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2010 April 07 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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No, Not That One

The first extended test of the Solar Impulse, a solar powered aircraft, has been completed. When all of the tests are completed a second, improved model will be constructed that Bertrand Piccard hopes to use to fly around the world, non-stop.

Bertrand Piccard was the first to fly a balloon non-stop around the world, and is the son of Jacques Piccard, the designer of the bathysphere, Trieste, in which he descended to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

When Jacques made his descent, his father, August, held the altitude record for balloons, so the height and depth records were held by the same family.

Even small countries, like Switzerland, can do interesting things. Too bad that some big countries have given up trying.

April 7, 2010   Comments Off on No, Not That One

Fun Stuff

The Pensacola News Journal notes that Santa Rosa is tops in pot. The next county to the West is once again the leader in the state in locating and eradicating people’s marijuana patches. [What a waste of time, money, and man hours.]

Released on Saturday, Apple announced today the first iPad work-arounds to deal with the problems people are having connecting to WiFi.

A Wisconsin DA tells teachers that the new sex education course could get them arrested for corrupting the morals of children [or some other bogus charge]. I assume everyone realizes that this District Attorney is a Republican.

Rupert Murdoch is going to limit Google and Microsoft, so that you can’t find any of his media outlets with a search engine. Rupert is going to charge people to view his AP feeds. If he thinks that the people who watch Fox News can afford to pay, he is in for a shock.

This Jim Morin cartoon on the current plans to regulate the financial industry is all too accurate.

April 7, 2010   2 Comments

It’s Time

Kyrgyzstan Map

Kyrgyzstan Flag

It’s been about five years since the last “election” in Kyrgyzstan, called the Tulip Revolution, so it was time for a change. Kurmanbek Bakiyev replaced Askar Akayev for being a corrupt, power mad dictator, and some people are making the same charges against President Bakiyev, with a side order of nepotism.

The BBC article, Kyrgyzstan opposition sets up ‘people’s government’, is as good a place as any to get an overview of what outsiders think is going on,

Kyrgyzstan is important to the US because we have the main transit point for aerial resupply of the troops in Afghanistan at Manas Air Base in the country.

For more than you really want to know about the situation, you could start with my post, Creative Cartography II, which covers the “swirl” of the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. That is important because the current President, Bakiyev is a “lowland” Kyrgyz, which means he is probably an ethic Uzbek and is certainly resented by the “highland” Kyrgyz. Tribalism and nationalism are alive and as nasty as ever in Central Asia.

Bakiyev is probably just as bad as Akayev, but people would have ignored it if he was a member of the “right” tribe. He set things in motion when he started arresting opposition leaders, and their followers took to the streets. The violence, in part, is the result of those leaders being unavailable to control their followers.

April 7, 2010   Comments Off on It’s Time