Monday, June 19, 2006

"Norway to House Seeds in Doomsday Vault"

AP via SFGate
"This facility will provide a practical means to re-establish crops obliterated by major disasters," Cary Fowler, the trust's executive secretary, said in a statement, adding that crop diversity is also threatened by "accidents, mismanagement and shortsighted budget cuts."

"Fla. School Board Bans Cuba Book"

``The Cuban people have been paying a dear price for 47 years for the reality to be known,'' Amador Rodriguez, a former political prisoner in Cuba, told The Miami Herald. ``A 32-page book cannot silence that.''
So the father who opposed these books was in prison in Cuba - no wonder he doesn't want elementary school children being taught only about the bravado and team spirit involved with communist propaganda. When I was in elementary school, I was certainly never taught about the level of oppression and force in communist Cuba, China, N Korea, etc. (not to mention in our own country under the auspices of free choice, of course...).

Not that I'm for "banning books," of course, as I've noticed this has been termed in many of the articles. The AP article (via First Amendment Center) is so confusing it doesn't specify if the books are down- or up-playing the quality of life in communist countries; it concentrates more on the injustice of banning a book. As if this is a censorship issue. The book itself censors the issue. This isn't a ban, it's a removal based on non-truths and omissions (and hopefully will be replaced by an age-appropriate, broad-scope book that addresses positive and negative sides of collectivism and emphasizes the fact that Castro has been in power since 1-Jan-1959. It's not an opinion issue - many people were killed and imprisoned for his gain.

But darn, every time I say that, I know that it's the case in the US too, obviously. Our executives, legislature, and law enforcement are also kept in by legacy and more subtle and potentially more dangerous. But I can't stop thinking about the fact that there are places where it is acceptable and commonplace for folks to be whisked away for lesser offenses than here. We still get ours.

"Nestle to buy Jenny Craig for $600 million" - Business Week

I have never seen such an appropriate example of causing problems to generate the need for solutions. Hahaha except it's not funny America.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Independent robots team up for search task"

"If the air vehicle sees something, then the ground vehicles are aware of it and will decide whether to investigate...Each robot has an idea of what it thinks is going on, in terms of probabilities of a target being in a particular place."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Iraq contractors make billions on the front line" - CNN

Skills I can't go another day without working towards

pic is my bro 'n' me in Cades Cove, TN. balancing on a tree will get you far?

Survival in N'rn California:
-Headwaters Outdoors School - Mt. Shasta
-Adventure Out - Santa Cruz
-Nuclear Survival in CA

Schools in Georgia:
-Medicine Bow
-@ Amicalola Falls State Park (we camped there)

-Get Outdoors blog
-Primitive Ways

Monday, June 12, 2006

"300 ways to bridge a poverty gap" - UKTimes

pennies from 1981 or earlier worth more

*Copper flux (currently at $3.027/lb)

*mass: 2.5 g = 0.005512 lb (converter)

1 - 95% Cu penny is worth $.01585

My friends and I just had a penny sorting party. They're great because they reminded me the other day that there's no need to be ashamed of survival skills.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Son of the Revolution

by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro

I am currently finishing this book, and it is one of the best works I've ever read.

Some of the most striking aspects of this incredibly smart man's journey:

-fabricated criticisms of political crimes: his parents both undergo severe re-education procedures, though they both love the party (his father to the extent that many times, his judgment errs toward political favor over family)

-the glorification of the party over family ties

-the extensive and corrupt network of bribery that develops to accomplish anything within the stifling socialist bureaucracy

I have been scammed

trying to sell my powerbook screen

"Namibia: Mystery Disease Killy 3" - The Namibian via

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