OMG ! how much more sillier can they get! Just have a look at the Apple nerds waiting in line, pitching tents, even trying to sell their reserved seats for a price, waiting for the heaven sent manna of a phone. Engadget went live blogging and clicked pix of these amazing nutroots waiting for their iphones and reported on the hype and hoopla surrounding it.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Zimbabwe’s inflation is already 4,530% - the highest rate in the world. As if this is not shocking enough, it is predicted that it could reach 1,500,000% by the end of the year. Is this for real ? What an astounding figure! The country is battling its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1980, with unemployment estimated at 70%. It is slated for collapse in 6 months.
Business quotes were now valid for just one day or even an hour,according to financial consultants
Individuals are only allowed to withdraw one and a half million dollars at a time from the bank - even if they have just deposited a hundred times that amount the same day. The bank charges a 'handling fee' for the withdrawal of amounts of one and a half million dollars or less but you can cannot withdraw more without applying for permission from the Reserve Bank in Harare.
You have to stand in a queue in the bank for four days in a row - each day drawing out the maximum amount, each day paying the 'handling fee," in order to purchase one tank of fuel for your car . Three days of maximum withdrawals will give you enough for one filling at the dentist. By the time you've got enough money together, the prices will have gone up again.
Read more such heartrending stories by Cathy Buckle the author of 'African Tears'.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Is the Russian Federation out to grab the Arctic landmass?
The Arctic North Pole is not owned by any country.Russians are now laying claim to the Lomonosov ridge whose bed is filled with tons of natural gas and oil.
How is such a claim possible? They are doing so by claiming that the structure of the continental shelf is similar to the geological structure within its territory.
The shelf is 200 meters deep and oil and gas would be easy to extract, especially with ice melting because of global warming.
Russia has the world's largest gas reserves. It is the second largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia. The Kremlin is keen to secure Russia's long-term hegemony over global energy markets, and to find new sources of fuel.
This post has been updated. Check this latest article on Russia planting its flag on the polar sea bed.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
And this time its car tires which have less rubber in their innards and hence more prone to getting heated up and bursting at high speeds. ’Made in China’ is now becoming a euphemism for ’Watch Out- Use at your own Risk’.
Watch the Chinese Brilliance BS6 sedan (made in China under the name of Zhonghua)failing the European car crash test,using Euro NCAP guidelines,at just 40m/h(64Km/h) and is aptly named bullshit by the uploader of this video.Predictably, that crappy car failed the test and got just one star rating for its dismal safety standards.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Click on the image to see a clearer image of your gas bill divvied up. The bulk of the amount goes to the major oil companies like Aramco,Exxon and others. Profits are awesome and therefore wars will be fought for oil gains in middle eastern countries till our dependence on it comes down.
Source: Reader's Digest
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The trend in nicknaming operations is nothing new and has been around since WW1 times. However, the incidence of naming of US military operations has gone up considerably in recent times and its focus has shifted toward shaping domestic and international perceptions about the activities the particular operation understakes.
A whole list of code names like Operation Allah,Operation Brutus,Operation Cave Dweller is listed here.Take a look at Jon Stewart having a go at it as well. Soon they will run out of fancy names if the never ending war goes on perpetually.
Some good olè fun for a world gone weary.I wouldnt be surprised if this happens, though. Some time back there was the news that he was to convert to Catholicism. That was no spoof however. But that news seems to have died its natural death.
Prime Minister Tony Blair is to convert to Islam once he leaves office, it has been announced. A spokesman said "Tony has always been interested in Islam and has many Moslem friends in other countries, such as President Mubarak of Egypt and more recently General Gaddafi of Libya."
The BBC has denied that it plans to produce a version of the "X Factor" called "X Snip", to find the person who will perform the circumcision on Mr. Blair..
Friday, June 22, 2007
Apple's iphone is scheduled for release on the 29th of this month. Their official advertisements are already making the rounds of airwaves. One of the new add-ons on the iPhone is the integration of YouTube video site. Watch the iPhone ad below.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The internet has become a repository of knowledge and information which I think every person has a right to access. Nobody has a right to put any limits on this process.
