Danish Days

Little or no blogging for the next few days folks. I am reposing in Denmark on a “Leadership Secrets of Hamlet” conference. Later in the week I plan to reform the Danish opposition parties, but only after I have set up a dual monarchy to rule the Kingdoms of Kosovo and Christiania.

Oh damn it, I am lying! Its just that I really want to be like Lance Winslow, who rivals Chuck Norris for hardness and accomplishment. Make sure you read his about me to the end.

I am wondering if this Winslow is THE fabulous Winslow boy too??

PS. I am in Copenhagen. You can get me on my UK number if you are around.

e’Lollipop – Return of the Classic

e’Lollipop [IMDB], one of South Africa’s most famous and successful films,  has been re-released on DVD in advance of a sequel, e’Lollipop 2: Tsepo’s Story.

From the film website:

“First released in 1976, this extraordinary motion picture story of two South African children and their dog, Sugarball, touched the hearts of audiences around the world.

Despite the fear, hatred and brutality that plagued South Africa in the mid-1970’s, e’Lollipop told a story of friendship and commitment that transcended racial boundaries.

After nearly being banned in South Africa under Apartheid, it went on to become a cult classic. Shot in Southern Africa, Lesotho and New York, e’Lollipop was seen in over 40 countries and starred local and international talent including the late Ken Gampu, Oscar and Golden Globe Award Winner José Ferrer, and Golden Globe Nominee Karen Valentine.”

It really is a beautiful story. Also from the site:

Continue reading

The Regency

Just wanted to post about a wonderful Indian restaurant in London called The Regency Club. It is in the middle of nowhere (Edgware, where the Edgware road ends up).

The food is delicious and inexpensive. The service is superb. It is as authentic as it gets despite looks like a Brewery pub, but don’t let that put you off.

The Regency Club
19-21 Queensbury Station Parade
Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 5NR
Tel: 020 89056177

Another great little venue for almost free Indian food is the The India Club, Hotel Strand Continental, 143 Strand London WC2R 1JA (no need to book). It is describe by one review site as “Having opened in 1950, The India Club has changed very little since. It has a slightly bedraggled yet charming interior and specialises in South Indian food at reasonable prices.” It is very well worth checking out, especially for lunch.

[Special thanks to my pal Elliot for introducing me to the Regency]

Harvesting kidneys from abducted civilians in Organ Farms

 

[UPDATE DEC 2010: Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hacim Thraci, has been accused of being a Mafioso whose organisation has trafficked in human organs, people, drugs and weapons. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/14/kosovo-prime-minister-llike-mafia-boss and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11996255 ]

The headline sounds like one of those pitches movie makers have to give to studio executives where they summarise their proposed film in one line.

This one sounds like an episode from one of those cheesy sci-fi shows in the 70s featuring with an unbelievable plot that even the keenest fans deride.

The real horror here is that this headline is true.

It is almost certain that you have not heard about this before now (possibly because it contradicts the grand narrative of Serbs as Balkan baddies), but the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were, according to Carla Del Ponte’s new book Hunt, selling organs harvested from Serb and other non-Albanian prisoners to brokers in Albania.

From B92 – “KLA sold Kosovo Serb organs in Albania

BELGRADE — The prosecutor is to look into the sale of organs of Kosovo Serbs who vanished during and after the 1999 bombing.

“We are checking some informal statements we obtained through operative work that, in 1999, two trucks carrying imprisoned Kosovo Serbs were sent to Albania,” said War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević.

He said that the informal information had been obtained from Hague Tribunal investigators.

According to those sources, there are unregistered mass graves with bodies of murdered Serbs in Albania.

In her book, “The Hunt”, to be published in Italy on April 3, the former Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte states that, during investigations into war crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, against Serbs and other non-Albanians, the prosecutor’s office was informed that persons who disappeared during the Kosovo conflict were used in organ smuggling operations.

The office obtained information that UNMIK investigators and officials had received from groups of so-called reliable journalists, according to whom, Kosovo Albanians had transferred 300 Serb and other non-Albanian hostages in trucks to northern Albania in the summer of 1999.

…According to journalist sources, the younger and fitter prisoners were examined by doctors, got food and were not beaten. After that, they were kept in custody in other centers in Burel and the surrounding area.

…doctors extracted prisoners’ organs.

Afterwards, the organs, according to the sources, were sent abroad from Rinas airport near Tirana where they were used in transplantations for patients who had paid for it.

…Describing detailed information she has on the matter, Del Ponte writes that detectives had had to give up on this case because further investigation had proved “impossible”.

