Thursday, December 30, 2004

More Private American Donations Needed

Tsunami Aid

Australia is sending US$47 million with more to come. Australia has 20 million people (according to the CIA Fact Book).

Australia: $2.35 / person

The United States is sending US$35 million with more to come. The USA has 293 million people (according to the CIA Fact Book).

United States: $0.12 / person

While I am sure the US government will come through with more money than Australia, I think it is important that we show we care privately and individually.

CNN has a list of aid sites. Please pick one and send whatever you can NOW. Besides, whatever you send before December 31 is tax deductible for the current tax year. Sounds like a plan to me.

Sorry to obsess about the tsunami, but the death toll is higher than 40 September 11ths and the survivors need the help now.

Update: U.S. Boosts Tsunami Aid Tenfold to $350M. That brings us up to $1.19, but every bit of private help is still needed. Thanks. Happy New Year!

Some Say Mountain, but it is a Molehill

From the Guardian,

Jan Egeland - the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator and former head of the Norwegian Red Cross . . . question[ed] the generosity of rich nations. ``We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the rich countries,'' Egeland said Monday. ``And it is beyond me, why are we so stingy, really. ... Even Christmas time should remind many Western countries at least how rich we have become.'' Egeland told reporters the next day that his complaint wasn't directed at any one nation.

I am not interested in delving into politics again on this site, but I didn't realize how badly this guy was being misquoted and misinterpreted. So in the spirit of Snopes, the urban legends site, I thought I would put an actual quote on the site.

This is a monumental tragedy which will balloon if the people of the world don't all do everything we can to replace dirty water with clean and provide food for people who need it. The next few weeks are the most critical. Anything said by UN members, presidents, or other government leaders is secondary to that basic fact and frustration all around is probably understandable given the circumstances.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Snabulus Caption Contest

Just an Observation

Yahoo! has a sidebar for news on their home page. When major events warrant, they sometimes reserve a section for the event with a small picture. That is all fine and dandy.

However, during their tsunami coverage, they have been circulating through a number of screaming Sri Lankan or Indian women. One picture makes sense, but having a rotating gallery of screaming (and probably grieving) women is just plain weird. Taken en masse, it reminds me of my Aaaaaaaah! web entry.

In the big picture, this doesn't really matter, but part of the job of blogs is to chronicle the things that don't matter along with the things that do (like the details of fixing a taillight or caption contests).

It certainly doesn't lessen the humbling scope of this tragedy.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

My aunt, uncle, cousins, and a few other relatives were in Sri Lanka last weekend. We didn't know where in the country they were, but just that it was on their itinerary. When I read the island nation was hit by a tsunami wave and thousands were killed, it was startling to say the least.

Over the course of a couple of hours, my dad reached a cousin who had heard back from the crew and they are all safe. They were staying inland at higher elevations. Their biggest problem right now is that they are cut off from the airport. We were told that another member of the extended family was in Thailand and was driving around only to return and find that his hotel was gone. He is a lucky man.

This provided me with a thankfully small dose of how situations like this can work on the part of the brain that worries about things. We are thankful they weren't sipping margaritas at the pool at a beachside hotel or I would be telling a different tale today (and probably not on a blog).

Knowing people affected by these events in South Asia connects us to those more acutely affected by this massive earthquake. As always, Mercy Corps is on the job to help the survivors.

If you want to help out those whose lives were devastated, click this link to donate.

Update: There are actually two extended families (my cousin's brothers-in-law and families) in Phuket, Thailand. They are also safe, but they lost everything they brought to Thailand and now they are also trying to figure out how to get back home. This event has killed people from Somalia to Thailand. If these areas had the warning sirens that Seaside, Oregon has, it is possible that many thousands might have been saved. Very, very sad.

Update 2: Here is an article in the LA Times explaining what happened geologically to Sumatra in the earthquake: A Rare Tsunami, and a Change in Geography

Saturday, December 25, 2004

A Little Christmas Miracle

They always say it's the little things that count at Christmas (unless you're a little kid eyeballing the biggest package under the tree). Well, I just had my own little Christmas miracle.

