31 August 2008

Recommended Readings 080831 ~ On Garbage, SF, Booze, Caucasia, Cruelty, MENACA, Africa, Talent, Debt, Cars, Spouses, and Robots...

Few tasty info-morsels this past week including...
  • Garbage is a lead economic indicator according to Laura Ruane's piece in USA Today Slowing Economy Curbs Garbage, where she quotes Kevin Kiernan manager of waste services in Washington state. The Times's Anna Shepard writes Waste Not, Want To Know More reviewing the new book The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste.
  • Lovely review in the WSJ of the year's best SF entitled No Time Like The Present. Plus John Tierney in the NYTimes writes about Technology That Outthinks Us: A Partner or a Master? about futurist Vernor Vinge and his Singularity ideas.
  • Senior Editorial Writer at the WSJ, Collin Levy, opines College Presidents Stand Up for Common Sense? I'll Drink to That, rightfully applauding those university leaders who are fighting against the unworkable, immoral, and unconstitutional age-discriminatory 21+ drinking age laws in the US.
  • In their own words in the FT: Why I had to recognize Georgia's breakaway regions by Dmitry Medvedev versus Moscow's plan to redraw the map of Europe by Mikheil Saakashvili.
  • Arther Herman opines in the WSJ about Russia and the New Axis of Evil, pointing out the scourge of oil-rich dictatorships fueled by profligate democracies. Philip Stephens in the FT opines that Putin seeks to map the boundaries of greater Russia. Bernard-Henri Levy opines in the WSJ that Russia Is Brazen, Europe Weak. Marshall Goldman opines in the Globe about The Russian power play on oil, natural gas reserves. Zeyno Baran questions in the WSJ oped section Will Turkey Abandon NATO?
  • Martin Samuel opines in the Times that China's apologists are wide-eyed and clueless, pointing out "it's wonderful what you can do with total control over your people" and"the regime will go back to its old ways quicker than a Jamaican sprinter." Ouch.
  • In the Wingnut vs Faithful department, we have Steve Bird's Times piece on Muslim guilty of cruetly over boys' ritual flogging. Add that to the list of disgusting practices like pedophilia, child brides, rape as punishment, stoning for adultery, fatwas for publishing opinions, killings over comics, and other things justified by religion.
  • Very interesting interview of MTN chief Phuthuma Nhleko by Andrew Parker in the FT about MTN's plans to dominate emerging telecoms markets.
  • Lovely to see Fashion Designer Makes a Statement in Sierra Leone as Katrina Manson writes in a Reuters piece published in the Globe.
  • Good to read the Times piece by Jeremy Page that in Afghanistan, Opium production falls as farmers reap benefit of swapping poppies for wheat. Similarly, Marian Fam writes in the WSJ that Yemen Wields Capitalism in War on Narcotic Plant.
  • FT's Andrew Jack reports on The worm that turned back, about Former US president Jimmy Carter spending 20 years eradicating the Guinea worm.
  • The Times's Jessica Brown writes that Investors drop BRICs for the Middle East. Colleague Kate Walsh writes that big investment funds are targeting African agriculture, land and livestock, including game and biofuel crops on more marginal lands.
  • At the same time, writes Andrew Kramer in the NYTimes, Russia's Lazy Collective Farms Are a Hot Capitalist Property. And Yuka Hayashi writes in the WSJ that Sleepy Side of Japan Stirs as Russia's Far East Booms.
  • Thomas Donlan opines in Barron's that there's Danger Ahead: Science Shortfall, with the US losing leadership in tech because of foolish immigration and tax policies.
  • The Times's Suzy Jagger reviews film I.O.U.S.A in Film tells some home truths about US debt mountain.
  • Good to see FT story about Zipcar by John Reed titled European drive for car-share club, indicating expansion and potential IPO.
  • Lesley Downer in the Times writes about the Weapon of Mass Seduction, a professional femme fatale hired by spouses to entrap straying partners in Japan.
  • Scott Kirsner writes in his Innovation Economy column about Robots On The Move, the growing robo-cluster in Massachusetts.

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