Jul. 11th, 2006 03:44 pm
Mom's in Ahmedabad. It appears to be one province over from Mumbai (the city formerly known as Bombay). Thankfully, though I wish it were further.
I'd bet you that most Americans would think that this death penalty was wrong (or at least distasteful), while most (vocal) Americans feel that this one would be just, or at least understandable. Why? Where do we draw the line?
I wish we would do this here. Heck, and then base our own budget upon what the people in the simulation like - they'd have to actually rate what scenarios they prefer, not just count how long people did each one, otherwise it'd be like people who play the Sims just to kill their characters. Hm, distributed budgeting, now that's an idea!


Apr. 21st, 2006 05:14 pm
It seems one of the Papal runner-ups is an extreme liberal radical. Cardinal Martini (of Italy) has said that condoms can be used by married couples in which one partner has AIDS. Shocking! Maybe next year they'll admit that bicycles are permissible!


Apr. 20th, 2006 07:38 am
Huh, I never realized that India was the world's largest democracy. There are two reasons for this: the US's large geographic area made me overlook its population; and I didn't realize India was a democracy. I'm so stupid ignorant about Social Studies stuff.
Is there another word stronger than "homophobia," that specifically means hatred of homosexuals?


Mar. 30th, 2006 10:28 pm
It occurred to me the other day, that with all that's been going on in France, I don't think I'd feel safe going there again right now. And I'm not sure when I will. Sad.
The destitute daughters of the South African man who wrote "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (aka "Wimoweh") have successfully sued Disney for 25% of their profits from the song, as used in The Lion King and elsewhere. Said daughters work as maids, though one died of AIDS because she couldn't afford antiretroviral drugs.

I wonder if they'll next sue Pete Seeger and They Might Be Giants...
I am officially rescinding any tolerance I had for fundamentalist Islam. I heard about this on NPR this afternoon - an Afgan man is on trial for converting away from Islam (to Christianity, but that part's irrelevant) 16 years ago. It's his own family that turned him in. The legally required sentence under sharia law is death.

The article doesn't say but NPR did, that after statements from Bush, the prosecutor wants to allow the defendant to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, in which case he will not get the death penalty.

ETA: I got a better link (hooray BBC!) from [ profile] q10.
The students at least. Against a new law that is supposed to help youth unemployment by removing job security for youths. Um, run that one by me again?

ETA: The BBC gives slightly more explanation: apparently the contracts that youths currently work under do not allow employers to fire them at all. Because they're untried youths, employers are reluctant to hire them indefinitely, so they simply do not hire them. The hope is that where youths wouldn't be hired at all before, now they'll be hired temporarily. Still not a good deal, but I now understand the reasoning.
I like Dean Kamen's economic model of putting power in the hands of the masses - literally - but I wonder if it's enough. He has a machine that can provide enough electricity so that each family in a poor village can have a single efficient lighbulb (I'm assuming CFL), which CNN Money says will provide "an extension of both their productivity and their leisure times," but I really wonder what good it will do besides creating more countries with insomnia issues.

The other machine Kamen introduces, a water purifier the size of a washing machine, seems a *much* better idea to me, in that it seems to have the direct benefit of improving the health of the communities.

The biggest drawback I can see to the whole thing is again with the economic model they suggest - while I think it's better to put these things in the hands of "the people," it won't really be the people who have it, it'll be the single richest person in each town, who will continue to get richer by charging their former peers for their use.

Cross-posted to Modern Science b/c I thought some of my LJ friends who don't read that would find it interesting.
Pointed out to me by [ profile] q10, the Italian courts are in the process of ruling that a man who raped a 14-year-old girl should get a lighter sentence because she had already been sexually active. That's abso-fucking-lutely insane! What if her previous sexual activity had also been rape? Would the second rapist get off more easily? That's blame the victim! It's like saying if I steal someone's car, but it's not the first car they owned, I should be let off the hook. *grr*
Some of you really showed your talent a few weeks ago giving me your most offensive jokes. Now I challenge you to do better: your most offensive cartoons - offensive Jewish cartoons. But only if you're Jewish yourself. And don't submit them to me, submit them to the Israelis running the contest.

A Danish paper publishes a cartoon that mocks Muslims.
An Iranian paper responds with a Holocaust cartoons contest -
- Now a group of Israelis announce their own anti-Semitic cartoons contest!

“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Sandy “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”


Feb. 7th, 2006 08:11 am
Surprisingly, CNN is covering international news lately - the riots over cartoons of Mohammed. This issue pits the cultural sensitivities of Islam and their definition of capital crime (blasphemy), against the Western ideal of free speech. Most intersting I think are the non-violent reactions.

For example, "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam." Are they being respectful, or self-censoring? Are they just doing it so their reporters in the Middle East don't get killed? And

A prominent Iranian newspaper says it is going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West will apply the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide against Jews as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
Hamshahri invited foreign cartoonists to enter the competition and said it wanted to see how open the West was to caricatures of the Holocaust.

"Does the West extend freedom of expression to the crimes committed by the United States and Israel, or an event such as the Holocaust? Or is its freedom only for insulting religious sanctities?" Hamshahri wrote, referring to the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, in a short article on its back page.

I'm really curious to see our reactions to this. I expect we'll (US people who care) be incensed and pissed off, but not to the point of violence. Non-violent protest and all that (thank you, Dr. King). I wonder how Israel will react though.

ETA: Some of the comments are hiliariously offensive! Don't read at work if you work for the ACLU or Anti-Defamation League. Hopefully this warning here nicely skirts the line of not-censorship, but sensitive-to-people's-feelings. Feel free to discuss why it really is censorship or is not sensitive, too. :-P
In October, a snake in a Japanese zoo was rejecting frozen mice, so they gave it a live hampster instead. They're still friends. I wonder what the snake ended up eating.
This last part is a "medley" - and primarily a British one if I say so myself.

4/12, "No big deal."

BBC Quiz 3

Dec. 21st, 2005 07:39 pm
Photo-themed quiz. I got 7/12, "blurred."



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