Saturday, April 30, 2011

Obama Roasted at Whitehouse Dinner

Hehe, sorry, I couldn't help posting this hilarious clip. Comedian Seth Meyers skewers Obama at a Whitehouse dinner:

Friday, April 29, 2011

India Chooses European Warplanes Over American

India has finally chosen European warplanes over American ones, in its decision on one of the largest defense contracts in its history.

china's 2G? bullet train scam at $276 billion? laloo, raja: shame -- you didn't think of this? HT @inferno

apr 29th, 2011 CE

a certain amount of schadenfreude is called for.

but i am disappointed that laloo, raja et al have shamed india yet again. how could they get china get ahead even in this? the $276 billion scam neatly outdoes the mere $40 billion that raja managed. tough luck. must try harder next time, UPA.

Bose Founder Gives Majority of Company to MIT

Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corporation, has donated a majority share of his company to MIT. While the university will not be able to vote or sell its shares, it will be a recipient of stock dividends paid out by the company.

blackberry, microsoft shares tank: the apple/google tsunami in smartphones and tablets

apr 29th, 2011 CE

from 'good morning silicon valley':

 Shares of BlackBerry maker RIM are tanking today, more than 13.5 percent to about $48.90, after the Canadian company on Thursday slashed its forecast for the current quarter, whose results it will report in June. Research in Motion said it’s shipping fewer smartphones than expected. Its competition, of course, are the popular Apple iPhone and Android-based phones. (Motorola Mobility said yesterday that it narrowed its first-quarter loss based on shipments of Android smartphones, which nearly doubled.) Still, RIM said sales of its recently released PlayBook tablets are in line with its expectations, according to the Wall Street Journal. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie pointed out that the company is making a transition to a new OS, and that “we have this company straight in the middle of the whole tablet mobile computing space.”

Microsoft shares are down sharply, about 4 percent to $25.60 this morning, after the software giant reported its third-quarter earnings yesterday. Despite posting sales and profit that beat analyst expectations, plus reporting strong sales of its Office suite and Kinect devices for the Xbox 360, the company also said that sales of its Windows operating system for PCs declined again. Much has been written, of course, about the growing popularity of iPads and other tablets, which use Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and other operating systems. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft CFO Peter Klein said Windows sales were weak partly because of a 40 percent decline in netbook sales in the third quarter. Microsoft is reportedly working on making Windows-based tablets more palatable. Windows-based netbooks, which are stripped-down PCs, were hot just a couple of years ago — till tablets entered the picture.

why chetan bhagat was demonized: The good and bad of Gujarat - Chetan Bhagat

apr 29th, 2011 CE

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri
Subject: The good and bad of Gujarat - Chetan Bhagat
To:


The good and bad of Gujarat

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/all-that-matters/The-good-and-bad-of-Gujarat/articleshow/8068651.cms

Chetan Bhagat | Apr 24, 2011

Narendra Modi is back in the news. Coincidentally, just last week i
was in Gujarat and became acutely aware of how much emotion one chief
minister can generate. The youth wing of GCCI, an industry body of
Gujarat, had invited me to a felicitation function in Ahmedabad. I
have always felt the dynamism of Gujarat's the various industry
bodies, which run some wonderful youth initiatives such as career
fairs, business plan competitions, mentoring programmes and
entrepreneurship guidance cells. It was a wonderful opportunity to
visit Ahmedabad, a city that inspires me and to which i owe much.

 The function was simple enough. A few speakers spoke about Gujarat's
development. The economic numbers were fantastic. The development
model seems to be working at the grassroots level too. While India's
agriculture GDP growth has averaged 2.5% in the last 10 years (with
the government targeting 4%), Gujarat's agriculture grew at a
staggering 9.8%.

 ... deleted

teesta for lokpal! Teesta 'lured' me into lying: Best Bakery witness to HC

apr 29th, 2011 CE

so zaheera shaikh was tried and convicted of perjury for lying in court. so, there are actual perjury laws in india. hallelujah! i thought there weren't any.

but of course, teesta, being who she is ("communism wombat"), is above the law, and she cannot be convicted of perjury. the perjury law, and the indian constitution, do not apply to her. all indians are equal, but some are more equal than others. teesta is the most equal of all (with the exception of rahul, who is even more equal than her. mteresa and white women in general are also even more equal than teesta). teesta ki jai ho!

teesta should be made lokpal, along with genocide suzie (they should alternate every other week. every one of their decisions, i forecast, will be "off with their hindu heads").

what happened to the legal dictum "no innocent should ever be punished, even if a hundred guilty go free"?

of course, that only applies to those who have human rights. not to the hindus of gujarat, certainly not to the 9 who have been convicted on evidence that yasmeen, who gave the evidence, has repeatedly said -- apparently because of her conscience -- was false and prompted. 

teesta should also be given the nobel peace prize and the bharat ratna and the magsaysay right away. what, she hasn't got the magsaysay yet? jeez! the ford foundation sleeping? get with the program!

a 100-ft statue of teesta should be erected at the gateway of india like the 'statue of liberty' in new york harbor. the statue should be called the 'statue of nehruvian stalinist india'. it should be complete with giant 6ft-radius bindi (trademark of brinda 'bindi' karat).

