September 2007

800 years of Rumi

by Limbic on September 30, 2007

One of the all time greatest poets was born 800 years ago today.


BBC NEWS – The roar of Rumi – 800 years on:

“For many years now, the most popular poet in America has been a 13th-century mystical Muslim scholar.

Translations of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi’s – better known as Rumi – verse are hugely popular and have been used by Western pop stars such as Madonna.

They are attracted by his tributes to the power of love and his belief in the spiritual use of music and dancing – although scholars stress that he was talking about spiritual love between people and God, not earthly love.

Rumi, whose 800th birth anniversary falls on Sunday, was born in 1207 in Balkh in Central Asia, now part of Afghanistan. “


A Map of Russia’s Third Empire (2053)

by Limbic on September 29, 2007


A Map of Russia’s Third Empire (2053) on strange maps:

It’s the year 2053, and the world looks very different from today. There are no more than 5 superstates left on the face of the planet:

• an American Federation, covering the whole of North and South America;
• an Indian Confederation, consisting of present-day India and Birma/Myanmar (Bangladesh seems to have disappeared under the sea);
• an Asian republic dominated by China, further composed of Mongolia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand;
• an Islamic Caliphate, occupying the whole of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Indonesia;
• and the Russian Empire, uniting Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, all of Europe and Greenland.
• all states except the Russian Empire own a slice of Antarctica (I suppose that in exchange, Russia rules the North Pole all by itself).


One-Child Foreign Policy

by Limbic on September 29, 2007


One-Child Foreign Policy:

“Military analysts are always talking about strategy. Often they are proposing one that they have just invented and naturally think will be the solution to the nation’s security problems. The present time, filled as it is with the threat of Islamist terrorism and with the debacle of the Iraq War, is especially marked by the proliferation of strategic proposals.

More seasoned analysts know, however, that if any strategy is to prove effective, it must fit social and structural realities, including the state of technology, the economy, and the political system. Less noted is the role of demography.

Until recently, demographic changes were so slow that they hardly seemed to be a variable effecting strategic challenges. But today, many major nations are undergoing rapid and evident changes in their demographic structure. This is most obvious in Europe, but it is also the case in the United States, Russia, China, and Japan. Demographic disruption is impacting America, all of its major allies, and all of its traditional or potential adversaries.

In Western countries, the combination of a sharp decline in the birth rates of the European or European-descended population, on the one hand, and the sharp increase in the non-European immigrant population, on the other, is causing a great transformation in social structure and national identity, which is bringing about a major transformation in military strategy. The process has only begun, but in the years ahead, history will teach us once again that demography is destiny.”



Yes, we are bovvered – Times Online

by Limbic on September 29, 2007

Times Online:

“It was a column last year by Rosie Boycott, the writer and broadcaster, that first sounded an alarm bell. She was reeling from having read one of the younger lads mags (read by schoolboys as well as young adult males), in which every woman who had achieved something in her own right – other than possessing a great pair of boobs – was routinely dismissed as a boot-faced minger or dyke. Dame Ellen MacArthur, who had just achieved another nautical first, came in for a particular drubbing: ‘a miserable, sobbing, whining bitch in a boat. . . basically a frigid dyke-looking, yachting c***’.

The bells started to clang in earnest when the respected Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend supplement devoted an issue to Generation Sex: the Rules of Engagement in the New Age of Raunch, which talked about teenage girls performing oral sex on strangers or pretending to be lesbians to ‘thrill the guys . . . welcome to the latest sexual revolution where porn is pop, feminism is a dirty word and girls just wanna have fun’.

Fenella Souter, the writer of the cover story, pronounced that ‘sexiness has become the new political correctness and it has profoundly shaped the way young people see everything from sex and relationships to pornography and personal power’. She wrote about the rise of pole dancing as a mainstream exercise activity (a London friend told me she was horrified to hear that the parents of a schoolfriend of her 16-year-old daughter had consented to lay on pole-dancing as birthday-party entertainment), the popularity of burlesque clubs showcasing (ironic?) ‘striptease that knows how to laugh at itself’ (the New Exhibitionism) and mentioned a recent UK survey of 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 in which 63 per cent considered their ideal profession to be ‘glamour model’, posing nude or seminude.”

Part of me cannot help but think those old feminists are reaping what they sowed.


