other stuff that can greatly enhance the look of your home. All of their windows and doors are done in elegant style and design. They are manufactured to a high standard and are customised to your requirements.The best value added service you can fine is their offer of a 10 year guarantee.

Anyone looking to make some basic home improvements should check out Anglican Home Improvements on their toll free number and get a free quote to start with.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Faith keeping in Zero Gravity

And now, a booklet with rules for proper conduct during Ramadan for Moslem astranauts in space! Moslems are required to pray five times a day. Why five times? According to the Islamic texts, Prophet Mohammed flew (on a donkey like animal)from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there ascended to heaven. He was escorted by Moses through seven heavens into the presence of God. There, at Moses instigation, Muhammad pleaded with God to reduce the number of daily mandatory prayers from fifty to five!

Theoretically a Muslim would have to pray 80 times a day while staying in the space station as it circles the earth 16 times a day.But the guidelines have laid down that the astronaut need only pray five times a day, just as on Earth, and that the times should follow the location where the spacecraft blasted off from - in this case, Baikonur,in Russia.

More on these absurd rules here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How-to save time and gas

Seems a cool way to save time and gas if it really works as it says it does.

A quartet of first ladies!

Nigeria is a nation beset with problems due to inept governance. That should be no surprise with administrators such as this man who believes in the equitable distribution of rights :))

A NIGERIAN state governor has declined to resolve a row between his four wives over who is the official first lady, arguing that they can all take on the role.

Murtala Nyako's wives have been widely criticised in the media for arguing over who should represent north-eastern Adamawa state alongside the governor - a role that normally comes with perks such as official cars, staff and security guards.
"I am a Muslim and as such, all my wives have equal status. So far, I have not declared any one of them to be first lady," Nyako was quoted as saying.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Saudi Women DemandRequest Right to Drive

Its common knowledge that the female of the species is accorded a low position in Islamic society. They are treated as mindless creatures and its only in recent times that women are showing even a smattering of rebellion.

In Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the accession of King Abdallah Bin Abd Al-Aziz (arrogantly titled the Keeper of the Two Holy Sites),the League of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia, are delivering a message to King Abdallah,demanding that he return that which has been stolen from women: the right to [free]movement through the use of cars,[which are]the means of transportation today.

I wonder which of the two is more pitiable! The ban on women driving in Saudi or the meek deliverance of a request to drive! A sorry state of affairs indeed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bathroom stall - A Tourist destination?!

What's the latest tourist attraction in Minneapolis? No prizes for guessing! The infamous men's toilet stall where Sen.Larry Craig was caught doing his toe-tapping shenanigans is now famous and has been drawing crowds of photo-snapping tourists!

Says a store-owner "People have been going inside, taking pictures of the stall, taking pictures outside the bathroom door — man, it's been crazy."

For those visiting, the stall is by the Lottery shop, right next to the shoeshine shop :))

Via:USA Today

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blackwater,USA given the boot in Iraq!

The Interior Ministry of Iraq has revoked the license of Blackwater USA,the American security firm as its contractors have been blamed for a Sunday gunbattle in Baghdad that left eight civilians dead and intends to start criminal proceedings against the Company's staff. The killings reportedly occurred after a U.S. State Department convoy Blackwater was protecting came under attack in downtown Baghdad.

Established in 1997 and based in Moyock, North Carolina, Blackwater is one of many security firms contracted by the U.S. government for its Iraq war for guarding diplomats, reconstruction workers and government officials.

I checked to see their website for their side of the version but the site seems to be in major downtime and all it says is service unavailable!
The video posted below shows how this war profiteering has grown into what it is today.

Related Posts:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Water Purifying bottle

A water purifying bottle that makes even foul water drinkable!

Called the "Life Saver," it can purify upto 6,000 liters with one filter.Unlike most typical filters, which can eliminate only bacteria ,the purifying bottle removes even viruses as the filter takes out any matter above 15 nanometers.

