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Showing posts from September, 2007

Ethanol, schmethanol

Ethanol is the "fashion talk" of energy industries. Government subsidies, advertisements of "benevolent" ethanol can be heard from pundits of all sorts, but is ethanol really that "green" as alternative fuel as it is purported to be? A century ago Henry Ford rejected it as a fuel choice. Why? Here is the reason:
"And when Henry Ford was experimenting with car engines a century ago, he tried ethanol out as a fuel. But he rejected it—and for good reason. The amount of heat you get from burning a litre of ethanol is a third less than that from a litre of petrol. What is more, it absorbs water from the atmosphere. Unless it is mixed with some other fuel, such as petrol, the result is corrosion that can wreck an engine's seals in a couple of years."If ethanol is so "ineffective", then why is there so much "talks" about it, and so much "excitements" about ethanol?
"the real reason ethanol has become the preferred g…

The politics behind Prashant's Indian Idol win

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Indian Idol was a good show this year, where the winner was Prashant Tamang whose win was no one could foresee from the beginning. All the "top contestants", some of them, especially Puja and Emon, were undoubtedly better singers than Prashant or the runner up Amit Paul, but in the end it all came down to "votes" where multiple votes by sms were allowed. Even in music where violence have no place, but the "fans" in Prashant's hometown took the streets protesting derogatory remarks made by a radio host against him. Here is an excerpt from Zee News:

He said he had heard that firing had taken place, but no senior police official was available to confirm it.

The trouble erupted when a 2000-strong procession of fans of Indian idol Prasanth Tamang were marching in a procession to the SDO`s office to submit a memorandum in protest against the derogatory comments by a FM radio jockey in Delhi against Tamang, the police said.

While the processionists were pas…

Dire Straits - Money For Nothing (Wembley Arena)

A classic song from Dire Straits, awesome drum and guitar combination.

September On Jessore Road - a Poem by Allen Ginsberg

September On Jessore Road
Allen Ginsberg

Millions of babies watching the skies
Bellies swollen, with big round eyes
On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts
Noplace to shit but sand channel ruts

Millions of fathers in rain
Millions of mothers in pain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of sisters nowhere to go

One Million aunts are dying for bread
One Million uncles lamenting the dead
Grandfather millions homeless and sad
Grandmother millions silently mad

Millions of daughters walk in the mud
Millions of children wash in the flood
A Million girls vomit & groan
Millions of families hopeless alone

Millions of souls nineteenseventyone
homeless on Jessore road under grey sun
A million are dead, the million who can
Walk toward Calcutta from East Pakistan

Taxi September along Jessore Road
Oxcart skeletons drag charcoal load
past watery fields thru rain flood ruts
Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof huts

Wet processions Families walk
Stunted boys big heads don't talk
Look bony skulls & silent round eyes

Squabbles in Poetry Society

Should past "politically incorrect" comments be taken into account in giving awards to otherwise a talented poet or a writer? Last year it was Germany's Gunter Grass who was under waves of critiques for his "coming out clean" in his memoir, of his involvement with the military branch of Hitler's Nazis when he was a 17 year old man. Many decades ago poet Ezra Pound's "anti-semitic" comments put him under the gun, though his immense talent as a poet was indisputable. Now, in our modern time, another poet with substantial credence is going through similar turmoils at the upper echelon of poetry society where all the "gurus" of poetry are squabbling on the merit of his receiving the prestigious "Frost Medal". Here is an extract from The New York Times article on this increasingly testy issue:
In one example, Mr. Hollander, writing a rave review in The New York Times Book Review of the collected poems of Jay Wright, an African-Am…

Tyrants' Wrath on People and Monks

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Against the unarmed protesters, the military junta has unleashed their wrath today, beating them, volleys of tear gas and bullets injuring and killing scores of civilians in the heart of Burma, even a foreign journalist from Japan got killed from indiscriminate flying bullets. Why is this ferocity? Why is the necessity to silence the voice of non-violent protests who have been subjugated for the past 45 years by Burmese military regime? Read the following excerpt from The Guardian:
About 3,000 demonstrators sat down in the road before the ranks of riot police, clapping and chanting, taunting the security forces - who took no action at first. But then police and soldiers pushed the crowd and began firing into the protesters, wounding at least four though it was not clear how severely.
Clapping and chanting were the only "weapons" of Burmese protesters against bullets and tear gas. Perhaps, the terrified junta knows that the time has come for their end, their inevitable collapse…

Speech Alone -- a Poem by Jean Follain

Speech Alone
by Jean Follain
Translated by W. S. Merwin


It happens that one pronounces

a few words just for oneself

alone on this strange earth

then the small white flower

the pebble like all those that went before

the sprig of stubble

find themselves re-united

at the foot of the gate

which one opens slowly

to enter the house of clay

while chairs, table, cupboard,

blaze in a sun of glory.