all who come to mumbai can read the inscription on the statue, thanks to shelley:

"look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: HARAN BR <haran.br@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 12:12 AM
Subject: Teesta 'lured' me into lying: Best Bakery witness to HC
To:


http://www.dailypioneer.com/335216/Teesta-lured-me-into-lying-Best-Bakery-witness-to-HC.html

Teesta 'lured' me into lying: Best Bakery witness to HC

April 30, 2011   12:13:02 AM

PTI | Mumbai

Shaikh Yasmeen Bano, a key prosecution witness in the 2002 Best Bakery case, has moved

the Bombay High Court alleging that she was "lured and misguided" by Teesta Setalvad into

 giving false testimony against 17 accused persons.

Nine of the seventeen Bano testified against have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Yasmeen filed the petition earlier this week, after no action was taken on her letter dated

June 17, 2010 addressed to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.

"Yasmeen gave false deposition against the accused and identified them falsely at the behest and advice of Teesta

Setalvad only in the false hope that she (Teesta) would help her financially," the petition states.

It further claims that Setalvad had made Yasmeen an instrument to achieve the ulterior goal. "Yasmeen was

obsessed with the idea of getting money from Teesta and hence she did not think much about the repercussion of

her false deposition against innocent persons. She is however repenting now," the petition states.

Yasmeen has sought that her evidence be recorded afresh by the High Court while hearing the appeal filed by the

nine convicted accused challenging the trial court's order.

Yasmeen was the only prosecution witness from the Shaikh family who stood by the police's case against the 17

accused. Rest of the family, including prime witness and Yasmeen's sister-in-law Zaheera Shaikh, had turned

hostile, alleging that they were forced by Setalvad to lie. 

According to Yasmeen, one Rais Khan, who is a close associate of Setalvad, had met her along with local Muslim

leaders claiming that her life was in danger in Gujarat and she should shift to Mumbai where she would be taken

care of.

In February 2006, the sessions court here sentenced nine accused to life imprisonment. The court later tried and

convicted Zaheera and others who had turned hostile for perjury.

Fourteen people who had taken refuge in the Best Bakery -- owned by the Shaikh family -- in Vadodara were

killed on March 1, 2002, during the post-Godhra riots.

All the convicts have filed appeals in the Bombay High Court, which are yet to come up for hearing.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

IDSA on ISRO

IDSA has a piece out on ISRO's recent PSLV-C16 launch, and comments on the challenges and problems facing ISRO in addition to its successes. They also propose some solutions.

india risks its own fukushima in jaitapur. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13205060

my piece on the ghost in the machine, smartphones tracking your location. http://www.rediff.com/news/column/is-your-smartphone-spying-on-you/20110428.htm

More Details on Pak Meeting with Afghans

More details are being published about Pakistan's demands during its recent meeting with the Afghan political leadership. They're basically asking for the right to run that country. Fareed Zakaria gives his reaction.

[FoT] How The so-called Hindu Manipulates PTI News Reports

apr 28th, 2011 CE

the fine scalpel of the comrade at large.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Friends of Tibet <support@friendsoftibet.org>
Date: Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 5:31 PM
Subject: [FoT] How The Hindu Manipulates PTI News Reports
To:


How The Hindu Manipulates PTI Reports 

The below example shows how a Press Trust of India (PTI) report is being tampered, with the purpose of deception by The Hindu, the national newspaper of India. On April 27, 2011 PTI publishes a story on Lobsang Sangay, the newly elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile in India. The story was republished by major newspapers that are subscribed to the wire-agency. On April 28, 2011, The Hindu publishes the story by adding 'unauthorised' words and sentences to defame the newly-elected Prime Minister and the Government in Exile. Compare the original PTI story with the manipulated report of The Hindu. Friends of Tibet learns that the practice of adding the byline of a wire-agency after the manipulation of an original report is unethical and a breach of agreement between a newspaper and the PTI on publishing rights.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The original Press Trust of India story of April 27, 2011

Press Trust of India logo

Lobsang Sangay Next PM of Exiled Tibetan Government
(PTI, April 27, 2011, http://www.ptinews.com/news/1545442_Lobsang-Sangay-next-PM-of-exiled-Tibetan-government)

Dharamsala: Harvard scholar Lobsang Sangay was today elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and would take over the political duties relinquished by spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. 43-year-old Sangay polled 55 per cent votes out of 49189, defeating his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8,646 votes, Election Commissioner Jampal Chosang announced here. Sangay is a research fellow at the Harvard Law School. Tethong Tenzin Namgyal, a Stanford scholar, polled 18,405 votes while Tashi Wangdi, the Dalai Lama's representative in Brussels, New York and New Delhi, finished third. The election was held on March 20. 59 per cent votes were cast by the electoral college comprising over 83,000 Tibetans in exile in India, the US, European countries, Bhutan, Nepal, Russia and Japan among others. Apparently under Chinese pressure, voting was not allowed by authorities in Nepal and Bhutan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 'edited' Press Trust of India story appeared in The Hindu April 28, 2011 edition

