Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stuff below the fold

Ottoman History podcast discusses how Malaria has impacted history LINK


 US Jails are full of petty drug pushers, but what about banks who launder money and pretend not to notice? Discussion at C2C...


Mother Jones is pro nuke? can you say "Thorium" children?


The DNA evidence suggests that India's caste system predates the Aryan invasion. ---------------------------------------
Violence as a health problem?

And this NYTimes article on why younger people die notes:
Car accidents, gun violence and drug overdoses were major contributors to years of life lost by Americans before age 50...

But the dirty little secret is that such deaths are not equal in all groups, as I point out in my BNN rant.

Even PBS Frontline admits gun laws don't stop criminals from getting guns, often from crooked dealsers or on the black market.

New Book: The Crushing of Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain.

When you read about Chinese wonderfulness, just remember this factoid:
last year, 160,000 officials were punished for corruption or other forms of misbehavior and that $1.24 billion was recovered (less than $20,000 per corrupt official). This makes it clear that nearly all those punished were low ranking government workers. Some senior officials were exposed (usually in Western media) last year as having illegally gained billions of dollars via corruption. These studies estimate that families of senior officials control wealth equal to a fifth of the annual Chinese GDP

Of course, we have these things here in the Philippines, where today's big story is the 9 billion pesos in gifts to Solons...

As for "touchy feely" religion: Yup...we have that too: 9 million managed to attend the Black Nazarene procession which shut down Manila yesterday.

The reason behind the devotion is that Asians tend to show a concrete cultural expression of devotion. 

 Centralia is still burning...does anyone care? 
yes there are technical problems in putting out these firesbut the real reason is lack of money (read not a priority...)
Centralia's is only one of hundreds of coal fires going around the world, according to Earth Magazine. In fact, there are 37 other mine fires in the commonwealth alone. China loses between 100 million and 200 million tons of coal each year to mine fires, as much as 20 percent of the nation's annual production, according to the story.

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