Jul 20, 2010

There's always a bigger fish

Newfound sensation Paul the Octopus has apparently taken his successful career in sports predictions and moved into the political sphere. Last week, according to several sources, Paul put his powers of foresight to work on predicting the outcome of the 2012 Russian presidency (a prediction which is supposed to remain sealed until the election year).

Big mistake Paul, you'd better turn down the recent bid from the Russian National Association of Bookmakers to come stay in the Moscow oceanarium, because we all remember what happened to the last fish that tried to move into Putin's pond...

Jun 14, 2010

Uzbekistan doesn't have enough people at its border

Central Asia is crushing my soul today. So hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks are flooding to the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border because of the ethnic conflict. Turkmenistan thought, why not add 30 or so more people to that?

According to the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights, about 30 women together with their children were forcedly deported to Uzbekistan from the Sakar etrap of the Lebap velayat in Turkmenistan. All these women are natives of the Bukhara velayat in Uzbekistan, who married Turkmen citizens, lived as married couples for several years and whose children were born in Turkmenistan. The unlucky women together with their children born in Turkmenistan from Turkmen citizens were brought together and were forcedly ousted to the territory of the neighbouring country.

Yes, we've defined unlucky today: being born an underprivileged woman in Uzbekistan, who starts a family in Turkmenistan (and as I write, I still have no idea which country I would pick to suffer in if forced to choose), and then is deported back to Uzbekistan without her husband while there's an ethnic conflict in nearby Kyrgyzstan. Sigh.


So, I received a record number of emails about Kyrgyzstan over the weekend. Usually, I receive about 3 or 4 a day. I received over 100 since Friday night.

Looking at news reports in respected media (New York Times, Washington Post, etc) ethnic conflict is escalating. Mostly, gangs have been targeting Uzbeks in Southern Kyrgyzstan. It is reported that dozens, possibly as many as 100, have died.

And what's more upsetting is that the reports may not be accurate, and that the situation might actually be worse. Looking at the latest email from a yahoo group called "HR-Uzbekistan", some claim thousands have died. Homes, Mosques, and hospitals have been burned to the ground.

To put it simply it's a human rights nightmare. I for one agree with Human Rights Watch and think it's time for international action and UN involvement. Otherwise, it seems the situation will only escalate.

Jun 9, 2010

Poland+Castration Law = Why We Do This

Sorry ER fans, you're not getting a photo for this one.

BBC: "Under the law, [sex offenders] would be forced on their release to take drugs to reduce their sex drive, but courts are required to consider the opinions of psychiatrists before ordering it."

Jun 8, 2010

Voting Fraud in the Duma

Now this is how you run a "sovereign democracy!" (For: "99.8%.")

On the other hand, why even have a Duma if United Russia lackies are going to vote for you when that three martini lunch goes a little long.

Bonus points to the Duma deputy who tries to pick his nose with a microphone (1:18). Makes you wonder what this place would be like if deputies actually had to stand for a legitimate election.

Thanks to TYWKIWDBI, funny name...awesome blog.

Jun 7, 2010

Father's Day is Just around the Corner

Every year, we all struggle to buy gifts for Father's Day. Well this year, the decision is an easy one: Cufflinks that resemble the big bear, the manliest of men, the supreme leader - Vladimir Putin. Yeah, enough said. Purchase them now. NOW!

Divorce was complicated enough

Now, in some European countries, you can pick which laws apply to your divorce. What a blessing.

According to the Sofia Morning News, Bulgaria is among a group of 14 European Union nations which has opted to seal a divorce pact that will let couples of different European nationalities choose which divorce laws will apply. The proposal allows both spouses to know in advance which law is applicable to their divorce, increasing flexibility by giving them the possibility of choosing which legal code should apply. The countries taking part in the enhanced co-operation procedure are Spain, Italy, Hungary, Luxembourg, Austria, Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Belgium, Latvia, Malta and Portugal.

If divorce in Italy is anything like the movie: "Divorce, Italian Style", I would opt for any of the other countries' laws. Thank you.

Jun 1, 2010

Oh No... I agree with Nashisti on this one

Yeah, there it is. I just said that. According to EnglishRussia, recently in Moscow supermarkets swastika stickers have appeared on Lithuanian products. The stickers showed up around the same time the youth movement "Nashi" called for a boycott on Lithuanian goods because the Klaipeda court had announced the swastika to be a historic heritage of Lithuania.

I kinda think it's a clever protest. Best way to protest anything is to hit people in their pockets. Good work, Nashisti. I can't condemn it. I can only encourage more consistency in your messages.

May 27, 2010

Bulgarian Domain Name Debate Continues

You may remember that late last year, that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began allowing cyrillic to be used in Internet domain names. This instantly sparked debate in Bulgaria, where the popular inclination was to make the Bulgarian government's cyrillic domain name ".бг". However, this rubbed Brazil the wrong way, because their latin domain name is already ".br" and looks very similar to the proposed cyrillic for Bulgaria.

Well, the Brazilians won out, and the debate rages on. There are now four options under review: .българия, .бгр, .бул, and .бя.

I vote for .бя because it's the shortest, and I HATE long addresses. In any case, make a decision already, Bulgaria. So far only Russia has registered a domain name in Cyrillic: .рф. Rather efficient and practical, Russia. Kudos.