News, commentary and fun things from the Internet and around the world.

Sunday, March 31, 2002

The Choice Of A New Generation, The Thumb Generation
The Thumb Generation
Recently, there have been many articles triggered by an annoucement from Sadie Plant of the Warwick University's Cybernetic Cultural Research Unit about changes to human evolution caused by the growing use of thumbs for technology devices. I find this conversation fascinating, and am curious to see how it plays out during my life. It's only going to increase with the growing use of mobile devices and SMS text messaging, isn't it?

Life Savers Abandons USA
Who would have ever dreamed the an American icon like Life Savers, would now be made in Canada? The original plant, in Holland, Michigan, was the third largest employer in town, and will be closed by 2003.

Reporter Released In Zimbabwe
Good news! Peta Thornycroft has been released.

Comet Ikeya-Zhang
One of the brightest comets of the last 25 years will be most visible this week, if you have the cooperation of the weather. For viewing, you can use just your eyes, but binoculars will help you see the most. Here is a photo gallery of what people around the world are seeing. Learn more about the background and history of this comet, along with more about its orbit.

Saturday, March 30, 2002

Junk Food Tax Proposed
Only in California would lawmakers consider taxing carbonated beverages, thanks to the California Soda Tax Act. At least the beneficiaries would be children's programs. Part of the reasoning behind this new tax would be to reduce the amount of Coke, Pepsi, and other beverages that kids drink, with the hopes that they will eat healthier and avoid obesity. Good luck! Not surprising, the National Soft Drink Association has a statement about making these beverages part of a healthy lifestyle. Also, there is an arguement that the real issue isn't so much what we eat, but how little activity we have, thanks to elevators, convenience foods, remote controls, and valet parking.

Online Web Services: Tax Preparation
Whether or not you feel up to it, you can now do your taxes online. I don't mean submit them online, I mean use the tax preparation software online!

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Internet Isn't Fun Anymore
I agree with this article, finding funky and fun sites is a lot harder than it used to be. But then, the world isn't as much fun as it used to be, and the news isn't as much fun as it used to be, either.

Now serving hand crafted beverages [logo copyright Starbucks]"Hand-crafted" Coffee Deserves A Tip
The tip containers from Starbucks are starting to show up everywhere. Find out what Starbucks has to say officially about these tip containers, and why their staff deserve a tip for creating a "hand crafted" beverage to meet your specific requirements, according to Dawn Turner Trice of the Chicago Tribune.

Seeing California's Spanish Missions
I've driven these roads, and been to a couple of the missions, including the one at San Juan Capistrano, and it is more spectacular than even this writer lets on. And I'm not Catholic.

Scholarly View of Buffy
Finally, a book that takes the teenage vampire slayer seriously! Reading The Vampire Slayer, edited by Roz Kaveney, provides an insightful look into the world of this pop culture phenomenon. Whether you are a fan of the show, or just curious about why Buffy The Vampire Slayer is so popular (as I am), this book may have just what you are looking for!

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Brent Turner demonstrates one effect of a Tesla coil [photo copyright Pete Miller]Dark Side of the Light Bulb Inventor
A new movie about Nikola Tesla, called Tesla and Katherine, paints an unsavory picture of Thomas Alva, and the very public battle between these two men struggling to bring power to the world, and in Edison's case, make a profit from it. From what I've read, many sources say the same things, that Edison and Westinghouse were only concerned about profits, and Tesla's theories would have produced free energy, something that they could not make a profit on. Right. Like people don't make a fortune these days with products that run Linux, either.
I'm glad to see someone covering this important man.

I Could Have Lived Forever Without Knowing This
Seems that Al and Tipper Gore are making the best of his unemployment and that Tipper is quite enjoying the newly hairless face! I just had to block the image of Al in a bubble bath with candles from my mind... too much information. In fact, the whole article is too much information!

Dark Skies Lost in Arizona
To really understand the importance of the Dark Skies movement in Arizona, you have to understand the role Arizona plays in astronomy. Dark Skies is about making sure light from street lights and parking lot lights in pointed down, towards the earth and the people it can benefit. It's economically sound, and less expensive, than paying for light that is lost above the lights. It also preserves the darkness of the night skies by reducing light pollution, and would help to preserve Arizona's place in astronomy. Arizona is the greatest place in the developed world for astronomical observation, and is home to many major observatories, including the Steward Observator, Lowell Observatory (where Pluto was discovered), Kitt Peak National Observatory, the Smithsonian's observatory, Vatican Observatory (don't get me started on why the Catholic Church needs its own observatory...), and the Mount Graham International Observatory, among others.

