As someone who spent a good chunk of his childhood years in Zimbabwe, and who holds very fond memories of the country, I always have an eye open for developments happening in that spot of southern Africa.
Unfortunately, the news coming out of there for the past couple of decades has been nothing short of depressing most of the time, as the country continues to be driven deeper into crisis by a leader who totally lost the plot, and went from a position in which he’d have been regarded as a great man in the country’s history to yet another dictator whose end will be greatly celebrated.
However, a quirky piece of news grabbed my attention about a new initiative that’s being introduced in Zimbabwe.
The Government has introduced a new initiative that should see all male Cabinet ministers undergoing circumcision; Members of Parliament and councillors are also earmarked for the second round of the exercise.
There is a reason behind this, which is that it’s part of a new programme that seeks to promote this mode of fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. According to research, male circumcision is one of the ways of preventing the spread of the virus with reports indicating that the reduction can be up to 60 percent.
Pretty extreme take on leading by example, and yet another instance of the kind of madness the likes of Mugabe and Gadhafi represent.
But imagine if this initiative was taken and applied as a policy across the world, not to promote HIV/AIDS prevention, but rather to promote recycling of governments and ministers? I bet if ministers and members of parliament had to get circumcised at the beginning of every new term in government, past their initial one, we’d see a lot less of them clinging on to their seats, and a lot more fresh blood in governments (no pun intended).
Today’s Tunis Hebdo newspaper has the following bit of “interesting” news in it:
La fondation Mozzarella veut faire entrer son navigateur Open Sauce Firefox 3 dans le Livre Guinness des Records…
Which in English means:
The Mozzarella foundation wants to enter its Open Sauce browser Firefox 3 in the Guinness book of records…
Neat, huh? So yeah, it’s Internet meets Pizza. The guy must’ve been hungry while writing the article.
But it doesn’t stop there, this article is actually a rip-off from another website, the content is basically copy-pasted.
So they’re not only guilty of stupidity, but also of plagiarism at the same time.
Certainly makes a person proud of the high level of journalistic professionalism available in the country.
Of course what they really wanted to talk about what was the Mozilla foundation asking fans of their Firefox browser to download Firefox 3 when it’s released so that they can break the record of most downloaded software in a day and get into the Guinness book of records.
Now would it have been so hard for them to check their facts and write a correct mini-article about this?
What a shame!
Awesome wedding rings for the geeks among us…
The female ring has a choice of four opaque colors: turquoise, white, orange or black. The male ring stands tall and dramatically transparent.
Now, how cool would shelves like that look. Simply awesome.
We’ve been thinking of getting some shelves for our piling books and stuff for some time, and now that I’ve seen this, I’m really considering having a carpenter custom-make us some of these.
[Source: Brave Space Design]
[Via: And Far Away, Kotaku]
Weird bit of news from Lebanon…
Four Lebanese university students have been jailed for a week for making crude remarks on the Facebook social networking site about the singing talents of a woman they met at a party, media reports said on Thursday.Local newspapers reported that the students, all male, were ordered to be detained on January 10 after the young woman’s father objected to the authorities in the western town of Zahle.
The four were charged with slander and “violating public morality” and were ordered to be held in preventive detention despite objections by human-rights groups.
[Source: Now Lebanon]
When people get thrown into jail for stuff like this you can’t help but feel how long the road ahead still is.
Should this really be an issue? Don’t these judges have anything more important to do?
[Via: AndFarAway, Beirut Spring]
IT companies outsourced programming there, other companies outsourced customer support amid other services, now it’s pregnancies that are being outsourced to India…
The small clinic at Kaival Hospital matches infertile couples with local women, cares for the women during pregnancy and delivery, and counsels them afterward. Anand’s surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies.
More than 50 women in this city are now pregnant with the children of couples from the United States, Taiwan, Britain and beyond. The women earn more than many would make in 15 years…
[Source: The Guardian]
I totally understand the natural desire for a lot of people to have children and a family, and I know how hard it is for infertile couples, how they feel, and how they yearn for a solution; and I think that if a woman is ready to help them out and be a surrogate mother for their child, then that is a very kind, generous and respectable action from her side.
But I think turning this around into a business, where people take advantage of some poor women in India or elsewhere who are doing this just because they can’t afford a good living otherwise is just very wrong, immoral and unacceptable.
So it seems that if there are any ten phobias that you wouldn’t want to get, especially if you’re a man, they are the following:
10. Papaphobia: The Fear of the Pope
9. Xylophobia: The Fear of Wooden Objects
8. Hellenologophobia: The Fear of Complex Scientific Terms and Greek Terminology
7. Porphyrophobia: The Fear of the color “Purple”
6. Gymnophobia: The Fear of Nudity
5. Ostraconophobia: The Fear of Shellfish
4. Stasiphobia: The Fear of Walking
3. Pantiphobia: The Fear of Everything
2. Venustraphobia: The Fear of Beautiful Women
1. Eurotophobia: The Fear of Female Genitalia
I can’t believe some of these things really have names. Some place, somewhere, someone in the word creation department had a lot of time to waste.
[Source: The Top Ten Best and Worst Phobias to Have ]
So what do you know?
Very interesting. Some Australians have managed to find a way to make pork halal for Muslims.
Really great job; given that pork is one of the ultimate non-halal items on earth.
Kind of makes you wonder how halal the other labeled stuff is…
[Update: Just to clarify something, this post was meant as sarcasm from my part, because Pork is not Halal, and never will be. There's just no way around it.]
Italian police have found what they say is a “Ten Commandments”-style code of behaviour for Mafia members, at the hideout of a captured Mafia boss.
The list of commandments goes as follows:
1. No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
2. Never look at the wives of friends.
3. Never be seen with cops.
4. Don’t go to pubs and clubs.
5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty – even if your wife’s about to give birth.
6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.
7. Wives must be treated with respect.
8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.
9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
10. People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.
The list was found during the arrest of Salvatore Lo Piccolo, the reputed new boss of the Sicilian Mafia.
Interesting stuff… Next: Chicken soup for the mafioso soul…
[Source: BBC News]