On The Death Of Friends In Childhood - Poem by Donald Justice

On The Death Of Friends In Childhood

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

O Paalanhare - Lagaan

For poor, oppressed, whose only consolation is devotion to their deities any forms or shape, shapeless, take them away from daily miseries, pain from humiliation, singing "We don't have anyone except you!"

Swades - Yeh Tara Who Tara

Another memorable song from Swades -- a scientist returned from America to his native land, teaching the villagers about astronomies. Perhaps this is in Bollywood style movie, but it does talk about positive aspects of science disseminating among the people, poor or rich. "This star, that star, all stars, look at whichever looks lovely to you....", just a novice translation of very last line from the song.

Swades

Does it matter if one is from one special country or not? Love for childhood memories where one grew up, where memories from distant time and place stroke like sweetest melody, can that ever be forgotten? Here is a truth from this song: "This is a bond that never can be severed"

Roja Janeeman from the movie ROJA

So many years ago I'd seen this movie, and especially this unforgettable song from Roja, AR Rahman's music is one of the best.

Playing Politics with Fear

Playing politics with fear. Executive power trumping all laws, even constitution becomes secondary in the face of shrewd manipulation. Years of unchecked and brazen deceits have made the fear manipulators so much bold in their myth creating agendas that they even dared to "employ false intelligence to convince lawmakers they should temporarily expand domestic spying powers under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)."

MSNBC's Olbermann interviews Representative Jane Harman who had raised her voice against these types deceptions. Check the following video:



Another video with Olbermann's commentary can be found below. Here Bruce Fein is interviewed, who is an American lawyer specializing in constitutional and international law and also who had served as an associate deputy attorney general in Ronald Reagan administration:



The following link will take the interested readers to ACLU's guide to FISA, what it really is and what the myth surrounding FISA is. Cli…

Petty and Cruel Dictator

Like most democracy loving folks in our world, Cindy Sheehan, a mother whose son got killed in Iraq, and an American woman who symbolizes through her fearless protests at the heart of conservative foreground how a person whose conscience remains intact even after losing her son and going through immeasurable grief that only a mother knows how to narrate, is respected for her uttering truth in inconvenient manner. Columbia University's fiasco related to Ahmedinejad's appearance and the derogatory remarks he had received from the inviting host, even though it may have truths embedded in it, he still represents a nation of millions of people who was indeed elected by his "peers". Especially, this shameful event becomes more painful when considering the universal norm of treating one's guest in gentle and kind manner which prevalent in our "civilized" world. Cindy Sheehan said the best in her article published in Common Dreams today, a few excerpts are give…

Why Beijing cares about tiny Nauru

"Economically, China has changed beyond re cognition, but Mao Zedong's heirs remain in power, and for them Taiwan is still an essential cause. They may be biding their time, until not a single little country recognises the upstart alternative to the People's Republic, and the American and Chinese economies are so integrated that there is no question of Washington risking everything to defend a leftover bit of history."Link:
Why Beijing cares about tiny Nauru

Forgive me nasheed

English Nasheed: a beautiful song.

Song Lyrics:

Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
And wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, she smiled.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I `d go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have blessed indeed, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it `d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
You see," he said, "I `m blind"
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I `d go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have blessed indeed, the world is mine.


I s…

Is Industry-Funded Science Killing You?

A few excerpts from Reason magazine:
"...........conflicts of interest undermine public trust in and support for scientific research, endanger research subjects and patients, and boost medical costs by encouraging physicians and patients to use new treatments that are no better than cheaper alternatives. Yet public trust in biomedical research remains high, and that trust seems to be justified. Subjects in clinical trials hardly ever suffer serious harm, and instances in which dangerous side effects turn up after drugs are approved are relatively rare. Rather than making medicine unnecessarily expensive, pharmaceutical innovation ultimately reduces health care costs, because new drugs usually have advantages that pay off in lower medical bills.

