Monthly Archives: January 2008

I told you it was a tiny planet

Events cause ripples felt far from the source. From AFP:

India’s vital outsourcing industry, which relies heavily on the Internet, was grappling with a major communications disruption Thursday after damage to undersea cables thousands of kilometres away in the Mediterranean.

Internet connections may take up to 15 days to return to normal, businesses said, adding that telecommunications in neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were also affected.

The same disruption hit the UAE, though services are being re-routed to compensate. This, sadly, does not explain why I can’t get internet in my apartment.

Jeremy Beadle RIP

Spare a thought for the presenter of Beadle’s About, who has died from pneumonia at age 59. Although you may not have liked his shows, he did raise more than £100 million (E133m) for charity and for that alone he deserves respect. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005 and was a devoted supporter of charitable organisations that helped children with the disease.

So much for the experts

Or commentators at least. From Gideon Rachman in the FT:

The (Davos) meeting took place against a background of crashing stock markets, panicky interest-rate cuts and a massive bank fraud. The global financial system is now so complicated that nobody really knows how deep its problems run. This central “known unknown” means that all the subsequent big questions are much harder to answer. Will America face a serious recession? It all depends. How bad will the knock-on effects be for the rest of world? Search me. How should politicians and regulators react? Difficult to say.

So the august analysis of Mr Rachman is: “I dunno”. Thanks, Gideon.

I’m being flippant though. The thrust of his column is on the looming battles for food, oil and water. Food, you say? Oh, yes. It’s very much on the cards.

Warhammered

Black Industries, the makers of Warhammer, is to close.

Kevin Rountree General Manager of BL Publishing said ‘As a result of the continued and impressive success of our core novels business, which we have built around 40K and Warhammer, we have decided to focus all of our efforts on growing this part of our business. Black Industries has seen fantastic success, most recently with Talisman and Dark Heresy. This change does not take away from that achievement rather it allows BL Publishing to focus on producing the best novels we can. This is a purely commercial decision and will enable us to carry on the huge growth that we have recently been experiencing with our novels’.

Don’t get me wrong, novels based in such universes are excellent. It’s just sad when a pen and paper RPG falls by the wayside. Speaking of pen-and-paper-based adventure, does anybody else miss the Fighting Fantasy books?

Another lost language

A sad tale from BBC:

A woman believed to be the last native speaker of the Eyak language in the north-western US state of Alaska has died at the age of 89.

Marie Smith Jones was a champion of indigenous rights and conservation. She died at her home in Anchorage.

She helped the University of Alaska compile an Eyak dictionary, so that future generations would have the chance to resurrect it.

Ms Jones is described by her family as a tiny chain smoking woman who was fiercely independent.

None of her nine children learned to speak the language, and there are 20 more Alaskan tongues in danger of dying out. :(

The living dead

Feliberto Carrasco, 81, shocked his family and friends at the weekend when he woke up at his wake. He had been found limp and cold and so his loved ones made arrangements with a funeral home in the town of Angol, Chile.

The man who “rose from the dead” said he was not in any pain, and only asked for a glass of water.

Local radio also surprised listeners by announcing a correction to Carrasco’s death announcement, saying the news had been premature.