Gongol.com Archives: May 2005
Brian Gongol

News (5.30.2005)
First Round of Lebanese Elections Good for Son of Slain Prime Minister
But there are also complaints that it's too much of politics as usual for someone like that to come out ahead. Seems to be a real desire for even more significant change.

The American Way (5.30.2005)
Czech Republic Warned It Has to Cut Government Spending to Keep Up High Growth Rates
A decade and a half after the Iron Curtain fell, 40% of the population still lives in Communist-era apartments, credit cards are finally filling the market, and they're signing trade agreements with Russia. They're also introducing ads on the sidewalk, embedded under glass, called walkboards.

Business and Finance (5.30.2005)
French EU "No" Vote Forces Euro Down on Markets

News (5.30.2005)
Al Sadr Says He's Going to "Pacify" Sunni-Shia Relations in Iraq
Given his history of violence, it's worth suspecting that he might just be reading from the Yasser Arafat playbook: Make nice, then stab your opponent when he's no longer watching

The American Way (5.30.2005)
Iraq's First Credit Cards Issued
Imagine being so isolated from the world that your country doesn't even have credit cards. Commercial habits, though, are a great sign for the freedom of a society. Libya is getting on board the economic-liberalization train as well, but that has caused electricity prices to double overnight since they had been government-manipulated for so long. Meanwhile, some in Turkey are angry at MasterCard for a city guide they sponsored that they think disparages Turkish history.

Computers and the Internet (5.30.2005)
Hackers Nearly Crashed Lebanon's Entire E-Mail System Last Year

News (5.30.2005)
No Surprise: HS Guidance Counselors Often Give Bad Advice About College Admissions

Socialism Doesn't Work (5.30.2005)
New Czech Prime Minister: A Party Man, But "Pragmatic"
Ran a state-owned industry under Communism, where some think it would've been hard for him not to be part of widespread corruption. Some concern that he might be willing to work with the present-day Communist Party just to stay in office.

Iowa (5.30.2005)
Illinois Researchers Trying to Figure Out if Soybean Rust Can Survive in Northern Climates

Threats to Western Civilization (5.30.2005)
"Economic Emergency" Declared in Nicaragua
(Spanish) 180-day suspension of rights like protesting. Vice president Jose Rizo calls it "dictatorial" and a step backwards for democracy. (The President and VP are elected separately.)

News (5.30.2005)
Argentina's President Jokes, "I'm an Impure Peronist"
(Spanish) Was responding to accusation that he was associated wtih "pure Peronists"

News (5.30.2005)
India's Prime Minister Says He's Ready to Work with Pakistan
This would be good news for a stable South Asia and for the world, since those are two of the world's ten largest countries. Neighboring Bangladesh is also on the list.

Socialism Doesn't Work (5.30.2005)
Castro Thinks He Can Solve Cuba's Power Problem With New Light Bulbs

We All Need a Little Humor (5.30.2005)
Zoo Monkey Has Fight With Father, Runs Away
It's like some bizarre Curious George incident

We All Need a Little Humor (5.30.2005)
Useful Debunking of Kitchen Myths

The United States of America (5.30.2005)
Memorial Day: Do Something Good for American Servicemembers

News (5.30.2005)
French Voters Pummel EU
About 55% voted "no" on the EU Constitution, with a 70% turnout at the polls. It looks like the Netherlands are leaning toward a "no" vote as well (some polls anticipate a 60% "no" vote there). While the result is probably for the better (a politically-united Europe has hamstrings like a track team), it seems as if many voters are reaching the right conclusion for the wrong reasons, like whether they think other countries screwed up their chances of winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Some contrarians think it's not yet a death knell for political union, but they don't seem to be in the majority.

Science and Technology (5.30.2005)
Dutch Researcher Thinks Better Example-Based Teaching Would Get More Women Into Science