Finally, A Common Sense Decision
I think the lawsuits in the US have created an environment where anyone who produces a product is liable for any idiotic way the item gets used. Have you looked at all of the safety messages on a step ladder these days? I remember laughing at the decision several years ago where McDonald's was found liable for a women getting scaled by hot coffee they served her in the drive thru. Now, a similar case in England has turned out in favor of common sense. Hurrah! It's a victory for world order. That's my opinion, and here is a different one. And another different one. Here's a similar case, involving a scalding hot pickle.

Journalist In Trouble in Zimbabwe
Peta Thornycroft has been questioned and arrested under new laws enacted by Robert Mugabe after his questionable "re-election" earlier this month. He is determined to silence anyone who dares to ask questions or writes about the true conditions inside this country.

Monday, March 25, 2002

Anna Morris at work [photo copyright ITAC]
Creative Telecommuting
Many years ago, I encouraged the company I worked for to consider letting their customer support people work from home, and suggested installing telephone lines and fast Internet connections as an alternative to expensive leased office space. They weren't ready for such things. Now, I see that someone is really doing something very much like I envisioned. What a great arrangement this is!

Online Job Search Market Growing
Before the Internet, I used to make it a hobby to keep up with the job ads in my local newspaper. I had a file on every company that had ever posted for employees with my skill set, or a related one, and had huge amounts of corporate information to boot. They told things like new division start ups, recent successes, mergers and the like, a huge education in the potential employer's market and world. That information served me well at interviews. Now, it seems that newspaper classified ads are going the way of the dodo. [NY Times article requires free registration]

Posing With The Queen in British Columbia
How silly is this? Someone in British Columbia wants to build a statue of the Queen sitting on a park bench with her dogs and handbag, but want Buckingham Palace to approve of the plan. They said it was too Disneyish, the very thought that someone could sit next to the statue to have his or her picture taken is just too uncouth. Talk about stuffy! In the mall in my neighborhood, there is a statue holding shopping bags that sits on the edge of a fountain between the up and down escalator. I've joked about having my pic taken with her before. Does that make me too Disneyish?

Talk About Online Identities!
I had no idea it was this easy to change your name online, at least for British citizens.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Segway HT (photo copyright Segway LLC)Gingerly Moving In Arizona
Representatives of the company that makes the Segway human transporter were in Phoenix this week, meeting with lawmakers to encourage them to allow their product, also called Ginger, to be made legal for sidewalk use. See their video product demo here.

Castro Speaks His Mind, Then Leaves
Fidel, the fearless dictor of Cuba, wasn't expected to appear at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, but he did and he stunned the crowd when he left. The conference was still productive, adopting the Monterrey Concensus designed to coordinate financial efforts in the developing world as a result of the 11 September attacks.

Felons Released In Arizona Due To Errors
Only in Arizona, where many of the politicians turn out to be criminals, can something like this happen.

China: The World's Electonics Wasteland?
Did you know that trashed electronics components from around the world are being taken to China, where they attempt to glean resources for resale, unaware of the environmental and health risks? The growing problem of e-waste is becoming critical to cities and counties, and even some electronics retailers are getting involved.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

No more American Chickens In Every Russian Pot
What's Wrong With American Chicken?
I reported several weeks ago that Russia has banned all chicken from the US. This article goes into depth about what they are so upset about and in a word -- antibiotics. Maybe we should be as upset as they are! It's an issue around the world, too.

Australian Computers Get Fair Dinkum Voice
The people of Australia don't want their computers speaking to them with American or British accents... they want to hear a proper G'day from their machines!

I'm No Expert On Drugs, But...
There is something very sad about the story of British skier Alain Baxter and why he lost his bronze medal due to a Vick's inhaler. I have lots of questions... like why would using something over the counter cause someone to lose a medal, and if the stuff in that is so substantial, why is it over-the-counter? Can someone explain this to me?

More Bad News In Zimbabwe
The main political rival of newly-re-elected President Mugabe, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, has been arrested and charged with treason. Someone has to stop this man! The Commonwealth has suspended Zimbabwe because of the horrifice injustices in their recent elections. The Globe and Mail, in South Africa, has complete coverage of the elections.