Save The Hindu

Lobsang Sangay Chosen for Political Work
(The Hindu, April 28, 2011, http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article1775208.ece)

Harvard scholar Lobsang Sangay was on Wednesday elected "prime minister"

 of the so-called "Tibetan government-in-exile" and would take over the political duties relinquished by the religious leader Dalai Lama. A research fellow at the Harvard Law School, Mr. Sangay, aged 43, polled 55 per cent votes out of 49,189, defeating his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8,646 votes,"election commissioner" Jampal Chosang said here. Tethong Tenzin Namgyal, a Stanford scholar, polled 18,405 votes, while Tashi Wangdi, the Dalai Lama's representative in Brussels, New York and New Delhi, finished third. The election was held on March 20. Fifty-nine per cent votes were cast by the electoral college comprising more than 83,000 Tibetans living in exile in India, the U.S., the European countries, Bhutan, Nepal, Russia and Japan, among others. Voting was not allowed by the authorities in Nepal and Bhutan. The Dalai Lama, 75, announced last month that he would step down as political head, but would remain as religious leader and continue to advocate "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet. — PTI

Friends of Tibet, PO Box: 16674, Bombay 400050, India.

Friends of Tibet is a people’s movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China’s occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends of Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for independence. Friends of Tibet is also one of the principal organisers of World Tibet Day around the world. To know more, visit: www.friendsoftibet.org


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pak to Afghans: Ditch the US

Pakistan has in a recent meeting advised Afghanistan to dump the US in favor of joining a new axis with Pakistan and China, according to reports.

madame nhu, she will rot in hell. but we have many such in india

apr 26th, 2011 CE

the ones in india go around preening as paragons of... something. don't know what -- ethics?

 rajeev srinivasan 
Many vietnamese buddhist monks self-immolated in public because of serious religious persecution. Had 0 effect. Cf suicide bombing...
 rajeev srinivasan 
The many cryptos and converts in high positions in india are madame nhu wannabes. Wonder how many clapped when hindus barbecued in godhra
 rajeev srinivasan 
Amazing what neo converts are capable of. Knew mme nhu hated buddhists ('barbecue'), didnt know she was convert. Cf to psec saint convert
»
 rajeev srinivasan 
Dragon lady, catholic, clapped when buddhists immolated. Stunning parallels. NYT: Madame Nhu, Vietnam War Figure

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bacterial Lithification of Sand into Sandstone Structures

Here's an interesting talk by architect Magnus Larsson on his proposal to combat desertification by building a huge 6000km sandstone wall across Africa:



He's proposing the use of bacteria which can naturally solidify sand into sandstone in less than a day. This seems to be an intriguing new way of creating robust structures and architecture made of solid rock.



I think that India might make a better candidate to attempt something like this, perhaps in the Thar desert, between Gujarat and Rajasthan. Perhaps a large barrier could be created at the edge of the desert to prevent it from expanding, or else a large enclosure could be created in the desert, to reclaim land for agriculture. It seems like this technology could be a novel way to build interesting and rugged architecture at low cost.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

one word: governance. How did Gujarat Become a Farming Paradise? - Forbes India

apr 24th, 2011 CE

this is also why the bureaucrats in gandhinagar don't like modi. they are being forced to do some work for their cushy sinecures.

actually, two words: governance, corruption-free.

this is the kind of miracle the rest of india also needs, not more city-building.

india's competitive advantage has always been in agriculture (and intellectual property). both of these have been massacred by the stalinists. 

but it is hopeful that arid gujarat, with israeli-style water conservation, is getting 10% growth in agriculture. india should be the world's pre-eminent food power. 

Organization of Food Exporting Countries (OFEC) ki jai! yo OPEC: you can eat sand, or we will barter with you -- one chicken for 1 barrel of oil. sounds fair, doesn't it?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri 


How did Gujarat Become a Farming Paradise?

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/how-did-gujarat-becomefarming-paradise_447382.html

Mar 18, 2010 at 09:23 |  Source : Forbes India

The onset of summer in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat can be a
frightening prospect. The rocky terrain of low hills and the semi-arid
plains begin to radiate immense heat. Rivers and wells dry up in
tandem. Water shortage looms large and the memory of the severe
drought of 1999-2000 returns to haunt. God bless the man who tries to
indulge in cultivation of crops in these parts.

But that’s exactly what hundreds of farmers do several times a year in
the heart of this unfriendly terrain. Wheat, cotton, banana, papaya,
sugarcane, tomatoes and a variety of other crops sprout all over,
erasing forever the cliché of Saurashtra being a parched expanse.

Today, one can spot crops that weren’t grown in these parts just four
or five years ago. In Adtala village, farmer Vallabhai Patel, who was
previously cultivating cotton, grows papayas. With a limited supply of
water, he got plentiful yield.

In Sarangpur, also in Saurashtra, Swami Arunibhagat is surely a
God-blessed man. A leader of the liberal religious group, Swaminarayan
Movement, he has converted 175 acres of dry land into a lush haven for
sugarcane, tomatoes and genetically modified cotton. He has achieved
record yields that have attracted farmers from more fertile lands to
come and learn how he did it. It almost looks like a miracle wrought
by Lord Hanuman of the famous temple in Sarangpur.