It turns out to be “impossible” actually convict Albanian war criminals. Just last week the radical and extremist parties of Serbia were given a huge boost (in the run up to critical elections in May) when former nightclub bouncer and KLA Commander Ramush Haradinaj was “acquitted” at the Hague tribunal of torture, murder, rape and deportation of non-Albanians. The reason was given as a “lack of evidence”.
The problem, we are told, is that the prosecution could not provide enough witness testimony . Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that nine witness linked to the Haradinaj case have been killed since 2003 , with one other surviving an assassination attempt?
Since the International Courts and Tribunals are either openly biased against Serbs (Institutionally Serbophobic) or at best ineffectual, Serbs are turning to civil courts to try and get justice. From BLIC newspaper in Serbia, “Families of killed Serbs announced lawsuit against Carla Del Ponte

The Association of the families of Serbs abducted and killed in Kosvo shall sue the former chief prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal Carla Del Ponte for hiding of crimes committed against Kosovo Serbs by Kosovo Albanians that abducted and killed them, the president of that association Simo Spasic said.

‘In 2004 Del Ponte told us in The Hague that she had information that all abducted Kosovo Serbs were killed later on. She, however, has not told us that before they were killed, their body organs were taken out and sold’, Spasic told ‘Dan’ daily of Podgorica.In her book ‘Hunt’ that is to appear in the bookshops in Italy at the beginning of April, Del Ponte wrote that the Hague prosecution came to knowledge while investigating crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against non-Albanian population that the people that disappeared were forcefully submitted to surgery in which their organs were taken out and then smuggled and sold to the clinics in Europe under patronage of the KLA.

‘Del Ponte hid the truth and kept silent on the horrible crimes against the abducted Serbs. She thus helped the crime although the list with the names of abducted Serbs was given to her as early as in 2001. She knew that and failed to raise a single indictment for that crime. That makes her responsible’, Spasic said.

See also: “Del Ponte received data on mass graves

Flâneur

Moon River alerted me to something by The Nonist on Flâneurs:

 

This is a map by de Lauwe of all the movements made during one year by a student living in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris. Her itinerary forms a small triangle with no significant deviations, the three apexes of which are the School of Political Sciences, her residence and that of her piano teacher, illustrating, according to de Lauwe, the narrowness of the real Paris in which each individual lives and which, according to Debord, ought to provoke outrage at the fact that anyone’s life can be so pathetically limited.

MOON RIVER: Theory of the Dérive

Reality Mining

Ever since I read Timothy D. Wilson’s magnificent “Strangers to Ourselves“, I have been fascinated with the fact that we often know less about ourselves than our closest friends and family (thanks probably to our many cognitive biases) .

Enter MIT’s Reality Mining Project:

[O]ur ultimate goal is to create a predictive classifier that can learn aspects of a user’s life better than a human observer (including the actual user)…

Kevin Kelly explains:

Can our devices know us better than we know ourselves? It seems obvious that this must be true. Human self knowledge is plagued by all kinds of limits: bias, sampling error, memory failure, and lack of sufficient processing power to recognize complex patterns. Machines do not suffer from the first three of limits, and the last is under steady assault from Moore’s law. But for computers to help us know ourselves better, they need two things: better data, and new analytical tools for transforming this data into predictions. These are problems that the Reality Mining researchers (among others) are trying to tackle.

…Proving that people can be effectively tracked using low-power Bluetooth transmissions has a certain technical interest, but of course the true power of this work lies in beginning to understand what kinds of things can be learned from such tracking. Eagle and his colleagues, for instance, found it easy to predict when two people were likely to encounter each other, as long as the users had fairly regular habits.

…Their claim is that their system can predict social behavior among people who are easily predictable. Such a result might seem the very definition of trivial, but it’s not as pointless as it sounds. Such a result functions as a kind of system tuning, a check on whether the basic parameters of Bluetooth tracking and social predictions are plausible. Once you know that it works on the easy cases, you can start trying to generate the more interesting analytical tools necessary to get more surprising results.

If Sociology in the 21st Century, User Behaviour Modelling , Relationship Inference, Social Serendipity, Organizational Dynamics, Epidemiology,  Information
Dissemination  and Eigenbehaviors are your thing, then get over there and find out what your overlords have install for you next.

Via The Quantified Self

See Also:

The obvious and not-so-obvious in psychology

26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong

Masters of Denial (Time Magazine)

Daniel Kahneman’s Cognitive Biases ‘masterclass’ online

Unreason’s Seductive Charms (Chronicle.com)

Why We do Dumb or Irrational Things: 10 Brilliant Social Psychology Studies

Cognitive Biases

Crazy Love

 

From the ever superb Kevin Kelly, come this introduction to the documentary film Crazy Love:

Love is weird. This is a riveting story about a mutual love/hate relationship so obsessive, so disturbing, so insane, and yet in the end so conventional, that it challenges your own concept of love — and sanity. The guy is a certified psycho stalker, but what is she? The film’s twisted tale gets creepier as it goes along, but what makes this documentary memorable — and elevates it above a generic tabloid story — is how ordinary it all ends. Can love really conquer such psychosis? You could not make this plot up.

 

True Film: Crazy Love