Monthly Archives: April 2005

The waiting is driving me crazy! I could be in Cape Verde. I could be in the Gambia. I could be somewhere else entirely.

Going nuts, and driving everyone else there with me.

Almost done!

I know that I was nominated for a program that leaves on July 5th. I’m getting down to the wire in regards to getting my medical information in on time, but . . . hopefully it’ll all work out. Other nominees (now invitees) have gotten their invitations to Cape Verde for the 5th. Non-francophone, true, but also one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I’ll be happy no matter where I go, I think, but that would be amazing.

And I’d get to learn a new language! Score!

update: Going to Benin. Sweet love.

Rethinking my decision making paradigm

As part of my “OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO BE IN AFRICA” preparations, I went to see Sahara with LeeAnn and Liz. Yeah. Wow. Terrible movie (as detailed by each of us here, here, and here), but chock-full of fascinating scenery, and an interesting (if somewhat inaccurate) portrayal of life in the Western Sahara.

But Africa is not (for once) my point. I want to talk about Matthew McConaughey. That’s exactly what I want by my side while Saving The World. Beautiful? Yes. Southern accent? Yes indeed. And playing Dirk Pitt, whom I’m desperately in love with (yes, I read Clive Cussler, SHUTUP). There’s something so terribly appealing about freewheeling adventurers. We all know I’d lead that life if I could find a way to do it and Save The World at the same time.

Anyway, good news for me, since McConaughey wouldn’t mind being Dirk Pitt again (pending the clear up of that messy lawsuit, of course.

And finally, McConaughey’s journal from the promo tour. Mmmmm. Tastey. Am I a stalker or what?

Freaked out-ed-ness

AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH. My doctor didn’t get my fax, which means it’ll be that much longer before I can get my CAT scan referral. I’ll send it again when I get off work today, but that’s one more bit of frustration, ya’ know? A this rate, I’m never going to get medical clearance, and I’m never gonna get out of here.

Poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy.

Diamonds and the Global Contract

While looking for information on Global Compact, I found an interesting article corporate responsibility (via). It discusses corporate cupability, and the costs of maintaining responsible business interests inthe developing world. It’s a pretty balanced perspective, all-in-all, emphasizing the need and necessity for business to take responsibility for its own actions, while admitting the difficulties inherent in doing just that.

What’s interesting is that the article talks about DeBeers, a company well known for its exploits in the blood-diamond industry. DeBeers joined in 2000, 4 years ago . . . a quick google search showed the most recent article on DeBeers human rights abuse to be in 2002. A report by Amnesty Int’l highlights problems that date from 2001.

Which is not to say that DeBeers isn’t doing a bang up job of enforcing minimum standards of human rights in the countries it exploits. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the whole situation is that at the end of 2002, all documentation of these problems seems to stop (even at the Global Policy Forum. Tin-foil hat? Of course not. Maybe the problem dried up before I bothered to look, but the most likely answer is that the world got distracted by other problems.

And yes, DeBeers is still a participating member of the Global Contract. Maybe a subject for the weekend, if I have some more time.

Mercenary wam BAM

Human Rights Watch just published a report on West African Behavior.

The majority of these regional warriors began their fighting careers after being forcibly recruited by either the NPFL or the RUF, usually when they were still children. After fighting in their first war, however, nearly all willingly crossed borders to fight in other wars or ‘missions,’ a term these fighters used for war. At the time of recruitment into these subsequent wars, almost all were unemployed or living a precarious economic existence, and were motivated by the promise of both financial compensation and the opportunity to loot. Most interviewed received at least part of the financial compensation offered by the recruiters, and all participated in the looting and pillage of mostly civilian property, and benefited economically from it. Most used the money to pay rent, school and medical fees for their extended family, and to engage in petty trading.

The report basically states that children are often forcibly recruited into armed gangs and militias. Once a part of the force, the kids are exposed to (and experience themselves) drug abuse, rape, and various other atrocities (human rights violations ad nauseum). They, in turn, do it themselves. When the militias disband, the soldiers are left with no property, no food, and no means of earning their way besides fighting, so they join militas in other war-zones as mercenaries. Extreme poverty and no rule of law leads to continued violence? Imagine that.

Be sure to check out the recommendations towards the future.

productivity pr0n.

I’m somewhat a fan of Getting Things Done, by David Allen, but I haven’t yet found an implementation I’m 100% a fan of. I tried wikiPad, and really liked it. Too bad I migrate between computers at work, school, home, and everywhere else at least twice a day. A desktop implementation just wasn’t going to work. Paper was fine for a short short while, but the sheer number of seperate projects just didn’t lend itself to this implementation.

Now I’m trying MediaWiki (thanks to dreamhost’s 1-click install). That’s right. Your heroine is about to become a Wiki Guru. I’m pretty sure that it’ll do what I want it to, with the exception of a tickler file, and it might actually do that too.

Now if only I could get my inboxes under control . . . and also learn how to close my links.

Today, kottke posted about how he’s been blogging for six or seven years, and how lovely it is that he has such a strong and loyal readership that he’s now able to support himself off of blogging, and do it full time.

Goddammit, I’ve been doing this for at least seven or eight years now, in various forms, and I have no such loyal readership. Projects go along nicely for about six months, and then I get bored and move onto the next Big Thing in my life. And I’m not terribly funny unless I’m irritated. I’m typing up a storm over at tBc, because there are a lot of idiots in my life, but I have done exactly nothing new, nothing innovative, and certainly nothing worth keeping around.

That’s fair to middlin’ depressing.

But keep your eyes out to the Bitter Club successor. If I get it finished by July, it’s gonna be HAWT.

update: this post resulted in exactly one hit via technorati.