Phytophotodermatitis results from spilling lime juice onto the skin in a sunny climate. The result is exaggerated sunburn that gives rise to a linear, asymptomatic lesion that later develops hyperpigmentation. The hyperpigmentation may take weeks or months to resolve.
The First Line of Defense Against a Genocidal Army?
YAMBIO, Southern Sudan — Everyone at the dinner table shied away when a friend here, a longtime aid worker and old Sudan hand, started unloading the contents of a plastic bag: a can of mace, an air horn, a whistle with a bright light, and last but not least, a taser. Then he began demonstrating each tool, sending up a distressing cacophony of shrill whistles, bullhorn blasts, and loud, painful-sounding buzzes.
Here in a place where the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, launch regular incursions, and the streets in town clear out at dark as people voluntarily move to the relative safety of their homes, the sounds were startling, even as we sat in our secure compound around the corner from the United Nations Mission in Sudan.
When the racket stopped, our friend explained himself: this assortment of noisemakers and non-lethal weapons are just what the local communities need to help fend off the LRA.
(Click here to read the rest of this fascinating article, by the Enough Project’s Laura Heaton, who is currently reporting from the field in Sudan)
"Like most of the Indonesians, Mr. Assa and his wife, Grace, came on tourist visas that were suddenly easy for poor people to get in the 1990s, when a booming economy welcomed foreign labor with a wink and a nod. Everything changed after 9/11, when a government directive required the “special registration” of men ages 16 to 65 who had entered the country on temporary visas from a list of predominantly Muslim countries, including Indonesia. If they did not register, it was understood, they would be considered terrorist fugitives.”
When the pasta water is boiling, I pour a small pile of salt into my left palm and then, rather than sprinkling it in, I fling it into the water with a flick of my wrist. I love the “thp” sound the salt makes as it hits the water and instantly dissolves.
“It’s an incredibly imbalanced text intended to subvert, absolutely and completely, two years of negotiations. It does not recognize the proposals and the voice of developing countries.”—
Lumumba Stanislaus Dia Ping, Sudanese ambassador to the Group of 77 developing countries, speaking of a leaked document known as the “Danish text” which proposes measures to keep average global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The document, subtitled “The Copenhagen Agreement,” has driven an even deeper wedge between rich and poor countries embroiled in UN climate talks in Copenhagen, CNN reports. The UN body hosting the talks has played down the document’s importance, stressing that it is an “informal paper” put forward by the Danish prime minister. “This was an informal paper ahead of the conference given to a number of people for the purposes of consultations. The only formal texts in the UN process are the ones tabled by the Chairs of this Copenhagen conference at the behest of the Parties,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Around 15,000 delegates are meeting daily in Copenhagen as they seek to form a global agreement on climate change. Next week they will be joined by around 100 heads of state to form a final deal, if negotiations in the coming days succeed in closing the gap between rich and poor nations. The “Danish text” proposes “developed country parties commit to deliver upfront public financing for 2010-201 corresponding on average to  billion USD annually for early action, capacity building, technology and strengthening adaptation and mitigation readiness in developing countries.” The draft text also proposes that the money is distributed by a “Climate Fund” by a board with “balanced representation.” Charity group Oxfam says the Danish text risked sidelining poorer countries as the world seeks to reduce global carbon emissions. “Like ants in a room full of elephants poor countries are at risk of been squeezed out of the climate talks in Copenhagen,” said Antonio Hill, Oxfam International’s climate adviser. China also criticized portions of the text that refer to a “peak” year for carbon emissions from developing countries. Meanwhile, small island states and poor African nations vulnerable to climate impacts laid out demands for a legally-binding deal tougher than the Kyoto Protocol, the BBC reports. This was opposed by richer developing states such as China, which fear tougher action would curb their growth. Tuvalu demanded - and got - a suspension of negotiations until the issue could be resolved.
(from Global Development Briefing — Rotting in Denmark)
Didik J. Rachbini, a professor and the founder of an economic research institute, said that in the past four years, Indonesia had swung from more or less parity in bilateral trade to a deficit equal to one-third of its annual exports to China — and rising.
