Tuesday, May 30, 2006

That explains the suspicious looks

I took this picture on a beach in Goa some time ago. It shows the menu of a beach-side restaurant --- in Russian ! Today I read this (via SM news) : "Goa Police ponder: Are Russians buying land for drug deals?" ---

Tourists from Russia, especially those staying in Goa on long visas, are coming under increasing scrutiny after allegations that East European drug cartels are attempting to turn Goa into a base for their activities.
That explains the suspicious looks I got when I tried to take the picture.

And further down in the article :

There is talk about the Calangute-Baga-Candolim belt being taken over by benaami Russian owners in the past several months.
Benaami ? Another hindi-urdu word enters the English language (atleast according to the South Asian press).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Singh Samples Shakti

I was listening to Talvin Singh's "Distant God" (from this album ) on Launchcast. The first few bars sounded very familiar. He seems to have borrowed the opening bars of the track "Two Sisters" from the great Shakti album A Handful Of Beauty. I didn't find that fact on the internet so I'm putting it down here for the record. Perhaps it's listed on the liner notes. Also for the record, I prefer Shakti to TS.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mahmoud Wears A WWJD Bracelet

The weblog at Christianity Today Magazine picks up something that other commenters on the Ahmedinajad letter seem to have not mentioned. In a post titled Ahmadinejad: What would Jesus do? he writes :
The leaders of Iran and the United States have had no official communication since 1979. This week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke the silence and wrote a letter to President Bush, largely criticizing his actions in the Middle East as being inconsistent with Christian faith.

"Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ, the great Messenger of God," Ahmadinejad wrote, "But at the same time, have countries attacked: the lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed?" (That's a cleaned up version from what appears to be a somewhat poor translation.)

Ahmadinejad criticized the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the treatment of prisoners, support for Israel, U.S. actions in Latin America and Africa, and several other items.

"My students ask me how can these actions be reconciled with … duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ, the Messenger of peace and forgiveness," he said. "If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, or Jesus Christ were with us today, how would they have judged such behavior? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ will be present?"

More here.



Sunday, May 07, 2006

Not The Internet I Signed Up For

Save the Internet: Click here If you are reading this, you might be concerned about the attempts by cable and phone companies to change the internet, that you know and love, for the worse.

From http://www.savetheinternet.com/ :

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. Your local library shouldn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to have its Web site open quickly on your computer.
Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn’t just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Telus -- Canada's version of AT&T -- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom the company was having a labor dispute. And Madison River, a North Carolina ISP, blocked its customers from using any competing Internet phone service.

More here.

For some amusement you can also read, former Clinton Press Secretary, Mike McCurry's ridiculous attempt to defend net-non-neutrality. Except for paid lobbyists like McCurry, this movement has broad support from everybody from Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds to Larry Lessig (to the very cool CUWin !).