Outou
21 February 2011 @ 10:29 pm
Personal Entry No. 65  
In much, much more important news, Tripoli is pretty much in chaos as Col. Gaddafi's government violently strikes down protestors -- not just with guns, but with bombs. Yes, it has actually been confirmed that Gaddafi ordered fighter plane pilots to drop bombs on the protesters.

The Libyan Justice Minister, many embassy staffers, and several Libyan diplomats have resigned in protest, with the country's representative in the U.N. calling for Gaddafi's resignation (and with the U.N. itself, at the moment, offering not much more than a slap on the wrist). Al Jazeera is running a livestream of the protests, but it's currently offline. Mobile networks are offline, too, and it's apparently impossible to make an international call on the landlines -- making the already difficult job of reporting from Libya even worse. That may very well be why other states have been so slow to react to the violence, but...surely, we have seen the international community react more strongly against events with even less evidence for support, right?

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] the_sun_is_up has more links here, including some detailing what you can do to help.
 
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Outou
15 November 2010 @ 08:10 pm
Personal Entry No. 61  
My Critical Language Scholarship application is finished and ready to be submitted, but I need to wait for my Russian professor to send in her letter of reference...before 11:59 P.M. PST. Needless to say, my stomach is churning. (ETA: My professor pulled through -- hurrah!)

More importantly: via [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire, the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti is growing more deadly, with the death toll now over 900. What's worse is that U.N. officers may have unwittingly carried this particular strain of the disease with them, but we still need to wait for confirmation of that (even though some desperate Haitians have not).

In other news, if you have any concerns about the Higgs boson, read this article on progress made at the CERN research center. I can't believe we might be able to definitively prove its existence in as little as a year!

And finally for something more pleasant, here's a meme that's been going around. I think I filled it out a little while after I first signed up for a LiveJournal account, so it'll be interesting to see how my answers for certain series have changed.

★ Reply with a fandom and I'll tell you the following:

▌ favorite character
▌ least favorite character
▌ prettiest character
▌ character I want to marry think is AWESOME
▌ favorite pairing
▌ favorite episode
▌ unpopular opinion


All that said, how is everyone doing?
 
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Outou
29 August 2010 @ 08:07 pm
Personal Entry No. 57  
Contrary to popular opinion, I am still alive. I am doing well. And I will tell you all about my time at the Russian School and other university-related things on Wednesday, since my Japanese lecture was canceled.

Fortunately, I was able to finally make a new header and layout for [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, and have 92 icons ready for the next set. You can see a grainy preview of some of them below -- please tell me what you think!



Moving on to more important things: here are some links you've most likely seen already, but should be spread as much as possible: Aid for Pakistan via Azuire on Dreamwidth and [livejournal.com profile] help_pakistan, as well as [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire's own post on the Western press's fixation on death and suffering in Third World countries.

Also: if you're from the United States, or care about our political system, this article by George Packer on the dysfunction of the Senate is worth a read. Loosely connected to both the Senate and the recent leak of 76,000 military documents on the war in Afghanistan/"Operation Enduring Freedom" by Wikileaks is this piece from The Washington Post, the somewhat-tackily-named "Top Secret America". It details the U.S. government's massive intelligence and national security branches.

And I'm sure you all know that, following over three months of crude oil flowing freely into the Gulf and causing massive, still not fully measured, and possibly irrecoverable damage to the area's ecosystems, B.P. has finally succeeded in sealing the well responsible the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Or perhaps it hasn't.
 
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Outou
10 April 2010 @ 11:40 pm
Personal Entry No. 50  
First: Thank you to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday! I had classes, so I wasn't exactly free to do whatever I wanted, but I got a vanilla cake and well-wishes--that's good enough for me. (That sounds too Pollyanna-like--I received presents from my parents and grandmother, too.) It's strange, though, since I feel as though I was ten years old only a few years ago, not a whole decade. Supposedly time only passes more quickly from now on. I believe in Science, and thus disregard that as complete and utter nonsense!

Second, and more disturbing: Today, April 10th, a plane carrying Poland's President, over thirty other governmental and military figures, and several others crashed en route to Smolensk, killing all 97 passengers. The trip was planned to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, in which over 20,000 Polish POWs were killed by the NKVD.

The government should "recover" easily as the Cabinet is still intact, and this is nowhere near as damaging as any natural disaster, but this is still a heavy blow to Poland and its people.

In other news, here are some updates about several ongoing situations of interest:

Vignettes about the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Port-au-Prince.

Some more details on international donations to Haiti. Supposedly, the spending and distribution of aid will be conducted with the Haitian government's full cooperation. What I hope for the most, however, was mentioned only at the very end of the article: a focus on making Haiti agriculturally self-sufficient, so it won't be forced to rely on artificially-cheap American imports.

I unfortunately wasn't able to find many updates on Chile's recovery efforts, but did find this: Henry Kissinger and Operation Condor, a program of political assassinations conducted by Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina in the 1970s. Make of that what you will. (I have no idea what to make of it myself.)

Finally, the Iranian protest movement against the fraudulent June elections is still alive, even though the street protests have been largely driven underground.
 
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Outou
14 January 2010 @ 06:03 pm
Personal Entry No. 35  
I'm not skilled enough to write about what's going on in Haiti right now, but at least I can help direct other people to information and ways they can help.

A BBC report on the amount of aid that has been pledged and received thus far in Haiti, as well as current death counts. (The Red Cross estimates that 40,000 to 50,000 civilians died, and the UN has stated that 36 of its personnel are confirmed to be dead.) The homeless number in the tens of thousands. It's difficult to estimate how many people are trapped and still alive.

A New York Times article on how survivors are getting increasingly more tense about the slow arrival of aid.

Another BBC report on the situation on the ground in Port-au-Prince. Keep in mind that the article itself, not just the accompanying video, has some disturbing scenes.

Eyewitness accounts of the aftermath of the earthquake.

A short reflection on the international reaction to the Haiti earthquake.

ETA: More via [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire, whom I'm cribbing too much: "America's Debt to Haiti." Read her post for more, but be prepared for some rage-inducing history.

And, finally, here are some ways you can help. Note that if you're in the United States, you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999 and having the amount charged to your cell phone bill; the organization has managed to raise over $3 million through text messages alone.

Here on LJ, a fandom auction is being held at [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti to help raise money, and [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire linked to a more comprehensive list of trustworthy organizations. It's horrible to think of someone taking advantage of the situation and scamming would-be donators, especially in light of how many people are in dire need of help in Haiti, but it's all too real a possibility.

Also, here's a preview of something that's been long in coming. )
 
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