“ I mean, think about it. I’m teaching English abroad. That’s like, well, I don’t know… A man teaching women how to pee standing up— doesn’t really mean the man is gifted in any way, he just knows something the people around him don’t.”— My sister, whose humor is unrivaled
Interesting development in America's HIV/AIDS strategy
This NYT article appears to support the idea that the Obama administration is fundamentally pragmatic in its approach to HIV/AIDS— and is therefore destined to disappoint partisans on both sides of the issue:
"As the Obama administration slowly unveils its global AIDS plan, the drive to put more people on drugs is being scaled back as emphasis is shifted to prevention and to diseases that cost less to fight, including pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and fatal birth complications.”
Nobody should be spurned or rejected who gives even the illusion of feeling. How could I tell what struggles he had made, and was still making perhaps, to rise to the surface? What right had I to judge him— or anybody? If people smile at you, take your arm, give off a glow, it must be that there is something in them which responds. Nobody is altogether dead.
"Moscow’s government, led by powerful and long-reigning Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has indicated that clearing the capital’s streets of snow is simply too expensive,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Instead, officials are weighing a plan to seed the clouds with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to keep heavy snow from falling inside the city limits.”
“It was a very wonderful speech for America … but when it comes to strategy in Afghanistan there was nothing really new, which was disappointing.”—
Afghan parliamentarian Shukriya Barakzai, on her disappointment with US President Barack Obama’s announcement of a massive new escalation of the eight-year-old war, as his speech contained little talk of civilian aid.
"It seems to me that President Obama is very far away from the reality and truth in Afghanistan. His strategy was to pay lip-service, and did not focus on civilians, nation-building, democracy and human rights," she told Reuters from her home. Obama said some 30,000 extra US forces, and at least 5,000 expected from other NATO allies, will join 110,000 Western troops already in the country in an effort to reverse gains made by the Islamist militants, now at their strongest since being ousted in 2001. He also set an 18-month timetable for starting a withdrawal. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the new US plan for Afghanistan, and said the United Nations remains committed to supporting a transition to increased Afghan ownership, responsibility and leadership for peace and development in the country. Ban noted with appreciation the “proposed approach to balance military and civilian efforts and the emphasis on strengthening the capacity of Afghan institutions and Afghan security forces in particular,” his spokesperson said in a statement. In Afghanistan, a statement from the presidential palace noted only that the government welcomed Obama’s new strategy for the support it offered in development and training for Afghan institutions and in protecting the Afghan people, the New York Times reports. It also commended the plan for the recognition that terrorists were operating in the region beyond Afghanistan’s borders in Pakistan.
(from Global Development Briefing — Surging to Withdraw)
“… and someday, somehow, somewhere, I will meet a fella that tickles my fancy; is 6 feet 4 inches with jet black hair; is jewish; bilingual; well-traveled; well-educated; has an aptitude for math and science but also is knowledgeable in the arts; can play a musical instrument; has a high sperm count; dresses in a style i like to call ‘preppy with an edge’ meaning he will wear a ralph lauren blazer with elbow patches and chuck sneakers; has one of those bodies that’s just perfect - you know, the tall fit man body that just looks perfect with and without clothes on; has a cute hiney; doesn’t have too many muscles but just looks NORMAL; comes from a happy family with lots of love to go around; is really really adventurous and will bring me out of my shell; doesn’t mind that our first born son will be named foster and our first born daughter will be magnolia hockaday; loves and supports my need to save all the babies in the world; doesn’t run screaming into the wind when I introduce him to the family crazy; supports my need to have a really big house— or at least an extra room so that when i need to be QUIET i can go in the room and shut the door and not hear anybody; wants to live in dupont circle and raise dupont circle children because dupont circle children are magical, just simply magical; likes to be lazy like i do and loves to play a wii and watch tv, but also loves to party like it’s 1999; loves to cook and can accept the fact that despite my efforts all these years, i just simply do not enjoy the whole cooking experience but would rather sit back and watch him cook while i am boozing and giving orders (and maybe smoking hookah); can accept the fact that i will always be a better firsherwoman than he is; likes to ride four wheelers and get super dirty at the ranch; understands and nurtures my need to be in control of a lot of things but also understands the things that i hate to be in control of; and last, but not least, loves and cherishes the best friends in my life. he’s out there — this guy I’m talking about — he’s out there. somewhere. and i think his name will be something dorky like herman.”—
The Incomparable Ash, who is destined for an extraordinary man.