... deleted

Our farmers are dying, to hell with the World Cup

apr 24th, 2011 CE

my sentiments precisely.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri 
Subject: Our farmers are dying, to hell with the World Cup
To:


Our farmers are dying, to hell with the World  Cup
Narendra Shekhawat


http://www.hindu.com/op/2011/04/24/stories/2011042453592000.htm


Yes, you read it right; to hell with the World Cup; to hell  with the
celebrations; to hell with all the free land and money being showered  by
different governments on the players. How can I jump, scream, have
gallons  of beer
and cheer for the nation when a few kilometres away the farmers and
feeders of my country are taking their own lives in hordes?

Do you know that, on average, 47 farmers have been committing  suicide
every single day in the past 16 years in our shining India — the next  economic
power, progressive with nine per cent growth?

Last month, on March 5, Friday evening, when Bangalore's  watering holes
were getting filled up, when all the DJs were blaring out  deafening music,
when we were busy discussing India's chances at the World  Cup, sitting in
CCDs and Baristas — just 100 km away from Bangalore, Swamy  Gowda and
Vasanthamma, a young farmer couple, hanged themselves, leaving their
three very
young children to fend for themselves or, most likely, die of  malnutrition.

... deleted


(The writer's email is: naren.singh.shekhawat@ gmail.com)

launch: silicon valley, a showcase for startups, june 7, mountain view

Launch: Silicon Valley is one of the best events of the year for new companies that are ready to make a splash with their new product or service.  This year Launch will be held on June 7 at Microsoft in Mountain View.  

Launch has announced that the window is now open for companies that want to present.  If you know of any emerging tech stars who could take advantage of this, please forward this to them.  

For more details and information about applying, go to:

    http://www.launchsiliconvalley.org

Submissions are due by April 29.  

The big idea behind Launch was to create a high energy event here in Silicon Valley that is affordable for early stage companies.  For less than the cost of getting out a press release, a startup can get its name in lights at Launch: Silicon Valley.  

Mr Modi's Miracle: Gujarat Silent Green Revolution is boosing farm output - Business Standard Editorial

apr 22nd, 2011 CE

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar

This Editorial tells you how Narendra Modi transformed agriculture in Gujarat. Hats off to all those farmers, professionals, advisors who made this happen. The learnings from the Gujarat model need to be imbibed by other states.
When Anna Hazare praised Modi, the Congress and sections of the media went after him. Wonder how the Congress will react now? The paper’s editor Sanjaya Baru worked with the PMO during UPA1.
I have always believed that the Congress wants Bharat to remain poor to perpetuate its rule!
sanjeev

 
Mr Modi's miracle
Gujarat's silent Green Revolution is boosting farm output
Business Standard / New Delhi April 22, 2011, 0:00 IST

Even as the Planning Commission says that India’s desire to hit double-digit economic growth is being constrained, among other things, by the inability of the farm sector to grow at an annual average rate of 4 per cent a year, largely semi-arid Gujarat, with poor agro-ecological endowments, has reported an average growth rate of close to 9 per cent per annum over the past decade. Gujarat’s agricultural performance this past decade has turned out to be as impressive as its performance on the industrial front. What are the secrets of Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s “Gujarat model of farm development”? The twin mantras that seem to have spurred agricultural growth in this drought-prone state are improved diffusion of technology and better utilisation of water, both achieved through extensive and concerted extension services and the pooling of individual, community and official initiatives. These seem to have been followed by essential support services that provide inputs, credit, power and marketing facilities.

Other states, like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, have also performed fairly well on the farm front, but they have a long way to go before they can match Gujarat. The original Green Revolution states in the north-west, on the other hand, have begun to lag behind on agricultural growth owing to laxity in developmental efforts and inadequate attention being paid to the over-exploitation of natural resources, including groundwater. West Bengal, which had a record of good performance in agricultural development, has slipped and is among the poorly performing states, with agricultural growth going down from over 5 per cent in the early 1990s to under 2 per cent in recent years.

The new and innovative approach that Gujarat adopted to rejuvenate its virtually defunct farm extension system involves bringing farm scientists and service providers on the same platform and taking them to the farmer’s doorstep, rather than the other way round. For this, Krishi Raths (mobile agricultural units), carrying experts and service providers, traverse the state during month-long Krishi Mahotsavas (farm fairs) organised every year to take care of all needs of the farmers. Soil health checks are carried out to counsel farmers on the right kind of crop to grow and the precise amount of inputs to use to optimise farm production with minimum cost. Given the scarcity of water in Gujarat, several unconventional initiatives have been taken to ensure its judicious and sustainable use. Stress on water conservation, through rainwater harvesting, and on expanding area under irrigation, to enhance crop productivity, has helped. Apart from digging ponds on individual farms, bori-bandhs (sandbag dams) and concrete check dams are being constructed at appropriate sites in watersheds to hold water in the natural depressions so that part of it percolates down to recharge the groundwater aquifer and the rest could be used for irrigation. And most importantly, dedicated feeder lines have been put up for assured power supply to the farm sector at fixed hours under the Jyotigram scheme. This has encouraged farmers to reduce wasteful use of pump sets and excessive use of groundwater. Consequently, Gujarat’s farmers seem to be making better use of scarce water. Clearly, there is much that farmers from the rest of India can learn to improve productivity, output and incomes. If India follows Gujarat, 10 per cent growth should be possible!
 