Standard Christmas fare in Japan is chicken. Yesterday, all the supermarket poultry sections were quickly picked bare, and today there are long lines at the drive-throughs and entrances of every Kentucky Fried Chicken (which is now strictly by reservation only).

On Christmas Day last year I went to pick up a pizza for lunch to find a hideously long line and only one menu item available for the duration of the day: teriyaki chicken pizza.

Turkey? Forget it. It just doesn't happen here. The last time I had turkey (not counting turkey SPAM) for any kind of event here in the land of the rising sun was about six or seven years ago, when I found one at a supermarket that carries a lot of import items. It was a tiny, little thing, imported from Brazil, prepared according to Halal rules. It was frozen solid. After all the hours spent roasting and carving it, it was disappointing. Not only did it taste funny, but it gave us all the runs. Needless to say, we didn't go to too much trouble to find a turkey after that.

Well, my wife just came back from the store with the fixings for our dinner tonight. She proudly lugged in a fairly good sized Manitoba smoked turkey. She won't tell me where she got it, and I'm not going to press the issue. All I can say is that it looks wonderful.

I guess we're going to have a real Christmas dinner for a change this year! Hey, I know, it's no paraplegic suddenly walking, no dog reciting Shakespeare, no water changing to a fine Haut-Medoc, no sudden end to the madness in the Middle East, but, hey! This is my little Christmas miracle, and that's good enough for me!

Okay, you can go back to your Christmas ale now.

  • posted by The Moody Minstrel (with easier access for the name shown below)

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas

Have fun whatever your religion or lack thereof. Don't kick homeless people and be sure to be extra nice to your minimum wage retail workers who are working while you spike your egg nog and for the minimum wage retail workers, please don't throttle the belligerent shoppers; they might just be drunk.

Give, Love, and seek Peace.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Le Guin Understated the Case

Ursula Le Guin wrote an excellent set of books about a fantasy world consisting of an archipelago (group of islands) called EarthSea. I just finished re-re-re-re-reading A Wizard of Earthsea and enjoyed it (again) immensely.

The SciFi channel decided to make the first two books into miniseries called the Legend of Earthsea. In response to the series, Le Guin penned an article, "A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books.." In it, she focused on a few salient points. They told her they had a co-writer from "The Lord of the Rings" movies and then they didn't. They started out working with her on the script and then they didn't. The racial makeup of Earthsea was completely out of sync with the miniseries. These and other points all led Le Guin to the conclusion the SciFi channel wrecked her books.

I decided to wait and judge things for myself. Sometimes the passions of an artist get the better of them when their "baby" is being messed with. Perhaps Le Guin was overreacting. How could I know without watching the series? I finally watched as much as I am going to tonight. I made it through about 10 minutes before walking out of the room (my daughter likes corny fantasy, so she trooped on).

Imagine if Harry Potter kissed Hermione in the first five minutes of "Harry Potter." Imagine if Potter, Hermione, and Ron were all Inuits. Imagine if the Riders of Rohan hatched a plan to attack the elves and take over Frodo's ring in the first 10 minutes of the "Lord of the Rings" and the hobbits were the same size as humans. Imagine things getting more different and bizarre from there. The insulting inaccuracies piled up so fast that I was simultaneously digusted and laughing and poking fun at the same time.

Ursula Le Guin understated the case when she said the SciFi channel wrecked her books. I would say they defiled, then wrecked her books after taking the time to personally insult all who had read her books. Le Guin's restraint was admirable. My question is, "Why did you bother to use Earthsea if you were going to make a crappy fantasy miniseries?" I am sure there are thousands of would-be script writers who could have provided a much more gripping and powerful story.

It reminds me of the scene in "Elf" where James Caan asked what a bunch of stupid kids would care if there were two pages missing from a kids book. You can't commoditize a good idea to the point of absurdity or you won't make much money. I wouldn't expect any DVD sales of substance on this farce.

Yule Have a Happy Solstice

We went to see the Christmas Ships down at Willamette Park this evening. We walked out on a boat launching pier on a chilly night and waited for just under a dozen boats decked in Christmas lights to cruise by. In lights, Santa was surfing and scuba diving and paddling a canoe (depending on which boat you were looking at). Some of these were animated and all were well done. It was the final night of the 50th anniversary edition of the Christmas Ships in Portland. We were happy to celebrate their and our good fortune.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Congratulations to Linfield Football

The Linfield Wildcats won their first national championship since moving to NCAA Division III in 1998. They won a number of national championships in the NAIA. I am sure they are celebrating in McMinnville, OR even now tipping glasses of a drink called a Spruce Goose or something.