The invention was inspired after its inventor, Michael Pritchard,watched the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Tsunami and the dismal supply of fresh water to these parts.

Secret Israeli nuclear compound

The Israelis are intolerant of Iran's growing nuclear capabilities. But if what this video shows is true, then Israel is the one that its neighbours have to be worried about. It details a huge nuclear compound with multiple facilities for building atomic and thermo-nuclear bombs. According to the video, Israel has been producing around 10 atom bombs a year from a long time now.

Mordechai Vanunu, who is mentioned in the video as the one providing the information, is an Israeli former nuclear technician who was convicted of treason as he revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons programme to the British press in 1986.He spent 18 years in prison and was released in 2004 and since then he has been briefly arrested several times for multiple violations of restrictions placed by the Israeli Government,including giving various interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. In July 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to a further six months imprisonment for speaking to foreigners and travelling to Bethlehem.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Northwest Passage melts

Global warming is presenting a global crisis in the arctic regions. With the Northwest Passage having now completely become ice free and opening up the feasibility of international shipping through it, yet another row is now developing in the region for the free international use of the route.

The Northwest Passage is an important geostrategic maritime route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through a myriad of northern Canadian islands.The passage lies between Canada and Greenland, above the Arctic Circle, but below the north polar icecap. Explorers and sea farers throughout the world have been fascinated by the possibility of shipping through this region to commercially link Europe to the Orient since it is a shorter route and they wont have to bypass the American Continent by the South(Cape Horn) or use the Panama Canal. In comparison to the route through the Panama Canal, the transportation of goods through the northern archipelago of Canada would save approximately 4000 km from Europe to the Far East. Unfortunately the Passage was not a commercially viable trading route due to the shallow waterways and, in particular, ice blockades. It was covered by ice for 10 months of the year.The ice melts only partially during the remaining two months of the year.
Global warming has now altered this reality!

Image Credit: Wiki Images

Canada claims to have complete sovereignty over the region encompassing the islands/waterways and asserts that it will exercise complete control over all activity in that specific region while America and the European Union maintain that it is an international strait.

Apart from the question of sovereign authority,the region is also ecologically sensitive and commercial travel could affect the biome of the place.Another concern is the pollution of the pristine waters of the North (which make up 10 per cent of the world’s freshwater) which could be turn out to be very valuable in times to come.The alteration of the arctic ecosystem has various long term consequences that will not only affect Canada, but the entire world.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cool Tool for checking out global terrorist activities

Clicking on this hyperlink will lead you to a page which is a mash up of google map with the latest terror happenings around the world in realtime. The map automatically reloads in about 8 minutes. Seems like a lot of bomb threats and other suspicious activities here in the US today.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A cover-up or not?

Are the 9/11 hijackers still alive? Was the entire tragedy an inside job? Nobody is certain though the conspiracy theorists do believe that it was so and truth be told, some of their assertions do seem very credible and raise valid and important questions for which there have been no satisfactory answers. Even the 9/11 Commission was hamstrung by official obstruction. It never managed to ascertain the whole truth of what happened on September 11 2001. The truth may lie somewhere in between. It may well go down in history shrouded in mystery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Father of all bombs!

An environmental-friendly bomb!

Russia today tested the world's most powerful thermobaric bomb,popularly known as vacuum bomb. Dubbed by the Russian military as the 'father of all bombs'(sic), it is four times more powerful and the temperature at the epicenter of its blast is two times higher than the American Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb - MOAB, also known under its name 'Mother of All Bombs.'

According to Russian reports,the bomb has no match in the world and does not contradict a single international treaty. The main destruction is inflicted by an ultrasonic shockwave and an incredibly high temperature.

Such devices generally detonate in two stages. First a small blast disperses a main load of explosive material into a cloud, which then either spontaneously ignites in air or is set off by a second charge.

Next to come: Grandmother or Grandfather of all bombs??