EOM
 

stanford: ECO-EVO Lunch on April 19 @ Noon: Deconstructing Conservation: The Riddle of the Ridley in India

apr 14th, 2011 CE

oops, forgot to send this out

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sangeeta Mediratta


EcoEvo Lunches are an informal venue for students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and visiting scholars to share research and ideas over a complimentary lunch.  This event with Kartik Shanker will be held at noon in the Twitty Room (Herrin Labs, Rm. 423). Further directions are available at: 


http://www.stanford.edu/group/luolab/Contact.shtml


Turtle.jpg

Deconstructing Conservation: The Riddle of the Ridley in India

 

Olive ridley sea turtles nest en masse at a few sites in the world, including Pacific Central America, and Orissa on the east coast of India.  More than a hundred thousand turtles nest at these beaches each year, but several tens of thousands are also killed in mechanised fisheries, while habitats are degraded by coastal development.  Alongside the various threats that have affected this population over the past three decades, there has been a slew of research and a suite of conservation responses and actions.  Here, I examine three important questions about conservation using the sea turtle conservation scenario in Orissa, India: (a) what is the ontogeny of conflict (b) does biology inform conservation (c) do flagships help conservation and (d) who are conservation partners?

 

First, I trace the history of conflict in Orissa, and provide a contemporary socio-ecological view of the conflict between sea turtles and fishing communities. In order to examine the second question, I document the conservation biological research in Orissa over the last three decades and compare this to the threats to examine if and how the research assists conservation and management. Third, I examine the implementation of conservation in Orissa using sea turtles as a flagship. Finally, I dissect the conservation actors – including the State, international organisations such as IUCN, Greenpeace and WWF, and several national and local conservation groups –  in the state to examine their roles in alleviating or aggravating conservation and conflict. Here, I will ask: do all the players (the state, conservationists, corporations, academics, fishers) intentionally or institutionally continue to pursue agendas and strategies that are geared to helping themselves regardless of whether it helps conservation in the long run?

 

Kartik Shanker is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Founder Trustee of Dakshin Foundation. He works on the distribution of diversity at various levels of organisation, from genes to ecosystems, and at various scales from local communities to macroecological regional scales. His group focuses on the community ecology and biogeography of amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals, as well as coastal and marine fauna.

 

Kartik also works on the biology and conservation of sea turtles, and has ongoing projects on olive ridley turtles in Orissa, and leatherback turtles in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He has worked on sea turtle conservation in Orissa for the last decade. He has been conducting research on the ontogeny of conflict in marine systems, using socio-ecological and political ecology frameworks. He has also been involved in establishing networks for marine conservation in India. He is the editor of Conservation and Society, Current Conservation and Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter.




Saturday, April 23, 2011

easter special: yet another jesus 'relic' is a hoax. HT @inferno that there are NO relics suggests jesus story is a myth

apr 23rd, 2011 CE

yes, there is a high likelihood that the whole jesus story is a hoax, too. there was no jesus, it is just mythology. the bible is good fiction (to give it its due, it is a roaring good novel), not the actual word of any god (just ask bart ehrman, former priest, or atheists like dawkins or hitchens).

the church guys took the indo-iranian mitra's winter solstice and turned it into the mythical xmas. they took the vernal equinox and turned it into the death and resurrection of jesus. well, if he didn't exist, you can conveniently ascribe any days to his birth, death, resurrection, whatever, in the process expropriating pre-existing druidic and other festivals. they also took the stories of a bunch of preachers and created a composite identity. nice imagination, that paul and pals had. 

note that the *only* contemporary historian who even talks in passing about jesus is josephus flavius: and this, remember, is in roman times, and those guys documented everything minutely. unfortunately josephus flavius is also the historian of the essenes (of dead sea scrolls fame) and *everything* jesus is alleged to have taught was in the essene texts a couple of centuries before the alleged existence of jesus!

but a lot of people believe all this stuff is, ahem, the 'gospel truth'. the power of 'truth by repeated assertion' is truly astonishing. 

every now and then some new 'relic' shows up, and everyone gets excited. well, gosh darn it, it duly turns out to be a fabrication. this has happened *every* time, eg. there was the bone casket bearing the word's 'brother of jesus' a few years ago. well, turned out to be a fake. eg. the shroud of turin. turned out to be an 11th cent fake upon inspection.

but no matter. some of the best gods are mythical. add jesus to the list of mythical gods. (or sons of gods, or whatever).

han cops beat old tibetan monk and nun to death HT @san http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/world/asia/24tibet.html?_r=1

China Cops Beat 2 Tibetans to Death

2 elderly Tibetan monks, male and female, were beaten to death by Chinese police during a roundup of Tibetan activists.

