Thursday, August 28, 2008

Full Champions League draw

Full Champions League draw:
Group A Chelsea Roma Bordeaux CFR Cluj
Group B Inter Milan Werder Bremen Panathinaikos Anorthosis Famagusta
Group C Barcelona Sporting Lisbon Basel Shakhtar Donetsk
Group D Liverpool PSV Eindhoven Marseille Atletico Madrid
Group E MAN Uunited Villarreal Celtic Aalborg
Group F Lyon Bayern Munich Steaua Bucharest Fiorentina
Group G Arsenal Porto Fenerbahce Dynamo Kiev
Group H Real Madrid Juventus Zenit St Petersburg Bate Borisov

Games will be played on the following dates:16/17 September30 September/1 October21/22 October4/5 November25/26 November9/10 December

Church for sale

Never heard about these kind of real estate deals, but since a couple of weeks this church in the Netherlands is for sale. For 99.000 euros only, and the municipality of Steenwijkerland where the Church is located promised some interesting incentives and attractive financing package.
You can find it here and here.

Be aware that you have to some renovations and maintenance is not cheap as well.
Something for a Mosque?

Baby with two heads

This is Kyron, a baby with two heads. Born this week in Bangla Desh and placed under police protection because the last days more than 150.000 wanted to say the baby. Two heads, two sets of brains? What will they think of each other...

Day Opening - August 28

This robot is modeled after a Nishiki koi carp as a form of tribute to Hiroshima Castle, whose nickname Ri-jo means Koi Castle.
The 80-cm, 12-kg fish has a white body with bright red spots. Though the tail movement is very smooth and lifelike, the remote-controlled koi is capable of moves that a genuine koi is unable to perform, such as swimming in reverse and rotating in place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fair dialogue, the best way forward

Fair dialogue, the best way forward


Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 at the height of the conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis over Nagorno Karabakh, a conflict in which Turkey sided with Azerbaijan. At the time of the closure, the Russian media were speculating that Turkey might invade Armenia but was warned off by the head of Russia's General Staff, who was said to have told Ankara that to do so might start World War III.

In the mid 1990s there were rumors of secret negotiations between Armenia and Turkey concerning the route of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. It was said that Turkey suggested the pipeline run through Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia instead of Georgia, in exchange for Armenia withdrawing its forces from Nagorno Karabakh. If such talks were held, nothing came of them as the pipeline was routed through Georgia.

The next, and possibly the most positive step in bilateral ties, was the creation of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission, or TARC, in 2001 by civil society representatives from Armenia and Turkey. TARC was originally financed by the U.S. Administration and coordinated by David Phillips, a senior adviser at the U.S. State Department.

continue reading herreee

Day opening - August 27

Dining al fresco in Nagorno Karabakh

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Nepal, my trip

The Nepali definitely discovered that tourists are walking bundles of money. And if you keep pushing, they will give money to get rid of you. At least, I think it must work that way. In daytime you’ll find many offering you something on every street corner. A tika (blessing by a holy man), tiger balm, hashish (at seven in the morning) or an awful sounding look-a-like Nepali instrument. During the nights it’s totally different. When the street vendors go to sleep, little, stinky hands start pulling your shirt. Raising the other hand to ask for a Rupee. The hands belong to young children somewhere between 4 and 14. Big, gleaming eyes looking hopelessly find money to gill an empty stomach or addiction.

Both well-known by these poor beggars.

What to do with these ‘fallen angels’ I don’t know. It’s not something uncommon in this part of the world. Many people who’ve been to India can probably tell the same story. But it’s easier to ask about politics than to ask where these children come from or more important: how will they end?

Day opening - August 26

Alpacas are the fluffier creatures. Llamas have longer snouts and ears and less furr. Alpaca is also one of the main dishes in Peru. It gives very lean meat.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Manic Monday

Six o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream
I was kissin' Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream
And I can't be late 'cause then I guess I just won't get paid
These are the days when you wish your bed was already made.

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my Funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday.

Have to catch an early train, got to be to work by nine
And if I had an air-o-plane, I still couldn't make it on time
'Cause it takes me so long just to figure out what I'm gonna wear
Blame it on the train but the boss is already there.

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my Funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday.

"Manic Monday" by The Bangles.

YouTube is back!!!! In Turkey!

It will take some time, but we in Turkey have access to YouTube again.
But for how long? Until another zealot will file a lawsuit?
Do we have to be thankfull for this?

Good to be The President...

Spanking For Luck! - Made apparent by U.S. President Bush as this photo shows, is the beach volleyball tradition for players to slap one another’s behinds after a successful point. It’s good to be President!

The Year of the Cat

On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolor in the rain
Don't bother asking for explanations
She'll just tell you that she came
In the year of the cat

She doesn't give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow 'till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears
By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls
There's a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like a river running through
The year of the cat

Well, she looks at you so coolly
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea
She comes in incense and patchouli
So you take her, to find what's waiting inside
The year of the cat

Well morning comes and you're still with her
And the bus and the tourists are gone
And you've thrown away your choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on
But the drumbeat strains of the night remain
In the rhythm of the new-born day
You know sometime you're bound to leave her
But for now you're going to stay
In the year of the cat

Day opening - August 25


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Four or 80 wifes of 'the Herd', What's the difference?

