masala: the international spice
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Friday, April 30

Charlie the CVS Turtle

CVS: Concurrent Versions System
CVS is a document storage facility that allows multiple developers or document writers
to work on files simultaneously without copying over each others work. TortoiseCVS is
the simplest implementation of CVS.

I'm creating the help files for the Amazon Product Finder project. If I figure out how to
use CVS properly, I can use it to upload the files.

Thursday, April 29

Powell, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi, and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer

At Berlin Forum, Powell and Other Diplomats Discuss Anti-Semitism
An opinion poll released this week by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League
found that large numbers of Europeans are still suspicious of Jews, although
overall attitudes in many countries have improved. The poll also confirmed
widespread opposition in Europe to the policies of Israel in its conflict with the

"It is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the state of Israel," said
Secretary of State Powell. "But the line is crossed when Israel or its leaders
are demonized or vilified, for example, by the use of Nazi symbols and racist

from August 2001:
Powell decides not to attend the United Nations Conference against Racism,
citing concerns over criticism of Israel.

Wednesday, April 28

mountain lion

Hikers Warned About Mountain Lion Near Stanford Dish
A mountain lion attacked a horse on a trail near the Dish last
week, causing moderate injuries, according to Stanford police.
Stanford police said this is the first report of a mountain lion
sighting or attack they've received in several years.

Mountain lions generally prowl and hunt from 90 minutes before
sunset through the night to 90 minutes after dawn. If you spot
a mountain lion, you should not run away; do what you can to
look larger than you are. If attacked, fight back.

Added May 4:
Second Horse Attacked; Administration Considers Hunting Mountain Lion
An article in the Mercury has more details, but requires a free registration to view.

Tuesday, April 27
FoxTrot by Bill Amend

view the most recent Foxtrot

Monday, April 26


Gmail (currently in Beta and by invitatation only)
Google's new email service gives users 1 gigabyte of storage, the ability to search, and a variety of other features.

Screenshots and primer "Gmail only innovates where it needs to: threading as default view, the enormous space, use of labels/keywords instead of folders, and the ability to use Google's search power on your email are the main such features."

The future of Gmail - Interview with Google co-founder Sergey Brin


Gmail will scan emails and place ads next to some emails (left). This process has some privacy advocates and government officials concerned.

Discussion of privacy concerns- written by the Chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Proposed bill would forbid Google from scanning e-mails - From the office of Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-CA)

Added April 30:
Google's Unconventional IPO Analyzed
Includes link to SEC filing

Added May 28:
Californian senators have approved a bill restricting Gmail
The bill would force Google to scan messages in real time and ban it
from producing records of what people are mailing each other about.

The final decision on whether it becomes law falls to California Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger who can approve it or decide to terminate(!) it.

Sunday, April 25

Severed Leg

Pictures from Iraq
Warning, graphic pictures.


How Disgusting is This?
Take the BBCi Quiz

Added May 6:
Photos of Abuse by American Soldiers inside Abu Ghraib Prison (audio slide show)

Saturday, April 24

Pat TillmanPat Tillman soldier
Pat Tillman

Former NFL Player Killed in Afghanistan
Pat Tillman gave up a $3.6 million contract from the Arizona Cardinals to join the
military's elite special forces. He died at the age of 27.

NBC News Coverage (requires Flash)

Mounir El Motassadeq

Retrial Set for 9/11 Suspect in Germany
The retrial of Mounir el Motassadeq, the only person ever convicted in the Sept. 11
attacks, will begin at a Hamburg court in August.

from April 8:
Only 9-11 suspect ever convicted walked out of a Hamburg jail today with a big smile

from May 30:
Tillman Killed by Friendly Fire

Friday, April 23

Doonesbury (view full strip)
Jules I've been meaning to talk to you about that B+ you handed out last month . .
scroll over pic for large text

Princeton Proposes Limits to Grade Inflation
New regulations would set a cap of 35 percent A's in all undergraduate courses at
Princeton. At Harvard, the university's undergraduate program has capped at 60%
the number of students who can graduate with honors.

A comparison of six Ivy League universities and Stanford reveals that Princeton's
grade distribution is hardly exceptional and reflects Ivy League and national trends. - data and trends

Thursday, April 22

Man in Coconut Tree
Man in Coconut Tree (large view)

Anish's and Jinesh's Pictures from India
1000+ high-quality pics from Darjeeling, Chennai,
Kolkotta, Baroda, Delhi and more.

I was there for the first half (Delhi, Darjeeling) but
back in America for the second half.
My pictures

Wednesday, April 21


Atlanta No. 1 city for spring allergies
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Factors used in compiling the list include a city's pollen levels, per-capita
use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication and the
number of board certified allergists per capita.

