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May 2009
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July 2009

Sweet, Sweet Ripples

Small freedoms via IBA:

Using colorful bras donated by employees at Victoria's Secret, a group of 26 mostly Saudi women completed the first course of its kind to be offered in the kingdom _ how to fit, stock and sell underwear _ a training organizers hope will help boost a campaign to lift the ban on women selling underwear in the kingdom.

Because the Quran says no.

Because of the mortification many women feel ordering bras, thongs and negligees, the lack of trained sales staff and the absence of fitting rooms _ they're banned because the idea of a woman undressing in a public place is unthinkable _ many women end up with the wrong underwear size.


British consul-general in Jiddah Kate Rudd said she attended Tuesday's ceremony to show support for the idea that women should be allowed to play a more active role. "It was a small step, but perhaps from this little drop there will be bigger ripples," said Rudd.

As John Kerry would say, "Who among us doesn't like ripples?"

Stonings Maybe, Kinda Barbaric

Amazing news:

Iranian lawmakers are mooting legislation that would outlaw harsh punishment methods such as stoning and amputations, Iran's official news agency IRNA said on Monday. Ali Sharokhi, who is the president of the Iranian judiciary commission said MPs are eyeing legal amendments to make illegal stoning, cutting off the hands of thieves, amongst other 'Islamic' punishments.

Iran just might upgrade its law to the ninth century.

Saying No to Slavery

The New York Times via Infidels Are Cool:

Speaking at the Palace of Versailles, Mr. Sarkozy confronted one of the most hotly debated social issues in France, saying there was no room in the republic for burqas, the garments that some Muslim women wear to cloak their bodies and faces.

“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue. It is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women.”

To enthusiastic applause, he said, “I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory.”


The Glorious Khans

Andrew Miller:

A Pakistan with momentum is a beast that cannot be contained. England discovered that fact to their cost in 1992 at Melbourne, when Imran Khan's cornered tigers sprung at their throats to seize the country's first major global title. And now, a generation later but in a campaign of distinct and glorious parallels, Sri Lanka have also sampled the unstoppable alchemy that occurs when cricket's most emotional and temperamental participants find a way to meld their ambitions to their deeds.

Then, it was Imran Khan. Today, it is Younis Khan:

"I'm the second Khan winning a World Cup for Pakistan, so I'm very proud of my Khans," said Younis. "This is my dream. I dreamed all the time of lifting the World Cup. My thinking in all my career is that I will be remembered for a team like 1992. I was not in the Imran Khan team, and this is a dream come true. I'm really happy. Though this World Cup is Twenty20, at least we won our second World Cup. This is a gift to our whole nation."


Both the captain and his Man of the Match hail from the troubled North West Frontier Province, and Afridi himself from the Khyber Agency, the symbolic frontline of Pakistan's War on Terror. Chaos can seem at times to be embedded in the Pakistani DNA, but as both men showed in their performances in this tournament, it does not have to be this way.

2009 Twenty20 Final

Sri Lankan Innings

1st over: Aamer just dismissed the top-scorer in the tournament for a ... zero! A wicket-maiden. Wow. The 17-year-old Aamer has cemented his place in the national side.

2nd over: Another wicket! This time by Razzaq. Sri Lanka 2/2. Pakistan's traditional bowling strength is firing on all cylinders ... and they haven't even brought out their best bowler yet.

4th over: Jayasuriya smacked around Razzaq in the beginning but the veteran bowler had his revenge. Sri Lanka 26/3. Umar Gul is going to have Sri Lanka's lower order for lunch, assuming Sri Lanka survive for that long.

6th over: Jayawardene departs for a miserable 1. Razzaq has 3 wickets in 3 overs. Pakistan has annihilated the Sri Lankan top order. 32/4.

12th over: Umar Gul is on. Sri Lanka, somewhat stabilized, at 65/4.

The best bowler of the tournament strikes with his third ball. The Sri Lankan lower order is exposed at 67/5.

13th over: Afridi strikes with his last delivery of the match. Sri Lanka 70/6.

17th over: Sangakkara has done the heavy lifting for Sri Lanka. He has scored more than 50% of his team's total.

20th over: Fantastic hitting by Mathews. Aamer wasn't able to contain the big hitting in the last over. Sri Lanka end their innings at a defendable 138/6.

Pakistan need 139 to win. Can the mercurial Pakistanis do it? Can Misbah redeem himself for that horrid shot in the last final?

We shall see.