Interview with Secret Service
Learn about how the Secret Service sees computer and business security fitting into homeland security issues. An interesting read.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Antartic Ice Shelf Chunk
The largest chunk to break off in 30 years is missing from the Larsen B ice shelf, breaking into icebergs and creating a potential for flooding as the sea level raises around the world.

SMS Will Be Used To Target Marketing To Voters In Hungary
Given the wireless penetration in Europe, it isn't surprising to learn that short messaging services (SMS) are considered an effective tool for reaching voters. According to the article, Tony Blair used it successfully in the last British election. A paid service from Azzan uses SMS to reach Muslims to let them know what time to pray, adjusted for their geographic position. See what we have to look forward to in the USA?

Monday, March 18, 2002

Innovation, Risk, Technology & The Economy
An outstanding analysis of the state of technology innovation, how venture capitalist are using caution, and the effects on the economy. Overall, the future's so bright you'll need shades to read the article.
St. Patrick's Day Parade in Moscow
St. Patrick's Day Celebration in Moscow
It was the eleventh St. Pat's Day parade in Moscow. Even the Russians are a bit Irish!

What Were They Thinking?
Now we know what the Al Qaeda were thinking, thanks to the paperwork trail they left behind in Afghanistan. Like every other organization, they acquired a structure, administrative overhead, and bureaucracy, making them as vulernable to terrorism as the people they set out to destroy.

Add The Chinese To The List...
of people who beat Columbus to America. Now we have Leif Erickson, a Norwegian Viking, all of the Native Americans, Bjorn Abrandson, Sir Henry Sinclair, Sheik Zayne-eddine Ali ben Fadhel Al-Mazandarani, and Khashkhash Ibn Seed Ibn Aswad, among others.

A Theme Park For Big Boys
Ferrari is planning to create its own theme park. I'm making a list of the commercial theme parks and their themes: Hershey (chocolate), Knotts Berry Farm (jelly?), Disneyland (cartoons), Dracula (vampire), Dollywood (country music), Busch Gardens (beer), Circus Circus (circus), Universal Studios (movies), and Sea World (marine animals).

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Looking North for the 51st State?
Oh my gawd. I had never heard this before, that Canada has been worried about being taken over by the US to become the 51st state. I've never heard such talk here, either. I think they are confusing us with that empire where the sun never sets, or never used to set, the one that we fought so hard to break away from. Should be interesting to see what happens with Canadian relations as the realities of 11 September continue to invade every day living. I don't see anyone here fighting to put barricades on our northern border, like are proposed for the southern border, both with NAFTA countries.
Vampire bat
Vampire Bat Attacks In Mexico
This sounds like something that you would heard on Fox News, especially when then cut into The X-Files with commercials for that evening's news, but it comes from the Mexican Vampire bats are not only real, they do attack people.

Arizona Adapting To New Retirees Needs
When I moved here 10 years ago, the term "snowbird" was used with disgust, and one of the running jokes was "so many snowbirds, so little freezer space" -- and the roads were considerably busier in the winter months! Now, Arizona is working to accomodate the changing needs to retirees, a mainstay of the economy, as "retire" comes to mean different things to people.

Striving To Get A Slice of the Genome Research
I didn't realize that Proposition 301 involved scientific research for Arizona! Projects are underway at the University of Arizona and the Arizona State University. The Arizona BioCluster organization is working to pull more biological research into Arizona.

Hungary Upset Over Anti-Semetic Claims By US Newspaper
Is Hungary's Socialist party really a renamed version of their Communist party? The claims made back and forth are fascinating, especially the idea that if Hungary had expressed such ideas earlier, they would not have been admitted to NATO. With each spin, the world becomes more interesting, eh?

Friday, March 15, 2002

China's Opinions
Like I've always said here, if you want to know what is going on in America, read the foreign press. China has responded to our publication of the human rights records of various countries by writing up their own view of our human rights record in 2001. It's interesting to see what was omitted, like the fact that there was no violence associated with the turmoil of our presidential election recount. Read it for yourself.

1911 Encyclopaedia Online
I worry about having resources that have been published in the last seven days, and now, I can use something that is 90 years old. What will they think of next?
Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
Developing Blog Content
I found an article today that has helped me to find clarity around the issues I struggle with on this blog. I started this blog as an outlet for the amazing things I was finding in the press around the world, things I started reading compulsively after 11 September. I found my world had grown so large and had such a different perspective that I wanted to share it. I had been sending emails with links to friends, receiving positive comments. But I wanted something more substantial, something that I could return to myself, and rediscover parts of my own path of discovery. I wanted a bread crumb trail of my own readings and thoughts.

