Off to Party Central!!

I hope…

Will be away for the next week or so. So, see you guys when I get back!!

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Dumbass Comment of the Day

You have to marvel at the guts of some people to use a tragedy to further their own cause. And to add such bizarre spins to news stories that you cannot help but be amazed by their brilliance or sheer disregard for that little thing called reality.

Relatives of Virginia Tech massacre victims plead for state gun law change

I take particular delight in the quote by Jeff Knox, director of operations of the Firearms Coalition when he approach survivor Colin Goddard.

“I would have stopped him,” Knox said. “Because when I went to school, I carried a gun. It was legal; I did it.”

To actually approach a survivor of the horror and having the gall to spew such crap while seemingly blaming him for not being able to protect the rest of his friends because he was not bearing arms. By the way Goddard, had ONLY been shot four times during the incident.

And I thought I could only find entertainment like this on my favorite TV shows. I half expected him to follow up that line with

“Denny Crane”

Too much mental stimulation!!

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been catching up on my reading since I reached here. Indeed, the first few months were great, finding good, thought provoking literature at ridiculously cheap prices is like a nerd’s wet dream, or so I thought…

See, the downside for all this is that you can ONLY find good, thought provoking literature at ridiculously cheap prices here. It is extremely hard finding good, brain cell destroying, reality escaping novels or comics here (unless you count the numerous Mills and Boons available, but even I am not that desperate yet).

Even if it has not been apparent thus far, and because I am good and kind and wise and smart, I shall spare you guys the ordeal of me waxing lyrical poetry proclaiming my love for the comics.

Long story short, I’ve resorted to satisfying this craving online, and boy, did am I glad I did so. Besides the wonderful xkcd, my latest discovery is this comic called “FISHTOWN”, which is without a doubt one of the most engaging and deeply disturbing read I’ve had in a long long time… in ANY medium.

Great stuff. Check it out if you have the chance and let me know what you think

Central Asia country of the day

Recently, I got to know some people from Kazakhstan.

Yes, the same one made famous by His Royal Hairiness.

Borat

Anyway, there’s already been enough PR done for Kazakhstan, so today, I shall talk about it’s neighbour Kyrgyzstan, or rather, part of it…

Now Kyrgyzstan (pronounced: …. ermmm…. let’s skip that for now…) shares her borders with other countries in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. (isn’t that a mouthful?). They were all once part of the Soviet Union and with the dissolution of the Union, they were split up and borders were drawn.

Being an International Issue, I’m sure the people involved in drawing up the borders put due thought and the utmost diligence into dividing up the borders, however even the best laid plans will have some inherent problems, which, in this case is that it does not make any friggin sense at all.

Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan on the map

Apparently, there is this village in Kyrgyzstan called Stepnoye (you’d think that after the various “tans” I’ve spelt thus far, I would be more sure of this spelling) where a wedge of Kyrgyz territory protrudes into Kazakstan. The town square, the village cemetery and the village hospital are in this area and some of the villagers have fields there too.
I don’t like to make wild accusations but now comes the part where the I think the borders dividers either
a) have a wicked sense of humour (one that I can appreciate)
or
b) were high on drugs

Either way, for the villagers to reach this wedge of land, they have to cross the highway running between the Kazak cities of Almaty and Tara. And if that is not wicked enough, the delightful Kazaks decided to plant a checkpoint along the way. meaning that you actually need a passport to get to the hospital and… yes, get buried.

Well done !

Apathy

How do you get someone who is politically (and generally) apathetic to show an interest in the world around him/her?

Apathy

Give him friends from people all around the world. As the world becomes flatter and communication technology becomes more advance, it is easier to get into contact with people from all around the globe.

Right now, I have the distinct privilege of being stuck in a godforsaken land with people from all around the region. And in this dang place, there is always time for exchanges of stories through the many cold, dark nights. I believe that there is magic in stories. A good story changes things, changes people, changes reality. So, hearing them talk about having their colleagues and loved ones killed by terrorists recently. Hearing about the survival guilt that one of the only reasons they are alive now is because they are stuck in this god forsaken land. Hearing people worry about how some political protests back home might turn ugly. Hearing them talk about the seeming futility of the political situation. Hearing how useless they feel about being here while their families are stuck in their houses back home with almost no communication with the world outside. Hearing them talk about the anxiety they feel after hearing gun shots in the background during the (no doubt) numerous calls back home. Hearing about the sudden terror and panic that grips them when this fragile connection is suddenly taken away due to the newly enforced communication policy back home.

Hearing all this, it cannot help but change you. Most of us are not extremely active politically, nor are we very proactive in finding out news that “does not affect us”. I might not be able to do much about anything at all. But, I do hope that I can tell a good story and through it, hopefully, change your perspective ever so slightly and find out more about this or this . Be warned. Some of the images for the second link can be pretty graphic.

And why shouldn’t they be?