Pakistani Innings

5th over: They're motoring along nicely. 26/0. The wily Murali starts bowling his first over which ends at 30/0. A pleasant five overs for Pakistan.

6th over: Pakistan need 100 runs from 14 overs. They have all 10 wickets in hand. This is now Pakistan's game to lose.

8th over: Akmal did his job; he's out for a 28-ball 37. The most loved cricketer in Pakistan comes to bat. Afridi is on.

10th over: Murali gets rid of Hasan. Pakistan 65/2.

74 runs needed from 60 balls.

13th over: Pakistan hasn't scored a boundary in four overs but they sure are running hard for 1s and 2s. 83/2. 56 runs needed from 42 balls.

14th over: Afridi smashes Murali for a six and a four in two balls.

15th over: More hard running. At the end, 36 needed from 30.

17th over: At the end, 26 runs from 18 balls. 8 wickets in hand.

18th over: Afridi reaches his epic half-century by taking apart the hapless Udana. 19 runs in this 1 historic over.

Pakistan need 7 runs from 12 balls. They will win.

19th over: Game over with 8 wickets and 8 balls remaining.

Afridi, a truly gifted all rounder, has won the World Cup for Pakistan.

ODI history

1992: Pakistan vs. England
1996: Sri Lanka vs. Australia
1999: Australia vs. Pakistan
2003: Australia vs. India
2007: Australia vs. Sri Lanka

T20 history

2007: India vs. Pakistan
2009: Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka

In the last 20 years, Pakistan and Australia have made it to the finals of four global tournaments. Australia has won three and Pakistan has won two.

I was ten years old when Pakistan won in 1992. Hopefully, today's win will provide memories and inspiration to another generation of kids in Pakistan.

An Epic Finish

On the Cricket World Twenty20 final tomorrow:

That the two best, most varied, and most individualistic bowling sides have made it to the final of the premier tournament in Twenty20, a format that gives batsmen obscene liberty, is itself a cause for celebration. But if you allow yourself to see the broader picture, the matters of bat and ball become insignificant before the human possibilities the final offers. Among all those participating in this tournament, no two nations need the lift sporting success can bring more than Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Taliban supporters attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in my birth-city earlier this year. Sri Lanka, perhaps the most friendly cricketing nation to Pakistan, was stunned. They quickly went back home. Understandably, no country was interested in playing cricket in Pakistan.

Later, Pakistan was stripped of the right to host World Cup matches in 2011.

Recently, an undercooked Pakistani team started playing in a global, hypercricket tournament in England. Now, they are in the final. Their journey mirrors the jagged path of the 1992 Pakistan side. Then, Pakistan was thrashed in the early stages of the tournament. Then, they met the undefeated New Zealand side in their last group match.

The Kiwis were rudely beaten.

A few days later, the Pakistanis met New Zealand again. In the semi-final. Imran Khan's Pakistan beat them again. Pakistan vs. England in the final. Pakistan won the match as Rameez Raja made the last catch to end England's misery.

In 2009, Pakistan also met the heavyweight favorite in the semi-final: the well-oiled South Africans -- who had won 7 games in a row. And just like in 1992, the mechanical side was beaten.

In less than 24 hours, the two sides most affected by terror will meet in the final.

Going by how they have played so far, Sri Lanka deserve to win but Pakistan need it more. It's a cliché, but there will no losers tomorrow.

i to infinity

Intel still nuts:

we are focusing our strategy around a primary 'hero' client brand which is Intel® Core™. Today the Intel Core brand has a mind boggling array of derivatives (such as Core™2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, etc). Over time those will go away and in its place will be a simplified family of Core processors spanning multiple levels: Intel® Core™ i3 processor, Intel® Core™ i5 processor, and Intel® Core™ i7 processors. Core i3 and Core i5 are new modifiers and join the previously announced Intel Core i7 to round out the family structure. It is important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits. For example, upcoming processors such as Lynnfield (desktop) will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name.

What will happen when Intel moves to 32nm? The next generation of Core chips will have similar clock speeds but they'll be far more efficient. Will Intel stick with the Core i3, i5 and i7 names and make it difficult for consumers to know or will they tack on further "modifiers" to make it, er, easy.

It was so simple when Intel had Pentiums and Celerons for consumers.

Link via Hardocp where a commenter says:

New intel naming scheme!

"Core i"(2k+1) where k is a natural number.