So, I started Trivium about two months ago. The traffic has been low, and I've wondered at times why I'm bothering to do this at all. It seems that I am really the one enjoying it most, and that is enough reason to keep doing it. But I've struggled to redefine what I do, to focus the blog in a clearer way, so that I also have a sense of satisfaction from being read. The truth is -- if I stop writing this stuff down here, I'll still be reading the news every day. Reading mostly from my own bookmarks to news sites, with only a handful of blogs being read. So maybe I'll develop another blog with a clearer focus, but I suspect I'll keep this one, also.

This article today really helped me to understand the roles of disseminating information. I want to be both a maven and a connector, and while that may be possible, my heart is really into being the maven first. Maybe I can learn how to be both.

Journalists Replaced By Computers?
Yes, it is true. But really, the type of writing these computers are doing is more like the arithmetic tasks that computers have taken away from accountants. Journalists are still needed to interview, prioritize, and write substantial articles. If computers can take away the boring writing tasks, like summarizing news releases, then I'm all in favor of it. (Can I find a computer that can take over some of my repetitive and boring writing tasks?)

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Semiconductor Breakthrough
I know a thimble-full about semiconductors, just enough to understand that this kind of a breakthrough is a big deal, or it can be. A friend at Motorola told me that this is the second big breakthrough that has happened on a beach. The first one, an engineer was on the beach with his wife, who asked "Why can't I make a cell phone call from here..." and he developed the idea for Iridium. Maybe more people should be spending time on beaches to improve the world?
Sharbat Gula from National Geographic
Haunting Eyes Update
Six weeks ago, I told you about the interesting update to a story about Sharbat Gula, the woman whose haunting eyes graced the cover of National Geographic and was enduring the battles inside Afghanistan. Now, National Geographic has found her and updated their story. We are all fascinated.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Fernando Pullum in his classroom
Pay It Forward In Real Life
Looking for a story about real people making a difference in the world? Then you need to read about Fernando Pullum and his work with students at Washington Preparatory High School in South-Central Los Angeles. Even VH-1 knows about his work. He is a past winner of the Music Educator of the Year award from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers. (Thanks, Beth, for sending me this.)

CEOs Building Network For Communication During Terrorist Attacks
This is one of the most interesting private sector initiatives I've read about in a long time. Maybe this type of cooperation will lead the way to more of the same. This is a great step in a good direction, in my humble opinion. I'm going to keep an eye on the Business Roundtable.. these are the business leaders to watch!

In Memory of Daniel Pearl
Freedom can't exist without freedom of speech, and its counterpart, freedom of the press. We must always remember the great freedom patriots like Danny Pearl, journlists armed only with writing tools and their inquisitive minds, looking for the truth in the darkest and ugliest corners of the world we live in, whether in the midst of war, of business life, or political strife. The Index on Censorship has a wonderful memorial to Danny. TheWashington Post has an interesting observation of what is happening in Pakistan and how it related to Daniel's kidnapping. Time made him their Person of the Week in February. The Wall Street Journal has created an index to some of Danny's work for them.

And While We Are Changing The World...
Make this kind of thing go away!

View Of A Simpler World
I love the old Route 66 type of buildings and advertising signs, so when I wandered on this site, I was in heaven. It's picture postcards of old hotels throughout the country. I'd like to add a feature... a snapshot of the same location today. Some of these hotels in Phoenix still exist, one of them has red lights on the doors now!

Monday, March 11, 2002

Quebeckers Losing English Loophole
I know that the people are Quebec are fanatical about their province, but I didn't realize just how militant they are about Canadian French language instruction in their schools.
Pastora Leaves
Mexican Headlines
I'm scratching my head at the juxtaposition of these stories: a huge drug raid, and the emergence of interested in Pastora. On Saturday night, one of the most wanted drug suspects, Benjamin Arellano Felix, was arrested in his posh neighborhood. Mexican president, Vincent Fox, commented on the arrest, as did Asa Hutchinson of the US DEA. Pastora, also known as Maria Pastora, is a legal plant material that is claimed to have strong hallucenogenic properties, and comes with a long tradition of shamanic use. Bust the illegal drug pushers, and praise the properties of another drug at the same time. Anyone else find this humorous?

Cactus League Stadiums
It's not too late to catch a game during Spring Training's Cactus League!