The critics’ concerns are not entirely groundless. Driven by self-interest, drug companies and researchers do occasionally hide data or run drug trials that produce data of scant clinical value. But private initiatives by medical journals, u…

Cancer Research - Dichloroacetates

A research scientist has made remarkable strides in cancer research, including a potentially very effective anti-cancer drug using DCA - dichloroacetates which is a salt made from dichloroacetic acid. Dr. Evangelos D. Michelakis has published the following update in University of Alberta website with recent update of his research and on coming clinical trials and also he has shed light on the arduous process that goes behind before any successful drugs can be released to broader public. Here is the pdf link:
http://www.depmed.ualberta.ca/dca/letter_092407.pdf

To go to the Official University of Alberta DCA Website, please click here.

Link to Wikipedia on DCA:
Cancer Research - Dichloroacetic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cell Phones Increase the Risk of Two Types of Brain Tumor According to Study

I don't know how authentic this study is, but it looks alarming. More authoritative studies and revelations must be done by public health officials around the world who are not tied with cell phone or tech industries. This is a serious issue considering the ubiquitous status of cell phone in almost every strata of human lives from New York to New Delhi, from Chittagong to Caracas, cell phone usage has become part of our life. If there is any truth in these studies, that should be revealed to world populace without consideration of economic impact for cell phone manufacturers and global marketeers. Public health comes first before market consideration. Without a healthy global populace, there is also no profitable market. Here are a few excerpts from this article:
Cell phones are more like radios than traditional telephones in your home. They emit low levels of radiofrequency energy (RF) in the microwave range while being used. They also emit very low levels of RF when in the stand-…

Subal Dutta on the deplorable state of radio artistes

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His entire life he devoted to music as a revered musician in Bangladesh Radio, but when time comes for retirement what he and other musicians get? “Surprisingly, the musicians are not yet regular government service holders, but are hired on a monthly contractual basis,” he says.

“After they retire, the musicians are deprived of provident fund or pension benefits; instead they are handed a mere month's salary as gratuity. If we have the right to vote why shouldn't we be entitled to a right to live?” says Dutta."

His melodious music once and still have rippled people's heart, now his very basic question "shouldn't we be entitled to a right to live?" utters a cry of help from ignored humanity.

The Daily Star Article Link:
Subal Dutta on the deplorable state of radio artistes


Burmese protesters defy junta's threat of crackdown

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One of the most repressive regimes in the world is facing spontaneous protests marches of Buddhist monks, even general populace have joined them in their non-violent movement against Burmese military dictators. The reason for this march is the following along with a subtle others that can be found anywhere where people's very basic rights of freedom are trampled and thwarted by bayonets and muzzles of guns:

"......want an apology for the beating and arrest of several monks at a protest three weeks ago. They also want the junta to roll back the steep fuel price increases that touched off the demonstrations in the first place, and for the government to release political prisoners."

Yesterday more than 100,000 took the streets like all the previous days, and today is no different. Only difference is that the uneasy Burmese regime have started to counter the monks and general populace by putting military back on the street in various disguises:

".......troops had infiltrat…

Diamonds

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Blood Diamond is a well-directed movie I had seen earlier this year. If you have seen it, then perhaps you can relate to the picture above.

Photo Link:
http://image.bayimg.com/aahgcaabd.jpg

War and Terror Inc.

"Take Viktor Bout, a Russian air-transport magnate and the world's premier gray- market arms provider. Every year, warlords, gangsters, militiamen and terrorists kill tens of thousands of people in wars that are only sporadically reported to the outside world. They do their butchery using weapons obtained and delivered, to all sides of these conflicts, by Bout and his ilk. These are the real weapons of mass destruction in the post-Cold War world, taking lives and shattering communities from the slums of Baghdad to the jungles of Colombia, from the streets of Beirut to the impoverished diamond-mining hamlets of West Africa."
The invisible merchant of war, gaining wealth in the midst of blood and tears. A 21st century "entrepreneur" is taking the full advantage of partisan world's lack of remorse.
The Marine Corps has a saying: "If you want it bad, you get it bad." With Bout and his ilk, we are getting the worst by allowing him to prosper under the il…

Chaser - Should all U.S. Muslims carry a special ID?

