Daily Archives: November 7, 2009

Dusk, Toronto

This is the park I walk through to and from work. It’s a great park, I think, with lots of great trees, plenty of space for many different activities, and a wonderful place to toboggan in the winter. In the front of it is a community center that has won awards for the excellence of the architecture.  I don’t have a big yard, but with such a great park 2 minutes away, I don’t need one.

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Fashion week comes to Pakistan


Fashion week is held in various parts of the world, and it is often (big) business as usual. But it is a big deal when it comes to other places, like Pakistan. After many challenges, the first Fashion week has comes to Pakistan, despite the difficulty of mounting such a show there. This Yahoo! News/AP news story nicely illustrates the difficulty of mounting such a show in Karachi. The story also highlights the multifaceted nature of fashion, which can represent freedom, beauty, shallowness, wealth, style, and so much more.

For my part, I thought the clothes and the models look great. I’m not sure the Taliban would agree. Then again, that’s partially the point.

(Model unknown. Clothes by Pakistani designer Feeha Noor Jamshed. Photo by Athar Hussain (PAKISTAN FASHION)/REUTERS))

Somalia: love (and cell phones) in a dangerous time

There is a fascinating article here, Cheap mobile calls help more young couples elope from Yahoo! News/Reuters, on how mobile phone technology is rapidly changing life for people in Somalia. This is not to underestimate the overall situation there. That in itself is a large factor in the rapid change in society in this Horn of Africa country. But certainly mobile phones are accelerating the change.

Like many cultures, marriage and courtship is changing rapidly. But what is happening in Somalia is dramatic to me. Where once,

you gave the girl’s parents 11 camels and an AK-47 assault rifle as bride price and then waited respectfully…
Today, even reasonable boys pay just $50 bride price and a copy of the holy Koran after making the girl pregnant or seeing her secretly for months.

 

And as a parent in Canada, I would agree with this:

Many older residents say the prevalence of handsets and such cheap tariffs — among the lowest in the world — is making the lives of youngsters unrecognizable.

 

If anything, I would argue this is a universal refrain among parents and other adults, regardless of the part of the world they live in.

Like I said, it’s a fascinating story (and fantastic material for a novel). Check it out.

(Found on Matthew Ygelsias’s blog. Photo of women from Somalia from ctsnow’s photostream on flickr.com)

 

Large Hadron Collider has a bug…I mean, bagette (new computer term?)

The term “bug”, used to describe a computer or software problem, had its origins in an actual bug (a moth) causing failure in an old Mark II computer from the 1940s.

It appears we need to come up with a new term: a bagette. For it seems that the Large Hadron Collider stalled again… thanks to chunk of baguette, according to the Times Online. Perhaps “bug” can be used for small problems and “bagette” can be used for larger, more expensive problems.

So, kids, no miniature black holes being created this time. But given that the LHC can be shut down over a piece of bread, I am less assured when scientists say that such a device can’t create a black hole.