Wednesday, June 27, 2007

#67: Hate Chain Letters

I don't understand why people believe the crap about the curse if they don't send stupid chain letters.

#66: CIA conspired with mafia to kill Castro

The Guardian: The CIA conspired with a Chicago gangster described as "the chieftain of the Cosa Nostra and the successor to Al Capone" in a bungled 1960 attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba's communist revolution, according to classified documents published by the agency yesterday.
The documents are available at:

Friday, June 22, 2007

#65: Facebook challenges MySpace

Facebook became a big hit among my friends.

"I've added you as a friend on Facebook..." This plaintive introduction to the web's fastest growing social phenomenon has been appearing with growing frequency in email inboxes across the world as what started life as a way for American college friends to stay in touch has become one of the internet's hottest properties.

The rise of Facebook, created by Harvard drop-out Mark Zuckerberg three years ago, is challenging the dominance of MySpace in the social networking market, which may go some way to explain why that site's owner, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, has considered exchanging it for a 25% stake in online portal and search giant Yahoo! [Read the rest of the article by the Guardian.]

#64: Trip to the Caucasus

During the last two weeks I've been travelling a lot. First went on a working trip to Batken, then went to the Caucasus. I had a roundtable in Baku, but decided to take the chance to see the region. First flew to Yerevan (where I had a friend I met at previous job), spend half of the day seeing the town, then took a taxi to Tbilisi. Drove all night, while it was raining like hell. Although I heard the scenery was beautiful, I missed it all only seeing the silhouettes of mountains, gorges, and rivers elluminated by thunder. It was a scary ride because I was afraid we would fly off the cliff. Because of the rain (and the driver), it took us 8 hours instead of 4 hours to get to Tbilisi. Got there at about 5 am. Walked around Tbilisi till noon. Gorgeous city. Amazing. Loved it. Then hooked up with colleagues in Georgia, who gave me a ride to Baku. After two days of not sleeping, I slept on the way to Baku (7hrs). Was in Baku for 3 days. Great city too, although fuelled by petrodollars. I liked Tbilisi the most. On the way back to Bishkek, I stayed with Elnura in Moscow. Met Veta too. I did not do much sight-seeing or touristy stuff because I was soo tired. So just relaxed in Moscow. Flew in to Bishkek this monday, and the same day took off to Karakol (6hrs). Returned only yesterday. I am sick of travelling. I want to sleep in my own bed.

All in all, I brought 3 bottles of the famous Armenian cognac, 4 bottles of Georgian wine, and 2 bottles of Azeri narsharap (pomegranate sause - good stuff).

Baku: Maiden Tower (Qiz Qala).
Tbilisi: A Samarkandesque building turned into a banya, however the minaret in the back belongs to a working mosque in an Azeri neighborhood in Tbilisi.

Yerevan: Masrop Mashtots, creator of the Armenian alphabet, is playing keyboards, as locals says.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

#63: Host an International Student

Host a International Student, ACTR/ACCELS
Theory to Practice: Working With Foreign High School StudentsAmerican Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, manages programs for students from the former Soviet Union (FLEX), Serbia andMontenegro (A-SMYLE) and Afghanistan (YES) sponsored by the U.S.Department of State. We are an international not-for-profit workingsince 1974 in education and research. If you are interested in hosting, coordinating for a student or beinginvolved in some other way, please contact us, or 202-833-7522.
To potential host families: I guarantee it is a fun experience