If you don't know what is going on in Zimbabwe, promise me that you will find out. Today. I've just found this independent news site, and I'm going to be checking it daily. I've written about the Commonwealth's concern, and about how journalists are sneaking in to cover the events. The weekend elections are all over the news.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Paul McCartney Ticket from his last world tour
McCartney Tickets Boiling Hot
If you don't already have tickets for one of McCartney's US shows, you had better hope to win some from the radio station sponsors.

Bin Laden Made Sure His Own Family Was Safe
I've avoided coverage of the 11 September events, but this one seems more interesting than many of the others. Here is a man who plotted and enjoyed the murder of thousands of innocent people, and yet took the time to make sure his own family was safe. This is not a totally disconnected man, a man without any heart. This is a man who is calculating and is working from a place of "us" vs. "them" thinking. This is not a spiritual man, a man with a soul, who feels connected to humanity.

Eunich Ranks Swelling
There are so many bad jokes that are possible from this article, but I won't make any of them out of respect for the poor men who undergo this procedure against their will.

Russian Census Being Taken
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this census, but it will provide critical information for the Russia government and agencies who are planning services for their own futures.

First Beer Cartels, Now Vodka Trademarks
Just when the world could use a stiff drink to unwind from the stresses of the daily news, the vodka is pulled out from under them. Stolichnaya vodka at that!

Comet Overhead

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Advice For Office Romances
I guess I'm skeptical because I've found myself burnt more than once. I try to avoid making FRIENDS at work, much less lovers.
Tomato Clown Fish
Oil Exploration Put Great Barrier Reef At Risk
Say it isn't so! It seems that for 20 years, some companies have been doing oil explorations in the Great Barrier Reef under the cover of "scientific exploration." What a terrible risk to take with a natural wonder, and by the group supposedly charged with protecting the reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Field of Dreams
This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I was thrilled to find this article about W.P. Kinsella.

Sir Macfarlane Burnet
In papers recently made public, Sir Macfarlane Burnet urged the Australian government to develop biological weapons in 1947, thirteen years before he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on how the immune system works. Do physicians in Australia take the Hippocratic Oath? Maybe he just forgot the part that says "I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

Thursday, March 07, 2002

McDonalds' logo
McDonalds Pays For Beef Flavored Fries
I didn't realize that there was more going on with this issue until I read this from Australia. What I remember most about McDonald's fries is the story that they are soaked in sugar water before freezing to improve the taste. That was in the years when they kept winning the best tasting fries competitions with the other fast food chains. I've completely lost touch since then. Odd, but there is no mention of this outcome in the press releases on the McDonalds corporate site, and nothing in the Australia site, either.

Chicken Russia
Did you know that half og the chicken exported from the US goes to Russia? Well, at least it used to.

Anna Nicole Smith Gets Paid
It's not as much as she wanted, but its a huge chunk of change. And this made the front page of the BBC News site -- apparently they were surprised by this outcome!

Rat Problem Fighters
One of Phoenix's poshest neighborhoods has a rat problem... caused by the amount of oranges that fall from the trees and lay on the ground to rot. Find out what one neighbor is doing to curb this unbelievable problem.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Clinton Cut A Deal To Avoid Criminal Charges
It's no wonder Clinton was in the mood to grant so many presidential pardons his last day in office ... he had cut a deal to avoid facing criminal charges himself just the day before. It's curious to learn that he surrendered his law license for 5 years. I can't wait to see what is in the Whitewater report.

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Bhutan's Bordered Digitized
By the end of March, customs stations at the border of Bhutan will be automated. That is so inconsistent with my view of this lovely country that I might have to go just to see this for myself.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
I've been reading about this in papers all over the world, especially about the possible action to be taken against Zimbabwe. It's being held in Australia, and attended by Commonwealth heads of state like Tony Blair (UK Prime Minister), Begum Khaleda Zia (Bangladesh Prime Minister), and the tiny Pacific Island country of Tuvalu. Even the Queen herself attended the meeting as the head of the Commonwealth. Instead of ejecting Zimbabwe, the group decided to send delegates to see if the elections this weekend are fair. In addition, they have taken steps to ensure that future conflicts between members can be resolved by the group in light of the Zimbabwe conflict.

