Wednesday, August 24, 2005

BBC: Iraqi marshlands returning to health.

Under Saddam Hussein, the area of marsh was reduced to a tenth of its former size, as the government punished people living there for acts of rebellion.

The latest United Nations data shows that nearly 40% of the area has been restored to its original condition...

..."The near-total destruction of the Iraqi marshlands under the regime of Saddam Hussein was a major ecological and human disaster..." United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) executive director Klaus Toepfer said in a statement...

...According to Chizuru Aoki, Iraq project co-ordinator for the Unep, the situation changed rapidly with the end of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003.

"Immediately after the fall of the last regime, local people started to breach dykes which had taken water away from the marshes and bring water back into drained areas," she told the BBC News website.

1:55:11 PM   permalink   comment []

The GoTriad reader's poll has a best blog category. Backwards City and A Little Urbanity are two of my faves.

1:47:07 PM   permalink   comment []

Goofus and Gallant, scientists (via Stumpy's Findings).

1:36:28 PM   permalink   comment []

Good for Bob Costas.

I think "emotional pornography," as Matthew Felling calls it* in the article, sums up the treatment of the Natalee Holloway story by Fox News and its wannabes.

Van Susteren has special place in journalism hell for her relentless milking of this sad tale, but the braying Nancy Grace on Headline News may belong in an even lower pit.


*Was it Susan Sontag who coined the phrase "pornography of grief"? This is close kin.

9:03:41 AM   permalink   comment []

How much of Iraq do we and our allies actually control? John Robb points to the city of Haditha as an example of a city "in the hands of Emirs from the guerrilla groups Ansar-al-Sunna and Tawhid al-Jihad (al Qaeda in Iraq)."

8:43:47 AM   permalink   comment []

Responsible dads: Jay, who played video games as a kid but did not turn into PacMan, balances fatherhood and the XBox; Mickey tries to find non-trampy clothers for grade-schooler.

We have no dedicated game systems in our house, a somewhat meaningless line in the sand given the plethora of PC games that we own. We have always encouraged strategy games and discouraged first-person shooters, although I'm fine with the kids going next door to play Halo or even Grand Theft Auto. So in terms of both platform and content, we are trying to set some limits, or at least establish the idea of limits.

On the girls' clothing front -- do some parents understand that their pre-teen daughters might as well be shopping at Sluts R Us? What are these parents thinking?

8:39:51 AM   permalink   comment []


The City could make a meaningful symbolic gesture by funding the waterfall (just $600K) and naming it The Gentle Flow of Tax Dollars.

Actually, I'm fine with this deal. We get a nice downtown park for the cost of maintenance.

Park homepage.

Third-party reporting on the same subject.

UPDATE: Matt Williams says fountain maintainence will be paid for in part by the Business Improvement District, which is funded with tax public money (run through a private group) will flow to the water feature of the park...just not general fund dollars. I think his lede -- "Q: Who's paying for the Fountain? A: You are" could be more precise to indicate that taxpayers aren't paying, directly thru the City or indirectly thru the BID, to build the fountain.

8:01:24 AM   permalink   comment []