mmghosh's blog

Its a mad world Open Thread

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Hiding the baby from arrest  (my emphasis)

The family of a Pakistani baby charged with attempted murder say they have been forced into hiding after coming under intense pressure from the police, who are facing national humiliation over the incident.


Microfinance for the poor gets legitimate.

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Big news here.  The Reserve Bank has finally accepted that microfinance companies are not all scamsters and corrupt.


In the last round of granting licences to form a bank 10 years ago, only two relative unknowns made the cut.  This time, most of the large corporates made bids, all of which were rejected.


Virtual Reality and Conspiracy Theory Open Thread.

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Was Facebook was created by the CIA?  If so, why did they buy Oculus?  More than 60,000 Oculus Developer kits have been sold.  


Sony is readying its version.  No doubt factories in China are retooling to make 6 billion headsets.


Still deluded after all the intervention in AfPak.

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So the NYT has an extensive article about how Osama bin Laden was deliberately protected by the ISI, with the full knowledge of the State.


Where's the Boeing 777? Open Thread

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Terrorists?  Chinese missile?  Russian missile (misfire from Sevastopol)?  North Korean test?  Satellite debris on re-entry?




Does sport addle the brain?

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I really don't get it.  


Let us consider any modern collective human activity - if more than 20 presumably fit young men performing physical labour die every month,  (die, that is, not be disabled or be otherwise unable to carry on) - would we be able to suggest that this was a normal state of affairs and get away with it?

Oh Penguin don't be a silly bird Open Thread.

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So Penguin chooses, voluntarily, to recall and pulp Dr Doniger's Alternative History.  

"The book is in a bad taste right from the beginning," Mr Batra told a BBC Hindi colleague on Wednesday. "If you see the front page [cover], the picture there is also objectionable since it portrays a deity in a vulgar pose. The book is slanderous and even facts have been distorted."

The East is the East and the West goes through bouts of lunacy.

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This is what I felt when I had an interaction recently with a bunch of Afghans who appear to have started their traditional relationships with our plainspeople once again.  And why not?  Their experience with the West over the past 40 years might have finally convinced them that a view of the Hindu Kush induces lunacy in Western governments.


How The Iraq War Was Faked And Other Stories Book Club.

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The books reviewed:


Dilip Hiro - Secrets and Lies


Frank McLynn - 1759


Real miracles of secularism vs fake miracles of religion.

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Finally we can say we've done it.

The World Health Organization plans to say on Monday that India has gone exactly three years since recording its last polio case, one of the biggest public-health achievements of recent times, and one that could set the stage for stamping out the ancient scourge globally.

Public-health officials now hope to officially certify India as polio free in coming weeks.

Polar politics Open Thread.

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Canada claims the North Pole, as do a number of other nations.

The hole in the wall theory of education.

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This is the website.


Watching my own kids grow up in a highly rigid and formalised education environment, I really do wonder if the Hole in the Wall techniques might not have been superior.  An introduction to Khan Academy, which, IMO and FWIW, does offer the best science and tech education on the Net, at a much earlier age than they actually did might have helped too.


Liberals, conservatives, hypocrites.

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This story started with an opinion piece in the Daily Mail on the Man Who Hated Britain - Ralph Miliband, the father of the current leader of the Labour party Ed Miliband.

How the media is complicit in making up existentialist threats Open Thread.

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So I was reading this JPost article, and the comments therein and wondering at the making and faking of facts to advance an agenda.  A Grade 2 Trevino-in-Malyasia article (these excellence grades go from 5 - paid article indistinguishable from ordinary journalism to 1 - paid article completely obvious in its backscratching, as assessed by a non-English speaking reader).  Prime example - this nonsensical statement

Qatar and the World Cup 2022.

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As documented in al-Jazeera.

Qatar is the home of the Al Jazeera satellite television network and is the world's richest country on a per capita basis.

It also has the highest ratio of migrants to citizens in the world.

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