Buddha’s Savage Peace




Buddha’s Savage Peace – The Atlantic (September 2009).

My journey began at Colombo’s crumbling train station, with its white facade like a cake about to melt. The first-class ticket cost a little more than $3 for the three-hour journey from Sri Lanka’s steamy Indian Ocean capital, through deep forest, to an altitude of 1,650 feet.

Another Robert Kaplan article, this time on Sri Lanka.

The Women’s Crusade

There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That’s why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.

A great article from the NY Times on pulling nations out of poverty by lifting up the women.

Migingo Island Journal – Ripples of Dispute Surround Tiny Island in East Africa – NYTimes.com

… Migingo is creating a huge fuss. The island happens to lie right along the disputed watery border between Kenya and Uganda, and politicians have even threatened to go to war over it.

The problem is again scarcity of resources – both countries lay claim to the dwindling fish population that feeds their citizens.  Water levels in the lake continue to drop, leading to algae blooms and fish kills.

“You’ve got an ecosystem that is totally out of balance now,” said Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environment Program, which has been closely watching Lake Victoria. “It should be an extreme concern for anybody who cares about the future of 30 million people. The pressures on this huge natural asset in East Africa are increasing.”

Prosperity promise of Bolivia’s salt flats

From the BBC

As international carmakers scramble to find a suitable alternative to petrol vehicles, Bolivia hopes its lithium reserves could be harnessed to provide an energy source – and hold the key to new-found wealth and political influence.

Another story on landlocked, poor, socialist Bolivia, and the country’s preeminent position as the source of 50% of the world’s lithium, needed for light-weight batteries.

Project Kaisei – Capturing the Plastic Vortex

Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts who have come together with a common purpose. To study the North Pacific Gyre and the marine debris that has collected in this oceanic region, to determine how to capture the debris and to study the possible retrieval and processing techniques that could be potentially employed to detoxify and recycle these materials into diesel fuel.

It is estimated that there is over 4,000,000 tons of plastic trash floating in a giant eddy in the North Pacific Ocean.   Birds and fish mistake the plastic for food (they aren’t very smart) and it fills up their stomachs, slowly starving them to death.  This Project aims to figure out if it is possible to remove the majority of the debris, which covers an area the size of Texas in the middle of the North Pacific.

Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch – NYTimes.com


Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch – NYTimes.com


The popularity of cooking shows — or perhaps I should say food shows — has spread beyond the precincts of public or cable television to the broadcast networks, where Gordon Ramsay terrorizes newbie chefs on “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox and Jamie Oliver is preparing a reality show on ABC in which he takes aim at an American city with an obesity problem and tries to teach the population how to cook.

A great article on Americans and their love affair with the idea of cooking.

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