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19.06 June 19, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in the world today.
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hands up to those who did not meet use Google Translator before.

I remember copying over an entire document into G.T to convert into English so I could read it without flipping the dictionary every 2 words. It was a breeze to read after. Now Google is starting to translate Persian into English, so that the world could more closely follow the elections in Iran. or should I say, post elections in Iran.

Will Google eventually manage to translate ancient language (Hebrew or Egyptian) into modern languages?

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There is a very fine line between taking caution, and over-reacting. At this point, I am inclined to believe we are over-reacting to the H1N1. It took the civil service no later than a weekend to develop the BCP, and put in place measures to temperature scan, mobilise units and set up a tracking system for passengers affected.

And now! Even the education sector is catching up with E-Learning. It makes me wonder if one day, someone is going to come and say that to sterilise the world, people should just stay home and cyber-interact.

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As usual, I will only buy something that is no longer in fashion. Hence, the iPhone will not be mine until Apple comes up with another type of gadget that takes all attention away from the iPhone now. In maybe, 5 years? Its amazing how fast something can go from hip to obsolete.

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2509LD2

i like the word – Palestrael 😉

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11th June: am June 10, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in the world today.
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North Korea has defied instructions repeatedly to stop its missile testing near the shores of South Korea, and continues to pose a nuclear threat. Sanctions would not work, as it has proven time and again. The U.N resolution is almost powerless against North Korea, and it has already defied the Korean Armistice in 1953.  So what now? There seems to be no dialogue. No one speaks to North Korea. Its a top-down decision, and the best part is North Korea doesn’t seem to acknowledge the supposed top. I prefer the CNN report.

I may not be absolutely knowledgable about negotiations, but it brings back memories of WWII when Germany openly defied instructions from the Allies Forces to stop occupation of its neighbours. Repeatedly. The Allies Forces were too soft and despite repeated incidents, did nothing firm to stop in fear of triggering a war. Will this happen again? 

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when a good intention turns out way too wrong. A woman in Jerusalem gave her mother a new mattress, throwing away the old tattered one she has slept on for..forever. And it contains $1 million dollars of life-savings. Now thats a new way of saying keeping your money below your bed. The intensive hunt for the mattress in the massive rubbish dump is on. Will they find it?

What would you do? I cannot imagine myself having $1 million dollars and I really..wouldn’t enjoy sleeping on money.

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Is vertical farms the way to go in order to preserve the environment? Every time i read reports on farming destroying natural environments, I seem to become more convinced we should try out vertical farms. or find alternatives to natural materials. I think beyond telling the same story of less tress = more carbon dioxide in the environment = increase temperature and therefore climate change, there should be a more lay-man way of lesson telling. These are really abstract terms which people find it hard to relate to. It may need to be site specific, or relating to past examples where the effects have happened.

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9th June: The World Today June 9, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in the world today.
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i always believed that people should pay for the damage they do to the environment. once a price tag is attached to the land, people would have greater ownership and take better care of the environment. If the environment is free, like air, people will take it for granted and abuse it. its idealistic to believe that people would care about something communal.

this is a hefty price that Shell had to pay; though it cannot reverse the damage done and the lives lost, it will make other organisations more cautious in future.

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8th June: the world today June 8, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in the world today.
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Daily Snapshot – Through the lens

cow

‘As milk prices continue to plummet, dairy farmers across the U.S are struggling for profit, prompting many to sell their cattle for slaugter and converting fields into corn crops.’

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The Chosen one saying no. What happens when the supposed messiah says no to being the messiah? I have been curious for a long time on how Tibetans chose the next Lama, ever since reading from a book they are reincarnations of former enlightened ones and marked from young. 

Don’t get me wrong. I think the Dalai Lama is very articulate, and I enjoy reading his books on contentment, joy and his philosophies. I just don’t quite understand how the chosen one is chosen.

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update on the Lebanon elections. March 14th coalition, backed by the U.S government, has announced their win. They take 71 seats out of the 128 seats in the parliament, while the Hezbollah backed government takes the rest of the 57 seats.

video of Harir’i’s victory speech here

It would be interesting to see how things unfold in the coming months, and how the new government would reconcile the differences between the coalitions. It is no longer just about the histories that resulted in today, but how histories and today will come together to bring forth the future.

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I was reading National Geographic just yesterday and came across an article (once again) on the ambitious development plans in China. Massive damming projects for electricity threaten to wipe out rich biodiversity found only in the Three Parallel Gorges, and single-handedly change the landscape. Places and villages will be flooded over, and the beauty of the region will be forever lost. It makes me wonder, sometimes, if landslides are the result of these ambitious projects. Considering I am due to be in Chongqing in 2 months, should i worry?

 

the world today: June 7, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in the world today.
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There will be a new section to the blog, which is reporting the excitement around the world today. The focus of the blog has mainly been fashion and landscape architecture. starting small for now, i would try to write a bit every day on singapore and world affairs and hopefully be a summarised source of news for anyone who reads.

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Singapore seems peaceful, and beyond our shores, it appears we live life vicariously through others. here’s the exciting bits happening:

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Elections in Lebanon: is it going to be Hezbollah-led government or 14th March coalition, backed by the US government?

for an overview of who’s who and whats’ going on, go here. in a country where almost no government has been able to unite the different factions and beliefs, it remains to be seen if the new government is able to do that. It is interesting to see how the elections will shift Lebanon’s position in the Middle East, its relations with Israel and the USA, and a reflection of a country wanting to progress despite political (and religious?) tensions.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether USA will support the election results if Hezbollah won. BBC did an analysis, looking back at Obama’s middle-east policy and his speech at Cairo.

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the shapes of the world is changing. palm islands. modifying nature. shrinking waters. time lapse videos capture changes over a long-term horizon, and let us know how adapting to change might not always be a good thing.

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Remembering D-day comes in many forms. these students decide to take turns to swim across the English Channel to remember the journey taken by soldiers many years ago to raise awareness.

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Have a great sunday, whatever that is left of it.