A Good Old Band Does an Even Older Song

This definitely appears to be cover season. It seems like a lot of the "new" tunes hitting the airwaves (and used as BGM for TV commercials) are actually old tunes being covered by new groups. However, the veterans are apparently getting into the act, as well.

I don't know...maybe this beloved band of our teen days was inspired by Rush's Feedback EP. Maybe they were just hit by a wave of nostalgia. At any rate, it's true that the idea of this particular band covering this particular song seems too twisted not to be a nightmare, but check it out anyway. It's surprisingly cool.

(Light up...everybody...)

Saturday, December 18, 2004


China toasts surging growth with beer, outdrinks US

TOKYO (AFP) - The Chinese are toasting their economic growth with beer as the country for the first time surpassed the United States as the world's top beer guzzler, a global survey by a Japanese brewer said.

Chinese drinkers chugged down nearly 25 billion liters (6.6 billion gallons) in 2003, accounting for 17.3 percent of the world's beer consumption of 144 billion liters.

The United States accounted for 16.5 percent, said the study by Kirin Brewery.

Increasing incomes saw the Chinese drink 6.4 percent more beer in 2003, while US consumptino fell 0.4 percent in 2003 from 2002, the survey said.

"The growing middle class in China was the main factor behind the increasing beer consumption," said Hiroki Umezawa, Kirin spokesman.

"Japanese and foreign beer makers believe the Chinese beer market has a lot of growth potential. As the Chinese economy grows stronger, its beer consumption should rise," he said.

All is not lost though...

However, on a per capita basis, the Chinese were still a long way behind their American peers.

With a population of 1.3 billion people, consumption worked out at 19.7 liters of beer per capita in 2003 compared with 81.6 for each American.

The Czechs kept the title of top beer lovers for the 11th straight year, drowning themselves with an average of 158.9 liters in 2003, followed by the Irish, who drank 135.7 liters, Kirin said.

It is simple. We're all going to need to drink more beer. If we bring our consumption up to Czech levels, we will have nothing to beer. I mean fear.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Happy Christmas

This isn't a contest per se, but who cares?

I would like all Snabulus readers to pass along their happiest Christmas related experience. You know, that time you stopped the street fight on Christmas eve using kind words and Krispy Kremes or similar. I'd like some true stories, but there is always room for a little satire I suppose.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Happy Bill of Rights Day


This day was signed into practice by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on December 15, 1941, one hundred and fifty years after the actual signing of the Bill of Rights by our forefathers. Ironically, he proclaimed the holiday just one week after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor initiating the United States' involvement in World War II where freedom issues were at the core of wartime dogma.

We have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

First Ever Snabulus Caption Contest

Shamelessly ripping off Fark and Reload blog, here is the first Snabulus caption contest. See what you can come up with for the picture below:

What Are Friends For?

Today I got an e-mail from a mutual old friend of both me and Snabby. In it, he wondered why we were still friends even despite our often radically different (diametrically opposed?) political and religious views. After all, our differing viewpoints have led to some very heated e-mail exchanges on more than one occasion. I mean, we're talking some serious cyber-bile here. Even so, we've continued to maintain that tie.

I guess true friendship is something that can even survive post-9/11 angst. Yes, there are still human beings in the world, and some of them do still have hearts and souls regardless of who they may have voted for. There's something to be learned there...though I'm not altogether sure what it is.

One thing I am sure of is that the linked article gives a perfect example of how not to conduct a friendship. Patience used to be a virtue. Now it seems to be an endangered species...along with personal responsibility.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Look, D'ya Want Us to Do Our Job, or What???

From the continuing saga of the brilliance with which the War on Terror has been carried out by the bureaucrats running the Pentagon, we have another beaut. First they forced our hard-pressed troops to scavenge wrecks and landfills for parts in order to carry out their missions. Now they're arresting them for doing so.