Maps of love

by Limbic on September 29, 2007

Spotted this image on Strange Maps which reminded me of this advert I spotted in Belgrade…


Indians agree deal for $600 IT park in Serbia

by Limbic on September 25, 2007

BELGRADE (AFP) – An Indian company looking to cash in on eastern European “near-sourcing” signed a deal here on Tuesday to construct an IT park that Serbia hopes will become the biggest on the continent.

The deal with Bangalore-based property developer Embassy Group was potentially worth up to 600 million dollars (425 million euros) over five years, which would make it Serbia’s biggest ever greenfield investment, said Economy and Regional Development Minister Mladan Dinkic.

Greenfield projects are implemented from the ground up by an investing company on sites where there had been no previous activity.

“I’m very satisfied … that today I signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the first IT park in Serbia and, I’d say, the future biggest technology park in the whole of Europe,” Dinkic told a press conference.

Initially, the technology park would occupy 280 hectares (690 acres) of land in an industrial zone of the northern town of Indjija, where it would employ around 2,500 IT professionals, said Dinkic.

However, depending on client uptake, it could be expanded during the next five years to offer global IT companies 250,000 square metres (2.7 million square feet) of office space for up to 25,000 employees, he added.

Embassy Group chairman Jitu Virwani welcomed the agreement for the project, which he said had already attracted interest from some of its biggest clients, such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

“We’ve been looking for an east European country, mainly from the perspective of having some of our clients from the IT sector to be servicing the eastern European market,” Virwani said at the end of the signing ceremony.

“After a lot of research, we found Belgrade to be highly suitable for the needs of our clients, more from the perspective of costs.

“We see Serbia as the same position as Bangalore or India was, as far as the IT sector (is concerned), in 1991,” said Virwani in reference to the city seen as his country’s Silicon Valley.

Embassy Group, he added, was a company that had one of the biggest number of tenants leasing space at its IT parks around the world.

The deal aims to capitalise on the growing shift among global IT companies to “near-source” technology services closer to Western clients, rather than outsourcing them to India, where costs are rising.

It is seen as yet another win for Indjija, whose mayor Goran Jesic has already won praise for fostering an “economic miracle” in the town, halfway between Serbia’s two biggest cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad.

In an interview ahead of the announcement, Jesic told AFP he was confident the project would also boost the national economy and help to improve Serbia’s war-tarnished image.

He said he hoped it would also help to persuade young Serbs who left the country in the brain-drain that went with the bloody collapse of Yugoslavia that they have a future in their own country.

Virwani said Embassy chose Serbia ahead of other former eastern bloc countries such as the Czech Republic largely because of its potential to lure back some of these young talents.

“We are … aware that a large number of Serbians work in software companies all over the world, especially in the US,” said the Indian businessman.

“Most of these people are of intelligence and quite highly-placed within these companies … and we’re hoping that they’d want to come back to their country.”

Indians agree deal for Serbia’s first IT park – Yahoo! News UK


Monsters of the Atomic Age

by Limbic on September 25, 2007

26 minute documentary by Geoff Tarulli exploring nuclear fears of the 50s and how they manifested themselves in the sci-fi movies of the time.


Plan approved to retire Yugoslav domain

by Limbic on September 25, 2007

I share and office with someone who sits on the Serbian National Register for INternet Domain names who told me ICAN had come down fairly hard on them about the fate of the YU country code domain.

From CNN:

The Internet’s key oversight agency has approved a plan to phase out the domain name for Yugoslavia, four years after the country dissolved following civil war. It’ll take two or three more years for “.yu” users to fully transition to “.rs” for Serbia and “.me” for Montenegro.

Politics played a big part in the delay.

The federation of Serbia and Montenegro, formed from the remnants of Yugoslavia in 2003, was given “.cs.” But before anyone could use it, the country further split into Serbia and Montenegro last year.

Each time there’s a change, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers must find an organization that is representative of the country’s users and has the will and the skills to run the domain.

In unanimous votes last week, ICANN assigned “.me” to Montenegro’s government and “.rs” to a group called the Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names, a nonprofit organization formed for the task.

The Serbian group also was appointed caretaker of “.yu” during the transition, taking over duties from volunteers at the University of Belgrade.”

YU will go the same way as SU (Soviet Union) and all existing sites will have to be migrated to the new domain (RS). This will be a huge and expensive headache for Serbian businesses.


Unbelievable sexual harassment video

by Limbic on September 25, 2007

Gems include

“I hear you have a fat cock”
“It smells of vagina in here”

I suspect it is a very good spoof.


Disappointed Virginity

by Limbic on September 25, 2007

By Marc Blackiese