However, many countries with oppressive regimes or totalitarian governments are trying to shape their cyber culture by controlling the internet through filters that they feel is needed to stem and gag news and opinions which they fear can shape political expression which is not in their interest.
The best known among those countries exercising online censorship is China who is trying to shape public opinion based on communist and socialist ideas.
In Russia, the FSB(formerly known as KGB) has a software in place that requires all ISPs to route their incoming and outgoing data via FSB computers. Even Australia, to some extent, has regulated its internet content.It is estimated that almost 40 countries use censorship and the practice is spreading.
Reporters Without Borders published an interactive map showing the “black holes” of communication – countries which have in one way or another censored the ’net.
And here is the shocker for me. My humble domain is blocked in China.I tested it on GreatFirewallofChina.org and saw the result.I reckon China has no use for my candid thoughts and insights. You can check any site on it and see if its blocked.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
O J Simpson, the controversial ex-footballer and actor is in the news yet again. He had authored a book called "If I Did It" which is his fictional first person account of the murder of his ex-wife had he done it ,but the publication of this sensational book was stalled by the publisher Harper Collins(a division of Newscorp,owned by Rupert Murdoch).
Now,TMZ.com, a celeb website has obtained a copy of the infamous manuscript.Here is a link to that article. The link is alive as of now but I am not sure if it will go dead soon.
Meanwhile, the Goldmans who are due to receive the proceeds of the books are enraged at the leak of the manuscript which is available for download in file sharing sites. They are planning to take legal action against TMZ. The saga will continue...
The following is a transcript of the book:
I'm going to tell you a story you've never heard before, because no one knows this story the way I know it. It takes place on the night June 12, 1994, and it concerns the murder of my ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her young friend, Ronald Goldman. I want you to forget everything you think you know about that night because I know the facts better than anyone.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Green burial? Makes you think, doesnt it?
I came across this article in yahoo pages and the news set me thinking.
Yes, arent we, with our burials increasing our carbon footprint on this earth?
The most modern way of disposing of bodies now in advanced countries is through cremation ( though it has long been practised in places like India for millenias). However, cremation in the west is burning of the deceased alongwith the casket which eats up a lot of fossil fuel and spews out enough gases and smoke to increase the carbon content of the atmosphere.
For those preferring a green burial,instead of a traditional one, the new alternative, that they can make a choice about is the eco-friendly burials where the dead will be buried in an area of land inside a bio-degradable coffin, made from pine wood or even cardboard, and having no metal attachments like handles and plaques and no polish,veneer and plastic. One can also opt for a tree to be planted overground after being laid to rest in the soil.This can preserve our environment and wildlife and be an inspiring wooded area in contrast to precious real estate being eaten up by rows and rows of characterless headstones, many of them crumbling and broken, many others unkempt and all of them squashed into a faceless cemetery or an overcrowded graveyard.
A green burial is also less expensive considering that you dont have to use all that crafted or detailed casket with its cloth linings and the expense involved in the making of a gravestone and gravelining and the use of formaldehyde to delay decomposition. With a green burial, both casket and body will decompose within 6 to 10 months.
You could be also opt for being cremated and buried at sea. Companies offering Sea Burial will help you organize a beautiful, peaceful service in idyllic surroundings.For the not-so sqeamish ones, there is also the choice of excarnation (literally means removal of flesh)which is practised by Zoroastrians (a persian religious sect) who are known as parsis in India who leave their dead on towers where vultures come and feast on the body!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Bilderberg Club,formed in 1954,is an international decision making Club named after Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands.So, what is so important about this Group?