The linked article goes on to mention that the members of that convoy that refused to carry out their mission orders some months ago on account of having substandard equipment were treated far better than these Guardsment that took parts from abandoned vehicles so they could carry out their mission orders. I guess mutiny is considered more commendable than resourcefulness.

Chivalry may be dead, but loyalty is being slowly tortured.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Not If, but When

At Slashdot a couple days ago, I ran across an entry called "Consensus on Global Warming"

It turns out that Science Magazine went back through a bunch of peer-reviewed journals culling articles related to climate change. The results were quite interesting. From The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change:

The American Meteorological Society (6), the American Geophysical Union (7), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling (8).

The drafting of such reports and statements involves many opportunities for comment, criticism, and revision, and it is not likely that they would diverge greatly from the opinions of the societies' members. Nevertheless, they might downplay legitimate dissenting opinions. That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change" (9).

The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

A number of geologists in the UK sound a warning as well. Here is Global Warming: A Perspective from Earth History:

The problem can only be marginally (i.e. ineffectually) addressed by increases in alternative energy and energy efficiency, any likely savings being offset by population and economic growth. And, given the huge energy and material demands in the construction of, say, wind farms, the ultimate value of these is debatable. More radical solutions to humanity's dilemma are necessary, and these might include:

  • massive underground sequestration of CO2. This is not yet a proven method on anything like the scale needed, but needs to be pursued with urgency.
  • large-scale capture of CO2 from the air and its conversion into a mineralized form, perhaps as carbonate minerals.
  • a large-scale switch to civil nuclear power. This has the benefit of being proven technology. We are aware of the problems, and current public unpopularity of this route, but we consider the dangers posed by global warming to be orders of magnitude greater than those likely to be caused by the controlled use of nuclear power. This energy source, additionally, could lie at the heart of future hydrogen-based transport systems.

We urge serious, and immediate, consideration of these issues. The dangers posed by climate change are no longer merely possible and long-term. They are probable, imminent, and global in scope.

Scientists in the physical and natural sciences dealing with climate change are in total or nearly total agreement, even if the rest of us aren't that we are undergoing human-caused global warming. The severity and consequences can be debated. The existence is only debated in political circles and by media eager to provide a conflict to raise ratings. The geologists are proposing solutions that many environmental advocates are going to resist. The impact and costs for industry are aspects that industrial advocates are going to resist.

Will we learn about climate change through hard experience? Probably. However, there are people such as the folks at the Rocky Mountain Institute who advocate for both the environment and industry in ways that we should all embrace. If we can rally around these types of groups, good things could happen.

Urine Trouble, Part 3, 4, 5 and 6

As much as you want to sleep in your cozy little bed thinking there are no urination problems in the world, you will soon see it is impossible. In our exclusive continuing coverage of the urine anarchy gripping the planet Earth, I present the following nightmarish proof:

UK: North Wales Pioneer: URINE TROUBLE

SPEND a penny in public and you could get more than you bargained for.

Revellers in Conwy will now be forced to clean up their own mess or face arrest if they are caught urinating or discarding rubbish in public.

Orange County, CA: KKMG: Sheriff's Deputy Videotaped Urinating In Elevator

An Orange County sheriff's deputy was fired after surveillance video showed him urinating in a public elevator, according to Local 6 News.

Recent complaints of a foul odor inside the R & R Limited public parking garage in Orange County prompted the building's manager to set up a video camera inside an elevator.

UK: Evening Star, Suffolk: Human waste litters ancient woodland

BOTTLES of urine and human excrement are among debris found near ancient woodland on the A14 today.

Motorists are believed to be responsible for throwing their rubbish into the edge of Spring Wood while parked at a popular lay by just outside Ipswich.

Kentucky Post: Police arrest vandal at store, seek flasher

A man who investigators said urinated on more than $1,000 worth of shoes at Value City last week was arrested in the first of two bizarre incidents at the Latonia discount store in three days, police said.

Consider yourself warned.

