September 2007 Archives

An Exorcism Maldives Style

A disturbing video of an exorcism in the Maldives (not recommended for everyone)- I previously mentioned about it in an earlier post.

Terrorism comes to Paradise

Breaking news from Maldives;

Twelve tourists have been injured in an explosion in Malé’s Sultan Park, in what appears to be a planned attack on the Maldives Tourism industry.

A small explosion took place at the entrance to the park, near the northern edge of the island at 2.36pm....

Some local media report the explosion was triggered by a home made device involving a mobile phone and washing machine motor attached to a gas cylinder. Witnesses report seeing nails scattered in the park, before the area was cleared by security personnel.

The Right Way to do Serious Political Debate

Black Opium Energy Drink banned

Some news headlines from Maldives;

Importing, selling Black Opium Energy Drink banned in Maldives

The National Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has yesterday banned the import and selling of the Black Opium Energy Drink in Maldives.

The NCB said in a statement that although there were no traces of any narcotic drugs in the drink, the NCB believed that the name of the brand and the phrases used in promotions and advertisement for the product encouraged people to abuse its namesake drug.

Maldivians becoming congenital liars

Taxi rides: Do we really need it?;

One of the taxis heading from west to east slowed down and I climbed into it. The driver was familiar and I struck a conversation with him regarding the difficulty of getting taxis in this two-square-kilometer island.

“There are over a 100,000 people here and 600-plus taxis ain’t just enough,” argued my taxi driver friend who I will call Mohamed.

“It would have been easier to get taxis if people called up taxis only for necessary rides,” he said.

He went on to say that as most Maldivians are “lazy”, they would rather take a taxi “to go to a place on the next street” and that if some people had their way, “they would rather have us taxis stop right in front of their rooms!”

Some 300 criminals are on the loose in the capital

The Best Resorts in the World

reethirah.jpgThe Beach House at Manafaru- a new resort in Maldives opens, New York Times report.

The world's best hotel was judged to be the One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah, with an outstanding ambience and top-notch leisure facilities.
-BA, Virgin and easyJet scoop Conde Nast awards

The voyage of Francois Pyrard of Laval to the Maldives

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Things Wal-Mart and Maldives have in common

Nothing drives home the point more than the recent case of Wikipedia's new WikiScanner. Created by a California Institute of Technology graduate student studying computer science, the scanner can trace an edited Wiki entry to the Internet protocol address of the computer network where the editing change originated. Thus, we find that a Wiki entry on the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which once listed statistics on the number of species killed by the catastrophe, was edited to erase those numbers. Worse, the entry tried to turn the oil spill into a positive environmental event by adding: "Six of the largest [salmon] harvests in history were recorded in the decade immediately following the spill."

Someone with an e-mail address at Wal-Mart changed "Wages at Wal-Mart are about 20 percent less than other retail stores" to "The average wage at Wal-Mart is almost double the federal minimum wage." A person traced back to PepsiCo removed several paragraphs about the health effects of drinking the soda. A State Farm IP address deleted references to lawsuits related to Hurricane Katrina. And the PR firm Hill & Knowlton, hired by the "repressive government of the Maldives, removed information on the lack of independent news outlets, election rigging and the imprisonment of political activists in the Maldives," the scanner report says.

-Wiki Sleuthing Uncovers PR Blunders

Hillary's Healthcare Plan v2.0

Oy vey, it cites RAND research, so I can't discuss it.

Always Low Prices!

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Wal-Mart has changed its slogan from "Always Low Prices, Always" to "Save Money, Live Better".

Unfortunately, already redirects to

Counting Calories for Mr. Popcorn

The man told Dr. Rose that he had eaten microwave popcorn at least twice a day for more than 10 years....

She asked the man to stop eating microwave popcorn.....

Six months later, the man has lost 50 pounds...

Mr. Popcorn's 50 lb weight loss is entirely reasonable, given that he was obese to begin with.

From a strict caloric intake point of view, if he abstained from 2 bags of popcorn for 180 days, and did not change his diet or energy output in any other way, he would have eaten roughly (180 days)*(2 bags/day)*(480 calories per bag) 172,800 fewer calories over 6 months.

At 3500 calories per pound of body fat, that translates into 172,800/3500 = 49.4 pounds of fat dropped just by kicking his two bag a day habit.


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