Danny Yee >> Pathologically Polymathic (blog)

December 2005

<< November 2005 | January 2006 >>

Indonesian soldiers admit being paid by US mining company Freeport - Barista
China's legal system is still under party control - IHT [via Barista]
one activist lawyer's experiences with the system
there are few feedback controls on worsening China-Japan relations - CSM
and this may turn out to be one of the US' biggest foreign policy failures
oh no! the NSA web site uses cookies - CNN
their more worrying threats to privacy are the ones we don't know about
A History of 50 Years of Independence - The Fate of Africa [review]
Straight, Bent and Barbara Vine [review]
short Australian crime fiction
the NY transport workers union wins settlement - Gilliard [via Wolcott]
Bolivia's new president will cut his own salary and visit Cuba - BBC
backgrounder on Verisign's .com contract renewal - ICANN - more
"VRSN is one of the best companies out there in terms of intimidation and greed... and I wouldn't sell them short on bribing politicians and supposed non-profit corporations, either."
critics attack CSIRO-endorsed high-protein diet book - Nature
Russia's devastating demographic decline - Guardian
many villages are slowly disappearing
how closely do you follow African news? - EZ quiz [via RW]
I scored 7/10
a brief history of wheat - Economist
the story of a Latvian seeking work in Ireland - WP [via Far]
"Since May 2004 almost 450,000 people, most of them from the poorest fringes of the formerly communist east, have legally migrated west to the job-rich economies of Ireland, Britain and Sweden"
the joys of a CIA expense account - ChicagoTribune [via ProRev]
22 agents managed to chalk up huge bills during the Milan abduction of Abu Omar
how not to do comparative linguistics - Far [via 1000 post retrospective]
did ancient Hawaiians teach the Californian Indians how to make sea-going canoes?
net-illiterate mom fights music downloading suit - Wired
Percy Bysse Shelley disses Intelligent Design - Aetiology
Kurdish soldiers in Iraqi army are training to seize Kirkuk and Mosul - KR [via AW]
"The Iraqi army's 2nd Division, which oversees the Irbil-Mosul area, has some 12,000 soldiers, and at least 90 percent of them are Kurds"
the Ethiopia-Eritrea claims commission rules on damages from the 1998-2000 war - HH
medical students lead movement against pharma bribes - CSM [via RW]
"spending on marketing to physicians jumped from $12.1 billion in 1999 to $22 billion in 2003"
there was a three-day hiatus
I went bushwalking in Deua national park - we had a great trip and saw two echidnas and a wombat as well as lots of kangaroos
Finno-Ugric minorities in central Russia - Economist
"a loose movement consisting mainly of concerned philologists and ethnographers has prompted an allergic reaction"
Chinese Uighurs in Guantanamo remain in legal limbo - Jurist [via AW]
they're no longer enemy combatants, but they can't be returned to China because "they could face death or torture" and "their release inside the US is not feasible"
the improving situation of Turkey's Kurds - NYROB
even distant membership of the EU has had an electrifying effect
an interactive atlas of NSW wildlife - NPWS
The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia [review]
A History of the Struggle for Great Power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the Early Middle Ages
scary US mega-churches get even bigger - Economist
how long can it be before they list on the stock exchange?
proud of protest - Huff [via RW]
"I want my daughters to have FBI files. I want them filmed by hostile government agents during mass protests against injustice."
Iceland's population is booming - IceRev
"if the trend continues Icelanders could hit the 300,000 mark at the beginning of next year"
background on the NY transit workers' strike - Spewing [via MSpeak]
for ordinary people, a dismal view of the US economy - MSpeak
"Profits are up, but the wages and the incomes of average Americans are down"
half of Israelis support peace talks with Hamas - Haaretz [via ProRev]
when is war justified in defense against non-state attacks? - HH
the International Court of Justice's decision on Uganda's use of force in the Congo
did humans "domesticate" themselves? - New Scientist [via Long]
around 7% of human genome appears to have been under selection
dismay as France mandates positive view of colonialism in schools - Guardian
no one at the WTO wanted to talk about China's farmers - Guardian
a neglected English children's classic: the "Uncle" books - Economist
the US is unwilling to pressure Ethiopia on human rights - MT
"the tough guy in the White House who stood up to Saddam and other bad boys becomes a pathetic wimp when confronting a government that is desperately dependent on U.S. aid"
two worlds: a doctor in Kinshasa and "trailer trash" in the Appalachians - Economist
more on the Iraqi election results - Informed
the cheerleaders for Allawi and Chalabi were clearly deluded
daughters make families more left-wing, sons more right-wing - PhysOrg [via RW] - Warwick [PDF]
an inventor and venture capitalist on the US patent system - BusinessWeek
"patents have become irrelevant -- even harmful -- to the innovation process"
judge in Dover rules against ID - Pharyngula
"unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom"
a Jewish woman moves to a Palestinian village in Israel - EI
"When I arrived at first in Tamra, I understood within 10 minutes that the situation here was comparable to the situation I knew from South Africa"
talking to Nigeria's "yahoo-yahoo" boys - CSM [via Accra]
purveyors of their country's most infamous export: 419 scam emails
an update on Israeli politics - HH
$30 million from the Gates Foundation for leishmaniasis study - OneWorldHealth
Gates: "The development of this new operating system is a terrific global IT success story. By developing a low-cost, copyleft operating system for older computers, the GNU Project and its partners have given the world more effective systems with good security, at a fraction of the cost"
the importance of network neutrality - Geist [via Link]
there are moves by ISPs to prioritise their own network traffic, violating the principle under which all data is treated equally
long piece on Philip Pullman - NewYorker [via RW]