The Scoop on Ashcroft
Like I've always said, if you want to know what's really going on in America, read the international press.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Lonely Prince William
I have an 18-year-old nephew who is having a tough time adjusting to college life, so I feel tuned into the plight of Prince William in a general sense. St. Andrews sounds like a lovely setting for serious academic studies, but without any of the distractions that make life interesting for the young.
creosote bush photo courtesy BBC.
Mighty Creosote!
One of the things I love about my home is the abundance of creosote plants, and that wonderful "rain" smell they give off when wet. Now, it turns out that they might be the oldest plants on the planet! Bravo!

Sunday, March 03, 2002

Sarah Jessica Parker
I'm addicted to Inside The Actor's Studio. I started watching it a few years ago because I have this dream of writing screenplays, and it occured to me that I needed to learn something about the acting process so I could write parts that actors would love to play. Tonight was wonderful with Sarah Jessica, so I've decided to cover her.
Sarah Jessica looking stunning
Sarah Jessica was born in Nelsonville, Ohio, a small town outside of Athens, the home of Ohio University, which in general terms is northeast of Cincinnati. I first became aware of her when she was playing Annie on Broadway. I was also aware of her when she dated Robert Downey, Jr. who is one of my favorite actors. I loved her in L.A. Story. Now, I never miss an episode of Sex And The City, in part because I find the character Carrie Bradshawso intriguing. Here is a woman who makes her living as a writer, and has created this wonderful lifestyle. The Internet is full of coverage, but what I found most interesting: an article about how to achieve her hair, what's wrong with her look at the Emmy's, and a profile from that compares her to Carole Lombard. Here's a complete filmography. Of course, I can't omit her marriage to Matthew Broderick.
"...An Author By Any Other Name Would Write As Sweet..."
Is it possible that Shakespeare didn't write the works attributed to him? Is this just a conspiracy-mindset look back into history? This article is triggered by the recent showing of the new documentary, "Much Ado About Something"by Michael Rubbo that poses that theory for your consideration. The film has been covered in papers all over the world, including Sydney, Toronto (where the film was shown as part of the Toronto Film Festival 2001), London, and New York. I couldn't find anything like a distribution calendar, sorry!

Governor Arpaio?
The colorful and often controversial Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, is being pushed as a candidate for governor of Arizona. Sheriff Joe, known as the "Toughest Sheriff in America" from the title of his book, is known for several things: reinstating chain gangs, tent city jails, jail cams, and pink boxer shorts. Hmmm.... I wonder what fun the Phoenix New Times will have this this? They are not the only people to mock him.

Hear Joe speak about his policies
, read the press release about the jail cams, check out his plan to use howitzers on drug dens, his plan to introduce pets to the prision system, and the history of the pink boxers. He's been covered by Time, CNN, the Helskinki newspaper, and is the subject of his own documentary, "A Day With Sheriff Joe."

They Paved Paradise To Put Up A... Tourist Sign?
The irony of parks. Paved roads in previously untouched settings so people can drive through and feel they have "gotten in touch" with nature. Only thing is, the huge number of instructional signs that are required often block the best of views...

Saturday, March 02, 2002

Wellington Arch, courtesy of the String of Pearls organization
String of Pearls
In honor of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, many locations throughout London are offering special tours, exhibits or services on selected dates thorughout the year. If you are planning a trip to London this year, consider these destinations: Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Tower of London, Royal Military School of Music, Wellington Arch, Battersea Park, Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Observatory, Armourers and Brasiers' Company, and the Houses of Parliment.

Traveling Over the Top of the World
Recent studies indicate the the melting of the Arctic ice cap means that during the summers it will be possible for commercial shipping and tourism to travel over the top of the world between Canada, Iceland, northern Europe and Russia. Some believe this will happen during the next decade, and others are a bit skeptical.

The Glory of Soviet Architecture
Architecture always reflects the deepest aspirations of mankind, often influenced by the politics of the time. This is an interesting article about Soviet architecture under communism, including the work of Dmitry Chechulin.

Investingating the Beer Cartel
Just when you thought that Europe was distracted by the Euro conversion... It seems that two breweries, Heineken and Carlsberg, are under special scrutiny, accused of splitting up the Dutch and Danish beer markets with non-compete agreements. I guess that would be like Anheuser-Busch and Sam Adams agreeing to market to their own side of the Mississippi. That would make me very unhappy, being the fan of Sam that I am.

Will Czech Republic Make It Into The European Union?
Controversies continue as the Czech Prime Minister makes statements supporting "ethinic cleansing" -- a shocking position to most of the Western world.