Top 100 Spring Allergy Capitals

Tuesday, April 20

9/11 memorial model
9-11 memorial model

Reflecting Waters
I went down to Ground Zero last weekend, where the 9-11 memorial
is currently being built. The sense of emptiness is striking, but the
PATH train running under the site shows the resiliency for which New
York is known.

Interview with designer WTC Memorial Designer Michael Arad
Arad: "I don't want to be too literal about the interpretation of the
design. I think it should be something that is open to different readings,
so different people can bring their own understanding to the memorial.
But one idea that was important to me was reflecting the continued
absence in our lives brought upon by these deaths."

Monday, April 19

Bombs Away

Barry Bonds passes Willie Mays in career home runs
With the Say Hey Kid watching from the Giants' dugout.


Freddy Adu scores first professional goal at age of 14
It's MLS - no one was watching.

Sunday, April 18


To Travel is to Progress
To make short runs between different villages and in the areas in and around major towns, rural and poor India depends upon the chakda, this motorcycle-trolley.
-- Rediff

Thursday, April 15


The Subservient Chicken
Burger King's unique, and strange, online branding experiment.

William Hung

William Hung's "Inspiration" #1 on Billboard Independent Album chart
A San Francisco Gate columnist thinks the gutsy singer with questionable talent is popular because
he fits into a racial stereotype.

Tuesday, April 6


Muqtada al-Sadr - young Iraqi Shi'ite cleric, son of a grand ayatollah (wiki)

Al-Sadr's followers have battled coalition troops in Baghdad and today took control of the holy city of Najaf, a coalition source said. Al-Sadr's followers control the governor's office, police stations and the Imam Ali mosque, one of Shi'ite Muslim's holiest shrines.

Sadr followers (several thousand of them) have also taken over international police stations and governorate buildings in Kufa, Nassiriya, Ammara, Kut, and Basrah. Policemen have sided with the Shi'ite insurgents in these cities.

This marks the first major Shi'ite resistance in Iraq against the American troops. To this point, most resistance has come from the Sunnis, particularly in the Sunni triangle around Baghdad, who were favored under the Saddam regime.


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - Senior al-Qaida operative, Jordanian/Sunni terrorist (wiki)

Foreign officials suspect al-Zarqawi of planning the March 2 bombings in Iraq that killed at least 181 Shi'ite Muslims and the March 11 bombings in Madrid that killed at least 190 Spaniards. Ansar al-Islam, the Iraqi-based terrorist group to which al-Zarqawi is linked, has often attacked Iraqi targets - Shi'ite pilgrims or Iraqi police - with the aim of sowing discord and perhaps civil war. Al-Zarqawi and seven other Arabs were sentenced to death in a Jordanian military court today for the murder of American diplomat Laurence Foley. In a tape released today, a man claiming to be al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for recent attacks against Shi'ites and pledged attacks on American leaders and troops in Iraq.

Sunni and Shi'ite Iraqis unite in growing resistance (Washington Post)
Like complaints about home searches that leave Iraqis feeling defiled and humiliated, disappointment with
the Governing Council is a grievance that binds many Iraqis. The panel is widely condemned as dominated
by exiles such as Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi National Congress leader more highly regarded by Pentagon
officials than in Baghdad. The complaint gained new energy when Shiite clerics began a campaign against
sections of the "basic law" the council produced with U.S. oversight as a basis for a constitution.

Iraq maps ( small | large | war )

Added April 13:
U.S. Marine siege of Fallujah produces a powerful backlash in Baghdad (Washington Post)

President's press conference on Iraq (with video
"A secure and free Iraq is an historic opportunity to change the world and make America more secure."
"They're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either. They do want us there to
help with security, and that's why this transfer of sovereignty is an important signal to send, and it's why it's
also important for them to hear we will stand with them until they become a free country."

Added April 19
Spain pulls out of Iraq

From Al-Jazeera:Bush or al-Sadr; who sounds more committed to Democracy?
al-Sadr: "They say freedom and democracy and yet they appoint a government.
Appointment cannot agree with freedom and democracy."

car bomb Added April 21:
Bombings in Basra Kill 68, al-Qaeda suspected by Coalition

Thursday, April 1
Kodak AT&T

AT&T and Kodak leave Dow, Verizon and Pfizer added
Source:AP Wire

Dow Jones & Co. is reshuffling its benchmark industrial average for the first time in more than four years, ousting
AT&T Corp., International Paper Co. and Eastman Kodak Co. in favor of financial services company American
International Group Inc., telephone carrier Verizon Communications and drugmaker Pfizer Inc.

The stocks leaving the index fell in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Kodak lost 81 cents to $25.36, AT&T slipped
26 cents to $19.31 and International Paper fell 23 cents to $42.03.

Those slated to join the Dow fared far better. Pfizer was up 48 cents at $35.53, Verizon gained 43 cents to $36.97
and AIG jumped $2.10 to $73.45.