"Although I call myself an atheist, I am a Church of England atheist"
Ebert's best movies of 2005 - Sun [via RW]
I haven't seen a single one of the movies he mentions... there are too many books to read!
the IMF is not very popular in Argentina - Guardian
Free Software as a social movement: an RMS interview - ZMag [via LWN]
covers the usual material; and ZMag is thinking about moving to free software
Internet Explorer for the Mac is finally going away! - M$ [via /.]
it hasn't been updated for years, but I still find the occasional user running it
adopting Naguib Mahfouz for opera - AlAhram [via HH]
the first Russian screen adaptation of The Master and Margarita - Guardian
Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece of 20th-century storytelling was widely considered "impossible to adapt to film" (Amazon)
Homeland Security agents investigate student for reading Mao - SouthCoastToday [via JWZ]
check out the Little Red Book at Amazon and maybe you too can go on a watchlist!
WTO meeting brings worst violence in 30 years to Hong Kong - Guardian
an overview of the Iraqi election results so far - Informed
has avian flu reached Malawi? - ProMed [via Aetiology]
"thousands of migratory birds were found dead on a hill... local villagers started scooping up the dead fork-tailed drongos to eat"
melting Arctic ice may doom polar bears - WSJ [via ProRev]
a forgotten failed state: Somalia - Economist
governments and elections in Latin America - BBC [via ProRev]
Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages [review]
a really excellent book for those interested in language history
council sues over house-painting with (the wrong kind of) yoghurt - Tele [via Stross]
top ten poorly publicised stories of 1995 - ForeignPolicy [via Kos]
Wikipedia science has 31% more errors than Brittanica - Nature - BBC
amazing fact: 10% of Nature authors have updated Wikipedia articles
(personally I think Wikipedia is primarily a MMORPG and only secondarily an encyclopedia)
evidence of warfare from 5500 year-old Mesopotamian settlement - NewSci [via RW]
I don't know that I'd want to be doing archaeological excavations on the Iraq-Syrian border right now!
another book on the economics of online worlds - Economist - Amazon
a review of the latest work on the origin of life - PLOS [via Panda]
"systems disruption" attacks on critical infrastructure - GlobalGuerillas
European agriculture came with farmers from Mesopotamia - PLOS
are we all really Iraqis?
controversy over appointment to Israel's Supreme Court - Haaretz
an introduction to computer animations - Economist
when does an investment product become a lottery? - Economist
the Germans plunge on weird "structured bonds" at Christmas
Studio Ghibli to make anime version of Earthsea trilogy!? - ICV2 [via ekumen]
the director will be Hayao Miyazaki's son Goro...
The Art of Being a Parasite [review]
Muslim leaders meet and face up to a crisis - Guardian [via RtoS]
"The outcome was a 10-year plan that amounts to nothing less than an attempt to modernise Islam" and "revamp existing mindsets"
plagiarism and other tricks in Amazon's review system - SSRN
civil war in Iraq - NationalJournal [via Informed]
Appalachian stupidities in the war on drugs - Boston [via ProRev]
locking up ailing seniors for making a few extra dollars by selling their painkillers
US Supreme Court will hear challenge to Texas redistricting - CSM
surely there must be measures of electoral boundary fairness
Roberto Calasso on Anquetil-Duperron and visiting India - Telegraph [via Kit]
I highly recommend Calasso's Ka, a reworking of the Vedic stories
a brief economic history of Hong Kong - EH
Miroslav Krleza's great novel - The Return of Philip Latinowicz [review]
the Chinese government sanctions over-zealous police commander - Economist
"protesters are usually dispersed with truncheons and tear gas, not live bullets"
Christopher Robin is to become Christine - BBC
Disney rewrites Winnie the Pooh
ex-Googlers are blogging some Google history - Xooglers
Nahdatul Ulama volunteers will guard churches on Java over Christmas - AlJazeera [via Macam]
NU is Indonesia's largest Islamic organisation
trade liberalisation may be a disaster for Senegal - Guardian
Al-Jazeera's director: why did you want to bomb me? - Don'tBomb
does earlier motherhood cause lower wages? - Slate [via CT]
"a woman in her 20s will increase her lifetime earnings by 10 percent if she delays the birth of her first child by a year"
how Wikipedia differs from open source software - News [via OSWALD]
Nir Rosen argues for a quick US withdrawal from Iraq - Truthout [via Informed]
"Most insurgency groups view themselves as waging a muqawama - a resistance - rather than a jihad."
Merkel outs US' kidnapping of Khaled el-Masri - FT [via AntiWar]
Iran's president comes up with more anti-Israel Holocaust-denial - Guardian
and the Israeli government tries to start a competition about whose "ancestors" go back furthest...
three ordinary Britons face jail for different anti-war protests - Independent
Norway's print censorship laws are relaxed - Afenposten [via EFA]
why SETI is different from Intelligent Design - Panda
John Lennon in 1971: a Tariq Ali interview - CP [via ProRev]
brains versus testes in bats - Economist
expensive tissue is subject to energy constraints
Australia still has the most overvalued housing in the world - Economist
despite deflation over the last couple of years
Britain, Sweden and Ireland welcome hordes of Eastern European workers - IHT [via Far]
while the rest of Europe tries to hold the door shut
Harold Pinter in fine form with his Nobel speech - Guardian
who holds the most US patents? - Yahoo [via /.]
Eddison has been bested by a man who designs floral arrangements, and the 1997 leader was Japanese
food and beverage marketing leads children to unhealthy diets - Aetiology
do we need the National Academy of Sciences to tell us that?
more travel companies quit Burma - CHRD Burma
ten remaining questions about 11 September 2001 - VV [via RW]
Ethiopia orders UN peacekeepers along Eritrean border to leave - IHT
Eric Schmidt on how Google manages its staff - MSNBC [via /.]
five months in an Afghan salt pit after mistaken identification - Times
"The CIA concluded his passport was genuine and it had the wrong man... but he was held for two more months before being flown to Albania and dumped in a wood"