Some say it shapes world politics because the movers and shakers of the world are its members. It has as its members (all members are from developed countries)former US president Bill Clinton, soon-to-be ex PM Tony Blair,Paul Wolfowitz,NATO Secretary-General and countless others which includes even royalty. Bankers, ship-owners, industrialists and higher civil servants also are part of it.Every year, the list also includes important "media people" from influential outlets such as The Financial Times, Washington Post, The Economist, The Times,and other top newspaper groups which mould public opinion through their editorials and news articles. The picture becomes complete with CEOs from the world's biggest companies such as Coca-Cola, Fiat, Suez-Tractebel, Royal Dutch Shell,Nokia and British Petroleum. They collect information and transmit it to the centres. The Bilderberg Group is an "unofficial annual invitation-only conference of around 130 guests" (Wikipedia). The Club today controls 33% of the world's wealth.
The Committee meets secretly (so secret that no cell phones are allowed during their stay and meeting, no getting out of the hotel,no notes and no interviews) and discusses world affairs of importance to it and its decision is sealed in a special envelope which is then given to the Bilderberg Club Presidents. The presidencies approve the decision almost 99% of the time.
This year this club held its annual meeting in Istanbul,Turkey and stayed at the Ritz Carlton hotel. Their meeting concluded on the 3rd and was held for 3 days as is their usual practice. It is a widely held opinion that the main topic of Bilderberg 2007 was Iran and the inclusion or otherwise of Turkey into the European Union.
Wonder what turn-key decisions were made there and which is to be implemented by their respective regimes!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
A gadget that doubles as a Bluetooth GPS receiver and a navigator and a route recorder.That is one cool all in all.It is also integrated with Google Earth for the route recording.You can also tag where your travel photos were snapped along the way.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Suspicion knows no bounds. The pic on the left shows a Hamas militant in the Passport processing area at the Rafah Border Crossing in the Gaza strip.
Gaza city was taken over by the militant Hamas yesterday after a big bloodbath killing many Fatah loyalists. Sad to see Palestinians now fighting against each other but it is an awful reality and with the increase in the internecine fighting and civil unrest,Israel seems to have its job cut out for them!
The video shown below is a footage of the Gaza arms bazaar.RPGs, AK47s, hand grenades handled even by kids and out for easy sale.
Reports say that North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il is seriously ill.He has disappeared from public view for the past month and this has led to speculation and concern about a post-Kim North Korea.
If true, it would be very big news, as it opens up the possibility of the regime's collapse, a flood of refugees to neighboring countries, a bloody power struggle, or even a nuclear war in the case of a hardline military faction coming to power. Usually when high-ranking North Korean officials are sick, they seek the help of Russian doctors as it risks news leakage and because they know the public can be kept in the dark. The very fact that it was apparently leaked this time proves that Kim must apparently be not so sick.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Dr.Brady Barr,National Geographic Reptile Expert,studies wild crocodiles in their habitat. He wore a special 80 pound “croc suit” consisting of a protective metal cage covered by a Disguise that took the intrepid zoologist into the crocodiles' lairkevlar shield,and topped off with a life like latex cape built by engineers at National Geographic for his weird walk into the reptilian land to attach a data logger in real time onto the tails of the crocodiles for study of their natural environs.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
This fun video with a Paris Hilton body double singing about her angst in the corrections facility has been viewed (as of writing this) a whopping 3,202,650 times and clocked in 10,750 comments already. And all this in just six days from the time the video was added on the 6th of this month proving its high ratings on the popularity chart. The California Prison official running after her looks suspiciously like the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. Or is it just my imagination running riot?
Monday, June 11, 2007
Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine had taken out an advertisement in the Washington Post a week back and had offered a million dollars for proof of an affair with any high ranking U.S senator or official. Read my earlier post about this.
According to him, he has netted in around 200 tips so far and is expecting to see some results soon after his team's investigation. Watch this space for more spice on this!
This Muslim cleric in Sydney,Australia is no advocate of peace! Watch him abuse some comedian whom he assumed to be a journalist. According to the mufti, women who dont wear the islamic headdress are like uncovered meat(sic!)
The Outspoken Muslim leader has stood down as Australia's Mufti. He declined to accept another term in the top Islamic post,which he has held since 1988.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
An advertisement for Pakistani weaponry systems? Wonder if the Taliban and the ISI backed terrorist outfits are its valued customers!