One commenter in YouTube said the best -- "I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry." Maybe a joke now, but with right amount of myth creating propaganda in action, this may not be so much of a joke in future, unless, democracy regain back its lost momentum.

Video Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnmvToZjRIc

John Grisham's Comment: "Bad People with Evil Intent"

"On Thursday, best-selling author John Grisham said in an interview with the Des Moines Register that the Bush administration is built around “bad people with evil intent.” “The war is an immoral abomination that we’ll pay for for decades to come,” added Grisham. “We’re paying for it now at the rate of 100 kids a month while Bush plays politics with it.”Audio Link: http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/grisham.MP3

He is the best selling author whose books I used to buy and read when they got released. I haven't read his recent works, though, John Grisham's brilliance as a writer is well-rooted by now.

University of Florida student Tasered at Kerry forum

This video is disturbing. What happened to the motto of preserving "Freedom of Speech"? He was asking a question only. "What have I done"? His question was valid, and he had the right to ask it. He wasn't violent while asking the question. Then why would he be tasered? In front of the "power" helpless' cries get unanswered. Why this episode reminds me the similar ones from other parts of the world?

Three Video Links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bVa6jn4rpE

Another longer version video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8ndctwAJmUAmy Goodman from Democracy Now commenting on this episode:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swg4E2FzTzE

A guide to Philip Roth

Philip Roth is one of my favorite authors. UK's Times Online has a "A Guide to Philip Roth" published today with tidbits of Roth's brilliance.

Link to article:
A guide to Philip Roth

South Asia & Climate Change

Great resources including links to relevant articles, interviews, audio and other features can be found from the following link in World Bank site.
South Asia and Climate Change

Peace through God

"The human species is clan-oriented. We are exceedingly concerned with who is a member of our clan or a competing clan. Democrat or Republican? Windows or Linux? It’s almost impossible for us to ignore clan passions. We are also hopelessly obsessed with the hierarchy within our clan. Listen to teenagers, or anyone else, talk about who ranks to date whom, or who deserves scorn. We care immensely about tiny differentiations in status. Gossip grabs our attention, no matter how banal it is.
................Religion placed immortal supernatural beings at the top of the clan, thereby reducing everyday violence between adherents. Crusades, jihads, and bloody schisms were the price paid for this improvement, though in the grim context of human behavioral history, that was probably a bargain.The idea of God (or gods) also served in ancient times as a way to apply the clan-centric cognition of the human species to the problem of comprehending the dynamics of the world. In the Hebrew Bible, …

Clues to ageing found in fly's brain

"Two years ago, Brown University researchers discovered something startling: Decrease the activity of the cancer-suppressing protein p53 and you can make fruit flies live significantly longer. Now the same team reports an intriguing follow-up finding. The p53 protein, they found, may work its lifespan-extending magic in only 14 insulin-producing cells in the fly brain. “It’s quite surprising,” said Johannes Bauer, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown. “In the fruit fly brain, there are tens of thousands of cells. But we found that it takes a reduction of p53 activity in only 14 of those brain cells to extend lifespan. It was like finding a needle in the haystack – a very small needle at that.”"Article Link:
Clues to ageing found in fly's brain

A Learned Man Searches for Relevance While Languishing in a Chadian Camp

"To be one of the 2.5 million people driven from the Darfur region of western Sudan is to be many things: a farmer without land, a trader without a business, a mother without children, a teacher without students. And, in Ali's case, a holder of two master's degrees stuck in a void with only the books he brought with him when he ran for his life."Article Link:
A Learned Man Searches for Relevance While Languishing in a Chadian Camp

What Does Autism Mean To You?

I have a few friends and relatives whose sons and daughters are autistic. Perhaps they think differently, verbalize in their own ways. And who to say that we the "normal" ones do not seem "not so normal" to autistic souls? To me, our abnormality is quite apparent in our senseless violences and murderous rages, from which an autistic person perhaps may feel very alienated.

War Crime Immunity?

Passing a law in Senate and Congress, pardoning one's own and cronies' "war crimes" retroactive from the beginning of "crimes against humanity" so that "war criminals" remains to be untouchables forever is a sheer disgrace to America's graceful past of leading the fights against other "war criminals". World wide credibilities get more disintegrated amidst shameful partisanship. Will there be a "beacon of light" emerging soon from this darkest chapter of American history?