When the Boys Break In, Just Sit Quiet and Let Them Work

Here's some wonderful advice from an "expert" in Britain: If your home is broken into, take control of the situation by sitting quietly and doing nothing. If you attempt to defend your own property, you risk getting either killed by a "scared adolescent" or arrested and jailed for far longer than the punk that burgled your house would be if he were caught. Apparently one man that gave an armed burglar in his house a demonstration of the stopping power of a shotgun was charged with pre-meditated murder since he had obviously kept his shotgun on hand for the purpose of using it against burglars.

And they wonder why burglaries are skyrocketing in Britain?

Why am I suddenly reminded of the polite, guild-associated burglars of Ankh-Morpork in the Ringworld novels? "Excuse me, but we're robbing you. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to keep our city fair and orderly. Would you like us to stab you in the back or hit you over the head? Actually, if you like, we're offering a special this month: we let you off with just a broken arm. Oh, and would you like a receipt?"

A similar case exists here in Japan. You are not allowed to use any kind of force that inflicts injury on someone that robs you, even if he threatens or actually uses injuring force on you. If you hit him with a baseball bat to stop him from shooting you, you are criminally liable. There's even a chance you could be arrested for "unlawful confinement" just for subduing him. If you are a victim, you have to be a victim. End of story.

And they wonder why burglaries are skyrocketing in Japan?

Laws concerning such things vary from state to state in the U.S.. Apparently Oregon allows killing force if killing force is threatened, but you can't do spit to an unarmed burglar. Frankly, I'm with South Carolina: if you find someone in your house that doesn't belong there, you are fully within your rights to reduce him to fertilizer. People will be less likely to commit a crime if there's a high chance of death involved.

Speaking of which, though I realize participation in this blog has been at an all-time low lately, I'm curious to know what means you'd propose to keep your home and possessions safe.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Yellow Rivers, Part II

In the never ending quest to bring you the latest peepee news, Snabulus finds this for you:

'Potty Police' Nab Bladder-Heavy Revelers

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Cruising down the street in a Chevrolet missing a front hubcap, the two officers checked their gear again - their guns, handcuffs and radios were right where they should be. It was going to be a busy night.

A Jimi Hendrix tune played on the radio, but they didn't seem to hear as their eyes darted left and right scanning alleys, parking lots and the rows of cars packed along the narrow streets.

The officers spotted three men standing in the darkened corner of a bank parking lot. They had action. "Police. What's going on here?"

"You've got to be kidding me," said one of the men as he zipped up his pants.

It was another collar for Officers Matt Turko and Tom Weger, members of Pittsburgh's Pub Patrol, which could also be called the potty police.

This thing is WORLDWIDE.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ghost Rider on the Big Screen

(Okay...we'll try this again. The school computer ate my attempted posting again...)

I know there are a lot of Rush fans among the assorted friends, acquaintances, relatives, co-workers, and passing maniacs that visit this site. Even if you're not, one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time has been Neil Peart's autobiographical novel, Ghost Rider. Far from being a self-indulgent account of his endeavors as a well-known rock star, it documents the journey he took to try to put his life back together again after suffering an unbelievably tragic series of losses. The book is in many ways along similar lines to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, another novel I really liked, but Ghost Rider is grounded less in abstract philosophy and more in the human sphere. It's interesting to read how he circles all over the North American continent on his BMW motorcycle describing the places he sees and people he meets (willingly or not). He also gets a bit adventurous, sometimes taking roads most sane people wouldn't at times or dates that most sane people wouldn't (mainly because he has trouble figuring out if he really cares or not). And all throughout is Peart's famous lyrical ability, which has graced Rush's albums since the album Fly By Night in 1975.

Interestingly, and ironically, it turns out that the daughter of legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich (one of Peart's longtime idols) has obtained permission and legal rights to produce a movie version of Ghost Rider. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

I should also mention that Peart has just put out another book. Entitled Traveling Music: Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times, it documents another cross-country journey Peart recently made, this time by (BMW) car. However, this time the focus of the book is not so much his personal experiences as the music he listens to as he goes along. He apparently selected CDs of tunes from ages past, using them both as appropriate backing music for his travels and also as a "safe" means of reflecting on his past (something he has always tended to avoid). For a music lover or someone who just enjoys reading, it sounds like something worthwhile.

If you don't happen to know anything about Neil Peart, go buy, borrow, or download some Rush right now. It might help to have some background before digging into his books.