Monday, September 10, 2007

New middle east Project and redrawing of borders

The term "New Middle East" was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

What is the New Middle East Project?
The New Middle East project, which had been conceptualised and in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.It was introduced publicly by Washington and Israel in 2006. Its aim is the unleashing of forces of "constructive chaos" which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region- would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives. Its final envisaged conclusion is the 'balkanisation'(division)and finlandization (pacification)of the Middle East. It will also enable easier American entry into Central Asia where the ex-Soviet Republics like Azerbaijan,Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan,Georgia,Tajikistan and others are situated.

The concept of a redrawn Middle East has been presented as a "humanitarian" and "righteous" arrangement that would benefit the people of the Middle East and its peripheral regions.(so say the know-it-alls)

How is this Project being implemented?
Many of the problems affecting the contemporary Middle East are the result of the deliberate aggravation of pre-existing regional tensions. Sectarian division, ethnic tension and internal violence have been traditionally exploited and fostered by the Anglo-American Governments in various parts of the globe including Africa, Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle East.Israeli agenda is taken into consideration in aggravations in the Arab world. Long-standing economic, strategic and military objectives are hoped to be realised with this redrawing of the mid-east boundaries.

NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan has been successfully divided, all but in name. Animosity has been inseminated in the Levant, where a Palestinian civil war is being nurtured and divisions in Lebanon agitated. The Eastern Mediterranean has been successfully militarized by NATO. Syria and Iran are in imminent danger of being pre-emptively struck.Israel has recently tested Syrian airspace with its bombers making sorties there. The ethnic populations of Iraq cannot co-exist and there is widespread domestic strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

As long back as 2003, on the eve of the Iraq invasion, Syrian President had warned the arab world that the US had initiated a roadmap to redraw the borders of the Middle East starting with Iraq. Events there have now proved to us that Iraq has been put into a mindless chaos with sectarian interests and being exploited for its energy resources. The 'oil law' which is in the making is proof enough of that.
According to Damascus the capture of the two Israeli soldiers was merely used as a justification for the bombardment of Lebanon in 2006 by Israel and used as a “trump card” for a pre-planned war.Condoleezza Rice, triumphantly declared that the bombardment of Lebanon was the “birth pangs of a new Middle East”.

Click on map for an enlarged view

What does the redrawn map show?
Iraq with its three Sunni-majority provinces would be a truncated state that might eventually choose to unify with a Syria that loses its littoral to a Mediterranean-oriented Greater Lebanon. The Shia south of old Iraq would form the basis of an Arab Shia State rimming much of the Persian Gulf. Jordan would retain its current territory, with some southward expansion at Saudi expense. For its part, the unnatural state of Saudi Arabia would suffer as great a dismantling as Pakistan.A part of it consisting of its holy places would become a different state and a southeastern quadrant would go to Yemen. Confined to a rump Saudi Homelands Independent Territory around Riyadh, the House of Saud would be incapable of exerting its current considerable influence.

Iran would lose a great deal of territory to Unified Azerbaijan, Free Kurdistan, the Arab Shia State and Free Baluchistan, but would gain the provinces around Herat in today's Afghanistan — a region with a historical and linguistic affinity for Persia. Iran would, in effect, become an ethnic Persian state again.

What Afghanistan would lose to Persia in the west, it would gain in the east, as Pakistan's Northwest Frontier tribes would be reunited with their Afghan brethren.Pakistan,would also lose its Baluch territory to Free Baluchistan. The remaining "natural" Pakistan would lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near Karachi.

The city-states of the United Arab Emirates would have a mixed fate — as they probably will in reality. Some might be incorporated in the Arab Shia State ringing much of the Persian Gulf (a state more likely to evolve as a counterbalance to, rather than an ally of, Persian Iran).Kuwait would remain within its current borders, as would Oman.

Source: Globalresearch

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bush Bazaar!

Afghans have been in a constant state of flux because of armed aggressions against them and Taliban atrocities. And for the common man on the street, life has to be bent and suited to such changes.

