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.

May 19, 2010

Two-Party System, Turkmen Style

So according to Chronicles of Turkmenistan, Turkmen authorities are genuinely trying to create a two-party system. However, it seems that mostly, they want to have a two-party system so that the international community will get off their backs already. Farid Tukhbatullin claims that the introduction of a multi-party system is not a “present-day” requirement from within the country, but the requirement imposed by international, including financial organizations, which play a pivotal role in the economic well-being of the country and its leadership.

In a nut shell, it seems the two-party system will be the existing party, just in two branches. The branches won't be in opposition to each other at all. Just complimentary really. The new branch will be one for the farmers... This all sounds familiar. Power to the farmers aka the peasantry aka the proletariat of Central Asia... Nah, never happen.

Here's looking backwards at you, Turkmenistan!

May 17, 2010

It's Hard out There for a Pimp

At least in Bulgaria. According to the Sofia Morning News, several night clubs, offices and a number of private addresses in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia were raided Friday night in the latest special police ops codenamed “The Pimps.” The news was reported Saturday by Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who said they were targeting establishments providing “sex services.” Four people have been arrested, identified as Velislav aka Viki, Emil aka The Shaved (ew), Rosen aka The Fat (aw), and Miglena Hana, believed to be the Madam of the Sofia prostitutes.

So interesting and disturbing, but here's what I want to focus on: the use of the term "codename." According to Webster's dictionary, a codename is "a designation having a coded and usually secret meaning." There's nothing coded or secret about the term "pimps" when you're targeting a prostitution ring. Maybe the next special ops should be called "Oak Tree" or "Blue Jay." If you need help, try this site. Not a sermon, just a thought.

May 13, 2010

Corruption Solves Problems

According to most Russians. According to most Russians, dill should be used in every dish. According to most Russians, sitting on the floor will freeze your ovaries...

So, more than half of the Russians who participated in a Levada Center poll say that bribing officials is the best way to "solve problems." And more than that, they believe that everyone's doing it. Would you jump off a bridge if everyone else was, Russia? Yeah, you probably would... Sigh.

May 12, 2010

It's the Pictures That Got Small

If you're interested, or are just desperate for an hour of entertainment, then you can't go wrong with the PLOT-O-MATIC™ movie script generator. Sure it's the next big thing of 2005. But still endless fun.

"Just pick out the characters and plot elements you want to include in your movie. When you're happy with your choices, hit LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! and voila! A plot pitch you can take to the bank!"
Here's one we'll be introducing at Fox Searchlight later this week:

Little Bear's Big Trip
an original screenplay concept by D. Medvedev

Romance: A struggling artist teams up with a well-built female cyborg to save the earth from aliens. In the process they play Russian roulette with a kind hearted prostitute. By the end of the movie they poison 26 washed up ex-SNL cast members and end up winning the admiration of their country, living happily ever after.

Think Priscilla, Queen of the Desert meets Die Hard.

May 11, 2010

Who Wants a Nuclear Reactor?

The Guardian writes: “Speaking after talks with Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said today that Russia could build reactors in Syria, but gave no further details.”

These days, watching Medvedev make nuclear deals is like watching Oprah give away cars to her studio audience.

By the by, this is what happened the last time Syria tried to build a [suspected] nuclear plant.

May 10, 2010

This is for all the Ladies

Thanks to PunditKitchen.

May 7, 2010

Aliens in Kalmykia

It's a line that got cut from the first version of Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire," AND a claim made by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the leader Kalmykia, a small Buddhist region of Russia which lies on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Crazy right? Oh it gets crazier.

According to the BBC, MP Andre Lebedev is not just asking whether Mr Ilyumzhinov is fit to govern. He is also concerned that, if he was abducted, he may have revealed details about his job and state secrets.

Let's do the obvious round of questions:

1. Aliens travel lightyears, they have the technology to pick any place on Earth to land, and they land in Kalmykia? Really? Really?

2. What state secrets are we telling the leader of Kalmykia, Russia? Is that where the nuclear silos are?


May 3, 2010

Putin and Kadyrov are Predators

And not just of the ladies...

But seriously, my fantasy husband Putin and my least favorite orangutan Kadyrov have been included on Reporters without Borders' 2010 list of "40 Predators of the Press". Putin was on last year's list, but this is Kadyrov's first appearance on this particular list of infamy. Said of Ka-durak-ov:

"Anyone questioning [his] policies... is exposed to deadly reprisals ...Often referred to as 'Putin's guard dog', Ramzan Kadyrov shares the Russian prime minister's taste for crude language and strong action."

Sadly, this entry comes under "not surprised" for me, but as you know, I love lists and I love hating on Kadyrov.

Authorities Start Checking for Illegals

No, I'm not talking about Arizona, and I'm not talking about illegal immigrants. I'm talking about Sofia, Bulgaria and the current crackdown on illegal dogs. Yes, this is the most pressing issue facing Bulgaria (<--- That's what sarcasm looks like)

According to the Sofia Weekly, yesterday, teams from the Inspectorate of the City Hall in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia checked 106 dog owners in two of the city's most popular parks. Over 20 owners were fined with not having legal documentation for their dogs.

My initial question was "is it so horrible that someone would be taking care of a dog and not leaving it to be a stray roaming the streets all times of day keeping me up all night with their mating calls?" However, according to Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, legal documentation of dogs is the first step in getting owners to clean up after their dogs, keep their dogs on leashes, and walk their dogs in designated areas. So Mayor Yordanka, I commend your efforts. Also, good luck with the "staggering" unemployment among the youth of the city. Might I suggest creating more Dog Inspector positions???