Jim Crow Comes for Our Kids

A powerful article written by Amina Luqman, a freelance writer. This is about Jena 6, that only very recently I had come to known about. Ms. Luqman narrated the entire events in succinct words:
"The story of the Jena 6 is long and filled with stunning details. The basic points are these: In the predominantly white town of Jena, La., white students hung three nooses last September after black students sat under a schoolyard tree where white students normally congregated. The white students were suspended for three days. After black students protested peacefully, the La Salle Parish district attorney threatened them, saying: "I can make your life go away with a stroke of a pen." Eventually there was a schoolyard fight in which a white student was beaten; he was treated for a concussion and multiple bruises. Although the student was well enough to attend a school function the same evening, six black boys between the ages of 15 and 17 were arrested, five of whom were charged…

Mocking the Powerless and the Powerful

Think about it. International Criminal Court has charged him with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. And this same man is put on the leadership helm "to investigate human rights violations in Darfur". The charge is grave and serious. "As Sudan’s interior minister from 2003 to 2005, Mr. Harun recruited, funded and armed the janjaweed militias, who murdered at least 200,000 people and drove 2.5 million more from their homes. Now, as minister of humanitarian affairs, he controls the fate of the survivors. He decides when and where aid organizations can go, and some of these international agencies, on whom hundreds of thousands of refugees depend for their survival, have accused Mr. Harun of blocking their work."

New York Times is right when it writes that the international community must not accept Sudan's denial of International Criminal Court's jurisdiction when it had issued a warrant for Mr. Harun's arrest a few months ago. Promoting the …

U.S. dollar's decline a concern for Flaherty

"Finance Minister Jim Flaherty warned Thursday he remains worried about U.S. economic weakness -- a key factor in pushing the currency to a one-for-one basis with the U.S. greenback.He said continued weakness in the U.S. housing sector, as well as soft demand for cars, remains a "significant concern" for the Canadian economy, and is watching the U.S. economy closely."Our forestry industry and many of our manufacturers supply the [housing] market in the United States, and it is going through a difficult time," a subdued Mr. Flaherty told reporters, adding most of the cars built in Canada are sent to the United States for sale.""The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters warned Thursday that for every cent the dollar goes above par, the sector will lose $1.5-billion per year on a national basis."Link:
U.S. dollar's decline a concern for Flaherty

1 Canadian Dollar = 1 U.S. Dollar

A symbolic number, but this already is rattling nerves for various business ventures. However, Canadian travelers to U.S. will get more bargains it seems. Let's see, how long this upward trend of Canadian dollar remains.

Link:
U.S. Dollar to Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate

Fair Trade Rice

"Although rice farmers feed much of the world's population, depressed world rice prices, coupled with increasing agricultural costs and exploitative trade policies, have left many rice farmers landless, in debt, and unable to provide for their own families. With Fair Trade rice, consumers are able to purchase high quality rice from farmers who earn a living wage, work under fair labor conditions, manage their own cooperatives, and are not exploited by corrupt middlemen.

As demand for Fair Trade Rice in the United States increases, more farmers in Thailand and India are able to reap the benefits of their harvest. Families stay intact and the community and environment thrives. By purchasing Fair Trade Rice, you ensure that the farmers who grow your food can maintain sustainable livelihoods while providing you with the highest quality food available." Noble cause it seems. Like all the other "noble causes", increasing the sales of "Fair Trade Rice" de…

Chemical clue sheds light on winter depression

"The researchers studied 73 drug-free patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and 70 people without the condition. People with SAD get depressed in the autumn and winter, and often go into remission in the spring and summer. So-called “bright light therapy” – where sufferers stare at brightly lit screens – can also relieve symptoms.

The researchers were interested in these patients’ serotonin transporter (SERT) – a molecule that "pumps" serotonin back into cells. SERT is expressed in blood platelets, so they drew blood at three points in time: in the autumn or winter (when patients were experiencing seasonal depression), after four weeks of light therapy, and again in summer.
They tested the platelets to see how much SERT was expressed there, and found levels were normal in both groups. They then measured how many times per minute the SERT would go to work removing serotonin, and here they found significant differences.In blood taken during winter depression, SAD …

Gone Fission

"Desperate times making for desperate measures, it should come as no surprise that the world’s policymakers - frantic to be seen dealing with climate change - are settling more and more on an energy source that, until recently, was considered one of the least appealing options.

