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The Big Picture: Mexico’s Drug War

In 2006, Mexican president Felipe Calderón declared war on drug cartels and committed government more resources to stop the violence and stem the flow of drugs. Since then, the government has made some gains, notably arresting “disposal expert” who dissolved over 300 victims for a Tijuana drug cartel. However, there have been heavy losses as well – gun battles, assassinations, and fights between rival cartels have resulted in over 9,500 deaths since December 2006 – over 5,300 killed last year alone.

Boston.com takes you through a series of photos (34 in total) of Mexico’s drug war on The Big Picture.

Twitter Police – Watcha Gonna Do?

With a ten-fold increase in traffic in the last 12 months, Twitter is taking the world by storm. Several million tweets are posted everyday, and there is bound to be irreverent users spoiling it for rest of the Twitterverse.

That is when the Twitter Police have to step in and bust some heads. A special branch of the force, this independent group fights against bad tweets. This is a day in their lives:

Found via The High Definite.

BONUS: How big is your Twitter e-Penis? Find out here.

Line Game: The Orange Edition

Being an orange can be a thankless life – having your insides squeezed out and put into a bottle can’t be a pleasant experience. And in Line Game: Orange Edition, one orange trail is sick of here and wants to go home. Using your mouse, guide the trail through fiendish caves, avoiding the walls and enemies as you head towards the exit.

Play it at Kongregate.

Space Invaders Street Art

Invader is a street artist who has visited cities around the world pasting up Atar-inspired Space Invader mosaics on monuments, streets, and stores. During such an “Invasion”, he creates a map to where each mosaic can be found and often provides photo evidence of the mosaic.

His project started in 1998 in the city of Paris (the most invaded city – see here) and since then it has spread to 35 other cities in the world, LA, London, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Mombasa to name a few.

See more images at space-invaders.com.

Me old China – again

I just couldn’t resist but I promise that this is my last China Bashing post for the week day. This pic looks suspiciously like it was taken near Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side. If it was, I’d hate to see the next pic in the series because g-d knows what would have happened  to the poor woman – almost everything available in Zimbabwe now comes from China (via South Africa mostly).

ropes-and-harnesses

For more sort of like this visit Superpoop.

I see the future…

i-know-you-work-on-the-internet

I hate to be rude (no I don’t really!) – this is a private joke for Prawn1 – but it’s so funny I had to put it up here.

Click here for more of this greatness.

A snackerel of literature

corduroy-mansions

Do you wish you had the time to read something that is simultaneously intellectually-nourishing and entertaining – aside from this blog obviously? Well now you can read a novel on the internet while you’re at “work”.  And even better, it’s a novel in serial form, so those of you not accustomed to reading more than a few paragraphs at a time won’t wear yourselves out!

Many famous authors have been published in serial form in newspapers, albeit most of this crazy coolness went on in the Victorian era with writers like Charles Dickens. It was a great way for writers and readers to make the novel last years – rather like a soap opera but obviously way better. The telegraph.co.uk has published a novel by author Alexander McCall Smith whose first book #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency reached the top of best seller lists around the world. McCall Smith’s Corduroy Mansions has been published as a daily novel in 100 parts, from the comments I read, it looks like a fun book. You can read and enjoy it here.

Ridiculous complaints made by holiday makers

vacation-ko-tao

Oh how I could dig a holiday right now. A palm-fringed tropical island would be sublime, a chalet in the mountains with a wood burning fire place would be delightful, a suite at Claridges would be very special indeed. Heck, who am I kidding? A tent on the bank of the Breede would be perfect (and realistic). Alas there’s no holiday in sight for poor little moi, but at least I can take solace in the fact that some people went on holiday and didn’t have a good time. Here are some absurd complaints made by vacationing fools:

  • A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a waterhole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel “inadequate”.
  • “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
  • “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
  • “I was bitten by a mosquito – no-one said they could bite.”
  • “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”

Read this for more ludicrousness.

TheBeardly: A Beard Grows A Man

I love my beard. The joy of not having to scrape my face, neck, and ears every morning to conform to today’s standards of a groomed man makes me tremble with giddiness.

And I am not alone in my love for what the TheBeardly consider as man’s greatest achievement.

More observations at TheBeardly.

BONUS: 10 very good reasons why you should grow a giant beard.

Is ignorance our master?

Dalai Lama

I don’t know about you dear Readers, but I’m not feeling particularly proud of the beloved country this week. I mean we have friends and relatives fleeing the country left right and centre for the “greener” pastures of Europe and the Antipodes, but we decided that we actually like it here, and we’re going to stay. For the past few mornings however, I’ve felt like leaving the house with a paper bag on my nationality.

I know that the Dalai Lama says to be kind whenever possible, but I just cannot be kind in my mind when I think about the fact that nasty neighbour (and mass murdered) Bob Mugabe is permitted to come and go in South Africa as he pleases, while one of the world’s most respected spiritual leaders (a darling peaceful little old man with spectacles, yellow robes, and a Nobel Peace Prize) the Dalai Lama is denied a visa. And it’s all for the love of China (well trade with China really). Yes, China. The same China that is responsible for huge job losses in South Africa, particularly in the textile industry. The same China that annexed Tibet, exiled the Dalai Lama, and built casinos and supermarkets on ancient sacred ground. The same China that continues to violate human rights, and environmental laws on a daily basis. It’s just great. And did you know that there are only two countries in the whole world into which the Dalai Lama is denied entry? Yup you guessed it – China and South Africa.

I won’t lie to you, I’m starting to feel a little afraid about this whole China and South Africa against the rest of the world thing. There’s an old Croatian saying that goes something like “if you lie down with a dragon, you’ll wake up with third degree burns all over your body and face, and your nylon underwear will be welded to your bum forever”. I just hope our respected leaders know what they’re up to. Anyway this rant of mine has gotten a little long, and depressing, so if you want a lighter version of the story, check out this gem on the brilliant hayibo.com.

And to read more about the man whose religion is kindness, click here.