I must say, how they apply Sharia law in some districts of Nigeria is done precisely.
And no human or women right groups up in arms, only silence.
We are talking about the 21th century here. Here the story which gave me a good laugh.

An Islamic body in Nigeria has issued a death sentence on a man who married 80 women well above the maximum of 'four allowed'.
The Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI), one of Nigeria’s top Islamic bodies, said in a statement that Mohammadu Bello Masaba from the central Niger state stood condemned to death unless he divorced 76 of the women in four days (under Sharia law you can do this rapidly, while under Christian 'laws' it take you some time and Catholics can divorce but not re-marry).
“Unless Masaba repents within four days and take only four wives from the herd (women are sheeps, cows?) he remains condemned to death, according to Sharia law,” the statement said.
“Any Muslim who married more than the approved number of wives at a time either by mistake or out of ignorance (..) is instructed to choose but only four and ask for Allah’s forgiveness,” the group said.
Since the return of Nigeria to civil rule in 1999 a dozen predominantly Muslim states in the north have re-introduced a strict version of the Islamic Sharia legal system.
Sharia law is often seen as more efficient and less bureaucratic (I bet you it is) and corrupt than Nigeria’s secular courts.
The northern states pride themselves on applying a mild form of Sharia, with no deaths by stoning carried out and few amputations (I have some pics of amputation in stock, for later...its Sunday today).

Day Opening - August 24

"Female Head (La Scapigliata" by Leonardo da Vinci.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Georgia: the Aftermath

by Onnik Krikorian

Georgia Dispatches: The Aftermath

With reports that much of Russia’s military presence in Georgia has been withdrawn, reflection on a serious conflict which threatened to ignite the entire South Caucasus is becoming more and more the order of the day. For whatever reasons, and whoever is to blame, the conflict between Russia and Georgia was the most serious for years. Despite Russian claims of thousands dead, hundreds died in South Ossetia and Georgia proper, and tens of thousands lost their homes in military action reminiscent of the ethnic cleansing which devastated the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Without a doubt, fallout from the confict -- especially as allegations of abusing a truce agreement continue to be levelled at Russia -- will resonate for some time to come. The BBC reports, for example, that while Russian combat troops have pulled out of Georgia proper, other troops under the premise of peacekeeping will remain which potentially allow Moscow to maintain the effective division of the country between East and West thanks to control of parts of the highway around Gori.

Ostensibly a “buffer zone,” questions are now being asked as to what is the real reason for their presence, especially as Russia also intends to remain in the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti.


Some international commentators and many Georgians believe that Russia’s continued presence on Georgian soil is to achieve one main goal other than the control of a former Soviet Republic that dared to turn its back on its former rulers Moscow. The goal, they say, is to seek regime change and the removal of the Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, from office. But, if that is the case, the plan seems to have backfired. For now, at least, Saakashvili is riding high on a wave of anti-Russian and nationalist sentiment in Georgian society.


In a few months time when the smoke clears, however, it’s anybody’s guess. Known as an impulsive hothead, some real and very difficult questions are bound to be asked as to why the Georgian government responded to months of alleged Russian provocation by attacking South Ossetia and shelling what it claims are still Georgian citizens living in the breakway region’s capital of Tskhinvali. Russian forces were known to be stationed on the other side of the Roki tunnel leading into South Ossetia, so what on earth was going through Saakashvili’s mind.

The full post is at:

Update Beijing 2008

Gold for the Netherlands, Hockey Women
Silver for Turkey, Athletics Women's 5000m ABEYLEGESSE Elvan
Silver for Turkey, Taekwondo Women -57kg TANRIKULU Azize

Blogging in Turkey; A Growing black hole in Turkish cyberspace

While the number of blocked web sites reaches reached to 853, including popular Youtube, several web sites and blogs block themselves as an act of protest to draw attention to the increasing censorship over the Internet.

It all started with the blocking of YouTube, for the third time in May, for insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic. This was the last straw that sparked a nationwide protest campaign spreading throughout Turkey's cyberworld, where the number of blocked Web sites has now reached 853.
Read the article herreee

The most stupid burglar in the world...

The most stupid burglar in the world, read the story herrreee

Obama Picks Joe Biden as running mate, V.P.

Barack Obama confers with Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Biden chairs.

Barack Obama has chosen Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate, a pick designed to shore up the Illinois senator's foreign policy credentials in advance of the November election against John McCain.

Biden's selection was confirmed by a Democratic source after an evening of speculation that centered on the Delaware senator when it was reported that the other top contenders were no longer under consideration. Biden had been considered the frontrunner for the job in recent weeks -- a position confirmed by a last-minute, unscheduled trip last weekend to meet with the president of Georgia.

News of the pick was reported in advance of the Obama campaign's planned Saturday announcement to supporters via email and text message.
Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29. A month after his election, his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. Biden has not been seriously challenged since that first election -- a reflection of both the Democratic roots of the state and Biden's skillfulness as a politician.

Long rumored as a candidate for national office, Biden launched a presidential bid in 1987 that was gaining traction until a video was leaked to the press that showed striking similarities between a speech by Biden and an address by British Labour Party politician Neil Kinnock. Biden sought to beat back the controversy but subsequent allegations about plagiarism and resume inflation in law school forced him from the contest.