Thursday, May 09, 2013

Stuff below the fold

Here, they buy votes for 200 pesos (five dollars), although here, with the murdering mayor's daughter running, our cook says the bribe to vote the party line is 2000 pesos.

But that's a third world phenomenum, right?

Gay Caswell, an ex MP says no: it's a way of life for the "indigenous" in Canada:
We saw that watching Liberal stalwarts marshall the troops for NDP  Doyle Vermette . For at least two weeks before the election day, dependable people from northern communities were stationed in La Ronge where they were given booze, dope, money for food and lodging. They voted Left and often and got their relatives and friends to do the same. Probably every person voted at every advance poll at least one. Most went home well stocked with booze and drugs  to do the same on election day.  Doyle Vermette is in the Legislature today because of sustained massive violations of the Election Act and sustained massive violations of the Criminal Code
drug laws.
    How can any political campaign afford the drugs and booze that is freely distributed at election time? Where do they get these drugs? Why are there never charges and prosecutions?

Although I worry about her: Canada has a strong libel law, and she named names...the last time she did that, her blog was taken down and she was fined for libel (but apparently no investigation of her charges was done).

Brown out yesterday is routine in the hot/dry season, since we get a lot of our electric power from hydroelectric plants, which run low in water about now. (until the monsoon arrives in early June).

They had a major brownout in Manila yesterday, which is part of the "rolling brownout" strategy.

The bad news? we have electronic voting machines....and the election is this week...

 To prevent fraud (i.e. stuffed ballot boxes full of fake votes) we have switched to voting machines (presumably the politicians haven't figured out how to reprogram the machines yet, and the ballots, which require punching your decision, require more time and energy to fake and are also counted manually to double check what is going on).

So will the rolling brownouts mess up the election?


A mask that lets you block out sound so that the unidirectional microphone can point to the sound you need.

What I can't figure out is why they need a mask, which some of us with agorphobia wouldn't tolerate, when simple ear plugs would do.

they also say they have a similar "mask" for the eyes so you can concentrate on what you want to see...


FYI: AngryBirds Multi device syncing now available.

happy birthday? Spam mail turns 35

Hollywood's perfect timing: Nostalgic film about terrorism is released right in time for the Marthon bombing.

Volcanos can be dangerous: Link to a BBC special on how even scientists get it wrong.

YouTube Link

The bad news is that the Mayon explosion that killed the hikers last week was not a  magna eruption, but overheated water exploding, so there was no warning.

Ender's game: The trailer is now available.

the problem? Ender was 8, not near puberty...

Ruby noticed the same thing in Percy Jackson film: They made Percy an older teen, not the 12 year old in the book.

I wrote awhile back about the problem of making underaged teens as military heroes: Indeed, children are easy to program as killing machines, as every third world dictator knows, and they are hard to "deprogram" into civilian life when the war stops (one of my friends in Zimbabwe helped work in a program that did this).


more news about pacifiers: adults who "clean" them by sucking on them may be helping their kids have fewer allergies.
but I suspect it is bad data based on population bias...


Stephen King supports gun control, and even pulls a short story about a teenager who shoots up a classroom because he is angry.

Uh, isn't it a little late for the author of Carrie to come out against teenagers using violence against bullies? 

 Ironically, if someone had a gun and shot Carrie when she was setting the prom on fire, maybe a lot of kids wouldn't have been killed in that novel/story...


Hmmm...Everyone on earth is related to everyone else...

The "WAGD" article of the day: The SARS like virus that killed several people in Saudi has now been found in France in a man who had visited the UAE...

StrategyPage has the background for Israel's bombing of weapons in Syria

and this article on Algeria points out the tribal differences behind some of the conflicts may have a religious twist:
There was also a religious element to the hostility as the local Berbers belong to a Shia sect. Algerians Arabs tend to be Sunni and Sunni conservatives consider Shia heretics. An increasing number of Berbers are also converting to Christianity, as a protest against the continued persecution of Berbers. This further infuriates the Sunnis. The government says that only 11,000 (out of 34 million) Algerians are Christian. But Christian religious leaders say the number is 30,000 and growing fast, especially among Berbers. The government fears these Berber Christians and Berbers in general. The Berbers, a people related to the ancient Egyptians, were the original occupants of Algeria. Arab armies conquered the country over a thousand years ago, but, unlike other Arab conquests, most Berbers did not adopt Arab language and customs. Today, about a third of Algerians are Berbers, and speak the Berber language, Tamazight.

 Wikpedia article notes that the Protestants are making converts there (although only a tiny percentage of the population)  however, given that these are Protestants, one wonders if it will spread quietly, using the mem of the underground house churches as is happening in China.

Refworld has more HERE. about the prosecution of local Christians... more HERE.


The story behind the reason the Pope is declaring the martyrs of Otranto as saints

maybe because, like Thermopolae and the Alamo, they slowed an invasion so that the main army could be gathered to stop them...

and it mentions Vlad the Impaler as another "christian" prince who stopped the Turkish invasion of eastern Europe...and it mentions the Serbian struggle against the Turks: which is one reason why Russia resented Clinton bombing Serbia...

headsup IdleSpeculationsblog.

Quickbeam at TORN presents his favorite Tolkien quotes.
my favorite wasn't there, but is this one:

“But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.
He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said”

Why? Because destroying the ring was not about glory and power, but about letting ordinary folks live their ordinary lives in peace...

Factoid: In the film, Jackson casted Sean Astin's daughter and Sarah Mcloed's daughter as her son...

and of course, in the book, Sam grew up with her brothers and knew her for years: she helped at their farm, and was not a barmaid (Jackson's invention to simplify the story)...

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