Superpower Flexes

Popular Mechanics via Instapundit:

The first pieces of the U.S. Navy’s newest class of aircraft carrier—meant to be the cornerstone of American military sea power over the next hundred years—lie in the open air of a shipyard in Virginia. A misting rain is falling on the jumbled field of steel bulkheads, stacks of pipe and 200-ton sections of hull. It’s as if some gargantuan child broke apart his model ship and scattered the pieces on the ground.

But Northrop Grumman’s staff at the Newport News shipyard know where every part is located—and the exact order in which each piece must be connected. Building an aircraft carrier is like putting together a 3D jigsaw puzzle, for years on end. Engineers have been designing some of the pieces since 2000; the job won’t be finished until 2015.

Holy #^*!

On the Edge

Pejman Yousefzadeh: Iran in Turmoil.


Several foreign news organisations complained Sunday that Iranian authorities were blocking their reporters from covering protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election.

German public television channels ZDF and ARD said their reporters were not allowed to broadcast their reports, while the BBC said the signals of its Persian services were being jammed from Iran.

The Dubai-based Arab news channel Al-Arabiya in Tehran was forbidden from working for a week and Dutch broadcaster Nederland 2 said its journalist and cameraman were arrested and ordered to leave the country.

In Apostateland

The Apostate:

I’m going to stop emphasizing to all who will listen that this world is a rotten place because women aren’t safe. I’m going to act as if we are and refuse to play into the hands of those who intimidate us. You know why? Because part of living a full life is getting drunk in bars, and when you’re drunk, the fresh night air and the silence of the streets is the best fucking thing. Walking home drunk is not an unfortunate expediency, carelessness or irresponsible behavior. It’s a pleasurable experience. It’s a liberating experience. And women should be able to do these things for their own sake, not just when we’re stuck without a ride, or “made a mistake,” or didn’t realize how late it had gotten, but because while we’re here, we’d like to live a little. And fuck the consequences.

A few points:

1. Getting drunk and walking home is part of a full life? I guess I'll be stuck at 99% of life since I've never had a drink nor do I desire one.

2. Walking home drunk is not irresponsible behavior? Glad to know that she won't be having any kids.

3. "It’s a liberating experience." That means I'm ... oppressed!

I blame the Matriarchy.

4. "And fuck the consequences." Translation: She likes drama.

A concerned commenter there writes:

FFS girl.. This is not a perfect world!

A drunk guy meadearing along a dimly lit street encounters a similarly drunk female ???… shakes head. What female in their right mind would take the risk of walking home alone drunk.

This is the reality.

Some people never learn.

But the grizzly bears and cubs are so cute and harmless.

Aren't they?

By the way, the four simple tags at the end of the post there are priceless.

No Economic Reason

The New York Times:

Airbus executives warned over the weekend that output at their European factories could fall by as much as one-fourth over the next two years as the aircraft maker and its suppliers adjust to the sharp drop in air traffic and widening losses at the world’s airlines. But the company insisted that it could absorb those cuts without resorting to large-scale layoffs — at least for now.

Why does Airbus not layoff workers?

“Airbus will not countenance any large-scale layoffs for social and political reasons,” said Doug McVitie, managing director of Arran Aerospace in Dinan, France.

Good for Boeing.

Is It A Myth?

"No such thing as virginity":

“The Purity Myth” is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. When I lost my virginity as a high school freshman, I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel changed somehow. Wasn’t this supposed to be, like, a big deal? Later, in college, as I’d listen to male friends deride their sexual partners as sluts and whores, I struggled to comprehend how intercourse could mean one thing for men and quite another for women. I knew that logically, nothing about sex could make a girl “dirty,” but I found it incredibly frustrating that my certainty about this seemed to be lost on my male peers. And as I talked to my queer friends, whose sexual experiences were often dismissed because they didn’t fit into the heterosexual model, I started to realize how useless “virginity” really was.

Don't Wow Me, Bro

The Apostate:

I’m telling you – white skin is HUGELY loaded for so many brown and black people. It has tons of bad associations. I want “them” to feel comfortable with “us.” I want them to realize we are not so different, even if we do like sex and nudity, even if political realities make us oppressive to them. Obama’s skin color gives him more of an edge with the Muslim world than any amount of diplomatic talent. It makes him like them. It makes him approachable. It makes him personally not an oppressor. It makes him relatable. It makes him human.

Is she strictly talking about the opinion of the Muslim world or is her opinion on this matter the same? It's unclear from the given paragraph.

