Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm not partial on this issue, but....

Ever come across a story that's just revolting.

Pedophile priests. Check.

The woman who sunk her two kids in a South Carolina lake some years ago to get with her boyfriend. Check.

Michael Jackson. Check.

Well, here's a twist on an old story. Bush meat. Never heard of it. Well, now you wish you really never heard of it.

Steer clear of the balls. At least those unusal ones for sale in parts of Indonesia. That's all I can say. Thankfully The Meatball Shop on the lower east side still has vegetarian offerings.

Two arrested two over monkey meatballs

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian police have arrested a couple who made meatballs from the flesh of protected monkeys, an animal conservation group said on Wednesday.

The pair poached dozens of rare Javan langurs, also known as silver-leaf monkeys, from Baluran National Park in the east of Java island, according to a statement released by Indonesia-based animal protection group ProFauna.

"Police found 30 kilograms (65 pounds) meat estimated to come from 20 - 25 individuals, two rifles and a live langur," the statement said.

"The couple admitted that they had known what they did was against the law and they hunted the monkeys for their meat because beef and chicken were more expensive than the protected monkeys."

Meatball soup, known locally as bakso, is a popular dish in Indonesia.

The statement said police were now broadening their investigation to include checks on vendors suspected of selling the monkey meatballs, while ProFauna was in talks with the national park caretakers to prevent further poaching.

Indonesian law states that perpetrators of wildlife crimes face a maximum five year prison term and a fine of 5 million rupiah ($555), but the law is not always strictly enforced.

(Editing by David Fox)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scamming with Spam

It's a shame that our friends in Cameroon are going to have to suffer for the mistakes of their Nigerian brethren, but that is what happens when trends go viral, even those which have been exposed, pilloried, and revealed.

But yet they continue.

Which begs the question, are they successful, or ar they being scammed by others?

If interested, feel free to conact dear Ms. Veronica Camara at I'm sure she would appreciate hearing from you. Sorry, no photos.

Dearest one,
Greetings !
I know this letter may come to you as a surprise considering the fact that we have not had formal acquitance before in terms of friendship or business partner but all the same, I would want you for God's sake to give this an immediate attention in view of the fact that the security of my live and possession is at stake. I want you to be my partner as I can agree for you to take possesion of these treasure under my name,
I am Miss.Veronica Jallo Camara,single, the daugther of a late Camara Santo Jallo,Managing Director,Jallo & Sons Mining & Gold Company, / Guinea Conakry, Who died recently due to political clashes. I and my mother left the country for Dakar,Senegal to avoid being killed as political instability is still in place due to military coup detat.
I am also to inform you that my late father had lodged the sum of (US$8. M and gold worth millions of Dollars in the bank.I am pleased to inform you that these money was realised from the gold and mining export and import from my late father's company.I shall be very greatful if you would kindly help me to relocate these funds to your position as well as my humble self to your country where I can begin a new life.
I will accept any condition you may come up with in this direction.You are also free to come down here as you will be very free to meet with me. Awaiting your reply very soon. Greeting and kiss from
Veronica Santo Camara

Monday, April 26, 2010


yeah, it's been some time. but don't worry. it's like riding a bike. not that i know anything about that, mind you. but i'll be back with some bon mot shortly. you expect as much, i'm sure. perhaps something travel related. would that work for you?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reflections from a mountain state

Go west, young man

Horace Greeley popularized this line, first documented a generation before Greeley made it his mantra, and helped to define America’s 19th century spirit and growth.

Sure, it can be interpreted to be a number of things, but for me, it distills down to enjoying the splendor and natural beauty of our vast mountain ranges, still somewhat clear skies and air, and of course crisp water and expansive space and scale.

Though I’ve only driven cross-country but once, I have been able to find myself out in the mountain west on a regular basis.

And right now, I’m in Salt Lake City, fretting over a spring snow, frustrated by my unerring ability to catch winter weather several times over, while not getting to enjoy the benefits that come from sudden snow and fresh powder.

But it provides time to reflect, and consider the openness that exists in these regions, the trust and faith that seems to endure, and the grandness that forever reminds me why people keep turning west for recreation and relaxation.

Salt Lake City itself is a quintessential western city. Set up on wide blocks, with 8 city blocks to the mile, it’s not designed as an urbanist mecca, with too great a distance to walk between places, and too much sprawl to encourage all but the hardiest bikers. (and those folks exist. Even amidst a strong snow last night, there were a pair of riders, with their bikes, in a local grocery store picking up items for dinner)

The city feels a bit dated, perhaps having as much to do with the traditionalism of the Mormon community as anything else. But the architecture adds to this as well. Sure, there are a handful of new and modern projects under construction right near South Temple, but most of the high rises scream 70’s and the ugly phase of modernism. Buried beneath, and documented nicely with placards and other memorials, are the buildings that helped launch this city in the 19th and early 20th century, from classically designed hotels, to social houses, to banks and trading institutions.

The city of course is home to the complex of buildings and facilities run by the LDS, and that still does seem, to a visitor, to be the predominant element here.

But there is more, for those who wish to press further, from the University of Utah up on the hill, the magnificent State Capitol building to the north, the city-county building in the city center, as well as some other complexes that have sprouted up to support and sustain professional sports and entertainment, facilities that had central roles during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and some public plazas that really do seem to have come out of the Disney school of architecture and urban planning. Oh, Michael Graves, what have you done to us.

But despite the tranquil appearance, this is still a city, with the problems and issues that come with urban life. While spending time yesterday in the Moshe Sofdie designed public library, I sensed a flash go off in front of me. It seemed odd to see flash photography in the library. Looking up I saw a cop standing near the photographer, and upon second glance I notice the photographer was also in a police uniform, with CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHER clearly marked across her back. So something was amiss in a place some once considered Eden, and judging by the number of marked and unmarked units outside the library, it was something significant.

And it’s a city with a remarkable view of the fantastic Wasatch range, a unique lake, and vistas that run for miles and miles.

Off to talk with students about journalism and media. Perhaps I’ll come up with a way to provide them with inspiration beyond that provided by nature. Naah, not gonna compete with that one!