Friday, April 30, 2004

A Giant Leap toward Virtual Reality 

BBC NEWS | Technology | 'Laser vision' offers new insights

This is really cool!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

WMD Found 

Investigative Report
Saddam's WMD Have Been Found - Insight on the News - World

The ballistic missiles that have been found were a clear material violation of the UN Security Council resolutions that ordered Saddam to dismantle his WMD program.

If only the major media would point this out...

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Thursday, April 22, 2004


Gmail - Inbox

Seems I now have a preview Gmail account. I changed my blog e-mail address to the gmail account (broander -at- gmail.com), so if you want to send me a mail so I can try it out, please, do so.

Like Oxblog, I too am interested in South African diamonds;)

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Back to the Future... 

...and let me tell you, Christopher Lloyd is one wild guy. School has been quite busy this quarter here at the UofC (remember we have shirts that proudly proclaim The University of Chicago on one side and "Where fun comes to die." on the other), but studying history is such a blast. But now I think things are taming a bit, so I hope to spend more time in the present with my fellow bloggers. You're all such a great crowd, I couldn't stay away (He's lying, lock your doors at night -editor

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Fisking Friedman 

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Losing Our Edge?

I'm not going to dissect all of his points, some of which may be valid (although that is impossible to tell because Mr. Friedman's article is too short and lacks any proof beyond vague innuendo); one jumps out at me, however.

He writes about a science competition that Intel holds every year:

Craig Barrett, the C.E.O. of Intel, noted that Intel sponsors an international science competition every year. This year it attracted some 50,000 American high school kids. "I was in China 10 days ago," Mr. Barrett said, "and I asked them how many kids in China participated in the local science fairs that feed into the national fair [and ultimately the Intel finals]. They told me six million kids."

The 50,000 American children most likely participated because of their own personal motivation and vigor, most of the Chinese students were likely forced by the government to participate.

The question that needs to be asked is whether the state forcing students to study certain subjects if a good idea? Does it really help a country become more competitive if a bunch of less-than-enthusiastic students consume educational capital learning, and then don't pursue research with a real passion?

It could, maybe volume is better than quality. But then, there's a large and probably chance that it doesn't.

Also, it should be pointed out that our country is still skimming many of the best from the world because of how much better our university system is than any other country (The Economist has written on this frequently. Even Oxford and Cambridge are losing their luster). I can also testify to this personally; here at the University of Chicago there are many international students or the children of immigrants that are fully americanized and plan on staying here in the US.

It should finally be pointed out, while remaining brief (I have to read Tocqueville's take on the Ancien Regime for tomorrow before I rest), that there is more to a nation and a society than technical prowess. While it may be important, there are several other factors that indicate a country's general health. There are its artistic productions; the US seems to have quite a global reach in its productions, and despite the criticism that Hollywood may receive, there are many excellent works of art that are not mainstream being produced in the US all the time. Also, there are other academic subjects that are essential besides the sciences; without a liberal understanding of history and politics, how can a society understand itself as well as attempt to better itself.

Also, to state the obvious that Mr. Friedman doesn't consider the illiberal and repressive government of China and in some cases India. Can a repressive regime really push its citizens to succeed economically in the long run while it denies them fundamental political rights? How long will a people tolerate being nothing more than the means for their government to make a bid for hegemony?

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WaPo Smacks Kerry down on Iraq flip-flopping. 

Mr. Kerry Revises (washingtonpost.com)

"We believe a successful political outcome is still possible; others disagree. But Mr. Kerry's shift on such a basic question after just a few months is troubling and mistaken."

Don't vote for this man. Playing political games with domestic issues is one thing, playing games with the countries security in the world, and even the security of the whole world, is irresponsible and cowardly.

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Thursday, April 08, 2004

Beware the Smut Police 

The Volokh Conspiracy

It could be a brave new world.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Business Confidence Surge 

FT.com Home UK

It's at a 20 year high. If this results in a hiring binge by business, which it almost certainly will, I smell an easy Bush victory in November.

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A Catch-22 for Ex-Offenders 

A Catch-22 for Ex-Offenders

Rehabilitation is important. Yes, I know, shock of shocks, I agree with the NYTs editorial page on this matter.

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Monday, April 05, 2004

Walton is Vader 

Stymied by Politicians, Wal-Mart Turns to Voters

The ballot initiative is sponsored by Wal-Mart, which collected more than 10,000 signatures to put the question to voters after the Inglewood City Council blocked the proposed development last year, citing environmental, traffic, labor, public safety and economic concerns.

While Wal-Mart has turned to the ballot in a number of cities and towns to win the right to build its giant emporiums, the Inglewood initiative is significantly different. The proposal would essentially exempt Wal-Mart from all of Inglewood's planning, zoning and environmental regulations, creating a city-within-a-city subject only to its own rules. Wal-Mart has hired an advertising and public relations firm to market the initiative and is spending more than $1 million to support the measure, known as initiative 04-A.

All hail the Empire!

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Gates no Longer Worlds Richest 

IKEA founder overtakes Gates as world's richest - TV

Ingvar Kamprad doesn't reall fly off the tongue as easily as 'ol Gates, does it?

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Friday, April 02, 2004

Motorcycle Ride through Chernobyl 


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Bush Victory Growing More Likely 

Let Loose the Dogs of War!, well, at leat the bears of economic improvement.

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