Archive for April, 2006

Biking Little River Trail

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Pretty spring day today – so we decided to head out to Little River park instead of doing chores. First Laura got to run on the trails for an hour, while I helped Jacob practice riding his “thunderbike.” I also showed Julia a safe, easy part of the bike trail she could practice on. When […]

Togo: Bittersweet Independence Day

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

For many citizens of Togo, this must be a bittersweet day. On April 27, 1960, the French administered UN Trusteeship and former French colony became an independent nation. But today also marks a year and a day since the ruling party, the RPT, declared victory in the so-called “election” of April 24, 2005. This rigged […]

Twenty years after Chernobyl

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

I remember quite well the days after April 26, 1986, when human error and the lack of any disaster preparedness planning led to the worst nuclear accident in the short history of this horrific technology. When reactor no. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Memorial Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station melted down 20 years ago, it released […]

Africa Malaria Day 2006

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Today is Africa Malaria Day and this year the focus is on the need to provide universal access to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). ACTs are the newest hope for making serious progress toward defeating the Queen of Diseases. African children are dying of malaria at the rate of one every 30 seconds. Take a minute […]

Yet more reasons to drink beer

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I have always liked Guinness, especially on tap. A nice, cool pint of Guinness slows things down a bit, as you watch it slowly settle to its characteristic dark stillness, with this creamy, meditative – but confident – head. Recently, Beer Advocate published an interview with Fergal Murray, one of the company’s head brewmasters, and […]


Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Oh yeah, baby! Veg Power rules! Grease be with you!

Togo national dialog makes some progress

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Saturday, the ruling RPT and several opposition parties elected the lawyer and opposition leader Yawovi Agboyibo to run their “national dialog” talks. This process began in May 2004 and had been interrupted in February when President Eyadema died. The goal is primarily to find ways to reform the electoral process in the West African nation, […]

More Earth Day fun

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Julia makes it all the way to the top of “The Rock” at yesterday’s Earth Day Celebration at Duke.

Happy Earth Day

Friday, April 21st, 2006

The Nicholas School at Duke had a great Earth Day Celebration. Matt and I manned the Piedmont Biofuels booth.

Racist attacks in Germany

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Last Sunday, a 28-year-old man was attacked in the city of Potsdam (near Berlin) by racist thugs and violently beaten to a pulp, simply because he is black. This racist attack has prompted a fair amount of outrage and analysis, but also some rather telling statements, like the one from Minister of the Interior Schäuble, […]

Philips wants to force ads down viewers’ throats

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Philips is working very hard these days to piss off consumers, as acknowledged by one one of their recent patent applications. Odd thing, you think, for a consumer electronics company to create technology to disenfranchise and piss off consumers? Seems disingenuous? Yet, this seems to represent a new industry trend. Consider the recent whooping Sony […]

The War on Easter

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

… is real! The atheist filmmaker Brian Flemming has recruited volunteer activists, Rational Responders, to distribute copies of his documentary and flyers that compare Jesus to the Easter Bunny. Declaring War on Easter, Beyond Belief Media has launched a preemptive attack on the Christian holiday, the company announced today. “Operation Easter Sanity” has already begun. […]

Toxic soda story heats up

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Food safety researchers have conducted more tests on soda pop involving heat and UV exposure, and they found clear evidence that even short exposure of soda to heat increases the levels of benzene, a human carcinogen. This is caused by the presence of two common preservatives in the soda: sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid. “Heat […]

Carolina Spring

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Last weekend my dad visited us and since we were doing a bit of sight-seeing, I figured a trip over to Chapel Hill would be fun. I had not visited my alma mater in a long time and this time of year the old campus at UNC is just gorgeous (despite a huge amount of […]

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

New Google Brain to Keep “Golden Copy” of Your Deepest Hopes, Fears, Secrets Today Google introduced a new product, Google Brain. Building on its popular Google Goggles, a headset that records users’ audiovisual sensory input and uploads it to Google’s servers, the Brain attachment will build and transmit to Google a constantly-updated computer model of […]

Don’t pray for me

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

… at least not when it’s time fo my triple bypass, because you’d increase my chance of experiencing complications during recovery by seven percentage points, according to a recent study: Percentage of Patients Having Complications After Surgery: 52% – Patients who were receiving prayers and did not know this. 52% – Patients receiving no prayers […]