the best books I've read in the last year - all time selection
Arthur Morris - The Art of Bird Photography
Ahmadou Kourouma - Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote
the life story of an African dictator
A. Zee - Swallowing Clouds
A Playful Journey through Chinese Culture, Language, and Cuisine
Timothy Brook - The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China
Matthews + Brotchie - Oulipo Compendium
Imre Kertesz - Kaddish for a Child Not Born

Iranian plane crashes into apartment building, killing 120+ - Breitbart [via AntiWar]
Contemporary Writings on the Whale - The Presence of Whales [review]
Israeli polls suggest poverty is a bigger election issue than security - Haaretz [via ProRev]
reputation rankings of 60 prominent corporations - WS [via RW]
Google is 3rd, Halliburton 57th
an interview with an FSF-India organiser - LJ [via LWN]
the 15th anniversary of trn - GG [via RW]
the world was young, the mountains green, no spam yet on the Net was seen
and now for the Good Sex Award - Times
few will understand Narnia's religious content - Guardian [via RW]
"Everyone needs ghosts, spirits, marvels and poetic imaginings, but we can do well without an Aslan"
the story of Chaplin Yee - NYROB
"Far from acknowledging a miscarriage of justice, the prosecution said it couldn't disclose its evidence because of national security concerns"
Nigerian church sends missionaries to a Texan town - Guardian
-- a town that used to be a Klu Klux Klan stronghold
just three search results for "ethical mining company" - Google
the plight of Zimbabwe's Jews - Haaretz [via HH]
"a thriving community of 7,500 at its peak in the mid-1960s now numbers less than 300"
strong opposition to anti-terror laws - Law Council of Australia [via EFA]
there's no bullet list, like Stalin's bullet list - Tufte
a page from The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint
obesity problems in India's middle class - Guardian
"Around 45 per cent of Indian children under five suffer from malnutrition"
obituary for communist Resistance leader from WWII France - Guardian
I'd never heard of Georges Guingouin, but his story offers interesting insights into French history
Kenya has a camel mobile library service - Guardian
economic development in Xinjiang - Economist
"however brutal the pacification of Xinjiang, China has so far managed to prevent it from degenerating into a security nightmare"
concrete blight afflicts Baghdad - Aljazeera [via RW]
Russia sells Iran tactical surface-to-air missiles - Reuters [via AW]
a rant about African aid cliches - Accra [via RW]
photos from Borneo - MFT
a lawsuit over spyware classifcation - Register
a collection of essays by Amartya Sen - Asia - Amazon
bad news about the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation - Nature
should Icelandic medieval studies be taught in English? - IcelandReview [via Lang]
Vatican theologians wrestle with limbo - SeattlePI [via JWalk]
can skyscrapers cause earthquakes? - Guardian
"Compared with dams and underground waste deposits, skyscrapers such as Taipei 101 are mere pinpricks on the Earth's surface"
ex-PM Malcolm Fraser slams Australian government - News
"he called the Liberals a party of fear and reaction, and confided he had considered resigning from the party over the Government's anti-terror laws"
Rumsfeld's role in Saddam Hussein's war crimes - TruthDig [via Informed]
the maid's revenge: a court case from 1746 London - HH
two women elected to Jeddah chamber of commerce - HH
"the first occasion on which Saudi women have stood for election to any quasi-official body"

<< November 2005 | January 2006 >>

Pathologically Polymathic (blog) << Danny Yee