Stanford India Biodesign 2012 Fellowships

apr 23rd, 2011 CE


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sangeeta Mediratta <smedirat@stanford.edu>
Date: Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:47 PM
Subject: Fwd: Stanford India Biodesign 2012 Fellowships
To:


We are pleased to announce that the application process is open for the 2012 Stanford-India Biodesign (SIB) Fellowship. The goal of this programme, launched in 2007, is to train the next generation of biomedical technology innovators in India. This highly competitive programme is directed to Indian citizens
> who have an interest in the invention and
> early-stage development of new biomedical technologies.
>
> The SIB Fellowship Programme is centred at Stanford and in New Delhi and administered as a collaboration between Stanford University, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in partnership with the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF).
>
>
> Fellows receive tuition, stipend support, and international travel arrangements. Over the course of the 1 year fellowship, approximately half of the fellows’ time will be spent at Stanford University and the other half in India. Fellows work in a multidisciplinary team joining other innovators with a combination of engineering, medical and business backgrounds. Preference will be given to applicants with significant work experience.
>
> The fellowship application deadline is May 23rd, 2011. Select applicants will be interviewed in Delhi. The fellowship starts at Stanford in January 2012.
>
> A detailed programme description and fellowship application are available at the Stanford Biodesign Programme website:
>
> http://biodesign.stanford.edu/bdn/india A webinar conducted by the faculty and current fellows will
> conducted May 5 at 8pm IST. Details will be available on the Stanford Biodesign Programme website.
> <http://www.indiabiodesign.org/?xg_source=msg_mes_network>

wsj: the really smart phone, worth reading. gulp! it knows so much?

apr 23rd, 2011 CE

the ghost in the machine. UNCLE APPLE/ANDROID IS WATCHING YOU!

Xinhua People's Daily - the Gang of Ram

http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=5248&mod=1&pg=1&sectionId=1&valid=true

looks like the People's Daily is caught up in a war within. It would be a laugh riot to see Sid V be the editor - is he still a US citizen by the way? ... I can already see the fiery edits - protecting the Christian 'church' on the on the one hand - and the 'people's' republic of xinhua on the other....

...what a fall .....

...interesting that the Hoot should publish this - Sevanti Ninan (who I think runs the web site) writes columns for the People's Daily....

The New PC Wars: Moore's Law for Genomics

Jonathan Rothberg's genome sequencer company Ion Torrent is now running ads which imitate Apple's Mac-vs-PC commercials. This is because they want to herald the same coming change to genomics sequencing systems which they're looking to bring to market. They're hoping to create a Moore's Law type of buzz around genomics, as this new industry gathers momentum.

Smith: Why the Pakistanis Will Betray US

Jeff Smith from the American Foreign Policy Council writes a strong piece on why Pakistan is backstabbing the US. As Smith says, it's a question of 'why' and not 'if'. The final paragraph and especially the last couple of sentences at the end of the article are worth noting. Typical headstrong Pakistanis - never realizing the folly of their stunts until after it's too late, if at all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Binayak Sen gets Korean prize for Chrisist activism

The anti-national Christist terror mastermind has become something of a celebrity overnight for assorted seditionists. The brazenness of this thug is astounding. He made a sly declaration after his release that he "loved" his country and that "patriotism" needs to be redefined!!

The Union Law minister, Veerappa Oily also declared with alacrity that the entire legal framework pertinent to sedition needs re-evaluation, in light of the manipulated judicial verdict exonerating the poster boy of "CIVIL SOCIETY"!!!

The confidence of "Binayak" Sen, Susan "Arundhati" Roy et al is not surprising, given that the global church has thrown its weight behind them.

The christist neo-converts in South Korea have gleefully announced a prize for their agent in India. Read this note in the TOIlet paper carefully. The Korean prize was instituted in 2000, the year Christist Pope John Paul declared, on Indian soil - his intent to plant the cross in Asia and bring the continent under the church's dominion.

The very first recipient of the award - a Christist "CIVIL SOCIETY" activist in Indonesia, who was instrumental in carving out a new Christian country in the new millenium - East Timor was "liberated" for Christ with Western aid.

There are have also been murmurs about the second awardee, Aung San Suu Kyi of
Burma and her Western/Christist links.


http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Binayak-Sen-gets-South-Korean-human-rights-prize/articleshow/8057703.cms


Binayak Sen gets Korean human prize for Christian activism
Apr 22, 2011, 05.18pm IST PTI

NEW DELHI: Civil rights activist Binayak Sen, recently freed on bail by the Supreme Court in a sedition case, has been honoured with the 2011 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, South Korea's most prestigious award for those working on peace, democracy and justice in Asia.

The award was announced yesterday by 2011 Gwangju Prize Committee in Seoul.

The prize, which carries a sum of USD 50,000 is awarded each year on May 18 -- on the anniversary of the May 1980 Gwangju democratic uprising -- to a person or organisation who has made significant contributions in the field of human rights and democracy.

"Dr Sen, as an accomplished medical practitioner has distinguished himself by his devotion to providing health services for the poor and by his strong advocacy against human rights violations and structural violence inflicted on the poor," the award jury said in a statement on the website of May 18 Memorial Foundation.

