21 April 2007

History's Long Tail

The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare upon the brain of the living. -- Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels Reader, pg. 437).

Jerusalem Syndrome

Somewhat old article on Jerusalem Syndrome:

The malady called Jerusalem Syndrome is no joke. Afflicted tourists have been found wandering in the Judean desert wrapped in hotel bed sheets or crouched at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, waiting to birth the infant Jesus.

This prompts a question I've often asked myself: if Israel's existance is ever threatened in a significant way what sort of "end times" behavior can we expected out of certain segments of the Christian community?

20 April 2007

France's Baby Boom

According to wikipedia France's total fertility rate was 1.98 children born per woman in 2006. That is near replacement rates and represents a dramatic the highpoint (so far) of dramatic uptick starting in the 1990s.

If this fertitility rate remains constant or increases it will (along with immigration) make France the most populous European nation (outside of I guess Russia) by 2050. At the very least I wonder what the geopolitical ramifications of a more populous French state will be. It also may mean that France will continue to be able to provide for a generous safety net for its citizenry, which may not be all that great in the long run.

Sudanese Refugees In Israel

TEL AVIV, 4 April 2007 (IRIN) - TEL AVIV, 4 April 2007 (IRIN) - Israeli NGOs are campaigning to have 120 Sudanese refugees who fled violence in first Sudan and then Egypt released from the Israeli prisons they are being held in.

This is the sort of news story that I "love." A look at a slice of the world that I knew nothing about. It is also interesting that these Sudanese would flee to a nation that their own culture, etc. probably has little in common with. Anyway, let's hope that these refugees are released and allowed to stay in Israel.

19 April 2007

Do You Have A...


Photo source can be found here.

Gap

Sorry for the posting gap. We've been busy.

VA Tech

Our condolences to the families and friends of the VA Tech students who were killed Mon. I hope that despite all the media hype (and sensationalism about the killer's "motives") you are able to find some peace and closure.

A New $10,000 Car?

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Sensing an untapped market, Japanese automaker Nissan is "seriously" mulling the launch of a small car in the United States priced under 10,000 dollars, top executive Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday.

As the article notes, Ghosn is also the chief executive of Renault and Renault already sells cars priced at ~$10,000 in Europe. As such cars presumably meet European regulatory standards they would also likely meet American regulatory standards. I would see their introduction as a major boon to those who would like a new car but can't afford one; indeed, used car lots would likely take a major hit after their introduction.

Sarkozy & Royal

PARIS (Reuters) - France's presidential election on Sunday looks set to be a traditional contest between the main right and left parties as a bid by a centrist candidate to mount a challenge loses steam, a poll on Thursday showed.
I suppose this is what everyone expected, but a race between Bayrou and Sarkozy or Royal would have shook things up a bit. Of course the only real poll that counts is that on April 22nd.