Just What Is the Reason for the Season???!?

A couple of days ago I received an e-mail from a friend of mine complaining about the "blunders of certain city officials and department stores" for trying to celebrate Christmas without Christ. I replied to him with this little bit of history (posted here at Snabby's suggestion):

Actually, the Jul festival ("Yuletide" in English) predates Jesus by hundreds of years. When Christianity came to the Germanic peoples of central and northern Europe in somewhere around the 3rd century, it had trouble gaining ground. To help promote their faith, the early missionaries took the most significant Germanic festival date, Jul (the day after the Winter Solstice, or December 24th), and said, "Hey, what a coincidence! That's also Christ's birthday!" The image and name of Christ were then inserted into the existing Jul traditions and strengthened little by little over the years. Eventually (more like after the passage of almost a full century), people became so accustomed to the presence of Christ in their culture that they were much more open to conversion. The Germanics were then quickly Catholicised.
The funny thing about it is that Christ's birthday wasn't December 24th. Most experts speculate that it was either in late February or early March, which is why the Orthodox church celebrates Christmas then instead of on Jul (like those gullible Catholics and all their subsequent spinoffs). Another funny thing about it is that, until the Christianization of the Jul festival and its widespread promotion as "Christmas", the Roman Catholics never had any celebration commemorating Christ's birth. They didn't really care about it at all until the Christianized Jul that their own missionaries created in the Germanic tribes ended up feeding back into their own culture (ironically, along with many of the original, pagan Jul traditions including gift exchanges, burning a "Jul log", gathering family and friends to share a feast and sing songs together, making spiced cake/bread and spiced wine, kissing under mistletoe, and other things). Easter and Lent had been the only truly important Christian festivals till then, but "Christmas" wound up knocking both of them aside in terms of significance. How ironic that it was a fabrication.
So you see, it's not really hypocritical to celebrate Christmas without Christ. The Jul festival, with many if not most of the same traditions, existed at the same time long before Christ appeared in Bethlehem. When you think about it, celebrating "Christmas" is really paying homage to an ancient Catholic propaganda stunt. Perhaps the Yuletide celebration is a bit more honest, even if it is pagan.
Whatever. Religion is a personal thing, and it should therefore be a matter of personal choice.

If I don't see you people when I'm over there (Dec. 26 - 30), happy holidays (whatever you may call them)!!!!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

And a Child Shall Lead Them

No matter what my current crop of students has been doing to the lining of my battered stomach, it never ceases to amaze me just what young people can do when they put their minds to it. Heck, even the group of 5-year-olds-in-15-year-old-bodies that constitute my homeroom showed a remarkable ability to plan, organize, and execute a very creative and innovative project once they were told to knock off the whining and get busy.

Now look at what these European students are pulling off.

The sad thing is that these kids are coming up with something that is cheaper, more efficient, and looks to be more promising than a lot of the pork-inflated, red-tape-covered bits of bad comedy our bureaucrats have been dishing out. The funny thing is that the students have run into some of the same communication and compatibility problems that have led to more than one multi-million-dollar space probe burning up en route to its destination. However, unlike NASA, the kids are spotting the problems early and making efforts to correct them.

Why is that so difficult for our so-called "experts"?

Kids these days. They don't think enough about sex.
(This comment coming from a guy living in a country where it is estimated nearly one-fifth of high school girls are infected with chlamydia...)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Stopping the Yellow Rivers

BBC: 'Pee inspectors' roam Swazi town

The city council at Swaziland's eastern town of Siteki, has set up a posse of "pee inspectors" to roam the streets and fine anyone found urinating in public.

The initiative, unveiled during the Christmas season when drunkards roam the streets has outraged residents.


"But Mr Mkhaliphi insists: "We've built scores of public toilets, but men still insist on just whipping it out and urinating on our pavements - even in the centre of town."

Don't miss them on COPS:Swaziland and CSI:Warm Case.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Bloggered Up

Sorry about the terminal delays and other malfunctions regarding commenting. What do you expect for free here in Bloggyland? This is a periodic problem with Blogger, who has approximately three times as many blogs as there are people on Earth and therefore runs into occasional problems with the whole thing suffering from traffic jams.