Though denounced as dirty and dangerous for the horrific catastrophes it produced in the 1970s and 80s, and despite the continued protests of environmentalists, nuclear power is back in vogue. Already about 16 per cent of the world’s electricity comes from nuclear, and there are plans to build or refurbish about two dozen plants worldwide. Countries like the United States, England, France, Finland, India, Russia, South Africa, Japan, China, Iran and Pakistan are all planning to expand their programs."Desperate times do not necessarily provide the wisest solution. Proliferation of nuclear power have the potential becoming an existential threat if not tightened fail-safe security is in place. Even then, …

Targeting nerve growth factor may cure liver cancer

"Nerve growth factor (NGF), as the name says, is an essential peptide factor for the growth and differentiation of neuronal cells. Therefore we can imagine that this growth factor is important for the nervous system including brain. But a recent scientific report published in the October 7 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology tells us another surprising and exciting discovery about this growth factor: NGF is positively related with liver cancer, the No.2 killer among all kinds of cancers in the world."Article Link:
Targeting nerve growth factor may cure liver cancer

Green Dreams

Even the "Sheikhs" in Middle-East know that the age of oil boom is not forever. Tremendous interests and activities in Biofuel utilizing corn, sugarcane and cellulose have already begun to stir glimpse of hope for a world not dependent on fossil fuel. Shortcomings from these biofuels like reduction of world food supplies for these cash crops, and also the miserable labor conditions in the sugar cane fields of Brazil should be at the forefront of any major scale alternative energy initiatives, however, the finest opportunities using nature's own solution utilizing algae harnessing cleaner energy perhaps depicts a world free of oil wars and green house emissions.

Link to this National Geographic must read article:
Green Dreams

World's Top 10 Most Polluted Places

"Despite the massive pollution, it would be relatively easy and cheap to clean up the most dangerous hazards at these contaminated sites, Fuller argues. Economic development has already led to construction of cleaner new plants in some places and small efforts and investments can net major gains, he says. For example, it costs just $15,000 to save an estimated 350 lives by simply digging up radioactive contaminated soil from the Mayak plutonium facility that had been deposited on the shore of the Techa River in the Russian town of Muslyomova." Article Link:
World's Top 10 Most Polluted Places

The New Battle for M.B.A. Grads

It's a "supplier's market", great when it lasts for graduating MBA students, hectic for prospective employers.

Link to this Wall Street Journal article:
The New Battle for M.B.A. Grads

‘We have to remain the watchdogs’ - an Interview with Asma Jehangir

"I think the message coming out of this is that the political leadership is out of touch with reality. No one can deny that on the streets of Pakistan, people were asking Musharraf to go. There were slogans against military in politics. There was complete clarity in that movement."Link:
‘We have to remain the watchdogs’ - an Interview with Asma Jehangir

Shrinkage of prostate led to overestimation of cancer risk in trial

Shrinkage of prostate led to overestimation of cancer risk in trial

Reanalysis of data from the first long-term randomized trial of a chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer shows that the excess prevalence of high-grade prostate cancer in the drug-treated group may be attributable to shrinkage of the prostate at the time of biopsy. The study of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, led by University of Illinois at Chicago professor of pathology Dr. Peter Gann, is published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial evaluated the drug finasteride, which blocks production of a male hormone within the prostate and is proven effective in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlargement of the prostate. The trial was stopped in 2003 when finasteride was found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by nearly 25 percent. However, men assigned to the finasteride group had a greater prevalence of high-grade cancer.Gann said…

bismillah

A children voice singing nasheed, in the background variable chorus, keeping with rhythm, this music was made really well. Spiritual. More videos like this will surely help eliminating unjustified mis-portrayal of peaceful 1.2 billion Muslims around the world.

Bangladesh - Moudud sued for hiding wealth

He was the former law minister of Bangladesh. Very influential and powerful politician who had always found a way to remain at the helm of power propped on "law". When the Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangladesh asked him to reveal his movable and immovable properties, assets, bank accounts, etc., Mr. Moudud did not declare wealth worth Tk 4,40,37,375. He has assets to the tune of Tk 7,38,48,237 which is disproportionate to his sources of income."

