Saturday, March 04, 2017

Stories below the fold

ACE comments: guess who was phoning in bomb threats against the Jewish centers?

it is like the story "The Boy who cried wolf": One of these days there will be a reeal scandal, and no one will believe them.


will Elon Musk beat China back to the moon? and who is paying for this?DavidReneke discusses....


Rogue one had major problems....

Rebel Intelligence bears no small part of the blame for the destruction of Task Force Rogue One for failing to properly vet their sources. Had Jyn been an accepted member of the intelligence community, Mon Mothma would have been able to rally the Rebel Alliance around the mission and give it the support that it needed. Hung out to dry, Task Force Rogue One stands as an example of the limits of operating by group consensus as a military organization and a warning against poor planning measures.

California is not the only place where drought was replaced by rain, causing flooding:

Zimbabwe calls for aid after 200 plus people died in floods.

 Mr Kasukuwere said nearly 2,000 people were homeless, 74 schools were damaged and 70 dams had burst.
the photo in the article is of one of their large concrete dams, but actually most of the dams are small earthen dams used for irrigation which I suspect did not get repaired due to lack of funds. We had one within walking distance of our hospital 40 years ago...

Zimbabwe, like the Philippines, has a wet and a dry season. Irrigation allows you a second crop in the dry season, and can save the crop in times of drought.

here we have a floods all the time, usually small floods but once in awhile the irrigation dams have broken and people were killed.

lego: Is there anything it can't do?

Women of NASA lego set.

The Women of NASA Lego set will include minifigures modeled after computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, mathematician Katherine Johnson, astronaut Sally Ride, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and astronaut Mae Jemison.
The Women of NASA Lego set will include minifigures modeled after computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, mathematician Katherine Johnson, astronaut Sally Ride, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and astronaut Mae Jemison.
Credit: Lego Ideas


Student recreate a keyhole shaped ancient tomb... in legos.

Half of it was covered with white bricks to simulate what the tomb may have looked like when it was built. The other half was covered in green bricks to represent the trees that now grow over the mound. A stone coffin, swords, and glassware were placed inside the model. “Our (model) burial mound ended up being more realistic than we had ever thought,” said engineering student Satoshi Osako,


the Met continues to put their books on line: Today's offering is on on gardens and flower paintings in Chinese art.

Librivox has a download of Korean Folk tales: The warn they are not for the faint hearted.

Hmm. sounds like the forerunner of Train to Busan..


StrategyPage has an article on Arab culture. As in tribal loyalty, no middle class, and rote learning. These things were lifesaving in times of chaos and war, but now stand in the way of modernization.

and don't blame Islam: it is culture:

 Entrepreneurs, often non-Arab Moslems, often handle a lot of the maintenance. This is still a problem throughout the Middle East, where the oil rich nations have most of their non-government operations staffed by foreigners.

we see some of these problems here in the Philippines: Only recently has the middle class started to thrive, and the American education system that stressed practical jobs, not rote learning of philosophy etc, has made it possible for ordinary Filipinos to find work overseas. A million Filipinos work in the gulf region, for example, and put their kids through school.

25 years ago, on visiting the village where our farm is located, I saw a sign in a shop: Long distance cellphone calls to Saudi Arabia here.

One result is that they were able to build decent houses, get a TV set, and pay school fees.

So now, the elders are often selling their fields which they "bought" after land reform, either to Balikbayan, who then hire tenant farmers from other (poorer) provinces to grow rice, or to people from Manila to build a "second house" to get away from the city on weekends.

Did I tell you that Joy visited Dubai with the government's organic farmers association to see if they could sell products there? They may have to get the food inspected before they get and a lot a contract: a lot of local packaged food, including from American/European companies (who often manufacture locally) sell food with Halal stickers. And they have the food information in several languages (Thai, Indonesian, Arab, and two versions of Chinese, since much of the Chinese diaspora speak Cantonese).

we are getting more Muslims in our area: Many have small kiosks. I presume they are from the south, but of course we also have those who converted/reverted after working in Saudi. The women are easy to identify due to their veils, but except for the veils usually dress like everyone else: Slacks (jeans) and a loose teeshirt.

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