Gongol.com > Archive > 2005 > April 2005
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Gongol.com Archives: April 2005
Brian Gongol



Broadcasting (4.18.2005)
Monday Night Football Leaving ABC; Moving to ESPN
Network losing $150 million a year by carrying MNF

Business and Finance (4.18.2005)
Got a Problem With Globalization?
Imagine being in Bangladesh, where the per capita GDP is around $1,900 and realizing you have to start doing your job better because China and India are beating you on the world market

Science and Technology (4.18.2005)
Origami That Could Make Your Head Explode

Business and Finance (4.18.2005)
Counterfeiting Up 50% Over 6 Years in South Korea
They're rolling out redesigned bills to fight back. It's not just cash that people counterfeit, there's plenty of Subway stamp forgery going on, too. People could be headed to jail. Apparently it's bad enough that they're ending the stamp program and switching to a debit-card-style loyalty program. (Tangentially related: Man loses more than Subway's Jared ever weighed, but still weighs over 600 pounds)

Computers and the Internet (4.18.2005)
Armed Forces Blogs: Good or Bad?
Morale, opsec, chains of command all at issue.

Threats to Western Civilization (4.18.2005)
Mugabe Says Zimbabwe Doesn't Need Democracy
He also promised to keep his country in poverty: "In Zimbabwe, land governs the ballot. It is a symbol of sovereignty, it is the economy, indeed the source of our wealth as Africans." No, sir, growth and development have nothing -- nothing at all -- to do with the land. Japan has terrible soil (just 11% is arable); Hong Kong is partly built on landfill; Singapore is a port city less than four times bigger than Washington, DC. Keep telling your people that land is the key to wealth and you'll keep them poor forever. That's not to say that land hasn't been a tool of injustice and racial inequality in Zimbabwe; it has. But the real problem is poverty. It also won't help to become anti-Western: "We have turned east, where the sun rises, and given our back to the west, where the sun sets." The Zimbabwean economy shrank by more than 13% last year, and inflation is over 350% a year.

The American Way (4.18.2005)
Musharraf, Singh Say Peace Process Between India, Pakistan "Now Irreversible"
Nothing about politics, especially international politics, is irreversible. But Musharraf has won some praise from Washington, and Singh is a free-market economist, so there could be some sticking power to it.

News (4.18.2005)
Current Betting Line: 65% Chance Next Pope Will Be European
Second-best bet: Latin America. Italy's the front-running individual country. Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope John Paul II's right-hand man on religious doctrine, has the individual lead, at 15%. He has a fan club.

The American Way (4.18.2005)
Egyptian Professor: Middle East Today Similar to Eastern Europe in Late 1980s
Thinks the conditions are ripening for a wave of democratization. It could be time for an African spring, too.

News (4.18.2005)
South Korean President Wants To Be "Balancer" in Fight Between Japan, China
Short form: Japan publishes textbooks glossing over their role in WWII and accusing South Korea of illegally holding Japanese territory today. Korea gets mad, but China responds with huge protests. Now, President Roh wants Korea to be recognized as a "balancer" in the region, collaborating with China while approaching Japan peacefully. Intriguing related items: All three countries have varying degrees of bias in their standard textbooks, and South Koreans recently judged Japan their biggest threat, above the US and North Korea.

News (4.18.2005)
Interactive UK Vote Recommendation
Responses to a brief but differentiable survey generate "Who you should vote for." Especially interesting for Americans and other non-British who like some things about Tony Blair but can't figure out if they'd really vote for him.
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Gongol.com -- posted 4.2005