An unfortunate clarity is achieved in a later post:

yesterday, we went to this Republican neighborhood to look at a couch. There were large American flags on almost every mansion’s front porch. Rich, white Republicans. We liked the couch but had to look at another one before we committed. Told the Republican we’d let him know within the hour. We did, saying we wanted their couch. We didn’t get a call back until later and then the Republican said he had other people interested and if we couldn’t pick it up right away, it was going to be a problem. We went back and forth on this for a while until I got fed up and said to Larry, “He probably doesn’t want to sell to us; I’m too brown and we’re too interracial for his white couch.”

Ah yes: your typical white, Christian, Republican keeping the brown woman down. Such statements reveal more about the Apostate than the fellow Christian. The rest of the post makes a mockery of her, ahem, "assumptions."

When I first read about the Apostate, I thought, here is a woman who left her support structure and a tyrannical society to start her life in a great land. If anyone were to appreciate and give the benefit of doubt to America and Americans (most of whom are white and Christian), then it'd be her.

Instead, I had my, er, assumptions shattered. The more she writes, the uglier she becomes.

A commenter there wrote:

Wow, it’s hard for me to believe you have never met a nice Republican or Christian before. There’s good and bad people in every walk of life.

A simple and innocent comment, one would think.

Here's the measured reply:

The next person who acts superior and says “Wow” gets fucking banned.

Why do my blog commenters frequently have such bad manners? I never go on other people’s personal blogs to sneer at them.

That's deliciously rich. A sexist/racist complaining about bad manners.

The Past

Rick Lee:

Every year on Memorial Day weekend, my Mom and I visit three cemeteries in Kanawha and Putnam Counties, but this year we also went to Roane County, adding two more cemeteries for the Lee/Ferrell side of the family. Wow, those were both in remote locations involving driving through hayfields, but what scenery!


65 Years Ago


the largest amphibious assault fleet the world had ever seen, drawn from 8 allied navies (6,939 vessels: 1,213 warships, 4,126 transport vessels (landing ships and landing craft), and 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels), began gathering. 19 and 20 year old young men, who to that point had never seen a shot fired in anger nor fired one themselves, would get their baptism in war on Omaha, Gold, Utah, Sword and Juno beaches. In all 160,000 allied troops would land that day.


65 years ago, as the guns boomed, the shells exploded and desperate and courageous men made life and death decisions on the bloody sands of Normandy beaches, the fate of the world literally hinged on their success.

John at OPFOR links to a You Tube video:

In what I consider to be the finest speech ever delivered by a US president, including Gettysburg.

The New, New Math

This news is not from The Onion:

The path to high school graduation for Minnesota's next few graduating classes got significantly easier this month.

The Class of 2010 was going to be the first required to pass a new series of high-stakes state graduation tests before students were awarded their diplomas next spring.

But the Legislature recently decided that students no longer have to pass the 11th-grade math test -- many educators think it's too difficult -- and would have caused a precipitous drop in graduation rates next year.

I started studying in an American high school when I was in grade 11. The school had three levels of math for each grade: basic, accelerated and honors.

The school put me in a basic grade 10 course. After a few months, they bumped me up to accelerated grade 11. I wanted to take calculus in grade 12 but for that I needed honors grade 11 math -- basically pre-calculus. So, I studied it on my own in the summer. It's not like I had anything better to do in Saudi Arabia.

Not once did it ever occur to me to drop math. That's why it's amazing to see so many students who don't want to take math; who, in essence, want to get the least education as possible.

Back to the atrocity in Minnesota:

The solution passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, however, could raise a few eyebrows: Students either have to pass the test once, or fail it three times, to graduate.

The high school diplomas in that state are now worthless, assuming they weren't already.

Link via Vox Popoli.

Arab Hospitality

Arab News:

A Saudi employer whose wife tortured the family’s Indonesian housemaid to death has been sentenced to nine months in prison for failing to intervene and save the maid’s life.

Such women think that they're leaving their poor conditions to work for rich and decent Arab employers. Unfortunately, they're treated like garbage; often, beaten for the smallest of infractions. They can't even get help from anyone in Arabia since most don't speak Arabic and, like all women, they're not allowed to leave their residence and travel alone.

“There is another case of cold-blooded murder from Eastern Province in which a Saudi employer is being tried for beating his maid to death,” said Wishnu Krishnamurthi, vice consul at the Indonesian Embassy. “The police have found the sticks used in the assaults and the blood-stained clothes of the maid, Suryapi Dulbari, 31,” he added.

The story gets more horrid:

The maid’s family has accepted blood money in compensation for the death.

This means that the murderous woman will, likely, not get any punishment. The wealthy Arabs can cruelly kill people and get away with it by paying approximately $53,333.