Some Afghans in Kabul have realised the potential of commerce in American goods and put it to good use. They have set up stalls selling American made foodstuffs (including alcohol and pork-sausage laden meats!)and other items in a bazaar in a fenced plot of land near Kabul's presidential palace and aptly call it the "Bush Bazaar."

Named after the U.S. president, the market is where Afghans can buy cheaply priced supplies that apparently have been gleaned from foreign military bases.

Afghan law forbids Muslims from buying alcohol. But cases of beer -- somehow, apparently, taken out of foreign military bases or shops for foreigners -- also can be found at the Bush Bazaar.

Source: RFE/RL

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The rise and rise of military expenditure

Each year, countries are spending more and more on their military to acquire and enhance their fighting capabilities. So much so that there is a large gap between what countries are prepared to allocate for military means to provide security and maintain their global and regional power status, on the one hand, and to alleviate poverty and promote economic development, on the other.
Some facts about military expenditure that give pause for thought:

  • Global military expenditure and arms trade is in excess of over one trillion dollars annually and continues to rise.

  • This corresponds to 2.5 % of world GDP.

  • Nearly half of this total is of the US distantly followed by the UK, France, Japan and China with 4–5 % each.

  • High and rising world market prices of minerals and fossil fuels and economic growth are all factors contributing to increased military expenditure by governments.

  • The United Nations Budget is but a small fraction of total world military budget, approximately 2%.

  • Generally, compared to Cold War levels, the amount of military spending and expenditure in most nations has been reduced. But USA has,to a large extent, maintained its military spending close to cold war levels.

  • 41% of the US Taxpayer money goes towards current military spending and supporting U.S. military activities, including interventions, throughout the world.


    Wednesday, September 5, 2007

    Defiling of the holy book , or not

    These guys are real phonies. They kick up a huge load of protests and violent acts when the Quran was, supposedly, desecrated in Guantanamo but when it comes to their own dirty acts, they undergo temporary amnesia about the desecration bit and use the holy book for their unlawful ends. According to TheNews, drugs were stashed in cut-out pages of the Quran and smuggled! Way to go,hypocrites!

    Meanwhile, in Palestine, Hamas and Fatah are continuing the blame game about desecration of Islam and positioning themselves as defenders of the faith! Below is Hamas' accusation of Fatah in animation!

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    Russian steals a bridge!

    Russians are ingenious. Even their thieves are a class apart. A thief was apprehended for stealing a bridge!Unbelievable!

    A five-meter metal bridge over the Yaroslavka River was stolen, but the thief was successfully traced following a manhunt.Investigators said the 45-year-old suspect is believed to have dislocated the bridge in the region's Shilovo District and carried it away using a vehicle owned by the utilities company he works for. He then sawed it up, and intended to sell it to a scrap yard.

    Link:Russian News Agency

    Monday, September 3, 2007

    End to the era of paper airline tickets

    Airline paper tickets have been around for as long as we can remember. Reams of paper must be used up all over the world for air tickets . Thankfully, they will be a thing of the past and become a collector’s item as the Global airlines body IATA (International Air Transport Association)has officiated that its accredited members will fully upgrade to electronic paper-free ticketing from June 1st next year.The organisation, which has used etickets for three years said it had placed its last order for paper tickets.

    The move will save an untold numbers of trees and apparently $9 per passenger though there is no word on whether we'll see that $9. The e-ticket system actually provides a better and faster service to travellers and travel agents can serve customers remotely.

    Saturday, September 1, 2007

    Brazilian Bombers for Blackwater

    Blackwater, the private military contractor (read mercenary) force from North Carolina, who call themselves the most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.The five ton, single engine, single seat aircrafts are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work. Each aircraft can carry 1.5 tons of munitions.

    Blackwater already has a force of armed helicopters in Iraq, and apparently wants something a little faster, and more heavily armed, to fulfill its security contracts overseas. Why they need these offensive capabilities is anybody's guess.