A spinoff in proper "Rhoda" style of my patented e-mail blastograms, this blog was created with the intention of keeping friends and family updated on and amused by my life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recent Discoveries

A few recent discoveries that have helped me through the week:

  1. Vodafone’s new mobile Internet devices. These snappy USB modems plug right in to give you Internet on your computer whenever, wherever. With speeds up to 7.2mbs (as fast as you can realistically get broadband over a landline in London) and sans the hassle of BT and Orange’s ineptitude, I don’t see what’s stopping people (with perhaps the exception of the somewhat small 3GB monthly fair usage policy…). Of course, I just lost my last post, so maybe I speak a bit too soon.

  2. Robert DeNiro’s character in Stardust. It basically makes the movie. See it if you’re up for a good laugh, and remember, it’s all about reputation.

  3. Yahoo Pipes. A colleague turned me on to this AMAZING service by Yahoo that can help you manipulate incoming RSS feeds to produce your own bespoke feeds. See for example my friends feed that compiles the feeds from all my friends’ blogs and sorts them by most recent post to keep me up-to-date with their news.

  4. Coffee-rubbed salmon. Tonight I decided to take inspiration from a recipe I had seen for a coffee rub for chicken breasts. I added about 2 tablespoons of freshly ground Peet’s coffee (yes I have it imported), ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of herbs de provence, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I rubbed it over two fillets of salmon and grilled in the oven for about 20 minutes. Divine!

  5. MiKA. You might recognise their songs from various Ugly Betty promotions (including the Season 2 promo with "Big Girl You Are Beautiful"), but they're so much more. I downloaded Life in Cartoon Motion last week and haven't been able to turn it off. I actually think it's becoming a problem.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

More on Myanmar

Some various responses to my last post:

It's weird--the Denver Post (an AP outlet) has nothing about Myanmar on their front page, but I noticed some headlines about it on their news ticker when I was downtown. If you go to the World news page, 2 stories about Myanmar are in the "Top News Stories" box, which makes the absence from the front page even weirder. It looks like the AP is covering the events there, just not...making any attempt to draw peoples' notice to them? Very strange. Article here.

I've been trying to keep up with the news about what's happening in Myanmar (formerly Burma, I believe), and can report that the Corvallis Gazette-Times has had articles regarding the riots, etc, almost every day, although the articles are back on the 4th or 5th page of the main section.

Apparently, you missed that George Bush made extensive comments on your blog issue today.

Just wanted to pipe in that the top story on the NYT website last night when I looked at it hoping for a Myanmar update was a YANKEES GAME. Yes, the coverage has been terrible over here.

Thanks for the references, Jeff. You’ll be relieved to know that NPR (Morning Edition and All Things Considered) is covering the activity. Unfortunately, the news coming out of Myanmar is suddenly being clamped down. Sending prayers for those within…

CNN? USA Today? Those of us who live in the US and are savvy listen to NPR - and let me tell you, Myanmar/Burma is the top story at every news break. It is also a top story at the New York Times. It just depends on where you go for news.

In general it sounds like coverage of what's happening in Burma is out there, but it requires a little digging. While I am reassured that it is at least out there, I continue to be frustrated with the fact that it is not more prominently located. The only way to put international pressure on the junta in Myanmar is to build awareness.

Of course, as one of my readers notices, after the government crackdowns started last Thursday, news and images from the inside has slowed somewhat. Which is why an article on Discovery News caught my attention: Satellite Images Show Myanmar Abuses.

Howard French has also offered an interesting view of the conflict from China in: Letter from China: Myanmar crackdown sheds light on Beijing's aspirations. To quote selectively:
Myanmar is a highly repressive state that has been run into the ground by incompetent leaders who have been partially enabled by China. It is, moreover, a country whose people are now risking their lives peacefully for freedom. This must very nearly be something like a bad dream for Beijing's foreign policy establishment.

Indeed, as French also points out, the Chinese government is between a rock and a hard place. It will be interesting to see how much longer their policy of non-interference with the internal affairs of other states will be a stragtegy they will be able to maintain.

Because of this, French hints, coverage of what is going on in Burma is limited at best in China, and so I would like to re-pose the same question as before to my readers in China (I konw you're out there!). It seems like there is never much of the important stuff that can be found in the media, but what's the word on the street, especially in nearby Kunming? Is there an awareness or reaction to what is happening there?

Rather ironically, I just saw an article on the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's (SARFT) recent drive to clean up Chinese media before the 17th Party Congress. Sexy sounds and ads for push-up bras are out, good wholesome socialist fun is in. The Deputy Head of SARFT, Tian Jin said, "Every television advertisement management bureau and television station must strengthen their political consciousness and responsibility toward society." Funny, it seems to me that the responsible thing for society would be to report about the atrocities happening right next door...

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