Tuesday, July 31, 2007

#79: My Political Views

My political compass (red dot in the first image is where I stand)
Economic Left/Right: -0.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.67
Take the test here

#78: Iraq For Sale

Watch this Robert Greenwald documentary about the war in Iraq and the role of the corporations such as Halliburton, Blackwater, and others in the war.

Update: In addition to this, look what ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did to the soldier, who turned in the pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison. What an @#$%&! Never liked that old creep!

Monday, July 30, 2007

#77: HIV/AIDS Confirmed in Nookat

What a hell is going on? It was confirmed today that 14 people in Nookat district (my father was born there) were infected by HIV/AIDS because of doctor's negligence. Kazakhstan had a similar incident last year when 80 people, mostly children, were accidentally infected in a hospital in Shymkent. Kazakhstan then jailed a bunch of doctors (although senior health officials were not imprisoned) in connection with this case.

Update: This breaking news was not even #1 news on the Kyrgyz National TV. First they showed President Bakiev meeting with the Iranian Ambassador, then PM Atambaev's visit to Aksy, and only then it was mentioned, but in the context of the Health Minister "reprimanding" health workers and firing several of them.

Friday, July 27, 2007

#76: Issykul on Weekends

A group of 9 people is leaving Bishkek today at 6 pm towards Cholponata, where B. booked a few places for us to stay. Although it is raining cats and dogs in Bishkek (my feet were soaked as I walked back to the office from lunch), I am hoping that it will be warm enough to swim and sunny enough to get some tan. I might even have to do some shaman dances and fir tree burning tonight to call for my ancestors to bring us good weather.

No sign of sunny weather in Bishkek. No wind at all. Rain pouring non-stop. Grey clouds above Bishkek as far as you can see.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

#75: GRE

Every day for the last three weeks I've been working for 2 hours on GRE's math section. I even took an intensive math course at AUCA to refreshen my math that I had almost forgotten. I plan to take the test in September and most probably in again in October because I will not do that well. I have not even looked at the verbal section of the test. It is a nightmare. I hope grad school admissions will pay more attention to my TOEFL score rather than me verbal score on GRE. Now have to contact my former professors and employers to ask them for recommendation letters.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

#74: Wedding Season

Last Saturday marked the opening of the wedding season among my male friends (many female friends are already married), most of whom are in mid-20s. They all suddenly realized that it is time to get married. A&B got married in Koy-Tash at a wonderful wedding. It was my first time being a best man at a wedding. It was interesting though to see two people making such an important step. Next in the line are two couples, M&E and K&M, who will get married in September. I think M. too will get married in fall, although he is still looking for his better half.

I am not getting married any time soon. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

#73: AUCA Alums in Almaty

#72: Internet and Politics

This video has been watched by more than 2.5 million people on YouTube!

Obama Girl vs. Guiliani Girl

McCain Mama

It will be years till Internet starts influencing Kyrgyz politics.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

#71: Nelson Mandela

Yesterday South Africa's ex-president Nelson Mandela turned 89. About a year ago I read his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, which I recommend everyone to read. An excellent book depicting the difficulties faced by the anti-apartheid movement, which was led by Nelson Mandela and his colleagues. Having spend 27 years in prison and leading the charge against an oppressive and racist regime, he continues to inspire many people and drive change in many areas. He is a person of immense internal strength and integrity.
Photo courtesy of The Guardian.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

#70: Issykul

Dying to get to Issykul.

This image is taken by a NASA satellite. You can also see other images of Kyrgyzstan (and the rest of Central Asia).

Monday, July 16, 2007

#69: Blogging for money...

A couple of western organizations (for example Hivos-backed blog and TOL's project) entered the Kyrgyz blogosphere with cases of money to "stimulate" people to be more involved in the new media. What they are doing makes complete sense, but on the other hand, why pay people who are already writing blogs for free. The money creates a distorted marketplace while encouraging short-term entrants (amateurs?) dominate the blogosphere. I might be wrong, though.

Friday, July 13, 2007

#68: Груз 200

I think Груз 200 (Cargo#200), which refers to a code for Russian soldiers' corpse sent home from Afghanistan, is one of the best Russian films made lately. Despite its title, the movie is about a depressing life in a Soviet industrial town in 1984. Violent and some perverse sexual scenes with a sophisticated plot makes it a very hard movie to watch. Plan to do something fun after watching a movie. I watched in Moscow a few weeks ago, but now it made to Bishkek's theaters.