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, a military analyst,has written a book titled 'Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy' in which she details about the role of the military in transforming the Pakistani society, and the armed forces becoming an independent class entrenched in the corporate sector and their five giant welfare foundations, or conglomerates, running thousands of businesses ranging from petrol pumps to industrial plants.As per reports,the list of industries, where military or ex-military and its officials, were in charge included steel mills, sugar factories, cement factories, fertilizer factories, cereal factories, banks, logistics companies, construction companies, utilities, even universities and other higher education institutions.She has estimated the net worth of the army’s commercial empire at Rs 200 billion.
As per an article in the Hindu Newspaper, the `Milbus’(combining the words military and business) perpetuates the military’s political predatory style.She defines Milbus as military capital used for the personal benefit of the military fraternity.
The author says that the military establishment is trying to disrupt her life and her official book launch in Pakistan. The launch was subverted at various locations by the officialdom but it finally went ahead at a small private office almost in virtual sanctuary on the 1st of June.
The book's publication certainly comes at a sensitive time for the military-led government and for Gen.Parvez Musharraf who is fighting a losing battle with internal strife.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Experts cast doubt on the JFK airport terror plot which, the US authorities say, could have caused unfathomable damage, deaths, and destruction. They have charged four alleged Islamic radicals with conspiracy to cause an explosion at the airport.
But,according to the experts, it would have been next to impossible to cause an explosion in the jet fuel tanks and pipeline. And what is more mysterious is that the plotters seem to have lacked the explosives and financial backing to carry out the attack.
Now, according to latest reports, Huda Ibrahiim,daughter of Amir Kareem Ibrahiim, one of four men accused of plotting acts of terrorism against the United States, said US justice officials and an FBI informant in particular had engaged in their entrapment and in breaking up the alleged plot to give a boost to the falling fortunes and image of the Republican Party. According to her, the four suspects were set up in an elaborate plan by the party to retain their hold of the White House.
Cannot put it past the Republicans in being involved in a deceptive and smarmy charade like this given their track record and their murky dealings in the various shenanigans from and including the as yet unsolved 9/11 questionable plots,the Iraqi WMD affair,and many more too numerous to detail here.
Watch this hilarious spoof by a straight-faced Robert De Niro in a Craig Fenson press conference.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
If you have got something to hide or some sleazy place to go to, beware! Google Maps can catch you in the act of going in or coming out of those secret hideouts and put your view on cyberspace for all to see! See some funny street sightings here.
The prayer supplications that fill the air in Israel's holy sites are coming not just from those standing at the Western wall,the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and other shrines but from worshippers thousands of miles away.
A unique Prayer Delivery Service enables one to send recorded audio and video prayers across to the Holy Land. Send your prayer for Health, matchmaking and livelihood-directly to holy sites in Israel- claims this unique Israeli startup called POIP(Pray Over Internet Protocol)
The company sells phone cards that let customers record personal prayers in any language, which are then transmitted in their own voice to the site of their choice (there are at present eight Jewish and Christian holy sites selected by the site)via embedded webcams and Internet phone speakers. Visitors to POIP's site can also watch live video streams of the various sites reports The Wall Street Journal.
Got to hand it to the Israelis who come up with novel ways of making money.As long as there are suckers who go in for such things, the world is full of such proselytisers.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Any idea what this is besides the all too familiar five ring logo and the word london?
Looks to me like some weird twisted alphabets or a ramshackle building about to collapse!
But this is supposed to be the much brainstormed logo of the London 2012 olympic games and the disjointed pieces of the emblem stand for the year 2012. The design has costed taxpayers a whopping £400,000. What a waste of taxpayers' money.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
The revered Washington Post does not seem to mind posting a risquê ad for Hustler magazine. In its Sunday edition today,Hustler magazine's Larry Flynt has taken out a full page ad that has given a call to anyone who can come forward with proof of an illicit affair with a member of Congress or any other highly elected or appointed official.
Asking a provocative "Have you had a sexual encounter with a current member of the United States Congress or a high-ranking government official ?",it has offered $1 million for documented evidence of the illicit liaison! A toll-free number and e-mail address have also been provided.