The key words are "disproportionate to his sources of income". In Bangladesh, as more stories are coming to light, as more and more once immune political demagogues are getting their treacherous masks ripped apart and their loots and extorted piles of money and treasures seeing the daylight for the first time, the scopes of these suited booted thugs' thuggeries are only beginning to emerge in front of demurred but politically subdued people of Bangladesh.

More to unearth. More to unmask.

Link to the news article:
Mo…

What next in the battle to keep the globe afloat?

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What is so troublesome in this article published in UK's The Guardian is that there is that possibility of a financial crisis in the likes of 1929 financial crash, or perhaps this is only a shadow, a marginal chaos in financial sector related to housing sector's recent cooling down. All the problematic warning signs are visible through up surge of default loans in the real estate market mostly in U.S., however, since we live in a global economy, the effects of U.S. real estate slowing down has started affecting bank in UK. Read the following extract from The Guardian:
"To those queueing outside Northern Rock last week in the panic to remove their precious nest eggs, the models may as well have been written in Klingon for all the British public understands of how they worked or indeed why they have come to exert such a powerful influence over their lives.But the rocket scientists' model was actually quite simple: the American underclass would be turned into an asset by …

Bad Dreams are Good - a Poem by Joni Mitchell

I liked the subtle supple wordings of this poem in New Yorker:
Bad Dreams Are Goodby Joni Mitchell
The cats are in the flower bedsA red hawk rides the skyI guess I should be happyJust to be aliveButWe have poisoned everythingAnd oblivious to it allThe cell-phone zombies babbleThrough the shopping mallsWhile condors fall from Indian skiesWhales beach and die in sandBad Dreams are good In the Great Plan
And you cannot be trustedDo you even know you are lying?It’s dangerous to kid yourselfYou go deaf, dumb, and blindYou take with such entitlementYou give bad attitudeYou have No graceNo empathyNo gratitudeYou have no sense of consequenceOh, my head is in my handsBad Dreams are goodIn the Great PlanBefore that altering appleWe were one with everythingNo sense of self and otherNo self-consciousnessBut now we have to grappleWith this man-made world backfiringKeeping one eye on our brother’s deadly selfishnessEveryone’s a victim hereNobody’s hands are cleanThere’s so very little left of wild Ed…

Salmon Spawn Trout

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This raises hope "spawning endangered fish species within more common ones."

Article Link:
Salmon Spawn Trout

The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein

Collin Powell on Terror Industrial Complex

Video Link:
Collin Powell calls for more Oversight on Counter-Terrorism

Collin Powell's comment:
"Well, I think we have to be aware. We are spending an enormous amount of money on homeland security and I think we should spend whatever it takes. But I think we have to be careful that we don't get so caught up in trying to throw money at the terrorist and counter terrorist problem, that we are essentially creating an industry that will only exist as long you keep the terrorist threat pumped up. And so, that would be the context of that comment and I feel strongly about it."From GQinternview:
"Isn’t the new global threat we face even more dangerous?

What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it’s terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is t…

Heather Martin - When Are You Coming Home

TIMZ

The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal?

Now, let's kitty explains us all! Well made video simplifies the lies and deceptions purported this war in layman's words.

Ant: Light Pollution

How a Millionaire’s Brain Works…

"A man walked into a bank in New York City one day and asked for the loan officer.

He told the loan officer that he was going to Philippines on business for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000. The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan.

Then the man handed over the keys to a new Ferrari parked on the street in front of the bank. He produced the title and everything checked out The loan officer agreed to accept the car as collateral for the loan.The bank’s president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the guy for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral against a $5,000 loan."Well, who has the "last laugh"? Read the article in full from the following link to find out:
How a Millionaire’s Brain Works…

3D Video

The pain is still palpable, agonies and tears rage in heart from that day's carnage, senseless destructions and thereafter more violence and deaths of innocence around the world.

Will Super Smart Artificial Intelligences Keep Humans Around As Pets?