"He has also been active in the People's Union for Civil Liberties documenting human rights violations occurring during the anti-Naxalite conflict," it said.

The jury this year received 32 nominations from countries all around Asia. Xanana Gusmao, the leader of the East Timore struggle for independence was the first awardee of the Gwangju Prize when it was launched in 2000, while Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi won it in 2004. Irom Sharmila, the Manipuri human rights activist, is the previous Indian winner of the Gwangju Prize.





guilty until proved innocent: how indonesia treats hindu guru

apr 22nd, 2011 CE

not so different from how india treats hindu gurus. very different from the way it treats semitic priests, who are innocent until proven guilty, and even after that. (eg. sister abhaya's self-confessed murderers).

HT @shashitharoor

smartphones spying on their owners! not only iphone, but also android!

apr 22nd, 2011 CE

this is an invasion of privacy that should cause you to think twice about smartphones. a malicious entity can keep track of where you are by just breaking in and reading the data stored on the phone.

jeez!

US Abandons Drone Base in Pak

The US has abandoned its drone base in southern Balochistan, says CNN.

So, the Pakistanis are getting their way after all, while getting billions in aid.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

problems with the vatican, the world's largest, oldest, most ruthless MNC

apr 21st, 2011 CE

quote:

an organisation that employs 1.4m workers, one that has representative offices in every country on earth. 

end quote

even microsoft is not that big or that ruthless or so intent on world domination.

Kayani Shrieks for Jizya, US Bends Over

Pak military chief Kayani rails at American "so-called coalition partners."

The US responds by rushing to supply Pakistan with drones.

Pak Islamic Justice Strikes Again

Pakistan decides to show off its fabulous Islamic justice again. Drone strikes against "innocents" will immediately rally them to outrage, but court verdicts like this latest one leave the masses snoring and unbothered.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PSLV-C16 Launched Successfully

ISRO has successfully launched PSLV-C16, deploying 3 satellite payloads with perfect precision. Hopefully, this will get ISRO back on track to successfully flying the GSLV, the GSLV Mk-III, the Chandrayaan-2 mission, as well as the first indigenous manned spaceflight.



Scenes of the PSLV-C16 before its launch:



Here's also a little video I found, produced by GOI on Chandrayaan:

China Experiencing Rising Protests

A rising trend of street protests in China threatens the stability of the regime, as this Stratfor video shows:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

not newsworthy for #chormedia: Prime witness was ‘coerced’ by Teesta, who should be made lokpal, yeah

apr 19th, 2011 CE

perjury and witness tampering are serious criminal offences. but if one of 'civil society' NAC types does this, it is completely understandable and is forgiven. 

rais khan and yasmeen had better watch out, or else they will be subject to 'unfortunate accidents' -- like 'falling off the fifth floor of a building', or 'victim of a hit-and-run accident'. 

rais khan sang like a canary six months ago forcefully implicating teesta's perjury and witness tampering, so did yasmeen. no action taken. and teesta is running around pontificating about 'ethics'.

jai ho! teesta for lokpal! she will be saying 'off with their (hindu) heads' regularly as lokpal. crime? just being hindu.

in india, you just have to be well-connected, or have access to gulf/vatican money, or be of a certain community. in which case, you can do anything, get away with murder (as the confessed murderers of sister abhaya have demonstrated again and again). teesta of course has all of the above characteristics, including the zeal of the recent convert. 

communism wombat, indeed.

there is a pattern. the depiction of j&k in pak in maps is a non-bailable offence. communism wombat (teesta's quango) did this for years, but there was no case filed against it/her.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ANAND 



As usual no  other "" ( anti) National newspapers "" have reported this 

Anand

Prime witness was ‘coerced’ by Teesta
April 20, 2011   9:13:48 AM
http://www.dailypioneer.com/333043/Prime-witness-was-‘coerced’-by-Teesta.html
Navin Upadhyay | New Delhi
The prime witness in the Best Bakery case was “manipulated” and “coerced” to give false evidence before the trial court in Mumbai. This startling disclosure has emerged from an affidavit sent to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court on June 17, 2010 by Sheikh Yasmeen Banu, whose father-in-law Habibulla owned the ill-fated Best Bakery. Yasmeen’s husband Nafitulla was injured when rioters set Best Bakery ablaze. Nafitulla later died due to illness. In all, 14 persons were killed in the blaze.
In her affidavit dated June 17, 2010, Yasmeen, whose eyewitness account of the carnage played a crucial role in the conviction of the alleged accused persons stated that her deposition before the trial court was made under duress and she regretted that the innocent persons have been convicted on the basis of her testimony. She has implicated social activist Teesta Setalvad for her “fabricated deposition.”
Yasmeen stated that after the carnage she went to her parents’ home at Chhotaudepur along with her maternal uncle. After sometime, she went to Baroda along with her daughter and mother and started living in Best Bakery house after getting it repaired.
That is when Yasmeen was approached by Setalvad’s trusted right-hand man Rais Khan. Incidentally, Khan has separately accused Setalvad of fabricating the affidavits of the riot witnesses.
Yasmeen stated that one day, Rais Khan, who is associated with Teesta Setalvad, visited her along with local Muslim leaders and said that there was a danger to her (Yasmeen) life here and she must come to Mumbai where Best Bakery case was contested. “Rais Khan connected me to Teesta Setalvad from his cell phone. Teesta Setalvad also persuaded me to come to Mumbai along with him and promised me to help from every point of view,” Yasmeen said.
Yasmeen said she and her mother were forced and threatened, even assured by Rais Khan that he and Teesta Setalvad will fulfill all her needs throughout her life.
“After getting assurances from Muslim leaders, Rais Khan and Teesta Setalvad, I along with mother and my daughter left for Mumbai with Rais Khan by locking my house and leaving all the household articles there, which I brought from my widow mother’s house from Chhotaudepur.”
In Mumbai, Yasmeen was kept at Ashok Guest House in Bhindi Bazaar for one month. Yasmeen said Rais Khan daily took her to Setalvad’s house at Nirant Bungalow, Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (West), Mumbai, which is her office also. “Teesta Setalvad used to explain to me about the case there. From there she used to take me to the office of Public Prosecutor Manjula Rao and thereafter she used to drop me at the guest house,” she points out.
She further added that during this period, she was paid by Teesta through her staff Dhyansingh and Pradip. Yasmeen was kept for 11 months in Room No. 102, at Mariam Apartment, Ismile Katre Road, Bhindi Bazaar.
Indicating that all the witnesses were kept under Setalvad’s supervision, Yasmeen said when she was shifted there, the same day other witnesses of the Best Bakery case, namely Taufel, Rais, Shezad, Selon, Ashraf, Shahjahan, Zahira Sheikh and her grandmother also came to stay there.
“Rais Khan and Teesta Setalvad kept strict observation on the flat in which we were residing, we were not able to go out and no one was allowed to meet us. Neither were we having mobile nor were we allowed to talk to anybody, even if we requested. We were not permitted to open the window of the room. Dhyansingh or sometimes Pradip, working in the office of Teesta Setalvad, used to stay for 24 hours there. They used to fulfill our requirements as well as keeping watch on us,” Yasmeen states and adds whosoever was called for deposition in the court used to leave the house and did not return.
Yasmeen said the witnesses were kept in a Government guest house during the period of deposition. “They used to get mobile phone from Teesta’s men in which outgoing calls were barred. Teesta used to explain on mobile on what they have to depose,” she said.
She revealed that Public Prosecutor Manjula Rao where Teesta Setalvad used to be present “everybody was tutored what to speak against whom in the court.”
Claiming that the depositions, which she gave against the persons, on the advice of these people, were unknown to her, Yasmeen said Teesta, Manjula Rao and Rais Khan used to take the witnesses to show their (accused) photographs to her on computers to identify them.
“She took my signatures on a few papers about which she (Yasmeen) had no knowledge,” Yasmeen said, adding that Rais Khan and Teesta Setalvad visited them till the trial continued and assured them that they will fulfill all commitments made to them after the completion of the deposition. Yasmeen was sent to Ahmedabad after the trial and was kept in a house for four months in Shaper Mill Compound.
“I was removed from the house the very next day of the pronouncement of judgement. I came to know that in the name of Best Bakery Case and for arranging deposition of persons like us, Teesta has collected lakhs of rupees and nothing was given to us,” she said.
With nowhere to go, Yasmeen returned to her uncle’s house. The Best Bakery was now out of her reach because her husband’s second wife lived there. After her maternal uncle refused to support her, some people took pity and contributed money to buy her a hut. Her misery did not end. She re-married, got pregnant and was then dumped by her husband. Yasmeen now lives with her mother and two children.
Accusing Rais Khan and Teesta Setalvad of cheating her, Yasmeen said, “By giving false deposition in this case, I have not only lost my ancestral property Best Bakery, which was in my possession and where I started leaving and earning my livelihood, but also on the basis of false assurances, so many innocent persons got convicted. Because of this, I am feeling guilty and probably due to this reason I am leading poor and sorrowful life. I always repent why I did the wrong thing on the advice of a person like Teesta.”
She added that since the judgement of the Best Bakery Case has been delivered on the basis of false testimonies, due to this reason her affidavit be treated as a petition, and the case be re-heard so that now no poor person can be bribed and misled by such people and no innocent person is wrongly punished and “the persons like Teesta Setalvad and Rais Khan be tried as per law, who by misleading and bribing poor, weak and unsupported persons like us, are managing false testimonies.”
Yasmeen sent this affidavit by post in June’2010 not only to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, but to Chief Justice of India, Chairman NHRC and Director General of Police, Gujarat. But, despite passing of 10 months no action has been taken against Teesta Setalvad and Rais Khan.
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performing monkeys want more. 5 cr, not 1 cr for 'winning' fixed cricket tourney. http://cricket.zeenews.com/fullstory.aspx?nid=37788

Flawed Shroud Design Caused GSLV Failure

A flawed design of the shroud covering the cryogenic upper stage of the GSLV-F06 has been determined to be the cause of the mission failure, says the latest analysis report.