"By 2030, or by 2050 at the latest, will a super-smart artificial intelligence decide to keep humans around as pets? Will it instead choose to turn the entire Earth, including the messy organic bits like us, into computronium? Or is there a third alternative?"
Link:
From the Singularity Summit

We're All Suspects

Eroding civil rights, diminishing hopes of freedom in fading twilight of "democracy". Read the following excerpt:
"There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country where police were allowed to search your home at anytime for any reason; if we lived in a country where the government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail conversations; and if we lived in a country where people could be held in jail indefinitely...based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, the government would probably discover and arrest more terrorists... But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live...." Recognize any of these changes in your country today? Despite Feingold's words, the Patriot Act passed the Senate 98 to 1. This year, just before the August recess, enough cowardly Democrats gave Bush and Cheney the votes they needed…

The number of endangered species grows

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"MORE species are under threat than ever before according to the World Conservation Union. Its “Red List”, published on Wednesday September 12th, gives warning that 16,306 species are under threat of extinction (of 41,415 described), nearly 200 more than in 2005. This number has risen steadily since the first report in 1996. Corals have been added to the endangered list alongside the usual apes and dolphins. There is cause for concern but biodiversity scientists are less confident accountants than the list might suggest. Nobody knows how many species occupy the planet. Most experts think 10m is roughly correct, though they have only formally noted 1.4m. The most reliable data describe creatures that humans find easy to count: colourful, land-based and big enough to hunt."Link:
http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9790492

Hindus up in arms as god clashes with government

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“Belief has to be separated from historical facts,” T. K. Venkatasubramaniam, professor of history at Delhi University, said. “Ram Setu has gotten into the culture and psyche. Even in the 21st century it is very difficult to come out of that belief.” Link:
Hindus up in arms as god clashes with government

Gen. Wesley Clark Takes on Fox News

Can anyone say that General Wesley Clark is not a patriot? He was the supreme commander of NATO. He has seen all sides of wars and violences. Even he knows the compounding errs being accumulated in that artificially fabricated conflicts that's been raging on and on, destroying lives and livelihoods of unknown many. When will it end? Will it ever end in foreseeable future?

Emotive to the End

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"Emotive to the end."He didn't possess recursive logic so couldn't "work with digital numbers or more complex human grammar", but considering human being's paltry success in acquiring the language of birds, Alex, an African gray parrot was accomplished considering natural language barrier existing amongst species. Alex learned more than just mere mimicking like other birds. His mentor Dr. Pepperberg prompted Alex to learn scores of words, which he could put into categories, and to count small numbers of items, as well as recognize colors and shapes.

A psychologist at Hunter College, Diana Reiss characterized it well, “The work revolutionized the way we think of bird brains. hat used to be a pejorative, but now we look at those brains — at least Alex’s — with some awe.”"

On his very last night Alex said to his mentor, "“You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.”

Just like a gentleman would say.

The next morning Alex was found dead in his cage.

Read…

Tangerine peel 'kills cancer'

Too early to tell if this new exciting discovery will lead to effective anti-cancer drugs or other treatments in the future. Two points to note from this news:
"The researchers suggest the modern trend to throw away peel may have contributed to a rise in some cancers."

"the use of modern pesticides and fungicides, which have cut the risk of infections, have also led to a drop in Salvestrol levels in food."Link:
Tangerine peel 'kills cancer'

A Single Sheet of Paper

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Amazing! Just single sheet of paper and artist's vivid imagination enmeshed in sheer artistry. Check these "crafts" out from the following link:

Link:
A Single Sheet of Paper

Another example:

Olbermann Special Comment

Why isn't rest of the mainstream media comes close to Olbermann's loud and clear dissents?

Olbermann, perhaps loneliest amongst the "anchors"

Poems of Langston Hughes

A fine article on Langston Hughes' poetry can be found from the following link:http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/hughes-transcript.htmlWebcast Archive: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/video/lahughes.ram
A few poems of Langston Hughes presented below:
DemocracyBy Langston Hughes
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
HarlemWhat happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink l…

Hidden method of reading revealed

Professor Simon Liversedge, from the University of Southampton, said: "We found that in a very substantial number of fixations that people make when they read, they aren't looking at the same letter."

"'A comprehensive understanding of the psychological processes underlying reading is vital if we are to develop better methods of teaching children to read and offer remedial treatments for those with reading disorders such as dyslexia.'Link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6983176.stm

Windows process and DLL library

Find out why your pc and laptops are getting slower. A fine resources computing hobbyists.

Windows process and DLL library

Dear Mr. President

A song by Pink. Lyric listed below:

"Dear Mr. President"
(feat. Indigo Girls)

Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me.
I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay…